The Talk Show With John Gruber

The director’s commentary track for Daring Fireball.


275: ‘Fake Faces’, With Special Guest Glenn Fleishman

Special guest Glenn Fleishman returns to the show. Topics include iPhone encryption, the privacy implications of widely-available reverse image search for faces, deep-learning-powered algorithmically-generated faces, and Jeopardy’s “Greatest of All Time” tournament.

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This is Jeopardy:

  • Jeopardy’s Greatest of All Time Tournament.
  • Glenn’s analysis of matches 1–3 for Motherboard .
  • Glenn’s archive of articles regarding Jeopardy.
  • Prisoner of Trebekistan, by Bob Harris.
  • Ken Jennings’s excellent Twitter account.

iPhone encryption:

  • Jack Nicas’s New York Times column on how iPhone encryption works.
  • My link to Nicas’s column, with a few additional thoughts.

Algorithmically-generated faces:

  • The Washington Post: “Dating Apps Need Women. Advertisers Need Diversity. AI Companies Offer a Solution: Fake People”.
  • Glenn on deep fake faces, last year for Fast Company .
  • Facebook removes profiles with fake pics .

Facial recognition search:

  • Kashmir Hill’s stunning report for The Times on Clearview AI, a Peter-Thiel-backed company that supplies law enforcement with facial recognition search, build on a library of billions of photos uploaded to the web.
  • Nelson Minar on Yandex’s reverse image search for faces, which is startling accurate, and available to anyone.
  • Screenshot of Yandex search results for my own face.


  • Tiny Type Museum.
  • Election Ride Home podcast.
  • The intense concentration required by grandmaster-level chess burns thousands of calories per day.
  • YubiKey 5Ci — 2FA dongle with Lightning and USB-C jacks ($70 though).
  • Loyola Maramount’s 1990 high-scoring men’s basketball team .
  • Have I Been Pwned? — Fantastic resource where you can search to see if you have an account that was compromised in a data breach. Spoiler: you probably do.
  • Kashmir Hill, writing for Gizmodo last year: “I Cut the ‘Big Five’ Tech Giants From My Life. It Was Hell”.
  • The New York Times: “One Nation, Tracked”.

This episode of The Talk Show was edited by Caleb Sexton.


 2020-01-24  3h0m