00:00:14 ◼ ► And all the code, you know, I have variables with tweet in the name, and I have variables with toot in the name.
00:00:28 ◼ ► Just being a mature person, you say, "This is a fun, fanciful name that relates to elephants. Thumbs up."
00:00:33 ◼ ► And it begins with a T and sounds kind of like tweet. Like, obviously it's piggybacking on existing nomenclature for stuff.
00:00:39 ◼ ► It's so much better than saying post. I heavily endorse toot, even though, as we know it, it's been
00:00:45 ◼ ► officially renamed in the source code for the software that most of these sites are using.
00:00:53 ◼ ► This past Monday, as we record, we released the fourth episode, the bonus fourth episode,
00:01:00 ◼ ► in what was intended to be a three-part trilogy, as opposed to a four-part trilogy? I don't know. Anyway.
00:01:11 ◼ ► Well, I'm not sure it was wrong, but these two would say it was wrong. We righted my decision...
00:01:15 ◼ ► Oh, fine. We fixed my faux pas earlier in choosing the rundown as my ATP Movie Club choice from earlier.
00:01:24 ◼ ► Instead, we have... I guess not instead, but in addition, we have done and recorded and published for members,
00:01:32 ◼ ► we have published ATP Movie Club number four, which is The Hunt for October 1990/1991, I forget what year it was,
00:01:40 ◼ ► one of my favorite movies of all time, and Marco had never seen it, and John had thoughts.
00:01:46 ◼ ► With that said, stay for The Hunt for Ed October talk, but come for the popcorn argument that we had in the very beginning.
00:01:52 ◼ ► I will say nothing else. I will say nothing else, but the member special, within the span of probably 60 seconds,
00:02:04 ◼ ► And so, if that is something that interests you, and it should be, ATP.fm/join, and again, this is in...
00:02:12 ◼ ► Correct me, Marco, this will appear in both the bootleg and the members-only feeds, is that correct?
00:02:18 ◼ ► That is correct. That way, in case you only listen to the bootleg feed, you don't miss it.
00:02:22 ◼ ► And again, the argument in the beginning is worth the price of admission if you ask me.
00:02:26 ◼ ► So, ATP.fm/join. Also, we, slash I, messed up last week. I forgot to recognize that the three of us have been podcasting together for ten years now.
00:02:41 ◼ ► But, the first episode of Neutral, where I introduced myself to the internet by swearing at Marco of MemoryServes,
00:02:49 ◼ ► Was released on the 17th of January 2013. So, the three of us, as a team, have been podcasting for ten years.
00:02:59 ◼ ► And if you had told me, when I was arguing, well not arguing, but when I was discussing with Erin whether or not it was worth spending, I don't know,
00:03:05 ◼ ► two or three hundred bucks on a road podcaster and the boom and so on and so forth, and I said to her,
00:03:09 ◼ ► "You never know what will happen." And she was like, "Yeah, I guess you're right, but jeez, that's a lot of money."
00:03:19 ◼ ► So, genuinely from the bottom of our hearts, thank you to everyone who has listened to Neutral, who has listened to ATP,
00:03:24 ◼ ► who has joined as an ATP member. Thank you to all of you. It has been an unbelievably cool and wild ride for all of us to be doing this for ten years together.
00:03:32 ◼ ► Obviously, you two have been doing it quite a bit longer than I, but as a unit, the three of us have been going for ten years.
00:03:44 ◼ ► And speaking of that being a Neutral thing, I feel like this is an occasion inflation, right?
00:03:49 ◼ ► Where you're like, "Oh, let's celebrate the day we first met and the day we went on our first date and the first time we held hands."
00:04:00 ◼ ► And it just keeps going and going. It's like, if you're going to start from the day we did Neutral, but then what about also the day we started ATP,
00:04:05 ◼ ► and then what about the day we recorded the first ATP, and what about the day the first ATP was released, and what about the day ATP.fm went up?
00:04:14 ◼ ► And if I had to pick one, I would have picked publication date of first episode of ATU.
00:04:18 ◼ ► But now you've blown it. Now we've done the ten years thing. So I'm putting a moratorium on ten years of podcasting.
00:04:23 ◼ ► No. No, we still have to recognize, there's one more date to recognize as far as I'm concerned,
00:04:36 ◼ ► March 11, 2013. Listen to Marco Arment, Syracuse & I talk tech. If Cars isn't your thing, the Accidental Tech Podcast, ATP.fm.
00:04:47 ◼ ► Yep, that's right. That's right. March 11, 2013. That is the only remaining celebration with regard to the ten year anniversary of us.
00:05:12 ◼ ► It's important to keep your apps updated for the latest features, bug fixes, and security patches.
00:05:17 ◼ ► But manually searching for updates, downloading them, installing them, including them up takes time and effort, especially for out of app store software.
00:05:26 ◼ ► So, many out of app store apps don't have built-in update checks, or their update checkers might break over time.
00:05:34 ◼ ► So MacUpdater can help you automatically track the latest updates of all of your installed applications.
00:05:48 ◼ ► And so MacUpdater has this database they manage. It checks them for new apps, searches directly to install all auto-updatable apps via the discover function.
00:06:41 ◼ ► MacUpdater 3 is venture only and has a bunch of cool features like new Apple Silicon migration assistance.
00:07:03 ◼ ► Anyway, we should do some follow up and hey, the new Mac Mini is the same size as the old one? Question mark? What's going on here?
00:07:23 ◼ ► MaxStadium, one of those companies that rack mounts these things or whatever, also confirms it in a blog post that we'll link.
00:07:30 ◼ ► And I would trust them because they're the ones who would care about millimeter differences.
00:07:34 ◼ ► And lots of people have gone deep into, "Why are the numbers different on Apple's website?"
00:07:38 ◼ ► What it comes down to is probably just differences in rounding and significant digits and what units they're in.
00:07:45 ◼ ► And someone did a dive of like, "Okay, well if they did it this way, if they measured it in millimeters then converted it into inches,
00:07:52 ◼ ► then rounded it to one significant digit, but then converted the inches to centimeters."
00:07:55 ◼ ► And the real question is, "Why did Apple change the way they round these numbers on their website?"
00:08:03 ◼ ► Maybe it was just, I don't know, some new person doing it or someone didn't know the old way or whatever.
00:08:08 ◼ ► But it seems like a little stumble. Like if it really is the same size, why change these?
00:08:13 ◼ ► Maybe it was a company-wide policy change, like from now on, for all our hardware products, we're always going to do things in this particular order so we don't have any variances.
00:08:24 ◼ ► And other people have said that they think also the 14-inch MacBook Pro is the same size, but I haven't seen that one confirmed.
00:08:34 ◼ ► All right. And then there's another kerfuffle with regard to SSD speeds and the new Mac Mini.
00:08:43 ◼ ► So I don't have a whole ton of patience for this. It is a thing. It is real. But I feel like it's one of those, "Ah, we got you! We got you, Apple! We caught you red-handed!"
00:08:56 ◼ ► So the short-short version, Jon, you can even do the long version, but the short-short version is think about maybe not getting the smallest SSD available on basically any current Apple product,
00:09:09 ◼ ► A little bit. Half the speed. So we talked about this at length the first time it happened, which I think was the M.2 MacBook Air.
00:09:15 ◼ ► It's the same issue as that. For a given SSD size, they'll put half as many chips on the motherboard, because instead of having one chip that is the entire capacity,
00:09:27 ◼ ► but that halves the bandwidth of the SSD to the SoC, and making it roughly half the speed when benchmarked.
00:09:35 ◼ ► And it's usually only on the lowest of low-end things. So in this example, the 599 M.2 Mac Mini, the bottom-end one that comes with a 256GB SSD,
00:09:44 ◼ ► it has one SSD chip on the motherboard that is 256GB, and then it has a blank spot where the other SSD chip would go.
00:09:51 ◼ ► And that Mac Mini, which is $100 cheaper than the M.1 one is, the SSD is about half the speed of the M.1, because the M.1 Mac Mini didn't have this problem.
00:10:01 ◼ ► It came with two 128GB chips, and it had the full bandwidth. Same exact issue exists on the M.2 MacBook Pro, if anyone remembers that thing, the M.2 MacBook Air.
00:10:14 ◼ ► And it's annoying, because I understand maybe it's a cost savings in an economy scale or whatever, but it's not just like, "Oh, it's 5% slower," or whatever.
00:10:23 ◼ ► It's literally half the speed. Most people don't care about that speed, but it makes the lowest-end model, it makes it so you have to warn people.
00:10:30 ◼ ► Here's an annoying thing we have to warn you about. We didn't have to do this with the M.1 MacBook Air, for example.
00:10:34 ◼ ► There's nothing to warn anybody about that. It's just decide how much storage you want, decide how much memory you care about, but there's no hidden thing you have to worry about.
00:10:42 ◼ ► And now, apparently this is a thing that Apple is going to roll out these product lines, and maybe for the whole M.2 generation, through some cost-saving measure or whatever,
00:10:51 ◼ ► you have to warn people, "Hey, if you actually care about SSD speed," which you probably don't, but you might, "don't get the lowest-end one."
00:10:58 ◼ ► And it makes the lowest-end one the worst deal. The best example is the MacBook Pro, which is like a machine that starts at $2,000, and you get a $2,000 machine,
00:11:08 ◼ ► but if you're not careful, if you've got the lowest-end $2,000 one with the 256-gig SSD because you didn't need that much space, it's half the speed.
00:11:15 ◼ ► A $2,000 machine shouldn't be crippled in this way. So this is a thing. It is known. It is not really a news story, but it's something to keep in mind.
00:11:24 ◼ ► It's something for listeners of this show to keep in their mind if they have any relatives or friends who are thinking of buying any one of these Macs,
00:11:32 ◼ ► to just to let them know, "Hey, if you're going to," and you might think, "Oh, it's never going to come up. If you just web-browse an e-mail, it'll never be a factor."
00:11:39 ◼ ► You never know what people are going to do with their computers, and like I said, it's not 5% slower. It's 50% the speed of the thing.
00:11:47 ◼ ► So I really wish Apple and the M3 generation stops doing this. Or, here's another option, Apple. Stop shipping 256-gig SSDs on any of your computers.
00:11:58 ◼ ► All right, let's see if we can get through this quickly. Since we last recorded, Twitter has officially, for realsies this time, banned third-party Twitter clients.
00:12:09 ◼ ► They updated their developer agreement on Thursday the 19th of January with a clause banning, "Use or access the licensed materials to create or attempt to create a substitute or similar service or product to the Twitter applications."
00:12:23 ◼ ► The addition is the only substantive change. I don't think I pronounced that right. Anyway, it's the only big change in the 5,000-word agreement.
00:12:30 ◼ ► The funny thing is, I think you actually did it. I think it's substantive, which is what you pretty much said.
00:12:41 ◼ ► Anyways, the diff was from Andy Bayo, which we'll link in the show notes, and it is exactly as described. There's almost no difference.
00:12:49 ◼ ► This is kind of gross. It's within their right to do so. And I think Ben Thompson was leading the charge, or at least of the people that I've heard, leading the charge that, hey, they should have done this a long time ago if you think about Twitter's business from Twitter's perspective.
00:13:02 ◼ ► And I think that does make sense, but the way they made this happen was super gross. Like, on the 17th, this was right before we recorded, the Twitter dev Twitter account tweeted, "Twitter is enforcing its long-standing API rules. That may result in some apps not working."
00:13:20 ◼ ► I love the fact that they included long-standing. So, setting aside the arrow of time, which dictates that the 19th comes later than the 17th, right?
00:13:28 ◼ ► This is their one and only official communication that even vaguely relates to explaining why all our Twitter apps weren't working. It didn't name any specific apps, and it cited long-standing API rules.
00:13:41 ◼ ► Two days later, they made a one-line change to the Twitter developer agreement to ban all third-party applications. So, anyway, this is just conclusively in case you were wondering.
00:13:50 ◼ ► No, they still didn't say what they were doing, still didn't give any explanation or reasoning or whatever, still did it without communicating for, I think it was like a week or five days, six days before anybody knew anything.
00:14:01 ◼ ► But then eventually, finally, on the 19th, they, you know, updated their developer, again, without any communication to anybody. The only reason people know this is someone was looking at the developer agreement and saw the diff, right?
00:14:11 ◼ ► It says, yeah, no, all third-party applications that try to be like the Twitter clients are banned. So, this is the conclusion to that story. The conclusion is that there are a bunch of jerks over there at Twitter, and all third-party clients are dead.
00:14:24 ◼ ► Yep, and, you know, Tweetbot has formally said, you know, it is no more. Twitterific has formally said it is no more.
00:14:36 ◼ ► Because, like, you know, obviously, Twitter says, yeah, you can't have a third-party client anymore, that ends everybody. But even before that, they had given up because their apps had been inexplicably banned, right?
00:14:46 ◼ ► Yep, yep. And it's just, I was listening to Connected before we recorded, and I think Federico hit the nail on the head. Like, it's just Twitter, or it seems like at the very least, Elon, is just without class.
00:15:00 ◼ ► Like, there's just no class. Like, whether or not you think he's bright, whether or not you think he makes good decisions, and again, I could make a strong argument that this was, from the perspective of Twitter, a good decision.
00:15:11 ◼ ► I don't like it at all, but I understand it. But it was just done in such a gross, classless way. And, ah, I hate it so much.
00:15:20 ◼ ► I love, though, however, dear friend of the show, Jason Snell, replying to that Twitter dev tweet, and hello, future Marco, because you're going to have to deal with this, Jason said, and I am quoting, "You are full of shit."
00:15:31 ◼ ► And that was the entire tweet, and it was so perfect. I loved it so much. And then he replied to himself two days later with a link to Engadget, you know, talking about the new rules.
00:15:42 ◼ ► And the contents of his tweet, other than the link, was, quote, "Long standing," quote. It's just so good. I love it so much.
00:15:51 ◼ ► Ah, gosh. Anyway, it's just gross. It makes me feel terrible for Tapbots, for the icon factory. It's just gross. Like, there's ways you could have handled this that weren't gross.
00:16:05 ◼ ► Yeah, and I think, you know, if there is, if we can somehow turn, you know, this horrible thing for these developers into a positive thing at all, you know, keep in mind that these two apps, especially in the case of Tapbots, like, this is like the vast majority of their income.
00:16:24 ◼ ► And for icon factory, for Twitterific, Twitterific is a pretty substantial chunk for them. This is a really, really good time for the community to help out these two developers by looking at their other software.
00:16:39 ◼ ► And if you could use any of it, buy it. This is the time, like, right now, because this just came out of nowhere for them. And these are two really fantastic app developers that have been on the platform for an extremely long time.
00:16:54 ◼ ► It would be really nice for the community to help them through this transition. You know, icon factory has a lot of other apps. I love Linnea, their sketch app for iPad.
00:17:04 ◼ ► Tot is excellent as well. Yep, Tot is fun. Like, it's kind of this like, almost like a little like memo clipboard kind of management. It's really cool. Anyway, check out these apps. And then Tapbots just launched ivory, their Mastodon client.
00:17:16 ◼ ► I strongly suggest look at these two companies apps, buy them if you can, and if you if you can use them, if there is some way to give them money, please take that option now, because these are great developers, and we want to support them because this is the kind of apps like what these two developers make are such top notch apps.
00:17:35 ◼ ► These are the kind of apps that make the platform special. These are the kind of developers that we want to support that don't do any of the like, you know, weird privacy tracking BS, or like scammy kind of things that we see so often in other places in the App Store.
00:17:49 ◼ ► This is the kind of app that we should support. This is the kind of developer that deserves our support. So please help them out, buy their stuff. If you're Mastodon, which I strongly suggest, if you're Mastodon, definitely go get ivory.
00:18:01 ◼ ► It is a fantastic Mastodon client so far, and they're constantly working on more of it. There's going to be a Mac version from what I understand, and probably the near future as well, which will radically improve my life.
00:18:19 ◼ ► Yeah, just to make absolutely clear, ivory is publicly available on the App Store. It had been just came out semi. Yeah, it had been on like a semi open beta where they would release slots, or they would release sign ups for test flight.
00:18:32 ◼ ► But now it is for realsies in the App Store and you can anyone can get it right now. And also to go back to the icon factory very briefly. I don't use x scope a lot.
00:18:42 ◼ ► But it is invaluable when you are trying to work out UI related things on a Mac. Like if you're even in the simulator, it doesn't matter. It probably even supports iOS in ways that I'm not even familiar with. But one way or another x scope is also great.
00:18:56 ◼ ► So again, from from from the icon factory Linnea taught x scope from from tap bots, ivory, all of these get, you know, my highest recommendation. And I think I probably speak for both you fellows in saying that. So please check them out.
00:19:11 ◼ ► If you have if you're a Mac developer, one reason to get x scope aside from the obvious like I'm using it to measure stuff on my screen related to my app. If you're a Mac developer, you have to do screenshots for the Mac App Store if that's where you're selling.
00:19:24 ◼ ► And that usually involves arranging windows and then taking screenshots on on a Mac. And if you want to do that in a repeatable way x scope is great for that because you can set up frames and guides and all sorts of other things that x scope does.
00:19:38 ◼ ► And of course, it saves them and they're persistent, they will let you precisely position the windows of your application so that from version to version, your screenshots like Oh, where did I put this? Was it centered on the screen? How high was it? You know, like, do I have to line it up to the mountains and desktop background? So exactly the same spot x scope x scope solves all that for you just turn on all the guides and frames and everything. Line up your windows, turn off all the stuff, take your screenshot. So handy.
00:20:02 ◼ ► Yeah, like, imagine like, you know, if you if you've ever been using, you know, Photoshop or something like that, and like, you know, maybe like you drag a box of me and you see like, Oh, it's telling me how many pixels that is how convenient x scope is like having that kind of little convenient thing for anything on your screen, just as an overlay to your screen, among many, I mean, it's one of those assets.
00:20:22 ◼ ► There's so many little tools built into it. So it's one of those apps, like it isn't just one thing, but that's one of the things. That's the thing that I really enjoy about it. I use that all the time.
00:20:32 ◼ ► And then continuing to talk about Twitter. And by the way, we did pretty well that didn't take that long. See how long this one takes? Twitter, their infrastructure seems to be crumbling very slowly and somewhat quietly.
00:20:44 ◼ ► John Gruber over at Daring Fireball, I remarked over a week ago that I was no longer seeing mentions or replies directed at my Twitter account for a day or two, I was seeing a handful of them. But now they're gone.
00:20:54 ◼ ► At this writing, I see a grand total of one mention for my account going back to January 5, my Twitter mentions are nearly completely useless for well over a decade. Twitter mentions have been my primary way of interacting with the Daring Fireball audience.
00:21:05 ◼ ► Obviously, that's no longer possible. So be it. All the good action is over at Mastodon now anyway. Now, just to be clear, I have literally a tenth of the followers that John has on Twitter.
00:21:14 ◼ ► And I would get, I don't know, somewhere between 10 to 50 at mentions a day, maybe 100 on a slightly busier day, and obviously a lot more if something really blew up.
00:21:25 ◼ ► For John Gruber to have five or whatever he said, or one, clearly something is broken here because there is no chance that Gruber is getting only one mention a day.
00:21:36 ◼ ► I mean, I guess anything's possible, but I would be just dumbfounded. So this is indicative that maybe things are not going well over at Twitter World.
00:21:44 ◼ ► I would also say too, when comparing follower accounts between Twitter and Mastodon, it's not really a great direct comparison because Mastodon, most of the people who were posting there and getting engagement there, it's a fairly new thing.
00:22:01 ◼ ► And so whereas on Twitter, a lot of the followers that us old accounts have, many of those people, first of all, aren't real. Second of all, have abandoned their accounts, but their accounts still exist, so they still count as a follower.
00:22:16 ◼ ► And then third of all, because Twitter's algorithmic timeline based, previously for most of its people, now for all of its people since they killed these apps, not everyone who you follow is even going to see your post, even if they read, quote, their entire timeline, whatever that's being shown to them at that time.
00:22:34 ◼ ► So the numbers on Twitter, like it's kind of like, you know, like other services, like, you know, you see these very large numbers, but then that doesn't actually mean that all those people are going to see what you post. In fact, only a very small percentage of them will.
00:22:47 ◼ ► On Mastodon, because both it is newer and therefore has fewer abandoned accounts, and also because it is not consumed in an algorithmic timeline by almost anybody, I think the ratio of engagement to followers is greater on Mastodon.
00:23:04 ◼ ► In other words, you will have a larger percentage of your followers on Mastodon are likely to see your post and engage with them than that same percentage on Twitter.
00:23:15 ◼ ► Yeah, what has changed in my usage since last episode was last episode, remember, was, you know, a bunch of third party clients were banned.
00:23:22 ◼ ► But as I said on the show, not all of them and we had no official explanation. So what I had been doing was fleeing from the popular applications that had been banned to other less popular third party Twitter clients. I must have bought like five of them.
00:23:35 ◼ ► I would buy one, I would use it, it would get banned. I would buy another one, I would use it, it would get banned.
00:23:44 ◼ ► And I distributed a lot of money to like a last burst of money to writers of these obscure third party Twitter applications.
00:23:52 ◼ ► For people who do not know, my weird way of using Twitter has always been to be a Twitter completionist, I would read my entire timeline.
00:24:00 ◼ ► Like I would, you know, I follow a small number of people who do not post a lot, but I would read everything that everybody that I follow posted and I would also read all of my app mentions and all of my direct messages, right?
00:24:14 ◼ ► So I was using the third party clients because I tried using the first party one, but obviously it is filled with ads.
00:24:20 ◼ ► It does have the algorithmic timeline, but it also has the following timeline, but not the for you timeline, but the following one which is supposed to not be algorithmic.
00:24:34 ◼ ► Like, you know, everyone did not leave Twitter, right? And it just seemed to me that I was not seeing all my, so I would look at the third party Twitter clients when they were still working and sometimes they would show more than the first party ones.
00:24:45 ◼ ► Sometimes the first party one would show more than them. Sometimes they were the same, but everything just seemed off, right?
00:24:54 ◼ ► So I am just using the first party client and again, I was noticing the same thing Gruber was noticing.
00:24:59 ◼ ► I was like, this cannot be, like, all, you know, I am looking at, again, I am looking at the following timeline, not the for you timeline.
00:25:06 ◼ ► I am looking at the supposedly non-algorithmic timeline and I am looking at my mentions and notifications in the first party client or on the web or using TweetDeck which is also a first party thing.
00:25:18 ◼ ► And sometimes I would try to run searches and I would find ad mentions of myself in searches that did not appear in mentions.
00:25:23 ◼ ► And basically what I had to do at a certain point, I guess like two or three days ago, was I went to my accounts, my account, my hypercritical account, I don't know if I did it on the rectiffs account, but anyway, on my Twitter accounts I posted the same tweet.
00:25:37 ◼ ► I said, the ban on third party Twitter clients has severely impaired my ability to read or even see all mentions/replies directed at this account.
00:25:45 ◼ ► Please consider following me at a Mastodon blah blah blah and I get my Mastodon link, right?
00:25:48 ◼ ► Because I can no longer use Twitter for what I use it for. I can't be a Twitter completionist because I don't believe that I am seeing everything that I am supposed to be seeing.
00:25:56 ◼ ► And I can't use it as a communication medium because as far as I can tell, I am seeing a fraction of a percent of the people who are @mentioning me.
00:26:04 ◼ ► No matter what I do. I am not looking at the algorithmic timeline. I am supposedly looking at my mentions, right?
00:26:14 ◼ ► So it's just like, as far as I am concerned, Twitter doesn't work. Now, is this because they are having weird backend problems and queues are overflowing and things are getting dropped?
00:26:22 ◼ ► Or is this because even the non-algorithmic one is algorithmic and they want me to pay for Twitter blue to, you know, to the Facebook move where it's like, oh, you know, you built up this big following on Facebook.
00:26:33 ◼ ► Well, now if you actually want to reach those people, pass, right? But Grouper does play for Twitter blue and he is also having the same problem.
00:26:39 ◼ ► So Twitter is just broken, right? And, you know, again, I was not leaving Twitter because I was still getting value out of it.
00:26:47 ◼ ► There are people I follow there who aren't on Mastodon. I wish I would come over, but they are not there yet.
00:26:51 ◼ ► And I would still see things there that I didn't see in Mastodon. So I was living in two worlds.
00:26:55 ◼ ► I was not leaving Twitter, you know, to like just setting it aside or I can't look at it anymore.
00:27:06 ◼ ► And through whatever has caused this to happen, most of the value has fallen out of it because I can't use it.
00:27:17 ◼ ► You know, it's just Syracuse @Mastodon.social because if you're sending me stuff on Twitter, I literally can't see it anymore.
00:27:25 ◼ ► I don't know why I can't see it. I don't have an explanation, but I'm just using the first party client on the website.
00:27:37 ◼ ► I love like we all have our reasons for leaving Twitter. You know, some of them are moral, some of them are political.
00:27:44 ◼ ► Yours is the software is broken. It doesn't work. It's practical. I can't be a completionist.
00:27:51 ◼ ► It doesn't work. I can't exactly like Grubber said, like Grubber said, this is how he was interacting with the Daring Fireball audience.
00:27:58 ◼ ► But if he can't see what they're writing to him, he can't use it for that anymore. Right.
00:28:03 ◼ ► It's just, it's not fair to anybody involved because people are writing and they think that you're seeing it and ignoring them.
00:28:08 ◼ ► And you're not seeing it so you don't get to, you know, communicate with them. It's just bad.
00:28:12 ◼ ► That's amazing. You're totally right. Like this is, this is a totally fair and, and reasonable reason.
00:28:22 ◼ ► And even speaking of like, you know, even before that I had made a conscious choice to, if I had something clever to say, to say it on Mastodon first or Mastodon only.
00:28:31 ◼ ► So I had already made that transition, but I was still looking at both places. Right. Still trying to maintain my residence there.
00:28:37 ◼ ► Even now, like for the announcement accounts, like if I post something on my blog at Hypercritical on Twitter, I'll post it there.
00:28:53 ◼ ► And once I couldn't use an app to do it anymore, last week was the first week we didn't do it.
00:28:58 ◼ ► Well, anyway, I'm still posting announcement stuff and you know, when I can on Twitter as well, because, because you can't, like there's no way that everyone's going to see my pin tweet.
00:29:07 ◼ ► And this is the first time I've ever pinned a tweet to my thing on Twitter, by the way.
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00:31:13 ◼ ► How did we arrive on this topic? I remember talking about it, but how did we get there?
00:31:17 ◼ ► It was sliders. And by the way, the quick follow-up is that yes, there are some people in the United States who use sliders to mean sliding glass doors.
00:31:25 ◼ ► There are also people who call them door walls. I have not been able to pin down sliders.
00:31:32 ◼ ► Yeah, apparently it's a Michigan thing, which I find to be ridiculous. But apparently that's the thing.
00:31:37 ◼ ► Alright, I'm a little bit biased being from Ohio, but that's the stupidest thing I've ever heard.
00:31:41 ◼ ► Well, so the thing about sliders is I cannot pin it down geographically because people from all over the country said both we call them sliders or no one here calls them sliders.
00:32:03 ◼ ► But I would say that the majority of the people hadn't heard of it, but enough people had.
00:32:15 ◼ ► Someone explained it to us. Yeah, that was like a TV ad and that caught on. Anyway, setting that aside, that's why we were talking about it.
00:32:20 ◼ ► As I said, sliders, those little hamburgers. Then we started talking about White Castle and then someone mentioned something about getting a Valentine's Day reservation at White Castle.
00:32:28 ◼ ► Alright, well thank you. I appreciate it. So Frank Ramblings writes, "One Valentine's Day over a decade ago, when I was hopelessly single twenty-something living in New York, I decided to grab takeout at the White Castle near my office on my way home from work.
00:32:39 ◼ ► I figured that was the one place I wouldn't be surrounded by couples. I opened the door to find all the tables covered with red and white picnic table cloths. You know the ones.
00:32:46 ◼ ► And a uniformed member of the White Castle staff standing at a host stand greeted me to ask, 'Do you have a reservation?'"
00:32:55 ◼ ► "Apparently for people of a certain age who grew up in the area of malt shops and jukeboxes, White Castle is quite the nostalgic date night destination.
00:33:05 ◼ ► The best part is there was full table service. Staff members were bringing the couples' orders to their tables and serving them soda from the fountain in plastic champagne flutes."
00:33:15 ◼ ► I think it was also Frank, but somebody pointed out there's a post on Eater.com from 2017 which goes through the history of how this came to be.
00:33:24 ◼ ► I couldn't help but read it and it was delightful. It wasn't a terribly long read and I loved it.
00:33:32 ◼ ► Anonymous writes, "I was listening to the latest episode of The Bootleg while it worked earlier today when I heard Casey mention the guy who downloads episodes and listens when at work on a submarine.
00:33:40 ◼ ► I wanted to share my odd listening experience. I work in a high security environment where I can't have any personal electronics other than certain types of CD players.
00:33:48 ◼ ► Each week I either use G-PODDER on my PC or I dig through the Apple podcast library on my Mac to pull the newest episode of The Bootleg and burn it to a CD so I can listen while I'm at work.
00:34:06 ◼ ► That is fantastic. And just for everyone's sanity, I did go back to this person and ask, "Can you at least use MP3 CDs that way you don't have to change the disc every 80 minutes?"
00:34:21 ◼ ► Maybe as an MP3 CD player and sorry, Rip Mix Burn, not Rip Burn Mix. It's been a long time.
00:34:26 ◼ ► Yeah. Anyway, so Anonymous did say they are allowed to use certain MP3 CD players so that we at least avoid the 80 minute limit per disc.
00:34:45 ◼ ► You're only allowed to use vinyl records and you have to flip it over every 18 minutes or whatever.
00:34:52 ◼ ► Alright, then we can't help, because we're us, we can't help but do a little bit of follow up about the member special that you probably haven't even heard yet.
00:35:01 ◼ ► So you can either skip the chapter or you can come back to this later. Again, ATP.fm/join.
00:35:07 ◼ ► David Watson wrote in with regard to the language change in the hunt for October, if that doesn't mean anything to you. Again, listen to the episode.
00:35:13 ◼ ► David writes, "The word the political officer says when they switch languages is 'Armageddon,' which is the same word in both English and Russian."
00:35:20 ◼ ► Which I think I had known once upon a time but had completely forgotten, so I thought that was very cool.
00:35:25 ◼ ► Additionally, Patrick Warren writes, "The hunt for October episode was my favorite movie club episode so far, thanks."
00:35:32 ◼ ► "The Whistleblower" from 1986, "is my favorite Cold War movie. As a sonar tech in the Navy from '81 through '85, it was very accurate in its details.
00:35:39 ◼ ► On my ship, a then new Spruance class destroyer. We didn't use a dot matrix printer or a computer to identify subs.
00:35:46 ◼ ► The computer was Hollywood Fantasy and..." Now this is me. I thought this was fascinating. This is such an obvious point that I didn't consider.
00:35:53 ◼ ► So coming back to what Patrick was writing, "The computer was Hollywood Fantasy and the printer would have been too loud."
00:35:58 ◼ ► Duh. How did I not think of that? A dot matrix printer hammering away in the middle of the ship that's supposed to be running silently.
00:36:04 ◼ ► It's such an obvious thing that it just did not even cross my mind. Anyway, back to Patrick.
00:36:07 ◼ ► "We had an electrostatic printer which plotted the sound sent back from a sonobuoy by frequency.
00:36:12 ◼ ► An eyeball, a pencil, good headphones, and reference books. It was a very manual process and I spent as much time being trained as I did on the ship.
00:36:19 ◼ ► To this day, I can still write reverse and backwards as we had a side-lit plexiglass status or target board in the CIC that we had to keep updated from the backside with grease pencil.
00:36:38 ◼ ► I thought that was excellent feedback, very interesting. And then finally, Adrian Mester wrote in to point us to Destin from Smarter Every Day, which is a YouTube channel similar to like, you know, CGP Grey's.
00:36:50 ◼ ► He did an overnight right before the world ended on the USS Toledo, which is a Los Angeles class attack submarine.
00:36:56 ◼ ► He has a playlist that Adrian linked and we'll put in the show notes. I want to say it's like nine videos, each of which is like around half an hour.
00:37:03 ◼ ► So we're looking at like four hours of content and I started watching one of these just a day or two back and then promptly watched all of them because I could not help myself.
00:37:12 ◼ ► They were freaking fascinating. So if you are at all interested in the Hunt for Red October and submarines and things of that nature, absolutely worth your time.
00:37:26 ◼ ► A YouTube playlist is always good when it starts with a submarine poking through the Antarctic ice or wherever they were in that first episode.
00:37:38 ◼ ► All right, let's do some topics. And I understand that we have a question from the audience. Mr. Arment, if you please.
00:37:45 ◼ ► I do. All right, so in case no one has ever known this before, the world of USB-C shaped plugs is a little bit complicated and you don't always get things working the way you expect them to when you plug a cable that looks like that into a hole that looks like that and that seemed to connect and seemed to be compatible.
00:38:06 ◼ ► And even both say USB-C. You know, I don't know if this is a common problem. So anyway, the latest USB-C thing that's annoying me is that I have an increasing number of devices that are accumulating in my life that have USB-C shaped charging holes but do not support USB-C power delivery or PD.
00:38:40 ◼ ► Yeah, and this is mostly like cheaper or lower end stuff or kind of less sophisticated, let's say electronics. Stuff like my USB hand warmers, which by the way, I love USB hand warmers. Look, gloves all suck. I have tried so many gloves of all different brands.
00:39:02 ◼ ► That brand you just said in your head? Yes, I tried it. I swear, I guarantee you I tried it. Yes, that one too. Oh, he has a... No, trust me, I have. I have tried every kind of glove from every brand at every different price point made of every different material and layering strategies and everything.
00:39:18 ◼ ► Don't forget about mittens. We talked about this on a past episode. Someone should find the link.
00:39:21 ◼ ► Yes, mittens also suck. They suck for different reasons. For instance, it's very hard to manage a dog leash or ride a bike while wearing mittens. Now, every time I leave the house, I'm either managing a dog leash or a bike. So anyway, mittens are terrible.
00:39:39 ◼ ► I'll just repeat what I said when last time we talked about it. If your hands are that cold, your body is probably improperly dressed and I wear gloves every day when I walk my dog out in the cold and I'm fine. Anyway, continuing.
00:39:49 ◼ ► And yes, I've tried those lobster claw gloves where you have one finger free, otherwise it's a mitten or the two and two doing that Star Trek thing. They all suck.
00:40:01 ◼ ► The solution I have found to warm hands in the winter is to have the gloves that... You know when, listeners and Casey, you know when John Siracusa is really frustratingly right about something and you don't want him to be right, but he is?
00:40:17 ◼ ► Well, a couple years ago, John Gruber gave me his glove recommendation. I'll look it up and put it in the show notes. It's these thin, I think, North Face gloves. And it's just basic thin gloves that have touchscreen compatibility through some of the fingers and those little grippy dot things so that you can open a dog poop bag and stuff like that.
00:40:38 ◼ ► And I first tried these and I'm like, these are not warm at all. These suck. I can't believe Gruber recommended these. These are the worst gloves ever.
00:40:47 ◼ ► And because I remain so dexterous and I can use my phone through them and have the little grippy dots and everything, they're a really good version of that kind of glove.
00:40:57 ◼ ► And so they just became my most frequently worn gloves. I just had cold hands all the time. And I'm like, well, you know, the warmer gloves that I've tried all suck for different reasons.
00:41:05 ◼ ► So anyway, and yes, I have tried heated gloves. Those also are a thing that are real. They also suck for different reasons.
00:41:15 ◼ ► Mostly that like the they put the battery in like that big kind of collar part that goes over your wrist and it just becomes this giant bulky unwieldy thing and and the heat wires are never where you want them to be like the you know, the whole glove doesn't warm up.
00:41:31 ◼ ► Yeah, that battery pack should really be on your waist, right? Oh, yeah, it should be it should be the size of two iPhone 14 Pros and you just put it in your pocket and change it every 90 minutes. That sounds like a lot of fun.
00:41:40 ◼ ► Not this week, everybody. We'll get to it. Not this week. That sounds awful. Anyway, derail of a derail. So USB hand warmers.
00:41:51 ◼ ► I discovered these last winter and I've been using them and I have a couple of cheap ones from like, you know, random Amazon no name manufacturers where like it's just a whole bunch of owls starting together.
00:42:00 ◼ ► And I have some nice ones from Zippo and they're all really good like and the Zippo ones I use the most I'll put those in the show notes as well. They're fantastic.
00:42:08 ◼ ► And it has changed my game because if you're just holding a USB hammer, you know, get to you see one in each pocket, you can then use the thin useful dextrous gloves and still have warm hands.
00:42:22 ◼ ► And it's way like a thin glove with a hand warmer and for me is way warmer than a thick glove without one. So anyway, hammer numbers are great.
00:42:31 ◼ ► However, the aforementioned cheapo Amazon hand warmers have USB C holes on them and I can't charge them with USB PD plugs.
00:42:40 ◼ ► Same deal with a few other things I have in my house so far. I have a couple of I think even have a battery pack that works that way.
00:42:47 ◼ ► But the USB hand warmers are also battery packs if you need them to be. I have there's a wireless microphone charger like I had there's a whole bunch of stuff in my house that's kind of like low end or cheap or no name stuff that has USB C holes for charging.
00:43:01 ◼ ► But if you plug in a USB C PD power supply, it will not charge it. You have to charge it with a dumb old USB a regular like you know, five volt 2.4 amp or lower supply.
00:43:14 ◼ ► So my question to the listeners is, is this just an impossible problem for these devices? Like is it just that these devices were too cheap to actually implement USB C PD support correctly to like negotiate with the plug what they should need?
00:43:29 ◼ ► Or is there some kind of USB C plug in charger that I can get that charges everything via a USB C hole including these dumb old USB power devices that they expect dumb old USB power over a USB C cable?
00:43:48 ◼ ► Is there some depth to it? Because I've tried every charger I have. I've tried the Apple ones, the Anker ones, the rav power, like every every plug in USB C PD charger brand that I own.
00:44:00 ◼ ► I've tried them all. I thought at least the Apple ones because they're usually really good. But nope, I haven't found a single one yet. So if anyone knows, is there a USB C plug in charger multi hole is better, but single hole I'll take it if that's all I can get.
00:44:14 ◼ ► Because if there is, I want to replace all of my travel charges with those and a few of my home charges with those. I hope that exists. But it I and if it can't exist, we have a lot of people in our audience who know like the USB C power spec really well and everything.
00:44:29 ◼ ► Please tell me if it can't exist for some reason. But it's just this annoying thing that once again, USB C is not universal in some weird little odd way that is documented nowhere and
00:44:40 ◼ ► You want to replace all your travel chargers because they can't charge your hand warmers wouldn't you want to like it's I can understand it's convenient not to have actually a bunch of extra charges in your house, but don't replace all of them like when you travel.
00:44:56 ◼ ► But but I have put like but changing up all of your important chargers for the one that can charge your hand warmers seems unwise to me.
00:45:04 ◼ ► But it's not just the hand warmers. And so I keep the point is I would love the whole point of moving to the world of USB C is hey, you know what, finally, we can get rid of all these custom cables for everything and just have one cable that charges everything except your iPhone or Apple Watch, but one cable charges everything.
00:45:22 ◼ ► That would be great. And this and it's just yet another the other another exception of that list that now I have do I have to carry around now a USB a brick and an A to C cable just to charge certain things in my life.
00:45:34 ◼ ► So if I can just if there's a brick out there that has USB C holes that can charge everything. I would love to know that. Thank you.
00:45:42 ◼ ► You know, this is tangentially related, but this reminds me that recently actually it was maybe late last year, I somehow was directed to I want to say maybe Christina Warren pointed pointed this out on Twitter.
00:45:56 ◼ ► Hey, remember Twitter anyway, pointed out this thing. It's horribly named the C2C Kaber QU.
00:46:04 ◼ ► CABERQU and this is a Kickstarter. It is also, I think, a product like a full on product now because I received my Kickstarter, you know, whatever thing.
00:46:14 ◼ ► And what it is is it's a extremely basic circuit board and it has a whole shed load of LEDs on it.
00:46:29 ◼ ► So on the left hand side, you plug in one end of the same cable on the right hand side, you plug in the same, you know, the other end of the same cable.
00:46:52 ◼ ► TX one plus and minus connected. Vbus is connected. Shield is connected. Ground is connected.
00:46:56 ◼ ► Oh, this is just USB two. Oh, wait, this other cable has another 300 different things connected.
00:47:02 ◼ ► Oh, that's a full on Thunderbolt cable. And so what it lets you do is figure out exactly what the hell the stupid USB C cable is that you have.
00:47:25 ◼ ► So this thing, I don't remember what I paid for it. It was somewhere between 20 and 50 bucks, which is which is between 10 and 40 dollars too much because this shouldn't be a problem.
00:47:33 ◼ ► That is may. This thing is incredibly useful. And again, I will put a link to the show notes or put a link to it in the show notes.
00:47:41 ◼ ► I definitely strongly recommend it. It is very useful. Again, it's not solving the exact problem you're talking about, Marco.
00:47:46 ◼ ► But I did notice when I was at Disney World a couple of weeks ago, I was trying to charge, I think, the play date.
00:47:52 ◼ ► And I don't recall which cable it was. And I was in a hurry so I didn't like try to diagnose or debug or whatever what was going on.
00:47:59 ◼ ► But I was trying to charge the play date and I had a USB C to C cable that apparently didn't charge the play date because it wouldn't start charging.
00:48:09 ◼ ► And then I plugged in a different cable, maybe like an Apple cable or something. And suddenly it charged no problem.
00:48:14 ◼ ► Like the same power supply, the same everything. So having this, I didn't have this in Disney World, of course.
00:48:19 ◼ ► But having something like this, if I was at home, I would have compared the two cables and seen, okay, maybe this USB C to C cable doesn't do, to your point earlier, Marco, doesn't do USB PD.
00:48:35 ◼ ► And so, yeah, I recommend this C to C cable Q.U. Very, very, very useful toy to have in the house.
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00:50:56 ◼ ► Or, a lot of times if you, you know, you might touch a screen thinking it's a touch screen and then you realize afterwards it's not and think for a minute, "Oh, this is broken."
00:51:06 ◼ ► There's been a lot of arguments over the years for and against Apple to add touch screens to their laptops.
00:51:13 ◼ ► One of the biggest and strongest arguments is that because people are so accustomed to phones and tablets and even PC laptops, which often contain touch screens these days.
00:51:46 ◼ ► And the few times I have touched it, usually if I'm trying to brush people's dust off the screen and then all of a sudden it treats it as a mouse input.
00:51:59 ◼ ► And this doesn't even go into the problems of ergonomics or things like UI design of how the Mac UI would need to change to be more touch friendly.
00:52:12 ◼ ► To me, this is the kind of thing that it doesn't surprise me at all that Apple is that there are engineers assigned to work on this.
00:52:27 ◼ ► Now, if for some reason there became some kind of hybrid iPad book down the road, whatever it would be,
00:52:36 ◼ ► where maybe something that has otherwise MacBook hardware would also have a touch mode where you could, for some reason,
00:52:53 ◼ ► But if there was some kind of hybrid OS mode swapping thing, maybe it would make sense then.
00:53:11 ◼ ► But I don't know if it's ever really going to be good enough to ship in any products as we know them today.
00:53:34 ◼ ► Apple engineers are actively engaged in the project indicating that the company is seriously considering producing touchscreen Macs.
00:53:45 ◼ ► Based on current and current deliberations, the company could launch its first touchscreen Mac in 2025 as part of a larger update to the MacBook Pro.
00:54:03 ◼ ► So the last time we talked about it is because they were updating the OS in ways that look like it was helpful for touch, but it turned out to mostly be for the notch.
00:54:15 ◼ ► In the history of macOS, there have been a few things like this that have basically gone in the direction of doing what people expect, despite the downsides.
00:54:26 ◼ ► Well, yeah, so the biggest example, I think, and this has gone way back, is back when the Mac first came out, the way you used the menu bar, dropdown menus in the menu bar, is you brought your mouse cursor over to the menu file, edit whatever it's going to be.
00:54:48 ◼ ► While still holding the mouse button down, you would move the cursor down until the item that you wanted to select was highlighted, and then you'd release the mouse button, and it would select that item.
00:55:02 ◼ ► Obviously, eventually, Windows came out, and when Windows came out, they didn't do it that way.
00:55:07 ◼ ► The way Windows did it was you can just click on the word edit, and then, you know, that's it.
00:55:15 ◼ ► Then you would move the thing down to cut, copy, paste, whatever thing you wanted to do, and then you would click again to select the item, right?
00:55:26 ◼ ► But the clicking on the menus, as soon as Windows did that, and obviously, Windows had massive market share, if you were a Mac user, and you ever saw anybody sit down in front of your computer or another Mac, what you saw is they would go to a menu, and they would click on it, and it would blink.
00:55:42 ◼ ► And they would just stare at the screen and be like, "What the hell's wrong with this computer?"
00:55:45 ◼ ► Right? Because they were clicking thinking the menu would stay down, and you'd have to explain to them, "No, you have to click and hold," and they'd be like, "Why would you have to do that? That's so much harder. It's so much worse."
00:55:54 ◼ ► Now, the reason the Mac did it that way is because part of the philosophy of the Mac, and a valuable and important and good philosophy, was not to be modal, not to get stuck in a mode.
00:56:04 ◼ ► Clicking and having the menu go down is essentially a mode, because at that point, the next place you click is either in the menu, and in which case you're interacting with the menu, or it's not in the menu, in which case that click doesn't count.
00:56:18 ◼ ► All that click does, if you're lucky, is take you out of the mode of, "Hey, we want you to pick from a menu," and then the menu goes away.
00:56:25 ◼ ► And the Mac away was more of like, "Look, you're holding down the button. You're not in a mode, you're holding down a button, and it's obvious that when you release the button, you're either going to select a menu item, or you release it somewhere else, and you're done with the action."
00:56:36 ◼ ► It was a safer way to interact, because you were never stuck in a mode. You were never in a situation where the click wouldn't do what you expected, because, you know, whatever.
00:56:47 ◼ ► But, practically speaking, not just what people expect, but it is easier. Holding down the button is a physically more challenging thing to do, just from an accessibility perspective, and also is ever so slightly more annoying to people.
00:57:01 ◼ ► If you've used a computer for a long time, and you're not confused by the modality of pull-down menus, you're like, "Well, why would I want to hold the cursor on that? That's so annoying. I know how computers work, just let me click."
00:57:11 ◼ ► And so many people, you know, voted with their feet in their wallet to say, "I don't care about the philosophical purity of modelessness. I don't want to hold the mouse button down."
00:57:22 ◼ ► And so Apple eventually copied the Windows way and said, "Okay, now from now on, on the Mac, you can click the menus and they stay down."
00:57:30 ◼ ► You could also still do it the other way on the Mac. In fact, you can do that to this day if you would like. Go to your Mac's menu bar, click and hold on a menu item, scroll down to an item and let go, and it works.
00:57:40 ◼ ► And if you're a Windows user, you may have literally never done that in your life. But it still works that way.
00:57:46 ◼ ► So Apple, I'm going to say, like, conceded or gave in to the common way of doing things, but it's not just that it was what people expected.
00:57:56 ◼ ► It was also that there were advantages that people had expressed through their usage that they found more valuable than what Apple's things were bringing to the table.
00:58:06 ◼ ► So with touch screens, it's similar in that even though, Mark, you didn't find it particularly useful, and obviously Windows is not particularly touch-friendly UI and neither is macOS, people have an expectation that it worked that way.
00:58:19 ◼ ► And it is sometimes useful, for example, just dismissing a dialogue or the most common thing, scrolling something, right?
00:58:25 ◼ ► I see huge web pages in front of me. It's a gigantic touch target. I just want to swipe on it. I swipe on it. Nothing happens.
00:58:32 ◼ ► I feel like my laptop is broken. That is the same experience of someone arriving at a Mac in the '90s, clicking the Edit menu and watching the Edit menu blink onto the screen for half a second and then sitting there dumbfounded, going, "What the hell is wrong with this computer?"
00:58:44 ◼ ► That is the vibe that I feel like could eventually bring Apple around on this, that it is a useful thing that enough people think it is useful that Apple would be willing to do it, despite the fact that none of these desktop operating systems are sort of touch-friendly, right?
00:59:01 ◼ ► And I don't think Apple needs to modify macOS in a huge number of ways to add this feature because the expectation would not be, "Oh, we're going to ship a MacBook without a trackpad."
00:59:13 ◼ ► No, of course, the trackpad will always be there attached to it along with the keyboard, right? You'll always have a precision pointing device. This is just touch as an augmentation.
00:59:21 ◼ ► Now you can pinch to zoom somewhere. Now you can swipe to scroll. If you want to stab a button on a dialog box, fine, but I don't expect people to be doing pixel-precise things as that's why you have a pixel-accurate pointing device.
00:59:34 ◼ ► The main downsides I can see of rolling this out don't actually have anything to do with the UI or anything like that, especially if you're able to, like, disable this if you don't want it or if it only comes on certain models.
00:59:46 ◼ ► The main downside I see is hardware-wise in terms of I would personally never want this, and I think professional users also wouldn't want this, wouldn't want to compromise the quality of the screen display for that touch layer.
00:59:58 ◼ ► I don't think you'd probably compromise it because the screens on phones and iPads look great and everything, but if I had to choose between, like, worse anti-glare, worse color fidelity, anything like that in exchange for the touch layer, that's a big no-go to me.
01:00:14 ◼ ► And I feel like at the pro level, same deal, because pro people don't want to be touching their screens. If you're doing, you know, professional work with graphics or color, you don't want your ugly fingerprint smudged all over the thing, and you do want the highest fidelity possible.
01:00:29 ◼ ► But setting aside that sort of high-end use case, which I think is kind of rare, I think it's almost kind of inevitable that Apple will eventually give into this in some way.
01:00:39 ◼ ► This rumor is so confused by the discussion around it of people saying it's not really a touchscreen Mac, it's actually, like you were saying, Marco, a convertible thing, or really what it is is an iPad with a built-in keyboard and trackpad that's not two pieces, and because Apple has all the pieces of all of those things, like those could all be true, right?
01:00:56 ◼ ► The hardware and the software exists for everything that we've described. It's hard to say from the outside which one of those things they're going to do, but practically speaking, if Apple were to roll out a Mac laptop with a touchscreen, they wouldn't have to do anything besides make a glitzy video showing people pinching and zooming and swiping and scrolling, and they could ship it, and if they didn't compromise image quality, they could say, "It's there. If you want it, you can use it. If you don't, find the setting buried in our terrible settings application."
01:01:25 ◼ ► You know, for the longest time, I always thought that a touchscreen Mac would be gross or uncouth or not cool or whatever, and I don't know, I feel like I've softened on that quite a bit over the last year or two, and even though it's not something I feel like I am seeking out, I can't sit here and say that I haven't tried to scroll on my MacBook Pro, particularly after I've spent a long time using my iPad.
01:01:54 ◼ ► Like if I'm using my iPad for a while, then I switch to my MacBook Pro for whatever reason, there's definitely times I reach out and try to scroll, and if that's what so many people seem to want to do, you know, what's it going to hurt to support that?
01:02:08 ◼ ► And I hear what you're saying, Jon, about like, you know, the screen fidelity, and it's a good point. Like, you're not wrong, but...
01:02:13 ◼ ► I mean, I might be, like I said, the screen quality in the iPads is great, all I'm saying is that would be a bridge too far for me, and I think it would be a bridge too far at the high end, but for everything other than the high end and weird picky people like me, I don't think it would be an issue.
01:02:25 ◼ ► Yeah, I agree, and like you were saying, this seems to be something that a lot of people want. Like, I haven't spoken to devout Windows users in a long time now, but last I did, which admittedly was a couple of years ago now, they often said, "Well, you know, I can't even get a touchscreen on a Mac, like what the hell is that?"
01:02:44 ◼ ► And I'm not sure why that's something that's extremely important to these people, but it doesn't mean they're wrong, it's important to them, and that's fine. And so I would be surprised if, you know, like you guys were saying, if Apple isn't at least exploring this,
01:03:01 ◼ ► I think I would even be a little surprised if this doesn't get supported in the next five-ish years, but I don't know that it's solving a problem that I feel like I have, but since it is, at least the way I'm envisioning it, since it's additive, what's it gonna hurt?
01:03:16 ◼ ► Now, if they completely rejigger Mac OS to make all the buttons enormous, you know, well, I would take enormous buttons that you can see.
01:03:29 ◼ ► That's a very good point. I mean, I would take enormous buttons that you can tell are buttons over the iOS 7 era, I don't even know if this is a button button, but nevertheless, you know, if they're dramatically changing Mac OS to make it touch first, that would certainly give me pause and maybe sour me on this whole idea.
01:03:51 ◼ ► And to be clear, it would definitely be additive, so all the things you're saying, oh, it's ergonomically bad, you don't have your hand out in front of you, it's like, it would not be the primary input method.
01:04:09 ◼ ► And speaking of pencil, by the way, that should also work on a Mac with a screen like this.
01:04:14 ◼ ► And unlike the finger touching things, Mac OS is 100% entirely usable with a good stylus, like no compromises, that's pixel precise pointing with the stylus, right?
01:04:26 ◼ ► Which doesn't argue for them shipping a Mac without a trackpad, I still think that's a non-starter, but the possibility of a convertible type Mac with the stylus would basically not compromise precision at all, right?
01:04:41 ◼ ► Because you can get pixel accurate with an Apple pencil on a Mac screen, so you don't need a trackpad anymore, you still probably need a hardware keyboard if you're going to type or whatever, depending on how good their handwriting recognition is, but Apple has all the pieces to this.
01:04:54 ◼ ► And despite them making the menu bar bigger and a bunch of the touch targets bigger on Mac OS, which we thought was going towards touchability for dropdown menus, but ended up just being the notch or whatever, they don't need to radically change Mac OS.
01:05:07 ◼ ► It's just a question of the will to do it and what product they want to roll it out in. And it's not even a big change, it's kind of like stuff like Stage Manager, where it's like, if you like it, and we do a good job on it and people find it useful, great.
01:05:20 ◼ ► And if you don't, just keep using the Mac the way you are. Like, we're not compromising, you know, again, setting aside the possible display fidelity thing or anti-glare or whatever, we're not compromising anything, and who knows, you may surprise yourself, even if you're one of those people like me who doesn't want fingerprints on their screens.
01:05:35 ◼ ► Hey, you got an Apple Pencil? How do you feel about using an Apple Pencil on your screen? Oh, I can't use it on a laptop screen on the screen, we'll tip over. What if the screen folded backwards? And you're like, hmm, maybe, you know, especially since iPad apps also run in Macs with the ARM processors.
01:05:49 ◼ ► The pieces are all there. So I feel like eventually Apple will get around to it, especially the new Apple as of like the post butterfly keyboard Apple that seems to be listening to what people want out of their Macs.
01:06:03 ◼ ► Imagine that. Yeah, I don't think this is like, people aren't clamoring for it, it's not a big demand, it's not, you know, it's not anything like the problems that we had before. But it's the type of thing where eventually you get around to it.
01:06:14 ◼ ► If you're, if you're in charge of the Mac product line, and you are, your, your philosophy is let's please the customer by essentially giving them what we want, what they want. It's not like, oh, we're just going to do focus groups and do whatever customers want.
01:06:25 ◼ ► It's still the Apple philosophy of we're going to try to give you a product you didn't even know you wanted, but also we will listen to customers. Also, we will be cognizant of the wider world.
01:06:34 ◼ ► It's why Mac OS eventually added the ability to click a menu and have the menu stay down, because they listened to the wider world. And they said, can we add this in a way that does not affect existing users who want to do it the old way, because it didn't.
01:06:47 ◼ ► You could just forget this thing really existed. I mean, granted, if you clicked and then released real quickly, the menu would get stuck down, but it wasn't that big of a compromise.
01:06:55 ◼ ► But just so many people wanted it that way, and Apple heard that, right? And they essentially rejiggered their internal philosophy, saying that it's more important to give customers what they expect.
01:07:05 ◼ ► And by the way, we here at Apple as computer nerds, once we enabled this feature in our beta builds of Mac OS, you know, System 7, whatever it was rolled, I forget what it was, maybe it was Mac OS 8, I don't even remember the OS it came out in.
01:07:16 ◼ ► You get used to it so fast. Just like you get used to, like, once every 45 minutes you swipe a web page on your Mac screen, it's so easy to get used to that type of thing.
01:07:26 ◼ ► So the people developing it will eventually say, we're so used to it, we feel like we can't go back, we're definitely going to roll this out eventually, even if it's 2025.
01:07:35 ◼ ► Alright, let's do some Ask ATP, and Lee Jarvis writes, "Any mobile or iPad app suggestions for young children or suggestions on filtering out the apps filled with ads and IAP garbage? The App Store seems to do a terrible job with this."
01:07:48 ◼ ► I have a few thoughts. First of all, Apple Arcade is good-ish for these sorts of things. I haven't done a lot with Apple Arcade, but there's like a Jigsaw puzzle app, I think.
01:07:59 ◼ ► I don't know if I'll remember to put it in the show notes, but there's like a Jigsaw puzzle app, a Disney Jigsaw app, I think, that comes from Apple Arcade, which does have IAP, I think, but it gives you a pretty robust...
01:08:16 ◼ ► Yeah, because I was just thinking that this question is about apps for young children, not necessarily games, but I feel like there should be basically the equivalent of Apple Arcade, but for kids' apps, right? Basically, you know, non-crappy, non-casino games for children, right?
01:08:33 ◼ ► A place where Apple curates a bunch of applications that don't have an app purchase, that aren't trying to sell my kid gems or whatever, and that are highly rated, right? And I know the editorial in the App Store kind of does that, but Apple Arcade is so nice and fenced off.
01:08:46 ◼ ► Like, you know when you get these Apple Arcade apps, they're just going to be fun games. They're not going to be sucking money away from you.
01:08:51 ◼ ► Yeah, that's a good point. But leaving that aside, so stuff that I've either heard good things about or used myself, the Toca Boca apps, T-O-C-A-B-O-C-A, we'll put a link in the show notes.
01:09:01 ◼ ► I don't think my kids have used any of these, but I've heard very, very, very good things from several parents about it.
01:09:07 ◼ ► Yeah, I put that link in there. My kids all use Toca Boca apps a ton as a kid. Obviously, my children were this age a long time ago. I'm hoping Toca Boca has not become corrupted and turned into a casino.
01:09:17 ◼ ► But when I used it, the kids loved these apps. They're cute, there's a ton of them, they're high quality, and more importantly, the kids enjoyed them. Like one of the ones that I remember my daughter getting into was like a very simple sort of like coloring book type of game where you have like, I think it was like drawings of butterflies and you can fill their wings with different colors by picking a color and pressing on it or whatever.
01:09:39 ◼ ► It sounds like the most boring thing in the world, but you give an iPad to like a three year old with that application, it was like one hour of a car ride gone. All you do the whole time is make pretty butterflies and save them, make pretty butterflies and save them, make pretty butterflies.
01:09:51 ◼ ► I still have tons of those pictures on my camera roll of like all the butterflies you made. Similarly, there was the one where you styled hair with like a virtual blow dryer and you would cut it and you'd just hours of entertainment for small children.
01:10:11 ◼ ► Around 2016 or so, I can tell you they were still that good because that's about when my kid was enjoying them just as much and I'm pretty sure we did that exact same butterfly coloring game a lot.
01:10:22 ◼ ► Yeah, they were great and as your kids get older, obviously the requirements and priorities will change, but when you have very young kids, you know, in that kind of like, you know, two to five, whatever it is, ish range.
01:10:37 ◼ ► You know, stuff like this, which is like, here's something fun to play with while, you know, while daddy takes a second to like cook a meal. Like it's that kind of thing or like you're screaming in the car, oh my God, we just have to get to grandma's house. Like please just hear, here's Color of Butterfly.
01:10:53 ◼ ► Exactly. They have so many apps now, but I just scrolled and looked at it. Do you remember what the name without looking Marco, the name of the butterfly app was?
01:11:15 ◼ ► There you go. All right. Then my kids don't have this. It is actually quite expensive. I want to say it's like 10 bucks a month or something like that, but, and my kids don't use their iPad enough to justify it, but they have used pock pock, P O K P O K.
01:11:31 ◼ ► It has several different like games or screens, whatever in it, most of which are fairly like open-ended. It's not like you must do this sort of thing and then that sort of thing.
01:11:41 ◼ ► It's very exploratory, explorative. I don't know. I'm making up words now, but you get to explore things.
01:11:47 ◼ ► And they really, really enjoyed that. That's again, P O K P O K. And then we do subscribe to ABC mouse, which seems at a glance like it would be super gross. And, and, and, and it, the website is from like 99 it looks like, but the apps are, the app is pretty good.
01:12:07 ◼ ► And basically you can, there's a couple of different things you can do in the, in ABC mouse, some of which are kind of brainless and silly, some of which are genuinely learning, but my kids have learned a not insignificant amount from this app.
01:12:21 ◼ ► They have a lot of videos on it. They also have activities on it. I typically buy a year subscription for like 40 bucks around black Friday time.
01:12:30 ◼ ► It is quite a bit more if you don't find a sale, but I would encourage you to look for a sale. But again, if you look at the website, if you look at the app, it looks like it's kind of janky, but it actually really does seem to be really good at teaching at an appropriate level for, for either, either my kids and, you know, Declan doesn't play with it as much anymore.
01:12:52 ◼ ► In fact, very rarely he's eight, but Michaela is five and she still likes it a fair bit. So you can look at ABC mouse as well. Those were the ones that I could think of, actually, I guess, and John could think of, but any other additions Marco first?
01:13:05 ◼ ► I don't know if I have anything off the top of my head because I mean, the thing is, like, you know, as, as we alluded to, like the app store is not a good environment for this. So things change over time. So, you know, even anything that we say now we have to say, well, when our, when our kids were that young, this stuff was good. But now, who knows, right? Like now, those same apps could have been bought by some other company. That's one of those like extraction companies.
01:13:32 ◼ ► I don't know. I don't know how many people in the public know this, but in, in the app store, there's this whole economy of these, these companies or equity groups or whatever that who's whose sole job is they will approach and buy apps from developers that maybe are like past their prime or, you know, like, so like they, they have a lot of installed base.
01:13:54 ◼ ► They have good reviews in the app store. Maybe they have things linked to them, but they're just not making a ton of money anymore. And these companies will, will like buy them from their developers and then just fill them with like IAP garbage and subscription scams and everything just like coasting on the apps existing install base and, and reputation.
01:14:14 ◼ ► And like this is a, there's a whole economy of people who do that. And so any app that you go to look at in the app store, it could have been a perfectly great app five years ago. And if it's still there now, like it, it might not have the same owner anymore. And it might not be a perfectly great app anymore.
01:14:31 ◼ ► It's like when private equity buys out a company like Toys R Us or Sears or whatever and destroys it. Yes, exactly. So, oh yeah. And noob17 in the chat points out Sago Mini apps. This is another, this is like Tokoboka Sago Mini. We got a lot of great use out of that. I don't know how they are today because again, see the aforementioned disclaimer, but those were fantastic. And we got a lot of use out of those as well.
01:14:54 ◼ ► So anyway, you know, unfortunately, when you're looking at, you know, apps for kids, if you're trying, especially if you're trying to avoid like ads and IAP garbage, there's a couple of small tricks you can do. Like for instance, like, like my kid, we were, we were as a whole family into Plants vs Zombies one back forever ago when that came out.
01:15:12 ◼ ► And then Plants vs Zombies two came out and of course totally ruined the game with all of this IAP garbage and like casino mechanics. And it's like, and my kid, my kid was super into it like a couple of weeks ago.
01:15:27 ◼ ► And I'm like, I'm looking at this thinking like, I do not, I have a very hard time getting into this game because it is just, just constant, just emotional exploits, casino mechanics, just buy more gems and get more scores and get more.
01:15:42 ◼ ► And, and the best thing is there is no ad free version available. Plants vs Zombies two is, it just has ads. The only trick is if you put your iPad in airplane mode, the ads won't load and therefore will be skipped.
01:15:56 ◼ ► And so that is a trick you can do. Like a lot of times if you put the device in airplane mode, many of the ads and scammy parts of them won't load.
01:16:07 ◼ ► And so that's something you can do. But ultimately for the most part, this is one of those things where like there is no shortcut. You just kind of have to like look at the apps yourself first before you let your kid use them.
01:16:19 ◼ ► If you're going to be, if this is an area that you're sensitive about or that you want to like, you know, be attentive to, you basically just have to review them yourself like one by one the same way like, you know, like parents who are like super strict about certain content being shown in TV or movies will often watch the whole thing first by themselves before they let the kid watch it.
01:16:39 ◼ ► You got to do the same thing with apps where, you know, if this is an area that you care about and you know, if you want your kid to avoid all this stuff, you pretty much have to just download the app yourself and try it and see first.
01:16:51 ◼ ► There's not much, there's no other silver bullet except Apple Arcade as mentioned earlier, which the whole selling point of it is you get games that don't have all this stuff.
01:17:02 ◼ ► You know, unfortunately, they don't, you know, the, there are still gonna be a lot of games that your kids will want to play, especially as they get older and as like their friends start telling them about games like they're going to want to play other games at some point that are not in the little safe area of Apple Arcade.
01:17:18 ◼ ► And so you're going to have to maybe take a more active role at that point if you still want to enforce this kind of stuff. But again, it's up to you. But anyway, yeah, there's no silver bullet.
01:17:27 ◼ ► The App Store, I wish they would have a higher standard around the types of mechanics that are permitted in games that are obviously targeting children.
01:17:39 ◼ ► And I think it's, again, it's like, this is one of the worst things about Apple, like, morally speaking, the the amount of weird, you know, ads and casino mechanics and weird scams, they totally outright not only allow, but directly profit from in the App Store with games that are clearly aimed at children is obscene.
01:18:02 ◼ ► I think we're I think we look back on on this time in history, once we're hopefully past it in the future, as like, this is a real bad look for Apple, what they do in this area and what they permit, what they look the other way for as long as they're getting their 30% is is pretty shameful.
01:18:18 ◼ ► Brian Coffey writes, ever since moving to Mac, I've been amazed how you can have a document open and move it from one folder to another and finder. You can even rename it. How can Mac OS do this? It is written by a longtime Windows user. John, explain this to me.
01:18:32 ◼ ► So the way Windows apparently, according to Windows users and my vague experiences, would keep track of files like, you know, someone writing a program for Windows is they would store file paths, right? So, you know, C colon backslash, you know, I don't know what the hell they what are they program space files backslash. I don't know what the paths are in Windows anyway.
01:18:57 ◼ ► Yeah, there you go. Exactly. It's just a string that has the path to the file starting with the drive letter. Ridiculous.
01:19:03 ◼ ► So I went all the way down to, you know, it would say where the files right. And that's why Windows users often have the experience if they're using an application that if they move the file out from like they open a text file in Notepad, and then they move the file and forgive me if Notepad is better than this now, but I'll explain how it could be better than this now.
01:19:21 ◼ ► They move the file out of the way Notepad would still think it would have it stored in its memory. Oh, I'm working on C colon backslash my file dot txt, right, but you've moved it somewhere else. It's not there anymore.
01:19:32 ◼ ► And one of the several things could happen one, if you save it, it will just save it back to where it thinks it was. So we'll save it to the directory, you know, we'll save it to the file path that it has in memory, even though you move the file elsewhere.
01:19:43 ◼ ► Now there's a second file with whatever you just saved. The other one is, it will get freaked out and be like, I'm editing a file, but it's not there on disk anymore. Where did it go? I have no idea.
01:19:54 ◼ ► Because as far as I know, it's supposed to be at C colon backslash whatever, whatever my file dot text, and it's just not there. And you're like, Yeah, I moved it. But it's like, but all I know is the file path, right?
01:20:03 ◼ ► That is a bad way to deal with files. But lots of programs historically in Windows have worked that way. How does the Mac and I'm hoping these days, how does Windows get around this? What is the alternative? Isn't that the only way to keep track of files? Don't all files have paths?
01:20:19 ◼ ► Well, the first thing to do is within the programs, this is why it takes a long time if you start off in this way within the programs, the Windows programs, the Windows API, or whatever, it helps to have a construct for the program to keep track of files that is something more than just a string
01:20:36 ◼ ► that is something more than just a file path as written in text, you need some kind of abstraction on the Mac, they've had various names over the years, there's 50 of them now, because it's the whole platform. What are they called market? You remember Fs ref FS, but there was some other thing that began with FS, there's, there's an S URL, there's all sorts of all sorts of other things that is like an object, a structure, a thing in memory in the application that is more than just a string. Why do you need that?
01:21:02 ◼ ► Well, there's even like, even like at the C level, there's like the file handle, like the file pointer in Unix.
01:21:07 ◼ ► Yeah, well, that's, that is simple. That's a Unix system. And of course, Mac is kind of Unix, but Windows wasn't. So just even within the world of Windows, some kind of thing that either does not hold a path at all, or is a more complex structure, especially in the GUI type thing, because under the covers lot, we get down, I'll talk about file descriptors in a second.
01:21:25 ◼ ► Once you have that you can put all sorts of crap in that structure. Historically, what the Mac has done is put there are structures in the various Mac OS API's that put more than one way to keep track of a file within the same structure.
01:21:41 ◼ ► And it will sort of say, well, if you can find it this way, do this. And if you can't find it that way, do this. And if you can't find it that way, do this. And at the very bottom of that list of how am I going to keep track of this file is like, if you literally can't do anything else, at the very bottom, I have a file path, but hopefully it never comes to that.
01:21:56 ◼ ► The most common way to do this on the classic Mac, especially with HFS and HFS+ file systems, is they had a unique identifier for every thing in the file system, just like a big long number that was unique for the entire volume. So you just have to keep track of it's on the volume and the volumes had unique identifiers too.
01:22:14 ◼ ► It's on the volume 12345 and its file number is 78910. And there was only one file called 78910 and it's not the file name, it's just the ID, the HFS+ unique ID of that file. No matter where you moved that file, no matter how you renamed it, its ID would remain the same.
01:22:30 ◼ ► And in that little structure, I forget what it was called, I don't think it was FS or F, it was whatever the other FS thing was, it would just keep track of the unique ID, the unique HFS/HFS+ ID of that file. It would also have the path, and it would have the volume ID, and it would have the volume name, and it would have tons of information in this structure, but it would prefer to use the unique ID.
01:22:52 ◼ ► And that's how it would keep track of it. Modern Mac OS has similar type structures in its various APIs and similar ways of keeping track of it, but not every file system has unique identifiers. Most Unix file systems have inode numbers which tend to be unique within a particular volume, but there are nuances there as well.
01:23:07 ◼ ► What Margot was talking about is that the C level, when you open a file at a very low level Unix C API, you get a file descriptor back, which is just an integer. That is an integer number keeping track of that file handle that is meaningful to the kernel for the life of that file handle being open.
01:23:23 ◼ ► And it's just going to be a number like 1 or 2 or 3 because it is local to your process, it is not a unique number, like universally unique, you can't store it anywhere, it doesn't mean anything like that, it's not going to be 1 or 2 because it's already taken. But anyway, that's another way of keeping track of it, because once you have that file handle open, you can move that file around, you can even delete that file off the file system, but the file handle is still valid.
01:23:45 ◼ ► Because even though it's deleted and it's entry in some directory entry and the file system has been removed, the blocks on disk are still valid because you still have a file handle open to it. So how does the Mac do this and how do other operating systems do this?
01:23:56 ◼ ► They don't use file paths, they use the best available technique given the file system and the operating system to keep track of the file, and that is independent of the file name and location.
01:24:08 ◼ ► Good talk. Nevin writes, "Hey Jon, with your switch from Jobby Job to Indie, what did you do about health insurance? Marco or Casey, I would be interested in your approach to health insurance too." Well, let me jump in and answer for Jon, he did this on easy mode. And I'm very, very jealous. So tell me Jon, what did you do?
01:24:32 ◼ ► Here's why it's not necessary. So what I did, the solution I did which may or may not be available to you, is my wife works. She has always worked. She still has a regular Jobby Job with health insurance and we had already been on her health insurance, our entire family, for a long time because her health insurance has been better than mine was for many, many years.
01:24:53 ◼ ► The reason I say it's not necessarily easy mode is having two parents with full time jobs, which we did for most of my children's life, is not easy mode.
01:25:00 ◼ ► Oh, alright. I will begrudgingly allow that. But specifically with regard to health insurance, it is 100% easy mode. I think I can speak for Marco, but I'll give you a chance a second. For me, once I left my Jobby Job in 2018, I ended up going to healthcare.gov, baby. Thanks Obama.
01:25:18 ◼ ► And I pay about the same for my mortgage as I do for my healthcare, which sucks. And by the way, my healthcare sucks. It's not very good. It's expensive as hell. It's not great. I somehow have to pay for everything always.
01:25:34 ◼ ► Because I got the lowest deductible plan I could find and my deductibles are still like $3,000 per person per year or something like that, which basically means, or at least my understanding anyway, is accepting just general checkups and things like that.
01:25:49 ◼ ► If anything out of the ordinary happens, they don't pay a darn thing. They may give you a discount if they have a relationship with the doctor, but they don't actually pay for anything until I have paid out of pocket something like $3,000 per person or the family as a family unit has paid something like $10,000 in a year.
01:26:08 ◼ ► And remember, you're not talking about paying your premiums every month. You still have to pay those. This is on top of the monthly bill that you pay just to have insurance. Just to make that clear.
01:26:20 ◼ ► Which is the same as my mortgage. I live in a relatively affordable place, so take that for what you will.
01:26:26 ◼ ► Do you actually want to give your health insurance number just to terrify the non-Americans?
01:26:31 ◼ ► So my health insurance is something to the order of $1,500 a month, which is about the same as my mortgage. My mortgage, actually, last I looked, was a little bit cheaper. We overpay it, but that's neither here nor there.
01:26:42 ◼ ► But I pay about $1,500 a month, so that's $1,500 a month every single month. So we're looking at, what is that, like $12,000, $15,000 in a year.
01:26:50 ◼ ► And again, the only thing I get for that, the only thing is checkups. And by the way, vision is not included. Dental is not included.
01:27:01 ◼ ► Dental is not included. Those are different insurance. And so what he's basically saying is if someone gets sick and you have to pay for something, he has to pay $3,000 on top of the $1,500 a month before insurance will start paying for anything for that sickness.
01:27:14 ◼ ► I mean, the details, I might have that slightly wrong, but yes, that is about the heads or tails of it. And again, if I get deeply sick, and let's say I have like some $10,000 operation.
01:27:27 ◼ ► So I'm paying, in addition to the $1,500 a month, I'm paying $3,000 toward the operation. And then insurance will pay for the rest.
01:27:36 ◼ ► However, if Erin then gets sick and she needs a $10,000 operation, she gets to pay, which means we get to pay, an additional $3,000 because her deductible, mind you, is different than my deductible.
01:27:51 ◼ ► So then I need to pay the $3,000 for her. And then if Declan gets sick, that's around the time that maybe insurance will properly take over.
01:28:01 ◼ ► So, and this is before, this is like the better version, in recent history in the US, there were also lifetime and annual maximums. So it's like, look, if you get really sick, if it's more than $50,000, we're just going to stop paying.
01:28:13 ◼ ► And that I think is one of the biggest things that the ACA, aka Obamacare, changed. Like that all these marketplace plans, you know, at least you know that if you have some catastrophe that is going to require you to have like a $200,000 operation series or whatever, like, you know that they will cover that.
01:28:33 ◼ ► But that, and that's effectively what you're paying for with all those premiums and everything. But everything until you get there is horrendous.
01:28:42 ◼ ► Yeah. Like you said, this is to cover, oh my God, that's what this is for. It's not to cover anything day to day. You know, we've had to take a kid to the hospital for something that ultimately ended up being minor.
01:28:56 ◼ ► But at the time, of course, you don't know. And those bills have been ridiculous, but not entirely awful. But the key is, if like, you know, I think Declan was the most recent kid of ours to go to the hospital.
01:29:09 ◼ ► Again, it ended up being nothing important. But at the time we didn't know if he had needed emergency surgery, which was on the table as something that we thought might happen.
01:29:18 ◼ ► That's when the insurance really helps. But the hospital visit, I think we paid like, you know, between half and 80% of it.
01:29:25 ◼ ► And the reason we didn't pay all of it was because, you know, the insurance company has some relationship with the hospital.
01:29:30 ◼ ► Well, they'll bring down the like, you know, list price, if you will, and I'm making up numbers at this point, but say this hospital visit was $1,000. Well, you know, it may happen that the hospital is part of my insurance network.
01:29:42 ◼ ► So instead of charging $1,000, they'll charge $800. But that's what I had to end up. I honestly don't remember what we paid, but that would be what I would have to pay is the $800.
01:29:51 ◼ ► And again, this goes on until any single one of us hits, I think it's $3,000, $3,300 for a year. And by the way, if I hit $3,000 for the year, and I get sick on December 15th, if I start accruing, if I'm still sick through the new year and I start accruing new bills on January 1, guess what, baby? $3,000 starts all over again, because my life. So yeah, it's a mess.
01:30:15 ◼ ► Well, you're lucky if you can cross a calendar year boundary and still have the same plan. You know, I've spent most of the last 12 years or so on my own health insurance plans that I had to buy like this. And the vast majority of that time was spent on the ACA plans, like the Obamacare marketplace plans.
01:30:34 ◼ ► And there's all sorts of complexities here. But the gist of it, the basic wonderful loophole that they get around here is like, you know, state to state, the regulations will vary. And I know New York, probably like many states, has certain requirements of like, the plan can't raise the premium by more than a certain percentage in a year.
01:30:56 ◼ ► How much does your plan go up each year, Marco? Well, so what they would do is every single year, they discontinue all of their plans and just make new ones and make you totally re-enroll from scratch every single year.
01:31:12 ◼ ► Yeah. So if you like your healthcare plan this year, well, I mean, first of all, you probably don't because it's just like Casey's. But suppose you have found a plan that you can afford that covers you and your family as needed to whatever degree and that has enough of your doctor and stuff in it that you can reasonably use it.
01:31:31 ◼ ► Well, come December, come around Thanksgiving time, you're gonna get a notice in the mail if you live in New York saying, "Your plan's over next year. Sorry. Re-enroll with our new plans." Now, you go to those new plans, and you'll notice they are all both more expensive and also worse.
01:31:47 ◼ ► It isn't just one or the other. They're more expensive and worse, and you won't know. Oh, and you have to enroll by a certain date in December, but you won't know until after January 1st whether your doctors are really in the plan or not because they're gonna still be negotiating with the insurance company until well past that December enrollment deadline.
01:32:08 ◼ ► So this has happened to me, I think, four times in the last 12 years where I'd have to get a new plan and then in January, in mid-January where I'm already on this new plan that now costs more and provides less service, then I get a note from my doctor or senator basically saying, "Oh, sorry. We no longer support Plan XYZ."
01:32:29 ◼ ► "Oh, well, thanks a lot. Now I have something to deal with." It's been such a pain. I will say, at least, again, with the Obamacare/ACA world that we're in now, as terrible as this is, it was worse before because I had to buy plans before that by a couple of years too, and it was terrible.
01:32:51 ◼ ► Because before the ACA, I paid even more. The premiums were even higher for what I was getting back then. And they had those lifetime limits. They had pre-existing condition exclusions, which is another huge thing.
01:33:05 ◼ ► At least with the marketplace plans, you know that you can go to the state marketplace and buy a plan pretty much no matter what. You can get something. If you can't afford it, they subsidize it. If you have some kind of pre-existing condition, well, they have to cover you.
01:33:22 ◼ ► If you have some kind of chronic thing that's going to require expensive things, again, they have to cover you. That's part of why they're so expensive. But look, that's the role of covering everybody. So the post-ACA world is better than the pre-ACA world, trust me. However, it's still a tremendous mess, and this is still a horrible system.
01:33:42 ◼ ► And I hope within our lifetimes, this is made better in some large way, whether it's single-payer or a public option or whatever it would be, who knows. But something, you know, Medicare for all, which is already pretty much in the ballpark, it's like, so something.
01:34:00 ◼ ► But this is just one of those things. Every country has their BS, their crazy downsides, and I think this might be America's biggest one. And if anybody in our government or leadership or politics, if they really, truly care about small businesses in this country...
01:34:22 ◼ ► No politician or party is pro-small business if they are against giving healthcare to everybody. Because I cannot tell you how many people I know who either didn't start a small business or abandoned their small business in its early stages because of a lack of health insurance.
01:34:42 ◼ ► So many people, and so many small businesses are really only possible because the person's spouse has family coverage through their job so they don't need their own health insurance. It's kind of being subsidized by other people's spouses' jobs.
01:34:57 ◼ ► There are just so many people out there who would start a business on their own if not for this one big problem. And so, again, if you care about small business in this country, you should do as much as possible and support whatever politics you can to increase the social safety net and in particular in the area of health insurance.
01:35:17 ◼ ► Could not agree more. And from the chat, somebody writes, "I have pretty good insurance, but when I had my gallbladder out, I was getting random bills for over a year. One hospital, one bill for the hospital, one for the surgeon, and another for the anesthesiologist. This is completely normal for America. It's not normal, but normal for America and not at all surprising."
01:35:39 ◼ ► Yeah. So we have a lot of work to do in that area. Again, I hope within our lifetime this gets improved in a big way. That's still just a hope, though. I mean, it's like, what are we going to get? Self-driving cars? Humans on Mars? Or U.S. fixes our health insurance?
01:36:01 ◼ ► I would give the numbers on mine if I knew them off the top of my head, but I think they actually might even be more than Casey's, but my coverage is probably better as well. And I think Marco's are also more than Casey's just because he lives in New York.
01:36:16 ◼ ► I mean, that's actually less than I would have expected. It's a crud load of money. I'm not trying to say it's not a lot of money, but given that you live in New York.
01:36:23 ◼ ► Oh, and those deductibles that you were just saying, yours are like 3,000 a person. I think mine are 7,000 a person. It's a lot higher.
01:36:34 ◼ ► Yeah, New York is not a cheap place for anything, including health insurance, but ugh. Thank you to our sponsors this week. The New York State of Health.
01:36:46 ◼ ► No, thanks to our sponsors this week. Hover, MacUpdater, and Guardian Firewall. And thanks to our members who support us directly. You can join at atp.fm/join.
01:36:56 ◼ ► Join right now to go listen to that episode about Hunt for October and how we are doing popcorn wrong. It is glorious.
01:38:09 ◼ ► So in our quest to find a listener in every profession under the sun, it seems you have sang the siren's call of window washers, Marco, and you have some follow-up for us.
01:38:22 ◼ ► So in last week's pre-show, I was lamenting that I was terrible at washing my sliders, my sliding glass door.
01:38:31 ◼ ► Yes, my door walls, which, you know, I know this is the most first-worldy problem ever. We're going to get that right out of the way right now.
01:38:40 ◼ ► That's, yes, okay. So I am terrible at cleaning these myself, and window washers don't work out here in the winter.
01:38:47 ◼ ► The good thing is I found something that works for me, and it is the most ridiculous method that you can possibly think of, which of course makes it the most Marco method probably.
01:39:10 ◼ ► That you had already purchased, alright. So I looked at the first link, and I'm like, "Wow, Marco got to buy a cool thing, but I guess he already had this toy."
01:39:17 ◼ ► So, when the window washers that I normally work with in the summertime, when they were here, a big thing that they use is called a pure water system.
01:39:26 ◼ ► And the idea behind this, and I have not read up on the science to see if this is actually true or not, but just please forgive me if it's not.
01:39:35 ◼ ► But the selling point of these kind of systems is by using extremely purified water as like a rinse stage, or like to reach really high up windows that it's pretty hard to get like a squeegee all the way up to.
01:39:48 ◼ ► Like if you're standing on the ground trying to get like a third-story window or something like that.
01:39:51 ◼ ► Anyway, there's these like "pure water" quote filters that if you, the idea is if you rinse the window with water that does not contain any meaningful mineral content, then when it dries, it doesn't leave spots behind.
01:40:11 ◼ ► And so, if you have a clean window, and you rinse it with purified water, in theory, it should not have spots.
01:40:19 ◼ ► And there's all sorts of ways to do this. The gist of most of the systems involves pumping water through some kind of like, you know, one of those bags of beads or whatever.
01:40:32 ◼ ► Like whatever the filter method is where you like shove water through a bunch of material to try to get crap out of it.
01:40:41 ◼ ► Pool filters have just like a big thing filled with like sand and other type of stuff like that.
01:40:51 ◼ ► It's the same way the groundwater in Long Island works. It goes through the sand and it goes underneath the pine barrens and we pull it up and that's why our water tastes good.
01:40:57 ◼ ► There you go. Yeah. So whether it's reverse osmosis or whatever it is, you know, that method of filtering.
01:41:06 ◼ ► After seeing my window washers use theirs, I had thought, well, you know, having window washers come out here is an occasional thing and it's an expensive thing.
01:41:14 ◼ ► And what if I want to wash my windows sometime when they aren't here or like, you know, between the times I'm going to have them be here.
01:41:22 ◼ ► And so I did. Like last summer or the one before, I actually bought the smallest one of these pure water filter things they make.
01:41:29 ◼ ► I noticed that they said on the filter thing that it came with these quick connect fittings from this brand.
01:41:46 ◼ ► But the G E K A quick connect system. Now, another aside here, because this is me and this is the show.
01:42:02 ◼ ► I've put them on all the taps. They even have their own little like sprayer attachments that have them built in.
01:42:07 ◼ ► I bought all of those and replaced all my older all my like cheap, crappy sprayers that come with the Amazon hoses.
01:42:12 ◼ ► You know, I threw all those away, those cheap plastic things. These G E K A quick connect things are so nice.
01:42:24 ◼ ► They're nice now. Follow up on this in a few years because these quick connect fittings really do not take well to any sort of grid or corrosion.
01:42:34 ◼ ► And that's what you're all about over there by the ocean is grid and corrosion. So see how they live.
01:42:40 ◼ ► And that's fair. And I expect that, you know, it's a metal fitting with rubber gaskets. Like, of course, it's not going to age well.
01:42:46 ◼ ► And the metal slides back and forth and it's a precise fit. It's a rough. I don't I'm not optimistic about the long term health of these.
01:42:56 ◼ ► Yes. And and I tried it like I've I've I've like in previous houses and previous hose setups, I have occasionally bought like a single quick connect setup from whatever was ranked well on Amazon.
01:43:12 ◼ ► So anyway, so the window washing thing came with these. So I geeked on my entire house and all my hoses.
01:43:19 ◼ ► It's amazing. So anyway, and that that dramatically improves how nice it is to use hoses because like if you ever you know, this the standard I believe it's called GHT, the garden hose thread that you know, that standard like, you know, screw method of attaching hoses to each other and to faucets.
01:43:39 ◼ ► If you ever see it like spraying water out all over the place. The reason why probably is that that connector has to be screwed on pretty much all the way to actually be sealed.
01:43:52 ◼ ► Because the way it seals is as you as you screw that connector on eventually there's like a rubber gasket at the base of each of the like the whole ends.
01:44:02 ◼ ► And so you're you're slowly pushing the other end of the hose against that rubber gasket that's at the bottom and if it's not pushing against it, or if the gasket is lost or cracked or whatever, or if it isn't pushing hard enough against it, it'll spray water everywhere.
01:44:17 ◼ ► And so it's a pain in the butt. So quick connect things are just perfectly sealed normally all the time and you just pop it on pop it off. It is a one of those like little life improvement projects if you ever use a hose ever get these quick connect things for it.
01:44:32 ◼ ► And so anyway, side note over. So I also had the I think about a year ago purchased this Dewalt cordless power washer.
01:44:47 ◼ ► I am usually a fan of most Dewalt products, you know what it's like, you know, you have like the battery lock in problem like once you get any cordless batteries for cordless power tools, then like now I'm in the system and now I got to buy everything for that system and only buy things in that system because then I can use the same batteries and charges everywhere.
01:45:04 ◼ ► So of course, you know, I have a need I get the Dewalt thing if there's a reasonable one. And in fact, I have this Dewalt blower that's just incredible. Like it. It's just this battery powered 60 volt flex blower thing. Awesome. Anyway, so I've had some good luck.
01:45:20 ◼ ► So I got this Dewalt power washer thing that uses these batteries. If you read the reviews on Amazon, it is exactly right. It is a terrible power washer. It has no power it barely washes. It is a terrible power washer.
01:45:37 ◼ ► You can just take the hose with your wonderful Geekaw quick connect system, and you can just take the hose and spray something and get about as much pressure as you can get out of this quote power washer. It is is a terrible power washer, but it has a superpower.
01:45:52 ◼ ► It has an attachment that lets you pull water out of any reservoir, a bucket, and you can pump water out of that bucket or whatever at hose like pressure. So you basically have a portable hose tank with it.
01:46:07 ◼ ► So I had this thing sitting around not being used very much. And I had my pure water window washer filter thing sitting around not being used very much. And right now, because it's winter, most of my outdoor hose all of my outdoor hose fittings are turned off and drained for the winter so they don't freeze and crack.
01:46:28 ◼ ► And like you know you like every fall you got out like we have like a you know a guy come out and turn everything off and blow out the irrigation and whatever you know. However, I had one good idea.
01:46:38 ◼ ► Last winter I had them install a hose faucet thing in an outdoor utility closet that is like partly heated and insulated all winter long. So I have one hose I can use that has to get around the entire house.
01:46:54 ◼ ► So I have all these like hoses daisy chain and everything with all my quick connect fittings like all daisy chain all around the house, tossing them to myself that didn't want to like bother anybody and Adam was a school.
01:47:03 ◼ ► So all the all crazy logistics to try to get these hoses like all around the whole house, but that I was able to reach my sliders that I wanted to clean.
01:47:15 ◼ ► And instead of using the squeegee and making a huge mess of it and failing at all I did was I used I filled a bucket with like my window washing concentrate and water, I used my stupid terrible cordless pressure washer to suck the soapy water out of that tank and blast it all over the slide.
01:47:38 ◼ ► And this is not enough pressure to like hurt anything it's, you know, it's just spraying it basically. So, blasting it with soapy water with my crappy pressure washer.
01:47:47 ◼ ► Then, using my pure water system. And like one of those big like brushes on sticks that they use to like kind of scrub and rinse away all the soapy water with the brush with the pure water.
01:48:00 ◼ ► And then I just let it dry. And it was frickin perfect. It was amazing. It looked like the process of me doing this looked ridiculous, like, you know, carry all this like equipment, these blasting my windows with this weird pressure washing hose thing that's covering them in soapy foam.
01:48:21 ◼ ► It looked ridiculous. And I know I could just get a bucket of soapy water and a squeegee. And if I was more talented at operating a squeegee I know I could do it in probably a quarter of the time for like $12.
01:48:35 ◼ ► But I don't have that skill, and I keep trying to learn that skill and I keep not having that skill. So instead, I have this totally ridiculous solution of just repurposing things I already had in ways I didn't think they'd ever be useful.
01:48:47 ◼ ► But it works ridiculously well. So this is my solution. It works for me. I'm sorry about how ridiculous it is. And I'm sorry to the world of window washers, which I now know listens to the show at how I am probably not doing anything correctly.
01:49:07 ◼ ► Question about turning off your, your spigots other than the one that's in like the insulated space. Do you have the little drain things on the inside or do you are you just turning off the water to them. You know what I'm talking about the drain things on what it's like you have spigots that are outside the house right and if you live in a cold climate when the winter comes, Casey, you you want to turn them off because you don't want water sitting inside those pipes and then freezing and expanding and busting open the pipes and making you very, very sad, right.
01:49:33 ◼ ► So usually you turn off your outside spigots. But what do you mean by turn off your outside spigots? The goal is to get the water out of the pipe. So if you just turn to like a little valve or something in your basement, it says there, no more water is going to come out of this hose spigot.
01:49:46 ◼ ► That's true, but the water that is in that pipe right now is still there. It is still butting right up against the spigot that's hanging out of your your thing. So you need some way to get that water out and you could go to the outside and just open the spigot.
01:49:57 ◼ ► But that just might let like a little drip bit drip out but you still could have a bunch in the long pipe leading up to that or whatever. So I'm asking you Marco if you have a thing inside your house that lets you drain all the water out of the pipe that leads to the spigot.
01:50:09 ◼ ► Somewhere there is a way to do that. However, I don't know where that thing is. The reason why we have like a guy come out here and shut down all the things. It's partly because I don't know where any of those things are. But I'm pretty sure we have them because like it isn't as simple as, oh, you just turn the knob back on like on the outside and it's back on again. Like that's not how that works.
01:50:32 ◼ ► Yeah, I would hope in recent houses that you have that. My house is ancient and didn't have them and I had to actually pay to have them installed. That's why I know where mine are. The thing I'll add though to that is interestingly if you have a very old house like I do, especially before I got my house insulated, which I know sounds terrible. But again, they didn't use a lot of really good insulation in the 30s. So when I got my house redone and they put actual insulation in the walls, it really helped our energy bills, let me say.
01:51:02 ◼ ► But before that, especially when I was a new homeowner and we didn't have those things, I would just turn off the water to the outside spigots. But I would know that there's water in there. And again, I would go outside and I would open the spigots and be like, come on out water. But just a little bit would drip out. And I knew there was water inside the pipe, but there's nothing I could do about it because I didn't have the little valves. But I must have gone through like, you know, seven really cold winters like that.
01:51:24 ◼ ► And the reason my house survived and the pipes didn't burst is because the thing that makes my house warm in the winter is a boiler downstairs that makes hot water. And then that hot water goes through pipes to hot water radiators all through my house.
01:51:37 ◼ ► And all those pipes start from that boiler and they go up to the ceiling of the basement and they go all around the perimeter of my house and up the outside walls of my house to all the radiators that are on both floors of my house.
01:51:49 ◼ ► And the hot water that's in those pipes radiates all of that heat into the basement. And it basically radiates all that heat onto the pipes that are leading to the spigots that are poking out into the freezing cold air.
01:52:01 ◼ ► So just waste heat from my house. Like heating, like if you took an infrared camera and probably pointed it at the outside of my house, you would say, why are all the spigots glowing a different color than the rest of the spigots?
01:52:12 ◼ ► They're being warmed by the hot water pipes. I know like I put like insulation around as many of the hot water pipes as I could find, but it's a losing battle because the water that comes out of the boiler is really hot and it's going through cast iron pipes.
01:52:26 ◼ ► And if you put like near boiling water through cast iron pipes, it's going to the thermal mass there, it's going to heat up the cast iron and it's going to make those things radiate heat.
01:52:34 ◼ ► And that's why our basement, which has quote unquote no heat in it, is often the hottest room in the house because that's where the furnace is. Now that we have the insulation, it's not a big deal and I have the valves and everything is much better now, but it kind of amazes me.
01:52:46 ◼ ► I think a lot of like how you survive in a place like New England that actually does have winter is that anything that has survived in New England for 20, 30, 40, 50 years has some attribute that makes it like dummy proof, right?
01:53:02 ◼ ► So in my house where I couldn't do the right thing with the spigots, don't worry about it. This house has been here since the 30s. If the pipes were going to burst, they would have already. How does it survive? Probably comical inefficiency and lack of insulation.
01:53:13 ◼ ► But like suffice it to say it, the things you still see standing in New England are able to take through whatever means the abuse that winter is going to put out.
01:53:24 ◼ ► And that's why I always worry about like new construction is like, okay, do you understand why the old construction worked? Because it might not be working for the reason you think it does in your new construction. You probably need those little thingies that Marco doesn't know where they are.
01:53:35 ◼ ► And the new thingies are basically like a valve inside your house that lets you open on the outside valve, right? And then you also open on the inside valve and that inside valve is lower than the outside valve.
01:53:44 ◼ ► All the water drains out of the pipe then. This is after cutting off the supply to the water, then you open up the other end of this and then all the water drains out of the pipe and now your pipe just has air in it and you're good to go.
01:53:54 ◼ ► This has been Plumbing Talk. I wish I knew the names of any of those things, but I do know where they are.