Skip to main content
Casual Chat

Casual Chat

By Andrew Liu & Hongbo Tian
Find it frustrating to keep up with tech? Every episode, Casual Chat breaks down recent developments in tech such that casual listeners (i.e. you) can understand their implications (while being entertained).
Listen on
Where to listen
Apple Podcasts Logo

Apple Podcasts

Breaker Logo

Breaker

Google Podcasts Logo

Google Podcasts

Pocket Casts Logo

Pocket Casts

RadioPublic Logo

RadioPublic

Spotify Logo

Spotify

#10: A Disastrous Week for Facebook
Facebook's been having a rough week. On October 4, 2021, there was a complete outage of all Facebook-owned systems, including Instagram and WhatsApp. The next day, a whistleblower testifies before congress about how Facebook prioritizes profits over public safety, implying that the company may have been complicit with the storming of the Capitol Building earlier in the year. Andrew (@liuandrewk) and Hong (@c0fpv) opine about the whole debacle and discuss whether this news is evening surprising in the first place... Links: ARM China splits from ARM UK: https://semianalysis.substack.com/p/the-semiconductor-heist-of-the-century ProtonMail amends its policy after giving up data to the feds: https://www.wired.com/story/protonmail-amends-policy-after-giving-up-activists-data/ Prior research shows that Instagram is in fact unhealthy for adolescents: https://www.wsj.com/articles/facebook-knows-instagram-is-toxic-for-teen-girls-company-documents-show-11631620739 The whistleblower Frances Haugen testifies before congress: https://www.npr.org/2021/10/05/1043377310/facebook-whistleblower-frances-haugen-congress Facebook engineering's official blog post on how the site-wide outage occurred: https://engineering.fb.com/2021/10/05/networking-traffic/outage-details/ Mark Zuckerberg's response to the whole debacle: https://www.facebook.com/4/posts/10113961365418581/?d=n Follow us on Twitter: Casual Chat: https://twitter.com/TheCasualChat Andrew: https://twitter.com/liuandrewk Hong: https://twitter.com/c0fpv
34:06
October 12, 2021
#9: A Tale of Two Betrayals - ARM China goes Rogue, ProtonMail sells out activist's data
The company behind ARM processors is currently in disarray. The business has split up into two independent companies, and their CEO is holed up in China. Andrew (@liuandrewk) and Hong (@c0fpv) go over the hilarious story that caused the company to be in these circumstances. Later, they discuss how ProtonMail (the so-called "privacy" email provider) has given out user data, and what it means to have a realistic view of privacy. Links: ARM China splits from ARM UK: https://semianalysis.substack.com/p/the-semiconductor-heist-of-the-century ProtonMail amends its policy after giving up data to the feds: https://www.wired.com/story/protonmail-amends-policy-after-giving-up-activists-data/ Follow us on Twitter: Casual Chat: https://twitter.com/TheCasualChat Andrew: https://twitter.com/liuandrewk Hong: https://twitter.com/c0fpv
38:21
September 12, 2021
#8: How to Make Software Engineers Obsolete
Github has released a new editor tool called Copilot. It claims to be able to generate code for entire functions. Andrew (@liuandrewk) and Hong (@c0fpv) explore whether Copilot will live up to the hype and the future of licensing issues around training machine learning models off of source code. Links: GitHub Copilot's Official Website: https://copilot.github.com/ Licensing Concerns with Copilot: https://twitter.com/liuandrewk/status/1412818109329707011 Follow us on Twitter: Casual Chat: https://twitter.com/TheCasualChat Andrew: https://twitter.com/liuandrewk Hong: https://twitter.com/c0fpv
23:46
August 26, 2021
#7: A Case of (Self-driving) Road Rage
In this episode, Andrew (@liuandrewk) and Hong (@c0fpv) debate the safety of self-driving cars after a Waymo car hits a pedestrian in SF. Later, they dive into Tesla's decision to rely solely on camera vision for its autopilot system and discuss whether that's a wise choice. ~~~ Links: * Waymo car teaches innocent pedestrian a lesson: https://www.vice.com/en/article/qj83vw/futuristic-self-driving-car-hits-person-the-old-fashioned-way * Tesla stops using radar for autopilot: https://www.reuters.com/business/autos-transportation/tesla-drops-radar-is-autopilot-system-safe-2021-06-02/ ~~~ Follow us on Twitter: * Casual Chat: https://twitter.com/TheCasualChat * Andrew: https://twitter.com/liuandrewk * Hong: https://twitter.com/c0fpv
22:09
August 17, 2021
#6: Big Tech's Race to Control Podcasting
In this episode, Andrew (@liuandrewk) discusses Spotify's acquisition of various podcasting startups and shares his predictions of the industry with Hong (@c0fpv). Hong shares his experiences as an indie creator, and the chatters compare the strategies of Spotify, Apple, and YouTube in the race to lure creators. Links: * Spotify acquires Podz: https://techcrunch.com/2021/06/17/spotify-acquires-podz-a-podcast-discovery-app/ ~~~ Follow us on Twitter: * Casual Chat: https://twitter.com/TheCasualChat * Andrew: https://twitter.com/liuandrewk * Hong: https://twitter.com/c0fpv
19:39
August 10, 2021
#5: Major Upcoming Innovations to CPUs
In this episode, Hongbo (@c0fpv) tells Andrew (@liuandrewk) about a few novel innovations that will change the way CPUs get designed. The discussion slowly converges towards a lesson in hardware fundamentals. ~~~ Links: * AMD develops stacked v-cache technology: https://www.anandtech.com/show/16725/amd-demonstrates-stacked-vcache-technology-2-tbsec-for-15-gaming * Google uses machine learning for TPU floor-planning: https://www.theverge.com/2021/6/10/22527476/google-machine-learning-chip-design-tpu-floorplanning ~~~ Follow us on Twitter: * Casual Chat: https://twitter.com/TheCasualChat * Andrew: https://twitter.com/liuandrewk * Hong: https://twitter.com/c0fpv
19:43
August 4, 2021
#4: The Wonderful World of FPV Drones
You might have heard of drone flying, but there's an entire subculture of drone pilots who pilot via a first-person view of the drone. In this episode, Hong (@c0fpv) tries to indoctrinate Andrew (@liuandrewk) into trying out FPV drones and explains what makes the hobby so special. ~~~ Follow us on Twitter: * Casual Chat: https://twitter.com/TheCasualChat * Andrew: https://twitter.com/liuandrewk * Hong: https://twitter.com/c0fpv
22:24
May 14, 2021
#3: Should the British Monarchy Still Exist?
In this episode, Andrew (@liuandrewk) questions the modern purpose of the British monarchy and whether it's worth the taxpayers' hard-earned money. Hong (@c0fpv) happens to be British and shares his view on the queen and British traditions. ~~~ Links: * Russell Brand's reaction video to the Meghan & Harry Interview: https://youtu.be/OyREzWcCPDo ~~~ Follow us on Twitter: * Casual Chat: https://twitter.com/TheCasualChat * Andrew: https://twitter.com/liuandrewk * Hong: https://twitter.com/c0fpv
09:57
April 4, 2021
#2: Buying a GPU in a Global Chip Shortage
In this episode, Hongbo (@c0fpv) spends 10 minutes complaining to Andrew (@liuandrewk) about the global chip shortage and why it's so hard to buy a GPU right now. ~~~ Follow us on Twitter: * Casual Chat: https://twitter.com/TheCasualChat * Andrew: https://twitter.com/liuandrewk * Hong: https://twitter.com/c0fpv
08:53
March 21, 2021
#1: Sticking It to the Man in the GameStop Short Squeeze
In the inaugural episode, Andrew (@liuandrewk) updates Hong (@c0fpv) on his latest financial investments amid the Gamestop short squeeze. Hong questions why Andrew isn't broke. ~~~ Links: * The r/wallstreetbets subreddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/wallstreetbets/ * Robinhood intervenes with GME: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-01-28/robinhood-has-told-users-it-may-close-some-at-risk-positions ~~~ Follow us on Twitter: * Casual Chat: https://twitter.com/TheCasualChat * Andrew: https://twitter.com/liuandrewk * Hong: https://twitter.com/c0fpv
08:58
March 18, 2021