The Talk Show

126: ‘Tommy Got Made’ With Guest Jason Snell


00:00:00   Hello

00:00:01   Man, you always sound so good. I

00:00:03   Got I just am doing what Marco tells me to do. I know I've got it

00:00:08   I keep saying I'm gonna do what Marco tells me to do and I haven't done yet

00:00:11   Well, he keeps changing his opinion

00:00:13   I like I bought all the stuff that he told me to buy and then like a week later is like oh, oh

00:00:17   But this microphone is even better and then like two weeks later was like and then there's this microphone dude

00:00:22   I'm not gonna keep buying microphones

00:00:28   the other thing that gets me to is the

00:00:30   the

00:00:32   Now that I have the watch I feel like it's one too many devices to have to silence before a podcast

00:00:36   You know, I leave my watch silenced all the time

00:00:39   I do too except when I don't and I at least have to I feel like I at least have to check it before recording

00:00:46   Well, that's true. Yeah, I I leave it. I leave it off the whole time. I I can't remember the last time I turned it on

00:00:54   That would kind of I don't know it might be I might be wishing for too much magic

00:00:58   but I kind of wish that there was like a

00:01:00   Like some kind of way to tie into iTunes or iCloud and say silence all my shit. Oh, that's

00:01:09   Yeah, I mean the problem with the iPhones right and right just the iPhones have the physical silent switch

00:01:15   So right you could silence it, but it would still be switched to on I don't know I did I think about that

00:01:22   I wish I had a button to push, you know, for the valuable podcasting demographic, I wish I had a button to push that basically said,

00:01:27   "Okay, stop syncing all your drop boxes and stuff. Make everything silent.

00:01:33   Just enough already." I don't know, I, the Apple Watch sound,

00:01:39   that is one of the least compelling things about that product to me, and I just, I don't want to have, like, I

00:01:46   can feel the little taps. I kind of don't need to hear the sound.

00:01:51   Kind of agree. I forget who I was talking to. I don't it might have even been on it

00:01:55   You know

00:01:55   you never have that where you forget what you said on a podcast and what yeah in real life because I

00:01:58   Talk about the same stuff in real life that I talk about on shows. Yeah, I was like, yes

00:02:03   No

00:02:03   That was just a conversation I had

00:02:05   That the default might be wrong that the default for the Apple watch might be to be silent, huh? I

00:02:11   Can see why it's not because it's that's so

00:02:16   to every other device you own, but I feel like with the watch it actually

00:02:21   makes sense where most people you know maybe but if you're new to it and you're

00:02:25   unfamiliar and you're going through the infamous first week of getting to know

00:02:28   Apple watch defaulting to trusting the haptics or tap ticks whatever you want

00:02:33   to call them is I think the way to go yeah I don't see I don't see the point I

00:02:39   mean I I can see the point in making noise when it's not on my wrist but when

00:02:42   it's on my wrist and I can feel it, I kind of feel like that's enough for me. And the

00:02:47   shame of it is, if there are instances where you should be alerted audibly because something's

00:02:56   going on, they're mixed in with the ones where it's pointless, and so I just turn them off.

00:03:04   And I'd much rather scale them back to have them be only when it's particularly important.

00:03:10   But right now it's like every time anything happens, it wants to do a little ding.

00:03:14   And I don't need a little ding.

00:03:15   I've totally got the haptic feel down.

00:03:19   I know that it's tapping me.

00:03:21   I don't need a noise too.

00:03:23   And the noise annoys everybody else in the world.

00:03:25   The beauty of the haptics on the Apple Watch is that nobody hears your vibration like they

00:03:31   hear it on the phone.

00:03:33   It's just a complete secret message from your watch to you.

00:03:38   so why do I need a ding?

00:03:40   - You're recording, right?

00:03:41   - I am recording.

00:03:43   - We just got right into it.

00:03:44   This is great.

00:03:45   - I'm always recording.

00:03:46   I had a conversation with Dan Morin the other week

00:03:51   and halfway through we're like, is this a podcast?

00:03:53   No, it's not, but I was recording it.

00:03:56   It could have been, but it's not a podcast.

00:03:58   Just in case, why not?

00:04:00   - So I've been away, I've been on vacation for a while.

00:04:03   So there has not been a show for a while.

00:04:06   There's not really been much news that's gone on.

00:04:08   it seemed like I picked a very advantageous time to go on vacation news-wise, but there was

00:04:13   a couple of things that I was like, "Oh man, I wish I had time to write about this," because

00:04:19   this is like a good commentary type, punditry type stuff that burst out in the last two weeks.

00:04:26   But one of them, I guess this actually predates that. This is all the way back to June,

00:04:31   which is when the new Pebble Time started shipping. Did you get one of those?

00:04:35   I didn't. So you wore the original Pebble for years, right? For the two years, basically.

00:04:43   I mean, until I got my Apple Watch, and I was one of the Kickstarter people, so I got it in whatever

00:04:49   February of '13, something like that. So two years. Yeah, I kick-started it, the original, wore it for

00:04:56   like two days, and I bought the new one too, because I thought, well, I mean, I'm rooting for these

00:05:02   these guys. I really do hope that they pull it out and I think it's great that they have

00:05:08   a different set of priorities, not just to Apple but to everybody else in the space.

00:05:14   It really, especially after having worn Apple Watch for a while, it's so far behind in so

00:05:22   many ways that it just can't. The thing that made me think about it and just of all the

00:05:26   things I want to talk about with you, get it out of the way first, is you saying that

00:05:29   when the tactics go off, you don't have to worry about people hearing them. Well, when

00:05:32   the Pebble Time tactic goes off, everybody in the room knows it.

00:05:37   Mm-hmm. Yeah, you know, for me, it's, and it's not their fault, but as an iOS user,

00:05:42   I just, I can see the writing on the wall. Before it was like, you know, Apple had some

00:05:47   Bluetooth stuff that would send out notifications, and there were other devices that could support

00:05:51   it, including Pebble, and it seemed like, you know, it was what it was, but it was clear

00:05:56   than the background Apple was working on a watch and was going to put all their

00:06:00   effort into tying iOS with that watch. And you know, when I saw Pebble Time, I

00:06:05   thought, you know, they keep adding features for Android because they can

00:06:10   tie into all of the Android Wear APIs, and it just seemed clear to me that

00:06:14   Pebble was going to be a much better watch on Android than it was ever going

00:06:18   to be on iOS because it was never going to be a priority for Apple to support

00:06:23   Pebble because why would they they've got their own watch yeah and even if you

00:06:27   want to take a less cynical competitive or if you want to say anti-competitive

00:06:32   view it's just never gonna be a priority for them to spend the time to make those

00:06:37   API's public instead of private even if they kind of in in their heart of hearts

00:06:41   if Apple wanted to support third-party watches like pebble as best they could

00:06:47   on iOS they're never gonna have the API's cat caught up to where the private

00:06:51   APIs for Apple Watch are.

00:06:54   Just not gonna happen.

00:06:55   - Nor are they going to be as rich as what is

00:06:58   in the Android Wear stuff on Android.

00:07:01   So if you're Pebble, you're like, you know,

00:07:02   iOS is a nice market and you'd like to be there,

00:07:05   but your product is worse on it than it is on Android.

00:07:09   So I think, I understand why they're prioritizing things

00:07:13   that way and I would make the same decision.

00:07:15   And I don't blame Apple because, you know,

00:07:17   what does Apple want to focus on?

00:07:19   Apple Watch or kind of vague third-party support that really would only be, I mean, Google's

00:07:25   talked about doing, you know, Android Wear support on iOS, but it'll be the same thing.

00:07:28   There'll be an app that ties into some basic Bluetooth stuff and maybe some Google services

00:07:33   they'll be able to do, but, you know, I get the impression that Apple can do some very

00:07:38   clever things in the background in terms of launching, you know, like launching apps,

00:07:43   grabbing the data, sending it to the watch. That is not something that is allowed by third-party

00:07:48   apps and so they're always going to be ahead of things. Yeah.

00:07:51   Yeah, and if that's already a problem on Apple Watch and it is, you know, in terms of sometimes

00:07:56   the latency between tapping the weather complication on your face and actually getting the weather

00:08:01   to update with Apple having the inside access to it. Imagine how much worse it would be

00:08:06   for someone relying on third party. I can't help but think that that's why Google, that

00:08:10   was like a rumor leading up to, it was months ago actually, but a rumor leading up to IO

00:08:16   that was something that they might announce at IO in early June or late

00:08:19   June or May or whatever the hell IO was and didn't happen and I can't help but

00:08:25   think that one of the reasons you know maybe the main reason why not that they

00:08:28   haven't been working on it but that it is so it pales in comparison both to

00:08:33   Apple watch for iOS and Android wear for Android and so therefore why you know

00:08:38   it's second rate either way no matter just my experience with the pebble thing

00:08:42   is like pebble would update its apps in the background as long as the pebble app

00:08:45   was running and it would run for a while.

00:08:46   And at some point iOS would just kill it

00:08:48   because it hadn't been running for a while

00:08:50   and it needed the memory.

00:08:51   And at that point that was it.

00:08:53   Like Pebble won't talk to the watch

00:08:56   or I mean, won't talk to the phone after that

00:08:57   because you know, it's just an app

00:09:00   and it doesn't have any special powers there.

00:09:04   And you know, that's just how it is.

00:09:06   It's a tough situation, but I like them too.

00:09:10   I like the idea that this is a lower cost,

00:09:13   you know, simpler, long life. I like the fact that it's got the long battery life.

00:09:17   There are lots of things to like about it, but, you know, the fact is, platform vendors have so

00:09:22   much power over what these other products can do. And at least with Google, they can tie into the

00:09:30   stuff that Google built for Android Wear and good for them. That makes that a more compelling

00:09:34   product on Android. But on iOS, it's just never—I mean, I kept having this hope for the first two

00:09:39   years that they would get better, and it did get better for a while, and then it feels

00:09:44   like to me they hit a wall where it's like this is all Apple is ever going to let Bluetooth,

00:09:48   generic Bluetooth devices do.

00:09:50   Yeah. App is a sort of nebulous word, and as time goes on, it's ever more nebulous.

00:09:56   But the basic idea, because it doesn't really relate to anything like a low-level computer

00:10:01   science term. It's a bundle that basically means it's a process running on your computer

00:10:10   that displays a user interface to the user. To me, this is my interpretation of the word.

00:10:17   It's a word inherently of the GUI era of computing. It's a thing that no matter which computer

00:10:24   on that the user looks at and interacts with.

00:10:29   And I, you know, even on iOS and maybe in the early days like 2008 when the App Store

00:10:34   first debuted, that's really what apps were.

00:10:37   They were processes that showed a user interface and had an icon and if you were looking at

00:10:42   it and it, you know, it was running and if you weren't looking at it, it wasn't running.

00:10:47   And it was really pretty simple.

00:10:49   And now there's, you know, as iOS has evolved, there's a lot more that can happen in the

00:10:53   the background and apps can stay in memory as long as there's enough memory to keep

00:10:58   the most, you know, three, four, five most recently used apps. You can request for background

00:11:06   downloads even when you're not running, et cetera, et cetera. But basically, to interact

00:11:11   with another piece of hardware, to have a phone interacting with and controlling with

00:11:16   a watch, you don't really want an app for that. It has to be part of the operating system.

00:11:20   there's no way that third parties get to write parts of the operating system on iOS.

00:11:25   Yeah, you need some sort of feature.

00:11:27   And it's not like there aren't steps toward this in some of the iOS updates that have

00:11:32   come out over the last few years.

00:11:33   But, you know, for something like Pebble, you really need, like, a daemon to use Unix

00:11:37   terminology.

00:11:38   You need something that is a process that runs in the background all the time.

00:11:41   And Apple's not going to let—Apple always has the ability to—even when there is a

00:11:46   when there is a process running in the background, because iOS backgrounding, you know, S apps

00:11:50   can run in the background facelessly to do some updates and things. Apple is never going

00:11:54   to give up the option to kill something if it wants to improve the user experience by

00:12:01   freeing up memory so that this other app can run. And so, you know, somebody like Pebble,

00:12:05   they just can't, they can't install something that's running all the time and they can't

00:12:08   count on it being there. And that, you know, it limits what they can do, whereas Apple

00:12:12   can try to do that, we should say, because, I mean, you mentioned it. I sometimes will

00:12:17   put on like a weather complication or something like that, and it just—or the sunset on

00:12:24   that, what is it, the solar face, where it calculates out like the sunrise/sunset data.

00:12:28   I've had that just—it gives up and it shows it like it's the equinox, because even

00:12:33   though it's talking to the phone, whatever process updates that data has just died or

00:12:38   stalled. And so even Apple is struggling with it and they control the operating system.

00:12:42   And that's, you know, if it could, if it made any sense, and it doesn't for

00:12:47   Pebble to be connected to your Mac instead of to your phone, it doesn't because you're going

00:12:53   to wander away from your Mac with your watch on and want to have a connection. And that's why it

00:12:57   wants to connect to a phone and not to a computer. But if it, if it made any sense,

00:13:00   they could write Mac software that did everything they wanted to do, but it wouldn't go through the

00:13:05   the Mac App Store. It would be the sort of thing you download from getpebble.com

00:13:09   and install on your Mac the old-fashioned way because it would have

00:13:12   to do things that even in the even on the Mac through the App Store you're not

00:13:16   allowed to do. Well at that point you should just have Wi-Fi in the thing and

00:13:20   have it just talk to a web service. Right. And then only use the phone when it

00:13:24   absolutely has to but then it's not really a phone accessory anymore right

00:13:28   it's just a yeah or there's a web service that the phone is talking to and

00:13:32   that the watch is talking to. I mean, it's just a mess. It's not the same product at

00:13:36   that point.

00:13:37   Right. So my review of the Pebble, which I haven't written and I don't know if I'm going

00:13:42   to write. I didn't write a review of the first Pebble because it was sort of out of good

00:13:47   sportsmanship for lack of a better term, that it would have been very negative and I didn't

00:13:52   feel like that was... I just didn't want to do that. Plenty of other people wrote about

00:14:00   but I just felt like I'd be jumping on the pile.

00:14:03   With this one, I feel like, hey,

00:14:06   they've been around long enough,

00:14:07   and now the market is this.

00:14:09   It would be fair to write a negative review.

00:14:11   So maybe I will, maybe I won't,

00:14:12   but it's short, and it's basically,

00:14:15   A, the hardware really does not compare

00:14:18   in any meaningful way to what you can get

00:14:21   with an Apple Watch Sport.

00:14:23   So let's just compare it to Apple Watch Sport.

00:14:25   For 350 and 399, yes, that's more expensive

00:14:28   than the Pebble Time, which starts at 199.

00:14:31   But it's in the same ballpark.

00:14:35   To me, 199 and 349, it's close to half.

00:14:39   I guess it's half if you compare it

00:14:40   to the 42 millimeter version.

00:14:41   But it feels like way more than,

00:14:46   the Apple Watch feels way more than twice as well made.

00:14:48   And to me, aesthetically, you can tell just by looking

00:14:52   at a picture of the Pebble Time,

00:14:54   there's this double bezel effect around the display.

00:14:58   So the display is what actually lights up and is in color.

00:15:00   But then around that, there's a black thing

00:15:03   that goes around the display.

00:15:05   And then around that is a piece of plastic

00:15:07   that covers the crystal.

00:15:08   So there's like two bezels around the actual watch face.

00:15:11   And to me, in photographs, it looks like it is what it is.

00:15:15   But while I was wearing it,

00:15:16   every time I glanced at my wrist, it just stuck out.

00:15:19   And I realized that I've never seen a watch

00:15:21   that has anything like that before,

00:15:23   digital analog or otherwise.

00:15:25   and it really feels like a compromise in terms of engineering.

00:15:29   So aesthetically and build-wise, I thought it was really poor.

00:15:35   I know that it sounds like a petty thing, but to me, the Taptic Engine or whatever you

00:15:41   want to call it in the Pebble time, the fact that it's like a vibrator from your phone

00:15:44   and it's very loud, I mean like surprisingly loud, is just a deal breaker.

00:15:51   Part of that is just my experience with Apple Watch with the tactics being surprisingly

00:15:55   central to the experience of using Apple Watch.

00:15:59   With the Pebble Time, it to me is horrendous.

00:16:01   I don't even know.

00:16:02   It may not even be any different than the one from the original Pebble.

00:16:06   But once you got used to Apple Watch or I did at least and it's sort of this subtle

00:16:11   tapping that is completely silent, that loud jarring like it just feels like the equivalent

00:16:18   of holy shit, something terrible is happening

00:16:20   that you need to be alerted to right away.

00:16:22   Even if it's like a text message

00:16:24   from somebody you're working with who says yes.

00:16:27   You get like a jolt to your wrist.

00:16:29   It almost feels like an electric shock.

00:16:32   And that to me, I'm not judging that

00:16:33   in terms of iOS or Android.

00:16:35   That would be the same no matter what you're using it with.

00:16:38   And lastly, my other big complaint about it

00:16:41   is that this color screen that they're using,

00:16:43   I understand that it gives tremendous battery life.

00:16:46   And the battery life on Pebble

00:16:47   is clearly the single best thing about it

00:16:49   compared to Apple Watch.

00:16:51   But I can't read the screen in any light

00:16:54   without getting it real close to my eyes

00:16:56   and holding it at a perfect angle.

00:16:57   Whether it's broad daylight, well-lit room indoors,

00:17:02   or especially in dim lighting.

00:17:03   In dim lighting, I can't see it even when it lights up.

00:17:07   It's a really, really low contrast screen.

00:17:09   And maybe I'm in a bad place on that

00:17:13   because of the stuff I've had with the Retina

00:17:15   and stuff like that.

00:17:16   Even when I close my bad eye and just look at it with my perfectly good right eye, I

00:17:22   really have a hard time reading that screen.

00:17:23   Worse and to me, the contrast is the big thing.

00:17:26   The contrast is worse than with the original Pebble because I even went back and powered

00:17:30   up my original Pebble to compare.

00:17:33   Just for readability, to me, it's worse.

00:17:36   It's really, really low contrast.

00:17:37   Steve McLaughlin Yeah, I wasn't convinced that given the resolution

00:17:41   of it, I wasn't really convinced that the color was even necessary.

00:17:45   nice to have because they're going to get mocked if they don't have color, but it's

00:17:48   not like there are beautiful works of art on that display because it's not a very high-res

00:17:53   display. It really is about imparting this information to you and anything you do to

00:17:58   junk that up and it just makes it harder to read. I don't know. I'm with you. I feel like

00:18:06   I want to root for those guys, but even at the time, even when I backed that Kickstarter,

00:18:12   I felt like these guys had a very short window where they could come out.

00:18:16   I like that they're trying to be something different and cheaper and maybe they could

00:18:21   compete with the Fitbits of the world.

00:18:25   The warning sign I got was when they came out with the Pebble Steel because I didn't

00:18:30   mind the design of the original Pebble.

00:18:32   I mean, yeah, it was a big black watch, but it was what it was.

00:18:35   It was a curved plastic big chunk and it told the time and that was fine.

00:18:41   Ultimately, it always told the time and it lasted a week and it did a couple of other

00:18:44   neat things.

00:18:45   So I was fine wearing it as just a watch.

00:18:48   But the Pebble Time, when it came out, it was more expensive and it was supposed to

00:18:50   be fancy.

00:18:51   And...

00:18:52   I mean, the steel.

00:18:53   I mean, the Pebble Steel, yeah.

00:18:54   And it was not...

00:18:55   It was not...

00:18:57   I didn't like the design of it.

00:18:58   I really wondered what they were doing at that point.

00:19:01   Like, it was this nice material, but if you ran your finger over the front of it, there

00:19:06   were sharp edges at the bezel because of the way they built

00:19:09   the steel bezel on top of the screen.

00:19:12   And so it was kind of like uncomfortable to touch.

00:19:15   And yeah, at that point I was starting to wonder

00:19:18   what are their priorities here?

00:19:20   And do they know that this freight train is running at them?

00:19:24   And Pebble Time, I think their timing was great

00:19:26   for their Kickstarter 'cause it was before Apple Watch stuff

00:19:30   started to really happen and they tried to get in

00:19:32   just before then.

00:19:33   but I don't know it's just yeah I feel bad for him but there was no way that I was gonna buy one.

00:19:40   Aesthetically I actually think the original Pebble is better than either of the subsequent ones.

00:19:46   Yeah I agree. It doesn't have that double bezel effect. It is a weird looking watch.

00:19:50   It's clearly some kind of smartwatch type thing but it's not too big and it's to me it's very

00:19:56   honest to itself. It looks like a hundred or one hundred and fifty dollar digital watch and it has

00:20:02   The band that it stripped with was a... it wasn't great, but it was fine. It was a fine,

00:20:07   you know, what would you ever call, you know, rubber...

00:20:09   It was a rubber... I took that off so fast. I just... I made my wrist sweaty and I got a

00:20:18   leather band for it. But there's lots of people who... there's lots of other digital watches,

00:20:23   though, that have a band that's very much like that. It's fine. But the fact that they picked

00:20:26   a standard watch connector so that it was easy for somebody, just as easy to put a new band on it as

00:20:31   it is any other standard watch. So I've seen, yeah, actually a lot of the people

00:20:36   who I know who have an original Pebble use, you know, some kind of other third-party

00:20:41   band. You know, I've seen you with yours many times, or used to at least. Yeah,

00:20:46   Black Leather Band from the shopping mall down the street, and you

00:20:50   know, it was easy to put it on. And I, you know, I like that. It was fine. It

00:20:54   did, it served its purpose, but you know, the Apple Watch was always hanging over

00:20:59   that product. And honestly, Google's Android Wear stuff too, because the platform vendors

00:21:07   were clearly going to come in and these poor little guys were going to be kind of squeezed.

00:21:13   Looking at it too, I'm looking at just the Get Pebble homepage where they show all three

00:21:17   of their watches, and they still sell all three. The other thing that really gets me,

00:21:20   I think that the Steel is truly an ugly watch. And I've seen a few people wearing them. Like

00:21:25   Like not people I know, but I've seen people on airplanes wearing them.

00:21:31   And they're very, very telltale to me.

00:21:34   Like there's a certain thing about the three lugs that stick out at the top and bottom

00:21:40   to connect the wristband to and the way that the display is almost, or not the display,

00:21:47   but the face is almost a rectangle, but not quite.

00:21:50   It's like a, it looks like a box that you've stuffed too much stuff into when you're moving.

00:21:55   It doesn't look like it's it doesn't look like it's supposed to be a rounded shape. It just looks like you know

00:22:00   They fattened it up on the sides a little bit

00:22:03   But the other thing that really gets me about looking at the picture is that they decided to print the word pebble

00:22:08   it's so bad black bezel underneath which is

00:22:11   I think a horrendous design mistake and it almost like hubris, you know, like

00:22:17   You can get into it with phones

00:22:21   But to me, it's a lot like the way that, you know, a lot of the, you know, almost all the

00:22:25   Android phones I've ever seen always have like Samsung written at the top, probably

00:22:29   with a Verizon or an AT&T stamped on the glass too. And it's just like a low rent move. And

00:22:36   it just, however well it flies in the phone world, it flies worse in the watch world.

00:22:40   Well, you know, it's not like a Rolex doesn't have a logo on it. But it didn't feel like

00:22:46   that to me. It felt like, yeah, it felt cheap to me on the pebble that, you know, oh, we

00:22:51   what we're gonna do we're gonna stick our name on there and you're never gonna

00:22:54   be able to get it off yeah I don't know why they did it it may just have been

00:22:58   that the to get the right size bezel and into the size of their screen yeah we

00:23:03   got extra space what do we do put our name there yeah I don't know I don't

00:23:08   know bothers me yeah so I my advice would be I don't think there I know

00:23:13   they're not a publicly held company but my advice would be if they were to sell

00:23:16   your stock but I am rooting for them so I feel I don't take any pleasure in that

00:23:22   really but I feel like they are this is the problem of headed going head-to-head

00:23:26   with your 200 billion dollar company or yeah I guess Apple's more like an 800

00:23:32   billion dollar whatever a company with Apple's resources yep let me take a break

00:23:38   and I will thank our first sponsor we have we have our good friends at Harry's

00:23:45   you guys know Harry's they sell high quality razors and blades for a fraction of the price of

00:23:50   the big razor brands

00:23:53   It was started by two guys who wanted a better product without paying an arm and a leg

00:23:57   But they got really really serious about this. This is the thing that always impresses me about Harry's is you hear well

00:24:03   It's some startup that's selling razors and stuff and you think that they buy this stuff white label and just buy razor blades

00:24:10   Third party and relabel them and package them in their own stuff

00:24:14   No, what they did is they found an old razor blade factory in Germany that they liked so

00:24:20   much they bought the factory and they make their own blades.

00:24:24   They're all high performing German blades crafted right to their own specs.

00:24:31   That's the thing that the whole shaving experience starts with.

00:24:35   Obviously before you get to any kind of products, before you get to the handles, it's the blade

00:24:38   that you're rubbing against your skin.

00:24:41   Harry's is so focused on that that they bought their own factory. Truly, truly impressive

00:24:45   and in my experience, it really shows in the product that they sell to you. What they do

00:24:51   is they offer this high quality stuff at factory direct pricing because they don't have a middleman.

00:24:57   When you buy stuff from harrys.com, it's Harry's who fulfills it and ships it right to you.

00:25:02   By getting rid of the middleman layer, by getting rid of distributors, by getting rid

00:25:06   of third party stores, by getting rid of drugstores that you have to go to and visit and go through

00:25:11   hassle of asking someone to unlock the case and open it up. They just sell it right to you. And

00:25:16   the starter set is a great, great deal. Really, really low price for 15 bucks. You get a razor,

00:25:22   moisturizing shave cream or gel, your choice and three razor blades. Then when you need more

00:25:29   blades, they're just two bucks each or less. An eight pack is 15 bucks. A 16 pack is just 25. And

00:25:37   And I think it goes up from there.

00:25:38   You can buy them bulk and save more and more

00:25:40   the more that you buy at a time.

00:25:41   But even if you just buy eight at a time,

00:25:43   it's 15 bucks for a refill.

00:25:45   You cannot beat that with Gillette Fusion

00:25:49   or any of those brands like that.

00:25:51   I think if you go to Amazon,

00:25:54   at least the last time I checked,

00:25:55   here's from my notes is that at Amazon,

00:25:58   and Amazon of course is a huge discounter.

00:26:00   They sell everything at a discount.

00:26:01   But for a 12-pack of Fusions from Gillette,

00:26:05   you pay 41 bucks.

00:26:06   So it's way more, it's more like three and a half bucks

00:26:10   a blade.

00:26:10   It truly is half the price for something

00:26:14   of comparable quality.

00:26:15   Great packaging, nice heavy handle.

00:26:17   I was just looking at my handle recently.

00:26:19   I've been traveling with it.

00:26:20   I've had this thing ever since Harry started sponsoring

00:26:23   the talk show.

00:26:24   I've had one handle from Harry's.

00:26:25   I was looking at it, I got like the chrome one,

00:26:27   whatever that one's called.

00:26:29   Run it under some hot water and wipe it off.

00:26:31   It looks mint condition and it's not like I baby it.

00:26:34   It's unbelievable.

00:26:36   looks brand new

00:26:37   so all i've ever done all i've ever done with these guys to refill it is i just

00:26:40   buy blades and one time i bought more shaving cream and that was it

00:26:43   uh... so here's what you do go to harry's dot com

00:26:46   use the promo code the talk show that's the code

00:26:50   and uh... you will save five bucks

00:26:53   off your first purchase

00:26:55   so my thanks to harry's

00:26:58   got the harry's chasing yeah that that handle it's still uh... yeah still super

00:27:02   sharp and yeah i just buy blades in the and the uh...

00:27:05   and the Shape Cream.

00:27:06   - The Winston set is the one I bought.

00:27:08   That's the one that comes with the chrome handle.

00:27:10   It's the Truman set that comes with the orange.

00:27:12   I don't know what that is, like ceramic or plastic

00:27:14   or something like that. - Yeah, I got the shiny one.

00:27:16   That's that one, the original one, the one you got.

00:27:19   And it's pretty and nice.

00:27:21   And yeah, it's funny, I was trying to come up with

00:27:24   who are the competitors, and it's like,

00:27:25   I don't even remember, they're gone.

00:27:27   I just get the Harry's blades now.

00:27:28   (laughing)

00:27:29   I've forgotten about those competitors, forget it.

00:27:31   Done. - Yeah.

00:27:34   All right, next on my list of topics for the show

00:27:39   is this thing that popped up,

00:27:41   I can't, jeez, like two weeks ago now,

00:27:42   but it was at the beginning of my vacation.

00:27:44   This whole idea that Safari is the new IE.

00:27:49   This was-- - I was on vacation too.

00:27:50   This was, I read this before going to bed

00:27:52   at my in-laws house, and it made me mad,

00:27:56   and I was like, I'm just gonna sleep on it.

00:27:57   And I woke up in the morning, and I was like,

00:27:58   nope, still mad. (laughs)

00:28:00   So this was written by a web developer named Nolan Lawson at his own website.

00:28:09   And it kind of blew up.

00:28:10   Ars Technica republished it.

00:28:13   I'm 99% sure, given Ars, that they paid him and that they republished it there.

00:28:18   But it certainly brought it to more people's attention.

00:28:23   And for people who were around in the '90s and disagreeing with--

00:28:28   and maybe even the early 2000s, honestly.

00:28:30   I think I've still got a style sheet for Daring Fireball that says IE sucks.ces.

00:28:36   You do.

00:28:37   Yeah.

00:28:38   I honestly would have to look it up.

00:28:41   I'm sure I've left a note for myself and Jimbo explaining why it has to be in a separate

00:28:46   file and why.

00:28:48   I think it's because I have it conditionally commented out on IE.

00:28:52   I think that's the story.

00:28:53   In the HTML for Daring Fireball, it's conditionally commented out.

00:28:58   It's a small style sheet, i.e. _sucks.php that you've got there. It's just setting margins

00:29:04   and hidden. Yeah.

00:29:06   It sucks.

00:29:07   Yep.

00:29:08   And that was, I think, I was mostly concerned with the Mac IE, which was a better IE in

00:29:13   my experience. But anyway.

00:29:14   Oh, by far.

00:29:15   People who had to deal with IE, it does not seem like you have to do that sort of stuff

00:29:20   with JavaScript. Or not JavaScript, with Safari. So it feels like it's accusations that the

00:29:28   headline was written to get attention rather than to accurately portray the article to

00:29:32   me were just.

00:29:34   I think, I don't think he intended it to become famous. I think I don't think so either.

00:29:42   But I think I think he was frustrated. Look, he went to a conference, one of many he probably

00:29:48   goes to about with web developers and all the web developers bitched about how, oh,

00:29:54   know, I want to do this thing but it's not on Safari and Apple doesn't let you do this

00:29:58   on Safari." And they complained about this stuff that Safari didn't do or didn't do well

00:30:03   and they, you know, perceived it's like, "Who knows what Apple's doing?" And, you know,

00:30:07   some of that may be Apple not communicating and some of that may be Apple not telling

00:30:10   them what they want to hear, but I think it was really very much like, "Who are we bitching

00:30:15   about at the meetings?" It used to be IE and now it's Safari, so Safari is the new IE.

00:30:20   And he ran with that, maybe being,

00:30:23   I think he was being cheeky,

00:30:25   and then it kind of blew up in his face.

00:30:28   But I think that was his intent.

00:30:30   And when I was at Macworld,

00:30:33   I would hear it from our developers, our web developers,

00:30:36   that both on the front end and also for our CMS,

00:30:39   who would do this stuff and show it to us, new feature.

00:30:43   And we would try it in Safari and they would be like,

00:30:46   we'd say, "It doesn't work in Safari."

00:30:48   And they'd be like, "Ah, Safari."

00:30:49   So I heard that from them too.

00:30:51   I suspect that might've been more

00:30:52   that they weren't properly testing on Safari.

00:30:55   But I definitely have heard from the web developers

00:30:57   I used to work with that Safari had some weird things

00:31:00   about it that were outliers,

00:31:01   and they had to do some extra stuff

00:31:03   in order to get what they were building for us

00:31:05   to work on Safari.

00:31:06   So there's, I mean, I'm sure there is some truth to that.

00:31:09   Although you could probably look at some stuff

00:31:11   that's in Safari and if you've developed for it,

00:31:13   then get frustrated by Chrome or Firefox too,

00:31:17   depends on your perspective.

00:31:18   And in Lawson's piece, I very much felt a very Chrome

00:31:22   and a little bit Android kind of perspective.

00:31:24   But I think in the end, what he really meant was

00:31:26   we used to bitch about IE and now we bitch about Safari

00:31:29   at these conferences that I go to.

00:31:31   - Yeah, I think it's twofold.

00:31:33   I think one is that a more accurate

00:31:35   and perhaps even more sensational headline

00:31:38   would have been Apple is the new Microsoft.

00:31:40   - Yeah, sure.

00:31:41   - If you just want a wow, blank is the new blank,

00:31:44   I think that's it.

00:31:45   And by that, I mean, they are in charge

00:31:48   of a dominant operating system,

00:31:51   where by dominant, I mean,

00:31:53   it means everybody has to support it

00:31:54   and most people feel like they need to support it

00:31:56   as a top tier target for their web development.

00:32:01   And it has a massive user base

00:32:03   and the company is not motivated to dance

00:32:08   to the rest of the web, open web communities

00:32:13   communities tune because they don't have to and so they can do what they want.

00:32:20   They can do what they want and so in many in many cases not all in both in

00:32:25   both Microsoft and Apple's cases not all the time but some of the time they just

00:32:29   decide well we that is not as high a priority for us as it is for you and so

00:32:34   we're going to do what we want to do and that is frustrating to them. I use the

00:32:40   phrase high priority or Apple's prioritizing and I got a whole bunch of angry, I was walking

00:32:47   around downtown San Diego on my vacation and I keep getting these like, every time I would

00:32:52   check my phone there'd be like 15, 20 new responses on Twitter and they were very much

00:32:57   from web developers and they focused so much on that idea, the prioritization. Like Apple's

00:33:03   got all the money, they don't need to prioritize, they can do everything which is not I think

00:33:07   accurate at all, but it is... The difference is that Microsoft in those days could really

00:33:14   define the web because almost every browser was using Windows and using IE. Almost like,

00:33:21   I mean like what, 90%, 85% was...

00:33:23   It was at least, it was probably around 90%. And at that time, the only devices that were

00:33:30   browsing the web were PCs.

00:33:31   Yes, there were no mobile devices doing this. And in the latter days, maybe there was like

00:33:36   WAP or something like that. But basically... But that's well past the point of where IE

00:33:41   became IE, you know. Right. Yeah. So that... it's a very different... one of these arguments

00:33:48   is about kind of access to a platform that people like, a shiny platform, which is we

00:33:51   want to be on iOS. And I definitely got a sense that, you know, this is about... originally

00:33:57   I was wondering if it was about Safari and WebKit in general, and as I read his article

00:34:00   I realized it's really just about mobile. He doesn't really care about the Mac Safari,

00:34:04   cares about iOS and wanting access to iOS and wanting to build things that work really

00:34:08   well on iOS. And I get that, but that's very different from a company that could literally,

00:34:14   like they could just whatever they did was the web and that was where Microsoft was.

00:34:19   So in some ways, it depends on how you define it, but in some ways, nobody's ever going

00:34:23   to be the new IE ever again. And so when I read that, I start to read it as this isn't

00:34:29   really about, it is about web standards, but it's about using web standards and being frustrated

00:34:34   that they don't grant you the level of access to a particular platform that you want to have. And,

00:34:40   you know, I understand where they're coming from, but it's not the same. It's a different kind of

00:34:48   argument, and that's where that analogy falls down for me. Right. And to me, one of the things

00:34:54   that Microsoft did that made IE IE is that they promoted purposefully, you know, for the reason

00:35:03   that you know it's not even that there could be an argument the other way there

00:35:08   is no maybe about it that they added features to IE that depended on windows

00:35:16   oh yeah well especially the active X stuff which was like literally just x86

00:35:20   how do we fix the web to make it more interactive we'll just embed x86 code in

00:35:24   web pages I mean I guess you could argue that that would be the that it wasn't

00:35:30   really about locking IE to Windows, it was about making it more interactive. But, you

00:35:37   know, I think that there were ways to make it interactive that wouldn't have been so

00:35:42   proprietary. And ActiveX could not have been more proprietary. There was no way for other

00:35:45   platforms to add ActiveX. Even IE on Mac didn't do any ActiveX. It was really, it wasn't even

00:35:51   about locking the web to IE, it was about locking the web to Windows, or at least part

00:35:55   of it and a whole slew of corporate type stuff where Windows was already entrenched and where

00:36:03   there were a lot of in-house Windows developers already all went that route with their websites.

00:36:10   As a Mac user from the whole era, there was a whole time when everybody was... It went

00:36:17   from there's no way I'm ever going to do banking online because that would be crazy. I'm going

00:36:23   to get hacked and lose all my money to maybe I should do banking online to I

00:36:27   think I I would like to do my banking online and then you find out that your

00:36:31   bank's website only worked with you know ie version blank or later on Windows

00:36:38   blank or later because the whole website was based on proprietary windows yeah

00:36:43   and and the we should say that during that period the web standards people

00:36:49   were a real lifeline for Mac users because they were saying this stuff isn't standard

00:36:54   and Mac users were the example, like this 10% of the web is not allowed to access this

00:37:01   stuff. Ultimately what cracked this open I think is first off IE got so bad that Firefox

00:37:09   started becoming popular and a lot of the same, a lot of the stuff that didn't work

00:37:14   on IE, didn't work anywhere but IE for Windows didn't work on Firefox on Windows either.

00:37:20   And so sites started to make sure that it also worked in Firefox. And I can't tell you

00:37:24   how many times you probably experienced this too. In that couple of years, things started

00:37:29   working on the Mac because the websites were redesigned to work on Firefox on Windows and

00:37:36   not just IE. And the Mac users were like, "Thank you very much because it works for

00:37:40   us too now. And that was a web standards based thing. When you're in a minority platform,

00:37:49   web standards are especially a big deal.

00:37:51   Yeah, and so that's where I think the analogy between Safari and IE really breaks down.

00:37:58   And to me, it's really more about Apple and Microsoft and being more interested in their

00:38:03   own well-being and their own users' well-being. I've always said Apple's priorities are threefold.

00:38:10   first, it's users second, it's developers third. And it wants all three to be happy,

00:38:17   but when push comes to shove, that's the order in which things are going to fall. And I'm

00:38:23   sure that there are people at Apple who would argue that users come first, but in my experience

00:38:27   covering the company, I don't even know if I can think of a good example, but... Well,

00:38:36   hard to say. I don't know. I'm sure if I gave it some time, I could think of some examples.

00:38:41   There's a reason I've always said it that way.

00:38:42   I mean, this is—I don't want to go down this rabbit hole, but I will say things like

00:38:49   Amazon and Comixology not being able to purchase in-app from a perfectly reasonable vendor

00:38:55   because Apple wants to intercept 30% because they're making money on Apple's platform

00:39:00   is not an improvement of the user experience, but it is an Apple benefit. So even, even

00:39:07   the fact that they disallow, say the Kindle app from having a link that goes, jumps you

00:39:11   out to safari to do the purchasing of Kindle. That is a perfect example. I think you could

00:39:17   also argue that their high profit margins on hardware are Apple first user second, you

00:39:24   know, irrelevant to developers more or less. It's hard not to argue that it wouldn't be

00:39:29   better for its customers if prices were a little bit lower across the board.

00:39:33   Which is not to say that they can't do what they want. It's just to say that these are the

00:39:36   priorities. Right. And then you could make a long-term argument that maybe that is good for

00:39:42   users because the high profit margin strengthen Apple as a company and make it more likely that

00:39:47   they're going to be successful and in a position to do cool new things going forward. You know,

00:39:53   that the iPhone could be developed when it was in 2007 because they had the money,

00:39:58   which were profits from the Mac to fund it, etc. I mean, but that now you're going, you know,

00:40:03   another level deep in the argument. But because of this, you know, Apple first user second

00:40:11   developers third, if you want to subdivide developers third, web developers are going

00:40:18   to come in underneath native third party app developers every time for Apple. And that's not

00:40:24   That's not to say that Apple doesn't want Safari everywhere, Mac and iOS, to be a great

00:40:29   platform and to have web developers use it, but it's never going to be a higher priority

00:40:34   than native stuff.

00:40:35   Right.

00:40:36   And this argument, I feel like, I don't know if you listened to a couple weeks ago on ATP,

00:40:43   I felt like Marco and John were kind of, they weren't arguing.

00:40:48   It sounded like arguing, but they were actually just arguing two different points that I agreed

00:40:52   with both of them. And it depends on how you view the web. I mean, on one hand, the web

00:41:00   is, and the open web is a beautiful thing that we all benefit from and that we need

00:41:05   to keep because no one vendor is in charge of it. And it's a commonality that we all

00:41:11   have. You don't have to go use an app. Imagine a world where you had to use an app for everything,

00:41:14   right? It's like the web browser is great because some stuff doesn't need to be in an

00:41:18   app, doesn't have to be in an app. People build web pages, any device, including ones

00:41:22   we've never even thought of now can be devised and can read those web pages and isn't that

00:41:27   great. So that's the open web and I think it's powerful and important and web standards

00:41:31   are important because that way no one vendor is going to control the future of this and

00:41:36   everybody can access it. But for me the other piece of it and I mean what John Siracusa

00:41:41   has told me is you guys are really overdoing it but if you read the Nolan Lawson piece

00:41:47   I think it is definitely in there is this concept of what he calls the it was a point made in an installable web apps

00:41:54   breakout and

00:41:56   the whole idea there is

00:41:58   You know standards community wants to create that has decided that a good thing is to bundle up web apps and make them

00:42:06   installable like apps which is that the width of the you know, the Chrome App Store that idea and that is

00:42:13   That's really different because that's not the open web per se. It's sort of like using web technologies to build apps and

00:42:20   That is totally where I see somebody who understands Apple somebody who's inside Apple goes

00:42:26   Yeah, we're not as excited about that because that that doesn't sound like the open web

00:42:31   That sounds like you guys trying to say we want to have you know

00:42:37   Me too app platform on your devices and we don't love that idea, right?

00:42:43   At least right now like why would we prioritize that we're really happy with with

00:42:48   native apps

00:42:50   Well that said Apple of course is the company who in

00:42:54   2007

00:42:56   First said this is how you can create apps for the iPhone

00:42:59   But it's limited to what the initial version of WebKit was Apple has allowed you

00:43:05   I mean because if we don't mention it we're both gonna get 500 emails about it.

00:43:08   You know I forget what version of iOS added this feature but it was years ago

00:43:13   it was certainly 2,000 single digit you know 2008-2009 where you hit the action

00:43:18   button and on any web page you can what does it call and save add to home screen.

00:43:24   If that wasn't in iOS 1 at some point it was certainly in iOS 2 but I think

00:43:30   Right and there's a way a very simple way as a web developer where if you

00:43:34   don't do anything when you do that you just get like a bookmark on your home

00:43:37   screen and you tap it and it opens that web page in mobile Safari like a regular

00:43:42   tab in mobile Safari but there's a way that you can have just with some simple

00:43:45   metadata you don't even have to do any programming really just some markup you

00:43:49   can have your web page open without being looking like it's in Safari it

00:43:54   looks like a standalone app and some people have made some pretty you know

00:43:59   know, app very, very close to native looking, native feeling solutions that way. And it's

00:44:05   still there. You can still do it. The difference with I think this Nolan Lawson argument and

00:44:11   the people who back him up is that they want those apps to be able to do more and more.

00:44:17   And I even think that one of the proposals that they want, I mean, some of the stuff

00:44:23   they want to do, I mean, this is just not going to happen if you know Apple is, is it

00:44:27   the service workers, I forget what they call it, is like doing stuff in the background.

00:44:33   And it's like, yeah, that is not going to happen. And it ties into something I want

00:44:37   to talk about later, you know, which is the whole idea of web pages doing stuff in the

00:44:45   background by JavaScript and the adverse effects it can have on performance and battery life

00:44:49   and not to mention control, you know, from Apple's perspective. This is not going to

00:44:54   happen.

00:44:55   Yeah, and I think that, like, I get why web developers would want to do this, because

00:44:59   it puts their skills in the most exciting place to be right now, is developing mobile

00:45:04   apps. And they're limited there. So I think they would like this, and any web standards

00:45:10   body is all about the web standards, so why would we, you know, they not want to be a

00:45:13   part of this. I totally get that. And I get why Apple would be resistant, and I get why

00:45:18   Google wouldn't care, and would perhaps even be egging them on and supporting it in Chrome,

00:45:23   it doesn't hurt Google like it hurts Apple because Google is happy to give away an operating

00:45:28   system and let everybody use it and whatever, while Apple needs to be different and pushing

00:45:33   their platform forward and having reasons why it's better. So I understand all of that.

00:45:38   I also think that ultimately, if every web browser does something, if this becomes sort

00:45:45   of the consensus of like, "This is how it's done," I don't think Apple's going to kick

00:45:49   and scream and drag its feet. I think it's going to embrace whatever ends up being the

00:45:54   standards, but I do think that it at this point stuff like this Apple is completely

00:45:59   understandably just saying yeah not our not our number one goal here because we really

00:46:04   like native apps and yeah the sweet solution has always been there but you know the App

00:46:10   Store is a huge strength of apples and I think they're they're they don't see a strategic

00:46:17   benefit in allowing web developers to bypass the App Store and create experiences that

00:46:22   may or may not be up to snuff from what can be done with native apps using the latest

00:46:29   iOS APIs.

00:46:32   Tim Cynova And part of it too, and it almost is not even

00:46:37   implicit, and a lot of these arguments from the pro web developer we want, you know, we

00:46:41   We see Apple is dragging its feet in this thing and that they're holding back the open

00:46:46   web.

00:46:48   Part of it is that Apple, yes, they have an interest in keeping the App Store as important

00:46:57   as it is.

00:46:58   And that's a strategic, just for Apple, advantage that richer web apps that you could just install

00:47:06   from everywhere that don't have an approval, that don't go through the App Store, that

00:47:09   it would hurt that.

00:47:10   the other thing that these that these developers want is that they're still

00:47:14   chasing the dream of right once run everywhere where they can write one app

00:47:20   that would run on all mobile devices you know Windows Phone and Android and iOS

00:47:26   with minimal if none if any per platform you know special cases and that's not

00:47:39   just against Apple's interest, that's actually against Apple's vision for what's best for

00:47:42   the platform. Because we've seen that for decades, you know, at any, any kind of right

00:47:47   once run anywhere runtime type thing is inherently a second class. Yeah, experience to what can

00:47:56   be done natively. And so there's a reason that that's actually in the long run, it really

00:48:02   is, it's maybe anti developer, maybe anti web developer, but it's in Apple's perspective,

00:48:07   much pro-user to say we want to take strategic we want to strategically keep

00:48:14   that from becoming the where the industry goes because we think it's a

00:48:17   much better vastly better user experience to mostly be using native

00:48:22   apps and if they're mostly using native apps it allows us Apple to do new things

00:48:27   quickly more quickly than if it depended on the industry update exactly right

00:48:33   - Exactly, I mean those are the two big issues.

00:48:36   One of them is this write once, run anywhere thing where,

00:48:40   and people who use Java today get really mad

00:48:44   when I talk about the 90s, but in the 90s,

00:48:46   we were all sort of sold this idea

00:48:49   that Java was this amazing technology

00:48:51   that was going to let people write apps

00:48:53   that ran on the Mac and ran on the PC.

00:48:55   And anybody on the Mac in the 90s who tried that

00:48:59   saw that when they ran, they ran badly,

00:49:03   and they never felt like you were using them

00:49:05   on the Mac anyway.

00:49:06   It was a bad experience.

00:49:09   And then you could put in as a developer

00:49:11   huge amounts of work to try and make it better on the Mac

00:49:15   and look more like the Mac.

00:49:16   But at that point now you've got all this huge chunk of work

00:49:19   that is about kind of localizing it for the Mac,

00:49:21   and you're no longer writing once and running anywhere.

00:49:23   So it was, that was my sort of like formative moment

00:49:27   in terms of saying, "Oh, it's important that stuff get written for the platform that it's

00:49:32   on." You can tell when it's not. I mean, you could even tell when things like Microsoft

00:49:37   Office were written for the Mac, but using some code and guidelines from Windows, even

00:49:42   when it wasn't right once run anywhere, it was still not a good experience on your platform

00:49:48   because it was really something that had come across from a different platform. So it's

00:49:54   not good for users and I don't think that I think you know this would be

00:49:58   similar and that's a bad experience and Apple knows that it would almost

00:50:02   certainly be a bad experience in most cases there's always that you know but

00:50:05   what about this but what about this I'm sure there would be some brilliant ones

00:50:08   that would be great but a lot of them would be exactly the same on Windows and

00:50:12   on Android and they would look kind of like neither and be kind of icky and

00:50:17   would we really want to do that and then your second point is absolutely true

00:50:20   Right now Apple can say, "Hey, new APIs at WWDC, new iOS coming out, developers jump on it,

00:50:27   look how we can push this platform forward. You've got access to a touch sensor now,

00:50:31   you've got, you know, whatever the next thing is, you've got, we put the metal APIs in there,

00:50:35   we're doing all of the stuff for you that makes making apps on our platform better than anywhere else

00:50:40   and makes our platform better and makes your apps better. So let's do that."

00:50:44   and then contrast that with, "Well, you know, everybody, what do we want for our standard?

00:50:50   Let's run it through the standards body. Let's see what everybody says." It's not that standards

00:50:55   aren't important and can't be good, but that seems pretty antithetical to what is a key part of Apple's

00:51:02   strategy, which is pushing things forward itself, being opinionated and saying, "We think this is

00:51:09   important. We built it," and having a team of, you know, a community of developers who will adopt

00:51:13   that stuff and then everything gets better and I have a hard time seeing how that happens quickly

00:51:20   in a you know in a web standards app development platform right and one of the things that seems

00:51:27   to be forgotten in this whole apple is opposed to the open web mindset is something that is very

00:51:36   much of a what can one opinionated company in a position of strength do which is the way that

00:51:42   in my opinion, Apple single handedly burst the pox that Adobe Flash was on the open web,

00:51:51   both in terms of user experience, in terms of battery life and performance, certainly in terms

00:52:02   of security, even to this day, like even this in July 2015, that this hacking team outfit over in

00:52:10   Italy, all their exploits were, or most of their exploits were based on Adobe Flash security holes

00:52:20   that were, you know, heretofore unknown to the public. And in terms of beings having what is

00:52:28   called the web, what you get on a web page being driven by standards. Well, Adobe Flash was on a

00:52:34   standards proprietary format controlled owned by Adobe. And when iOS shipped without Flash,

00:52:47   it was predicted by many as a reason that it would never really take off because you wouldn't be able

00:52:52   to see video on the web or do anything interactive on the web. And then as time went on and famously

00:52:58   Steve Jobs wrote an open letter, Thoughts on Flash, explaining why they haven't and

00:53:07   why they do not plan to and will not support Adobe Flash on iOS. And it was criticized by many,

00:53:15   including a lot of people who I think at the time would call themselves that, you know,

00:53:19   the argument was that plugins and plugin APIs are part of the web too. Well, it turns out that it

00:53:24   it did and it didn't keep it iOS users from seeing video it took years it did

00:53:29   take years and it you know one site at a time as they got their act together

00:53:33   switched to the open standard which is just the simple video tag from HTML 5

00:53:40   but here we are today and I I surf 99% of the time in Safari and I have iOS and

00:53:50   Mac and sometimes on the Mac I still run into sites where when they see that I'm

00:53:54   on a Mac, they insist on serving me Flash,

00:53:57   even if I change the, do the developer menu trick

00:54:00   and say, okay, I'm gonna tell you that I'm an iPad,

00:54:02   will you please give me HTML5 video?

00:54:04   Every once in a while, I still get that.

00:54:06   And I have to, if I really wanna,

00:54:08   most of the time I just give up and say,

00:54:09   screw you, I'm not watching your video.

00:54:11   If I need to, I can go to Chrome

00:54:13   and Chrome has the Flash plugin built in.

00:54:15   I can't remember the last time I encountered video

00:54:18   that didn't play on my phone or iPad though.

00:54:20   Just about everybody seems to have their act together

00:54:22   when they're actually dealing with iOS and serves that.

00:54:26   And that is not just for the benefit of iOS users,

00:54:28   that's for the benefit of anybody on any operating system

00:54:32   or any device that wants to watch video

00:54:34   and not have flash run.

00:54:35   And that is the sort of thing that,

00:54:39   if Apple just went along with what the quote unquote

00:54:41   community wanted, they would have added plugin support

00:54:44   to iOS, but by being a single opinionated company

00:54:47   with different priorities from maybe the industry

00:54:51   as a whole. Certainly different priorities from the all the web publishers that were

00:54:55   publishing flash-based video. They changed the web.

00:54:59   I think it gave Google some, you know, because Google remember tried to get flash running

00:55:07   on Android for a little while and at some point that fell apart and I feel like some

00:55:12   of that was also you had the courage to not bother because it was already not on iOS and

00:55:20   was one of those things that wasn't going to be, they thought it would be a competitive

00:55:24   advantage, it turned out to not be. And that was helpful for all of us. What would have

00:55:31   happened if Adobe had gotten Flash to work efficiently on Android? Maybe things would

00:55:36   have been different, but we do benefit from the fact that—

00:55:41   It's an enormous what if, since they haven't gotten it running efficiently on—

00:55:45   Yeah, they couldn't. They couldn't. They just couldn't. And if you saw it on Blackberry

00:55:48   playbook or you saw it on like the web OS tablets. It was awful. And yeah, yeah, I mean,

00:55:55   that was a...

00:55:56   I can't help but think I don't know enough people at Google to say that I can vouch for

00:55:59   that. I don't have any little birdies at Google who can say that this happened, but I would

00:56:03   bet my bottom dollar that there were an awful lot of people within Google, if not a majority

00:56:07   of people within Google who when, when they sort of doubled down on flash support on Android

00:56:13   that collectively within the company, they were like, what the heck are we doing? Why

00:56:16   don't we follow them and we can wipe this scourge off the you know web faster

00:56:22   why in the world would we not follow their lead here here somewhere where we

00:56:26   ought to be aligned with that it's because they were behind clearly it was

00:56:28   because they were really defensive and behind and they thought it was one of

00:56:31   their own but they to differentiation I think just for Android though right

00:56:35   that's one of those areas and that was at a time and and this has certainly

00:56:38   lessened greatly and I think it really does sort of correlate to when they got

00:56:43   Andy Rubin, you know, sort of shuffled him onto a closet and got him out and put Android

00:56:48   under the control of Sundar, whatever his name is.

00:56:54   That Android at that point became a lot more integrated with Google.

00:56:59   Up until then, and I wrote about this a couple of times on Daring Fireball, I always felt

00:57:02   like Android felt like its own independent company within Google, sort of like what Nest

00:57:09   supposedly and seems to be right now,

00:57:12   that it was in Android's interest maybe to do that,

00:57:14   but it certainly wasn't within Google's overall interest.

00:57:17   I think Google's overall interests were much better served

00:57:19   with Flash wiped out.

00:57:22   I mean, Flash, 'cause one, I mean, just think about search.

00:57:25   Any kind of content in Flash Player

00:57:27   was either not indexable or harder to index

00:57:31   than stuff that was in HTML.

00:57:33   - Oh yeah, yeah.

00:57:34   I think that was right.

00:57:37   Google as a company is much more sort of open web standards kind of company.

00:57:42   And then there was the Android group.

00:57:44   And the Android group was like, "This is a -- Apple has given us an opening by refusing

00:57:48   to support."

00:57:49   It was kind of like, "Don't throw me in the briar patch a little bit."

00:57:51   It's like, "Yay, we get to support Flash because Apple didn't."

00:57:55   And then they worked with Adobe and realized, "Oh, this is not very good."

00:57:59   And it was -- in the end, it was not an advantage to have Flash on mobile.

00:58:04   But they thought it was and they hoped it was.

00:58:06   there were lots there were ads right there were like TV ads that said real

00:58:10   flash real web video yeah it was it was I mean it would but that was the thing

00:58:14   is it was it was strategic to try to find a weakness for Apple and when Apple

00:58:19   kind of blindsided everybody with the iPhone yeah and the ad putting that as

00:58:23   an ad was in my opinion a stupid thing because nobody ever had any idea what

00:58:27   was flashing what wasn't all they knew is that every once in a while and they

00:58:29   still do everyone's in a while as they get a dialog box saying you can't do

00:58:32   this unless you upgrade your flash. Click these 18 buttons and install all

00:58:38   your password in and stuff and install all this and then come back and

00:58:41   hopefully it'll work but they don't know what's flash and what's not especially as

00:58:45   long as it's working. The no flash thing was really great for Apple in the end

00:58:48   because I think how many how many native iOS apps were written in the early days

00:58:52   of the iPhone because the you know whatever a site's extrusion into the

00:58:59   world was built around Flash and they're like,

00:59:02   "Oh, geez, we can't do that.

00:59:04   "Let's write an app, we can do it that way."

00:59:06   Like the Major League Baseball app,

00:59:09   which has been one of the most successful apps ever

00:59:11   and was there on, I think, day one on the App Store,

00:59:15   one of the reasons that existed is because they didn't,

00:59:19   they were using Flash and then later, I think,

00:59:21   Silverlight for all of their audio and video stuff.

00:59:24   And they couldn't do that on the iPhone

00:59:26   and they really wanted to be on the iPhone.

00:59:28   So they, you know, rather than rebuild their entire infrastructure on the, on the, and,

00:59:33   and build, rebuild the front end for everybody, they just took those, you know, they made sure

00:59:37   they had some iPhone compatible streams on their servers and wrote an app. And so in the end,

00:59:43   the app market got a lot richer because companies wrote apps because they couldn't just rely on

00:59:50   flash on the web. And that was good for Apple. Yeah. And, and maybe MLB would have written an

00:59:56   app any either way anyway you don't know I mean they still don't have a Mac app

01:00:00   if you're on a Mac and you want to watch well they ballgame you still they do

01:00:03   have flash they do but or do they hits yeah they do I wrote a thing about it a

01:00:07   few months ago on six colors it is I think they wrote it last year it's still

01:00:11   posted it uses the it uses the streams that that the iPad app uses so it

01:00:17   doesn't use flash it crashes half the time not while you're playing it but

01:00:21   like the next time you launch it it crashes and then you launch it again

01:00:23   that works so like every other time it crashes on launch super hinky my

01:00:27   understanding is that they that they deprioritized it so it's basically I

01:00:32   think there's some developers at MLB who really wish that they were building this

01:00:35   thing because they're Mac users and they haven't been given any time to do it but

01:00:40   it is around you can find it and yeah it does work which is I was going to say

01:00:46   I'm in my in my mind I'm thinking of Mac books which is what I you know but if I

01:00:51   clearly the most majority of people use and I think that's that's not a good

01:00:55   machine to watch a ballgame on as I sit here talking to you staring in front of

01:00:59   a 30-inch retinum I'm a which I guess kind of would be a pretty good machine

01:01:03   to watch a ballgame in front of yeah I mean it's and not bad to just so I would

01:01:08   like to see that yeah it's it's okay it's better than a web page right and

01:01:11   and but you're right there is no they didn't need to do that on the Mac but

01:01:15   they did need to do it to get on iOS and so they did yeah and who knows how many

01:01:19   many other companies are in a similar position where they had a thing that worked in Flash

01:01:24   and then the developers and designers probably would have wanted to go native anyway because

01:01:31   they know how much better native can be and they could go to management and say we really

01:01:35   want to do a native app. Our choice as a company is to use the--this is in the hypothetical

01:01:40   world where you could get Flash to run on iOS. We can do this thing--we could just use

01:01:44   our Flash and adjust it to the screen size and it's going to be a really crummy experience

01:01:48   for them or we can take the time to write this native thing. Some companies are going

01:01:53   to say, "Ah, let's do the cheaper, easier thing and stick to Flash," as opposed to

01:01:57   in the actual world where the argument was we can either not run at all on these devices

01:02:02   in the iPhone or we can write an app. And that's a very different proposal to management.

01:02:09   We can do a crummy thing in Flash or go native or we can not be there at all or write a native

01:02:16   app.

01:02:17   one of the things that motivates Apple to look on skeptically at these issues of how

01:02:23   do we use web technologies to have installable mobile apps. I think they look at that, and

01:02:30   I'm of this opinion too, I think, that if there's a scenario where the perception is

01:02:36   you don't need to write an iOS app, and you don't need to write an Android app, you can

01:02:40   write a web app, and it's good enough, there will be a whole class of people who will just

01:02:46   just write the good enough thing. And, you know, maybe their apps aren't great, but

01:02:51   they're native, and it picks up a lot of the stuff that comes with being a native app,

01:02:56   and you update it for the next OS and it picks some things up. If you have a whole swath

01:03:00   of apps that are just kind of non-platform crappy, that's bad. I would argue that's

01:03:06   bad for both platforms. I'm not sure it's bad for Google, I'm not sure they care,

01:03:11   but I think it would be bad for Android users, it would certainly be bad for iOS users. And

01:03:14   And so I think that may be part of the thought process at Apple.

01:03:18   It's certainly what I thought of immediately is if we make it really easy to choose either

01:03:24   one, there are a lot of people who will just choose the easiest path.

01:03:28   And the easiest path is going to be bad for the user.

01:03:30   So we're going to prioritize the user over the developer and make them do the extra work

01:03:36   to do a native app because it's a better experience and force them to.

01:03:39   Yep, and I read exactly what I've you know what I said before that in my experience time

01:03:44   after time after time Apple first user second developers third and I really think that the

01:03:49   heart of this you know Apple is the new IE argument is really complaining about not putting

01:03:54   developers first and you know and I think in a lot of ways you could argue that that

01:04:01   was Microsoft's way and that Microsoft put developers ahead of users in terms of like

01:04:07   the way that Microsoft historically with Windows has bent over backwards not to

01:04:11   break APIs and to keep legacy APIs around as long as they can and that yes

01:04:17   we have this new thing but the old thing will still work I mean that you could

01:04:21   still run DOS apps and all open in a window the problem with Microsoft is

01:04:25   that unlike Apple which historically has had Apple and users and developers as

01:04:32   its constituents more than any other groups Microsoft it's it's Microsoft and

01:04:36   and users and developers and like the buyers, the clients, because there's so much business

01:04:44   aspect to it. And I feel like so much of that compatibility stuff wasn't really about honoring

01:04:49   the developers. It was more like the developers were stuck and maybe the developers even wanted

01:04:57   to move forward, but the businesses didn't. They wanted it to be just exactly the same.

01:05:03   And for most of Microsoft's modern history, that was the priority was how do we make a

01:05:08   product that will continue to get us the big contracts from the big businesses to buy a

01:05:14   billion PCs and install them everywhere and let's just do that.

01:05:18   And they didn't want change, they just wanted to stay in the mud.

01:05:21   So they did.

01:05:22   Yeah.

01:05:23   All right.

01:05:24   I want to talk about Chrome next.

01:05:27   So remind me.

01:05:28   All right.

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01:09:21   I just, all my hover registrations are coming back

01:09:25   for all the domains I bought speculatively

01:09:28   for launching six colors.

01:09:30   It's like a reminder that I'm coming up on a year

01:09:34   because all my speculative,

01:09:36   I bought almost everything for one year,

01:09:38   just like, I don't know if I'm gonna use this or not.

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01:09:42   saying, it's time, do you wanna register this again,

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01:09:46   - I always re-register them.

01:09:49   Eventually I'm gonna bankrupt myself

01:09:51   on

01:09:52   on that the renewal fees for domains that I've never used because I worry I feel like whatever the reason was I wanted to

01:10:00   Use it

01:10:00   I feel like maybe it'll come back to me and

01:10:02   Then it'll be gone because somebody else slurp it up and I'll think I had it and all I had to do was

01:10:08   Yeah, just pay to pay 15 bucks or 10 bucks or whatever and just let it ride for another year

01:10:17   yeah, I I registered domains for these novels that I wrote like five years ago that I keep meaning to rewrite and

01:10:22   I

01:10:25   I kind of don't want to let them go because they're pretty great domains

01:10:28   If I ever finish the novels and sell them or something, I would want to have the domain so I just keep paying it

01:10:33   Yeah, yeah, you gotta keep yeah, keep them going

01:10:35   That could be Twitter's business model

01:10:38   If they just started charging you for a subsequent out you get one username for free

01:10:44   I would have to start paying 50 bucks a year. I'm looking at my Twitter account

01:10:48   I've got like 10 accounts in my Twitter app right now. How many are used? Oh, they're all used. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah pretty much

01:10:54   I've got some that aren't I got a couple that aren't a couple of kind of gag ones

01:10:58   But it's all you know, all these different sites and podcasts and stuff and I got I've got Twitter accounts for all of them

01:11:03   All right

01:11:04   All right

01:11:04   so Chrome here's the other thing in the Safari is the new IE argument that I saw and that to me was very clear and

01:11:10   it's like to me and I

01:11:12   hate to broadly generalize but I I think it's true in this case is that there's a sort of

01:11:18   I was gonna say myopic but maybe it's a little bit more

01:11:22   I don't know what the word is

01:11:24   but it's it where you only can see your own perspective and you can't see anyone else's perspective and

01:11:29   To me a lot of these web develop not all web developers, but the web developers who jumped on this particular

01:11:35   storyline this safari is the new ie

01:11:38   All seemed to not be able to even see things from Apple's angle, right?

01:11:42   And that to me is what you what you wrote and I'll put your thing in the show notes for sure

01:11:47   It's really the first thing that made me want to have you as my guest this week

01:11:49   Because I thought your thing was short and sweet and I thought it really hit the point clearly that this is not in

01:11:55   Stuff that's not in Apple's interest Apple is not going to be enthusiastic over

01:11:58   regardless of the consensus of web standards and that's exactly what people jump jumped on you for but they don't they can't see that and

01:12:07   The the thing that kept coming up and there's a couple people who made this point

01:12:11   but the gist of it is if you read between the lines what they want them to do what they seem to want Apple to

01:12:16   do is just give up on WebKit and and

01:12:19   Let chrome and blink which is Google's fork of WebKit take over

01:12:25   Just like just like chrome do what it wants on iOS or even you know

01:12:29   And they would even I'm sure they would even say just you know

01:12:31   You don't have to build it in for out of the box

01:12:34   But just let the version of Chrome that you download from the App Store

01:12:38   Use blink and I think they don't go this far, but I think it you know once that happened they would realize and

01:12:45   Let blink do what it wants in terms of being able to install apps on the home page on iOS

01:12:53   Which is clearly outside the bounds of what any kind of app from the App Store can do today

01:13:01   because google with blank and chrome uh...

01:13:06   is moving very quickly and implementing

01:13:08   prospective new web standards for things like local storage and for background

01:13:15   updates and stuff like that

01:13:17   very very quickly

01:13:18   uh... and webkit is moving and always has it seems to be moved a little bit

01:13:24   slowly not that they don't support stuff but that they seemed to be in a webkit

01:13:27   is more of a conservative

01:13:29   standards-based rendering engine than Blink is and maybe than Mozilla's whatever they call the

01:13:39   rendering engine because they've got like a new one now but you know just Mozilla as an organization

01:13:47   and there's a reason you know there's a reason why Blink was forked from WebKit I mean Google

01:13:56   used to be the second biggest contributor to WebKit after Apple and

01:14:00   the reason basic basically the reason they forked and took WebKit on their own

01:14:06   and you know name their version blink was that they Google and Apple had

01:14:11   different priorities so if Apple had one if Apple followed any of this and what

01:14:16   you know was in line with them all they would have had to do all along is just

01:14:20   accept all of the Google's or not all or just most or more a lot more of Google's

01:14:25   you know, proposed patches and additions to WebKit, and they would have had exactly what

01:14:30   these people seem to think they want WebKit to be. Like, and there's a reason why it had

01:14:35   to be a fork.

01:14:36   Yeah, and the whole point here, I mean, it looks like an end-around to me. This is the,

01:14:41   this is the, well, if you don't, if you don't want to do this, just put Chrome on there

01:14:44   and let, and then we'll have, you know, it's basically make, why can't you be Android?

01:14:48   Make it like Android, because then we, then we can have what we want, which is problematic

01:14:53   for a couple of ways. First off, talk about giving one vendor the keys to the web. You

01:14:58   do want two vendors pushing and pulling in mobile. You want them pushing and pulling

01:15:02   at each other. You don't, well, unless you really are in the bag for one of them or the

01:15:07   other of them. And I'm sure we've been accused of being in the bag for Apple and we've, you

01:15:11   know, essentially accused Nolan Lawson of being in the bag for Google. But if you, what

01:15:15   you really want is for the standards process to be a push and a pull and have it be stuff

01:15:21   that neither Apple or Google is entirely happy with, but they can live with, and that is

01:15:26   like a middle ground, and that's the stuff that they're both willing to do. So that makes

01:15:31   sense as opposed to saying, "Oh well, why don't you just let it be Chrome on iOS, and

01:15:39   we can run with it." Plus, let's also say that's a totally unrealistic thought. That

01:15:45   you would have a scenario where you go to your bank, and the bank says, "Well, we've

01:15:50   got an app, but it's a web app. So what here's what you need to do. If you're on an iPhone,

01:15:55   you need to go to the App Store and download Chrome and install it and then come back here

01:16:00   and then we'll let you tap something and install it on it. No, that will never happen. That's

01:16:04   just never going to happen. It's unrealistic. And I think it shows how a lot of the people

01:16:10   who are having these conversations are not thinking like a regular user. They're thinking

01:16:14   like a web developer or a developer or a very technical person because, you know, just making

01:16:19   Chrome available for iOS would be great for power users. I was talking to Mike Hurley

01:16:23   about this because he uses Chrome. If you could use the Chrome rendering engine as a

01:16:27   power user, it's like, "Yay, okay, that would be great." But you cannot ever count on that

01:16:32   being – that's never going to take over. People on iOS are not going to rush to adopt

01:16:40   Chrome. It's just not going to happen. It would always be a minority browser. That's

01:16:44   That's actually why I'm kind of okay, not necessarily with embedding mobile apps inside,

01:16:49   but I'd be okay if Apple said, "You know what?

01:16:51   Yeah, okay, you can run within the Chrome app itself, you can run your rendering engine.

01:16:55   We'll let you do that."

01:16:56   If they did that, I don't think Chrome would ever be more than a tiny fraction of the web

01:17:02   pages viewed in iOS ever, because most people are never going to download it.

01:17:08   We should point out, because I know from my email, that there are a lot of people out

01:17:12   there who are rightfully confused about this issue because a lot of the email I got from readers,

01:17:19   more or less in support of Apple and against this Safari is the new IE, wrote to say,

01:17:25   "How can they say this? Here's the link to Chrome on the App Store," which is a reasonable mistake

01:17:30   to make because Chrome on the App Store does exist. It is popular with a fair number, but I

01:17:35   but I think you're right, decided minority of iOS users.

01:17:39   But the rules of the App Store are,

01:17:42   if you want to render HTML in any way,

01:17:45   you have to use the APIs for WebKit.

01:17:49   And there's a bunch of them now,

01:17:50   and we don't have to get into the differences

01:17:52   between the different ways that you can embed a WebKit view.

01:17:55   But basically, every browser in the App Store,

01:17:59   and there's a bunch, ICAB exists for iOS.

01:18:04   It's probably another one of those categories

01:18:06   where if I haven't looked for a while,

01:18:07   but there's probably like 200 apps in the app store

01:18:09   that are web browsers.

01:18:11   Chrome obviously would be the one that's most used

01:18:14   and most famous,

01:18:15   but it's using the iOS system version of WebKit.

01:18:18   'Cause it's in it, that's the rules it has to be.

01:18:22   And so what Chrome does is it does all the other things

01:18:24   that a browser does.

01:18:25   It lets you log in with your Google credentials

01:18:27   and have your tabs synced up across.

01:18:29   - Yeah, you can see your bookmarks.

01:18:31   My wife uses Chrome on the desktop.

01:18:34   And so she's got Chrome on her iPad

01:18:38   because it's got her bookmarks in it,

01:18:40   but it's still using WebKit.

01:18:42   It's just using, you know, wrapped around Google's,

01:18:45   yeah, Google sync stuff.

01:18:47   - Right, and apps, you know, there are apps that for,

01:18:50   and they, you know, I think by definition

01:18:52   tend to be geared towards nerdier users

01:18:54   who will do things like give you an option.

01:18:58   Like I think, I think Tweetbot has the option

01:19:01   where you could say, when I open a link in a browser,

01:19:04   do you want it to be Safari or Chrome,

01:19:06   if you have Chrome installed,

01:19:07   so that you can open stuff in Chrome

01:19:09   instead of opening it in Safari.

01:19:11   - Of course, the story is in iOS 9,

01:19:12   all that stuff's gonna go away,

01:19:13   'cause everybody's gonna use the Safari View Controller,

01:19:16   and that's just gonna be Safari inside the app completely.

01:19:20   And this is not the direction Apple is going

01:19:24   with this stuff to say it.

01:19:26   - But it is, it can be confusing to talk about

01:19:30   the differences between a rendering engine and the browser.

01:19:33   But basically it's the Chrome is the browser.

01:19:38   What goes around the rectangle where the HTML is rendered

01:19:42   is the browser and that rectangle where the content is,

01:19:46   the part that's gray when you go to during Fireball,

01:19:51   that's the rendering engine.

01:19:53   And it's a good example though,

01:19:58   this new Safari view controller.

01:20:00   So like, for example, probably everybody out there uses

01:20:03   some kind, everybody listening to me right now

01:20:05   is using some kind of Twitter client on their iPhone.

01:20:08   Whether it's the Twitter app or Tweetbot or Twitturrific,

01:20:12   they all have an in-browser thing so that you tap a link,

01:20:18   you don't get switched to another app,

01:20:19   you just stay right there and it renders it right there.

01:20:22   But if you ever notice, when you do that,

01:20:24   you don't get your bookmarks, it's not connected

01:20:26   your tabs when you go to Safari the next time, whatever that page is, if you left it open,

01:20:30   isn't open. Because it's the rendering engine is in the Twitter app and the browser is a

01:20:35   separate app with its own tabs and things. So with this new thing in iOS 9, the Safari

01:20:39   View Controller, apps will be able to open in the same way. It's a lot more like mail

01:20:45   has always been in iOS. Like when you send an email in app, it's using your actual email

01:20:52   account that you configured in mail. Well, that's what the Safari View Controller is

01:20:55   is going to do. It's going to be a real Safari view right in the app and you'll be able to

01:20:59   see all your regular Safari bookmarks and bookmarklets and etc. And then when you go

01:21:06   back to Safari, Safari will be aware of that tab that's open. So it's in that you can see that this

01:21:12   is one of the reasons why Apple, you know, maybe with it and I say this, I know some people, you

01:21:19   know, who feel strongly on the, you know, we should be able to install whatever they want will roll

01:21:24   their eyes. I'm not even saying I agree with it, but this is a reason why some people at

01:21:29   Apple have clearly have resisted until now allowing users to set a system wide third

01:21:35   party default web browser. Because when they come up with features like this, the users

01:21:41   in Tapples mind are better off having been using Safari all along because now here's

01:21:47   this amazing new feature and you get to use it because you've been a you're a Safari user.

01:21:52   - All right, and Google is never gonna be able

01:21:54   to provide that kind of feature.

01:21:56   So then you're gonna have, even if you,

01:21:58   like let's say Tweetbot or Twitterific

01:22:03   embeds this new Safari view controller thing

01:22:06   and also gives you the option to go open it in Chrome.

01:22:11   Well, those experiences are gonna be totally different

01:22:13   because one of them is gonna open a separate browser,

01:22:15   you know, separate app, switch you out of the app you're in

01:22:18   and the other one is going to keep you in the app

01:22:20   that you're in, but layer this Safari window on top.

01:22:23   And that's weird too, 'cause now you've got this like,

01:22:26   opening in another app versus not, which is just not,

01:22:29   you know, and it cuts both ways.

01:22:30   I mean, I use a third party email client,

01:22:34   and every now and then I tap on something somewhere

01:22:37   and Apple wants me to use mail, and I think,

01:22:39   "Oh, oh well, you know."

01:22:40   I, you know, what I end up doing is I set up

01:22:43   all my accounts in mail anyway,

01:22:45   and tell it not to check the mail,

01:22:46   and that way at least I can send mail from there,

01:22:48   'cause that's usually what it's trying to do.

01:22:49   But, you know, that's just, those are the breaks

01:22:52   because the upside is you get all this tight,

01:22:54   super tight integration between these things.

01:22:57   And, you know, you can't, it makes it a lot harder

01:23:00   to open it up to third parties,

01:23:01   but it makes it a better user experience,

01:23:02   assuming the users are using the built-in apps,

01:23:05   which almost every user is.

01:23:07   That's the other thing we lose sight of.

01:23:09   I think there were a lot of geeks who were shocked

01:23:11   at the statistic that more than half of iPhone users

01:23:15   use the Notes app every day, or regularly anyway,

01:23:17   not every day, but regularly.

01:23:19   It's like, well, that's appalling.

01:23:20   There are so many better Notes apps than that.

01:23:22   Yes, but it's on the device, it's there.

01:23:25   And so people use it and people use Mail

01:23:27   and people use Safari, that's just, and they're gonna.

01:23:30   - Well, it's like when I was on Topolski's podcast

01:23:32   couple weeks ago, and he was incredulous

01:23:35   that I use Apple Maps.

01:23:37   It's the statistics that I've seen show that over 70%

01:23:41   of iOS users use Apple Maps.

01:23:44   And Maps is maybe, it's clearly maybe the one

01:23:46   where there'd be the most third party users,

01:23:49   especially around the world where Apple Maps

01:23:51   is nowhere near as consistent as Google Maps is.

01:23:55   That's one where you could really make the argument where,

01:23:58   I would make the argument that for me in my use,

01:24:00   it's as good as Google Maps for my use almost every time.

01:24:05   The only thing I've used Google Maps for

01:24:08   in the last two years is transit in New York City.

01:24:11   And hopefully, once I switch to iOS 9,

01:24:14   I won't even need to do that anymore.

01:24:16   But I totally understand and every time I say this I get email from somebody in another country

01:24:20   and they show me like what their neighborhood looks like in the two and

01:24:23   Google Maps looks like Google Maps and Apple Maps, you know has like, you know

01:24:28   The name of the town I live in and that's it

01:24:30   So I understand obviously they don't that but the fact that it's you know somewhere around 70% and it's a decided advantage

01:24:37   It just shows how powerful being the built-in app is. Yeah and let alone how you know

01:24:41   how comparable Safari and Chrome are or mail and Spark or

01:24:46   You know, what's the third-party email that you use?

01:24:49   I'm using mailbox on my iPad and I'm using the Redell Spark on my iPhone right now.

01:24:55   Yeah, boy, that's good. Man. Holy cow. That's got me thinking about switching. Yeah, really does.

01:25:00   Yeah, I mean, I'm gonna go back to mail for iOS 9 just to see, you know, how it's changed, but that's a

01:25:07   That's a really good app.

01:25:09   This is, I feel like that was the one of the subtext

01:25:11   of the latest Apple event too,

01:25:14   when they rolled out Apple Music.

01:25:16   I think that was a subtext was,

01:25:18   and hey, did you hear about how all our default apps

01:25:21   are really great and used even when there's

01:25:24   tough competition, these get used more than everything else?

01:25:26   Well, guess what streaming service is built

01:25:28   into a built-in app now, right?

01:25:30   - Yeah, yeah, that was definitely part of the message.

01:25:36   It's just like these built-in--that's powerful, the built-in apps.

01:25:38   It doesn't mean Apple Music's gonna take over the world or anything, but it is awfully powerful

01:25:43   that it's integrated and it's on every device.

01:25:48   And I read a piece today about podcasts and about how there was some survey that said

01:25:52   that not only--because there's a built-in podcast app--not only are most podcasts listened

01:25:57   to on iOS devices and not Android, but that most podcasts on iOS are listened to through

01:26:03   the built-in podcast app because, again, it's built in. It's hard to compete with. It's

01:26:08   not like Marco doesn't have a good business with Overcast, but that's among people who

01:26:14   think to look for something more in the App Store and then find it and then buy it versus

01:26:19   like, "Oh, podcasts. I'll search for podcasts. There it is. That's where all the podcasts

01:26:24   are." That's being the platform owner. The App Store is vibrant and that's great, but

01:26:29   Apple knows that some stuff needs to be in the platform.

01:26:34   At least a basic version of it has to be in the platform

01:26:38   because the platform needs to be rich like that.

01:26:41   And that's why they improve Notes

01:26:45   and that's why Maps is so successful.

01:26:49   - This just in from the home office in Lincoln, Nebraska.

01:26:56   There is a chance, I cannot check it.

01:26:59   Well, I could check it, but I'm not going to while I'm recording.

01:27:02   There's a chance that I botched the code for Harry's.

01:27:09   Could be that it's just talk show without the "the."

01:27:12   So anybody out there who's buying some shaving stuff,

01:27:14   if you try the code--

01:27:17   maybe I'll edit this, maybe not.

01:27:18   Maybe this will be a little mid-episode surprise.

01:27:22   You just stay tuned.

01:27:23   Here's a little mini read for our good friends at Harry's.

01:27:25   If you try the code "the talk show"

01:27:27   and you don't get any money off your order,

01:27:28   Try the code talk show without the the.

01:27:32   And one of those two, I guarantee you, will save you some bucks.

01:27:34   So now it's like a game.

01:27:35   >> Yeah.

01:27:36   >> It's like a coin flip.

01:27:38   And while I'm talking about sponsors, allow me to take a moment here and

01:27:42   thank our next one.

01:27:43   And it's another old time friend of the show, good people at Fracture.

01:27:47   It's really sad that all of our photos from recent years, so

01:27:54   many of them are trapped only on digital devices or maybe they're on an Instagram

01:28:01   feed and you really only look at them on these devices temporarily. Fracture is a

01:28:07   modern way to break your photos out of the digital world, the best ones, the ones

01:28:12   you really want to save, the ones you really want to see all the time and get

01:28:16   them printed on a piece of analog media and that you can hang on your wall, you

01:28:20   You can prop up on your desk.

01:28:22   Here's what they do, fracture.

01:28:24   They print your photos directly on pure glass, real glass.

01:28:28   Comes with a foam back that's ready to mount right out of the box.

01:28:31   The little one that comes with everything you need to hang it on a wall.

01:28:34   Comes with a nice little screw and stuff like that.

01:28:36   The bigger ones that you can prop up have, you know, the casing is as interesting as

01:28:40   the printing technology that they use.

01:28:43   But here's the thing.

01:28:44   It just takes your photos, which let's face it are all digital these days.

01:28:47   I mean, who shouldn't film anymore?

01:28:48   If you are, you're already way ahead of the game in terms of having prints because you

01:28:52   have to have a physical print to look at it.

01:28:58   I don't know.

01:28:59   There's something about a photo that is printed on a piece of analog medium that has to me

01:29:03   a more emotional appeal.

01:29:05   I'll give you an example.

01:29:06   Here's an example.

01:29:07   My wife, Amy, at the live talk show a couple of weeks ago when I had…

01:29:12   I forget the name.

01:29:14   I forget the name.

01:29:15   - Phil Schiller.

01:29:16   - Phil Schiller, that's right.

01:29:17   - Up and coming technology executive.

01:29:20   - Yeah, so that was a special night.

01:29:23   And she was backstage and she like poked her iPhone

01:29:26   through the curtain a little bit and took an amazing photo,

01:29:30   truly, truly amazing photo of me sitting alongside Phil.

01:29:35   We were front-lit in reality,

01:29:37   but from her perspective backstage,

01:29:39   we were back-lit by these lights in front of us,

01:29:43   which almost have like in the way that they showed up

01:29:46   on her picture, almost like a science fiction field.

01:29:48   It almost looked like we were sitting in front

01:29:50   of like a screening of a science fiction movie

01:29:52   with two stars in front of us with these two spotlights.

01:29:55   Fantastic picture, she posted it to Instagram.

01:29:59   And I thought it was great, I told her it was great

01:30:03   and I gave it a little heart on Instagram and there it goes.

01:30:07   But my friends at Fracture, I was away on vacation.

01:30:11   This is a true story.

01:30:13   Got back last night.

01:30:14   One of the things that we,

01:30:16   where we had the mail held till today,

01:30:18   and it actually worked, which is crazy.

01:30:20   I don't know about people in other countries,

01:30:22   but it may be in other cities,

01:30:24   but in Philadelphia it often doesn't work

01:30:26   when you tell them to hold your mail.

01:30:27   - Oh yeah. - Well, we got a whole pile

01:30:28   of mail today, including a bunch of packages,

01:30:30   and one of them was from Fracture, and it was for me,

01:30:32   and I thought, that's weird.

01:30:33   I don't remember, I did not order anything

01:30:35   from Fracture recently, and when you do order from Fracture,

01:30:37   this stuff comes right away.

01:30:38   Well, I opened it up, and here it was.

01:30:40   It's a little square picture.

01:30:41   they took it out of Amy's Instagram feed.

01:30:43   That picture printed on glass for me.

01:30:47   And it just, I didn't know what it was.

01:30:50   I opened it up and I saw it and I was just like, wow.

01:30:54   And it just was like a little jolt to my heart.

01:30:57   And I thought, wow, that's great.

01:30:58   So anyway, my thanks to Insta, not Instagram,

01:31:00   to Fracture for the gift, but to all of you,

01:31:05   do that with your favorite pictures.

01:31:07   Go through your Instagram and pick a couple of your

01:31:09   favorites and send them to fracture and get them printed out and you really are

01:31:14   gonna appreciate it looks so great let's see if I can get the code right because

01:31:19   if you do get it right you're gonna get 15% off your first fracture order and

01:31:24   the code for my show is I don't really have it here and drum roll Paul drum

01:31:30   roll to do I'm gonna guess it's during fireball and we'll see if that's right

01:31:37   But my thanks to them. Go to fractureme.com. Get something printed out. Do it. And use

01:31:43   that code and you'll save some money and you'll have something beautiful to hang on the wall.

01:31:46   I've got like six of them here.

01:31:47   Do you know what you could use? Use this. I know that this is the code that they use

01:31:52   because they sponsored that live show. The code that they used for that one was...

01:31:58   You know what's funny? I have it right here in front of me, but I can't see. Oh,

01:32:02   it's because I don't have the Safari status bar showing it's

01:32:08   WWDC use that code WWDC and then they'll think you're coming from the Phil Schiller episode

01:32:17   So either way you'll get the money

01:32:20   So the other thing that we that I missed while I was away on vacation

01:32:29   Was this whole thing that sort of blew up and I did write about this while you know because you can't you know

01:32:34   You did we're never really on vacation. I'm discovering that

01:32:36   Yeah, it is I'm curious how that's going for you now that you're a year in

01:32:42   It probably was different when you were at a publication that had a real staff that could keep everything

01:32:48   Yeah, you can say I'm on vacation you take care of it for me and then you go on vacation

01:32:52   Everybody helps each other out

01:32:53   But when you know

01:32:54   It's I do have Dan Morin writing for me a couple of days a week for six colors

01:32:57   So I was able to say sort of like, Dan,

01:32:59   this is the day that we're driving in the car

01:33:01   for eight hours, can you write on that day?

01:33:03   And also it's a shift in gears from my brain works

01:33:06   as thinking of like Macworld, we'd post 10 stories a day.

01:33:10   And I actually looked to you and Jim and Federico

01:33:14   and I, and you know, there's no,

01:33:16   there are no rules for this.

01:33:17   And I want to do right by my sponsors

01:33:18   and not like abandon the site for a week.

01:33:20   But at the same time, I have to train myself out of the idea

01:33:23   that if I don't have like five new items a day,

01:33:26   or even, you know, if a day goes by and all I have is a link or two, it's fine.

01:33:31   And I have to learn that lesson, that it's not, you know, I'm not running a comprehensive

01:33:36   news site that is going to have to feed the beast every day, and I, you know, I can't.

01:33:40   I just, I can't. I'm one person.

01:33:43   Steven: The sponsorship model, to me, it works both ways, where if you're writing more and

01:33:47   you're having a busy day, you're getting a bunch of things and more, you're getting a

01:33:50   lot more page views per day, and people might see the sponsor link in the sidebar if you

01:33:54   have it there or something like that. But on the other hand, with the idea that you

01:33:59   post like a little thank you to the sponsor, that idea then—and the times when you're

01:34:04   slower, at least this is the way I see it—the times when I'm slower and I'm not posting

01:34:09   as much, that post thanking the sponsor stays closer to the top longer.

01:34:14   It's true.

01:34:15   And it's, you know, I don't know which one is better. I don't know if it's better

01:34:19   to be the sponsor on a busy week at Daring Fireball or a slower week at Daring Fireball,

01:34:23   But I think there's a very simple argument to be made that there are pros and cons to

01:34:27   both of them.

01:34:28   One of them buries your thing sooner and the other one you have more pages being loaded

01:34:34   during the week.

01:34:35   So I've never once gotten a complaint about that.

01:34:38   Every once in a while, sometimes August is a little slower to sell.

01:34:42   Last year August did not sell for me.

01:34:44   It was like twice during the month of August I had to post like, "Hey, next week is still

01:34:50   available, get in touch, blah, blah, blah, sort of, you know, really sort of down to

01:34:55   the last day. This year, August sold out for me already in July. So, I don't know. But

01:35:01   it's, you know, so August is a weird month, though, for advertising, I mean, infamously

01:35:05   in all forms of media, TV, print. I mean, it's always slow. But other than the month

01:35:11   of August, I've never had complaints about that.

01:35:13   Yeah, it's, I mean, sometimes people will say to me, like, hey, it's Christmas, how's

01:35:16   Like I was thinking about sponsoring your site

01:35:18   I see that Christmas is open and my answer has always been and I've never once had a complaint about it

01:35:24   It is slower because people aren't at work and they're not get you're not getting those page views of I'm bored at work

01:35:29   Or I've just sat down and I you know, just want to see what's going on

01:35:32   But on the other hand I was like I think that what happens is a lot of people are at family events and they get bored

01:35:39   And they just go to their iPhones. So it's it's actually not that slow a week. Yeah, I agree. I agree

01:35:44   It's a yeah, I just kind of feel like I'm still trying to get into the rhythm of like

01:35:48   What's the heartbeat of the site? I don't want the site to seem like it's abandoned, right?

01:35:51   So I want to keep a little bit of a rhythm there also

01:35:54   Yeah, I mean I just I want to send a message that the site is here and it's gonna have stuff on it

01:36:00   And I'm still learning. I'm still learning but it is it is definitely a change

01:36:03   And it's not like I totally ignored work when I went on vacation

01:36:06   You know

01:36:07   I would be responsible and I would check in and I would occasionally see that news was breaking and write something

01:36:12   thing. I mean, I wrote a—I actually won an award for a thing I wrote at my in-laws

01:36:18   dining room table on an iPad. I actually won an award. I'm like, that is—I will always

01:36:24   look at that. I've got the little plaque here somewhere. And it was like for online commentary,

01:36:29   some journalism group. And I look at it and I think, well, iPad at the dining room table

01:36:34   in Irvine, but it's different here because, you know, something happens like that Nolan

01:36:42   Lawson thing and I'm like well I can't pass this to somebody if I want to say

01:36:47   something about it I need to say something about it so it's just a little

01:36:49   bit different not having that not having that net anymore but I'm getting I'm

01:36:53   getting there I'm getting used to it I I know that it was August I don't remember

01:36:59   the exact date but I was actually at the Jersey Shore with my folks and you know

01:37:04   Amy and Jonas heading out to dinner.

01:37:11   So it was probably around 5 or 6 o'clock in the evening

01:37:14   when the news broke that Steve Jobs was stepping down as CEO.

01:37:19   And somebody texted me.

01:37:24   And it was one of those things--

01:37:28   I'll bet everybody-- a lot of people when they first--

01:37:31   that was the sort of thing you texted other people about, right?

01:37:33   You heard that and you think of somebody and you think I got to text somebody

01:37:35   And I bet a lot of people who get you know saw the news the same way

01:37:39   We're like there's got to be a mistake this you know, and then your second thought is no actually it makes a lot of sense

01:37:45   You know and you kind of dreading it

01:37:47   But like I said, I you know told my family and then you know, my parents are a little a little bit not it

01:37:52   I

01:37:56   They more or less understand what I do now

01:38:00   But they understand it well enough that my you know when I said that they're everybody every nobody gave me a single moment of grief

01:38:07   Of okay, we understand you're not coming to dinner. Yeah, I had to drop everything and think about what I wanted to do and write

01:38:13   You know, that's one of the few times I can think of where I did that

01:38:17   But yes, you are on call and it makes me worry. It does make me worry. One thing I don't do is I almost

01:38:23   And I if I do I have tremendous anxiety, even if it's just for a couple of hours

01:38:28   I don't even like flying without Wi-Fi, as I do kind of feel like I need to be online all the time, just in case something like that happens.

01:38:34   I gotta say, I'm not as worried about it as I was, and this is only because for years, every single thing I did was in the frame of "What if Steve Jobs dies?"

01:38:47   Like, even when he wasn't that sick, and it was just like "What if Steve Jobs dies in a plane crash?" or something like that,

01:38:53   I had that like, what could be so huge? What is the huge thing? And after he died, I realized

01:39:02   for a while I would ask myself, what if Steve Jobs died? Oh, okay. And I just, for whatever

01:39:08   reason that was like, I always felt like that was the number one story that they would ever

01:39:14   be where you'd have to set up all the alarms. And I mean, it would still be true if something,

01:39:20   know, heaven forbid, happened to a major Apple executive or there are disasters that could

01:39:25   happen. But whatever it was like, I think I have a kind of a complex about that, about

01:39:30   Steve Jobs. And with him gone, that little neurotic part of my brain got like filed away,

01:39:38   got disconnected. And so it's not quite as bad now. But you're right. I mean, this is

01:39:41   the this is part of this business. It's again, less true now that I feel like I don't, I'm

01:39:46   not in the breaking news business. I may be in the breaking analysis business, but I'm

01:39:50   in the breaking news business where at Macworld, like literally, if something even like remotely

01:39:56   big broke, I would just be in the CMS making a new article saying headline, write a paragraph,

01:40:03   you know, more information to come post, like just to get it out there because we were really

01:40:08   in that game. And I'm not in that game so much now, but it's true. You also, you know,

01:40:14   I do think this is breaking analysis in a way, you know, you don't want to be left with

01:40:19   not saying anything about something huge that happens that matters to the people who read

01:40:23   your site or my site. You need to be engaged. And I at least have Dan to help out on some

01:40:31   accounts. But you know, during Fireball is you, so it needs to be you or it's nobody.

01:40:38   You got to get an intern or something. Jimmy the intern.

01:40:41   Well, yeah, it's like for a while, I don't really regret it, but I wonder if I ever,

01:40:48   if I've painted myself in a corner where it's like, you know, it's like Trump with his haircut,

01:40:52   you know what I mean? It's like everybody's giving him grief about it, but he's like stuck

01:40:55   with it so long where he can't, yeah, you can't really give in, you know what I mean?

01:41:02   And it's like, I feel like every single word ever written on Daring Fireball was by me,

01:41:08   know it's a nice streak but then it turned you know turns into a Cal Ripken

01:41:11   thing at some point yeah where maybe I should take a month off and not do

01:41:15   anything but you know I really don't want the site to go dark for a ride but

01:41:18   then I don't want I don't have a guest poster one you're like David Letterman

01:41:21   no guest hosts right but I've but I even said to you and I did when I did your

01:41:28   show to talk about Letterman that I actually feel like that hurt him in the

01:41:31   long run where I feel like there was a stretch a couple of years ago where it

01:41:37   it felt like maybe he was a little burned out.

01:41:40   It felt like he, you know,

01:41:42   and I don't think that ever happened to Carson

01:41:43   because Carson, as the years went on,

01:41:45   took off more and more time.

01:41:47   And one of the ways that he was able to take off time

01:41:50   was that instead of just showing reruns,

01:41:51   they had guest hosts.

01:41:52   - Yeah, he was working three days a week

01:41:54   and for 30--

01:41:56   - 40 weeks a year. - 40 weeks a year.

01:41:58   Man, what a deal.

01:41:59   And well, so only doing this for 10 months now.

01:42:03   I mean, I, look, if you, if you said,

01:42:06   'cause you did sort of set this model,

01:42:08   but some of the people who followed you, like Jim,

01:42:12   like Federico, so the Loop and Max stories,

01:42:16   they changed the equation a little bit.

01:42:20   And Jim has like Dave Mark and he's had Sean King

01:42:24   and he had Peter Cohen for a while,

01:42:26   like supplementing what Jim does.

01:42:28   And in fact, I think Dave Mark posts more stuff to the Loop

01:42:31   than Jim does at this point.

01:42:33   And then Federico, although he is the primary author

01:42:36   of Mack's stories, he's got a bunch of,

01:42:39   like I saw Brett Terpstra on there the other day,

01:42:41   and I mean, he's got some people who contribute,

01:42:44   and that, I felt like that was enough,

01:42:46   that that sort of freed me.

01:42:47   I was like, oh, and with so many people I used to work with

01:42:51   losing their jobs simultaneously,

01:42:52   I said to Dan, you know,

01:42:56   in lieu of him getting a full-time job somewhere,

01:42:58   would you like to write some stuff with me?

01:43:00   And, you know, in the first days after Mackworld

01:43:03   had the big layoffs, like Dan Frakes wrote a thing,

01:43:05   And, you know, a few people wrote things for Six Colors,

01:43:09   but with Dan, it was a good opportunity

01:43:11   'cause he wanted to keep his hand in the game.

01:43:13   He didn't want to vanish from writing about Apple

01:43:15   'cause that's his profession,

01:43:17   but he wasn't working somewhere full-time.

01:43:20   So, you know, I think it was beneficial for him.

01:43:23   It was really beneficial for me,

01:43:25   but would I have done that

01:43:27   if I hadn't seen some other people who said,

01:43:30   "No, it's not just me.

01:43:31   "It's sort of me and some of my friends

01:43:32   "who are doing this," and I might not have.

01:43:35   and it's just a different feel. It's just a different feel. I can't, I mean, I could

01:43:40   see it, wasn't that one of the, I don't know whether it was Kottke or was it Andy

01:43:44   Bayo? I remember somebody who was like a big link blogger did this at one point where they

01:43:49   basically said, "I'm handing the reins."

01:43:51   No, Kottke's done that for years. Kottke has, but when Kottke does it is he gives it

01:43:56   away for the whole week.

01:43:57   Right, exactly.

01:43:58   You know who I actually, I believe the first person who ever did it for him, I think this

01:44:03   a little bit of inside the world of personal/professional blogging, whatever you call this thing that

01:44:11   we do, trivia is I think his first guest poster was Adam Lisagor.

01:44:17   And it was the first time.

01:44:20   I'd never even heard of him before.

01:44:24   And we could look this up.

01:44:25   If it wasn't the first, he was one of the first.

01:44:27   And it was before Twitter.

01:44:29   so it was before anybody who's heard of Adam Lisa Gore by Twitter had heard of him.

01:44:32   And it was certainly before anybody who's heard of Adam Lisa Gore before Sandwich's video.

01:44:37   And I went back and read it and it was, of course, fantastic. It was like, "Holy hell,

01:44:43   this guy's amazing." But Kottke's done that for years and he picks, you know, very—he

01:44:49   picks people though a lot of times and they're good, but he—and this is part of Jason Kottke

01:44:54   being Jason Kottke and being very talented. He picks people who bring like a very different—

01:44:58   Right voice to the site like people who are not cocky like

01:45:02   Whatever that means to be cocky like because I think that's sort of hard to define

01:45:06   Yeah, I forget all the guy he's had a bunch of guest posters over there when I was in Arizona visiting my mom

01:45:12   we were watching like a baseball game and a sandwich video came on and I said, hey, I know that guy and

01:45:17   My mom's like, oh really? How and I told her like, oh well, it's a lisagor and just this and just that and and

01:45:25   Now she sends me emails saying hey, I saw I saw that friend of yours again on a different ad

01:45:30   Like okay, I don't need updates about the sandwich video Empire, but it's cute. It's sweet

01:45:36   Hey Amy, and I were at a bar the first time that we

01:45:40   Saw a sandwich on real TV. It was like barred ESPN was on the TV behind the bar

01:45:46   It's a real moment when you see him on real TV instead of the internet

01:45:49   Posting things on the internet whatever but he's on TV

01:45:53   Right, we couldn't get the words out of her mouth

01:45:54   I forget which one of the two of us noticed first

01:45:57   but we both were just like not even saying anything just pointing at the TV and then we like

01:46:01   Like we're like we know that guy we know him and everybody, you know, we look like two mad people

01:46:06   But we were like, well if you're traveling you see ads you don't see other places and this is what this was

01:46:10   It's whatever he was selling him this ad in Phoenix was not a product that is available in my area

01:46:16   And so I was just like I've never seen this before but there he is

01:46:20   He's so what came to mind to me was

01:46:23   Was the scene in Goodfellas when the crew finds out that Tommy got made? Oh, yeah

01:46:29   Because it's like they're never gonna get made because it's just a bit is a

01:46:34   So right, so he's the only one who could get made and they're in tight with him

01:46:40   So this is the best they're ever gonna do is have it made guy and we're never gonna be on TV

01:46:45   I don't want to be on TV commercials. No way. I mean, it's not I'm not even you know, it's not gonna happen, right?

01:46:49   Uh, so the closest we're going to get to being on TV is having sandwich be on TV.

01:46:53   So we were like, holy cow, this is amazing. Yeah, exactly. Exactly. And so hopefully,

01:47:00   uh, it's the same thing as when people, when, when your, um, relatives don't understand what you do

01:47:04   writing on the internet, this was always the case. I said this right after, um, I think when we talked

01:47:10   about, about Mac world and all that at the end of last year, that one of the things that I took

01:47:14   great pride in was so many people we published in the magazine and they could like take a

01:47:20   piece of paper of a magazine with their picture and their name on it and say, "Look, mom,

01:47:25   look grandpa, I wrote a thing in a magazine." And it was like validation in a way because

01:47:30   it was understandable and not something that people you knew got to do unless they were

01:47:36   very special. And I feel like watching Adam on a TV is a little bit like that too. It's

01:47:42   like, "Wow, that's the real television. This isn't this internet crap that we do.

01:47:46   That's the real TV."

01:47:47   DAVE SMITH Exactly. I just hope that Adam doesn't come

01:47:51   to the same end that Tommy did.

01:47:53   MATT ROWE You mean, oh, no.

01:47:55   DAVE SMITH Spoiler.

01:47:57   MATT ROWE Yeah, sorry.

01:47:59   DAVE SMITH I'll tell you what, anybody out there who

01:48:01   hasn't watched Good Times, you're--

01:48:02   MATT ROWE Good. What is wrong with you? Go do that immediately.

01:48:04   DAVE SMITH I promise you. And then go listen to Syracuse's

01:48:06   four and a half hour discussion of it. Which I don't, I'm not, I'm laughing just because it's,

01:48:12   it's good, not because it's not worthy of it. - Oh no, I have a, I'm hoping I do this before

01:48:18   somebody else gets it, but I want to do an incomparable with Sir, Siracusa about the

01:48:21   Godfather. - Ooh, man, don't you gotta, that'd be like a, if, if Goodfellas was--

01:48:27   - I know an 80-- - Four hours.

01:48:28   - 80 part episode about the Godfather. Someday I'll do that, because I love that. We, we, you

01:48:34   know, "Incomparable" is so much about, like, sci-fi stuff more than anything else, but

01:48:40   I do want to do more classic movie stuff, and that's one that, I mean, I would love

01:48:45   to do "Goodfellas," but I feel like it's kind of, it's been done. I would not want to just

01:48:49   rehash that same conversation that Jon and Dan had, and that's one of my favorite movies

01:48:53   of all time, but "Godfather," I'd love to do that too, because that's a classic too.

01:48:58   Alright, I have one more break to make and I gotta talk to you about Backblaze.

01:49:04   I feel like this show is loaded up with the all-stars of Tearing Fireball and the talk

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01:49:11   These guys have been with this show for as long as I've been doing it.

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01:49:43   This isn't some kind of cross platform crap like we were talking about before.

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01:49:52   What happens then, everything on your Mac starts getting backed up to your Backblaze

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01:49:59   They have over 150 petabytes of data backed up.

01:50:03   Doesn't matter how much stuff you've got.

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01:50:11   It all gets backed up.

01:50:12   Now, is there any kind of magic that makes it all get backed up immediately?

01:50:15   No, definitely not.

01:50:16   So the more stuff you have, the longer it's going to take to do it.

01:50:18   You get a 30-day free trial.

01:50:20   Should be long enough with any kind of modern internet connection to get the whole thing

01:50:23   backed up by the end of the free trial.

01:50:28   After that, what happens?

01:50:29   Well, of course, everything gets backed up incrementally after that.

01:50:32   So one file changes, that file gets backed up.

01:50:35   You've got nice controls.

01:50:36   You can pause it.

01:50:37   You can throttle the amount of bandwidth that it will use if you need to do something else

01:50:41   like record a podcast and you just signed up.

01:50:45   But seriously, once you have it installed, you never notice it.

01:50:47   It just runs.

01:50:49   No hassle, never just does exactly what you think it should do, which is just silently

01:50:54   back up everything to the cloud.

01:50:57   How can you access it after that?

01:50:59   You could do it almost any way you could imagine.

01:51:01   You just need one file, log in, find that file.

01:51:05   It's all organized the same way the hierarchy is on your computer.

01:51:09   Find the file, download it right there.

01:51:11   25% of all restores from Backblaze customers are just one file.

01:51:15   That's it.

01:51:16   that from your iOS device. They have an app. You can log in with that, get a file from

01:51:20   your iOS device when you're on vacation or traveling or whatever and email it to someone.

01:51:26   So it's a great way. It's not even just backup. It's a great way to just remotely access the

01:51:29   stuff on your Mac from anywhere. Let's say catastrophe hits. Your hard drive shits the

01:51:36   bed. All you have to do is you can just get everything. If you want to download it, you

01:51:41   can download. It's going to take a while. What you could do is just buy it on a USB

01:51:44   hard drive. They sell the USB hard drives at cost and then you can get a FedEx to you

01:51:50   the next day. Here comes a USB hard drive, has everything that you've needed on it. Really,

01:51:56   really great stuff. It really isn't just for disasters but having an offline backup like

01:52:01   back blades out of your house somewhere just in case some kind of catastrophe doesn't just

01:52:06   hit your computer but hits your home just cannot give you ... I can't tell you the peace

01:52:11   of mind that you have when you know that everything on your computer is backed up somewhere outside

01:52:16   your house. No add-ons, no gimmicks, no additional charges, no upsells or anything like that.

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01:52:29   a month and you will sleep like a baby knowing that your stuff is backed up. So you get no

01:52:34   No credit card required, just go to backblaze.com and the code is daringfireball.

01:52:41   I think you go to backblaze.com/daringfireball and then I'll know you came from here right

01:52:45   away, right from the beginning.

01:52:47   So my thanks to Backblaze.

01:52:48   Go sign up at backblaze.com/daringfireball.

01:52:53   So the last thing I want to talk about, Jason, is this thing that came up.

01:52:56   I don't even know how it started, but everybody this month has been talking about how advertising

01:53:02   on the web has made things slow. And it's this weird catch-22 that a lot of sites have

01:53:09   gotten caught in. I wrote about iMore on Daring Fireball just as an example of a site that

01:53:19   I love, I link to all the time. I know a whole bunch of the people who work there. Maybe

01:53:25   I know everybody who works there. Of the staffed sites that cover--that was the phrase I use.

01:53:31   I couldn't think of a better term,

01:53:33   but of the sites with like a payroll and a staff

01:53:36   that cover Apple, I think right now

01:53:38   they're the top of the heap.

01:53:39   Really do like them, and I really think

01:53:42   that they love their readers and wanna do right by them.

01:53:45   And they have a website that is really heavy

01:53:49   with trackers, ad trackers, and with a lot of video content.

01:53:54   It caught four or five megabytes to download

01:53:56   just a regular article, five, six, 700 words.

01:53:59   and

01:54:01   It's more than just the time it takes to download that if you're on a slow connection or something like that

01:54:07   It's the fact that they that some of these trackers run execute for over a minute doing who knows what the hell they do on

01:54:13   JavaScript which hurts the performance of of your battery, you know and

01:54:18   3/4 literally, I mean, I don't even think I'm exaggerating three or four hundred HTTP calls for separate resources on the page

01:54:28   And it sounds like well, they should just switch to different ads, but it's really is sort of a catch-22 where

01:54:33   That's the way for the sort of revenue. You need to run a site with a staff like that

01:54:38   The only way to do it is through advert

01:54:40   You know these existing ad networks and the way the ad networks work is exactly what you see. I'm more is not

01:54:45   outside the bounds of

01:54:48   These sort of sites in fact, I would guess I haven't done this

01:54:52   but I would guess that if you went around and went to all the sites that have you know, your mashables and

01:54:57   and the Verge and Engadget.

01:55:00   - I was hoping somebody would weigh the Macworld pages

01:55:03   'cause they've just gotta be enormous.

01:55:05   - They have to be Macworld and IDG.

01:55:08   I mean, and you know this.

01:55:09   I mean, I can't let it go, but I mean,

01:55:11   Macworld had a feature, you know, it still does, I guess,

01:55:13   where it auto plays video on page loads,

01:55:16   which I'm guessing wasn't popular with the staff.

01:55:19   - No, I mean, that was the number one thing that the staff,

01:55:22   I think it's still not popular with the remaining staff,

01:55:26   But certainly everybody who was there back a year ago,

01:55:29   that was the number one.

01:55:30   I fought to get that turned off for like six months

01:55:33   and I finally got it turned off

01:55:34   and then they replaced the guy who was in charge

01:55:36   of the company with a new guy

01:55:37   who immediately turned it back on.

01:55:39   Yeah.

01:55:41   - It's, you know, and Bet Thompson, I would guess,

01:55:46   among anybody who doesn't have a site that does this.

01:55:49   So he's sure to know.

01:55:50   Ben Thompson at Stratechery, Stratechery?

01:55:53   - Yeah, he got rid, he changed the pronunciation.

01:55:55   - It's just Stratechery now.

01:55:56   - Well, I'm gonna stick with Stratechery.

01:56:00   - You can do that.

01:56:01   - Ben Thompson of Stratechery has made the case eloquently

01:56:05   that this is the business dynamics,

01:56:08   this is the corner that the industry has painted itself into.

01:56:11   This is the only source of advertising

01:56:12   that can generate the sort of revenue

01:56:14   that they need to do this.

01:56:16   How did we get here, right?

01:56:20   - Yeah.

01:56:22   - It's, you know, we, so my boss for a long time at IDG,

01:56:27   for like most of the last couple of years I was there,

01:56:31   IDG has an ad network.

01:56:32   So he, and he was in charge of it.

01:56:33   And then he was put in charge of our company,

01:56:35   our consumer group.

01:56:37   A good guy, I really like him actually, but you know,

01:56:39   ad network, I learned about ad networks

01:56:41   and about programmatic buying and all of these things.

01:56:46   Like in the, back in the day,

01:56:48   and I can't believe I'm saying this about the web,

01:56:50   But back in the day, it was all like really,

01:56:53   I mean, web advertising has never been good, I would say,

01:56:59   or rarely been good on the mainstream.

01:57:02   It was all, it's all click-driven.

01:57:06   You know, everybody wants to see return on investment

01:57:08   based on clicks or based on purchases,

01:57:09   which I actually think is baloney.

01:57:12   That one of the most valuable kinds of advertising

01:57:17   is branding advertising, brand advertising,

01:57:20   which is another old boss of mine used to say,

01:57:22   a sales guy used to say,

01:57:23   you've gotta be known to be considered

01:57:26   and considered to be bought.

01:57:28   And the way you get known is through brand advertising.

01:57:32   You're then perceived as being a legitimate player.

01:57:36   And that's powerful,

01:57:38   but it might not lead to a direct sale, right?

01:57:41   It's just to get you in the ballgame.

01:57:43   It's like saying, if you sell accounting software

01:57:46   and you blanket the internet with,

01:57:49   and podcasts and websites and all that with accounting software. Are people going to say,

01:57:54   "Oh yeah, my company needs accounting software right now. I'm going to click through." Or

01:57:57   is it more going to be like, "That name is going to stick in them," and a year later

01:58:01   they're going to think, "Oh yeah, this is a piece of accounting software. Maybe I should

01:58:05   look into that. Maybe we should buy that." But that's not measurable by the web, and

01:58:09   the web has really pushed, because TV, with TV and magazines and newspapers, you couldn't

01:58:14   measure direct. You could maybe do like a specific phone number or P.O. box or something

01:58:18   like that and try to measure the volume, but really it was very hard to do. And the web

01:58:23   made it much more technically possible to do that sort of thing, and it kind of drove

01:58:30   everything to this crappy instant response kind of advertising. And then this takes it

01:58:35   even with the ad networks, it takes it even further where it's no longer the heyday of

01:58:40   the web where there were still like custom sales staffs with very specific like relationships

01:58:45   with buyers who understood what your content was about and understood what your audience

01:58:51   was. And now it's very much like everybody's in a pool, they say who their demographics

01:58:56   are, page views, not even like sites, but page views in certain parts of certain sites

01:59:01   are wholesaled and run through a program that's just buying a certain number of pages of a

01:59:08   certain kind on a stock exchange, essentially. And it's like if you didn't think web advertising

01:59:14   was bad enough five years ago, it is way worse now.

01:59:18   Ben Thompson had a great piece. I just made a note to put it in the show notes. So knock

01:59:23   on wood, it'll be in the show notes. It's always a crapshoot with me. He had a great

01:59:30   post explaining how the modern advertising networks work.

01:59:34   Yeah. He gave me the shivers because I learned that in the last couple of years. Yeah.

01:59:39   And in terms of... I've got a whole bunch of plays. I haven't had the time because I've

01:59:43   been away but I probably will I don't know about it if it'll happen before this podcast airs but

01:59:49   sometime within the next few days I'm going to write about it and link to all these things but

01:59:53   there's a piece at Digiday which is a I think a new site and if it's not I have never heard of

01:59:59   it before but it's an interesting article by Ricardo Bilton about how the Washington Post cut

02:00:05   its page load time by 85 percent in two years that two years ago the washingtonpost.com typical

02:00:12   article page took eight seconds for the page to load. And that was measuring where it was

02:00:18   usable by the, not necessarily completely done, but at the point where it looked done to the

02:00:24   typical reader. And they've, in two years, by making it a top priority in the whole development

02:00:31   staff, that they've got it down to 1.7 seconds, which is an 85% performance increase. And they

02:00:39   Mentioned this this is in the article which is interesting that this is the guy he's the his name is Gregory

02:00:46   Frantech hope I'm pronouncing that right his name is spelled a little unusually

02:00:51   But he's his title is chief architect at the Washington Post and one of the quotes from him

02:00:55   Is that in commerce?

02:00:58   There's a quote that one second load time is the one that everyone wants to hit in media

02:01:04   It doesn't seem as if there was ever that much emphasis on performance said Frantech

02:01:08   And that's in other words that we're writing like a commerce of website on the web

02:01:12   There was this mantra got to be one second or less or we're gonna lose this person

02:01:16   You know like god forbid somebody like goes so far is to put their

02:01:20   The product in their cart and then they go to check out and they're waiting and waiting and waiting and they're like ask her it

02:01:27   And they close well, you know that would drive that team and rightfully

02:01:30   so if they would say we got to get that in one second so that we don't lose them and

02:01:33   That media sites didn't have that that drive

02:01:36   Maybe they would say well be nice if if the page loaded in a second, but yeah, you know two seconds isn't bad

02:01:42   And then two seconds isn't bad three seconds isn't bad. And then if three seconds isn't bad

02:01:46   I'm sure they'll not gonna they're not gonna leave us if it gets to four seconds on average and

02:01:50   Then all of a sudden you end up with a Washington Post taking eight seconds to load which is a long time

02:01:55   It is I mean and you know

02:01:59   We can make all the arguments we want about how amazing

02:02:03   You know how amazed with Thomas Jefferson be if you could show him a web where every page loaded in eight seconds

02:02:09   Well, yeah, he'd be blown away. But guess what, you know, I wouldn't take him long before he'd be saying

02:02:14   Hey, can't we get these to load a little quicker?

02:02:16   It eventually no matter who you are where your perspective is eight seconds is too long

02:02:22   But the media backed themselves into that corner. Anyway this article with the post

02:02:25   Concludes there's a lot that publishers don't have complete control over

02:02:32   over, however, and it's basically ads.

02:02:35   And here's the quote from the guy, Fransic.

02:02:37   "We have very little control over ads

02:02:39   "that load later slowly, but we wanted to make sure

02:02:41   "the core user experience was as solid as possible.

02:02:44   "That's what we have control over," said Fransic.

02:02:46   And that, to me, is so telling,

02:02:48   that here's the Washington Post,

02:02:50   and even they say they don't have control

02:02:53   over the time it takes for the ads to load.

02:02:56   That, to me, is startling.

02:03:00   - Yeah, well, everything's on ad networks.

02:03:02   And so, I mean, I think what your goal needs to be

02:03:05   is you need to not be held accountable.

02:03:08   You need to build your pages so that they load

02:03:12   regardless of what happens with the ads

02:03:14   is basically what you have to do.

02:03:15   And that can be hard.

02:03:19   I can't tell you how much.

02:03:21   When I would fight for a development time at IDG

02:03:24   with our development group,

02:03:26   so much time went into AdOps, so much time.

02:03:29   And the big problem was AdOps was often driven

02:03:32   by salespeople who would sell some crazy campaign

02:03:35   and then they would have to deliver it.

02:03:36   And then the front end developers would have to try

02:03:39   and find ways to make it not break all the pages,

02:03:43   which is a totally backward way of doing it.

02:03:45   But that would happen all the time.

02:03:46   And so much went into that.

02:03:49   And the fact was more could go into it because your,

02:03:53   imagine, I mean, it's like anything,

02:03:55   imagine something that's completely out of your control

02:03:57   being dropped into every little bit of product that you do.

02:04:01   That's what happens with these things.

02:04:03   - And it's mind-boggling.

02:04:04   - Yeah, you try to mitigate it.

02:04:05   You try to reduce it as much as possible

02:04:07   and make it so that if the ad server fails,

02:04:10   and remember, this doesn't happen so much anymore,

02:04:11   but there used to be a time when one JavaScript call,

02:04:15   you know, breaking somewhere would prevent pages

02:04:18   from loading, like anywhere on the way.

02:04:20   - Yeah, because I don't, and I could be wrong here,

02:04:23   but I'm pretty sure that in the early days,

02:04:25   all JavaScript was synchronous, it wasn't asynchronous.

02:04:28   - Right, so get to that part on the page

02:04:29   and it would just wait for that third party server to load.

02:04:33   - Yeah, and the way pages used to render too,

02:04:36   like in the,

02:04:39   anything below it in the DOM would not render.

02:04:45   And I don't even think that was that long ago.

02:04:50   I seem to recall where there were problems

02:04:52   one time when the DEC network server went down, big chunks of Daring Fireball didn't render because

02:04:58   the DEC network JavaScript include call was at the top of the HTML, not at the bottom.

02:05:06   So it's not even, you know, the net, you know, that's only going back to the Daring Fireball era,

02:05:12   let alone the 90s. Here's my theory on this. And let me run it by you because, and again,

02:05:17   this is one of the reasons I wanted to have you on the show this week, is that you can speak to this.

02:05:21   To me, I've always thought, and I've always been an outsider, I've never had a full-time job working

02:05:28   at a publication. What I always saw, and to me it seemed very obvious in the early years, was for the

02:05:38   most part the big name "web" in the early years came from two sides. It came from print and it

02:05:43   came from TV. So CNN had a big news website, New York Times had a big news website. And

02:05:51   in both cases, institutionally, the institutions did not value the websites as much as they

02:05:58   valued their traditional form. So print publications favored print over, it was the favored child

02:06:05   over the web. And the web was this thing that they were maybe not even drawn kicking and

02:06:10   streaming to but you know in some cases in some publications I think that was

02:06:13   true and a lot of them it just was always the second secondary child and

02:06:21   that they didn't have respect for it and they didn't have the respect for it that

02:06:25   they have for their flagship product because and here's what I would say the

02:06:34   New York Times was never gonna let advertisers into their printing press

02:06:37   like you Chevy you know doesn't get to put an ad in the New York Times and get

02:06:42   to go into the printing press and slow down the delivery of the next morning's

02:06:46   New York Times because they want to make sure that you know the colors are

02:06:50   aligned on the printing press or to draw another analogy Chevy doesn't get to put

02:06:57   an ad in the New York Times that the New York Times doesn't see first yep

02:07:00   CNN doesn't let the advertisers control whatever goes on over the air during the

02:07:07   30 seconds that they bought. They give them a video and the video you know they

02:07:14   have the video in their hands before it runs. CNN delivers the video right

02:07:18   whereas the web from the very early on evolved in this way where there was a

02:07:24   lack of respect that they wouldn't have like for example New York Times is never

02:07:27   going to sell an ad that sticks to the two pages surrounding the op-ed page so

02:07:36   that if you want to read the op-ed page,

02:07:38   you've got to break an envelope seal,

02:07:41   find a sharp thing and do that.

02:07:43   Whereas they have things on their website

02:07:45   that are the equivalent of that,

02:07:47   where you have to spend a few seconds doing something

02:07:50   or waiting for something before you get to read

02:07:52   what you're going to read.

02:07:53   Whereas they would never sell an ad like that

02:07:55   on their print product.

02:07:57   And the fact that they started from a position

02:07:59   of disrespect and they were the big name sites,

02:08:03   not just, I'm down to say New York Times and CNN

02:08:05   in particular, all of those sites though

02:08:07   that had existing successful print publications

02:08:10   or existing successful TV news operations,

02:08:13   they set the standard for the online ad industry

02:08:18   and the industry involved in a way

02:08:20   where the inmates run the asylum,

02:08:22   the advertisers got whatever they wanted

02:08:24   because the publications didn't have respect

02:08:26   for their sites and didn't have respect for their users.

02:08:30   - Yeah.

02:08:31   - So you don't think I'm off the mark?

02:08:35   - No, I mean, I think the challenge has always been

02:08:38   that it's been hard.

02:08:40   It's always been hard to make money online.

02:08:43   I know that seems crazy to say,

02:08:46   but I can tell you from a publication standpoint,

02:08:49   it's always been hard.

02:08:50   It was not, I'd say at the point that it was clear

02:08:54   that the web was the most important product

02:08:58   and that like a magazine, like I worked for, was not.

02:09:03   it was probably another five, maybe seven years

02:09:08   before the web revenue got anywhere close

02:09:12   to the print revenue.

02:09:13   And that's because it was even like five years ago,

02:09:17   there was, I saw a story the other day

02:09:19   that was pointing out this,

02:09:20   that Mary Meeker slide deck that gets dropped

02:09:22   at the D conference every year,

02:09:24   or the code conference now, right?

02:09:26   But the same conference. (laughs)

02:09:29   And five years ago,

02:09:32   she had one of those things that we had seen too, you know, internally at IDG and everybody

02:09:36   in the industry had seen it where even though web was being used to a great degree, the

02:09:41   advertising wasn't on the web. It was all on TV and print. And that's a red flag because

02:09:49   that's like, well, this is going to change. It is going to change. But for a long time,

02:09:52   it didn't change. And so you got this, you know, we're giving away all our content for

02:09:56   free and we're desperately trying to make money in it because we know that the future

02:10:00   is going to be in this medium, but nobody's buying.

02:10:04   So we're gonna then redouble our efforts

02:10:07   to do anything we can.

02:10:09   And I think it was dangerous

02:10:12   because there was some desperation

02:10:16   at a time when it was about to be a sea change.

02:10:21   And the clients were going to be coming

02:10:24   with all their big checkbooks to the web very soon,

02:10:29   because that's where the eyeballs were going. That was where everybody wanted to go. And,

02:10:35   you know, it was probably not realistic to say, "Well, we're just going to hold out."

02:10:38   But the fact is everybody was just like, "No, no, no, we're desperate. Please give us money

02:10:41   now. Please, let's make this valid." Also, I think there was maybe a little bit of a

02:10:44   first ones free kind of mentality, like, "What can I do to get you to try to advertise on

02:10:50   the web? Because we really need you to do that because this is where it's all going

02:10:53   to go. As a result, though, I mean, we've got this situation where what people pay is

02:11:00   not a lot. It's completely--I mean, imagine not only the New York Times saying, "Well,

02:11:05   you can run an ad we haven't seen, and we'll cover the editorial section in a code that

02:11:12   you have to enter before you can peel off the piece of paper and read the rest of the

02:11:17   newspaper. But let's take the analogy further. What if the New York Times doesn't have any

02:11:26   control over any of it and isn't even using their own salespeople? Like, there's a robot

02:11:31   somewhere, there's a stock exchange, an ad exchange somewhere that's just automatically

02:11:37   serving. Like, the salespeople are even gone at that point. That's sort of where the web

02:11:41   biz now. And, you know, it's just, it's a very different medium, and that's fine, but

02:11:47   what Ben Thompson would tell you is, unless you have scale, unless you're BuzzFeed, maybe,

02:11:52   unless you have just huge scale, where you have so many pages that you can section it

02:11:57   up in a bunch of different ways, or unless you are very small but have an amazing audience,

02:12:04   like Daring Fireball, if you're in the middle, it's tough. It's tough to do it, because you

02:12:09   You don't have the scale, so a lot of advertisers don't even want to talk to you, and you're

02:12:13   using these ad networks.

02:12:15   And that's where iMore is, that's where Macworld was and is.

02:12:19   And you end up doing that thing where you put more and more junk on your pages because

02:12:24   every piece of junk you put on your pages is more money, and you're desperately trying

02:12:29   to make enough money to pay your people who are building your website and who are writing

02:12:33   your articles, and it's tough.

02:12:36   I'm not convinced.

02:12:37   It's actually one of the reasons why I was so committed to leaving IDG for the

02:12:43   last couple of years and knew I needed to get out. I'm not convinced that this

02:12:49   you know this business model is gonna work for 80% of the websites. I'm just

02:12:56   I'm not convinced that it's gonna work. Give it away for free in

02:12:59   exchange for loading up on advertising. Well I really do think that it might

02:13:07   the reckoning might come sooner than later.

02:13:10   - Yeah.

02:13:11   - Because, and it's from multiple factors,

02:13:15   multiple directions, it's not one thing is going to do it,

02:13:19   but without question, and that's what makes it

02:13:22   so interesting to me timing-wise,

02:13:24   'cause to me it ties in with, tangentially perhaps,

02:13:29   but it turns, it ties into that argument that,

02:13:34   hey, Apple has like, the argument from the Apple,

02:13:36   Safari's a new ie part of their argument is that like ie that they perceive Apple is having abandoned it that they've sort of lost

02:13:44   interest in it and that the reason that

02:13:45   Safari isn't adding all these features they want them to add is that Apple either can't do it or is understaffed or disinterested

02:13:52   What escapes their mind?

02:13:55   To go back to my point earlier about their they're not being able to see it from a perspective other than theirs is that Apple

02:14:00   Is doing exactly what it wants with Safari and they are putting a lot of effort into it

02:14:04   But it's not really about these features that these developers want it's about features for the user and and Renee

02:14:10   Richie at I'm or had a great article about it where he cut said it was you know

02:14:14   Apple is steering it towards this user centric web

02:14:17   and again

02:14:19   It's Apple favoring users over developer

02:14:22   But that's what a lot of the stuff and there was a lot of stuff about Safari at WWDC this year

02:14:30   some of my I mean, it's partly because it's it's more of this type of stuff I deal with firsthand, but

02:14:35   There's an awful lot of stuff that

02:14:39   WWDC sessions that felt directly related to me and my work and what I'm interested in and you know

02:14:43   the content blockers is one and

02:14:45   you know the new news app is another and

02:14:50   They're both to me driven by the same thing

02:14:53   which is that we want to do things that make stuff you want to read load quicker and

02:14:59   Keep maintain more of your privacy. We want to you this should be faster

02:15:04   It should be a better experience and you should have the feeling that it's more private

02:15:09   Because that's the other flip side of the whole

02:15:12   Inmates running the assignments asylum argument with online advertising is this is the magic of code

02:15:18   Right in general just the idea of running software code and this whole, you know, code software is eating the world

02:15:24   It's the first time that advertising

02:15:27   Could do any of this stuff, right? I mean that the idea of tracking someone who watches TV in the old days over the air

02:15:34   It was impossible right and the the the metrics and of course advertisers want metrics and of course, they want the metrics to be

02:15:40   accurate

02:15:42   But the you know, the Nielsen ratings especially in the old days were famously

02:15:46   inaccurate in terms of whether the the Nielsen families were actually a honest about what they watched and be

02:15:52   demographically

02:15:54   representative of the country as a whole

02:15:57   I think newspaper and magazine circulation was probably, and probably still is, more accurate

02:16:04   because it's better regulated through the, what's it called? I'm sure you know. There's a standard

02:16:10   group that- Like the IAB?

02:16:11   Yeah, like the IAB. Or at least, and if it's not accurate, at least it's consistent,

02:16:17   or more consistent. But for the most part, if you placed a full page ad in the New York Times,

02:16:26   Whether, you know, they actually was read by, you know, they tell you they print, you know,

02:16:32   1.1 million copies or whatever it is on a weekday. And how many people read it? Well, who knows,

02:16:37   because some of those copies are in a doctor's office and people come in, you know, 10 patients

02:16:40   come in and read the front page of the same copy of the New York Times. But you basically know,

02:16:44   roughly, loosely, how much exposure you're getting from the New York Times. And if you advertise in

02:16:52   in Sports Illustrated instead of advertising in Vogue,

02:16:56   you know the basic difference between the demographics

02:17:00   of those two big magazines.

02:17:02   And when you advertise in Macworld,

02:17:04   the print magazine, you have a pretty good idea

02:17:07   of the demographics to a loose degree.

02:17:09   But it's nothing at all like what you get from the trackers

02:17:12   that the ad networks do online in terms of knowing

02:17:15   that here's a person who not only reads Macworld,

02:17:18   but they also read three of these photo sites.

02:17:22   And so we can serve a targeted ad, which in some sense,

02:17:26   there is a plus side to it, where maybe it can serve you

02:17:29   an ad that truly is interesting to you

02:17:31   because it's about some amazing new Mac software meant

02:17:34   for photographers.

02:17:35   When it works like that, that's fantastic.

02:17:37   But in terms of are you comfortable,

02:17:40   would you be comfortable buying a print magazine that somehow

02:17:43   knew which other print magazines you ran?

02:17:46   Red, it doesn't even make any sense.

02:17:48   Like how would that even be accomplished?

02:17:50   That's the magic of code.

02:17:51   Like letting code run in general

02:17:53   and advertising changed the game.

02:17:56   - Yeah, the question is,

02:17:57   I mean, trying to think of a way forward,

02:18:00   I ask myself sometimes, what would I rather see?

02:18:04   Would I rather see a web?

02:18:06   I think it's unlikely that we'll see a web

02:18:08   where almost everything is behind a paywall.

02:18:11   I think that seems unlikely.

02:18:12   Although I think more stuff will be harder to get to

02:18:16   and that there will be experiences that you'll be able to have on the web or in apps as a paid whoever that are better.

02:18:24   I do think that will probably happen.

02:18:26   But what I really ask myself is, would I rather have the web littered with more and more junk,

02:18:36   or would I rather have a web that had less junk on it but it knew who I was?

02:18:43   And maybe this makes me a bad person,

02:18:46   but I think I honestly would rather have a good experience

02:18:49   and share some of my personal information

02:18:51   than have a terrible experience

02:18:54   because they don't know who I am.

02:18:55   Unfortunately, the world we live in is

02:18:57   they wanna know everything about who you are

02:18:59   and they wanna fill your screen with junk.

02:19:02   And they also wanna put up a paywall after 10 articles

02:19:06   so that you can pay to see all the junk and be tracked.

02:19:10   So it's like everything is there.

02:19:11   And I don't know what the solution is

02:19:13   other than muddling along with it being kind of generally awful, other than if companies

02:19:19   start going out of business. And I think that that may be, I just saw Michael Sippy, who

02:19:26   has been on the internet for a million years and used to be the head of product at Twitter,

02:19:29   refer to it as the great reaping, right? It's like, what happens then? If that happens,

02:19:34   where like a lot of these mid-range sites just go out of business, something interesting

02:19:40   might happen after that, that is people, and probably people like you and me, either on

02:19:46   their own or in small groups banding together to try and find some new way of doing things

02:19:50   that's not like that. But it might take that, like a dissolution of these staffs, like what

02:19:56   happened with Macworld. Imagine that happening just again and again and again, where you

02:20:00   end up with a whole lot of people who are just forced to do something different. The

02:20:05   apocalyptic version of that is that they're just gone. They go take jobs at places that

02:20:09   aren't in the media and you never hear from them again and the world is a poorer place for it. And

02:20:13   then all we're left with is some people kind of on the far left end of the curve like Daring

02:20:19   Fireball and some people at the far right end like Buzzfeed and that there's nothing left in

02:20:23   the middle. But I fear that that is a strong possibility. The reckoning is that the overlooking

02:20:31   the fact that the users have the ability to fight back. And the music industry faced this with the

02:20:36   in the Napster era, where they wanted a magic solution

02:20:40   that would keep users from doing downloads.

02:20:44   You still see it with film and TV,

02:20:47   with their reluctance to be more generous,

02:20:50   not generous, not in terms of like lowering prices,

02:20:53   but the way that stuff is all still regional,

02:20:55   I mean, it drives, we're so lucky living in the US,

02:20:58   but it drives some of my friends in Canada nuts

02:21:02   when TV shows don't show up right away.

02:21:06   let alone other countries around the world

02:21:08   where they show up after they do in Canada.

02:21:09   It's crazy, there's no reason for that.

02:21:11   And you wonder why people in Canada might resort

02:21:15   to illegal downloads to get the TV shows

02:21:20   that they can't get the same day

02:21:22   that people get in the US.

02:21:23   It's because they're being an idiot about it.

02:21:26   And don't underestimate the fact that users can fight back.

02:21:31   And if you think, ah, who cares if our webpages

02:21:33   take eight seconds?

02:21:35   and then you view people who install ad blockers

02:21:38   as criminals or something like that

02:21:40   and expect some kind of magical solution

02:21:42   to route around the ad blocking.

02:21:44   It's not gonna work, it's not gonna be magical.

02:21:47   And now that it's starting to get built into a high level

02:21:51   and a truly flagship operating system.

02:21:54   I know that you can install ad blockers

02:21:55   on the Mac for a while,

02:21:56   but in terms of affecting a great swath of high profile

02:22:03   on good demographic users, having these content blockers

02:22:07   in iOS is, I think, gonna be a game changer.

02:22:11   I really do.

02:22:12   And I say this again as somebody who makes my entire living

02:22:16   practically from advertising.

02:22:18   I am incredibly sensitive to the fact that,

02:22:22   I can't really recommend ad blocking.

02:22:25   I don't run an ad blocker.

02:22:27   - Neither do I.

02:22:28   - I do run Ghostery, and I have Ghostery set in Safari

02:22:32   to block trackers.

02:22:33   So I do block ad trackers according to Ghostery,

02:22:36   but I don't block ads.

02:22:38   So I do obviously see different ads than I would

02:22:40   if I didn't have Ghostery installed.

02:22:43   And I do plan though to run Safari content blockers,

02:22:47   and I don't plan to run them to block ads,

02:22:48   but I absolutely plan to run them

02:22:50   to block JavaScript trackers.

02:22:52   And I think there's gonna be an awful lot of people

02:22:58   who are not as

02:22:59   You know, and I think rightfully so.

02:23:04   I don't pass judgment on them,

02:23:06   but who aren't gonna have, draw that distinction

02:23:08   between blocking ads and blocking trackers,

02:23:11   and they're just gonna block all of it.

02:23:13   - Oh yeah, no doubt.

02:23:15   - And when the performance increase is dramatic,

02:23:18   when you, when all of a sudden you try this content blocker,

02:23:23   and all of a sudden these things start loading

02:23:25   remarkably faster on your old iPhone,

02:23:29   just because you installed iOS 9,

02:23:30   there's no, you know, it's not like people

02:23:34   are gonna uninstall them later.

02:23:36   And it's, you know, I just,

02:23:39   I really do think that that's gonna come.

02:23:41   So what did Sippy say?

02:23:42   It's a what's coming?

02:23:44   - The great reaping. - The reaping, yeah.

02:23:47   Where some sites in the middle,

02:23:49   that middle between the super-scaled sites

02:23:52   like Facebook and Buzzfeed,

02:23:54   and us on the bottom of the tree that--

02:23:58   - Right, it's what Ben Thompson calls the smiling curve,

02:24:00   where it's like, there's like a good uptick on the left

02:24:03   and a good uptick on the right,

02:24:05   and it's not very good in the middle.

02:24:07   - Yeah, the way, I mean, and again,

02:24:10   a lot of times when I talk about this or write about this,

02:24:12   I also get, so please, you know, let me address it.

02:24:14   I, my criticism of IMOR was not, I don't, it is true,

02:24:19   I do not have a here's what IMOR should do

02:24:22   to solve the problem.

02:24:23   I wish I did, if I did, I would be the first one

02:24:25   to share it with them.

02:24:27   I don't, but I wrote that article not saying,

02:24:31   hey, here's what they should do,

02:24:33   and it certainly wasn't meant to,

02:24:35   they should do what I do, because it wouldn't work.

02:24:37   I have an operation that is a very nice living

02:24:40   for a staff of one, and maybe I could hire one person

02:24:44   or hire somebody full time, or part time,

02:24:46   or something like that.

02:24:47   - Billy the intern again.

02:24:49   - Right, but the Daring Fireball/the talk show model

02:24:54   is not something that would run a staffed organization.

02:24:58   It's not. - No.

02:24:59   - So I'm not saying that.

02:25:00   I'm just saying I would like to see them try

02:25:02   and maybe somebody could find a way to find something new

02:25:06   that could run something of that size.

02:25:09   But I feel that to the other thing,

02:25:10   if there is a lament,

02:25:11   it's that people have stopped trying new things

02:25:13   in advertising. - Yeah.

02:25:14   It's this catch-22 of the advantage

02:25:18   of giving away your content for free

02:25:19   is that you get more viewers,

02:25:21   but then you have to monetize them all,

02:25:23   because, which is a word I hate,

02:25:25   but because it conjures up sort of this imagery

02:25:27   of turning people into stacks of coins or something,

02:25:30   but that's basically what it is, right?

02:25:31   And so you've got, how do you do that?

02:25:33   And the answer is you put ads everywhere

02:25:36   and you try to track them.

02:25:37   And the fact is people are reluctant to give you money.

02:25:41   A lot of people.

02:25:43   Your other choice is to say, look, I don't care.

02:25:46   I'm going to charge people for my stuff

02:25:50   and it'll be a much smaller group,

02:25:52   but if they pay me enough, it'll be worth it.

02:25:53   The challenge is getting the math to work,

02:25:55   or a hybrid of that, right,

02:25:56   where you give some stuff away,

02:25:57   like Ben Thompson gives some stuff away to get visibility.

02:26:00   - Including the article that I will link to this week.

02:26:02   - Exactly right, but he also writes

02:26:04   several other pieces a week

02:26:05   that only go to the people who pay him $100 a year,

02:26:07   which I think is actually kind of a great deal,

02:26:09   and it allows him to make a living just doing that,

02:26:12   which means you get, as a subscriber,

02:26:14   you get his entire output,

02:26:15   other than the one free piece a week.

02:26:17   - I feel like that is part of the genius of his model.

02:26:21   I feel like $100 is magic.

02:26:23   - Yeah.

02:26:23   - And I wasn't sure what to think of it when he started,

02:26:26   but I feel like it's magic.

02:26:27   And there's an awful lot of people who would say,

02:26:28   "I'll never pay $100 a year for anything online."

02:26:33   But somehow if you're, but then there,

02:26:36   I think a lot of those people wouldn't pay $10 a year.

02:26:38   - Right, right.

02:26:39   And he's a really smart guy.

02:26:41   I mean, this is my fear is that if everybody in the middle,

02:26:45   their companies blow up and they say,

02:26:47   "Well, I'm gonna do what Ben Thompson does."

02:26:49   fact is, I mean, not everybody, how many hundred dollar a year subscriptions for

02:26:54   websites or newsletters are people going to be willing to pay?

02:26:58   No, you have to be one of their favorites.

02:27:00   Right, but that's the old, you know, what is it, thousand true fans thing, which is you

02:27:06   don't actually need, you don't actually need a hundred thousand people. You need

02:27:10   a thousand people or two thousand people who like your stuff

02:27:14   enough to buy your t-shirt and maybe your, you know, membership or donate or

02:27:19   whatever. And that's, I feel like, I mean, I've thought about that a lot since going

02:27:24   out on my own, is how do I want to balance advertising with direct--I had lots of people

02:27:29   say, "I don't, you know, I don't, I like your advertisers or I don't like your advertisers

02:27:34   or whatever. I just want to support you and I don't have anything to advertise myself.

02:27:38   How do I do that?" And I haven't given anybody a way to do that yet. And I remember during

02:27:42   the really bad times at IDG that, you know, usually you're riding high and the sales guys

02:27:48   are in charge and they're like, "Yeah, we're selling ads. We don't really care about anything

02:27:52   else." And then in the dark times, they suddenly say, "Hey, you know what's really great is

02:27:56   we've got people paying us $35 a year to get a magazine. That's really good because we'd

02:28:00   be out of business without that." And I'm reminded of that, that right now my living

02:28:05   is almost 100% directly or indirectly funded by advertising. And do I want to have, let

02:28:11   people, can I provide them something that they would want to support and also get something

02:28:16   from it. But that's the danger is that if you follow that through, it might work for

02:28:22   me. It certainly works for Ben Thompson right now. But in the end, if most of the people

02:28:28   get cleared out of the market, I'm not sure if that'll work or not. Then again, back in

02:28:32   20 years ago, there were people who subscribed to 15 magazines a month, right? And those

02:28:37   were all probably $50 or $40 or $20 a year, maybe not $100 a year, but my dad used to

02:28:44   get the Kiplinger letter, and that was like $100 a year or more, and that was like a little

02:28:49   newsletter like typewritten. Even when they started doing it on computers, they made it

02:28:54   look like it was typewritten. And it was like an investing in business newsletter. And that's

02:28:59   sort of what Ben's doing. And it makes sense. But I don't know. The math may not work. You

02:29:04   may end up—it may turn out that the web has created a glut of information and people that,

02:29:12   the end just can't be supported. Unfortunately, I fear sometimes that what we do is going

02:29:19   to be like being a steelworker.

02:29:21   Tim Cynova Yeah, I wonder. I don't know. The other thing

02:29:25   I wrote about with the iMore thing was that to me it was a good example of a slippery

02:29:30   slope by which I mean that once with me at Daring Fireball and again, I'm not saying

02:29:38   it applies to other sites or larger sites, but it worked for me, was that I never once

02:29:42   put anything on Daring Fireball that I wasn't comfortable with, except for the time that

02:29:46   I tried running Google AdSense, like when Google AdSense first came out. And I've talked

02:29:52   about this, you know, talks and stuff like that before, but long story short, the ads

02:29:56   weren't that good and they weren't paying much. And I got some control over the color

02:30:00   of them, but it wasn't enough. And they were just text, you know. But, and it was, and

02:30:07   It was at a time when during Fireball I was making zero dollars.

02:30:10   I really wanted it to make something greater than zero dollars so I could spend more time

02:30:15   on it.

02:30:16   Ideally, and again, for years it was just an idle dream that I could maybe just do it

02:30:21   full time.

02:30:23   I really wanted that to work, but I was so uncomfortable with the fact that some of those

02:30:28   Google AdSense ads that I was getting, and I had no control over them.

02:30:32   Some of them were relevant.

02:30:33   Most of them weren't.

02:30:35   I took them down after like a month or two.

02:30:38   But I never put anything-- and God bless Google.

02:30:42   One thing Google has always known

02:30:43   is that the web should be fast.

02:30:44   And the AdSense ads never once seemed

02:30:47   to slow down during Fireball.

02:30:48   If they had, I would have taken them down day one.

02:30:52   But I had the ability, because there was nobody

02:30:54   I had to answer to, I could say, I'm

02:30:57   never going to add anything that slows during Fireball down.

02:30:59   And I'm never going to add something that I'm not proud of

02:31:03   and I'm not gonna add something to Daring Fireball

02:31:06   that has 100 HTTP requests, et cetera, et cetera.

02:31:10   So I never broke the line on that,

02:31:11   and now I'm fortunate enough that I found other ways

02:31:15   to make money, and I have a terrific business right now.

02:31:19   But in the interim, I absolutely left money on the table.

02:31:23   There were years in the 2007, 2008, 2009 era

02:31:27   where I had, and I listened to some of the pitches

02:31:30   from ad networks, you know, they were, you know,

02:31:35   at least, and who knows if they would have,

02:31:37   but the numbers they were telling me

02:31:38   that they could give me per month

02:31:40   were way more than what I was making.

02:31:42   I mean, you know, by, you know,

02:31:44   maybe not by a factor of 10,

02:31:45   but by a factor of a very nice integer.

02:31:47   It was way more money than I was making per month

02:31:51   from Daring Fireball at a time

02:31:53   when it really would have been meaningful

02:31:55   to me and my family, but I turned it all down

02:31:57   because I absolutely wasn't comfortable

02:31:59   with the at.

02:32:01   Now how many people at a site where you're not just,

02:32:05   one person who, I'm not gonna call myself an artist,

02:32:08   but maybe it comes at it with an artistic integrity angle.

02:32:12   But if you're at a site where there's a corporate structure

02:32:16   above you and you're supposed to justify stuff

02:32:19   with profit and loss and stuff like that,

02:32:22   how many people are gonna go,

02:32:23   how many publications could go years turning down stuff

02:32:26   and building something different instead.

02:32:30   - Oh, I can't tell you how many times,

02:32:31   I mean, the slippery slope is true.

02:32:32   I can't tell you how many times.

02:32:33   You wrote a bunch of things about like tint,

02:32:37   that thing that--

02:32:38   - Yeah, what it still does, where it adds,

02:32:41   you copy the name Jason Snell

02:32:44   to get the spelling of your name right.

02:32:46   Not that your name is hard to spell.

02:32:47   - But it adds all this crap on your clipboard.

02:32:49   And there were those ads that, what were they called?

02:32:53   That were, you still see them,

02:32:56   where they take phrases in stories, in editorial content,

02:33:00   and hyperlink them to advertising, and usually badly.

02:33:04   That's where you say, and it was like this

02:33:06   in the early days of Google too,

02:33:07   you'd say something like, "You know the drill,

02:33:09   "and all the ads are for power drills."

02:33:11   - Right. - You're like,

02:33:12   "That's totally wrong."

02:33:13   - Right, and yes, if you're a close reader,

02:33:16   you could see that those links were styled differently.

02:33:18   Maybe they were underlined in green instead of in blue.

02:33:20   - Exactly.

02:33:21   - But you have to be a close reader.

02:33:23   I mean, it's like, every time I'd see them,

02:33:24   I think there is no way my mom would know the difference

02:33:26   between this link and the link

02:33:28   that the writer of the article put in,

02:33:30   which they really wanted the reader to know,

02:33:32   "Hey, if you wanna know more about this, click this link."

02:33:36   - We would have, I can't tell you how many times,

02:33:38   and this is one of the things that kind of wore on me

02:33:40   in my job is, I can tell you how many times I had a meeting

02:33:42   with a new salesperson or a new executive who would say,

02:33:46   "Hey, have you heard about these great new things

02:33:49   that do this?"

02:33:50   And it would be the same old thing.

02:33:51   It would be stuff like that,

02:33:52   these contextual ads and hyperlinks.

02:33:54   And it would end up being yet another argument

02:33:57   where I would have to say that's editorial content

02:33:59   and we choose what we link to

02:34:01   and by overwriting links with other links to other places,

02:34:04   you're breaking, you're laying advertising

02:34:07   on top of editorial and it's not appropriate

02:34:10   and it's a bad user experience and et cetera, et cetera.

02:34:12   I generally won those arguments at Macworld,

02:34:15   which I kind of can't believe I even did,

02:34:17   but I generally won those.

02:34:19   I think we never implemented those.

02:34:21   But the argument was always the same,

02:34:24   which is, well, it's incremental revenue.

02:34:26   And the best I could do was say, look,

02:34:29   all the editors will tell you this is wrong.

02:34:30   It will be terrible for the users

02:34:32   and all they're promising you is an extra $40,000.

02:34:35   Is it worth it to you?

02:34:36   But a lot of organizations,

02:34:38   and IDG said yes on all sorts of other things.

02:34:40   They just didn't on that one particular one,

02:34:42   for whatever reason, they'll just say yes,

02:34:44   because they're like,

02:34:45   they're desperately trying to keep ahead of the,

02:34:49   they're trying to keep afloat.

02:34:50   And so it's like, well, this is another $20,000

02:34:52   and this is another $40,000. At one point when I was put in charge of MacWorld's website,

02:34:57   the homepage was almost entirely non-editorial. Like, literally, I think more than half the

02:35:02   homepage was non-editorial, and it's because every time somebody came to them, whoever

02:35:06   was in charge at that time, the president of the company, I think, basically, and said,

02:35:09   "We've got to deal with you. What if you link to this thing and we'll give you a cut?" They

02:35:13   just said yes. And it's hard to say no. It is hard to say no, and it's hard to keep a

02:35:18   vision. And if you're somebody who is dealing with the bottom line, you're not running a

02:35:22   a charity. You do want to make a living and you want to bring in more money so that your

02:35:27   company can stay in business. At the same time, somebody who is thinking of the big

02:35:32   picture realizes that you are breaking your product by adding this to it and that eventually

02:35:38   what you're left with is nothing and you're not going to get revenue for it because your

02:35:42   product is so terrible that nobody wants to see it anymore.

02:35:45   Right. And one little incremental thing at a time, all of a sudden you've set yourself

02:35:49   in opposition to your readers.

02:35:51   Yeah, and like Macworld, I can't tell you how, I mean, one of the reasons morale was

02:35:55   so low was that our readers, first off, the people who made these decisions never heard

02:35:59   from the readers. We had to hear from the readers. We had to be the ones who bore the

02:36:03   brunt of it and tried to explain why this was going on. The people who actually made

02:36:06   these decisions never had to hear from them. In fact, the reason I got the autoplay video

02:36:10   turned off for that brief time that I got it turned off is that I passed my boss a 60-page

02:36:15   Google Doc of complaints from readers about autoplay video. We just compiled it. I just

02:36:21   had the editors, I said, "Anytime you get an email from somebody or a tweet or whatever,

02:36:25   put it in here." And I handed it to him and I said, "These are complaints from readers

02:36:29   about autoplay." And finally, what broke him down, he was like, "What do you want me to

02:36:33   do?" And I said, "I want you to shut it off." And he was like, "All right." And then, like

02:36:36   I said, two months later, he was replaced with a guy who immediately turned it back

02:36:39   on. But that, you know, if you're one of those editors, that was, you could tell that

02:36:45   this was bad, but the people who were making these decisions never had to hear from people.

02:36:49   never really were thinking about that. Oftentimes you'd have like an editorial

02:36:53   group and you'd have like the website building group and then you'd have like

02:36:56   a money group, the sales and deals group. And what would end up happening is

02:37:01   there's no--what should happen is that group in the middle, the

02:37:06   website product group, should actually be concerned about the product. They should

02:37:09   they should be the one that everybody else has to convince that this is a good

02:37:13   idea. But in so many editorial organizations, some on the web and

02:37:17   especially the ones that came from print, but not just them.

02:37:20   Um, that group ended up being seen as like a technical services group rather

02:37:25   than like the keepers of the product.

02:37:27   And as a result, the other two groups would just, the edit and sales would

02:37:31   just run rough shot over them.

02:37:32   And that is where the slippery slope comes from a lot of the time is that the,

02:37:36   either there's nobody in charge of the product or the people in charge of the

02:37:39   product can't say no, and they can't, they can't even say stop and think.

02:37:44   And so, you know, a sales guy makes a deal that he's gonna get a commission on that is gonna junk up the site.

02:37:50   He doesn't care. He's gonna make money. And somebody else's problem about it junking up the site.

02:37:55   And he'll never hear from a reader that it was junking up the site. He just doesn't care.

02:38:00   And that's why the slippery slope happens.

02:38:02   Yep. That's a great, great story. Well, an interesting story. It's a very sad, bad story.

02:38:10   The last factor in all of this is this and it we've been going on a long time, but I've been off for a while but it

02:38:16   But it to wrap this up is the mobile versus desktop web disparity and Mary Meeker's slide

02:38:23   Let me let me make a note to see if I can link to that

02:38:26   But her slide on the amount of time people spend on various medias TV print stuff like that versus the amount

02:38:33   Percentage of the percentage of their time they spend on them versus the percentage of advertising that is devoted to them

02:38:39   It is shown ever since she's been doing it that new stuff is underrepresented by ads early and then eventually it catch it

02:38:47   Inevitably catches up

02:38:49   It's almost like money ball where eventually the advertisers realize that we can we can underpay for what it's worth on

02:38:55   This new thing and get more bang for our buck than the existing ones and the graph shows that the amount of time people spend

02:39:03   On TV corresponds closely to the amount of money spent on TV advertising the amount of time people spend with print

02:39:09   Corresponds pretty closely to how much time they spend on it and in the early days of the web

02:39:12   Like you said it was not even five years ago. Not even the early is like five years ago

02:39:17   That wasn't true and it has been her slide this year. It's caught up. Yeah. Oh TV TV is totally screwed, by the way

02:39:23   That's the other part of that is like everybody's realized that TV is not worth it

02:39:28   And so TV advertising is gonna go in the hole as a part except for except for the and again

02:39:34   I think it's probably gonna be one of those upside-down smiles where like the big-name sports lot still gonna lie the end, right?

02:39:41   Any life? Yeah

02:39:42   NFL is gonna be fine. The Oscars are gonna be fine

02:39:45   You know episodes of 30-minute sitcoms are gonna be in big trouble, yeah

02:39:54   But the big thing that she showed though is that there's a big disparity with mobile and desktop and mobile is

02:40:01   Consuming like I think about as much time as the desktop web

02:40:05   But it's way underrepresented

02:40:08   She said I think her number was something like 35 or 40 billion dollars a hole between how much money should be being spent

02:40:15   If you say that, you know all time should be represented by advertising equally

02:40:19   And like you said even just five years ago. The desktop web was there

02:40:23   Yeah

02:40:24   I think video too goes into that where people are watching video and the percentage of video advertising is nothing compared to the

02:40:30   Where the people are is not where the advertising is in mobile and video

02:40:34   Yeah, absolutely not and that's really gonna come with kids because I mean it's it we both we both have it's Jonah still 10

02:40:42   He's a lot. He just turned 11. Yeah, he's a little bit older than Julian

02:40:45   And so we have 10 11 year old kids and then my daughter's 13

02:40:48   And you know, they they don't watch TV. They watch they watch online videos

02:40:53   They watch YouTube mostly and it's mostly minecraft videos. Although not entirely but you know YouTube and Netflix and he's yes, he's a

02:40:59   is it's fascinating to watch him he's he loves if he finds a new show he likes and I don't

02:41:04   even know how he finds them. He will deep dive and watch the entire

02:41:08   it's word of mouth. My son's done that my daughter and her friends will do that too

02:41:11   where they'll just find something and they'll be talking about binge watching they just

02:41:15   go nuts with it. So you know, the next generation is bringing this on too. And so they you know,

02:41:20   the money is going to try to find a way to reach them.

02:41:23   Yeah, definitely. It'll catch up eventually. There's no doubt about it because somebody's

02:41:29   going to be smart. The problem is that mobile right now, you know, it's hard to advertise

02:41:33   on mobile, right? The screens are small. The mobile advertising we've seen has been lousy.

02:41:38   That's exactly where I want to go with this though and why the content blockers coming

02:41:42   to iOS is so big. Is that for as obnoxious as advertising is on desktop web and how it,

02:41:49   you know, and let's face it, the line between desktop and mobile is sort of arbitrary because

02:41:54   Because most people are using laptops as their "desktop" now, and we have a lot of the same

02:42:00   issues where maybe your internet connection is not a great Wi-Fi connection.

02:42:06   Maybe you're in a hotel and you've got a Wi-Fi connection that's slower than your phone connection.

02:42:13   Or maybe you're on the train between New York and Philly and you're tethered to a cellular

02:42:23   device and you go through sections of New Jersey where cellular coverage is crap. I

02:42:28   mean, you go in the city, you know, you go places, there's, you know, buildings block

02:42:34   the Verizon cell tower, and for two blocks, you've got crap connection. Everybody knows

02:42:39   this is true. Well, those are the cases where waiting for stuff and having ads that, you

02:42:45   know, run a script for a minute, whether it's feels slow or not, if it just runs for a minute,

02:42:53   but it's stressing the antenna on your phone,

02:42:55   this is how your battery can go down so quickly,

02:42:58   depending on your cell coverage.

02:43:01   That just doesn't fly on mobile.

02:43:03   And the idea of having ads that block the content

02:43:07   when you've got, you know, you've already got

02:43:09   so little space on the device already,

02:43:11   and to have a permanent piece of Chrome covering part of it,

02:43:14   and that isn't even site navigation, it's an ad,

02:43:17   drives you crazy.

02:43:18   And of course people are gonna block it.

02:43:20   It's way, it's all of it is way worse.

02:43:22   Everything that's bad about desktop advertising

02:43:24   is way worse on mobile advertising.

02:43:26   - Oh yeah, it's back and forth.

02:43:27   - And everything that you can do

02:43:28   that's a good way of doing advertising on desktop

02:43:31   works even better on mobile.

02:43:32   Like that's why I think that mobile in the long run

02:43:34   should be even more valuable

02:43:36   because a sort of, you know,

02:43:39   Daring Fireball, Six Colors, Loop Insight,

02:43:43   hey, thanks to my sponsor type thing

02:43:45   takes up more of the screen at a time.

02:43:48   And I think you have a user on mobile

02:43:50   who's more focused on what they're doing.

02:43:53   It should be at least as valuable, if not more so,

02:43:56   in the long run.

02:43:57   - If anything makes me optimistic,

02:43:59   we talked about the great reaping,

02:44:00   if anything makes me optimistic,

02:44:02   it's that the fact is that Mary Meeker chart,

02:44:06   that number of eyes on a mobile web or on a video,

02:44:11   you know, I don't love advertising.

02:44:14   A lot of people really hate it.

02:44:15   A lot of people are just allergic to it.

02:44:17   But when I talked about the money earlier,

02:44:20   I mean, the money wants to reach them.

02:44:22   Like Coca-Cola and the big advertisers of the world,

02:44:25   the movie studios who want to get people out

02:44:29   on Thursday nights and Friday nights,

02:44:31   they want to reach people.

02:44:33   And they're gonna have money to spend.

02:44:35   The way that the economy works, that bar,

02:44:39   that bar graph of like huge bar chart

02:44:42   for the bar of people who are using it,

02:44:45   and teeny tiny one for how much money's being spent,

02:44:49   It's like osmosis, it's going to grow.

02:44:52   That money is going to follow the people.

02:44:55   So if I'm optimistic, what I think is,

02:44:57   somebody's gonna figure this out somehow,

02:45:00   because there's money ready to be spent,

02:45:04   as long as there are people who,

02:45:05   somebody can figure out how to get people to receive it.

02:45:08   And I don't know what that is.

02:45:09   Maybe it is native.

02:45:11   I used to fight so hard against native advertising

02:45:13   on Macworld where they would try to like fake,

02:45:16   I mean, they would try to fake stories.

02:45:18   They try to make things look like they were stories,

02:45:20   but they weren't.

02:45:21   But you know, what Daring Fireball does

02:45:22   and what Six Colors does, I mean, that's native advertising.

02:45:25   I do a post a week from a sponsor.

02:45:27   And it says this is a sponsor, but I give them space.

02:45:30   They give me money and I give them space.

02:45:32   They give you money, you give them space.

02:45:34   And you thank them and I thank them.

02:45:35   And it's nice.

02:45:36   Maybe that's the way forward.

02:45:38   Maybe, I mean, I don't think Coca-Cola wants to set up,

02:45:41   or Verizon, Verizon tried this,

02:45:43   like set up their own website,

02:45:44   set up their own app with content in it,

02:45:47   and then have their ads be insidiously placed in it,

02:45:51   I think that's less likely to work.

02:45:52   And that's the great thing

02:45:54   that an independent media company can do,

02:45:56   is say, we're gonna make good content

02:45:58   and build an audience

02:45:59   and have a place for you to give us your money

02:46:01   so that you can get your stuff in front of them too.

02:46:04   That's why the media has worked,

02:46:05   mass media has worked so successfully for so long.

02:46:08   And everything may need to be broken before we get there,

02:46:12   but the recipe hasn't changed.

02:46:15   There are still marketers who have a lot of money,

02:46:17   who really wanna market their product

02:46:19   to the people who are spending time using media.

02:46:22   And there are huge numbers of people,

02:46:24   including our kids, using media.

02:46:26   And there's gonna be somebody in the middle

02:46:28   who puts those two things together.

02:46:30   - And eventually the water will reach its own level.

02:46:32   - Yeah, yeah, it's that osmosis thing.

02:46:34   Eventually those numbers will align.

02:46:36   They have to.

02:46:38   - In the fat days of print magazines,

02:46:41   and there's still some print magazines that are doing well,

02:46:43   But in the days when they were at their peak,

02:46:45   there was still a maximum number of ads

02:46:47   you could squeeze into an issue.

02:46:48   - Right. - Right?

02:46:50   There wasn't an infinite number.

02:46:51   There's only so many ads you can put

02:46:54   in an issue of the newspaper.

02:46:56   And there's only so much editorial

02:46:59   you can force aside on each page.

02:47:02   TV is a great example, where in theory,

02:47:05   they could sell as many minutes as they want as ads.

02:47:08   But when, especially if you talk about

02:47:10   the pre PVR era where you couldn't skip ads

02:47:15   and you had to be watching live.

02:47:20   It equalized pretty quickly somewhere,

02:47:24   what was it like 22 or 23 minutes an hour of content

02:47:27   and six or seven minutes of ads?

02:47:28   - Yeah, although that happened like,

02:47:31   the original Star Trek,

02:47:32   most of the episodes run about 51 minutes

02:47:34   and a modern TV drama is about 42 minutes.

02:47:37   So time-- - So you can see that's,

02:47:38   - So that gives you a timeline of where--

02:47:42   - In the last 45 years, they've added another 10 minutes

02:47:44   per hour of commercial load.

02:47:46   - So somewhere between the mid-60s and 1980, '81,

02:47:49   they went from, so what would that have been?

02:47:52   50, 51 minutes of content an hour to 42.

02:47:56   And I don't think you could push it any further.

02:48:01   - No, you're limited by time.

02:48:04   I mean, technically you could have 60 minutes

02:48:06   of advertising in an hour.

02:48:07   - Right, and nobody would watch it.

02:48:09   - But, so instead what they do is they say,

02:48:11   okay, well we're gonna have straightforward commercials

02:48:12   for 20 minutes.

02:48:14   We're gonna have content for 40 minutes,

02:48:15   but in the, like American Idol, right,

02:48:16   but in the content, we're gonna have,

02:48:18   or a baseball game, right, sponsored segment.

02:48:20   Like, I don't know about the Yankees, but the Giants,

02:48:23   like, they'll have a good defensive play,

02:48:25   and they'll say, well that's your forward right choice.

02:48:27   Right, I mean everything has got,

02:48:29   and it has nothing to do with it really,

02:48:30   but it's like, there are like 10 pieces of flair

02:48:33   that they have to give out during a game,

02:48:35   and then the broadcast booth is sponsored

02:48:37   and that's how you increase the load beyond.

02:48:39   And that's, I guess we call that native advertising

02:48:41   on what we're doing, which is,

02:48:43   and to a point I think it's not bad.

02:48:46   The classic era, in the classic era,

02:48:49   and you can think back to old computer magazines and stuff,

02:48:52   the ads were good, like people liked the ads.

02:48:54   They didn't roll their eyes at the ads.

02:48:55   They were good, they were information.

02:48:56   And it's funny, in podcasts I feel like

02:48:59   when you do a good podcast ad, it's the same thing.

02:49:03   It's like, it can be entertaining,

02:49:05   It can be informational.

02:49:07   And the web kind of got it wrong.

02:49:09   And I think that's one of the reasons

02:49:11   we're in this kind of hole

02:49:12   and then maybe there needs to be a crack up

02:49:14   before we find whatever that new solution is

02:49:16   where people actually like don't mind the ads

02:49:19   and maybe like them.

02:49:20   - Started with user hostile ads and went down from there.

02:49:23   - Yeah, punch the monkey.

02:49:24   - Yeah, punch the monkey.

02:49:25   - That was the original sin of the web was punch the monkey.

02:49:29   And since then it's all been downhill.

02:49:33   It was so bad when if you were a web developer enough

02:49:37   to know that it was just an animated gif.

02:49:40   - Oh my God.

02:49:40   (laughing)

02:49:42   - Jason Snell, thank you so much for your time

02:49:45   and your insight.

02:49:46   I think this has been absolutely great.

02:49:48   People, we've already mentioned it several times,

02:49:51   but your new site is sixcolors.

02:49:54   God, I hope it's .com.

02:49:56   - It is .com.

02:49:57   I paid the money, man.

02:49:58   I wanted a domain you could spell.

02:50:01   No, I ended in calm. I forgot I I knew there was another thing

02:50:05   I know but I know that you can spell colors with every way you're you can spell it colors with a you and I even

02:50:10   Went to Serbia and got six color dot RS whichever way that you are comfortable spelling colors. It will work for you

02:50:17   Your podcasts

02:50:21   Which is a big part of it a big part of your independence. I'm guessing right? Yeah. Oh, yeah

02:50:26   Let's just listen. There's the incomparable incomparable the incomparable calm. Yeah

02:50:31   And that's a great show weekly still you call it just a weekly pop culture show

02:50:37   I mean, it's really more like a network. Well, and yeah, it is there's the main show and then there's a whole bunch of other shows

02:50:42   on the network

02:50:44   Alright, I'm just cheating and I'm reading from your website, but then there's upgrade which is essentially the official six colors podcast

02:50:51   It's like a little inspired by you. Yeah, that's I didn't make a six colors podcast upgrade is basically my weekly tech thing

02:50:57   like the talk show is for you. Yeah, but you got Mike Hurley as your co-host.

02:51:04   Who doesn't like an English guy? You have to throw a little English in there. It's good.

02:51:07   And then Clockwise, which is our, me and Dan Morin and two guests every week, and it's a half an hour,

02:51:14   like us, which is like, I like to provide an alternative because I hear from people who are

02:51:18   like, "Oh, podcasts are too long." It's like, well, although sometimes we get complaints,

02:51:21   people are like, "It's too short. You should make it longer." It's like, no,

02:51:24   if you'd like a longer podcast by every other podcast just take a look at the leaderboard in

02:51:30   in overcast yeah uh uh tv talk machine with your pal tim goodman from the hollywood reporter that's

02:51:39   uh that's uh i i know him and he's really great on podcasts and i he was not going to do a podcast

02:51:45   unless somebody like posted it for him and i was like i could do that so yeah you post cod you

02:51:50   You post podcasts in your sleep.

02:51:52   And Robot or Not, the most important podcast alive today where John Siracusa and I debate

02:51:57   whether things are robots or not for about three minutes per episode. Because why? I

02:52:03   don't know. It's pointless. It's fun.

02:52:05   That's because you guys are just, you guys have your mic like in front of the computer

02:52:08   all the time. You guys can pop these things out like, you know.

02:52:11   Yeah. Oh yeah. You just, just a little, little, a little backstage material for the talk show

02:52:18   listeners is John and I, you know, we talk for a while about lots of robots and then

02:52:22   that becomes lots of episodes. We don't talk once a week about a robot for five minutes.

02:52:28   That would be inefficient.

02:52:29   That's pretty smart. All right. Thank you so much, Jason.

02:52:33   Thank you. It's a pleasure.

02:52:34   Let me thank our sponsors for the week. We got, let me see if I can do it out of memory.

02:52:37   We had Harry's.

02:52:38   We did.

02:52:39   You get your shaving stuff. You got your hover. You get your domain name. You got your fracture.

02:52:44   You can print a picture of your freshly shaven face with Harry's and then you can put on

02:52:50   a domain name you host with Hover.

02:52:52   Right, and back it up to Backblaze.

02:52:53   And then you back it up to Backblaze.

02:52:55   So there's our sponsors, so my thanks to all of them and hopefully it won't be three weeks

02:53:00   before my next episode.

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