The Talk Show

187: ‘Forget About Frodo and Sam’ With MG Siegler


00:00:00   In the old days if if I were gonna have a show it would we would have to be together

00:00:04   you'd have to be like in a studio with me and

00:00:06   You would think I would I would supply comfortable chairs for my guests and you you know

00:00:12   I feel like forcing guests to use Skype is like you get like a folding chair that was that was outside and as like

00:00:19   Rain scum on it, you know

00:00:22   Yeah

00:00:24   Yeah, it's nice to be on again

00:00:28   There's a couple of things we have to talk about, I guess.

00:00:32   There's always stuff to talk about, but there's a couple of recent posts that you've

00:00:36   had on your 500-ish word site.

00:00:39   Is that what it's called?

00:00:40   I know that's the domain.

00:00:41   Yep, 500-ish words.

00:00:43   But you wrote about the end of Virgin America.

00:00:51   Can you summarize this?

00:00:53   And again, it's a perfect piece, I will put it in the show loads.

00:00:57   But it is perfect insofar as you admit that Virgin America only flew between a very small

00:01:03   number of cities.

00:01:04   Right.

00:01:05   So there's a large number of people who, if you don't live in San Francisco, LA, or New

00:01:07   York, you probably haven't flown Virgin.

00:01:09   Right.

00:01:10   And so, yeah.

00:01:11   So basically, I'm assuming by this point, because it's been a month or so, everyone

00:01:16   knows that Alaska Airlines bought Virgin America.

00:01:21   And as a part of that, they sort of did this whole big branding thing, certainly around

00:01:25   in San Francisco and I assume other cities

00:01:27   in which Virgin operates where it's sort of like

00:01:29   the Alaska plus Virgin equals love type marketing campaign.

00:01:34   'Cause obviously people were worried

00:01:37   when someone else bought Virgin America

00:01:39   that there would be the end of Virgin America.

00:01:42   And they were trying to sort of play it up,

00:01:44   no, this is just gonna make both sides even better.

00:01:46   And then whenever it was a few weeks ago,

00:01:49   they of course announced that they're going to be

00:01:51   shutting down the Virgin America brand entirely.

00:01:55   and basically merging the planes

00:01:59   and sort of merging all into one entity,

00:02:02   which of course I'm sure makes sense for the bottom line.

00:02:04   That's the reason why they're doing it

00:02:07   for cost efficiencies.

00:02:08   But yeah, I mean, so people who don't live

00:02:12   in one of the cities that Virgin America services,

00:02:14   which is, I'm not even sure what the current number is,

00:02:16   but let's say it's 10, maybe 12 or something like that.

00:02:19   It's not very many still.

00:02:21   Started in San Francisco.

00:02:22   The company was headquarters here.

00:02:24   Obviously, it was famously started out of Richard Branson's Virgin Group.

00:02:28   People who don't live in one of those 10 to 15, whatever it is now, cities,

00:02:35   don't really understand why people who do live in one of those cities

00:02:40   and take Virgin regularly are upset about this.

00:02:43   The best pushback that I found most amusing was on Twitter,

00:02:48   basically saying, "But Alaska Airlines is such a great airline too."

00:02:52   And you know, I've been on Alaska, certainly any flight that goes to sort of the Pacific

00:02:56   Northwest, you know, that's sort of one of the common carriers, and it's fine.

00:03:00   It's a nice airline.

00:03:01   You know, it's not United.

00:03:02   I'm sure we can talk about that in a second, but it's fine.

00:03:07   But it's not Virgin America.

00:03:08   You have to be on a Virgin America plane to know what that's like.

00:03:11   I mean, if you think back to when it started, whenever that was, several years back, you

00:03:17   know, the fact that they were all sort of new planes.

00:03:21   The basic thing that I highlighted in that post is,

00:03:24   I think people don't understand,

00:03:26   you got a level of consistency flying Virgin America

00:03:29   that you don't get with any other airline,

00:03:30   'cause it's a total crap shoot,

00:03:32   whether you're gonna get an old rickety plane,

00:03:34   whether you're gonna get one with like,

00:03:36   still cigarette ashtrays.

00:03:37   (laughing)

00:03:38   - Yeah, ashtrays.

00:03:39   - Yeah.

00:03:40   - And a sticker that says, "Do not use under federal law."

00:03:42   - Yes, and with Virgin,

00:03:45   sort of because it was a newer airline,

00:03:47   they had all the same,

00:03:48   I think it was A380 planes,

00:03:50   No, the A380 is the big one, whatever the Airbus is.

00:03:53   I think they're A321s.

00:03:55   It might be that, yeah.

00:03:56   Maybe--

00:03:57   It's one of the sort of standard, smaller Airbus planes.

00:04:02   And so they were all that.

00:04:03   They all had Wi-Fi, which at the time was a novelty, certainly.

00:04:08   They all had those televisions and the screenbacks,

00:04:10   not just in first class or anything.

00:04:11   All the screens-- all the seats, sorry--

00:04:14   had that.

00:04:14   And you had a very consistent experience.

00:04:16   You knew if you were getting on a Virgin America flight,

00:04:18   more likely to be a good flight. I mean, I'm sure that, you know, everyone will have a

00:04:22   horror story about every airline, but it's not like you hear about United and Delta and some

00:04:28   of the other ones that are just, you know, constantly a crummy experience. This was

00:04:32   a definitely a notch above. We had them in Philly until about two years ago, and we lost them. We

00:04:42   lost Virgin during the aftermath of the American--

00:04:46   Oh, the merger?

00:04:47   --US Air merger.

00:04:48   I've told this story before.

00:04:50   But long story short, it's very simple.

00:04:53   When US Air and American proposed merging,

00:04:57   one of the problem areas was that it

00:04:59   gave the combined airline too many gates at JFK in New York,

00:05:05   or the federal aviation.

00:05:06   There's some kind of limit to the percentage of gates

00:05:09   that any one airline can have at any airport.

00:05:11   And US Air and American both had a big presence at JFK

00:05:15   and it was too many gates.

00:05:16   So they had to get rid of some of the gates

00:05:18   and Virgin decided they would rather take more gates at JFK

00:05:22   but leave Philly entirely.

00:05:24   And they couldn't keep both because one of the problems

00:05:26   of being an airline is it's really hard to get more planes.

00:05:29   I mean, it sounds silly 'cause you think like,

00:05:31   oh, you just call Boeing up and buy a plane.

00:05:34   - Right. - You know what I mean?

00:05:35   Like if you and I bought or started a moving company

00:05:38   and it took off and we needed more trucks,

00:05:40   we could just go buy more trucks.

00:05:42   That's not a problem.

00:05:43   But in aviation, you gotta order an airplane

00:05:46   like a couple years in advance.

00:05:47   So there's nothing-- - Right, such a long

00:05:48   lead time.

00:05:50   - So I've been off Virgin for a while.

00:05:51   But I still get the emails.

00:05:52   Like I got the email the other day from Alaska

00:05:54   telling me not to worry, my points are okay.

00:05:56   - Right, yeah, I mean, we'll see.

00:06:00   Of course, Alaska's trying to say all the right things

00:06:04   in their sort of press statement about it.

00:06:06   They said, "We're going to be sort of bringing

00:06:08   the Virgin experience to Alaska flights.

00:06:11   And so, including the humorous bit about there being

00:06:15   mood lighting, that's one of the,

00:06:17   that's like the thing they decided to focus on,

00:06:18   'cause Virgin America sort of famously has this

00:06:21   purple-hued mood lighting.

00:06:22   And so, Alaska's gonna do that,

00:06:24   but they're gonna have blue mood lighting.

00:06:25   So it'll be not the exact same,

00:06:27   but it will be almost as good.

00:06:29   And we'll see, I mean, they said that basically

00:06:32   nothing was going to change, and then of course

00:06:34   everything's changing, so don't have a lot of

00:06:38   hope for it remaining as it was.

00:06:41   The good news, if there is slight good news,

00:06:44   it's going to take them a long time to sort of phase

00:06:47   in and out those changes.

00:06:49   And so Virgin will remain operating

00:06:50   for I think at least a year, maybe a couple of years,

00:06:54   something like that.

00:06:55   But yeah, it'll be a big change.

00:06:58   And as we're seeing this week with the airline industry,

00:07:01   this is sort of par for the course,

00:07:03   just doing anything to screw over customers.

00:07:05   I think they only had two or three gates at Philly.

00:07:08   So it wasn't a lot of flights.

00:07:10   It wasn't a big presence.

00:07:11   And it was a small desk for check-in.

00:07:13   You know, it was usually like two people.

00:07:16   So it's not a fair comparison to like American,

00:07:19   which dominates Philly.

00:07:21   But every time I could fly Virgin, I did.

00:07:26   And I, you know, they had a great nonstop service

00:07:30   between Philly and San Francisco, which was, you know,

00:07:33   Duh is a very common flight for me for work.

00:07:36   Every time I could, I did.

00:07:39   And I never once had to wait.

00:07:41   It's just little things like that the people at the desk

00:07:44   were super efficient and nice, and you'd get up there

00:07:48   and they would be like, hey, and then you'd give 'em your ID

00:07:52   and then they'd take your bag if you had a bag to check

00:07:55   or give you a, and you were gone, and that was it.

00:07:57   And you only had no lines, never.

00:07:59   And good service on the plane.

00:08:01   My favorite story about Virgin was one time,

00:08:04   also I used to get,

00:08:06   I got the cheapest upgrades to first class.

00:08:08   I don't understand, they only had the way,

00:08:10   every plane, they're probably all the same.

00:08:12   They only had like eight first class seats.

00:08:14   It was like two rows of two.

00:08:15   - Yeah.

00:08:16   - Or they still do, I guess.

00:08:17   And every, almost every time I flew,

00:08:19   I could get an upgrade from coach to first class

00:08:21   for like a hundred bucks.

00:08:23   And I'd be like, yeah.

00:08:24   - In general, the first class seats,

00:08:26   I mean, weren't super expensive when you compare it

00:08:28   to what they are on other airlines.

00:08:31   So yeah.

00:08:32   - I flew first class on Virgin as a percentage

00:08:35   higher than anywhere else,

00:08:36   and it wasn't 'cause I had the points,

00:08:37   it was because it was so cheap to upgrade.

00:08:38   And the service was super terrific,

00:08:40   the seats were super comfortable.

00:08:41   But one time I was up in first class,

00:08:43   and we actually pulled away from the gate a little bit.

00:08:47   And then all of a sudden there was some kind of,

00:08:49   not a unpleasant commotion,

00:08:51   but some kind of thing with the phone,

00:08:53   and they were like, hey, hey, let's go back.

00:08:55   And they went back to the gate,

00:08:56   and some poor sap who had a connecting flight that was late,

00:08:59   They went back to the gate.

00:09:01   I'd say it set us back about three minutes.

00:09:04   They went back to the gate and let this guy on the plane.

00:09:06   And this guy looked like he won the lottery because--

00:09:09   - Yeah, you never hear about that, never.

00:09:12   - I've never seen it before.

00:09:13   I mean, maybe I've never seen it before

00:09:14   because I wasn't in first class,

00:09:16   but I mean, I think even in coaching,

00:09:17   you kind of tell if they-- - No, yeah, I've never seen

00:09:19   that. - If the plane stops

00:09:20   backing up and goes forward again.

00:09:22   And it was a nice thing, and I was happy for it,

00:09:25   'cause the three minutes, what's the difference

00:09:26   to the three minutes?

00:09:27   coming out of it was coming back from SFO to Philly and so you're probably going to wait that

00:09:31   time waiting to take off anyway but for that poor guy who almost missed his flight uh they just it

00:09:38   was you know thousands of dollars in happiness for that guy and i was i mean i've seen i've seen much

00:09:43   more of the sort of the opposite version of the story where the plane isn't even pushed back from

00:09:47   the gate but they just closed the door and they will not open it even though the person's there

00:09:51   the plane is still there and the door is closed and so it's just they will not reopen it for

00:09:55   for those people, not with Virgin,

00:09:56   but with countless other airlines have seen that.

00:09:59   - Yeah, and they were like,

00:10:01   the flight attendants were so nice.

00:10:02   They were like, "Hey, hey, you're here.

00:10:04   "You're on, you don't have to run anymore.

00:10:05   "Take your time, go find your seat.

00:10:07   "Do you want us to bring you a drink?"

00:10:08   And they were like, he was like, "This is amazing.

00:10:11   "Okay, sure, yes, I'll take a Coke."

00:10:14   And it was--

00:10:15   - But to your point, that was sort of like,

00:10:17   that's also definitely a part of sort of

00:10:19   the overall experience with Virgin,

00:10:21   and I don't know what it is.

00:10:22   I don't know if they just, if they hired

00:10:24   from a different crop of people in the industry or whatnot,

00:10:27   but people generally didn't seem to hate their jobs

00:10:30   and hate their lives when they were working at Virgin,

00:10:32   whereas they do very often, it seems like,

00:10:36   on many other airlines.

00:10:37   - Yeah, the big ones.

00:10:38   And I think Alaska, and it's like, to your point,

00:10:41   I would compare Alaska to Southwest.

00:10:43   I haven't flown Alaska a lot.

00:10:44   I've flown it, I think, at least twice to

00:10:47   when there was the XOXO Conference in Portland,

00:10:50   it coincided with XOXO at least for three years coincided with the tail end

00:11:00   of the iPhone introduction events in September where just by somewhat

00:11:05   coincidence or I guess not quite total coincidence but Apple targeting like the

00:11:09   second week of September for iPhone events and XOXO targeting the end of the

00:11:13   second week for XOXO at least twice for me to go to XOXO it made more

00:11:20   sense to fly out to San Francisco at the beginning of the week, wait, and then fly San Francisco

00:11:25   to Portland instead of flying all the way back to Philadelphia and then to Portland.

00:11:29   And Alaska was like, you know, was the best airline, you know, had the most flights for

00:11:32   that. So I've flown Alaska at least twice and I would compare it to Southwest. It's

00:11:36   fine. It's fine. I mean, Southwest, I've flown it a lot actually. And I like it. It's sort

00:11:44   of like, you know, it's like a nice commuter bus in the sky, right? Because they don't

00:11:49   have assigned seats, but you get sort of these numbers

00:11:51   and you stand and then you get on the plane,

00:11:53   you can just pick whatever seat you want,

00:11:54   and it's very simple.

00:11:56   I think you always get the same type of plane,

00:11:59   so that's sort of a similar experience.

00:12:01   But again, it's nice, but it cannot compare

00:12:06   to what Virgin America like.

00:12:08   The one that does, supposedly,

00:12:11   which I have not been on yet, I wonder if you have,

00:12:14   is the JetBlue Mint experience.

00:12:16   - Nope, 'cause we don't have JetBlue.

00:12:17   - I've not been on that.

00:12:18   Or maybe we do.

00:12:19   We have JetBlue, but they don't fly anywhere I go out of Philly,

00:12:21   I think.

00:12:22   Yeah, and I think San Francisco has JetBlue as well,

00:12:25   but I don't think the Mint thing is currently in play.

00:12:29   Or at least it's not like-- if I would take JetBlue,

00:12:31   I think I've taken it once before,

00:12:32   and I've taken it to New York, because obviously most

00:12:35   of the time I would take Virgin.

00:12:37   But I don't think the Mint service operates

00:12:40   between San Francisco and New York.

00:12:41   Hopefully they change that maybe with the Virgin news.

00:12:43   But it's like LA to New York, I think, has it.

00:12:45   And people rave about it when they take that.

00:12:47   They say it's at least as good as Virgin, if not better.

00:12:50   I don't really know all the perks and everything,

00:12:54   having not taken it before,

00:12:55   but I guess it's one to look forward to potentially.

00:12:58   - And it's just an industry.

00:13:01   You've made it, in your column,

00:13:05   you made it a sort of comparison to Apple and Dell

00:13:08   or something like that.

00:13:09   And maybe Alaska is maybe more like Lenovo,

00:13:11   where a ThinkPad is a nice laptop,

00:13:14   but it's not a Mac.

00:13:16   You know, it's what happens if somebody really tries to make something really good in an

00:13:23   industry where that was fine is generally considered good.

00:13:28   Wow, you got really lucky.

00:13:32   You know, my fight was fine.

00:13:34   It was more or less on time.

00:13:35   We landed more or less on time and none of my luggage got lost.

00:13:39   Right?

00:13:40   Yeah, it was funny.

00:13:41   were I was chatting actually with a in our internal work slack with some people

00:13:46   about the news and of course everyone sort of outraged right when it hits and

00:13:49   so like there's this long thread going on and that was the thing that I quoted

00:13:52   a co-worker mine Ken was like you know comparing it to yeah sort of the the PC

00:13:58   versus Mac thing which I thought would be fun because of course that always you

00:14:02   know draws such heated debate on both sides for that and whenever you compare

00:14:07   anything to that situation. But I mean I think it does feel fairly apt, you

00:14:14   know, having been myself, you know, a longtime PC user when I was growing up

00:14:18   and then switching to the Mac and just like I was PC user and it was fine and

00:14:22   like yeah I would get a faster PC and sometimes you know Windows would break

00:14:27   down and and that would suck but when it worked it was fine and then you know

00:14:32   it's uh it was a totally different experience once I switched over.

00:14:36   Yeah, it's, I mean, do you have AirPods? I'll bet you do.

00:14:39   Oh yeah, I love the AirPods.

00:14:40   Alright, so I do too. It's my favorite, my favorite thing in the last few years,

00:14:44   I think. Seriously, I love them so much. But that's, it epitomizes what Apple stands for,

00:14:49   to me, which is, let's try to make this as nice as possible, even if it's such a simple thing as just

00:14:56   putting two AirPods in your ear and having them just work when you hit play on your phone.

00:15:01   Yep.

00:15:02   and just taking it to like,

00:15:04   just keep going into tenths of a decimal,

00:15:08   99.999% nice, 99.999% nice,

00:15:12   and sweating detail after detail.

00:15:14   That's the Apple way, and it's not like Apple's perfect.

00:15:17   My favorite example from recent years

00:15:19   of Apple totally falling short on this

00:15:21   is the remote control for the new Apple TV.

00:15:23   - Oh yeah, yeah, totally, right.

00:15:24   - Which is like, how did this ever come out of Apple as okay

00:15:28   because this is so, it is fine,

00:15:31   And it's not, you know what I mean?

00:15:33   And it's not like a Comcast remote with 127 buttons, right?

00:15:38   It is Apple-like in certain ways,

00:15:42   but it's totally un-Apple-like in other ways.

00:15:44   - It's Apple-like in certain ways,

00:15:45   although I feel like everyone who has one

00:15:49   has the exact same complaint,

00:15:50   and that complaint is that you never know

00:15:52   if you're holding it right side up or upside down.

00:15:53   And how did just user testing,

00:15:57   even amongst Apple employees, how did that not come up?

00:16:00   I mean, that's like the first thing that comes up for everyone.

00:16:02   Right.

00:16:03   But to me, Virgin was shooting for the AirPods like experience from check-in to,

00:16:11   you know, getting off the plane.

00:16:13   That's what Virgin still stands for while they, while they exist.

00:16:16   But, and something like Alaska or Southwest, which I'm, I'm a fan of, I'm a big fan of,

00:16:22   so I've flown tons of miles on Southwest.

00:16:24   I don't anymore just because they've sort of dropped nonstop routes between the cities

00:16:28   I go to and I'm as the longer and more I fly the more resistant I am to taking anything other than a non-stop

00:16:36   But I really I do like them and I know that they're not luxurious

00:16:41   But the main reason I like them is that that they do seem to hire really nice people and the planes are very consistent

00:16:48   The Southwest plane is always clean and always exactly the same, but it's nothing like virgin which was trying to say

00:16:55   Let's make this really nice

00:16:56   Let's make being in a coach seat like a decent humane experience

00:16:59   And the thing that's really a bummer about it is you know, so when Virgin launched

00:17:06   I remember it very well in San Francisco. There was a lot of pomp and circumstances there is with many sort of Richard Branson affiliated things

00:17:14   But you know deservedly so and the whole criticism at the time though was like, yeah, it's a great experience

00:17:20   But they'll never be able to keep this going. They're not going to be able to run it profitably and

00:17:25   This is just not the way the airline industry works,

00:17:28   you know, in this day and age.

00:17:30   And, you know, I think they were running unprofitably

00:17:33   for a long time.

00:17:34   I do think that they eventually turned a profit

00:17:36   or they were very close to it.

00:17:37   And so there was some hope, you know, that like,

00:17:39   look, you can actually build an airline

00:17:41   with a great experience that actually makes business sense

00:17:43   as well.

00:17:45   And then of course, that just got thrown out the window

00:17:47   and they merged, I mean, and all airlines continue

00:17:50   to constantly merge and continue to constantly charge

00:17:54   for more things, for overhead storage,

00:17:56   just adding on fee after fee after fee.

00:17:59   And that's just the, you know,

00:18:00   that's the state of the industry,

00:18:02   and Virgin, it seemed like, was trying to buck that trend,

00:18:04   and it ultimately, you know, just didn't end up doing it.

00:18:09   We'll see how Alaska sort of takes the mantle,

00:18:14   but that's what's the real bummer about it.

00:18:17   It just, it sort of showcases that I think

00:18:19   it just probably can't ever work.

00:18:22   - It seems like a lot of people I know,

00:18:24   - And it does make some sense, but it's, to me,

00:18:26   key to the continuing, I don't even know

00:18:31   if I wanna say success, 'cause I'm not quite sure

00:18:34   how profitable they are, but the continuing dominance

00:18:36   of the major mediocre carriers, your Americans,

00:18:41   Deltas, Uniteds, et cetera, is that they,

00:18:46   for obvious reasons, they largely depend

00:18:49   on regular frequent flyers, and people who,

00:18:53   once you start racking up points on a certain airline,

00:18:57   so many people-- - You're locked in, yeah.

00:18:58   - So I don't feel that way.

00:19:00   I've got platinum status-- - I don't either.

00:19:02   - On American, which is pretty nice,

00:19:05   and it gets me a couple of perks,

00:19:06   and I've got miles I can cash in, whatever.

00:19:10   But every time I book a flight,

00:19:12   I still search for other airlines just to look.

00:19:15   And if I found something better or cheaper

00:19:18   on a different airline, like I still check

00:19:21   to see if Southwest has restored a couple of non-stops

00:19:24   to San Francisco every day.

00:19:25   I look every once in a while.

00:19:27   Like I would think about going back to Southwest

00:19:29   on certain flights, especially if I could,

00:19:31   or if I could get a better time of day

00:19:33   or something like that.

00:19:35   - Yeah, I'm in the same boat as you.

00:19:37   I am not sort of beholden to any sort of point system.

00:19:40   I have the virgin points, of course,

00:19:41   but as we just talked about,

00:19:42   like they didn't go all that many places,

00:19:44   so obviously you would have to take out their airlines

00:19:45   all the time.

00:19:46   And so I think I have rewards programs at all of them.

00:19:49   And I don't have huge status,

00:19:51   but I have status at some of them, I would say.

00:19:52   I fly quite a bit.

00:19:53   But I'm not one of those people who is so adamant

00:19:57   about maintaining that

00:19:59   versus just maintaining a good experience.

00:20:01   That said, I do know people who are the exact opposite.

00:20:03   I know people who take flights to and from New York City

00:20:07   just to maintain their status level.

00:20:09   Like they don't actually stay overnight in the city.

00:20:13   They just do a round trip flight on one day

00:20:16   just to be able to maintain their status,

00:20:18   - Which sounds absolutely insane.

00:20:20   - It's just not that important to me.

00:20:25   And I just don't get that much for it.

00:20:27   Even as a platinum status person on American,

00:20:30   I still don't get, I still would have to pay

00:20:32   to join their quote unquote admirals club

00:20:34   to get into the lounges.

00:20:37   And I tend not to need lounges

00:20:42   because I tend to just fly nonstop

00:20:44   from home to my destination, my destination to home.

00:20:48   And the only time I ever really need or wish I had access to a lounge is when my flight's

00:20:53   delayed. If I get to the airport on time and the flight is significantly delayed and I've

00:20:58   got two or three hours to burn, well then it would be nice to be in a lounge. In some

00:21:02   places I can get in the Amex lounge, but other airports don't have one. But it's not...

00:21:08   I don't even get it. I have platinum status and I still don't get it. So it doesn't make

00:21:11   any sense to me why people are so loyal like that. But it really does seem to screw the

00:21:15   upstart airlines. Like they can't, like one of the reasons they can't get

00:21:19   traction is people are like, I've heard Virgin is nice but I've got points on

00:21:22   United so here I go. Yep, yeah it's uh it's it's quite a racket that they that

00:21:28   they run and like you know I think you know there's certain other airlines that

00:21:32   go internationally that are that are obviously very nice. I'm actually getting

00:21:36   ready to go to London and I'm gonna be on Virgin Atlantic, it's sort of sister

00:21:41   thing. It was like the sister thing but they weren't exactly you know affiliated

00:21:44   for a long time their points didn't even transfer. I think they do now.

00:21:47   I think they set it up that way to make it easier to have happen what actually happened,

00:21:51   which was to sell one or the other without selling the other.

00:21:56   Yeah, and Branson wrote a post-mortem or whatever and sort of made some reference to it, like

00:22:05   losing a child. But there was all sorts of issues with his ownership of it and whether

00:22:14   or not he could have actually blocked anything. It seems like no, and so that's what happened.

00:22:18   I've never flown Virgin Atlantic, but I would love to. And my favorite story about that,

00:22:22   and it relates to the show, is way back in the day when Dan Benjamin and I were reviewing

00:22:28   all the James Bond movies, we were talking about Quantum of Solace.

00:22:32   Yes, I was just going to bring that up.

00:22:34   Bond is on route from England to, where was he going?

00:22:39   Somewhere in South America or the Caribbean, right?

00:22:44   - Yeah, 'cause he's with the elder gentleman.

00:22:47   - Yeah. - And they're having a drink.

00:22:49   - Yeah, and he's bereft and he's getting tanked.

00:22:54   There's a bar in the plane with a bartender

00:22:58   and he's sitting at the bar drinking Vesper Martini.

00:23:00   I don't know, like 18 of them or something.

00:23:04   And it's a beautiful looking bar.

00:23:05   And Dan and I were like, it was a cool scene,

00:23:07   you know, and it's kind of unusual to see Bond

00:23:11   actually get tanky.

00:23:13   He's always drinking, but he never seems to be drunk.

00:23:15   And here he is, you know, drinking himself into a stupor.

00:23:18   But we were like, how unrealistic is it

00:23:20   that there is a nice bar on a commercial air flight?

00:23:22   And then all these people wrote to me,

00:23:24   and they're like, oh no, no.

00:23:24   - They have it, yeah.

00:23:25   That's there, that's real. - Yeah, they were like,

00:23:26   that was actually shot on a real Virgin Atlantic plane.

00:23:29   It's like, oh my God, I've gotta get on that plane.

00:23:32   - I mean, yeah, I've been on them.

00:23:33   that's 100% legitimate, they have those bar areas,

00:23:37   and it's amazing.

00:23:38   It's not usually as quiet as it was, I would say,

00:23:41   in that scene.

00:23:42   There's usually much more people or activity around it,

00:23:45   but yeah, that's legitimate.

00:23:47   It's pretty amazing.

00:23:48   - That was some of my favorite feedback ever.

00:23:52   We were both like, totally preposterous.

00:23:54   Who would ever have a commercial airplane

00:23:56   with something like that?

00:23:57   It's like something out of the 1960s,

00:23:59   and all these people wrote to us,

00:24:01   and they're like, oh yeah, it is real, and it is nice.

00:24:03   It's fantastic.

00:24:05   Yeah, and the thing with Virgin is-- so I rarely--

00:24:07   Virgin Atlantic, I rarely take it because it's for--

00:24:10   for some reason, it ends up being usually far more

00:24:12   expensive than British Airways.

00:24:16   And we just so happened to find a ticket that

00:24:18   was roughly the same price.

00:24:20   And so we decided to book that because you haven't taken

00:24:23   Virgin, but if you ever go to London at Heathrow,

00:24:26   they have an amazing lounge, too.

00:24:29   It's probably the best lounge I've ever been in,

00:24:32   including you can get a haircut, you can shower.

00:24:34   You can-- (laughing)

00:24:36   - That's pretty nice.

00:24:37   - They have a spa, they have all this amazing stuff there.

00:24:39   - The shower mode would be nice,

00:24:40   'cause sometimes, for whatever reason,

00:24:42   when you fly cross-country, especially for you,

00:24:44   'cause you're coming from the West Coast,

00:24:45   I always feel like it's been like three days

00:24:48   since when I get off the plane in Europe,

00:24:51   I always feel like, man, that felt like it was 72 hours.

00:24:54   - Yeah, yes.

00:24:55   So yeah, I highly recommend that if you're ever

00:25:00   going overseas.

00:25:01   All right, let me take a break here

00:25:02   and thank our first friend of the show,

00:25:04   our good friends at Squarespace.

00:25:07   You guys know Squarespace.

00:25:08   It's the best place to go to make a website,

00:25:10   register, domain, anything like that.

00:25:12   When you make your next move, you're gonna need a website.

00:25:16   Why not start it at Squarespace?

00:25:19   They've got beautiful templates.

00:25:20   They've got beautiful types of sites

00:25:23   to choose from to start.

00:25:25   So if you're making an online store,

00:25:27   you can start with a store

00:25:28   and then choose a template from there.

00:25:30   if you're making a podcast.

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00:25:34   and boom, you've got a podcast site.

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00:25:40   You name the type of site,

00:25:42   you can build it with Squarespace.

00:25:43   And I say this, this is what I think is

00:25:45   the resistance people might have to Squarespace

00:25:47   is you say, well, everybody signs up for Squarespace

00:25:50   and you choose from a handful of templates

00:25:52   and then my site's gonna look like a Squarespace site

00:25:54   'cause it's not like that.

00:25:56   They've got so many templates to choose from

00:25:58   and so many ways to customize them

00:26:00   that you don't even know

00:26:01   when you're looking at a Squarespace site.

00:26:03   I was just looking at a,

00:26:06   I mentioned this on Daring Fireball last week.

00:26:08   There's a new cheesesteak place

00:26:09   pretty near our place here in Philadelphia called Cleaver's.

00:26:12   Really great new sandwich shop here.

00:26:15   I was looking at their website to place the takeout order.

00:26:18   And one of the things you click on to see the menu loaded,

00:26:22   instead of as a page, loaded as a standalone image,

00:26:25   and I could see the URL,

00:26:26   and I could see it was hosted at Squarespace.

00:26:27   I was like, whoa, and all of a sudden I view source

00:26:29   and look, and their whole site,

00:26:31   which is a really nice site,

00:26:32   but doesn't look anything like any other site

00:26:34   I've ever seen, it's very much strongly branded

00:26:36   like the restaurant built with Squarespace.

00:26:38   But that makes total sense.

00:26:39   Why would they waste time doing something

00:26:43   outside their expertise, like building a website,

00:26:45   when they could just do it at Squarespace

00:26:47   and stick to building a great restaurant?

00:26:49   So keep them in mind, next time you need a website

00:26:51   for anything, check out Squarespace.

00:26:54   Go to squarespace.com, you get a free demo,

00:26:57   And once you sign up, remember this code, Gruber, just my last name, G-R-U-B-E-R, and

00:27:03   you will get 10% off your purchase.

00:27:07   My thanks to them for their continued support of this podcast.

00:27:10   All right, next item on my list at least is your reaction to the new MacBook Pros.

00:27:18   Yeah, so, and I know you have thoughts on this as well, and you, sir, the one thing

00:27:26   that you linked to which I thought was interesting was a few weeks ago sort of a

00:27:31   poll right of people how they feel about it and so my general take is pretty

00:27:37   straightforward I just I don't hate the touch bar I just think it's totally

00:27:42   useless I have a few apps you know that are sort of tailored for it including

00:27:48   things like pixelmator handful of other things a bunch but a bunch more that

00:27:54   aren't of course but I honestly just switched the sort of the fluid setting

00:28:02   to be back to just the standard sort of F and or no I didn't sorry I didn't use

00:28:07   the the F keys I used the function is I use the actual brightness and all that

00:28:12   stuff because I like I just found myself going to that like way way more than I

00:28:17   would use any of the sort of dynamic options that the touch bar would off

00:28:20   offer and I just I don't I have a hard time I know it's early but I have a hard

00:28:26   time ever seeing that it becomes like this great feature of the MacBook Pro do

00:28:32   you disagree with that no I don't disagree I feel like it exists I feel

00:28:39   like the touch bar as we have it right now exists in a sort of no-man's land

00:28:44   where you cannot I don't think it's fair to trash it I don't think it's fair to

00:28:48   say this is great I feel like it's it's nuanced now that said I don't own one so

00:28:56   I've got I spent about two or three weeks when they first came out playing

00:29:00   with the review units I had multiple of them but mostly spent the time with the

00:29:04   13-inch because that's the size I like and I love touch ID yes I don't use the

00:29:12   I don't use the escape key as much as some people do,

00:29:16   but I do use it, and I do still even now,

00:29:19   even as somebody who doesn't use the escape key

00:29:21   all the time, I question whether they should not have

00:29:25   left a hardware traditional escape key

00:29:28   and made the touch bar just run from escape,

00:29:32   have an escape key in the upper left corner,

00:29:35   the touch ID in the upper right,

00:29:37   and have the touch bar exist between the two.

00:29:40   I think that would have solved an awful lot of problems.

00:29:42   it more symmetry as well because it's you know they have one button on one

00:29:45   side why not have the escape button even if they change the size of it and made

00:29:48   it square sort of like the right touch ideas but make it something you can

00:29:52   actually click and I think that would have I I do feel like just reading

00:29:57   Twitter reading feedback from readers and stuff like that I feel like an an

00:30:01   awful lot of the criticism of the touch bar relates to the escape key as for the

00:30:07   utility of the touch part itself it's hard to say I do I find I do I remember

00:30:12   thinking it was really nice to adjust the brightness with the touch bar.

00:30:15   I find that so much more tedious honestly to do it that way.

00:30:21   So here's before I switched it back to being sort of the brightness as

00:30:27   sort of default buttons so it has like you know brightness and things like

00:30:30   bring up expose and stuff like that you can there's a setting that you can you

00:30:33   know move it to rather than being the dynamic touch bar it's it's sort of your

00:30:38   old standard buttons and I did that because I was actually using I think

00:30:42   it's when you hit the function the FN key I think that would bring up the old

00:30:46   ones and I was just using that all the time because even though there are what

00:30:49   there is a brightness button on the dynamic version of the touch bar when

00:30:54   you hit it then you yeah then you have to scroll sort of up or down and so

00:30:59   often I just want like you know one little knit more of brightness not like

00:31:03   I don't need the sort of scrubbing, you know,

00:31:06   to see all the way down and all the way up

00:31:08   what the difference is.

00:31:09   It's like one of those features that just seems like

00:31:11   a cool option on paper, but when you actually use it,

00:31:14   it's much less useful.

00:31:15   - Yeah.

00:31:16   So I don't know.

00:31:17   I can see the mixed feelings about it.

00:31:19   I feel like the biggest thing that it needs

00:31:23   is haptic feedback.

00:31:25   I feel like, and I was reminded of it just recently

00:31:29   because I haven't used it a lot

00:31:33   'cause I don't personally have a need,

00:31:34   but I'm fascinated by the new Clips app,

00:31:36   and I think it's really well done,

00:31:38   even though I realize some of the initial complaints

00:31:40   from other people are that they're a little confused by it.

00:31:42   But I think it's only confusing at first

00:31:45   because it's ambitious and tries to do a lot,

00:31:47   and so there's a lot in there,

00:31:49   but I feel like everything that they've done,

00:31:51   once you get it, it's pretty logical.

00:31:53   But the thing that made me think of the Touch Bar

00:31:56   is when you've got multiple clips in a project,

00:32:01   clips in a project in a row.

00:32:04   And if you want to rearrange them,

00:32:05   you can force touch on one,

00:32:08   and you get like a little,

00:32:09   you get the haptic feedback as you drag it along

00:32:12   to rearrange clips in the timeline.

00:32:14   And it feels like,

00:32:16   so you want to move the one that's in the fourth spot

00:32:18   to the second spot.

00:32:19   As you drag it between second and third,

00:32:21   you get a little--

00:32:22   - It rumbles and you can feel it, right?

00:32:23   - Yeah, you can feel like,

00:32:24   it's like you're dragging it over physical slots.

00:32:27   And it's so nice.

00:32:28   And I just thought,

00:32:29   boy, the touch bar would feel so much better

00:32:30   if it had a little bit of feedback like that.

00:32:33   - And that speaks to, I think it was Michael Lop, right,

00:32:37   who wrote a post about the usability factor

00:32:41   of the touch bar, because it's almost impossible to use

00:32:43   without looking at it, which is also very odd, right?

00:32:46   Like, because that's not what that row of buttons has been

00:32:49   for the entire life of a MacBook.

00:32:52   And so to your point, like, if they had some sort

00:32:54   of haptic feedback where you could actually tell

00:32:56   what you were doing while still keying on the screen,

00:32:59   like for scrubbing or doing some other action,

00:33:02   that would be significantly better

00:33:04   than having to look down

00:33:06   because you don't know where you are.

00:33:08   - Yeah, and I do feel like that's part of it.

00:33:10   Some of the ones in the middle, I almost never use.

00:33:16   On a traditional F key row,

00:33:18   I don't really, I almost never adjust

00:33:21   the brightness of my keyboard.

00:33:22   - Keyboard, yeah, same.

00:33:23   - Sometimes it's like I'll be on a dark flight,

00:33:29   all right, yeah, I'll adjust the brightness of my keyboard.

00:33:32   But I'll just do it once,

00:33:33   and it's fine for me to be looking at it.

00:33:35   But for like, micro-adjustments

00:33:37   to the brightness of the screen,

00:33:39   I can do it without looking,

00:33:41   just by going up with my left hand to the top left.

00:33:45   I know where the escape key is,

00:33:46   and the next two are brightness.

00:33:48   And even if I'm wrong,

00:33:49   even if I go up and I hit brightness up,

00:33:51   even though I wanted brightness down,

00:33:53   I can see what happened right away,

00:33:54   and I know I'm right next door,

00:33:56   and just slide my finger,

00:33:58   and do that without looking.

00:34:00   - And I'm with you with that,

00:34:02   and I'm the exact same way with volume,

00:34:03   and both of those are now problematic on the touch bar.

00:34:07   You know, they look nice, like that nice, you know,

00:34:10   little scrubber and everything, but it just,

00:34:12   I do not like it at all.

00:34:15   I mean, I don't hate it, but I just don't see,

00:34:19   like I said, I switch back to sort of the old standards,

00:34:22   and like you said, they're not physical buttons,

00:34:25   and there's no haptic feedback, so they're harder to use,

00:34:27   So I have to actually pay attention to what I'm doing.

00:34:29   And then I also, I do think, I agree that Touch ID

00:34:32   is by far the best part of it.

00:34:34   But the weird thing there is that I almost never get

00:34:38   to use it because I do have an Apple Watch

00:34:40   and I'm always wearing the Apple Watch

00:34:41   and that unlocks faster than the Touch ID does.

00:34:45   So before you can even reach up to the Touch ID, it's done.

00:34:48   So there's no point.

00:34:49   - Yeah, well, it's good for purchases or whatever.

00:34:51   - Yeah, for purchases.

00:34:52   - But logging in is the big, is the one that you do.

00:34:56   I log in and out or open it from sleep

00:34:58   and log in way more frequently than I buy stuff.

00:35:01   - Yeah.

00:35:02   And so why do you think that they did the touch bar?

00:35:08   Because like so part of the thing that I wrote

00:35:10   was sort of the title of it.

00:35:12   It was a great laptop stagnation.

00:35:15   The notion being that we've sort of reached

00:35:19   peak form factor of the laptop.

00:35:21   And I know that's dangerous to say

00:35:22   for sort of any technology that we've reached peak

00:35:24   because there's always going to be some level of innovation.

00:35:26   And I think I made the quip that maybe we'll

00:35:28   have Phil Schiller on stage saying,

00:35:30   can't innovate anymore my ass when they do something

00:35:34   new with the MacBook.

00:35:35   But my only line of thinking is either they're

00:35:38   going to one day try to make it a bigger screen

00:35:43   area, like the keyboard tray being more maybe

00:35:46   like haptic digital keys, something like that,

00:35:51   or not even replacing the entire keyboard,

00:35:54   but just making that a bigger area, you know,

00:35:57   for different things that they can dynamically do.

00:35:59   I mean, that has to be some line of thinking, right?

00:36:03   It can't just be this touch bar,

00:36:04   which isn't that interesting.

00:36:06   - I guess, I don't know, but I find it worrisome

00:36:09   if their goal is to replace hardware keyboard

00:36:12   with a virtual keyboard,

00:36:14   because I can't see how that would,

00:36:16   like whatever my,

00:36:18   I kind of still prefer my older MacBook keyboard

00:36:22   to the new one.

00:36:24   shallow keys yeah it's in New York but it's deeper keys but after two or three

00:36:28   weeks my feelings went from I like the old one better - oh I have mixed

00:36:33   feelings because I also feel though that my old one they feel loose and jank

00:36:37   jank right and resin the new ones even though they have shallower feel so

00:36:41   clicking them feels worse because it's shallow but just resting my fingers on

00:36:46   them feels better because they don't wiggle around they feel more premium

00:36:49   Yep. And I had a problem at first. I had a really weird problem and I can't explain why, but the new keyboards in the Macbook and the Mac, the just plain Macbook and the Macbook Pro have bigger keys and less space between the keys.

00:37:07   The keyboard takes up the exact same amount of area.

00:37:10   And so the distance between just pick two keys,

00:37:13   like the center of the A key and the center of the F key

00:37:17   is exactly the same.

00:37:19   So your fingers resting on the home row

00:37:22   are exactly in the same position.

00:37:23   But for some reason, because the keys are bigger,

00:37:27   I felt for a while like my fingers were spread out more.

00:37:32   - Yeah, I get that.

00:37:35   I think that's something I needed to get used to.

00:37:37   - I especially notice it because I use the iPad keyboard

00:37:41   all the time and those are smaller keys, right?

00:37:44   And so that's when I really notice it.

00:37:46   And I honestly, I think I prefer the iPad keyboard,

00:37:49   as weird as that sounds.

00:37:50   It's not a perfect keyboard, but maybe it is,

00:37:55   like you're talking about, sort of the size of the keys,

00:37:57   just something about it feels more familiar

00:37:59   than typing on the newer keyboards.

00:38:01   - Yeah, I can kind of see that.

00:38:03   Like you're talking about like the smart keypad.

00:38:05   Yeah, yeah, the one that Apple made.

00:38:06   It's almost like on the smart keyboard cover,

00:38:09   it celebrates the shallowness of the movement.

00:38:13   Whereas on the MacBook, it's like, man,

00:38:16   I still wish that these keys went in further a little bit.

00:38:19   But I can live with that.

00:38:21   The difference between my feelings

00:38:25   about the new MacBook Pro keyboard

00:38:27   and the previous generation MacBook Pro keyboard,

00:38:30   I have thoughts, but the thoughts are much narrower

00:38:35   than the thoughts between what we have now

00:38:38   and a hypothetical virtual touch bar

00:38:40   that was the whole keyboard.

00:38:42   - Yeah, well, what do you think about this?

00:38:44   So the other thing that I've chatted with some folks about

00:38:48   is the notion of one way that I think

00:38:51   they could have alleviated some of the touch bar criticism

00:38:55   is also just putting it at the bottom of the keyboard.

00:38:59   So in other words, keeping the function row as it was and just adding a new row because

00:39:03   like, and especially on the MacBook.

00:39:05   So here's the thought here.

00:39:08   Right now they made the touch pad itself, right?

00:39:12   Massive.

00:39:13   It's pretty big now.

00:39:14   I think it's bigger than it needs to be for anything.

00:39:16   And so you could shave that down a little bit.

00:39:19   And I think if you wanted to do some sort of touch bar type thing, put it just above

00:39:23   the touch pad and sort of make that the whole touch area, especially because Apple's whole

00:39:28   as we all know, is that they're not going to do a touchscreen Macbook or iMac, Macbook Pro, anything.

00:39:34   And the weirdness of this whole dynamic right now is that they made a touch area that's so close to

00:39:41   the screen but isn't the screen and you know they make they have the the famous sort of picture of

00:39:46   like you know with a crossed out arm or like pointing at the screen because it's just not

00:39:51   ergonomic right and it's not that much different in my book to sort of have to go up to this top

00:39:57   row and have to sort of manipulate touch that way, I would have been much more happy if

00:40:03   where my hands already rest, sort of at the bottom, you tried to do something with the

00:40:06   touch bar.

00:40:07   I don't know.

00:40:09   Just looking down at my MacBook as you say this, my problem with that is that my hands

00:40:12   would cover it most of the time.

00:40:14   I think the advantage of having it at the top is that you can see it, your hands don't

00:40:17   cover it, whereas this way your hands cover it until you go to look at it.

00:40:21   But maybe that's okay.

00:40:22   I don't know.

00:40:23   I don't know if they've tinkered with that idea or not, but maybe that's okay because

00:40:27   It doesn't matter if you see it or not because by the time you go to do something on it

00:40:30   You were already moving your hands

00:40:31   I don't know right especially if you have to I mean if they acknowledge that you have to be looking at it to use it

00:40:36   already

00:40:37   And I just I feel like I don't know I could see I think some people push back in that like with an ocean of

00:40:44   Well what your palms could rest on and it could mess it up or something obviously

00:40:47   Apple has all the palm detection stuff for the iPad already. I'm sure they could figure that out but

00:40:52   I just think like for certain types of things, certainly some of the things that they were showing off like the DJing and all that kind of, you know, fun stuff,

00:41:00   you might not be, you know, really needing to use the keyboard as much as sort of the touch area to toggle controls and stuff.

00:41:07   And so in that situation, it might make a little bit more sense.

00:41:10   But I don't know. I mean, I assume, like you said, they maybe tried something or thought about it at least, and they determined that that wasn't the way to go.

00:41:17   Man, I don't know. What do you think about the weight and the size?

00:41:22   The weight and the size are great. I mean it's not, so I have, right now I have a bunch of machines.

00:41:28   I have an older MacBook Pro for, that's my work machine that sort of was given to me by the

00:41:37   people who dish out computers at work. And so that's I think like a two and a half or three

00:41:42   year old MacBook, so an older style MacBook Pro. Then I have the MacBook, the small 13 inch one,

00:41:49   and then I got the Touch Bar MacBook Pro. And so my other issue there is that while it is obviously

00:41:59   more svelte and lighter than the older MacBook Pro I have, it's not anywhere near as light and

00:42:07   and is felt as the MacBook itself.

00:42:09   And so if I'm going somewhere where

00:42:12   I would want sort of the most portability--

00:42:15   obviously, I know that most people don't have three options,

00:42:18   of course.

00:42:18   But when people would ask, like, well, I

00:42:19   just want the most portability, I would say,

00:42:22   go with the MacBook.

00:42:23   I mean, it's still--

00:42:24   the main problem there now is the one USB-C port.

00:42:30   And honestly, I carry around the dongle, of course,

00:42:34   and it's mildly annoying from time to time.

00:42:37   But I'm not sure it would even be that much better

00:42:38   if it had four USB-C ports,

00:42:40   because USB-C is still not,

00:42:42   doesn't seem quite as ubiquitous,

00:42:44   certainly for the things like,

00:42:45   I have to loop in things for work all the time

00:42:48   and sort of hook up different USB-C stuff,

00:42:50   and I almost always need a converter still.

00:42:53   So I'm just not sure that that would even

00:42:54   sort of alleviate the pain.

00:42:55   So my biggest problem with the older MacBook,

00:42:58   and I have the one that came out a couple years ago,

00:42:59   so it's fairly slow, but I think a lot of people said

00:43:02   that this sort of newer version that came out

00:43:06   several months ago is significantly faster. So I would go with that one.

00:43:11   The thing I like the most about it, and I think it speaks to your point that we're

00:43:15   sort of approaching peak form factor, is—and it was to me the part that made my personal

00:43:24   2014, I think—I get mixed up at how old a two-year-old—I think I got it in 2014.

00:43:31   Anyway, yeah, that makes sense. My 2014 13-inch MacBook Pro, the biggest difference to me

00:43:35   and it's petty and it has nothing to do with actual computing, but it's the ease with which

00:43:42   I can open the display. The display just lifts up perfectly and if I want to adjust it slightly,

00:43:50   I just put one finger on it, on the new ones that is. It's just absolute, the perfect amount

00:43:56   of resistance where it never moves if I don't want it to and when I do want to move it,

00:44:00   it's the least amount of energy possible. It makes my old one feel like it's way too

00:44:04   hard and heavy to lift. And to me, that's the ideal that the new MacBooks have ever

00:44:12   more closely approached to. I don't know about the regular MacBook. Like, when you

00:44:17   lift a MacBook, is it so light that the whole thing lifts up, or can you do it with one

00:44:20   hand?

00:44:21   Yeah, it's a—right. I would say it's a little bit too light for that. I still feel

00:44:25   the need to sort of, yeah, like, you know, weigh it down a little bit while I'm lifting

00:44:29   it up.

00:44:30   Whereas the new MacBook Pros, you don't have to do that. The new MacBook Pros, even

00:44:32   - [Peter] No, in theory, it's worse to be heavier,

00:44:35   all things considered.

00:44:37   - Right. - If they could make one

00:44:38   that was every bit as fast and powerful as the MacBook,

00:44:41   yes, they would do it.

00:44:42   They're not gonna make it heavier.

00:44:44   Just, the Apple is not gonna make MacBooks heavier

00:44:46   just to make it easier to open them in the future.

00:44:50   But right now, I feel like the MacBook Pros

00:44:52   are at this wonderful ideal between the weight of the base,

00:44:57   where the keyboard and the battery and everything are,

00:44:59   and the lightness of the display,

00:45:01   and the ability to lift it up.

00:45:04   - I agree, and so, right, so the form factor is great, right?

00:45:07   It's so great that it's like, it's been whittled down

00:45:10   to sort of this, you know, that level of sort of perfection

00:45:15   for exactly what you're talking about.

00:45:17   What else would they possibly do to it,

00:45:19   beyond like, you know, expanding Touch Bar

00:45:21   and doing other things to it,

00:45:22   but it's like, that's the form factor.

00:45:24   What else are you gonna do to that?

00:45:26   You can't really change that now.

00:45:28   - No, other than, and again,

00:45:32   it's not really a change of the form factor,

00:45:33   but in theory, at some point,

00:45:35   I presume that they're gonna,

00:45:37   it won't be aluminum forever.

00:45:39   I mean, I feel like the MacBook still has a decade

00:45:43   maybe more ahead of it.

00:45:45   Is it gonna really be aluminum for 20 or 30 years?

00:45:49   I don't know.

00:45:50   So new materials, you know?

00:45:52   But basically, I do think the form factor,

00:45:57   And for certain tasks, it is a wonderful,

00:46:00   wonderful form factor.

00:46:01   And I just feel like, don't mess with it.

00:46:02   And I do wonder, there's a part of me that wonders

00:46:05   if the touch bar is basically a mess with it

00:46:08   for the sake of messing with it change.

00:46:11   - Right, that's exactly what I was basically

00:46:13   alluding to in that post.

00:46:15   You know, they felt like, look, we're sort of

00:46:18   at the perfect storm of two things right now, right?

00:46:21   So what we were just talking about,

00:46:22   sort of the form factor is, we've whittled it down

00:46:25   to near perfection, right?

00:46:27   And then on the flip side, we have sort of the CPUs

00:46:31   and the internals are basically not getting

00:46:33   that much faster now because as Moore's Law has slowed down,

00:46:38   we're sort of at the point where it's very hard

00:46:44   to rationalize a year-to-year upgrade.

00:46:47   It's hard to rationalize a two year-to-year upgrade, right,

00:46:50   for a MacBook Pro because it's just not that much faster

00:46:54   than what the state of the art was two years ago.

00:46:57   And so we have those two things coming into play.

00:47:00   And so when Apple's trying to think about,

00:47:02   well, what do we do this year to get people excited

00:47:05   about potentially buying the new machine?

00:47:07   You can change the colors of it.

00:47:11   They've done that a little bit, of course,

00:47:12   with some gold and rose gold options.

00:47:15   And I don't think that that really moves the needle, though,

00:47:17   on making someone purchase a new one.

00:47:19   And so this Touch Bar thing,

00:47:21   it feels like to me that was some idea,

00:47:24   like let's try this, you know,

00:47:26   let's see if this is interesting.

00:47:28   And that's a dangerous game for Apple to play, I think.

00:47:31   - I totally agree.

00:47:33   And I wonder about it.

00:47:35   And it is clearly to me their most important product.

00:47:37   I know we just had the whole thing with the Mac Pro

00:47:39   and that there's iMacs coming out and stuff like that,

00:47:41   but the MacBooks are clearly the bread and butter

00:47:44   of the Mac lineup.

00:47:46   You know, if they had to cut back for some reason,

00:47:49   you know, that's the last Macs to go

00:47:51   are gonna be the MacBooks.

00:47:53   And I wonder, you and I have talked about this before,

00:47:56   and I know a lot of people obviously

00:47:57   have differing thoughts on this.

00:47:58   But like, so the other part, I think,

00:48:00   towards the end of that post I wrote was basically,

00:48:04   I'm very much in the camp of,

00:48:07   I would love to just do everything on an iPad.

00:48:09   I'm like 90, I'm 95, let's say, percent of the way there.

00:48:13   The problem is that other 5% matters,

00:48:15   and so I just can't do it yet.

00:48:17   I would love to be in that camp, though.

00:48:19   Are you, and I know you're definitely, you know,

00:48:22   still in the MacBook camp,

00:48:23   but if they could do, if they had full sort of parity,

00:48:27   maybe not quite as easy to do certain things and vice versa,

00:48:32   but if they had sort of full parity

00:48:34   in terms of functionality,

00:48:36   would you want to use an iPad more than you use the MacBook?

00:48:42   - No, I don't think so.

00:48:43   I think the longer time goes on,

00:48:45   the less likely I am to even want to use an iPad.

00:48:50   I feel like I have the clarity now,

00:48:52   And it might, I feel like, but I don't feel like

00:48:54   I speak to the mass market.

00:48:57   It's, I have so many little things,

00:49:00   little custom nerd scripts and things that I have

00:49:04   set to keyboard shortcuts on my Mac

00:49:06   that I can't do on the iPad.

00:49:08   And that even if I wanted to do through Workflow

00:49:11   or something like that.

00:49:12   And I'm super, super happy that Apple bought Workflow

00:49:14   and seems to want to keep it around

00:49:16   and maybe they'll integrate it in the OS.

00:49:19   But like, I have a shortcut that is a system wide service

00:49:24   that I made so that I can convert the selected text

00:49:28   in any app from Markdown to HTML.

00:49:31   And the key command I made for it is command shift K.

00:49:35   I don't know why, I forget why.

00:49:40   'Cause M, 'cause command shift M is like minimize Windows.

00:49:42   And so I went to K, Mark.

00:49:45   I don't know, but I don't even have to think about it.

00:49:46   I had to pause to remember it

00:49:47   my fingers just know it and I've had it for years. Yeah, but you know, so the iPad Pros,

00:49:53   like we were just talking about, they, you know, you can get the the keyboard that's with it and

00:49:57   they, you know, they have Command and Shift and K still. I guess that in theory they could add,

00:50:03   that they could add stuff to the system software that would enable something like that in theory.

00:50:08   But the form factor doesn't speak to me either. Like, last week when I was flying home from

00:50:17   from San Francisco after the shindig at Cupertino.

00:50:22   I was at the gate at the terminal

00:50:27   and I had just a couple of minutes

00:50:28   before they started boarding.

00:50:30   And somebody DM'd me that I had a typo in a DF post.

00:50:35   And instead of fixing it on my phone,

00:50:38   I just, I knew I had like a couple minutes.

00:50:41   I just quick took out my MacBook from my backpack,

00:50:46   opened it and just without even sitting down,

00:50:48   just held it in the palm of my hand and opened it,

00:50:51   logged in, fixed it, shut it, put it back in my backpack.

00:50:56   Like I don't see how you could do that on an iPad.

00:50:59   You could do it, but you wouldn't have the hardware keyboard.

00:51:01   There's no way you can just sit there and stand

00:51:02   and connect the hardware keyboard and--

00:51:05   - Yeah, I get that.

00:51:06   And I'm sort of the same way.

00:51:08   That's one of the sort of 5% thing

00:51:09   is definitely on the writing side of things.

00:51:11   So I actually do a lot of writing on the iPad,

00:51:14   but I'll sort of write in the app Ulysses

00:51:16   and then I basically export it to Medium

00:51:20   or wherever I'm gonna publish.

00:51:21   And I don't publish though from there

00:51:24   'cause I wait to do some of the formatting stuff

00:51:26   that I feel like I can just have a much better handle on

00:51:29   using on a MacBook.

00:51:30   And so I wait to publish until after there.

00:51:33   But that's sort of one of the larger parts of the 5%

00:51:38   that is still holding me back.

00:51:39   But in my book, I'm quite different, I guess,

00:51:43   from you in that regard

00:51:44   because I, like my ideal computing experience would be

00:51:48   where I could go on a trip,

00:51:50   not have to take any MacBook with me,

00:51:53   just take the iPad Pro with the keyboard cover.

00:51:58   And you know, I do it right now for short little trips

00:52:01   or you know, just on a daily basis,

00:52:02   like if I'm going to just do email

00:52:04   and then do some reading,

00:52:06   and I go to a sort of local cafe,

00:52:08   I just love grabbing that thing and walking out the door,

00:52:10   don't have to bring a bag.

00:52:11   It's so, it just feels like this is the way

00:52:15   I want to be doing computing in my life.

00:52:18   And I don't wanna have, you know,

00:52:20   even as we were just talking about,

00:52:22   even as felt as the MacBooks are now.

00:52:24   I just, there's too much going on.

00:52:26   I like the simplicity of doing everything through the iPad.

00:52:29   - I totally see the appeal of it,

00:52:30   but it doesn't, it just doesn't speak to me.

00:52:33   I, you know, and I like iPad.

00:52:35   But for me, and again, I'm a big proponent,

00:52:38   I have been for years, fighting against the argument

00:52:41   that it's fundamentally only good for consumption

00:52:43   and not for creation.

00:52:44   I've argued it, but for me personally,

00:52:46   that actually is very true, that I tend to use it.

00:52:49   I actually have left the cover of mine for a while now,

00:52:52   and I just have it with no cover, and I read tons on it,

00:52:55   and I read lots of Twitter, and I bookmark things

00:52:59   to post it during Fireball later

00:53:01   from a different machine from it,

00:53:02   but I tend not to do any actual typing on it.

00:53:05   But I can see the appeal.

00:53:06   I totally see the appeal.

00:53:08   And I would totally see the appeal

00:53:09   for long form writing too.

00:53:11   I feel like the longer the thing you're writing,

00:53:13   the more pleasant it is.

00:53:15   And like when I wrote, like I did,

00:53:16   I enjoyed writing my review of the iPad Pro

00:53:18   on the iPad Pro because it was a long review.

00:53:21   And I do kind of like that it is naturally distraction free.

00:53:26   I find I never use the distraction free full screen modes

00:53:30   on the Mac for any app ever,

00:53:32   because I find that it's just,

00:53:34   just gets in the way when I wanna get out of it.

00:53:35   Whereas on the iPad, it's totally natural.

00:53:38   It's, you know, and I'm a big believer in that in general.

00:53:40   I feel anything you tack on to a system afterwards

00:53:44   is never as good as if it was there from the beginning.

00:53:46   So full screen mode on the Mac, to me,

00:53:49   I use it for video and that's about it.

00:53:51   But otherwise, to me, it feels tacked on

00:53:53   because the Mac wasn't designed at the start,

00:53:55   it was designed to have everything in Windows

00:53:58   that are overlapping, you can drag around.

00:54:00   Whereas the iPad was designed from the ground up

00:54:02   to have full screen apps.

00:54:04   - Yeah, and I mean, I, so I do a lot of, you know,

00:54:07   anything that I write basically, like you said,

00:54:09   sort of that's longer than just a blurb

00:54:10   or something like that.

00:54:11   I try to do on the iPad.

00:54:13   And I just, it's something about it reminds me

00:54:14   of like when I was a kid growing up,

00:54:16   going to my father's office and like they had typewriters

00:54:18   and just using the typewriter, right?

00:54:21   I mean, I know it's obviously very different,

00:54:22   but something about this focus thing

00:54:25   and it's almost like, you know,

00:54:26   there's a blank sheet of paper in front of you

00:54:28   and the words are magically appearing on it.

00:54:30   - Yeah, and most things in my life,

00:54:33   most things in my life are,

00:54:35   that I'm in control of are a complete mess.

00:54:37   Like my desk is usually just a complete

00:54:39   Andy Rooney-style mess of papers and odd objects

00:54:44   and boxes and all sorts of stuff.

00:54:46   So lots of things I have are a complete mess.

00:54:50   Other things though, I try to keep obsessively neat.

00:54:53   And like the Daring Fireball homepage

00:54:55   would be a fine example.

00:54:56   There's no clutter, you know, I aspire to that.

00:54:59   I wish that I had the organizational ability

00:55:02   and the wherewithal to have everything in my life

00:55:05   be like that.

00:55:06   When I see pictures of people who have these minimal

00:55:09   offices, I covet them.

00:55:11   I do, I see the appeal.

00:55:13   And I do, I look at my Mac with all of these windows,

00:55:18   like if I go to Exposé or whatever and see how many apps

00:55:20   I have running and how many windows are actually

00:55:22   overlapping, sometimes my Mac looks like a mess.

00:55:26   And I do, I like the way that the iPad,

00:55:29   even if you open a second app, I love how neat it is

00:55:32   that if you have like the Messages app on the right

00:55:36   in a narrow iPhone width column,

00:55:39   and your other thing, whether it's Safari

00:55:41   or your writing app in a square to the left of it,

00:55:44   I love how neatly that's organized,

00:55:46   where there's no overlap, there's no shadows

00:55:48   from windows showing depth,

00:55:50   it's just two rectangles perfectly aligned.

00:55:55   I love that, and I can see how that is soothing,

00:55:59   mentally soothing to people and appealing.

00:56:02   Since it's sort of the perfect segue and there may not be much to talk about but

00:56:08   I'm just curious like so obviously Apple released the sort of you know the

00:56:13   cheaper iPad version but they didn't do anything you know as was rumored by many

00:56:18   various sites for actual new iPad hardware and so I presume now that

00:56:25   we're at the end of April we're not going to see any sort of event before

00:56:27   WWDC. Do they do that at WWDC? Do they wait for the fall?

00:56:32   I don't know. It's very intriguing to me that the supply chain rumor mill seemed to

00:56:37   think it was going to happen either last month or the first week of April or something like

00:56:44   that. I agree with you. I don't hear any rumblings to the ground that there's anything

00:56:48   coming before WWDC. I almost feel like it's something that maybe they've successfully

00:56:55   kept under wraps. So it could happen at WWDC, but if they wait until the fall, I almost

00:57:03   feel like they've got to wait until October because it sounds like...

00:57:06   So after iPhone. Right, because I don't think they'd want to

00:57:09   share the stage with iPhone because it sounds like they've got a very exciting iPhone to

00:57:13   unveil. And if it's on schedule, it'll be like the second week of September, as I said

00:57:18   before. I mean, they've been pretty consistent on that for three or four years. And I don't

00:57:23   think they'd want to share the stage but they could in theory you know it may not

00:57:28   be it may come naturally if there's you know like a shared design language of a

00:57:33   more edge to edge display it could make sense to unveil them side by side I

00:57:39   don't know but it would make more sense to me if they did iPhones in September

00:57:42   and iPads in October and you but you don't think that they would do it at

00:57:47   WWDC?

00:57:48   I guess they could,

00:57:51   but it depends how much these new iPads,

00:57:55   which at least some of the, you know,

00:57:57   one of them is rumored to be a more edge to edge display

00:57:59   where the, you know,

00:58:00   that the 9.7 inch iPad is still going to be 9.7 inches

00:58:04   as a device,

00:58:06   but that the screen will be 10 point something inches

00:58:09   instead of 9.7 inches,

00:58:10   because it's going to take up more of the front face.

00:58:13   But that sounds to me like what the rumor is

00:58:15   for the iPhone.

00:58:16   And if they don't want to spoil it, right?

00:58:19   That they want the iPhone to come out first.

00:58:22   But is that, am I overthinking it?

00:58:28   Am I overthinking their willingness

00:58:32   to just let the product that's ready to ship first

00:58:34   ship first, whether it's the iPhone or not?

00:58:36   I don't know.

00:58:38   - Yeah, and if there was some sort of marquee feature

00:58:41   in iOS 11, you know, that was sort of iPad,

00:58:46   more iPad focused maybe.

00:58:48   But yeah, there hadn't been much rumors about iOS 11 at all.

00:58:53   - No.

00:58:54   - Even though we're fairly close, which is interesting.

00:58:58   - Well, other than the fact that there, for a while,

00:59:01   I don't know if you've noticed this,

00:59:02   but I've heard rumors for a while that months ago,

00:59:06   I guess more or less when iOS 10 came out last WWDC,

00:59:10   there after the event was over there were rumors beforehand that that Apple

00:59:15   might unveil some iPad specific iPad Pro specific features you know and that the

00:59:24   keynote came and went and there were none and then in the aftermath the word

00:59:27   was well that got punted from 10.0 but it's gonna come in like 10.2 or

00:59:31   something 10.2 or 10.3 but we've gotten to 10.3 and it didn't happen and

00:59:36   and there's not going to be a 10.4 between now and June,

00:59:40   because all hands are working on iOS 11.

00:59:44   - Right.

00:59:45   - So whether that ships in iOS 11.0 or not,

00:59:49   or gets punted once again to the first big update

00:59:53   in December or January of 11.2, I don't know.

00:59:56   But that's the rumor.

00:59:57   But there have been rumors since this time last year

00:59:59   that they have iPad Pro-specific improvements to the OS

01:00:04   for multitasking and stuff like that.

01:00:07   And if that is the case, then we may have just answered our riddle, right, that they

01:00:11   would launch that and presumably they would want to have new iPad Pro hardware to show

01:00:16   whatever that functionality is off, since the iPad Pro would be relatively old at that

01:00:22   point, right, over a year between iterations.

01:00:26   Right.

01:00:27   Well, and the 12-inch one, the 13-inch one, would be a year and a half old.

01:00:32   at this point. I don't know, but I mean both of them launched with, I feel, a lot

01:00:38   of headroom to wait for the next version because they really are pretty fast for

01:00:42   iPads. I mean, you know, they're both, you know, faster than—I don't know if

01:00:45   they're faster than the current MacBook, but I think they are, and they're

01:00:48   certainly faster than the MacBook that you're talking about, the original MacBook

01:00:52   with one port. I mean, that's how fast they are. Yep, I'm using the big iPad Pro

01:00:57   right now, which I almost never use. Again, speaking to, obviously, as we all do, we

01:01:02   just buy a bunch of devices, probably more than we need, but it is nice when you're sort of sitting

01:01:08   at a desk. It's a nice sort of second screen. Yeah, I don't know. So I feel like they need

01:01:12   to though, and I feel like selling points on changes to the OS to make it a little bit more,

01:01:21   you know, bring the iPad, especially the iPad Pro, a little bit more towards the Mac in terms

01:01:28   of capabilities, not necessarily copying things from the Mac and how you do it,

01:01:31   but just making it easier. I mean the thing I would like to see them do, let me

01:01:37   take a break actually, I mean hold this thought and I'll take a break because

01:01:40   it's a good way to keep people in suspense. I want to talk to you about our

01:01:46   next sponsor. I love this company. I love their products and I this is a company

01:01:51   that I hate to say it but they shouldn't even be paying me to promote their

01:01:56   products because I would sing their praises even if they weren't and that

01:01:59   company is Eero. E-E-R-O. Eero makes Wi-Fi routers for your house. You don't have to

01:02:08   choose which one. They just have one model right now. You go, you buy like a

01:02:12   three-pack. You plug one of them. They're little white boxes roughly the size of

01:02:16   like an Apple TV or something like that. It almost looks like an Apple design

01:02:19   product. They ship with Apple style really supple even like the Ethernet

01:02:23   cables they give you in the box are nice. It's like a nice ethernet cable. It's not

01:02:28   like a piece of junk thing that you got from Joe's cables on the corner. Nice cable, nice

01:02:33   power cable. You plug it into your router and now you've got, there's your primary ERO

01:02:37   base station. Then you take like the other two and you're like, maybe your router is

01:02:42   on the first floor. You put another one on the second floor and another one on the third

01:02:45   floor. Keep them near the steps. Try to minimize how many walls has to go through. And it creates

01:02:49   It's what's called a mesh network through your house.

01:02:53   And it is a huge difference.

01:02:56   Now I don't know what, maybe if you live in a studio

01:02:59   apartment, guess what, you don't really need an Eero.

01:03:01   It's a nice base station, but you really only need one.

01:03:03   And it'd be a nice base station for that.

01:03:05   But the mesh network thing isn't gonna help you out.

01:03:08   But if you live in a city like I do, we have four floors.

01:03:11   There's really no way to set up one router

01:03:17   that I've ever tried that gets a good Wi-Fi signal

01:03:21   everywhere in the house.

01:03:23   Personally, I just recently upgraded my Comcast service,

01:03:27   had Comcast come in, got new internet.

01:03:30   Comcast's new router, they gave me a router with the thing.

01:03:34   In the room where I have it set up in my home office,

01:03:37   I get like 150, 200 megabits per second over Wi-Fi.

01:03:42   It's amazing, that's an amazing performance.

01:03:43   It's like 10 times faster than what I had before.

01:03:46   One floor up, it's still pretty good.

01:03:48   It's like 50 megabits per second, something like that.

01:03:51   But in my master bedroom, this is no shit.

01:03:53   I swear to God, this is true.

01:03:55   I tested this with the speed test app.

01:03:57   I get 0.2 megabits per second WiFi from that router.

01:04:02   So it goes from 200 megabits per second

01:04:04   to 0.2 megabits per second.

01:04:07   So once the Comcast guy was gone

01:04:09   and I knew I had good internet, I'd reset up my Eros.

01:04:12   I put my Ero in there and I only have three.

01:04:16   Now I still get 200 or so megabits per second

01:04:19   in my office from Euro, but my master bedroom

01:04:22   is getting 60 megabits per second WiFi.

01:04:25   That's how great it is.

01:04:26   I cannot be, and I didn't have to configure anything.

01:04:29   You just follow the instructions in their little app,

01:04:32   and it just configures everything,

01:04:35   and they even tell you that they talk to each other,

01:04:38   and they fix it up, and after you've set it up,

01:04:42   like 24 hours later, the service is usually even better,

01:04:45   because the Eros have communicated with each other

01:04:48   about where they should hand off to each other.

01:04:50   Cannot tell you how happy I am with this product.

01:04:53   I recommend it highly.

01:04:55   I don't know what else to tell you.

01:04:57   If you need Wi-Fi, if you're unhappy with your Wi-Fi,

01:05:00   if you need new Wi-Fi, you'd be silly not to check it out.

01:05:04   Then what they do is they recommend one Ero

01:05:06   for every thousand square feet of your home.

01:05:08   Three packs of good starting point.

01:05:10   You can always buy more,

01:05:11   and you can hook up 10 in total if you need to.

01:05:15   So here's what you do.

01:05:16   Go to ero.com and use the code.

01:05:21   Actually, you know what?

01:05:24   Forget the code.

01:05:25   Screw it.

01:05:26   Here's what they've done.

01:05:28   They've gotten rid of these codes,

01:05:29   and to celebrate their first birthday,

01:05:31   what they've done is they've just

01:05:32   dropped their prices permanently.

01:05:34   So instead of using a code, you just go to ero.com,

01:05:36   and now you can get a three-pack for just $399.

01:05:40   used to be $4.99 and you can get a two-pack for $2.99. That used to be $50 more. So to

01:05:47   get Eero at this new price, just go to Eero.com and you can get them at Best Buy or even Amazon

01:05:52   if you want. They don't care. They don't even care if you buy them direct. So if you need

01:05:56   Wi-Fi, get an Eero. Love this product.

01:06:01   I feel like you and I talked about Eero before they were a sponsor of your podcast, which

01:06:05   is nice.

01:06:06   I remember the first time I read, you know what, I'll get back to my, the point I wanted

01:06:11   to make about iPad. I've got my finger in the air. This is my reminder. I know the point

01:06:14   I want to make. But we could go on a digression right now. I remember the first time I heard

01:06:19   about Eero was I read it in Walt Mossberg's column. And I read his description of it.

01:06:26   And I knew that I was suffering from the problem that he was talking about. For years, I had

01:06:31   an Apple airport whatever the best the best Apple I think it's the most still

01:06:37   the most recent one because they haven't updated it in years yeah the one that's

01:06:40   for extreme yeah the one is a real tall yeah I have the same one and I had the

01:06:44   same one now I have zero same thing I had it on the second floor our living

01:06:48   room of a four floor residence and it was okay and it my office was one floor

01:06:55   up and it got pretty good Wi-Fi our master bedroom on the fourth floor yeah

01:07:00   it wasn't bad wasn't like it is it like it was with this Comcast router but it

01:07:06   wasn't great and and for whatever reason our garage on the first floor one floor

01:07:13   down got no signal whatsoever I don't know if it's because the garage had

01:07:16   insulation I don't know what the heck it was I read Walt's column and I was like

01:07:23   This sounds amazing because A, it solves a problem I have,

01:07:26   but B, he's telling me that I don't have to configure,

01:07:29   there's no, you don't go into an admin interface

01:07:31   and start typing in IP numbers,

01:07:34   you don't start picking channels,

01:07:36   you don't have to set one of them in bridge mode

01:07:39   and one of them in something mode.

01:07:41   You just hook 'em up and tap buttons in the app

01:07:43   as you hook 'em up around your house

01:07:45   and follow their general advice of where best to put them,

01:07:48   and then all of a sudden you've got a network

01:07:51   every room in your house has good internet. I was like, that sounds so

01:07:54   amazing. And it was the literal truth. It's the exact experience of

01:07:59   using it. And it's anyway the digression would be Walt's announcement that he's

01:08:04   retiring. Yeah, obviously significant news within the world in which in which we

01:08:13   inhabit. Yeah, you know, like it's funny when I moved to go... So I was working as

01:08:21   as a web developer down in San Diego

01:08:24   and sort of writing on the side just for fun.

01:08:27   And at some point, you know, VentureBeat

01:08:31   at the time came calling and wanted me to sort of come up

01:08:35   and consider sort of writing full time.

01:08:36   And I just like sort of laughed to myself,

01:08:40   like thinking like no one can make a living

01:08:43   sort of doing that, right?

01:08:44   Like, I mean, you know, it's almost like too good to be true.

01:08:47   And you know, around, you know, the same time

01:08:50   I think there had been a profile,

01:08:53   or maybe I was even just Googling it,

01:08:55   but just the story of the rise of Walt Mossberg

01:08:58   sort of getting into,

01:09:00   obviously it wasn't blogging at the time,

01:09:01   it was for the Wall Street Journal,

01:09:03   but sort of making his way

01:09:06   into this thing that hadn't existed before, right?

01:09:09   He was covering politics,

01:09:11   and then all of a sudden he decided

01:09:12   he was going to cover personal technology,

01:09:14   and again, not blogging exactly,

01:09:16   but not too dissimilar from,

01:09:20   I think what sort of the ideal state for a lot of us,

01:09:24   certainly for me at the time,

01:09:26   that's what I aspired to do something like that, right?

01:09:31   - I just read, I will, I swear to God,

01:09:34   put it in the show notes.

01:09:35   There's an interview, I think it just came out today,

01:09:38   but if not, it came out last night,

01:09:40   an interview with Walt in the Columbia Journalism Review.

01:09:44   - Right, I haven't read it yet, but I saved it as well.

01:09:46   - Yeah, he was, in 1991,

01:09:48   He was the lead national security correspondent

01:09:52   for the Wall Street Journal,

01:09:53   which is the Columbia Journalism Review says

01:09:56   is literally one of the most coveted spots

01:09:58   in all of newspaper journalism.

01:10:02   I mean, it's probably, you could count it on one hand

01:10:05   as one of the most prestigious gigs.

01:10:09   The Journal, the New York Times, Wall Street,

01:10:12   or Washington Post, and a handful of the top jobs there

01:10:15   would be something like that,

01:10:16   because national security is of utmost importance.

01:10:19   And when something breaks, it becomes,

01:10:23   you own the top right corner

01:10:26   of the front page of the newspaper.

01:10:28   And there's no breaking news that's more important

01:10:30   than national security news.

01:10:32   So he had the job.

01:10:34   He obviously had decades ahead of him in his career,

01:10:37   and he gave it up to create what was then unheard of,

01:10:40   which was in a national major newspaper,

01:10:45   a personal technology column.

01:10:47   Everybody, you know, like the CGR said

01:10:49   that most people in the industry, you know,

01:10:51   news people were like, what did he do?

01:10:53   Why did he get this terrible demotion?

01:10:55   (laughing)

01:10:56   - Right.

01:10:57   Yeah, I'm trying to think of like

01:10:59   what the equivalent thing would be today.

01:11:02   And it's hard to come up with something

01:11:03   because honestly it's hard to envision something

01:11:06   that would sort of become as pervasive

01:11:09   as just technology in general, right?

01:11:11   Like you could say like, oh, I'm going to

01:11:14   stop the Apple beat because I want to write about Bitcoin.

01:11:18   And people would be like,

01:11:21   but you're covering the most valuable company in the world,

01:11:24   why do you want to write about

01:11:26   sort of this nascent technology thing?

01:11:28   And it was one hell of a leap of faith that he did.

01:11:33   And obviously, like I said,

01:11:35   he sort of was the pinnacle of doing that.

01:11:41   And I think the whole generations of Engadgets, Gizmodos,

01:11:46   all the people who were doing gadget reviews,

01:11:51   certainly that was the pinnacle.

01:11:54   And then just in general,

01:11:56   sort of writing a technology column.

01:11:58   - I can't say it better than him.

01:11:59   Here's Walt's exact words in this interview.

01:12:02   There were a bunch of computer columns

01:12:03   in a lot of other newspapers,

01:12:04   and certainly there were computer magazines,

01:12:07   but these were all written by geeks for geeks.

01:12:09   My pitch to the journal was that I wanted to write a column

01:12:12   that didn't use a lot of jargon,

01:12:14   that treated people with respect for their intelligence.

01:12:17   And I think that can not be understated,

01:12:20   that that was the gist of Walt's,

01:12:22   it still is the gist of Walt's writing,

01:12:25   that it was never computers for dummies.

01:12:27   It was, it was, his angle was that the problem

01:12:31   was with the complicated stuff,

01:12:33   not with the people who can't understand

01:12:34   the complicated stuff.

01:12:38   and that it did two things.

01:12:40   One, help people figure out how to make this journey

01:12:42   into technology by telling them what was good

01:12:44   and what was bad on the market,

01:12:45   explaining when some new development happened,

01:12:47   what it meant, what it was, who it might be for.

01:12:50   That was one of my goals.

01:12:51   And the other one was to use the power of the platform

01:12:54   and the voice that I would have in this column,

01:12:56   because it was an opinion column in a way,

01:12:59   to push the industry to stop ignoring normal people

01:13:01   and stop treating them like they were stupid.

01:13:04   That was it, that was my idea and it worked.

01:13:06   And I can't say it better-- - Yeah, I mean--

01:13:07   I cannot say about that.

01:13:08   - No, that's absolutely perfect,

01:13:09   because he basically, whether you could argue,

01:13:14   he certainly helped usher that era in,

01:13:17   but he also just, he foresaw the fact that

01:13:19   it would move from the enthusiasts and geeky people

01:13:24   just being really into technology

01:13:27   and reading things like PC World and things like that

01:13:30   to actually going into a mainstream thing.

01:13:31   And I mean, it is, one of the most mainstream things

01:13:35   right now is technology, right?

01:13:37   There's every single person in the world in some capacity uses some sort of technology

01:13:42   and

01:13:44   We could you imagine sort of if you know if the PC worlds

01:13:47   Were still sort of the the norm and sort of writing about that it would seem insane right now

01:13:52   Because no one would have sort of a guide to to figure out how to use any of this stuff

01:13:58   And the timing is just amazing that he did it and he'd made this decision in 1991 because in my opinion

01:14:03   What made computers mainstream?

01:14:07   Arguably twofold, but I think it's singlefold.

01:14:11   I think Windows 95 obviously had some part of it

01:14:13   where the mass market, lower cost PCs

01:14:16   jumped from having a really janky operating system

01:14:20   like Windows 3.1 to having something that looked pretty nice

01:14:23   and was a little, certainly a lot better organized.

01:14:26   But the bigger thing is just the internet itself,

01:14:29   which is that, and people who love computers,

01:14:32   I certainly didn't foresee it.

01:14:33   I was of the opinion as somebody,

01:14:36   a kid who grew up loving computers.

01:14:37   I couldn't understand why everybody else

01:14:38   didn't love computers and want to spend

01:14:40   as many hours a day as they possibly could on computers.

01:14:42   But for normal people, what made computers something

01:14:45   that they didn't care about,

01:14:46   something they cared about deeply,

01:14:48   was that they got turned into communication devices.

01:14:51   It's communication.

01:14:52   Everything, humans are creatures

01:14:56   we're born to want to communicate with each other.

01:14:59   And the technologies that allow us to do so

01:15:02   are the ones that rocket off.

01:15:04   I mean, you could even talk about the automobile

01:15:08   from the Henry Ford era a century ago

01:15:10   as ultimately as a communications device.

01:15:13   You know, that yes, you could use it to bring things

01:15:15   from one place to another faster than you could,

01:15:17   but the fact that you could go visit people

01:15:19   who you otherwise couldn't visit

01:15:21   because you wouldn't have time to get there

01:15:23   is a huge part of it, right?

01:15:24   And computers, before they were communication devices,

01:15:27   or in like the dial-up modem era,

01:15:30   when you had to dial in an telnet into a bulletin board

01:15:33   and use, you know, cryptic command line things

01:15:35   and nobody would understand it.

01:15:37   Geeks got it early.

01:15:38   We spent time on bulletin boards

01:15:40   communicating with each other,

01:15:41   but when simple, easy to understand

01:15:44   communication technology became available on the internet,

01:15:47   that's when it exploded.

01:15:48   But Walt had his column from 1991, five years before that.

01:15:52   And so he was already established as this voice of authority

01:15:56   when the explosion already happened.

01:15:58   - Yeah, and I mean, the most obvious thing in the world

01:16:01   is that the iPhone was the ultimate extrapolation of that,

01:16:04   right? - Right.

01:16:05   - Because then you had the,

01:16:06   not only was it a physical communication device,

01:16:09   it blended everything together

01:16:11   and you had it with you all the time.

01:16:12   Right.

01:16:15   One thing that I was curious to your take

01:16:17   about this topic on with, you know,

01:16:20   with Walt moving on was,

01:16:23   who do you think takes up the mantle then

01:16:25   as sort of the, I guess that go to

01:16:28   either technology columnist or reviewer?

01:16:29   We know the names who are sort of at the bigger places,

01:16:33   Farhad Manjoo at the New York Times.

01:16:37   Wall Street Journal is still doing the combo, right?

01:16:42   Of-- - Right, with Joanna and--

01:16:45   - With Joanna, right.

01:16:46   - And the other guy.

01:16:48   (laughing)

01:16:51   - But so, and then David Pogue is still at Yahoo, I guess?

01:16:58   Yahoo, I guess, or is he not?

01:17:00   I don't even know, like what's going to happen?

01:17:02   Is he going to be at a--

01:17:03   - I think so, but I feel like I don't know

01:17:04   because Yahoo's future is so uncertain.

01:17:08   - Right, is he gonna be at Ethos

01:17:10   or whatever the hell that company's gonna be called?

01:17:12   So, oh, Jeffrey Fowler.

01:17:16   - Yes, Jeffrey Fowler, sorry Jeffrey.

01:17:18   - Sorry Jeffrey.

01:17:19   But so like, so how do you think that that plays out?

01:17:22   Or is it not one of the giant, you know,

01:17:24   sort of old school publications?

01:17:26   Is it some other, is it so Mark Gurman,

01:17:29   you know, was announced this morning

01:17:30   that Bloomberg's launching a,

01:17:32   like a gadget show with Gurman.

01:17:35   - Oh, I didn't see that.

01:17:37   - Yeah, it was on like, I saw Axios.

01:17:40   So Axios, you know, the new newsletter thing

01:17:43   from Mike Allen and that group.

01:17:45   Yeah, they broke the story about,

01:17:47   it looks like it's going,

01:17:50   I don't know exactly what it's gonna be called.

01:17:51   Hold on, I actually had the link here,

01:17:53   so I can pull it up, but. - I got it.

01:17:56   I was just talking about Axios because Ina Fried took over and is running the technology

01:18:01   beat for them, and she was at the Appleschindig last week, and I was talking to her about it.

01:18:05   It's an interesting format, and I said to her, I said, "I'm not just saying this because you're

01:18:09   here, but I have to say that, especially politics-wise, I'm more keenly attuned ever

01:18:16   since November, and in the last few months, it's surprising how many of the links that have bubbled

01:18:22   up to the surface politically have been Axios sites. It didn't take very long after Axios

01:18:26   launched before I noticed it, and I was like, "How long has this been around?" Because all

01:18:31   of a sudden, it's popping up every day, and then I checked, and I was like, "Oh, it's

01:18:35   only two weeks old." It's not like I missed it. It's right from the get-go, though, Axios

01:18:41   has-

01:18:42   They're doing great. And not to do too much of an aside on the aside, but yeah, so in

01:18:47   my world, in my current world, in VC, obviously everyone was reading Dan Primack when he was

01:18:52   at Fortune, his newsletter, and he moved over to Axios sort of around the time of their

01:18:56   launch.

01:18:57   And then they have the Mike Allen guy who famously sort of wrote the Politico newsletter

01:19:03   for a long time.

01:19:04   And it's insane because he literally writes it every single day and just fills it with

01:19:07   a ton of content every single day and seems to get legitimate inside the White House scoops.

01:19:12   And obviously Primack gets his scoops, Eno will get hers, and it's just like on down

01:19:16   the line.

01:19:17   They have a pretty killer product and team.

01:19:19   Yeah.

01:19:20   Yeah.

01:19:21   did a very keen job of focusing on just getting great talent.

01:19:26   Just, you know, they have a great format and I like, you know, it's a good,

01:19:30   it looks good, there's not, I don't see any clutter on screen that is

01:19:33   annoying me. It's, they've got this focus on writing really short articles that

01:19:39   just get to the point which I think goes over really well.

01:19:42   Like, there's no padding in the articles,

01:19:45   but they've got great talent on all these beats which

01:19:49   which is, to me, a great combination.

01:19:51   It's a good format with a good focus.

01:19:54   It's user-friendly, and they've assembled

01:19:57   a really good team of talented people with deep sources.

01:20:01   So anyway.

01:20:02   - And they do a great job with brevity, too.

01:20:05   They don't just, they don't drag on.

01:20:07   - Right, that's what I'm saying.

01:20:08   - These long-winded things. - There's so much on the web

01:20:09   that drags on because it's like they want now.

01:20:11   It's like, I feel like in the old days,

01:20:14   the problem eight, nine years ago was that the sites,

01:20:18   because they were counting pages,

01:20:19   they would break up articles,

01:20:22   click here for next page, next page.

01:20:24   But now I feel like articles are padded

01:20:28   for the sake of being able to algorithmically interrupt

01:20:33   between paragraphs to insert either ads

01:20:37   or promotions for other thing on the site.

01:20:39   And so I noticed mostly reading on the phone is,

01:20:42   there was this, oh my God, I forget who it was.

01:20:45   I don't even want to mention it

01:20:46   because I don't want to give them any attention,

01:20:48   but there was an article I was reading last night

01:20:50   where they had three interruptions in the same article

01:20:52   to promote a new podcast that they were launching.

01:20:56   For the same podcast, three times in the article

01:20:58   between paragraphs, and on the phone,

01:21:00   it's a huge interruption between where your eyes

01:21:04   find the next paragraph.

01:21:06   Anyway, Axios does a good job on that.

01:21:09   - So Gurman's thing is called Gadgets with Gurman.

01:21:11   - Huh, that's a great idea.

01:21:13   - Bloomberg show, so it's gonna be a digital video series

01:21:16   that they're going to launch across all the Bloomberg stuff, including the terminal, it sounds like.

01:21:20   But then they're going to package it together and eventually sort of put it on Bloomberg television as well.

01:21:25   I know he's been very interesting. I know that's, you know, I can't say I'm close friends with him, but I certainly am friendly with him.

01:21:31   He's been on the show and whenever, you know, I like, and now that he's, you know, really gone pro, he's getting invited to Apple events,

01:21:39   and I always try to make a point of saying hi.

01:21:41   I know from talking to him that a big reason

01:21:44   he went to Bloomberg instead of anywhere else

01:21:45   was the promise of video and TV stuff.

01:21:49   He's super interested in that.

01:21:51   So I'm not surprised at all that he's getting his own thing.

01:21:55   - But so, amongst those people or someone else,

01:21:58   is there someone who takes up that mantle,

01:21:59   or are we just in an era now where it's such the norm

01:22:03   that there's going to be sort of the five to 10 go-tos

01:22:06   for sort of everything? - Yeah, I don't think

01:22:07   there's anybody who takes the mantle from Mossberg.

01:22:09   really don't and and I just don't I just don't see how it happens because I don't

01:22:14   see it's not like the New York Times on Wall Street Journal aren't still

01:22:20   important but they're differently important now where I don't feel like

01:22:25   they have singular voice maybe like on the New York Times op-ed page you know

01:22:29   like a Paul Krugman and Maureen Dowd still have that influence but I don't

01:22:36   in technology, I just don't see it. I think the fact that Walt was there so early and

01:22:44   was so established that it combined with the incredible power of the Wall Street Journal,

01:22:50   even today, I mean, Wall Street Journal is still super popular, but the fact that he

01:22:53   was doing it at the Journal, I just don't see how anybody's going to take that position.

01:22:56   It's almost like Michael Jordan retires. Who takes over as Michael Jordan? Maybe there

01:23:01   will be a LeBron who comes along, but I think whoever that is isn't here yet.

01:23:05   - Yeah, and it's gonna have to be sort of different thing,

01:23:08   maybe even a different format, you know?

01:23:10   And you know, maybe this German thing becomes interesting.

01:23:13   I do think like, you know, some of the other folks

01:23:18   who have great history, like Steven Levy,

01:23:20   who's a good friend of mine,

01:23:21   obviously he's still getting, you know,

01:23:23   some amazing stories for his back channel stuff,

01:23:26   which is underwired now.

01:23:28   And you know, so there's gonna be sort of,

01:23:31   there's still the group of folks

01:23:33   who have so much prestige around them

01:23:37   and the bigger companies are still comfortable

01:23:39   sort of talking to them versus just some random person,

01:23:44   like you said, when Mark Gurman was at 9to5Mac,

01:23:49   he didn't get invited to any of the Apple things, right?

01:23:52   Even though he's breaking every single story.

01:23:54   - Well, it was already too late to come to the events.

01:23:57   - Yeah, right.

01:23:57   - What he was doing that was adding to

01:24:02   the overall quantity of the information in the world.

01:24:05   It had nothing to do with what was at the events.

01:24:07   It was five months before the events.

01:24:09   - Right.

01:24:11   - I feel like the closest would be, and I wonder,

01:24:14   I think he did the right thing,

01:24:16   'cause I think part of being prescient with Walt was that

01:24:20   I think he was smart to go to create the all things D brand

01:24:25   while at the Wall Street Journal.

01:24:28   And again, the Columbia Journalism Review mentions

01:24:31   that they did that, he and Kara Swisher did that,

01:24:33   when the consensus among print journalists

01:24:37   was still to treat the web as an ugly stepchild, right?

01:24:41   - Right. - That you're writing

01:24:42   primarily for print, and then there's some B team

01:24:45   that takes the print stuff after it's gone

01:24:48   through the print process, and I don't know,

01:24:50   put it on the web thing or whatever,

01:24:51   treat it as an ugly stepchild.

01:24:53   I mean, here in Philadelphia,

01:24:55   I don't wanna go on a super long aside,

01:24:57   but in Philadelphia, the two newspapers

01:24:59   the Inquirer and the Daily News. And they made a decision in the late 90s that rather

01:25:05   than focus on having like an Inquirer.com and PhillyDailyNews.com or whatever you want

01:25:10   to call the domains be a quality things, they made like a joint thing called Philly.com

01:25:16   and they had content from both newspapers, but they just sort of, it was never really

01:25:20   clear which articles were from which paper, even though they independently as print operations,

01:25:25   They were completely separate and rivals,

01:25:27   completely separate rivals,

01:25:28   even though they were under the same parent obligation,

01:25:31   our organization.

01:25:33   But the philly.com, and it was an ugly website.

01:25:35   It was slow to load.

01:25:36   They always, they were at the forefront of using paywalls.

01:25:40   (laughing)

01:25:42   And it almost bankrupted the company,

01:25:44   it did bankrupt the company.

01:25:45   The company is, they ended up having to sell

01:25:47   their magnificent headquarters

01:25:49   and move into janky office space.

01:25:53   and not treating the web seriously

01:25:56   really almost ran them into the ground.

01:25:58   I would say Walt was at the opposite,

01:25:59   where Walt was, with All Things D,

01:26:01   they were like, we'll write for the web first.

01:26:05   - Yep. - And we'll make

01:26:06   web-only content.

01:26:07   - That plus the conference business.

01:26:10   - Right, right. - I mean, they--

01:26:12   - Which came first. - They were ahead

01:26:13   of the curve on that, yeah. - Right, that was 2003,

01:26:15   and I think they started the All Things D website in 2007.

01:26:18   I also think that leaving the journal

01:26:20   the last five, six years of his career to start Recode, which they then merged with Vox and The

01:26:28   Verge, et cetera, was probably the right thing to do. I really do think so, and I think it had

01:26:33   an eye on the future. But I wonder how much it lessened his influence. I think for Kara,

01:26:43   and what she does best with breaking scoops, it's fine. I think in fact, it was all win.

01:26:50   And the fact that she's got equity in the thing

01:26:53   and the scoops go out to everybody who cares about scoops

01:26:57   when they come out.

01:26:58   But for Mossberg's thing of being a sort of

01:27:01   spokesperson for the everyman,

01:27:04   as a product reviewer, I do wonder whether

01:27:07   his voice was lessened by leaving the journal.

01:27:12   - Right, and I mean that's the hard,

01:27:15   the hard sort of gap to close because the everyman

01:27:19   He may not read the Wall Street Journal only,

01:27:23   but they know of the Wall Street Journal.

01:27:24   The other man knows the Wall Street Journal.

01:27:26   They'll know Walt Mossberg at the Wall Street Journal.

01:27:30   Certainly, he had a big enough name for when he

01:27:32   leaves the Wall Street Journal to take some of that audience with him,

01:27:35   but it will never be the full audience of a nationwide distributed paper.

01:27:41   So it was almost like was recode more of a,

01:27:48   you know, sort of back to the tech enthusiast crowd

01:27:50   versus the everyman crowd.

01:27:52   - Right, like Walt's writing didn't change.

01:27:54   Like, you know, I don't think that you could Pepsi challenge

01:27:57   the difference between Walt's columns

01:27:59   under the Recode or Verge banner

01:28:01   and his, you know, columns under the Journal banner.

01:28:04   He had the same style and the same approach

01:28:05   and the same attitude.

01:28:07   If you just look at the words,

01:28:08   but I think it reached fewer people.

01:28:09   I think it was almost like a magnifier

01:28:11   where he built the Walt Mossberg brand,

01:28:13   where if you put a quote up in a keynote

01:28:15   and just had a quote from Walt Mossberg.

01:28:19   That says a lot right there.

01:28:20   But Walt Mossberg, comma, The Wall Street Journal,

01:28:23   it's like a multiplier, because now you've got both

01:28:25   the power of the Wall Street Journal brand combined,

01:28:28   multiplied by the power of Walt's personal brand.

01:28:32   - Yeah, and so, I mean, that speaks to why

01:28:34   it was probably the smart move to then do the,

01:28:36   sort of, the Vox sale and merge, basically,

01:28:39   you know, with the Verge, because it is,

01:28:42   while we can argue about whether it's been successful yet in doing so, it is trying to

01:28:47   reach a more mainstream audience rather than what ReCode was doing itself, which was much

01:28:53   more targeted.

01:28:54   Right.

01:28:55   And obviously, I'm a big proponent of writers and independent journalists going off on their

01:29:03   own and building their own brands.

01:29:07   But I'm also keenly aware of the brand equity of things like the Journal and the New York

01:29:11   Times. I feel like Pogue is in the same boat where career rise, it might have been exactly

01:29:16   the right thing. I'm not criticizing him in the least. It might have been exactly the

01:29:18   right thing to go to Yahoo and it might be great for his career and his family and his

01:29:24   personal finances. But I can't help but think that if Pogue were still at the New York Times,

01:29:29   he might be in that position to sort of take over as the de facto. Like David Pogue at

01:29:33   the New York Times is a much more powerful voice and brand than David Pogue at Yahoo

01:29:39   tech or whatever the umbrella is. Yeah, it's sort of interesting. I know it's not a direct analogy,

01:29:45   and it's in some ways probably unfair, but it's like, you know, it reminds me of sort of like

01:29:49   the Siskel and Ebert thing, right? When they were at sort of the pinnacle of doing film reviews and

01:29:56   of course the getting the television show and everything, doing that, and then, you know,

01:30:03   know both unfortunately passed away and like who then takes up that mantle and

01:30:08   they're really you know there's some people like a o scott at the New York

01:30:12   Times who I think is great and and there's a handful of other people but no

01:30:14   one has that same influence a perfect example that I think because there is no

01:30:19   there's no no more Cisco on ebert and even after gene Cisco died I think

01:30:23   ebert ebert was enough of a voice where he was still yes he was still up there

01:30:28   - Right, but after he died, nobody really took that.

01:30:33   I can't think of who I would think, you know.

01:30:35   I personally do like A.O. Scott.

01:30:37   I personally, I love to hate read,

01:30:40   what's his name, Anthony Lane in The New Yorker.

01:30:46   - Oh, right, yep, yep.

01:30:48   I read those too, yep.

01:30:50   (laughing)

01:30:52   - I get to the end of every issue of The New Yorker

01:30:55   and I either, if I've,

01:30:57   I don't read them unless I've seen the movie.

01:30:59   But sometimes I keep old ones and I bookmark them.

01:31:01   And then when I do see the movie, I go back and read--

01:31:03   - I do the same exact thing.

01:31:04   - I go back and read Anthony Lane's review.

01:31:06   And then I rip it up.

01:31:07   - And I do the exact same thing for the same reason.

01:31:09   - I rip it up and I wanna just throw these

01:31:11   ripped up reviews in his face and say, "You joyless."

01:31:14   (laughing)

01:31:16   Don't you realize that sometimes a movie

01:31:21   is just meant to be fun?

01:31:22   But he's very good at writing those reviews,

01:31:25   so I still read them.

01:31:27   But I can't say that anybody's like Ebert.

01:31:30   I would say that Walt is sort of the Ebert

01:31:32   and Cisco combined, maybe.

01:31:35   Anyway.

01:31:36   - Yeah.

01:31:36   - Anyway, good luck to him.

01:31:37   It's gonna be weird.

01:31:38   It's gonna be weird not seeing him around, I tell you that.

01:31:41   - Yeah, I'll be at the code conference for, I guess,

01:31:45   that's where he's saying the actual goodbyes.

01:31:47   So that'll be an interesting--

01:31:48   - I've never gone.

01:31:49   I should see if I can wrangle an invitation.

01:31:53   - You should, it is.

01:31:54   not to promote, not to be a promotion here,

01:31:58   but it is a very good conference.

01:31:59   They do a very good job with it.

01:32:00   - I think the reason I never have even thought about

01:32:02   seeing if I could go is that it seems so close to WWDC

01:32:05   and I'm sort of a homebody and I don't wanna go away

01:32:08   two times in short succession.

01:32:10   - Yeah, and it's in Southern California, not up here, so.

01:32:13   - Right, well I don't really care.

01:32:14   It's just, all that matters to me is that I'm

01:32:17   a gazillion thousand miles away from home, but.

01:32:19   - Can't be away from that U-Haul desk, if yours.

01:32:22   (laughing)

01:32:24   So do you wanna go back to your iPad point?

01:32:27   - Let me finish that.

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01:35:05   All right.

01:35:06   Back to the iPad.

01:35:07   Here's the thing I would like to see them do.

01:35:08   My biggest request would be to have a multitasking mode similar to the one they have now where

01:35:14   you arrange multiple apps in full height columns. But I would like to be able

01:35:20   to make them—I don't know exactly—I haven't envisioned or invented an

01:35:25   interface to make this—to figure out exactly how they would do it. But I would

01:35:29   like to have it be more arbitrary. So if you want to have three, you could have

01:35:35   three. If you want to drag one from the middle to the left, you could somehow

01:35:41   drag the you know put your finger in like the nav bar or something or do a

01:35:45   long press on it and drag it over rearrange them and I would like them to

01:35:52   do away with it bothers me somehow and I can't quite put my finger on it but it

01:35:56   just feels like the whole thing it still makes the whole field thing feel tacked

01:36:00   on to me that the left one is always main and the right one is like the junior

01:36:07   app. Right. And it doesn't feel right to me. It doesn't feel... it's like on the Mac, there's

01:36:12   never... there's a frontmost window and then there's all other windows and they're all

01:36:16   equal, and if you click on one, it becomes frontmost and it's every bit as legit as the

01:36:21   other ones. So if I have three apps on my iPad in columns side by side, when I'm in

01:36:28   the middle one, I feel like it should be every bit the real, the main app as it would be

01:36:33   if it were the left one. And secondarily, I would like them to figure out a way to

01:36:38   more visually clarify which one currently has the focus. Right, right.

01:36:43   But so with that three, the notion of three, does that work ratio-wise for sort

01:36:50   of the, you know, how big? Yeah, because I think that if you do the size classes

01:36:54   right, it could be it your app should rearrange themselves, you know, should use

01:37:00   using auto layout etc to any arbitrary width you shouldn't be worried about

01:37:04   exact whether it's exactly you know 767 pixels or I got that wrong but you know

01:37:11   that did you should be worried about hitting this short list of exact pixel

01:37:16   widths you should be in more like a Mac app you should be able to rearrange to

01:37:20   any arbitrary width I'm not saying that the that the iPad should let you drag

01:37:24   the little divider and change it from 750 pixels to 748 pixels I feel like

01:37:29   like the fact that the iPad isn't so fussy

01:37:32   and has these set sizes that the apps clip to

01:37:36   is actually nice.

01:37:38   - Yeah. - Right?

01:37:39   Like it's always bothered me a little

01:37:41   that when you resize a Mac app window

01:37:44   that it's never really perfect.

01:37:46   It's always just wherever you left off the mouse.

01:37:50   - Right, so you want a combination of those things,

01:37:53   like it being strict in sort of formatting

01:37:58   but just being more options for how you can format that screen.

01:38:01   Right, and I don't want infinite options.

01:38:03   I feel like a 9.7-inch iPad, maybe the maximum is 3.

01:38:07   Maybe on the 12.9, the maximum's 4.

01:38:10   You know, I trust Apple to work that out.

01:38:13   But if I want to go 50/50, and I want

01:38:16   to have two that are exactly 50/50,

01:38:18   or if I want to go like 2/3, 1/3,

01:38:21   I could do that very easily.

01:38:22   And if I want to go 1/3, 1/3, 1/3 for 3, I could do that easily.

01:38:28   And do you think now, I assume the iPad,

01:38:32   certainly the iPad Pro's at the point

01:38:33   where it could run three apps simultaneously

01:38:36   without an issue?

01:38:37   - Oh, I think so, without question.

01:38:39   And especially with the way that,

01:38:42   yeah, I think so, I think it has enough RAM to do that.

01:38:46   - Yeah, I would love to see something like that.

01:38:49   I think one of the biggest drawbacks,

01:38:53   it's not huge, but one that I have,

01:38:55   'cause I use the iPad a ton,

01:38:57   is just there's still a little cutesy

01:39:00   with sort of switching between the apps.

01:39:01   They still have sort of these,

01:39:03   the animations that go on to sort of flip it around

01:39:05   and whatnot, and it just makes it a little bit longer

01:39:08   than it needs to be, right?

01:39:10   And so if you're really into using two apps,

01:39:13   yeah, and I know you could do the side-by-side things,

01:39:15   and I do that for certain apps,

01:39:16   it makes sense to do that for,

01:39:18   but I would even just make it as fast as possible

01:39:21   to switch between two.

01:39:22   - Yeah, they tweaked that in iOS 10.3.

01:39:26   Yeah, I think it's a little bit faster.

01:39:27   Yeah, they shorten some of the animation times.

01:39:29   Yeah, like I'm using it right now. Yeah, I mean it is faster because it slides right in now,

01:39:34   but they still, you know, they're still cute, a little cutesy with the animations.

01:39:37   Yeah, and the longer you use a computer, like the more that you use an iPad as like your main

01:39:44   writing computer, the more those animations grate on you because the more sensitive you are to

01:39:50   knowing that you're waiting for the animation and not really waiting for the computer.

01:39:55   And I feel like in the classic days like in the original Mac like the 84 85 86 when the first max first came out and

01:40:01   You know that in hindsight they were desperately desperately slow and desperately starved for

01:40:07   Every resource you can imagine disk space and RAM and video RAM and everything

01:40:14   When you double-click something and you've got those resume rectangles that showed it coming up

01:40:20   Part of it was to help you understand

01:40:22   Okay, you've opened this folder and it's opening into a window and the animation would help you do that

01:40:28   But the other reason the animations were there was to give you something to look at while you were waiting for the computer to actually

01:40:33   Do it because it wasn't going to happen instantaneously anyway

01:40:36   All right, sort of solving two birds with one stone

01:40:38   Which was it was giving you this visual clue of telling you what was happening like oh this

01:40:44   Folder is opened into a window now and when I close the window it

01:40:49   closes into the icon from which it opened. I see the folder is a window and the window is a folder

01:40:55   and the folder, if I go back to that window, has a different visual state when the window,

01:40:58   its corresponding window is open. But the animations never felt like they were slowing

01:41:05   you down because you were waiting for the computer anyway. And as the computers got faster,

01:41:09   I feel like those visual clues, like I still like in some ways, like on the iPad or iPhone,

01:41:14   when you tap an icon and the app animates as it opens up, I still feel like it's...

01:41:19   I don't feel like it should... I don't feel like the screen should flash instantly,

01:41:23   but I feel like that animation should be very fast.

01:41:25   Right. And just playing around with it now, like... So I think Apple did a good job,

01:41:31   sort of, if you use Command-Tab, which you can use if you have the keyboard, you know,

01:41:34   hooked up to the iPad, it's actually very fast. It's pretty good. But if you just do the double

01:41:41   click of the home button, it's still sort of like a slowish zoom out and then you click

01:41:46   on the one you want and then it's a slowish zoom in.

01:41:48   And then the worst of all maybe, and I don't know, I assume very few people actually use

01:41:53   this but you know you can do the four finger sort of swipe thing and go from sort of app

01:41:58   to app that way and it's just like unnecessarily slow.

01:42:03   So yeah, I almost never use that as a result of that but that's currently I guess the state

01:42:08   of the art.

01:42:09   The only other thing I was going to add to the iPad discussion since we were talking

01:42:12   about sort of newer ones.

01:42:14   So the Pro that I'm using now still feels super fast.

01:42:17   The newer 9.7 Pro, super fast.

01:42:20   But I will say the iPad mini is a little slow these days.

01:42:25   I still use it for, you know, for certain times reading, take it out with me since it's

01:42:30   nice and small.

01:42:31   But that's pretty slow.

01:42:33   And I know that there was some debate back and forth whether or not they would actually

01:42:37   just sort of get rid of that product and I hope they don't but anyway I wonder

01:42:41   because it does stick out now because it's actually at an entry level it's

01:42:45   more expensive than the 9.7 the new one yeah it does have more storage so it's

01:42:54   not completely inexplicable why it's more expensive but it does seem weird

01:42:58   because up until this most recent introduction of the quote new 9.7 inch

01:43:02   iPad there was a correlation in cost between okay the small one is the cheap

01:43:07   the mid-sized one is mid-priced and the new big one is the most expensive.

01:43:10   And now all of a sudden there's the weird situation where if your budget

01:43:14   counts, you're gonna get the 9.7 inch, not the, you know, you're seemingly

01:43:18   getting more more of a device than you are, you know, for $329 than you would at

01:43:22   $399 for the mini. And it's also, it's been over two years, right, since it's

01:43:28   been updated at this point. Yeah, I don't know if it's done though. I don't know. I

01:43:32   mean, it's hard to say. I don't know. I guess it really comes down to how

01:43:36   many people are buying it. I mean, Apple knows that and isn't going to tell us. But I wouldn't

01:43:41   be surprised either way. I wouldn't be surprised if it gets a very quiet update, more or less

01:43:45   like with the specs of the "new 9.7-inch iPad" just in a smaller size and it just sits there.

01:43:53   I don't know. Who knows if they could lower the price, but maybe. And I wouldn't be surprised

01:43:59   if it just never gets updated and two years from now it just goes away, that it sort of

01:44:05   got killed by the plus-sized iPhones. Right, and yeah, especially if, you know,

01:44:11   when the if and when this new top-of-the-line iPhone comes out, if

01:44:15   that even makes it even more of sort of a glaring discrepancy between them. Yeah,

01:44:20   and I wonder, I can't help but think that the the Pro uses, like I don't think

01:44:25   there's ever gonna be an iPad Mini Pro. I just don't, I don't think they're gonna

01:44:28   make a keyboard that small. I think it would be, would really take child. I did

01:44:32   get one of those keyboards that was like the Logitech one that you could use with it. It

01:44:36   was so ridiculously small. Not very useful. It is good though as a like a reader, you

01:44:44   know, like it because it is roughly kindle size and so if you really do just read but

01:44:48   maybe their thinking is that for the people who do use it they mostly just read and it

01:44:51   doesn't matter if it's long in the tooth and a little slow at this point. I don't know.

01:44:55   Yeah.

01:44:56   But I can't see I'm adding a smart connector and having a keyboard for it.

01:45:03   Yeah, it's too small of a screen size to actually make an ergonomic keyboard, and all you have

01:45:10   to do is play with Logitech One for five seconds to know that.

01:45:15   I talked about this before.

01:45:16   I still think it's interesting that Apple, when they had me, they had a briefing for

01:45:21   for the new iPad and the Clips app and stuff,

01:45:24   and I went up to New York and saw it.

01:45:26   They don't have a special keyboard

01:45:30   for the new 9.7-inch iPad,

01:45:31   but in collaboration with Logitech,

01:45:33   they're supporting this Logitech case/keyboard,

01:45:38   which is sort of, it's very thick, it's like rugged,

01:45:42   but it's, you know, you can totally see,

01:45:44   if you think about it in the context of like a K-12 school,

01:45:46   you think, oh yeah, I can see why they would love that,

01:45:48   because it looks like something

01:45:49   that would easily survive like a drop.

01:45:51   But one of the reasons it's important

01:45:54   is that you put it into this case,

01:45:56   you put the iPad in this case that's totally surrounded,

01:45:58   and it has a lightning port inside.

01:46:01   And I don't know if it has a battery or not,

01:46:03   but that means that it's not a Bluetooth connection

01:46:05   to the keyboard, it's a hardware connection

01:46:07   to the keyboard through lightning.

01:46:09   And that's essential for K-12

01:46:12   because all of the standardized tests

01:46:15   that take place on a computer,

01:46:17   it's mandated that there's no wireless connectivity.

01:46:22   And you can understand, you know, I see, I get it.

01:46:25   No wireless whatsoever.

01:46:27   It's like complete airplane mode.

01:46:28   Otherwise the software does, you know,

01:46:30   detects that you're not in airplane mode and won't run.

01:46:33   And I could totally see why Apple did that.

01:46:36   - I feel like if a kid can cheat via Bluetooth,

01:46:39   that would be pretty impressive.

01:46:40   But yeah, I understand.

01:46:43   - From what I mentioned this the other week on the show

01:46:45   Dan Fromer, he said that he and his friends used to, I forget if he said Palm Pilots, I forget what

01:46:50   they had, but when he was in high school, they had something and they were IRing their cheats

01:46:55   to each other. They're just- Oh, I wonder if they, I remember like, you know, they remember

01:46:59   like the TI calculus, the Texas Instruments sort of scientific calculators. We used to have all

01:47:05   sorts of fun things on that. I think you could run Doom, like an emulator to run Doom on it and

01:47:09   some other fun stuff. Yeah. You're too young. You're, you're, you're too young for me. I didn't

01:47:14   have anything of that capability. But we had calculators that had, they just had the

01:47:19   numeric display, but you could type letters in them too. But it was a one row, and it had

01:47:27   like memory functions. And so our cheat, our way of cheating was to put the briefest possible cheat

01:47:32   notes in those memory functions. And then you would bring them up and instead of just being

01:47:37   numbers, it would, you know, be some sort of like 32 character. Oh yeah, that's how you, you know,

01:47:41   That's how you do it.

01:47:43   Yep.

01:47:44   Yeah.

01:47:45   Children find a way, no matter the technology.

01:47:48   Anything else that you want to talk about?

01:47:52   The only other thing, and we can sort of briefly talk about it, just because I did think it

01:47:56   was interesting, you had sort of a shortest rant in linking to something, and it does

01:48:00   relate directly maybe to some of the iPad stuff we were just talking about, is the app

01:48:03   bundle size thing.

01:48:06   Because there was also, like, you and I had a, not really back and forth, I responded

01:48:10   to you and they both got a ton of yours and mine both got a ton of likes because

01:48:13   I think this resonates with people you were talking about in that tweet the

01:48:17   Dropbox app like why is it 260 megabytes or whatever and then in your linked

01:48:21   posts you were talking about the someone wrote a breakdown of why the Facebook

01:48:25   app is so bad now right I so I noticed this because I was without Wi-Fi service

01:48:31   for a week or so and so I was living entirely off LTE and I have I upgraded

01:48:38   our Verizon plan to quote unquote unlimited but I've read the fine print

01:48:42   when we did it like our family plan and unlimited is not really unlimited

01:48:46   there's I forget what point but there's a point where they reserve the right

01:48:50   where in your month if you go over like 20 gigabytes or something they reserve

01:48:53   the right to throttle you something like that it's not really unlimited and so

01:48:58   one of the things I did in the week or so I was without Wi-Fi is I didn't

01:49:02   update any of my apps with the update all I would just go through and look for

01:49:07   ones that I either thought were essential or like small and it's amazing

01:49:11   how many apps so more or less I didn't update any app over a hundred megabytes

01:49:15   and by the end of the week I had like 26 app updates it's amazing and it's

01:49:19   amazing how many of them are over 200 megabytes I know and I mean that's

01:49:23   without question that's creeping up across all apps over time it was it was

01:49:27   sort of one app maybe it was the clips app or something like that it was one of

01:49:31   Apple's apps I noticed the other day you know I think it was clips maybe and it

01:49:36   was like six megabytes and I was like oh my god I don't even remember the last

01:49:40   time I saw an app update that was that tiny because they're all now at least

01:49:44   50 and then many are over 100 some over 200 like you were talking about and it's

01:49:49   insane and so I like that the thing you linked to like sort of breaking down

01:49:52   looking unpacking the the you know the Facebook's bundle for that and they just

01:49:58   have so much cruft in there that's that's obviously duplicate duplicate

01:50:03   copies of the same framework, duplicate copies of the same image assets, and even that, even

01:50:08   if you got rid of all the duplicates, it still seems like it would be big, but it's crazy.

01:50:13   I know from somewhat—I know one of the things is that it's these analytics packages that

01:50:20   the apps are all using and that they come as binary blobs where you just—they give

01:50:25   you this framework to toss into your Xcode project and the whole thing is in there and

01:50:30   it's you know and then somebody else says from the SEO team on your company

01:50:35   is like well we want this analytics product too and then all of a sudden

01:50:37   you've got two of them and they add up to 100 megabytes and it's not it not

01:50:41   even your app right Apple isn't innocent either because the iWorks apps are

01:50:47   humongous Oh huge and Microsoft those are some of the worst that I works all

01:50:51   the productivity stuff whenever I have Microsoft Word one of them and it was

01:50:56   like it was like 600 megabytes like what in an app update what are they doing

01:51:01   zoom it's all templates and and the image assets to go with the templates I

01:51:05   can't imagine what else it would be in languages and I I don't even know um one

01:51:10   of the things I know obviously Facebook does one of the reasons for the bloat is

01:51:15   they're always including various a/b tests in their app and so they will

01:51:21   trigger things based on country, I think based on other things as well to try to

01:51:27   you know a/b test various functionality. Back in the TechCrunch days you know I

01:51:31   used to sort of know where to look and and who to ask about sort of

01:51:37   unpacking some of that because you could always find stuff. I think I found the

01:51:40   iPad version of the Facebook app when it was still bundled in before there was an

01:51:44   official iPad version because it was baked into the you know the the standard

01:51:49   iOS version and so it was right there and I'm sure they're they're always

01:51:53   doing stuff like that. I feel like it's getting out of control though and

01:51:58   part of it is that I noticed it with this I've noticed it before that but I

01:52:01   noticed it with this week where I didn't have Wi-Fi but I've noticed it before

01:52:05   and it just seems preposterous to me I mean like I'm not saying I mean we you

01:52:10   know we were finicky and fussy but Vesper I'd looked it was the the last

01:52:14   version of Vespers, which is still in the App Store, is 5.5 megabytes.

01:52:19   Wow. Yeah, that's impressive.

01:52:23   And a huge chunk of that is that we embedded a custom font.

01:52:25   If we had used a system font, it would have been even significantly smaller.

01:52:28   There's no reason for it.

01:52:34   And it's really wasteful.

01:52:37   And Facebook, after I mentioned that, somebody wrote to me, and I forgot to even mention this, but it's a good point,

01:52:38   is Facebook updates their app all the time.

01:52:41   So multiply the size of the update versus how frequently they have new versions.

01:52:46   And it's...

01:52:47   Yeah, I mean, they famously say in their update notes, "We update the app every two weeks."

01:52:50   That's all they say in the update notes, right?

01:52:52   So they do it every two weeks.

01:52:53   And the same with Messenger.

01:52:54   Messenger is almost as big, I feel like, in that, you know, the Facebook Messenger product.

01:52:58   And then Facebook has several other apps that are all sort of roughly in the same situation.

01:53:04   And then that...

01:53:06   An offshoot of all of that reminds me of, this was several weeks ago, Twitter actually

01:53:12   added something in their settings to basically clear the cache.

01:53:17   And when I did that, I had like a gigabyte worth of information in there.

01:53:22   Like what on earth?

01:53:24   They were caching, I guess, images and GIFs or something from like years and years ago.

01:53:30   It was a gigabyte worth of data.

01:53:32   Twitter, 140 characters.

01:53:35   140 characters. So in a world where all but the newest devices were still sold

01:53:40   in 16 gigabyte configurations you could you can have a gigabyte of old tweets

01:53:44   stored there. I don't know, but I feel like it's it's getting out of control

01:53:50   and I know that in the early years at the App Store it was a pretty big deal I

01:53:54   think the limit was a hundred where you could raise like a hundred

01:53:57   bytes it was the limit where it had to be on Wi-Fi and otherwise you could be

01:54:01   on cellular and it was a big deal for developers to stay under a hundred

01:54:04   because they wanted users to be able to update as soon as they could. And if they were on cellular

01:54:08   for an extended stretch, they wanted them to get the updates. But it seems like they've just blown

01:54:13   past that. But it's a serious, it adds up to serious bandwidth. So like, I checked, like,

01:54:19   I think I pay $50 a month for an AT&T cellular service on my iPad. And I'm thinking about giving

01:54:29   I'm not giving this up when I next get an iPad,

01:54:32   but my strategy when I bought, it's an iPad mini,

01:54:35   and I got it, I don't know, two or three years ago,

01:54:37   probably like three years ago, but that's my personal iPad.

01:54:40   And my strategy was, I'm gonna have Verizon service

01:54:43   on the whole family's iPhones,

01:54:45   and I'm gonna get AT&T on my iPad

01:54:48   so that if I'm ever somewhere where Verizon,

01:54:50   you know, I got on vacation or something,

01:54:51   and there's no good Verizon service,

01:54:53   I'll have AT&T service.

01:54:54   And I pay 50 bucks for seven gigabytes a month,

01:54:58   And I think Amy pays like 30 bucks for four gigabytes,

01:55:03   or five, I don't know.

01:55:04   But it's single digit gigabytes of bandwidth a month.

01:55:07   And if you've only got four gigabytes of bandwidth

01:55:09   in a month, and app updates are 200 megabytes each,

01:55:12   like five app updates use up a quarter of your bandwidth.

01:55:18   You could easily chew through the four gigabytes.

01:55:21   And I don't feel like people know that.

01:55:22   I think people realize that, hey,

01:55:24   if I'm going to stream video,

01:55:27   that's gonna chew up my bandwidth.

01:55:28   Like if I'm gonna watch YouTube for an hour or two,

01:55:31   that's obviously on cellular, I'm using my bandwidth.

01:55:34   If I watch a Major League Baseball game in the MLB app,

01:55:38   I know that I'm using a significant chunk of my bandwidth.

01:55:42   Like updating my apps doesn't feel like

01:55:44   that should be squandering a huge percentage

01:55:46   of my monthly bandwidth, but it is,

01:55:48   because people have, a lot of people have

01:55:51   a pretty low single digit number of gigabytes

01:55:54   a month of bandwidth to use.

01:55:56   - Yeah, I mean, I had the exact same situation

01:55:57   when I was last moving.

01:55:59   Same thing, we were using sort of a tethered device.

01:56:01   I think it was a Mifi unit that I had just gotten

01:56:04   and hooked up to our AT&T account.

01:56:06   And not even explicitly, but I just either forgot

01:56:09   or I have too many devices to even remember

01:56:12   every single one of them, but I would just leave it on.

01:56:14   If I left it on at night, we would always have to turn it off

01:56:16   because if I left it on, they would auto update

01:56:19   because it considers it to be WiFi

01:56:21   'cause I'm connected to a Mifi unit, right?

01:56:23   And so it would auto update,

01:56:25   and then I'd look at the bill,

01:56:27   and we would blow past our, what happened,

01:56:29   like 20 gigs in like four days.

01:56:31   Almost all from app updates.

01:56:33   We weren't watching video.

01:56:34   It was like, it was crazy.

01:56:36   - Marco Orman has a funny story about that.

01:56:38   From years ago, he was at WWDC, and he was tethering,

01:56:41   in the era of relatively low gigabytes per month,

01:56:45   and he was tethering, and he wanted to,

01:56:47   had it set up so he could publish a podcast

01:56:49   that they recorded, and he left,

01:56:51   he left his, he went to bed, and he left his MacBook open,

01:56:54   it downloaded and iTunes downloaded a new episode of Mad Men in HD and it cost

01:56:59   him like $70. He got like a single episode of his show you subscribe to it

01:57:04   it was like a $70 overage fee or something. Because your Mac doesn't know that.

01:57:09   Anyway, no that's a good topic. I don't know what's going on but I feel like

01:57:12   Apple's got to get on top of this because I don't feel like we're just

01:57:14   crazy old men who are, you know, get off my lawn with your big-ass apps. There's

01:57:19   no reason for these apps to be so big. There's absolutely no reason for it.

01:57:22   - It reminds me, well two things it reminds me of.

01:57:25   'Cause one, it reminds me of back when they tried

01:57:28   to launch magazines on the iPad, right?

01:57:30   And they were massive, because they were just pictures

01:57:34   of pages, right?

01:57:36   They would scan in a picture of Wired magazine,

01:57:39   and that would be the app.

01:57:40   And so they were each individual, episode,

01:57:45   each individual issue was 700 to 800 megabytes.

01:57:49   and it was just so ridiculous and so tedious to download.

01:57:52   They seem to have streamlined that a little bit.

01:57:54   Obviously there's less of an emphasis on it these days,

01:57:57   but I noticed they're downloading faster,

01:58:00   so I assume that they're smaller.

01:58:02   The one other thing is,

01:58:04   this actually came out a couple weeks ago, I think.

01:58:07   So Twitter now, one of the things Twitter launched recently

01:58:10   was Twitter Lite, L-I-T-E.

01:58:12   It's like the lite version of their service

01:58:14   because of this problem, right?

01:58:16   Like in developing countries,

01:58:19   they can't possibly download 250 megabyte apps

01:58:23   or have your Twitter app store a gigabyte worth of data.

01:58:28   And so they ended up launching, it's just on the web,

01:58:31   and it's the same thing Facebook did back in the day.

01:58:35   This was several years ago, they launched a Facebook Lite.

01:58:37   And when they launched these things,

01:58:40   everyone seems to praise them for it

01:58:42   because it's like, wow, it's so great, it's so fast.

01:58:45   I remember I would try to use Facebook Lite

01:58:47   as my main thing, even though it was meant for

01:58:49   sort of third world countries.

01:58:51   So they're all like, they have these funny ways around it

01:58:54   because they know that that situation

01:58:56   is just completely untenable,

01:58:58   certainly outside of the United States.

01:58:59   And so they have like whole teams now

01:59:01   devoted to launching light versions of their product.

01:59:04   - It's, I don't know what the solution is,

01:59:06   but something's gotta be done

01:59:07   because it's getting out of hand

01:59:09   and it's only getting worse.

01:59:10   I just can't help but feel too

01:59:13   that when I read that technical analysis

01:59:14   of the Facebook app bundle

01:59:16   and how many duplicate resources and frameworks they have.

01:59:20   The project, the Xcode project to build it

01:59:23   must be like a total mess of spaghetti logic.

01:59:26   There's just no way that you get in that situation.

01:59:31   There's no good explanation behind that.

01:59:34   - Well, and the problem also, I assume,

01:59:36   unlike sort of like you with Vesper

01:59:39   where you have a very small team working on it,

01:59:41   Facebook presumably has hundreds, if not more,

01:59:44   people working on all of these things.

01:59:45   So you can say like just you know streamline some of it but it's like whose job is that you need like an overseer of the code?

01:59:51   I guess I mean, I guess I can see how it happened

01:59:54   but it's still not a good explanation where if the people who are working on their

01:59:57   snapchat clone

02:00:00   Need they need to depend to build it. They need a copy of the the Facebook

02:00:05   You know

02:00:07   framework the the

02:00:08   Everybody uses this framework with our core shared code, but the other teams need the same thing

02:00:14   but they can't depend on where that is.

02:00:16   And that's all of a sudden how you have three copies

02:00:18   of the same framework, because team A needed it,

02:00:21   team B needed it, and all of a sudden--

02:00:24   - I also really liked his note about finding the strings

02:00:28   that were like, you will be fired if you turn this on.

02:00:31   - Right, or if you use this API.

02:00:33   That was funny too.

02:00:34   - And my joke back to you about the Dropbox one was like,

02:00:39   well, yeah, of course, 'cause they're including

02:00:40   the Dropbox stories into it.

02:00:42   But I think someone else had an even funnier one, I thought,

02:00:45   which is like for the Facebook ones, where it's like,

02:00:47   well, yeah, of course they're that big.

02:00:48   I mean, they had to shove all of Snapchat into the app,

02:00:51   so what else are you gonna do?

02:00:52   (laughing)

02:00:54   - I'm looking here.

02:00:58   Do you wanna talk about clips a little bit?

02:01:00   Or?

02:01:01   - Yeah, we can.

02:01:02   I don't have, I've played with it a little bit.

02:01:05   I found it confusing when I was first using it,

02:01:07   but I only have played with it for a few minutes.

02:01:09   It sounds like you did the sit-down,

02:01:11   sort of a walkthrough with Apple about it.

02:01:13   From your view, what's their mentality?

02:01:18   I know you said something like, you know,

02:01:20   obviously they didn't launch a social network,

02:01:22   it's just meant for other networks, right?

02:01:24   But why do it?

02:01:27   Is it a reason to buy the iPhone?

02:01:28   Like, what's the rationale?

02:01:30   - I think the rationale is that they see these things as,

02:01:34   I don't think we collectively have a name for it yet,

02:01:38   but that it's a new medium.

02:01:40   It's not quite a video, it's not quite an animated GIF.

02:01:43   It's sort of, but it's got all these ideas

02:01:47   where you can use text to annotate,

02:01:49   you can include multiple clips,

02:01:52   so it's not just one shot of video.

02:01:54   You can include stills.

02:01:55   It's meant to be viewed on a phone,

02:01:59   and you can do it with minimal fuss,

02:02:02   and that it's right up their alley to make,

02:02:04   it's like the social networks

02:02:06   are how they get distributed, right?

02:02:08   Instagram and Snapchat and Facebook, of course.

02:02:11   But that the tools to actually make

02:02:14   the best possible version of this

02:02:15   is exactly in Apple's wheelhouse

02:02:18   of the sort of things that they do well.

02:02:20   And I still stand by, I'm very proud of it,

02:02:22   as a tweet-length review that it's like iMovie

02:02:25   and Keynote had a baby and the baby got the best genes

02:02:28   from both parents, like I really do believe that.

02:02:31   I have a couple of small complaints about it,

02:02:34   but one thing that they do that's very smart,

02:02:36   and I think it's why the bundle size is so small,

02:02:39   is that they have all these titles

02:02:42   and certainly the music soundtracks,

02:02:46   they're not included in the download.

02:02:48   And so when you start using the AppFresh,

02:02:50   if you wanna get these soundtracks,

02:02:51   you have to download them.

02:02:53   - Oh, okay, that's good.

02:02:54   Maybe that's what Facebook and others should learn from.

02:02:56   - I think it's a great idea.

02:02:57   I think it's so you can start using the app

02:03:00   with a minimal download and just download.

02:03:02   And so if you are on cellular or a slow network,

02:03:05   you can just download the ones you really want.

02:03:07   My only beef about it is I do wish

02:03:09   there was a Download All button.

02:03:11   Like, in iTunes you can do that.

02:03:13   So like, if you're using the iTunes Music Library,

02:03:16   you can have a music album that's in the cloud,

02:03:18   and if you just want one song, you can download it.

02:03:20   But if you want to download the whole album,

02:03:22   you can download the whole album

02:03:23   without clicking 11 times to download.

02:03:26   I feel like Eclipse should have that for the title styles

02:03:29   and for the music soundtrack.

02:03:32   - Why do you think, though,

02:03:33   that they launched it when they did?

02:03:34   Why not make it a feature of iOS 11?

02:03:36   Why do it as a fully standalone thing?

02:03:39   - That's a good question.

02:03:41   I guess because it's ready and they feel like why not?

02:03:45   That's my guess and that maybe that they,

02:03:49   they see this as an exploding form,

02:03:52   these sort of stories-based meme-style mini-videos.

02:03:57   One of the other things too that I think is central to it

02:04:03   is that being silent is part of,

02:04:06   you can include sound,

02:04:08   you can include and include in those music soundtracks,

02:04:10   but the fact that a lot of people

02:04:11   are gonna listen to them in silence

02:04:13   is part of the idea,

02:04:16   and it's part of why they spent so much effort

02:04:18   on this annotated text that gets the text

02:04:20   as you dictate it.

02:04:24   I feel like that they see this as,

02:04:29   this is my guess,

02:04:30   is that they see this art form as exploding

02:04:32   and that it makes sense to get it out sooner rather than later,

02:04:35   because iOS 11 isn't going to ship until September,

02:04:38   if they're on schedule.

02:04:40   And so if they're ready to go now in early April--

02:04:43   and I think it is.

02:04:44   I think the app is certainly in 1.0 shape.

02:04:47   It's in very good 1.0 shape.

02:04:49   I feel like they don't want to wait.

02:04:51   Maybe do less as big monolithic OS updates

02:04:55   and keep doing more as individual app updates.

02:04:58   Do you buy anything into the notion

02:05:01   of this being sort of a toe dip into augmented reality.

02:05:05   'Cause obviously we see that,

02:05:06   we see both Microsoft, Google, and a handful of others

02:05:09   sort of launch some of these things.

02:05:10   Microsoft just launched one,

02:05:11   they call it like Sprinkles the other day,

02:05:12   which is effectively using some of their

02:05:16   machine learning technology to sort of alter images.

02:05:18   Google just launched that thing where you can doodle

02:05:20   and it will look up, try to match it to a picture.

02:05:24   So all of these guys are clearly doing that

02:05:26   as both experimentation, but also to sort of train data,

02:05:29   right, to be better at that.

02:05:30   Do you buy Apple trying to do that?

02:05:34   Anything with it for augmented reality?

02:05:36   - A little bit, because I feel like you have to call

02:05:38   the face recognition as augmented reality, right?

02:05:41   I mean, maybe it's not augmenting it,

02:05:43   but it certainly is, it's reality aware.

02:05:47   Is that a better way to say it?

02:05:48   You know, where if you shoot a clip

02:05:50   and it has three of your friends in it,

02:05:51   and the facial recognition is able to identify them,

02:05:55   and the fact that when you go to share it,

02:05:56   they're the first three people it suggests sharing it to,

02:05:59   It's not quite augmented reality in the sense of,

02:06:02   okay, here's goggles that show you the real world

02:06:05   and overlay things.

02:06:08   - But it is machine learning, for sure.

02:06:09   - It is, and it is, the device in your hand

02:06:13   is making, is aware of the real world.

02:06:16   It is saying, I know that I'm shooting,

02:06:18   that's a picture of your son, I know that.

02:06:21   I almost feel like augmented reality

02:06:27   is a term that's not gonna pan out.

02:06:30   I feel like it's more just devices being reality aware.

02:06:35   - Yeah, and I think like, I don't disagree with that

02:06:42   because I do think, you know, sort of,

02:06:45   everyone assumed augmented reality would be

02:06:48   sort of like what the Magic Leap videos are, right?

02:06:50   Where it's like, you're looking out

02:06:52   and you have glasses on or something

02:06:54   and then a whale jumps out of the street.

02:06:56   But what we're seeing is like the mainstream usage,

02:06:59   at least right now of course,

02:07:00   of what you would call quote unquote augmented reality

02:07:03   is more along lines of Snapchat filters and Pokemon Go,

02:07:07   where they're just different,

02:07:09   there's nuance to how they're not quite like that.

02:07:14   Pokemon Go's a little bit more like that,

02:07:18   but Snapchat's more just what you were talking about,

02:07:21   sort of being able to recognize a face

02:07:24   and do manipulation of that.

02:07:26   And if you think about it with a little bit of battery,

02:07:31   you could, like why can't your iPhone be as aware

02:07:36   of where it is as you are?

02:07:39   I don't think we're very far from this at all.

02:07:43   And I mean this in the sense of beyond GPS.

02:07:47   Like GPS is certainly one aspect of knowing where it is.

02:07:50   But like when I'm walking down Broad Street in Philadelphia,

02:07:55   Broad Street in Philadelphia.

02:07:57   Like, if you had me blindfolded until the moment

02:07:59   and then you opened my eyes,

02:08:01   it's only gonna take me an instant or two

02:08:03   to realize where I am on Broad Street in Philadelphia,

02:08:07   'cause I'm very familiar with it.

02:08:09   Well, if I have my phone in my hand,

02:08:10   why can't the phone use the camera very briefly

02:08:12   and just take a quick look, a quick peek,

02:08:15   and instantly realize, oh, I know exactly where I am.

02:08:18   I'm at Broad and Spruce in Philadelphia,

02:08:21   'cause I recognize this instantly,

02:08:24   way that a human can't and and Merlin Mann and I talked about this recently on

02:08:28   this show but and we can't go in depth on these voice assistants but like

02:08:32   things like the I mean it's very good in a lot of ways but why can't devices like

02:08:38   said recognize every voice in the family it seems to me like we're very gonna be

02:08:43   very close to that because a human being certainly could if we had a human being

02:08:46   in our kitchen the human being would know instantly whether it was me or my

02:08:52   wife or my son who is asking for the weather and now it doesn't matter maybe

02:08:57   if the question is what's the weather like it doesn't matter who it is but if

02:09:00   it's what's on my agenda they should certainly not oh yeah we will that will

02:09:05   absolutely happen I would say that happens in short order and you start

02:09:09   thinking about these things and I said I think about like oh how would you

02:09:11   program something how would you think about making a computer that does this

02:09:14   and you think about what our ears can do and it's like when you're familiar with

02:09:17   your with like your house or whatever it's not just that you know who's

02:09:20   talking to you, but you can basically tell where they're talking to you from.

02:09:23   Like if somebody's upstairs from you and they're yelling, "MG, you know, can

02:09:28   you blah blah blah," you know that they're upstairs. You can hear it. Your

02:09:32   ears pick up that location, and like, why can't these devices know that?

02:09:37   Context awareness. And yeah, I mean, but look at, like, Apple still does the thing

02:09:43   right where you have to sort of "train" Siri when you start, right?

02:09:47   you have to say like hey and so it'll only illuminate with your voice that's

02:09:52   still right right yeah well it's supposedly but it's it's not it's not

02:09:58   very accurate in my opinion in terms of locking people out like in fact I think

02:10:02   my wife just used on my phone I'm not sure if she pressed the button or not

02:10:07   though and if that's the case that's sort of weird that they even make you do

02:10:09   that if it's just not you know cuz obviously like you don't sort of voice

02:10:14   train and I don't think the Google won either right now I just triggered love

02:10:24   to beep it yeah it's so hard to talk about these things on a podcast you saw

02:10:31   that thing that just like that news broke I didn't read the full story about

02:10:34   it but I saw that somewhat Burger King's trying to do a commercial that triggers

02:10:39   the Google Home. Oh, really? I did not see that. And I think I saw that Google is already

02:10:45   going to block that because that's a whole can of worms, obviously.

02:10:53   That's a bad idea. But anyway, I feel like there's a lot to go in that direction. I still

02:10:59   feel like one of the main areas where Apple is—I think it's just that they just didn't

02:11:03   have it ready, but the way that they don't share the facial recognition data between

02:11:07   your different devices is a huge hole,

02:11:09   and I think that they will,

02:11:10   and I think that their whole explanation last year

02:11:13   that it was about privacy was just,

02:11:15   it wasn't that, it wasn't like,

02:11:17   we believe so much in privacy

02:11:18   that we're not gonna share this between your devices.

02:11:21   I think that the reading between the lines,

02:11:23   the answer is, we believe in privacy,

02:11:25   and we don't have a private way

02:11:27   to share it between your devices yet,

02:11:28   and so we're not gonna do it.

02:11:29   We're not gonna do it in a way

02:11:31   that we're not satisfied with the privacy

02:11:33   until we have it ready,

02:11:33   but I think it's inevitable that they will.

02:11:36   - Right, and they made a bunch,

02:11:38   I can't remember the exact name or wording

02:11:41   of the technology. - Differential privacy.

02:11:43   - Differential privacy, right, yeah.

02:11:44   - Well, that's different though

02:11:45   than sharing personal information.

02:11:46   Differential privacy is about--

02:11:48   - Is fully anonymized. - Yes.

02:11:50   But like, real private, you know,

02:11:52   like they do share stuff between their devices,

02:11:55   like in the same way that you can get

02:11:56   end-to-end encrypted iMessages on multiple devices.

02:12:00   It's not like they don't believe

02:12:02   in non-duplicating private information between your devices.

02:12:05   It's just that for whatever reason,

02:12:07   the photo face ID stuff wasn't technically ready.

02:12:11   That's my belief.

02:12:12   It's not that they're never not going to do it.

02:12:15   But for something like Clips, it would really help.

02:12:16   - Yeah.

02:12:17   And we'll see, I mean, my guess is that their stance

02:12:22   just maybe doesn't fully change over time.

02:12:26   'Cause they've obviously, they've taken the privacy stance

02:12:29   like you mentioned, but the implications of that

02:12:31   were that they were gonna try to do

02:12:32   as much on the device as possible.

02:12:34   And I think that's fine.

02:12:35   and good and we'll see what they can do with that.

02:12:37   But I would imagine that if they really need to get

02:12:41   in the game for all of these things that we're talking about

02:12:43   in a big way, they are gonna have to start doing a lot

02:12:46   in the cloud and so then yeah, it becomes like a question

02:12:48   of how they do it, whether it's a differential privacy

02:12:53   or if they come up with other new technologies

02:12:56   so that they feel okay with the privacy sort of trade-offs.

02:12:59   But there's always going to be trade-offs.

02:13:01   >> All right, we've gone on pretty long.

02:13:02   Do you want to spend five minutes on Netflix and Amazon

02:13:05   or do you wanna wrap it up?

02:13:06   - The problem is, I think that that's just such a long--

02:13:10   - I say we save it for the next time you're on the show.

02:13:12   - Okay, let's save it.

02:13:13   - 'Cause I feel like doing it quick wouldn't do it justice,

02:13:17   and I feel-- - Yes.

02:13:18   - And both of them are so active in this regard

02:13:21   that there's gonna be new stuff to talk about soon.

02:13:23   But anyway, I'm with you that I feel like

02:13:25   they're both super fascinating.

02:13:27   - Yes.

02:13:28   - What's your favorite Netflix show?

02:13:31   - We really liked "The Queen."

02:13:34   - I didn't see that.

02:13:36   - You should see it, it's good.

02:13:36   It was the one that's the most expensive one.

02:13:38   I think they said it's more expensive

02:13:40   than Game of Thrones to make.

02:13:41   - Wow.

02:13:43   - Yeah, because of the costumes,

02:13:45   and it's obviously a full period piece.

02:13:47   And yeah, so it's supposedly the most expensive,

02:13:51   I don't know if it's the most expensive show ever,

02:13:53   but it's ahead of Game of Thrones,

02:13:55   so it's gotta be up there.

02:13:57   And that was really well done.

02:13:59   On Amazon right now we're watching

02:14:02   The Man in the High Castle, which I like.

02:14:03   It was a little slow to get into.

02:14:04   I'm starting to really like it.

02:14:05   - Oh, I almost gave up on it.

02:14:06   I almost gave up.

02:14:07   - Yeah, same, same.

02:14:09   - My favorite thing that either of them are doing

02:14:11   is Netflix's incredible all-in focus on comedy specials.

02:14:16   The Dave Chappelle ones are two of the best

02:14:21   comedy specials I've seen in memory.

02:14:24   And they released them both at the same time.

02:14:27   They were both amazing.

02:14:28   And it's, I like comedy specials in general,

02:14:32   but my wife does too.

02:14:33   And so it's like this perfect sweet spot of,

02:14:35   oh my god, every single time one of these comes out,

02:14:37   we've got something we're both looking forward

02:14:39   to watching together.

02:14:41   And they just keep coming out.

02:14:44   It's Dave Chappelle and Amy Schumer.

02:14:45   And now I just saw that there's a Louis C.K. one.

02:14:47   It's almost like they're coming out with them

02:14:49   faster than we can watch, which is amazing.

02:14:53   - And so I'm surprised that like,

02:14:55   'cause this is like what HBO used to do back in the day,

02:14:57   right, HBO would have all the comedy specials,

02:15:01   I guess in the 90s.

02:15:02   And I'm sort of surprised, because it

02:15:04   is such a relatively cheap versus doing

02:15:09   a full production of a television show or something.

02:15:11   Yeah, it's super cheap.

02:15:11   Like Avenue to Go Down.

02:15:13   They just give a ton of money to the comedian, like $20 million.

02:15:16   I think Chappelle got $20 million.

02:15:18   I forget.

02:15:19   Something like that.

02:15:21   I know that Will Seinfeld got, I think

02:15:23   it's $100 million for his show, the comedians--

02:15:26   getting coffee with comedians or whatever in cars,

02:15:28   whatever's called.

02:15:29   Well, is that moving networks?

02:15:30   Is that moving?

02:15:31   - Yes, it's moving over to Netflix,

02:15:32   and so they bid up the rights.

02:15:35   Yeah.

02:15:36   - Oh man, oh man, that's just brilliant.

02:15:39   That's absolutely brilliant,

02:15:40   because I feel like he would be doing the same thing,

02:15:43   whether it was televised or not.

02:15:44   So he's getting a hundred million dollars to--

02:15:46   - Oh yeah, I mean, he says that.

02:15:48   I mean, 'cause it was on like Crackle or whatever,

02:15:50   and he was just like, "Yeah, I just had this crazy idea,"

02:15:52   and someone said, "We'll put up the cost."

02:15:54   Okay, cool, great.

02:15:55   - But here's the thing, and again,

02:15:58   we won't go too deep on it,

02:15:59   But I remember as a kid growing up,

02:16:01   all the great comedy specials were on HBO,

02:16:03   and I didn't really think about it,

02:16:05   but I assumed it was, I only thought about it

02:16:07   from the perspective of commercial interruptions

02:16:11   would wreck it.

02:16:12   You can't interrupt, you know,

02:16:13   the whole point of a great stand-up routine

02:16:15   is that it builds continuously,

02:16:18   and there's never a good point for a commercial break.

02:16:21   And B, almost all of them have material

02:16:25   that would be inappropriate for major networks.

02:16:29   And so of course HBO's the natural home

02:16:31   because they can put R-rated content up

02:16:33   and they have no commercial breaks

02:16:35   and so that's why it's on HBO.

02:16:36   What never occurred to me until Netflix

02:16:40   has suddenly become the dominant force

02:16:42   in stand-up comedy specials is that they're evergreen.

02:16:46   That they can show, like the Dave Chappelle 2017

02:16:49   comedy special is something that people

02:16:50   were gonna watch five, six years from now.

02:16:53   Like six, seven years from now,

02:16:54   some kid is gonna all of a sudden discover Dave Chappelle

02:16:57   and the Dave Chappelle comedy specials

02:17:00   that are exclusive to Netflix,

02:17:02   they're gonna watch 'em back to back to back to back.

02:17:05   It's evergreen content.

02:17:06   - And it's, right, exactly.

02:17:07   It's the perfect type of content

02:17:09   for what Netflix and Amazon are doing,

02:17:11   because in the HBO days, like we were talking about,

02:17:13   there was no concept of on-demand.

02:17:15   You had to watch it when it was on.

02:17:17   Now we live in an on-demand world,

02:17:19   and if you want to have some sort of differentiation

02:17:23   of content, it's hard to beat that.

02:17:26   But I can see now how, in hindsight, that was part of HBO's strategy back in the day,

02:17:29   is that HBO could show their Eddie Murphy comedy special a year later.

02:17:33   They could just put it on at five in the morning, and somebody would be up and be like, "Oh,

02:17:37   Eddie Murphy, I'll watch that," that it would fill up space and that it would never really

02:17:43   that it was as close to evergreen as you could get for exclusive content.

02:17:47   Yeah.

02:17:48   The one things that aren't doing that well, it seems like, are—and maybe you have a

02:17:54   better example but like so the talk shows that have moved over like the

02:17:57   actual like sort of late night things like there was the Chelsea Chelsea

02:18:00   Hanlon right which I don't think was doing I don't even know if it's so on it

02:18:05   might be but I don't think that's like a weird format for Netflix right do you

02:18:09   agree like it's um yeah I I watched it a few times and I as a talk show

02:18:15   aficionado I do I liked it and I thought you know and then there's this whole you

02:18:20   know, meta discussion for years now of, you know, how come there aren't any women

02:18:25   with late night comedy shows, you know, and even in this era when Jay Leno

02:18:29   and Letterman were retiring and there was time for turnover, the show still

02:18:33   went to two guys. And so I was interested in Chelsea Handler's show and I

02:18:38   liked it and I watched quite a few episodes but it never ever grooved on me

02:18:43   and I don't know why. And there is something to a talk show, a late night

02:18:46   talk show, where it feels like it's supposed to be on at a certain time. Even

02:18:49   if I watch it, there's a ritual to it. Yes, totally. Even if I watch it on TiVo, which

02:18:53   I usually did, it feels like this was the show from Tuesday and it was on at 1130. And

02:19:00   you know that it was on at Tuesday at 1130. And the Netflix style of, "Here it is, and

02:19:05   you can watch it whenever," it somehow doesn't seem right. But on the other hand, she definitely,

02:19:09   Chelsea Handler's show, it definitely felt like a late-night talk show. It didn't feel

02:19:13   like Ellen DeGeneres' show, which very clearly is a daytime talk show. And I, you know, we

02:19:19   could spend it you could teach a whole class on what are this lighting and

02:19:24   differences yeah but I you can tell you know I don't know you know it's I don't

02:19:29   know how to explain it but I know it when I see it there's late night shows

02:19:32   and daytime talk shows and Chelsea handlers was a late night talk show and

02:19:36   that reminds me of I wrote about this a while ago I guess when stranger things

02:19:41   was on so you know the Netflix show I love stranger things that was great but

02:19:45   I kept thinking to myself while we're watching it like yeah, it's cool that we can binge watch it

02:19:51   But it almost feels like the type of show where it would have been

02:19:54   Better suited for sort of a weekly cadence type thing and there's like, you know release watches

02:20:00   You know sort of like what we do that what people do for Game of Thrones now

02:20:04   Yeah, especially with the cliffhanger endings, you know it did. Yeah, I don't know right do fee

02:20:08   I if there's anything I think Netflix should rethink is I think it's they should they should rethink there

02:20:13   We're just gonna drop the whole season at once for all of our shows. I don't think that they should do that

02:20:17   I think that for some shows it works and for some shows it right. It's actually robbing us of some fun

02:20:22   Yeah, and I think there's stance on the matter is we have this very

02:20:26   This very regimented worldview of that and this is we want people to know that

02:20:31   All of our content is always going to be available when they sign up

02:20:35   but I do think I would bet that over time they do get more nuanced with that and they do have some shows that

02:20:40   that launch like that and some that don't.

02:20:42   And they're starting to get more into movies now,

02:20:44   and there's obviously all this sort of back and forth

02:20:46   between theater owners, like some of them want to make sure

02:20:49   that the movie is still screened in a theater

02:20:51   for Oscar contention and whatnot.

02:20:53   And Amazon has been more amenable to that, I guess,

02:20:56   and Netflix still has been very strict in saying,

02:20:58   nope has to go on Netflix, the exact moment

02:21:00   that sort of it launches.

02:21:02   And I would imagine that they have to sort of give and take

02:21:05   a little bit on some of those things.

02:21:07   - So much for not spending five minutes

02:21:08   talking about Netflix and Amazon.

02:21:10   I would say this, I think Game of Thrones, I enjoy it.

02:21:13   I enjoy it very much.

02:21:14   I look forward to it coming back.

02:21:17   I watch it every week.

02:21:18   I would rank it as one of my favorite shows of all time.

02:21:22   Is it top 10?

02:21:24   I don't know, it's close.

02:21:25   It's certainly in the top 20,

02:21:26   but it may not be in the top 10.

02:21:27   I'm not a huge superfan.

02:21:29   But I would say this, I think it's the best show ever

02:21:34   in the history of these modern super shows

02:21:38   at making that weekly cliffhanger add to the show.

02:21:43   - Yeah. - Like, I feel like

02:21:45   it's the best.

02:21:46   There's a bunch of shows that I've enjoyed more,

02:21:48   but Game of Thrones, and I think it's partly just

02:21:52   that they're very self-aware of their,

02:21:54   we're on Sunday night, and we're gonna make you talk

02:21:57   about us Monday, and combined with the fact

02:22:00   that there's like a thousand characters.

02:22:02   (laughing)

02:22:03   So, right, like a show like Mad--

02:22:06   - So it's not repetition over and over again.

02:22:07   - A show like Mad Men, which I would possibly argue

02:22:10   is my all-time favorite show,

02:22:11   it's certainly in my top two or three,

02:22:13   it had a somewhat smaller number of characters

02:22:17   and had one character who was clearly the protagonist

02:22:21   of the story that it was, it would have been artificial

02:22:23   to have a cliffhanger every week.

02:22:26   It just wasn't, some weeks it was,

02:22:29   most weeks, more weeks often than not,

02:22:31   it didn't leave you dying for the next episode.

02:22:34   And that was just the way the show was written

02:22:35   and it was very natural to it.

02:22:37   But Game of Thrones is really, really good at that.

02:22:39   I feel like Game of Thrones that was dumped

02:22:41   10 episodes at once would be, it would lose so much.

02:22:44   - Yes, totally.

02:22:46   And the notion used to be that you would save

02:22:49   sort of the cliffhanger for the season end

02:22:51   because it's just so hard to do them week after week

02:22:54   and Game of Thrones pulls it off better.

02:22:56   I can't, like Breaking Bad was pretty good about it.

02:22:59   Then there's a handful of other shows

02:23:01   that I think were good at it.

02:23:02   But yeah, it's pretty incredible.

02:23:06   And the fact that they do it,

02:23:08   and they had to translate it from books, right?

02:23:11   I mean, so it's not like the books are,

02:23:14   obviously they follow them to a certain extent,

02:23:16   but the cliffhanger thing is just a page turn away,

02:23:19   so it's different.

02:23:20   - Well, one of the books I remember having that feeling with

02:23:23   was when I first read The Lord of the Rings,

02:23:25   'cause I remember with The Lord of the Rings,

02:23:26   where the chapters would, you'd leave Sam--

02:23:30   - Yeah, one location.

02:23:31   You'd leave Frodo and Sam and you'd go back to somebody

02:23:34   and you'd be like, oh my god, why are we going back to them?

02:23:36   I wanna find out what happened to Frodo and Sam.

02:23:37   Jeez, that's terrible.

02:23:39   And then all of a sudden, three pages later,

02:23:40   you're all, forget about Frodo and Sam,

02:23:42   you're with these other guys.

02:23:44   And then you get to the--

02:23:44   - And that is what the Game of Thrones books do as well.

02:23:46   They focus on one individual storyline.

02:23:49   - And I love those books, you know,

02:23:52   who doesn't love those books?

02:23:53   But part of the brilliance of the structure

02:23:56   was the way that every single chapter,

02:23:58   I was like desperate to keep going with who I was with

02:24:01   and was very upset to go back to these other characters,

02:24:03   but then three pages later, I'm all totally into them.

02:24:06   And I feel like Game of Thrones has that in TV.

02:24:09   - I can't believe, I know they're going to pull it off,

02:24:14   but I really can't believe that they're going to pull off

02:24:16   like finishing the whole series before even the next book,

02:24:19   you know, there's still two more books to come.

02:24:22   And I think they're gonna finish the series

02:24:24   before even the next book comes.

02:24:26   And it's just incredible.

02:24:28   Like you would have thought like this would have been

02:24:30   the ultimate logistical nightmare when you're sort of pitching the show, right?

02:24:35   Like, what's the worst that could happen?

02:24:37   Well, we could not have, sort of, know what the ending is going to be

02:24:40   because the other books haven't come out yet.

02:24:42   Oh, come on, that's, you know, a decade away.

02:24:44   Of course we're going to have those, and nope, we're not going to have them.

02:24:47   I don't know how that's going to, does it make any sense to me?

02:24:50   I haven't read the books, though, so I don't really care.

02:24:53   It's just insanely impressive of the showrunners of that show

02:24:57   that they're able to sort of land the ship without having the infrastructure you would think to do so.

02:25:03   Yeah, I wonder if that's going to really hurt the show. I wonder how much they depend on that.

02:25:06   I don't know. It is actually unprecedented to know what will end up happening with that.

02:25:15   Like, do they... Because they say the show's only going to... So this coming season,

02:25:18   which I think starts in July, is going to be slightly truncated, right? It's going to be,

02:25:22   I think, seven, six or seven episodes, not ten. And then they're going to split that into the next

02:25:27   season which will also be a truncated season and that's the end really but do

02:25:32   that's that's what the word is right now I don't know if they're gonna change

02:25:35   that at all do they end up doing something like you know ending it with a

02:25:39   with a movie in a few years something like that but as of right now I think

02:25:45   the plan is just two more seasons two more shortened seasons oh I don't know

02:25:48   I don't know how they're gonna do it I look forward to it them all right mg

02:25:52   thank you so much for your time it's always good to have you on the show yes

02:25:56   Thank you. I will see you soon and everybody can catch you on Twitter. What's your Twitter handle?

02:26:01   at mg c glad mg siegler and your

02:26:05   The place where they can catch the writing is it all your writing or just most your writing?

02:26:11   most of it is

02:26:12   100 yes words five five hundred ish dot-com hundred ish dot-com

02:26:16   Yes, and good stuff. So still good columns coming out of you

02:26:23   Thanks when I get a free moment in between everything else that I do now these days.

02:26:28   All right. Thank you very much.

02:26:30   Thank you, John.