The Talk Show

265: ‘Thompson’s Razor’ With Ben Thompson


00:00:00   just kicked out the cord to my MacBook Pro.

00:00:03   And guess what, it's not a problem,

00:00:07   'cause I'm still using a 2014 MacBook Pro with MagSafe.

00:00:10   - There you go, there you go.

00:00:12   - You know, I was thinking about this.

00:00:13   - Brilliant invention.

00:00:14   - I'm still getting feedback from people

00:00:19   about that Brian Chen iPhone.

00:00:21   I don't know if you listened to me and Nely

00:00:23   on the Vergecast podcast.

00:00:24   - I did, I did.

00:00:25   I mean, I enjoy the two of you always,

00:00:28   but I knew you were gonna tell that article,

00:00:30   so I made a special flight to make sure to listen to it.

00:00:33   - Well, I also think, wasn't that the one too,

00:00:35   where we sung your praises?

00:00:37   It was disgusting.

00:00:38   - I think you might have said something kind.

00:00:39   I do appreciate it.

00:00:40   - Yeah, it made me sick.

00:00:41   I knew you were gonna listen too.

00:00:42   Son of a bitch.

00:00:43   (laughing)

00:00:45   But anyway, one aspect of this is like the whole theory

00:00:50   that people like me and Neelai and other people

00:00:54   who write these reviews are cheerleaders

00:00:57   telling people to go by the newest thing by the newest thing by the newest thing

00:01:02   just isn't true and the fact that I'm using a 2014 MacBook Pro it's literally

00:01:06   five years old at this point I believe I even bought it around this time of the

00:01:11   year in 2014 so I'm using a five-year-old laptop right now literally

00:01:16   to record this show I've been typing almost everything I've written for the

00:01:20   last year or so on this machine I still love it it is it is I need to write like

00:01:27   a five-year review of this thing because I do believe that it is the single greatest

00:01:31   computing device I've ever purchased in my life. I love it.

00:01:34   I had the exact same generation and I also loved it and it was absolutely fantastic.

00:01:39   Then I dropped it and now I have one of the new MacBook Pros and I don't like it nearly

00:01:44   as much. I can promise you that.

00:01:45   Do you know what it has that's wrong? I don't know if you've seen this. I know

00:01:48   Syracuse had it and other people had it. It was a known issue that Apple had a support

00:01:52   page up around the display, the black bezel around the display. It is there's some kind

00:01:59   of adhesion that keeps the plastic surface to whatever's behind it. And at some point,

00:02:06   I mean, at this point, I've had it I've had the problem longer than I didn't have it,

00:02:09   you know, three, three years ago, maybe more. It's it looks like the screen needs to be

00:02:14   cleaned. Like it looks like something you could just wipe off. Yeah, I know exactly

00:02:18   that is. I didn't realize it yet. No, I had that for sure. My thing was unfortunately

00:02:23   I put on, I liked the messenger bag style. I think it's much more convenient for putting

00:02:29   stuff in or out. But I like carrying things as a backpack because I destroyed my back

00:02:33   carrying around a messenger bag back in business school. So Toomey makes this great bag where

00:02:39   you use it like a messenger bag but it has backpack straps and also has a little thing

00:02:44   to put over your carry on. It's perfect. It's a brilliant bag.

00:02:47   So when you're actually walking great distances, you can wear a backpack and then right before

00:02:51   you meet people, you can turn it into a messenger bag and look a little bit cool.

00:02:56   No, no, no. I don't carry the messenger bag strap, but it does have briefcase handles

00:03:00   so you can carry it or whatever. But I have no shame, so it's fine. But I put it on,

00:03:07   because the zipper's on the side, and I hadn't zipped up the computer part where

00:03:12   you put the computer in. So I throw it over my shoulders and the computer goes flying

00:03:17   out the side. And that was the end of my beloved… I think it was 2015, the last year that they

00:03:23   had that model.

00:03:24   I think so.

00:03:25   That was their one of my beloved 2015 13-inch MacBook Pro.

00:03:29   And I could even be misremembering. Mine might be a 2015. Actually, I guess I can just go

00:03:33   to… what about this Mac?

00:03:34   I think it's 2014. You've talked about it before.

00:03:38   Yeah, mid-2014. All right. I just psyched myself out of it. But anyway, I've had this

00:03:43   adhesion problem around the bezel for like three, four years even. And Apple had a page

00:03:48   they and it was a known defect and their thing was just bring it into the store. We'll take

00:03:53   one look at it as soon as we eyeball it, we will take your MacBook away and fix it. I

00:03:59   don't want them to fix it. I don't want to be without it for a day. And I kind of have

00:04:03   grown, I went through the stages of grief with, you know, some kind of physical defect

00:04:07   on it where now I feel like it's charming. And it doesn't affect the pixel area. So

00:04:14   it's not like there's a section of my screen at the right side where I'm looking at a

00:04:18   defect. It really is only most noticeable when the screen is off. It's like, how often

00:04:24   do I look at the screen when it's off? As soon as I lift the lid, the screen comes on.

00:04:27   So no, it's funny. You met, I totally had that problem. I like, I, now that you mentioned,

00:04:31   I didn't, I didn't even know what it was either. I just kind of ignored it. Yeah. Cause

00:04:34   You're right. It wasn't on the screen. It looked like it was dirty and it didn't really matter

00:04:39   So yeah, it looked like a weird stain like you spit milk on your screen or something. You know, it's like

00:04:43   or worse

00:04:46   But it really did the first time I noticed it it really looked I really was like a Lady Macbeth moment where I was sitting

00:04:53   There like, you know like huffing on the screen that you know and then like potty like I better go get the the serious

00:04:58   screen cleaner

00:05:00   and nothing worked and I'm like what the hell and then they're like Google it and say god known defect and then like

00:05:05   As soon as I found out it's a known defect and I see apples policy. They will fix it

00:05:09   I immediately stand up and think like well, I'm gonna walk to the Apple Store right now and then I thought about it

00:05:15   I don't want to be without this machine, you know

00:05:18   There's like I have a big and I think you subscribe to the same theory with my with my max

00:05:23   I have a very strong if it ain't broke don't replace it

00:05:26   Don't don't replace it and don't update the OS

00:05:30   until you absolutely have no choice.

00:05:34   I didn't used to have that opinion with their OS. I guess I would never update on

00:05:39   day one of a major new operating system, but I would upgrade quickly. But now I'm…

00:05:45   I don't think I upgraded to Catalina. No, not Catalina. Catalina is the next one.

00:05:50   Mojave.

00:05:51   I'm sick of these goddamn names. I'm 10-14. I didn't upgrade to 10-14 until like June.

00:05:55   Yeah, no, same here.

00:05:59   It disrupts your day for like an hour, hour and a half.

00:06:07   This frustrates me about the way Apple has dealt with it.

00:06:12   The Mac is a pure work machine.

00:06:15   I don't use it really for anything other than work.

00:06:17   I use my phone for almost everything else.

00:06:20   There's a certain number of things I need the Mac to do and do them very, very well.

00:06:25   I don't need anything else and I want them to do it perfectly and to never disrupt anything.

00:06:29   Like that's all I want from the computer.

00:06:31   Like I don't need any bells and whistles,

00:06:33   anything along those lines.

00:06:34   All I want is to see those things.

00:06:35   And once it's set up and it's doing those things,

00:06:37   I don't wanna mess with it.

00:06:38   - Yep, no, I feel the same way.

00:06:40   And I don't know, I will probably upgrade

00:06:43   to Catalina earlier than I did 10.14.

00:06:46   Because I'm stupid, but. (laughs)

00:06:51   But there are some things in Catalina

00:06:52   that I really do wanna use.

00:06:54   I do feel like there is one huge tent pole feature

00:06:57   in 10.15 Catalina.

00:06:59   and that is what they're calling sidecar, which is the ability to use an iPad, either

00:07:05   wirelessly or connected, like by a USB cable, as an external display. And then you could

00:07:12   like draw on it and stuff like that.

00:07:14   Yeah. No, I used to use Duet. I think I still have Duet. During the summer, I'm usually

00:07:24   back in the States most of the summer, and I will occasionally, especially during earning

00:07:28   season when I'm looking at spreadsheets and stuff like that. I have a 13-inch iPad and

00:07:33   I will use it just as a screen. Duet doesn't do the whole touch thing. It's just a secondary

00:07:39   display but it is very useful.

00:07:42   And then there's the third-party thing called Luma Display.

00:07:45   Yeah, that's the one that actually does incorporate the touch stuff. That requires a kernel extension,

00:07:51   I think.

00:07:52   No, sort of. So, Luma Display is a very intriguing product. I would still encourage people to

00:08:03   look at it and consider it. There's a very strong chance that this sidecar thing in Catalina

00:08:08   is going to Sherlock them and put them out of business or at least put that product out

00:08:12   of business. But the idea with Luma, I think it was a Kickstarter and if it wasn't Kickstarter,

00:08:17   was, you know, Indiegogo or one of those similar things, but they raised money. It was a hardware

00:08:23   and software product. So there's two things that could go wrong. And they completely pulled

00:08:27   it off. I believe they were on time. And it works exactly as advertised. So it's like,

00:08:32   oh, yeah, they're totally wireless. Whereas Yeah, the duet required a cord. And the other

00:08:37   thing with duet is the duet didn't fill the screen properly. Whereas just looking at the

00:08:40   website of the Luna display, it Yeah, it clearly looks like a much more Yeah, a much, much

00:08:46   much better product than what I was using.

00:08:47   So it's super clever. So the hardware part is a dongle and you have to buy the one for

00:08:52   your machine. So they have a DisplayPort one or whatever it's called for like an older

00:08:56   MacBook Pro like mine and a USB-C one for the newer ones with Thunderbolt. And you know

00:09:02   how you can plug an actual external display into those ports. Well, this is just a little

00:09:07   dongle like what used to come with like a mouse. You know, like you'd plug a thing into

00:09:11   USB-C or like a clicker for a presentation and you'd put a little wireless thing into

00:09:17   your USB port and it only sticks out a little tiny bit but it goes into display port. By

00:09:24   which I mean lowercase d, lowercase p, display port, the port on your computer that thinks

00:09:31   it's for displays. So as soon as it goes in, your Mac thinks a display has been plugged

00:09:36   in and says, "Okay, now you have an external display." But it's just a little wireless

00:09:39   dongle that communicates to their app on your iPad and all of a sudden, boom, your iPad

00:09:46   is an external display for your Mac. The kernel extension part is without installing their

00:09:52   kernel extension, you don't get retina.

00:09:54   Chuck Liddell You don't get retina.

00:09:56   Jay Haynes Retina, oh, that's what it is. Okay.

00:09:58   Chuck Liddell So the iPad shows up with non-retina graphics.

00:10:04   So every pixel is actually four pixels on the display.

00:10:09   And in a weird way, when you have a retina display showing a non-retina thing, to me

00:10:16   it looks worse than an actual non-retina display.

00:10:20   Because if you have an actual non-retina display, like an older iPad pre-retina, the pixels

00:10:26   are fuzzy.

00:10:28   So the fact that it doesn't look as good as retina, but there's a fuzziness to it

00:10:32   that kind of, it's like de facto anti-aliasing almost.

00:10:36   Whereas when you have a retina display

00:10:38   and it's using four pixels to show one pixel,

00:10:42   the pixeliness is super sharp.

00:10:46   It is very pixelated.

00:10:47   And I just didn't, I bought it to support them.

00:10:52   I, you know, idiot that I am,

00:10:54   it's like, ah sure, I'll spend 200 bucks

00:10:56   or whatever it was to see if this works.

00:10:58   And then I saw that it worked.

00:10:59   And it's not that I don't trust them.

00:11:01   I believe that the team is like former Apple engineers. And I know people who use this

00:11:07   product and have the kernel extension displayed, and I've never once heard of anybody saying,

00:11:12   "Yeah, I crashed my machine," or anything. No problems at all. So I'm not even bad-mouthing

00:11:18   it. I just didn't feel like installing it. So I didn't use it.

00:11:21   It's $70 for the record.

00:11:22   There you go. $70. So it's something for people to look at. But anyway, it might be

00:11:28   put out of business, unfortunately. We'll see what they do. But anyway, so I'll probably

00:11:34   upgrade to 10.15 earlier than later.

00:11:36   I'm just hoping that those new MacBook Pros come out because I will be first in line to

00:11:41   get them. The problem for me is I've committed to a certain deadline, so I have to write

00:11:50   four days a week. And so to travel with the constant fear that my computer is going to

00:11:57   stop working. It just drives me up the wall. I feel like this current computer I have is

00:12:06   just like a constant low grade worry, like all the time. If I see some speck of dust

00:12:14   fall on it, or like, I just like...

00:12:16   Wait, which one do you have? What is your laptop?

00:12:20   I have the MacBook escape. So the one with only two ports and non-touch bar.

00:12:25   Is it the new one? Like the one that was updated?

00:12:27   No, no, it's not. It's 2017 maybe, something like that. So yeah, so it has the old, I think

00:12:38   it's the second generation, but it doesn't have the membrane or whatever it is. But the

00:12:45   other thing too is I feel, I'm just getting older, and the 13s are nice, but I feel, especially

00:12:51   those summers when I'm using it every day. I'm like, "Yeah, I could use a bigger screen

00:12:56   here." So anyway, I never fixed my screen. I don't want to now. It's charming to me.

00:13:01   So I'm rocking it until Apple comes out with a MacBook Pro that I feel is appealing, hopefully

00:13:06   soon. So maybe this beloved computer will be retired soon. I don't know. But anyway,

00:13:12   I kicked the cord out. And every time that happens, I think, "I wonder what the hell

00:13:16   I'll do when that's a USB-C thing and it's gonna like is it gonna yank my whole

00:13:20   table I haven't heard a lot of stories from people like like it when when Apple first went

00:13:27   USB-C only for power and everything and got rid of magsafe with these there was lots of people saying wow, that's a shame

00:13:34   I loved magsafe seems like an odd feature to do away with

00:13:37   but I haven't really heard stories from people like

00:13:41   Son of a bitching because they kick the cable and their laptop fell over the fell off the table or desk and broke

00:13:47   I haven't heard that so maybe the cable, you know the USB C cables

00:13:51   Come out easily enough. I don't know

00:13:55   Yeah, I think they do come out easier. I yeah, I've I've found to be

00:14:00   Less of an issue than I thought as well and actually it's nice in some ways

00:14:04   I again one of my biggest cases is on airplanes and

00:14:08   that's

00:14:09   it's more likely they're just gonna kind of knock out the mag safe there and

00:14:13   When you don't want to and in this case the fact that it's a little sturdier is is a nice thing

00:14:18   I could and I would imagine having it on both sides

00:14:20   You could plug it on either side would be pretty handy, but the one I have only has ports on one side

00:14:24   So it's it's kind of a moot point. Yeah, the two side thing would be nice, but you don't have it

00:14:28   Well, I I mean, I mean I just I have no desire for a touch bar

00:14:33   So but that's the that's what we'll see. Do you think the 16-inch or whatever this rumored new one is gonna have a touch bar?

00:14:40   That's a good question. I think yes, and I wonder though because

00:14:45   It seems like universally the touch bar is considered either

00:14:51   I don't know anyone that likes a touch bar like literally. I don't think I know a single person

00:14:55   I would say the range of opinion only goes from

00:14:58   despising it to

00:15:01   ambivalence

00:15:03   And I don't know anybody who actually likes it like to me the the best sentiment

00:15:07   I can I know of anybody who has about it is yeah, yeah, that's okay. You know it's yeah

00:15:13   It's fine. It's fine. Where's the whereas I know other people who?

00:15:18   Truly just truly despise it well

00:15:20   It's interesting because they did dump the 3d touch on the phone which which I really liked. I'm

00:15:26   I'm disappointed that it's gone

00:15:28   I can understand like anything that's not discoverable is just sort of fundamentally problematic so I can understand why it's gone

00:15:35   But I I do I really like that phone 11 if the thing to say it's a it's a great phone

00:15:40   The camera is obviously amazing. I feel particularly great because I have the I have the green model with the

00:15:47   Yellow gold leather case so it has my green factors colors

00:15:52   Looks very sharp very sharp

00:15:54   But I do miss 3d touch a lot like a lot more than I expected

00:15:57   well, and the shame of it is

00:16:00   That we should skip have iPhone 11 as an entire topic so we can

00:16:05   table most of this for that but but I feel the shame of it with 3d touch is that

00:16:10   It's like now it's gone in all of the new phones

00:16:15   And so the future is clear that iOS devices. It's this haptic touch going forward

00:16:21   But the worst part is that for devices that do have 3d touch like a year-old iPhone. It's finally

00:16:28   implemented the way it should have been all along

00:16:31   where

00:16:33   I've been us. I don't know if I've written strongly enough about it

00:16:36   But all along I have thought the the discoverability is a bit of an issue, but I feel the bigger problem is the

00:16:43   has always been the

00:16:46   overloading of similar

00:16:49   That's right, because you had both long press and you had 3D touch at the same time.

00:16:54   Right.

00:16:55   That's a great point.

00:16:56   Yeah, you should only have one of the two.

00:16:57   And it'd be great if the only one was 3D touch instead of the only one is long press.

00:17:02   So just look no further than the home screen, an aspect of the iPhone that everybody has

00:17:06   to deal with in some way.

00:17:08   And a long press on an icon put you into jiggle mode to delete or rearrange apps, and a 3D

00:17:13   touch got you the shortcut menu.

00:17:15   But that is a really fine distinction in terms of-- I have always thought that 3D Touch should

00:17:21   just be a faster way to do a long touch.

00:17:25   It's a long touch without waiting for the long.

00:17:27   You can just skip that delay.

00:17:29   And now that's what it is if you still have a phone with 3D Touch, which is awesome, which

00:17:33   is what it should have been all along.

00:17:35   And it's unified the interface, and it's the same set of things.

00:17:38   And I have a new iPhone, and so I'm stuck with the delay.

00:17:42   And it really does annoy me.

00:17:44   I heard the ATP guys bitching about it.

00:17:46   I think I'm an episode behind now,

00:17:48   but their second to last episode was the episode

00:17:50   where Casey and Marco had just gotten their new phones

00:17:55   and were maybe even like the day or day before

00:17:59   they recorded and they were both being driven nuts

00:18:01   by the delay on the home screen

00:18:03   when you press and hold on the camera button.

00:18:05   - Well, the lock screen.

00:18:07   - Lock screen, I mean.

00:18:07   - Lock screen is particularly annoying.

00:18:09   - That's what I meant, lock screen.

00:18:10   You kind of get used to it after you've had the phone

00:18:13   for a week or two, but not really.

00:18:16   I mean, it always seems like it should be faster.

00:18:19   And it is very, very strange that the phones are literally,

00:18:23   they literally have the fastest single core performance

00:18:27   of any computing device Apple has ever sold.

00:18:30   So on, you know, the iMac Pro is definitely

00:18:33   a faster computer at multi-core stuff.

00:18:35   And that's really what the pro workflows are optimized for.

00:18:38   So it's not a faster computer overall than an iMac Pro,

00:18:42   but on single core, which a lot of things you do

00:18:46   are on one thread, it is the fastest computer they sell.

00:18:50   It's a phone, a cell phone,

00:18:52   that is the fastest single core computer Apple sells.

00:18:55   And yet, getting to the camera takes longer,

00:18:57   which is very frustrating.

00:18:59   All right, let me take a break, thank our first sponsor.

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00:21:09   Hey, speaking of new laptops, Microsoft had an event two days ago, I believe.

00:21:20   They did.

00:21:23   Where was it?

00:21:24   This is right.

00:21:25   Where the hell did they even have it?

00:21:26   I was in New York, in New York City.

00:21:27   So you were down the road.

00:21:28   Yeah, I should have gone.

00:21:31   I don't think to ask for things like that until after the event.

00:21:34   Right.

00:21:35   Oh my gosh.

00:21:38   But it was really interesting.

00:21:41   You were up late, as you are right now.

00:21:43   I was up early.

00:21:44   I was following along live.

00:21:51   I thought it was an interesting event.

00:21:52   I think they're doing some interesting stuff.

00:21:54   And then at the very end, I think that they blew it.

00:21:58   But you commented, I know we were chatting with each other, that one of the first things

00:22:03   they did, and I don't know which segment it was, if they were talking about their laptop

00:22:06   or their two-in-ones with the detachable keyboards, but they made a pointed reference up there

00:22:12   in front of the audience that one of the things they would never compromise on is the keyboard.

00:22:19   We want to make sure that it always works. It's always there for you. Your computer

00:22:23   is something you can trust. And then what was great is not only did the presenter say

00:22:28   the keyboard, but before he said the keyboard, the slide like cut to the keyboard. So it

00:22:33   was like, it was like first a visual reminder and then like the pregnant pause and then

00:22:38   the actual statement of, of for example, the keyboard.

00:22:43   So I mean, the only thing they could have done to make it more clear would have been

00:22:46   to like pause the whole thing and start winking. To know what

00:22:54   they're referring to. And, you know, that's fair game. You

00:22:59   know, Apple did this to themselves. You know, it's is a

00:23:03   legitimate, you know, like, Microsoft has had some ham

00:23:06   fisted marketing, to say the least over the years. I mean,

00:23:10   they held a funeral for the iPhone at one point. And they

00:23:14   literally had a funeral procession marching around Redmond, Washington. Turns out iPhone

00:23:21   wasn't dead at the time. Turns out. But this keyboard thing with MacBooks is a legitimate

00:23:30   issue and we can argue about the severity of it. Certainly it seems as though it has

00:23:36   been mitigated to some degree finally with this, the combination of the membrane and

00:23:43   quote-unquote material change that they made over the summer with the current keyboards if you go

00:23:49   in and buy one today or if you get your old one serviced but they're not great keyboards period

00:23:55   in my opinion i even if your key work as they are designed on your keyboard i just don't think

00:24:01   they're great keyboards so i feel like and to me as a writer uh the keyboard is very important

00:24:08   I'm also very picky about my keyboard, so it's even more important.

00:24:12   And there are an awful lot of people out there, maybe their business card doesn't say writer,

00:24:16   but there are certainly an awful lot of people out there whose day-to-day work involves a

00:24:20   lot of typing.

00:24:22   That is just what it means to be a worker in our generation, in the world today.

00:24:28   You send emails, you do presentations, you're in Slack, or I guess in the Microsoft world,

00:24:33   you're on Teams or whatever they call their thing.

00:24:37   doing work are doing a lot of typing. So that's fair game, good for them. And Microsoft has

00:24:44   always made good peripherals. We know they've always made good mice.

00:24:50   I have a Microsoft keyboard sitting in front of me right now.

00:24:52   You are a devotee of the Microsoft keyboard. What's it called? Is that the one that Marco

00:24:57   has too?

00:24:58   The Sculpt. Yeah, the same one as Marco. Yeah, the first version of the Sculpt keyboard.

00:25:02   It's a great keyboard. It's just a great keyboard. The keys are great. My wife has

00:25:12   a Surface laptop also. It's a great computer. I didn't like the look of that weird felt

00:25:21   sort of thing, but actually, once you actually use it, it's not nearly as bad. Actually,

00:25:24   she has this blue color that looks quite sharp. The keyboard is great. The hardware is fantastic.

00:25:31   actually, you know, Microsoft laptops, they actually have good trackpads, which is always

00:25:37   like a bugaboo on PCs in general. Like the hardware is really, really, really good. I

00:25:42   mean, obviously, it's Windows, it's not Mac OS, and that's, you know, for many folks,

00:25:47   a deal breaker. But as far as just the pure hardware goes, I think given this keyboard

00:25:52   issue, I think it's pretty safe to say that Microsoft makes the best laptops in the industry.

00:25:59   They do. There's nothing—they work—it's what they said. So, they look great, they

00:26:05   have a better port selection, they have great screens, they have great keyboards, they have

00:26:09   great trackpads.

00:26:10   It's a fair shot.

00:26:12   And that's a recurring theme in my writing for years, ever since I've been doing it,

00:26:17   that for me, the OS is primary and the hardware is secondary. And I've always said that

00:26:23   I would much rather, by far, without a moment's hesitation, use macOS on PC hardware than use

00:26:31   Windows on MacBook hardware. And the same way with iOS and Android, but it's far stronger of

00:26:37   a preference, Mac versus Windows, than Android versus iOS. Even now, that's a strong preference.

00:26:45   It's funny because in many respects, that's what a Surface is. It's basically MacBook quality,

00:26:50   but it runs Windows.

00:26:52   But I'm fully cognizant of the fact that there are many people who don't feel that way and

00:26:59   have either through ambivalence or through deliberate choice in the software that they

00:27:07   choose to use can switch between platforms rather easily. Certainly, if you have a mostly web

00:27:16   app workflow, it's almost trivial to switch from one OS, you know, Windows to Mac to Chrome OS,

00:27:25   because you're just using browser tabs. And there's, you know, people who use real apps who

00:27:32   still don't, you know, are fed up, you know, I get email from people who are like, you know,

00:27:36   I've been a Mac user for a while, and I had a bum keyboard, so to hell with it. I bought

00:27:41   some Windows thing, and I'm very happy with it.

00:27:45   So there's certainly a lot of people like that, and Microsoft is certainly pitching

00:27:49   them.

00:27:50   And it's more than just that the hardware is good, too.

00:27:52   The other thing that I always thought was part of the Surface appeal—and you wrote

00:27:59   about this this week on Stratechery and your coverage of the Microsoft event—is why do

00:28:04   they even make hardware, right?

00:28:05   It's a good question, right?

00:28:07   And it's certainly not important to Microsoft financially.

00:28:10   I always thought I thought the one thing maybe you didn't mention in your coverage was that

00:28:13   part of it was I think internally they were just a little fed up with all the shovelware

00:28:18   and crap where that all the OEMs put in that in the same way that why Google makes the

00:28:24   pixel hardware I feel like Microsoft makes the surface stuff as to at least have one

00:28:29   set of here's high quality hardware with Windows as we meant it to be used by the user.

00:28:35   Yep. That was definitely a part of it. And not having the crapper on it, and also just

00:28:42   the little stuff, like I mentioned the trackpad thing, like the, just all this small stuff

00:28:48   works right. There's attention to detail throughout the machine. And for sure that

00:28:53   was a motivation. The reason why I've always been a big critic of Surface generally, it's

00:28:58   a very sort of like, it's just because the origin of Surface, and this is something I

00:29:03   this week. I mean, it was such a delicate there. The reason we started Surface seven years ago,

00:29:08   and it was all total BS, because I was there at the time. And so in the day that I went back and

00:29:16   linked to Steve Ballmer's presentation, which was, there was all about Windows, Windows, Windows,

00:29:21   and Surface. Surface was a manifestation of Windows, and Windows was the center of Microsoft,

00:29:25   etc, etc. And that part of Microsoft needed to die. Like, it needed to not be a company about

00:29:31   Windows. And so that was why I was always against the Surface because in my mind, Surface existed

00:29:37   because it was meant to be a physical manifestation of Windows. And anything Windows related needed to

00:29:42   die. And now I'm like, you know, well, the Surface, honestly, it's not that big a deal. It's $6 billion

00:29:48   in revenue. Microsoft did what, 120 billion last year or something like that. And you know, the

00:29:52   margins are much smaller than the rest of the company. But you know what, Satya Nadella killed

00:29:57   Windows. It's one of the most incredible sort of corporate change jobs ever, the way he really

00:30:04   transformed the culture there. And so you know what, if they want to mess around making hardware

00:30:08   and very good hardware at that, and frankly, from what I can see, they seem to be pretty popular. I

00:30:13   mean, I see them around, fair bit, probably more than the other PCIC. That's fine. It's fine,

00:30:21   because like the the reason I worried about Surface's existence is gone and all those other

00:30:28   reasons like we want to have actually have nice PCs and we don't want to have much of crap we're

00:30:32   on it and we want to sort of have more control and hey we'll we'll take that extra bit of margin if

00:30:37   we sell into the corporate place where we get the hardware margin and the software margin that's

00:30:40   fine it's great I I'm glad they're doing it and and you know what I'm glad someone is up there

00:30:46   making fun of Apple or having for having shit keyboards because heaven knows Apple deserves it

00:30:49   so good for them. Yeah, and it's sort of like, in a way, you're right that what Nadella has done

00:30:59   is truly extraordinary because, and I think if you want to boil down what was the reason for

00:31:06   showing Balmer the door and switching, you know, putting Nadella in, I mean clearly there were

00:31:13   several strategic shifts that Nadella introduced, but I think if you really want to boil it down to

00:31:19   a nut, it was weird. It's no longer Windows first.

00:31:26   That's right. That's absolutely right.

00:31:28   And it's not like Windows has been put in the ash heap. They still…

00:31:32   No, they still make a lot of money off of Windows, right? Which is fine, but it's

00:31:36   not the driving force of the company like it was.

00:31:39   No, but in another sense, by focusing on what was important, like Office productivity apps

00:31:46   And the Azure stuff is certainly very important to them too.

00:31:50   The cloud stuff is very successful.

00:31:52   But like with the Office stuff, in a sense,

00:31:56   the strategy hasn't changed at all.

00:31:58   The idea, the old idea was we'll have Windows everywhere

00:32:01   and therefore we'll be able to have our apps everywhere.

00:32:04   Well, their apps are still everywhere.

00:32:05   And it's, in fact, there are more places

00:32:07   because now they're, you know,

00:32:10   I think when Ballmer was still there,

00:32:11   they were still sort of sitting on iPad apps

00:32:14   that for Office that they had that were like ready.

00:32:17   Yeah, that's right. They were built under Balmer, but he wouldn't release them until the Windows

00:32:21   version is ready. And so when Nadella came in, the first presentation he did is about a month,

00:32:27   month in, month, two months in, was Unveil Office for iPad. And it was, it was a, and yes, they were

00:32:34   built under Balmer. And maybe by the end, Balmer said, "Okay, fine. I'll let this sit until you

00:32:38   come out." I don't, I mean, who knows what the mechanics were, but it was such a perfect sort

00:32:42   of like coming out party for Nadella. Do you like, like, no, like Windows doesn't call the shots

00:32:47   anymore. Right. And you know, it was an important way of saying it was symbolic, right? And it was

00:32:53   sort of like, exactly. You know, Steve Jobs did the same thing when he came back to Apple in 1997.

00:33:00   Well, that's such a great analogy. I wish I would have made that before. You're right. It's the

00:33:03   exact same thing. It's the exact same thing. And what Jobs did was launch the Think Different ad

00:33:09   campaign. And because it was he wanted to say he wanted something

00:33:13   out the door that said, Hey, Apple is different now. There's

00:33:17   a new there's a new team in town. And a product takes too

00:33:20   long, right? Because it jobs and the next crew came in, and they

00:33:26   had years of work ahead of them. They underestimated it, of

00:33:30   course, because everybody underestimates how long software

00:33:31   is going to take. But what we now know is Mac OS X didn't come

00:33:34   out till 2001. It was four years ahead.

00:33:37   It wasn't really usable until 2003.

00:33:39   Yeah, and the iMac is the more important thing.

00:33:43   But the iMac, they had to start from scratch when Jobs came in and realized that there

00:33:47   was this guy named Johnny Ive and a great industrial design team.

00:33:53   They got working on it very soon, but they still had to wait for it.

00:33:55   So what could they get out the door quickly?

00:33:57   An ad campaign.

00:33:58   Well, Nadella, luckily enough, had these iPad apps there ready.

00:34:04   Just polish them up.

00:34:05   Let's get them out.

00:34:06   It'll tell the world, hey, there's a new team

00:34:09   running Microsoft, we have a new strategy.

00:34:11   But if anything, the let's put our office apps

00:34:14   everywhere strategy, everywhere includes more places now

00:34:18   than when it was Windows, Windows, Windows,

00:34:20   'cause it's still, there's still first class apps

00:34:23   on Windows, of course, but now they're everywhere.

00:34:25   They're on Android, which we'll have more to talk about

00:34:27   in a moment, iOS, and of course, the Mac still.

00:34:32   If anything, it's more strategic.

00:34:35   it's almost impossible to buy a computer today where you can't run MS Office.

00:34:39   Well, actually, I thought that what you were going to go back to was not the campaign.

00:34:43   I thought you were going to go back to the Macworld Boston where Bill Gates appears on

00:34:47   the screen and Steve Jobs is up there saying, "Look, we can't be fighting this battle

00:34:52   anymore. We've got to move on." And to me, that's an even better comparison to

00:34:58   this because it's quite literally embracing your competitor and that's what Nadel did.

00:35:03   you're right. He was fortunate enough that the product had already been built. So all he had to

00:35:09   do was release it. And that was even more powerful than putting someone on screen or something on

00:35:14   those lines. But I think the the idea and the impact that has not just on the outside world,

00:35:21   but on your own employees and your own company. And it's like, "Shit, Steve Jobs on stage with

00:35:27   Bill Gates. And now it's like, "Oh, Satya Nadella's first act, our new CO's first act is to

00:35:33   is to walk around with an iPad in his hand." Yeah, that's a good one, too. I mean, it was,

00:35:37   you know, they're all of the same mentality, though. Let's, let's, let's, you know, let's,

00:35:42   let's show how different we are. And you're right, you know, it, I would say the Think Different

00:35:46   campaign was the one that was first out the door, but less important. More important was that Mac

00:35:50   World New York keynote where they buried the hatchet. I think very close to an accurate

00:35:58   quote without googling it is, "We have to let go." This is Steve Jobs. "We have to let go of the

00:36:05   idea that for Apple to win, Microsoft has to lose. You have to let go." And it did not go over well.

00:36:11   well, there were like, I don't think he got, I think there was

00:36:13   booze. There were some booze and it was just like, whatever the

00:36:21   sound, the collective sound of an audience going, what the

00:36:26   fuck? That's the noise that was in the audience. It, you know,

00:36:31   there were some scattered booze. Because there are a lot of Apple

00:36:35   fans at the time who really did see this as a holy war. And

00:36:41   Jobs was exactly right. You know, and like I often say about

00:36:44   Apple, you know, they're more often than not, when they tell

00:36:48   you something they mean, they mean exactly what they say. And

00:36:51   what he said, it wasn't like subterfuge. It wasn't Yeah, I'm

00:36:54   just gonna say that we're burying the hatchet with

00:36:57   Microsoft, but I've got a secret plan where we're gonna kill him.

00:36:59   No, he met it. He meant every single word that he said. Yep.

00:37:03   And look, absolutely, you know, look at the years, you know,

00:37:05   look at the success that they had by letting go of that

00:37:08   notion.

00:37:09   And what he said, actually, I wrote about this a while ago. So I actually was able to

00:37:13   find the speech. And you said it almost perfectly. We have to let go of the notion that for Apple

00:37:16   to win, my chef has to lose. And then his next line, I think, is just as good, which

00:37:20   he says, we have to embrace a notion that for Apple to win, Apple has to do a really

00:37:25   good job. And like, there's something very refreshing about that. Because the fact of

00:37:32   matter is, most of Apple's products then were kind of crappy. And certainly the operating

00:37:37   system was a total mess. We've talked about this before. It's liberating in a way. It's

00:37:44   like, you know what? We just need to do what we're good at and we will succeed. I think

00:37:49   it was the same thing with Microsoft. They were fighting this losing battle to try to

00:37:53   prop Windows up. What they needed to do was take their assets that were still valuable,

00:38:00   that were still effective, and the new assets that were brought online in terms of Azure

00:38:04   not, and let them win by being good. Don't let them win by being tied to Windows. Let

00:38:10   them win on their own merits, and that's exactly what they've done.

00:38:15   I'm not particularly interested in Microsoft's latest products because I'm not going to

00:38:19   use Windows, but I'm glad they're there. But I get confused by the names. The one that

00:38:22   I like is I like the one called the Surface Laptop because I know which one it is. It's

00:38:27   the laptop. They also have the Surface Pro X, I guess. So this is confusing.

00:38:35   So I will explain it. The Surface Pro is a regular x86 PC. The Surface Pro X is an ARM

00:38:44   PC, is ARM-based. So, but yeah, it is a little confusing. It looks like great hardware. I

00:38:52   mean, it's basically an iPad.

00:38:53   Yeah. Or an iPad Pro. I would say it's iPad Pro class because it starts at $1,000.

00:38:57   dollars. Yep. And it's got the keyboard attachment as the cool like the stylus goes into the keyboard,

00:39:03   which is really nifty. So you don't have like a separate thing floating around. But yeah,

00:39:10   and then they had the earbuds, you know, as I put them Twitter, are you a tech company if you don't

00:39:18   sell earbuds? And then obviously the dual screen devices, they're not gonna watch for a while.

00:39:24   The earbuds was the—I was on my way to a meeting at the time, and so the earbuds—which

00:39:30   is a very strange thing for me to say. I don't really have a lot of meetings, but I was on my way

00:39:35   to a meeting in New York, and I was watching the Microsoft event on my phone with my AirPods

00:39:44   as I was getting ready to go to the subway, and I knew I'd lose the stream on the subway.

00:39:50   and the earbuds was the last segment I saw. I just had to laugh because their pitch for the

00:39:55   earbuds was entirely based on integration with Office. I know. It was pretty funny.

00:40:01   Which I laugh, but maybe they know their audience. You know, like, but it was like, how did...

00:40:08   You know what, though? I'll tell you why I didn't mind. I mean, it was a little... I mean,

00:40:13   it was kind of silly. Like, who buys earbuds because they work with your favorite

00:40:17   Office productivity suite. And favorite probably deserves some air quotes around that. But

00:40:22   you know what it was? It was, that's a Microsoft with his head screwed on straight.

00:40:28   You know what I mean? Like, yeah, at the end of the day, in a vacuum, it's ridiculous that

00:40:32   you're going to try to sell AirPods because they work with Office. But if you zoom out,

00:40:36   like that's emblematic of a Microsoft that knows where their bread is buttered.

00:40:39   What matters is actually Office and Azure. And that's the cool part of the

00:40:46   EarPods, whatever they're called, is that they do integrate with Azure and they do this live

00:40:49   captioning and live translation and stuff like that. Basically, what Google promised with their

00:40:54   Google buds last year, but it didn't really work very well. It certainly appeared to work much

00:40:58   better with what Microsoft demonstrated. We'll see once it has come out. And so it's a product

00:41:04   that ties in with Office and ties in with Azure. And maybe that's kind of silly for the product in

00:41:09   a vacuum. But for what that says about Microsoft, at least their head's in the right place.

00:41:14   I thought it was interesting too. I enjoyed watching the event and I thought that

00:41:18   I feel like Microsoft has this down and I feel like they do their events like this the right way

00:41:24   for them. I mean they're clearly smaller and lower key than Apple's. You know they're not in a big

00:41:29   uh a huge room. It is it they are definitely press events like the one thing like neil and i were

00:41:36   quite small yeah is that apple the one thing like that not to go too far digress but like the

00:41:42   the Charlie Worzel column in the New York Times,

00:41:45   goofily arguing that Apple should stop doing events.

00:41:49   One of the misguided premises of that was that

00:41:51   Apple's events are press events, that they're media events.

00:41:54   They are not, they are Apple events,

00:41:57   and they happen to invite a small number of media

00:42:00   to observe them.

00:42:01   Whereas Microsoft's thing this week was a press event.

00:42:05   That was for the press,

00:42:07   and most of the people there were press.

00:42:09   But anyway, one of the things that I saw,

00:42:11   that struck me was how different their demos are than Apple's demos.

00:42:15   Apple's demos are very short, very flashy, very visual, and everything is set up.

00:42:21   And it's like if they want to show you the new side-by-side stuff in the iPad, it's like,

00:42:27   here's this pretty web page with beautiful pictures, and here's a note

00:42:33   that already has a couple of nice pictures.

00:42:35   And here's a -- we're going to drag this beautiful picture from the left

00:42:38   to the right and let it go.

00:42:39   and look at that, you can drag a picture

00:42:41   and then it's onto the next thing, right?

00:42:43   Like the demo's over, all they showed you

00:42:45   was a beautiful photo being dragged

00:42:47   from an app on the left to an app on the right.

00:42:49   Whereas the Microsoft demos, it's like,

00:42:51   you get to spend like four minutes

00:42:53   watching somebody work in Excel.

00:42:55   (laughing)

00:42:57   - That was actually where the low key coolest demos

00:43:01   was when they were writing in Excel

00:43:03   and then it was changing it into actual text

00:43:05   as they were doing it.

00:43:07   But yeah, but it's like you are literally watching someone

00:43:10   literally write to yourself.

00:43:12   - It is exactly like if you work in a lowercase O office

00:43:16   environment and you pop into somebody's cubicle

00:43:19   and you're just like, "Hey, what are you doing?"

00:43:21   You're just watching them over their shoulder

00:43:22   for a couple of minutes while they put together

00:43:25   a spreadsheet or a presentation.

00:43:27   And again, I laugh.

00:43:28   I laugh only because it's different.

00:43:30   I'm not saying that that's wrong.

00:43:31   I think that they know their audience

00:43:32   and it's probably the appropriate type of demo

00:43:36   for the audience and for the message they have.

00:43:38   But it is kind of comical because it really,

00:43:40   it couldn't be more different than Apple's.

00:43:42   And Apple's is, if anything, gone further over the years

00:43:46   into, not that it's unrealistic, but that it is really more,

00:43:50   it's almost edited, you know?

00:43:52   It's like they have the whole thing queued up ready to go.

00:43:55   And even watching them do it live on stage

00:43:59   isn't that different than what you would see

00:44:01   if they cut it into a 30-second commercial

00:44:02   to show you how it works.

00:44:04   - Yep.

00:44:05   So, the ear—I think they're just called earbuds? Surface earbuds? I don't know.

00:44:11   Yeah, surface earbuds.

00:44:14   And before I cracked wise about them, I wanted to make sure—check my bias. I showed them

00:44:22   to my wife, and I said, "Hey, do these look goofy?" And she goes, "They look like

00:44:27   an Apple Watch charger or those spacers that people put in their earlobes."

00:44:32   Yes, that's what I thought of. The spacers and the earlobes is exactly what I thought

00:44:36   of.

00:44:37   So I didn't want to make—I thought of that too, and I didn't want to make fun

00:44:40   of that. I felt like, you know, that paints me, you know, if you want to have spacers

00:44:45   and earlobes, you have spacers and earlobes. So I didn't want to make fun of that. So

00:44:49   I thought that the Apple Watch charger joke was the way to go, so I used it. And then

00:44:53   like later in the day—it's nice to know, see, she thought she was getting a dig in

00:44:57   on me. She says, "Ha, I see I'm writing for Daring Fireball now," because I used

00:45:03   her joke, but secretly pleased me because she often claims not to read my website.

00:45:07   And I know that she does.

00:45:09   John: There you go. Are we going to talk about charcoal at some point in this podcast? That's

00:45:14   the real question.

00:45:15   [laughter]

00:45:16   Dave: Well, we might as well. Yeah, we could talk about charcoal.

00:45:20   [laughter]

00:45:21   (laughing)

00:45:22   - All right, let me just say that for the end.

00:45:24   We still gotta talk about the dual screen devices.

00:45:27   But we could save the charcoal for the end.

00:45:29   - All right, let me make a note

00:45:31   that we'll get back to charcoal.

00:45:33   Do you need any charcoal?

00:45:34   - Do I have a choice in the matter?

00:45:38   - No, it's on its way, actually.

00:45:40   Let me take a break though,

00:45:42   and thank our next sponsor, ExpressVPN.

00:45:45   You ever use public wifi, you ever get it to the airport,

00:45:49   get on the old public Wi-Fi in there because your cell connection is dead at the end of

00:45:54   the terminal, but they've got SFO public Wi-Fi or whatever in a coffee shop maybe. Maybe

00:46:01   it's because you're on a Mac, you're not ready to tether or something like that.

00:46:06   "Hey, we've all been there. Maybe it's a hotel, something like that." Well, guess what? It's

00:46:10   not really secure. In fact, it's kind of unsecure. You ever get on there? You ever get on the

00:46:14   airplane? You get on the Wi-Fi? There's a situation where you have to, and all of a

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00:48:01   So the other thing, the thing that stole the show at Microsoft's event, they closed the

00:48:06   show with two products. They had two more things, the Surface Duo and the Surface Neo.

00:48:15   Which, again, I've already forgotten which one's which.

00:48:19   I know, I was just thinking the same thing.

00:48:21   I think the Neo is the tablet/courier one, the Duo is the phone, but I'm not certain.

00:48:27   Oh no, I think it's the other way around.

00:48:29   Son of a bitch.

00:48:31   God damn it.

00:48:33   Yep, no, I'm right.

00:48:35   Duo is the phone.

00:48:37   Duo is the Android and Neo is the Windows device.

00:48:39   See, I was thinking Neo is an N and Android has an N, but that's wrong. Oh, man. All right.

00:48:46   So, Duo is the phone. I don't know how I'm going to remember this. But anyway, it's a

00:48:55   phone. I thought Lauren Goode, she had wired, she had a preview. She got to, I guess, talk

00:49:01   to them a week before or a couple of days before the event and had a feature story and

00:49:07   an interview with, what's his name? Panaya.

00:49:12   - Both, I'm not sure either.

00:49:16   Panos Panay and Satya Nadella, both of them.

00:49:21   - Right, and Panos Panay is sort of the,

00:49:24   he's the Surface guy.

00:49:25   It's like Surface, the whole Surface division

00:49:27   is sort of his baby at Microsoft.

00:49:30   And she had a great story, and she's like,

00:49:34   whatever you do, don't call it a phone,

00:49:35   even though it's a thing that runs Android and can fit in your pocket and can make phone

00:49:40   calls but don't call on a phone.

00:49:42   There's a remarkable quote in here, just so we can get to the devices in a moment,

00:49:46   but just going back to what we were talking about before where she asked Adela if they

00:49:51   would ever bring back Windows Mobile and they both said no. And he says, "The operating

00:49:56   system is no longer the most important layer for us. What is most important for us is the

00:50:00   app model and the experience, how people are going to write apps, blah, blah, blah."

00:50:03   And just to hear, I mean, that's clearly the case, but it's still remarkable to have

00:50:09   a Microsoft CEO state, baldly, that the operating system is not important to us.

00:50:15   Right.

00:50:16   Well, and you know what, and it goes hand in hand with the fact that they're switching

00:50:19   their browser to using the Chromium engine, you know, I think it's called Blink.

00:50:27   It's like what WebKit is to Safari, Blink is to Chrome.

00:50:31   that's what Microsoft is now using for their browser, which, again, go back to like 1998

00:50:37   and tell somebody that and, you know, especially somebody like me who was doing web development at

00:50:41   the time. And it's like, it's like, you know, what are you gonna tell me next? Donald Trump is the

00:50:47   President of the United States? I mean, oh, man. I mean, it's crazy. That's it. That's the way they

00:50:52   what kind of world are you guys living in in 2019? You know, but there we are. But you're right. You

00:50:58   You know, they're making a phone, but it's not a phone.

00:51:01   It folds.

00:51:03   - It's definitely a phone.

00:51:04   It's not coming out for a year.

00:51:05   - I wanted to see pictures of the damn thing

00:51:07   next to other phones, just to get a better idea

00:51:11   of how big it is.

00:51:12   It's clearly big for a phone, even when folded up,

00:51:15   but some people really like these much bigger,

00:51:19   much bigger than even the max iPhone phones.

00:51:21   Some people like them.

00:51:23   It certainly is interesting.

00:51:25   It folds, but it's not a folding screen.

00:51:27   is two screens with a seam in between. And then they've got two of them. They've got

00:51:31   the phone size one and then the other one, I guess that's the Neo. So I guess the way

00:51:35   I'll remember it is it goes alphabetical order by size, Duo then Neo. All right.

00:51:40   Oh, there you go. All right. And then Pro. Then laptop kind of screws it up. Yeah. I

00:51:47   mean, it's interesting because in some respects, if you want to go with the whole, like, this

00:51:52   is all symbolism and none of it really matters. Then like, you know, I think as you know,

00:51:57   Microsoft launching a phone that runs Android is like the tombstone on the Windows grave.

00:52:04   I mean, it doesn't get any more sort of extreme than that. That noted, I don't know,

00:52:08   I kind of wish, like I thought the Neo was a great sort of one more thing. Microsoft,

00:52:14   there's this, there's this product called the Courier, this sort of legendary product

00:52:20   that was that was never released. And everyone's like, Oh, it's so

00:52:23   amazing that that was this two screen product. And and you

00:52:26   bring this on, it's like, Oh, I remember they were gonna do that

00:52:29   one time. And it's like, it's something new and interesting

00:52:31   and innovative. And you can even get the I can understand where

00:52:34   you're saying this, you know, announcing this a year early,

00:52:36   because you want to rewrite, we want developers to write

00:52:39   programs for two screens and stuff on those lines. And I

00:52:43   thought that was fine. Like the phone, it's like, I guess I

00:52:47   guess I get it. I don't know, I guess I feel like the Neo was

00:52:51   fine. The duo's like, okay, that's the way if we're, this is

00:52:56   all about symbolism, then by all means, launch, you know,

00:52:59   announce it all you want. I'm a little unsure about what they're

00:53:03   trying to accomplish there. But hey, they announced they

00:53:06   announced an Android phone. So there you go.

00:53:08   That's not coming out until the end of 2020 by there. It's

00:53:12   Right. It's, I don't know. And then I went to put these show

00:53:17   notes together. And and for, you know, for the me and you talking

00:53:21   here, and it was actually hard to find links to the other

00:53:24   products, because all of the stuff, like, yeah, everyone

00:53:28   talks about that. Everything like on the entire front page of

00:53:31   the verge is is about the duo in the Neo. Do you have to go to

00:53:35   like page two to find the stuff that you know, is actually

00:53:38   shipping?

00:53:39   Yeah, yeah. And like, I don't know, like the way I mean, again, if you do just the Neo, it's like,

00:53:46   okay, yeah, Windows, hardcore Windows developers, I could see them spending time in the next year

00:53:50   is to be the hot device in Windows world. And you know, they'll adapt their applications. I mean,

00:53:56   but the duo what Android developers going to put in special support for the duo? Like,

00:54:01   what are we accomplishing by announcing a year early? No one's gonna go out of their way to

00:54:04   support it. I mean, I don't know. Like I said, I can buy the Neo and announcing it a year ahead of

00:54:10   time because you want developer support, but that doesn't actually make sense for the duo. It kind

00:54:15   of felt like they just, they, they, they're making it an Android product and they wanted to announce

00:54:20   it and say, huh, look at this. And, um, yeah, I, I didn't quite get it, but whatever. Like I said,

00:54:26   it doesn't really matter. So. All right. Well, so we got here, uh, I guess that's enough Microsoft

00:54:34   Let's talk iPhone.

00:54:36   So what'd you get?

00:54:37   You got the iPhone 11 Pro.

00:54:40   - iPhone 11 Pro, I think it's the perfect size.

00:54:42   With the old version, when they had the WIPs,

00:54:46   I thought it was too small,

00:54:47   and so I did do a couple years of the large ones,

00:54:51   which I didn't like, it was a little big,

00:54:52   but I just found the screen too small on the other ones.

00:54:54   Once the X came out and it went edge to edge,

00:54:57   it got the screen size that I wanted, fit in the hand,

00:55:00   so I'm very happy with the size.

00:55:03   So no need to change and I'm very pleased with it.

00:55:08   - And you got the yellow leather cover?

00:55:10   - I have the yellow leather cover with the green case.

00:55:13   It really is very, very Greenbit Packers like.

00:55:15   I think the yellow looks great when it's just sitting

00:55:18   on the table with the screen up,

00:55:21   it's this yellow edge around it.

00:55:23   Yeah, I'm pretty pleased with it.

00:55:25   - And how's your battery life?

00:55:27   - I did get the clear case originally.

00:55:29   I ordered it with a clear case.

00:55:30   So like, oh, finally they actually have a color

00:55:32   for the high-end phone.

00:55:33   I always liked the colors. But of course, I'm gonna get the high-end phone because I'm fortunate to

00:55:40   do that. But I've always gotten the weather cases previously. And I was not a fan of the clear case.

00:55:50   I felt it ended up looking grimy on the back. I didn't like the feel of it. The buttons were

00:55:54   terrible. So it lasted about a week. And then I went to the new Apple store here in Taipei. And

00:56:02   I actually didn't know there was yellow and

00:56:04   And was pleasantly surprised to find this yellow and and I am a happy camper

00:56:10   I have a friend who has the clear case. He likes it a lot. I think it's you know

00:56:17   Polarizing though it you there like it or you don't it. Yeah, I mean, I'm used to the weather

00:56:23   So yeah, so it's probably more just a habit thing than anything. Yeah, I have a real problem with cases is that I

00:56:31   I spend probably over the years, in the 11 years of iPhone, I've probably spent close

00:56:38   somewhere in the very high 90s, 98% of my daily use without any case at all. I mean,

00:56:45   certainly in the early years, we didn't even have cases, right? Nobody put cases on like

00:56:48   the iPhone 3G that I know of. Cases didn't really come into a thing until like around

00:56:54   the iPhone 4. I guess maybe people did have iPhone 3 cases and that's why Apple made the

00:56:59   the bumpers, I guess I'm wrong that people did have iPhone 3 and 3GS, 3G and 3GS cases,

00:57:08   because that's when Apple, when the iPhone 4 shipped, they had the bumper. And it turned

00:57:12   out, you know, in the whole Andenikate thing where they were like, "Here, we'll just

00:57:15   give you the goddamn bumper." But I thought that the reason that they made the bumper

00:57:20   with the iPhone 4 was that Apple was, now I recall this, it seemed very clear that Apple

00:57:25   was sort of appalled that people were covering up the entire back of the iPhone for the case.

00:57:29   So they're like, "Don't do that. We spend a lot of time, especially with the iPhone

00:57:33   4, we spend a lot of time to make this glass back very pretty. Don't cover it up here.

00:57:38   Just put a bumper around the edges if you just want to give it some protection."

00:57:42   No, the fact remains, I just popped my case off mine, I mean, these phones in the hand

00:57:46   are beautiful, they're great to hold, it's a fantastic experience. The problem is that

00:57:52   I went caseless with the iPhone 7 and within about two months, I actually had a large chunk

00:57:58   of the front screen missing because it had been dropped multiple times. And you could

00:58:03   see into the phone. And ever since then, I have kept the case on for... I would like

00:58:11   to not use the case. I just do not trust myself at all.

00:58:14   I chipped the front corner of my iPhone XS last year, early. I forget when. It was probably

00:58:21   like around December, so maybe like two, three months into owning it. I was getting out of

00:58:26   of an Uber after dinner and had like dress slacks on,

00:58:29   which is unusual, you know, usually I'm either wearing jeans

00:58:32   or jean-like pants that, you know,

00:58:36   your phone doesn't fall out of--

00:58:37   - And large pockets.

00:58:38   - Yeah, your phone doesn't fall out of jean pockets.

00:58:39   And most of the slacks that I own are more like jeans

00:58:42   or are jeans, but I had dressier slacks on with the,

00:58:46   you know, with the pocket where the phone can come right out

00:58:48   and just sliding out of the Uber,

00:58:51   just boop, right on the street,

00:58:52   and it just put a little thing in the corner.

00:58:54   and it just barely didn't reach the pixels.

00:58:59   So it's just, the chipped part was just,

00:59:02   and the iPhone XS has a very small black bezel

00:59:05   around the screen, so it was,

00:59:06   the entire chipped part was in the black area.

00:59:09   So I didn't get it fixed, and it didn't spread at all

00:59:12   in the subsequent nine to 10 months

00:59:14   that I used it every day.

00:59:16   So again, sort of like my MacBook Pro

00:59:19   with the adhesion problem, it was just sort of like a scar

00:59:23   that I came to like.

00:59:24   If it had covered the pixels at all, I would have been at the Apple store in the morning.

00:59:29   One pixel had been covered by it, I would have been at the Apple store to pay for a

00:59:32   replacement.

00:59:33   But—

00:59:34   Justin Perdue I actually just got my tennis fixed because—oh,

00:59:36   sorry, I didn't mean to interrupt you.

00:59:38   Dave Asprey But I did use a case last year afterwards,

00:59:41   because I find—I've personally found the glossy glass backs to be slippery.

00:59:48   And sometimes they're not, depending on the moisture of your hands, they're tacky.

00:59:53   But there are other times when it's like a bar of soap.

00:59:57   So I did use a case last year, but my problem is that I'm not satisfied with any of them.

01:00:01   So I wound up buying like 10 cases.

01:00:03   That I very seldom…

01:00:04   I know.

01:00:05   That's exactly what happens.

01:00:06   I very seldom use any of them.

01:00:08   Yeah, no, I was traveling, and I'm in the middle of a conversation, this group chat

01:00:17   and WhatsApp or whatever, and suddenly my phone just stops.

01:00:21   It's not working.

01:00:22   And so I'm trying to restart it and finally I had to do the force quit with the volume

01:00:26   buttons and the power button.

01:00:27   I turn it back on and I can't get it to function.

01:00:31   And like there's a dead part of the screen.

01:00:34   Basically what happened was there was this vertical strip on the touchscreen that just

01:00:38   stopped working.

01:00:39   And it was so perfectly placed that I couldn't accomplish anything on my phone.

01:00:43   There was a part of the keyboard that wasn't working.

01:00:45   I couldn't slide the thing to turn the phone off because it would hit the dead part of

01:00:49   the screen.

01:00:50   And it was really quite bizarre. And then the weirdest thing was, I finally sent it

01:00:54   in to get it fixed. And I get it back and I have the sheet that says, "Oh, we sent

01:01:00   me your phone, we fixed this." And not only did they fix the touchscreen, they put a new

01:01:04   camera in the phone. Apparently my camera had gotten broken too. I have no idea. I was

01:01:09   actually always very dissatisfied with the XS camera. Maybe it was broken all along and

01:01:13   I had no idea. But now I have basically a brand new XS and my 11. But it's funny,

01:01:21   I should sell it because it's now in beautiful, pristine condition. But it turns out traveling

01:01:29   and having your phone die is devastating. I mean, it's like, so I'm actually going

01:01:35   to keep this. I'm not going to sell it. And I'm going to keep it charged up and

01:01:39   I'm going to put in my bag when I travel. It's the same thing. It's like, with this

01:01:44   stuff's your wife and it's like, yeah, I do buy new phones because I get paid. I

01:01:50   need to be online all the time. I need to be reading stuff. I need to be knowing what's

01:01:53   going on. And I destroy my batteries because I'm using my phone all the time. But that

01:01:58   means I need backups. And you have to think about this all the time. Actually, you mentioned

01:02:02   about applications. I could switch to Windows because one of the things I did a few years

01:02:07   ago was I made it, I will not use any application in my day to day work that does not have a

01:02:13   web service component to it. Because my feeling is if my computer dies tomorrow, I need to

01:02:18   be able to walk, get any computer in the world, Windows or Mac, and be up and running and

01:02:23   get my work done. And so like I won't use, and it's actually it's a very interesting

01:02:29   way to think about some of your computing things. Probably the application I was the

01:02:33   saddest to give up was OmniFocus, or not OmniFocus, OmniOutliner. Brilliant Outliner. I use Workflowy

01:02:40   instead which is not nearly as fully featured as good, but it has a web component. It's

01:02:47   a solid line for me. I have to be able to have access to my stuff no matter what.

01:02:51   Pete: Who knows? Maybe there will be an online component to OmniOutliner because they actually

01:02:56   did it for OmniFocus.

01:02:58   Jon: For OmniFocus. They did and I actually switched back to OmniFocus once they did it

01:03:01   because I switched away for that reason. And once they added it, I was back because it's

01:03:06   -- I mean, I love their products in general, but I've been a long-time user of OmniFocus

01:03:11   in particular.

01:03:12   Pete: Yeah. Sponsor of the live episode of the talk show this year at WWDC and I loved

01:03:16   -- I love my blurb about it where we're all bitching about companies that only make

01:03:21   web apps and shovel them into a Mac wrapper and call it a Mac app and Omni did it.

01:03:27   Justin: They shoveled a Mac app into a web wrapper.

01:03:30   which is just so totally Omni. I love it. So maybe OmniOutliner is next. I have friends

01:03:37   there but I don't know any such thing, so maybe not. Maybe OmniFocus as a—the nature

01:03:43   of OmniFocus sort of suits it to being web appified in a way that the other productivity

01:03:49   apps don't. But anyway.

01:03:50   Justin: Yeah, that's right. Because I mean, with OmniOutliner, you could say stuff to

01:03:54   a shared folder or whatever, which is fine. It's more a matter of—actually, because

01:03:58   I used to work at Microsoft and when I was at my, I remembered a very formative moment was I needed

01:04:04   a particular document that I knew I had made. And so I go into my Dropbox and I'm like, "Where's

01:04:09   this document?" And the document was in pages format. And the problem was I was on a Windows

01:04:13   computer. There was no pages online at that point. And so I remember I had to literally go into my

01:04:19   car, drive home, get my Mac, open up this document, and then come back. And I'm like, "Never again.

01:04:25   I'm never going to be stuck in a situation again where I can't access something I need.

01:04:30   Well, good for you, Ben.

01:04:32   But I'm very extreme. No need to copy me.

01:04:40   Well, what the hell were we talking about? Oh, the iPhone.

01:04:42   The iPhone 11. The camera is, like, you can't say enough about it. It's consistently fun

01:04:51   to use. I was taking pictures of—I ran over to a friend's house before, I was taking my dog with me,

01:04:57   and she knows that we're going to this particular house because they have a yard,

01:05:01   which is relatively rare in Taiwan. They have a couple dogs. And so she sees the neighborhood

01:05:05   and she's getting super excited. And I've taken pictures of her and it's relatively dark and you

01:05:10   get these really cool pictures of her with her paws out the window, all pumped up. And it's just

01:05:17   a whole new world that was not accessible as far as having my phone with me before. And I find that

01:05:25   coming up all the time, and just all the—like, the Deep Fusion thing or whatever hasn't even launched

01:05:30   yet. But it's really remarkable. Like, just, it's very tangible in the way it makes me feel about

01:05:37   the phone and enjoy having the phone. Like, it's so noticeable.

01:05:41   Yeah, and it's just it's rather startling just as somebody who's been a

01:05:45   photo enthusiast. Now, I'm certainly not professional caliber in any way,

01:05:51   but I've been a photo enthusiast for 20 years and it's just remarkable sometimes the images

01:05:59   you get out of it in the dark with the night mode. It's and you know that even when you're not using

01:06:05   night mode. It's just a great camera. And I noticed with the XS, and this is clearly

01:06:13   a better camera, but I was on a family vacation. We went on a cruise with my family and my

01:06:17   sister and her family in August. And I took my Fuji X100S and took a bunch of photos with

01:06:26   it, but also took a bunch of photos with my phone. And then I was like looking at them

01:06:31   in photos after the trip. And I was like, "Oh, this one I had to shoot with the Fuji." And I'd

01:06:36   like do the Command-I on the Mac. You can get the Command-I to see the metadata about the phone.

01:06:43   I was like, "Nope, that was the iPhone." There were a couple of shots with the Fuji where I was

01:06:49   like, "I'm 100% sure that was the real 'real camera.'" And it was. So I'm not saying that

01:06:54   they're indistinguishable, but there were some where I was like, "What the hell camera did I

01:06:59   I use for this and I was totally blown away that it was the iPhone. Like you really can

01:07:03   take camera, camera quality photos with it. And in the dark, it's better. It is actually

01:07:09   a better camera in low lighting in like a dark restaurant or something like that than

01:07:15   a $5,000 SLR. It really is. It's unbelievable.

01:07:20   Yeah, I mean, it's fun. It's a feature that is enjoyable and fun to use. And at this stage

01:07:30   of the smartphone evolution, it's nice. The XS was--the biggest thing for me with the

01:07:39   XS relative to the X--and I know this because I was using the X when my XS was broken--is

01:07:43   the face IDs was just so massively better. I mean, face ID on the X, go back--I mean,

01:07:49   again, we're the most... we are the people that Brian Chen in the New York Times hates

01:07:54   because we buy a new phone every year. But going back to the 10, the face ID was miserable.

01:08:01   It was painful to use. But the rest of it was like, "Eh, yeah, there's really not much

01:08:08   difference here from using it." But the 11, I don't know, both the 10 and the 10S camera,

01:08:15   I was actually not a big fan of either of them. I just felt they looked very phone camera-ish

01:08:21   in a lot of situations, particularly with any harsh light in them. And the 11 is just

01:08:25   like taking photos for fun in a way that I haven't done in a long time.

01:08:33   My son still has an iPhone X and we were out to eat last week and I just shot a little

01:08:39   bit of video using his two-year-old iPhone X and my new phone. And the video difference

01:08:44   is, it's under-heralded how good the video is on these phones. And I was talking with

01:08:50   Joanna Stern on the last episode of this show about my family looking back at some like

01:08:57   14, 15-year-old video of my son when he was a baby, which I had to shot on a mini-DV camera,

01:09:05   which was, I thought was tiny at the time. I loved it.

01:09:08   - Yeah, well my daughter, I think I had the Flip camera.

01:09:11   - Yeah, we talked about that.

01:09:12   Yeah, Joanna and I talked about that too.

01:09:14   We have a lot of footage of Jonas

01:09:16   from about three or four years later in the Flip era.

01:09:19   It's just, it's not heartbreaking quite,

01:09:21   'cause it's great that we have the video.

01:09:23   And when I was a kid, me and Amy,

01:09:25   and it's probably true for you too.

01:09:27   Is there any video of you from when you were a kid?

01:09:30   - No, not at all.

01:09:31   I mean, yeah, my parents never,

01:09:33   I don't know if they even owned a video camera ever.

01:09:35   - No, I mean, video cameras weren't even a thing

01:09:37   until the 80s and my parents never bought one.

01:09:39   And in the 70s when I was a baby,

01:09:42   you had to shoot Super 8 film.

01:09:45   So there is some footage of me.

01:09:47   I have it in a closet.

01:09:48   I actually should pay the price

01:09:50   and send it somewhere to get it digitized.

01:09:52   I do have some reels of Super 8 film

01:09:55   that my uncle, my mom's brother shot of me and my sister.

01:09:58   There's like a combined,

01:10:00   and like Super 8 was fun.

01:10:02   And when I was in college,

01:10:03   I made short films shooting Super 8.

01:10:05   And it was kind of fun because it looked so much better

01:10:08   than video in a weird way, 'cause it was,

01:10:10   Super 8 is film, and so you, you know,

01:10:13   but it was really hard to shoot and it didn't have sound.

01:10:16   (laughs)

01:10:18   And because it was so expensive shooting film,

01:10:20   even Super 8, 8 mil, you know, it's called Super 8

01:10:23   'cause it's eight millimeter,

01:10:23   this tiny little frame of film.

01:10:25   It was very expensive to get developed

01:10:27   compared to, compared to photos.

01:10:30   And so most consumer Super 8 cameras

01:10:33   would shoot 18 frames per second instead of 24.

01:10:37   Just so you could save-- - It's like stop motion.

01:10:39   - Yeah, so you could save money.

01:10:40   So you kind of get like that Charlie Chaplin

01:10:43   silent film effect,

01:10:43   even though you might've been shooting color.

01:10:46   But anyway, there was no video.

01:10:47   So it's great that we have hours of video of Jonas

01:10:49   when he was a baby,

01:10:50   but the footage, the quality is just horrendous.

01:10:54   It's just absolutely appalling.

01:10:56   But it's just unbelievable to me that just two years,

01:10:59   iPhone X, which was a thousand dollar cell phone,

01:11:03   Two years ago, the video quality in low light

01:11:06   with shooting video compared to the iPhone 11

01:11:09   is just astounding.

01:11:10   It's just hard to believe it's two years.

01:11:12   Looking back, my point is looking back

01:11:14   at 15-year-old mini DV footage, well, 15 years, of course.

01:11:18   Of course the difference is striking and it's stunning.

01:11:20   It's cool that you can get this not just

01:11:23   with a dedicated video camera now, but with your phone.

01:11:26   Your phone shoots it, but 15 years is 15 years.

01:11:28   But two years, it's insane.

01:11:30   It's absolutely insane.

01:11:33   how much better the video is on the iPhone 11.

01:11:35   I guess the other thing I should touch on

01:11:40   in the director's commentary,

01:11:42   what have I written about this week

01:11:43   during Fireball aspect of the podcast is the,

01:11:45   something has not sat right with me all month long

01:11:51   regarding night mode

01:11:56   and which cameras on the Pro it applies to.

01:12:03   I was left talking with Apple off the record with you know, when you get these review units, you know

01:12:09   You talk to Apple throughout the week that you're reviewing them and you get phone calls and you can't quote them

01:12:15   They're off the record

01:12:15   but they answer all your questions and they're usually very forthcoming and very very accurate and

01:12:20   While from a marketing standpoint, I totally get that they want to keep it very simple

01:12:25   And they don't get into technical details

01:12:28   but like with people like me and Matthew Panzareno and Neelai Patel who like to write about

01:12:35   the camera stuff and explain how it works as best we can, they're remarkably forthcoming. But with

01:12:43   the night mode stuff, when I'd ask questions about like, okay, so it doesn't work with the super wide

01:12:50   angle, the ultra wide 0.5x lens, and I know the night mode doesn't work. It's, you know,

01:12:56   The sensor doesn't have any focus pixels, so can't do it.

01:13:00   When I talk, and you know, obviously works with the standard 1x lens.

01:13:06   And I asked questions. I was under the impression that on the iPhone Pro that when you go into 2x,

01:13:12   you can get night mode because there's a 2x button and it looks like it.

01:13:16   And I asked questions about it and about like, well, why does it work with these lenses?

01:13:22   with these lenses and the answers were weird.

01:13:24   I don't think I was lied to at all

01:13:27   and I've, you know, Neelay and I have chatting about this,

01:13:30   you know, behind the scenes.

01:13:33   But the answers just were,

01:13:35   the best word I can come up with is obfuscutory.

01:13:38   They just weren't, it was just weird word.

01:13:40   It's just, it just was, I was like, all right.

01:13:43   And then it turns out that it doesn't use the 2X lens

01:13:47   in night mode.

01:13:48   When night mode kicks in and you're at the 2x zoom level, it uses the 1x camera to take

01:13:55   a night mode shot and then crops to a 2x zoom and just does a digital zoom to go up.

01:14:04   That happened in low light with iPhone dual camera systems all the way back to—I forget,

01:14:10   what was the first one?

01:14:12   Some of the—like the iPhone 6s Plus.

01:14:14   When did they first add the second camera?

01:14:15   I forget even.

01:14:16   - I think it was the iPhone 7.

01:14:19   - Yeah, maybe iPhone 7.

01:14:20   Yeah, that makes sense.

01:14:21   So like the iPhone 7 Plus had two cameras

01:14:23   and the regular smaller iPhone 7 only had one.

01:14:27   And the dual camera was what they call telephoto.

01:14:31   It's 2X zoom.

01:14:32   And in low light, even then--

01:14:34   - Oh yeah, that's right.

01:14:35   'Cause I think that's one of the first time

01:14:36   I got the larger phone one.

01:14:37   - Right, 'cause you wanted the best.

01:14:38   Right, you wanted the best. - That's right, yeah.

01:14:41   - Even if you didn't like the size, a lot of people.

01:14:43   I didn't do that, but I'll let you,

01:14:45   it was a tough decision.

01:14:46   But anyway, even back then, all throughout that in low light, the iPhone would make a

01:14:52   decision that, and it's, you know, again, there's nothing scandalous about it.

01:14:56   They were doing this because they, it was to get the best image that in low light, because

01:15:00   the sensor for the telephoto lens is less sensitive, you know, it's not as good as the

01:15:06   one X sensor, and especially in low light, they would, they concluded that in certain

01:15:11   lighting situations, it would be better to just use the one X camera and digital zoom

01:15:16   as opposed to the true optical 2x camera.

01:15:20   Turns out it still works like that in night mode.

01:15:23   And again, there's nothing scandalous about it.

01:15:26   They're doing what gets the better image

01:15:28   and everybody loves night mode,

01:15:30   including when you're zoomed in.

01:15:31   Like people are taking 2x shots with night mode

01:15:36   and loving the images they're getting.

01:15:39   So it's not scandalous that they're using

01:15:42   the 1x camera to get them.

01:15:44   They're doing what gets the best shot.

01:15:47   But there was all sorts of confusion about night mode.

01:15:50   Did it require 100% focus pixels?

01:15:54   And the Panzorino was told something like that.

01:15:58   And then we concluded, okay, so the 1x and 2x cameras have 100% focus pixels, but that's

01:16:03   not true.

01:16:04   And there's like a, you know, Phil Schiller had a slide when he was on stage that the

01:16:10   One X camera sensor does have 100% focus pixels on the sensor, but the 2X camera just has

01:16:16   quote "focus pixels," so has some focus pixels. The 0.5X ultra-wide has no focus

01:16:23   pixels. So in a sense, putting it all together, what Apple told us behind the scenes was kind

01:16:30   of true, that apparently night mode does require 100% focus pixels because it only works.

01:16:36   means they're only using one camera.

01:16:38   Right. But then the thing that still confused me was, "Well, why didn't they make this

01:16:46   clear to us?" And then I figured it out. Like a day after writing, it was like I was

01:16:50   chatting with Nilay, and I literally had like a light bulb moment. Like the closest you

01:16:56   could get to an actual light bulb popping over my head and turning on was, "Oh, I

01:17:02   get it, it's uncomfortable for them to talk about because it means the regular iPhone 11 takes the

01:17:09   exact same 2x zoom level night mode shots as the $400 more iPhone 11 Pro. That's the rub, and that's

01:17:20   what makes it the whole thing a little uncomfortable for them to talk about. And there's no 2x button

01:17:26   on the iPhone 11. To get to 2x zoom, you have to pinch or use the little scroll wheel that they

01:17:34   added in the camera app. But when you get to 2x zoom and night mode kicks in, the iPhone 11 takes

01:17:41   the exact same night mode shots that the iPhone 11 Pro does because neither one is using the

01:17:45   telephoto lens because the iPhone 11 doesn't have a telephoto lens and the iPhone 11 Pro

01:17:49   doesn't use the telephoto lens for night mode. So anyway, that was like my big light bulb moment

01:17:56   of the week. Well, that's interesting. I have to say, I mean, it's only been a few weeks, but

01:18:04   I definitely enjoy and use the wide-angle lens more than I feel like I ever use the telephoto

01:18:09   lens. It really opens up an entirely sort of new sort of photo, whereas the telephoto lens,

01:18:16   it's like it's not telephoto enough to be really particularly useful. It's this weird

01:18:22   sort of middle ground. Yeah, and like I was talking to a friend whose kids are really talented

01:18:30   young baseball players. I mean, and so their family is always, you know, going to Little League

01:18:36   baseball games. They have two sons and baseball games all the time. And he was asking, you know,

01:18:43   if they should get the 11 Pro or the 11. His wife needs a new phone. And I said, well, you guys,

01:18:48   you know, like for shooting baseball games, the telephoto is better, but it's still not like—you're

01:18:55   not going to get a close-up of your kid in the batter's box from the bleachers, you know what

01:18:58   I mean? Like, it's not as—you still might—if you really want to get good pictures of something

01:19:04   like a sporting event or like your kid on stage in a school performance or something like that,

01:19:09   you still want a real camera that has a real zoom lens that's longer focal length than the tele—quote

01:19:16   quote unquote telephoto on the iPhone 11. I think you're right. And I think that I

01:19:20   think they made the right decision with like the iPhone 11 where, okay, we're going to

01:19:25   go to three lenses on the more expensive Pro, but the 11, which is going to be significantly

01:19:30   lower price is going to have two lenses. Should it get a telephoto or should it get a wide

01:19:34   angle or ultra wide? I think the ultra wide is more useful.

01:19:38   Jared Polin Yeah, we haven't talked since the presentation,

01:19:41   But to me, this was my big takeaway from the whole thing,

01:19:45   is that Apple cut prices.

01:19:47   Like they cut, and they cut prices pretty significantly.

01:19:49   And it was, it's a bit hidden

01:19:51   because the high end is the exact same.

01:19:53   - Right.

01:19:54   - But the, you know, the bit about the iPhone 11

01:19:58   being cheap, cheaper than the 10R was last year.

01:20:03   And then also the 10R being reduced in price

01:20:07   by much more than phones had been reduced in price

01:20:10   or previously. To me, I think it's a pretty big deal. And I

01:20:13   think the what I sort of discussed at the time was, you

01:20:17   know, that's what a company that actually is focused on services

01:20:23   should be doing because you actually do want to have, you

01:20:26   know, the way those those sort of businesses work is you're

01:20:29   putting in a lot of expense up front, but then you're trying to

01:20:33   spread it out over the maximum number of folks, you know, on

01:20:37   the back end. That's why you know, Google is fine to have $50 Android phones that that's that many

01:20:42   more people that can sort of, they get leverage on their services for and, and this is Apple at least

01:20:48   sort of hinting at actually changing their their pricing strategy in a way that favors this sort of

01:20:56   services approach where services isn't just something we sort of backed into because of this app

01:21:00   store and we can, you know, have this narrative, but our strategy hasn't changed. Here is a hint

01:21:05   that the strategy has actually shifted a bit. And the 11, to your point, I mean, it's

01:21:10   an incredible phone. I mean, even particularly with by having that wide angle lens, you know,

01:21:16   it's even more competitive than the XR was. The XR was already extremely competitive.

01:21:21   And I really, Joanna and I talked about this, I really think, and I got a little pushback

01:21:25   on it from some people, but I really think that for the most part, people should get

01:21:31   the one level up from base storage.

01:21:33   So both phones start at 64 gigabyte storage.

01:21:35   - Completely agree.

01:21:37   That's not enough.

01:21:38   - And some people it is, and that's the, I get it.

01:21:41   And there are, for those of you who sent me email

01:21:43   and tweets saying, hey, I'm only using 38 gigabytes

01:21:47   on my phone, so 64 is plenty for me,

01:21:49   and I use the cloud storage for everything.

01:21:52   So I get it.

01:21:54   But that's an informed decision.

01:21:56   And the people who listen to this show

01:21:58   know that they really can fit their life comfortably in a 64

01:22:02   gigabyte base model storage. That's, you know, you know what

01:22:06   you're doing. I think for typical people, though,

01:22:08   especially if you want to shoot lots of, you know, 4k video and

01:22:12   stuff like that. It, you should go up a level but that's where

01:22:16   the pricing difference is really stark. And I'll just emphasize

01:22:20   it again, because the 11 goes to 128. And it's only 50 bucks

01:22:24   more. So for 50 bucks, you can double your storage from 64 to

01:22:28   128. And it's it's, it's nothing like the old days where we

01:22:32   complained so vociferously about the 16 gigabyte base model

01:22:37   storage. It was unbelievable, right? And it kept going on year

01:22:41   after year after year, right. And you have to remember that

01:22:44   it that that 16 gigabyte needed to include the system software.

01:22:48   So however many gigabytes iOS and the apps that you include,

01:22:53   And Apple likes to give you, you know, every time you upgrade, they stick you with GarageBand

01:22:57   again, which is a great app.

01:22:59   It's a fantastic app.

01:23:00   But I have no musical inclination at all.

01:23:03   And GarageBand is like a 380 megabyte app.

01:23:07   And I guess that they load some of that stuff on demand, so it's not really taking up the

01:23:10   space.

01:23:11   But anyway, the 16 gigabyte phones included the OS.

01:23:15   The 64 gigabytes do too.

01:23:16   And it's not, you know, you get most of that 64, I guess, to use.

01:23:20   when you go from 64 to 128, the entire extra 64 you get to use. That's not used by the phone.

01:23:26   But the iPhone 11 Pro is just like the previous high-end, the X and the XS, at that $1,000 plus

01:23:37   price tier, you have to go all the way to 256 from the base model, and it costs $150 to go

01:23:43   from the base model to that. So to me, it, there's a $300 difference at the 64 gigabyte base model

01:23:51   tier, but there's a $400 difference between the 11 and the 11 Pro if you just go from the usable

01:23:58   tier. Yeah. And again, it's not apples to apples because the 11 is 128 and the Pro is 256. But that

01:24:04   128 is so, so much good enough for most typical people. So to me, it's a $400 difference. And I

01:24:12   I think that's significant. I do question, I question how much of it that this lowering

01:24:18   the prices, I think you're exactly right, that the 11 is $50 less than the comparable

01:24:24   10 our models were last year and the 10 are and I think this is really I think it's

01:24:28   a huge deal. And really does justify calling the overall lineup as being lower price is

01:24:35   that the 10 are really dropped in price. I forget what it's cost but $150 Yeah, I've

01:24:40   And it used to only drop 100.

01:24:44   Not just that, but the iPhone 8 dropped 152.

01:24:46   So the iPhone 8 went from $599 to $449.

01:24:51   So, yeah, so basically everything other than the top-end model went down by price by at

01:25:01   least $50 more than it did previously.

01:25:05   I just wonder, I don't question it, but I wonder how much of it is strategic and how

01:25:09   much of it is just that they didn't really want the XR to cost as much as it did last

01:25:17   year, but that's what it cost if they were going to maintain their margins.

01:25:21   There might be something to it, particularly for memory pricing. Because I remember when

01:25:25   the iPhone 8 jumped up to $699, that was at a time when DRAM pricing was through the roof.

01:25:32   And so actually Apple's margin on that phone wasn't that much greater because a huge

01:25:37   part of that increase was eaten up by memory pricing. And right now, DRM prices are very

01:25:45   low. So you may be right. It may be that the memory, this is driven more by the cost of

01:25:52   their components. And that's one of the biggest costs in the phone and it's one

01:25:57   that changes the most. I mean, memory is notorious for it goes to these peaks and valleys. And

01:26:02   been doing that for 50 years, gonna be doing it for the next 50 years. So that might be part of it.

01:26:09   But at the same time, once they raised the price, they could have kept it that way. Exactly. And

01:26:16   just taken the extra margin. And they didn't. They brought it back down. And to me, that's a good

01:26:21   sign. There's always been the vague sort of concern that does Apple care a little too much

01:26:31   about their margins and not enough about sort of the the ecosystem viability and it turned out with

01:26:36   the iPhone that the the market was so large that there was enough room for two there you know both

01:26:41   iOS and Android and particularly with iOS you know customers willingness to buy and whatnot

01:26:46   but but when it comes to services and stuff that you invest in and you need to sort of spread out

01:26:53   those costs and the maximum number of people this isn't really an ecosystem question iOS is a viable

01:26:57   ecosystem without question, but at this point, from Apple's perspective, every single extra

01:27:04   iPhone that's out in the market just makes the rest of their company's business that

01:27:08   much—the profit, you make it up in volume, in a very real sense.

01:27:16   Yeah, and I do think that the—DRAM is certainly part of it. I think that the Face ID versus

01:27:22   Touch ID is a little bit more expensive and I know that the XR and now the 11 don't have

01:27:28   the super fancy and clearly expensive OLED display.

01:27:33   Oh yeah, that's crazy expensive.

01:27:34   But I do think it has to be more expensive to make the 11's LCD with the round corners

01:27:44   that goes close.

01:27:45   Again, the bezels are slightly larger than on the Pro models, but compared to the old

01:27:51   forehead and chin iPhones, it's more expensive. So the display, even though it's only quote

01:27:56   unquote only an LCD, I think it's a wonderful display. It's still it's got to be a little

01:28:00   bit more expensive. I think face ID is clearly a little bit more expensive than touch ID.

01:28:04   So I think it was a little bit of column A and a little bit of column B where the 10R

01:28:08   had to be a little more expensive. But I think you're right that that once they bit the bullet

01:28:12   and raise those prices, they could have kept them there. And they clearly chose not to.

01:28:16   I think it's great for consumers, I really do.

01:28:20   It's just, as these 11s settle in,

01:28:24   I just think that the value proposition

01:28:27   of the regular iPhone 11 is just phenomenal.

01:28:30   It's, you get the great 1X camera that's exactly the same.

01:28:35   You get the ultra-wide, which is probably more useful

01:28:38   for more people than telephoto.

01:28:40   Same exact A13 chip, you get a,

01:28:43   It's not the same display, but it's a great display.

01:28:46   You get great battery life.

01:28:47   It's just a great phone,

01:28:48   and now it's a little bit less price.

01:28:50   - Yeah, and I think it's great for Apple too.

01:28:53   - Yeah, so the rumor, it's rampant now,

01:28:55   and Ming-Chi Kuo had a report

01:28:58   that was circulating this week.

01:29:00   I was gonna say confirming it,

01:29:02   but as close as we can get to confirming

01:29:04   that Apple's full steam ahead on this rumored SE2

01:29:09   for early in 2020, which will look like supposedly an iPhone 8, but will have the A13 chip from

01:29:20   this year's phones, which is exactly what Apple did with the SE years ago when it came

01:29:27   out. They used previous generations hardware design, which was the iPhone 5 5S design.

01:29:36   But when the iPhone SE came out, it had whatever the A-series chip was from the iPhone.

01:29:41   I guess it was the iPhone 6.

01:29:45   And for the record, the iPhone 5S was the pinnacle of iPhone design.

01:29:49   You know, I spent a day with my iPhone.

01:29:51   I don't have an…

01:29:52   I never bought an SE, so I don't have an SE to use, but I still have my iPhone 5S.

01:29:57   And I do it every year.

01:30:00   I put my SIM card in it and spend a day with it, and it's like, "Man, this is…

01:30:05   an easily pocketable, lightweight design. Oh, it's just gorgeous. It's absolutely gorgeous.

01:30:11   It also feels so sturdy. It feels like I don't know why anybody ever put a case on it. It

01:30:15   just feels like you could literally throw it against a wall and it wouldn't crack.

01:30:19   Yep. Yeah, no, I don't think I used a case then. I think I switched the cases once they

01:30:23   got too big to sort of keeping your hand. Because the iPhone 4 was incredible, but that

01:30:29   That glass back was—once they went to the all-metal enclosure, that's where it really

01:30:37   hit its stride.

01:30:38   So spending a day with my iPhone 5S, in addition to the size, which I want to come back to,

01:30:44   because I think that's the thing that is most going to upset people about the rumored

01:30:49   iPhone 8 size of this SE 2.

01:30:53   But the other thing that really struck me—it's size and weight—unbelievable.

01:30:56   The fact that it's so light makes it feel so,

01:30:58   it just feels like you could,

01:30:59   if it fell off your desk, it would be no problem.

01:31:02   The fact that it's aluminum instead of glass on the back.

01:31:04   But that's what struck me about that aluminum on the back,

01:31:08   is I do have a Qi charger on my nightstand.

01:31:12   It is not that much more convenient

01:31:17   than just plugging in a cable or having a dock,

01:31:19   especially if you have a table, you know, bedside dock

01:31:22   where you can stick your phone overnight

01:31:24   to charge overnight.

01:31:25   Like, I do have the wireless charger from my phone.

01:31:29   I use it, but I would probably happily trade

01:31:33   to have an aluminum back on my iPhone 11 Pro

01:31:36   and give up Qi charging.

01:31:39   And there's still rumors that maybe in a software update,

01:31:43   Apple's going to enable the iPhone 11s

01:31:46   to charge your Apple Watch if you put it on the back

01:31:49   or something like that,

01:31:50   that there might be a two-way charging.

01:31:52   That's all nice, it's neat,

01:31:54   But I would honestly trade it for an aluminum back.

01:31:57   Just I like the way it feels and I like the durability.

01:32:01   I mean, have you seen the prices?

01:32:02   If you crack the back on your iPhone 11 Pro,

01:32:05   it's like a $399--

01:32:06   - It's like $600 something, is it?

01:32:07   - Yeah, is it $600?

01:32:08   Or maybe it's $399 if you have AppleCare+ and it's more.

01:32:11   It's like $600.

01:32:13   It's like you honestly might be better off

01:32:15   just keeping it and buying another one.

01:32:18   It's ridiculously expensive.

01:32:20   I don't even understand how that can be

01:32:22   it's not the display, but it's very expensive. As far as I know, the whole reason they've gone to

01:32:31   glassbacks is for the Qi charging. I just can't. I'm so sick of it. The problem is that, at least

01:32:40   for me, whitening cables always go bad over time. And that time when you wake up and you grab your

01:32:46   phone and it's not charged because the cable like is not just kind of starting to not work

01:32:51   here it got jiggled or whatever it might be and what I like about the Qi charging is you

01:32:57   sit on there it buzzes and it's going to actually charge and it's not going to like your wake

01:33:01   up and find a dead phone so uh the I have a Qi charger on my desk too I could plug it

01:33:07   in there that'd probably be fine I'd plug it in half time I have a cord here also but

01:33:11   honestly just for that peace of mind that I know the phone's gonna be charged for sure

01:33:15   when I wake up. I am pro-cheat charging. But there's also an argument that I should get

01:33:23   my shit together and have working cables. So I could go in both directions.

01:33:28   It just occurred to me, just using the 5S for a day, it just occurred to me that glass

01:33:32   is a very odd substance to make a $1,000 to $1,500 device out of.

01:33:38   It is. It is.

01:33:39   - It's like you go into the Leica store

01:33:42   and they're selling $5,000 cameras

01:33:45   and it's like, I mean, I guess they have an LCD display

01:33:49   on the back now, so that could crack,

01:33:50   but they're not gonna make the majority of the frame

01:33:54   out of glass.

01:33:55   Like, it's just, when you think about it,

01:33:58   it's just an odd, it's just odd that we have these

01:34:01   very expensive cameras that are made out of glass,

01:34:04   front and back.

01:34:05   I mean, the front being glass is obvious

01:34:07   because it's all display, it kinda has to be.

01:34:09   It's just kind of odd that the back is glass

01:34:11   when you think about it.

01:34:13   Size, so I know that,

01:34:16   I guess I should write about it,

01:34:19   but in a way, I know that there are people

01:34:21   who love that 5S eyes.

01:34:23   And you called it the pinnacle of iPhone design.

01:34:26   People love it.

01:34:27   And what people really want Apple to do,

01:34:29   people who love that size, is keep the size

01:34:32   and just get rid of the chin and forehead

01:34:34   and put an iPhone XR style LCD display in

01:34:39   with rounded corners that takes up the whole front surface.

01:34:43   So you'd get more screen area,

01:34:46   but you would still have that same basic,

01:34:49   entirely pocketable design.

01:34:51   And by all of the accounts, that is not what Apple's doing.

01:34:56   They're going with an iPhone 8 form factor

01:34:59   with touch ID and the chin and forehead,

01:35:04   - Which is disappointing if you love that small size,

01:35:06   but it should be, to me, unsurprising,

01:35:08   'cause in a way, what they're doing,

01:35:10   like I said a couple minutes ago,

01:35:11   they're doing exactly what they did with the SE.

01:35:15   And the SE, I don't think, was defined by the size,

01:35:18   from Apple's perspective.

01:35:19   It was for people who were fans of the size.

01:35:22   But from Apple's perspective,

01:35:23   it was let's just take our previous generation form factor

01:35:27   and update the internals to the latest and greatest

01:35:30   and sell it at a low price.

01:35:32   Apple's not going to invest in a completely new industrial design for what's going to

01:35:37   be a very inexpensive phone. It's just not going to happen. So yeah, they're going to

01:35:43   use what they have. And again, I can see the allure. I have no desire to use a 5S. I'm

01:35:51   glad that they're getting rid of it, probably for our developer friends. They don't have

01:35:54   to worry. Hopefully, you stop worrying about that size sooner rather than later. But yeah,

01:35:58   fundamentally an economic issue. The reason they're doing that is because switching

01:36:05   out the processor is relatively painless. While the other components are going to stay

01:36:09   the same, making the case can stay the same, those assembly lines are still alive because

01:36:16   they're still making the iPhone 8 and they're just going to change out the processor, which

01:36:24   it a much more future-proof phone even though the industrial design is old and it makes a lot of

01:36:30   sense. So I don't know. I would guess since they're replaying the strategy from the SE, I would guess

01:36:37   that if you look back, I forget exactly when they announced the SE. I think it was either very late

01:36:42   in March or very early April, if I recall correctly. I would guess that they'll announce this new

01:36:48   iPhone SE, whatever they're going to call it, around the same time next year because it just

01:36:53   feels like they're just replaying that strategy exactly. And I don't, like you just said,

01:36:59   production-wise, I can't see how this would be a problem. I don't think there's going

01:37:02   to be any kind of delay. I think it'll come out.

01:37:05   Well, and there never was an iPhone 8S. So the name is available.

01:37:10   Yeah, maybe that's what they'll call it. That's actually a very good guess. I'm

01:37:13   going to steal that. The iPhone 8S. Yeah, I like that. I'm writing that down. iPhone

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01:40:07   What else we got here Ben?

01:40:09   Just waiting on charcoal

01:40:13   I'm gonna talk about the Boeing 737 max saga briefly

01:40:19   It's fascinating I know we've been sharing

01:40:23   Messages about this that I'm generally like like I think a lot maybe a lot of techy's

01:40:29   I'm an AV geek like I love following the airline industry generally

01:40:34   My favorite blog is a thing called the cranky flyer

01:40:37   Great blog another guy John Ostrore

01:40:40   Runs a subscription site called the air current. Yeah, so I love reading about this stuff in general and have for a long time

01:40:47   But this whole 737 thing has been has been I mean, it's incredible. It's incredible on multiple dimensions

01:40:54   It's starting to it's starting to say

01:40:57   When it first happened the first crash

01:41:01   Was the one in I think Indonesia I forget which one was first but there were two deadly crashes tragedies

01:41:08   First one it's sort of like fool me once shame on you fool me twice shame on me, you know

01:41:15   It's like the first one it's like I don't know who knows what happened. Maybe it's a fluke the second one

01:41:19   Everybody was like hey what something is wrong with this plane, right?

01:41:22   That just doesn't happen and it would they were both weird crashes that it's just

01:41:28   Very weird the details start coming out and this whole story about them

01:41:33   It just it just read like bad leadership of that

01:41:39   Basically when a new plane comes out with new controls and a new flight, what do they call a flight?

01:41:46   envelope envelope

01:41:50   Pilots, you know, this is seems like a good good rule pilots have to be retrained on this

01:41:57   Yes, because if a new plane flies differently than what the pilot is used to, all the pilots

01:42:04   need to train on it.

01:42:06   And the major airlines have a lot of pilots, and so in the aggregate, a new plane would

01:42:12   require an aggregate large number of pilot training hours.

01:42:18   So you can see why the airlines would like to buy planes that pilots don't need to retrain

01:42:23   on because that would save them money of, you know, they'd rather have to be paying

01:42:28   their pilots to fly flights than to train. But you can also see why there is a law that

01:42:34   if the plane flies differently, the pilots need to retrain, right? Both things make perfect

01:42:39   sense. And what happened with the 737 MAX is it flew differently. And Boeing knew that

01:42:44   would be a bad, hard sell to the airlines. And so they use software to try to make it

01:42:51   fly like previous 737s and it turns out that's exactly as bad an idea as it sounds.

01:43:01   Jeff

01:43:17   it's the pilot's plane. And so it's in a weird sort of way, it's almost like this would have

01:43:25   been better off on an Airbus plane where you kind of expect the plane to be in control. But the fact

01:43:32   that a Boeing plane, you expect the pilot to be in ultimate control, and it turned out they weren't,

01:43:39   like almost made it even worse, because it was against sort of the ethos and understanding of

01:43:43   what these planes sort of mean.

01:43:45   Yeah, and it really shines a spotlight on the rot at the center of Boeing's company culture.

01:43:53   And you know, this is all old hat to you. I'm a way less of a aviation nerd than you or Dan Frommer,

01:44:01   but I'm kind of into it. And it's interesting. And Boeing has always been a fascinating company. But

01:44:05   basically, long story short, Boeing was always known as an engineering driven company. And

01:44:11   And the record speaks for themselves.

01:44:16   The 737 came out in the end of the '60s

01:44:20   and was their best-selling plane until recently.

01:44:23   It had three decades at the top.

01:44:26   - Oh, it still is.

01:44:27   I mean, it still is, yeah.

01:44:28   - It's just a phenomenal design.

01:44:31   That doesn't happen

01:44:32   without truly great engineering and design.

01:44:35   And secondarily, Boeing traditionally always had

01:44:40   a firewall between their commercial aviation division and their military division. And the

01:44:48   military stuff, for obvious reasons, is much more bureaucratic and not as engineering-driven because

01:44:55   all sorts of, you know, you end up with, you know, everybody knows the pork barrel stuff,

01:45:01   where somebody, some senator from Montana wants to have something in the state, you know,

01:45:08   let's make the screws for the wings in Montana, whether that's the best decision or not.

01:45:13   It's a political decision, not an engineering decision. And then in the '90s, Boeing

01:45:20   acquired McDonnell Douglas, which was primarily, ostensibly a competitor at the time, but was much

01:45:27   more focused on the military stuff. And however it came about, the McDonnell Douglas leadership

01:45:34   wound up in charge of Boeing. It's sort of like one of those "reverse acquisitions,"

01:45:38   like when Apple acquired Next and Steve Jobs and the Next crew wound up running the company.

01:45:44   But definitely a bizarro version of that.

01:45:46   A bizarro version because with Apple and Next, it was terrific leadership that was focused

01:45:51   on exactly the right thing, which is great products. And the McDonnell Douglas thing

01:45:57   was the opposite. Instead of focusing on making great airplanes, it was like squeezing money

01:46:01   out of pinching corners and making decisions like the 737 MAX, which—

01:46:06   Justin: Well, the thing is, before the 737 MAX was the 787, which was an absolute disaster.

01:46:11   And there they tried to outsource everything and were trying to put the costs on everyone else,

01:46:19   and they were getting pieces that were coming together that didn't even fit together,

01:46:23   and there was—they forgot to design, to specify how the wires would connect with each other.

01:46:29   just an absolute disaster. They ended up spending way more than they would have otherwise,

01:46:34   and delayed hugely, which also led to the 737 MAX, where instead of building a completely new

01:46:40   plane like they probably should have, they said, "Well, let's re-engine sort of the venerable

01:46:46   737 one time." So it's not just this, it's a cascading series of decisions over years,

01:46:53   And it's amazing that these same folks are, yeah, I mean, it's a, this is a mess Boeing that is in

01:47:03   right now that has been building for like 20 years, 25 years. And there's lots of other stuff in there

01:47:07   like Weber and Ress, they built a new factory down in a non-union state and there's been apparently

01:47:14   a ton of problems with those, and this is in a union commentary, so they've always built their

01:47:19   their airplanes in Washington. And they moved away from that, not for engineering reasons,

01:47:24   to your point, but for other reasons. And that's led to a lot of problems. And they

01:47:28   moved their headquarters to Chicago, which is stupid. I mean, it's literally been like

01:47:35   25 years of ineptness, but all those decades of engineering leadership have carried them

01:47:42   through because the 737 was been selling the 777 was an absolutely brilliant plane. I think

01:47:49   like the most profitable plane ever that has carried them through. But everything since then

01:47:55   has just been a total mess. And it's just sort of heartbreaking because a great company, a company

01:48:02   that has a decades-long record of being a great company is like a great thing to appreciate,

01:48:09   you know? And it's just sort of a sad thing to see it. And it wasn't like, you know, sometimes

01:48:17   a great company fades away because what they do fades away. You know, like maybe Kodak is a good

01:48:23   example. And you can, you know, certainly you can make the argument that Kodak should have seen the

01:48:27   digital thing coming and they had some great bet they invented the digital camera. That's the crazy

01:48:32   thing about it. Right. And, and, and instead of, uh, uh, obsoleting themselves, yeah, obsoleting

01:48:42   their own film business with their the up-and-coming digital business they you know tried to stick

01:48:47   their heads in the sand and say film isn't going away um so that i guess kodak is sort of a not the

01:48:55   best example because that's sort of i think i do think it's a good example though because like

01:49:00   to your point a lot of companies go away because their industry and their place in the industry

01:49:05   goes away through technological change. And with Boeing, actually, airplanes and commercial

01:49:11   airplane sales are a bigger and more important industry than ever. It's completely self-inflicted.

01:49:17   Right. That's, yeah, that's my point. Yes, it is completely self-inflicted, and that just is hard

01:49:23   to watch. That is just sad. And what sucks about it, the 787 is a perfect example. Boeing, like,

01:49:31   if they would have just developed the 787 the same way they developed every plane previously,

01:49:36   and built it the same way previously, and did most of the work themselves in Washington like

01:49:40   they did previously, they would be in phenomenally better financial shape than they were, than they

01:49:45   ended up being. And so it's not only, it's like one thing if you cheap out, but at least you saved

01:49:52   money, even though it might not have been as good as it would have been otherwise, they cheaped out

01:49:56   and ended up spending way more in the long run. It's really a phenomenal run of mismanagement

01:50:08   over literally a couple of decades.

01:50:11   Dave: Yeah, and self-inflicted is just exactly—that just gets to the core of what I wanted to talk

01:50:17   about, and it's just a bit sad. Hopefully they can turn it around. I don't know. It

01:50:21   It feels to me like this MAX situation is going to be a legal nightmare for them.

01:50:26   I mean, because the news that came out this week was that there was a whistleblower within

01:50:30   the company in the engineering division whose report, more or less before any of these planes

01:50:38   crashed, more or less said that this is all a disaster and management has ignored our

01:50:46   warnings about this, that they pretty much ignored warnings from within the engineering

01:50:53   division that the problems that we now know are real were going to be real, which is probably

01:50:59   not good in terms of their liability for these things.

01:51:04   Speaking of self-inflicted, you've been writing a bit about the Apple in China and

01:51:11   Hong Kong and whatnot stuff. And I think there's a meta point to be made here. I've been writing

01:51:20   about Apple in China, basically, ever since the Trump election, I think. And maybe before

01:51:29   that, I'm trying to remember when exactly I was horny on this point. But it's very,

01:51:34   very interesting. And what's interesting is Apple was by far the most successful sort

01:51:41   of consumer tech company in particular in China. And the reason is because they had

01:51:45   the right perfect business model. They weren't a service which could be blocked by the great

01:51:50   firewall. They weren't pure software which could be pirated like Microsoft software is

01:51:54   pirated. Because they sold software differentiated hardware, they could go into China and make

01:52:01   the exact same margins in China that they were making everywhere else and be tremendously

01:52:05   profitable doing so. It turns out though, that what goes around comes around. And after

01:52:14   several years of China being a huge profit center, now it's a huge problem. And obviously,

01:52:23   Apple's sort of exposed on both sides where they have the manufacturing there and they

01:52:28   have the huge market there to sell, and they are more than any other tech company by, you know,

01:52:34   at least U.S. tech company, you know, stuck in this trade war. And not just a trade war,

01:52:40   but, you know, to the extent there is a sort of ideological war, it's a very tough place to be.

01:52:45   Uh, yeah, because the other tech giants don't have physical goods. I mean, Apple, you know,

01:52:52   Facebook, I mean, I get the they make stuff Facebook has these gadgets and and Amazon makes the

01:52:59   Gadgets and Google's makes gadgets and words. We just talked about beginning of the show Microsoft makes gadgets

01:53:05   They all do make their own gadgets

01:53:07   but for all of those other giants that gadgets are a side business and for Apple, it's the inverse that the

01:53:14   You know the vast overwhelming majority of the company's revenues and profits come from selling

01:53:20   iPhones in particular but gadgets, you know overall the services are the

01:53:24   Again, they're growing. They're they're right to focus on it

01:53:27   We don't have to talk about it

01:53:28   But it's you know

01:53:29   Apple services revenues dwarf compared to the hardware stuff and the hardware stuff the iPhone in particular. They're all made in China

01:53:35   And so they're completely square in the middle of the trade war with the Trump administration. I

01:53:40   Think it's always been hmm

01:53:43   this seems a dangerous place to put all your eggs in one basket because

01:53:48   It's a communist dictatorship.

01:53:53   I want to dwell on that because it's the most interesting about this. The whole Apple

01:54:00   doctrine and the Cook doctrine talks about this idea of we need to control our most important

01:54:06   technologies. And it turns out, maybe the most important Apple skill set and capability

01:54:14   is its ability to manufacture massive numbers of devices that are very highly engineered

01:54:22   and are manufactured at an extremely high level of quality. And it turns out that they

01:54:27   don't have control of that. Like, they don't have control because it's in another country

01:54:34   that follows a different value system than the one that Apple does, broadly speaking.

01:54:41   I mean, there's certainly, you know, the whole thing about Apple privacy is a human right.

01:54:46   Like it rings a bit cello when, when, when, you know, given their, their position in China in some

01:54:53   respects, and also they're stuck in the middle of this trade war and, and we weaving aside it,

01:55:01   which is extremely difficult to do. So bear with me here, but leaving aside the Trump sort of angle

01:55:07   here. This collision of the US and China, I think in many respects is bigger and broader

01:55:14   than Trump. And it was probably there was a degree that was inevitable is going to happen

01:55:20   at some point. And I think what is a little concerning from the Apple perspective is it

01:55:26   kind of feels like they didn't see it coming at all. And they're stuck and they really

01:55:32   have no good options.

01:55:33   Right, and there was a bit of news last week where Apple officially announced that the

01:55:37   new Mac Pro, just like the previous trash can Mac Pro, will be manufactured in Austin,

01:55:43   Texas, and that there's some kind of exemption from the tariffs that will allow them to import

01:55:52   some of the components from China without paying tariff, blah, blah, blah.

01:55:56   But the Mac Pro is literally the most niche hardware product that Apple makes.

01:56:01   it might as well be called the Mac niche.

01:56:03   I mean, it's by definition.

01:56:05   I mean, it starts at five,

01:56:06   and there's nothing wrong with that.

01:56:09   But it's a $5,000, and really,

01:56:11   in the configurations, most people who want

01:56:14   and need a Mac Pro are gonna cost a lot more than $5,000.

01:56:17   It's the price of a compact car.

01:56:21   - You mean 128 gigabytes of hard drive is not sufficient?

01:56:25   - Well, probably not.

01:56:26   It's like, oh, yeah, I work at Pixar,

01:56:29   here I've rendered one frame. I've got one frame of the movie here on my Mac Pro.

01:56:37   I can, you know, yeah probably not. But they are in no position, I mean so, you

01:56:43   know, that news I'll mention it, but I mean they are in no position to move

01:56:47   iPhone production out of China. I mean it's really staggering. I would love

01:56:51   to, you know, and it just must be an amazing thing to behold, you know, with

01:56:58   how many, you know, to be able to produce 70 million or however many tens of million iPhones

01:57:06   in a quarter with a brand new design and stuff like that, it's just staggering when you do the

01:57:11   math and just think about how many they're making a day, you know, that there's like a million of

01:57:15   them literally and how many million shipped on Friday, September 24th or whatever the day was

01:57:23   when people who pre-ordered the minute that the pre-orders went available got their iPhones.

01:57:29   Just staggering to think how many of these things come out. They're in no position to move that

01:57:33   elsewhere or diversify. I mean, if… Yeah, and people are going to email and say, because they

01:57:38   have set up factories like Brazil and India primarily to get around really restrictive

01:57:42   sort of import controls in those countries, but they're not remotely capable of scaling to

01:57:48   servicing the rest of the world the way China is. And they're stuck. Apple's really fundamentally

01:57:55   stuck. They are not really capable of going elsewhere. And at the same time,

01:58:01   as you've been writing about, it's kind of getting to be an increasingly untenable position,

01:58:08   particularly in the context of Apple's rhetoric around the sort of company they claim to be and

01:58:13   and the things they claim to believe in.

01:58:15   - Right, and privacy is a human right.

01:58:17   Literally, that's words that come out of their mouths.

01:58:22   Tim Cook has said, "Privacy is a fundamental human right."

01:58:26   China is a surveillance state.

01:58:29   I don't mean to laugh, it's actually not funny at all.

01:58:33   It's tragic.

01:58:35   It is difficult.

01:58:38   Now, I'm of the opinion that the fact that Apple

01:58:40   in the Chinese market and and sells you know iPhones and you and I have talked

01:58:46   about this a lot about how they're there we don't have to rehash it now but that

01:58:51   their their success in the Chinese market has waxed and waned significantly

01:58:56   more significantly than they have in other markets because the Chinese market

01:58:59   is unique and the people you don't get locked into the Android or iOS

01:59:07   ecosystems in China the way you do in other countries,

01:59:11   'cause China has its own stuff,

01:59:13   and you just use that stuff on an iPhone,

01:59:15   or you use it on an Android phone,

01:59:16   and if you wanna switch to a Huawei phone,

01:59:18   you just switch and your stuff moves over.

01:59:20   And you've talked about how,

01:59:23   so that stuff like having a new rose gold color

01:59:26   is very much more important in the Chinese market

01:59:28   than elsewhere, because being able to signify

01:59:30   that you have the new top of the line iPhone

01:59:33   is more important, 'cause that might be really

01:59:35   more than iOS or any part of the ecosystem. That's why people are doing blah, blah, blah.

01:59:40   I don't think it's a problem. I think it's very, it requires a nuanced discussion to

01:59:45   talk about Apple selling iPhones in a market that with politically difficult leadership

01:59:53   like China. Because in some ways it's good if you're in China and you are as a Chinese

02:00:01   citizen concerned with your privacy. Isn't it better that if you're fortunate enough

02:00:06   to be able to afford an iPhone, isn't it great that you have the option of buying a phone

02:00:12   that probably is more private than most of the other phones in the Chinese market and

02:00:17   that protects your stuff? And whatever sacrifices Apple had to make to host Chinese iCloud accounts

02:00:24   on servers within mainland China, we don't know what's going on with that and what sort

02:00:30   of access the Chinese state has to that. But if it's as private as Apple would suggest

02:00:35   that it is, it's better than if Apple just said, "You know what? We don't support

02:00:40   China. We're pulling out. We're not going to sell our products in China." There's

02:00:47   people who want Apple to do that, who think that if Apple's actions match their rhetoric,

02:00:53   they should take a stance and say, "We won't sell our products in China because we support

02:00:57   privacy in China's government is anti- privacy. I don't know. I get how that would please

02:01:04   people who want Apple to make a stink about this, and it would certainly raise a ruckus

02:01:09   and draw a lot of attention. But would that actually be good for the people in China who

02:01:14   want iPhones and want the most privacy they can get? I would say no, it's not good.

02:01:21   I think that requires nuance. But I do think though that, like you said, it's starting

02:01:26   to come to a head and it's starting to become untenable.

02:01:31   I think the point that you're driving at is, yeah, the sell of iPhones is one thing.

02:01:38   The reason why Apple is in a no-win position is the manufacturer of iPhones.

02:01:44   That's the part that like, they're just like, it's literally where else can they go, and

02:01:52   are paying the price for decisions that were made many, many years in the past. And yeah,

02:02:02   it's, I mean, I think they, my feeling is they need to start in making the sort of investments

02:02:11   and pushing out into other countries and whether it's India or Brazil or they go to Vietnam

02:02:17   or wherever it might be, like figuring out ways to start building out. But the problem

02:02:20   is it's going to be, it's going to take years, but if it's going to take years, no better

02:02:25   time to start than now. And my concern is that there's just a hope that this is going

02:02:31   to blow over. And you talk about the Mac Pro and Apple getting the exemption. I mean, it

02:02:35   kind of feels like Tim Cook played Donald Trump like a violin. I mean, I don't think

02:02:42   they're making production decisions about the Mac Pro in October of the year it's going

02:02:47   to ship, right?

02:02:48   Right. Yeah, they were going to make that in Texas no matter what. So that, right.

02:02:53   So I worry though that it's going to embolden Apple to be like, look, we can muddle through

02:02:59   and it's all going to be okay. And I'm not sure in the one where it's going to

02:03:03   be okay. Like, like, and so there's some really serious decisions that Tim Cook is

02:03:09   going to have to make. And this is absolutely a CEO level, CEO level Tim Cook decision.

02:03:14   He's the one that got him into China in the first place. And if they need to get out,

02:03:17   the one that needs to get them out. And it's going to be really tempting to say, "This

02:03:22   is all going to blow over. It's going to be fine." And I don't know. I don't

02:03:26   know if it's going to be fine.

02:03:28   It's interesting that Samsung is now out of China. I guess it does—the two sides

02:03:34   of the coin go hand in hand in a way that I don't quite understand, that people are

02:03:40   at least drawing the connection. Where China—or Samsung at one point had 15 percent just like

02:03:45   six years ago had 15% of the Chinese phone market and with the rise of the in China brands

02:03:53   like Huawei and what's the other one? Zee or what?

02:03:59   ZTE.

02:04:00   Yeah, there's a couple, but there's a couple of up and coming companies making truly impressive.

02:04:05   Yeah, Xiaomi is the one I was thinking of. Well regarded high end hardware within and

02:04:14   those companies have eaten Samsung's lunch. Samsung is under 1%, effectively zero in the

02:04:19   Chinese market. And they've now just this week, pulled out of China for all assembly and

02:04:24   manufacturing. So it's obvious, you know, the interesting part of that to me is like,

02:04:29   it's proof that a company that Samsung makes more phones than Apple per year. So obviously,

02:04:36   it's possible to make 100 million phones without making a single one of them in China.

02:04:42   But, again—

02:04:43   John: That's a great point. It's a great point. And it's mostly in South Korea, but

02:04:48   yeah, it's a great point.

02:04:49   Trevor Burrus It's not like China alone can do it, but

02:04:53   it's not, again, like you said, to borrow a Chinese proverb, "A journey of a thousand

02:04:58   miles starts with a single step." It's not like all of a sudden Apple can snap its

02:05:02   fingers and make all of its phones outside China next year. This would take years. This

02:05:07   is a long, long thing if they're going to do it. Anyway, the other news this week was

02:05:12   a, you know, there's these protests, democracy protests in Hong Kong, the politics of which

02:05:19   we don't have to touch upon, but you know, it's certainly interesting. It's been months

02:05:25   long, it is certainly significant. And the Apple angle is that there is an app, a service

02:05:31   called HK Map Live. And basically it is a map that shows police activity and other information

02:05:44   that apparently is very useful for people, even people not just for the protesters. It's

02:05:51   useful for people who are trying to avoid the protests. And there are, you know, it's

02:05:55   all sorts of stuff. It's useful information. They have an app that they, it's available

02:06:00   for Android, they submitted it to Apple, and Apple's App Store review process rejected

02:06:05   it on the grounds that it was—I forget the exact words—but basically that Apple accused

02:06:12   it of trying to circumvent law enforcement, which really does not seem to be the case.

02:06:16   I mean, and again, maybe somebody's politics are such that they, you know, because the

02:06:21   Hong Kong protesters are on the side of democracy, and then the other side is the Chinese communist

02:06:26   dictatorship that Apple should allow it anyway. But it really just, it's just information.

02:06:31   It's effectively, you know, like traffic, you know, that this police activity is a real

02:06:37   thing. The police don't even want people, you know, in some regards, I don't even think

02:06:40   the police would object to this app. It's not, it just seems very, it seems like a very

02:06:46   strange wrongheaded rejection. And it raises the question, the obvious question, you know,

02:06:51   A lot of people seem to jump to the conclusion that Apple rejected it, for lack of a better

02:06:57   word, kowtowing to the Chinese government that they just don't want to have anything

02:07:01   that looks like Apple is siding with the protesters in Hong Kong.

02:07:07   I think, again, the Hanlon's razor argument that never attributed to malice, that which

02:07:12   can be attributed to stupidity, often is the case with the App Store, unfortunately.

02:07:19   Even the HK map developer seems to think that might be the case. Give Apple a couple of

02:07:25   days to relook at this and maybe it'll go through. Apple can't screw up stuff like this

02:07:34   with China. Of course, it's perfectly reasonable for people to jump to the conclusion that

02:07:40   Apple is doing this for politics, not for some kind of bureaucratic snafu within the

02:07:45   App Store process that could have happened to any app?

02:07:47   It's a fair point. But I do think, I mean, frankly, I don't

02:07:53   know why there's any reason to give Apple the benefit of the

02:07:58   doubt with anything China related, other than sort of our

02:08:01   hope that they're going to do the right thing. Because the

02:08:04   reality is, is every time they've had to make a decision,

02:08:06   whether it be pulling VPN apps on the App Store or things on

02:08:09   those lines, they've done what China wanted them to do. And to

02:08:13   be totally clear. I've defended them on that. That's the reality of being a multinational

02:08:18   corporation and being in different countries is you have to follow the law in those countries.

02:08:22   So this isn't a condemnation of them. But the reality is, maybe this is the cynic in

02:08:34   me, but I have a hard time seeing Apple pushing back on China in any sort of meaningful way.

02:08:42   If China doesn't want this app, I don't think this app is going to be in the App Store.

02:08:46   And yeah, maybe it is Hanlon's razor.

02:08:48   I'd like to propose Thompson's razor, which is that this shit's super complicated, right?

02:08:53   And like, oh, you see this again and again, whether it's Apple or Facebook or Google or

02:08:58   all of these companies, anytime you think that a decision a company makes is absolutely

02:09:04   100% wrong or absolutely 100% right, you almost by definition have not fully thought through

02:09:09   all the trade-offs and the issues that are at hand, because almost all these decisions

02:09:15   are like 51-49 decisions. It goes back and forth. I don't envy Apple in this situation.

02:09:22   I don't envy them being in the middle. But I do really hope that they're thinking about

02:09:29   ways to not be in the middle five to 10 years from now.

02:09:32   I guess that's my point, is that I don't think Apple deserves the benefit of the doubt

02:09:35   on this. I think, you know, and it's not like China is some obscure country. You know,

02:09:42   like if it were, if it were, you know, there was some weird law in Ecuador and there's

02:09:48   an app and it's like, "Oh, that's a really strange law that seems contrary to the values

02:09:52   of, you know, Apple." You could see how maybe, you know, that wouldn't have, that

02:09:58   that might be overlooked in the app store. Like China is not, you can't overlook China.

02:10:02   I mean, it's the most populous country in the world.

02:10:05   Everybody knows that Apple's in a weird situation there.

02:10:10   It absolutely, there's no way to excuse,

02:10:14   if this was a mistake, so either way,

02:10:16   it makes Apple look bad, right?

02:10:19   If they're doing it to kowtow to the Chinese government,

02:10:21   that's a bad look, and it seems contrary

02:10:24   to Apple's rhetoric on privacy

02:10:26   and Apple's stance on various social issues.

02:10:31   And if it happened through ineptitude,

02:10:35   well that doesn't make Apple that look good either.

02:10:37   How in the world can you be inept on a decision

02:10:40   related to China and something as high profile

02:10:42   as these Hong Kong protests?

02:10:45   - Oh, let me tell you about the last 10 years

02:10:47   of the App Store. (laughs)

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02:12:21   Try it yourself. All right, charcoal's on the list. Anything else?

02:12:26   We're here for charcoal.

02:12:29   Let me double check that there's nothing else real on my agenda for this show.

02:12:34   No, I think that's about it.

02:12:38   I want the minute-by-minute breakdown, because as I understand it, you're the one that

02:12:44   answered the door. Is that correct?

02:12:47   Well, so we have a roof deck, we have a charcoal grill.

02:12:51   No, I want the door opening.

02:12:54   Then we can backtrack.

02:12:55   Just give me a few contacts here.

02:12:57   Well, we've been out of charcoal for a couple of weeks.

02:13:00   And you live in the city and I could buy it at the corner store,

02:13:04   but the amount of charcoal you can buy and walk home with is not a lot.

02:13:08   So I mentioned it to Amy and I said, "We should Amazon some charcoal.

02:13:14   That's what we should do."

02:13:15   and she said that she would take care of it. And then she said charcoal is on the way.

02:13:19   And what was it, Tuesday, two days ago, three days ago? It was actually part of it was—it's

02:13:25   early October in Philadelphia, but it was over 90 degrees. We had a very hot streak.

02:13:32   Doorbell rings, and there's a man—he's a very large man, and he's sweating profusely.

02:13:37   He's carrying what looks to be a very heavy box. I would say it's, you know, I don't know,

02:13:45   almost like a chest-sized cardboard box. And behind him is a—you know those hand trucks

02:13:57   they have at the airport? Like if you come to the airport with a lot of—like you're

02:14:00   going with your whole family on a long trip and there's a curbside porter who will take

02:14:04   your luggage with him. It's like a push cart.

02:14:07   It's got like four wheels on it. Four wheels and a push cart. And it could

02:14:11   take maybe a family of sixes luggage to the to the check-in counter he's got one of those behind it

02:14:17   also just stuck stuffed with six boxes like this and then he's got a colleague behind him

02:14:24   in the street with another push cart with six similar boxes and he hands me the first box and

02:14:34   it is very heavy uh i can tell you i i actually opened it up and checked it is it weighs 36 pounds

02:14:41   Each box. And I guess—

02:14:45   In a way, you have 12 boxes? Is that right?

02:14:47   Twelve boxes, each of them 36 pounds. So it's 432 pounds.

02:14:52   32 pounds.

02:14:53   Charcoal. I guessed right away that it was charcoal. I had no idea why it was so much.

02:14:58   And I thought, well, maybe. And then I thought—I realized that the first six boxes were definitely

02:15:03   mine. The fellow behind him, I actually asked—I asked, I said, "Is that mine, too?" Because

02:15:10   In my mind, I thought, "We can't possibly have this much charcoal."

02:15:13   And I thought, "Well, somebody else must have bought a lot of charcoal."

02:15:16   And as soon as the words came out of my mouth, I realized, "Well, what are the odds

02:15:19   that somebody else in my neighborhood..."

02:15:21   About six large boxes.

02:15:23   Boxes of...

02:15:24   About 216 pounds of charcoal.

02:15:26   Right.

02:15:27   I, as soon as the words came out of my mouth, I realized it was maybe the dumbest thing

02:15:30   I've said in months.

02:15:32   And he goes, "No, that's yours too, buddy."

02:15:34   Did he actually drop the buddy?

02:15:39   Yeah, I think so.

02:15:40   And he says, "We've got more on the truck for you." And I was like, "More charcoal?" He goes,

02:15:45   "Nah, it's other stuff." Because I thought, "Oh my God, there's more." So somehow my wife wound up

02:15:53   buying 432 pounds of charcoal from Amazon. And she thinks what happened is that she—it sounds like

02:16:03   like a good theory. It will number one, I opened a box, it's

02:16:08   Kingsford charcoal. It's not just any bag, though, it is

02:16:13   their new 18 pound bags that they are advertising is the

02:16:16   biggest ever. So each bag, it's not just bags of charcoal, it is

02:16:21   the biggest bags of charcoal that Kingsford has ever sold.

02:16:24   Each box contains two of them. She thinks what happened is that

02:16:31   she started buying it on one of her, like maybe her iPad,

02:16:36   maybe her Mac or whatever.

02:16:38   But she didn't finish the transaction.

02:16:41   She bought one, meaning one two-pack,

02:16:45   which would be a combined 36 pounds of charcoal.

02:16:49   - Which is very sensible.

02:16:51   You go in the city, it's hard to get charcoal.

02:16:52   You get a bunch of charcoal at once.

02:16:54   - That would be a fine amount.

02:16:55   Kingsford advertises that one of these bags,

02:16:58   One of these 18-pound bags is enough for nine grillings.

02:17:02   And that she went to a next device and thought,

02:17:07   you know what, why don't I buy two?

02:17:08   'Cause then we'll be set for a while.

02:17:10   And that on her iPad, on the Amazon website,

02:17:13   it's not a pop-up menu for quantity, it's a text field.

02:17:16   And that she poked it and typed a two.

02:17:20   And that turned, instead of changing to two,

02:17:23   it changed one to 12.

02:17:25   This actually makes perfect sense.

02:17:27   I believe that she has nailed the how in the fuck did this happen? I forget if I forget

02:17:33   which devices which but that she started it on one went to the other and on the other.

02:17:38   It's a text field not a pop up for quantity and she changed one to 12 instead of one to

02:17:44   two and just banged her way through one click their way through the whole process and bought

02:17:50   $240 or something worth of charcoal. So now we have $400.

02:17:57   So what are you going to do with all the charcoal?

02:18:02   I don't know. I really don't know.

02:18:09   There needs to be odds in Vegas on the chances of this charcoal still being in your house

02:18:14   like four years from now.

02:18:16   Now the other funny thing, my wife owned up to it, well sort of. I mean, she tweeted by

02:18:22   saying "Let he who has not ordered 432 pounds of charcoal cast the first stone" or something

02:18:28   like that. And my reply to her was "He?" Because there was no "he" who inadvertently

02:18:35   ordered all of this. And she posted a picture.

02:18:37   My response to her was to link to that New York Times article about how it actually may

02:18:42   not be a problem to eat lots of red meat. So that was good news. Good timing.

02:18:47   Well, if Kingsford is correct that each bag is good for nine grillings, and you would

02:18:53   think that, you know, much like the way that the toothpaste industry would have you believe

02:18:57   that you should put, you know, like a big S-shaped longer than your toothbrush amount

02:19:02   of toothpaste, you know, on your toothbrush each time you brush your teeth, I would imagine

02:19:06   the Kingsford people encourage you to use plenty of charcoal each time you grill.

02:19:10   That's like you burn through all the charcoal like there's no reuse or anything, right?

02:19:14   so let's assume that they're accurate with their nine grilling spur bag with

02:19:19   24 bags we would be 9 times 24 would be what 180 plus 36 would be

02:19:26   260 216 grilling

02:19:36   So I think we're set well

02:19:38   I think I think that you started talking about the number of grilling's and you expected that number to be much smaller

02:19:44   Yeah, and then you actually go

02:19:46   It's like it's literally like eight months worth of grilling's

02:19:51   If we grilled every single day, which we don't do and if it's gonna be winter soon

02:19:58   7.2 months I believe is the exact number I guess if we were smart people we'd send it back somehow

02:20:06   But this it just seems embarrassed. It's embarrassing as well

02:20:10   I don't even know how you send back

02:20:13   430 pounds of charcoal or you know, I guess we'd keep some of it just send back 380 pounds of it or something

02:20:21   Anyway my wife also she did own up to it

02:20:26   She posted a picture with our son standing in front of all 12 boxes for you know for size

02:20:34   You know large boxes. Oh, they are large boxes

02:20:37   They are 36 pounds each and the odd thing was that the most common response that she got after tweeting

02:20:43   It was the boxes all say Walmart

02:20:45   But that's just fulfillment and and people were giving her a hard time for shopping at Walmart as though that's you know

02:20:52   like morally, you know, I

02:20:54   Don't understand the people who gave her a hard time about having purchased them from Walmart

02:21:00   which A) I wouldn't have had a problem with, I don't think there's anything wrong with

02:21:03   buying charcoal from Walmart, but B) she didn't even do it. She bought it from Amazon and

02:21:07   Walmart just happened to fulfill it, you know, the weird way that Amazon is just sort of

02:21:12   a front end to retail stuff these days. But more than that, the issue of buying it from

02:21:18   Walmart isn't the issue. It's 432 fucking pounds of charcoal in my office.

02:21:23   Why are you obsessing about the logo on the box? The fact is, there are 12 boxes here.

02:21:30   With each containing two 18-pound bags of charcoal. It's a lot of charcoal. So anyway,

02:21:40   do you need some charcoal?

02:21:42   I think it's not going to be worth the price to ship it to Taiwan.

02:21:48   I guess. Maybe we'll give it out at Christmas to people?

02:21:51   you'll get a container chip. That would be hilarious. You got to start mailing out the,

02:21:55   what are they 18 pounds? Yeah. Just you should start soon because you want to use like UPS

02:22:01   ground or something or whatever the cheap US Postal Service service is. And just pick a bunch

02:22:07   of friends and just start mailing them bags of charcoal and all of them are going to laugh their

02:22:11   ass off. It's absolutely what you should do. You're going to spend way more than you spend

02:22:16   the charcoal in the first place, but it'll be worth it. I don't know what it would cost to

02:22:20   to mail 36 pounds of charcoal.

02:22:21   The hilarious thing is you're going to mail this charcoal out, and then it's going to

02:22:24   get to May, and you're going to be like, "Fuck, I have no more charcoal."

02:22:29   If I ever do run out of charcoal, I've got to be upset. I guess the good news is charcoal

02:22:34   doesn't go bad. I guess keep it dry and it should be fine. My wife was worried then.

02:22:38   My wife got spooked. She worried if it was a fire hazard. And I said, "Well, think

02:22:45   about how hard it is to light charcoal, really. I mean, it's actually notoriously tricky,

02:22:50   you know, that's why they, you know, and it is not, it's not match light, you know, charcoal,

02:22:55   which is pre-doused with lighter fluid. It is just plain old-fashioned charcoal.

02:22:59   The original.

02:23:00   The original.

02:23:01   Yes.

02:23:02   So I said, I don't think it's a fire hazard, given how tricky it usually is to get it going.

02:23:06   So I don't think we're in danger. It's just…

02:23:10   Well, I look forward to visiting your house in 2027 and using this shipment of charcoal.

02:23:19   It really was. And that's the thing. And the other part too is she tweeted it and she,

02:23:24   you know, she's owned up to it, but I wasn't mad at all. I didn't say a crossword. I,

02:23:29   you know, to me it was an honest mistake, but it gets to the nature of our different

02:23:33   personalities where I said to her, "I want you to imagine if I had accidentally ordered

02:23:40   432 pounds of charcoal at a cost of over $200 and that you were home alone and had to answer

02:23:47   the door and look this sweaty delivery guy on a 90 degree day right in the eye and just

02:23:58   take ownership of 12 of these 36-pound boxes of charcoal. I want you to imagine how you

02:24:05   would have reacted to that." And she admitted that she would not have handled it well. Well,

02:24:13   there would have been crosswords. That's quite a thing. Anyway, I hope you like charcoal.

02:24:24   Ben Thompson, everybody can follow you online @BenThompson on Twitter. No Tech Ben for your

02:24:31   sports commentary, which NBA is picking up, so you don't have to be too depressed over

02:24:35   there.

02:24:36   I appreciate you not discussing baseball. It was a difficult conclusion to the season,

02:24:41   to say the least.

02:24:42   It's heartbreaking, to be honest. And of course, Stratechery.com, your daily newsletter

02:24:50   with the weekly updates and keen insights into everything going on in the world of tech.

02:24:56   I thank you. I always love having you on the show.

02:24:57   I love being on the show and I love talking about charcoal.

02:25:01   Yeah, find out how much it costs to send a bag to Taipei.

02:25:03   Probably $432.

02:25:06   - Three socks.

02:25:07   (laughing)