The Talk Show

279: ‘Chain of Precision’ With Jason Snell


00:00:00   How's your week? Anything going on?

00:00:03   On one level, yes. A whole lot. And on another level, absolutely nothing.

00:00:07   So, you know. Thank you.

00:00:10   Absolutely nothing. There's nothing on my mind.

00:00:14   Boy, it just seems like every day is the same as the last.

00:00:20   Holy hell.

00:00:22   Yeah, we were looking forward to my daughter coming home for Spring Break next week,

00:00:26   and instead my daughter is now home to do her online finals.

00:00:30   And then she'll be here for a month, at least.

00:00:32   So yeah, she's happy, she's so thrilled.

00:00:35   Nothing like having your freshman year switched off

00:00:39   and kicked back to your parents.

00:00:41   - I don't know, well, what do you,

00:00:43   all right, you're a college student.

00:00:45   All of this is bad.

00:00:46   And let me just say this as a preamble,

00:00:49   number one, we are recording on Monday, March 16th

00:00:55   at 6.30 p.m. Eastern dive, 3 Pacific,

00:00:59   and who the hell knows what the world will be like

00:01:02   by the time this podcast gets out the door, but--

00:01:04   - Who knows what it'll be like

00:01:05   by the time we finish recording?

00:01:06   - Recording, right, yes. - Who knows?

00:01:09   - Good point, very good point.

00:01:11   I honestly thought the first person who I heard say that

00:01:13   was there's a great restaurant guy here in Philly,

00:01:16   Mark Vetri, and he has a couple restaurants now,

00:01:21   but his, or no, not Vetri, it was,

00:01:24   Well, Vetri was quoted too,

00:01:26   but there's a couple of restaurant guys,

00:01:27   but one of them was, I think it might have been Vetri,

00:01:29   was quoted.

00:01:29   Everybody was saying everything's changing day by day,

00:01:31   and he goes, "No, it's changing hour by hour."

00:01:34   - Yeah.

00:01:35   - And that is only for now, who knows, minute by minute.

00:01:38   Anyway, let me just say as a preamble

00:01:42   that this coronavirus thing,

00:01:44   and it could not be more serious.

00:01:47   It is hitting everybody.

00:01:49   I don't, I can't imagine,

00:01:51   I guess if you're a listener in South America,

00:01:55   somewhere in the, you know,

00:01:57   there's some places where it seems like it hasn't hit yet,

00:02:00   but you know, it's, as we all know from Tom Hanks

00:02:02   and Rita Wilson, it's already hit Australia.

00:02:06   Very hard to believe that there's anybody

00:02:07   who's gonna listen to this episode who's not affected,

00:02:11   hasn't had their life affected in some way,

00:02:13   and I think we all agree right at the beginning of it.

00:02:16   I don't mean to make light of it.

00:02:17   I think it's very serious.

00:02:18   I think my coverage of "Daring Fireball" is very serious,

00:02:20   But I also know that people want to listen to podcasts

00:02:22   and they want to get their mind off this.

00:02:24   And if we joke around in some ways,

00:02:26   it's in no way to be taken

00:02:28   as treating this whole thing lightly.

00:02:31   - No, we're all in the same boat.

00:02:32   I mean, more so than perhaps at any other point

00:02:36   in our lives, right?

00:02:37   Like the whole world is pretty much

00:02:39   in exactly the same situation here.

00:02:41   - Yeah, at some point back, I believe it was,

00:02:45   'cause I was certainly back then.

00:02:47   I believe it was back when I was doing the show

00:02:48   Dan Benjamin, I had sarcastically—or it's not even sarcasm, but smart-assedly claimed that I never

00:02:57   washed my hands in the same way that I claimed that I'd had my driver's license revoked at some point.

00:03:03   Tim Cynova Well, you know, Dan's a germaphobe,

00:03:06   so you just say that and he would start itching, I think.

00:03:09   Dave

00:03:15   I mean, quoting my life.

00:03:18   I should actually see if I can dig that up.

00:03:20   Maybe we'll have a theme song for this episode.

00:03:22   Maybe everybody listening to me say this right now

00:03:25   will have already heard it.

00:03:26   Maybe if we find it, we'll stick it

00:03:27   at the beginning of the show.

00:03:28   But believe it or not, it was not true at the time.

00:03:33   And it is, as I feel my pristine hands right now,

00:03:38   it is definitely not true now.

00:03:42   We are washing hands.

00:03:44   We are taking this seriously.

00:03:45   we are bunkered in. - Yep.

00:03:47   - Yeah, so college student, freshman year,

00:03:53   wow, what a bummer.

00:03:54   Just off the top of my head though,

00:03:56   if you're a college student,

00:03:58   the two seminal years are of course freshman year

00:04:00   and senior year, the middle years kind of blur together,

00:04:04   which is worse to have interrupted?

00:04:05   I would think maybe senior year.

00:04:07   - I would think so, I would think so.

00:04:09   I mean, one of the differences is presumably

00:04:11   you're off campus your senior year,

00:04:13   like Jamie's in the dorm right now,

00:04:15   And like talk about really intensely close group of people,

00:04:20   like that's probably not what you want

00:04:22   is having all those hundreds of college students

00:04:26   in close proximity.

00:04:28   And, but senior year you're off campus.

00:04:30   I mean, maybe you even stay in your apartment or whatever,

00:04:33   but yeah, you're losing your end of your college life.

00:04:37   And by the time things get back to normal,

00:04:39   if you know, whatever that normal is,

00:04:42   you're out of there presumably,

00:04:44   you may not even get a graduation ceremony, right?

00:04:46   Like, ugh, it's terrible.

00:04:47   - I think almost certainly not, right?

00:04:49   I mean, it's-- - Yeah, I mean,

00:04:50   unless they do like a makeup,

00:04:52   and it's never gonna be the same, right?

00:04:53   Although it's funny,

00:04:55   because we always have to talk about sports

00:04:57   at least a little bit to offend people.

00:05:00   One thing I read is that the NCAA is actually thinking

00:05:02   of restoring some eligibility to some athletes,

00:05:05   which is an interesting idea

00:05:06   that maybe some of the spring athletes,

00:05:09   you know you get your four years,

00:05:10   and then you're done and you can't compete.

00:05:12   it's possible that some athletes who thought this was their last year are now going to

00:05:16   be granted another year and they can come back and compete next year again, which would

00:05:21   be—I think that is a thing that they absolutely should do because for some of these people,

00:05:26   this is—they've lost their chance and they're not going to get it back, but maybe

00:05:30   they'll get another year to do some of this stuff. Because I've been thinking about

00:05:36   that for for Jamie about like I mean I assume she's gonna keep taking her

00:05:42   courses in the spring even if they end up being all online you could just opt

00:05:46   out but then you're a quarter behind of everybody else and who knows the the

00:05:51   online courses might be easier all right I don't know we don't who knows but it's

00:05:56   just disruptive and yeah if you're seeing your senior year and you're

00:05:59   rolling through and you're this is your last hurrah and then there's no hurrah

00:06:01   Like, that's it. I feel bad for them.

00:06:05   - K through 12 schools are canceled,

00:06:07   I believe two weeks here in Pennsylvania,

00:06:13   not even Philadelphia, just statewide.

00:06:15   - My sons are also, our sons are the same age.

00:06:18   It's two weeks, but we look at it and we're like,

00:06:21   guys, I mean, it's gonna be a month at least,

00:06:23   and probably more than that,

00:06:24   and it might even be the rest of the school year.

00:06:26   But they're not gonna commit to that yet,

00:06:28   but it's, who knows?

00:06:30   - So my son Jonas came home Friday,

00:06:34   and I thought he had a really unique perspective on it.

00:06:36   I mean, it was obviously a major topic of conversation

00:06:40   with his, you know, the whole school.

00:06:43   And in fact, so he, they announced it on Thursday,

00:06:47   but they said, but we're still gonna have school Friday,

00:06:50   but it was a totally different schedule.

00:06:52   I don't know, I mean, I was,

00:06:54   what they did is they rejiggered the schedule

00:06:56   so that every kid would have every class on Friday,

00:06:59   whether it was usually only on Tuesdays or whatever,

00:07:02   so that every teacher could get some time with the kids

00:07:05   to say, here's our plan going forward

00:07:07   for what we're gonna do with remote education.

00:07:11   It seemed like a good idea.

00:07:12   We're announcing this a day early.

00:07:13   Everybody come in, we're gonna have one day

00:07:15   with like 30 minute classes with each teacher,

00:07:17   blah, blah, blah, but they obviously had a lot of time

00:07:19   to talk about it.

00:07:20   And Jonas came home and said, amongst him and his pals,

00:07:25   and his Latin teacher, who seems,

00:07:28   I've met with one of the parent-teacher things,

00:07:33   and did seem like a very clever fellow,

00:07:36   are of the opinion that they're not coming back.

00:07:41   And I thought it was a really interesting perspective

00:07:45   because it seemed, it wasn't like a woo-hoo,

00:07:49   we're done with school for the year.

00:07:51   I thought it was, just talking to them

00:07:53   about why they thought it, it was very much informed

00:07:56   by their lack of preconceptions,

00:08:00   that they're only 15, 16 years old,

00:08:03   whereas I'm 47 and the way the world works

00:08:06   is when something goes wrong at school,

00:08:08   they get the kids back in school as soon as possible.

00:08:11   There's a big snowfall and the roof collapses.

00:08:14   Well, they fix the roof and 10 days later,

00:08:16   the kids are back in school or there's a fire or something.

00:08:19   Nobody comes to school for a week

00:08:23   because we gotta fix this water damage from the fire,

00:08:27   then you come back to school.

00:08:28   Whereas without the preconception of this doesn't happen,

00:08:31   that schools close in mid-March

00:08:33   and the school year's just over,

00:08:36   when you look at what's likely ahead, it does seem likely.

00:08:41   Like the gist was they, you know,

00:08:43   and they were like at a whiteboard,

00:08:44   and they were like, you know,

00:08:45   the peak is obviously gonna come,

00:08:48   peak infections is obviously gonna come in mid-April

00:08:51   to end of April, and if that's the peak,

00:08:54   how, you know, isn't it, it's not gonna fall off a cliff,

00:08:57   it's gonna taper off, like how, you know,

00:09:00   and if wherever we are on the curve, however, you know,

00:09:04   however close to-- - Putting hundreds

00:09:05   of teenagers together-- - Right.

00:09:07   - And having 30 in a room and all of that,

00:09:09   it's just like that's the last thing you wanna be doing.

00:09:12   - Right, it just seems like really wishful thinking

00:09:15   to announce this as a two weeks thing.

00:09:17   I thought it was really telling last night

00:09:19   when the Vegas, it's very strange to me,

00:09:22   I predicted last night that the Caesars ones would follow.

00:09:25   So the Wynn and Encore in Las Vegas,

00:09:29   which are just two, but they're big and top tier,

00:09:34   announced that they were gonna shut down tomorrow, Tuesday.

00:09:37   And the MGM ones-- - And the Bellagio ones,

00:09:42   right? - Yep, all the Bellagio,

00:09:43   MGM group, the Bellagio ones, followed about an hour later.

00:09:47   And then all the other ones, every other property on the strip that you've ever heard of is in the Caesars Palace group.

00:09:54   And I just assumed that they would follow, and I was like rechecking this afternoon, and apparently not.

00:09:59   But yet they're laying off employees? It's very strange.

00:10:03   I mean, I don't know how long they think they can ride this out, but it seems like a bad idea to me.

00:10:09   Yeah, you just—throughout this, you know, and I keep coming back to like the stages of grief,

00:10:13   that there's kind of denial and bargaining

00:10:16   and then there's finally acceptance.

00:10:17   And I've seen that here,

00:10:19   that when you don't have a plan written down,

00:10:21   that is here is our global pandemic plan,

00:10:23   which nobody really has,

00:10:25   I mean, there are some, almost nobody has,

00:10:27   you end up in this sort of like,

00:10:29   well, maybe we can ride it out

00:10:31   and then you can see the steps.

00:10:32   Like, and then the next one is,

00:10:33   well, maybe we'll change a little bit.

00:10:35   And then you realize,

00:10:36   well, we're gonna have to change for a little while.

00:10:37   And then finally, you get to the point where you realize,

00:10:40   no, we need to shut everything down

00:10:41   and we just need to all sit here for a couple of months.

00:10:44   And, but it takes time because like,

00:10:47   I mean, how disruptive is it to say,

00:10:49   we're not gonna do the NCAA basketball tournament?

00:10:52   They were like, we'll play it in front of empty crowds.

00:10:54   And then finally, the next, literally the next day,

00:10:56   they're like, no, we're not gonna play it.

00:10:57   - Right, next day.

00:10:59   Well, and then I read,

00:11:00   I was reading the Las Vegas Review Journal this morning

00:11:02   and they had these amazing photos and they're like,

00:11:04   okay, yes, it's 8.30, nine o'clock in the morning

00:11:06   on a Monday and the strip is never busy

00:11:08   at nine in the morning on a Monday,

00:11:11   But it's not like this.

00:11:12   And it is like, you know, it's like scenes

00:11:16   that ILM would have to put together, you know,

00:11:19   to see no cars on the Vegas Strip.

00:11:22   It's just insane.

00:11:24   But then the reporter was like, you know,

00:11:26   but, you know, so Harris is one that's still

00:11:28   within the Caesars group, and they were like,

00:11:30   "Harris was mostly empty except for six players

00:11:33   "crowded around a craps table."

00:11:36   And I'm like, look, I like to play craps.

00:11:38   I like to gamble.

00:11:39   But in addition to the fact, number one,

00:11:41   All of the table games involve chips going back and forth.

00:11:45   I put out a chip, the dealer takes the chip,

00:11:48   you get paid and you're getting chips.

00:11:50   There's a lot of touching the chips there.

00:11:51   But Krabs is literally passing dice around

00:11:55   and everybody gets a turn to throw them.

00:11:57   Oh my God, I had to go to CVS today and pick something up,

00:12:02   even with Apple Pay.

00:12:03   And we can get to this later,

00:12:05   but Apple Pay is pretty cool in a

00:12:07   hey, watch what you touch situation.

00:12:10   It's always seemed kind of cool that there's no touching involved, but now it seems magic.

00:12:17   But because it was a prescription pickup, I had to sign for it, and guess what I had

00:12:22   to sign with?

00:12:23   That electric—

00:12:24   One of those plastic pens?

00:12:26   Attached to the thing.

00:12:29   And I felt like I almost turned into Larry David.

00:12:32   I was just like, "Ahh!"

00:12:35   I signed, and then I just kept my right hand up.

00:12:40   actually had to use my left hand to put my phone back in my right pocket, and I just kept my—and

00:12:44   of all the stores, of all the stores in Philadelphia, which is the one store that

00:12:51   doesn't have free hand sanitizer at the entrance? CVS! How is that possible that a pharmacy does not

00:12:58   have free hand sanitizer? But I knew that there's a little grocery—a great little family-owned

00:13:04   grocery store right around the corner, Debruno Brothers, which is doing a fantastic job in all

00:13:10   of this, absolutely fantastic job. I knew it. So I just, I'm like walking around with my right hand

00:13:15   up in the air, like going a block and a half to get, and I like went over there after using that

00:13:21   pen, hand sanitized before I hand sanitized. I did like a pre-hand sanitizer watch, because I feel

00:13:31   like that pen. I mean, I was like, "How are you making people use this pen?" This is…

00:13:35   [laughter]

00:13:36   I went to Whole Foods a couple of days ago, and I brought my own bag, put all the stuff in the bag,

00:13:43   dumped it out at the cashier, contactless, Apple Pay, walked out. I don't need the receipt, right?

00:13:49   Right.

00:13:50   And I managed to do it. And I do wonder, in the long run, we're going to get some interesting new

00:13:57   cultural practices out of this that where people are going to be like, "Why don't we reduce the

00:14:02   amount of touching that happens?" Like, maybe that's a good idea. I think contactless payments

00:14:07   may be one of those places where everybody's like, "Why did we not just completely lean into this? I

00:14:11   don't want to touch anything." I think we're all going to get a little more conscious about all of

00:14:16   this stuff now, having lived through it. Yeah, and there have been a couple of places that I've seen,

00:14:22   smaller places here in Philly. Not like I'm out much, but I have seen places, and there's even

00:14:27   some places that have the sign in the window that were saying, "Credit cards, please," because they

00:14:33   don't want cash. But... - Yeah, I saw, I was buying dog food today. That was my one outing,

00:14:40   and the lady in front of me wanted to pay with cash, and it's like $7.07, and she's like, "Oh,

00:14:48   I think I have $0.07," and she's digging, and everybody around, you know, in our little three

00:14:54   yard bubbles is looking at each other like, "Are you kidding me?" And she's like, gets

00:14:58   it all out, and I'm looking at the cashier and I'm like, "Well, I hope you got just

00:15:01   a vat of hand sanitizer back there, buddy." Yeah. And then she's still busy putting her

00:15:07   money away in her purse, and I have already tapped my Apple Pay, picked up the 45 pounds

00:15:15   of dog food, and I'm walking around her to get out of there.

00:15:18   Right.

00:15:19   "Why, lady?"

00:15:20   You know what, and I think that for the most part,

00:15:22   you know, usually, and the distance on Apple Pay

00:15:25   is pretty generous, you know,

00:15:27   it's one of those technologies, and again,

00:15:30   I never really thought about it a lot until this last week,

00:15:35   but it's, the NFC distance, or I think it's NFC, right?

00:15:39   Most of these terminals is, the technology is NFC.

00:15:42   It is, it doesn't require you to get close enough

00:15:46   that you're worried about touching,

00:15:48   but it's not so generous that you have to worry about it happening accidentally when you're not

00:15:53   even that close, right? It seems like the distance is just right. Six inches, maybe three, four

00:16:00   inches at the closest, and ping, you're done. It's just absolutely—I mean, everybody's a germaphobe

00:16:09   at this point. Or everybody should be. I can't decide whether all the germaphobes are nodding

00:16:15   like "yeah I told you" or if they're too busy like in a corner somewhere. I can't do it, I don't know.

00:16:22   Meanwhile there's six guys playing craps at Harris on the strip.

00:16:26   Yeah.

00:16:27   I just can't believe it. Oh man. Oh my god. You gotta laugh to keep from crying sometimes.

00:16:36   Oh my god. Where do we start? What else is going on? What's going on in in your daily life?

00:16:44   you guys bunkered in? Uh, yeah, more so my wife works at a library full time and they closed it

00:16:53   over the weekend and today was a staff day where they're supposed to come in and sort of figure

00:16:58   out what they could do when they're not open to the public and by noon today, so again hours pass

00:17:05   and things change, by noon today we had been given all the Bay Area counties a shelter in place

00:17:10   order, which is usually used for things like toxic gas leaks. It basically said no non-essential

00:17:16   movement. So, you know, in other words, she's going to be home tomorrow. There's no way that

00:17:21   they're still going to be in the library unless the city government decides the library is an

00:17:26   essential emergency operation, which seems unlikely. And so then we'll all be, you know,

00:17:31   we'll all be in here, just locked in here. And for me, it's funny because this is where I work,

00:17:36   like you and I, so many of our peers already work from home, so it's not as disruptive to us,

00:17:41   but everybody else in my family has been disrupted directly by this. So, that's day to day,

00:17:47   I don't know, we're starting to figure it out now, that what does it mean that Jamie's home and

00:17:52   she's doing her finals and what's Julian doing in terms of his high school work and which teachers

00:18:00   know how to use email and which teachers don't know how to use email. There's a lot of that.

00:18:04   there's some tech savvy teachers and some really not savvy teachers. And yeah, I don't know. That's

00:18:10   where we are. So it's weird. And like you said, every hour, every day, it seems like there's

00:18:15   something new and different and changing about it. So I don't know. I mean, I assume are you all

00:18:21   just bunkered in too? - Yeah, bunkered in with our 500 pounds of charcoal. So we're all set.

00:18:29   You know, Jonas pointed out, I mean, we're, you know, we are as a threesome, rather naturally,

00:18:38   this isn't that different than what we like to do. Like, it's like, when we have no family,

00:18:43   other obligations, like for us, a nice weekend is often just entirely spent at home.

00:18:53   It's not that different for us.

00:18:56   And we're not on top of each other,

00:18:59   we've got plenty of space.

00:19:01   I do, I've worked from home most of my adult life

00:19:04   and nonstop since, I don't know,

00:19:08   God, at least 20 years for the most part,

00:19:12   with some very small exceptions.

00:19:14   But it's the hour by hour differences are just crazy.

00:19:22   Literally this morning, so Sunday night,

00:19:27   or Sunday, yesterday, Sunday, New York City announced

00:19:31   that they were gonna close all restaurants and bars

00:19:33   other than to allow for takeout and pickup,

00:19:37   and delivery, I guess takeout and pickup are the same thing.

00:19:42   But delivery and takeout.

00:19:45   And then Los Angeles followed shortly thereafter,

00:19:49   almost probably just accounting for the time difference

00:19:52   made that decision at the right time.

00:19:54   The governor of Ohio, which neighbors Pennsylvania

00:19:57   to the west, announced that the whole state

00:19:59   was gonna close all restaurants and bars

00:20:01   for the same policy other than takeout and delivery.

00:20:05   And then this morning, the mayor of Philadelphia,

00:20:07   Jim Kenney, said that he still wanted,

00:20:11   he said he encouraged, he was still encouraging people

00:20:13   to go to restaurants and to tip generously.

00:20:16   The staffs are hurting.

00:20:18   We can't really afford to close all these restaurants.

00:20:21   It's, you know, it's,

00:20:22   his top priority was obviously the economic impact

00:20:27   of closing restaurants, which again, I,

00:20:29   and I know people who work, you know,

00:20:31   I have, my friend Lee owns a bar here in Philadelphia,

00:20:35   Hopsing Laundromat.

00:20:37   I have friends in the restaurant industry.

00:20:41   I have a good friend, Matt, who works up in New York

00:20:44   in the industry and has been filling me in there.

00:20:47   I mean, it's just devastating.

00:20:48   Restaurants, it's really devastating.

00:20:50   it's, they're just not equipped for this financially

00:20:54   to pay staff.

00:20:56   I mean, literally, famously, I mean, in America,

00:21:00   at least, waiters, most of the people,

00:21:02   a lot of the people who work in restaurants

00:21:03   don't even have a salary that could still be paid.

00:21:05   They make all their money from tips.

00:21:08   Doesn't work if the place is half empty.

00:21:11   And there was this half measure where they were gonna say,

00:21:15   well, everybody, you can be open,

00:21:16   but you have to be half capacity.

00:21:18   And it's like, number one, that didn't seem like a great idea.

00:21:22   It's not an airborne illness, right?

00:21:23   So this is one of the things that I haven't understood

00:21:26   about some of these responses, where they're like,

00:21:27   well, if everybody's table is six feet apart,

00:21:31   then it's okay.

00:21:32   But it's not, you know, measles is airborne,

00:21:34   which when you think about it, it's terrifying, right?

00:21:36   That you could just walk by somebody, you know,

00:21:38   back before there was a measles vaccine,

00:21:39   somebody had measles and you just walk by them

00:21:41   on the sidewalk and you get measles.

00:21:43   - You get the measles.

00:21:44   Did you see the thread?

00:21:46   So you posted a link to one Don Schaffner thread,

00:21:50   and this is this guy who's an expert on food safety.

00:21:54   And you posted your post about hand washing,

00:21:57   which was really great,

00:21:58   and the idea that it does really warm water or cold water,

00:22:02   it's the soap that matters, which was really good.

00:22:05   And then he said hand sanitizer also is very effective

00:22:09   against this kind of virus,

00:22:10   so you should also use hand sanitizer, it's super powerful.

00:22:13   He had a new thread today because Lex Friedman, our buddy, said, "Basically, I'm worried

00:22:22   about takeout being contaminated."

00:22:24   Like, "How does this work?"

00:22:27   And Don basically said—and again, he's an expert, although not the only expert and

00:22:32   people have conflicting opinions—but he basically said, "It's unlikely because

00:22:36   this is a respiratory illness, which means that people are sneezing and coughing, and

00:22:42   then you breathe it in and that's how you get infected.

00:22:45   If somebody sneezed on your food while they were making it,

00:22:49   that would be gross and they should go home if they're sick.

00:22:53   But it's gonna be in your mouth and then you swallow it

00:22:56   and then it's got, your stomach has a low pH

00:23:00   so it's gonna inactivate the virus.

00:23:03   If it gets to your intestine, he says,

00:23:06   it's a respiratory virus,

00:23:08   it's not really designed to invade that way,

00:23:10   so it probably wouldn't work.

00:23:13   So basically what he says is,

00:23:14   I'm not really worried about getting the virus from food,

00:23:17   whether it's hot or cold, doesn't really matter.

00:23:19   Because as far as we know,

00:23:22   this is about people coughing or sneezing,

00:23:25   and then you either breathing that in

00:23:28   or the whole hand washing thing,

00:23:30   touching something that's got it on it

00:23:31   and then bringing that up and putting it on your eye

00:23:33   or in your mouth or something like that.

00:23:35   So it's not, yeah, so the vectors matter,

00:23:38   which is why everybody keeps saying, you know,

00:23:41   wash your hands, don't touch your face,

00:23:44   and keep your distance.

00:23:46   And that can do a lot to mitigate this.

00:23:49   And something like having the restaurants

00:23:52   convert to takeout, your big risk there is

00:23:55   the person who's handing you the food,

00:23:57   and you're their biggest risk too.

00:24:00   - Yeah, yeah, absolutely.

00:24:02   I had to run a few errands today.

00:24:05   I mean, it's at the point like today

00:24:07   where I was sort of crossing I's and dotting T's

00:24:12   on like what do we really have to do

00:24:16   if we wanna get it, if we get locked in here for two weeks?

00:24:21   And again, who knows?

00:24:22   This could get worse in two weeks.

00:24:24   We might, I might, three weeks from now,

00:24:26   I might think, I might laugh at the thought

00:24:28   that two weeks was a worst case scenario,

00:24:30   but I don't see any practical way that I could buy,

00:24:34   I can't get, I can't buy a month of food.

00:24:36   I mean, I guess in theory I could,

00:24:37   but I'm not prepared for that.

00:24:41   But one of the things was I needed to go to the bank,

00:24:43   I needed to move some money from the business to personal

00:24:47   so we could pay some bills,

00:24:48   and for the time going forward

00:24:51   till the end of the month, et cetera.

00:24:53   I was just effusively,

00:24:56   like I just thanked the guy at the bank.

00:24:59   I was like, I just wanna say, thanks, I'm glad you're here.

00:25:02   I appreciate you.

00:25:04   And I don't know, I felt a little Larry Davidist.

00:25:08   I was like, I just want you to know when I came in,

00:25:10   I really sanitized the hell out of my hands.

00:25:12   (laughing)

00:25:13   He's like, thanks.

00:25:14   Those guys, I don't know what's going on with their hands

00:25:18   because they're squirting a little Purell on their hands

00:25:21   between every single customer.

00:25:23   And it's like, man, that's the hard stuff.

00:25:25   Yeah, here it's, but it's been weird.

00:25:32   So our mayor said that, and that was this morning.

00:25:34   It was a news story this morning.

00:25:36   Our mayor said, keep going to bars and restaurants.

00:25:41   We'll have lower seating, but tip them generously.

00:25:45   We wanna keep them open, and I'm like,

00:25:47   this is not the right, your heart's in the right place

00:25:51   in terms of their businesses, but this is not leadership.

00:25:54   And my thought was, maybe he's waiting

00:25:57   for the governor of Pennsylvania to say,

00:25:59   the whole state restaurants have to be shut down,

00:26:02   then he as the mayor doesn't look like the bad guy who shut restaurants down. I don't know, but it's

00:26:06   like, you know, profiles and courage here. And then literally by like 1230, like just after noon,

00:26:13   news story comes out and in the Philadelphia Inquirer had the exact same photo of him,

00:26:18   literally just the same photo. And it's, you know, the Philadelphia is shutting down all non-essential

00:26:25   businesses, you know, it's pretty much grocery stores, drugstores, banks, and

00:26:30   doctors, you know, that's it. It's like a lot of politicians don't want to be the one to go first

00:26:35   because they don't want to be out of step, but once everybody's stepping in the same direction,

00:26:39   it makes it a lot easier for all of them. Yeah, and I thought so too, especially for Philly,

00:26:43   which I'm not going to say, it's not a suburb of New York, but we're in New York's orbit. And

00:26:51   having New York go first last night really would have given a lot of cover to me.

00:26:59   If I were the mayor of Philadelphia,

00:27:00   I would have done it last night after New York did it.

00:27:04   Even if I was on the fence once New York went,

00:27:06   I would have done it.

00:27:07   It really just seems that the worst case scenario

00:27:12   that we're trying to avoid just is that dire.

00:27:15   And every single person who knows

00:27:17   what the hell they're talking about, without exception,

00:27:20   is saying playing for time is absolutely essential.

00:27:24   Act on both ends.

00:27:25   In other words, acting as soon as we do,

00:27:28   as soon as we can collectively,

00:27:31   whether we know all the facts right or not,

00:27:34   versus, you know, and then trying to stretch this out,

00:27:37   the whole, what's it called, flatten the curve.

00:27:41   - Flatten the curve, yeah.

00:27:41   - Right, but you've gotta act,

00:27:43   you have to act as quickly as possible.

00:27:46   I saw a good video from some doctor in the UK,

00:27:49   with the UK in particular seems to be really,

00:27:52   as bad as the US national response has been,

00:27:55   boy, the UK really seems to have

00:27:57   had their collective heads up their asses on this.

00:27:59   But there was a World Health Organization doctor in the UK

00:28:06   who was saying that this is not the time to be worried

00:28:11   about whether you're right or wrong.

00:28:13   Everybody's afraid, everybody wants to be perfect

00:28:16   and make the right decision,

00:28:17   and nobody wants to make a mistake

00:28:18   by enacting draconian measures

00:28:22   and then to find out that they weren't necessary.

00:28:26   You have to, the single most important thing

00:28:30   is to act as strong as you can, as quickly as you can,

00:28:33   because if you wait until you're certain that you need to,

00:28:37   it's far too late.

00:28:38   We've seen that here in the US

00:28:41   with this situation with the testing kits.

00:28:43   My parents literally are still,

00:28:49   they should be right now on a cruise,

00:28:53   but they're not.

00:28:54   But it wasn't because of the coronavirus per se.

00:28:58   My mom actually came down with an unrelated bug.

00:29:01   She does not have coronavirus,

00:29:03   but became ill a few days before.

00:29:07   And they knew the coronavirus thing

00:29:10   was already floating about,

00:29:11   and they took it as an opportunity to,

00:29:13   hey, let's, you know what,

00:29:15   we didn't feel good about this anyway,

00:29:17   let's cancel, and canceled.

00:29:19   and I can only imagine that that's no fun at all right now.

00:29:24   I would imagine, I can't even imagine the claustrophobia

00:29:28   being on a cruise ship right now,

00:29:30   even if you're on a cruise ship that, you know,

00:29:32   as seemingly most of the ones that are still at sea,

00:29:34   I mean, I know all of the major cruise lines

00:29:36   have stopped new voyages,

00:29:38   but this was like a 10-day cruise

00:29:39   or something they were supposed to be on

00:29:40   'cause they were retired and can go on very long cruises.

00:29:44   I would imagine the ones that are at sea,

00:29:46   even with no reported cases,

00:29:49   it must feel like you're on this giant floating prison.

00:29:52   - Yeah.

00:29:55   - Or worse than a prison, I don't know.

00:29:57   I don't know, a petri dish,

00:29:59   giant floating petri dish with small beds.

00:30:02   - I mean, I've done some cruises.

00:30:04   It sort of feels like a floating prison already.

00:30:07   - Yeah, I have too, and I feel the same way.

00:30:12   I feel a little cooped up.

00:30:13   One thing I can think of,

00:30:18   and then playing it back in my mind is,

00:30:21   and I was talking to my parents

00:30:22   before they made that decision,

00:30:24   and I didn't, at the time, I didn't tell them,

00:30:26   hey, definitely don't go, 'cause it's changed so,

00:30:29   it seems ridiculous in hindsight,

00:30:31   but nine days ago, it didn't seem out of the question to go.

00:30:36   But the thing that I thought about

00:30:39   from my times on a cruise ship is that it is

00:30:44   impossible to get and do anything without touching things.

00:30:49   You're always opening doors, there's doors everywhere,

00:30:54   to get inside, to get outside, to go here, to go there.

00:30:57   It just seems like a nightmare to me.

00:31:02   And everything is, hallways are so narrow.

00:31:06   I don't know.

00:31:09   - Yeah.

00:31:11   My heart's out to everybody who's stuck on a cruise ship.

00:31:14   Otherwise, I don't know what to say.

00:31:19   It's bizarre.

00:31:20   But then there are parts of life that seem normal.

00:31:26   Like I said, the Debruno Brothers food market

00:31:31   here in downtown Philadelphia has been mostly normal.

00:31:36   I'm not going every day.

00:31:37   I'm trying to get as much as I can and bring it home

00:31:40   And, but you know, it's not crazy.

00:31:44   It, you know, and if you weren't really

00:31:47   closely paying attention, you wouldn't really notice,

00:31:49   you know, that every single employee,

00:31:51   not just the ones at the deli, are wearing plastic gloves.

00:31:54   Their shelves are well stocked with pasta

00:31:58   and all of the, you know, they even still have bread.

00:32:00   A lot of the bread's gone,

00:32:01   but they still have a wide assortment of bread,

00:32:05   wider than a lot of the photos I'm seeing from other places.

00:32:08   My wife went to Trader Joe's, though,

00:32:10   on Friday or Thursday morning,

00:32:13   while Jonas was still going to school.

00:32:14   She dropped him off, had the car,

00:32:16   went to the Trader Joe's here in Center City, Philadelphia.

00:32:19   And she felt like she might have made a mistake

00:32:22   when she pulled in.

00:32:23   For those of you who don't live in a major city,

00:32:27   it's, Trader Joe's is a weird supermarket.

00:32:30   It's a lot of fun.

00:32:32   People love it. - And the parking lots

00:32:33   are always bad. (laughs)

00:32:34   - And the parking lots are always bad.

00:32:36   on a normal Thursday at 8 a.m.

00:32:40   It is not a good parking lot.

00:32:42   But it's the sort of parking lot where

00:32:45   you don't just pull in off the street

00:32:46   and you're in the parking lot.

00:32:47   You're pulling off the street and you're more or less

00:32:49   in like a driveway to get to the parking lot.

00:32:53   And she pulled in and realized this is gonna be a mistake.

00:32:57   It was a half an hour to get from the street

00:33:00   to the parking lot, but she couldn't back up

00:33:02   because people had gotten behind her.

00:33:04   and it's one way to get in, another way to get out,

00:33:07   so you can't just make a U-turn or something.

00:33:10   So she more or less had to wait the half hour

00:33:12   to get to the parking lot.

00:33:13   Once she did that, why not go?

00:33:16   She gets to the front door.

00:33:17   There's a line to get in

00:33:19   because they were filled to the fire code capacity,

00:33:21   and there's an employee there saying

00:33:24   that the way they're managing the fire code

00:33:26   is every 20 who leave, they'll let 20 come in.

00:33:29   She said that, she didn't count,

00:33:33   but she figured she was probably like 25th,

00:33:35   but she wasn't in the next batch.

00:33:37   She was at least one batch behind.

00:33:40   And so she waited a while,

00:33:44   maybe like 10 minutes or something,

00:33:46   and then a woman came out, a customer,

00:33:48   and just empty-handed and said,

00:33:51   unless you have two hours announced

00:33:55   to everybody waiting in line,

00:33:56   unless you have at least two hours of time,

00:33:59   you should just leave,

00:34:00   because I was in there 45 minutes,

00:34:03   the line to get to the checkout snaked through every single up and down every aisle of Trader Joe's and

00:34:10   She said I was I was only about one-third of the way through and she said the only way to shop is to get a

00:34:16   Cart get in the line empty carted and as you snake

00:34:21   Through every aisle of the market

00:34:24   Do your shopping at while you're in line?

00:34:27   She said it's the only way to get she said because it there's no other way because the line is solid

00:34:32   you can't really, you know, shop in, you know, any other way.

00:34:34   Right, the story is the line at that point.

00:34:36   Right, the story is the line, and she said she was in there 45 minutes,

00:34:40   and she said I was only about a third of the way through, maybe a half at the best.

00:34:43   And my wife had to ghost, had to be somewhere at 10, so she knew she wouldn't make it,

00:34:48   so she just abandoned ship and came home. It's crazy. I mean, it's just—

00:34:53   Yeah, and what everything I've read says that the supply chain is fine.

00:34:56   People are rushing out because they're afraid,

00:35:01   and I think the truth is you want to have some semblance of control over your life,

00:35:06   and that's a thing that you can control is, you know, kind of nesting instinct, like,

00:35:10   people who are about to have a baby have, whereas I'm going to take care of this, and I'm going to

00:35:12   get it done, and I'm going to stock up and all of that. And, you know, this is a thing that we

00:35:17   can't control and that we—you can't even see it. And so, I understand the human nature behind it,

00:35:23   but also everything I've read says that the supply chain is doing okay and there aren't going to be

00:35:27   to be food shortages and you don't need to do what people have been doing where they're

00:35:32   buying all the toilet paper and all of that. At the same time, I do think it's true that

00:35:36   everybody would probably be wise to minimize the number of trips they take to the store.

00:35:42   We always talk about, my wife will often go to Trader Joe's and Whole Foods and Safeway

00:35:46   and Costco and get different things at different places. And what we're trying to do is make

00:35:53   our list be big and then go ideally at an off hour, although it sounds like there basically

00:35:59   aren't any, and do one kind of trip and then that's it for a while, just to reduce the

00:36:05   amount of exposure. But there's only so much you can do. But I get the human nature part

00:36:09   of it, of just wanting to control something in an uncontrollable situation, but it's also

00:36:15   kind of ridiculous to have that kind of experience at Trader Joe's. Trader Joe's is not made

00:36:19   for that.

00:36:20   No, it really isn't

00:36:22   And you know again my hats off to all of those people who are doing their jobs showing up I mean man

00:36:31   Absolutely anybody who's who's working at a grocery store?

00:36:33   or who is in the supply chain like

00:36:37   Parcel drivers and and letter carriers and everybody who's in the distribution thing anybody who does deliveries of any kind like

00:36:45   This is how the rest of us are gonna be able to

00:36:48   You know ride this out is that there are people out there who are moving everything around and getting it where it needs to go

00:36:54   We have a great UPS guy, you know, I know Marco has talked about this where he lives

00:36:58   Everybody has a different, you know, some people have a bad UPS service and a great FedEx guy

00:37:02   We have a pretty we have pretty good FedEx, but we have a great UPS guy Vince

00:37:07   I mean, we love the Vince is the best honest to God

00:37:09   I should write like a letter to the CEO of UPS about Vince

00:37:13   He's the group best UPS guy shows up today Amy was like Vince

00:37:17   "I'm so happy to see you, I'd hug you, but," you know.

00:37:20   And he's like, "You got it, Amy."

00:37:23   Virtual hugs all around.

00:37:25   But man, I can't even imagine the stress.

00:37:29   Honestly, I'd be so stressed if I were working

00:37:32   like a register, you know, and just, you know,

00:37:36   one after another after another, you know, think about it.

00:37:38   And like I said, there were fire capacity all day probably.

00:37:42   - Yeah, and that's too many people in an enclosed space

00:37:44   on top of it, so yeah. - Right.

00:37:46   - Yeah. - Yeah.

00:37:47   know what they're going to do. And now that the CDC is saying that they're recommending no more

00:37:51   than 50 people in a group, does that count? Does a supermarket count as 50 people? And

00:37:56   I don't know how they're going to do that because a Trader Joe's is a very different square footage

00:38:03   than a suburban Safeway or whatever your brand, Piggly Wiggly, wherever you live. The modern

00:38:11   supermarkets in suburban United States are enormous. You know, 50 people in a modern

00:38:19   Walmart is empty, right? It's a ghost town. I mean, I'm not saying – you know, we all have

00:38:24   to be smart and we have to listen to the advice of the experts, but I'm not quite sure what they

00:38:29   mean by 50 people at a time because I think it really makes a big difference whether it's 50

00:38:33   people in a Trader Joe's versus 50 people in a Walmart. For sure.

00:38:41   Anyway, let me take a break here. Thank our first sponsor. Great sponsor, Linode. Linode,

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00:39:41   but tomorrow, whenever it gets out,

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00:41:35   Yeah. Let me think. I think last time I was here, we were talking about your,

00:41:41   all of our various movable type problems involving moving to new servers and things like that.

00:41:46   And it's, Linode's great though. That's where mine is too. I've got an old server there on an

00:41:50   old version and a new server there that's going to run the new version and it's a whole, it's a

00:41:55   It's a whole thing.

00:41:56   (sighs)

00:41:58   - Boy, that feels like a long time ago.

00:41:59   Yesterday feels like a long time ago.

00:42:01   - I know that all of our jokes about how every week

00:42:03   was a month, it's like every hour is a month now.

00:42:06   - Yeah.

00:42:07   I guess before we move on, I gotta get this out of the way

00:42:11   'cause it's actually a couple of weeks old,

00:42:12   a couple episodes old.

00:42:13   I've got follow-up.

00:42:15   This feels ancient.

00:42:16   This feels like something from like the 1980s at this point.

00:42:21   I don't even remember what the hell episode

00:42:24   we were talking about this on.

00:42:27   But in the context of Sherlocking,

00:42:30   I don't know if you, I don't know.

00:42:32   - Oh yeah.

00:42:33   - What was I talking about?

00:42:34   What was that? - Yeah, so the idea here

00:42:35   is that Sherlock, like that Watson was this app

00:42:40   and then Sherlock came out.

00:42:43   And the truth is there was a Sherlock before.

00:42:45   - Right, right.

00:42:46   - And then Watson, the idea was that Watson

00:42:48   was going to amplify Apple Sherlock.

00:42:50   But what happened is that in Sherlock 3,

00:42:53   I mean, I'm reading your notes here,

00:42:54   but that was that big moment where like,

00:42:55   'cause the whole idea of "Sherlock 3"

00:42:57   was that there were these templates.

00:42:58   It was all these smart templates,

00:43:00   and that was what Watson was,

00:43:01   was smart templated search and things like that

00:43:03   to make it more than just sort of a basic find utility.

00:43:07   And so it boomeranged back around where it was like,

00:43:10   Sherlock begat Watson,

00:43:12   and Watson was like, "Sherlock only better."

00:43:14   I think that the Sherlocking happened

00:43:16   when Sherlock suddenly got all the features that Watson had.

00:43:19   - Yeah, and I think that might've been

00:43:22   episode with molds, but I had forgotten that in the context of our community verbifying

00:43:29   "Sherlock" to mean when Apple comes in with a built-in feature or utility that obviates all,

00:43:38   or even just significantly part of a third-party utility, we call it "Sherlocking" because of this

00:43:43   thing with "Sherlock" and the third-party app Watson. The thing I had forgotten was

00:43:48   - Yeah, exactly what you said.

00:43:49   Apple had a thing called Sherlock first,

00:43:51   but it was really just sort of like,

00:43:54   like what we now call Spotlight, sort of.

00:43:56   It was just like--

00:43:57   - Yeah, I mean, it was basically like a find command

00:43:59   for the internet, I think,

00:44:01   but where it would do an internet search

00:44:04   or a search on your Mac,

00:44:06   but it didn't have all of the like template,

00:44:09   search templates where you could search

00:44:11   for a very specific thing and get a specific result back.

00:44:13   - Yeah, and have them-- - That was what Watson did.

00:44:15   have them come back in a very structured form like if you're searching for weather it came back in

00:44:21   like a widget in the window that looked like weather results and if you search for a movie

00:44:26   and the imdb page would come back right and it would have you could write them in in Watson and

00:44:31   then later in Sherlock you could actually write a search query where you basically said if they

00:44:34   input this here's the url and then here's how you parse the result and display it and it was a whole

00:44:39   thing that was very clever. And, you know, we could argue about whether it was also—my

00:44:45   memory at the time is that it was also fairly clear that that was the direction Apple's

00:44:48   product was going in. And just because Watson existed didn't mean that suddenly Apple couldn't

00:44:53   take their product in the direction that it needed to go in, but that was—that's the

00:44:57   origin of it.

00:44:58   Yeah. But it's funny that I didn't remember the Sherlock 1 and 2 part of it, even though

00:45:03   it would have been it it makes no sense for the first product to be named Watson.

00:45:08   Also what a burn that would be if they uh if Apple steals your product and also

00:45:13   names it something that just references your product. Right. Even worse. It did it did set

00:45:20   off a sort of when I was talking about it live on the show I definitely was like I don't think I'm

00:45:25   getting this right because that doesn't make sense that seems way too gratuitous. Yeah shape shot.

00:45:31   - Right.

00:45:32   Although I guess the closest they ever got to that

00:45:36   was with the confabulator thing with,

00:45:40   what was Apple's thing?

00:45:42   - Well, it was dashboard, right?

00:45:45   - Right, but the thing that was sort of,

00:45:46   the naming was similar.

00:45:47   So for those who don't remember,

00:45:50   back in around the same time,

00:45:52   pre-iPhone, so probably circa like 2004,

00:45:56   there was a third-party utility called confabulator

00:45:59   with a K.

00:46:00   Here, I'll put it in the show notes.

00:46:02   I'll write this down here.

00:46:03   - There's a nice Daring Fireball post about this.

00:46:07   - Yeah, there's definitely a nice DF post about it.

00:46:09   (laughing)

00:46:11   Actually, I'll probably have to link to it

00:46:13   'cause probably anything related to the actual confabulator

00:46:15   is 404'd by now, other than a handful.

00:46:20   Macworld's still around, Tidbits is still around,

00:46:22   but jeez, just about anything else is probably 404'd.

00:46:25   But anyway, third-party utility, Arlo Rose,

00:46:28   And I forget who else was behind.

00:46:31   It was sort of a two-person thing.

00:46:33   It was kinda neat, really neat, really neat idea

00:46:36   where you would use XML to specify

00:46:38   what they called gadgets.

00:46:40   And then a gadget would be like a little window,

00:46:42   like a little, just a little, you know,

00:46:47   if you remember dashboard widgets in Apple,

00:46:50   confabulator gadgets were sort of the same thing.

00:46:53   I think that the gadget-- - With this old,

00:46:55   the old DF post actually says

00:46:57   a confabulator had widgets.

00:46:58   Apple's documentation called them gadgets, but then when they shipped them they called them widgets.

00:47:02   So they just completely took it over. They just completely took the name. Yeah. Well,

00:47:07   widgets is a better name anyway, which is no surprise that the first one used it rather than,

00:47:11   because they're not gadgets, they're widgets. There's definitely a difference. Anyway, both

00:47:16   of them were neat ideas. Dashboard was built on HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. I guess Confabulator's

00:47:22   scripting language was JavaScript, but the specification was a custom XML thing.

00:47:28   And now that I think about it, this is my, let's modernize this with the Sherlock and Watson and

00:47:35   the gadgets and the widgets and the confabulators and the dashboards. All of that was all desktop

00:47:43   stuff, because there was no iPhone yet. We were a couple of years away from the iPhone.

00:47:48   But it all sort of, in hindsight, presaged the current world where, on phones, and I think

00:48:00   to a great extent, too, definitely iPads on mobile, applications, native applications,

00:48:07   dominate usage in the mobile, using the web, in a web browser, is a minority of you. I just saw

00:48:16   some statistic, somebody pointed to a talk from a Google engineer who claimed, and this

00:48:23   was like in a talk, but that according to Google statistics, something like only 11

00:48:29   percent of time spent on mobile devices is on the web. I don't know. I mean, for me,

00:48:37   it's definitely higher because I sit there and read stuff on the web all the time. But

00:48:42   But I believe it, and I think it's,

00:48:45   I don't know how Google measures it,

00:48:47   'cause a ton of my time on the web,

00:48:51   on my phone, is in Tweetbot.

00:48:55   So I'm on the web, but I don't know,

00:48:57   because I'm in Tweetbot, whether that registers with Google

00:49:01   is I'm on the web, or, you know.

00:49:03   And if I'm not on a Google website,

00:49:04   how's Google measuring it?

00:49:05   I guess that's a whole bunch of sites

00:49:07   have Google Analytics hooked up, I don't know.

00:49:10   But it all rings true, though,

00:49:12   if you just think about how you use,

00:49:13   I use apps way more than I use the web.

00:49:17   And that seemed to me the whole point of Sherlock

00:49:20   and Watson and Confabulator and Dashboard was,

00:49:25   hey, native stuff is cool and from an interface perspective

00:49:31   is better and more convenient than always having to go

00:49:34   to this browser app and opening, I guess we did,

00:49:37   I don't even know if we had tabs back then.

00:49:40   was just dozens and dozens of windows with one web page in them.

00:49:45   Yeah, I think it also suggested the sweet solution that we got when the iPhone came

00:49:52   out, right, of being able to sort of save web pages and instead of having apps, there

00:49:57   were sort of like web apps and it was very much the same kind of like, well, a web page

00:50:00   with JavaScript is kind of like an app and that was in the water, obviously, because

00:50:04   here in 2004, the same, that was what Dashboard and Confabulator were, is use web technologies

00:50:10   to build stuff. And now we have the equivalent of that for things like, you know, my Slack app

00:50:17   that I use every day is built with web technologies, right? It's not a native app.

00:50:21   And it has benefits to the developer largely and a cost to the user largely, but it's the same kind

00:50:30   of push and pull. And like the beauty of the dashboard stuff back in the day was all you needed

00:50:37   to know was JavaScript. You didn't need to know everything that goes into building a native app,

00:50:42   and that was—they were trying to find a new place for people who wanted to build stuff on

00:50:49   the platform to go who had this background in web technology but didn't have it in building apps.

00:50:54   But the iPhone changed that really fast, the App Store.

00:50:57   Yeah, and yeah, I definitely think that there was that sentiment of, "Hey, we can do it. We

00:51:03   We can give so, the web is such a,

00:51:06   it's such a tremendous step forward

00:51:12   in terms of its openness, fundamental openness,

00:51:15   in that it's inherently cross-platform

00:51:18   and it was largely a boon to Apple

00:51:21   because prior to the growth of the web

00:51:24   and the explosion of the web in the '90s,

00:51:27   that was literally, the explosion of the web

00:51:30   coincided with Apple's resurgence after they acquired Next.

00:51:35   And they go hand in hand because part of the reason

00:51:37   Apple was suffering so much in the mid 90s

00:51:39   was that Windows had become so dominant

00:51:42   that everything that was all software that was being,

00:51:45   not all software, but you know,

00:51:47   like when Napster first came out, that was a huge thing.

00:51:50   Napster was a Windows app and the Mac apps at first

00:51:54   were like, remember it was like Maxtr,

00:51:57   I mean there were, it was like a sort of semi-open protocol,

00:52:00   but new stuff happened and it was Windows apps.

00:52:03   And inside, you know, like big corporations,

00:52:08   when they made in-house applications,

00:52:11   they were making Windows apps.

00:52:14   And so, you know, there was no way to sort of have a,

00:52:18   hey, this department can use Macs

00:52:20   and that department can use Windows.

00:52:21   It was like everybody had to use Windows

00:52:23   because some of the tools that the company had

00:52:25   were Windows only.

00:52:26   And when the web came about, and it was possible

00:52:31   to make web apps for everything,

00:52:32   all of a sudden you could use a Mac,

00:52:34   and you could use Windows,

00:52:35   and you could log on to your intranet.

00:52:37   Remember that word.

00:52:38   But it was, instead of Windows being dominant

00:52:44   because it was 95% of all computing devices,

00:52:46   the web was dominant because it was literally

00:52:48   100% of computing devices.

00:52:50   It was unimaginable at one point to think

00:52:55   there would ever be this platform that would have greater market share than Windows, but it was,

00:53:00   because it was like a meta platform that could run anywhere. But at the other hand, the downside

00:53:09   to it was, man, the user experience, just clicking on buttons and filling in text forms and text

00:53:16   editing and just everything was just this huge crude step backwards because everything was sort

00:53:23   of a crude, lowest common denominator experience, right? It's, you know, the—and the web's come

00:53:31   a long way in some ways in terms of how polished you can make the experience, but the gist of it,

00:53:38   I think, you know, the sentiment behind things like Confabulator and Sherlock and Watson,

00:53:42   et cetera, was that, man, we could make this so much better. And, you know, like with Confabulator

00:53:47   in particular, most of their widgets were very small,

00:53:52   just little index card size, if not smaller.

00:53:58   Like when you open the calculator app, or Pcalc,

00:54:02   from our friend James Thompson, you get on a Mac,

00:54:04   you don't get, it doesn't take up your full screen

00:54:07   'cause it's just a calculator.

00:54:09   It opens a little window that's the size of a calculator.

00:54:12   Which is very useful, and especially if you have

00:54:16   desktop monitor where you can really, you know, arrange your windows just so you can

00:54:21   have a little window off to the side for a thing that only needs a little window. Like,

00:54:27   why in the world if you just want to have the weather open, would you need to open a

00:54:31   new web browser window which is going to default to the size of, you know, full height of your

00:54:38   screen and, you know, the size of a piece of paper when all you need is the temperature,

00:54:42   You just need a little widget, right?

00:54:45   So I thought that was,

00:54:49   I thought one of the mistakes Apple made with Dashboard

00:54:51   was by putting them all on the one page.

00:54:54   Remember you used to have to go off to the left?

00:54:56   It was like, well, what's the point, right?

00:54:58   Like, if I just wanna have a little weather thing,

00:55:00   why can't I have the little weather thing

00:55:02   right there with all my other windows in my main space?

00:55:05   I'd love to know why Apple did it that way,

00:55:08   'cause I thought it was a terrible mistake.

00:55:11   And I almost wonder whether they did it that way

00:55:13   as like a courtesy to Confabulator,

00:55:15   because doing it the other way

00:55:16   was the way Confabulator did it,

00:55:18   where the gadgets were interspersed

00:55:19   with your regular windows.

00:55:22   I don't know.

00:55:22   - Yeah, and there was a workaround

00:55:23   where you could pick up a dashboard widget

00:55:25   and then hit the hotkey to close dashboard,

00:55:27   and then it would stay out of the dashboard layer,

00:55:30   so they could run outside.

00:55:32   But I think maybe Apple just didn't wanna mix and match.

00:55:35   But you're right, the whole appeal

00:55:36   was that they were these little things,

00:55:38   and then they all lived on their own full-screen layer.

00:55:40   Well, who knew we were going to spend time on Confabulator?

00:55:44   That was the interface of the Confabulator

00:55:48   widgets was also, they were often very bizarre. It really

00:55:52   reminded me of the era of MP3 players with custom

00:55:56   skins, like, you know, Panix Player and Soundjam and all that

00:56:00   that had these super weird skins. And it was an era, that era was

00:56:04   the time where people like created like Photoshop files with

00:56:08   with weird interfaces and thought they would try them out.

00:56:12   And then I think in the end they were fun,

00:56:16   but not necessarily functional.

00:56:18   - Yeah, what was Panix was Audion.

00:56:21   So it was Audion and SoundJam and what was the big one?

00:56:26   A Winamp was the big one on Windows.

00:56:28   And it was always to me, that whole era,

00:56:32   well, I guess it predated during Fireball

00:56:36   'cause that was all, iTunes came out in 2000 or 2001?

00:56:41   - 2000 iTunes came out, yeah.

00:56:43   - Right, and 'cause the iPod came out in 2001.

00:56:46   I don't have an encyclopedic knowledge of dates,

00:56:50   but I famously remember that because the iPod announcement

00:56:53   was postponed and was low key because it was after,

00:56:58   in the aftermath of 9/11.

00:57:00   - Yep.

00:57:01   - Which I have to say has been on my mind a lot lately,

00:57:06   I keep thinking that what we're going through right now, the only comparison I can think of

00:57:10   in terms of just the general uncertainty that every single person is experiencing right now

00:57:16   is only comparable to 9/11. And I know it's different in a whole bunch of ways, but just

00:57:22   in terms of general uncertainty. Boy, I remember that. But anyway, that was all before Daring

00:57:26   Fireball. But the thing I remember, and boy, I wish I had been writing Daring Fireball so I could

00:57:31   point to it was how emblematic of the difference between Windows and Mac, the difference in the

00:57:37   quality of those weird custom UIs was between SoundJam and Audion on the Mac versus Winamp.

00:57:46   And I forget which one it was, if it was SoundJam or Audion that eventually supported Winamp's

00:57:52   format so that you— I think SoundJam let you use Winamp skins eventually.

00:57:59   Yeah, and that sort of made sense because even though Sound Jam is the one that Apple acquired

00:58:05   and turned into iTunes and still lives on today in two ways, I guess, as both the

00:58:15   music app on Catalina and the TV app on Catalina are both sort of forks of iTunes, which was

00:58:28   Apple's rebranded, single-skinned, of course, version of Sound Jam. But, you know, no surprise.

00:58:40   And both were technically excellent, and I guess it's time to put a link into Cable

00:58:44   Sasser's write-up of when Apple reached out to Panic to think about, you know, they

00:58:49   Apple had two choices of things to buy, and they were both very good options. And, you

00:58:55   Apple considered buying panic just to get Audion. But my recollection was that while

00:59:01   both were technically excellent, especially given the constraints of the classic Mac OS,

00:59:06   it was absolutely insane to have background MP3 players and invisible transparent windows,

00:59:13   stuff like that. There was no support in the OS for transparent windows, and somehow they

00:59:17   made it work.

00:59:19   Yeah, and they just did a blog post about finding all the faces of Audion, of all those custom things,

00:59:26   as a part of the—because Panic has a podcast now.

00:59:29   Right. I've been on it!

00:59:30   And yeah, and Krista Murgen is producing it, and they did an episode about Audion,

00:59:35   and then they did a thing about how they had to dig up all of their old skins

00:59:40   and find a way to make them display properly, which is really fascinating.

00:59:46   to that kind of spelunking through 20-year-old stuff.

00:59:50   - All right, we'll link to that.

00:59:52   It's noted.

00:59:53   But anyway, my hunch, my gut feeling,

00:59:57   and I think most people would agree,

00:59:59   was that the skins for Audion were slightly more

01:00:04   exquisitely designed than the ones for Sound Jam.

01:00:08   And no surprise coming from Panic,

01:00:11   whose forte is exquisitely pixel perfect.

01:00:15   Chef's kiss, that is the state of the art

01:00:19   in user interface design right now sort of work.

01:00:23   And then the Winamp stuff was like, I don't know,

01:00:27   it was pretty much like the Vegas strip.

01:00:29   Like the bad end of it.

01:00:33   Flashy for sure, not necessarily

01:00:36   what you would call beautiful.

01:00:38   - Yeah.

01:00:41   What else? I got more follow-up. Look at you. Yeah, one more. We were talking about this

01:00:51   story, the Gurman report about Apple perhaps, and filed this under a non-sarcastic finally

01:01:02   allowing third-party default apps on iOS. By which we mean, let's say you use Spark

01:01:09   or you use the Gmail app as your main email client,

01:01:14   you could, though the idea would be you could say,

01:01:17   this is my main email client,

01:01:19   and so if you click a mail to link in any app,

01:01:22   it would open Gmail or Spark or whatever it is

01:01:27   that you've said, this is my main email client

01:01:29   as opposed to Apple Mail.

01:01:31   And you could say, Chrome is my default web browser,

01:01:35   and so you open a web link anywhere

01:01:37   that opens in your browser,

01:01:38   would open in Chrome and so forth. The angle on here that I need to follow up was with

01:01:47   regard to, I said something to the effect of Apple doesn't really have a financial angle

01:01:55   here, you know, that whatever there, there are many reasons and I defended it in some

01:02:00   ways, you know, that it's not as much of a no-brainer as some people would think, especially

01:02:05   people who like us who use third party apps and are really, you know, write about them

01:02:09   and enjoy hearing about them and know the developers of them and are enthusiastic about,

01:02:15   you know, new third party apps. It's easy to get caught up as an enthusiast and think

01:02:21   this is just totally frustrating BS that Apple doesn't allow you to set these things as your

01:02:26   default for these handlers. But it's, you know, it requires nuance to think about why

01:02:30   Apple might not have done it. It's not quite just in, it's definitely not in difference

01:02:36   and I don't think it's spite, but the one thing I said was something to the effect of

01:02:40   that they don't really have a financial interest in it. It's not like when you use Apple mail

01:02:45   instead of the Gmail app that Apple profits from that. The thing that I overlooked and

01:02:51   I knew about this, I've known about this for years ever since it started, is that the Safari

01:02:58   versus other browsers thing is

01:03:01   It there's a lot of money involved

01:03:05   Right

01:03:07   And the thing I got hung up on was that even with third-party browsers you have to use webkit

01:03:11   As the rendering engine and so in some extent even if you're using chrome or you're using firefox if you're using it on ios

01:03:19   You're using this fari rendering engine webkit under the hood

01:03:23   the difference is

01:03:25   and it is a lot of money is that Google pays Apple a ton of money to be the default search

01:03:35   engine in Safari. So when you go up to the location bar and you type coronavirus symptoms

01:03:44   and hit return and it goes to Google by default and returns search engines,

01:03:52   But the most recent information I found, did you update this?

01:03:57   I don't know if you--

01:03:58   - No, this is your link, the estimated $12 billion check

01:04:03   written from Google to Apple in 2019.

01:04:07   - Yeah, so, and you know, I would presume,

01:04:10   given the way things have gone,

01:04:11   that it's only gone up since then.

01:04:13   And nobody really knows,

01:04:14   I don't believe this has been confirmed.

01:04:16   What's the sourcing on this?

01:04:18   It will reportedly pay this according to Business Insider.

01:04:21   It comes via Goldman Sachs analyst, Rod Hall.

01:04:25   Rod Hall is actually a very good analyst.

01:04:27   - Yeah, he gets on the Apple analyst calls.

01:04:30   So obviously they don't think he's a rogue element

01:04:34   or anything.

01:04:35   But if you think about it,

01:04:36   it's like having Amazon affiliate fees or something.

01:04:38   Like there's a search engine affiliate relationship

01:04:41   and Apple gets paid by Google

01:04:44   for all of those search referrals.

01:04:46   And I'm sure if they were DuckDuckGo searches,

01:04:50   DuckDuckGo would pay something too, except they wouldn't and they'd go out of business

01:04:53   or whatever. I'm sure Microsoft would pay with Bing, right? They're sending business

01:04:57   Google's way and they get paid for it. There's an argument to be made that maybe Apple should

01:05:04   use something like DuckDuckGo or Apple should buy DuckDuckGo and have it as this neutral

01:05:08   search engine that isn't tracking people. But that would be not just a nice move for

01:05:14   consumers, they would be turning their back on billions of dollars a year if they did

01:05:18   that.

01:05:19   So if we take Rod Hall's number at it,

01:05:22   and again, you might imagine that this is negotiated

01:05:26   at the very highest levels of Apple and Google.

01:05:31   I would assume that E.Q. and Tim Cook are directly involved.

01:05:36   I don't even know, you know,

01:05:38   I don't know who the equivalents would be at Google,

01:05:43   but you know, 12 billion dollars is,

01:05:46   even by Apple standards, is a lot of money.

01:05:49   And it, you know, I don't forget it,

01:05:55   but I think I often, I don't know that I bring it up enough.

01:06:00   And it is, it does sort of,

01:06:02   it is, it's worth even more than an asterisk.

01:06:08   It is a, don't forget, like raise your hand,

01:06:11   don't forget about like when Tim Cook talks

01:06:13   about Apple having different priorities in terms of privacy

01:06:18   and he has even mentioned Google by name

01:06:21   as a company that has, from Apple's perspective,

01:06:26   places a lesser priority on privacy of customers,

01:06:33   that Apple isn't, when they're taking 12

01:06:40   or plus billion dollars a year to keep Google

01:06:43   the default search engine in Safari on all their platforms, they're getting a pretty

01:06:49   nice piece of that pie. And I don't think they're absolved in the least from all of

01:06:56   the privacy implications of that. I mean, if you're taking the money, then you're

01:07:00   on the hook for all of that.

01:07:02   Yeah, even if you're limiting your disclosure of what—and personalized information on

01:07:09   on all of those things, which they have rolled into Safari,

01:07:12   in the end, you're still sending them to a Google page.

01:07:15   Google knows your IP address, unless you're using a VPN.

01:07:18   They can build a profile.

01:07:20   They are gonna show you ads.

01:07:22   All of those things are still a part of that experience.

01:07:25   You could argue that Google is still also

01:07:26   the best search engine experience,

01:07:28   and that's part of the argument.

01:07:30   I've been using DuckDuckGo on my Mac for a while,

01:07:33   and you know what?

01:07:34   It's okay, but there are moments where I have to just go

01:07:37   to Google to find something,

01:07:38   because DuckDuckGo just can't quite do it.

01:07:40   Google is slicker, it's a good product,

01:07:43   but it's also, it's Google.

01:07:45   We all know what that means.

01:07:46   - Yeah.

01:07:47   It's definitely a complicated decision,

01:07:52   but, you know, and part of the reason,

01:07:53   I've been using DuckDuckGo for years now,

01:07:55   enough as my default, for enough years,

01:07:58   and for most times,

01:08:00   I'm not doing it despite myself.

01:08:05   It's not like I'm living in a shack out in the woods,

01:08:10   cutting my own, butchering my own animals

01:08:14   that I've caught in a trap.

01:08:16   DuckDuckGo is a very good search engine.

01:08:18   And if Google didn't exist and DuckDuckGo

01:08:21   were the best search engine we had today,

01:08:24   we would still all be raving

01:08:26   when we really are honest about it.

01:08:27   What a marvel, one of the great marvels

01:08:29   of the modern world, this search engine is

01:08:33   we can type these things and get the results, but there are times, there are definitely more times

01:08:38   than the vice versa by far, that you might type X, Y, and Z and expect to get a certain result,

01:08:44   and DuckDuckGo doesn't have it, and then you do the same search in Google and there it is at the

01:08:48   top of the results. One of the things that makes that easy, though, is for most of the searches,

01:08:54   DuckDuckGo is just fine and you get exactly what you want, and if it's not and you suspect Google's

01:08:59   going to do better, you can just go right back up to your search terms and type g, just add the term

01:09:04   g exclamation mark as a DuckDuckGo shortcut for redirect me to Google and do the exact same search.

01:09:12   And they redirect you to Google in a way that I think sort of helps prevent tracking. They,

01:09:18   I don't know, I'm not sure how, I don't know how you could possibly keep Google from tracking you,

01:09:22   but it's not that bad. I don't know if anybody's ever thought about doing it. I would encourage

01:09:28   you to try. But end of follow-up, basically, you know, guess what? When you use Chrome

01:09:38   as your browser on iOS and you do a search in the search field, Google is paying Apple

01:09:45   for that. And so, you know, that's the obvious implication is if they allowed users to, you

01:09:53   You know, and this is a very cynical take,

01:09:56   but it's obviously on Apple's mind, it's real money,

01:09:59   but if they were to allow third-party browsers

01:10:01   to be set as the default,

01:10:04   presumably that might increase the number of users

01:10:08   who you spend more time in Chrome or Firefox,

01:10:13   or there's dozens of other really good web browsers

01:10:17   for iPhone and iPad.

01:10:18   The more people use them,

01:10:21   and being able to set them as the default,

01:10:24   you would think would only increase that.

01:10:27   It would decrease Apple's leverage over Google

01:10:30   for this annual negotiation on keeping it

01:10:34   as the default search engine.

01:10:36   - Right.

01:10:37   - Wouldn't you love, I always think about that.

01:10:40   Whenever this comes up, I always think of all the things

01:10:43   I would love to be a fly on the wall for

01:10:46   would be those negotiations in particular

01:10:49   seem just like, man, that would be like,

01:10:54   wouldn't that be like a fantastic Apple TV show, right?

01:10:59   (laughing)

01:11:00   Like, they should have a crew and tape 'em now

01:11:04   and then just show it five years from now

01:11:07   so that it's, you know, keep it, I don't know.

01:11:10   It would be so great.

01:11:11   Because both sides have tremendous leverage, right?

01:11:14   Like, Apple's got the tremendous market share

01:11:18   of iPhone and iPad.

01:11:21   It's also, it's not just the sheer number of users,

01:11:24   it is the demographics of their average household income

01:11:29   compared to other mobile users.

01:11:31   It's their engagement that iOS users

01:11:34   often are shown to be more engaged with their devices

01:11:37   than Android users, and just the sheer number of,

01:11:41   just the sheer amount of collective attention

01:11:45   that people pay to their mobile devices

01:11:48   and how many times they do web searches,

01:11:51   that's Apple's side.

01:11:53   And then Google's side is, well, what are you gonna do?

01:11:55   You really gonna go to Bing?

01:11:57   Are you really gonna buy DuckDuckGo?

01:12:01   I mean, I don't know if they'd have to buy DuckDuckGo

01:12:04   to make it the default.

01:12:05   I don't know, though, that,

01:12:06   and just think about it from a user's perspective.

01:12:10   Like, if you what, update your phone to iOS 14,

01:12:14   and then you go to do a web search,

01:12:15   and it's sending you to DuckDuckGo,

01:12:17   which you've never heard of.

01:12:19   Again, I love DuckDuckGo.

01:12:21   I encourage you, people who listen to this show, to try it.

01:12:25   I don't think my mom would understand

01:12:27   what the hell is going on if her phone

01:12:30   was automatically updated to the next version of iOS

01:12:34   and searching the web center there.

01:12:36   I don't know that she's ever heard of it, right?

01:12:38   - Right.

01:12:39   - I don't think she's ever heard of Bing, to be honest.

01:12:42   So I feel like

01:12:45   Apple would probably make a lot more if Bing were stronger in branding and in terms of

01:12:55   public consciousness, right?

01:12:57   Sure.

01:12:58   Sure.

01:12:59   Because then maybe they would ping-pong year to year.

01:13:02   Like, okay, now Microsoft's going to offer us 20 billion.

01:13:08   But they're not interchangeable.

01:13:09   I feel like that is still the crown jewel of Google's arsenal, is the quality of the web search.

01:13:16   Although I do think that web search, do you think Google web search is getting worse?

01:13:21   Tim Cynova I don't use it as much as I used to because I've been using

01:13:25   DuckDuckGo a lot more on the desktop. But I don't know, I mean, I still go back to it and think that

01:13:33   that it's better than DuckDuckGo at finding pages, but I don't know. That's just purely

01:13:38   anecdotal.

01:13:39   Dave: It may be related to my stuff, but the one thing I find that's very difficult to

01:13:44   find period, DuckDuckGo or Google, is older stuff. And by older, I'm going to say roughly

01:13:51   anything more than five years ago. But like if, you know, I'm sure that this confabulator

01:13:58   "Daring Fireball" is still going to show my thing. But when I look for stuff like, you know,

01:14:04   I don't know, stories about—just recently, here's an example. Jean-Louis Gasset—and

01:14:12   forgive me if I butchered the—

01:14:17   I think you nailed it.

01:14:18   Well, as close as I can get to a French accent,

01:14:22   had a post that I linked to a couple days ago about just spitballing on the idea of what are the

01:14:31   issues related to Apple moving the Mac to ARM CPUs. I wanted to look up stuff related to the

01:14:40   PowerPC to Intel transition from 2005 and 2006. Boy, was a lot of that hard to find or just

01:14:49   unfindable. Like, it just seems like... and you know, it makes sense that most of what people

01:14:55   search for is recent stuff, and so the algorithms, you know, tend to gear towards recent stuff.

01:15:02   But it just seems to me anecdotally that search engines have gotten worse at finding stuff from

01:15:09   10 years ago than they used to be. But maybe that's just me. I don't know. Let me take a break.

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01:17:59   Oh, coronavirus and Apple.

01:18:03   Let's get it over with.

01:18:04   I mean, there's a lot to talk about here

01:18:06   and there is an awful lot since the last time I did a show,

01:18:09   which was only like two weeks ago.

01:18:13   We went from me in Federico talking about,

01:18:16   I think I gave the odds then at 50/50

01:18:18   that we would have WWDC,

01:18:20   but maybe I'm giving myself too much credit

01:18:22   and I thought it was like a one in three chance

01:18:26   that WWDC was not going to happen.

01:18:29   And of course, as we now know,

01:18:32   WWDC is, as we know it, as an in-person, 5,000 attendee

01:18:37   congregation of the entire Apple community

01:18:42   is not going to happen. And as we record today on Monday, that is the most obvious statement

01:18:49   in the world. Two weeks ago, it seemed a little outlandish. And even when Apple made the announcement

01:18:57   last week, they were still slightly ahead of the curve, right? I don't think anybody

01:19:04   was surprised by that point, but it seemed like the writing was on the wall.

01:19:08   Yeah, yeah, it was, I feel like we progressed very quickly from "it might not happen" to

01:19:16   "it probably won't happen" to "they've certainly decided it's not going to happen but they haven't announced it yet."

01:19:24   Right.

01:19:24   Which, the nice thing about that is by the time they made their announcement, I feel like everybody had already, like, it was a forgone conclusion by the time they said it.

01:19:33   said it. Yeah, we had already passed the pass to the point of acceptance in the stages of grief.

01:19:40   I kind of feel I have no inside information on this whatsoever, but I kind of feel I one thing

01:19:49   I am certain of and this isn't from inside information. It's just knowing the way Apple

01:19:53   works is that they were on top of this for a long time and their public silence on it is

01:20:02   reflection of that's how Apple is about everything.

01:20:05   Apple isn't, doesn't,

01:20:08   Apple measures 100 times and cuts once.

01:20:12   They were monitoring this, their silence on it,

01:20:16   and the fact that they didn't announce anything officially

01:20:19   until last week wasn't 'cause they weren't paying attention

01:20:21   or were taking it lightly, it was that they,

01:20:23   they take their time.

01:20:25   I can't help but feel, and the weird thing about this

01:20:31   is that WWDC, I don't know if there are,

01:20:34   I'm not aware of any other conferences of similar size

01:20:38   that I would know about that are always,

01:20:43   every year annually, announced with so little time

01:20:47   between the announcement of the dates

01:20:52   and the selling of tickets, or now lotteries

01:20:58   get for attendees to sign up to to go and the actual conference most conferences are announced

01:21:06   at least a year in advance so that you know macworld is a great example you'd be leaving

01:21:13   macworld expo and the signs at the door would say you know next year january 4th to 10th yeah

01:21:23   Macworld next year, you know. And most conferences are like that. You know, WWDC has always been

01:21:29   unusual in terms of having, you know, getting announced, you know, mid-March to mid-April.

01:21:35   I think mid-April is about the latest they've ever done it, you know, even though it's—

01:21:40   I think they've gone to late April, but not much more than that.

01:21:42   But, you know, other than like one exception from like 2006, I believe, when it was in August,

01:21:50   It's pretty much been like clockwork.

01:21:57   I don't think I've been wrong in 10 years at guessing which week in June was going to

01:22:02   be WWDC week.

01:22:06   This year is a little bit, it's always June, it always starts on a Monday.

01:22:10   This year is a little harder to predict because June 1st is a Monday, but I think that by

01:22:17   by the usual schedule, the start would have been June 8th.

01:22:20   And if June was pushed back just a little bit,

01:22:25   one more day, definitely would have been

01:22:28   the Monday starting the second week of June.

01:22:33   But so all of these other conferences

01:22:37   that have been canceled, and every,

01:22:40   it's funny, 'cause not every conference has been canceled.

01:22:44   I saw that there was like a construction big 130,000

01:22:49   attendee conference in Las Vegas last week

01:22:53   that wasn't canceled, but they got nowhere near

01:22:57   130,000 attendees.

01:22:59   They have, you know, they were, you know,

01:23:04   canceled is absolutely the right verb for what happened

01:23:07   because they were scheduled and then they were canceled.

01:23:10   Well, WWDC wasn't canceled

01:23:13   it was never announced, right? So what they did do was they made an announcement last week that

01:23:21   WWDC will have an all-new online format, but they didn't even give dates. Which, reading between

01:23:32   lines to me says they weren't quite ready to announce it. Whether it would have been announced

01:23:42   by now in the alternate universe where this coronavirus didn't even exist, I don't know.

01:23:47   But I feel like as they made their plans for how they do this online only, you know, or online

01:23:56   perhaps plus a small media event for the keynote, although I think even that is looking less and

01:24:01   less likely even now in mid-March, I feel like they were looking at the news and thinking,

01:24:10   "We can't wait anymore."

01:24:12   Like if you and I were talking right now on March 16th

01:24:17   and Apple still hadn't said anything,

01:24:18   it would seem absurd, right?

01:24:21   So I feel like their hand was pressed

01:24:23   to at least come out and say, "WWDC is going to be in June.

01:24:27   "It's going to be online only in an all-new format.

01:24:30   "We have lots of stuff we're excited to tell you

01:24:34   "and we'll tell you more soon."

01:24:35   But I feel like the fact that it doesn't even have a date

01:24:39   for the keynote, to me says that they kind of felt like the news, even with their silence,

01:24:45   the news was getting ahead of them on this coronavirus.

01:24:48   I think you're right, and I think they decided that it was, that they didn't need to make

01:24:54   an announcement with specifics just yet, but they needed to at least be clear that this

01:24:58   was the case, that it was, they had reached the point where they really needed to just

01:25:01   say, "Yeah, of course, we're not going to do this, but we are going to do something

01:25:04   online and we'll let you know." I was struck by the fact that not only did they not give

01:25:08   dates, but they say beginning in June, and it's sort of like starting in June, whatever it is,

01:25:12   and it's like, okay, well, so we've got a month, which is June. It could be the first week, but it

01:25:16   could be the last week. And then starting in June, I immediately thought, and when does it end? Like,

01:25:22   they could completely reconceive this thing where there's a big kickoff sometime in June,

01:25:28   and then there are new sessions that roll out across the whole summer, even. Not necessarily

01:25:33   all there on day one or even over the course of a week. I'd think that, you know, that would be the

01:25:38   closest analog and it might be what they prefer to do, but they're not really committing to that.

01:25:42   They could stretch this out and have WWDC be this thing that happens over the course of,

01:25:50   you know, eight weeks if they wanted to, or all summer.

01:25:52   - The one thing that really matters timing, not timing-wise, but as a mark your calendars,

01:26:01   this is an event, is the keynote. The public keynote, the thing where they make the

01:26:07   announcements they would have made on Monday morning, which is meant for everybody, from

01:26:13   developers to the mass market, not even technical media. And Apple's WWDCs get coverage on the front

01:26:23   page of newspapers. And again, I realize being on the front page of a printed newspaper is

01:26:28   nowhere even close to what it used to be. But even if you talk about newspapers like the

01:26:32   New York Times and the Washington Post and San Francisco Chronicle and, you know, whatever else.

01:26:38   - Above, you know, first screen of nytimes.com, it's the same idea, is that you want to get that

01:26:45   kickoff event is the one that everybody covers and has broad appeal and everything else is for

01:26:49   the developers, basically. - Right, but I can't help but feel that's part of the calculus of not

01:26:54   even announcing the date for that yet is of, you know, not, no, I mean, this whole coronavirus

01:27:01   thing is so up in the air. I mean, and maybe there's an optimistic scenario where we go through

01:27:08   a bad April and, but then we start getting on the downslope in May and maybe it's not,

01:27:17   it's obviously never going to happen that they're going to have 5,000 people in a giant

01:27:22   convention room for a keynote. But it may be, you know, maybe the idea is that a media event

01:27:29   at the Steve Jobs Theater with a couple of hundred? I don't know. I mean, at this point it sounds

01:27:35   outlandish. I do think that maybe they're holding out hope that things will have calmed down to the

01:27:41   point where they might be able to have a small crowd in the Steve Jobs Theater for that keynote

01:27:45   instead of it just being like a like Stephen Colbert and John Oliver were last week where

01:27:50   it's sort of they're shouting into a void and there's an empty theater. I do also think one

01:27:54   part of the hedge here has to be when do you you can't do WWDC unless you've got your new operating

01:28:01   systems ready to go you know the scope of them you know what's new you've got stuff ready to show to

01:28:06   developers you've got downloads ready to put up and that's the other part of this one of the stories

01:28:10   we've seen in the last few days because this is moving fast is developers internal to Apple but

01:28:17   but because of the security restrictions on Apple stuff,

01:28:21   either unable or it's very difficult to work at home

01:28:25   on top secret Apple stuff, which is kind of a no-brainer,

01:28:28   but at the same time, like, if you're trying to get

01:28:31   new versions of Mac OS and iOS and watch OS and TV OS

01:28:35   and iPad OS, all ready in a developer version

01:28:39   to drop the first week of June,

01:28:41   and suddenly you're trying to get them all

01:28:43   to work from home, or they can't all be in at the same time,

01:28:46   or whatever it is, it really calls into question

01:28:49   the ability to stay on schedule.

01:28:52   And that's the other part of this,

01:28:53   is like, what if they don't have a beta?

01:28:55   What if they don't feel like they might not be able

01:28:58   to announce until the end of June,

01:29:00   if they slip three or four weeks?

01:29:03   All of that is up in the air, right?

01:29:05   This may not go, it's not just the gathering issue,

01:29:08   it's also the, like, who's working on the software issue.

01:29:11   - Yeah, and there's actually, so there's two sides to that.

01:29:15   So one, maybe inside Apple, because of this work from home

01:29:19   being a serious disruption to the way Apple works,

01:29:23   I mean, more than any company I'm aware of

01:29:25   in the tech sphere, and this is no surprise to anybody

01:29:29   who's listening to this show, Apple has a culture

01:29:31   of being onsite, face to face with the people

01:29:35   you work with, Apple--

01:29:36   - Yeah, come straight from Steve Jobs,

01:29:38   he was absolutely a believer that everybody had to be

01:29:42   in the same place at the same time.

01:29:43   - Right, and that doesn't mean they're all

01:29:44   the same building, they're way too big now.

01:29:46   Pretty much the entire city of Cupertino now

01:29:48   is office buildings owned by Apple.

01:29:51   I mean, really, I mean, for those of us--

01:29:56   - Drive down there sometime,

01:29:57   and there is an Apple logo on almost every corner.

01:30:01   - Including across the street,

01:30:03   which really just didn't used to be the case.

01:30:06   And buildings, you know, there were buildings

01:30:07   that was like, ah, that looks like, you know,

01:30:10   there was like this great expansion

01:30:11   in the late '80s and early '90s.

01:30:14   And, you know, in that era when Steve Jobs was in exile, and you can kind of tell because,

01:30:19   like, the architecture of the buildings is just very not to his liking.

01:30:24   I can spot a late 80s, early 90s Apple building a mile away. We had one in San Diego not too far

01:30:30   from where I went to college, and it had the little Apple logo on it in, you know, 1991 or whatever,

01:30:34   and all of them look like that, and there are a bunch of those in Cupertino for sure.

01:30:38   But then there's some weird ones now, too, like ones that are like, there's no way that's an

01:30:42   Apple building and then there's the drive by and there's a sign and there's an Apple logo.

01:30:46   They've leased all the space there is to lease in Cupertino and then built a giant campus.

01:30:51   And across the street from the giant campus, I don't know if people know this, one of the funny

01:30:55   things about it is Apple already had buildings on that street where the visitor center is.

01:30:59   Most of the buildings across the street that are south of the visitor center toward the freeway,

01:31:05   those are all Apple buildings that have been there a while. And then if you go under the freeway

01:31:10   there, there's the old mall that they want to redevelop, and part of the things they

01:31:14   want to redevelop that into is more office space than Apple wants. So they are—basically

01:31:22   the motto is, you know, if you're in California, you're in Cupertino, and if you aren't,

01:31:26   you know, your organization is all in one building, and if you need to talk to somebody

01:31:31   else's organization, you go to a different building. But everybody is together. That's

01:31:35   why James Thompson famously was given the ultimatum that he had to move from Ireland

01:31:39   to Cupertino if he wanted to keep working on the Mac OS X dock, because Steve didn't

01:31:43   want the developer of the dock to be in Ireland. He wanted him to be in California.

01:31:47   Yeah, and that's not to say everybody's in Cupertino either. I know Apple is a growing

01:31:52   footprint in Seattle. I don't know if they're still there. I remember the iWorks team used

01:31:58   to be in Pittsburgh.

01:31:59   Pittsburgh, yeah.

01:32:00   Right. But the iWorks team was in Pittsburgh, right? It wasn't like, "Oh, yeah, if you'd

01:32:08   like to come work on iWorks, you could work in the Pittsburgh office or you could work

01:32:11   in Seattle, you could come to Cupertino.

01:32:13   No, if you want to work on cloud, you go to Seattle. If you want to work on TV, you go

01:32:16   to LA. If you want to work on iWork, you go to Pittsburgh. And if you want to work on

01:32:19   Mac OS, you are going to be seated in Apple Park, basically.

01:32:23   It is a face-to-face collaborative culture.

01:32:26   So now what?

01:32:27   For better or for worse.

01:32:28   Now what do they do?

01:32:29   Right. Well, so there's two levels to it. The first level, and I have to admit, I think

01:32:34   I think you're talking about the Wall Street Journal story

01:32:36   from the other day about the problems.

01:32:38   I have it written down, so I'll remember to link it.

01:32:42   I've thought about just the cultural part of it,

01:32:46   that they're just not, they don't have tools

01:32:48   for remote collaboration within a very close-knit team.

01:32:52   They just don't have the culture of it.

01:32:58   And what the Journal story brought up, though,

01:33:03   is that there are just policies and rules about it.

01:33:07   For example, you can't bring hardware out of the building

01:33:11   without of these, famously,

01:33:13   we know these stories from the iPhone.

01:33:14   I mean, the iPhone was really super serious,

01:33:16   it was like in a vault, but,

01:33:17   hardware doesn't leave certain--

01:33:22   - For sure.

01:33:23   - Locked, closed, regulated doors.

01:33:27   But what if what you're working on requires,

01:33:30   You're a software engineer and you need to build and run,

01:33:34   but you need to build and run on the hardware.

01:33:36   But if you can't take the hardware out,

01:33:39   there's no way to do that.

01:33:41   And think about things like,

01:33:45   I'm gonna make up some numbers here,

01:33:49   but whether a certain animation for a transition

01:33:54   should be 300 milliseconds or 500 milliseconds,

01:33:58   and you build both and you look at them.

01:34:01   Well, how the hell do you do that

01:34:03   over remote video conferencing?

01:34:06   How does a team that is sweating the details

01:34:09   on how many milliseconds an animated transition should be

01:34:14   do it when they're used to doing it on the actual prototype?

01:34:18   Or even if it's not a prototype hardware,

01:34:20   even if it's just an animation for a new thing

01:34:22   that's going to run on the iPhone 11,

01:34:24   but you're there together as a team looking at,

01:34:27   So the hardware isn't secret, it's just an iPhone,

01:34:29   we're just testing on the iPhone 11, which is already out.

01:34:32   But the software is secret, and the animation,

01:34:35   in terms of what it looks and feels like,

01:34:37   is right there in your hand, in front of your eyes,

01:34:42   and now you're supposed to do it from home,

01:34:44   and the person demoing it to you

01:34:45   is doing it over a video conference.

01:34:47   Well, how in the, that's running at 60 hertz

01:34:50   or something like that, 60 frames per second or less.

01:34:53   It's impossible.

01:34:55   It's absolutely impossible to make that sort of judgment call

01:34:59   over a teleconferencing link,

01:35:01   no matter how good your bandwidth is to your home.

01:35:04   So I don't think it is speculative at all

01:35:10   to suggest that this is going to be disruptive

01:35:13   to the development of everything Apple has been planning

01:35:17   for the entire year, software-wise.

01:35:20   - And it's not to say that they couldn't do it,

01:35:23   But it is to say that they, I think, have not built up any—I don't know, but I'm

01:35:28   going to guess they've built up very little that allows them to do it in these cases where

01:35:33   you've got to be there, because why would they?

01:35:35   I mean, other than to do disaster contingency planning, which living in California you should

01:35:40   probably do anyway, and there were questions about, like, with the fires, if the air quality

01:35:45   wasn't going to be good enough.

01:35:46   Like, there are all of these other issues out there, so maybe they've got some plan

01:35:50   for it.

01:35:51   But clearly it's a hindrance, even if it isn't a full stop.

01:35:55   Even if you bring people in in shifts or spread them out, send some groups home and have other

01:36:01   people come and sit further apart or however you wanted to do it, it's going to be a serious

01:36:07   hindrance to your collaborative environment that you built up.

01:36:11   And that's why I feel like when we talk about WWDC, and this happens with everything

01:36:17   with the virus is you don't realize the assumptions you're making until you hit one of them and you go

01:36:23   oh you know and and wwc is a perfect one it's like oh what if they don't have like literally what if

01:36:30   they don't have developer builds what if they aren't far enough along in development to know

01:36:35   what they have confidence in mentioning in a keynote because they're not far enough along

01:36:40   to know whether they they think it's shippable or not right no i think that may be the case i think

01:36:46   it's definitely true. And then the other side of not wanting to announce a keynote date is the

01:36:51   actual, you know, preferring to have an audience of some sort, even if it's a Steve Jobs theater-sized

01:37:00   audience, which is like roughly a thousand people instead of a five or six thousand person cavernous,

01:37:06   you know, San Jose Convention Center audience. Apple likes an audience. They love, you know,

01:37:13   They love to have an audience for keynotes, but what if it starts to look like it's practical,

01:37:17   safe, totally safe, fine idea to do it, but probably not until the end of June?

01:37:24   Then I think Apple would absolutely want to hold it until the end of June to have a live event

01:37:32   and feel safe, good about it. So I wouldn't be surprised, honestly, the more I think about it,

01:37:39   I would not be surprised if the date for the keynote is literally not announced until,

01:37:46   like most Apple events, maybe a week or two before.

01:37:52   - Yeah, and if I was sitting in that meeting with Phil Schiller and his team

01:37:57   and Developer Relations and all of those people, I think the argument I would make is,

01:38:06   look how quickly this is moving. We don't know where we're going to be. Why announce a date when

01:38:12   we really aren't sure? Why do it? Why? And I get that there are people, because I talked to a

01:38:17   couple of them on Twitter, who are planning, first off, they're planning a vacation for June. I'm

01:38:21   like, you may not be taking that vacation. But secondly, if you're planning time off from work

01:38:25   so that you can stay home and consume all the videos, and I get people want to plan,

01:38:29   but your plans are in question, their plans are in question. Why pick a date if you

01:38:36   really don't have confidence that you can hit the date. And I don't see how any of us,

01:38:42   any of us in the entire world can have confidence in something like that right now, because

01:38:48   it's moving so fast. And if you are in charge of a big complicated system with a bunch of

01:38:52   employees, because like we haven't even started to talk about like, what if you do bring in

01:38:55   your employees, and your key OS engineers all get Coronavirus, right? And, and 20% of

01:39:02   key OS engineers are laid up in bed with a fever and breathing problems and may have to go to the

01:39:06   hospital. That's also what you don't want to have happen. So who can tell? Why commit to anything

01:39:14   right now? They committed to the important thing, which is, yes, we're going to do developer

01:39:17   resources and call it WWDC and there'll be videos and it'll start in June. Maybe they should have

01:39:24   even said summer. But yeah. - Well, I think the reason that they said June, I think the reason

01:39:30   they committed to June is and I'm glad you said that because a couple people a lot of people

01:39:36   who who listen to the show or read the site have pointed to that I think 2006 WWDC when they

01:39:44   postponed it till August and thought hey that might be you know why not just punt a couple months

01:39:50   that wouldn't work for Apple anymore no because the iPhone assuming the iPhone ships in in

01:39:57   September, you can't have your OS unveil be the month before the phone ships.

01:40:02   And even if, and I guess we can get to that, but even if the iPhone doesn't ship in September,

01:40:07   it's still... Apple's going to want to get back on this schedule once this clears up,

01:40:16   you know, even if it takes a year, you know. Back in those pre-iPhone days, Apple, I think, wanted,

01:40:25   I think Apple always wanted to be on this roughly annual schedule. It always seemed like they were

01:40:31   working for it, and they were just resource constrained, and they, you know, you get better

01:40:37   at what you do, right? And year after year, they've gotten better at it. But, you know,

01:40:44   there were gaps, but, you know, early years of Mac OS X was roughly annual, and then it kind of

01:40:49   got knocked off the annual, you know, sometimes 18 months and then when the

01:40:54   iPhone was being worked on they famously had an announcement that, "Hey, we've, you

01:40:59   know, we had a date for the next version of Mac OS X but we've pulled key

01:41:02   engineers off to work on this iPhone, you know, the first version of the iPhone so

01:41:07   we're gonna have to move this back six months." They're gonna want to stay on

01:41:12   annual schedule. And part of Apple's annual schedule is getting—the schedule is in June,

01:41:22   they tell us what's in the OSs. And part of the reason they do it at a developer conference is

01:41:29   they want developers to start working on these things, right? That they are announcing APIs and

01:41:35   features and they want developers to start updating their apps for them. So that come fall,

01:41:44   when these things come out, when these OSes come out, there's developer support for them.

01:41:49   You can't do that if you announce them in August. And then the other thing too is Apple's engineers

01:41:56   are all heads down, nose to the grindstone, July and August, finishing these things up. I mean,

01:42:03   Again, the start of this podcast seems like a long time ago by our current situation,

01:42:10   but I think we all remember that iOS 13 was in really rough shape last summer and, you know,

01:42:18   shipped in really weird fashion where 13.0 came out with the iPhones and was out for four days

01:42:27   before 13.1 shipped. That's, you know, and that's with a normal, quote-unquote, "normal" WWDC at the

01:42:39   beginning of June and a full summer of work. Punting the announcement and the betas till

01:42:44   August, it just wouldn't possibly fly. I mean, I guess it's theoretically possible if they're

01:42:52   already willing to say the iPhone isn't going to ship till—new iPhones aren't going to

01:42:57   ship till December or January or something like that. But I don't think they're willing

01:43:01   to say that yet. There was an announcement just last week that Foxconn announced that

01:43:08   they're actually ahead of schedule and getting back up to date, and they didn't mention

01:43:13   Apple specifically, but you hear Foxconn, I hear Apple, right?

01:43:17   I do wonder if they, you know, obviously they will try and things are going to be weird and things are going to slip and everything's going to be a little bit weird into the future for a while.

01:43:28   But, you know, it's hard to believe that the iPhone isn't going to be a priority. It does make me wonder maybe if there are going to be some things that get deprioritized, right?

01:43:36   Like there are features that have been rumored that maybe we won't see that they may take a lower priority, something like maybe even the Mac and say we're going to pull back on that.

01:43:46   course, what if this year is the year that they're going to do ARM on Mac and

01:43:50   that was going to be a big thing, then you can't really pull back on that.

01:43:53   Although you might be able to say, you know, this isn't really going to ship

01:43:56   until, you know, next year and so you've got and take your time or something. But

01:44:01   they may have to make some tough decisions because I think in the end the

01:44:03   one thing that is nothing is inviolate but the closest you get is getting that

01:44:10   iPhone out the door and getting an iOS update that goes with it and that they

01:44:13   They can't, they will prioritize that over everything else,

01:44:18   I think, if they have to.

01:44:19   - Yeah, but I think it's really,

01:44:21   I think that that June timeframe for WWDC,

01:44:26   whether WWDC is the traditional in-person conference

01:44:30   as we know it, or whether it's purely virtual,

01:44:32   including the keynote, where even every member of the press

01:44:36   is watching the keynote from home, over the web,

01:44:40   and nothing is done in person,

01:44:43   June is sort of set in stone.

01:44:46   And I think they could definitely push it

01:44:48   to the end of June.

01:44:50   And again, you've made this point a couple times,

01:44:52   I think, already in the last couple minutes,

01:44:54   is that if need be, they'll cut features, right?

01:44:58   But I think they would cut--

01:45:00   - Cut features, or they might even do a little prelude

01:45:03   and say, here are some features that are gonna be in here.

01:45:05   They're not all gonna be in there.

01:45:07   'Cause we already know that they kicked things out

01:45:08   the last couple years.

01:45:09   Just say it up front, these are the features

01:45:11   we're working on, they're not all gonna be

01:45:13   in the developer beta, they're not all gonna ship

01:45:15   in the fall, but they will ship in the next 12 months

01:45:18   and just move on.

01:45:19   And everybody's gonna understand, right?

01:45:21   Because we will all have just been through this

01:45:23   for the past several months and know that nothing

01:45:26   is quite like what it used to be.

01:45:29   - Yeah.

01:45:30   All right, let me take a break before we wrap up.

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01:47:19   I know you would care about this, the editor and you.

01:47:23   I don't know what to call this damn thing.

01:47:25   COVID-19 or coronavirus.

01:47:28   I saw you added the SARS-CoV-2.

01:47:30   - SARS-CoV-2, yeah.

01:47:33   Yeah, it's okay.

01:47:34   So I give you the overview from my perspective, which is coronavirus is a generic term for

01:47:38   for a whole family of viruses that include things

01:47:41   that cause like the common cold.

01:47:43   And it's based on like sort of how they actually look.

01:47:46   They have these little spikes

01:47:47   that when you look at it in a microscope,

01:47:49   microscope looks kind of like a crown.

01:47:51   So this is a coronavirus.

01:47:53   The thing is coronavirus is a really great,

01:47:56   understandable, commonly used term.

01:48:00   And so I get that, you know,

01:48:02   right now when we say the coronavirus,

01:48:04   everybody gets which coronavirus we're talking about.

01:48:07   can be pedantic about it, but like, I think we get it in terms of common usage that sometimes—I

01:48:13   wrote a macro piece a few weeks ago about WWDC and I just called it coronavirus because

01:48:17   I didn't want to get into it. And I think that's okay. And it comes—all these names

01:48:23   also come from, I think, a fairly good place, which is, in the olden days, we probably would

01:48:29   call this the Wuhan virus, because that's where it first emerged. And the feeling there

01:48:33   is that that leads to a lot of kind of demonization of China and Chinese people all over the world,

01:48:40   which is happening anyway, by the way. So, like, to take it away from that and say, like,

01:48:44   we're not going to make this about a city, we're not going to place blame, we're not

01:48:47   going to do anything like that, we're just going to call it a generic name, and they

01:48:50   came up with, so there are two names, right? The virus itself is SARS-CoV-2, which is basically

01:48:59   acute respiratory like the old SARS coronavirus number two because this is the like it's all like

01:49:05   a bad sequel SARS-2. COVID-19 is the coronavirus symptoms, the disease that's caused by the virus

01:49:13   found in 2019. So technically you could have a coronavirus which was SARS-CoV-2 which was

01:49:22   causing you to have COVID-19 symptoms, right? That's the chain of precision if you want to

01:49:28   to be precise about it. Right, and the name COVID-19 comes from CO is from corona, VI from virus,

01:49:38   the D is from disease, and the 19 is because 2019 is when it was first discovered in like in

01:49:44   December. And thank, I do thank the WHO for just going with all caps and not lowering the O and the

01:49:53   eye right yeah or the even you know they like they just like industry would have

01:49:58   lots of inner caps in it right but I have seen other I've seen some

01:50:02   publications that lowercase it like as though it was the name David you know

01:50:06   like capital C but then lowercase ovid 19 well you know a lot of that a lot of

01:50:11   those may be British and British English they don't capitalize acronyms even if

01:50:15   they're acronyms they just put the initial cap and then they move on so

01:50:20   So you'll see them talk about NASA and it's capital N, lowercase ASA, and you're like,

01:50:24   "That's very weird," but there's a style thing at play there.

01:50:29   I've shifted it during Fireball from coronavirus simply to COVID-19, and I know when I made

01:50:38   the shift, I knew that COVID-19 was the disease, not the virus, and that the virus had its

01:50:45   own name. But I don't, it's too complicated and number and also the SARS-CoV-2 is really

01:50:56   a, I don't know.

01:50:58   That's a mouthful.

01:50:59   And what's the keyboard equivalent of a mouthful?

01:51:02   Yeah, right. It's a fingerful. I don't know.

01:51:04   I don't know. It's a twister with your fingers.

01:51:07   This comes up a lot, and in the business that we're in, especially talking about technical

01:51:11   things, there's a lot of pedantry to go around, and sometimes people are more concerned

01:51:15   with people being right than being clear. And I think you want to be right, but you

01:51:20   want to be clear, and if you're right but unclear, you've failed. And so, one, that's

01:51:25   why I knew the difference between COVID-19 and SARS-CoV-2 and coronavirus when I wrote

01:51:30   that first coronavirus piece for Macworld, and I still went with coronavirus because

01:51:35   I felt like, first off, it's not a piece about viruses that I'm going to explain

01:51:39   how it works. And second, everybody knows what I mean when I say coronavirus, so I'm

01:51:43   going to choose to be clear and not pedantic about it. And I think it's a decision. Also,

01:51:50   a lot of the contexts you're writing about are about stopping the spread of COVID-19,

01:51:55   and that's accurate, because we're trying to stop the spread of the disease that's

01:51:59   caused by the virus, not just the virus. It all goes together.

01:52:03   - Right, I totally get it that if you are working

01:52:07   at the CDC or you're a scientist and you're working on this,

01:52:11   the difference between the virus and the disease

01:52:14   the virus gives you is incredibly important.

01:52:18   Fundamentally, it's totally different people

01:52:20   working on totally different things, right?

01:52:22   There's different people studying the virus

01:52:24   than the type of people who are working on

01:52:26   how to manage the actual disease.

01:52:28   Totally get it, I get it.

01:52:31   But from my perspective and the level

01:52:34   that I'm writing about it, I just need a name.

01:52:36   And my shift was mainly,

01:52:39   I think I was thrown off a little bit

01:52:40   because I tend to defer to the New York Times.

01:52:44   I'm an avid reader of the Times,

01:52:45   and I know that they're pedantic about such things.

01:52:49   And they're still, even to this day,

01:52:52   not that they never mention COVID-19,

01:52:55   but they're pretty much all in on coronavirus.

01:52:58   - Yeah.

01:52:58   My shift last week toward COVID-19 was that I knew all along what you said, that coronavirus

01:53:05   is a generic term and that the SARS from a couple years ago was a coronavirus, and that

01:53:10   there will be more—there will be future coronaviruses.

01:53:14   Sure.

01:53:15   You know, hopefully not for a long time, but it's inevitable.

01:53:19   You know, it's going to happen again.

01:53:23   My shift last week was that I was always a little uncomfortable just using coronavirus

01:53:28   because I knew it was a generic term, but I also felt comfortable with it because that's what the

01:53:32   time seemed to be doing and it's what I knew everybody who was reading "Daring Fireball"

01:53:35   would know exactly what I was talking about. My discomfort with using the generic term

01:53:41   reached a point last week where I was like, if I start using COVID-19 instead, everybody is—I'm

01:53:49   not going to lose one single reader. Although somebody told me—I swear to God, this is a true

01:53:55   story. I forget who told me this. Somebody told me that they had like a relative who had been

01:54:03   planning this for well over a year, and that he and his wife, their dream was to go on a month-long

01:54:11   vacation into complete isolation. No phones, just like in their outdoors type people camping,

01:54:21   and just tune out of the world. And the guy is a big basketball fan, and he's like,

01:54:27   "Coby Bryant's dead." And it's like, "Oh, no, is that why everybody's..."

01:54:33   You know, they know that's not why everybody's upset anymore. Sit down.

01:54:38   I mean, can you even imagine? It's crazy. But anyway, I felt like last week, we easily

01:54:47   crossed the threshold where COVID-19 was at least as well known as coronavirus, and I've shifted to

01:54:53   using it. And though I'm reluctant to, I'm going with the all caps because I don't feel like

01:54:58   lower casing it is appropriate. Yeah. Well, there... I agree with your choices, but I think

01:55:05   this also is a little window into when people, a lot of times people send in corrections and

01:55:10   things and they think that decisions are made carelessly. And a lot of times you don't, you

01:55:15   we don't talk about the carrier, but we think about it.

01:55:18   We are concerned about how we're being interpreted,

01:55:23   and sometimes it does come down to,

01:55:25   am I going to confuse people?

01:55:27   Because if I'm right, but then I have to explain

01:55:31   all the reasons why I'm right,

01:55:33   sometimes the decision is, I'm not gonna be that right.

01:55:36   I'm gonna vague it up a little bit

01:55:38   so that everybody still understands it,

01:55:39   and I don't have to stop and explain myself.

01:55:41   Because it starts to get a little showy sometimes

01:55:43   where you're showing off.

01:55:45   I'm gonna use this very particular term that nobody knows

01:55:48   and then explain it.

01:55:49   And it's like, it's better to use the term everybody knows.

01:55:51   Just do that if your goal is not to show off

01:55:54   but to communicate.

01:55:55   - All right, so back to the Apple, at least ramifications

01:55:59   at a high level of this.

01:56:00   We've covered, internally, Apple is really culturally

01:56:05   and policy-wise not really set up for remote work

01:56:08   on a lot of new stuff.

01:56:10   But, you know, gotta do what you gotta do.

01:56:14   I mean, I don't even think there's a debate at this point.

01:56:17   You gotta work from home and they'll make the best of it.

01:56:20   WWDC covered.

01:56:24   I guess I went out of chronological order.

01:56:27   The other thing were reports earlier this month

01:56:32   that Apple had been planning a late March press event

01:56:36   of some sort to announce new products.

01:56:39   And we all know stuff that's been rumored.

01:56:42   there have been longstanding rumors of

01:56:44   some sort of successor to the iPhone SE,

01:56:49   which I really don't think is gonna be called

01:56:51   the iPhone SE 2, but more or less,

01:56:54   what we know as the iPhone 8, hardware-wise,

01:56:57   aesthetic-wise, updated with the internals

01:57:00   from probably an iPhone 11 in terms of the A series chip.

01:57:09   Maybe new iPad Pros, which are like 18 months old,

01:57:14   or who knows what else.

01:57:16   There could be new MacBooks.

01:57:17   There could be, you know, there's a bunch of products

01:57:19   they have that wouldn't be worthy of a major flagship event,

01:57:24   but would certainly have been in normal times worthy

01:57:29   of some sort of event.

01:57:30   And as I pointed out on this show, I think with Federico,

01:57:34   but you know, Apple's a company of patterns,

01:57:37   and they have, obviously we know they have the annual pattern

01:57:42   of WWDC in June and new iPhones in September,

01:57:46   but they have a biannual pattern in recent years

01:57:50   of having an event in late March,

01:57:52   where in the last few years, in the even-numbered years,

01:57:56   they've had events in late March,

01:57:58   and in the odd ones, they haven't.

01:57:59   And I don't think that's a coincidence.

01:58:01   I think that's part of the cycle for some of these products

01:58:03   which don't have an annual schedule.

01:58:06   - Yeah, the iPad feels like it's an 18-month cycle, right?

01:58:08   So that would be in the spring every other year

01:58:11   and in the fall every other year.

01:58:12   - Yeah, and there were reports, I don't know,

01:58:15   a week and a half ago or something like that,

01:58:17   a couple of, it leaked to a couple of outlets

01:58:21   that Apple had been planning it, was gonna cancel it

01:58:26   because even then the writing was on the wall.

01:58:27   Even when things were still, even then,

01:58:31   in the long ago times of 10 days ago,

01:58:34   seemed pretty clear it was not practical,

01:58:37   or even just advisable, even if things hadn't gotten worse

01:58:40   in the last 10 days, even then it just seemed

01:58:42   totally ineladvisable to gather people

01:58:45   in a room together.

01:58:48   And just imagine the PR risks of, oh my God,

01:58:53   Apple had these people come out to an event

01:58:56   and three of them got the coronavirus

01:58:59   or something like that.

01:59:00   Nobody's gonna take a risk like that, it's crazy.

01:59:03   But then what does Apple do if they have these products

01:59:05   ready to go but they can't hold an event?

01:59:07   - Yeah, exactly.

01:59:09   And the thing Mike Hurley and I were talking about this

01:59:12   earlier today, supply chains.

01:59:16   A supply chain is not exactly a conveyor belt,

01:59:19   but it's kind of a conveyor belt, right?

01:59:21   Like at some point before the product gets announced,

01:59:25   especially if it's going to ship like that Friday,

01:59:28   they stop making the old product

01:59:31   and they start making the new product.

01:59:33   And you can't just not,

01:59:38   like unless you're willing to have your old product

01:59:40   go out of stores and go out of being able to,

01:59:43   I mean, the stores are closed, but buy it online,

01:59:46   at some point you gotta flip the switch.

01:59:47   And so this is the debate also about like,

01:59:49   would you announce a new Apple product now

01:59:52   when all this else is going on?

01:59:53   And the answer is I wouldn't launch a brand new platform

01:59:57   that I want the world's attention on.

01:59:59   But if I wanna do an iPhone SE

02:00:01   or I wanna do a minor laptop update or whatever it is,

02:00:05   like, sure, why not?

02:00:07   Plus, I've run out of laptops

02:00:08   or I've run out of iPhones to sell in that category

02:00:11   because I stopped making them so I can make the new one.

02:00:14   So sometimes it's out of your hands

02:00:18   where it's really like, no, now we need to go ahead

02:00:20   and do this, we made them, they're in boxes.

02:00:24   We've started to ship them over here,

02:00:26   we need to actually start selling them.

02:00:28   - Yeah, and it's, you know, as much as day-to-day life

02:00:32   in the flesh has changed dramatically for so many of us

02:00:37   and so many more to come, and just in terms of doing

02:00:39   what's right and, or even what's mandated

02:00:42   by our local governments, getting stuff delivered

02:00:44   is still, that is actually the alternative, right?

02:00:47   This is what, this is how we're eating.

02:00:50   And so, like, if, let's just say, I think that the most

02:00:54   likely of all of these is this iPhone SE2,

02:00:56   this new lower cost iPhone.

02:00:58   Apple can do that.

02:00:59   It's never, you know, it's not a spectacular new product

02:01:02   that the iPhone SE wasn't.

02:01:03   It is a spot in the product lineup,

02:01:08   and a very important one,

02:01:11   because it's the one that an awful lot of

02:01:13   tens and tens, probably, I don't know,

02:01:16   tens of millions of people want,

02:01:18   which is, I want one that's lower price,

02:01:23   and for a lot of other people,

02:01:25   I want one that's familiar.

02:01:27   The fact that it's, you know, uses the same home button

02:01:32   and fingerprint sensor as the one that they,

02:01:34   the iPhone 6 they might be replacing,

02:01:36   that is a boon to an awful lot of people.

02:01:40   You know, I mentioned my mom before.

02:01:41   My mom definitely wants one.

02:01:43   I told her about it, I said, "I think this is coming.

02:01:45   "You know, I always tell you, I don't,

02:01:47   "my mom doesn't believe me.

02:01:48   "Mom thinks that I know everything for sure,

02:01:51   "and I just won't tell her."

02:01:52   And I'm like, "I'm telling you,

02:01:53   Yeah, Apple doesn't tell me stuff like this,

02:01:55   but I know how to read these rumors.

02:01:57   I'm telling you, I think this is what comes.

02:01:58   And I forget, I think she has a six,

02:02:01   either a six or a six S, but she does need a new phone.

02:02:04   She's like, "Well, that's the one I want."

02:02:06   I don't, she just doesn't wanna switch to the new thing

02:02:10   where there's no button.

02:02:12   That's a big deal.

02:02:13   But they can just do that, and all of a sudden,

02:02:16   if you want a $500-ish iPhone, you get this one,

02:02:20   which has new internals, which have years and years ahead of them in OS support and

02:02:26   better battery efficiency, etc, etc, etc.

02:02:28   Yeah, well, if you're a, like, Dan Morin, who I work with on Six Colors, like, Dan has

02:02:36   an old MacBook Air that is—

02:02:38   Yes.

02:02:39   —has serious battery problems and has given up the ghost, and like, now he's—and so

02:02:44   many people now are at home and they've got a laptop and this is what they have to

02:02:48   do.

02:02:49   with the new MacBook Air or other new Mac laptops, I think some people are going to

02:02:55   be like, "Oh, thank God, I can just order this and it'll be here in a few days."

02:02:59   And yes, we're in unusual circumstances here, but it doesn't mean that people might

02:03:06   not actually really want a new whatever or need a new whatever to do what they're doing.

02:03:11   And in fact, these may be the perfect circumstances where they need it more than before, more

02:03:16   than they knew that they needed.

02:03:18   So I'm not saying that this is the reason

02:03:20   that Apple releases it,

02:03:21   but I think if Apple releases new stuff like that,

02:03:24   there are gonna be people who are very happy to get it,

02:03:26   and they'll order it online,

02:03:27   it'll get delivered to their house,

02:03:29   and they'll be happy.

02:03:31   - And Apple doesn't,

02:03:33   one of the reasons Apple likes to hold the big showy events

02:03:36   isn't just for pure publicity,

02:03:38   for publicity's sake, they like to tell a story.

02:03:40   And they wanna tell it from their perspective,

02:03:43   here's what it's for, here's why we made it,

02:03:45   here's why it is the way that it is.

02:03:48   You don't need to explain an updated iPhone 8

02:03:51   that has iPhone 11 internals.

02:03:53   You don't need to explain a new MacBook Air

02:03:56   that has the scissor key switches from the 16-inch

02:04:00   MacBook Pro. - They already told

02:04:01   that story. - Right, they already

02:04:02   told that story, and they didn't do that at an event either.

02:04:04   They did it at very small press gatherings,

02:04:07   or gathering, I guess, however you wanna call it,

02:04:12   but relatively small.

02:04:14   - They brought us in in shifts,

02:04:15   but yeah, it was the same day, right?

02:04:16   So yeah. - Right, but it's even less

02:04:18   story once you put that same keyboard design into a second model, right?

02:04:22   - Yeah, there's not, I mean, we get all caught up on it, but like, Apple making a minor update

02:04:28   to an old product to be slightly different for most of the world isn't that interesting a story,

02:04:34   right? It's, believe it or not, not that interesting, even if it's a big deal for us,

02:04:37   or like, "Finally, the MacBook Air has a new keyboard," or "Finally, there's a modern processor

02:04:41   in that old phone design." Like, those are big deals on, in one context, but in the grand scheme

02:04:47   of things even without this pandemic happening, it's not that big a deal. It's a little thing.

02:04:53   Now, if, hypothetically speaking, and I don't think this is true at all, I think this is actually

02:04:59   incredibly unlikely from everything we've heard, but let's just say for the sake of argument,

02:05:04   that Apple in fact has a brand new AR product, some kind of goggle glasses type thing, and it in fact

02:05:12   had been thinking they would announce it at the end of March and it was going to be a big showy

02:05:17   event like when they first introduced the Apple Watch.

02:05:20   And maybe it was going to be like Apple Watch, where they announced it and they were going

02:05:26   to say, "We're going to ship later this year," which of course means December or something

02:05:31   like that.

02:05:32   But they were going to have this event in March so they could show it and demo it and

02:05:34   get everybody excited and get on top of it.

02:05:37   Yeah, they're not going to announce that with a press release.

02:05:40   If that had been the case, and I don't think it was, but if it were, they would literally

02:05:44   just say, "Well, back to the nose to the grindstone team, let's keep working on it, but we're

02:05:49   going to hold our powder."

02:05:51   Yes, now is not the time for that big showy announcement.

02:05:54   Right.

02:05:55   Because you want people to pay attention and talk about that one.

02:05:57   Right.

02:05:58   And then they'll go, instead of late March, maybe WWDC.

02:06:01   And maybe if WWDC isn't a big deal, maybe we'll hold it all the way until September.

02:06:08   In normal times, a company isn't going to hold a Blockbuster product announcement six

02:06:14   months, but these are not normal times.

02:06:17   But they would do that if it was something that was of that magnitude.

02:06:20   I agree.

02:06:21   I don't even think there's any question.

02:06:26   And that's the difference, right?

02:06:27   They're the ones where you really want the world to stand up and pay attention.

02:06:30   Here's a new huge thing from Apple.

02:06:31   This is a major initiative.

02:06:33   And then there are the product updates that are nice, like a brand new iMac, a brand new

02:06:38   new laptop. And then there are the ones that are the incremental moves forward, which if

02:06:43   you're Dan and you've been waiting for that new MacBook Air with a new, with a good keyboard

02:06:47   all of this time, it's a big deal to you. But in the grand scheme of things, it's a

02:06:52   little, it's just a little thing. And again, if the fact that they wouldn't even have to

02:06:56   talk about the keyboard, I could just say, "Here it is! Go buy it!" Isn't it great? It's

02:07:01   got new processors, it's got that magic keyboard we already told you about. Awesome. Now available.

02:07:05   it. The magic keyboard that millions of MacBook Pro 16-inch users already love. Yeah, yeah,

02:07:12   you know that great keyboard we told you about? It's got that. Okay, gotta go.

02:07:15   They closed the retail stores last week. Well, you know, at the time, what day was that? I don't even

02:07:23   remember. Saturday? Oh, you know, and it was, so I know some people who work in Apple retail,

02:07:28   and I was getting these items early in the week that are like, we're gonna cancel all of our

02:07:34   show and tell kind of event things, we're gonna move seating or move half the seating. So we don't

02:07:40   want to encourage people to be a crowd and we want to move them in and out. And like that was big

02:07:46   moves on Monday and by Friday it was like now that we just have to close all the stores.

02:07:51   A couple of DF readers, you know, pointed out because that announcement came the next day after

02:07:57   the WWDC is going to be online only. Not a cancellation but actually a cancellation or,

02:08:03   you know, whatever you wanna call it.

02:08:05   And, you know, immediately a couple of readers pointed out

02:08:10   that, hey, what about the retail stores?

02:08:11   Isn't this ridiculous that there,

02:08:12   isn't it greedy that they're keeping these stores open

02:08:15   when, you know, people are coming in

02:08:17   and touching these devices, isn't that, you know?

02:08:19   And in some ways, the Apple stores are particularly

02:08:22   operating as they normally do,

02:08:25   particularly bad for this coronavirus thing,

02:08:30   because A, the stores are usually crowded

02:08:33   bad. The whole point of them from a consumer retail basis is trying these devices that

02:08:41   are either touchscreen devices or laptops with keyboards, right? I mean, you can't go into an

02:08:46   Apple store and not see people typing on MacBooks or playing with new iPhones, right? It's a

02:08:52   nightmare. Right. How do you sanitize that? Yeah. And if you take them, you can't sanitize it, right?

02:08:57   So if you take them all away, then what's the point of remaining open as a store?

02:09:02   So I think it was inevitable. And you know—

02:09:06   And as a repair interface, my understanding is like people who are getting their max repaired

02:09:12   are getting called to come in and get them. And that they may even have some sort of method where

02:09:17   you can say, "I need to bring this in," and they'll give you a time and you come and you hand it to

02:09:22   them. And then they—right, like they maybe do some of that, but the whole other purpose of the store,

02:09:27   like, it doesn't make sense right now. And in China, they reopen them, right? So there's

02:09:31   There's this feeling that maybe you get over the hump

02:09:33   a little bit and then you have a strategy maybe

02:09:36   for what they look like post closure

02:09:38   and then you do some opening, but who knows?

02:09:43   - I speculated on the support issue,

02:09:46   hey, what the heck's going on with the support staff though?

02:09:48   Are they all, they can't all be working together.

02:09:50   It turns out, I heard from a bunch of readers

02:09:53   that I don't know what percentage, I guess nobody does

02:09:56   'cause like everything else at Apple, it's all secret,

02:09:58   But a large percentage of Apple's AppleCare

02:10:01   support technicians already have worked for home

02:10:05   for a long time.

02:10:05   Like the AppleCare people, you get the job

02:10:08   and Apple sends you an iMac or something,

02:10:11   you know, a computer, and they hook up

02:10:13   a dedicated landline telephone.

02:10:15   You know, you get hardware, they set you up

02:10:17   with everything from a computer to phone,

02:10:21   and you work from home.

02:10:22   And that's been the case for a while.

02:10:24   And whether that was prescient or lucky,

02:10:26   Either way, I'm sure Apple will take it

02:10:29   because I don't know how many thousands,

02:10:33   tens of thousands of people in the United States

02:10:36   and other countries affected by this.

02:10:38   Obviously, all of Western Europe

02:10:39   is affected by this severely.

02:10:41   I don't know how many thousands of people

02:10:42   come in for tech support on a daily basis to Apple stores,

02:10:45   but every single one of them is now online

02:10:49   or on the phone to AppleCare.

02:10:50   So the fact that that's largely work at home already,

02:10:56   thank goodness, because if it weren't, man,

02:10:58   that's a serious problem if people couldn't even get

02:11:02   tech support.

02:11:03   What else is on my list here before we wrap up?

02:11:07   I know we've gone long.

02:11:09   Surprise.

02:11:10   - Surprise for us.

02:11:11   We're under three hours, though.

02:11:12   - The last thing I wanted to talk about,

02:11:14   and this idea, I've gotten this idea,

02:11:16   I don't know if people have sent it to you,

02:11:18   I've gotten this idea in email, I've gotten it on Twitter,

02:11:21   but lots of people are having this idea

02:11:23   that Apple could update Apple Watch

02:11:26   to give rewards for staying at home.

02:11:29   And in terms of encouraging people

02:11:32   to do what every expert is saying

02:11:35   and stay at home as much as you can,

02:11:37   do the social distancing, as the president tweeted.

02:11:42   Social distancing!

02:11:43   - That's right.

02:11:44   - And could Apple Watch give us awards for this

02:11:47   to sort of make you feel good about it

02:11:49   and tell you, hey, you've got a three-day streak

02:11:50   of not leaving the house, way to go.

02:11:53   I love the sentiment because I am totally on board with this and I totally get it.

02:11:58   And it's such a tough thing to do because let's say it works out as ideally as possible

02:12:02   and it really does.

02:12:03   It not only flattens the curve, but it actually lowers the number of people who wind up contracting

02:12:09   COVID-19 and that this whole thing winds up a lot on the optimistic end of the ways that

02:12:17   this might realistically turn out.

02:12:19   You know that in that scenario,

02:12:21   there are going to be an awful lot of shit birds

02:12:23   who say, "Well, see, it was no big deal."

02:12:26   You know, right?

02:12:27   We know it, everybody knows it, that is human nature.

02:12:30   That's going to happen.

02:12:31   If we are so fortunate enough,

02:12:34   wouldn't that be a wonderful problem to have

02:12:36   if the biggest problem we have at the end of this

02:12:38   is a bunch of people saying it was all overblown?

02:12:41   So I get it, but I don't think that's possible.

02:12:49   A, I don't think you can add a word like that

02:12:52   to watchOS on a dime.

02:12:54   It doesn't work like that.

02:12:55   And I don't even know if, you know,

02:12:57   how does it track whether you actually left the house?

02:12:59   Not every Apple Watch is GPS enabled.

02:13:02   - Yeah, and they're all,

02:13:04   the code is using like movement and distance

02:13:08   and not not movement.

02:13:09   So how would you do that in terms of,

02:13:14   I do think it's a great idea.

02:13:15   I think it would be a great idea if they had,

02:13:18   and maybe they're thinking of these for the future now,

02:13:20   but like, what if it reminded you to wash your hands?

02:13:24   What if it like, like there are lots of things

02:13:26   that it could do, but I'm not sure

02:13:29   using the Apple Watch reward system is something

02:13:32   that it's just capable of doing

02:13:34   and how would it be measured?

02:13:35   And it's not, it's a great idea that I'm with you.

02:13:38   I don't think it's technically feasible,

02:13:40   but I think it's a fun idea

02:13:41   'cause what you really wanna do is give people incentives

02:13:43   to have good behavior

02:13:45   because that's what the Apple Watch is all about

02:13:47   is giving people incentives to exercise.

02:13:48   So this would be similar.

02:13:50   I just don't think it's practical.

02:13:51   - Yeah, and washing your hands is a great example of that.

02:13:53   Where again, I don't think it couldn't happen now.

02:13:55   But in terms of thinking, hey,

02:13:57   where might we be with wearables in 10 years?

02:14:00   That actually seems to me like something

02:14:04   that could be detected with a combination of microphones

02:14:08   and the accelerometer.

02:14:10   Maybe, you know, in theory,

02:14:15   that would be great if it were possible, but it's just not.

02:14:18   But I love the thinking,

02:14:19   every single person who suggested this to me,

02:14:21   I'm not putting you down,

02:14:22   I'm just telling you I don't think it's practical.

02:14:23   It's a fan, your heart's in the right place,

02:14:26   and it's a very cool science fiction-y type idea.

02:14:29   - I want the, when I get home from being out in the world,

02:14:34   the you should wash your hands now, really.

02:14:36   - Yeah, yeah. - That'd be a good one, right?

02:14:38   - Yeah, that actually seems technically possible

02:14:41   at the moment, you know?

02:14:42   - Eventually we'll get an Apple Watch

02:14:44   that has its built-in hand sanitizer,

02:14:45   but that was gonna take a few years.

02:14:47   (laughing)

02:14:49   - I guess that's it.

02:14:51   Good luck.

02:14:52   - Good luck to you.

02:14:53   - Be well.

02:14:54   - Yeah, stay safe, stay inside.

02:14:56   Stay healthy.

02:14:57   - I will, and I will say this.

02:15:00   It's my hope.

02:15:01   I know that a lot of you have been reaching out

02:15:03   to those of us who are on the content producing side

02:15:07   of things like podcasts and you want more content.

02:15:10   I'm with you.

02:15:11   I'm gonna do as many shows as I can.

02:15:14   I'm in the house, I'll be here.

02:15:16   Got my mic.

02:15:17   I wanna keep you as occupied as you can,

02:15:21   get your mind on fun stuff like shortcuts and AppleScript

02:15:25   and speculation about iPad multitasking.

02:15:28   The more my mind is on stuff like that,

02:15:29   the better I feel too.

02:15:31   Jason, I'm sure you feel the same way.

02:15:34   Again, I think I forget exactly what I wrote the other day,

02:15:39   it's like, "Moy, there's not—you feel so helpless." And it's like, I feel like,

02:15:42   do the little things you can, you know, in terms of social distancing, washing your hands,

02:15:47   you know, and for me, what can I do? I can try to, you know, write cool stuff and do good podcasts

02:15:55   and, you know, make everybody out there, give you something to get your mind off it. There's only so

02:15:59   much Netflix you can watch. Yeah, and there's only so much news you should watch because you will,

02:16:05   whether it's a website or a TV news or whatever it is, it will drive you mad because there's only

02:16:09   one thing happening right now. And although it's important, I think you stare at that too long and

02:16:14   you'll lose your mind a little bit. So, if we can divert you, even though we talked about it a lot

02:16:20   in this episode, but if we can divert you a little bit or have you think about it in a different way,

02:16:24   I think that's good. I think everybody needs to keep their mind going to a bunch of different

02:16:30   places instead of just getting focused on one thing, especially if you're housebound for

02:16:34   for the first time.

02:16:36   - Yeah, hey, NetNewsWire is out for iOS now,

02:16:39   the new version. - So good, so good.

02:16:41   - But in terms of, hey, go get it,

02:16:44   and sync ups, get a bunch of feeds

02:16:46   that don't have anything to do with the news news,

02:16:48   and there's another, it'll be better than Twitter

02:16:51   in terms of keeping your mind off this stuff.

02:16:53   - Yep. - Because trust me,

02:16:55   none of us are gonna have to do a damn thing

02:16:57   to hear about it as much more than we want to.

02:17:01   Anyway, Jason, thanks for taking your time.

02:17:03   What a crazy time to do this.

02:17:05   Hopefully everything's gonna work out.

02:17:09   - Yeah, same.

02:17:10   Thank you for having me.

02:17:11   And my best wishes to you and your family

02:17:13   and everybody out there listening.

02:17:14   Yep, everybody stay safe.

02:17:16   - Sixcolors.com upgrade on the Relay FM network.

02:17:20   How many podcasts?

02:17:24   I mean--

02:17:24   - At a million, yeah.

02:17:25   At the million podcasts at the incomparable.

02:17:27   - Incomparable.

02:17:28   - So yeah.

02:17:29   - Yeah.

02:17:30   We got you covered at people.

02:17:31   - Yeah, yeah.

02:17:33   I'll mention one thing. We just released it publicly. It was a member benefit that

02:17:38   we did a couple years ago, which is we all got on a call and watched Star Wars. And we

02:17:42   talked about it while we were watching it. And you can put Star Wars on your TV and press

02:17:48   play on the file on the incomparable. And it's like you're sitting there with John

02:17:52   Syracuse and Dan Morin and Kelly Gamaund and a bunch of other people, and they're talking

02:17:56   about Star Wars while you're watching it, which is pretty fun. So we put that out. Same

02:18:00   right trying to give people some stuff that to divert them from everything while they're trapped

02:18:05   in their houses and that reminds me i did not do my usual holiday to new year's star wars spectacular

02:18:12   with the rise of uh skywalker um our good friends at a little company called disney

02:18:19   actually put that out on home video early right you know for the obvious reason of hey people

02:18:26   people are home, they need something to watch, here's Star Wars. I'm going to get to that now

02:18:31   sooner than later. So homework, if you've been putting off watching it, it is on iTunes, go

02:18:36   go rent it or watch it or whatever you have to do to to see it. Because sooner rather than later,

02:18:42   there will be a Star Wars non-holiday spectacular episode of the holiday party got moved to March

02:18:49   this year it's fine. Star Wars coronavirus holiday spectacular. All right Jason thank you very much.

02:18:57   Thank you.