The Talk Show

156: ‘Yo, Dingus’ With Merlin Mann


00:00:00   this is episode CLVI of the talk show.

00:00:06   Oh, we're already up to CLVI.

00:00:08   CLVI. I switched to Roman numerals last week.

00:00:10   I didn't listen to last week's episode yet, so you and MG Siegel talked about Roman numerals again, huh?

00:00:14   Yeah.

00:00:15   That's ponderous.

00:00:16   I got on it. I got on a rant because of the getting rid of the 10 in Mac OS X.

00:00:21   Oh, right.

00:00:22   And I've hated it all along. I hated it right from the first version.

00:00:25   I don't like it.

00:00:27   You have never liked OS X as the name of the operating system?

00:00:32   No, I just think that it was X. X is the coolest letter of the alphabet, and it was a way to put the coolest letter of the alphabet in the name.

00:00:40   But because it's so cool, half the people pronounce it O-S-X?

00:00:43   Oh, I did it for years. I think I made John Sirkius a shart one time when I told him how

00:00:50   I'd gone into the PHPMyAdmin and done a universal search to change all of my OS X as one word

00:00:57   to OS SpaceX. You don't want to tell a Perl user that's how you fix stuff on the internet.

00:01:02   You got it from right inside of MySQL? Yeah, yeah, that's what I did. I felt so bad though.

00:01:10   I was like, how do I obliterate this?

00:01:13   But isn't the conventional wisdom-- you tell me.

00:01:16   You're the Mac blogger.

00:01:17   But isn't the conventional wisdom

00:01:18   they're going to switch to this kind of standardized way

00:01:21   for Mac OS, iOS?

00:01:24   I think it's almost certain.

00:01:25   Yeah, seems very sensible.

00:01:27   The only question is whether they're

00:01:29   going to capitalize the M in Mac OS,

00:01:31   even though they themselves don't capitalize the I in iOS

00:01:35   or the W in watchOS or the T in tvOS.

00:01:40   They don't capitalize the T and the V.

00:01:44   Right.

00:01:46   And that's one--

00:01:47   They got to go lowercase.

00:01:48   Yeah, but the counterargument-- and there was like a unusual--

00:01:53   it seemed like--

00:01:54   I don't know if-- it just seems like an unusual mistake

00:01:56   for Apple to make.

00:01:57   But they had like an environmental--

00:01:58   whatever the day is where you celebrate

00:02:04   the world's environment. What's that called? Green Day?

00:02:07   >> Or Green Day, maybe Earth Day?

00:02:09   >> Earth Day. What's the difference?

00:02:11   Green Day. On Green Day,

00:02:13   they had a promotional page up and they said something blah,

00:02:16   blah, blah, and they spelled it Mac OS with a capital M, closed up.

00:02:22   I have another friend, my friend Nat,

00:02:24   who said that this is going to bug him because he's like us,

00:02:27   goes back to the old days of the classic Mac OS where they called the OS Mac OS.

00:02:31   But back then, it was capital M-A-C space O-S.

00:02:38   And--

00:02:38   It said in Garamond.

00:02:41   Yeah, but when you'd be writing about it,

00:02:43   when you'd see publications that would mention it and spelled

00:02:45   it closed up, you were spotting an error, right?

00:02:50   So the way that we think they're now going to spell it

00:02:52   was a late '90s frequent typo.

00:02:56   And now it's going to be apparently the real way.

00:02:59   I think the argument that they might capitalize it

00:03:01   without capitalizing the other ones is that Mac is a registered trademark and watch TV

00:03:06   and I are not.

00:03:10   Well you know the other thing is think about it for so long how you know Mac was a you

00:03:17   know that was a name that insiders mostly called it but you know it seems like you know

00:03:22   it just in the in the popular imagination Macintosh and Apple for a number of years

00:03:27   were synonymous which is going to drive lots of people crazy I know I know there were things

00:03:29   before the Mac. But Macintosh and Apple, to this day John Roderick still calls the

00:03:33   company Macintosh, I think, because that's for a long time those were kind of

00:03:37   conflated to be sort of the same thing. So Macintosh means something. Mac means

00:03:41   something. But Mac OS, I mean, how much are they even... well, here's a can of worms, but

00:03:48   you know, the Mac is not the central pillar in what they're doing anymore.

00:03:51   And that reflects its place as part of the ecosystem.

00:03:55   Who's the other guy on ATP?

00:03:59   Oh, you're talking about the other guy? You're talking about Casey?

00:04:03   Yes. On their show last week, they were talking about their excellent new t-shirt designs.

00:04:07   They're the worst!

00:04:11   That's a great design. I totally believe it.

00:04:15   The ATP Apple/BMWM

00:04:19   is brilliant for that show.

00:04:23   But I saw that design and I was like, "Oh my god, how did that not..."

00:04:27   I think they ought to make that the logo of the show.

00:04:30   I mean, it's amazing.

00:04:31   Because of the whole gimmick where they...

00:04:33   The whole reason they even have the ATP show is that they had a car podcast for a while.

00:04:37   It's a classic logo in that sense of being very attractive just to look at it.

00:04:41   That's kind of cool, that's kind of retro.

00:04:43   But if you get the joke, it's kind of perfect.

00:04:45   Right.

00:04:46   In his explainer, though, Casey described it as a reference to the six-color Macintosh

00:04:52   logo.

00:04:53   to say that, you know, that, you know, the way that people conflated Apple with

00:04:57   Macintosh. It was not the Macintosh logo, it was, it was the Apple logo. I think, I

00:05:03   think John Syracuse pointed out that that was an error. This is, you know,

00:05:09   now you're getting into this territory where, man, you're gonna get into the, you

00:05:12   know, the greater nerd syndrome. There's gonna be always, always gonna be somebody

00:05:16   that knows slightly more about this and is slightly less interesting in how they

00:05:18   describe it. It just keeps getting worse and worse and worse.

00:05:21   So actually the colors of the apple logo to represent the rainbow.

00:05:25   Uh, have you ever seen a rainbow?

00:05:27   Uh, thanks buddy.

00:05:30   Super helpful.

00:05:31   I miss it.

00:05:33   You know, still how long now has it been that,

00:05:37   um, what, you know, just gray or for, I guess,

00:05:41   black apple.

00:05:43   But I miss it, man.

00:05:44   When you used to be, when you bought a Mac, you got the, uh, you got the stickers,

00:05:49   but now the stickers are just white.

00:05:50   But the Rainbow stickers are so cool and they're so, I mean, they're so like, they're so 80s, but they're also so 70s and they're kind of, I don't know, they're sort of like weirdly timeless and retro.

00:06:00   Yeah. I miss it. I miss it.

00:06:02   Uh, they still, they've, they've started slightly bringing it back a little bit in retro situations, didn't they, uh, I, I think they brought it back for the, the LGBT Pride Parade in San Francisco?

00:06:17   Oh, that's cool.

00:06:18   Or else they did something that clearly referenced it, you know, with the connection between

00:06:23   the rainbow as a symbol for that community and Apple.

00:06:27   And then I think that they stuck it in a commercial.

00:06:30   I know they used it in at least one, because they had a commercial where they showed people's beat-up MacBooks with stickers on them.

00:06:38   Oh, and they did a super fast montage.

00:06:40   Yeah, super fast. And one of them was an old-school Apple logo, which was like, "Whoa!" as like a real geek.

00:06:47   it was cool to see Apple put up a computer with the six color Apple logo

00:06:51   again even though it was in...

00:06:52   They didn't like Trotsky it they didn't like disappear it.

00:06:55   It was still in there.

00:06:56   And then I could have sworn there was another commercial.

00:06:58   This is why I need a live audience.

00:07:00   Those, you know, the shows with the live audience somebody would already have the

00:07:03   link in there. I think there was one where they ended it. I don't know if it

00:07:06   was that one where they went through the Apple 40 years and 40 seconds or what

00:07:09   but they had a spot where they showed it.

00:07:12   I do miss it.

00:07:13   I do too. It's an interesting time.

00:07:15   Very interesting time. It's funny, I was watching the Warriors game the other night, and I was like,

00:07:19   "Man, that logo is that... those uniforms. Ugh, that's the worst."

00:07:23   And Madeline's like, "Well, she's like, 'What the hell are you talking about? That's totally like their throwback, retro logo.'"

00:07:27   And I was like, "Oh, that's cool." And I kinda liked it once I knew that it was old.

00:07:31   I kinda hate their logo. I kinda hate their logo.

00:07:33   It's really bad.

00:07:34   'Cause they even used that... what's that goofy font? The, uh...

00:07:38   Uh, that... it's like fake, classy, uh...

00:07:42   I'll have to look.

00:07:43   Oh.

00:07:45   Well, anyway, it's not a good logo.

00:07:48   I kind of like their colors.

00:07:49   I like their colors.

00:07:50   I do too.

00:07:51   I do too.

00:07:52   I like the three pointers.

00:07:53   Oh, yeah.

00:07:54   It's kind of like a-- is it a copper plate?

00:07:56   Maybe a little bit?

00:07:57   A little bit copper-- not quite copper plate, but yeah,

00:08:00   it's a copper plate.

00:08:03   Yeah, copper plate.

00:08:03   That's exactly the font I'm thinking of.

00:08:05   That's one of those fonts that I used

00:08:07   to use when I first started working in design,

00:08:10   because I thought, wow, this makes everything look classy.

00:08:12   Oh, absolutely.

00:08:13   It's like papyrus for men with men's warehouse suits.

00:08:16   You know, used to be comic sands and now it's papyrus. It's just, uh,

00:08:23   God or, you know, Philip Mistral, Mistral's fun. Like, you know, Mistral's fun.

00:08:27   If you're like Guy Fieri at a beach bar, I'll roll with Mistral. You know,

00:08:31   that's fun. You know what I mean? The surfy font.

00:08:33   Yeah. Yeah, I know exactly.

00:08:35   But you know, uh, and you know, even copper plate fine, you know, pick a weight,

00:08:39   have some fun with it. But like papyrus, man,

00:08:42   Papyrus is the new Comic Sans. If it's like a sign in your spa or it's your menu of the day, it's like it's always Papyrus.

00:08:50   So with the Warriors, how amazing is it that that photo of Eddie Hugh with Stephen Stephen Curry that was...

00:08:59   It was delightful! So perfect. I thought it was a wonderful image. I would have worn some nicer shoes, but I think it's one of the flip-flops.

00:09:06   It's one of those images though where it's like...

00:09:09   I mean, I'm not...

00:09:12   I haven't been into basketball for a while. I used to be really into basketball, but I like the sport.

00:09:18   I happen to find the style that Golden State plays to be delightful.

00:09:22   It's a team that really has fun playing basketball, and I used to play basketball.

00:09:27   I found the reason I liked playing it is that I found that it is a very fun game to play,

00:09:31   especially if it goes right. If you're moving the ball around and everybody's getting the ball and

00:09:36   your fast breaks and it's lots of scoring and it's not just, you know, two seven-foot guys slowly but surely backing their way to the basket.

00:09:45   It can be a beautiful game and that's how Golden State plays.

00:09:48   And it's like watching a video game sometimes with these guys where they're shooting from ten feet past the three-point line and just hit nothing but net.

00:09:55   Lots of fun to watch. So I've really been into the playoffs this year.

00:09:58   And of course I know who Eddie Q is. I've had him on my show even.

00:10:02   And then here's the photo of the game, of one of the most amazing games in recent NBA

00:10:07   history.

00:10:08   And it's iconic.

00:10:09   It will probably become an iconic photo.

00:10:11   Yeah, it really will.

00:10:14   And he's wearing flip-flops.

00:10:15   He's dressed better there than he is at a lot of presentations.

00:10:18   It's cool if I crash here for a couple weeks, it's alright Eddie, but you know, you gotta

00:10:23   leave at some point.

00:10:24   Here's my take.

00:10:25   You know, there's still this...

00:10:26   My take on the flip-flops is first and foremost that I understand that it's a California thing

00:10:32   and I'm not, I'm an East Coast person. We don't really, you know, grown men don't really wear flip flops out,

00:10:37   even if it's just to a basketball game. But I understand that California is a little more casual.

00:10:41   My take on it, though, is having been to a lot of events, sporting events, rock concerts, etc., at an arena-type atmosphere,

00:10:51   that the floor situation isn't all that great. Now, I realize he had courtside seats, and maybe they make an effort to

00:10:58   keep the spilled beer and soda to a minimum down there at the courtside. But that's my

00:11:04   first thought, is that you kind of want some waterproof footwear when you go to an arena.

00:11:10   Oh, God. Where do you begin? Well, first of all, I mean, well, I realized that was, wasn't

00:11:18   that, was that in Oklahoma? Yeah. No, no, it was across the river. It was over there

00:11:23   in Oklahoma. Okay, so, okay. But, I mean, you know, the Bay Area is not California. It's

00:11:27   a different thing and it's not a question of you know I mean it's one

00:11:30   thing to like you know live in Pasadena or something like hey look at me I don't

00:11:33   have toes on my shoes yeah but like here like man if you're walking around San

00:11:37   Francisco dude you do not want to be wearing flip-flops this is just so many

00:11:41   when I when my daughter's game we're getting ready to go downtown with my

00:11:44   daughter like I want to put her in a Tyvek suit like no I mean she's got a

00:11:47   she's got a wear socks and shoes and like you know I wanted to put on some

00:11:51   like, you know, medical booties. It's like, it's not good. They're moving the, I think

00:11:58   they're talking about moving the arena right near where my wife works, which is very near

00:12:01   AT&T Park.

00:12:02   Yes, yes.

00:12:03   And like, kind of across the street from a children's emergency hospital. So, it'd be

00:12:10   real interesting to try and get your kid in during a big game. I don't watch sports, I'm

00:12:14   not into sports. I've been enjoying watching you on Slack talking about this. You told

00:12:17   fantastic anecdote you probably won't share here, but you had an amazing anecdote about

00:12:22   your basketball career that I'd love you to share sometime.

00:12:26   I would share it. I'll share the story. I'll share the story.

00:12:28   Okay, I'd love to hear that. All I want to share is this. If you're going to be somebody

00:12:32   who watches three sports games a year, boy, that was a great one to watch.

00:12:36   Because it reminds me a little bit of how I... There was a time when I enjoyed watching

00:12:40   tennis. I'm not a tennis fan, but it used to be in the '80s, you could really enjoy

00:12:44   that combination of like ace serves plus a lot of just insane volleying and it feels

00:12:50   like that got to we might have talked about this before but it feels like tennis eventually

00:12:52   just become all about the aces and all about like the hitting super super hard and the

00:12:57   beauty of watching those two teams and the way that they complemented the way that the

00:13:01   other played is yeah you're gonna get those two guys Steph Curry and the guy who looks

00:13:04   like Steph Curry they're gonna be dropping a lot of three-pointers and that's amazing

00:13:08   but then it could also be Steph Curry like just he it's almost like he's moving through

00:13:14   a party. And he's just going, "Excuse me, excuse me."

00:13:17   Like, you're like, he's like, you know, "I just need to get by here for a minute."

00:13:19   Boom! Layup! And you're like, "How did he do that? How did he move past all of those

00:13:24   people?" It's fast-paced. They got the long game

00:13:27   thrown from three points. They're going up for the layups. The teamwork is

00:13:31   fantastic on both teams. And you just, you just see these two

00:13:33   teams that are so well matched and are both

00:13:36   operating at the height of their performance, and it's a complete delight

00:13:39   to watch. He moves through the defense while

00:13:43   dribbling the basketball in a way that I don't think most athletic people could get through the same defense without the basketball.

00:13:50   Just run. Just slip through these guys. Just get through them.

00:13:53   If you show somebody that pattern, like with Fred Astaire's feet on the floor dance moves, and said to somebody, "Go repeat what he just did five times,"

00:14:00   there's no way somebody could do it.

00:14:01   It really, I think it really, and it's always more impressive in slow motion.

00:14:06   It really looks like some kind of visual effects shot that, you know, Todd Vizzieri put together, you know, like here.

00:14:12   Steph, just run through this crowd and then I'll, you know, we'll make sure we'll put the basketball in afterwards.

00:14:17   We'll do it in post.

00:14:19   It's composited. Yeah.

00:14:20   Yeah.

00:14:21   But like, you know, you just see one of those guys. What's the other guy's name? I forget his name. The other...

00:14:24   Clay Thompson.

00:14:26   Thompson. Yeah, that montage you put up was great. His 11 three-pointers.

00:14:30   But the crazy part is, you know, I'm used to watching basketball in the Larry Bird era.

00:14:34   And when you see these guys moving so fast, passing so fast, and you see somebody feet

00:14:40   beyond the three-point line. They've had the ball for about a quarter of a second.

00:14:43   They take a shot, and my immediate thought is, "Oh, that's a shame, throwing away that shot.

00:14:47   That's a shame they did that." And you go, "Swish! Doesn't even touch the rim."

00:14:50   Like, what has become--what is this game? I don't even recognize this game anymore.

00:14:54   It's so much more fun to watch.

00:14:56   I think that what's happened is that

00:14:59   it's taken until now for--even though the three-pointer--the three-pointer went into

00:15:03   the NBA, I think, in 1981

00:15:06   or so, and it came to college

00:15:10   in the later 80s and high school around the same time too.

00:15:15   So when I played high school basketball,

00:15:17   we had the three point shot, but it was new.

00:15:19   Like the paint on the court in the high school gym

00:15:21   was different color than the rest of the court

00:15:23   because they had to pay a guy to come in and add it.

00:15:26   And coaches in all sports tend to be conservative.

00:15:32   They are, you know, they don't want to rock the boat.

00:15:36   And so it was always treated as a novelty

00:15:38   and you don't want to, you know, they always, coaches were always telling me, you know,

00:15:42   you don't want to win and win or lose or die by the three or live or die by the three.

00:15:47   When it was yelling, it must have seemed like a risky trick.

00:15:49   Yeah, and if you missed two or three in a row, coaches would be like, that's it, you know,

00:15:54   you know, stop shooting it because you're, you know, you're not, you're cold tonight.

00:15:57   Whereas like, Klay Thompson the other night missed six or seven, his first six or seven

00:16:02   three-pointers and just kept firing them up there and eventually they go in because it's actually,

00:16:06   that's actually the way statistics work, right? Were you the one who posted that image that was

00:16:10   basically the second half in shots? Did you see that graphic and it was like shots taken, shots

00:16:16   missed? Oh no, that was our mutual friend Ben Thompson posted that. Okay, that's incredible.

00:16:22   Yeah, and just where they took their shots and just two different styles of play where Oklahoma

00:16:26   City is not really actually a relatively poor three-point shooting team overall.

00:16:32   And the golden stage shot chart, like just little dots on the court of where they took shots,

00:16:37   it looked like this is this looks like the time in practice when we practice our three-pointers.

00:16:42   Right, right, right. With nobody's arms, you know, waving around.

00:16:46   So I think what happened is that it took until now to get coaches who grew up in the three-point

00:16:54   era to really embrace it as a "it's okay to shoot it." And just, you know, for your edification,

00:17:01   Steve Kerr, the coach of Golden State, was a wonderful three-point shooter. He played college

00:17:07   ball at Arizona. I think he graduated. I used to be a sports fanatic. I can even tell you when he

00:17:13   graduated. I think he graduated in 1988. And then he had a very nice pro career, including playing

00:17:18   with the Michael Jordan Bulls later in the late 90s. And he was more or less the guy who, like,

00:17:23   when Michael Jordan would get double-teamed or even triple-teamed, Steve Kerr was the guy whose

00:17:28   man probably left him to go double team Jordan and Jordan would just flip him the ball and

00:17:33   he would knock down three-pointers. So I think having a coach who grew up in the three-point era

00:17:37   really makes the difference in terms of embracing it. I think I saw a stat the other day that,

00:17:42   and now Larry Bird in the 80s was, I think, without question the best three-point shooter in the NBA.

00:17:47   But even Larry Bird is on the record as saying he doesn't even like the rule. He kind of,

00:17:52   he's always thought it was a gimmick and that, you know, he'd shoot it because he can shoot from that

00:17:56   far but he always thought two points is good enough for anybody. Or I guess

00:18:01   the mantra that a lot of the old-timers had was that you shouldn't be able to

00:18:05   lose with a two-point lead and you know that the worst you do is go to overtime

00:18:10   and a three-point lead should be a sure thing. That if you have a three-point

00:18:14   lead with with seconds to go you could just walk off the court because that's

00:18:18   it. That's good enough to win. And it just changes. When you see real changes in sports,

00:18:24   this is actually a question, not a statement. When you see rule changes in sports, just as a way outside observer,

00:18:32   it seems like they're often in the interest of making it more interesting or speeding things up,

00:18:38   or closing some kind of a loophole that makes the game less competitive and interesting given certain conditions.

00:18:45   Is that kind of a fair statement? Like with baseball and football, it seems like that's really the case.

00:18:50   Yeah, and the three-point line is definitely that sort of idea. That it was an answer to

00:18:56   what was seen as an epidemic that the game was being taken over by seven-footers who

00:19:00   would just toss the ball into him down low and watch him bang away.

00:19:07   Boy, that Khal Drogo guy playing for Oklahoma is pretty amazing, though. That shot that

00:19:15   that guy made like he just jumping toward the net he seems like he's about

00:19:19   three feet off being able to dunk it and he somehow just gets it in amazing to

00:19:24   watch it's good stuff all right let me take a break and thank our our first

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00:21:29   writing is so fun. They got the FoodSaver vacuum sealing system,

00:21:32   Albeit refurbished. I paid 80 bucks for this a couple months ago, because I do lots of sous-vide cooking at home.

00:21:42   I get this back in 22 bucks, out the door. It's crazy.

00:21:47   Here's their description. "You shouldn't use this to seal marijuana that you legally buy in Washington, Oregon, Alaska, or Colorado,

00:21:54   so it's easier to conceal when traveling to or through other states, no matter how ridiculous you think it is

00:22:01   it is for possession of a plant to be legal in one state but illegal in others no matter

00:22:04   how obvious it is that marijuana prohibition is on its last legs worldwide, that would

00:22:09   be wrong.

00:22:10   So that's the type of stuff you can get from them.

00:22:11   All right, you want me to tell my basketball story?

00:22:13   I would.

00:22:14   I'm not embarrassed to tell this story.

00:22:17   So when I was in high school, I played recreational basketball.

00:22:20   I was pretty good.

00:22:21   My senior year, I scored 14 points a game and we had a pretty good team.

00:22:26   And I could shoot.

00:22:27   You know, my thing, I didn't like to mix it up.

00:22:28   What was your position?

00:22:29   You forward?

00:22:30   you forward sort of like a small forward or maybe a tall shooting guard it's you know but i know but

00:22:36   i was good good at you know passing on a fast break i scored lots of layups on fast breaks

00:22:41   and i was good at shooting a three um although i think the most i ever made in the game was

00:22:46   five or six um it made me mad because i played in a christmas tournament one time

00:22:52   uh and they had had a thing in the the the like a school hosted like a little you know round robin

00:22:59   two-team or four-team Christmas tournament. They had a little program and they had like

00:23:03   our Christmas tournament records and one of them was for three-pointers

00:23:07   for like across the whole tournament and I broke it. And then the next year they didn't put that

00:23:13   record in because they only printed it because it was one of their home team players who had it.

00:23:17   It made me mad. Anyway, there was a team in our county that we'd play a couple times a year and

00:23:22   there was a kid on the team who I'm guessing was born this way but you know could have been an

00:23:27   accident, but he only had one hand. And I think it was his left hand. And he was about my size,

00:23:36   and he was really, he was actually pretty good at basketball. And so because he was about my size,

00:23:40   I often guarded him. And I remember early on, maybe like 10th grade, maybe 11th grade,

00:23:46   we were playing a summer league game and I was guarding him and he was posting me up. In other

00:23:50   words, he's backing me down on the paint and so my chest is to his back. And it all of a sudden I

00:23:56   felt on the the nubbin at where he had like a just was sort of missing the hand and his his

00:24:03   wrist ended with like a little nubbony thing and all of a sudden I felt the nubbin in my hand and I

00:24:08   instinctively was just a little bit honestly I was a little grossed out I took a step back

00:24:14   and his teammate passed him the ball and he turned around and made a layup because I wasn't right on

00:24:18   his back anymore and I thought oh man and then like next possession or two you know five two

00:24:24   minutes later, the same thing happens, except he's sticking it in my stomach. And I thought,

00:24:29   son of a bitch, this guy's doing it on purpose. And I was like, I'm not falling for this.

00:24:35   And I had told nothing but… I was like, that is… I had nothing but respect for him.

00:24:39   But I figured it out, and I played him for years afterwards, and he did it all the time.

00:24:43   And I would tell my teammates, hey, either let me guard him, or if you're going to

00:24:48   guard him, know that he's going to do this. And I would watch, and he'd do it all the

00:24:52   the time. And I have, I thought it was so genius, it was like a way of like, you know,

00:24:56   hey, I have nothing but respect for the guy because he was actually a good shooter. He

00:25:00   could, you know, shoot the three-pointer and everything with one hand.

00:25:03   But I like you wouldn't think so like anybody who said you wouldn't look at another person

00:25:07   and criticize them because oh that guy's no fair he's got long legs or that guy's got

00:25:11   big hands or that guy's got long arms or a good eye. He's just he's using what he's got

00:25:16   effectively.

00:25:17   Yeah, and it's, you know, I'm not, you know, I have nothing but no complaint about it,

00:25:22   but I thought it was genius. I thought it was a way of embracing, you know, taking a

00:25:26   limitation and embracing it, making the most of it. And I'll tell you, it worked. It absolutely,

00:25:31   the first time on me, it worked like a charm. And I remember when other people on my team

00:25:34   were guarding him, seeing it work and saying, "I told you he was going to do that."

00:25:41   Ah, sports.

00:25:45   So we were going to talk about

00:25:49   I don't know if there's anything else you want to talk about up front, but we could talk about

00:25:53   I want to talk about this AI stuff. Yeah, me too. And I know it's driving people nuts

00:25:57   It's driving people nuts to call this

00:26:01   AI, and I don't know why. I don't see how anybody could deny

00:26:05   that, you know, I know there's some kind of formal

00:26:09   computer science PhD level definition of artificial intelligence in that in some

00:26:15   ways this doesn't apply. But if you took an Amazon Echo back or took someone, I

00:26:21   guess you can't take it back because it wouldn't have the internet, but took

00:26:23   someone from 1978 to today and showed them an Amazon Echo and say, "Is this

00:26:30   artificial intelligence? Yes or no?" They're gonna say yes. Right? It's

00:26:35   almost like every time we solve an AI problem, once we solve it, it no longer is magical

00:26:43   and therefore it no longer counts as AI. AI is only—

00:26:46   Just because you understand how the effect was pulled off doesn't make it a magic trick.

00:26:50   I mean, it's still a magic trick even if you understand the effect. And to bring somebody

00:26:55   from 1978 and I yell at my dingus and say, "Hey, when's the next Bartram coming?"

00:26:59   That's magic. That feels like AI. Even if that's not what a computer scientist would

00:27:04   call it.

00:27:05   Yeah, even if, like, once you know how the trick is done, you're like, "Well, it just

00:27:08   hooks up to the local API for your public transport."

00:27:13   It hooks up to the magic network in the sky that connects all computers.

00:27:16   Oh, by the way, did we mention there's a magic network in the sky that connects all computers

00:27:20   now?

00:27:21   Oh, by the way, did we mention everyone has computers in their pocket now?

00:27:24   Right.

00:27:26   The device knows the weather because it's got a GPS and, you know, it knows your zip

00:27:30   code.

00:27:31   Oh, by the way, we can predict weather now.

00:27:32   We didn't used to be able to do that.

00:27:33   Oh, by the way, your pocket computer makes a beepy noise when it's about to rain in the next two minutes.

00:27:39   Devices know where they are to within a house or two.

00:27:43   There's a kind of cuisine that isn't even popular yet that you can request in your neighborhood on your pocket computer.

00:27:49   Right. Look, this isn't AI. Your phone thinks it's next door.

00:27:57   Oh, that's so stupid.

00:27:59   Oh, God. Just because you say to your pocket computer, "Tell my wife I'll be running late,

00:28:07   and it knows how to send it to her," of course it's a trick. There's a little wizard inside

00:28:11   of there.

00:28:12   Do you know what I try to—the thing is, you saw in my long discursive notes about

00:28:18   this, that I guess I feel like part of it is I'm trying to do two things. One is I'm

00:28:22   trying to avoid using what I know to be terms of art. So, I mean, people talk about AI,

00:28:27   talking about machine learning, and even getting as specific as saying just, you know, Siri or Echo or

00:28:32   what have you. It's just, I'm more interested in what this stuff is doing for a consumer.

00:28:38   And I mean, that requires a little bit of extrapolating about what's happening technically

00:28:42   behind it, but I don't think it makes it any less fascinating what's happening

00:28:46   when we don't call it a science-y name.

00:28:47   I completely agree. So I'm just brushing all this under the umbrella of AI,

00:28:55   Because I don't know what else to say. I think separating it into voice assistance versus AI

00:29:00   is not helpful. Well it doesn't get to all of the constituent parts that, you know, so if we say

00:29:08   Siri, you know, to paraphrase Raymond Carver, you know, what we talk about when we talk about

00:29:12   Siri, which part of Siri do you mean? Are you talking about dictation? Are you talking about,

00:29:16   you know, being able to interact with, are you talking about the button on your phone? Like,

00:29:20   that means lots of different things, and I feel like to understand where this stuff is going,

00:29:25   It's very helpful. It's not helpful to fixate on what we call it. It's helpful to focus on what it

00:29:32   does and what are the potential, as far as we can tell in this, you know, short to medium term,

00:29:37   what are the things that are likely to help or hinder the growth of all of these various pieces

00:29:43   that we lose in the lights every time we call it AI? That's my feeling.

00:29:47   You know, if we just keep calling it AI, we keep calling it AI. Well, what does that mean?

00:29:50   It's the kind of thing you do when you're talking to your phone in your car,

00:29:54   the same thing as what's happening when IFTT turns your humidifier off, like, those are such

00:29:59   different things, and yet they are completely related because they are parts of this ecosystem.

00:30:04   Down to the ability, like I said, down to the ability to pick which florist you want to use

00:30:07   when you talk into your pocket computer. Those are all part of the same system, and I feel like

00:30:12   it gets really confused when people try to just keep throwing it, throwing it under the bus by

00:30:17   calling it all this same, like, fruity future world stuff that nobody's ever going to want.

00:30:22   Quick aside, I've been struggling. I think a lot of podcasters struggle. I know I have,

00:30:26   talking about this stuff, because there's this phrase you can say to address Siri that you don't

00:30:34   want to say on a podcast because it can trigger it on listeners' phones and devices if they're not

00:30:40   listening with headphones. And a reader suggested I wrote this down, and unfortunately I did not

00:30:45   write down his name, and I'm sorry. I'd love to give you credit. Whoever you are, I thank you.

00:30:50   his solution is that while we're talking about it on a podcast, we can say, "Hey, comma, Siri."

00:30:56   How about, can I suggest, that's very good, can I suggest another one that might be even better?

00:31:01   How about "Yo, dingus"? Okay. Because that's not going to trigger nothing. Not right now.

00:31:06   Although it might if you and I start a startup with one of these things.

00:31:10   Easy. Because I think we would definitely call ours "The Dingus." "Yo, dingus."

00:31:18   I can't have dead weight in my incubator.

00:31:20   Yodingas.

00:31:22   Alright, I like that too.

00:31:24   So I'm gonna put that out there. Hey comma Siri if you want to talk about Siri in particular, and then we'll say Yodingas to address these things in general.

00:31:31   I do think it's, I think the terminology is interesting though, because Siri is an umbrella term for stuff that is not really AI.

00:31:42   it's even we even call it Siri when you're just talking about voice

00:31:46   dictation where you just hit the little microphone to to dictate a text that you

00:31:52   want typed out you're not even asking a query or anything like that whereas

00:31:57   Google doesn't really it it seems like until very recently they didn't even

00:32:02   have a name for their thing I used to call it Google now but then I found out

00:32:05   Google now isn't really the AI thing now is like their contextual thing where

00:32:12   They show you cards based on what they think you want to see at the moment.

00:32:16   And now they call it Google assistant, I guess, for the drive and

00:32:22   but it benefits their brand to just,

00:32:24   to not overly disambiguate that by just getting you used to the idea that

00:32:29   Google is this big bunch of functionality that helps you with your life. So,

00:32:33   you know, they might have brand names for things,

00:32:35   but I would think when you hail it, it's unlike the other ones,

00:32:38   it does make sense that you would say, yo, Google.

00:32:40   - Yeah, I think that from just a typical user standpoint,

00:32:44   it doesn't matter because it don't,

00:32:46   and maybe it's less confusing for them

00:32:48   to just think of Google as a thing that they can talk to

00:32:52   instead of just type at.

00:32:53   You just, just give it to us.

00:32:56   Just tell us what you want and we'll just figure it out.

00:32:58   - It's shockingly fast.

00:32:59   I mean, so right there,

00:33:01   one of the distinctions you're making there,

00:33:02   I mentioned this a couple of weeks going back to work,

00:33:04   is there are a lot of folks who understandably

00:33:07   gave up on everything Siri a long time ago,

00:33:11   which I have to say is somewhat understandable given the basic way most

00:33:14   of us deal with this stuff, which is we try it,

00:33:17   it works or doesn't work, we try it again, it works or doesn't work, and eventually

00:33:21   in a fit of pique you go, "Hmm, this is not for me,

00:33:23   this is for nerds." And that was, it was true with Siri for a long time, but then

00:33:26   Siri got better, then Siri got way better,

00:33:29   but one way in which it's been good for a long time, so what I'm trying to sell

00:33:32   people on this idea that

00:33:33   not only, well, the only important part is Siri is better than you think.

00:33:37   The important part is, Hey, get used to it.

00:33:39   Like start using this because this is where stuff is going, pal.

00:33:43   So what I would say to people is if you're frustrated with Siri, you know,

00:33:46   not understanding your requests, if you're not,

00:33:48   if you're not comfortable with the Siri service,

00:33:50   getting your voice in functionally working,

00:33:53   which can vary a lot depending on your connection and stuff like that. One test,

00:33:56   I just said three times in the next week,

00:33:58   try using dictation where you would normally type. Don't talk too fast.

00:34:03   Don't talk too slow. Don't talk too loud. Don't talk too quiet. Just talk to it.

00:34:07   And I think a lot of folks might be a little bit re-interested in it, given that for long-sentence-to-short-paragraph-length things,

00:34:17   if you know what it is that you want to say, I can pretty much guarantee, even including time for corrections, it will be faster than typing.

00:34:24   Talking about dictation here, as against "Tell me the weather in Bangkok."

00:34:28   Yeah, I remember a couple years ago when I had the finger injury and I couldn't type

00:34:36   with my left hand for a couple of weeks and I had to use dictation and I ended up getting

00:34:41   a lot of work done by installing the Dragon naturally speaking thing on the Mac, but I

00:34:46   didn't have anything like that for iPhone.

00:34:48   And so I really like, you know, I'm lucky because my finger made a full recovery now.

00:34:55   I mean, but there's and there's people like like my aforementioned

00:34:57   Opponent in basketball who's you know hand is not gonna come back right so anything that would help

00:35:04   I mean, there's people with genuine permanent accessibility needs that dictation can really really be helpful

00:35:11   and

00:35:13   It really wasn't there. I think that was like 2012

00:35:16   And it you know, it was better than nothing but it was better than not having the feature in iOS

00:35:24   But boy, I wish it was as good as it is now because I find, you know, like having just come off the winter where

00:35:30   it really, you know, when you're all bundled up and you can't really type while you're walking around a cold city, the dictation feature,

00:35:37   I think it works amazingly well compared to where it was. It still has much room for improvement, but...

00:35:41   Yeah, I agree. And I mean, I've played with, I mean, is it Nuance? Is that the company that makes Strike and Dictate?

00:35:47   I mean, they for a long time have been, their engine has been way ahead of everybody else's as far as I know.

00:35:53   But I mean, you know, I think well except maybe Google's right

00:35:56   But I think it's like getting it working the David Sparks's of the world can work

00:36:01   Dragon dictate like Emacs where they understand it and it understands them

00:36:06   I found it super frustrating to train and retrain and I never got invested enough in it to like really use it

00:36:12   Whereas as you say, I mean it's something Syracuse often talks about just start make a habit

00:36:17   sometimes of going to the Google app, hitting the microphone and talking, and it is shocking

00:36:21   how fast you can see the transcription happening as you're speaking, the corrections. Now,

00:36:26   the way Siri finally does now, you can watch it making contextual corrections. You see

00:36:30   this now on Apple TV, where it understands you probably mean the name of an actor rather

00:36:34   than a homonym. And you can see that that has come so far even in the last two years.

00:36:40   Yeah, really, yeah. And Apple TV, the contextual corrections, as you said, are very evident, because it shows you the words as it comes up.

00:36:51   It has trouble with titles, because titles can mean and be many things in many different languages, and there's plenty of room for, you know, as I say, homonym sound-alikes.

00:37:00   But if you're looking for an actor, it's amazing, or a music artist, it's amazing how often it gets right on the first try.

00:37:05   try. Yeah, and some titles use such common words and that they're relatively short

00:37:11   that the context isn't there. And I'll give you a specific example. Jonas had a

00:37:15   friend sleep over last weekend and the movie that they decided to watch, and

00:37:21   truly they have excellent taste, was John Carpenter's The Thing. Oh man, what a great

00:37:28   movie. Oh, I haven't seen it in forever. I watched it last year and it's still

00:37:33   terrifying. I'd more or less completely forgotten it. But show me the thing.

00:37:40   And I don't blame... Like, essentially TK or Foo. And they, both kids, really love the Siri...

00:37:50   well, they don't love the remote, but they love the idea that you can just push

00:37:53   the button and say things, you know, like show me, you know, Terminator 2 and

00:37:58   that it shows it to you. And they were, you know, going through, making like a

00:38:02   list of like here's here's like five or six movies we're thinking about and but show me the thing

00:38:06   didn't work and i just remember noting you know file that one away that's a good good example

00:38:11   where i you know totally understand why it didn't work but that one's that one's an especially

00:38:17   thorny one but if you don't mind getting a little bit bash with it you can sometimes

00:38:21   hint it a little bit by saying um find find the tv show doctor who right or say i wouldn't play

00:38:30   play the band Band of Horses or whatever. Show me the movie The Thing.

00:38:34   Yeah, exactly. Yeah, I think that would probably work. I forget

00:38:38   what we... and in fact, I think that's what we did

00:38:41   to, you know, get it going.

00:38:45   That's amazing though also. I mean, one of our favorite things is,

00:38:49   I mean, I still have bitches about the Apple TV that

00:38:52   are out of the scope of this show, but you know, as somebody who buys a lot, a

00:38:56   lot, a lot of stuff on the iTunes store, one of my biggest frustrations is

00:38:59   The bigger a fan you are of a TV show, the more likely you are to find it inscrutable.

00:39:05   So like in the case of, yeah, again, Doctor Who, or in the case of Shark Tank, which yes,

00:39:08   I bought several seasons of, you, when you bring up that page, you say, find, find Doctor Who.

00:39:15   And it says this Doctor Who? And you say, yes, this Doctor Who. And it pulls it up.

00:39:19   And now you got to go through in chronological order, like starting from the earliest season

00:39:24   that you've bought. Have you dealt with this? You got to do that horizontal scroll?

00:39:27   Yes. Yes. So like our latest trick is find the latest episode of shark tank.

00:39:32   Boop pops right up. That's, that's a great thing. We're like, you know,

00:39:35   you may not think of Syria as being,

00:39:37   or voice control as being the fastest way to get to something I can damn near

00:39:40   promise you that is the fastest way to get the latest episode of a TV show.

00:39:43   But it seems there, there's definitely some frustrations there though, where if,

00:39:49   if you do the up, down, left, right, it seems like it should,

00:39:52   it should recognize, Hey, you've seen a lot of these shows.

00:39:57   you probably want to watch the new one as opposed to starting you at episode or

00:40:00   season one episode one. Even HBO which has one of the crummiest apps on Apple TV

00:40:04   prettiest bad apps even they have a two-level hierarchy for it's do you want

00:40:08   season two season three season four we can at least jump you're still going in

00:40:12   in straight chronological but you can jump to a season but but you know it's

00:40:17   you know think for a lot of us it is still a case of remembering to use this

00:40:20   and you know I guess it helps to bracket it's your show but I mean we have to

00:40:24   bracket some of this stuff. We can't talk about every concern about, you know, privacy,

00:40:28   although that's certainly an issue. We can't talk about every issue related to commerce.

00:40:31   I think there's still the barrier of getting people to remember that this is there and

00:40:36   then learning enough to know what it's capable of. And I think outside of our bubble, that's

00:40:40   a much smaller group than a lot of people are aware of, especially for people in the

00:40:45   bubble. I don't like, how often do you see people using Siri like on the street? Like

00:40:50   not a ton in my case. No. No. And I think within the bubble, I think you made a good

00:40:55   point a couple minutes ago where I think an awful lot of people tried it, circuit 2011-2012,

00:41:02   and got the shits of it and just sort of filed it away as something that's not worth trying.

00:41:08   It was a frustrating experiment because it was hard to know which part of it was not

00:41:12   working. And even as a non-engineer, I can guess that there are several parts that might

00:41:15   not work. It might be that there was a physical occlusion where it did not get to the microphone.

00:41:20   Maybe I had my finger there, right? If it did get to the microphone, did it capture

00:41:25   what I said? If it captured what I said, was it able to throw it up to the cloud? If it

00:41:29   threw it up to the cloud, was it able to understand what I said? If it understood what I said,

00:41:33   was it able to follow? Like, I feel like there's probably at least three or four little milestones

00:41:39   between coming out of my mouth and doing a thing where it could go wrong. And any problems

00:41:44   with connectivity would greatly exacerbate even how well the product worked at best.

00:41:48   Yeah, I've had the same experience with Apple Maps where it's like I was on a podcast with

00:41:54   Josh Topolsky a couple months ago and he couldn't believe that I use Apple Maps. And I was like,

00:41:58   "Well, when's the last time you tried it?" And he was like, "I don't know, never, because

00:42:01   it's terrible." And I'm like, "It's so much better than it was. Really, it's actually

00:42:06   pretty good." And I know that I say that and I heard from people around the world and there

00:42:10   was somebody, you know, somewhere in the middle of Sweden, who's like, well, here's what Apple

00:42:14   Maps thinks my neighborhood looks like. And it's like blank, you know, with a with a lake. And so

00:42:18   yeah, obviously, right, you know, but here in, you know, it, the places I go, you know, here in

00:42:26   Philadelphia, New York City, California, the places I've I tend to go, Apple Maps is actually

00:42:33   very good. And it does things like just last week, Amy and I had to go to some store out way outside

00:42:39   the city. And the path that we were originally on had traffic and middle of

00:42:46   the directions, Siri said, you know, I forget the prompt, but something like, you

00:42:51   know, traffic ahead. You can save 10 minutes if you change, you know, and we're

00:42:56   like, okay, sure, tell us what to do.

00:42:58   See, I use Apple Maps all the time. I didn't know that. Whenever we're traveling, we use Waze.

00:43:01   Waze is something I would never use anywhere. It's just too, it's too

00:43:06   crufty to use anywhere that I know where I'm going, but when we're traveling it'll

00:43:09   frequently say, "Hey, you know, pop off at this exit, drive down this dirt road for

00:43:14   two exits on a dirt road and you'll actually get there faster than if you

00:43:17   stayed on the interstate." But I didn't know Apple Maps did that. That's new to me.

00:43:21   But I just think that there's a general problem where if you start... like the way

00:43:26   that I've written many times and the how Apple rolls piece that I have at

00:43:31   Macworld from a few years ago, it's still probably the best thing I've ever

00:43:33   written about the company. The way Apple makes things is they make a thing and at first it's

00:43:39   here's it is a big surprise and then year after year after year they just keep making a little

00:43:43   better, a little better, a little better, a little better, you know, in these increments and

00:43:47   that's the that's Apple and that's the way you make things better and better and better and it's

00:43:54   not about these massive, you know, explosive surprise announcements every single time.

00:44:00   But I think the problem is if you launch with something that's so disappointing that it makes

00:44:05   people not even check out the iterative improvement, it's a problem. Like there's a certain minimum

00:44:10   quality you have to meet. And I know that there were business development reasons why they launched

00:44:15   maps when they did, you know, that they were sort of in a negotiating battle with Google. And it

00:44:19   wasn't really so much a choice as to, "Okay, this is good enough." It was like, "We've got to launch

00:44:23   no matter what right now because, you know, we've either got to launch or renew this deal with

00:44:29   Google that we don't want to renew.

00:44:31   Well, think about in the age, well, in really any age since Yahoo, but definitely, whether

00:44:40   it's AltaVista or Jeeves or Google or Bing or whatever, don't say porn.

00:44:45   But what's the first thing everybody looks for when they go and search?

00:44:50   You search on your name.

00:44:52   So if you search for your name, I mean, let's be honest.

00:44:54   And porn.

00:44:55   And porn.

00:44:56   Yeah.

00:44:57   John Gruber porn. 17 million returns. Just to make sure nothing comes up. I don't want

00:45:07   to know. But if you went, so like, you know, especially back in the day when there was

00:45:13   still the potential of somebody unseating Google as the king of that, and I guess, you

00:45:17   know, a lot of people like Bing, whatever. But whenever anything new comes along where

00:45:21   there might be information about you about, that's the first thing you do. And then you

00:45:23   evaluate you within the period of like what 90 seconds you might make a overarching decision

00:45:31   about the quality of that based on how that comports with your own idea of what should

00:45:34   be there in what order right so you know if it doesn't find anybody with your name at

00:45:40   all you might go wow that's that this is garbage and i think the same is true with siri where

00:45:44   like even when you would try the um the stock searches on it and it was you know sometimes

00:45:50   Sometimes it would just have trouble and you didn't know why. It would just say whatever

00:45:53   Siri is on available right now. You know, whereas, I mean, again, you open up something

00:45:57   like Hound and the completely banana stuff you can do with Hound, it's so fast and so

00:46:02   good at parsing really complex stuff. But you know what? Guess what? Hound does not

00:46:07   have a little button on the device. So it's going to lose it that in the same way that

00:46:11   any other device. So, you know, is Siri just recognition? No, Siri is also the fact that

00:46:17   There's a button that connects with your contacts that can do functional things.

00:46:20   Nothing else can do that in the Apple ecosystem right now.

00:46:23   And even more now, it's not just the button, it's the always listening microphone for Jodungas.

00:46:31   That's where I am feeling what people felt with Siri.

00:46:34   I have a terrible time.

00:46:36   We talked about this somewhere.

00:46:37   I know, it's on Twitter.

00:46:40   My slugging percentage on Jodungas, even when it's plugged in, not great.

00:46:46   I still gain percentage for yo dingus on my Apple watch is not stellar. I mean,

00:46:49   it's, it's pretty bad and other people seem to have zero problem with it.

00:46:53   And I don't know why.

00:46:54   I don't know either. I, I've, I, I, I forgot.

00:46:59   I honestly forgot that Apple watch had yo dingus. I,

00:47:03   cause it was so bad at first.

00:47:04   And then when we had that discussion on Twitter recently,

00:47:07   I thought let me start trying it again. And it seems better, uh,

00:47:11   than it was when I gave up on it. Um,

00:47:16   I'm the worst at demos, because every time I want to show something amazing,

00:47:19   a little Quicksilver-style thing I want to demo for somebody,

00:47:21   the thing that I want to show that's amazing never works.

00:47:24   And when I want to-- conversely, when I want to demonstrate how something never

00:47:27   works, it always works.

00:47:28   So in bitching about this the other day on Back to Work, I invoked Yodingas.

00:47:32   And I looked down, and my Apple Watch was recording everything

00:47:34   that I was saying.

00:47:37   [HUMMING]

00:47:43   So machine learning and AI, doesn't it feel a bit like the Google I/O announcements have

00:47:50   slightly attenuated and slightly pivoted the way we talk about this stuff?

00:47:57   Like I did not hear so many people talking about AI and machine learning two months ago

00:48:01   as much as I do now.

00:48:02   It feels like they have already had a, I feel like anyway, they've had a role in directing

00:48:06   this discussion even though there's a bunch of unreleased stuff to which that refers.

00:48:12   I think so. I definitely think so. I could be wrong. I just feel like

00:48:16   usually people would say specifically, "Oh, I love my Echo.

00:48:19   There's things I like about Siri, etc." But now that Google's in the game,

00:48:24   I think people might be taking it a little more seriously.

00:48:28   I think so too, and I think that it's

00:48:32   just so...couldn't be more in their wheelhouse.

00:48:35   And that gets...somewhat gets into Marco's argument that

00:48:39   it just does it there's from a certain viewpoint it looks like how could apple ever catch up to

00:48:45   google in this regard in the same way that it doesn't i don't think i think you can make the

00:48:49   same argument that like in terms of like frame rate of animation and smoothness of the ui android's

00:48:55   never going to catch up to ios right um but that you know the question is where do they get to good

00:49:02   enough like is android good enough i think for you know some people that obviously it is um and good

00:49:08   enough in the AI sense maybe maybe the difference is too too far apart I think

00:49:18   it's I think it's a bummer that you know Marco got piled on in that way because I

00:49:22   think what are you saying is very smart I mean if I were gonna in the you know

00:49:25   as a Monday morning quarterback what I would say right now is the problem with

00:49:28   Apple as as Apple exists right now they have a pretty low ceiling we're like if

00:49:35   If things get as great as they can get in the current state, they're still not going

00:49:38   to be that great.

00:49:39   Because on the one hand, you have Google, who has shown how quickly they can do great

00:49:44   things with services, and how much they are willing, able, and excited to integrate stuff

00:49:50   they know about you, your personal data, to make that into a, you know, say what you will

00:49:54   about privacy and your concerns.

00:49:56   But there are a lot of folks out there, like me, who use Google products because they feel

00:50:00   like the payout is there.

00:50:01   Like what I get in return for what they're doing with that data is extremely useful.

00:50:05   And then on the other hand, like, you know, right now for now,

00:50:09   rumors aside, Siri is still a closed system.

00:50:12   Whereas I get an email every Friday from Amazon about new stuff I can do with the Echo.

00:50:16   New skills, new stuff. It's not always, you know, earth-shattering stuff,

00:50:19   but there's always at least a couple new things a week that it does.

00:50:22   And I'm forever discovering new stuff the Echo can do that I didn't know.

00:50:26   And for now with Apple, until we learn more about what their plan is,

00:50:30   you know, if it, I mean, even if they're, if the reliability, the dependability, all that stuff

00:50:35   becomes flawless, even if it works great in a car, even if the mic gets better, you're still going to

00:50:39   be kind of stuck at what Siri wants to or can do right now, and that's, it's nowhere, I guess we,

00:50:45   I feel like a lot of us thought they'd be further along faster by now. Right, just because they

00:50:50   launched first, and it doesn't seem like it's, it seems like, and again, I don't want to slag on it,

00:50:56   it because I think on the grand scheme of nerds I'm actually pro-Siri.

00:51:01   Oh, I am too, absolutely.

00:51:03   Yeah, but I think there's a good argument to be made that what Siri is good at now is the stuff

00:51:10   that it was supposed to be good at originally. Like it hasn't really expanded as far outside the

00:51:18   original feature set. I mean it definitely has additional data sources that it didn't, and just

00:51:24   just to roll back to the beginning of the show,

00:51:26   it definitely knows a lot more about sports

00:51:28   than it used to.

00:51:30   Like I said last week, I think last week or the week before,

00:51:33   but it can even do things like,

00:51:34   and this is just one of those things that I was like,

00:51:37   there's no way-- - Is it over under?

00:51:38   Is that what it was? - Yeah, or the point spread.

00:51:39   You get point spreads or the over under,

00:51:41   you get these Vegas lines, and it's like,

00:51:43   I thought there's no way that's gonna work.

00:51:45   'Cause A, it's a little seedy.

00:51:48   You know, the whole idea of gambling on sports

00:51:50   is a little seedy, and it sort of works against the Disney--

00:51:53   Would they allow an app that does that?

00:51:55   Yeah, I don't know.

00:51:59   But it's like in the way that like every single cruise ship in the world has a casino, except for Disney's cruise ships, because

00:52:06   it's Disney. And you know, that's not a surprise.

00:52:09   But so, you know, I was a little, color me pleasantly surprised that Siri can tell you the point spread of upcoming games.

00:52:15   I

00:52:16   thought that was pretty interesting. But it was the sort of thing that I think people just don't even try anymore.

00:52:22   Well, you know, it's always such a joyful feeling as a as an Apple user as a Mac user in particular

00:52:27   It's been a peculiar joy of power users for years to have this experience

00:52:31   That I haven't seen replicated in that many other places

00:52:33   This for example is the kind of thing that's not gonna happen with the on with the dashboard experience of any car

00:52:39   With Apple sometimes you'll say hmm. I wonder what'll happen if I do this and you do something

00:52:46   You didn't look it up. You didn't try you didn't learn a key command. You didn't read a PDF

00:52:49   You just do a thing and it does exactly what you might have prayed that it would do.

00:52:55   You ever have this experience with Apple stuff?

00:52:57   Yes.

00:52:58   What happens if I swipe?

00:52:59   Oh my God!

00:53:01   This changes everything.

00:53:02   And you go like, "How did this not...

00:53:03   Why is this something that..."

00:53:04   For example, the one I'm always telling people about, option click on the speaker in your

00:53:09   menu bar in OS X.

00:53:12   You know this.

00:53:13   I think so, but what happens?

00:53:14   What do you get?

00:53:15   Oh yeah, yeah, you get the input sources.

00:53:17   A lot of people don't know if you option click, because it's not obvious.

00:53:20   If you option click on the speaker, you get options to change your input and output devices,

00:53:24   which saves me an hour a week, probably.

00:53:27   Not a big deal.

00:53:28   You don't get that feeling that many places.

00:53:31   This is the thing that I love about the Mac, and I've always loved about the Mac, is that

00:53:36   yes, there are...

00:53:38   You could say it's not discoverable, but if you were going to guess how do you do it,

00:53:43   you know the Mac, you know that it would be the option key.

00:53:47   Like if I said to you, there's a way to change the speaker menu up in the menu bar to get

00:53:53   a different menu, but you have to hold down a combination of keys while you click.

00:53:58   What keys, one or more keys do you have to hold?

00:54:01   I would instantly guess you just hold the option key because that's...

00:54:04   And it actually makes sense semantically with the word option, right?

00:54:08   It wouldn't be command.

00:54:10   It wouldn't be control.

00:54:12   it would definitely be, it should definitely be option. And in fact,

00:54:14   it is option. Have you tried it for other things? No.

00:54:19   You click on option, click. I never thought to do this.

00:54:21   You option click on wifi. You get the ability to create a diagnostic report.

00:54:25   It gives you some nerd information. Do it on, do it on a Bluetooth. Again,

00:54:30   lots of nerd options under there. Information that gets displayed. It's clever.

00:54:34   Nobody needs to know that that exists unless you need to know that that exists.

00:54:37   But anyway, I just meant that in the service of saying like,

00:54:40   Apple has a great history of putting stuff in there

00:54:42   where, hey, you're gonna learn.

00:54:43   If you're on a Macintosh long enough,

00:54:46   you're gonna learn there's at least two ways

00:54:47   to do almost everything.

00:54:49   You don't have to learn one or the other,

00:54:51   but you will eventually learn that there's a way

00:54:53   that comports with how you wanna roll.

00:54:55   And if you don't know, hit Command + Shift,

00:54:56   question mark, enter the name of what you think you want,

00:54:59   and it will magically appear in the menu bar.

00:55:01   - Remember with System 7, there was like,

00:55:04   when you first ran it, there was like a little,

00:55:06   I don't know if they made it with HyperCard or not,

00:55:08   but it was sort of a hypercard type thing that would,

00:55:10   it was like the first run experience and there was like a little cartoon guy who,

00:55:14   who, uh, would teach you a couple of, uh, shortcuts like that,

00:55:19   like, and it was like a, uh, a help menu that you could,

00:55:22   you could bring it up again with. And it was sort of like, show me,

00:55:25   show me some of the advanced tricks,

00:55:26   like being able to use command up and down arrow to go up and down folders in

00:55:31   the hierarchy from the keyboard.

00:55:33   That's I love that kind of stuff. They were so great at that stuff.

00:55:38   Well, you know, so let me ask you a question.

00:55:40   I mean, you remember the announcement of HomeKit and it was kind of alongside a

00:55:43   lot of other, this kit, that kit, all this stuff has got to come out eventually.

00:55:47   The whatever, the medical stuff and the, um, the, um, what's called Apple health.

00:55:52   But like, for example, like how many, how many things do you have

00:55:55   running on HomeKit right now?

00:55:57   Nothing.

00:55:57   Zero for me too.

00:55:59   I swear to God, I'm not, I'm not trying to be,

00:56:01   no, I look through the list.

00:56:03   I finally got an app off the store called Home that gives you an easy way to like, if

00:56:10   you've got this or that device and it's got this inscrutable list of all these what appear

00:56:14   to be like hundreds of, I don't have any of those devices. And I've got like, I've got

00:56:18   two kinds of security cameras, three kinds of, I've got, I've got Hue lights. I mean,

00:56:23   there's some stuff you can do, but like, you know, when they announced something like HomeKit,

00:56:27   you're thinking like, Oh my gosh, I'm maybe three months away from being able to talk

00:56:31   to my house. Like who can you know, and you're in the course, you know, you get into the

00:56:35   reality distortion field. Now I'm thinking, Oh my gosh, how soon will it be before there's

00:56:39   an Apple device that replaces the airport and the time machine that like it's everything

00:56:43   you'd want in an airport and time machine. Plus it's a home hub plus it's, you know what

00:56:47   I mean? On and on and on. And now we're like twiddling our thumbs going like, okay, what's

00:56:51   the next thing I can knock, talk to my phone and do like, what's going to happen with that

00:56:54   stuff? Is that going anywhere? We don't have that same confidence that all of these pieces

00:56:58   are going to fit together. Hell, when you, when you put on the ATV for you flip it on,

00:57:02   you can't even like use Siri for music. What a weird oversight. Like that was so strange.

00:57:06   It's like, how do you have all these strands not being sewn together in the system that

00:57:10   with all these parts of the ecosystem need really want to be interlocked and like, how

00:57:16   is that not happening?

00:57:17   Yeah, I don't know if I could see it too as I could see where on the one hand, maybe it's

00:57:23   like, "Hey, just wait. We just need another year or two." Or B, the pessimist take would

00:57:31   be that Apple's "We control everything. Everything gets authorized through us. You submit your

00:57:37   home kit stuff to us, and we say whether it gets the stamp of approval."

00:57:43   >> The equivalent of MFI.

00:57:46   Yeah, the equivalent of MFI or the App Store even, you know, that sort of mindset versus

00:57:55   the Amazon's take, which is more or less, look, you know, we've made Echo work with

00:57:59   these things and we have some APIs and it's, you know, if it works, you just build an Echo

00:58:03   app and submit it to us and, you know, we'll throw it out in a newsletter on Friday.

00:58:09   Right.

00:58:10   You know, because right now you could certainly, you know, you know, you can do stuff with

00:58:14   the echo. And I know that the people who are the bigger fans of it have stuff like that.

00:58:17   I know Marco's got it hooked up to some light bulbs and stuff like that.

00:58:21   I do. I use the echo for my office lights. I've got, so I mean, this is one of those,

00:58:26   like this was not a terribly complex thing to set up. I have a, I'm saying here's a real,

00:58:30   real simple example. I have a motion sensor in my office that, you know, basically connects

00:58:37   via wifi. And then I have two, this is a Wemo, W E M O is the company. And then I have two

00:58:42   two Wemo plugs that are just simple zero or one. This light is either on or off. I don't

00:58:46   use the switch, I only use the Wemo. Could not do this at home, because my daughter does

00:58:50   not want to have to use an iPhone to turn lights on and off. That's not going to happen.

00:58:54   But in my case, when I walk into my office, the motion sensor turns the lights on. I can

00:58:59   also say "Yo dingus" to my echo. I can say "Yo dingus, turn my office lights off." And

00:59:03   I've set up a thing where it knows office lights means these two Wemo lights. Further,

00:59:08   I have an IFTTT set up such that when I'm away from my office or move out of the radius

00:59:13   of my office or 30 minutes pass without movement, it turns the lights off.

00:59:18   So that whole thing, all the setup, every bit of that to set up, what, 45 minutes, half

00:59:22   hour and now I don't think about it.

00:59:24   But there's not that many more things like that that I have right now.

00:59:27   I can't use...

00:59:28   When you say, "Yo, dingus, turn my lights off," how long does it take for the lights

00:59:32   to go off?

00:59:33   I would say less than two seconds.

00:59:39   Can we test it?

00:59:41   No, you don't have to test it. Does it feel as though as responsive as if you

00:59:47   had an intern and part of the intern's job was to be ready to turn the lights off at a moment's notice?

00:59:55   Not necessarily standing around with their hand on the switch.

01:00:01   perm, you know, like, like, like, trigger finger, not like that. But just like, hey, you just hang

01:00:07   out in the office and have a, you know, have a button nearby. And if you, you know, if I tell

01:00:11   you to turn the lights off, turn the lights off. Like, is it about that responsive?

01:00:14   Second, it 100% understands me. I mean, it's very honestly, 100%. That's silly. It, I could count on

01:00:22   one hand, the number of times it did not understand something I spoke clearly. The echo just gets that.

01:00:28   I would say imagine you're eight feet away from the garbage can, you got two paper towels to throw away.

01:00:34   It's about that amount of time. Let me test it, hang on, just cut this out, be ready to cut the marker of this.

01:00:40   Alexa, turn my office lights on. On. They're on. Ready? Part two. Alexa, turn my office lights off. Off.

01:00:54   So there you go. What is that about? Second, two seconds?

01:00:58   Yeah, that sounds that, you know, I think that was actually,

01:01:01   you know, not quite instantaneous, but I would say satisfyingly close.

01:01:09   Well, it's, for me, it's well within the range of "that's fine."

01:01:13   Yeah. Motion detection turns it on. See, to me, turning on,

01:01:18   turning on is much more important than turning off. Like, turning on, if I walk

01:01:22   into the office, I know with confidence that when I walk into the office, I can either

01:01:25   address the echo to turn it on, or I can just walk in like a gentleman, it'll see my motion

01:01:28   and turn it on. So, I mean, that's plenty fine for me. I don't need high performance,

01:01:33   like, depowering.

01:01:35   It's underneath the threshold of impatience.

01:01:37   I will, absolutely, and it's also a lot better than a bad day with the Apple TV remote.

01:01:43   Right.

01:01:44   Where it's just not responding and I don't know why.

01:01:51   I didn't mean change the subject.

01:01:53   No, but if you're out there in iMessage and you're dictating a text message and instead

01:01:59   of words showing up, you get the spinner and it just spins and you're like, "Do I cancel?

01:02:07   Is this going to take?

01:02:08   Do I just need to wait and my words are going to show up or should I cancel and try it again?"

01:02:13   Once you're even thinking about that decision, you've already crossed the impatient threshold

01:02:17   because even if the words magically...

01:02:19   Your Wi-Fi is bad.

01:02:20   posted something to Twitter you think it's like 50% grayed out, meaning it's still posting,

01:02:25   and you're like, "What world am I in right now?" I mean, is it posting? Is it not posting?

01:02:29   You start to feel a little bit crazy, that kind of feeling?

01:02:32   Yeah, I think so. And exactly, the demo you just did live on the show is exactly, to me,

01:02:40   at the heart of the praise that Alexa, or I guess the Echo, whatever you want to—I

01:02:48   I don't know what to give credit to, but that the Amazon's dingus is getting.

01:02:53   Well, I can just yell at it. I can say like, how am I doing with Fitbit?

01:02:57   I could say play the latest episode of Fresh Air.

01:03:00   There's a, I mean, and you know,

01:03:03   the one beef some people will have just in passing is, yeah, I mean,

01:03:06   there's more to learn because there's more to do.

01:03:09   It's not as simple as just saying to Siri, Hey,

01:03:11   do this obvious thing you've been doing for five years. Like with the Echo,

01:03:14   it does enough stuff that you have to do a little bit of command line with it,

01:03:17   right? You gotta do a little bit of bash to like address the right thing.

01:03:20   But it's, uh, it's shockingly good at hearing that even kind of,

01:03:25   kind of far away in the house.

01:03:26   Like I'm forever yelling at my phone across the room to set a timer and have,

01:03:31   I don't mean to bitch. I'm just saying that like,

01:03:33   there's just benefits to all of these things. And you know,

01:03:35   the echo is the one that got traction surprised everybody. Everybody's like,

01:03:39   Oh, this crazy thing, this crazy future too. There's a lady in the tube.

01:03:42   Who's going to buy this? Well, people did and they love it. And I own two now.

01:03:46   and I don't consider it essential but I consider it in the aggregate more useful

01:03:52   than my Apple Watch and I think it has a brighter future.

01:03:55   All right let's keep going on this but first I want to thank our second sponsor

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01:04:47   And it's weird.

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01:04:59   Like two swish-blady-like pocket knives.

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01:05:55   Like, you could go to med.com on a regular basis and never want to buy the daily deal,

01:06:00   and it's just a site where you go to read cool stuff.

01:06:04   So Glenn Fleishman's articles on all caps is...

01:06:08   almost like clickbait for me because I love, you know, that type of analysis of how you

01:06:14   read in your head. And it goes back to like the 1800s. It's crazy. He's done all this

01:06:18   research. So go to med.com, check out their forums and check out their daily deals.

01:06:23   Good sponsor.

01:06:25   Who do you think the third sponsor is going to be?

01:06:32   You guys know Fracture.

01:06:33   I'm not gonna guess, I'm not gonna guess, I don't wanna spoil it.

01:06:40   Do you think it's a problem...

01:06:43   So you hinted at this, and in some ways this voice assistant space is almost the conceptual

01:06:53   opposite of iOS insofar as most of iOS, and certainly iOS starting in 2007 and 2008 in

01:07:04   the early years, was entirely visual and that anything you could do was represented on screen

01:07:12   by some sort of physical, visual object.

01:07:16   And to me, it's actually an overlooked aspect

01:07:21   of the genius of iOS's design.

01:07:23   That they didn't go with some sort of like,

01:07:28   what's our fabulous new phone user interface

01:07:31   going to be like?

01:07:31   And they didn't try to do something

01:07:33   that makes regular people say,

01:07:35   wow, this is so conceptually clever.

01:07:37   Instead, they did like the most obvious thing possible,

01:07:40   which was like, hey, just like the old PalmPilots,

01:07:43   or here's a bunch of apps,

01:07:44   tap on the app and it launches the app,

01:07:46   And when the app is launched, it takes over the screen.

01:07:49   And here's one button on the front face

01:07:51   that you go back to the home screen.

01:07:53   So here's a bunch of apps.

01:07:55   Tap one to go in the app.

01:07:56   And when you're in an app, tap this button,

01:07:58   and you go back to the home screen.

01:07:59   And once you're in an app, anything you can do in the app

01:08:02   is something you can see on the rectangle of pixels

01:08:05   that are lit up.

01:08:07   And since then, they've added some shortcuts

01:08:10   that you kind of have to know about,

01:08:11   like when you slide in from the side

01:08:13   or slide down from the top to get the notification center,

01:08:16   or up from the bottom to get the control center.

01:08:20   But those are things that if you don't know about,

01:08:25   there's still a way to do it visually, right?

01:08:29   Everything you can do, if you're a more simple user of iOS,

01:08:33   and you don't even know about control center,

01:08:35   anything you can do there,

01:08:36   you can just go to the home screen, go to settings,

01:08:38   and just read that list and you'll find it.

01:08:41   - On settings now,

01:08:42   But also to your point though, settings has gotten so long and so complex,

01:08:46   I wonder how many people have realized that there's now a search field inside of

01:08:49   settings.

01:08:50   I don't know how many people, but they should, it's very useful.

01:08:53   It's staggering how much stuff is in settings and rather than having to go drill

01:08:57   down,

01:08:57   it's now there's so much stuff in there that it's actually way faster to do a

01:09:01   search.

01:09:01   Right.

01:09:02   But it's almost like the difference between

01:09:06   a visual video game like,

01:09:09   you know,

01:09:12   Super Mario Brothers, where you could see where Mario can go

01:09:15   'cause you're watching Mario move around the screen

01:09:18   versus the old school text games like Zork or whatever,

01:09:21   where you just have to start typing stuff and guess.

01:09:24   It's easier to explore, I think for most people,

01:09:29   visually than it is to explore verbally.

01:09:33   And it's so much easier to see what an iPhone can do

01:09:37   because effectively for the most part,

01:09:39   it's you go to the home screen and look at the apps

01:09:41   And here's what your iPhone can do.

01:09:43   It's these apps.

01:09:45   And the ones that come from Apple are fairly obvious.

01:09:49   And any other ones are ones that you chose to install.

01:09:53   So you should have a basic idea of what they do.

01:09:56   Whereas Siri, it's like,

01:09:59   what's the total list of things you can do with Siri?

01:10:03   - I have never found a comprehensive list

01:10:05   that wasn't somebody's guess on a blog post.

01:10:09   I have never seen a full list of everything Siri can do.

01:10:13   The closest thing I've seen is, like I say, some blog posts people have done, and basically

01:10:17   that marketing page where you can scroll really far down and see lots of suggestions.

01:10:22   But it's surprisingly under-documented.

01:10:25   So you're right.

01:10:27   How do you learn?

01:10:28   I mean, think about how many people you have to say, like, "Hey, if you want to play with

01:10:31   Siri, go to Siri and then go hit that little question mark."

01:10:34   And they're like, "What question mark?"

01:10:35   I'm like, Oh man, hit that question mark. Is that as in the lower left,

01:10:39   I believe. And that's going to tell you so much stuff. You had no idea.

01:10:42   You could say to Siri, it's not learnable. Like you're saying,

01:10:45   it isn't like you can just look at the pretty glass screen and understand what

01:10:48   you're supposed to do.

01:10:48   You either need to get educated or you need to explore. You need to try.

01:10:53   And that's not intuitively obvious.

01:10:56   So to me, the, the, the, uh,

01:11:01   not the canonical example,

01:11:03   I'm trying to see the epitome of where this is going, the ideal of where these voice-driven

01:11:09   assistants are going, is exemplified by HAL 9000 in 2001, where you watch these characters

01:11:19   interact with HAL, and you never... it would be shocking if they said something to him

01:11:27   and HAL was like, "I'm sorry, I didn't understand the question."

01:11:32   You know, it's like you just know that Hal's gonna get it.

01:11:35   And if they said something to him--

01:11:37   - Right, did you mean white the color or white the race?

01:11:39   Well, what a weird question, Hal.

01:11:41   Of course you would know that.

01:11:42   - Right. - Hal just knows that.

01:11:43   Not only that, but Hal also,

01:11:45   as I was boning up last night

01:11:46   and reading stuff you were suggesting,

01:11:48   if you notice, Hal ends up sounding like the calmest

01:11:51   and most human person in the movie in some way.

01:11:53   - Oh yeah, definitely.

01:11:54   Well, that was Pauline-- - I never thought of it

01:11:55   that way, but it's true.

01:11:57   - That was Pauline Kael's criticism,

01:11:59   one of her criticisms of the film was that--

01:12:00   - It's only got one character.

01:12:02   that the most interesting character is the computer and it's like well so what isn't

01:12:05   that actually kind of fascinating that that somebody could make a movie where the most

01:12:08   interesting character is is the computer like how is that how is that a failure

01:12:13   but if the characters in that movie had said how can dim the lights you know that the lights would

01:12:20   dim there's a hundred percent chance you and you know that hal could do that like anything on that

01:12:25   ship you know that Hal could do. You know, and everything that they... it's... the

01:12:34   ideal is obviously something that's so aware that it can control everything.

01:12:37   Like, it's... and we're obviously not there yet, but you know, we're getting there.

01:12:43   You're already... you're already turning your lights out with it, but it's like, you

01:12:46   know, you know, you probably can't turn your microwave on with Alexa. You got me

01:12:52   thinking though, you're bringing up a really good point. We talk about what

01:12:57   they came out of the box with in 2007 and like what was it that was in

01:13:00   retrospect as we look back, what are the things that we really remember as

01:13:03   seeming revolutionary? I think I feel like for myself, the most amazing what

01:13:10   trick Steve and team pulled off was calling this thing a phone. So the first

01:13:15   amazing part is that they were to put out this they would have brought this

01:13:18   thing that... I mean, yeah, it's a phone, but I mean, there's a lot of other things

01:13:23   I would want to call it before I called it a phone. It is to use his third, the

01:13:27   third piece, it's an internet communicator. That's what made the thing

01:13:30   really great. But who's gonna go out and buy internet communicator? I think that

01:13:35   for myself, that's one amazing part, is that like they put a computer in your

01:13:38   pocket and it did actually work. The other amazing thing in retrospect, and

01:13:41   maybe one of the things that is the most revolutionary and influential, was that

01:13:46   It's just a big piece of glass on front, right?

01:13:49   There's no, there's no, there's one dedicated button that does stuff, but,

01:13:52   and there's only limited things the apps can do too, right?

01:13:55   Then we've got to remember these are the days when you're running one app at a

01:13:57   time. Uh, what you could do with sound was very limited.

01:13:59   What you could do with having, you know, you're only,

01:14:02   you couldn't copy and paste it to one app at a time, et cetera, et cetera.

01:14:04   But what did that do?

01:14:05   That worked to the advantage of both the strengths and weaknesses of the phone.

01:14:09   It could only do so much,

01:14:10   but what you could do was very easy to understand because it was in this

01:14:13   paradigm that you're familiar with.

01:14:14   If you've ever used a windows, like a GUI system, this is not going to seem crazy.

01:14:19   It's just that there's no mouse. Your finger is the mouse. So, right.

01:14:23   But the thing is, so, but, so now where are we? Where are we now? Like you say,

01:14:26   well, now you can get to stuff by pulling down.

01:14:29   You can get to stuff by pulling up. If you're on a recent phone,

01:14:33   like if you're on a sixth generation phone pressing hard on the,

01:14:37   I wonder how many people know this pressing hard on the left side of the screen,

01:14:39   there'll be a little bloop and you can go to the previous app. Right.

01:14:43   You could be one of the six people who's using the 3D touch.

01:14:46   But so, and then on top of that,

01:14:48   let's think about haptics and tactics on the phone and on the watch.

01:14:52   There are now so many more ways to communicate.

01:14:55   And communication is not just talking.

01:14:57   Communication is also listening and hearing.

01:14:59   So our ability, I mean, for example, something,

01:15:01   I don't know how many people use this on iOS,

01:15:04   but you can go into accessibility and flip on the LED.

01:15:07   The LED will blink when you get an alert.

01:15:11   So I have that turned on.

01:15:11   So if I'm not paying attention, I can see across the room that there's like a flash.

01:15:15   So there's all these ways that you can talk to the phone, the phone can talk to

01:15:18   you, but we're still, I mean, but we still haven't really rethought the whole

01:15:24   paradigm of how we interact with the phone.

01:15:25   We're finding new ways to expand what this thing can do, make it faster.

01:15:29   Touch ID, think about Touch ID, right?

01:15:31   But I mean, there hasn't been, there hasn't been a need to completely rethink

01:15:35   the phone because these are all improvements on the product we had in 2007.

01:15:40   But now, I'm not sure if this is where you're going, but I want to know where you're going.

01:15:44   Wow, now that you can do voice, how does that change the way you think about this little

01:15:48   glass internet communicator?

01:15:50   Is it well suited to doing these kinds of things, and what would need to change about

01:15:55   the basic technology and the policies of the company to make this into something more than just

01:16:00   another way to interact with the phone?

01:16:03   I don't know. I still want to know, like, where do we draw the line between having every single device that we get from Apple understand Yo Dingus?

01:16:18   Right now I've got my watch doing it, I've got my phone doing it, my iPad does it, my Mac doesn't, but there's three devices that do.

01:16:28   that do, and now there's a rumor that...

01:16:29   - Apple TV, also the Apple TV.

01:16:30   - And Apple TV, right.

01:16:32   And now they're supposedly building a new device

01:16:35   that does it.

01:16:36   Well then when I address Siri with the Odingas,

01:16:39   how many things turn on at once?

01:16:42   I mean, and right now it's not very smart at all.

01:16:44   Like if my iPad is within same earshot as the phone,

01:16:48   they both come on.

01:16:48   - Well, I mean, think about iMessages.

01:16:52   Think about iMessages.

01:16:53   Like, you know, they seem to have gotten better at that,

01:16:56   but you know, you don't want every single device in the world going off.

01:16:59   If it has a way to determine where you quote unquote are right now,

01:17:03   that's where you prefer to hear about.

01:17:05   I still miss things because it went to the watch and I didn't realize it.

01:17:08   So it's trying to be smart with that,

01:17:10   but to have a sense of place about what you're doing. And like I said,

01:17:13   in this, these notes here, like context awareness,

01:17:15   like when it's most appropriate to do a certain kind of thing, because you know,

01:17:19   do we have to choose one tool?

01:17:21   Aren't we allowed to have like spoons and knives in our house? It's like, well,

01:17:25   you might want all of these things,

01:17:26   but you do need a little help from the devices

01:17:29   to be contextually intelligent about what you need to know

01:17:31   when stuff is likely to be useful

01:17:34   and where it is extremely cumbersome and inappropriate.

01:17:37   - Do you remember like, this is way back,

01:17:40   this is like going back to like 1998, 1999.

01:17:43   And on the great,

01:17:45   one of the best websites at that time was Macintosh.

01:17:48   It's still around, but I don't think it's--

01:17:51   - Is that Rick Ford?

01:17:52   - Yeah, Rick Ford.

01:17:53   - That was a great song.

01:17:54   I remember that there was a recurring,

01:17:57   like the way that he would do it,

01:18:00   is somebody would send something in,

01:18:02   it would become a story,

01:18:03   and then a couple more people would email,

01:18:05   and then he would add to the page

01:18:06   with more people's comments.

01:18:08   But it wasn't open, it was curated by Rick Ford.

01:18:11   And you'd end up with this great discussion.

01:18:12   I remember one of the big controversies

01:18:14   was when some Mac apps started phoning home on the network,

01:18:18   which more or less just to check for a new version,

01:18:22   like they would, like maybe like once a week,

01:18:24   some little indie app would connect to its parentcompanies.com and just say, "Hey, I'm

01:18:31   version 3.7. Is there a new version?" And then if there is, like if 3.8 is out, it could

01:18:37   let you know that there's a new version. And people were using certain utilities that would

01:18:43   notify them, like super hyper privacy-minded people who use utilities like on Mac OS X,

01:18:50   it would be like Little Snitch. I think there were things like that.

01:18:52   This was a concern though,

01:18:54   if you were stealing your copy of Quark,

01:18:55   which I heard some people used to do,

01:18:57   because it would be able to run out across the network

01:18:59   and see which other serial numbers,

01:19:01   like things along those lines,

01:19:02   where you would actually be able to get another layer

01:19:05   of shareware running that would prevent those things

01:19:08   from talking to each other.

01:19:09   - Yeah, what it would do, yeah,

01:19:11   one of the anti-piracy or anti, you know,

01:19:16   using a license on too many machines mechanisms,

01:19:19   I know Quark did it, I think Adobe might have.

01:19:21   I know for sure Quark did it, yeah.

01:19:23   - Where they would look across the local network.

01:19:25   Maybe it was the whole internet.

01:19:26   Was it the whole internet?

01:19:27   I don't know about that.

01:19:28   - I think for our case it was our AppleTalk network, yeah.

01:19:31   - And it was enough to make it important,

01:19:33   but it would look across the local talk network

01:19:34   and if it saw the same serial number it was already running,

01:19:37   it would refuse to run on the second machine.

01:19:39   And people were very upset about it because it was like,

01:19:43   "What right does this app have to do anything

01:19:45   "on the network without me?"

01:19:47   And I remember nodding my head

01:19:48   and I wasn't thinking like, "Yeah, outrage."

01:19:51   I was just thinking, yeah, this is a little creepy.

01:19:53   I wonder where this is going.

01:19:54   And to think about how antiquated that is,

01:19:58   like privacy-wise, that I'm thinking,

01:20:00   what made me think about this was that I'm thinking,

01:20:03   I wouldn't mind if my iMac always had the camera on

01:20:09   to look to see if I'm sitting in front of it,

01:20:11   so that it would, as soon as I get it from my chair,

01:20:15   would know to send the iMessage,

01:20:17   the conversation I'm having with Merlin, right to my phone.

01:20:20   Right? Like, how does my iMac know if I'm sitting in front of it? Like, right now it

01:20:25   doesn't really. It just, like, kind of keeps track of, I guess, like, mouse action or keyboard

01:20:30   action or something like that.

01:20:31   And that seems to be either totally innocuous or really scary, depending on what you think

01:20:35   of as being watched. Because what about motion sensors in your home? Does that creep you

01:20:39   out? Well, no. It just, I, you know what I mean? Like, it depends on what you want it

01:20:42   to do. But there's a zero or one feeling there, because if there's a camera, we assume that

01:20:47   it's always recording us and sending it somewhere to do something. It's not simply a censor,

01:20:52   right? We assume immediately that it's going to be taking our stuff and throwing it up

01:20:55   on the internet somewhere.

01:20:58   It just, we've just come so far in terms of where we draw the line on balance.

01:21:05   It's ludicrous, but I was trying to actually, I was telling my daughter, I was giving my

01:21:07   daughter a bath last night and boring her to tears telling her about how I was going

01:21:11   to talk to you about today, and I was asking her about what she thought about the distinction

01:21:14   between listening and hearing.

01:21:18   And she, she was saying she thinks we were disagreeing a little bit on the

01:21:22   distinction, but I think to appreciate what we're talking about with this stuff,

01:21:25   you must see a distinction or should see a distinction between listening and

01:21:29   hearing.

01:21:29   So if you don't believe the companies that say they're not actually setting all

01:21:35   your stuff to the NSA, we'll definitely don't have these devices.

01:21:37   If you're considering that though,

01:21:38   I think it's worth considering the difference between listening and hearing.

01:21:41   It's one thing to listen, right?

01:21:43   So listening means that it's basically listening for the trigger words,

01:21:47   but then after the trigger words is when it's really hearing.

01:21:50   And I feel like that's,

01:21:52   that's a young distinction that we need to start thinking about for all kinds of

01:21:56   reasons, including privacy, right? Do you follow what I'm saying though?

01:21:59   No, I do.

01:22:00   Like in your case, you want, you want a camera that's,

01:22:04   that is monitoring, even if it's not recording, that there's, there's,

01:22:09   we should start to see some kind of a distinction. Certainly again,

01:22:12   I feel like I always have to say this. Yes, I don't want people spying on us,

01:22:15   but like what are we willing to throw out for that notional privacy that we may

01:22:19   or may not have anyway, in this instance, I just,

01:22:22   I think that a lot of people shut that door really fast without looking too much

01:22:27   further beyond what they imagine is the worst case scenario.

01:22:30   Would you be okay with your,

01:22:32   with your Mac using the camera to see if you're you're in front of it?

01:22:36   God, no, no. Even if they see me, you should see what it looked like right now.

01:22:41   Well, no, I don't know.

01:22:43   And I feel like you could, you know, outsiders could independently verify

01:22:48   by looking at network traffic that the video isn't being sent anywhere.

01:22:53   No, no, I see what you're saying.

01:22:54   But like, for example, like we've got a couple of different cameras at the house.

01:22:57   We've got a a nest cam that watches the door

01:23:01   and we've got a canary and the canary is a camera with a super

01:23:06   familiar with canary.

01:23:08   No, canary is pretty cool.

01:23:10   it's canary.is. So it's a device that's not too different looking from an

01:23:16   Amazon Echo, a little shorter, a little fatter. You basically plug that in and it has a

01:23:23   very wide fisheye lens that will cover, not 180 degrees, but a pretty wide

01:23:28   spectrum. But the nice thing about it is it has a very sane mode, series of

01:23:36   modes. So there's "Armed", which means that nobody is in the house and, you know, go

01:23:42   ahead and record, you know, whatever, whatever you're seeing with the camera. If

01:23:46   it notices that you're at home, you can set it so that it either keeps running

01:23:50   and doesn't, isn't sending you notices, or you can say "Shut it off". So in my case, if

01:23:55   the iPhone detects that anybody is at home, you know, that the people who should

01:24:00   be there, it just shuts it off altogether. So like, you know, I mean, is that perfect?

01:24:04   No, but that works pretty well. So if we're out of town and we see something moving around

01:24:09   that's not a cat or a house cleaner, you can have that thing shoot off a siren, you can

01:24:14   hit the police number from it, whatever. I mainly want to just be able to see what's

01:24:18   -- you know, nothing's on fire. You know that feeling?

01:24:23   I will put the link in the show notes. I've already written it down. It looks like a great

01:24:27   product. It does. I know exactly what you mean. I get paranoid when we're away from

01:24:31   home that yeah that you know how do I know that the house is hasn't burned

01:24:36   down how do I know that who would know to contact you know how do I know that

01:24:40   squatters haven't broken in and just sort of set up set up home I know somebody

01:24:44   draw a penis on your garage door all right exactly

01:24:49   but trust me I know from first-hand experience you've got a scrub that as

01:24:55   soon as possible before the ink dries.

01:24:58   Sorry, I took you off your topic. Well, no, no, no, but the rumor about this upcoming

01:25:05   Apple thing is that... I'll put a link to the show notes on that, but did you see

01:25:09   this? That after the initial report came out, there's a report that the thing that

01:25:12   Apple's doing does include a camera, probably similar to the Canary, like a

01:25:17   wide-angle fisheye camera, and that it will attempt to recognize the people

01:25:22   talking to it. And again, I don't want to be glib about it, and I know I'm a Kubrick

01:25:29   fanatic, but it's the concept of how. And one of the things that makes 2001 such a great

01:25:38   movie is the scientific rigor. It really was an honest attempt, and obviously it was very

01:25:44   optimistic about all of it. You know, there is no Hilton orbiting the Earth. Pan Am doesn't

01:25:53   have flights to the Moon. We don't have a rocket ship that could take astronauts to

01:25:59   Jupiter and we don't have…

01:26:01   The more cute stewardesses in Velcro shoes.

01:26:03   No, and we don't have AI at the level of HAL.

01:26:09   So it was optimistic year-wise, but it attempted to be as rigorous as they could, including

01:26:20   talking to top artificial intelligence experts of the era as to what do you think would be

01:26:26   possible, how could this work.

01:26:30   And it's conceptually, that's where we're heading, right?

01:26:32   we would have wide angle, I mean, even down to using a wide angle lens to get a big field

01:26:38   of view into the AI dingus.

01:26:44   When they show you Hal's point of view, it's like a super fisheye.

01:26:47   But the idea that the thing you're talking to, and again, it's like this mixture of yes,

01:26:52   I've always wanted to have like Hal 9000.

01:26:55   And then conversely, the, I don't know if I want, you know, I don't want people, you

01:27:00   know, AI systems watching me, you know what I mean? Like, it's a mixture of like

01:27:04   dread and desire, but I think it's clearly where we're heading, and the idea

01:27:11   that it would help, you know, like help create a shared device, because like

01:27:18   isn't one of the limits of like the Echo right now that it it's like two people

01:27:23   in the same house can't really set it up with what's on my calendar.

01:27:27   Oh, true. Yeah, true. You can have multiple echoes and that's actually, it's kind of cool.

01:27:32   But yeah, you're right. And I mean, also, you know, there's a, there's a,

01:27:35   something that's got to get dealt with at some point soon is, I mean, it's understandable to

01:27:42   say, well, you know, right now we just want to get the technology down. So anybody who talks to

01:27:46   it correctly can make this work. But I mean, you know, for example, my echo has access to my

01:27:50   calendar. It is my calendar. Anybody who came in and asked it could get my calendar info.

01:27:56   that doesn't, I mean, currently there's not a way I know for Echo to be disabled when I personally

01:28:00   am not there. There's probably all kinds of creepy stuff you can do, but, you know.

01:28:04   And you can buy stuff, like, so, like, if I came over to your house and you,

01:28:07   you know, head to the restroom, I could quick order up, uh,

01:28:10   I could just say reorder, reorder dildos, and they'd be on your door the next day.

01:28:14   That's totally true. I basically just say to your dingus, you just say, like, reorder

01:28:20   contractor bags, and they'll say, "Okay, on this date you ordered that."

01:28:24   What? It's like Syracuse's concern about the Amazon buttons that his kids...

01:28:29   Which my daughter has totally done. Oh, look at some more seventh generation detergent.

01:28:35   Um, see, I don't know. This is, I guess, this is the part people always want to talk about. This is

01:28:43   the part that you always jump directly to. I think it's unavoidable, but I think it's

01:28:47   also complicated, which is when you get into, like, you know, what should this do? Just because we can

01:28:51   do it? Should we do it? Well, I think this is where stuff is going. So it's, it does

01:28:56   not benefit us to keep talking about how this, how we're never going to use this. It benefits

01:29:01   us to talk about what we actually are talking about when we talk about this stuff, what

01:29:05   we're willing to tolerate. I think in order to have a sane conversation about this, we

01:29:09   have to stop acting like it's a Frankenstein monster and try to have like a more reasoned

01:29:13   discussion about, you know, what this stuff is, what this stuff does. And once you get

01:29:17   used to a creature comfort, it's psychologically impossible to go back.

01:29:23   And just think about cars and the way that cars have improved since we were kids, just

01:29:30   creature comfort-wise.

01:29:31   When we were kids, if you wanted to move the seat back or front, you had to sit there and

01:29:36   hold a physical lever and then slide it using your muscles.

01:29:42   And now, I mean, our car's 10 years old, but we have a thing where when I, because we have

01:29:46   electronic key fobs, if I unlock the door, the seat automatically starts moving to my preferred

01:29:52   location, and if Amy's the one who unlocks the door, the seat moves to her preferred location.

01:29:57   That's amazing, but you really shouldn't be driving, right? You lost your license?

01:30:00   I, well, and I, and, well, and I wear flip-flops everywhere.

01:30:04   You know about topic, yes, this, that is so crazy to me, but a topic for some reason seems to come

01:30:11   up every time we talk. ATMs. We always talk about ATMs. But you know, what a terrific example,

01:30:19   1977, 1978. Guess what? There's this new scary robot at the mall that will give you money.

01:30:25   Wait a minute. You're saying anybody can walk up to this machine and they'll have access to my bank

01:30:29   account? No, no, no, no, no. You got to have your little card and you got a four digit code. Okay,

01:30:33   just let me understand this. You know, I'm a Rockefeller and I have access to all this money.

01:30:38   So basically anybody who has this four digit code can just clean me out

01:30:43   Because and that's really what everybody said into the 80s. Okay, so I'm not trying to say this is a perfect system

01:30:50   But what I'm saying is that in the amount of time that ATMs have been around there's some things

01:30:53   Most all of us kind of know at this point

01:30:55   I mean said there's always gonna be stuff like skimmers like, you know, go read Krebs on security have just ruined your month, but

01:31:02   There are things we know we know first of all that

01:31:05   there are limitations on the account. If they do quote-unquote clean you out,

01:31:09   they're not going to get more than probably $400 or $500 out of your account.

01:31:12   And you know what? If it was fraudulent,

01:31:15   there's a pretty good chance you can go to your bank and they're going to cover most of the cost of that.

01:31:18   My dad, I don't think, has an ATM card.

01:31:23   I still think that maybe they've sent him one without even asking and then he just cuts it up.

01:31:34   My dad, my dad, at least, you know, at least through the high school when I lived at home,

01:31:42   anytime my dad wanted to get cash, he would go to the bank and go to the waiting line

01:31:46   and go to the teller and bring the past book, right? And, uh, and get cash and he would

01:31:53   just get enough cash at the time where he wouldn't have to go back frequently.

01:31:56   I hate accidentally falling into the role of armchair futurist because it's, it's such

01:32:00   a douchey thing to be, but like, here's what I'm trying to say. Like, you know, I have

01:32:04   a pretty good feeling and this is an overarching thing for me as I try to grow as a person

01:32:09   is to stop making these instant decisions based on emotions about whether something

01:32:13   will be terrible and ruin everything, which feels like something a lot of folks do as

01:32:20   soon as it does. There's this weird black and white thinking thing where as soon as

01:32:23   somebody gets the slightest whiff of something they don't like, it's the worst thing ever.

01:32:27   it's a literal Holocaust. I'm trying to avoid doing that.

01:32:29   So when I say this example, something like an ATM,

01:32:31   what I'm really trying to say is that like, well,

01:32:34   there's a certain amount of risk associated with that.

01:32:37   There will always be a certain amount of risk.

01:32:39   We're still driving cars that can go a hundred miles an hour.

01:32:43   There's an acceptable amount of risk with that.

01:32:45   You don't find that risky at all when a bus goes by your kid while you're,

01:32:48   while you're walking down the street.

01:32:49   But like all these things find their level in some way, not for all time,

01:32:53   pendulum swing, Hakuna Matata. And like,

01:32:56   but the thing is we figured out a way for ATMs to be part of our life in a way

01:33:01   that didn't ruin everybody in America.

01:33:03   And so I think instead of thinking about this as like some kind of new dioxin

01:33:08   that's going to kill the environment, let's think about things like AI and yes,

01:33:11   things like VR, the silly things like that. Let's instead ask ourselves,

01:33:15   like how that could find a place.

01:33:16   If we stop looking at it as this thing we think we understand today,

01:33:20   start looking at the components of this as something we might see in our lives.

01:33:23   and stop being so wowed by it.

01:33:26   'Cause in all the times you're either cowed or wowed by it,

01:33:28   somebody else is running away with the legislation

01:33:30   on what actually happens with that stuff.

01:33:31   You gotta keep your eyes open and be smart,

01:33:33   but admit that this is something that is a thing.

01:33:36   - Right, there's, you know, the self-driving cars thing

01:33:38   is a perfect example where I think most people

01:33:42   are looking forward to it,

01:33:43   but because it is scary, red letters, new,

01:33:47   and it seemingly involves, you know,

01:33:49   robots doing things that we used to do,

01:33:52   Everybody is worried. I know I'm worried.

01:33:54   Everybody knows that eventually it's going to come.

01:33:57   We're going to have self-driving cars.

01:33:58   And eventually it's just inevitable.

01:34:00   There's going to be an accident where somebody gets killed

01:34:02   and you can blame the AI.

01:34:05   And there's so many millions of people in so many cars

01:34:08   and so many things, it's inevitable.

01:34:09   And just to put up the hypothetical,

01:34:12   like what if the AI locks itself into a situation

01:34:15   where it's either, it can make a move that harms you,

01:34:19   the passenger, or it kills a pedestrian

01:34:22   and it doesn't see, you know,

01:34:23   there's no other option that the AI sees

01:34:26   and the decision has to be made

01:34:27   in the next hundredth of a second, what happens?

01:34:30   Either way, it's a scandal.

01:34:32   - It's like that ethical problem with the train track

01:34:33   and that kind of thing.

01:34:35   - Right.

01:34:36   - But I mean, ask yourself, you know,

01:34:37   I mean, I'm not a statistician,

01:34:38   but think about like if we took the net number

01:34:41   of miles driven by mature automated vehicles

01:34:45   versus the net number of just,

01:34:48   allow me a straw man here,

01:34:49   the net number of miles driven by drunks.

01:34:52   Like let's see who has a better kill ratio.

01:34:55   'Cause I got a feeling the automated car

01:34:57   might do a little bit better.

01:34:58   I bet, you know what, turns out,

01:35:00   I bet it might even do a little bit better

01:35:01   than all those people who are really good drivers,

01:35:04   especially when more and more automated cars

01:35:05   can talk to each other and don't need the meat bag

01:35:08   behind the pedal to keep it from flying off the road.

01:35:11   - Right, I completely agree.

01:35:12   I think it's inevitable that self-driving cars

01:35:15   are going to happen relatively soon

01:35:17   and that they will have wonderful safety records

01:35:21   and that the sooner we can get all or nearly all cars

01:35:24   self-driven, that the difference in the number of people

01:35:28   getting maimed, seriously injured, and killed,

01:35:32   we'll look back at it as when we used to let people

01:35:35   smoke on airplanes, you know, like, oh my God,

01:35:38   what the hell were we thinking?

01:35:39   We let people drive 100 miles an hour

01:35:41   while they were text messaging.

01:35:43   There was not, you know, and people did it.

01:35:45   - Oh, I just, we just, we got totally

01:35:47   off by a truck the other day, like just completely cut off by a semi. Ten minutes later, we see

01:35:52   a woman, you know, cruising down 80 with her kid in the car seat, like texting. And you

01:35:58   don't see too many of those to go like, "Really? Do you think it's going to be that much worse

01:36:01   to have an automated car that understands the heuristics of the world?"

01:36:04   I totally don't. But the problem is that as a society, we collectively are very bad at

01:36:11   accepting statistical proof versus anecdotal proof. It's like the Republican senator

01:36:23   whose argument against climate change was, I mean this is a true story, I forget the guy's name,

01:36:30   but he made his little speech on the senate floor with a snowball he had just made outside the

01:36:36   capital at an unseasonable time of year, right? The one example...

01:36:41   Well, the climate scientists are just cursing. He's figured us out. He's figured out what's

01:36:46   happening with big climate. But for some people, that one example is way

01:36:50   more compelling than the statistical evidence of what is actually going on. I think people

01:36:56   will get used to it with the self-driving cars. I forget how much I told about this,

01:37:02   I know I never wrote about it, but I got this amazing demo at the Mercedes self-driving

01:37:07   car thing in Silicon Valley a couple months ago. And I went on a ride in an actual self-driving

01:37:14   Mercedes S-Class. It was amazing. I mean, it's real. It actually was like an entire

01:37:19   thing like starting in somewhere in Mountain View and getting onto a highway and getting

01:37:23   off and the entire thing had no human intervention whatsoever.

01:37:27   Wow, really? Yeah people who do that all seem to say a similar thing, which is like they're always amazed at how quickly

01:37:34   it's

01:37:36   How quickly it stops seeming weird?

01:37:38   Like it isn't more than it. Sometimes it isn't more than a few minutes of that before you go like, oh this totally makes sense

01:37:44   So Mike one of my questions for them was

01:37:47   Do you think right now you you know?

01:37:50   Mercedes-Benz makes cars that go well in excess of any speeding limit posted in the United States

01:37:56   It's, you know, you, you know, if not,

01:37:58   I would guess every single car they make

01:38:00   goes at least a hundred miles an hour.

01:38:02   In self-driving mode, is it going to be an option

01:38:07   to exceed the posted speed limit?

01:38:10   And the answer was almost certainly not.

01:38:13   That the car, you know, will be programmed

01:38:15   so that there is no way that you can exceed the speed limit.

01:38:18   And their take is that, no,

01:38:22   you couldn't sell a car like that today when people drive,

01:38:25   But they think that people will accept that because why do they want to go fast?

01:38:29   It's because they're bored and they want to get to where they're going.

01:38:32   And if they can sit there and dick around on their phone while they're getting there,

01:38:37   who cares if it takes an extra five minutes to get to work because you're driving 55 instead

01:38:43   of driving 80?

01:38:47   Or maybe you're taking a nap.

01:38:49   Yeah, but this is also getting to, I mean, you know, whenever we try to think about change,

01:38:55   try to think about the future, we tend, I feel like at least I tend to focus on maybe

01:39:00   two axes, but usually one axis. Like the thing that I'm familiar with, the thing that I'm

01:39:03   obsessed with, the thing that I think about, but that's the difficulty of thinking about

01:39:07   anything more than a year out of the future. And the future is like, how will ideas germinate?

01:39:12   How will things suddenly get cheaper and more possible? How does things suddenly become

01:39:17   less impossible? And it's difficult to imagine how those kinds of things are going to work.

01:39:23   And we all have our own biases about how we would want it to work and what we would accept

01:39:30   in terms of risk.

01:39:32   Yeah, I don't know.

01:39:34   I don't know.

01:39:35   Let me take a break and thank our third sponsor.

01:39:38   Do you have a guess?

01:39:39   Who's your third sponsor this week, Jon?

01:39:41   Third sponsor this week is the good folks at Meh.com.

01:39:45   Honestly, fuck these guys for making me think of a third thing to say about them.

01:39:53   I mean, God bless them for buying out the entire show.

01:39:55   They really did.

01:39:56   They bought all three.

01:39:57   They paid rack rate for all three spots.

01:39:59   God bless them for that.

01:40:00   I do love the sponsors, but I gotta tell you,

01:40:03   there's not that much to say about them.

01:40:04   They're a daily deal site,

01:40:06   and they've got some really cool videos,

01:40:08   and they write really clever copy,

01:40:10   and they've got some forums

01:40:11   where there's really cool stuff going on.

01:40:13   But other than that, fuck 'em.

01:40:16   Go to med.com and check 'em out.

01:40:20   Fuck 'em.

01:40:22   Anything else you want to say about this AI stuff? I think we covered a lot of it.

01:40:24   Anything else? I know you had good notes. You did a lot more research. You did good work.

01:40:28   Yeah. Fuck those guys. Um, no, but um, let me ask you this. Um,

01:40:33   I think the camera thing, I want to stay on the camera thing for a second.

01:40:37   Yeah. Go. Cause I think, I think that I don't think that it's gonna,

01:40:40   I mean the rumor is that Apple's working on a product now. I think it's imminent.

01:40:44   I mean you've got this canary thing in your house. I think,

01:40:46   I think the cameras are the next step. I really do.

01:40:49   - The people who say, why would I need a device

01:40:53   if I've got, you know, the Apple faithful, God love them,

01:40:56   who say, why would I ever want a device for these things

01:40:59   if I have my watch and my phone?

01:41:01   I can almost promise you, as much as I love you all,

01:41:04   that you haven't actually tried using a device

01:41:06   for this stuff, 'cause you will use it differently.

01:41:09   It's funny, it's ironic to me that the same people

01:41:11   who are so in love with their iPhone

01:41:13   that they learned to love don't understand

01:41:15   that there's a similar pattern with trying a device

01:41:17   for a while and seeing how you would use it

01:41:19   in a different context.

01:41:21   And you might use it pretty differently.

01:41:25   I could see that becoming a hub for the home

01:41:27   in a lot of ways.

01:41:28   There's already an Amazon device that's made

01:41:29   by a third party that you can put on your refrigerator

01:41:32   and treat that way.

01:41:33   But you know, and the question I was gonna ask you

01:41:36   that we'll come back to though is like,

01:41:38   how are our kids gonna use this?

01:41:39   That's the thing.

01:41:40   Nobody cares how we use it.

01:41:41   We've aged out of the demo, nobody cares.

01:41:43   - I don't wanna keep banging the HAL 9000 hammer,

01:41:46   but I still think that conceptually it's correct

01:41:49   that Hal was everywhere on the ship

01:41:52   and was built into the ship

01:41:54   and he wasn't like a thing that they talked to on a wrist.

01:41:58   I'm not saying that talking to the thing on your wrist

01:42:00   isn't a thing, but I'm saying that the better way to go

01:42:04   is to have a ubiquitous presence built into the ship.

01:42:09   The Star Trek is the same way, right?

01:42:11   The next generation enterprise computer,

01:42:15   best name for one of these things ever.

01:42:17   Was the same way though, the computer was just

01:42:22   an ever present,

01:42:22   presence built into the ship.

01:42:27   - Well, yes, totally.

01:42:28   And I mean, like think I'm just,

01:42:31   think about stuff like water.

01:42:33   Water used to be a thing that you went down to the creek

01:42:36   and you filled a jug or a bucket and you brought it back

01:42:39   and that was the water.

01:42:40   But now water comes out of little dinguses

01:42:42   all throughout your house.

01:42:43   time was, air conditioning was a thing. You bought down at the Montgomery Ward and you

01:42:47   stuck in your window. And now, magically, air conditioning comes out of all these vents

01:42:51   throughout your house. You can even have smart vents, as I've seen on Shark Tank, that you

01:42:54   can adjust how much air conditioning is going into a room at each time.

01:42:58   So our first example of how we would use this HAL 9000-like device is I talk into my watch

01:43:05   to see what the weather is, even though I could probably just as easily go see. But

01:43:08   think about it more like what happens when the devices that you use, I think of it almost

01:43:14   like a client-server relationship. What if it gets to where you pick up six or eight

01:43:18   or twelve packs of these dinguses that you could magnet or stick to the wall in the shower,

01:43:24   they're waterproof, they could go in the car, they can go in the garage, they can go anywhere.

01:43:28   What if it becomes just another, in the same way that you would want to extend your Wi-Fi

01:43:31   network, you just want to extend the ability to say stuff into the air and have it do things.

01:43:37   That gets us away from this idea of having this weird $200 thing you put in your house.

01:43:41   Like I would think more in that direction than thinking of talking to your watch and

01:43:44   asking for the weather.

01:43:45   And eventually, if it gets smart enough and contextual enough, it will learn to, as I

01:43:50   said, the thing I'm always looking for is learn to tell me about things I didn't know

01:43:54   I needed to know before I realized I need to know it.

01:43:58   That's the real brilliance is when the real machine learning starts to see patterns that

01:44:01   I didn't and starts telling me about important things, not just things I know I need to know.

01:44:06   Tell me the things that are important that I don't know that I need to know.

01:44:09   And that's where ubiquity comes into it, in context.

01:44:12   Tell me when this is useful.

01:44:13   Like, don't be yelling at me and blinking lights all the time.

01:44:16   Learn what's important to me, and then help me have the life I want to have.

01:44:21   Humans are naturally really, really good at pattern, certain pattern recognitions, like

01:44:25   identifying a familiar face, or even like a face that you've only met once, you know,

01:44:30   but you know you know them.

01:44:31   Or it's like pareidolia, is that what it's called?

01:44:33   just like you look at a street curb and you see a face because you're wired to see faces.

01:44:36   Yes you are, yeah, yeah, or like the rock up in New Hampshire, the old man on the mountain,

01:44:42   whatever it is, you know what I mean? Yeah, we're actually so wired to recognize faces that

01:44:48   we see faces where there aren't faces, or Shroud of Turin, right? And voices too, but even as humans,

01:45:00   here's just an obvious example. Once I hit puberty, every time I answered the phone,

01:45:05   anybody who was calling for my dad would think that I was my dad and just start talking to him

01:45:10   like I was him. Because I sounded, I don't think I sound that much like him, to be honest,

01:45:14   but I sound enough like him that over, and with the distortion of a landline phone,

01:45:21   it sounded enough. So if a human being could confuse me with my dad, I think that it's

01:45:26   it's reasonable that even a very good echo-like device

01:45:30   might confuse me and my dad.

01:45:33   And so I think that adding additional sensors,

01:45:38   obviously a camera, to know who the heck

01:45:40   is talking to it at the time, is almost necessary.

01:45:44   Maybe I'm just talking myself in a corner

01:45:45   and everybody's gonna have these camera-like devices

01:45:48   in their house within the next 18 months.

01:45:49   - I don't think you are.

01:45:51   I mean, think about the way triangulation works,

01:45:53   where you could, I guess, if you wanted to,

01:45:55   you could put your entire R and D budget into creating the world's greatest

01:45:59   single antenna for discovering where something is located.

01:46:03   But isn't it fair to say that it's better to have hundreds or thousands of much

01:46:08   less costly antennas that talk to each other that can triangulate and say, well,

01:46:12   you're like,

01:46:13   there's a pretty good chance that you're here based on the signal strength of

01:46:16   these different things. That's, I think that's kind of what we're talking about,

01:46:18   right? I mean, so in this case, like there are,

01:46:21   There are existing technologies that make this easy and useful already.

01:46:25   So if this iPhone app detects that I'm in the house,

01:46:30   cause a certain set of things to happen. If it's a certain time of day,

01:46:34   then that's a factor, right? You think about I'm here, but my kid's not here.

01:46:39   That can cause things to happen.

01:46:40   Knowing what the weather is or what the weather is becoming.

01:46:43   These are all like very knowable things right now.

01:46:46   It's just that you cannot accomplish that easily with just something like,

01:46:49   if this then that. It's a great app, but a very service, but a very dull weapon. But

01:46:55   what about these multivariate things where if certain kinds of conditions aren't met

01:46:59   over a certain period of time, let me know to do these things. But just even something

01:47:02   as simple as what we're describing. When my iPhone is in the house, lots of things should

01:47:07   be different, right? That's pretty easy.

01:47:10   Yeah. And I know Syracuse had covered this recently on ATP about how he almost feels

01:47:16   bad for his kids that they're not gonna they can't get away with like putting

01:47:19   their bike up against the car anymore.

01:47:20   Where you had the camera looking out.

01:47:23   Right, but like imagine like I'm not even at home, but

01:47:26   we've got a rule that there's no video games

01:47:30   before dinner. Like, you know, right now Jonas is on a, let's just say,

01:47:35   no video games and I could say, "Where's Jonas?"

01:47:38   And I could be told, "Jonas is playing PlayStation 4

01:47:42   in your living room." Right? I mean that is

01:47:45   That is... it was science fiction when we were, you know, even...

01:47:50   There's nothing about that that is unknowable. You're talking about connecting two pre-existing

01:47:54   streams. It's just the connection's not there. The connection could be there.

01:47:57   Right. The face recognition is there. The wi-fi is there. The voice-driven stuff is there. I mean,

01:48:05   that's a problem that could be solved today. I mean, here's another one that's such a brilliant

01:48:10   little thing that it... I don't get that many phone calls, so I'm grateful I don't need this that much,

01:48:15   But have you gotten the thing yet? I don't know if it's just in 9, but where your phone says

01:48:19   you're getting a call from this number, which appears to be this person.

01:48:23   So what's that doing? It's going and looking through your old emails and recognizing

01:48:28   that this phone number has been mentioned by this person before.

01:48:31   That's what we're talking about. We're not talking about rocket science. We're talking about, like,

01:48:36   the most basic kinds of inference, like one little step at a time. You know what I mean?

01:48:40   Just build up this little case with these little bits of information.

01:48:43   I completely agree. I can talk about this all day. Anything else you want to talk about on this front?

01:48:50   No, I don't think so. You know, it's just it's this ongoing obsession of mine where like I

01:48:55   really have noticed myself, I don't even mind being across the old man, there's a lot about

01:48:59   that's very comforting, there's a lot of things I can dismiss and not feel bad about it, but I

01:49:03   am trying to really just keep my mind open about continuing to understand new stuff on its own

01:49:09   terms rather than like what I need or expect it to be. So that's why these topics end up

01:49:14   really hitting me.

01:49:15   I feel like that's that is my perspective exactly. I'm absolutely rocketing towards

01:49:22   crotchety old man, but I'm like an open-minded crotchety old man.

01:49:28   That's the best kind.

01:49:31   It's the best. I think it's the best that we can hope for.

01:49:33   Get off my lawn whenever it suits you.

01:49:36   I don't know why, but it's been on my mind this week. I'm obsessed with this.

01:49:42   I ended my XOXO talk two years ago by referencing the song, but for some reason I've had it.

01:49:50   It's like the song that's been popped in my head is Kenny Rogers, "The Gambler," which is sort of like this jokey, upbeat, you know, like, you know, it was just a funny little folksy story about a guy.

01:50:00   A lot of wisdom in that song.

01:50:01   song a lot of wisdom and except that the the song ends and it goes back to the

01:50:09   refrain afterwards but the last actual lyrics before it goes back to the

01:50:13   refrain in his final words every hands a winner every hands a winner and every

01:50:21   every hands a winner and every hands a loser and the best that you can hope for

01:50:25   is to die in your sleep.

01:50:27   (laughs)

01:50:29   - The best, really?

01:50:31   - Yeah, the best that you can hope for

01:50:33   is to die in your sleep.

01:50:35   It's such a macabre,

01:50:38   I mean the whole thing is so folksy and ridiculous,

01:50:41   and then that's just tossed out there.

01:50:44   And if you think about it, there is an actual,

01:50:46   I don't know what got me, something that you just said

01:50:49   about the best that we can hope for or something

01:50:51   that reminded me of that.

01:50:52   Every hand's a winner, every hand's a loser.

01:50:55   But the best that you can hope for.

01:50:56   In his final words, "I found an ace that I could keep."

01:50:59   You know what, John?

01:51:03   There aren't enough advice songs.

01:51:04   There aren't enough songs that are just filled with folksy advice.

01:51:08   Well I think that if you read between the lines, at first you want to say, "Well, that's

01:51:11   not the best that you can hope for."

01:51:13   There's all sorts of things that you can hope for.

01:51:14   It's literally not the best that you can hope for.

01:51:17   Not in any conceivable way.

01:51:20   Or is it?

01:51:21   Well, but if you accept the premise that we're all going to die, then, and I know like our

01:51:32   friend Peter Thiel, friend of the good friend of the show Peter Thiel does not accept this

01:51:36   premise, then there's a certain logic to it where you gotta die somehow, and at the end

01:51:42   we're all gonna be in the dirt, and so the best that you can hope for is to die in your

01:51:45   sleep.

01:51:46   Because any other way of dying is...

01:51:48   Yeah, I saw a song called "Coward of the County".

01:51:50   It's a little bit of a cowardly way to jack up your aspirations is to hope, Jesus, I hope

01:51:56   I'm not awake when this happens.

01:51:57   What did you do?

01:52:01   Do you have any thoughts on the whole Peter Thiel Gawker thing?

01:52:06   Nope.

01:52:07   No.

01:52:08   I got enough problems.

01:52:10   I got enough problems, Jon.

01:52:13   I tossed it out in a reply.

01:52:16   So I think that it's, I think that it's, it got lost.

01:52:20   I had a little gag I tweeted. This one went out to everybody. I tweeted that

01:52:25   "Batman vs Superman 2 Bruce Wayne spends a decade and ten million dollars

01:52:31   financing lawsuits to bankrupt the Daily Planet." Pretty good joke.

01:52:37   And then somebody tweeted like, "Well, I'm in as long as it's subtitled

01:52:42   Electric Boogaloo." And I tweeted back, "No, obviously the subtitle is Man of

01:52:47   teal. Right? I had to get that out there. You don't even give him all your good ones.

01:52:54   You just pick and choose. You should write an advice song.

01:52:58   Uh, meta stuff here at the end of the show. Meta stuff. Stuff that's coming out is, I got the live

01:53:06   talk show coming up in, as we speak, I think 13 days, so I got to get the tickets out. I think,

01:53:12   fingers crossed that by the time anybody is listening to me tell you this, that

01:53:17   the show will probably already be sold out.

01:53:19   Good for you. Congratulations, man. That was great.

01:53:22   Hoping to launch soon. Hopefully it'll be a good show this year, too.

01:53:25   But if you want to, you could go and look at Daring Fireball and see if

01:53:29   there's still tickets available. So that's coming up. It is going to be

01:53:34   the same venue. It'll be Tuesday, the day after the keynote at

01:53:37   Mezzanine. And here's the more important part. So we're limited, I think.

01:53:41   I think we're limited to around 500 tickets just with the way we set up the venue and the seats

01:53:47   and everything like that. And it's sold out every year so far and I think because last year's show

01:53:53   blew up and was so big that it's probably going to be even more in demand this year.

01:53:57   High expectations, buddy. High expectations.

01:53:59   I wish we could find a bigger venue, but it's really kind of tight combined with all of the...

01:54:08   mezzanine is perfect in so many ways other than the fact that if we could fit more, we would love

01:54:12   to fit more, but we can't. To my knowledge, it's the best venue we can find, and I'm sorry.

01:54:16   But we do plan on having a live video stream again. Last year, I didn't really promote the

01:54:22   live video stream because I was so worried that it wasn't going to hold up, but it did hold up.

01:54:27   So fingers crossed it'll hold up again. But anybody who wants to follow along live and

01:54:33   doesn't get in with a ticket or if you're not even in San Francisco, then a ticket isn't even

01:54:37   an option. You should be able to watch live. It'll be Tuesday. I think doors open at 6

01:54:45   Pacific, but the show should start sometime around 7 o'clock Pacific, which is 10 Eastern time.

01:54:51   And it should be a lot of fun live. That's a great event. Looking forward. Yeah, I've got your

01:54:58   ticket reserved already. Boom. That's good. It's a fun one. What a crazy week.

01:55:06   It's super crazy. One other meta thing, and I haven't done this in a while, I was saving it for

01:55:10   your show, you being the guest on this show, is I joke sometimes that the show is America's

01:55:16   favorite three-star podcast, but it actually is still rated three stars in iTunes. It started off

01:55:25   with very low ratings when I split with our old friend Dan Benjamin, and there were some people

01:55:30   who were not upset about it and left a lot of very, very poor reviews.

01:55:35   Got some, uh, they're called activist reviewers.

01:55:37   Yeah, activist reviewers. And, you know, that's what the system is there for. That's why I can't

01:55:42   delete them. I wouldn't delete them even if I could. Fair is fair, you know, that's the way

01:55:46   the system works. But I know...

01:55:48   You can hope for us to die in your sleep.

01:55:49   A lot of other shows often remind their viewers to leave a review and do that.

01:55:59   And apparently, I've been told that this is actually true, that it actually does help in the iTunes.

01:56:05   You know, there's like a manual system where iTunes, the people who work there in the podcast, can manually promote shows.

01:56:10   But like the automated stuff and getting high in those rankings definitely helps to get good reviews,

01:56:19   and that it can grow the audience. And maybe I shouldn't be so... I don't know, what's the word... "coi."

01:56:26   and I don't want to ask people to leave reviews.

01:56:30   But I'm asking.

01:56:31   - I'll say it for you.

01:56:34   It's very difficult to know what doesn't,

01:56:37   does or doesn't always help when you've got a podcast.

01:56:41   There's a lot of black boxes in podcasting.

01:56:43   What I'll say is this.

01:56:44   If, like me, you enjoy Jon's show,

01:56:47   consider going, leave a nice review.

01:56:49   Leave a five-star review to offset the activist reviewers.

01:56:52   - Oh no, no, leave an honest review.

01:56:53   - No, don't do that.

01:56:54   Don't ask for that, don't ask for that.

01:56:56   You gotta know when to-- here's the thing. You gotta know when to hold them. Okay? You

01:57:01   gotta know when to fold them. Number three, you gotta know when to walk away. And finally,

01:57:08   fourth, you gotta know when to run. Oh, there's number five. Don't count your money when you're

01:57:11   sitting at the table. Oh, and so finally, turns out, the best you can hope for is to

01:57:15   die in your sleep.

01:57:17   I have always also thought that some of the worst advice you'll ever hear is to not count

01:57:23   your money while you're gambling. Anybody listening at Overcast, you could use their

01:57:32   little recommendation dingus as well and promote the show. But anyway, if you like the show,

01:57:38   do me a favor and say good things about it. Anyway, I'll see some of you guys soon. We

01:57:43   should have at least one more show before the live one, but look forward to seeing you

01:57:46   guys who will be there at the live show. My thanks to you, Merlin Mann, for your generous

01:57:52   use of your time and your thoughts. And my thanks to our sponsors today, mad.com, the

01:57:59   Daily Deal site, mad.com, the forum where you can go and read cool articles by Glenn

01:58:07   Fleischman and others, and last but not least, mad.com. Fuck those guys.

01:58:15   You got to accept every free drink, try not to overthink, trust your dumb luck, don't

01:58:21   Don't give a fuck.

01:58:23   You gotta blow your fortune before you even realize the best that you could hope for is

01:58:29   to lay down and die.

01:58:32   Good night everybody.

01:58:33   [BLANK_AUDIO]