The Talk Show

155: ‘Medium Rare MacBook’ With MG Siegler


00:00:00   Mg

00:00:01   John long time no long time no here. Yeah, how are you?

00:00:05   Very good been too long. So what what are you up to these days? What are you what the hell are you doing? So?

00:00:11   I came back from the UK. I was over there for a year helping to set up

00:00:17   Google Ventures European operations over there and with that off the ground I came back

00:00:22   About I guess more than six months ago. Now is sometime last summer. It's actually

00:00:28   We're heading back to the UK for the first time since we left, so it's almost been a year.

00:00:34   Anyway, so back on the ground in San Francisco now.

00:00:38   Back just to doing US Google Ventures, now called GV as a part of the

00:00:45   Alphabet stuff, you know, so

00:00:48   Google Ventures is one of the

00:00:50   Alphabet

00:00:52   companies that's a sister company now to Google versus being, you know, under

00:00:56   Google. Same basic idea, but they would prefer we use the name GV instead of Google Ventures now.

00:01:03   Right, as part of the whole, if it's really a sibling to Google and part of Alphabet, it shouldn't be called Google.

00:01:11   Right, exactly. So yeah, so back, but doing the same stuff, just

00:01:15   investing in, you know, mainly early stage, early to mid stage companies here.

00:01:24   What do you do you think that having spent a whole year in in the UK?

00:01:29   When you came back did it?

00:01:31   Did you look at at the valley?

00:01:34   Culture and sort of feel like you had fresh eyes or did feel like just instantly like, you know what I'm home

00:01:41   It's a good question because I did think about that the longer sort of I was over there

00:01:46   And obviously we were coming back fairly regularly

00:01:50   I think I was back at least once a quarter in the in the US and mainly in the Bay Area when I came back

00:01:55   But still the longer I was over there you do start to get detached from it

00:02:01   And I felt like I was able to look at it from much more of a outsider perspective

00:02:06   After having lived in the Bay Area for almost 10 years

00:02:08   you know concurrently

00:02:11   and

00:02:13   It was

00:02:15   interesting coming back

00:02:17   And you do feel like you get just like sort of right back into the swing of things almost like you hadn't left

00:02:23   but at the same time I had these lingering remembrances of what it was like being over in the UK and sort of

00:02:29   Watching remotely both because of what we were talking about with the timezone thing was was one of the more interesting things

00:02:34   When I would wake up in the morning

00:02:37   It was mostly either people who were up really late or people who were out drinking or something like that were on Twitter

00:02:43   And so I would have a much, much different usage of Twitter when I was over there than

00:02:50   I do when I'm over here, and it's just sort of in the thick of it with everyone.

00:02:54   When I'm over there, it's almost like you're using it to play catch-up and then talking

00:02:59   to a few drunk people.

00:03:03   But anyway, yeah, so when I came back, I did get right back into the swing of things, but

00:03:09   But I still have these, hopefully, different perspectives on how the outside views Silicon

00:03:18   Valley versus being in it for a decade.

00:03:22   And do you think that outside the Valley startups are underrepresented or more likely to be

00:03:37   overlooked?

00:03:38   Yeah, like I that's my outsider's perspective. My outsider's perspective is that inside the valley

00:03:43   The the focus is so insular because there's so many

00:03:47   things going on and so many smart people and so many interesting things that it's it it

00:03:54   Cultivates an idea that everything worth looking at is in the valley

00:03:57   Yeah, that's a good way to frame because most people, you know talk about well, you're too far in the forest

00:04:02   and

00:04:04   You know you guys are just missing sort of what's outside of the valley the reality of the situation at least from my perspective is

00:04:10   Sort of what you're suggesting which is that there are so many interesting things going on in Silicon Valley that it's it's honestly

00:04:16   Just hard as a matter of time to be able to look outside of it

00:04:20   Unless you happen to be in a locale that's outside of it

00:04:23   So most of the people here who are investing here or certain companies here

00:04:28   You know are you know very much in the in the thick of it?

00:04:32   And so it is probably, it's definitely fair to say that, you know, sort of outside of Silicon Valley is underrepresented,

00:04:41   underrepresented in the minds of everyone here. But I do think that that's just as much of a function of, again,

00:04:49   there being so much here to think about and look at. And so it's just the proximity and time issue.

00:04:58   But then when you move to somewhere else like London

00:05:01   or any other locale, then of course

00:05:04   you're closer to some of those things.

00:05:06   And so you start to see outside of that.

00:05:08   And that's not to say whether or not it's a good or bad thing.

00:05:13   I think overall, everyone would agree,

00:05:14   it's sort of a bad thing to have blind spots to something

00:05:17   if you're not aware of it.

00:05:20   But it's an easier thing that's said than done

00:05:25   when the proximity thing is such a key factor.

00:05:29   - I'm trying to think since the last time

00:05:36   you've been on the show,

00:05:37   what are some of the big high level changes

00:05:40   to the type of stuff we talked about?

00:05:41   - Well, Apple's still doomed.

00:05:43   More doomed than ever.

00:05:47   The more money they make, the farther they have to fall.

00:05:52   It's a catastrophic fall that's happening.

00:05:55   I think they only made whatever.

00:05:57   What did they make?

00:05:59   50 billion in revenue last quarter, something like that?

00:06:02   - I thought something like that.

00:06:05   Yeah, I think so.

00:06:06   And 10 billion in profit.

00:06:08   - It's more than all the major other tech companies combined.

00:06:11   It's way more than any other company, of course,

00:06:14   including Exxon and all the, maybe,

00:06:17   but what's it?

00:06:19   Aramco, I guess, is about to,

00:06:21   or not Aramco, it's, what's the Saudi one?

00:06:25   - Oh, I forget the name.

00:06:27   I know what you're talking about, but I forget the name.

00:06:30   - It sounds like they're about to go public

00:06:32   or spun out partially, so we're about to see

00:06:34   how much money potentially that they make,

00:06:35   and it could be something comparable to Apple.

00:06:37   So it might be the first time we get something like that.

00:06:41   - Yeah, it just only compares to the gas and oil companies.

00:06:46   And it's kind of funny, 'cause we grew up,

00:06:50   I mean, even people who are significantly older than us,

00:06:53   I think, grew up in a world where it's just-- well,

00:06:56   of course the gas and oil companies

00:06:58   are the biggest companies in the world.

00:07:00   It's just like that's the world.

00:07:02   Whereas it's like I'm old enough now to sort of--

00:07:05   and with all the climate change stuff and all--

00:07:10   the interest in renewable energy,

00:07:12   everybody's looking at that and questioning it.

00:07:14   And it's no longer taken as a given

00:07:19   that this is just the way it is.

00:07:20   But I did the math with all the skepticism

00:07:25   with Apple's quote, unquote, bum quarter last quarter.

00:07:30   And it really was true.

00:07:31   I think, I forget if it was revenue or profit,

00:07:33   I think I was looking at profit.

00:07:34   And yeah, it was profit because that's why

00:07:36   I took Amazon out of the equation

00:07:39   because they don't try for profit.

00:07:40   So it's almost like, it's like you're stacking the deck

00:07:45   in the favor of Apple by comparing Amazon.

00:07:48   I think it was like Google, Microsoft, and Facebook combined that they had more profit

00:07:52   than.

00:07:53   Right.

00:07:54   Which is just insane.

00:07:56   Especially with Microsoft, and Google too.

00:08:00   I think Google is often, largely, has tried for profit.

00:08:04   But Microsoft, famously, it was the most profitable company in the industry.

00:08:11   Yeah.

00:08:12   I remember when, thinking back to, I don't even remember how long ago, it was six, seven

00:08:17   years ago or something sort of when I was at TechCrunch looking, trying to cover sort of the

00:08:22   day-to-day of putting into context like just how fast Apple's growing and how big it is relative

00:08:27   to some of the other tech companies. And I remember both putting it in the context of

00:08:32   Microsoft at the time and Microsoft was still leaps and bounds ahead both certainly in profit

00:08:38   and I think in still at revenue at that point. But the other one I remember is HP. Like HP was

00:08:45   so far ahead in revenue that it seemed like Apple would never be able to surpass something like that.

00:08:50   And then, you know, like 18 months later, it was so far in the rearview mirror that it was insane.

00:08:56   Even the HP branded iPods couldn't change that.

00:09:01   That's right. They somehow didn't write the ship. And now HP's been spun out,

00:09:06   or it's got split up once, right? And I think they just sold a separate part of the enterprise

00:09:13   version that was spun out. So it's like three separate companies now that was the one behemoth

00:09:17   at that point that seemed seemed like you know a tech company can ever topple those those types

00:09:22   of revenues and now it's funny. Yeah and it's like HP is one of those companies. It's not like I ever

00:09:28   had a great interest in Hewlett-Packard you know I mean but they were at least relevant to the

00:09:34   sphere of things that I read and now it's almost like when an article comes up with a review of

00:09:38   like an HP laptop or something. I'm like, "Wow, HP, I haven't thought about them in

00:09:42   like a year."

00:09:43   Yeah, I'm the same way.

00:09:44   I just don't even think about it.

00:09:46   It's basically only when I see on Techmeme the earnings report of HP, and that's the

00:09:51   only time I'll see the headline of, "Yeah, they beat," or, "They slightly missed," or

00:09:56   whatever on their targets. It's such a mind-numbing headline to read. I just don't have time to

00:10:06   really care that much anymore about HP.

00:10:08   What's the name of Microsoft's tablet?

00:10:12   Surface.

00:10:14   Surface.

00:10:15   Surface.

00:10:15   So I just saw a review the other day where,

00:10:18   where HP came out with like more or less their competitor to the surface.

00:10:23   And it's,

00:10:25   it's like,

00:10:26   it's just like a surface and,

00:10:28   and they're advertising it,

00:10:29   but you can open it up and like,

00:10:30   you know,

00:10:31   replace the Ram and you can do this and that.

00:10:34   And you know,

00:10:34   It's like all this stuff that was like,

00:10:37   the things people wanted to do with their PCs

00:10:39   like 10 years ago.

00:10:40   But then like the bottom line is,

00:10:41   so it's just like a surface and out of the box,

00:10:43   it's thicker and heavier.

00:10:45   - That's great.

00:10:48   Good job HP.

00:10:49   - Good luck with that.

00:10:49   - But so it's just, it's a tablet with a keyboard thing?

00:10:55   - Yeah, I'll try to find the review

00:10:58   and I'll put the link in the show notes.

00:11:00   It's just like, I don't know,

00:11:03   some division of HP is still making these things in it.

00:11:06   It's squeaked out the side, but it's like,

00:11:08   it's not surprising.

00:11:10   - Yeah, it's the office space guy

00:11:14   with the red stapler in the basement

00:11:15   who's just doing this and no one realizes it, yeah.

00:11:19   - Exactly, right.

00:11:20   He's still down there making laptops

00:11:22   and he's like looking around the industry

00:11:23   and he's like, well, I guess that's the new form factor.

00:11:26   And that's what he made.

00:11:27   That's exactly it.

00:11:32   You are, I think, you've been bullish on Uber.

00:11:44   Yeah, sure.

00:11:45   I mean, you know, GV is a pretty big investor in Uber.

00:11:49   Right, so let's disclose it every time GV

00:11:53   is an investor in somebody.

00:11:55   But I feel like that, again, not having

00:12:00   had you on the show in a long time, that to me, the ride sharing, and it doesn't have

00:12:05   to be Uber in particular, but it seems to be accelerating at an almost crazy rate. And

00:12:18   I could be wrong. Maybe one thing, a couple years ago, I don't know, I guess about 10

00:12:23   ago. There were a lot here in Philly, especially the Zipcars was pretty common. And you'd see them,

00:12:30   and I always noticed it because I noticed branding and stuff that, you know, the cars all had Zipcars

00:12:35   printed on the side. And I knew where all the parking lots were, where they were. And it was

00:12:41   something that when we were shopping for a car 10 years ago, we considered it. We've really strongly

00:12:47   thought, maybe we don't have to buy a car. Maybe we could just do the Zipcars thing. But it's like,

00:12:51   we kind of pretended, you know, like, "Well, let's pretend it's a rainy day, and how far do we have to

00:12:56   go?" And it was like, "Yeah, this is pretty far." So we didn't go for it. We bought a car. But

00:13:00   I've noticed, and this is totally anecdotal, but I don't see anywhere near as many Zip cars in

00:13:06   Philadelphia as I used to. It seemed like that got popular, and now it's less popular, and I can't

00:13:12   help it think that it's the ride sharing.

00:13:19   Actually the last time I've been in Philadelphia in a long time, certainly well before Uber

00:13:23   and Lyft and whatnot existed, so is Uber pretty ubiquitous? Is that how people get around?

00:13:29   Well, I can't speak for the whole city of Philadelphia, but Philadelphia, center city

00:13:33   Philadelphia is, you know, the downtown part of Philadelphia is all centralized. It's one

00:13:37   contiguous rectangular block. And within Center City, Philly, it's never more than a five-minute

00:13:45   wait for a black car or an SUV. I don't really do the UberX, but I think it's even less for that.

00:13:52   And it's really, really common.

00:13:55   And does Philly have good public transportation or really bad public transportation?

00:13:59   I would qualify it as mediocre. We have two subway lines, one that goes east-west and one that goes north-south.

00:14:08   So it's just effectively just like a plus that goes right through the center of the city.

00:14:14   So like in the sporting complex, all the Phillies, the Eagles, the Sixers, all of this stuff is all in one big area way down in South Philly.

00:14:24   So it's easy for me, like if I'm going to a game, I just walk to the what we call the

00:14:29   Broad Street line, the one that goes north-south, hop on that and go south, and it's great.

00:14:34   If you want to go anywhere off that plus grid, it's not so great.

00:14:37   I mean there's buses, but eh.

00:14:39   Yeah, no.

00:14:40   I mean even in the cities now with great public transportation, New York obviously, London

00:14:45   being another, it's still, you're still seeing Uber, Lyft, and all the rest sort of just

00:14:51   taking over and becoming huge in all these markets just because, I mean, I think there's

00:14:56   a number of things at play, but the convenience factor of course, like just dialing up something

00:15:01   and it being there right at your doorstep and taking you exactly to where you need to go,

00:15:06   you know, just makes sense for a lot of people. You talked about your wife and yourself sort of

00:15:13   thinking about if Zipcar would make sense. You know, when Megan, my wife, and I moved over to

00:15:18   to London, we sold our cars here in San Francisco.

00:15:22   And so when we came back, we thought about what should we

00:15:26   do.

00:15:26   And right now, we still don't have cars.

00:15:28   It's been almost a year.

00:15:29   Neither one of us have a car.

00:15:31   And we do use Uber to get everywhere, basically.

00:15:35   A few times, we've rented a car, like if we're

00:15:37   going for an extended trip up north or down south.

00:15:42   But for 99% of our travel now is with Uber.

00:15:46   And I want to preface that a little bit,

00:15:48   because I know I sound like a Silicon Valley, perhaps,

00:15:52   stereotype.

00:15:54   Yeah, we can get everywhere we need to go on Uber.

00:15:56   But the reality is, in a lot of, I think, metro areas now,

00:16:01   it can be cheaper depending on your situation

00:16:06   and depending on what you need to do.

00:16:07   It's obviously a little bit different

00:16:09   if you have children and some other life situations.

00:16:11   But for the situation that we're currently in,

00:16:15   It's definitely cheaper for us to use something like Uber and UberX and now UberPool,

00:16:20   like the carpooling version of it, to get around a city versus owning a car,

00:16:24   having to pay insurance, having to pay for gas, having to pay for parking,

00:16:28   and everything else that's included.

00:16:30   Yeah, and it's just one of those things that it's really opened my eyes to.

00:16:36   Just, I know it sounds so obvious, it sounds such a duh, but it's like,

00:16:42   "Good God, look at all these cars that are parked everywhere."

00:16:45   And I know that this is part of just the basic argument,

00:16:48   but it's that the industry is ripe for transportation.

00:16:50   But when you're in a city and you just see cars parked everywhere,

00:16:55   and you see buildings that are just parking garages just stacked with cars,

00:16:59   and you just think, "All of these cars are just sitting here for hours and hours and hours,"

00:17:03   and you think like an Uber is always in motion.

00:17:09   Yeah. I mean, I think that that's a good point.

00:17:11   And it's something that gets talked about a little bit,

00:17:13   but not enough.

00:17:14   And I think it will be talked about more and more

00:17:17   as this becomes more of the reality in more places.

00:17:20   But you're exactly right.

00:17:21   Like, imagine the future, whether it's Uber and Lyft

00:17:26   or the eventual sort of self-driving car elements,

00:17:30   where all of a sudden, all of these spaces and cities

00:17:33   are unlocked that are just used, as you said,

00:17:35   to sort of house cars that just sit there all day,

00:17:38   which is ridiculous.

00:17:40   so much of city life is taken up by these giant parking garages.

00:17:44   And when you can unlock that and you no longer need those,

00:17:47   like cities become much better as a result of having all that space sort of

00:17:51   freed up. And you can put any number of things there, anything you want,

00:17:54   all these, uh, I, you know, who knows how much square footage is out there.

00:17:58   That's, that's just devoted to parking, but it is a ton.

00:18:01   Yeah. It's, it's, you know, and when you think about it and you just don't,

00:18:06   know, like again, it's like, you know, when I first came to Philly, you know, for college in the early

00:18:12   90s, I just assumed that the city would be full of cars. That's just the world as I knew it. But as I,

00:18:18   you know, question it now, it's, this seems ridiculous.

00:18:21   Yeah, I still do wonder. So I grew up in a suburb outside of Cleveland. And, you know, it's a fairly

00:18:30   typical Midwestern-like suburb. And there, obviously, it's not super dense and you had

00:18:39   to drive everywhere. And so I've been home a few times in the past few years and they

00:18:48   have Uber and I do take it, but it's not nearly, of course, as ubiquitous as it would be in

00:18:54   the city. Like even in downtown Cleveland, it would be a lot more ubiquitous, of course.

00:18:59   And so I do wonder for the suburbs and outside regions

00:19:03   how long that will take to tip.

00:19:05   But I still think it will.

00:19:08   I think it will spill out from the cities into that.

00:19:11   And it's just a matter of having enough cars on the roads that

00:19:17   are performing those tasks to be able to do it in a suburban

00:19:20   area as well.

00:19:20   I know a lot of people still think in the suburbs,

00:19:23   it's just not feasible.

00:19:25   You have to go grocery shopping and do

00:19:27   all these things that are sort of always a drive away.

00:19:29   But again, at scale, I'm not so sure

00:19:32   that that's totally unreasonable.

00:19:35   - I was listening to one of Bill Simmons' podcasts recently

00:19:40   and I think only half ingest,

00:19:45   he has a theory that because of Uber,

00:19:48   there are more people having accidental third kids

00:19:52   because Uber, the existence of Uber

00:19:55   makes it so much easier for parents with kids

00:20:00   to go out and have a couple drinks at dinner

00:20:03   than they would in the past.

00:20:05   If you had to drive, one of the two of you would have to,

00:20:08   you know, would have to abstain.

00:20:10   And if you just take an Uber to dinner,

00:20:12   you can both drink.

00:20:14   And so his theory, there's gonna be a lot more families

00:20:16   with three kids instead of two.

00:20:18   - That's pretty funny, I like that, the Uber boom.

00:20:23   Uber's helping the world in families, with families.

00:20:27   That's what it's all about.

00:20:30   But it seems funny because it's just a funny idea

00:20:34   that people are going to have extra babies.

00:20:37   But there's a certain logic to it.

00:20:39   Yeah.

00:20:39   I do think it's true.

00:20:40   I mean, it's sort of the flip side of that, just in general.

00:20:44   Isn't it great to know when you go out in a city or not,

00:20:49   anywhere, really, when you want to have a few drinks,

00:20:52   like you just do not have to worry about it.

00:20:56   And that just was not the reality 10 years ago, of course.

00:20:59   - Right, and there's parts of Philly,

00:21:02   I mean, it doesn't matter,

00:21:05   it doesn't mean anything to you if you're not here,

00:21:06   but like an area we call Fishtown,

00:21:09   and it's like the gentrified area,

00:21:11   like the part that was really kind of sketchy

00:21:13   even 10, 15 years ago,

00:21:15   and it's sort of like that's where all the hipster stuff is.

00:21:18   But there's lots and lots,

00:21:20   I mean, because of that, it's all sorts of new restaurants

00:21:23   that open up, open up in that area.

00:21:25   And it's always, even now that it's more popular,

00:21:29   grossly underserved by cabs.

00:21:31   So you can get a cab to go there easily,

00:21:34   but then when you wanna leave, you are good luck.

00:21:39   And it's actually the type of thing where you'd actually

00:21:42   call a cab company, which seems like such

00:21:45   an old-timey thing to do.

00:21:49   But then you wait.

00:21:50   And it's like every time--

00:21:52   I remember in the old days before Uber and stuff

00:21:55   like that, if I did call for a cab,

00:21:58   you could wait half an hour and they don't come.

00:22:00   Oh, yeah.

00:22:01   I mean, that was very much the reality of the situation

00:22:04   when I got to San Francisco almost 10 years ago.

00:22:07   And of course, this is--

00:22:09   everyone knows the thing now.

00:22:10   Like, part of the reason why Uber came into existence--

00:22:12   I mean, the main story was they were in Paris

00:22:15   and sort of at a tech conference and sort of talking

00:22:18   about wouldn't it be cool to have a black car service

00:22:20   or whatever.

00:22:21   But the reality is that when they got back

00:22:23   to San Francisco, everyone was living in this reality

00:22:26   where San Francisco public transportation was awful.

00:22:28   And it still is awful outside of Uber.

00:22:30   Muni is the line here that's the public transportation that

00:22:34   goes down all the time and is always running late.

00:22:37   And it's a constant joke.

00:22:39   If you follow Matt Honan on Twitter,

00:22:41   it's like 50% of his tweets are complaining about Muni.

00:22:45   And then we have the BART system,

00:22:46   which is we have all these like sort of half baked

00:22:50   public transportation things.

00:22:51   But when I moved to San Francisco,

00:22:52   I lived in an area called Russian Hill, which

00:22:55   was not connected to any or near any of the public transportation

00:22:58   aside from the cable cars, which I would take every once

00:23:02   in a while, which is sort of ridiculous

00:23:03   because it's very much like a tourist thing.

00:23:05   And so I'm on there with 50 tourists

00:23:08   and I'm trying to take this to commute into Soma.

00:23:12   And it takes forever because it goes slow to appreciate

00:23:14   the view or whatever.

00:23:16   But that was the reality of public transportation for me

00:23:20   when I moved to San Francisco.

00:23:21   And yes, so you would see a cab every once in a while.

00:23:25   But if you would have to get lucky to spot one out there,

00:23:29   and that was even still a better situation

00:23:32   than trying to call one.

00:23:33   I mean, I remember I would call them

00:23:35   from my apartment in Russian Hill,

00:23:37   and it would be often like a 45 minute wait.

00:23:40   And about half the time, they just wouldn't show up at all.

00:23:42   So you couldn't trust it.

00:23:43   And so when people are talking about,

00:23:46   there's just simple things that led to the rise

00:23:49   of services like Uber and just why the cab companies

00:23:53   get all mad that this is happening to them.

00:23:57   It's like, I mean, they really did do it to themselves.

00:24:00   - Yeah, in Philly, it's again a long story short,

00:24:04   but the cab situation here is,

00:24:05   I've told this story on the show before,

00:24:06   but it really is true.

00:24:08   Philly's cabs are really lower, less regulated

00:24:12   in terms of like in just the, I mean we have,

00:24:14   it's just like New York and other big cities

00:24:16   where you have to have a taxi medallion.

00:24:18   And they limit the number of medallions, you know.

00:24:22   So it's like artificial scarcity.

00:24:24   But the actual cars themselves

00:24:26   don't have very high inspection standards.

00:24:28   And New York does.

00:24:31   And so most of the cabs on the road in Philadelphia

00:24:34   are cabs that failed regular, you know, inspection.

00:24:39   - That's funny, I didn't know that.

00:24:40   just ship them down the Jersey Turnpike and sell them to cab companies in Philly. Or police

00:24:45   cruisers. The last time I couldn't remember the name of the car, Crown Victorias. And

00:24:51   some of them, if you actually pay attention to the Crown Vic cabs in Philly, you can actually

00:24:55   still see the ones that have the police division on the back. They just paint them. They just

00:25:00   paint over them.

00:25:01   That's funny.

00:25:02   And everybody knows that police officers abuse their cars. They drive them up curbs. They're

00:25:09   in action. And then once the police are like, "Wow, this isn't even good enough to use for

00:25:13   a police cruiser anymore," then they just sell them to a cab company in Philly. And

00:25:16   they're just really, again, this is a total white wine. This is absolutely coming from

00:25:22   a position of privilege. But the cab, most of the cabs in Philly, they're just gross.

00:25:27   They're just grossed as beer. They don't smell good. The air conditioning, a lot of them,

00:25:34   especially the Crown Vicks, and then the Crown Vicks are there because they're not making

00:25:37   them anymore. So slowly but surely, they're getting off the roads and they're being replaced

00:25:41   by newer cars. But like the Crown Vics, they all have the safety-style divider between

00:25:51   you and the cab driver with plexiglass. Most of them, there's just like this gross, I

00:25:57   swear to God, like a two-inch diameter tube down on the floor coming from the front, which

00:26:02   is where the heater air conditioning gets sent to the back.

00:26:05   Oh, that's great. I guess at first I thought you were going, that's where sort of the driver

00:26:12   discharges when they've been driving for a long time. So that's slightly better than

00:26:15   that.

00:26:16   Yeah, it's slightly better. It's definitely better than that. But yeah, imagine like an

00:26:20   accordion style tube, like a plastic tube. You know, those ones that kids can like wave

00:26:25   around and they make like a funny noise. It's like that type of tube and it's just there

00:26:29   on the floor and that's where your air conditioning comes from. It's really, they did it to themselves.

00:26:34   And so that used to be the situation, too,

00:26:36   with cabs in San Francisco.

00:26:37   For sure, they were disgusting.

00:26:39   They were ridiculous cars.

00:26:41   I've noticed-- the only time that I ever take a cab anymore

00:26:44   in San Francisco, I've taken a few coming back

00:26:46   from the airport, just because obviously, a lot of cities,

00:26:49   as I'm sure you know, too, have these weird rules around where

00:26:53   an Uber or Lyft can pick you up.

00:26:54   And it takes sometimes longer to wait

00:26:57   because of that as a result. So if I'm in a hurry,

00:27:00   I'll just hop in a cab.

00:27:01   And so I've been in a few recently,

00:27:03   coming back from places.

00:27:04   And the cabs are night and day better

00:27:08   than they were those eight years ago.

00:27:10   I mean, it's the case of just the existence of Uber, Lyft,

00:27:13   and everything else has forced them to up their game, which

00:27:19   means no longer accordion tubes of heat.

00:27:23   And of course, they all now have sort of--

00:27:26   at first, none of them would take credit card

00:27:28   in San Francisco.

00:27:29   It drove me insane.

00:27:30   Now they all seem to as a result of this.

00:27:33   But yeah, things like that.

00:27:36   And you can summon a few from apps now, it seems like,

00:27:39   and whatnot.

00:27:40   So it has risen.

00:27:42   The tide has risen for all boats.

00:27:44   But still, yeah, took that case for it to happen.

00:27:49   All right, let's hold that thought

00:27:51   because I'll come back to it.

00:27:52   I don't want to talk about Apple and where

00:27:56   the rise of the self-driving cars

00:27:57   might play into Apple's car ambitions.

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00:30:32   So I would say this is one of the most frequent emails I get on a weekly basis from readers of

00:30:39   Daring Fireball or listeners of the show is just readers just saying, "Hey, hey, John. Idea.

00:30:48   what if Apple's car project isn't about a car that they're going to sell?

00:30:52   What if it's like a self-driving car service? And I can't tell you,

00:30:57   I mean literally I get two or three emails like that a week. And my answer is,

00:31:02   if I answer the email, a lot of times I don't have time to answer emails.

00:31:06   I'm sorry about that. But my answer is maybe, I don't know.

00:31:10   It's possible. I mean,

00:31:13   my only thing about that though is that Apple traditionally is a company that at

00:31:17   core makes objects that are beautiful, that are well designed, that have like a

00:31:25   sexiness to them, and then they sell them to people who want nice things at a

00:31:31   premium price. That's just what Apple does. So common sense would tell me that

00:31:36   just by history that if Apple's making a car, they're making a car that they plan

00:31:40   to sell at a high profit. Yeah, I mean so that's been a thing that that's been

00:31:47   bandied about I guess since the whole rumors of Apple cars started. First

00:31:52   and foremost it was was it going to be an electric car and it seems like I

00:31:57   mean that's it that seems like a for sure thing right there's no chance that

00:32:00   Apple makes a you know an old gas guzzler type car. I would say of yeah I

00:32:07   would say of all the maybes and who the hell knows what they're planning with

00:32:10   cars that's the one thing I would I would say is a hundred percent a lot

00:32:13   Yeah, because it's it's so off their brand at this point. We're so committed with environments and everything right like right

00:32:21   Yeah, they're so committed to the environment. I mean here in I bet it's the same everywhere, but here in Philly

00:32:26   That front of the store right now says this store is runs on 100% renewable. I saw that exact same thing the other day

00:32:34   Yeah, there's there's no way

00:32:38   You could sell a device that runs on gasoline

00:32:41   Inside a store that says the store runs on our present renewable energy. You just can't it's off their brand

00:32:48   So I just clearly they're not I don't even think they're they're looking at maybe yeah, maybe in like ten years

00:32:52   They'll have the campaign like, you know, we you know, we really are upset that global warming has slowed to the level

00:32:59   You know of sustainability, so we're really amping it up

00:33:02   We want to want to get get that back on track. The world is becoming too cold

00:33:07   And so yeah, so that I do wonder like I and I also think I mean

00:33:13   I would I would guess that that also rules out a hybrid, you know, they could do something like that

00:33:18   I guess but I would imagine that they just were in this we're at the place now with with where Tesla's at or it would

00:33:23   Make no sense. I think to even do a hybrid approach. It has to be all electric, right? I

00:33:27   Think so. I think even and I just think they can't get they just can't get near I think I

00:33:34   I think branding wise is why I'm certain that they just can't get near gasoline, but I think just putting on my you know

00:33:41   Predicting the future hat. I I just think that's on the way out

00:33:46   I think that hybrids were obviously a stop grab and you know, maybe a necessary one

00:33:51   I'm not even saying that they weren't you know that the hybrids are on a road aren't doing a good job

00:33:55   But it clearly doesn't seem like that's where the puck is going

00:33:59   So the other point of would Apple just do this as sort of a service type thing is an interesting question

00:34:06   I mean, I'm with you that I it just doesn't seem like it's it's

00:34:11   What they do that they would they would do something like that

00:34:15   It is interesting to think about if they're you know

00:34:17   If they're sort of looking at the big-level picture of what everyone else is looking at like with with regards to the quote-unquote doom of

00:34:23   Apple, you know that they can't find they can't find a business. That's that's more interesting than the iPhone

00:34:29   Do they start to really think outside the box?

00:34:32   And as they start to go down the path more of services,

00:34:35   I mean, maybe there's a chance that they realize that this,

00:34:40   beyond just selling a car themselves,

00:34:43   maybe it's more interesting to have a service

00:34:45   that's potentially a more stable source of ongoing revenue.

00:34:50   Maybe, but I don't think that that's the case,

00:34:54   but that's the only argument I could make

00:34:57   as to why they would do something like that.

00:35:00   I do think the self-driving question itself is interesting.

00:35:03   It also would seem to me that that's

00:35:06   what they would likely be going after versus having it just

00:35:11   be full-on electric.

00:35:12   But I don't know about that.

00:35:13   It's possible that they're doing a two-pronged approach, one,

00:35:17   an electric car that you can drive yourself like Tesla,

00:35:20   two, the fully self-driving one, or some sort of hybrid,

00:35:24   as you know, like a lot of the Teslas now

00:35:25   rolling out these software updates to do autonomous driving in some capacity, like when it's on

00:35:30   the freeway and whatnot. So it could end up being something like that.

00:35:36   I just feel like the timeline doesn't add up to bank on self-driving. My best guess,

00:35:44   and it just sounds so like I'm trying to have it every way, I'm not making a firm prediction,

00:35:49   But my guess is that Apple is working on electric cars,

00:35:53   that they are absolutely working on

00:35:56   self-driving technologies.

00:35:58   Let's say the early, I think the earliest

00:36:01   they could possibly actually unveil

00:36:04   an Apple branded car is like 2020.

00:36:07   So even if there's some kind of Apple magic

00:36:12   that throwing their resources at,

00:36:14   that proves me wrong, 2019,

00:36:18   I mean, that just seems crazy to go from not having a car

00:36:21   other than as a secret project

00:36:23   to actually having them on the road that you can buy.

00:36:25   2019 seems like fantasy land.

00:36:28   By 2020, will self-driving cars be there

00:36:33   that you could do like the,

00:36:34   not even have your hands on,

00:36:38   not even be paying attention to the road?

00:36:39   I just don't see that as possible.

00:36:41   And even just legally.

00:36:42   - Right.

00:36:43   - Even if the technology,

00:36:44   I think the technology is gonna get there before the laws--

00:36:47   Yeah, I mean, that's 100% for sure.

00:36:51   I mean, I guess they could--

00:36:56   maybe you could look at it sort of like the way

00:36:58   the iPhone rolled out, right?

00:36:59   Like there were faster 3G services at the time, right?

00:37:06   But they rolled out without 3G.

00:37:07   And so maybe it is still the case,

00:37:10   even if there was self-driving cars out on the road,

00:37:13   or say 75% self-driving.

00:37:15   It's like it could be self-driving beyond a few areas

00:37:20   where it's not.

00:37:21   It's possible that Apple would just roll out it as not

00:37:25   advertised or whatever as self-driving,

00:37:28   because they don't feel like it's

00:37:29   a good enough experience yet.

00:37:30   And I could see that world where it's like maybe Google

00:37:36   is something out there, maybe Uber, maybe Tesla.

00:37:39   And they're billing them more as self-driving,

00:37:42   but Apple is a bit more cautious on that front.

00:37:45   and really waiting for it to be like a fully self-driving

00:37:49   thing before they go down that road.

00:37:51   - Yeah, that's exactly what I think,

00:37:53   is that they're planning for that full steam ahead,

00:37:56   but that they are also planning,

00:37:59   I'm guessing to ship a car before that's ready.

00:38:01   - Yeah.

00:38:02   - And that exactly, you know, the analogy to 3G and LTE,

00:38:05   but 3G is the perfect example,

00:38:07   'cause 3G was actually, there were 3G phones.

00:38:10   It's actually one of the, you know,

00:38:11   if you go back and look at the claim chowder of the people

00:38:13   who panned the original iPhone, they'd be like,

00:38:16   it's not even 3G.

00:38:17   You know, it's, I think it's that sort of thing,

00:38:20   where they're like, look, for practical purposes,

00:38:22   we're gonna go with Edge for this one,

00:38:24   and you know, we'll pick up 3G in a year or two.

00:38:27   - But do you think that they would do,

00:38:29   sort of like what Tesla's done,

00:38:31   so they roll out one high-end, you know,

00:38:34   Tesla started with the Roadster,

00:38:35   which is like a super high-end, super fancy sports car,

00:38:38   right, and then, and Elon Musk,

00:38:40   in that great blog post many years ago,

00:38:42   laid out exactly what they were gonna do

00:38:44   and what they're now pulling off, right?

00:38:46   That they would then roll out a cheaper version

00:38:49   and then sort of a SUV type version.

00:38:52   And then like the cheapest version,

00:38:55   sort of the mass market version.

00:38:56   Do you think Apple would take that approach,

00:38:58   something akin to that, where they do sort of one at a time

00:39:01   versus rolling out like say two models,

00:39:04   like a high-end version and then more like the sedan

00:39:08   for regular folks or something?

00:39:11   Prior to Apple Watch, I would have said one for sure,

00:39:13   because that's how Apple always did things, right?

00:39:16   There's one iPhone, there's one iPad, here it is.

00:39:19   This is the iPad.

00:39:20   And only years down the road are there things like

00:39:24   iPad Pros and iPad Minis and, you know,

00:39:27   low-end models with two-year-old systems on a chip

00:39:30   and high-end models with the latest and greatest.

00:39:32   Only years down the road.

00:39:34   But without, after Apple Watch, I think, I don't know.

00:39:38   I don't know that, you know, maybe Apple Watch,

00:39:41   I keep thinking that maybe Apple Watch is not that it was,

00:39:44   not that the only reason they did it

00:39:45   was as a test for the car,

00:39:46   but that it lays out the formula for the car

00:39:50   where they might do three, right?

00:39:53   Apple Car Sport, $25,000 or something like that, $30,000.

00:39:58   Apple Car, $50,000.

00:40:02   And the Apple Car Edition for $100,000.

00:40:08   And I'm laughing, but part of the reason I say that is that I know that there's an

00:40:14   off, you know, executives at Apple.

00:40:16   I've been to the Apple parking lot.

00:40:18   There are a lot of really nice cars in the infinite loop parking lot.

00:40:22   People who work at Apple have nice cars.

00:40:24   It's almost like I've...

00:40:25   And we know, like, Johnny Ive and Phil Schiller and who else?

00:40:33   Eddie Q, right?

00:40:34   He's on the board of Lamborghini, I think.

00:40:36   Yes.

00:40:37   - Yeah.

00:40:38   - So they're obviously car guys.

00:40:40   They like their fancy cars.

00:40:41   - Right. - Yeah.

00:40:42   - So, you know, how do you, you know,

00:40:48   if there are already car guys who like exotic cars,

00:40:50   how does Apple get into it without making an exotic car?

00:40:53   - Well, and to tie it back

00:40:54   to what we were talking about earlier,

00:40:56   you know, we were talking about it in the context of Uber,

00:40:58   like not needing to own a car anymore.

00:41:00   Like if we're talking about, let's say it's 2020.

00:41:03   So it's, you know, a little less than four years.

00:41:07   say it's four years from now, four or five years from now.

00:41:10   And more people are in the space of what you and your wife

00:41:16   were debating, and me and my wife now live in,

00:41:19   let's just say in urban areas at least, in city areas,

00:41:24   that they feel like they don't need to own a car.

00:41:26   Is it weird for Apple to be making a car that they would

00:41:29   potentially be selling for whatever, $50,000 in a world

00:41:35   where a decreasing number of people are buying cars?

00:41:38   - That's a great question.

00:41:42   That's part of why I find this whole topic fascinating

00:41:45   'cause there's so many trends that are moving, right?

00:41:50   There's the, we've talked about them,

00:41:52   but there's the gas to electric.

00:41:55   There's the self-driving is coming.

00:41:58   There's, and then there's this whole shared,

00:42:02   ride-sharing thing where people just don't own cars period. I think my guess

00:42:07   is that okay fewer and fewer people are buying cars but Apple can enter and if

00:42:12   you're gonna buy a car they're gonna they're gonna have a compelling car.

00:42:16   You know that it's easy to say sure fewer people are buying cars but it's

00:42:21   you know people also said fewer people are buying watches fewer people wear a

00:42:25   watch than ever before. That's true that's a good point because I was gonna

00:42:28   I was going to say like PCs, fewer people are buying PCs, right?

00:42:32   But then Mac is still doing well, relatively speaking, but would they enter that world

00:42:36   now knowing it's an overall shrinking world?

00:42:40   And that's not to say they wouldn't, but it's a calculation you have to make.

00:42:45   Yeah, I totally think so.

00:42:48   But I just think that the market for cars is so big, that so many, you know, there are

00:42:53   so many car companies and so many, you know, it's just so much money in the industry overall,

00:42:58   even if it shrinks significantly,

00:43:01   that Apple can take a sizable chunk

00:43:04   of the profitable end of that market.

00:43:06   And it still is huge.

00:43:07   - Right, and it's a potential,

00:43:09   talking, going back to the, what is the next iPhone,

00:43:12   it's one of the potential things

00:43:14   that could actually match the iPhone.

00:43:16   Like I think we're all, I think everyone,

00:43:18   I would assume you're in agreement now,

00:43:20   and always have been, but like,

00:43:22   that even at the best case scenario for Apple Watch,

00:43:27   it cannot match what the iPhone did just because of the whole subsidy model,

00:43:32   you know, and, and the way that,

00:43:35   that the world just worked back then and the watch has nothing like that.

00:43:39   Even if Apple sells more of them overall,

00:43:42   they're not going to make as much money off of it because it's just a different

00:43:45   business. Right. There's no way,

00:43:48   even no matter how popular Apple watch becomes,

00:43:50   it's not going to sell in the quantity that iPhone does.

00:43:53   And each one they do sell is gonna sell

00:43:57   for at least half the price,

00:43:59   if not even less than half the price of the iPhone today.

00:44:03   Because almost everybody gets the sport model.

00:44:05   - Right, which is a mistake I made.

00:44:07   - So it's a lower price product.

00:44:09   It's a lower price, what, you did buy a sport?

00:44:11   - No, I should have bought a sport.

00:44:13   I bought the regular Apple Watch, not the edition.

00:44:15   I bought the regular one and I'm just like,

00:44:17   I don't know why I did that.

00:44:18   I did that because I thought it would be slightly different

00:44:20   or whatever, but it definitely should have gotten the sport.

00:44:22   Anyway, that's an aside.

00:44:23   - Yeah, well, I've mentioned,

00:44:26   I'm actually wearing it today.

00:44:30   I have the regular one with the space black,

00:44:33   and I do like a link style bracelet,

00:44:35   and it is a wonderful bracelet, and it's very comfortable.

00:44:38   But I really think that the sport models are superior

00:44:41   just because the Taptic engine works better.

00:44:44   - Yeah, and wasn't it supposed to have

00:44:45   a slightly better screen?

00:44:46   I remember something slightly better, maybe?

00:44:51   The display isn't any better, but the surface of the display on the regular Apple Watch

00:44:58   is sapphire.

00:44:59   The other one is whatever, ion-coated glass.

00:45:03   So it does pick up fine scratches.

00:45:05   But I've looked at my sons.

00:45:06   My son has had an Apple Watch from, I guess, around a year and wears it a lot.

00:45:13   And he's a 12-year-old kid and it's not like he's taking good care of it.

00:45:17   I've looked at the screen and it does have fine scratches, but it's no different than

00:45:21   than any other non-sapphire coated watch that I've worn.

00:45:25   And when you're actually looking at the display head

00:45:27   on the scratches, you can't see them.

00:45:29   You have to do the thing where you turn the display off

00:45:31   and kinda find a glaring light source

00:45:35   to sort of spot the scratches.

00:45:36   - Yeah, so anyway, so yeah,

00:45:41   most people are buying the cheaper version.

00:45:44   So the car, high-end cars are one of the few things

00:45:51   that could produce the types of revenues that would match iPhone, potentially, at a massive scale.

00:45:57   Right, or at least be like the same class of plan.

00:46:02   Right.

00:46:02   You know what I mean? So maybe the iPhone is still Jupiter, but the car potentially is another gas giant.

00:46:10   Could be like Neptune or something like that.

00:46:12   As opposed to the Apple Watch, which is really just like another Venus or Earth or Mars or something.

00:46:18   Yes.

00:46:18   Like it's a planet, it's not Pluto. It's a real planet.

00:46:24   But it's, come on, you can't compare it to Jupiter.

00:46:26   But the car could be, just because the car would sell, just, you know, it could easily sell for $30,000.

00:46:34   Quite frank, you know, it's Apple, so it's probably more.

00:46:38   So, I know you want to talk about the Peter Thiel thing too as well, and we can get to that.

00:46:43   But while we're still on the topic of Apple,

00:46:45   the one thing that I've been thinking about a lot recently

00:46:48   is the whole Alexa and the rumors now.

00:46:53   I think the information had the report the other day

00:46:55   that Apple would be working on a potential Echo competitor.

00:47:00   And of course, Google announced their home thing

00:47:03   at I/O, which is the Echo competitor.

00:47:05   And I'm interested in your take on that.

00:47:08   I think at a high level, we went back and forth on Twitter

00:47:12   a little bit one night.

00:47:13   I think you know my perspective on it, which is that the--

00:47:18   - Well, hold your thought, hold your thought.

00:47:19   'Cause that was already in my list of topics

00:47:21   I wanna talk to you about.

00:47:23   And we could do a whole segment on it.

00:47:24   So let me take a break and thank another sponsor,

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00:48:58   of this show.

00:49:00   - You quickly, before we go into Alexa and whatnot,

00:49:03   you brought up Bill Simmons podcast earlier.

00:49:05   I was always curious if you ever thought about doing what he does when he does his sponsor

00:49:10   reads and plays like, I think he plays like a Tupac song or whatever in the background.

00:49:14   But do you think about, you know, like a way to sort of, I don't know, perdition it differently

00:49:20   than the rest of the show?

00:49:23   I have, it's funny, it's very funny that you would bring that up because two reasons that

00:49:29   I have thought about that is A) Bill Simmons podcast, which now with this whole ringer

00:49:34   there's more of them and I've been listening to them and I've noticed that and I like it.

00:49:39   I like I really like his reads too. I think he does a great job at it.

00:49:43   It makes me want to up my game on making sure that the the reads are engaging.

00:49:49   Like that's really one of the things I feel like I feel like when I do this show

00:49:53   I'm just having fun talking to people who I like talking to and my job is

00:49:57   doing the sponsor reads in a way that makes people not want to skip them. And how can I do that?

00:50:02   What would I what would I what would it take for me if I were listening to the talk show?

00:50:05   To not want to skip this ad and I never skip Bill Simmons's so I really and it inspires me

00:50:12   But I've noticed that he plays that the music. Yeah, and then the the gang on

00:50:16   Accidental tech podcast has started they've been it's almost like an in-joke where they haven't been playing music behind the reeds

00:50:23   But they've been they've added little

00:50:27   sounds to start it and close them. Okay, so people to give people an indication of like this is this is now, you know

00:50:34   the sponsored break

00:50:37   Ding ding ding and and you know and then it's the sponsoring and then and then when it's over

00:50:41   It's like dun dun dun and then it's like you're back and and I have to mention because they did

00:50:44   Marco Arment on ATP said that his inspiration for starting to do that when he edits the show is

00:50:50   the absolutely great podcast which I've mentioned before hello internet with

00:50:56   CGP Grey and the other guy.

00:51:02   So I've listened to Simmons' podcast for a long time, dating back well to the earlier,

00:51:11   probably near when he started it at ESPN.

00:51:14   And I think, because originally they would play, I think they would play canned ads,

00:51:20   and they still do this on many ESPN podcasts, and so he slowly evolved into more of the

00:51:26   reads that you hear now and certainly what you do.

00:51:29   And one of the reasons why I think you like him

00:51:32   and I like him too is because he was so bad at it at first.

00:51:36   It's almost like when someone told him that, well, you

00:51:41   got to actually talk about it.

00:51:43   That's what resonates with podcast listeners.

00:51:45   And so if you're just having a conversation,

00:51:48   then all of a sudden dive into a spiel about whatever

00:51:52   the advertiser is doing, it comes across much better

00:51:55   than sort of a canned recording of whatever

00:51:58   the advertiser is saying.

00:52:00   And so at first he was so bad at it.

00:52:03   And I think he's evolved over time

00:52:05   and almost like plays on like being bad at it

00:52:09   because it's not so bad anymore,

00:52:10   but it's like, it's just natural, right?

00:52:12   It's like the way that he would talk about it.

00:52:15   And I think you, honestly,

00:52:16   I think you do a good job of it as well.

00:52:18   But the only thing is his just feels like more raw.

00:52:22   That's what it is.

00:52:23   - Yeah.

00:52:24   - Yeah.

00:52:25   I have to add, Brady Harron is the other co-host of Hello

00:52:29   Internet.

00:52:31   But they do the same thing with the bumper sounds.

00:52:33   I don't know.

00:52:34   I have to think about it.

00:52:35   I'm not setting my ways on this.

00:52:37   OK, so Siri-- so the information had a scoop the other day

00:52:43   that Apple is planning both a Siri API for developers

00:52:48   to extend Siri and an Echo-like standalone device, which

00:52:53   which is also competitive with the upcoming Google Home.

00:52:59   Right.

00:53:00   So, I have had an Amazon Echo.

00:53:06   I always get confused whether I should call it Alexa or Echo.

00:53:09   I know, yeah.

00:53:10   It is the Echo.

00:53:11   Alexa is the persona, obviously.

00:53:15   But it's also how you address it.

00:53:16   You say Alexa.

00:53:17   Right.

00:53:18   It's a weird branding issue.

00:53:22   I think they should just call it Alexa, honestly.

00:53:24   But anyway, so I've had one for several months now,

00:53:26   about a quarter.

00:53:27   And I definitely use it daily when I'm home,

00:53:32   unless I'm on the road, of course.

00:53:34   And I'm slowly but surely finding new use cases for it.

00:53:40   It started as sort of novelty, of course,

00:53:42   just what's the weather and whatever.

00:53:45   Now I use it almost daily to read me the latest news, which

00:53:50   is sort of another obvious one.

00:53:51   But it's sort of a nice way just to--

00:53:54   when you get up in the morning, just like, Alexa,

00:53:57   what's the latest news?

00:53:58   And it'll just start doing it.

00:53:59   There's no phone to unlock.

00:54:01   There's no button to push.

00:54:04   You just speak out loud.

00:54:06   That's what you want.

00:54:07   My wife uses it all the time when she's cooking to say--

00:54:10   and it's like a constant thing.

00:54:12   It's almost like an orchestrated event of her cooking

00:54:17   and with the Alexa in the kitchen saying,

00:54:19   Alexa, set a timer for two minutes.

00:54:21   Then two minutes goes by, it goes off.

00:54:22   Alexa, off.

00:54:23   Alexa, set a timer for five minutes.

00:54:25   And it's like this whole thing that just goes on every night

00:54:28   that she's cooking.

00:54:31   It's really a good device.

00:54:33   And I was skeptical of it when I first heard about it

00:54:36   because it seemed ridiculous.

00:54:37   It's a standalone, expensive thing

00:54:40   that does a lot of what you can already

00:54:43   do with Siri and Cortana and Google Now

00:54:48   and some of the other things.

00:54:50   But in using it, it's useful.

00:54:55   Yeah, and there's a certain--

00:54:56   like, the cooking in the kitchen scenario

00:55:00   is almost ideal for it.

00:55:02   I have one too.

00:55:03   I just got it like three weeks ago,

00:55:05   and I'm not using it that much.

00:55:10   But I think one of the reasons-- do

00:55:11   you have any of the smart home stuff, like light bulbs

00:55:14   and stuff like that?

00:55:15   I don't have anything like that.

00:55:16   Yeah, not that I think we do have like one light bulb thing,

00:55:20   but not that we use, and we don't have a Nest or anything like that currently installed.

00:55:24   Right. But for the cooking stuff, so I know people definitely use their phones for stuff

00:55:29   like that, and I know definitely people use a smartwatch, like your Apple Watch or whatever

00:55:35   are the smartwatch to do that stuff too. But the thing with Echo is it's completely hands-free,

00:55:42   so you don't have to push a button on a watch or fish your phone out of the pocket. I know

00:55:49   your phone I guess if you know if you have a new iPhone you could if you have

00:55:52   it plugged in you can try the hey you know the name of I try to avoid it's

00:55:57   we don't have to beep it but Siri but you know it works even if not plugged in

00:56:04   like this is a big thing that people oh yeah it does now that's that's the thing

00:56:07   that you have to have a new one for now that's right that's a new feature right

00:56:10   if you have like the iPhone success it just seems though that echo is more

00:56:17   reliable. You can really count on it to make sure that it's given you the timer that you

00:56:26   just told her to say. I really struggle with the pronoun for these things. I tend to use

00:56:36   her with Siri, and it's even weirder because I know that in some countries it defaults

00:56:40   to a male voice.

00:56:41   That's right. Yeah. Yeah. So, should you use it? And the whole -- it's a very strange dynamic

00:56:48   that I think will never be fully sorted out. But, yeah. So, you bring up like the -- I

00:56:55   even hesitate to call it accuracy. Because I'm not 100% sure that Alexa is more accurate

00:57:03   than, say, Siri. It seems that way. But it's just more reliable, right? And I think it's

00:57:09   because it's a combination of things. But one of the things is that, you know, when

00:57:14   you set up Siri, you have to set it up by saying, hey, I also don't want to set up all

00:57:20   my devices. You know the word. Hey, she who shall not be named. And so, you have to do

00:57:27   that a few times, right? And so, it's like Apple obviously thought that that's a good

00:57:31   way to make it sort of personalized to you. And so, someone else can't necessarily set

00:57:36   it off. But that is also a limiting factor, it seems like, and makes it less reliable.

00:57:43   And so Amazon just deciding not to do it that way and just leaving it open so anyone can

00:57:48   trigger it, ends up being, I think, a smarter implementation, at least for now, of how to

00:57:54   do that.

00:57:55   Yeah, and anecdotally, I've read this and I've had, since I've started talking about

00:58:00   this and heard from people on Twitter and email sending me, that a lot of... I've heard

00:58:05   it numerous times that people with young kids, their kids can use the echo really

00:58:12   reliably and they have no luck at all with Siri. Siri really doesn't...

00:58:17   Siri's speech recognition really isn't good with kids. And it's funny

00:58:21   because it's like you know it. You know that kids don't speak as... I don't even

00:58:29   know what the word is. They're not as articulate. They don't

00:58:31   enunciate as crisply as adults. But you tend to think of it as, "Well, that's just how kids talk."

00:58:38   But it's seemingly, from a speech recognition standpoint, they're just harder to understand.

00:58:43   Whereas humans are so good that we don't really think of kids as being harder to understand,

00:58:47   we just think of them as sounding as kids, because our natural linguistic abilities are so good that

00:58:54   we just blow right through the way that they mispronounce words. Yeah, and so the kids thing

00:59:01   is interesting also because before I got a echo everyone one of the main themes that kept coming

00:59:08   up is like kids love it and I don't have kids you have a son like does your son use it like

00:59:13   no not really he's he's but he I he kind of thinks it's pointless because but there's nothing he

00:59:20   really wants to know from it that we have hooked up yeah we had fun we did have fun as the family

00:59:25   the one one or two nights playing music and calling out you know and then it's it's funny

00:59:30   because it's like if there's a song on and any one of the three of us doesn't like it, you can

00:59:34   tell Alexa to stop and play something else. Yeah, and I think that that's been stated. I don't know

00:59:40   if it's by Amazon or not, that that's one of the main use cases, of course, is playing the music.

00:59:46   It's a seamless way to do, "Hey, Alexa," and I said, "Hey," you don't have to say, "Hey, of course,"

00:59:56   Alexa play, you know, this station on Pandora or whatever. I think you can hook up,

01:00:02   obviously Amazon Music, you can hook up Pandora. You can't hook up Apple Music right now, right? So

01:00:10   so there's... I don't expect Apple to get on that quickly.

01:00:15   Yeah, no, I don't either. But so that's one big use case. So the other thing is,

01:00:22   It obviously has a decent speaker, but it's not great.

01:00:26   It's not like a Sonos or something like that.

01:00:28   And you can hook up--

01:00:29   because we also got the dot thing.

01:00:31   The dot is a smaller one.

01:00:33   As an aside, the one thing I loved about that rollout

01:00:36   was the fact that in order to first order a dot,

01:00:39   you actually had to order it through the Echo.

01:00:40   You had to say, like, Alexa, order me a dot.

01:00:44   And it knew what it was.

01:00:46   I mean, my wife actually did it.

01:00:47   And within three minutes or whatever, it confirms.

01:00:50   And so we had a dot ordered and come in shipping to our house.

01:00:54   And we got it.

01:00:54   And it worked beautifully.

01:00:55   And you couldn't order it on the website, at least at the time,

01:00:58   when they first rolled that out.

01:01:00   So that was fascinating.

01:01:02   I don't think you can now.

01:01:03   I mean, I just searched Amazon for Echo.

01:01:05   I don't see it.

01:01:06   Echo dot.

01:01:06   Let me see.

01:01:08   So did you know it's--

01:01:10   They do have it.

01:01:10   You can get it.

01:01:11   You can get Echo dot for $89 on Amazon.

01:01:17   Do you know it's hilarious right now?

01:01:18   No.

01:01:18   So I just was giving that whole spiel,

01:01:23   and I swear to God, I just triggered Alexa,

01:01:25   and she's now playing music in my bedroom.

01:01:28   So I'm in my office right now, one room down from the bedroom.

01:01:33   I all of a sudden heard this music, and I'm like,

01:01:35   is my wife home?

01:01:36   Did she just start playing music?

01:01:37   Because I thought I heard a voice.

01:01:39   It was Alexa, and it was Alexa saying, now playing whatever.

01:01:42   And so there's just music playing in the bedroom right now.

01:01:44   I stand corrected.

01:01:45   So there is a web page on Amazon for the Echo Dot,

01:01:48   But it says, "Available exclusively from Alexa.

01:01:51   Echo Dot is available in limited quantities

01:01:53   and exclusively for Prime members

01:01:55   through Alexa Voice Shopping."

01:01:57   So I think that that's ingenious,

01:01:59   because it obviously makes it so that, first and foremost,

01:02:03   only sort of, quote unquote, "hardcore"

01:02:05   users are going to be able to get it and get it that way.

01:02:08   And people who already understand, right,

01:02:10   they have to have Alexa--

01:02:12   an Echo, sorry, to be able to do it.

01:02:14   So it doesn't need some sort of new learning curve all of a sudden,

01:02:18   because you should already know how to use it based on that.

01:02:21   Yeah.

01:02:23   I think the music playing is clearly--

01:02:26   and when this rumor from the information

01:02:29   came out that Apple has a device like this in the works,

01:02:33   and that they've been working on it for quite a while, a bunch of people

01:02:36   said, well, why?

01:02:37   Why?

01:02:37   I have my iPhone with me everywhere I go.

01:02:40   If I'm going to use Siri, why would the world

01:02:43   I want another device. I don't know what else they have planned for it. I don't know what other home

01:02:47   integration, you know, home kit type features they might have in mind for what kind of a hub it might

01:02:53   be for your entire home. But the speaker alone makes sense for Apple to do just because music

01:03:00   is still such a big part of what they want to be known for. Yeah, and I'm sort of surprised that,

01:03:05   you know, they weren't... I know that, you know, they're almost never the first mover in these

01:03:10   these types of things.

01:03:11   But I'm sort of surprised that some sort of combination

01:03:16   of things didn't lead them down this path earlier,

01:03:19   whether it be the Airport Express or Apple TV

01:03:25   as basically the way to do this.

01:03:28   There were all those rumors, remember,

01:03:29   that Apple TV was going to be the hub of their whole home

01:03:33   initiative.

01:03:34   And maybe that still ends up being the case.

01:03:36   But that was the whole thing about, why is it running iOS?

01:03:38   and of course apps, but also maybe the HomeKit stuff.

01:03:43   And yeah, I'm just a little surprised

01:03:47   that they didn't make a all-in-one type device.

01:03:50   And especially knowing the popularity of things like Sonos.

01:03:57   And obviously, they had to work with Sonos

01:03:59   to get Apple Music as one of the first things on there.

01:04:02   But maybe it was--

01:04:03   I think you made the joke the other day.

01:04:05   Maybe it was the iPod Hi-Fi thing

01:04:08   that sort of dissuaded them from doing that,

01:04:10   because that was obviously a disaster.

01:04:13   That's what I want them to call it.

01:04:14   I want them to call it the Siri Hi-Fi.

01:04:16   They have the trademark, yeah.

01:04:18   So-- but yeah, it seems like--

01:04:24   I think the way--

01:04:25   someone was saying this the other day on Twitter,

01:04:28   that it's great that we have Alexa,

01:04:31   and it's cool that you can sort of hook it up to Sonos.

01:04:34   It's a pain, honestly, because you have to do it through the back of the device and through

01:04:38   a cable.

01:04:40   It's not seamless at all.

01:04:41   And now we have things like Eero and the newfangled routers that are out.

01:04:46   It seems like someone should combine all of that into one thing, right?

01:04:50   Yes, I think so.

01:04:53   But you run into...

01:04:56   I've thought about this, right?

01:04:58   It seems like a big butt.

01:05:03   thinking about my house now. The cable comes in in the living room and it's sort of like

01:05:10   that's where the router needs to be. I mean I guess I could, I'd have to wire the house

01:05:18   with internet or ethernet or something or get the cable company to come out and put

01:05:25   another cable connector somewhere else if I wanted it to be in the kitchen.

01:05:32   because that's where I want the music to play. You know what I mean? It's like, I don't know.

01:05:35   I'm not quite sure. Yeah, I understand. Yeah, so that's like, that's one issue.

01:05:41   But sort of, I don't know if you've had a chance to play around with like things like the Eero,

01:05:45   and there's some other ones coming out that are, you know, these these newfangled routers that

01:05:49   that allow you to better spread internet over your entire house. I have a box downstairs that's

01:05:56   full of Eero kit, and it's still in the box. I just came the other day and I haven't had a

01:06:01   chance to look at it. So it's on my radar and I'm going to set it up.

01:06:04   Yeah, you should. I mean, we have one set up now and it's great. It's

01:06:11   surprisingly great how well it works compared to what I previously just had a

01:06:16   an airport. I had both at Extreme and then I had like an Express and I had

01:06:22   like things like doing bridging and you know trying to get good service in the

01:06:26   bedroom and then in the office and nothing has worked as well as this Eero

01:06:30   thing works. And so I wonder if sort of this this device things that we're talking about,

01:06:37   if they don't do, yeah, you have the main hub in the living room that's that's sort of connected to

01:06:42   the still necessary for whatever reason cable modem. And then everything else is like a

01:06:47   satellite version, sort of like the Echo Dot, right? It's like a smaller version of it. So no

01:06:52   matter what room you're in, you're covered by it. It's sort of like what you have with Sonos now for

01:06:57   for people who have Sonos in multiple rooms,

01:07:00   they wirelessly connect to it.

01:07:03   You can do wired, of course, but most people, I think,

01:07:06   do the wireless version.

01:07:07   And so some device, it's like a combination

01:07:10   of all these things.

01:07:11   So you have the speaker, you have the voice assistant

01:07:15   type thing, and you have your Wi-Fi all in one thing.

01:07:20   I mean, that seems like where all this should go,

01:07:23   but I would imagine it'll take a while for someone

01:07:25   to actually connect that all together

01:07:27   to be able to work well.

01:07:28   - Yeah, and it's just, you know, Apple has a very,

01:07:31   you know, right at the forefront of WiFi,

01:07:33   you know, I've been making base stations

01:07:36   or whatever you wanna call them, you know,

01:07:38   the thing that gives you WiFi in your house.

01:07:39   I mean, Apple's been doing it.

01:07:41   I mean, they were one of the first companies

01:07:44   to really go public with it.

01:07:45   Remember the Phil Schiller demo

01:07:47   when he jumped onto like a mattress?

01:07:52   - Yeah. (laughs)

01:07:54   - It was like to prove that the iBook

01:07:56   was getting the internet over the air.

01:07:58   That's right.

01:07:58   It was like heretofore unknown.

01:08:00   Phil Schiller actually performed a stunt on stage.

01:08:03   Like he jumped off a 10-foot high thing

01:08:06   onto a padded landing thing and then showed that the iBook was

01:08:11   still getting internet.

01:08:13   So Apple's been doing that for a long time.

01:08:14   I think that at this point, it just

01:08:17   seems like it's too fiddly, especially for a house

01:08:20   compared--

01:08:21   an apartment, it's easy to fill it with your Wi-Fi.

01:08:25   But even here, I have it set up pretty good.

01:08:27   Right now, we just have the airport extreme.

01:08:30   I don't have any of the satellite devices

01:08:32   like I used to have.

01:08:33   And it goes up one floor to my office, and it's pretty good.

01:08:39   And it goes up two floors to our bedroom.

01:08:42   And it's good enough, good enough

01:08:45   that it doesn't make me want to get another thing.

01:08:48   But even one floor down in our garage, it's gone.

01:08:51   So it's like when you get in the car,

01:08:54   it's like one floor down from where the router is,

01:08:56   and you wanna update something on your phone quick.

01:08:59   It's like sometimes you have to like do the fiddly thing

01:09:01   where you turn off Wi-Fi because it's so bad.

01:09:04   - Yeah.

01:09:05   Yeah, you should try the zero thing.

01:09:08   I think you'll like--

01:09:09   - Oh, I'm gonna try it.

01:09:10   I told you it's down, it's in the house.

01:09:12   So it's a sure thing that I will try it.

01:09:15   - Yeah.

01:09:16   - So I don't know, maybe that's what Apple's going with.

01:09:18   And I can't help but think that

01:09:19   if the information's report is correct

01:09:21   that they've been working on this device for quite a while,

01:09:24   I mean, like, according to the information, years.

01:09:27   It can't just be a speaker that listens for Siri,

01:09:31   because if it's taken Apple years to do a speaker

01:09:36   that listens for Siri, that's a problem.

01:09:40   It has to be a little bit more ambitious than that

01:09:41   in terms of serving as some kind of, you know,

01:09:45   hey, you don't have to buy these six different things.

01:09:46   You can just buy this, plug this thing in,

01:09:49   and then you're set.

01:09:50   - Well, and you brought it up.

01:09:51   I mean, the importance of music, certainly to Apple,

01:09:54   And they obviously know the popularity

01:09:56   of something like Sonos.

01:09:58   And do you think then it would be just as predicated

01:10:02   around being a great speaker, sort of a Sonos competitor

01:10:05   with Siri built in?

01:10:06   Is that maybe what they would do?

01:10:09   Maybe.

01:10:10   And would they launch it as a family of devices

01:10:14   at the beginning so that you can put them

01:10:17   throughout your house?

01:10:19   I mean, that seems to be one area that--

01:10:21   And obviously Amazon is working on it, or adds a solution,

01:10:25   because they have these dot devices that are

01:10:28   meant to be satellite devices.

01:10:29   And I know with Google Home, people

01:10:31   asked when they announced it at I/O last week,

01:10:34   well, what if you have two of these things, and they're like,

01:10:36   well, we're working on that.

01:10:37   We'll get back to you.

01:10:38   It's a hard problem.

01:10:40   Yes.

01:10:41   And the Amazon-- so the dot--

01:10:43   so in general, I think the consensus

01:10:45   is the Echo speaker is OK.

01:10:47   it's good enough for casual listening or whatever.

01:10:51   And the Dot1 is considered to be much more subpar.

01:10:54   It's obviously much smaller.

01:10:56   It's just a tiny little thing.

01:10:57   And that's why it has sort of the output

01:10:59   to be able to hook it into a speaker.

01:11:00   And that's what they suggest you do actually.

01:11:03   So I wouldn't, like if I were Apple,

01:11:06   I would imagine that the way to do it

01:11:07   is just what we were talking about,

01:11:08   to do like a really great speaker,

01:11:11   like a Sonos-like speaker with the Siri capability built in.

01:11:15   And I think that would be a great device

01:11:18   for a lot of people.

01:11:19   I don't know how much that would cost, you know,

01:11:21   and like, do they run the risk of it being

01:11:24   another Hi-Fi like device?

01:11:27   That's just sort of like a niche product

01:11:29   that's interesting to a few people.

01:11:30   I think not, I think it's a lot more interesting

01:11:32   to do it now, especially with everything

01:11:34   we just talked about with Alexa, but I don't know.

01:11:38   - With a Hi-Fi, they really, it was,

01:11:42   I mean, I know for a fact that Steve Jobs

01:11:45   was a huge fan of the Hi-Fi.

01:11:46   He really was.

01:11:47   And I mean, obviously, he's willing to--

01:11:51   if it wasn't selling, it wasn't selling, even if he liked it.

01:11:54   So it wasn't like he kept it around just because he liked it.

01:11:56   But I know he liked it.

01:11:57   And they really put-- it was before I was regularly

01:12:01   attending their press events.

01:12:02   And I was not at the intro event for it.

01:12:04   But I remember reading about it.

01:12:05   And they really went all out.

01:12:07   And they set up--

01:12:09   Jason Snell was there.

01:12:10   And he was talking about it a few weeks ago

01:12:12   when he was on the show.

01:12:13   right there in the upstairs area

01:12:17   where they do the press briefings at the press events

01:12:19   above town hall, they brought in,

01:12:22   like an Ikea almost, where they made a whole bunch

01:12:26   of living rooms.

01:12:28   And of course, like Apple, they were really nice.

01:12:31   They made all these, they furnished the whole place

01:12:33   as an apartment complex, and then had individual people

01:12:37   you could come in, and it wasn't just like,

01:12:38   hey, hit play and listen to it for a few seconds.

01:12:40   They wanted you to relax, sit on the couch,

01:12:42   pretend you live here and listen to this.

01:12:44   - Have a drink.

01:12:46   - Right, and they really pushed like,

01:12:47   hey, doesn't this sound amazing?

01:12:49   Like they really, really wanted to make that like,

01:12:53   I mean, I didn't buy one, so I don't know.

01:12:56   I don't know how good it sounded,

01:12:57   but Apple at least really went all out,

01:12:59   at least in terms of marketing,

01:13:00   is pitching it as being high quality audio.

01:13:03   So I think that's one area

01:13:04   where they could definitely get a leg up on Echo,

01:13:06   'cause Echo, it's good, it's not bad.

01:13:08   It's good enough for like a speaker in your kitchen

01:13:11   to play music, but it's not great.

01:13:14   And so that plus--

01:13:16   so a great speaker plus what you mentioned from the information

01:13:21   report with the Siri APIs, which obviously everyone's

01:13:23   been clamoring for since Siri came out.

01:13:26   So that plus the ability to do much more

01:13:29   than what the Echo can do.

01:13:32   Because the Echo has an API, obviously,

01:13:34   and a lot of people are playing around with it

01:13:36   and doing some interesting things with it.

01:13:37   Like we mentioned Uber.

01:13:38   You can call an Uber from it right now.

01:13:40   But it does feel like it's a little bit wonky.

01:13:47   It's a little bit--

01:13:48   not wonky, necessarily.

01:13:50   It's just-- I'm sure you've used the app.

01:13:53   The app is awful for the Echo.

01:13:56   And it's hard to--

01:13:58   it would be hard for anyone.

01:14:01   It's even hard for me to figure out how exactly to find things

01:14:04   to install and what to install.

01:14:06   And it looks god awful.

01:14:07   So Apple will obviously do a better job of that.

01:14:10   And so it's then a question of like,

01:14:13   is it leaps and bounds better than what Amazon can do right

01:14:17   now if those APIs are good enough?

01:14:20   Yeah.

01:14:21   And I'm really curious what form these APIs come in

01:14:28   in terms of like--

01:14:29   I can only presume that it'll be apps somehow, I guess.

01:14:37   apps on your iPhone or your iOS device.

01:14:42   Yes, so do you need to have that app installed in order

01:14:46   to have it be Siri ready?

01:14:50   Right?

01:14:52   Well, yeah.

01:14:53   And if it's on multiple devices, how

01:14:56   does your Siri-- if it's taking advantage

01:14:59   of a third party extension, whatever you want to call it.

01:15:04   Let's just say-- we've been talking about them.

01:15:07   Let's just say Uber, right?

01:15:08   Let's say that through an extension,

01:15:10   you're going to allow Siri to hail you an Uber.

01:15:17   Do you have to install it on all of your devices?

01:15:20   I guess you would if it's through an app.

01:15:22   But then how would it get to the standalone device?

01:15:27   Yeah, that's weird.

01:15:30   It's a good question, because it seems

01:15:32   like it's an either/or thing, right?

01:15:33   Either you would need it installed on all your devices

01:15:36   that have hooked up to your Hey Siri stuff,

01:15:41   or you would only do it on one so it doesn't get confused.

01:15:45   Because say you have Uber installed on--

01:15:47   they don't have an iPad version, but you can still obviously

01:15:49   install it on an iPad.

01:15:50   So say you had it on an iPad and your iPhone,

01:15:53   and then you summoned the Uber via Siri, which one--

01:15:59   I guess it opens both versions.

01:16:02   Well, I mean, it doesn't matter, because on the back end,

01:16:06   presuming you were tied into the same account,

01:16:08   the same Uber account, when you open the app,

01:16:10   it should know, they should be synced, right,

01:16:12   in the backend.

01:16:13   So I guess it doesn't really matter,

01:16:15   but there's like a lot of more complicated issues,

01:16:20   like the further you go down with that,

01:16:22   like which version of the app that's running

01:16:26   on which device are you summoning?

01:16:28   - Right, it's, so I'm, I don't know.

01:16:33   So my best guess is to compare it to Apple Watch.

01:16:37   And so let's say they open up this Siri SDK.

01:16:40   Then the Uber app on your iOS device

01:16:44   could have the Siri extension.

01:16:47   And then only on the iOS devices that

01:16:50   have the latest version of the Uber app

01:16:53   would the Siri integration work.

01:16:56   But then also, maybe developers would

01:17:00   be able to create like a Hi-Fi app.

01:17:04   And just like the way that it'll say like,

01:17:07   oh, there's an Apple Watch app that you can install,

01:17:13   that there would be-- like if you have the Siri Hi-Fi,

01:17:17   you would have a Siri Hi-Fi app on your phone.

01:17:20   And then you'd go-- just like you go to the Apple Watch app

01:17:22   to install an app on your watch, you'd

01:17:24   go to the Hi-Fi app to install the extension on your Hi-Fi.

01:17:27   That we're getting pretty complicated. Right. I see. And it's it makes sense to me like that's

01:17:35   exactly what I think is it this makes sense to me technically because I can draw little arrows for

01:17:41   all the devices and I see okay, so you download it to your phone and then from your phone, you can

01:17:45   install it on your watch. And you can install it on the thing. But then it seems to me like you're

01:17:49   doing an awful lot of fiddly system administrator type stuff with prices. Yeah. And so is there a

01:17:56   better like is it just via the app and now apps require like I don't know some

01:18:01   sort of new iCloud instance that it's that's like handling it right and that's

01:18:06   exactly the other that it you know just erase everything that I just speculate

01:18:10   about is there gonna be some kind of way that a developer would be able to have

01:18:14   like an iCloud instance of this API and and and that's a total new territory for

01:18:20   Apple.

01:18:21   That's unlike anything I can think of that Apple's ever

01:18:26   done.

01:18:26   Yeah.

01:18:29   Yeah, I don't know.

01:18:30   But it's good that they're--

01:18:32   I think it's smart, of course, that they're playing

01:18:34   in this space.

01:18:35   Smart that Google is as well.

01:18:37   All these guys are pouring so many resources

01:18:40   into these assistants and the whole AI aspect.

01:18:46   obviously, Marco's post about DAPL and AI and stuff,

01:18:50   that they need to be able to get enough data

01:18:56   to constantly improve these things.

01:18:58   And it's almost like table stakes.

01:19:01   It seems like it's going to be now that you need to have

01:19:03   the home version of whatever the assistant thing is

01:19:06   to be able to keep up and remain on par

01:19:10   with all the other competitors.

01:19:11   - Yeah, one of the things I was thinking about

01:19:14   in light of Marco's post the other day about it,

01:19:18   is I was trying to think,

01:19:21   'cause I didn't agree with him fully.

01:19:23   It was a great post, and the ways that I disagree,

01:19:27   it's just all, it's not like Marco's dumb,

01:19:30   it's like, no, Marco's smart,

01:19:32   and I actually see the logic of what he's saying,

01:19:33   but something doesn't sit right with me.

01:19:35   And then I thought about social networking,

01:19:38   and social networking is obviously a huge part

01:19:41   of the whole industry that we talk about.

01:19:43   I mean, Facebook is a giant company now,

01:19:46   and super influential.

01:19:48   I mean, literally a scandal in the last few weeks,

01:19:53   or a controversy, I should say, about whether or not

01:19:57   Facebook is single-handedly skewing political news in the US.

01:20:03   Hugely influential.

01:20:04   Instagram is a huge success.

01:20:09   Twitter.

01:20:10   Twitter is Twitter.

01:20:11   I love it, but it is what it is.

01:20:15   But it certainly is--

01:20:18   I don't want to go down the route

01:20:19   of talking about Twitter as a business.

01:20:21   But culturally, though, its influence is undeniable.

01:20:24   I always say, the one thing about Twitter

01:20:26   that it's just stunning how every time I watch TV news

01:20:30   and somebody comes on, they tell you

01:20:32   what their Twitter handle is.

01:20:34   Well, and if you watch ESPN at all,

01:20:36   it's a significant percentage of ESPN via reporting,

01:20:40   via talking about tweets.

01:20:42   It's crazy.

01:20:42   Yeah, yeah, yeah.

01:20:44   Twitter's influence in the sports world alone is astounding.

01:20:49   Especially as we go down the path of the NBA playoffs

01:20:51   and stuff, it's--

01:20:52   I don't know.

01:20:52   I think-- well, and now, Major League Baseball

01:20:55   has a ton of Twitter, too.

01:20:56   So no, it's just everywhere in sports.

01:20:59   Apple has no real social networking.

01:21:03   And they've even tried twice.

01:21:04   They had Ping.

01:21:05   And then last year, the--

01:21:08   I don't even remember what it's called--

01:21:10   the middle tab of Apple Music.

01:21:12   - Right, the thing that's going away apparently.

01:21:14   - Right, and hasn't taken off, hasn't really,

01:21:18   never gained a foothold, but so what?

01:21:19   Apple has, in a second level way,

01:21:22   sort of thrived on social networking

01:21:26   because people use their iPhones to Facebook

01:21:30   and to Instagram and to tweet.

01:21:33   And it's only made, the rise of social networking

01:21:38   largely coincides with the rise of the iPhone,

01:21:41   and it's a big part of why.

01:21:43   I think that there's a real difference

01:21:45   that I was thinking about it,

01:21:46   and the voice assistants aren't like that,

01:21:48   because the voice assistants, to be useful,

01:21:51   have to be built into the system.

01:21:53   There is a Cortana app.

01:21:54   There is, the Google app has all of the Google

01:21:58   assistant type stuff.

01:22:01   The startups that are in this space have apps.

01:22:07   I can't remember some of their names, but you know, like--

01:22:09   - Yeah, there's like operator,

01:22:12   oh, well Viv is, yeah,

01:22:14   they were-- - Viv will be an app.

01:22:15   - By the Siri people, yeah.

01:22:17   - Right.

01:22:18   - Yeah.

01:22:19   - So you can do that, but that doesn't make it,

01:22:22   it doesn't work like that.

01:22:23   You can't say go launch an app and then do it.

01:22:26   It doesn't work like that.

01:22:27   It has to be built into the system.

01:22:28   - So the one outside the bounds though,

01:22:31   which I'd be interested in your thoughts on then,

01:22:32   is the Facebook Messenger one, Facebook M it's called, right?

01:22:36   So that Facebook, obviously, famously does not have a phone.

01:22:40   They run on other people's devices.

01:22:44   But they do, by most accounts, have some of the foremost

01:22:48   experts in AI working at Facebook.

01:22:51   So how do you square that?

01:22:53   Where do you think that they--

01:22:55   where does that come into play?

01:22:57   Because you think they're going after AI.

01:22:59   They think they're going to be a leader in whatever

01:23:02   comes of AI.

01:23:02   And certainly, these assistant things are a big part of that,

01:23:05   at least right now, and FacebookM is sort of one of the front runners right now for

01:23:11   that, but they don't have the system level integration.

01:23:14   It's a good question. It could just be to do the AI while you're in their apps. Facebook's

01:23:26   advantage is, and I say this as someone who doesn't use Facebook, but part of what makes

01:23:33   them so valuable is that, you know, people spend an awful lot of people spend an awful

01:23:38   lot of time in Facebook. So they already have them there. So they almost are like their

01:23:45   own system.

01:23:46   Yeah, that's true.

01:23:47   If you're already there, you're in Facebook on your phone or, you know, well, I think

01:23:52   the phone's probably number one now. So you're in Facebook, you're on your phone, any kind

01:23:56   of AI features that they can offer you, you're already there. So they have the need for that.

01:24:03   or the opportunity.

01:24:05   - Good way to frame it, I think.

01:24:06   It's almost like, so the browser on a PC or Mac

01:24:11   is not, you know, sort of,

01:24:14   well, while they are baked into the system,

01:24:18   it is a separate application

01:24:19   that you're running all the time.

01:24:21   Everyone's always running a browser, right?

01:24:22   And that's like Facebook on the phone.

01:24:24   - Yep.

01:24:25   - Is sort of the, I mean, that's been said before, of course,

01:24:27   but it is in that context, like basically the same thing.

01:24:30   They even helpfully cheat and use the audio APIs

01:24:33   to make sure they're literally running on your phone

01:24:35   all the time.

01:24:36   [LAUGHTER]

01:24:38   I keyed, I keyed slightly.

01:24:41   That brings to mind another one of the topics in this space

01:24:44   that I want to talk about.

01:24:45   And I've seen an awful lot of people bring this up.

01:24:47   So one of the other rumors, it's separate from the information

01:24:50   report, but there's also a rumor that has come out.

01:24:53   I know MacRumors had it.

01:24:54   I don't know if it was their original.

01:24:56   I think it was.

01:24:56   I think it was their original scoop.

01:24:58   the next version of Mac OS is going to have Siri built in.

01:25:03   - Yes.

01:25:04   - And a lot of people read that and the question I got is,

01:25:07   well, why do I have to talk to Siri?

01:25:09   Why can't I just type like Spotlight?

01:25:12   And then therefore, well, maybe that's the answer.

01:25:14   Maybe the Spotlight feature goes away

01:25:17   and it's replaced by Siri

01:25:18   and you can either talk to it or type.

01:25:20   - Yeah, that's a good question.

01:25:27   I think that that, thinking about it for a few seconds

01:25:30   just now, I think that that's probably

01:25:32   the way they should do it.

01:25:33   I think it's a little weird, like,

01:25:36   Microsoft has done this too with Cortana.

01:25:38   I think it's a little weird to have those things

01:25:40   on the desktop in the same, trying to fit them

01:25:44   into the same context as they exist right now

01:25:46   on mobile devices, because you just use a desktop,

01:25:50   laptop, whatever, traditional computer, differently.

01:25:55   And you're right, a lot of it is text-based input.

01:25:58   It's not vocal, which ties back to the whole thing of why

01:26:03   I also think Alexa is important, because there is no way

01:26:06   to interface with it besides the voice, but that's--

01:26:09   that's a different route to go down.

01:26:12   But yeah, so I think that Siri as a text-based thing

01:26:15   is interesting.

01:26:16   And that's also like going to Facebook M. Right now,

01:26:19   it is mainly text, but it's all chat-based, right?

01:26:23   So they're doing it the opposite way of what Siri and Alexa

01:26:27   and Cortana and--

01:26:30   the Google thing, I guess, is a hybrid, right?

01:26:32   Because you can talk to it or it can just be--

01:26:37   I mean, the main interface is to say, OK, Google.

01:26:39   And then it loads, basically.

01:26:42   It's doing a search query.

01:26:45   So that's, I guess, the closest thing to that.

01:26:47   And that would be Apple, if they did do Siri for Mac OS,

01:26:53   doing it with the text thing would be, I guess, most comparable to that.

01:26:57   Maybe. You know, there's a trick that I just learned recently. I didn't

01:27:01   know this, but if you do invoke Siri on

01:27:05   your iPhone and she

01:27:09   hears you wrong, you can, on that results screen,

01:27:13   you pull down on it and it shows you what Siri

01:27:17   thought you said. And if you tap on that, you can edit that text.

01:27:21   Oh really? I didn't know that.

01:27:23   I didn't know it either. I just learned it in the last week or two from someone on Twitter in the midst of talking about all of this.

01:27:29   I think it was in the context of that discussion of why can't you just enter text.

01:27:34   And in other words, why can't you invoke Siri and then pull down or something to bring up a text field and just type your query to Siri.

01:27:41   Because there are certain contexts where you can't write.

01:27:44   Right. What if you're in a quiet area? Yeah, yeah, right.

01:27:47   Huh. Yeah, I had no idea about that.

01:27:50   So you can edit text after you've made your vocal query to Siri.

01:27:55   You can edit it as text, but you can't just type it as text.

01:27:59   So if you want to use that feature, you should just speak gibberish to Siri.

01:28:03   Just whisper some quick gibberish.

01:28:05   Right. To invoke the text mode.

01:28:09   Anyway, interesting trick, I thought.

01:28:12   Yeah, and then there was the report, I think it was Gherman, right?

01:28:17   saying that there was a, or maybe it was a riff off of another report or something,

01:28:22   but I know that 95 Mac wrote about it that the new MacBook Pro conceivably

01:28:29   coming out at the end of the year would have the, this like OLED strip and you

01:28:36   know one of the reasons why that might make sense is because then you could

01:28:40   have a Siri button without having to have like a physical Siri button.

01:28:43   Yeah, I saw that rumor and I don't know what to make of it. It seems kind of interesting.

01:28:52   It seems like maybe it's also sort of like that... I don't remember if it was a Kickstarter.

01:28:58   I think it might have been before Kickstarter. But do you remember a couple years ago there

01:29:02   was somebody who was trying to make a keyboard?

01:29:04   Yes, I know what this is. That LED keyboard thing?

01:29:07   - Yeah, and it was, the idea was that each key,

01:29:11   it was a physical keyboard,

01:29:12   but each key would be a standalone LED.

01:29:15   And so like, in the quote unquote normal mode,

01:29:19   it would be, you know, QWERTY, you know,

01:29:21   and it would be alphabetic and have numbers.

01:29:23   But then like when you're using Photoshop,

01:29:25   the key caps could change to all of the weird shortcuts.

01:29:29   So you, you know, you could, you know,

01:29:32   the H key would change to, you know,

01:29:35   whatever H does in Photoshop.

01:29:37   - Right.

01:29:38   - Like a game could change all of the buttons

01:29:41   to different weapons or something like that.

01:29:45   - Yeah, and it's sort of, I guess, similar to on iOS

01:29:50   when you have the virtual thing on top of the keyboard,

01:29:55   where it suggests stuff,

01:29:57   and so it can sort of dynamically do different things.

01:30:00   - Right, so that LED keyboard never really,

01:30:03   It never came to be a realistic project,

01:30:08   but it certainly got people excited.

01:30:09   I could see how this LED touchscreen

01:30:13   in place of the function keys could work like that.

01:30:17   And it gets to, it's like a little bit

01:30:21   like the Mac keyboard getting a little taste

01:30:24   of that spiel that Steve Jobs gave

01:30:28   at the original iPhone introduction

01:30:30   about what to do about the buttons on a phone

01:30:33   because once you put them there, there's nothing else.

01:30:36   They're set.

01:30:37   And then if you come up with a new idea later,

01:30:40   you'd like to have a different button.

01:30:42   What do you do?

01:30:42   And he goes, well, the answer is,

01:30:44   we've solved this years ago with the graphical user interface.

01:30:46   The answer is do it in software.

01:30:48   So I can kind of see that.

01:30:49   And quite frankly, the idea of F1, F2, F3 keys,

01:30:53   even it's just fiddly.

01:30:56   And I know Apple's started printing, hard-coded printing,

01:31:00   like this is volume up, this is volume down,

01:31:02   this is brightness.

01:31:04   And that by default, that's what those keys do now.

01:31:08   You have to actually trigger a system-wide preference

01:31:12   to turn them into regular function keys.

01:31:14   - Right, and I think most kids would have no, like F1,

01:31:19   they would have no idea. - They have no idea.

01:31:20   Yeah, my son, if I, I should do it

01:31:23   when he gets home from school, I should actually see you.

01:31:26   - Yeah, could you hit the F1 key?

01:31:28   What, you mean the brightness down key?

01:31:30   Which key? - You know, and I remember

01:31:32   when I still have the extended keyboard in front of me,

01:31:35   but the Apple extended keyboard,

01:31:38   you know, the big tank keyboard that I use,

01:31:40   it shipped with like a strip

01:31:42   that went around the function keys.

01:31:44   Like, it was like a, I don't know what you would call it,

01:31:48   like a stencil almost that would surround the function keys.

01:31:53   - Oh, yeah, okay.

01:31:54   - Different pro apps would come,

01:31:56   like QuarkXPress came with one.

01:31:58   - Yeah, yeah, yeah.

01:31:59   I actually remember that on IBM PCs,

01:32:01   they had a similar thing with that, yeah.

01:32:03   When the big keys, the big pushdown keys.

01:32:06   - Right. - Yeah.

01:32:07   - By default, F1, I think it was just like,

01:32:12   I think it was just like ZXCV.

01:32:15   So F1 was undo, F2 was cut, F3 was copy, and F4 was paste.

01:32:20   But this is ancient Apple history.

01:32:23   This is like stuff that worked in like 1991.

01:32:26   - That's really funny though, 'cause that's like,

01:32:28   you know, talking about this virtual OLED strip

01:32:31   that is like the original version of that, right?

01:32:33   Like software that would ship an actual physical printout

01:32:37   that you would overlay around the keys

01:32:41   to change their functions,

01:32:42   to know what their function would be.

01:32:44   - Yeah, so I think this idea sounds to me like,

01:32:49   hey, this sounds like a really good idea.

01:32:51   'Cause then instead of having these hard coded things

01:32:55   that you could make that whole area flexible.

01:32:59   Yeah, and then software updates, when they keep updating Mac OS

01:33:04   and adding new things, they don't

01:33:05   have to ship a new keyboard all of a sudden.

01:33:07   Yeah.

01:33:09   Mac OS flows off the tongue.

01:33:12   I really like it.

01:33:13   This is my favorite.

01:33:14   I'm really excited about them renaming it Mac OS.

01:33:16   I like it.

01:33:17   But are they still going to do--

01:33:19   they're still committed to the California thing?

01:33:21   Is that the latest--

01:33:22   I don't know.

01:33:23   I have no idea.

01:33:24   - Is it gonna be Mac OS, you know,

01:33:26   the Hollywood or whatever?

01:33:30   - I think so.

01:33:30   I think that they're committed to the California thing.

01:33:32   'Cause they've only done it for two years, right?

01:33:35   Or did they do three?

01:33:37   Oh no, three, 'cause there was Mavericks.

01:33:39   - Yeah, that's right.

01:33:40   - Mavericks was first.

01:33:41   Yeah, I think they're committed to the California thing.

01:33:47   And I think that, you know,

01:33:49   but it's just gonna be Mac OS, you know, Hollywood.

01:33:53   Yeah, well, I'll be glad to be done with the 10 elements of it, because we're at 10.11.5 now.

01:34:01   It always bothered me all along. I've never been a fan of the name Mac OS X, and I was less of a fan when they officially changed it to OS X without the Mac.

01:34:14   Really, never a fan of that name. Just because... Well, number one, I don't like Roman numerals. I just wrote about this...

01:34:21   I hate Roman. I just hate them. They're absolutely terrible. There's arguments to be made that I

01:34:28   mean, I'm not being facetious here. I've seen arguments that their stupid numeral system made the Romans so

01:34:36   bad at math that it led to the decline of the Roman Empire because

01:34:42   they fell to people who used a logical decimal, you know,

01:34:46   system of indicating numerals that made math easier.

01:34:50   I hate it. I just don't like Roman numerals. I hate the way it's, you know, this doesn't seem to be as big a problem anymore, but I hate it in the early years, the people who said Mac OS X.

01:35:01   Oh, it still happens all the time. But yeah.

01:35:04   It's not their problem. It's Apple's problem because it looks like Mac OS X because guess what? Normal people today don't speak in Roman numerals. If you show them an X, they say that's an X. They don't say, "Oh, I bet that's a 10."

01:35:17   And then as time went on, it was as though, I mean, what was it? 2016? So 15 years of updates to

01:35:25   the operating system. In their numbering system, it's like they've all been minor little feature upgrades

01:35:31   for 15 years.

01:35:34   So I think I read the, I don't know if you talked about this. I've read this somewhere.

01:35:40   So, you know, they did when they did Super Bowl 50 this past year, they did Super Bowl 50 rather than Super Bowl L or whatever.

01:35:46   but next year they're going back to the Roman numerals so it's like "LI" I think

01:35:51   or something like that.

01:35:52   I know, they are.

01:35:53   It makes me want to scream because I was so happy.

01:35:57   I was like, you know what, I was so happy because I thought that's brilliant.

01:36:01   Fifty is the nicest, roundest number they're going to get to until a hundred.

01:36:08   And now this is the way they get out of the mess they've created for themselves with these

01:36:14   Roman numerals.

01:36:16   You know what else screws me up with the Roman numerals?

01:36:17   The Star Wars.

01:36:18   I'm so confused over what the hell number the movies are.

01:36:23   I really am.

01:36:24   Once I got to the prequels, like four, five, and six,

01:36:28   I understood that there's three.

01:36:30   But now I'm like, what the hell is this episode eight?

01:36:32   How, what, how have we updated already?

01:36:34   And then it's like, just, I really,

01:36:37   I don't like the Roman numerals in Star Wars,

01:36:39   but there's no, they can't get out of it.

01:36:40   They've already, they're already into it.

01:36:42   The NFL could get out of it with the Super Bowl.

01:36:44   did get out of it with 50 and now they're going backwards. Now they're going back. Super

01:36:49   Bowl LI. Super Bowl LI. That's great. I used to like it, but I used to be amused by like

01:37:01   it like old time Hollywood movies used to often put like the copyright in in Roman numerals.

01:37:07   Oh, don't they still do that? I'm pretty sure some movies still do. So at the very end,

01:37:12   I'm one of those people who stays through the credits,

01:37:14   the annoying person who sits through the entire credits,

01:37:17   even though I'm not reading everything.

01:37:18   I just sort of like it as a time to think about what I just

01:37:20   watched or whatever.

01:37:22   And so I always stay through the end,

01:37:24   and especially now with all the Marvel stuff

01:37:25   where you have to stay through the end.

01:37:27   But at the end, when they do the last credit thing,

01:37:31   it's like the--

01:37:32   whatever it is.

01:37:33   I don't know if it's MPAA or whoever

01:37:36   gets the last sort of screen.

01:37:38   And they do the number of what actual movie it is,

01:37:42   like how many movies have actually been.

01:37:45   And it's still in Roman numerals, I'm pretty sure,

01:37:47   because I know that because they just passed some milestone.

01:37:53   I should look it up, but I don't even

01:37:55   know what I would Google for.

01:37:57   But they just passed some major milestone.

01:37:59   And so it's now shorter because it's

01:38:02   passed like 5,000 or whatever, 50,000 or something like that.

01:38:06   Maybe it used to be though, and maybe it's not now,

01:38:08   and maybe I'm remembering it slightly wrong.

01:38:10   I know that they used to do it.

01:38:12   What you're suggesting is like, yeah,

01:38:15   the year and everything would be Roman numeral, right?

01:38:18   And now I think this movie credit system at the very end,

01:38:23   it may have switched back over to actual numbers

01:38:26   because it just got too unwieldy,

01:38:27   but I'm not 100% sure.

01:38:29   I don't remember.

01:38:30   - All right, I'll look it up.

01:38:31   We'll look it up after the show.

01:38:33   - All right.

01:38:33   - Here's one answer.

01:38:35   I don't know if this is definitive. I googled one.

01:38:37   This is all I have time for to do live in the show.

01:38:39   But there's a BBC article that says,

01:38:41   perhaps one of the most notable areas

01:38:44   where people are likely to come across Roman numerals

01:38:46   is in TV and film credits where the convention

01:38:48   is not to spell out what year something was made.

01:38:51   The practice is believed to have started

01:38:54   in an attempt to disguise the age of films

01:38:56   or television programs.

01:38:57   - Huh.

01:38:59   - In other words, it's the opposite of claiming

01:39:01   an undeserved antiquity.

01:39:02   They're not trying to look old.

01:39:03   they are trying to look like they're still young.

01:39:06   Because nobody can tell.

01:39:09   Here's an example, here's 1998 in Roman numerals.

01:39:12   M-C-M-X-C-V-I-I-I.

01:39:15   Crazy. - Yes.

01:39:18   Yeah, I think I see the same thing now,

01:39:20   this on Stack Exchange talking about, yeah.

01:39:23   Copyright, Time Warner Studios, MC, yeah, right.

01:39:26   That's exactly right.

01:39:26   - I've already got it in the show notes.

01:39:28   I'll put it there.

01:39:29   Folks, you can listen, just check out the show notes there.

01:39:31   - That's what it is then.

01:39:32   I think I was conflating the two things.

01:39:34   That is where they use the Roman numerals.

01:39:36   The movie number is, I think, just a number.

01:39:39   Yeah.

01:39:40   Yeah.

01:39:41   Okay.

01:39:42   There we go.

01:39:43   But that's where they are.

01:39:44   What the hell are we talking about?

01:39:45   How do we get from the keyboard with an OLED strip to Roman numerals?

01:39:48   Because Mac OS.

01:39:49   Oh, Mac OS X, right.

01:39:50   Yeah.

01:39:51   They're going to get rid of the X.

01:39:52   Yeah, there we go.

01:39:58   I wonder, would...

01:39:59   No, no.

01:40:00   No, no. Although I wonder, maybe they would like, if...

01:40:04   I don't think you would have to have the new keyboard to use Siri on the Mac, but maybe

01:40:07   they would do the little, you know, the animation for Siri, the horizontal thing, because it's

01:40:11   such a horizontal animation, maybe the OLED strip will turn into the waveform.

01:40:16   Yeah, that'd be pretty.

01:40:21   The other thing with Germin's report, though, is that, and it's a little disappointing,

01:40:24   because I was kind of hoping maybe new MacBook Pros would come out at WWDC, but his report

01:40:30   it later this year, like a fall thing. Right, and there was some little nugget,

01:40:37   I think, and I think that was based on, what's the one, the one, who is it, is it KJI or whatever,

01:40:44   they have a pretty good track record of being right about those things. I think it was riffing

01:40:48   off of that, but also talking about the fact that there's some potential for a 13-inch MacBook,

01:40:57   not a pro, so there would be like the two pro models, and then we already have now the 12 inch,

01:41:03   you know, Retina MacBook, and now there might be a 13 inch? It said that in there,

01:41:08   which I was confused by, like why would they do a 12 and a 13 inch?

01:41:12   Yeah, that seems wrong to me. It seems to me like they made the whole reason they made the

01:41:17   12 inch in the first place was to split the difference between 13 and 11.

01:41:21   Right. Right. And so, yeah, I don't know. Maybe it's something got lost in translation there.

01:41:29   Yeah. Or they're going to switch to 13. I don't know. It doesn't make sense to have 12 and 13.

01:41:34   They don't seem different enough to justify both of them existing.

01:41:38   I mean, you could see where they would make a bigger one in order to put a second port.

01:41:44   everyone complains of course about the one USB-C port. But then with a 14 or 15?

01:41:52   I just think that they have to be different enough that just at a glance on the table in the Apple

01:42:00   Store you can say, "Oh, that one's big, this one's small." If you're gonna have three, it has to be

01:42:08   Rare, medium, and well done.

01:42:11   You can't have a medium rare in there.

01:42:14   It's too hard to tell apart.

01:42:17   And that report also mentioned that they're likely

01:42:20   keeping the MacBook Air around.

01:42:22   And it will just be the cheaper--

01:42:24   the low, the rare version, in your analogy--

01:42:30   the cheaper, low-end version of what you get from Mac.

01:42:33   So presumably still no Retina screen, I guess.

01:42:36   Yeah, I think that the writing is on the wall.

01:42:38   I know that this is to me, I get it all the time.

01:42:42   And I know there's so many people,

01:42:44   and I'm gonna make you angry

01:42:45   if you're one of these people listening.

01:42:46   I'm telling you right now, stop holding your breath

01:42:48   for a retina MacBook Air, and it's just not gonna happen.

01:42:51   And I know, I get emails all the time,

01:42:54   this is what a lot of people want.

01:42:56   They want exactly what the MacBook Air is right now

01:42:59   with a retina screen.

01:43:00   - And when they're asking for that,

01:43:02   is it specifically that they want,

01:43:06   like the certain type of power adapter

01:43:10   and the older school USB ports rather than--

01:43:16   because the new MacBook is very similar to what a MacBook Air

01:43:21   is except for the ports, right?

01:43:25   And the power, this performance, because it's slower.

01:43:28   It's still slower than MacBook Air.

01:43:31   And a refreshed MacBook Air, if it were to come, but it's not,

01:43:36   I don't think, would be faster still.

01:43:38   But the MacBook Air you can go by today

01:43:41   is faster than the MacBook.

01:43:43   And so if you push your machine a little bit,

01:43:45   if you're like me, 50 browser tabs,

01:43:49   or if you're using Xcode or something like that,

01:43:52   photo editing, you want it.

01:43:55   But no, I think it's very clear looking at the products

01:43:57   that Apple's come out with recently, what they're doing.

01:44:00   The MacBook, the new one, the MacBook One,

01:44:04   will get faster over time. Right. And it will eventually, like in two years, that won't be an

01:44:09   issue. Right. So is it worth it for Apple to spend money to make a retina MacBook Air when these

01:44:17   things are just going to collide in two years? Right. And on the other end, the MacBook Pros

01:44:22   are getting thinner. Like that's another part of this rumor with the OLED screen is that the

01:44:27   MacBook, even though they got so much thinner a couple years ago when they went to the,

01:44:32   you can't get a spinning hard drive anymore, everything's SSD, but it's going to get thinner

01:44:37   still because that's what Apple does. They take products and make them thinner. So the MacBook

01:44:41   Pros, at the more expensive side, and if performance is important to you, are going to get ever more

01:44:47   air-like in their form factor, and the MacBook is going to get faster. And Apple's bet is that

01:44:54   your need for ports is going to decrease over time. And so the MacBook Air, even though if they were

01:45:02   to come out with a retina MacBook Air today, it would sell, might sell very well. It's

01:45:06   a dead end, I think, in Apple's mind in terms of differentiation of the product line. That

01:45:12   it's not, it would be too, it's too conflated with the other products or too easily mixed

01:45:17   up. Right. And so right now the only reason the MacBook Airs exist is to hit the $899

01:45:24   and $999 price points. Right. And I assume that's a lot of what they're selling to like

01:45:28   right? That's their... is that also their school sort of selling? Oh, I think so. I would be...

01:45:35   anybody... I would be surprised if schools were buying anything other than

01:45:41   the MacBook Airs, because they don't have money, and B, they just don't...

01:45:47   schools, you know, they're just not going to value something like retina. Right.

01:45:51   You know, too bad kids. Even though kids have the sharpest eyes, and they're the

01:45:54   most likely to be able to see the fuzzy pixels.

01:45:58   - Well, just wait, give 'em time.

01:46:03   Two years, kids, two years.

01:46:05   - So I don't know, I wonder if we're gonna see

01:46:06   any hardware at WWDC now, but on the other hand,

01:46:09   we haven't had new Mac hardware in forever,

01:46:12   except for the updated MacBook One,

01:46:15   which was just a speed bump.

01:46:18   - Yeah, I mean, the only hardware,

01:46:19   if those reports are true, and maybe it won't even be

01:46:22   released then, would be the thing

01:46:23   We were just talking about that music Siri hub thing.

01:46:27   But yeah, they usually don't do--

01:46:29   they haven't done Mac hardware in a while, right?

01:46:31   Because they announce the new OS,

01:46:34   and then they wait to ship.

01:46:36   Well, they did the updated 5K iMac last year

01:46:39   with the new high gamut screen.

01:46:42   Oh, that's right.

01:46:43   OK.

01:46:44   Yeah.

01:46:45   By the way, when are they going to launch

01:46:47   a display, external display, with Retina?

01:46:51   Like, why have they not done that yet?

01:46:53   That's a fantastic question. I think that this is something that I, because I have the 5k iMac,

01:46:59   yeah, I have the old, the first one though, not the high gamut one. So you know, play a little sad

01:47:06   violin song for me. I know that the ATP guys have gone on about this in detail and I, because I

01:47:13   don't have a Mac Pro, I don't care enough to figure it out, but there's some kind of thing where

01:47:17   Thunderbolt. Oh, right. The throughput is not there.

01:47:22   Sufficient. And the only way that Apple made it work internally in the 5k iMac

01:47:27   was by creating your own thing. Um, uh,

01:47:31   so I think that's the problem. Uh, but maybe this WWDC is where the,

01:47:36   the, the trashcan Darth Vader Mac pro came out.

01:47:42   It is incredibly long overdue for an update.

01:47:46   And so I know it's not like a best seller, but at the WWDC developer crowd, it actually is.

01:47:54   So maybe that would be a nice... I haven't seen any rumors about it, but just in terms of being overdue,

01:48:00   boy, that would be a nice announcement that would play extremely...

01:48:03   I think it would play extremely well in a room if they said, "We've updated the Mac Pro.

01:48:07   It blows away the old Mac Pro in performance, and you can hook up this 5K, beautiful 5K display to it."

01:48:14   Finally, an actual finally.

01:48:17   And yeah, I mean, given Apple's dominance in both design

01:48:20   and film and everything, it's crazy

01:48:23   that all these people can't use a screen that

01:48:28   ties into all of the rest of the Apple products

01:48:30   that they're using for that.

01:48:31   Right, and again, I'm spoiled, but I've gone all--

01:48:36   I guess I'm trying to think what my last non-retina device was.

01:48:40   It was, I guess it was when I upgraded to this 5K iMac,

01:48:45   what, like a year and a half ago.

01:48:46   But now, everything is retina.

01:48:49   My son still has a non-retina iPad.

01:48:52   So I think it's like the only non-retina device in the house.

01:48:54   And so I--

01:48:54   Really?

01:48:55   Like an animal.

01:48:57   And when I see the screen, I'm like, oh my god,

01:48:59   I can't believe you live in that one.

01:49:01   Those pixels were pretty big.

01:49:03   I still have--

01:49:04   I'm actually sitting in front of right now the last iMac

01:49:08   before it went retina.

01:49:10   It's still nice, but yeah, you can definitely see the pixels.

01:49:13   Yeah, it sticks out like a sore thumb.

01:49:15   And it just seems crazy, like you said,

01:49:17   it's just crazy that the customers who

01:49:19   are willing to spend $10,000 on a Mac Pro--

01:49:24   Have no option.

01:49:25   They have to buy the Dell, whatever.

01:49:27   4K, whatever.

01:49:29   Right.

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01:52:08   This is what we want to talk about the Peter Thiel thing.

01:52:12   Sure. It's literally what all of Twitter is right now.

01:52:21   I'm sure. So anybody who's listening has almost certainly heard, and if you read

01:52:24   "Daring Fireball," I've been obsessed with it for days.

01:52:26   I'll summarize it thus. There's an ongoing lawsuit where Hulk Hogan sued Gawker because

01:52:37   a couple years ago Gawker obtained a sex tape. The backstory on that is all crazy too.

01:52:43   Someone named Buddy the Love Sponge.

01:52:47   Yes, not making it up. That is not made up.

01:52:49   Somehow convinced Hulk Hogan to have sex with the guy's wife and he's like totally into it and the

01:53:02   guy surreptitiously taped the encounter and then anyway, Gawker ran it and a few lists later,

01:53:10   Hulk Hogan sued and won an enormous judgment, $140 million in the state of Florida against

01:53:17   Gawker, which apparently would, not surprisingly, would bankrupt the company. There's an expectation

01:53:27   among experts that on appeal, that Gawker is going to get that greatly reduced, maybe

01:53:33   even overturned, that Gawker's chances are very good that it was tried in a place that

01:53:37   was very amenable to Hulk Hogan. But you never know, and it's never good news to lose the

01:53:42   first one. So, you know, Gawker's under wraps.

01:53:45   And it turns out this week it came out that, like, one day it started with speculation

01:53:50   that Nick Denton, the founder and owner of Gawker, publicly came out speculating that

01:53:55   Hogan's lawsuit was funded by somebody. And he thought maybe, like, some billionaire in

01:54:02   Silicon Valley. I don't know if Denton actually had Teal in mind at the time. I suspect he

01:54:06   might have because how many billionaires--

01:54:08   The speculation, again, amongst people with no inside information, but that this is--

01:54:15   it was very likely, if this was the case, and there was a big if, like it seemed outrageous

01:54:21   that that would actually be the situation, that it would likely be Peter Thiel being

01:54:26   the most likely candidate to be the one.

01:54:28   Right.

01:54:29   there's a known grudge between the two because in 2007,

01:54:34   Gawker's Valleywag property ran a story saying that,

01:54:42   yes, Peter Thiel is gay, which, you know,

01:54:46   was interpreted by many as outing.

01:54:49   I think there's a very good case that that's what it was,

01:54:53   but Valleywag and Gawker have always stood behind

01:54:55   this argument that it was an open secret.

01:54:58   everybody knew it just wasn't ever printed anywhere.

01:55:02   And that it's, you know, I don't want to get into

01:55:04   the politics of it, but that it's,

01:55:07   the fact that we don't talk about it is sort of

01:55:10   like bigotry against gays because it's positioning

01:55:16   homosexuality as something that you would want to hide.

01:55:19   Whereas it's not.

01:55:20   Which I, personally I am amenable to, but anyway,

01:55:22   that's just to get it out of the way though,

01:55:24   that, you know, it's well known.

01:55:27   I think it's even on the record that Peter Thiel was not happy with that story.

01:55:31   And therefore, I think he likened, uh, the Valley wag to Al Qaeda.

01:55:36   Yes. Yeah. No, literally. And that's really was his comparison.

01:55:40   It's not like hyperbole, like you're exaggerating. That was,

01:55:42   that was what he said. Right. Um, yeah.

01:55:47   He's been known to have taken issue with numerous, even stories, not with him,

01:55:51   but with other people who he knows that he knows other people who, you know,

01:55:54   Gawker websites have run stories about that he found, you know, objectionable. So it turns out

01:56:01   that it's, and now he's, Peter Thiel has gone on a record with the New York Times and admitted,

01:56:07   "Yes, I bankrolled Hulk Hogan's lawsuit to the tune of 10 million dollars."

01:56:11   And it's just crazy. It's like, this really is just like,

01:56:20   like something from, you put on a TV show, right? Or a movie, you know, that it's like a crazy Game of Thrones plot twist.

01:56:28   It's something that's like so outlandish that it seemed like,

01:56:33   because I guess there were rumors about this going around during the trial itself, right?

01:56:36   That someone was out there bankrolling this and, but everyone dismissed it, you know, reading about this in hindsight,

01:56:42   everyone seemed to dismiss it because it was so outlandish.

01:56:45   Right.

01:56:45   And then Denton says his thing and it still seems outlandish, but there's like this,

01:56:49   But if it were to be anyone, and then like Forbes somehow was able to find people who would speak, you know,

01:56:56   off the record or on background, I guess, on it, and then next thing we know we have

01:57:03   Teal talking to Andrew Ross Sorkin of New York Times directly about it.

01:57:09   Within like a two-day span or whatever.

01:57:11   Right, and the move during the trial that raised people's eyebrows and started the speculation was that the Hogan legal team

01:57:19   dropped a charge that, if they had won, would have been covered by Gawker's insurance.

01:57:28   Gawker's insurance would have this, whatever, it doesn't really matter which one it was,

01:57:31   you know, what the legal term was, but there was one of the charges.

01:57:34   And it seemed really curious to people that they would do that because the insurance company

01:57:41   is way more likely to be able to pay the full amount of a large judgment than Gawker is.

01:57:47   So it's not about the money.

01:57:49   Right.

01:57:50   That it was a move that totally seemed counter to maximizing

01:57:53   the money that Hogan would win.

01:57:56   And instead, it seemed specifically

01:57:58   about trying to put Gawker out of business.

01:58:03   Yeah.

01:58:04   And so the most compelling--

01:58:08   compelling is a weird word to use.

01:58:10   But the most interesting thing about this whole thing to me

01:58:13   is the amount of time that has passed from when the situation

01:58:19   happened that you talked about with the story on Valley

01:58:24   Wag outing or--

01:58:27   Revealing that he's gay.

01:58:28   Yeah, revealing that-- yeah, right.

01:58:29   Peter Thiel is gay to the masses, let's say.

01:58:34   And now, it's like--

01:58:37   I don't know exactly how long it's been,

01:58:38   but it's like eight years, nine years, or something like that?

01:58:42   Yeah, I think it was nine years.

01:58:43   I think it was a 2007 story.

01:58:46   I think, I could be wrong by a year,

01:58:47   but the story I've heard is that at some point in 2006,

01:58:50   supposedly, Teal had warned Valley WAG,

01:58:55   do not write about my personal life,

01:58:56   or you will make an enemy of me.

01:59:00   I don't think he threatened them,

01:59:01   but privately had said, don't do this,

01:59:05   or I'll do what I can.

01:59:07   And 2007, I think, is when the story ran.

01:59:10   But it's been roughly 10 years.

01:59:12   And obviously most threats made in those veins end up being hollow or, you know, sort of like just things get forgotten over time and everyone moves on.

01:59:21   Time heals all wounds.

01:59:23   Right.

01:59:24   But not here.

01:59:25   And like the fact that this has been going on behind the scenes all these years later is just incredible.

01:59:32   I mean, again, it's like a weird thing to say.

01:59:35   It's like impressive in a weird way

01:59:38   that someone is so determined to write

01:59:41   what they view as this wrong

01:59:45   that they've held onto it this long

01:59:46   and like just figured out an avenue

01:59:49   to actually be able to execute it.

01:59:52   - All right.

01:59:53   I will link to it in the show notes.

01:59:55   I've already linked to it on "Daring Fireball,"

01:59:56   but Felix Salmon writing at Fusion

01:59:59   had a great analysis of just the depths

02:00:03   of the evil geniusness of Thiel's revenge.

02:00:07   Just going through step by step and just,

02:00:12   A, how long he waited, and B,

02:00:13   that the way that libel laws work,

02:00:16   and typically, you know,

02:00:17   Thiel's not the first super rich person

02:00:19   to sue a publication over negative publicity.

02:00:23   I mean, Donald Trump has done it many times.

02:00:25   I mean, all sorts of people do it.

02:00:28   But the way it typically works and the way everybody common sense thinks it works is

02:00:32   if I'm a rich guy and I don't like what your publication wrote about me, I sue you about

02:00:38   what you wrote about me.

02:00:41   And the problem with that is that you'd have to prove that it was false or that it was

02:00:45   slander or whatever.

02:00:46   It's very, very hard.

02:00:48   And as Samin has pointed out, so newspapers like the New York Times or any major publication,

02:00:56   When they write about a rich person in a way that, "Hey, this is going to be controversial.

02:01:00   They're not going to like this," they have a legal team that vets every sentence in the

02:01:04   story before it goes out, specifically of, "Can we defend this in court?

02:01:09   Can we defend?"

02:01:10   Every single thing, "Can we defend this in court?"

02:01:12   It's not just going through an editorial process.

02:01:13   It goes through a legal process before it goes out.

02:01:16   Therefore, it makes it very hard for the rich person who wants to sue a publication out

02:01:21   of existence to win.

02:01:23   Neil's strategy was not to sue Gawker over what they wrote about him, but was rather

02:01:29   to put together a legal team to just go through everything Gawker has done for 10 years and

02:01:34   look for something that they did that is legally questionable.

02:01:38   And they struck gold with the Hogan sex tape.

02:01:41   Right.

02:01:42   And there's, you know, I think it's actually, even while we've been on this call recording

02:01:48   the show, I think there have already been sort of other things leaking out because the

02:01:52   The rumor, of course, is also that they've been looking for other avenues to execute

02:01:56   a lawsuit over the years, and maybe they have even, but no one realized it at the time.

02:02:00   I think some of that stuff is starting to come out now.

02:02:04   It's just breaking so fast.

02:02:06   It's so crazy.

02:02:07   There are so many buts, and this story is so widespread.

02:02:14   What I've written about on Daring Fireball, it's hard to cover all of these avenues.

02:02:19   But I'll even say right up front that I don't know, a couple of people said, "Well, what

02:02:24   do you think, you know, shouldn't this be about whether Hogan had a good case or not?"

02:02:27   And doesn't he have a, you know, wasn't he actually, you know, what they did a violation

02:02:31   of his privacy?

02:02:32   I'm very, very, I certainly would never run a sex tape taken surreptitiously by someone

02:02:38   else or publish it or spread it.

02:02:39   I mean, I think it's, honestly, I think it's a despicable move.

02:02:44   Just personally, just as a human being.

02:02:47   I mean, and so I'm not even opposed to Hogan having won the suit.

02:02:51   I don't think Gawker ever should have run it.

02:02:53   Gawker's media have done, published numerous things over the years that I object to for

02:02:59   multiple grounds.

02:03:00   Notably, of course, the iPhone prototype was Gizmodo under Gawker.

02:03:09   Right.

02:03:11   Yeah.

02:03:12   Yeah, so...

02:03:14   So in a way that's part of the genius of Thiel's strategy is that he found a case where

02:03:21   people who might otherwise object to the idea of a billionaire secretly funding a lawsuit to sue a company out of existence

02:03:29   might be a little bit more likely to say, "Well, these are bad people. That's not right that they took a surreptitious sex tape and published it."

02:03:40   it right I saw him sex tapes you calm sex tapes I know it wasn't probably

02:03:45   wasn't on tape but what else would you call it well so because it's not a tape

02:03:51   right it's not on tape but it seems like the term is sex tape yeah it's like the

02:03:57   verbal equivalent of the floppy disk for save like we just don't have right a

02:04:02   sex.mov. I don't know. A sex gif. So I read, you know, in leading up to this, I

02:04:14   read a few different of the takes. So first of all, like we joked about, all of

02:04:19   Twitter is talking about this. Like this is, in my mind we talked about Twitter

02:04:23   earlier as like being, you know, sort of like this this fascinating zeitgeist of

02:04:27   what's happening. In my view, when something like this happens, this makes

02:04:31   Twitter almost unbearable, simply because everyone is talking about the same thing.

02:04:38   And there's no way to follow a common thread. There's so many different angles and so much

02:04:45   information coming in and so many opinions that it's like a hodgepodge of everything.

02:04:50   And I can imagine a regular user after signing up for Twitter, say they signed up for Twitter

02:04:55   yesterday, and they got recommended, they're interested in the news or something. And so

02:05:01   So they got recommended like 15 accounts

02:05:02   to follow that are journalists.

02:05:04   And so now today, just imagine what their experience

02:05:06   would be like looking at Twitter for the first time.

02:05:09   It's just like, I don't even know where to begin.

02:05:13   Just shut it down.

02:05:14   This is dreadful, all these people talking about each other

02:05:17   and talking about, no, you're wrong and arguing.

02:05:20   And so with that back story, I try

02:05:24   to avoid as much as possible of it

02:05:26   until there was actually more actual news of what

02:05:32   occurred and whatnot.

02:05:33   And it seems like this morning there was some of that.

02:05:35   We talked about the Aaron Ross Sorkin post with Teal.

02:05:39   And then there's been some more interesting of the hot takes,

02:05:42   I would say.

02:05:42   And so I read yours, of course, which

02:05:44   I liked because it was concise.

02:05:47   And a lot of the problems I have with things of this nature

02:05:52   are like, this is obviously going after at least the way

02:05:55   that journalists perceive it, going

02:05:57   after the heart of what journalism is

02:05:59   and trying to destroy the institution.

02:06:01   And so we get these thought pieces

02:06:03   that are going to be 5,000 words and just going on and on.

02:06:09   And most of them saying the same things

02:06:11   or saying them in slightly different ways.

02:06:13   And it's just like, again, it's impenetrable.

02:06:16   It's hard to know where to begin with this.

02:06:18   So I appreciate the concise nature of your take on this.

02:06:21   Right, and I wasn't trying to capture the whole thing

02:06:24   because I think it's too hard to capture the whole thing.

02:06:26   But it's just one particular, like to me it's,

02:06:29   I appreciate your kind words about it,

02:06:32   but it was just to respond to this whole argument

02:06:35   of whether anybody is trying to take away

02:06:37   Peter Thiel's freedom of speech.

02:06:40   And it's like, it was like this libertarian take on it,

02:06:44   which sort of a pro, super right,

02:06:49   using their super richness to their own advantage.

02:06:54   and the idea that anybody who objects to that

02:06:56   or takes offense at it is therefore trying to suppress it,

02:06:59   which is not the case.

02:07:01   The article that the guy linked to by Josh Marshall,

02:07:05   he wasn't, Josh Marshall at Talking Points Media

02:07:07   wasn't advocating, hey, we should pass a law

02:07:09   to make this illegal, we should prevent this.

02:07:12   He was just saying this is bad news for journalism.

02:07:16   - Right.

02:07:16   - Because it's revealed a way to anybody else

02:07:20   who has sufficient funds to bankroll such things

02:07:23   way to do the same thing against any other publication they don't like.

02:07:25   Right, but so part of that is like this has existed for a long time to be able to do like this

02:07:31   this whole thing isn't new but it's new I guess in this context and people's eyes are opening

02:07:39   to it for the first time because what you know what Teal did is not illegal. This is

02:07:45   you know this is an avenue that that others have used just maybe not in this direct way before or

02:07:51   Or maybe they haven't, we just don't know about it.

02:07:54   But what I liked about what you wrote--

02:07:56   and maybe correct me if I missed representing it in some ways,

02:08:00   but this is sort of my stance on it

02:08:03   after one day of thinking about it--

02:08:07   is so what Teal did is not illegal,

02:08:12   whether you think it's unethical or sort of not--

02:08:17   I don't know.

02:08:18   There's so many words you could use to describe it.

02:08:20   Anyway, it's not illegal and it's also, of course,

02:08:24   not illegal for then Denton to suggest that someone's doing this,

02:08:28   and that it's not illegal for Forbes to look into it and get sources saying,

02:08:32   "Yeah, it's the sky," and then it's not illegal for Teal then to go and talk to

02:08:35   New York Times and reveal why he did it.

02:08:40   Now, apparently Denton's working on a rebuttal post about this.

02:08:43   It's like, at the end of the day,

02:08:46   I understand why everyone's up in arms of this, of course,

02:08:49   But the situation does sort of sort itself out. And I think if Gawker went out of business,

02:08:55   which is a real possibility, my thought there is, but like 1000 other Gawker's will just rise

02:09:03   in its sort of place. And you could say, well, then some billionaire might take out them too.

02:09:11   I have a hard time believing that there's honestly enough money in the world to sort of

02:09:17   fight all these battles.

02:09:18   And it's not just money, by the way, it's time too.

02:09:20   Again, going back to what the most interesting thing

02:09:22   about this to me is that Peter Thiel took the time

02:09:25   and the extended time period to actually execute this plan.

02:09:29   Most people would not do that, of course.

02:09:31   And most people just don't have the time to do it.

02:09:33   It's not worth their time to do it.

02:09:35   And so I sort of, as sort of lame as it sounds,

02:09:39   I think this thing sorts itself out naturally.

02:09:43   - Yeah, I think, and especially as it settles in

02:09:47   as 24 hour old news now, I think that the fears

02:09:51   that this will become a playbook for billionaires

02:09:54   to take on other publications are,

02:09:56   not just hopefully unfounded,

02:09:57   I think they're probably unfounded.

02:09:59   I think this was a unique situation,

02:10:02   both in terms of the way that Gawker

02:10:07   opened themselves up to these sort of suits

02:10:11   by being so, I don't know what the word is, reckless?

02:10:16   aggressive, aggressive, fast and loose with what, you know,

02:10:21   what should or should not be published.

02:10:23   I, you know, could somebody do this to me, for example?

02:10:27   Could somebody, it's like, what have I written

02:10:29   that you could really take me to court over?

02:10:31   You could definitely inconvenience me

02:10:33   by just making me go to court and have to hire a lawyer

02:10:35   to fight a bogus lawsuit.

02:10:37   But I don't, you know what I mean?

02:10:39   I don't know that, why would,

02:10:40   I don't see why someone would do that,

02:10:42   'cause the other part is that Peter Thiel

02:10:44   had such a grievance against them.

02:10:47   - Right.

02:10:50   - I mean, is there somebody who I've called

02:10:51   jackass of the week in the past who would do this to me?

02:10:53   I don't know.

02:10:54   I don't think so.

02:10:56   - Yeah, but even if they would,

02:10:57   so like, yeah, you may have pissed off plenty of people,

02:11:00   I'm sure you have over the years, but--

02:11:02   - I may have pissed off Peter Thiel

02:11:03   by calling him an asshole.

02:11:05   I don't know.

02:11:06   - But have you opened yourself up to, you know,

02:11:10   so that could open you up to, you know,

02:11:12   like someone could try to sue you directly for slander or whatever, or liable. I always

02:11:18   forget the difference.

02:11:19   Yeah, I do too.

02:11:20   But then could someone do this sort of surrogate lawsuit and actually go after you for something?

02:11:28   It seems almost impossible. Yeah.

02:11:32   I think part of it is that it's just that nobody ever thought that anybody... It just

02:11:37   never occurred to someone to do this and and it speaks to teals I honest I mean

02:11:44   again I called him an asshole and I stand by it and I think that him doing

02:11:47   it in secret was cowardly I think that it only came out now is you know it you

02:11:53   know kind of a coward's move but it was genius right it was extremely clever and

02:12:02   it's the sort of you know that's why he's the success that he is is is a big

02:12:06   and it's a huge part of the whole Silicon Valley,

02:12:10   what are we looking for is we're looking for people

02:12:12   who see things that nobody else sees.

02:12:15   And this is an example of that, right?

02:12:17   He saw an opportunity here to do this in a way that,

02:12:22   it just never occurred to anybody else.

02:12:23   I think that's why this has so,

02:12:26   grabbed everybody's attention.

02:12:28   - Well, and so, just to, I don't know,

02:12:30   almost to play devil's advocate a bit on this,

02:12:32   But when you call him an asshole for the way

02:12:37   that he sort of executed it, I mean,

02:12:41   maybe he executed it this way on purpose.

02:12:43   He wanted to be in the shadows for all this time

02:12:46   and then to have some sort of big reveal

02:12:48   to make it that much more of a statement

02:12:50   and to make it that much more meaningful

02:12:52   when it did come out this way.

02:12:53   Yeah.

02:12:54   And the aforementioned Felix Salmon post definitely

02:12:59   makes the case that--

02:13:01   he makes a compelling case that revealing himself

02:13:04   was absolutely part of it.

02:13:06   - Part of the plan, yeah.

02:13:07   - Because what it does is,

02:13:11   it says this isn't, now you realize that whatever happens

02:13:15   with the Hogan appeal, this isn't gonna stop.

02:13:19   And he can keep this up indefinitely.

02:13:22   And everybody knows that everybody can just go through

02:13:24   in the back of their mind a list of things,

02:13:27   articles that Gawker has published over the years

02:13:29   that maybe they could get sued over.

02:13:30   And it therefore means that anybody who is perhaps

02:13:34   thinking of investing in Gawker is gonna think twice

02:13:37   about it because it looks like if you're investing

02:13:39   in Gawker, you're investing against Peter Thiel funding,

02:13:44   trying to bankrupt the company.

02:13:46   And they need the investment money because they need

02:13:49   to deal with the legal fees and the potential judgment

02:13:53   against Hogan.

02:13:54   That revealing himself is part of it because now

02:13:59   makes Gawker look like a way worse investment than it was, you know, Gawker, if you're,

02:14:03   if anybody was thinking of investing in Gawker two days ago, it certainly looks like a worse

02:14:07   investment now that you know that they've made a lifelong enemy of Peter Thiel and that

02:14:11   he's set his sights on destroying the company. Unsurprisingly, there are already reports,

02:14:16   of course, now that Gawker is trying to sell itself and, you know, it's being marked down

02:14:21   way below what they, you know, were valued at just a few months ago. Yeah, and that's

02:14:28   going to make it very hard.

02:14:30   Yeah, I would say in terms of what I wrote,

02:14:32   that if it turns out that it's true that Teal's plan all along

02:14:35   was to reveal himself at a certain strategic point

02:14:38   for the purpose of even kicking them when they're down,

02:14:44   then it doesn't take away the asshole part of what I said.

02:14:46   It takes away the coward part, because he didn't have a plan

02:14:49   to remain secret forever, that it was only secret strategically

02:14:52   for the first part of this deathless revenge scheme.

02:14:56   Yeah, and I mean, I will say, I don't know Peter Tillettal.

02:14:59   I'm fairly certain I've actually never met him,

02:15:02   even though we sort of do the same thing now.

02:15:05   But I also just--

02:15:08   one of the things I'm trying to think about, again,

02:15:11   a reaction to this in a 24-hour period,

02:15:13   I don't recall the whole situation with Valley WAG

02:15:17   when it happened those eight or nine years ago.

02:15:19   I mean, I've heard about it after the fact.

02:15:25   And I-- but I also have a hard time sort of discounting,

02:15:28   like, well, I understand what Valleywag's position was,

02:15:34   that it was sort of like publicly that he was known

02:15:38   to be gay amongst a big enough circle

02:15:41   that it should be sort of common knowledge.

02:15:44   I don't know what his mindset--

02:15:45   like, he was clearly--

02:15:47   he's clearly very-- was very pissed off and very pissed off

02:15:50   enough to do this whole plan.

02:15:52   Like, I don't know that I'm one to say, like, is he wrong?

02:15:57   You know, like a lot of people are saying that this is a major overblown thing

02:16:03   that he's just taken it so far out of proportion and the response is not in

02:16:09   proportion to what the original act was.

02:16:11   But like, I don't know.

02:16:13   I wasn't there.

02:16:14   Like maybe he was like, his mindset was just totally destroyed by what they did.

02:16:21   after he told them not to do it.

02:16:22   So anyway, I just don't want to degrade that completely.

02:16:27   I don't know what his mindset is.

02:16:29   - Right, I hear you.

02:16:30   As a devil's advocate, take,

02:16:32   I shouldn't say I disagree, 'cause I don't know.

02:16:37   I don't know Peter Thiel either, obviously.

02:16:40   Right, so that's possible.

02:16:41   That's possible that it really was

02:16:43   so significantly stressful to him,

02:16:46   emotionally harmful to him,

02:16:49   that maybe it really isn't disproportionate.

02:16:51   But the one goofy, I have to say that,

02:16:53   here's a goofy part, I mean, this is goofy.

02:16:56   Is Teal's description of this

02:17:01   as the most philanthropic thing he's ever done in his life.

02:17:05   - Oh yeah, the one. (laughs)

02:17:06   - That is really, that's gonna go down

02:17:10   as one of the things for people who are thinking

02:17:14   that the inequality is out of control

02:17:16   that the hyper-rich are detached from reality.

02:17:21   I mean, there's exhibit A, it was Peter Thiel.

02:17:25   I mean, whatever you think about this, right?

02:17:27   I'm fully acknowledging that there's a devil's advocate

02:17:30   take on this, that what he did is just revenge served cold,

02:17:34   and was in some sense just.

02:17:37   I don't agree, I think it's a vast overreaction.

02:17:40   I go with, did you read Elizabeth Speer's take?

02:17:44   - Yeah, yeah, I did.

02:17:45   It's like if the United States attacked

02:17:49   a small African country with the full weight

02:17:51   of the armed services just for some small,

02:17:54   disproportionate reaction.

02:17:58   I'm on that side,

02:18:00   but I agree with the devil's advocate take on that.

02:18:01   But even if you agree with the devil's advocate take,

02:18:04   this is not philanthropy.

02:18:07   - I don't know, did you read Ben Thompson's take too

02:18:11   in his newsletter today?

02:18:13   It was interesting because I won't go into it then.

02:18:16   I won't-- you can link to it.

02:18:17   But it's-- I thought it was a fascinating way

02:18:22   to frame it around the notion of superheroes and supervillains.

02:18:26   And it's like, can these superheroes exist without a--

02:18:34   I don't want to bungle this.

02:18:38   But it's basically that in, so to say,

02:18:41   the Marvel Cinematic Universe, what

02:18:44   happens when the superheroes come

02:18:46   is there's usually this super villain thing that

02:18:49   ends up coming, it seems, coincidentally.

02:18:51   But maybe it's not coincidental.

02:18:53   Maybe it's the result of the superhero coming or vice versa.

02:18:56   The superhero comes because the supervillain is there.

02:18:59   And so they're intertwined.

02:19:01   And he draws an interesting analogy

02:19:04   to this whole situation of how this is going down,

02:19:08   which I think is worth the read.

02:19:11   There is a certain, and I know people have compared Elon Musk to a Bond villain,

02:19:16   but Elon Musk doesn't seem, it doesn't, I can't think of anything he's done there.

02:19:22   It makes him look like a jerk, but this, there is like a certain, you know,

02:19:27   Bond movies and other movies are always full of, you know, evil billionaires or,

02:19:32   you know, evil, maybe evil is too strong a word, but you know, right.

02:19:36   Billionaires bent on scheming, scheming, scheming billionaires.

02:19:41   And this is here it is in real life, you know like this

02:19:45   Incredible scheme that nobody would have nobody really

02:19:49   Perceived as possible like and when like you said before like when it came up in trial interviews like ah, yeah, come on

02:19:56   That's this isn't a Marvel movie. Yeah

02:19:58   But and then the other element to this like going back to where we started sort of like with the whole Twitter and it's just

02:20:05   like oh

02:20:06   My god, and this is this is going to go on for a while

02:20:09   I mean, you know, like you said, you know, 24 hours sort of things die down

02:20:13   But then there's more and more just keeps coming and this is like the perfect storm

02:20:17   you know coming as someone who comes from the reporter side and now sort of

02:20:22   You know far enough removed from it to sort of hopefully be somewhat

02:20:27   Circumspect about it

02:20:31   this is like the perfect storm of a story that's not going to die anytime soon because

02:20:36   This is what?

02:20:38   Many not all but many reporters love writing about more than anything else is their own profession and like, yeah

02:20:44   You know things coming after it and the potential

02:20:47   for

02:20:49   The end of what they do and coming after potentially their livelihoods and stuff

02:20:54   And so this is just the perfect storm for Twitter for media Twitter

02:20:58   And it's gonna be non-stop stories about this for a long time to come. It seems like yeah to me. It's

02:21:05   I can't it's almost hard to conceive of a better story for media Twitter. Yeah

02:21:10   Yeah

02:21:14   Anything else you wanted to talk about it

02:21:19   No, those were pretty much wraps up my list

02:21:23   so

02:21:26   People can find your writing. Where are you doing? Most you're writing these days. So

02:21:32   Almost always now on medium, I set up one of the publications there.

02:21:36   Medium is of course again one of the GV investments, but before we invested in it,

02:21:43   I was a huge fan of the simplicity of the platform and the CMS elements of it,

02:21:49   having used many other CMSs throughout the years, which are a hodgepodge of things.

02:21:54   So most of the writing I do now, I bought a domain called 500-ish, which was nice and short,

02:22:00   and I try to keep the writing short these days since I don't have a ton of time to do it as much as I used to.

02:22:05   So, that's where I am.

02:22:07   500ish.com

02:22:10   and on the Twitter, @mgsiegler

02:22:16   Right?

02:22:16   That's right.

02:22:18   Alright.

02:22:20   My thanks to you for your time and your observations.

02:22:24   I would also like to give one more thanks to our sponsors.

02:22:28   Casper, go buy a mattress. Audible, go buy some audiobooks.

02:22:34   Wealthfront, invest all the money you have left after you've bought a mattress and

02:22:40   bought some audiobooks. And sued Gawker, or sued Al Kogan.

02:22:45   Yes, and sued somebody.