The Talk Show

170: ‘Kicking Dirt on Them While They’re on Fire’ With Ben Thompson


00:00:00   Yeah hammering be one thing but it's it's they're doing the like grinding like I don't know if it's like a saw or if it's like

00:00:06   Sanding or something and it's funny because I know because so actually this this podcast is gonna have a different character than usual because as

00:00:13   As listeners have noted in the past usually when we record it's it's I would say morning

00:00:19   But it's more like noon is your time and it's like middle of the night my time and I am usually drinking scotch, but now

00:00:27   But now it is it is morning my time and evening your time, which means I'm drinking coffee and sparkling water

00:00:32   So my character may be different. But yes, we also have to put up with environmental noise

00:00:37   They've been doing it for a while now and I I think I have gotten used to it

00:00:42   So I don't even it didn't even occur to me until I sat down like oh crap

00:00:45   I forgot this stupid instructions going on. So anyhow, that's a long-winded introduction to if there is weird grinding noises. I

00:00:51   Apologize it's it's not me. It's the construction

00:00:55   I too am drinking coffee and sparkling water.

00:00:59   You're going to be up all night?

00:01:03   Yeah, probably.

00:01:07   Speaking of Serenity Caldwell, I have some follow-up here.

00:01:11   I forgot this last week. I should have done it last week.

00:01:15   Serenity and I, two episodes ago, were talking about my inability to

00:01:19   all I wanted to do, because I have a brand new 256 gigabyte iPhone

00:01:23   And one of the things I wanted to do is just put all of my music on it because my music library is

00:01:29   Let's see if I can find it here

00:01:32   Less than 256 21 gigabytes. I have 4,000 songs 21 gigabytes. So, you know, it's not that big but

00:01:41   You know big but but not not that big

00:01:45   Easily fits on 256 megabyte iPhone and that way just put it all over there

00:01:52   And then I never have to worry I get on an airplane I can be out in the sticks

00:01:56   I can I could lose my SIM card and I've got all my music

00:02:00   And there's I could for the life of me couldn't figure out how to do it because I'm also using

00:02:07   iCloud music library like if I didn't use iCloud music library

00:02:12   I could do it the old-fashioned way where I just plug it into

00:02:14   My Mac by the lightning cable and then you in iTunes go over to music and say

00:02:21   sync everything, and then hit a button,

00:02:24   and wait for it to be done.

00:02:25   And then, boom, there's all my music.

00:02:28   But you can't do that with-- if you have iCloud Music Library

00:02:31   on, when you go to Music on your Mac when it's connected,

00:02:34   it just says, you're using iCloud Music Library.

00:02:36   Do it all that way.

00:02:39   And Serenity, who knows a lot more about this stuff

00:02:41   than I do, because she actually writes

00:02:45   all these detailed how-to-- she was stumped, too.

00:02:48   Anyway, long story short, the best way to do this--

00:02:51   And so far, I've had a bunch of people on Twitter, email,

00:02:56   a whole bunch of people have given me the solution.

00:02:59   I'll put a link to it in the show notes.

00:03:02   But long story short, the way you can do this,

00:03:05   the best workaround anybody can think of

00:03:07   is you create a smart playlist that matches all music.

00:03:12   Let's see what my criteria are.

00:03:16   Oops, started playing music.

00:03:21   Here, if I edit smart, I tried to double click a smart playlist to show the credentials here.

00:03:27   If MediaKind, uh, no, match, match music for all of the following, and I put size is less than 300

00:03:36   megabytes. So any audio file, any music file that's less than 300 megabytes, and it'll be

00:03:42   matched by the playlist. And I said 300 megabytes, I don't even know why. It's arbitrary, arbitrary

00:03:48   number. But I have a couple of really big audio files that I do want synced to the iPhone.

00:03:54   Like I have the, do you ever hear of these Ben? The Criterion Collection, Shamis.JamesBond

00:04:04   Director's Commentaries?

00:04:05   Ben

00:04:05   No, I have not.

00:04:07   Merlin Mann turned me on to these a long time ago.

00:04:11   Long story short, when the first laser discs of the Criterion Collection Bond movies came out,

00:04:21   like the Connery era ones, so you got like Goldfinger and Dr. No and From Russia With Love,

00:04:30   the commentaries weren't approved by Eon Productions,

00:04:35   and there's some really interesting stuff on them.

00:04:38   Like the editor, I forget his name,

00:04:41   but the guy who edited Goldfinger,

00:04:46   more or less threw the director under the bus

00:04:48   about some totally mismatched shots and camera angles

00:04:53   that made it a disaster to put together.

00:04:55   And once you hear him say it, you can see it.

00:04:57   - Peter Hunt.

00:04:58   - Peter Hunt, exactly.

00:04:59   who went on to direct on Her Majesty's Secret Service,

00:05:03   which I thought was a terrible movie,

00:05:04   but some people love.

00:05:05   (laughing)

00:05:07   - I was just thinking that.

00:05:08   - But that's neither here nor there.

00:05:09   But Peter Hunt really throws,

00:05:12   I forget who directed that one.

00:05:14   Was it a Guy Hamilton who directed Goldfinger?

00:05:19   - I'm looking it up.

00:05:20   - Or maybe that was the first one.

00:05:22   Guy Hamilton.

00:05:23   - Didn't you? - Yeah, Guy Hamilton.

00:05:24   - All right, so he throws him under the bus

00:05:26   about some mismatched footage,

00:05:28   And it's that opening scene where Bond is at the fountain blue down in Miami,

00:05:35   and Felix Leiter shows up and everything gets started.

00:05:38   But they shot some of it outdoors at a real outdoor resort,

00:05:42   and some of it on a sound stage.

00:05:44   And it was just a mismatch.

00:05:45   Anyway, once Eon Productions got--

00:05:49   they were like, wow, this is really some fascinating behind the scenes stuff.

00:05:52   When they listened to it, they made the Criterion people

00:05:54   pull it from future editions.

00:05:56   So anyway, I've got copies of these things as MP3 files.

00:06:00   They're almost 300 megabytes.

00:06:03   And so that's why I picked it.

00:06:04   But anyway, long story short, make a playlist,

00:06:07   smart playlist that will match all music.

00:06:09   Then you go over to your phone, and you can go to the playlist.

00:06:12   And then you can hit the Cloud button

00:06:14   for that playlist, which means download all the songs

00:06:17   on this playlist.

00:06:17   But since the playlist matches all of your songs,

00:06:20   it will download all of your songs.

00:06:23   But Apple seemingly goes way out of its way

00:06:25   to deliberately make that something that you can't do.

00:06:29   Like, 'cause when you go to the,

00:06:31   without going to Playlist, if you just go to All Music,

00:06:33   there is no Cloud button.

00:06:34   - Yeah, well, I guess the question is,

00:06:37   do they deliberately go out of their way

00:06:39   to make it difficult, or is it just general,

00:06:42   the general mollies that is the case

00:06:45   with iTunes and Apple Music?

00:06:47   - I think in this case, it's deliberate.

00:06:48   I think that they want you to sort of--

00:06:50   - It's sort of a commission or a synonymation,

00:06:51   is the word. - Yeah, I think it's sort of

00:06:52   like you're supposed, but it's very frustrating,

00:06:54   I think for people like I don't know every single year every year when my wife gets a new iPhone

00:06:59   There's a time where I I catch an earful

00:07:01   Because she goes to the gym and her iPhone doesn't have any music on it

00:07:05   even though she her last one did and then she did a full backup and restore and you know

00:07:10   do everything you can to say make my new iPhone just like my last one and then

00:07:14   There's every year none of her music

00:07:16   And she's you know, like at the gym that she goes to there's no signal, you know, you can't it's not like you can download the stuff

00:07:23   every year. And I just don't think it's that much to ask.

00:07:27   Yeah, the whole, it's interesting,

00:07:31   I haven't really thought about this a ton, but I use

00:07:35   the streaming services, the various ones, and it's funny,

00:07:39   I actually have, it's really frustrating, because I actually have a subscription to both Spotify

00:07:43   and Apple Music, and the reason is that

00:07:47   when I'm in, or I think we're going to talk about Siri in a little bit, but when I'm in the car

00:07:51   driving with the kids, I was like to request songs.

00:07:54   And so using Siri is obviously preferable

00:07:57   when you're driving.

00:07:58   And so it's worth it for that.

00:08:00   But then my stereo has Spotify Connect,

00:08:03   which is really great.

00:08:06   I can play stuff on my phone or whatever,

00:08:07   and it just plays on the stereo.

00:08:09   It's kind of like how a Chromecast works,

00:08:10   where you control it,

00:08:12   but it's not streaming like AirPlay,

00:08:14   which is, it's a much better model.

00:08:16   It works much better, at least for me.

00:08:19   And now like the Amazon has come out with their service

00:08:22   that will play in the echo.

00:08:23   We have an echo set up and notice like, well,

00:08:27   boy, that'd be convenient.

00:08:28   It does have Spotify as well, so it works.

00:08:31   But yeah, this whole like, yes, there's the allure

00:08:36   of having all the music and having access to it,

00:08:39   and it's like the upfront cost is much lower,

00:08:42   but the costs at the backend

00:08:44   of like actually playing your music,

00:08:46   there's all these sort of hidden costs that are there.

00:08:48   and I'm paying for it now, like quite literally,

00:08:53   but it's really, it's funny, the music industry

00:08:58   is all about like, yes, of course they're motivated

00:09:01   to have their music everywhere,

00:09:02   but they're reinforcing these silos

00:09:06   with this sort of new model.

00:09:07   I mean, like if you're not only all Apple,

00:09:11   if you're not only all whatever service,

00:09:13   you're kind of stuck in the middle

00:09:14   and it is pretty frustrating.

00:09:16   - Yeah, and I don't know.

00:09:18   I don't know how much of it is related to the fact

00:09:20   that if you buy, say, a 32 gigabyte iPhone,

00:09:22   you don't want your 20 gigabyte library synced over.

00:09:26   And yes, they have the optimized storage feature

00:09:29   for that for music and they have it for the photos too.

00:09:32   But it certainly would be very easy for somebody

00:09:34   with a 32 gigabyte device to run up against the limit.

00:09:39   And so maybe that's why, I don't know.

00:09:42   - Yeah, that's a good point.

00:09:43   They probably sell more of the lower cost phones.

00:09:46   I mean, if you look at the average selling prices,

00:09:48   it is weighted in that direction.

00:09:50   - Yeah, and you know, I admit that I guess the idea

00:09:54   of I want all of my entire music on my device all the time

00:09:57   is sort of an old fashioned, I'm still thinking

00:10:00   like it's the iPod era, but I actually find it useful a lot.

00:10:05   Or at least every time I fly, every time I fly.

00:10:07   If I want to listen to this.

00:10:09   - Yeah, I should do that now, 'cause yeah,

00:10:15   I realized my big storage issue with phones.

00:10:18   And so I got, this is the first time

00:10:19   I've gotten the absolute largest one.

00:10:21   I think I had a 64 previously

00:10:23   and I bumped up against the limits over this last year.

00:10:28   But my big culprit is podcasts.

00:10:30   I think the Overcast app was occupied

00:10:33   like 16 gigabytes or something like that,

00:10:35   something ridiculous.

00:10:36   Because all accumulate ones that I want to listen to

00:10:39   or I'll get recommendations

00:10:40   and they'll just be sitting in there.

00:10:41   And who knows if I'll ever listen to them.

00:10:44   But yeah, you can just, that's for me,

00:10:47   that's the big culprit where I accumulate stuff.

00:10:50   But I don't know, it's, yeah, we were just talking before,

00:10:54   like there's still like these rough edges

00:10:58   of having everything in the cloud is convenient.

00:11:02   But yeah, airplanes is definitely a big one for me.

00:11:05   I travel a lot and there's nothing more frustrating

00:11:07   than being in a place where you just can't get it

00:11:12   and you're stuck.

00:11:13   I've actually, speaking of like old school iTunes and iPods,

00:11:17   I got a, so this company called Underwater Audio

00:11:21   waterproofs iPod shuffles,

00:11:24   and they sell waterproof headphones,

00:11:25   so that you can listen while swimming,

00:11:29   which is, it's amazing.

00:11:31   I mean, I've, you know,

00:11:34   exercise is already miserable enough,

00:11:36   but to be actually like, listen to podcasts

00:11:37   or whatever way you're doing it is great.

00:11:39   The problem is, and it took me a while to figure this out,

00:11:42   is I, so I loaded a bunch of podcasts onto the shuffle,

00:11:46   which is already a pain,

00:11:47   'cause I have to go like use iTunes

00:11:49   and it's not synced with Overcast and all that sort of stuff.

00:11:51   But I get there, I get to the pool,

00:11:52   and I can't, I'm stuck on the first podcast,

00:11:55   and I can't go to the next one.

00:11:56   You hit the next button on the iPod Shuffle,

00:11:58   what would you expect to happen?

00:11:59   You think it would go to the next track?

00:12:01   It doesn't.

00:12:02   It turns out that with the last iPod Shuffle,

00:12:07   you have to use voiceover.

00:12:09   Well, it turns out voiceover doesn't work very well

00:12:11   when you're in the pool.

00:12:12   So in there's no mic, anyhow, you can, there's a way around it.

00:12:15   You can like hold down the voiceover button and then the next and the next

00:12:19   buttons work. It's super complicated. It makes no sense at all. But yeah,

00:12:23   anyhow, it's been, it's been really eyeopening, but beyond that,

00:12:26   just like having to use iTunes again and actually sync stuff and like manually

00:12:30   manage things like you really appreciate this idea.

00:12:32   Like I can subscribe to podcasts or I can have the music and it's just there and

00:12:35   you don't have to think about it to actually have to like pre-plan what I'm

00:12:39   to listen to, it's like, man, we lived like savages for a long time.

00:12:43   [laughter]

00:12:44   A good segue to my next bit of follow-up. Now, this is from last week's show—I always say last week,

00:12:54   even though it's sort of like on a 10-day schedule. But the previous episode when Ben—not Ben,

00:12:59   you're Ben—Matthew Banserino was on, and we were talking about the AirPods and about how the

00:13:08   the biggest minus, the only significant,

00:13:11   the only serious minus about them to me

00:13:14   is that they don't have the little buttons

00:13:16   for play/pause and up/down for volume.

00:13:20   And because it's not so much the play/pause,

00:13:22   because the whole idea where you just take the one out

00:13:25   and it pauses and you put it back in and it plays,

00:13:28   works really, really well in almost every situation.

00:13:31   In fact, in some situations it works even better

00:13:34   than the button, because for me, a lot of the times

00:13:38   It's like if I've got them on because I'm listening

00:13:40   to something and I'm in a store, like grocery shopping,

00:13:43   and then I get to the register, I always

00:13:45   like to take my headphones out or at least take one out

00:13:48   so that I don't look like I'm listening to something.

00:13:51   And so to integrate the play/pause

00:13:53   and the taking out of one of the AirPods, it works great.

00:13:59   But what I miss is the next track, previous track,

00:14:03   like the shortcuts by double clicking

00:14:05   that you used to be able to do.

00:14:07   And I said that you can't use Siri to change the volume.

00:14:11   So when you double tap one of the AirPods

00:14:13   and say like, turn the volume up or turn the volume down,

00:14:17   doesn't work.

00:14:18   You have to change the volume either from your Apple Watch

00:14:21   if you have one or by taking your,

00:14:23   getting to your phone and using the volume buttons

00:14:25   on the phone.

00:14:26   Turns out I was wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong.

00:14:29   You can definitely change the volume by Siri.

00:14:32   You can do next track, previous track.

00:14:34   I did it the one time I tried it.

00:14:36   I did try it, and I said, turn the volume up.

00:14:40   And I was outside, which might have been the problem.

00:14:43   And Siri said, I'm sorry, I can't do that, John.

00:14:46   And I took that as meaning that she completely

00:14:49   understood what I asked, but was telling me that I can't do this.

00:14:53   And we might get back to this later about Siri.

00:14:57   My fault, it really is my laziness.

00:15:01   But I interpreted that.

00:15:02   You know what I mean?

00:15:03   like she said, "Sorry, I didn't understand you." She said, "I'm sorry, I can't do that, John."

00:15:08   And so I took it as meaning volume control is something that was outside the control of Siri.

00:15:13   Turns out I was completely wrong. A couple of people have AirPods corrected me on that. Now,

00:15:19   obviously, you know, there's not many people who have AirPods at the time.

00:15:22   But then I tried it again, and it does work. You could say volume up, volume down,

00:15:27   turn the volume up, turn the volume down, next track, go back a track, previous track.

00:15:33   I don't have a full list of it, but you know there's synonyms that work like go back a track

00:15:37   and previous track are the same thing. Those all work. Can you do like the skip 15 seconds or

00:15:45   sort of thing? I mean it was like the headphones if you like, again I use overcast, if you,

00:15:51   so mark was it set up like if you double click like it will skip 30 seconds you can set the

00:15:56   whatever lengths you want. I don't know. I don't know what happens in Overcast. I

00:16:01   suspect if I say next try... I didn't try it. I suspect if I said next track in Overcast,

00:16:05   it would just go to the next podcast. I don't think... Yeah, it's interesting.

00:16:08   I don't think you could... You know what I mean? I think with the clicker, Marco could

00:16:12   hook into it in a way that I don't think Siri would enable. But...

00:16:17   Well, now we just set a follow-up for the next podcast. Listen to next week.

00:16:24   A couple of people then wrote in--

00:16:26   I don't think Matthew and I talked about it,

00:16:28   but a couple people have said, if you have--

00:16:30   one of the pains in the butt, if you do have the watch,

00:16:33   it's a little bit easier if you don't

00:16:34   want to use a Siri to do it.

00:16:37   But you still have to bring up--

00:16:39   if you're in a workout, which is often the situation I'm in

00:16:41   where I do want to adjust the volume, like I'm out running

00:16:45   and it gets noisy, like if I'm running

00:16:47   through a noisier traffic neighborhood

00:16:49   and I want to turn the volume up because I can't hear anymore.

00:16:54   On the watch, you still have to poke around a little bit

00:16:57   to get to a screen where you can adjust the volume.

00:17:01   Like, you know, the easiest way, in my opinion,

00:17:03   is to just get to the now playing glance,

00:17:06   which I keep as the first glance,

00:17:09   so it's usually not, you know,

00:17:10   it's like one tap on the sidebar, then tap on now playing.

00:17:13   And then, once you're on now playing,

00:17:15   you can actually change the volume by spinning the crown,

00:17:18   which is really, really nice

00:17:20   when your fingers are sweaty or something like that.

00:17:22   You don't have to poke at the little buttons on screen.

00:17:24   But it would be kind of nice if you could somehow set a preference so that if there's music playing right now through either your phone or the watch,

00:17:32   that you could use the crown from like the watch face to change the volume.

00:17:36   Because right now the crown on the watch face does nothing.

00:17:39   It would be kind of nice if it would change the volume.

00:17:41   So when you spin the crown on the watch face, does it no longer zoom into like that app view?

00:17:47   No.

00:17:48   Okay.

00:17:49   In watchOS 3, it does nothing.

00:17:51   and it doesn't do, they actually,

00:17:53   if you're on the app view,

00:17:54   it does zoom you back towards the watch face.

00:17:58   - Right.

00:17:58   - But when you're on the watch face,

00:18:00   what it used to do in watchOS 2

00:18:01   is it gave you the time travel,

00:18:04   or whatever they called it.

00:18:06   - Yeah, well it used to be that you would zoom in.

00:18:08   Yeah, it was funny 'cause I've observed people

00:18:12   who aren't technical users,

00:18:13   and that was for sure one of the things

00:18:16   that always got them frustrated.

00:18:17   Like I was actually seen by a guy on a plane

00:18:18   who was wearing an Apple Watch,

00:18:21   he was asking about it, you know, how he liked it.

00:18:23   And he generally liked it, but that was,

00:18:25   like that's the fact that he's like,

00:18:27   it keeps zooming in and I don't know why.

00:18:29   Like that was the one thing that was driving him

00:18:31   absolutely up the wall.

00:18:32   So I didn't realize that they had changed it, I guess.

00:18:34   I'm so accustomed to not even touching it

00:18:36   that I didn't notice.

00:18:37   But I think in general, I wouldn't be surprised if,

00:18:40   you know, clearly, and I think we're definitely

00:18:44   both in agreement in this, like Apple,

00:18:47   And there were some unfortunate decisions that were made about how the watch would be

00:18:51   used in version one.

00:18:52   I think they kind of, they went too far down the road of prescribing how people would use

00:18:56   it instead of waiting to understand how people want it, you know, would actually use it.

00:19:00   And one of the casualties of that I think was the functionality of the buttons in general.

00:19:05   And so, yeah, so like in version one, pressing that button was like the whole contacts, like

00:19:10   personal communication crap, whatever, which is now completely gone.

00:19:14   But in general, I think there's still that sort of, it's not fully realized the potential

00:19:18   of those buttons.

00:19:19   Like that, but the button should be much more usable and I bet over time will become even

00:19:24   more usable in apps.

00:19:25   And same thing with the digital crown.

00:19:27   Like what you're talking about makes perfect sense.

00:19:29   If music is playing, why shouldn't that be volume?

00:19:31   And especially if they're going to pursue this focus of being health and fitness, where

00:19:36   a touch screen that that's like the worst possible scenario for a touch screen.

00:19:41   And it's an example of how the, their kind of the health and fitness focus is a, is,

00:19:49   was clearly not what they're thinking about from day one.

00:19:53   It was a part of it, but it wasn't like the thing that is for, cause I think there's things

00:19:57   they would have done differently.

00:19:58   And one of those things they would have done differently is how those buttons are used.

00:20:02   And so I would imagine in, in, in like watchOS 4, for example, they're going to move even

00:20:06   more to those buttons in the crown being actual usable controls?

00:20:12   Right now, if you're in a workout and you have the workout thing is on your... That's

00:20:21   what you see when you're... Because you're doing a walk or a run or something. When you

00:20:24   spin the crown, it just changes the focus from the different things on the screen. Like

00:20:28   if I'm trying and I'm doing a fake run right now, and as I spin it down, it goes from the

00:20:33   elapsed time to the active calories to the heartbeat, you know, and just folk changes focus

00:20:38   I would I would find it much more useful to have that change the volume

00:20:41   Honestly, but that's just me. Yeah. Well, I think yeah and I went again

00:20:47   This is one of those things where they change so much in OS 3 like they really just fundamentally changed how the operating system worked

00:20:54   And you're not gonna get everything in kind of one go which is fine. Like I think that's that's the mistake

00:20:59   I think they made in version one like that it was over it was over prescribed the way you ought to use it without really I

00:21:05   Think having an understanding of how people would use this. I mean you go back

00:21:08   This is what made the the first phone in particular

00:21:13   You know so smart is whether there's this classic story in in design talk like I'm sure you've heard a million times, but where

00:21:21   there is some school or whatever where they they built up this whole new area of the campus or something like that and

00:21:28   instead of putting in sidewalks, they put in like this really nice grass.

00:21:32   And then they observed where the grass got worn down and then they put sidewalks there.

00:21:37   And like that's just a, and you can see there's other examples where there's like a path and

00:21:42   right next to it there's like worn down grass because people are like taking like little

00:21:45   shortcuts and stuff like that.

00:21:47   And with the phone in particular, Apple really took sort of the grass approach where they

00:21:53   got the basics there.

00:21:55   They got a browser, they got a phone, they got an iPod.

00:21:57   And then the rest of it was really that period where folks like Craig Hockenberry or whatever

00:22:03   were figuring out the API and were building side-loaded applications, I think was really

00:22:09   valuable to help Apple really understand what needed to be built and how they should go

00:22:15   about opening up the API and what things might be possible.

00:22:20   And that's the exact opposite process they did with the watch.

00:22:23   The watch, they did too much.

00:22:26   There wasn't enough of a sort of open canvas

00:22:29   to figure out what works and what doesn't.

00:22:32   And now they're having to kind of unwind

00:22:34   what they did before.

00:22:35   And that's just gonna take time.

00:22:37   - I don't know if that story is apocryphal or not,

00:22:39   the story about the paths on campus.

00:22:41   But I remember-- - I remember,

00:22:43   it's a great story though.

00:22:44   - It is a great story.

00:22:45   And there's a truth to it.

00:22:46   'Cause I remember at Drexel,

00:22:47   when I was there in the late '90s,

00:22:49   there were definite dirt paths through grass,

00:22:53   you know, that were, they're obviously there forever.

00:22:56   That clearly they should have, you know,

00:22:58   I remember when I first heard that story,

00:22:59   I thought specifically about certain areas.

00:23:02   If anybody went to Drexel, it was then,

00:23:07   I don't know if they even call it,

00:23:08   the campus at Drexel has changed so much

00:23:10   since I went there, but we used to, you know,

00:23:11   we called it the quad, the section off Market Street.

00:23:16   Street. There definitely was I mean it couldn't have been more exactly like

00:23:22   that story like here's a plate you know you're supposed to walk all the way over

00:23:26   there and go around this building and everybody just cut through right here I

00:23:30   could think of two examples in Apple's history where the apples done that and

00:23:34   but they're both like classic Matt you remember the classic Mac OS you didn't

00:23:37   use the Mac back then did you I do remember it I but yeah no I didn't two

00:23:42   One of the things I can think of would be Command-Tab, where that was a Windows invention,

00:23:49   where you'd hit Command-Tab.

00:23:50   And originally in Command-Tab in Windows, you would just cycle through apps in most

00:23:56   recently used order.

00:23:58   And obviously Windows users took to it.

00:24:02   But then where it really became a good interface was when they put up the heads-up display

00:24:08   that showed you where, you know, all of your apps in most recent order, so you could see,

00:24:14   "Oh, I need to go four to get to Excel." You know, you'd actually see it. It used to not

00:24:19   have that heads-up display. It would just switch through the apps, you know, and you'd

00:24:23   find out which app you were getting to each time you hit tab. And it became a thing where

00:24:29   there were, I don't know, three or four competing third-party utilities from Mac OS that did

00:24:35   the exact same thing and everybody had one of them installed.

00:24:38   I mean, it was one of those things where I don't know anybody who didn't.

00:24:43   And eventually Apple acquiesced.

00:24:45   I don't know which version of Mac OS it was, but they added it as a system level thing.

00:24:52   And I think they delayed on it because I think there was a sort of reluctance to add anything

00:24:57   that came to Windows first to the Mac.

00:24:59   Yeah, probably.

00:25:01   And then the other one I could think of

00:25:03   was the old Apple menu.

00:25:06   Used to just be-- in the original Mac OS,

00:25:09   the Apple menu had--

00:25:11   I think it still had the About for whatever app you're in.

00:25:19   About this app would be the first item in the Apple menu.

00:25:25   And then the rest of it was just a list of your desk accessories,

00:25:29   which were the little-- and this is super old.

00:25:31   this is like going back to the '80s Mac OS,

00:25:33   which were the little, in DOS terms,

00:25:36   what were they used to called in DOS,

00:25:37   the little way you'd get multitasking?

00:25:40   Like little in-app, resident, in-resident?

00:25:45   - I got nothing for you, sorry.

00:25:48   - Well, I'll think of it.

00:25:50   But anyway, desk accessories were little things

00:25:52   that ran within the memory of the app itself.

00:25:54   So like the calculator and the,

00:25:58   there was a thing called the scrapbook,

00:25:59   which was sort of like a clipboard history,

00:26:01   so you could keep little snippets of text.

00:26:04   And third party utilities came up

00:26:06   that made the Apple menu way more useful,

00:26:07   so that you could put an alias to your hard drive in there.

00:26:11   So you could just go to the Apple menu,

00:26:12   go down to your hard drive, and get a hierarchical list

00:26:15   of every folder.

00:26:16   So you wouldn't have to go to the Finder

00:26:18   and go to your hard drive and double click on a folder,

00:26:20   and then double click on a folder and double click.

00:26:22   You would just go to your Apple menu, go to your hard drive,

00:26:25   go to applications, go to utilities,

00:26:28   and then launch the app from that folder

00:26:30   that you wanted to, or wherever you wanted to go.

00:26:33   But instead of leaving a whole history of Windows

00:26:35   behind of each folder you went to,

00:26:37   there was just a hierarchical goal list of menus.

00:26:39   And that was another one of those things

00:26:42   where everybody had one of these utilities.

00:26:45   I think the one that I used was called Now Menus.

00:26:47   Boy, it's really going back.

00:26:49   But eventually Apple added that to the system as well.

00:26:51   It was like, hey, if everybody's got this,

00:26:53   you should, it oughta be part of the system.

00:26:55   - Yeah, the only, it's funny, the two add-ons

00:26:59   that I still depend on now is, one is from Windows,

00:27:04   because when I use Windows,

00:27:05   I like there's shortcuts to manage,

00:27:08   to move your Windows around.

00:27:10   So you can like snap your Windows

00:27:11   to one side of the desktop or to another

00:27:13   or things like and do all kinds of things.

00:27:15   So once I have one of those on the Mac,

00:27:18   I use one called BetterSnapTool, but that's amazing.

00:27:21   But that's super niche, I doubt Apple will ever add that.

00:27:25   But the other thing, and it's funny because this is,

00:27:28   this is arguably the single thing that keeps me using a Mac instead of like a

00:27:33   Chromebook or, or an iPod or anything is a clipboard manager.

00:27:39   It like,

00:27:40   it's unbelievable how often I use something like that and how much more powerful

00:27:45   that makes, that makes using, using a computer. But again, I guess they,

00:27:50   they are, those are pretty niche. They've already used all the, uh,

00:27:53   taken up all the, all the low hanging fruit. Yeah. Uh,

00:27:55   Which clipboard manager do you use?

00:27:58   - I use one called copy and paste.

00:28:00   I used to use launch, yeah, I used to use launch bar,

00:28:02   but launch bar had this weird bug

00:28:04   where it would just, it wouldn't work after a while.

00:28:06   And they eventually fixed it after it was around

00:28:08   for like years and people were complaining about it.

00:28:10   They kept saying it was Apple's fault,

00:28:11   but like every other clipboard manager had the problem.

00:28:14   But yeah, so I use, I don't remember why I got it.

00:28:17   I mean, I got it for when I would need a replacement

00:28:21   and there's a good review somewhere,

00:28:23   but I've seen no reason to switch, it works well for me.

00:28:26   It keeps a bunch in there, you can do stuff like,

00:28:28   if you've copied stuff, you can paste it

00:28:31   as plain text super easily,

00:28:32   you can make everything all capitals

00:28:33   or take away all the capitals.

00:28:34   Like it, so it does like text transformation

00:28:36   on stuff as well if you need.

00:28:37   So, anyhow, but there's a bunch of them out there,

00:28:39   I think they're all probably pretty good.

00:28:41   - The ones I've used are Launch Bar's built-in one,

00:28:45   which I kind of don't like the display of,

00:28:47   but it's actually what I'm using right now.

00:28:52   Keyboard Maestro, you ever hear of Keyboard Maestro?

00:28:55   - Yeah, I've heard of it.

00:28:56   I can't remember if I tried it, but yeah.

00:28:58   - Keyboard Maestro does so much stuff.

00:28:59   Keyboard Maestro is a great utility.

00:29:02   You could record macros that do all sorts of things,

00:29:05   but really just sort of automate, multi-step,

00:29:08   automate the whole GUI, really.

00:29:10   But it also is sort of, you can, if you want it to,

00:29:14   act as like text expander where you type TLA

00:29:18   and it expands to three-letter acronym

00:29:20   or something like that.

00:29:21   and it has a clipboard history.

00:29:23   Keyboard Maestro's clipboard history is searchable,

00:29:26   which is actually kind of neat.

00:29:27   And Keyboard Maestro--

00:29:28   - Oh, that's, yeah, that would be awesome.

00:29:30   - Keyboard Maestro has a heuristic

00:29:32   that looks for things that look like a password

00:29:35   and bullets them out.

00:29:39   So, and I think only keeps them as,

00:29:41   I forget what else it does.

00:29:42   If it's just a visual thing,

00:29:44   or if it only lets you copy,

00:29:47   actually paste it when it's the topmost thing.

00:29:50   But whatever it does, it's actually never once

00:29:54   did the wrong thing for me.

00:29:55   Like the heuristic is so smart about it,

00:29:57   that however it is that it works,

00:29:59   it's so smart about identifying things that look like,

00:30:04   wow, that looks like a password that somebody would make up

00:30:09   or that like a password utility would make up

00:30:11   that it doesn't get exposed.

00:30:13   And then the one that's most recent, which I've used,

00:30:15   I used in beta, but it hasn't stuck with me

00:30:18   is Payspot from the Tweetbot guys.

00:30:20   - Yeah, the searchable one would be super valuable.

00:30:25   I think, 'cause when I do the daily updates in particular,

00:30:28   where those usually have more quotes and links

00:30:32   than my weekly articles do,

00:30:34   like I will accumulate a ton of links

00:30:37   in the process of writing just one of them.

00:30:39   And yeah, sometimes, particularly if I want

00:30:41   to look something up, like I write about something

00:30:43   and then I forgot, 'cause I end up having like,

00:30:45   I will end up with like well over 100 tabs

00:30:47   every single day after I'm finished writing these,

00:30:50   which is ridiculous.

00:30:51   And so I often find it's easier to just,

00:30:53   and this is how I get a bunch of tabs,

00:30:55   instead of going through all my tabs

00:30:56   and finding the article that I'm looking for,

00:30:58   I'll just open a new window and go to my clipboard manager

00:31:00   and I know the links in there because I just used it.

00:31:03   But if I could search it, that would make it even better.

00:31:06   Yeah, it's funny the weird things that you end up doing

00:31:10   that are just making no sense at all,

00:31:11   but you fall into these patterns, so.

00:31:13   - All right, I will put links to all of those apps

00:31:15   in the show notes, I swear.

00:31:17   - Hey, I mean, for the record, I think this is my,

00:31:22   I don't know, six or seven time on here,

00:31:24   and I got a message, I woke up to a message from you,

00:31:27   including notes for the podcast.

00:31:29   I was very impressed, I think that is a first.

00:31:31   So for the record, the talk show

00:31:35   is getting ever more organized.

00:31:37   So kudos to you.

00:31:39   - We're doing it, it's the same thing,

00:31:40   we talked about it with the, Pansarino last week,

00:31:43   using the iCloud shared notes, which is actually pretty useful.

00:31:48   It is, except that the, maybe because I'm not in Syria,

00:31:54   I don't update my Mac for usually a couple months after the update.

00:31:58   But yeah, it doesn't sync to my iCloud on the Mac.

00:32:02   Right.

00:32:03   But that might be just because I'm not on the current version.

00:32:06   But it reminds me of one of the irritations I have with Apple,

00:32:12   like when they do web apps.

00:32:13   So I have it open in the browser now

00:32:15   because that obviously syncs.

00:32:17   But I think the reason why Apple's web apps

00:32:21   like try to mimic like desktop apps,

00:32:24   but that makes them frustrating to use

00:32:27   'cause doing something in a browser

00:32:29   isn't as efficient or fast or as good of a user experience

00:32:33   as using a native app without question.

00:32:35   Whereas there are some web apps that I use,

00:32:38   like I do all my writing in a web app,

00:32:39   one called Draft, drafting.com, it's awesome.

00:32:43   But it's, it's, it's a web, like it embraces

00:32:47   it being a web app.

00:32:49   And I think that's the case for all sorts of products.

00:32:52   Like if you embrace the medium that you're on,

00:32:54   the user experience can be really great.

00:32:56   But if you're trying to like mimic one

00:32:58   that's from somewhere else, it's not nearly as good.

00:33:01   Anyhow, that is just sort of a random sort of observation.

00:33:05   I mean, this is the first time I've used the syncing

00:33:08   or sharing thing for notes.

00:33:12   - It's weird, I've been doing it for a couple episodes now,

00:33:14   but I've been running, I'm like you, I'm very reluctant,

00:33:17   and it always seems like I've got something open

00:33:19   and I don't wanna restart, even just restart the machine.

00:33:21   I still haven't updated my iMac to Sierra,

00:33:24   and that's where I record from, so I have it on my phone,

00:33:28   and the phone has the new, fancy new,

00:33:31   share this note with somebody

00:33:32   and get the changes synced feature,

00:33:34   but my Mac's version doesn't.

00:33:37   and then you had the idea to use the iCloud web app,

00:33:40   which never even occurred to me,

00:33:41   'cause I never use the iCloud web apps

00:33:44   for anything other than find my iPhone.

00:33:46   But it's weird too, because it does try

00:33:50   to mimic a desktop app, but it's not,

00:33:55   it doesn't look anything like the Mac version,

00:34:00   and it doesn't look like the iPad version either.

00:34:02   It's like this, it does look like a desktop app,

00:34:07   but it doesn't look like a Mac one,

00:34:09   and it doesn't look like an iPad app.

00:34:11   - Yeah, who knows what's going on.

00:34:13   - And there's all, I don't understand

00:34:15   how anybody uses web apps,

00:34:17   'cause it's like I tried to use the shortcut shift command H

00:34:19   to make a text to header, which works in,

00:34:24   it's a keyboard shortcut I know

00:34:26   from the desktop version of Note,

00:34:28   but of course Safari ate that keystroke

00:34:30   and tried to take me home.

00:34:32   - Yeah.

00:34:34   - But it was smart enough to say,

00:34:36   do you want to, are you sure you want to do that

00:34:38   because you've got unsaved changes

00:34:39   in this text editing field?

00:34:41   I would much prefer an app that just was like written

00:34:45   in old 1999 HTML.

00:34:48   - Yeah, the ones that I use, like they're ones that,

00:34:52   like they are, they're pure web,

00:34:55   when they're pure, they're for the web,

00:34:57   like just unabashedly.

00:34:59   And this is something that I think,

00:35:00   I think this is one of the reasons why Google Docs,

00:35:02   especially it's gotten better now,

00:35:04   but it was very frustrating because it kind of

00:35:06   was trying to mimic a desktop interface.

00:35:09   I mean, obviously Docs is some amazing things,

00:35:11   particularly the collaboration stuff and all that.

00:35:13   But I think the apps that I actually like using on the web

00:35:17   and like for like the writing one, for example,

00:35:19   it's just a plain field and you get the benefits

00:35:21   of a web app where stuff's saved instantly

00:35:23   and if anything happens like to your computer,

00:35:26   like you never lose data ever.

00:35:28   Like it's, to me it works very well.

00:35:31   But the other thing that I do

00:35:34   that I think makes it much more tolerable is,

00:35:36   oh, speaking of Mac utilities, is Fluid,

00:35:39   where you get like a single site browser

00:35:41   and then you can make an icon.

00:35:42   So basically when I open like Draft for example,

00:35:45   or WordPress or MailChimp,

00:35:47   like the various web apps that I use frequently,

00:35:50   they all have their own, they're like their own apps.

00:35:53   And you click, you make it in Fluid and you click it

00:35:56   and it opens up with its own icon in the dock

00:35:58   and it's separate, and so it's not buried

00:36:00   in my hundreds of tabs, it's like its own distinct entity.

00:36:03   And to me, that's another app I cannot live without.

00:36:08   Like if I actually had to use web apps inside a browser,

00:36:12   like just, I'm so disorganized in general,

00:36:14   it'd be intolerable, but Fluid makes it feel

00:36:18   like a normal app, which is just

00:36:20   from a navigational standpoint.

00:36:21   (laughing)

00:36:23   - I have used Fluid in the past for once or twice

00:36:25   when I had to use a web app, because it's,

00:36:27   sometimes you want it to be a command tab target,

00:36:29   but it's not like a real app at all.

00:36:31   It's terrible.

00:36:32   - No, no, I meant from a navigational standpoint,

00:36:34   where to your point, where you can find it very easily

00:36:37   and you can go to it.

00:36:38   But again, well, I think when you get apps

00:36:42   that are mimicking desktop apps in the web,

00:36:45   they feel awful.

00:36:46   But again, just to use Draft as an example,

00:36:49   you open it up and you open an article

00:36:52   and all it is is it's a blank page and you type.

00:36:54   And it's basically a text editor

00:36:56   and it handles markdown and stuff like that.

00:36:58   So I find it, there's lots of benefits I find

00:37:02   from being a web app, including particularly the,

00:37:04   like I've never ever lost stuff that I've written ever.

00:37:08   Because even if my computer were to crash

00:37:09   or something like stuff doesn't get corrupted,

00:37:12   it's just, it's always there.

00:37:14   And to me, it's because it's not trying to do too much,

00:37:18   not trying to put all these menu bars there

00:37:21   and make it feel like it's Word,

00:37:24   but now it's on the web, kind of like Google Docs does.

00:37:26   and all that sort of thing, it's perfectly,

00:37:30   it's more than tolerable, it's downright enjoyable to use,

00:37:33   and those are the ones that I really appreciate.

00:37:36   - I think it's been a while, but I know that

00:37:39   for people of our generation, losing data on your computer

00:37:44   used to be like part of life.

00:37:48   - Yep, it was just like, "Oh, I guess this is

00:37:51   "my unlucky day."

00:37:52   - Right, like your system would freeze up,

00:37:54   the app would just crash and vanish.

00:37:57   No apps in the old days did auto save.

00:38:01   You were stuck with the last time you ever hit Command + S

00:38:03   and everybody had a horror tale.

00:38:05   I don't think it ever really happened to me

00:38:06   in a catastrophic way, but everybody knew somebody at least.

00:38:09   It wasn't like you had to know somebody

00:38:10   who knew somebody who's brother.

00:38:11   You knew somebody who had happened to,

00:38:13   where they opened up Word or whatever they used,

00:38:16   hit Command + N, started writing their paper,

00:38:19   got to the end, and that's when,

00:38:21   maybe when they went to hit print,

00:38:22   the print driver crashed.

00:38:24   And because they'd never saved, the whole thing was gone.

00:38:27   It was just irrevocable.

00:38:30   And there was nothing you could do.

00:38:31   There was no cache of temporary saved files.

00:38:35   No matter how much of an expert you were at computing,

00:38:38   there was absolutely nothing you could do.

00:38:40   And we just accepted that, oh, well,

00:38:41   I guess I should have hit Command-S.

00:38:44   - I know, we blamed ourselves.

00:38:45   - I've written about this.

00:38:47   And it was actually, the main reason

00:38:50   was a common scenario was that that first command s was sort of a pain in the ass because

00:38:54   you'd have to pick a location and then pick a file name. And subsequent command s's are

00:38:59   always very easy because there's nothing else to do. You've already given it a location

00:39:03   and a name and the command s you just, you know, in the old days you did have to wait,

00:39:07   you'd have to wait like a second or two for the actual file to write. But it was nowhere

00:39:11   near as much of a cognitive hurdle of that first command s would, you know, you know,

00:39:17   The right interface, I think this is one of those ways

00:39:19   that the original Mac team got it wrong,

00:39:21   was in those days, if that's how it was gonna be,

00:39:24   where there was no autosave, when you hit Command + N,

00:39:27   instead of immediately giving you a new untitled window,

00:39:30   it should have immediately forced you

00:39:31   to pick a location and a file name.

00:39:35   The first thing, before you get that window

00:39:38   where you could start typing,

00:39:39   you should have had to pick a location and file name.

00:39:45   - Well, I think, so one of the things that's great about iOS,

00:39:48   and this is another reason I use web apps,

00:39:49   is because iOS was from the ground up

00:39:54   kind of designed that way, and apps in general

00:39:56   are always saving, and they're always syncing,

00:39:58   you know, syncing what they have to the cloud.

00:40:01   There's no like distinct sort of save process.

00:40:03   It's sort of integral to how they work.

00:40:06   So I have a lot of apps where I have a iOS version,

00:40:10   and then I have the web version on my Mac,

00:40:14   And I like those because they're always in sync constantly.

00:40:17   Whereas ones that have a Mac app and ones that have an iOS app, the Mac app,

00:40:22   the sync is never like perfect every time. Like for me,

00:40:25   like if I don't trust the sync that it's going to be synced up every single

00:40:29   time, like it almost like to me,

00:40:33   that's trumped like the user interface of like, of like using a native app,

00:40:37   which I do prefer native apps in general.

00:40:39   But if I don't have full confidence that it's going to be synced every single

00:40:43   I will put up with the web app just to have that knowledge

00:40:48   that's always there, because to me having it always available is key.

00:40:52   And I know that Apple tried to rejigger the document model, what was it, back in Lion,

00:40:55   to make it more iOS-like.

00:41:02   But the problem was, I think that still drives me up the wall.

00:41:04   Actually, that's one of the reasons I stopped using iWork.

00:41:10   I know they added it back in bits and pieces, and there's some terminal commands you can get to read it.

00:41:13   restore like the save as button and stuff. But I know you hold down the option.

00:41:17   You're always that what it is. I think you can, you can add a permanently.

00:41:20   I think there's a terminal command where you can,

00:41:21   you can have it in the menu permanently.

00:41:22   So you have to press option every single time. But the,

00:41:25   I destroyed so many documents by forgetting to like duplicate and like the auto

00:41:30   save because it's, it's, well, it's like the path thing. Like once,

00:41:34   once you have the muscle memory and you're used to doing it a certain way,

00:41:38   even if that's not the best way, like you're, it's, it's,

00:41:42   at least for people who have been using it for years,

00:41:45   it's like too late.

00:41:46   But anyhow, so now I'm stuck using web apps.

00:41:51   But like I said, in the right context, I like them.

00:41:54   We're 43 minutes in, we haven't talked about anything.

00:42:00   - Anyway, long story short, the AirPods do have Siri commands.

00:42:05   That was the best digression ever.

00:42:07   I will say this though, those Siri commands

00:42:10   controlling the audio on the AirPods, they do work and they've worked remarkably well

00:42:15   ever since it was pointed out to me that they work. I don't know why it failed for me the

00:42:18   first time. But they're not instantaneous. It's the double tap. There's a moment before

00:42:25   you hear the Siri, "Okay, I'm listening," and then there's a moment after that before

00:42:29   it'll actually catch everything you say. So it works, but it's nowhere near as instantaneous

00:42:35   is just clicking a button on the earphone cable to just go volume up, volume up, or

00:42:41   something like that.

00:42:43   Interesting.

00:42:44   So the only controls that you have on the AirPods are trigger Siri or take them out

00:42:49   of your AirPods, right?

00:42:50   Yes.

00:42:51   There's no extra like...

00:42:52   There's nothing else.

00:42:53   There's no options for like triple clip.

00:42:55   You double tap for Siri.

00:42:57   There's no way to say that if I triple tap or quadruple tap or something like that to

00:43:01   do something else.

00:43:02   Maybe they'll do that in the future.

00:43:03   Maybe not because it's a little finicky.

00:43:06   Overall, this is not a deal breaker for me by any part.

00:43:09   The only headphones I wanna use

00:43:11   other than the ones I use for podcasting are AirPods.

00:43:14   It is though the only minus I can think of with them.

00:43:18   - Huh, that's interesting.

00:43:21   I'm worried, I know you said that they fit better

00:43:23   than the regular ear ones,

00:43:24   which don't fit in my ears at all.

00:43:27   So I'm gonna get them, I'm very intrigued by them,

00:43:30   But that specific point is a little bit of a,

00:43:33   it's weird, I can see both.

00:43:34   'Cause I have been in a situation

00:43:36   where I both want to take them out of my ear,

00:43:37   but then I also have to hit pause.

00:43:39   So that idea of it doing it once is really compelling.

00:43:42   For the same situation, like if you want to talk to somebody

00:43:44   and you want to take it out of your ear.

00:43:47   But at the same time, I'm worried about fit

00:43:49   and I'm worried about the, yeah, the having that control.

00:43:53   I use the clicker, I have the Beats ones,

00:43:55   and I use that clicker all the time.

00:43:57   - I did too with the Beats ones.

00:43:59   All right, let's take a break and thank our first sponsor.

00:44:02   It is our good friends at Backblaze.

00:44:07   Backblaze, you know these guys.

00:44:09   They offer unlimited native backup for the Mac and for PC.

00:44:13   I don't know, I've never used a PC,

00:44:17   so you have to take their word for that.

00:44:19   But on a Mac, I can guarantee you it is excellent.

00:44:23   No credit card required, no risk.

00:44:25   You get a 15-day free trial

00:44:26   at backblaze.com/daringfireball.

00:44:30   I say this every time.

00:44:32   I wish that they would stop sponsoring the show,

00:44:34   because they would write to me and say, sorry, John, nobody

00:44:37   is signing up anymore, because everybody

00:44:39   listens to the talk show is signed up for backblaze.

00:44:41   I would love it.

00:44:42   It would make me feel better.

00:44:43   Even though I do like the money that they

00:44:45   pay to sponsor the show, I would feel better

00:44:48   knowing that everybody who is listening to this show

00:44:50   has some sort of offline, out of their office backup.

00:44:56   Use it in addition.

00:44:57   You don't have to use it as your only backup.

00:44:59   You could, in theory.

00:45:00   I think backup is one of those things that really should be--

00:45:04   you should have multiple layers of it.

00:45:06   So use Time Machine.

00:45:07   Use Super Duper or something like that

00:45:09   to make a clone of your startup disk.

00:45:12   Do those things.

00:45:12   Hard drives, external hard drives, are relatively cheap.

00:45:14   You can buy them, especially if you get the spinning disk ones.

00:45:17   You can get them just for backup, and they're so cheap.

00:45:20   Do it.

00:45:20   But having a backup that's off-site is such a--

00:45:26   I say it every time-- it makes you sleep better.

00:45:28   It is such a relief to know that everything--

00:45:31   and backplays has no limit.

00:45:32   So you think, well, I'd like to sign up,

00:45:34   but I've got a giant hard drive full of all of these movies

00:45:39   and photos.

00:45:41   I don't want to have to decide what I back up on.

00:45:43   It's unlimited.

00:45:44   It doesn't matter.

00:45:45   You pay $5 per Mac per month--

00:45:49   five bucks a month for each Mac.

00:45:50   And it doesn't matter how much you have.

00:45:52   They'll just back it all up.

00:45:53   The only hitch is that it just takes longer

00:45:56   for that initial backup

00:45:57   to actually upload everything you've got.

00:45:59   So the more data you have, yes,

00:46:01   there's no magic that will let 10 terabytes update

00:46:05   in an hour.

00:46:06   It's not gonna happen.

00:46:07   But however long it takes, once it's updated,

00:46:09   it just incrementally runs from there.

00:46:12   I have never noticed it.

00:46:14   I mean, I've been talking about

00:46:16   problems with some other apps that take up space.

00:46:21   I often have activity monitor running

00:46:23   and I'm looking at apps that are taking up too much CPU.

00:46:26   I've never seen back plays pop up into my list of CPU usage.

00:46:30   It never slows down your machine.

00:46:32   I have no idea when it runs.

00:46:33   I don't know, I just set it to the default settings

00:46:35   and let it go.

00:46:36   I never notice and it's always there

00:46:38   and when I've checked just to see what's in my back plays,

00:46:40   it's always up to date.

00:46:41   It is an amazing service.

00:46:44   The Mac software is written by former Apple engineers.

00:46:46   It's totally native.

00:46:47   It's just a simple control panel and the system preferences.

00:46:50   And there's no gimmicks or additional charges.

00:46:53   There's no trick to this $5 a month per device thing.

00:46:57   That's the offer and that's it.

00:46:58   So go to backblaze.com/daringfireball.

00:47:02   Then they'll know you came from here.

00:47:03   You get 15 days to try it free.

00:47:06   Do that.

00:47:06   You won't be charged a nickel before then.

00:47:08   And then you just start paying after that.

00:47:10   So my thanks to Backblaze.

00:47:12   Go sign up for them.

00:47:13   Sign up your parents.

00:47:14   Sign up anybody you know.

00:47:15   Get everybody backed up.

00:47:18   - I am a happy customer.

00:47:20   - It's a great service.

00:47:25   All right, what else we got on the agenda?

00:47:28   Did you see on Twitter, I tweeted a couple,

00:47:30   like a week or two ago that Amy's watch fell apart?

00:47:33   - I did, yes.

00:47:35   It's funny because you, well, I think you're gonna describe

00:47:38   what happened, but my wife has been complaining

00:47:40   that her watch is getting really bad

00:47:42   at heart rate monitoring.

00:47:44   - Oh, it's gonna fall apart.

00:47:45   - Yeah, I know, so.

00:47:47   - I guarantee it, she's probably like three weeks,

00:47:49   three weeks ahead of Amy.

00:47:51   So that's what happened.

00:47:53   So Amy has a 38 millimeter stainless steel Apple Watch

00:47:58   that was-- - Yep, same as my watch.

00:47:59   - Just very early, maybe even ordered,

00:48:01   like when they first went on sale,

00:48:03   and they were famously back ordered for a while.

00:48:06   So sometime in May of last year is when she got it.

00:48:09   She's worn it not necessarily every day,

00:48:12   but she's worn it most days,

00:48:14   and she loves it for the fitness tracking.

00:48:16   It is first and foremost a fitness tracker for her.

00:48:19   She wears it when she works out.

00:48:20   She wears it to fill her circles every day.

00:48:22   And a couple of weeks ago, I'm not quite sure exactly,

00:48:26   she just started vaguely, again, she blames me

00:48:29   for everything that goes wrong with every Apple product.

00:48:31   It's not even like she asks for help, she just blames me.

00:48:34   (laughing)

00:48:35   And she blamed me that she was getting less credit

00:48:39   for things and, you know, like some things

00:48:42   like a workout in the gym, maybe some days you are feeling it

00:48:47   and you're more motivated or you have more energy

00:48:49   and you're an hour doing the same exercise,

00:48:53   maybe you do burn more calories

00:48:55   because you're more into it.

00:48:57   But she was getting fewer calories burned counted,

00:49:01   even for things like walking to school to pick Jonas up,

00:49:04   if she set like a walk thing, which you'd think,

00:49:06   which should be very, very close every single day,

00:49:09   and usually used to be, and hers was very low.

00:49:12   And then she upgraded to watchOS 3 and it went the other way and she started getting

00:49:15   like seemingly extra credit for her calories burned and she didn't complain as much then

00:49:21   but she still thought something was flaky.

00:49:23   And then the other, about a week ago, she woke up and she went to take her watch off

00:49:27   the charger and the whole back just stuck to the magnetic charger.

00:49:31   Yeah, I think you had mentioned that.

00:49:34   So after my wife was like literally like two days after you talked about that, she was

00:49:40   complaining of the same thing about the track not working so I took the charger

00:49:43   and I was like did it like a bunch of times attaching and unattaching it

00:49:47   seems would pop off it hasn't popped off yet but no same situation she's she's

00:49:51   worn it pretty much daily since she got it at the same time period and has the

00:49:55   exact same same model has exact same complaints so yeah I and I I'm looking

00:50:00   forward to getting a look at the watch it hurts apparently so seems like a

00:50:03   common failure I tweeted a picture of it and and cracked a very snarky joke

00:50:09   because I happened to follow a couple of other watch things on Twitter and I

00:50:14   forget who it was what was the company pet pet tech had came out with a new

00:50:19   watch and I I tweeted the same day I tweeted a link to this new petech watch

00:50:26   and you know which is like a $25,000 dive watch and I said I wonder what type

00:50:34   but glued Patek to seal the case back.

00:50:38   And I, of course, I have way too many followers.

00:50:41   - Of course people took it way too seriously.

00:50:42   - Right, I can't tweet something like that

00:50:44   without having two or three, four people

00:50:46   think I'm being serious, and then they were like,

00:50:49   Patek doesn't glue their watches together, John.

00:50:51   And it was like, yes, I know.

00:50:53   - I know, you feel bad kind of making fun of them

00:50:56   'cause they're trying to help,

00:50:57   but it's the earnestness in the replies that it,

00:51:00   I get that sometimes as well.

00:51:03   So, but the other, the more interesting thing was I got a whole bunch of replies from people

00:51:08   who were like, "Same thing happened to me.

00:51:10   Same thing happened to me."

00:51:13   Seems like it's more common with the stainless steel ones, at least anecdotally based on

00:51:18   Twitter followers who tweeted me about it.

00:51:21   It, because it wasn't only steel ones, but it was primarily steel ones.

00:51:26   And knowing that the aluminum sport models sell in greater quantity, you would think

00:51:31   that if it was as likely to happen to any other watch,

00:51:33   it would be mostly the sport models.

00:51:35   So I think that the problem is more typical with the steel.

00:51:37   I don't know if it's because they went through

00:51:41   a different production line, and that was the production line

00:51:44   where the problem was.

00:51:45   I don't know if it was that maybe they used the same glue,

00:51:48   but that glue adhesed better to aluminum than to steel.

00:51:53   Could just be, honestly, if you think about it,

00:51:55   it could just be Apple has, what, 10 years of expertise

00:51:59   working with aluminum and stainless steel is relatively new to their...

00:52:04   Yeah, that's probably the explanation right there.

00:52:08   But anyway, long story short, a whole bunch of people wrote and said it happened to them.

00:52:12   They took it to the Apple Store and it was, you know, you got to wait.

00:52:14   They don't just give you a replacement on the spot, but they take the watch away and

00:52:18   give you a replacement even if it's out of warranty.

00:52:21   And Amy's was out of warranty because I haven't bought AppleCare for any Apple products since

00:52:25   1991.

00:52:27   So I did.

00:52:29   I took it to the Apple store.

00:52:30   I did not seem to be recognized, which I'm always worried about, because I want to report

00:52:34   on this as, you know, like what if I'm just a normal Apple customer?

00:52:38   What happens when you take your Apple Watch in after it falls apart on the charger?

00:52:44   I'm pretty sure that the genius guy I dealt with didn't recognize me.

00:52:52   As soon as I described the problem, he started typing it into his iPod there.

00:52:56   The trouble with shooting things...

00:52:57   or two?

00:52:58   Well, he didn't.

00:53:01   It didn't seem-- at first-- and he looked it up,

00:53:03   and he had to type in the serial number.

00:53:05   And then when he described the problem, he said, oh, good.

00:53:10   Even though this is not a warranty, I can cover this.

00:53:13   And it seemed new to him.

00:53:14   And then he laughed and said the first question--

00:53:18   I'd already told him how it was discovered

00:53:20   that it wasn't dropped or anything, just pulling it off

00:53:23   the charger.

00:53:23   And he said, oh, the first question

00:53:25   is, did the customer discover the problem removing

00:53:27   a watch from the charger.

00:53:29   - Yeah, so it's definitely a known thing.

00:53:31   It's in the system. - It's so known, yeah.

00:53:33   It's so known that there's a chain through the,

00:53:35   you know, how did this happen, that begins with,

00:53:38   did it happen pulling the watch off the charger?

00:53:41   So, you know, as we record, the watch is in that

00:53:45   three to five day, we'll tell you when it comes back, period.

00:53:48   I'm curious if they're gonna, if they replace it,

00:53:52   if they're going to replace it with a Series Zero

00:53:55   or a Series One.

00:53:57   Yeah, that's a good question.

00:54:00   The trouble with the app, I kind of want it because I'm on this swimming thing now, so

00:54:04   I kind of want to get the, well first off, Craig Hockenberry is apparently a popular

00:54:11   guest in this episode, but he's written about that he's been using the original Apple Watch

00:54:15   for swimming ever since he got it, and he's swimming in the ocean where it's probably,

00:54:19   I would imagine the corrosiveness is more of a problem.

00:54:23   But the problem is that the workout app does not, you can't get the swimming on the original

00:54:29   Apple Watch, even with the updated OS, like Apple, it's just not included.

00:54:33   So you have to get a new watch.

00:54:35   The problem is, I mean, I've kind of stopped wearing the Apple Watch in day-to-day things.

00:54:41   For me, I've trimmed my notifications so much that when I get a notification, I almost

00:54:46   always want to deal with it on the phone anyway.

00:54:49   I'm just super aggressive about not getting hardly any notifications, but and the delay

00:54:55   in looking at the time was just that was kind of, I got fed up with it.

00:55:00   So I'm back to a regular watch most of the time, but I would like to, I'd still like

00:55:05   to track, you know, the actual exercising.

00:55:08   So I want to get a, maybe I'm considering getting a new one.

00:55:11   The problem is I personally just don't find the aluminum ones good looking at all.

00:55:16   Like to me, the stainless steel still looks so much better.

00:55:19   And actually the one that looks really great is the white one.

00:55:22   So but the problem is I can't really justify getting the new edition.

00:55:27   Right?

00:55:28   If I'm just using it for workouts, like, well, maybe I'll start wearing it day to day.

00:55:32   I'm like, well, no, I don't know.

00:55:34   So I'm stuck in paralysis right now, but we'll see.

00:55:39   I'll probably get one of the sport ones.

00:55:41   I think it would be, I should anyway, just to see what it's like, how it's improved

00:55:46   relative to the current one.

00:55:47   - Yeah, anyway, that was my story about the Apple Watch.

00:55:50   So I wonder--

00:55:53   - I will, I look forward, I don't look forward,

00:55:56   but it sounds like I will be corroborating it soon.

00:55:58   Exact same symptoms that you had.

00:56:01   - Do you wanna talk about,

00:56:04   I don't wanna spend a long time on it,

00:56:05   but this story of Dash, the developer of the Dash app,

00:56:10   anybody who's been reading Tearing Fireball

00:56:14   over the last week would know it.

00:56:16   Long story short, do you want to summarize it?

00:56:21   It's such a weird story.

00:56:24   - Yeah, I think that, well, I think that the,

00:56:26   I personally don't want to spend on tech quality

00:56:28   in part because it's still kind of unclear.

00:56:31   There's a new story that Renee Ritchie wrote this morning

00:56:34   that I haven't fully read that apparently is,

00:56:36   more details are coming out.

00:56:38   And this is one of those things like it's,

00:56:41   there's going to be inherent speculation here.

00:56:44   I think the only comment I would have,

00:56:46   like it sounds like this guy made some mistakes

00:56:49   and probably, you know, what's the saying?

00:56:51   Like the coverup is always worse than the crime

00:56:54   and like wasn't fully transparent about his situation.

00:56:59   And so it's easy to look at it and put in balance

00:57:02   and say, well, Apple gave him a chance and did this stuff

00:57:05   and he did these bad things.

00:57:06   And you kind of weigh the situation

00:57:08   as one against the other.

00:57:09   The only, I guess the only pushback I would have to that

00:57:13   is we're dealing, on one side is the biggest corporation

00:57:17   in the world where this particular developer

00:57:20   and app doesn't make any difference to their bottom line.

00:57:24   And you have this other guy where like this is his life,

00:57:26   it's his job.

00:57:27   And that changes sort of the moral calculus

00:57:32   for lack of a better term.

00:57:33   Like it sounds like this guy definitely screwed up

00:57:35   and he kind of covered his tracks.

00:57:38   And you could be a very moralistic and legalistic about it

00:57:42   and say like, "Sorry, you screwed up.

00:57:44   "Apple's justified here."

00:57:45   And that's not wrong, but I think it's on Apple.

00:57:50   And you have this situation with Google

00:57:52   with YouTube accounts being suspended

00:57:54   or AdSense, like just money disappearing.

00:57:56   This has happened again and again,

00:57:58   where the balance of power and the balance of injury

00:58:02   is so out of whack that I think it behooves

00:58:06   the sort of big players to have more grace

00:58:10   and more understanding.

00:58:11   And hopefully that's the way it's gonna work out.

00:58:13   But I think that's just the main point I would make.

00:58:15   This isn't like a one to one,

00:58:16   like who's right and who's wrong.

00:58:18   You have to consider like what are the consequences

00:58:20   of these actions.

00:58:22   And hopefully it's gonna all work out in the end.

00:58:24   And fortunately for this guy,

00:58:25   he's selling an app for developers,

00:58:27   so him not being in the Mac App Store in particular,

00:58:31   he'll probably be okay.

00:58:34   But anyhow, that's just my kind of big picture

00:58:37   sort of observation about the whole thing.

00:58:39   Yeah, the developer's name is Bogd--

00:58:41   I hope I pronounced it close enough.

00:58:43   He's from Romania, Bogdan Popescu.

00:58:48   And he's still, I think, is fairly young.

00:58:51   And it was confusing at first, because more or less

00:58:54   the story is that there were two developer accounts tied

00:58:57   that were related to the same bank account and same credit

00:58:59   card.

00:59:01   And the one account was full of mostly cheesy apps.

00:59:06   And the other account only had the Dash apps.

00:59:10   Dash is an API browser and snippet browser.

00:59:16   And snippets meaning you can enter your own little snippets

00:59:18   of text, like if you do tech support or something like that

00:59:21   and you have a bunch of frequently used responses,

00:59:24   you can invoke Dash, type a couple of letters

00:59:26   to get the saved snippet you want, and boom, there it is,

00:59:30   pasted into your email.

00:59:32   And it's a really great app.

00:59:34   I don't do enough programming anymore

00:59:36   that it's really been useful, but I can see that it's super, super useful.

00:59:41   I know that people use it even instead, like Mac developers use it instead of Xcode for

00:59:48   document browsing.

00:59:49   It's so good.

00:59:51   For people who are doing things that are not Xcode, like PHP or Perl or something like

00:59:56   that, it can be way better than the documentation that's typically invoked through Terminal

01:00:02   or something like that.

01:00:05   a really well-regarded app.

01:00:07   There's an iOS version and stuff like that.

01:00:08   And people, at first, when this guy's developer account did--

01:00:11   what Apple did at first was yank all of it.

01:00:13   It was all taken off the store.

01:00:15   And this guy said, hey, they said I did app review fraud.

01:00:18   I don't-- I didn't do that.

01:00:20   And people really did--

01:00:21   I think rightly so.

01:00:22   And I think it was the right way for the community to go.

01:00:25   We're like, hey, I believe this guy, because his apps

01:00:28   don't look scammy at all.

01:00:29   I use them and love them.

01:00:30   These are good apps.

01:00:31   And it went from there.

01:00:34   And I think it was good.

01:00:36   I didn't link to it at first, and I'm glad I didn't.

01:00:39   I felt like my spidey sense kicked in,

01:00:40   'cause I just felt like there was something fishy going on.

01:00:43   Like it just didn't seem like the whole story was out,

01:00:45   so I didn't link.

01:00:47   I will say I feel a little bad that I wrote about this.

01:00:53   I know I got to talk to Apple the day that they said,

01:00:57   they issued a statement about what happened.

01:00:59   And I linked to Dalrymple's report about it,

01:01:03   I didn't want to post a major article about it myself, but I ended up doing so anyway.

01:01:09   But I felt a little bad posting about it when I did because it seemed like we were only

01:01:17   getting apple-side of the story, and my instinct was we should wait to hear Popescu's side

01:01:22   too. But I was getting on an airplane. I was away for the weekend, and I didn't want to

01:01:27   wait four hours or trust that I'd be able to work on the Wi-Fi, which is in hindsight.

01:01:33   feel like it worked out. I don't feel like I wrote anything that I had to retract or anything like

01:01:36   that. But in hindsight, I feel like that was kind of a bad decision. I feel like I should have been

01:01:44   willing to completely miss the story or be way late on it than only hear one side of it, even

01:01:52   though I think Apple's side was more right than wrong. Yeah, well, the other big point I would

01:01:58   make is, and I saw it and it's hard to know for sure what Apple's thinking was around

01:02:03   this, but I certainly saw this on Twitter, is people were being very skeptical.

01:02:07   Oh, someone would share their credit card or they'd share a bank account.

01:02:10   Like that is absolutely the reality in lots of countries.

01:02:13   And I think that, you know, in the States, the idea that you would, and this is for sure,

01:02:19   this is Apple's biggest error for sure.

01:02:20   Like they, and they even said they were sending the notifications to the fraudulent account,

01:02:25   not even though the two accounts were joined.

01:02:27   So because they assume that if they have the same credit card, they must be the same developer.

01:02:32   But when I was, and I deal with this not just because I live internationally, but when I

01:02:36   was at Microsoft and we were setting up the Windows App Store originally, this was one

01:02:40   of the biggest problems we had to deal with.

01:02:41   And it was very difficult, is that like Apple, the developer accounts needed to have a credit

01:02:47   card and there's a nominal cost.

01:02:50   But it turns out it's really hard to get a credit card in many countries of the world.

01:02:54   And even if you do have a credit card, it often doesn't work with a US-based transaction

01:03:00   because for fraud or whatever, or they just don't do internet, they only work inside

01:03:03   the country.

01:03:04   And it was like a multi-month project to get workarounds for this to work.

01:03:08   So the point being like this idea that to assume that because two accounts use the same

01:03:14   credit card, they're linked, that's in lots of countries, that may not be the case.

01:03:19   And it's very reasonable that that may not be the case.

01:03:21   And I think, so in reaction in general, I think there wasn't enough of an appreciation

01:03:25   that that might be the case.

01:03:27   And again, reading the Rene article, he says that the other person was actually his mom.

01:03:31   That's why he was being kind of cagey about it.

01:03:34   But those particular details, I think, I just have wildly different reactions.

01:03:41   Some people immediately assume that that sounds ridiculous and fraudulent.

01:03:44   From my reaction, I can completely believe that's the case.

01:03:48   And the other thing with Apple is now that the App Store and this decision-making was

01:03:52   going up to Phil Schiller, Phil Schiller did not set up the App Store.

01:03:57   That was under EdiQ.

01:03:59   And the reason why I think that's relevant is he didn't…

01:04:03   I don't know, but I think it's reasonable to presume that Phil may not be familiar with

01:04:11   these sorts of things, like the hassles of credit cards in different countries and bank

01:04:16   accounts and why they might be combined, just not because he's dumb or doesn't care,

01:04:20   but he didn't have to go through the pain of figuring out all the workarounds to get

01:04:23   that set up.

01:04:24   Like, Eddy Cue's team had to figure that out when they set up the iTunes Music Store

01:04:27   and they set up the App Store the first time.

01:04:29   And if you don't even know about that, then immediately it sounds super sketchy.

01:04:34   Whereas if you do know about that, and so my initial reaction, and I was to be totally

01:04:40   believe it, 'cause it's super believable

01:04:43   if you understand the circumstances of different countries

01:04:46   that the infrastructure isn't there.

01:04:48   And I still think that, again, I think it was more like

01:04:52   the coverup was worse than the,

01:04:53   I think in broad strokes, there's probably,

01:04:57   like his story I think is,

01:04:59   I still tend to think it's mostly true.

01:05:01   I think he absolutely made mistakes.

01:05:02   And this is where I get to that sort of my original point,

01:05:05   if you weigh it in the balance.

01:05:06   Did he make mistakes?

01:05:07   It seems clear he did.

01:05:09   But when you consider that,

01:05:12   if you take the totality of the situation

01:05:14   and understanding different markets

01:05:16   and the credit card thing and the bank account thing

01:05:18   and them starting out as a young developer,

01:05:20   it would be nice to have a little more slack

01:05:25   and mercy, for lack of a better word, in this situation.

01:05:28   And I do hope it turns out in the long run.

01:05:31   - I definitely suspected, you and I are on a slack

01:05:34   where we talked about this before it went public

01:05:36   And I was early on thought, hey, I think there's an English

01:05:40   as a second language problem here, you know,

01:05:42   'cause I suspect that Popescu speaks,

01:05:45   we now know Romanian is his first language

01:05:49   and English as a second language.

01:05:50   His written English is excellent, truly excellent.

01:05:54   And I could see why some people would notice it,

01:05:55   but I see certain telltale signs that say

01:05:57   that there's just like a certain stiffness to it

01:05:59   that to me reads like English as a second language.

01:06:02   And even no matter how good it is,

01:06:06   and you know this firsthand, living in Taipei,

01:06:10   that nuance is the hardest thing to get, right?

01:06:14   It's in a subtle, and this is a situation

01:06:18   that required nuance, and I definitely think

01:06:21   that there was, I think that there was certain

01:06:26   bits of nuance that slipped between the cracks,

01:06:29   and I think, to your point about credit cards

01:06:33   and bank accounts from Romania that work with US credit

01:06:38   and bank account and iTunes systems and stuff like that.

01:06:41   I think there were some cultural differences

01:06:45   that were even harder to match up

01:06:50   because of the English as a second language thing.

01:06:52   And the whole thing to me was,

01:06:55   no matter what the true story is,

01:06:57   I can't help but think that this was sort of

01:06:59   a perfect storm of problems.

01:07:03   by which I mean that part of the blow up on Twitter

01:07:07   against Apple when this guy's account was initially yanked

01:07:12   was sort of, and rightly so,

01:07:15   well, maybe not rightly so, but justifiably so,

01:07:17   from the developer community of,

01:07:21   wow, here's a world where your entire livelihood

01:07:25   can be pulled by Apple

01:07:28   and they don't even show you the evidence against you,

01:07:32   which is kind of terrifying.

01:07:34   And Brent Simmons has written, wrote a good piece about that

01:07:41   that I agreed with largely that there's a reason why

01:07:45   the foundation of most modern judicial systems

01:07:50   involve the right to be able to face the evidence

01:07:55   that you're charged with.

01:07:56   That the government can't just come and say,

01:07:59   we know that you committed this crime,

01:08:01   so therefore you're going to prison.

01:08:03   Doesn't work like that.

01:08:04   Well, this isn't a judicial system.

01:08:07   This isn't the law of the land.

01:08:08   Apple, it's within Apple's rights as a private company

01:08:10   to do what they want.

01:08:11   I do think though, in hindsight,

01:08:16   as more of this story has come out, as much of it has,

01:08:19   I think the one thing you can look at and say,

01:08:21   well, Apple surely deals with actual fraud,

01:08:24   outright fraud, on a daily basis.

01:08:27   I think that the App Store anti-fraud team is very busy,

01:08:32   seven days a week.

01:08:33   I think it's something that this is the first time

01:08:37   in all the years the App Store's been up

01:08:38   that something like this has come to light

01:08:41   where somebody might have had their account pulled

01:08:44   and maybe shouldn't have.

01:08:47   - Right, 'cause most of them are probably just,

01:08:48   they're pure fraudsters, so when they disappear

01:08:50   and no one notices.

01:08:51   It was the fraud account tied to the legitimate account

01:08:56   that I think made this unfortunate.

01:08:59   And yeah, and it's a very fair point,

01:09:04   and it's the same thing with Google and YouTube

01:09:06   and any of these other sites that deal with this.

01:09:08   I mean, they're dealing with scale,

01:09:10   and it's hard from an individual perspective

01:09:15   unless you've actually worked at these companies.

01:09:18   I told this story before where,

01:09:20   I think it was like my second day at Microsoft,

01:09:22   and I was in like some business,

01:09:23   like a monthly business review sort of meeting,

01:09:25   and they're just going down this list,

01:09:26   they're talking about, oh, X percentage in Brazil,

01:09:28   and then about Eastern Europe,

01:09:29   and it was mind blowing,

01:09:31   like just the casualness that they were talking about,

01:09:33   like massive regions of the world,

01:09:35   and like the user numbers and engagement

01:09:37   and stuff like that.

01:09:38   And you get used to it after a while once you're there,

01:09:41   but the scale that these companies are operating on,

01:09:45   they can't, you know, there's a limit between doing

01:09:48   a sort of one-on-one judicious review

01:09:50   and needing to have systematic approaches.

01:09:53   And I did find it encouraging that,

01:09:57   the phone call I posted that Apple

01:09:58   was engaging with him one-on-one.

01:10:00   I still, I'm still unclear why Apple suddenly went out

01:10:03   with a press release and did this big thing.

01:10:05   I would have liked to,

01:10:07   but I can have sympathy for both sides.

01:10:10   I've been fortunate to see both sides.

01:10:13   But the challenge for both is if you're Apple,

01:10:17   because you're dealing with scale,

01:10:19   like I said, once I was at Microsoft

01:10:20   and I got used to the scale stuff,

01:10:21   like it just became normal,

01:10:23   But it's not normal.

01:10:24   It's a very sort of narrow way to view the world,

01:10:29   to just view it at scale

01:10:31   and not to forget about the individual sort of level.

01:10:34   And you could see how that could happen

01:10:39   on the management side.

01:10:40   And you have this sort of mismatch

01:10:41   of the individual perspective

01:10:43   versus the en masse perspective.

01:10:45   And it's a hard problem.

01:10:46   It's a hard problem for both sides.

01:10:48   - One of the things that- - And it's exacerbated

01:10:52   by the cultural things and the international things

01:10:55   and the language things.

01:10:56   - One of the things that's most extraordinary

01:10:57   about it though is that we know from,

01:11:00   and you know, right or wrong,

01:11:02   but one of the things that Popescu did

01:11:04   was record a phone call from Apple Developer Relations.

01:11:08   And we know from the guy from Apple who spoke to him

01:11:10   that this clearly did percolate up to the level

01:11:13   where Phil Schiller was fully aware of it, right?

01:11:15   Which is kind of amazing, you know,

01:11:17   in terms of the scale and in terms of where this got to

01:11:20   that this one man indie developer's problems

01:11:25   with being somehow tied to a different account

01:11:29   or a joint account or however you want to put it

01:11:31   and what should happen, whatever,

01:11:33   it percolated up to the point where Phil Schiller

01:11:35   was fully informed on it and was making decisions on it,

01:11:38   which is really kind of extraordinary.

01:11:40   - Yeah, and I'm not sure if it's a good thing, right?

01:11:42   It kind of speaks to there being a lack of process here.

01:11:46   I'm not sure if that's the sort of decision

01:11:47   that should percolate that high,

01:11:50   But again, it might have been,

01:11:51   I think there was the extraordinary circumstance here,

01:11:53   is that the combination of legitimate and illegitimate,

01:11:57   whereas most fraudsters are just illegitimate,

01:11:59   so they get caught and they're deleted

01:12:02   and no one knows and no one cares.

01:12:03   It was the combination here

01:12:05   and Apple tying those two accounts together

01:12:08   because of the same credit card,

01:12:09   and not sending the notices to the account as a whole,

01:12:14   only sending it to the fraudulent account.

01:12:16   But anyhow, I hope it works out.

01:12:19   I feel bad for the guy.

01:12:20   It's one of those things you need to point and say,

01:12:22   oh, you should have been more clear and upfront

01:12:24   with exactly what was going on and revealed everything.

01:12:27   But it's one of those things like

01:12:28   if you were in the same situation and,

01:12:31   I guess I take that there,

01:12:33   but for the grace of God go I sort of thing.

01:12:35   And with tremendous gratitude that my business

01:12:37   is based on the open web and is not a closed ecosystem

01:12:41   with no sideloading, no way around

01:12:43   the sort of Apple gatekeeper.

01:12:47   - All right, I think that's enough for a short segment

01:12:49   on Dash, but hopefully I agree the same way.

01:12:52   I hope that somehow this still works out

01:12:53   such that Dash can get back into the App Store

01:12:56   'cause it really is a good app

01:12:57   and I really do think ultimately

01:12:59   the guy has good intentions

01:13:00   and the quality of the work is--

01:13:03   - Yeah, and like a death penalty,

01:13:05   I mean, it's not physical death,

01:13:07   but like death of the app and his company.

01:13:10   I mean, maybe I'm just a softy,

01:13:12   but it seems like a bit of a bummer.

01:13:15   - Yeah, well the good news is, worst case scenario,

01:13:19   we've still got the Mac app that he can,

01:13:21   the Mac app can run outside the App Store and do his own.

01:13:25   He's already had, you know,

01:13:26   you can already get it outside the App Store.

01:13:28   And he has a system in place so that people

01:13:31   who bought it through the App Store

01:13:32   can get the non-App Store version

01:13:34   without having to pay for it again, so.

01:13:37   It's not the worst case.

01:13:37   - The other thing that, I guess the thing

01:13:38   that bums me out about this episode,

01:13:40   and a lot of stuff with Apple,

01:13:41   is there's a certain segment that is so instinctual

01:13:46   in defending Apple, no matter what.

01:13:49   And so you had a lot of people,

01:13:51   particularly developers that were very skeptical of Apple

01:13:54   and defending this guy, which was great.

01:13:56   But meantime, there's a lot of people on Twitter

01:13:58   that are regarding, oh no, for sure he did wrong.

01:14:01   It just sort of just, it became tribalistic,

01:14:05   I think, too quickly.

01:14:06   And then you kind of had this weird scenario where,

01:14:08   I think you, and again, we talked to some of these guys,

01:14:11   who were defending him, and they kind of felt out on an island because they're like saying

01:14:14   that Apple did a bad thing and you're getting these sort of attacks on social media.

01:14:19   And so as soon as Apple releases some sort of evidence that means it's right, the instinct

01:14:23   for those people who initially defended the developer is like snap to the other side.

01:14:26   It's like, "Oh, okay, I did my best, but no, he's going wrong."

01:14:30   And the truth is, as with the vast majority of things, there's gray in the middle, both

01:14:33   sides screwed up.

01:14:36   Apple particularly in the communications point, that's definitely a screw up.

01:14:39   And I don't know, just black, this is,

01:14:43   we're not getting philosophical,

01:14:45   but like there's no, most matters are gray

01:14:47   and this is probably a perfect example of that.

01:14:49   And that's why it's hard to talk about

01:14:50   because it's very much in the gray area

01:14:54   and again, hopefully in the long run

01:14:56   it works out for everyone.

01:14:57   - I will say, before we move on,

01:14:59   I'll say also in the same regard,

01:15:01   the other thought that occurred to me

01:15:02   is this is why Apple keeps its corporate mouth shut

01:15:07   about almost everything.

01:15:08   As infuriating as that can be and as opaque as it can make the company be, it's why they just don't

01:15:15   talk about stuff, even when they want to, even when they feel like they've been falsely accused

01:15:20   or they know they've been falsely accused and that somebody says X and it's not true,

01:15:27   and they don't come out and say, "No, that's not true. Here's why." They just take it.

01:15:30   They just take it because they kind of can't win. That they can let it stand and keep their mouth

01:15:36   shut and let some amount of people think that this false thing is true or they can come out and

01:15:42   dispute it even they could even prove it but then they look like a bully that you know literally the

01:15:47   biggest and you know the biggest company in in the world uh coming out against you know in this case

01:15:55   literally a one-man company so yeah they it's sort of a no-lose situation and a no-win situation and

01:16:01   and I can see why the lesser, you know,

01:16:03   the better route for them is usually

01:16:07   they keep their mouths shut.

01:16:08   - Totally, totally.

01:16:09   - Do you think that Apple should allow side loading

01:16:11   of apps, by the way, on iOS?

01:16:13   - No, I do not.

01:16:14   If I worked at Apple and I was in charge,

01:16:17   or they asked my opinion,

01:16:18   should we allow side loading of apps in iOS,

01:16:21   I would say no.

01:16:21   In an ideal world where there's no bad actors,

01:16:26   yes, that would be the right way to go,

01:16:28   But you know this, the example I'm going to show,

01:16:32   it says Dropbox.

01:16:35   There's a whole thing--

01:16:36   I haven't really written or talked much about it,

01:16:38   but there was a thing that came out over the summer

01:16:40   over somebody and found out that the Dropbox app for Mac

01:16:47   was like, it would say, hey, we need your admin password just

01:16:51   to finish installation.

01:16:52   And then they would take those admin privileges

01:16:54   and write themselves into the database that controls

01:16:59   who has, which apps have accessibility access

01:17:02   to your app, to your Mac, which is really sensitive

01:17:05   because apps that have that accessibility access,

01:17:07   you really have to trust them because they can like

01:17:09   do things like see all your keystrokes

01:17:11   or see what you're clicking on and stuff like that.

01:17:14   And-- - And not just that,

01:17:15   but they stored the password.

01:17:17   - No, they didn't store the password.

01:17:18   No, they didn't store the password.

01:17:21   I forget the exact details of it.

01:17:22   I'll put it, I swear to God, I'll put it like,

01:17:25   people thought they were,

01:17:27   people were reasonably thinking they stored the password,

01:17:29   but they didn't.

01:17:30   What they did was grant themselves access to that database

01:17:33   so that they could just keep writing to that database

01:17:37   over and over again. - Oh, okay.

01:17:38   That makes sense.

01:17:39   - So they were more or less,

01:17:41   instead they weren't taking your admin password,

01:17:43   but they were granting themselves permanent admin privileges

01:17:46   to your accessibility preferences,

01:17:47   I think is a very fair way of saying it.

01:17:49   - And would you say it that way?

01:17:52   It just sounds as terrible as it is.

01:17:54   - Well, it's a betrayal of trust.

01:17:55   It really is.

01:17:56   It's shenanigans and it shouldn't be happening.

01:17:58   There's no need for it.

01:17:59   It's really, as far as what I've heard,

01:18:01   is that the whole thing is just to enable

01:18:03   some sort of integration with Microsoft Office files,

01:18:06   something about the complexity of Microsoft Office's

01:18:09   bundled file formats.

01:18:13   For people like me who don't even have Office installed,

01:18:18   it's ridiculous that they're doing something

01:18:20   that I would consider almost like malware-like behavior,

01:18:23   however good their intentions are.

01:18:25   And they do things, they, Dropbox, you know,

01:18:31   does some things that they monitor all access

01:18:34   to the file system, and depending on how powerful

01:18:36   your Mac is, it can actually significantly slow down

01:18:39   operations like unzipping files and stuff like that,

01:18:42   because they look, they're snooping at every single action

01:18:46   in your file system, whether it's inside the Dropbox folder

01:18:49   or not, which is contrary to how it used to work,

01:18:52   and contrary to me to how any reasonable person would

01:18:56   think Dropbox works.

01:18:57   I would think, yes, of course they're

01:18:58   looking at everything that happens inside the Dropbox

01:19:00   folder.

01:19:02   I would assume that they need to so that they

01:19:04   can keep everything in sync.

01:19:05   It seems ridiculous to me that they're looking at anything

01:19:08   that happens outside the Dropbox folder,

01:19:09   because I don't want them to.

01:19:11   But they are.

01:19:13   I did some timing tests on my new 5-- or relatively new 5K

01:19:16   iMac that has all these extra cores and stuff like that and an SSD drive and it's hardly

01:19:22   noticeable. But on a MacBook Air or something like that, it can significantly slow down

01:19:28   stuff.

01:19:29   And that's my example of an app that's not malware. It's doing what they said, but they're

01:19:33   taking advantage of the fact that an app that you download on the Mac from Dropbox.com can

01:19:41   and more or less do whatever it can get away with.

01:19:43   And however, whatever X, Y, and Z,

01:19:48   the good things would be if you could side load apps on iOS.

01:19:52   And admittedly, I installed all sorts of apps

01:19:55   from outside the App Store on a Mac,

01:19:57   and I wouldn't have it any other way on the Mac.

01:19:59   It's an advantage that iOS, you know, it's a trade-off.

01:20:03   There's trade-offs to the Mac style,

01:20:04   and there's trade-offs to the iOS style.

01:20:06   But I feel like Apple has an advantage

01:20:07   by having one operating system that takes the one side

01:20:10   in one operating system that takes the other.

01:20:12   What do you think of that?

01:20:14   - Yeah, I agree, I agree.

01:20:15   I mean, I would, as a user,

01:20:17   I would prefer to be able to sign old apps,

01:20:18   and were I a developer, I would like to know

01:20:21   that there's that option to do that,

01:20:26   and that the App Store isn't the only gatekeeper.

01:20:29   But if I put on my sort of business hat

01:20:33   and think about what concerns Apple,

01:20:36   what concerns Apple is they're operating

01:20:38   at this unbelievable scale with hundreds of millions

01:20:40   of customers and secure, it's a huge target.

01:20:44   And yes, you can walk it down to an extent,

01:20:47   but then like phishing becomes an option

01:20:49   where you get people to install these apps.

01:20:51   And people will, people are, I mean,

01:20:53   people are not careful about this stuff

01:20:55   in a way that probably you and I

01:20:57   and most of the listeners of this are.

01:20:59   I think, I agree with you, it's even though

01:21:02   all the problems of having a single gatekeeper

01:21:04   and the fact that you have a situation with this developer

01:21:07   where Apple can have, like literally have a kill switch

01:21:10   on his account, those are all true

01:21:14   and that means it's really on Apple

01:21:17   to make sure they get that sort of stuff right.

01:21:20   But I agree, from a business perspective,

01:21:24   it doesn't make sense to open it up.

01:21:26   So yeah, we're on the same page.

01:21:28   - Right, I think that the advantage

01:21:29   of having both the Mac OS and,

01:21:32   I mean we could probably do a whole show about this,

01:21:33   but that the advantage of having Mac OS and iOS

01:21:36   at the same time, and I'm firmly of the belief

01:21:38   that Mac OS is, I know this is maybe even unpopular

01:21:42   among the pundit class, I don't think that it is

01:21:44   on its deathbed and it's gonna be replaced by iOS

01:21:47   any year now, I think Mac OS is as thriving

01:21:50   as it's ever been.

01:21:51   I think the way Apple sees it, and I think they're happy

01:21:54   with it, is that they've got one operating system

01:21:57   that starts from the bottom up.

01:21:59   In other words, and this is what I'm talking about, iOS,

01:22:02   and it's for anybody and everybody,

01:22:05   And it's the simpler one, both in terms of the user interface,

01:22:09   but also in terms of the technical capabilities.

01:22:12   The only output is a Lightning port,

01:22:17   and you have to plug in a dongle even to get to a USB.

01:22:19   The multitasking is a lot simpler.

01:22:26   Any app that you install has to come from the App Store

01:22:28   where it's been vetted, and it could be killed at any minute.

01:22:32   The multitasking system is such that any app

01:22:34   has to be ready to be killed at any moment.

01:22:37   And then they've got this other operating system,

01:22:38   macOS, that starts from the top down,

01:22:40   where it's there for the most expert of expert users.

01:22:45   If you really are, you want to have a Unix terminal

01:22:48   and command line on your system, you've got it.

01:22:52   I think that really is a very strong place to be,

01:22:56   and I think it's worked out very, very well.

01:22:59   - Yeah, I completely agree.

01:23:00   I find it bizarre that people think they're gonna be

01:23:04   sync together and it's really viewing the problem

01:23:07   from the wrong perspective.

01:23:08   'Cause it's sort of like a,

01:23:10   you're looking at it from a complexity

01:23:11   oh Apple's gonna have to manage multiple operating systems,

01:23:14   blah, blah, blah, well that's their job.

01:23:15   That's like it's their job to manage that complexity

01:23:18   and keep it simple for the user.

01:23:19   Like what the proposal that they combine the two

01:23:24   quote unquote simplifies it for Apple

01:23:27   but it makes it more complicated for the user

01:23:28   because you have a overly complicated operating system

01:23:33   on one device and a way to lock down oversimplified

01:23:37   on another device and that's to completely misunderstand

01:23:41   I think the way that Apple thinks about its products.

01:23:44   I mean the idea is that you should,

01:23:47   what's presented to the user should be simple

01:23:49   and what's the like the Einstein quote

01:23:50   about simplicity or whatever like--

01:23:52   - Everything should be as simple as possible but not more so.

01:23:54   - Exactly, exactly and that Apple would prioritize

01:24:00   its internal efficiency in maintaining two operating systems

01:24:04   and put that complexity onto the user,

01:24:06   that seems counter to the entire way Apple thinks

01:24:09   about simplicity and managing complexity.

01:24:11   - Right, the way I've put it, I've been past,

01:24:14   I forget where, I have the Einstein quote memorized.

01:24:18   Although, like all great quotes,

01:24:19   supposedly that quote is apocryphal

01:24:21   and maybe it was never said by Einstein

01:24:23   or he said something that was not quite as clever,

01:24:25   but people cleaned it up over the years.

01:24:27   But anyway, that's the quote that's attributed to it

01:24:29   I'm sticking to it.

01:24:31   My line is something to the effect of it's the heaviness

01:24:35   of Mac OS that allows iOS to be so light.

01:24:38   That if they got rid of the Mac, they'd

01:24:39   have to make iOS so much more complex to pick up the things

01:24:42   that the Mac does that iOS can't, that it would wreck iOS.

01:24:46   And all of the things they've done over the years--

01:24:49   and I think it's the same thing is true on Windows,

01:24:51   too-- all of the ways that over the years Apple and Microsoft

01:24:54   have tried to make simple modes for Mac or Windows,

01:24:58   They fail. They fall short. There used to be like the simple finder on Mac OS,

01:25:04   which was like a mode you could put the Mac in where the finder only showed you. Instead of

01:25:08   showing you like the whole file system, it just showed you like a panel full of your apps.

01:25:13   There's still like that launch window thing, launcher or whatever. Yeah, it's the same idea.

01:25:19   Yeah. And I think that that launcher for Mac OS, what's it called? The thing I never want,

01:25:25   launchpad. I never used it. They could just erase it. They could just drop it from Sierra,

01:25:30   and I would never even notice because it's irrelevant.

01:25:35   I think any attempt like that to make Mac OS too much IOS-y is a failure. I think anything

01:25:41   they ever did, although I don't think there's ever been something like that, but anything

01:25:44   they did that made IOS too much like Mac OS would wreck the good parts of IOS.

01:25:50   You could argue this was, I mean, to go back to the watch, this is the mistake they made

01:25:54   in watch version one, was they should have developed it where, in this case, the heaviness

01:26:01   was on iOS on the phone, and the watch should have been like the iPod, right?

01:26:06   The iPod, it was the perfect example of this.

01:26:09   What made it so great was all the complexity of managing your music was all offloaded on

01:26:13   the computer, and all the iPod did was play your music.

01:26:17   that made it so much more powerful.

01:26:18   And I think the mistake that was in version one

01:26:22   of the watch was with that launcher

01:26:23   and that honeycomb of apps and all that sort of thing.

01:26:25   Like it was trying to take, pack an iPhone into it,

01:26:29   make it self-sufficient.

01:26:30   And in the long run, I still think there's a future

01:26:34   where the watch is the center.

01:26:35   Like once it gets solar-capped building,

01:26:37   it's much more powerful.

01:26:38   And there the watch becomes heavy

01:26:40   and like your AirPods become light

01:26:42   or something along those lines.

01:26:44   But we're not there yet.

01:26:45   And I think that's, if you were to encapsulate

01:26:50   where version one of the watch went wrong,

01:26:52   I think it's somewhere in there.

01:26:54   - I know that there are people,

01:26:57   of course you really screwed me by jumping in

01:26:59   before I did the sponsor read, but it's a good topic.

01:27:03   I know that there are people listening to us

01:27:04   who are frustrated and they're, I feel your frustration.

01:27:08   It's people who do want sideloading and they want that

01:27:11   because they can tell how for them

01:27:13   it would make iOS even better.

01:27:15   And I don't deny that at all.

01:27:17   For me, iOS would be better if I could side load apps

01:27:21   like I can on a map, meaning that I could just get

01:27:24   a version of application X straight from the developer,

01:27:28   not through the app store, and put it on my phone.

01:27:31   And maybe it would mean I'd have a version of

01:27:35   Amazon Video for my Apple TV, 'cause I could side load it,

01:27:41   and then it would get around.

01:27:43   To me, it's one of the worst things about Apple TV

01:27:45   is I don't have Amazon.

01:27:46   I have an Amazon Prime account.

01:27:47   I think Amazon has some of the best original content.

01:27:51   I mean, it's maybe not, they're not quite up there

01:27:53   with Netflix and HBO, but they're second tier.

01:27:56   And it's just such a pain in the ass

01:27:59   to have to load it on my phone

01:28:00   and airplay it over to the Apple TV

01:28:02   rather than just get it on Apple TV.

01:28:04   But I totally understand Amazon's point of view

01:28:06   that they don't want to give up the 30%

01:28:10   or have a version that you can't buy stuff from.

01:28:12   I don't know.

01:28:13   But sideloading would obviously get around that,

01:28:15   and I can see how that would make it better.

01:28:17   But the thing I want to say,

01:28:19   the thing I want to express

01:28:20   to the people who are frustrated by that

01:28:21   is it's not about us.

01:28:23   The Mac is there for people like us.

01:28:25   And we've got a system like that.

01:28:28   But you can't deny that the fact

01:28:30   that you can screw up a Mac by installing the wrong thing

01:28:34   has led to an awful lot of people

01:28:36   who've screwed up their Mac by installing the wrong thing.

01:28:39   I can't emphasize enough what an amazing weight

01:28:42   off the shoulders it is to non-technical users

01:28:45   to have a computer like the iPhone or the iPad

01:28:48   that they can't screw up.

01:28:51   - It is a big benefit to developers too

01:28:53   'cause people download a million more apps,

01:28:56   way more than a million, exponentially more apps

01:28:59   on the phone because they're not scared of apps.

01:29:01   I mean, it's hard to remember now,

01:29:04   but you go back 10 years and people were scared

01:29:06   to install stuff on their computers.

01:29:08   - Oh, absolutely.

01:29:09   And that would be, and once, and the problem is,

01:29:13   you say, oh, only tech leaders do it.

01:29:15   Well, no, you get the things like,

01:29:17   what's the accessibility thing in China, right?

01:29:20   We talked about the home button where people,

01:29:21   but you get these, people do weird stuff with their phones

01:29:25   because it becomes a thing to do,

01:29:26   and there's like tutorials and videos about it.

01:29:29   Like people, lots of people that shouldn't

01:29:32   would enable sideloading, and then what happens?

01:29:34   You get an email, say, oh, or you get,

01:29:36   Someone puts up a notification,

01:29:38   or they slip something into the app store,

01:29:40   they put a legitimate app, they put a notification,

01:29:42   say, "Oh, you need to update something."

01:29:43   You click a button and it goes to, sorry,

01:29:46   illegitimate website and downloads it,

01:29:48   sideloads an app because you enabled it

01:29:50   for some reason or other,

01:29:51   and now you have a malware type app on your computer,

01:29:54   or on your phone.

01:29:55   And this stuff will happen, it absolutely will happen.

01:29:59   And the fact that right now,

01:30:02   and you see this on jailbroken phones, right?

01:30:04   when you see a report about malware on the phone,

01:30:06   it's almost always happening to jailbroken phones.

01:30:09   And to, in that case, you kind of brought it on yourself.

01:30:14   It's super clear you're doing something you shouldn't do

01:30:16   when you're jailbreaking it.

01:30:17   If it was Apple-enabled and Apple-endorsed,

01:30:21   even if not by default, just the number of people

01:30:24   that would do that and expose themselves would be huge,

01:30:27   and it would be a support nightmare for Apple,

01:30:30   and it would be bad for developers,

01:30:32   'cause people would start getting scared of apps again,

01:30:34   and that would be a terrible place to be.

01:30:36   - What was the name of Amazon?

01:30:38   There's a company that Amazon owns

01:30:40   that ranks websites by traffic.

01:30:43   Is it called Alexa?

01:30:46   Even though now that's the name of their Siri type thing?

01:30:48   - No.

01:30:49   - What was the name of that?

01:30:51   And it used to get its measurements

01:30:52   through the Amazon toolbar or something like that.

01:30:55   What was the name?

01:30:57   You remember, and it doesn't seem

01:30:58   like anybody really talks about it.

01:30:58   - Oh yeah, maybe it was Alexa.

01:31:00   - I think it was called Alexa,

01:31:01   but it was, and they do a rankings

01:31:03   of like the top thousand websites and stuff like that.

01:31:05   And one time--

01:31:06   - Yeah, Alexa internet.

01:31:07   - Yeah. - Right.

01:31:08   I totally forgot about that.

01:31:09   Yeah, that's funny.

01:31:11   - One time, a long time ago, I was at a conference

01:31:15   and I got into a poker game late at night

01:31:20   with a bunch of people and one of the guys worked at Alexa

01:31:24   or something like that.

01:31:25   And this was a while ago, maybe even like 10 years ago.

01:31:27   And it was when Alexa mattered more.

01:31:29   And Daring Fireball was at the time

01:31:31   rated terribly in Alexa.

01:31:32   I mean, their estimates of my web traffic

01:31:35   were way less than I knew it to be

01:31:36   just because I could look at my logs.

01:31:38   And I asked them about it.

01:31:39   And it didn't really matter too much to me

01:31:41   because I wasn't really interested

01:31:43   in the type of advertising that was like,

01:31:45   at the time, if you wanted typical web advertising,

01:31:50   your Alexa ranking mattered

01:31:52   in terms of the rates you'd get.

01:31:54   And I didn't wanna pursue that.

01:31:57   And again, we could do a whole show

01:31:58   about my thoughts on web advertising.

01:32:00   But at least in terms of like, wow,

01:32:02   if I need to, at least I could, it was like,

01:32:04   wow, that door isn't even open to me

01:32:06   'cause I'm way under-counted.

01:32:07   And he said, oh yeah, of course you're way under-counted,

01:32:10   of course, because all the measurements for Alexa

01:32:12   come from people who've installed the Amazon toolbar

01:32:15   and almost everybody who installs the Amazon toolbar

01:32:17   did it by accident or doesn't know how it got there

01:32:19   and people who read Darren Fireball

01:32:21   are smart enough not to install it

01:32:23   and most of them are on Macs

01:32:24   where it doesn't even run anyway.

01:32:25   It was like, oh, no matter of fact about it.

01:32:31   But that's the exact same--

01:32:32   I think about those web toolbars a lot.

01:32:34   People used to get those.

01:32:35   And he even said, we know that most people get it

01:32:38   and don't even know how they got it.

01:32:41   That's never going to happen on iOS.

01:32:44   Anyway, I'm going to take a break and thank our next sponsor.

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01:36:06   What else we got on the agenda for today Oh

01:36:10   Hilariously, I cannot find the the browser tab. That's it. So I just had to go back. I've got it

01:36:18   I messaged chat and it opened it.

01:36:20   So I now have it open twice on my computer.

01:36:21   And I wonder why I end up with underdabs.

01:36:23   - What about Twitter getting acquired?

01:36:26   What are your thoughts on that?

01:36:27   It hasn't happened yet.

01:36:28   - Oh, poor Twitter.

01:36:31   - It started sounding, there's so much smoke.

01:36:34   It's one of those where there's smoke,

01:36:35   there's fire type things.

01:36:36   - Yeah, but I think that's Twitter generated smoke

01:36:38   because they wanted.

01:36:39   - I do think Twitter wants to be sold.

01:36:44   - Yeah, well the problem, Twitter's stuck.

01:36:46   And the reason they're stuck is that the company is overvalued for what it is right now, and it has been for a long time.

01:36:53   The problem is that the number one thing I suspect that is propping up the stock price is the presumption that someone's going to buy it.

01:37:00   But it's keeping the price high enough that no one wants to buy it.

01:37:04   So the price needs to go down for it to be a viable acquisition,

01:37:11   but it won't go down because people are counting on it not going down or on

01:37:15   getting a good price for the stock so it's really kind of stuck in this

01:37:18   sort of catch-22 situation. There was a, you know, everyone always thinks about

01:37:23   the strategic acquirers like you know Google makes a lot of sense I've written

01:37:26   about this I've written about this a fair bit I wrote a post a while ago we

01:37:28   can is in the day update but walking through like the Twitter self scenarios

01:37:32   and who should buy them the problems with it. Google is obviously the one that's

01:37:36   always made the most sense in part because they suck at social,

01:37:40   that sort of having a feed.

01:37:43   And Twitter needs to go to somebody who can,

01:37:46   if you just go to some random company,

01:37:50   you have all Twitter's problems are going with you.

01:37:52   Whereas Google already has advertising scale, for example,

01:37:54   and they already have automated selling,

01:37:56   which some of that Twitter really fell on its face on.

01:37:58   Like they're still selling,

01:37:58   the vast majority of their money is still made by like selling ads to big

01:38:02   companies or big ad agencies as opposed to like the mom and pop signing up to Facebook

01:38:07   or to Google, which scales so much better and makes a lot of money for them.

01:38:12   Twitter never really got that working.

01:38:13   So going somewhere like Google that already has that infrastructure in place makes sense.

01:38:17   The problem is Twitter signed this deal with Google a year and a half ago to one, give

01:38:23   Google all their data and two, to incorporate with DoubleClick so they'd be part of the

01:38:30   system, which means Google basically got, outside of owning it and what they could do

01:38:37   with it, they got everything they need from Twitter.

01:38:39   They got the data and they got the platform to sell ads against.

01:38:42   Why buy it when they got everything they already need?

01:38:45   Why buy the cow when you're getting the milk for free?

01:38:48   Right, exactly.

01:38:50   There was a good post by, I think it's John Bronte.

01:38:54   Bronte Capital is the site.

01:38:56   He's this guy in Australia that's famous for doing these deep dive investigations of

01:38:59   and he can like drive their stock down like no day tomorrow.

01:39:03   But he did a, he wrote a, I thought was a good post

01:39:07   and I haven't written about his post specifically

01:39:11   but basically his point is, and I think it's a fair point,

01:39:14   we always, in tech we always think about

01:39:16   the strategic value of Twitter

01:39:17   and that's why Google should buy it for example

01:39:19   or like Salesforce has been a big rumor

01:39:21   and they're gonna get data and all that sort of thing.

01:39:24   But his point was that like Twitter

01:39:26   makes a fair bit of revenue.

01:39:28   The problem is their costs are just enormous.

01:39:32   And particularly once you include stock-based compensation,

01:39:34   they're losing like $500 million a year,

01:39:36   which is just a massive amount of money.

01:39:38   It's a pretty stable amount of money.

01:39:39   And they've been increasing over the last several years

01:39:42   where the revenue's gone up,

01:39:43   they've increased their employee base hugely,

01:39:46   increased their costs hugely.

01:39:47   And his point kinda is this business is what it is.

01:39:50   If you basically go in there and clean house

01:39:54   and just keep the business running as it is,

01:39:57   it could actually be a profitable company

01:39:59   that throws off a fair amount of cash.

01:40:00   So he thinks that it needs,

01:40:02   the best solution for them is like a leveraged buyout,

01:40:05   and someone goes in just cleans house,

01:40:07   gets rid of a bunch of staff, like cleans up the company,

01:40:09   makes it profitable, and then sells it.

01:40:12   And then it'd be much more palatable

01:40:14   for a sales force to buy or for Google to buy.

01:40:16   The problem, of course, is Twitter

01:40:18   very well may die along the way.

01:40:19   - It's easy for me to say,

01:40:21   and I really hate to be callous about it, I really do,

01:40:24   'cause a job is an important thing.

01:40:26   But the headcount at Twitter makes no sense to me at all.

01:40:33   I don't understand.

01:40:34   And I'm a long--

01:40:36   I mean, very early user number.

01:40:39   I think I signed up in late 2006.

01:40:43   Long time user.

01:40:44   I have a lot of followers.

01:40:46   I think I get Twitter.

01:40:50   I know that different people use Twitter in different ways.

01:40:53   But I love Twitter.

01:40:57   I really do.

01:40:58   I use it every day.

01:40:59   It's really turned into the primary way

01:41:02   that I interact with readers during Fireball,

01:41:06   far more so than email.

01:41:07   And it's funny.

01:41:10   I think one thing I never get anymore, ever--

01:41:13   I can't remember the last time.

01:41:14   Honestly, it might even be years since somebody

01:41:16   has complained about the fact that during Fireball doesn't

01:41:19   have comments on articles.

01:41:20   And part of it is, I think, that it's become clear to more and more people that I was right

01:41:26   all along that comments on articles are not a good idea. But I think one of the bigger reasons is that

01:41:33   more and more people realize that Twitter conversations with @Gruber are just as good,

01:41:40   or at least better, I think, actually. That there's an interaction with me and with other

01:41:48   readers who follow me. It's a fantastic thing. I don't understand why there's so many people

01:41:55   who work at Twitter. It already does what it does. I don't understand what is going

01:41:59   on there.

01:42:00   Yeah, the numbers are... Oh, sorry. I think we only talked about this last time. Dustin

01:42:05   Curtis posted the revenue per employee for 2015.

01:42:09   Yes.

01:42:10   Yeah, and Yahoo was at the bottom, $419,000 per employee. Twitter was $462,000 per employee.

01:42:16   So Yahoo! level, Microsoft 789,000, Google 1.1 million per employee, Facebook 1.4 million,

01:42:23   and Apple 2 million per employee.

01:42:25   And then you get to profit.

01:42:27   And at least Yahoo! was making a profit for employees back then.

01:42:30   Twitter was losing $130,000 per employee.

01:42:33   I mean Facebook's making 290,000, Apple's making 460,000.

01:42:41   There's this weird attitude about Twitter and you see this all the time like, "Oh, Twitter

01:42:45   Twitter has so much potential.

01:42:47   Like oh, Twitter is a 10 year old company, right?

01:42:52   Like at some point you need to,

01:42:54   it's almost like treating them disrespectfully,

01:42:56   like they're like this little,

01:42:57   like this incapable sort of being,

01:43:00   like we should expect more from a 10 year old company.

01:43:04   And Twitter is been, I've written tons of it,

01:43:08   we've talked about it,

01:43:09   like Twitter's been grossly mismanaged for many years.

01:43:12   Yeah, I agree with with with the Wall Street guy. Like I think some needs to go in clean house. Yes

01:43:18   I get that there's a talent you you're gonna lose a lot of talent with a lot of value employees

01:43:23   But at at some point the service does what it does people like you and I love it

01:43:29   Like it needs a total reset

01:43:31   it just needs to a total reset and I hope it survives the process but

01:43:35   continuing on this path is is I don't know doesn't what is going on with the headcount of Instagram now that they're a fully absorbed

01:43:43   Part of Facebook, but before Facebook bought them

01:43:47   Instagram 30 people right it was like 12 people until it got to the point where they needed and you know

01:43:53   I think they might have had more ops people, you know than then product people just because it was so popular

01:43:59   But it was you could reasonably put them on a bus and drive them all to the airport together for a kid

01:44:05   off-site. I mean, the whole company would fit in a bus. And was doing something of similar

01:44:13   scale and nature and complexity as Twitter. I'm not saying Twitter should be 30 people

01:44:18   at this point, but it should be a lot closer to 30 than where they are now. And I think

01:44:23   part of it is, and Instagram is to me the comparison, not Facebook. I'm not saying

01:44:31   that Twitter should say that they're done and say, "Okay, we've done it," you know.

01:44:35   But they've been closer to done than not done for a while.

01:44:41   Like the whole point of Twitter, much like Instagram, is that it's conceptually very

01:44:45   simple.

01:44:46   That's the appeal and is actually part of the point of it, that it's you pick who you

01:44:51   want to follow, you'll see what the people who you've chosen to follow post, and then

01:44:55   you can post and the people who've chosen to follow you will see what you've posted.

01:45:00   And that basic, that simplicity, it sounds so simple,

01:45:04   you think, well, that doesn't even count.

01:45:06   But it's like, no, nobody had ever actually thought

01:45:07   of that before.

01:45:08   There's a genius in that.

01:45:10   But they really, it's not the sort of thing

01:45:13   where they need massive ongoing development.

01:45:18   - Yeah, it's almost like a, it's like Twitter is a perfectly,

01:45:23   like the strategy for Twitter has always been to,

01:45:26   they have a cost problem.

01:45:29   but they've always, their goal has always been

01:45:31   to grow out of that cost problem, if that makes sense.

01:45:34   Like they're gonna get big enough and get scale

01:45:36   where the cost makes sense.

01:45:37   And that is a, it's a reasonable way of thinking,

01:45:41   that's the way companies operate.

01:45:42   But the problem is it's just not that big of a business.

01:45:46   Like Twitter, I mean Twitter makes a few billion dollars

01:45:48   a year in revenue.

01:45:49   Like that should be enough to have a viable business

01:45:51   given what it is.

01:45:52   And I think part of this gets into all the problems

01:45:54   that Twitter had in management and all the problems

01:45:56   had in their board and the fighting between Evan Jack is they ... And the class is they

01:46:03   probably took on too much venture money in the long run.

01:46:06   They didn't build a business more quickly enough.

01:46:08   And they got to a state where they had this sort of bloated apparatus that the easiest

01:46:14   and most obvious way was to, "Well, if we can grow revenue big enough, we'll outgrow

01:46:19   our bloat."

01:46:20   It needs a reset.

01:46:21   The service is what it is.

01:46:23   Obviously the abuse problems are real.

01:46:25   It needs to be addressed.

01:46:26   But I think even there,

01:46:28   you have all these bad incentives going on.

01:46:30   Like killing spam hurts the active user account, right?

01:46:35   Banning people hurts the active user.

01:46:36   Like, and you have,

01:46:38   there's all these bad incentives in place for Twitter

01:46:42   as the public company, as they are now.

01:46:44   And yeah, I've really come around, I think,

01:46:47   to this sort of like, I get the talent issue.

01:46:49   I get that people are gonna flee Twitter

01:46:51   if a Wall Street guy comes in, in Queens house.

01:46:53   But I think we're to the point where,

01:46:57   like, yes, the surgery might kill the patient,

01:47:01   but without the surgery, the patient is not going anywhere.

01:47:03   I mean, you can't lose $500 million a year forever.

01:47:06   (laughing)

01:47:09   Newsflash.

01:47:10   - They had a big drop off.

01:47:12   Who was it?

01:47:13   It was just recent where the stock got run up

01:47:15   on the rumors that they might get acquired,

01:47:17   and then like a week--

01:47:19   - Yeah, this--

01:47:20   - Was it Salesforce?

01:47:22   - Yeah, Salesforce was the lead one,

01:47:23   but it really sounds like,

01:47:25   particularly where the weeks came out,

01:47:27   they were kind of known Twitter channels.

01:47:29   So it sounds like Salesforce expressed interest

01:47:32   and then Twitter tried to drum up other interests

01:47:35   and then everyone's like, nope, not interested,

01:47:37   and then the stock crashed back down.

01:47:38   - Yeah.

01:47:39   Anyway, I love Twitter.

01:47:40   I hope it works out, but I do think that,

01:47:43   I guess I've come around on Google.

01:47:45   I mean, my antipathy towards Google is just a general,

01:47:49   In general, I just don't like Google.

01:47:53   And I don't trust them with data.

01:47:55   And I don't want my Twitter account tied to a Google ID.

01:47:58   And I don't know what Google would

01:48:00   want to do in that regard if they were the ones that buy them.

01:48:03   But on the other hand, if the right people at Google

01:48:05   were in charge of it and they just saw it as, wow,

01:48:08   we've got this incredible resource of instant news

01:48:11   of what everybody around the world is talking about,

01:48:14   I could see them handling it well.

01:48:16   And Google has shown a history of like

01:48:20   when they first monetized search results

01:48:23   of not messing with what made it good in the first place.

01:48:27   - Yeah.

01:48:29   What is interesting, and here's another example

01:48:32   where Google kind of screwed themselves,

01:48:37   but is a company like Bloomberg where,

01:48:42   so of course Bloomberg has a deal with Twitter

01:48:44   where Twitter gives them all their data

01:48:46   for a price that's way too low for what it's worth.

01:48:49   But if there was a cleaning of house

01:48:53   and Twitter survived it,

01:48:54   there's really valuable stuff in Twitter.

01:48:58   I use Twitter a fair bit for,

01:49:01   like if you want to find interesting,

01:49:03   like say I'm writing about a topic

01:49:04   and I really want to understand more about it,

01:49:06   I want to get different points of view.

01:49:08   Like yes, I use Nuzzle personally and that services stuff,

01:49:11   but if it's a more obscure sort of thing,

01:49:13   like Twitter search is actually one of the best ways

01:49:16   to uncover interesting off the beat sort of posts

01:49:20   or articles about any particular topic.

01:49:23   Like because just the nature of the data is different

01:49:27   than something like Google.

01:49:29   And there's a lot of value there.

01:49:31   It's not clear it's value that's best monetized

01:49:35   by advertising.

01:49:36   And this can go back to the very beginning,

01:49:39   back when the decisions were made about Twitter

01:49:41   and how it should monetize.

01:49:42   If Twitter came along later, it would be interesting if,

01:49:46   and it didn't have obviously the executive upheaval,

01:49:49   but in a world where it's clear that Google and Facebook

01:49:52   are gonna really dominate advertising online,

01:49:56   and had there been more creativity with Twitter,

01:50:00   I mean, we've said this a million times,

01:50:03   but like they own,

01:50:05   like imagine if someone owned the protocol behind email,

01:50:07   right?

01:50:08   Like how valuable could that be?

01:50:10   And that's what Twitter had, maybe still has,

01:50:15   but had the potential to own basically

01:50:17   a messaging protocol for the internet.

01:50:20   And in part because of monetization concerns,

01:50:23   in part because just general ineptitude.

01:50:26   Like I still can't believe that Twitter banned links

01:50:28   and direct messages for two years.

01:50:30   But they could have owned a messaging protocol

01:50:33   for the internet.

01:50:34   But they didn't align,

01:50:36   they didn't choose a business model that enabled that.

01:50:38   they chose advertising, they closed down

01:50:40   all the third party stuff, and it's a shame.

01:50:43   It's one of the biggest, like what could have been,

01:50:46   I still think Twitter could have been a massive company,

01:50:50   but there would have had to have been

01:50:51   very different choices made five, six years ago.

01:50:54   - Let me take one last break here

01:50:58   and thank our third and final sponsor.

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01:51:32   The carry-on, guess what, fits in carry-on overhead bin.

01:51:36   the medium, and the large.

01:51:39   If you ever go--

01:51:40   I actually am in the market for a carry-on bag.

01:51:43   I've been using the same one for like 15 years,

01:51:45   and it literally is like ripped apart.

01:51:47   And stuff that I put in the front pocket

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01:51:52   You should probably get a new one.

01:51:53   Well, it doesn't fall out of the suitcase.

01:51:55   It falls from the little front zipper pack

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01:52:00   But you go to these other brands, and they've got like--

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01:52:07   and the overnight executive

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01:52:14   - It's like the difference between them is like,

01:52:16   is it 22 inches or 21 and a half inches

01:52:19   or 21 and three quarters inches high or 14 or 15 inches?

01:52:23   Who needs it?

01:52:24   They've got three sizes.

01:52:25   The overhead one fits in at least here in the US

01:52:29   fits in all of the overhead bins

01:52:31   of all the airlines I've ever flown on,

01:52:34   which is all I need.

01:52:35   The suitcases are made with premium German polycarbonate,

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01:52:48   The interior features a patent pending compression system

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01:52:52   'cause I like to just carry a carry-on

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01:53:01   I will never buy a suitcase again

01:53:03   that doesn't have four wheels, never.

01:53:05   'Cause sometimes it really is so much more convenient

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01:53:21   And now here's the part where,

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01:53:29   It comes with a built-in 10,000 milliamp battery charger.

01:53:34   And you can take it out, so you could charge it,

01:53:38   you could take it out of the suitcase

01:53:39   and charge it somewhere else.

01:53:40   You don't have to have the suitcase at your desk

01:53:43   to charge it or wherever you're gonna charge it.

01:53:44   But then you charge this thing up,

01:53:45   you put it in a suitcase,

01:53:46   and then you've got USB ports right on top of the suitcase.

01:53:50   So while you're sitting there

01:53:51   at like the waiting for your flight to board,

01:53:54   you got a massive portable battery

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01:54:01   on top of the suitcase.

01:54:02   What a great idea.

01:54:05   Lifetime warranty, if anything--

01:54:07   and it's got a couple of ports, so you could have one for you,

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01:54:15   What a great idea.

01:54:16   I never go to the airport without a portable battery

01:54:19   charger.

01:54:19   Wouldn't it be great not to have it in my pocket,

01:54:21   have it right built into the suitcase?

01:54:23   Brilliant.

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01:54:44   Sorry for everybody outside

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01:54:48   You can still buy one.

01:54:49   And like I said, the carry-on size is compliant

01:54:53   with all the major airlines.

01:54:56   Really, this sounds like a great product.

01:54:58   I don't have one right now.

01:54:59   I'm going to buy one because I need a new suitcase

01:55:01   and the prices are significantly less

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01:55:09   Really, really great stuff.

01:55:12   Where do you go to find out more?

01:55:14   You go to awaytravel.com/talkshow.

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01:55:29   Go check them out if you're in need for a suitcase.

01:55:31   Here's the prices.

01:55:32   The carry-on's $225.

01:55:34   The medium is $275.

01:55:35   And the large is $295.

01:55:37   So all three of them are under $300.

01:55:39   This carry-on I was looking at the other day

01:55:41   from another company was like $700.

01:55:43   So this is a lot less.

01:55:45   Good colors, anything you can say about it.

01:55:48   So anyway, go check them out, awaytravel.com/talkshow.

01:55:52   Just to a quick follow up, it is Bronte Capital, but the author is John Hempton.

01:55:57   How do you spell Bronte? How do you spell it?

01:56:00   B-R-O-N-T-E capital. It's actually a blogspot site, .blogspot.com.

01:56:05   B-R-O-N-T-E?

01:56:07   Yeah. B-R-O-N-T-E capital. C-A-P-I-T-A-L .blogspot.com.

01:56:13   Alright, and what's the author's name?

01:56:15   John Hempton.

01:56:16   Hempton. Alright, there we go.

01:56:18   What else is on our agenda?

01:56:21   We're never gonna get to all of this, are we?

01:56:23   - I know, but it was just too bad,

01:56:24   'cause they're both interesting.

01:56:25   So there's Siri, Walt Mossberg wrote a column,

01:56:28   and then augmented review, which actually,

01:56:31   I would like to talk about that.

01:56:33   - We can mow through all this, we can do it.

01:56:35   Let's talk about the Google Pixel phones.

01:56:38   I think we can do this one pretty quickly.

01:56:40   I ordered one, I don't know if you did.

01:56:43   - Yeah, I did.

01:56:44   - I haven't bought an Android phone, I think, in two years.

01:56:46   I think it was two years ago when I bought this Moto X,

01:56:48   and I tried to stay on top of it.

01:56:51   I regretted it the moment I got it.

01:56:52   This Moto X is a piece of crap,

01:56:54   and I should have gotten a Nexus,

01:56:57   and I regretted it, and I swore--

01:56:59   - Yeah, I got the 6P last year.

01:57:01   - I swore that I would never buy another Android phone

01:57:03   that wasn't a Nexus, and now they've just abandoned

01:57:06   the Nexus name and taken even more control over the design

01:57:10   and called them pixels.

01:57:11   To me, it's the only way to try an Android phone.

01:57:13   I mean, look, you buy a Samsung,

01:57:15   and the thing's gonna set you on fire.

01:57:17   (laughing)

01:57:18   I have no interest in a Samsung, not because I don't think they're--

01:57:21   I don't want to kick dirt on them while they're on fire.

01:57:24   But--

01:57:26   But fire-- dirt puts out fires.

01:57:28   I know for a fact from two minutes of dicking around with one

01:57:32   in a cell phone store that I have no interest in buying one

01:57:34   because of the shitty software that they put on top of Android.

01:57:37   I want to use the Android that comes from Google.

01:57:39   You don't get it from Samsung.

01:57:42   You can't get it from them.

01:57:43   So I have no interest in it.

01:57:44   I have no idea why anybody who cares about this stuff

01:57:46   whatever, buy a Samsung phone.

01:57:48   So anyway, I bought a Pixel.

01:57:49   I bought the five-inch model in black,

01:57:52   and I was so torn over whether to get the 32-gigabyte one

01:57:57   or the 128. - Oh, same here.

01:57:59   - I honestly, it cost me three days,

01:58:02   and I got further behind in the shipping queue

01:58:05   because I couldn't decide which one to buy

01:58:07   because I thought, with the iPhone,

01:58:10   I've always bought the largest capacity one there is.

01:58:13   Even this year, I got the 256,

01:58:15   even though my old phone was only at like,

01:58:18   I don't know, like 100 or so or 90 some.

01:58:20   I had plenty of space.

01:58:22   I needed more than 64, but I was well under 128.

01:58:25   And I probably would be for another year.

01:58:27   But I just don't want to even worry about it.

01:58:28   If I want to shoot 4K video, I'll shoot 4K video

01:58:30   and I don't have to clear it off.

01:58:32   With the Pixel, I really am 99% sure

01:58:37   it's not gonna become my daily phone.

01:58:39   - But just in case it does.

01:58:41   - Well, or just in case, I thought that occurs to me

01:58:43   "What if I'm testing it and something really fascinating

01:58:47   "or newsworthy happens and I want to start shooting

01:58:49   "4K video, you know, I don't want to have it fill up."

01:58:54   - So I got one too, I got the same model.

01:58:58   Did you end up getting 128?

01:58:59   - No, I ended up, and money just squirts through my hands,

01:59:04   my fingers like water, but I ended up saving $100

01:59:08   this one time and I bought the 32 gigabyte version.

01:59:10   - I did get the 128.

01:59:12   It there to me. This product is is absolutely fascinating and it's

01:59:17   Like at the 128 I even went to the next day I even went to change my order and it was too late

01:59:25   It's like in the processing queue, so I would have had to cancel it and go to the end of the queue

01:59:29   Sorry that all right. I'll stick with it

01:59:31   All right. Why are you fascinated by it?

01:59:33   So the most interesting thing is I mean go back I have like I mentioned I have the I believe it's the 6p though

01:59:41   the Huawei one from last year. Very nice phone. Uh, I still find Android,

01:59:46   Android frustrating. Like for me, the like,

01:59:51   scrolling is like my, the white whale from me and Android. Like I just,

01:59:55   it just, it's like nails on the, on the chalkboard. I came,

01:59:59   drives me up the wall. Uh,

02:00:02   but what's interesting is my six P is not getting the Google assistant.

02:00:06   So you go back to the way they opened up that presentation.

02:00:10   they didn't start out with the hardware.

02:00:11   They started out by talking about like the history of tech.

02:00:14   He's like, there was the PC era,

02:00:15   and then there was the internet era,

02:00:17   and then there was the mobile era,

02:00:18   and now we're in the AI era,

02:00:20   which I don't think, I don't quite agree with that.

02:00:23   I talked about that on Exponent this last week,

02:00:26   but the point is it's all about the Google Assistant.

02:00:30   And then from there, they went to the Pixel phone.

02:00:33   So that was the framing for interesting the phone.

02:00:35   They weren't selling a phone,

02:00:37   they were selling access to the Google Assistant.

02:00:40   What's so interesting is Google Assistant

02:00:43   is not a part of Android.

02:00:45   It's not gonna be on the Nexus phones.

02:00:48   It's not on phones from third parties that,

02:00:50   oh, they can use their own system they want

02:00:51   and Samsung bought Viv, bought another assistant.

02:00:55   And I've heard rumors that it might be available.

02:00:59   I'm not sure if, I suspect not,

02:01:01   and if it is, I will have thoughts about that.

02:01:04   Because what's interesting is if that framing

02:01:07   is right that they're moving to a new world of this assistant world, then that sounds

02:01:13   like really good news for Google, right?

02:01:16   Because this assistant stuff is right in their wheelhouse.

02:01:19   So we can get into the quality of the system.

02:01:21   I think I'm not sure LO is a good representation of how good it may or may not be, but at least

02:01:26   like sort of theoretically, it's easy to imagine that Google's assistant is going

02:01:31   to be more capable than the competition because that's what they do.

02:01:36   - Right, I believe that.

02:01:38   - The problem for Google is,

02:01:40   this world is a great fit for them technologically,

02:01:45   and it's a horrible fit for them

02:01:47   from a business model perspective.

02:01:49   Because the way Google makes money

02:01:51   is they basically make their advertisers

02:01:55   compete against each other.

02:01:57   And they compete to get in front of customers,

02:01:59   and then the customer chooses the winner.

02:02:01   They click on an ad, they select an ad and click on it,

02:02:04   And that's the one that pays money.

02:02:07   - It's a great insight.

02:02:09   So let me see if you agree with this.

02:02:11   The main product that Google, since its inception,

02:02:15   has served is a list of search results.

02:02:19   And this goes across all their products.

02:02:23   Whatever they make from Gmail,

02:02:24   I don't think it's a drop in a bucket,

02:02:26   I think, compared to search results.

02:02:27   And the product is, you type in a little thing

02:02:30   in this little box and hit return,

02:02:32   And Google, about 1/10 to 2/10 of a second later,

02:02:36   gives you a list of results.

02:02:38   And originally, it was all just search results.

02:02:41   And their competitors were doing things

02:02:43   like putting Punch the Monkey ads atop the page.

02:02:47   All of this obnoxious stuff, they

02:02:48   were making no money on it.

02:02:50   And Google said, we're never going to show these banner ads.

02:02:52   And they never did.

02:02:53   They never went back on that.

02:02:55   And what they did is they found a way to say,

02:02:57   what we're going to do is--

02:03:00   I would say it's almost like an early form

02:03:02   of native advertising.

02:03:03   And I know you've talked about it.

02:03:04   Absolutely.

02:03:05   Right?

02:03:05   Yep.

02:03:06   We're just going to use one of the slots in the list.

02:03:08   We're just going to make slot one a paid result.

02:03:12   And we're going to try to make sure

02:03:13   that even though it's a paid result,

02:03:15   that it's still somewhat relevant to the query

02:03:18   because that'll work for everybody.

02:03:20   It'll work for you, the person looking for a thing.

02:03:22   It'll work for the advertiser because they're only

02:03:26   going to have the ad in front of people who are actually

02:03:28   sort of looking for this.

02:03:30   And--

02:03:31   (laughing)

02:03:32   - Sorry, I just ruined your train of thought.

02:03:36   - And it'll work for us

02:03:37   because this might actually be sustainable.

02:03:40   It's win-win-win.

02:03:41   - Notes in the browser just crashed on me.

02:03:43   I sent you a screenshot

02:03:45   and you totally went off the rails.

02:03:47   I apologize for that.

02:03:48   - It says, "Notes has stopped responding.

02:03:50   "An error has prevented this application

02:03:53   "from working properly."

02:03:54   That's because it's not an application, it's a webpage.

02:03:56   Anyway, it's a list.

02:03:58   But there is no--

02:04:01   and in the same way, and you've often

02:04:02   been very complimentary about the Daring Fireball Sponsorship

02:04:06   model, that it is an early form of native advertising,

02:04:09   where I serve up a bunch of short articles every week.

02:04:14   And I sell one of them to a sponsor, who I hope

02:04:18   is of interest to my audience.

02:04:22   And it just slips right in to the RSS feed,

02:04:24   just like all the other ones.

02:04:25   and it's clearly labeled as sponsored,

02:04:29   but it's not like some extraneous thing

02:04:32   like an image on top of the thing.

02:04:35   - Right.

02:04:37   - There is no, there's no room for that

02:04:39   in an interaction with a voice assistant,

02:04:40   you know what I mean?

02:04:41   Like if I say to my voice assistant,

02:04:44   "Hey, Dingus, book me on a flight

02:04:46   "to San Francisco on October 26th."

02:04:49   The dingus can't come back to me and say,

02:04:53   "Hey, would you like to..."

02:04:56   - Yeah, no one wants to make selections.

02:04:59   And this is exactly it.

02:05:02   An assistant works if it gives you answers,

02:05:05   whereas Google's business model

02:05:06   is predicated on giving you options.

02:05:09   And so in a world where you give answers, not options,

02:05:13   their business model falls apart,

02:05:14   and people are like, "Oh, well,

02:05:16   "there could be sponsored results."

02:05:17   And one, most of the time that sounds terrible,

02:05:21   but two, yes, there are some scenarios

02:05:23   where Google could maybe charge an affiliate fee

02:05:25   or something, right?

02:05:26   Like, you use OpenTable to book--

02:05:28   they say, book me a table at X restaurant,

02:05:30   and Google uses OpenTable, and OpenTable

02:05:32   pays Google an affiliate fee.

02:05:33   That-- listening to it, it sounds ridiculous.

02:05:39   One, there's very few areas that will work.

02:05:42   But two, affiliate fees are not very high

02:05:46   relative to what companies pay for Google Ads.

02:05:49   Because to your flight example, what's

02:05:52   The goal of Kayak and Booking.com or Expedia or all these sort of things, they're not

02:05:59   only looking to complete a purchase, which they would pay an affiliate fee for if that

02:06:04   was an option.

02:06:05   They're also looking to acquire a customer for the long run.

02:06:09   And so they're calculating the value of that ad on a lifetime value calculation, which

02:06:14   means their willingness to pay for an ad is much higher than it would be for a pure affiliate

02:06:19   model.

02:06:21   The net of it is that in an assistant world,

02:06:24   Google's general business model doesn't work.

02:06:26   There might be limited ways they could make money,

02:06:28   but one, it's not very many,

02:06:29   and two, the amount they can charge for them

02:06:31   is just not that much.

02:06:33   - Right.

02:06:34   Imagine if you had a real personal assistant,

02:06:36   if you hired a person and you said,

02:06:38   (laughing)

02:06:38   you said, "Hey, Sam, get me a reservation

02:06:43   "at the House of Prime Rib Wednesday at 10."

02:06:46   And then Sam said to you,

02:06:47   "Why don't I book you at Morton's instead?

02:06:49   and by the way, I'm being paid by Morton Steakhouse

02:06:53   to suggest that you eat there.

02:06:55   All right, you'd say, you'd fire 'em.

02:06:57   You'd be like, are you kidding me?

02:06:58   What are you doing?

02:06:59   Go do what I told you to do.

02:07:01   - Right, exactly.

02:07:02   - It just doesn't work.

02:07:03   - No, it doesn't.

02:07:04   And so Google, so this is a big problem for Google.

02:07:06   And it's already a problem on mobile.

02:07:08   And you see like in mobile, they've stuffed the page

02:07:11   with now three ads.

02:07:12   And they did, it's funny, it's the last,

02:07:14   a year ago, Google's quarter three results,

02:07:17   like, oh, we had this huge explosion in mobile revenue.

02:07:20   Things are great, da da da da da.

02:07:22   And what happened was they put a third ad in the page

02:07:25   so that when you, for many, like for high monetizing

02:07:29   results, you only saw ads on the first screen.

02:07:32   You had to scroll down to get the results.

02:07:34   Like basically a page inclusion model,

02:07:35   if you want to be sort of mean about it.

02:07:39   And now, so it's funny because the last Google earnings call

02:07:43   the CFO was trying to like talk down the next quarter.

02:07:46   Like what are we gonna see?

02:07:47   It's a year since we made changes to the mobile experience.

02:07:49   It was like, oh, what's gonna happen

02:07:51   once you don't have the nice year over year comparison

02:07:53   of like three ads versus two.

02:07:55   Anyhow, the general point is that their business model

02:07:58   doesn't translate as well as their technology does.

02:08:01   And so what's so interesting about the Pixel

02:08:05   and why I'm so fascinated by the fact

02:08:07   that the assistant is only on the Pixel

02:08:11   is what is a way to make money?

02:08:14   Well, how does Apple make money?

02:08:16   Apple makes money because we want to use iOS.

02:08:20   We think iOS is the superior operating system.

02:08:23   Well, how do you get iOS?

02:08:25   There's only one way to get it,

02:08:26   and that's to buy a physical phone from Apple.

02:08:29   You can't install it on another phone.

02:08:30   It's like the Mac model brought to the phone, right?

02:08:33   Apple has a monopoly on iOS for all intents and purposes.

02:08:36   It kind of sounds like, and again,

02:08:39   we'll see how it turns out in the long run,

02:08:41   but it makes conceptual and strategic sense

02:08:44   that Google's doing that with Google Assistant.

02:08:47   If we move to a world where assistants matter,

02:08:49   and if the Google Assistant is far and away

02:08:52   the best assistant, which I think is, it's reasonable,

02:08:55   there's a scenario where you could see that being the case,

02:08:57   just given the sort of company that Google is

02:08:59   and what they're good at.

02:09:00   If you want Google Assistant, how are you gonna get it?

02:09:03   You're gonna buy a Google phone that costs $650,

02:09:07   and over time, if they get scale,

02:09:10   has a big profit margin.

02:09:11   - Or cost something. - It really costs

02:09:12   some amount of money where the amount of profit

02:09:14   that they can turn on the phone is worth it

02:09:16   for the expected lifetime that you'll be using the phone,

02:09:18   that they can just give you their best assistant software,

02:09:23   quote unquote, for free.

02:09:25   - Totally, and I bet if assistant does end up

02:09:27   on other phones, Google very well may be charging for it.

02:09:32   - Right.

02:09:33   - And it's so fascinating because you rarely see companies

02:09:38   completely changing their business model,

02:09:41   But it's interesting because theoretically it makes so much sense.

02:09:44   Like, I can totally believe, I'm a general proponent of voice computing.

02:09:49   I think it's going to be a bigger deal than people think.

02:09:52   I'm not saying it's going to like,

02:09:53   touch screens aren't going away, phones aren't going away.

02:09:56   Just like computers didn't go away.

02:09:58   But the fact that you can talk anywhere, I mean,

02:10:02   putting aside in the crowd on a subway,

02:10:04   I think we're going to have like our assistant voices.

02:10:06   Kind of like how, I mean, ten years ago no one thought we'd be looking at

02:10:08   screens all the time, but we do.

02:10:09   Like I can see in 10 years,

02:10:11   people are kind of muttering all their time.

02:10:12   We'll see.

02:10:13   - If I could ever get, I don't know,

02:10:16   I'm just ripping somebody off,

02:10:17   but if I could ever get like a Gruber's law,

02:10:20   it would be that anything in computing that's slow

02:10:24   will eventually be fast.

02:10:26   - Yes, and if it's Moore's law,

02:10:28   then that's-- - Yeah,

02:10:29   yeah, and that's who I'm ripping off.

02:10:30   I never heard of it.

02:10:31   Never heard of it, but I guess I'm ripping it off.

02:10:34   And you know, what were touch screens like 20 years ago,

02:10:39   25 years ago, they were terribly slow, right?

02:10:41   There was, you know, eventually though,

02:10:44   they got super fast, and voice computing

02:10:46   is so much faster than it used to be,

02:10:48   but it still is slow.

02:10:49   I don't care who you think the best is,

02:10:51   whether you think it's Alexa with an Echo,

02:10:55   or Google, or Siri, or whatever,

02:10:57   I've never seen a single one of them

02:10:59   answer a question as quickly as a human being can, right?

02:11:02   Like, if I'd ask you, and you've been outside today,

02:11:07   what's the weather like outside,

02:11:08   you can answer me way faster

02:11:10   than any of those things can right now.

02:11:11   There's a certain latency to it,

02:11:13   and there's a certain even slowness

02:11:15   to the way they read back the answer

02:11:18   that's so much faster if you're actually talking to a human.

02:11:23   But eventually voice interaction with computers

02:11:25   will be as fast as we can proceed.

02:11:27   It'll get so fast that they could go faster

02:11:31   than we could even listen to them.

02:11:33   And at that point, it'll be so much more useful.

02:11:36   - Right, and the other thing is,

02:11:37   I'm a big believer that the more pervasive computing is,

02:11:42   the more it will be used.

02:11:43   Like there's lots of stuff that is better

02:11:46   and more quote unquote efficient to do on a computer

02:11:48   that we do on our phones now.

02:11:50   And I'm a very heavy phone user.

02:11:51   I actually, I'm mainly only right on my computer.

02:11:54   Like the vast majority of my reading and research

02:11:56   and everything is on the phone.

02:11:58   And convenience always ends up trumping

02:12:02   sort of like efficiency.

02:12:04   Like if something's available, we use it.

02:12:06   And the idea that, like, I think the AirPods are such a,

02:12:11   are such a fascinating product

02:12:12   'cause they point to this future, right?

02:12:14   This idea that you can set the AirPods up

02:12:15   and now they're paired to your watch.

02:12:17   And you can, it's not here yet,

02:12:18   but you can see a future where you just always

02:12:21   have the AirPods and watch with you,

02:12:23   whereas you might, getting your phone in your pocket

02:12:25   might be a pain, or maybe you don't have your phone with you

02:12:27   or all those sorts of things.

02:12:29   Again, we're not there yet, we're not close to there yet,

02:12:32   but over time, convenience ends up trumping everything,

02:12:37   particularly to your point, once Gruber's Law kicks in.

02:12:40   (laughing)

02:12:42   - It's interesting, I hadn't really thought about that.

02:12:44   I've definitely been thinking about the Pixel

02:12:45   as being almost, like I've written about it,

02:12:47   that it's so utterly iPhone-like that it's not even,

02:12:52   to me, it almost goes beyond shameful

02:12:55   because they're not even hiding it in terms of,

02:12:59   it even has the exact same prices.

02:13:02   It's literally the same price for the same capacity.

02:13:04   Obviously, it's not a clone.

02:13:10   It's not meant to be indistinguishable,

02:13:12   but especially from the front face, it's so iPhone-like.

02:13:17   I mean, the fact that the chin is completely symmetric

02:13:21   with the forehead, even though they don't even have

02:13:24   a button down there, aesthetically,

02:13:27   it is so iPhone-like, it is ridiculous.

02:13:31   But I don't, to me it's not shameful in a way that like Samsung's copying was or

02:13:38   HTC's copying has been.

02:13:42   I would be embarrassed to put my name on it as a design, but I kind of understand it and

02:13:46   it's, there's almost like a tacit, like with Samsung there was always a sort of,

02:13:52   "Oh, Apple?

02:13:53   We never heard of them," sort of aspect to the accusations that they copied.

02:13:56   Whereas with Google, like in their initial PR for the Pixel, they mentioned the iPhone

02:14:02   and said, "Yes, we tried to make it different in certain ways."

02:14:06   But there's sort of an implicit, "Yes, these phones are based on the world where

02:14:12   the best phones are iPhones, and the phones that the people that we're trying to sell

02:14:16   to are currently using iPhones."

02:14:19   And it's, in two, what we've been talking about, it extends all the way to the model.

02:14:26   In this case, Google, and so it is an integrated model, and integration in computing is not,

02:14:32   I think it's been constrained, people only think about the OS and the software.

02:14:37   You can integrate anywhere in the value chain.

02:14:40   In this case, Google's using, like the Android is firewalled off from the Google Pics team,

02:14:45   and we'll see how much that actually is the case in practice, but that actually makes

02:14:49   sense, and it makes sense because what does Android provide for Google?

02:14:53   provides the ecosystem, provides all the apps,

02:14:55   and apps are table stakes, right?

02:14:57   And so keeping a standard Android that makes that,

02:15:00   you know, in general, the compatibility problem

02:15:03   has gotten better for Android development in general,

02:15:06   and keeping that going is good.

02:15:08   You don't wanna differentiate it too much.

02:15:11   But that's okay, because that's not what is selling

02:15:13   the Pixel phone.

02:15:15   What's selling the Pixel phone is the assistant.

02:15:17   And so the integration that matters here

02:15:19   is the integration of the assistant with the hardware,

02:15:22   where the assistant is the differentiating factor,

02:15:24   which is why you buy,

02:15:25   and the hardware is how they make the money.

02:15:27   It, well again, the problem is,

02:15:29   it makes tons of sense in theory.

02:15:30   The issue is that Google,

02:15:34   changing business models is really hard.

02:15:35   Google has shown no aptitude in being, in selling stuff.

02:15:40   And it's, there's a lot of work that has to be done.

02:15:44   You have to set up distribution,

02:15:45   you have to do a lot of marketing.

02:15:46   You have to spend, like Samsung spends like $400 million

02:15:49   in marketing a year or something like that.

02:15:51   They have connections with every single phone seller

02:15:54   in the world and carrier.

02:15:56   That's all stuff that Google's going to have to build

02:15:58   and it's not stuff that Google has traditionally

02:16:01   been very good at, to say the least.

02:16:03   I mean, Google is like the whole,

02:16:05   we operate at scale and we don't deign

02:16:07   to get into the mucky details.

02:16:08   They've had the fortune of being able

02:16:10   to do that their whole existence

02:16:11   and whether they can pull that off is,

02:16:14   I think, something that's very fair to be skeptical about.

02:16:17   - I don't know what the upside is for Pixel sales.

02:16:21   What's the best case scenario?

02:16:24   I don't think it's very big,

02:16:26   at least not in the next year or two.

02:16:29   I mean, and again, who knows what could happen

02:16:32   three, four, five years, but a good start can get you there.

02:16:36   And there's sort of a, like look at Tesla,

02:16:39   where I just linked to a thing today,

02:16:41   which really shocked me, honestly,

02:16:43   that Tesla has sold more in that $100,000 range

02:16:47   class sedans, more of them than BMW

02:16:50   Mercedes combined last year. They sold more Teslas than the Mercedes S-Class and BMW 7

02:16:57   Series combined. That's unbelievable to me. I can't believe that. And part of that is

02:17:02   just being in Philadelphia, where Tesla does not have anywhere near as big a presence as

02:17:06   it surely does in the Valley and maybe other places. I see way more Mercedes S-Classes

02:17:12   and BMW 7 Series on the road than I do Tesla. But I have no reason to doubt it, but it's

02:17:16   eye-opening, it's a way to gain a foothold. And $700 cell phones are clearly the cell

02:17:23   phone equivalent of the S-class level of car, where around the world, globally, most people

02:17:31   can't afford it. And that's where Android has their foothold, is Android completely

02:17:36   dominates the "I only have $100 or $200 to spend on my phone."

02:17:40   - Right, well, the, sorry.

02:17:45   Two things I would say is, oh sorry.

02:17:47   - You go first, you go first.

02:17:49   - Well, two things I would say is one,

02:17:51   I don't think you'll be able to judge the Pixel,

02:17:54   and this is gonna be a challenge for Google internally

02:17:56   to remember this, buy its one year or two year sales.

02:17:58   Because you just, it's impossible to come out of the gate

02:18:01   and sell like tens of millions of units.

02:18:03   And there's gonna be plenty of opportunities

02:18:05   for Apple people to mock the sales numbers,

02:18:07   say, oh Apple sells that much in a week or whatever.

02:18:09   and that's gonna be totally valid.

02:18:11   But if Google is serious about this being a genuine business

02:18:15   where they actually do make money from hardware,

02:18:18   which again, all indications are,

02:18:19   why would you make it exclusive if that's not the goal?

02:18:25   It takes years to build that sort of business.

02:18:27   And so this, they would need to start now in 2016

02:18:31   to have a viable business in 2019 or 2020.

02:18:34   And if you think about it,

02:18:35   that's probably when these assistants

02:18:37   are gonna be getting really, really good.

02:18:39   And so you, again, if they have the fortitude

02:18:42   to pull this off, you could see a world where in 2020,

02:18:46   Google has this unbelievable assistant,

02:18:48   it's only available on their phones,

02:18:50   they have volume up, they have all the connectors

02:18:52   with carriers up, remember how long it took Apple

02:18:54   to get in every country in the world, right?

02:18:56   How long it took them to get in every carrier.

02:18:57   Especially if you want to control the user experience

02:19:00   like Google clearly wants to do.

02:19:02   That takes years to build up, and by starting now,

02:19:07   Ideally, once Google Assistant is good enough

02:19:09   that it's actually a reason to buy,

02:19:12   then they will be placed to do it.

02:19:14   So in that respect, I think the timing does make sense.

02:19:17   Again, I just don't know if Google has it in them

02:19:21   to go through that multi-year slog

02:19:24   of building this sort of business,

02:19:26   but there is certainly a theoretical reason

02:19:28   why it makes a ton of sense.

02:19:30   - I think I really, I have a hunch that maybe

02:19:33   the pixels might be a miniature hit in the valley.

02:19:38   I almost feel like they're almost built for,

02:19:42   at least this year, to be like a popular phone

02:19:45   in Silicon Valley in San Francisco.

02:19:48   Because for whatever reason,

02:19:51   I think Google has an outsized presence

02:19:56   on iPhone users in that area.

02:19:59   I think there's an awful lot of people who have iPhones

02:20:01   but use a lot of Google apps and maybe use the Gmail app

02:20:06   instead of Apple Mail.

02:20:08   And I don't know how many of them use Chrome on iOS

02:20:12   instead of Safari, which doesn't make a lot of sense to me

02:20:14   because it doesn't even get to use its own rendering engine.

02:20:18   And I've seen articles along that line.

02:20:19   And I see it at press events when I go there.

02:20:22   And I see a lot of the people I know and friends I have

02:20:25   who are less Apple-centric and more cover the whole industry.

02:20:30   Almost the most common scenario I see with them

02:20:33   with a cell phone is that they use an iPhone.

02:20:35   And when I get a look at what they use,

02:20:36   or if I see their, you know, dock or, you know,

02:20:39   their home screen, their first home screen,

02:20:40   an awful lot of them use Google apps on their iPhone.

02:20:45   And I have a half written piece,

02:20:48   I haven't finished it yet, but Lauren Goode at The Verge

02:20:52   had an article this week about how iMessage is the glue

02:20:55   that keeps her on, keeps her using an iPhone

02:20:57   instead of switching to an Android phone.

02:20:59   And the underlying premise of it is that there's nothing else on iOS that keeps people tied to it, which I completely disagree with.

02:21:08   But it also reminds me of, let me see if I have it on my clipboard, an article from last year by a guy, nope, not on my clipboard,

02:21:17   Buzzfeed, who wrote an article, I think his name is Charlie Warzel, that was more or less

02:21:29   like hey everybody I know hides all that built in Apple apps in folders and stuff like that

02:21:34   and replaces them with Google apps.

02:21:39   What are the names that you use for the folders where you hide all of your Apple apps and

02:21:44   It's a bunch of screenshots of stuff like crapple and junk

02:21:50   and stuff I don't use.

02:21:51   And--

02:21:52   I use the Apple emoji.

02:21:54   That's pretty good.

02:21:55   I think they're sort of in a bubble where I think most people use the default.

02:22:01   And nothing better exemplifies it than the popularity of Apple Maps.

02:22:06   By far and away, the most popular map app on iOS is Apple Maps.

02:22:10   And when I was on Josh Topolsky's show, I don't know,

02:22:14   not real recently, but sometime within the last year.

02:22:16   And he couldn't believe that I used Apple Maps.

02:22:18   And for me, where I live--

02:22:20   and I know you and I have spoken about this,

02:22:22   that you go around the world and it's very different.

02:22:24   But here, where I live, it's really great.

02:22:26   And the only thing I used to use Google Maps for was transit.

02:22:29   And now Apple Maps has transit in the cities I go to.

02:22:32   So it's good for me.

02:22:34   But I can see why normal people--

02:22:36   I mean, for me, it's an informed decision, where I compare it

02:22:38   to Google Maps, and I just don't like

02:22:40   the interface of Google Maps.

02:22:43   But for most people, the defaults are good enough.

02:22:47   But in the Valley, where people really

02:22:49   want to use these Google Apps, but they

02:22:51   want a really good phone, I could

02:22:52   see the Pixel really taking off.

02:22:54   And I can kind of see how that might then, therefore,

02:22:57   lead to good coverage.

02:23:00   If it becomes a thing where half the people you know

02:23:03   who are your peers in San Francisco and the Valley

02:23:07   are using-- maybe half's too high.

02:23:08   But if a big chunk of them are using Pixel phones,

02:23:11   it inflates the coverage as to how popular it's gonna be,

02:23:15   or how popular it is.

02:23:16   - Maybe, I mean, and certainly Google couldn't ask for,

02:23:20   I mean, the real company that's threatened by this

02:23:21   is Samsung, 'cause I mean, there's been two real premium

02:23:25   phone sellers, that's Apple and Samsung,

02:23:27   and Huawei's done very well in China,

02:23:28   but in general, those are the two in most of the world,

02:23:30   and Pixel's gonna peel off, I think,

02:23:34   Samsung users before they do iPhone users.

02:23:38   Your value exception might be true.

02:23:39   I definitely think the iMessage point is a huge one.

02:23:43   I've written this previously.

02:23:44   One thing that people always complain about is,

02:23:46   they say they look at like the valuation of like Tencent

02:23:48   who has WeChat or they look at Wine wants IPO or whatever.

02:23:52   And they say, oh, Apple, one of the reasons

02:23:54   that Apple stock is too low is because it doesn't properly

02:23:56   account for the value of iMessage.

02:23:58   And I actually think, I think that's silly.

02:24:01   And the reason is the iMessage value is accounted for

02:24:06   in the value of the iPhone.

02:24:08   because I absolutely, this is a classic example

02:24:12   of Apple's sort of vertical strategy

02:24:14   where iMessage helps sell more iPhones

02:24:18   and to take iMessage cross-platform

02:24:21   to make it like these other messaging services,

02:24:23   yes, that might make iMessage quote unquote more valuable

02:24:26   'cause Apple could theoretically monetize it,

02:24:28   but that would be offset by the reduction

02:24:32   in the value of the iPhone

02:24:34   because it's no longer exclusive to the iPhone.

02:24:37   And no, when I broke my arm last year,

02:24:39   and I wanted to switch to Android

02:24:43   because the voice dictation is, it's unbelievably better.

02:24:47   It's like a completely different universe.

02:24:48   I actually, I have Google in my dock on my iPhone

02:24:52   because the voice search just works incredibly well.

02:24:57   Even though I find the actual Google app

02:24:59   super annoying to use, I'd rather it be in Safari,

02:25:01   but if I'm on the go, it just works really, really well.

02:25:05   The problem is, one, the whole scrolling thing drives me

02:25:07   wall. But two, iMessage is a problem. For folks like you and in general people that I'm connected

02:25:13   with in tech, if I don't talk to them via DM, it's almost all via iMessage. And it's very valuable,

02:25:20   and it's a real advantage for Apple. Yeah. And I think it's no coincidence that the only real

02:25:24   software for Android that Google has really talked about this year is Allo and Duo, the replacements

02:25:29   for i, their answers to iMessage and FaceTime. But I think that they're stuck in that regard,

02:25:36   though because I don't think I don't think it's gonna solve the problem of

02:25:41   getting people to switch like if anybody's already got everybody they

02:25:45   know on their family on FaceTime they're not gonna get anybody to install duo

02:25:49   yep no the the number one feature of any messaging app has nothing with the

02:25:54   interface has nothing to do with stickers all the stuff as much as I may

02:25:56   love them the number one feature of any messaging app is do your friends and

02:26:00   use it. Like nothing else matters outside of that. And yeah, of course in Asia or whatever,

02:26:09   iMessage isn't a lock-in for Apple because everyone uses some other app. But in the US

02:26:15   in particular, it definitely is a big advantage for them.

02:26:21   So I'll write more about that soon. Anyway, let's move on. Let's parlay this right into

02:26:26   talking. Do you want to talk about Siri? I feel like that's too long of a thing.

02:26:30   - Yeah, I guess I would tie it to what we talked about

02:26:34   with the Pixel phone.

02:26:34   And someone, like I wrote a,

02:26:37   my article was about this last week,

02:26:39   Google and the limits of strategy is what it's called.

02:26:42   But someone did a great job.

02:26:43   They basically summarized the entire article in a tweet,

02:26:46   which I don't know if that speaks well of me

02:26:48   or well of them.

02:26:49   Or poorly of me.

02:26:51   But basically they said the problem for the future

02:26:54   is that Apple has the right business model

02:26:57   but the bad technology,

02:26:59   and Google has the good technology

02:27:00   but the bad business model.

02:27:01   And that's oversimplifying it as necessitated by a tweet,

02:27:05   but I think that gets at it.

02:27:06   I mean, we've talked about it a ton

02:27:08   about the fundamental problems Apple has with Siri,

02:27:13   whether that be just really, my core thing,

02:27:20   this is hard to quantify and so,

02:27:21   but we've talked about it, like building a phone

02:27:25   that is as polished and usable by millions of people

02:27:30   and is so great like Apple does.

02:27:34   The mindset and approaches and everything

02:27:37   about an organization and the sort of people

02:27:38   that want to work there and all that sort of stuff

02:27:40   is very, very different from building an iterative

02:27:42   web service that is self-learning and self-improving.

02:27:45   Like just the entire way a company is structured,

02:27:48   what's valued, the sort of people who want to work there,

02:27:49   all these sort of factors go in different directions.

02:27:52   If you're good at the sort of stuff that makes Siri good,

02:27:54   would you rather work at Google

02:27:56   or would you rather work at Siri?

02:27:57   You'd rather work at Google

02:27:58   and everything about the company

02:27:59   is going to support you in doing that.

02:28:01   If you wanna build beautiful hardware

02:28:04   and finished products and an operating system

02:28:07   that's fully tied into it and is this jewel,

02:28:10   would you rather work at Google and build a Pixel phone,

02:28:12   would you rather work at Apple and build an iPhone?

02:28:14   And that's a very, that's at an individual level

02:28:18   but all that stuff goes into the whole organization

02:28:20   and so people always,

02:28:22   'cause I talk about Apple services a lot

02:28:23   and Apple fans in particular just get really annoyed at me

02:28:26   all the time, which is unfortunate

02:28:29   because when I am criticizing Apple's culture

02:28:34   and organizational structure and way of thinking

02:28:37   in the context of services, that is the exact same thing

02:28:40   as complimenting Apple in their ability

02:28:43   to create amazing products.

02:28:44   Like they are one in the same thing.

02:28:46   I'm not saying Apple is incompetent.

02:28:48   I'm not saying they're bad.

02:28:49   I'm saying by virtue of optimizing for one,

02:28:52   there is a trade-off.

02:28:53   And same thing for Google, by virtue of optimizing

02:28:56   for a services iterative approach,

02:28:59   there's a trade-off on the other side.

02:29:00   You can see Amazon's the most extreme example.

02:29:02   Amazon is the most modular, most iterative.

02:29:06   All their teams are expected

02:29:07   to not even talk to each other, right?

02:29:08   No integration at all.

02:29:09   They're all supposed to have standard interfaces

02:29:10   that interact from inside the company all the way out.

02:29:13   And that's why they can build something

02:29:14   like Amazon Web Services that is super scalable,

02:29:16   super modular, all this sort of stuff.

02:29:18   What happens when a company like that

02:29:19   tries to build a phone?

02:29:20   It's the biggest piece of fucking shit

02:29:22   I've ever used in my life.

02:29:23   Like, and that doesn't make Amazons dumb.

02:29:26   It means they're, by optimizing so strongly

02:29:29   for one approach, it makes them brilliant

02:29:31   in the areas where that approach fits,

02:29:33   and it makes them terrible in the other areas,

02:29:35   and that terrible, that terribleness is a sign of strength.

02:29:37   So the worst is being mediocre, just stuck in the middle.

02:29:41   - We have to go quick, but my observation,

02:29:43   so this whole thing got kicked off by,

02:29:44   in my opinion, a great Walt Mossberg column.

02:29:47   I mean, truly, really great, which was headlined

02:29:50   Why Does Siri Seem So Dumb?

02:29:53   And I thought it was very fair

02:29:56   in evaluating the current state of Siri

02:29:58   and expressing a sort of exasperation that,

02:30:01   look, Siri debuted five years ago,

02:30:02   literally like five years to the month,

02:30:04   and it just doesn't seem five years better.

02:30:07   And it seems like it should be better,

02:30:08   and some of these things that don't work should work.

02:30:12   And it's confounding when the same thing

02:30:16   works on your iPhone but doesn't work on your iPad.

02:30:19   You know, he was talking about,

02:30:20   like he'd asked something about Tim Cook,

02:30:22   He's got Tim Cook's contact card, a nice name drop wall.

02:30:28   But on his one device, it knows that Tim Cook

02:30:30   is one of his contacts and knows how to contact him.

02:30:33   And on the other one, it just gives him

02:30:34   like the Wikipedia page for Tim Cook,

02:30:36   because it thinks you're talking about him as like a celebrity.

02:30:39   But why in the world wouldn't that work the same way?

02:30:42   And how do you debug that as a user?

02:30:45   You can't, because it's a black box.

02:30:46   And it's very frustrating.

02:30:47   And then my little response to it

02:30:49   was just about the frustration that they still

02:30:52   can't do multi-stage answers. And it was a legitimate thing I wanted to do. I'm a political

02:30:56   junkie. I don't want to miss the next presidential debate. So I asked, "When's the next presidential

02:31:00   debate?" I got the answer. And then I said, "Add that to my calendar." And Siri cannot do that.

02:31:06   It can't even maintain that level of multi-step stage answers. And to me, five years in,

02:31:13   it seems to me like that's something it ought to be able to do. And my other—

02:31:19   The other thing with the presidential debate is it shows it now, but that was because the

02:31:24   first presidential debate, Siri didn't know at all.

02:31:26   And it was a big thing on Twitter where people were pointing out that every assistant can

02:31:29   tell you when the presidential debate is, but Siri couldn't.

02:31:32   So I think actually Apple manually added that in in response to the uproar.

02:31:38   My other point in my article was that the big problem Apple faces, two big problems.

02:31:44   One is just making Siri better, but two is even if they succeed and make it better, I

02:31:48   I think that there's a huge problem where so many people

02:31:50   have been burned by trying Siri and feeling like a fool

02:31:54   because it doesn't work that they won't even notice.

02:31:56   And I notice it, one area where Twitter,

02:31:59   or where Siri, they call it a Siri feature,

02:32:02   but just voice dictation, just if you hit

02:32:05   the little microphone and dictate what you're trying

02:32:07   to say into the text field, it works so much better

02:32:11   than it used to, and it's so super useful to me

02:32:14   as a pedestrian in a city.

02:32:15   I dictate texts all the time, and it's,

02:32:18   I don't know what the accuracy rate is,

02:32:20   but it's in the high 90s, and it's not perfect,

02:32:23   and it can still improve it, but it's way, way useful,

02:32:26   super useful, and I know a lot of people

02:32:28   who never even use it because they tried it

02:32:30   two or three years ago, and it was so bad

02:32:31   that they've never gone back to it,

02:32:33   and I think that that's true Siri-wide.

02:32:36   Here's the thing I've noticed in the response to my article.

02:32:39   In the response to my article, especially on Twitter,

02:32:42   but it's so many people who are like,

02:32:44   Finally, an article acknowledging that Siri is complete dog shit.

02:32:49   Siri is completely useless, and then linked to my article.

02:32:52   That's not what I wrote.

02:32:53   I didn't say it's completely useless.

02:32:55   I'm disappointed in the state of Siri, but I'm not saying that.

02:32:58   But people are so angry at Siri.

02:33:02   And I think it's because--

02:33:04   this is my theory--

02:33:05   that the whole reason that people have become Apple users--

02:33:10   and the iPhone is so popular that the iPhone clearly

02:33:13   selling to people who really aren't really like fans of Apple, but people who read Daring

02:33:17   Fireball and have Apple devices are what I would consider Apple's core audience. People

02:33:23   who want to pay a little extra money to get really good products. And because they really

02:33:28   care about getting good products and they're not price sensitive, when part of the experience

02:33:32   is definitely not premium, it infuriates them.

02:33:38   The other thing is I think Siri itself is infuriating.

02:33:41   And I despise like Siri's like cutesiness.

02:33:46   So I posted this on Twitter last month, this example.

02:33:49   So I, and this is word for word exactly what happened.

02:33:53   So I'm gonna quote.

02:33:54   Ben, hey Siri, remind me to set my line up tomorrow

02:33:56   at 10 a.m. for fantasy football.

02:33:58   Of course Siri just turned on my phone.

02:33:59   It's gonna turn on for a little bit.

02:34:00   - Yeah, you gotta say, hey Dingus, hey Dingus.

02:34:02   - Hey Dingus, sorry.

02:34:03   Hey Dingus, remind me to set up my lineup tomorrow

02:34:05   at 10 a.m.

02:34:05   Then Dingus says, "Okay, I'll remind you."

02:34:08   And then I say, "Make that a weekly reminder."

02:34:11   Like the classic, like the next step thing.

02:34:13   And then Siri says, "Okay, here is a weekly reminder."

02:34:16   And it made a new reminder for me on Tuesday at 9 a.m.

02:34:18   Like it's a totally random time that wasn't even right.

02:34:21   And then I go, and then I say, "Delete that reminder."

02:34:24   And then Siri says, "Okay, I've deleted it.

02:34:26   "Make sure you don't forget."

02:34:28   And like, it's one thing to fail, right?

02:34:32   But then you, the layering on of the cutesiness

02:34:35   and Marx just is infuriating.

02:34:38   And what I think is the problem is it really puts it

02:34:41   in like the uncanny valley,

02:34:43   like the sort of movie term that's traditionally

02:34:45   around animation where, you know,

02:34:47   like the original Pixar movie, all Pixar movies,

02:34:49   but particularly when they started,

02:34:51   they made the humans very non-human-like.

02:34:54   Because like "Polar Express" is kind of

02:34:57   the classic example of this.

02:34:58   If you make it very human-like, but it's not quite right,

02:35:02   there's something in our brains that are repulsed by it.

02:35:05   It's called the uncanny valley, right?

02:35:06   You need to be all the way to the good side.

02:35:08   And the problem is, and I think Apple took

02:35:11   the wrong approach from the beginning

02:35:12   by making it this sort of assistance sort of thing.

02:35:15   I think that's why Google,

02:35:16   that's one of the reasons Google calls their assistant Google

02:35:19   They don't call it, and it's more robot-like.

02:35:22   Because there's an aspect here where,

02:35:25   like remember we talked about documents,

02:35:27   and documents would just disappear,

02:35:28   and we just got mad at ourselves for forgetting to save?

02:35:31   Like in retrospect, that's terrible,

02:35:34   but from a product perspective,

02:35:36   there's something to be said for people blaming themselves

02:35:39   instead of blaming the product,

02:35:40   or at least having a little empathy for it.

02:35:42   Like a Siri, this is a hard request to be fair.

02:35:45   I did the multi-step request and Siri can't do that.

02:35:48   I should have known better.

02:35:49   But had Siri failed, I'd be like, oh, duh.

02:35:52   I need to be more explicit.

02:35:53   - Except sometimes when Siri can.

02:35:55   Except sometimes it can.

02:35:56   - Right, which is fair, but it's like,

02:35:59   there's no acceptance of like Siri's limitations

02:36:02   within the way that Siri is presented.

02:36:04   Siri comes across and presents itself

02:36:06   as something that's way more capable than it actually is.

02:36:09   It way oversells its capabilities,

02:36:11   in part by this being cutesy and having these jokes

02:36:14   and stuff like that.

02:36:15   And that's just not the reality of what it is.

02:36:19   And I think that exacerbates it.

02:36:21   Like there is no feature on any computer device I use

02:36:24   that like literally enrages me,

02:36:27   except for the way Siri does.

02:36:29   And it's always these cutesy things

02:36:31   when it's totally screwed up.

02:36:32   Like, it just fail.

02:36:33   Like, but that's, I don't know, just, anyhow.

02:36:38   I think I might have given you this rant before,

02:36:41   but it is one of my biggest rants about Apple products,

02:36:43   is the failure to fail gracefully.

02:36:47   - All right, we're way over time.

02:36:49   But do you want to talk about AR/VR?

02:36:52   You definitely do, but you only have,

02:36:53   I'm only gonna give you two minutes.

02:36:54   I'm gonna give you two minutes.

02:36:56   - I just thought, I thought it was,

02:36:57   I actually wrote this yesterday,

02:36:59   and then Tim Cook today in Tokyo said something about,

02:37:02   Apple's more interested in augmented reality

02:37:04   than virtual reality because it's part of being

02:37:09   in the real world, which is something I've always,

02:37:11   generally I agree with.

02:37:13   I've always viewed there's two types of computing.

02:37:16   There's immersive computing like video games

02:37:18   and movies and stuff like that,

02:37:19   and there's accompanying computing.

02:37:22   There's a better word for it, but that's like your phone.

02:37:24   It's with you everywhere.

02:37:25   It's the stuff that goes with you

02:37:26   and makes your life better,

02:37:28   and versus one is like an escape from life.

02:37:31   And to me, that's always been the division

02:37:32   between virtual reality and augmented reality.

02:37:35   And it was so interesting, and I always go back,

02:37:38   one of my favorite, one of the best Steve Jobs quotes,

02:37:40   there's a lot of them obviously,

02:37:41   but the computer is a bicycle for the mind, right?

02:37:44   That is very much in this augmented sort of approach,

02:37:48   where the goal of a computer,

02:37:53   and this is something that's very, I think,

02:37:54   core to Apple, is to make you better,

02:37:58   to enhance the experience, to make you more productive.

02:38:01   And I think it's one of the reasons why Apple's

02:38:03   never really had the gaming gene in them.

02:38:05   They've never really been about escapism.

02:38:07   Obviously the iPhones become dominant in gaming,

02:38:10   but that's almost like an accident of history.

02:38:13   Apple's thinking's always been this direction.

02:38:16   And the reason I wrote about this yesterday,

02:38:18   I wrote about that quote when Facebook bought Oculus

02:38:20   a year and a half ago, or two and a half years ago,

02:38:22   whenever it was.

02:38:23   And there was just the Oculus keynote last week.

02:38:27   And in the keynote, I just found it really disquieting

02:38:30   because Mark Zuckerberg went on this big thing

02:38:33   about how I'm an engineer, I want to make the world better,

02:38:35   we can make everything better, blah, blah, blah.

02:38:37   And he's talking about these immersive VR experiences.

02:38:41   And it felt like an attempt,

02:38:44   we're going to create a new reality

02:38:46   'cause the current one isn't great.

02:38:48   And well, leaving aside the fact

02:38:49   that the current one isn't great,

02:38:51   arguably because Facebook is so busy

02:38:53   creating everyone's individual reality

02:38:55   that once we're all in the same place,

02:38:57   we have like it all kind of explodes.

02:38:59   It's just such a fundamentally different way

02:39:03   of thinking about computing than the Apple one.

02:39:05   And it's gonna be fascinating to see how that plays out.

02:39:09   Of course, there's like, oh, we're gonna go from VR to AR,

02:39:11   but it's a different way of thinking about computers,

02:39:16   thinking about computing, the way the world works.

02:39:18   I for one am certainly on the Apple approach,

02:39:21   but it's gonna be fascinating to see

02:39:24   how it actually plays out over the next several years.

02:39:27   - You made my point exactly, which is that of course

02:39:29   Apple's more interested in AR versus VR

02:39:32   because it's the same reason that they've never been

02:39:34   a powerhouse in gaming, exactly.

02:39:36   And VR is obviously a great, going to be,

02:39:40   it's already, PlayStation VR is shipping.

02:39:42   It's going to be a big deal for gaming.

02:39:44   - It's sitting at my house in Wisconsin actually.

02:39:46   - Is it really, wow.

02:39:48   - Yeah, just got delivered yesterday.

02:39:49   - Might be coming down the chimney at Christmas here.

02:39:52   (laughing)

02:39:53   - Well, Jodice better not listen to the podcast.

02:39:56   - No, he definitely doesn't listen to the podcast.

02:39:57   Well, he doesn't believe in Santa, so it's, you know.

02:40:00   (laughing)

02:40:01   It's already in negotiations.

02:40:02   - He's missing out all over the place, yeah.

02:40:05   - And there might be other applications for it as well,

02:40:08   but gaming is obvious.

02:40:09   I don't even think it's a question

02:40:10   that it's gonna be a factor in gaming, henceforth.

02:40:13   AR is much more of an Apple-like technology.

02:40:17   I find it interesting that Tim Cook

02:40:19   is opening his mouth about it, though.

02:40:21   It's a very Apple-like thing to comment on it

02:40:23   general, you know. But Tim Cook's always been a little bit more open about Steve

02:40:26   Jobs about stuff like that, like the whole thing where at the one conference,

02:40:29   the Walt Mossberg/Kara Swisher conference, where he said that the wrist is

02:40:34   an interesting opportunity on wearables. Right, yeah. Like two years before the Apple Watch.

02:40:38   And we lost Steve Jobs' ridiculing video on iPods. Exactly, right. The

02:40:43   products already existed. Right, Steve Jobs would have been like, nobody wears

02:40:48   watches anymore. Yeah. Like up till two days before they announced the Apple Watch.

02:40:52   - Exactly.

02:40:52   - He would have said, "Watch is the stupidest thing

02:40:54   "I've ever heard.

02:40:55   "Nobody wears a watch anymore."

02:40:56   - The other thing that's interesting,

02:40:59   we don't have time to talk about it,

02:41:00   but I think the Snapchat spectacles

02:41:02   are absolutely fascinating.

02:41:03   One of the most interesting new products in a while.

02:41:05   - Is that the Snapchat thing you wanted to talk about?

02:41:07   - Yeah. - The spectacles?

02:41:09   - Yeah, the reason it's so interesting is,

02:41:11   one of the many reasons why Google Glass went wrong

02:41:15   is it was like a novelty item, right?

02:41:20   yes, it's like, why would you wear them?

02:41:22   So they packed, it's like the Apple Watch in some respects,

02:41:24   they packed on a video camera and a speaker

02:41:26   and all this sorts of stuff.

02:41:27   And it's like, well, hey, then what's the point?

02:41:29   There was a store on Android,

02:41:30   but it wasn't really connected to your phone.

02:41:32   It wasn't integrated.

02:41:33   It was just this contraption for a lot of money

02:41:35   you put in your head and then what?

02:41:36   You look like an idiot.

02:41:38   What's so fascinating about the spectacles--

02:41:40   - And didn't even get a good AR display.

02:41:44   - Yeah, no, yeah, the whole thing was terrible.

02:41:46   It was, it's not that, and ever so,

02:41:49   the spectacles come out like, Oh, Google Glass was a terrible idea.

02:41:51   Why is it better? Well, the reason for it to do better is it,

02:41:54   there's an obvious use case like you are, Snapchat already exists.

02:41:59   You already have people following you already have the stories.

02:42:01   You already have the memories thing where this video can go.

02:42:03   You already have this idea of 10 second video and this is just an easier way to

02:42:07   do it.

02:42:08   And it's like they created the need for this product and now this product is

02:42:12   coming in to fill the need again, need maybe overstating it,

02:42:15   but there's an obvious place where these fit.

02:42:18   And that's such a powerful thing

02:42:21   when it comes to creating sort of a new category.

02:42:24   But then once you have them on your,

02:42:27   once you own them, once they're there,

02:42:29   then you can start building out all the other stuff.

02:42:31   Like you can do the display stuff,

02:42:33   you can do the speaker stuff.

02:42:34   And thanks to Gruber's law,

02:42:36   that's gonna get more and more viable over time.

02:42:39   And it's just, it's really fascinating

02:42:41   because the hardest thing is like,

02:42:42   why do you wear the watch?

02:42:44   Why do you wear the AirPods?

02:42:45   The AirPods are more like the Spectacles in this.

02:42:47   Why do you wear the AirPods?

02:42:48   Well, the iPhone 7 doesn't have a headphone jack anymore

02:42:51   and you need wireless headphones.

02:42:53   The reality is the potential of the AirPods is amazing.

02:42:57   We're getting to computers in your ears.

02:42:59   And the potential, that's unbelievable

02:43:01   for all the things we talked about.

02:43:03   But you have to, you have to,

02:43:04   (imitates explosion)

02:43:05   to use the term, like cross the chasm,

02:43:07   you have to have a reason for them to exist

02:43:09   and there's an obvious reason for AirPods to exist.

02:43:11   And now they have the foothold and they can expand that.

02:43:13   Same thing with the Spectacles when it comes to things

02:43:14   augmented reality. That will arguably be one of Apple's biggest competitors in the very

02:43:22   long run because they have a way to get on your face, and that's the hardest challenge

02:43:25   for any sort of wearable.

02:43:26   I will just add that Gruber's law isn't just Moore's law because some aspects of things

02:43:30   that were slow and have gotten faster don't really have to do anything to do with getting

02:43:34   more transistors onto a CPU.

02:43:37   Yeah, no, I know. I've given you a hard time.

02:43:40   I know, but I just want to defend myself that it's anything you can think of that's low,

02:43:43   wireless networking. Well, wireless networking got a lot faster. I don't really think that's

02:43:50   related to Moore's law. It's just a general, it's even more obvious. I think the thing

02:43:59   about SnapChat, the glasses, whatever they call them, the goggles, whatever the hell

02:44:03   they are, it's an honest product and they clearly have a very, I don't want them, I

02:44:10   don't really understand Snapchat.

02:44:11   I don't want them.

02:44:12   But at least it, to me, is a very honest product,

02:44:15   meaning it's whoever designed it and whoever's pitching it

02:44:19   gets it.

02:44:19   Whereas the thing with Google Glass that made it such a joke

02:44:22   is that it was so pretentious, and they thought

02:44:24   it was so goddamn serious.

02:44:26   And it was like--

02:44:27   It was technology for technology's sake.

02:44:29   It was such an emperor has no clothes situation where

02:44:32   it's like, you've got to be kidding me.

02:44:33   That thing is a joke, and you're treating it

02:44:36   Like it's the next big step or first step

02:44:38   in a new direction.

02:44:40   Whereas the Snapchat thing,

02:44:43   what they're saying about it,

02:44:44   it seems to me exactly what it is.

02:44:46   They're describing it as a toy.

02:44:47   It's fun, it's not supposed to be serious.

02:44:49   This isn't, you know, it's just a thing to have fun with.

02:44:52   And that's exactly what it looks like.

02:44:54   And it's exactly how it's priced.

02:44:55   Isn't it like 100 bucks or something like that?

02:44:57   - Yeah, 130 I think.

02:44:58   And that's the best way to launch a new category,

02:45:03   is as a toy.

02:45:05   And the iPhone, what was the ridicule about the iPhone

02:45:08   from Microsoft and rim?

02:45:10   Oh, it's nice, but when people wanna actually do work,

02:45:14   they're gonna use our products.

02:45:15   And yeah, it's, so it's a compelling space.

02:45:20   Yeah, you're right, Apple's forwardness about it

02:45:22   is interesting, but it's certainly one

02:45:25   that's gonna be very interesting to watch.

02:45:28   - I don't get his, I don't get why he's opening

02:45:30   his mouth out about it, but you know,

02:45:32   work for a watch, I guess, I don't know.

02:45:34   Yeah, I mean, I think that there's, I would imagine, there's stock issues or stock price

02:45:43   considerations.

02:45:44   It's to have the new shiny out there is beneficial.

02:45:47   I don't know.

02:45:49   I guess maybe they've resigned themselves that anything hardware related is going to

02:45:52   leak anyway.

02:45:53   So my thought was maybe if it's true that the car thing is really downsized or setback

02:45:58   or something like that, it's, well, you need a plan B. It's going to be AR.

02:46:04   AR. No, of course Apple's looking into AR. I don't have anything else. That's the bottom of my

02:46:10   copious notes. Maybe keeping these notes is a problem because now the show ran long.

02:46:17   Well, no, I think we had multiple digressions and general meandering talk for the first two hours,

02:46:23   and then in 35 minutes we covered multiple shows worth of material.

02:46:26   Oh my God, we didn't even get to the fact that my beloved Dallas Cowboys are playing

02:46:31   your beloved Green Bay Packers this weekend? In Lambeau, right? At Lambeau Field. That's

02:46:36   a play game. Yes, yes. The House of Des Bryant Horrors, which I think he will be back.

02:46:41   I think he is going to be back. I think he is set to be back. And I think Vegas has the line at

02:46:47   Green Bay by four. So here's the question. If Tony Romo comes back, who do you want to be the

02:46:53   starting quarterback? I want Tony Romo to be back. I feel like he deserves it. But I feel like he's

02:47:00   He's back and he's on a short leash

02:47:02   Yeah, well, I mean the

02:47:05   The problem has never been that he's you know bad when he's healthy. It's the problem is he's broken down

02:47:12   Yeah, so I think even if he comes back he's got a terrible run of luck, right?

02:47:17   I do they were great last year. Well, they were the great right now two years ago two years ago two years ago

02:47:21   Okay. Yeah last year was the year where he missed almost all the whole season and they were terrible without him

02:47:27   So I think it would be you know, but well do you feel I think we will do you a favor this week and expose

02:47:33   Expose Prescott so it is possible easier to insert Romo back that that's actually true where it would actually saw like a

02:47:40   Bad outing by Prescott and in Lambeau would actually ease the political pressure there

02:47:47   The thing I keep thinking about is the Tom Brady drew Bledsoe back. Yeah God

02:47:53   It was like what 40 years ago it feels like

02:47:56   So it was like the second highest rated passer in the AFC at the time and got injured and a no-name

02:48:03   quarterback out of Michigan

02:48:05   named Tom Brady was picked in like the

02:48:08   873rd round of the draft came in and won eight straight games and drew Bledsoe never took a snap again. Yep

02:48:16   No, that that's that's the classic example

02:48:19   So we'll see. I think it's gonna be wrong. We have a great run defense

02:48:22   So if Prescott is having to pass in long situations, not running play action,

02:48:28   I think it's gonna be challenging for him.

02:48:31   So we'll see, we'll see.

02:48:33   >> I'm excited, I was excited last week watching Dallas play.

02:48:35   >> So we should put it, so what's our wager gonna be?

02:48:39   >> Are you a betting man?

02:48:40   What should we bet?

02:48:41   I mean- >> I'm not a betting man.

02:48:43   I only do these sort of friendly wagers where I'm going against someone.

02:48:46   Would you like steak dinner or something like that?

02:48:48   >> Yeah, all right, steak dinner next time we're in town together.

02:48:51   - With the line or without the line?

02:48:53   - Oh, I'll take four points.

02:48:55   (laughing)

02:48:57   - Straight up, straight up, should be straight up.

02:49:01   That's, what is the line anyway?

02:49:03   Is it three or something?

02:49:04   - I think it's four.

02:49:05   - Four, so we're a favorite by one point basically.

02:49:07   - Yeah, basically, like in a neutral field

02:49:09   would be one point, which to me is a little,

02:49:12   maybe Vegas is starting to get Dallas fever.

02:49:16   Seems to me like one point on a neutral field

02:49:20   is a little optimistic for Dallas.

02:49:24   - Yeah, well the problem is Green Bay's,

02:49:27   especially the last couple of years,

02:49:28   given up a lot of backdoor covers.

02:49:29   So I think that's probably part of it as well.

02:49:32   We'll jump out and then like Detroit,

02:49:35   like we were up, what, like 28-0 or 31-0 or something,

02:49:37   ended up being 31-28.

02:49:39   - Well, the thing to me is that Aaron Rodgers

02:49:42   is in that class of quarterbacks where I would rather,

02:49:45   I would rather be down,

02:49:49   I'd rather be down two or three points, maybe even four points, and have Aaron Rodgers have

02:49:55   the ball and two minutes on the clock than have the lead and the other way around.

02:50:00   To me, that's worth three or four points.

02:50:03   To me, you get three points for being at home and you get three or four points for having

02:50:05   a quarterback who, with two minutes to go in the game, you'd rather just have the other

02:50:10   team score and get the ball back because you'd rather have the ball than let them run it

02:50:14   down to zero.

02:50:15   You know what I mean?

02:50:16   I do, I do. Well, okay, I'll give you the points. I'm feeling confident.

02:50:21   Deal. Handshake.

02:50:22   Virtual. In virtual reality.

02:50:25   Alright. Thank you for being on the show, Ben. Everybody can get more Ben Thompson at

02:50:29   theexcelenstretecory.com. Everybody, if you're not a subscriber to Stratechery, I don't know

02:50:36   what you're doing with your money, but you'd be better off subscribing to Stratechery.

02:50:40   After all, I have a steak dinner to buy, potentially.

02:50:43   - Yeah, actually, yeah, he's got a stick dinner to buy.

02:50:45   And then your podcast is Exponent FM

02:50:49   with your co-host, whose name I forget.

02:50:52   - James Allworth, yep, Exponent.fm.

02:50:54   - So if you like hearing his voice,

02:50:55   you can get more of his voice

02:50:56   before he's on the talk show again.

02:50:59   - I was hoping you were gonna do pull the dulcet tones.

02:51:02   - The dulcet tones, you do have dulcet tones.

02:51:04   (laughing)

02:51:06   It's also good to have you on the show

02:51:08   when you're not drunk.

02:51:09   (laughing)

02:51:12   I am usually not drunk for the record.

02:51:15   No, I don't think there's much difference, really.