The Talk Show

105: ‘George Lucas Called’ With Guest Jason Snell


00:00:00   Hello from beautiful Southern California.

00:00:02   Hello from very cold, dark Philadelphia.

00:00:08   Oh, I expect nothing less from Philly.

00:00:11   No, you're still in Southern California?

00:00:12   Yeah, well, so I was in Arizona. So we came through LA, we go out to my mom's place in

00:00:17   Arizona, and then we come back through because it's such a long drive. You can't really drive

00:00:20   direct from San Francisco to Phoenix because the mountains are in the way. So it's about halfway

00:00:25   to my in-laws so we spent a day here coming down and a couple days going back.

00:00:29   So it's a twofer.

00:00:31   All the grandparents are visible and that's a pretty good trip.

00:00:34   Love driving though.

00:00:35   I'll come back to that because there's something you wrote about recently I want to touch upon

00:00:39   with the road trip.

00:00:41   But big picture, last time you were on this show.

00:00:44   Oh yeah.

00:00:46   You were still the editorial director for Macworld.

00:00:50   For like 48 hours, yeah.

00:00:52   Yeah, it was the night before the Apple event.

00:00:54   It was like September 8th, I think.

00:00:56   - Yes. - Was that it,

00:00:58   or was it the seventh?

00:01:00   - We might have recorded the seventh and published the eighth.

00:01:02   - Yeah, I think that's right.

00:01:03   I think I remember sending a note to Dave Whiskus

00:01:04   saying like, "Is that gonna go up before the Apple event?

00:01:08   "'Cause nobody's gonna wanna listen to it afterward."

00:01:10   But yeah, we were right on the cusp of the Apple event,

00:01:13   and then the Macworld layoffs

00:01:15   and everything happened the next day.

00:01:17   (laughing)

00:01:18   Yeah, that was pretty funny.

00:01:21   'Cause I was like, "I could talk to John about all that."

00:01:24   And I was like, no, I can't talk to John about it,

00:01:25   'cause it's public.

00:01:27   - So what big new things are gonna happen this week?

00:01:30   (laughing)

00:01:31   - I'm frightened.

00:01:32   Well, there's gonna be a new year,

00:01:34   because the Earth goes around the sun,

00:01:36   and nothing we can do can stop that.

00:01:38   So it's gonna be 2015, so there's something.

00:01:41   And beyond that, let's hope nothing,

00:01:44   I could use a little less,

00:01:48   fewer interesting events post-talk show.

00:01:50   - So it fascinates me, though.

00:01:53   It really does because, you know, in the grand scheme of things,

00:01:57   September is not that long ago.

00:01:58   It's, you know, three months.

00:02:01   Yep.

00:02:01   Yet somehow your new role doing your thing at Six Colors and, you know,

00:02:12   it all seems settled already.

00:02:15   You know, settled is not quite right, but it feels normal to me

00:02:18   now that you're writing at Six Colors and, you know, Macworld as we knew it

00:02:22   doesn't exist anymore. I appreciate that. It's, I mean, one of the big things, and

00:02:29   I've said this on other podcasts too, it's not like I wasn't planning on

00:02:31   leaving. I wasn't entirely sure, I mean, and I've said on other podcasts too, and

00:02:36   I'll say it to you directly, I mean, you are obviously a huge inspiration, and Jim

00:02:39   Dalrymple and Federico Vittucci, and other people I know who have gone out on

00:02:43   their own, John Moltz, and done their own websites, and you know, and some podcasts

00:02:47   and some freelance and all of that, and I had been thinking about that for a while,

00:02:50   And in fact, a year ago I started basically putting together a home office in my garage

00:02:56   because we had no workspace in the house.

00:03:00   It's a pretty small house.

00:03:02   And the garage was, we bought a minivan a few years ago and you can't park the minivan

00:03:06   in the garage, it's too big.

00:03:08   And so the garage became, when we were redoing our kitchen, it was a place where all the

00:03:11   junk in the house went while we were redoing it and then that all came back in and sort

00:03:15   of like, what do we do in the garage?

00:03:16   And I was increasingly unhappy with my job and I kept thinking, you know, the garage

00:03:20   needs to be a home office.

00:03:21   And I started building it.

00:03:22   And the entire intent was not to have really nice work at home days.

00:03:25   The intent was that that would be my office eventually because I would leave Macworld

00:03:28   and I would want to at least try to do my own thing rather than go, you know, we had

00:03:34   always joked, one of the past presidents of Macworld and I had joked that like, oh, Jason

00:03:39   will be the last one to turn the lights off at Macworld.

00:03:40   At the end, Macworld will be just Jason in his garage doing Macworld.

00:03:45   And I had that moment when I was watching you and Federico and Jim and people like that,

00:03:50   that I thought to myself, well, one, people can do that on their own.

00:03:55   I don't need to do that here, and if I'm going to do that, I want to own it.

00:03:58   I want to be the person who does that, not just kind of doing all my work toward the

00:04:05   mysterious overlords who own a company who owns a company that owns a company that owns

00:04:09   Macworld.

00:04:10   And so I was planning it.

00:04:11   So in a way I've been thinking about it for a long time, for more than a year.

00:04:16   And then there was the -- so we saw each other at XOXO right afterward, too.

00:04:22   So I got to see you a couple of times right around that crazy time, and I saw you at the

00:04:26   Apple event.

00:04:27   So I saw you three times in like a week.

00:04:31   And what was really funny about that time is that because of the timing, because we

00:04:35   got the iPhone review units and the iPhone reviews were all going to drop the following

00:04:39   week, and I had this moment where a normal person would have said, "I just left my

00:04:44   job of 17 years.

00:04:45   I'm going to take a few weeks to recalibrate and decide what I'm going to do next."

00:04:49   For me, it was one, I'd already been thinking about what I wanted to do next, and two, I

00:04:54   had that iPhone.

00:04:55   I was like, "Everybody knows the biggest time of year for writing about Apple stuff

00:04:59   is when the new iPhones and iOS and Mac OS come out, and that's now."

00:05:04   I thought, "You know what?

00:05:05   I've got to launch the site next week."

00:05:07   like literally less than a week after I left Macworld,

00:05:10   Six Colors launched, not because I'm a total crazy person,

00:05:13   but because I felt like I couldn't not be out there

00:05:17   at that moment.

00:05:19   So I think it's those two things.

00:05:20   It's that I managed to hit that site

00:05:22   when we were at the high season for Apple stuff.

00:05:24   And because I've been thinking about it for so long

00:05:27   that I was ready to make it happen.

00:05:29   And it does feel, and it feels great too.

00:05:33   So it feels right to be doing it.

00:05:35   So I think all of those things maybe feed

00:05:36   into why it feels like a natural thing and not some like crazy thing that just happened

00:05:41   a couple months ago even though that's sort of what happened.

00:05:44   How long were you at IDG?

00:05:46   Well, I was at Macworld 17 years.

00:05:50   I've been doing this a little more than 20, coming up 21 years of sort of full-time Apple

00:05:57   stuff.

00:05:58   But that counts as a Mac user.

00:06:00   So I was a Mac user until '97, '94 to '97.

00:06:03   And then what happened is that, which is just a hilarious moment in Apple history, right?

00:06:09   '97, Jobs is coming back, but Apple is dying.

00:06:13   And everybody's thinking, "Oh, Apple's going to go out."

00:06:15   At Mac World Expo, they actually have the cache infusion from Microsoft to keep the

00:06:19   lights on.

00:06:20   And meanwhile, they're working on the iMac.

00:06:23   And at that moment, that summer, right before the Bill Gates thing at Mac World Expo in

00:06:26   Boston, the executives at IDG and Ziff Davis said, "We need to cut our losses because

00:06:31   Apple is going to die.

00:06:33   we've got these two magazines and these two big staffs, so why don't we just share the

00:06:36   risk, put the two organizations together, lay off half of each staff and just sort of

00:06:43   stick them all together and make one magazine.

00:06:45   And we'll do that because Apple's a loser.

00:06:48   We need to get out of this business.

00:06:49   It was the single worst time, just terrible timing because a couple months later even

00:06:55   it was clear that Apple was going to be probably okay and then very rapidly after that much

00:07:00   better than okay.

00:07:02   And so as a result, I went over to Macworld and it was this weird 50/50 joint venture

00:07:06   where these two arch enemy companies co-owned our company and were at each other's throats

00:07:12   except for us.

00:07:13   And that was really bizarre.

00:07:15   And then after a couple of years, Ziff Davis was going through, they were getting bought

00:07:18   and re-bought and different investors and had all sorts of financial problems because

00:07:23   the guy who started that company retired.

00:07:25   His sons didn't want to take over the family business so they sold it off.

00:07:30   It was a financial mess.

00:07:31   Was that Ziff or was that Davis?

00:07:33   It was Bill Ziff and the Ziff brothers, his kids, were like, "Screw this media crap.

00:07:40   We're going to be venture capitalists."

00:07:43   And so they just sold the business and they sold it to, I mean, it's kind of inside baseball,

00:07:47   but they sold it to, I think Teddy Forsman, who was like, at one point had been romantically

00:07:52   linked to Princess Diana.

00:07:53   I mean, like crazy stuff.

00:07:54   And then he sold it like a year later to Masayoshi Son of SoftBank in Japan, who bought it.

00:08:01   I think Teddy Forsman picked up a billion dollars by holding it for a year.

00:08:05   Pretty good deal.

00:08:06   Good job, Teddy.

00:08:08   And then SoftBank.

00:08:09   Talk about ancient history, though.

00:08:11   Just think about the basic story of picking up a billion dollars by holding a mostly print-focused

00:08:16   -- By, yeah, a magazine publisher.

00:08:17   Oh, yeah.

00:08:18   For a year.

00:08:19   Well, I mean, it was not worth what Maseyoshi-san paid for it.

00:08:22   I think I was a visionary, but he was also kind of crazy, and the money he was spending

00:08:25   was kind of crazy.

00:08:26   He's still around doing other stuff.

00:08:27   But anyway, so that was all so messed up that Ziff Davis was like, "We want money."

00:08:33   And IDG was very much like, "Oh, well, we messed this up and we want to be in the Apple

00:08:37   business."

00:08:38   Macworld was the first Apple, you know, Mac publication.

00:08:41   We want to keep that going.

00:08:42   And so they bought them out.

00:08:43   So the answer to the question is I was probably at IDG, you know, my start date as an employee

00:08:49   was 20 years, but my IDG employee start date was different and that was like the end of

00:08:54   '97 or the beginning of '98.

00:08:56   And then, you know, the buyout happened like around '99 or 2000.

00:09:00   So it's a weird situation where I ended up never having to fill out a resume and had

00:09:05   like worked for three different owners.

00:09:07   It's very strange.

00:09:08   Only in the media, I think, does crazy stuff like that happen.

00:09:11   Right.

00:09:12   And you mean you must have been really, really young when you started at Mac user.

00:09:15   It must have been right out of college, right?

00:09:17   Yeah.

00:09:18   I went to, when I finished college, I, all the, my friends who got jobs in media were

00:09:23   like working at weekly newspapers for like $11,000 a year, and I basically said, "No,

00:09:29   forget it.

00:09:30   I'm not going to do that."

00:09:31   And so I went to journalism school, and although I enjoyed my time at journalism school a lot,

00:09:35   the fact is my college newspaper was my journalism school, and I learned how to write news stories

00:09:39   and features and edit stories and all of that at the newspaper.

00:09:43   The things I learned at Berkeley journalism school were that I didn't want to do TV news

00:09:47   because I tried and I didn't like it.

00:09:51   And I made contacts.

00:09:53   I met people including one of the editors at Mac User who taught a class there and she

00:09:57   got me an internship.

00:09:58   So I was an intern in '93 when I was 22 and I had a job January '94.

00:10:05   So yeah, I was 23 when I started full-time.

00:10:08   So pretty young.

00:10:09   I think that the historical context that you have to remember is that the '96, '97 was

00:10:16   a terrible time for Apple.

00:10:17   It was the worst.

00:10:18   terrible to even worse probably even worse than Apple itself was the perception where

00:10:23   even they really were in trouble by any objective measure the company was was in serious serious

00:10:29   trouble both technically and financially but even given that I think that the general perception was

00:10:36   even worse that it was I mean to say doom and gloom it's it's it it's not you can't overstate

00:10:45   that the perception was truly--

00:10:48   - I remember that.

00:10:49   I remember that we would be like,

00:10:50   look guys, it's not quite that bad, right?

00:10:52   But it was very much, I think about this now,

00:10:54   when the Apple, 'cause the Apple is doomed,

00:10:56   has been a meme that's been around forever,

00:10:58   and it continues to this day.

00:11:00   And on one level, you know,

00:11:02   the people who make the arguments today,

00:11:03   the facts of what they're arguing tend,

00:11:05   are arguing tend to be stupid.

00:11:07   They're like, that's not really a fact,

00:11:09   or that you're not looking at the whole picture.

00:11:11   But in the back of my mind, I always have that moment of,

00:11:13   let's see what they're arguing here,

00:11:15   because I was present at a time when doom and gloom was happening and there was doom

00:11:19   and there was gloom and at the time it did seem like it was a little overstated but you

00:11:25   know the fact was that that I don't think it was overstated in that year in like 96

00:11:31   97 in the Gil Amelio and them searching for a new operating system and and Steve Jobs

00:11:38   coming in that seemed to be the point where they were burning money and not selling a

00:11:42   lot and the clones were eating their lunch in terms of hardware sales so even their big

00:11:48   install base was not really benefiting them and that was where they were, that was when

00:11:53   they were falling apart and that's the era that you get the kind of, you know, sell the

00:11:58   company and give the money back to the shareholders kind of quotes.

00:12:01   That was a moment where it was unclear whether the executives at that time were going to

00:12:07   listen to the advice of analysts and pundits and become a software company and try to be

00:12:14   Microsoft Windows and end up being like OS/2 and dying.

00:12:18   And Jobs, to his credit, one of the things he did when he came back, and it was extremely

00:12:22   unpopular, was kill the clones and say, "No, no, no, we need to control the hardware.

00:12:27   We're not going to just be an OS company, we're going to control the hardware."

00:12:30   And that decision actually factored into the publishing companies deciding to fold Mac

00:12:35   user into Mac world was all the ad revenue was coming from those clone makers too and

00:12:41   that just vanished.

00:12:42   Motorola and power computing.

00:12:45   Power computing, Motorola, Super Mac, which was I think Umax did it, they called them

00:12:50   Super Mac because they got that license from Apple for like scanners but it turned out

00:12:54   they could use it for anything so they called they could call them Super Mac.

00:12:57   What were the power computing ones called?

00:13:00   Tower, Power Wave. I had a Power Wave, which was the--which was a, you know, that was my

00:13:07   one non-Apple computer that I've ever bought, was the Power Computing Power Wave. Power

00:13:12   Tower Pro, they had a whole bunch of power-related things.

00:13:16   I never owned one, but I'd--we had a--I used a couple.

00:13:20   It was way--the Power Wave and the Power Tower Pro, they were way better than the PowerMax

00:13:26   of the era. I really--I really do believe--I mean, they were all beige. They were, like,

00:13:29   They were Apple Gray or you could get Power Computing beige, but they were all beige boxes.

00:13:33   But they were pretty cool.

00:13:36   Essentially Power Computing was like Dell.

00:13:37   I think it was all Dell executives in Austin.

00:13:41   And they were trying to use Dell build to order, you order it and then we make it and

00:13:45   then we ship it to you technologies to cut their margins and have no inventory.

00:13:51   And it was a pretty well-run company.

00:13:53   And I guess well-run enough that not only was it really the number one clone maker,

00:13:57   well run enough that they had enough leverage of some kind that Apple just

00:14:00   bought them out

00:14:00   rather than just letting them die. Or fight them legally.

00:14:05   Exactly, because there would have been lawsuits for sure. Because iOS 8

00:14:08   or not iOS 8, see, there we go. Mac OS 8

00:14:11   See, I would have called it, my mistake would have been to call it System 8.

00:14:14   System 8, sure. Mac OS 8 was

00:14:18   a major update and what Apple, what Jobs realized and his people when they came

00:14:22   back is that the clone licenses were for

00:14:24   System 7. So they basically said this is OS 8 and you don't get it and that was

00:14:28   how they killed the clones. It was pretty simple really nice and clean and then

00:14:32   they ended up paying some people off including buying the assets of power

00:14:35   computing. Right because the original plan for Mac OS 8 was a little bit more

00:14:39   ambitious than what it ended up being. It was more or less like a nicely cleaned

00:14:45   up version of System 7.6. Yeah. But with a theme to make it look new. Right.

00:14:50   Right never underestimate how much a new window chrome can make make it look like something new that it wasn't but here's the thing

00:14:57   The historical contest so Apple it was in severe trouble and it's no surprise that that's if Davis and IDG would would make a deal

00:15:05   Like that, but it is funny. Like you said like people don't remember this and I was on the outside. I wasn't writing

00:15:10   You know, I wasn't writing anything, you know for magazines at the time yet

00:15:16   But I was an you know, no surprise a very avid reader of both Mac user and Mac world

00:15:21   All through the 90s. So I was aware of this but that it was this weird strange bedfellows thing where

00:15:28   When they unified the two it was this joint venture between the two arch rival tech publishing companies

00:15:35   So with a staff comprised of the two of half of like literally we're gonna lay off half your colleagues

00:15:41   And then we're gonna stick you with your arch enemies go make a magazine. Good luck

00:15:45   It was it wasn't just the owners. It was like the staff. We were we were the Yankees and the Red Sox, okay, and

00:15:53   All of it because I have to have to use baseball metaphors when I'm on the talk show and suddenly they're like, okay

00:15:59   We're gonna release half the Yankees and half the Red Sox and then you're gonna have a new team

00:16:03   Good luck make the chemistry work and it was a disaster. It really was I I was always

00:16:08   And there were they were very different magazines. I think that you know from the outside view Mac world was

00:16:15   a little bit more staid and buttoned up and formal in tone and in coverage and

00:16:23   Mac user was a little bit more casual and more like personal computer like

00:16:31   user centric you know like I hope you're you're we're assuming that you're a

00:16:34   little bit more likely to be a home user or a student or an enthusiast and Mac

00:16:38   world was a little bit more for the perfect you know you're using a Mac at

00:16:42   work. Yeah and it was it had a more authoritative tone it was actually the I

00:16:45   think the tagline was the Macintosh authority at one point and and it was

00:16:50   the prestige I mean it had a bigger staff it had a bigger budget Mac user was

00:16:54   always a little more homespun a little more just as a reader and I was a reader

00:16:59   of both and and before I started at Mac user and it was a little more of the

00:17:04   rebels and the users and people who who don't go back that far an analog would

00:17:10   be something like MacAddict a little bit. MacAddict was even more so, I think, than

00:17:14   MacUser, a rebellious kind of thing, but that was definitely the voice difference between

00:17:21   MacUser and MacWorld. Which is funny, because when you think about it on another level,

00:17:25   they were like the two magazines in the US that were monthly that had roughly the same

00:17:28   budget. You know, MacWorld was bigger than MacUsers, but roughly the same, doing the

00:17:32   same thing. Their headquarters at the end there were like two blocks away from each

00:17:36   other. So these are, you couldn't find things that were more similar, and yet the output

00:17:40   was different and the staffs were different and the culture was different.

00:17:43   So it's kind of funny that even though we had all of these things in common, the products

00:17:46   were different and the people were different.

00:17:50   And I do think too, as an outside observer and someone who is very critical, I thought

00:17:54   both were excellent magazines.

00:17:56   I agree.

00:17:57   And especially compared to the other PC type magazines of the era.

00:18:04   We were in the same building as like PC computing and there was also PC Mag and PC World.

00:18:10   And I didn't read them a lot, but, you know, Mac, yeah, and MacWorld was full of, the old

00:18:16   MacWorld was full of people who really, they wanted to be in the magazine business.

00:18:20   And they had high aspirations, and you would see it.

00:18:22   And MacUser, it was a combination, you'd look at their issues when they'd come out, and

00:18:26   you'd be like, "Oh, wow, look what they did with that."

00:18:28   Because they did the same stories, a lot of them, that we did, right?

00:18:30   There's a new Apple product, how are we going to do it, how are they going to do it?

00:18:33   And you could just compare, which is like, that is some serious competition, like you

00:18:37   You put it to bed and you wait two weeks and then suddenly out of the mailbox comes the

00:18:41   competition of what did they do and did you beat them, did they beat you?

00:18:46   And you would look at some of their things and be like, "Wow, that is, they did a really

00:18:50   good job."

00:18:51   Other times you'd be like, "Ah, we did them one better."

00:18:54   But then at Macworld what they would really do is they would have these ambitions to do

00:18:59   like New York magazine industry kind of stories, bigger picture stories and big features and

00:19:04   and big ideas, and some of those were real successes

00:19:07   for them, and some of those were, I would say, failures

00:19:10   that were kind of the hubris of like, you know,

00:19:13   yeah, we're Macworld, but really,

00:19:14   we might as well be Vanity Fair.

00:19:16   And I think that was a part of their culture there,

00:19:19   where Macworld was that, and MacUser was more,

00:19:23   you know, Apple people who were there

00:19:26   because they loved writing about technology.

00:19:28   And this is, you know, not entirely true of both staffs,

00:19:31   but I would say predominantly, there were many more people

00:19:34   loved magazines and were writing at a technology magazine because that was the job at Macworld.

00:19:39   And there were more people who were there because they loved the technology and happened

00:19:43   to get a job writing about it at a magazine at MacUser.

00:19:46   We were more--and you saw it in the end--the people who stuck around covering Apple afterward

00:19:51   and writing about tech afterward were mostly people from MacUser and not from MacWorld.

00:19:55   Yeah, the people from MacWorld who I remember who've obviously gone on to, you know, continue

00:19:59   to do great work.

00:20:01   Pogue was a back page columnist and Steven Levy was

00:20:05   Both of which were not on staff. They were freelance columnists, but yeah, absolutely.

00:20:11   Did a lot of the back page columns

00:20:13   Which I, you know, was always what I aspired to be.

00:20:16   I got to edit Pogue for a while and that was great.

00:20:18   He wrote features for us and he wrote the back page and

00:20:21   he was a pleasure to work with and I still, you know, I still keep in touch with him.

00:20:24   It was a pleasure to work with Pogue.

00:20:26   My plan was always to figure out a way that I could get to that back page without having to do any of the grunt

00:20:32   Work of being a regular editorial staffer for years beforehand. Well me and I wished and mission accomplished

00:20:39   I I wound up figuring out just such a way

00:20:41   And I think I would say this and to that the person who to me best exemplified

00:20:48   The Mac user side of that split in that era was the fact that Andy in ATCO was on was a Mac user writer

00:20:55   at the time. And you know, talk about another guy who's, you know, never been,

00:21:01   you know, still at the top of his game now and still writing about the same

00:21:04   stuff, but the way that his writing is so infused with his personal style

00:21:10   was very very Mac User, you know, that we're just gonna let--we've got

00:21:15   this nut on our staff and we're just gonna let him fly.

00:21:18   Well, I mean, Mac User was--it was Andy and Chris Breen and Bob Levitas and, I

00:21:24   I mean these are people who write with personality and that was definitely the idea.

00:21:29   And when I got to Macworld that was one of the things that surprised me is that there

00:21:33   was a statement that they valued their writers that I heard a lot but it did seem to me that

00:21:39   it was also a machine kind of generating a consistent copy and what you do when you generate

00:21:47   consistent copy is you also stamp out voice and I would say that Macworld was much tighter

00:21:51   on that front but also had less voice and MacUser was definitely messier.

00:21:55   It was, you know, I would say in fact you go back and look at old MacUser stuff and

00:22:00   you tell me which MacUser or MacWorld, which one would seem more reasonable on a blog today.

00:22:05   It's very clear MacUser was in that style.

00:22:07   They were much looser and had more voice than MacWorld did.

00:22:11   I remember arguing with fellow editorial staffers on my college newspaper at Drexel and, you

00:22:19   this would be '94, '95, '96, about which was better. And the two other guys who really were

00:22:25   really both into writing and pursuing careers and thinking about it at least, and were Mac nerds and

00:22:32   read both magazines monthly. The other two guys, Adam and Andrew, were both on the... Oh, come on,

00:22:37   Macworld's the better magazine. Because I think that they were looking at that, like you said,

00:22:43   it's a little bit more like it's a magazine magazine. Yeah, it's polished and... Yeah.

00:22:47   Well, MacUser was always very polished. It didn't lack polish, but it--to me, my argument--remember

00:22:52   my argument was it just seems to me like the people at MacUser are having more fun doing--they're

00:22:57   having more fun putting these issues out. And I was like, why--why would you want to

00:23:01   get into this if it wasn't to have fun?

00:23:03   Well, that was a great--I mean, I still stay in touch with those people from MacUser, and

00:23:06   I don't know--I assume that the MacWorld people stay in touch too. I really can't speak to

00:23:10   that side, but we were--yeah, it was a great--it was a great group of people, and that was--and

00:23:15   And yeah, we were very proud of our product.

00:23:17   I would say that it was less polished only

00:23:21   in calculated ways.

00:23:23   Like you wanted to look a little wackier

00:23:26   and be a little messier because that shows the personality.

00:23:29   But it was not like we didn't know what we were doing.

00:23:32   It was like, you know, that was what we were trying to do.

00:23:36   It's like a band making an album that sounds raw

00:23:39   and not super produced.

00:23:40   It's because you want it to,

00:23:42   that's the effect that you want.

00:23:44   And honestly, if you're the number two,

00:23:47   then you don't wanna pretend to be number one.

00:23:49   You wanna do something different.

00:23:50   And MacUser was very definitely number two to MacWorld.

00:23:53   So that was what we did.

00:23:55   And yeah, it's just funny that in the end,

00:23:58   in the end I spent 17 years at MacWorld,

00:24:01   but if you'd asked me the first three years

00:24:02   I was working in the business,

00:24:03   I'd be like, "Oh, MacWorld, I hate those guys."

00:24:06   And it ends up being the brand

00:24:08   that I'm most associated with in my career,

00:24:10   which is just crazy.

00:24:11   And every now and then on Twitter,

00:24:13   I get, there are two things I get, like, it's like there's an alarm that goes off.

00:24:17   Every three months or so, somebody sends me a thing saying, "Is this you at the iPod announcement

00:24:23   event?"

00:24:24   Because there is a reverse shot of the audience a couple of times, and I'm in it.

00:24:27   I'm totally, yes, it is me.

00:24:29   And the other one that pops up is, "Hey, I was watching this rerun of Friends, and

00:24:34   Chandler is reading an issue of Macworld."

00:24:37   And I thought, you know, and they think of me, and they're like, "Oh, isn't this cool

00:24:40   that Macworld wasn't Friends?"

00:24:42   And I appreciate that because they're thinking of me in connection with the brand.

00:24:45   That's great.

00:24:46   I was a Mac user when that episode aired and I was so pissed off.

00:24:49   It's like, "God damn it!

00:24:51   Why is it Macworld?"

00:24:52   Right.

00:24:53   Chandler would have been a Mac user guy.

00:24:55   Yeah, I know.

00:24:56   Yeah.

00:24:57   Could he be more of a Mac user guy?

00:24:58   But in the end, now I love it because it's like, yeah, there's a Mac magazine in Friends.

00:25:02   That's great.

00:25:03   And then there would be.

00:25:04   That guy would read Computer Magazine.

00:25:06   That was shorthand for what kind of a nerd he was and that's great.

00:25:09   But it's funny because that's how far I've come around now.

00:25:11   At the time it was just infuriating because our arch enemy got on must-see TV on NBC and

00:25:18   now I look back and it's like, "Yay, look, Macworld on Friends, that's great."

00:25:22   It's just, it's, you know, that's what happens.

00:25:23   I end up spending 17 years at what was originally the arch enemy.

00:25:27   I imagine that, not to use another baseball metaphor, but I imagine that's what it's like

00:25:31   if you like grew up a Giants fan and then you end up getting drafted by the Dodgers

00:25:34   and play for the Dodgers.

00:25:35   It's like, well, you know, now I'm a Dodger.

00:25:38   That's just how it is.

00:25:39   I grew up a Giants fan, that's great.

00:25:40   I'm not there anymore. I'm here.

00:25:42   Or if it's your son or something, you know, or something like that.

00:25:44   Totally, right. Where it just changes your perception after a while.

00:25:48   It's like, who gives a crap, you know?

00:25:49   Yeah.

00:25:50   If your son is playing for the Red Sox, boy, you know, next day you're going out and you're

00:25:53   buying a lot of Red Sox stuff.

00:25:55   Yeah, absolutely.

00:25:56   Yeah. And then before we leave the subject, the last thing I wanted to touch on, though,

00:26:02   is that, all right, Apple, terrible shape, '96, '97.

00:26:04   Oh, yeah.

00:26:05   print industry as a whole almost unspeakably high at that time.

00:26:13   Like you can't-- and you think in hindsight, well,

00:26:15   how could that be?

00:26:16   Because I think in hindsight, we can all

00:26:18   see the writing was on the wall, that newspaper and magazine

00:26:23   publishers didn't get the internet,

00:26:27   still don't to a large extent.

00:26:29   And that even if they did, the way

00:26:32   that it was going to affect advertising revenue

00:26:35   and the time that people spend reading and how they spend reading it was all going to

00:26:40   be massively disrupted.

00:26:42   And you'd think by '97, '98 that that would have been evident, but it wasn't because profits

00:26:48   were at an all-time high.

00:26:50   And I say this as someone who was at the time working as a graphic designer at the Philadelphia

00:26:55   Inquirer.

00:26:56   Yeah.

00:26:57   So all the money was -- I mean, that was where all the advertising was.

00:27:00   There was no -- there was momentum on the Internet.

00:27:03   were getting interested in it, but there was no money on the internet.

00:27:05   That would be crazy.

00:27:06   And I had somebody tell me, "We're not interested in even doing a web page, because

00:27:10   the future's on CompuServe."

00:27:11   I mean, it was just they were not -- there was so much money in print advertising that

00:27:15   -- like Computer Shopper, which was also a Ziff Davis property, when I was at Ziff Davis,

00:27:19   that was like a phone book that came out every month, and all it was was ads.

00:27:22   There was enough editorial to allow them to use the editorial rate when they shipped it

00:27:26   in the postal service.

00:27:29   But it was not meant as an editorial product.

00:27:31   It was a catalog.

00:27:32   that was just literally we just made a thing so you could put your ads in this thing and

00:27:36   then we'll send it out. That was the world then.

00:27:38   And the reason why was because the only way that as somebody who is going to be buying

00:27:44   external hard drives or SCSI cables or printer cartridges or all of the various crap that

00:27:51   you needed to buy to keep your office running, you needed something like Computer Shopper

00:27:59   so that you could see what was available and what it cost.

00:28:03   I mean, you needed it.

00:28:04   - Yeah, that was how you shopped for stuff.

00:28:06   I mean, right when the Macworld thing happened

00:28:09   and I was going to XOXO,

00:28:12   Nielle Patel from The Verge sent me an email

00:28:13   and said, "Would you like to write a thing?

00:28:15   "We're scanning in a bunch of old Macworld covers.

00:28:16   "Would you like to write a thing

00:28:17   "about the end of Macworld in print?"

00:28:19   And I said, "Sure."

00:28:20   And that was what I ended up going with

00:28:22   'cause I thought, okay, The Verge's audience is pretty young

00:28:24   and they may not even remember computer magazines

00:28:27   anything but kind of an oddity you see in an airport or something.

00:28:30   And that was the point I made was, there was a time when the only way you found out about

00:28:34   a new product and the only way you found like what you could buy was by buying a computer

00:28:39   magazine.

00:28:40   So like the computer magazine would come out and you would you would pore over the pages

00:28:44   to find out what Apple announced or what Microsoft announced or whatever you were interested

00:28:48   in and then in the back you would leaf through and be like you know what monitor should I

00:28:52   get or what cable can I get and you know there's an ad here for you know 1-800 max.

00:28:57   and here's Mac Warehouse over here and Club Mac over there and you'd pour over that stuff

00:29:01   and I did that. I mean I would go through those issues 10, 20 times parsing every sentence

00:29:06   about which PowerBook I wanted to buy and parsing every list of products in the different

00:29:12   back of the magazine catalogs for the best deal on some accessory and then you'd call

00:29:18   an 800 number and give them your credit card and they'd ship it to you and you'd get it

00:29:22   like five days later.

00:29:23   That was the way the tech world worked.

00:29:26   Now it's really different, but back then,

00:29:28   that magazine was not the only,

00:29:30   but almost the only conduit for that information.

00:29:33   - Yeah, people just did not see that disruption coming.

00:29:36   The equivalent for newspapers was classified ads,

00:29:39   where anything you needed to buy,

00:29:41   you gotta rent a new apartment.

00:29:44   Your roommates are moving out of town,

00:29:47   and by September, you've gotta find a new place to live.

00:29:49   Well, the only way to do it was to use a newspaper.

00:29:53   There was, I mean, there wasn't, there was no plan B.

00:29:56   - Yeah, it was essentially a monopoly

00:29:58   just because of the, you know, they were the only ones,

00:30:01   maybe there's an alt-weekly.

00:30:02   I will say the one thing that I think was a sign

00:30:05   in hindsight of the magazine stuff falling apart

00:30:07   was all of those catalogs started printing,

00:30:11   you know, they started doing all their money into catalogs.

00:30:14   It's like we were gonna print a catalog,

00:30:16   all the mail order companies just became catalogs.

00:30:18   and they took the hit on postage.

00:30:22   Although in hindsight, I also think they should have

00:30:23   just hired a couple of young editors

00:30:25   to wrap enough content around it to call it a magazine,

00:30:28   Mac Warehouse Magazine.

00:30:29   And that actually really put, that was the first time

00:30:34   I think that those computer magazines really felt the pain

00:30:37   of their ad revenues going down,

00:30:40   was the catalogs were like a guaranteed seller for them.

00:30:44   And then suddenly they would pull out

00:30:46   and go back down to a couple of pages

00:30:48   because they would rent the list from Macworld

00:30:52   and then send everybody who gets Macworld a catalog.

00:30:54   And that was cheaper.

00:30:56   And that was less money for Macworld.

00:30:57   And that totally happened.

00:30:58   So there were some signs, right,

00:30:59   that things were starting to break apart.

00:31:01   And the computer readers are always gonna be the first one

00:31:04   to embrace that new technology.

00:31:06   So I always knew that they would be the ones to,

00:31:09   we would feel it first.

00:31:11   And we totally did.

00:31:12   - Yeah, and it's the same reason why

00:31:16   10, well, probably more like 15 years ago,

00:31:20   when blogs first started percolating up

00:31:23   and becoming a thing, that so many of them

00:31:26   were technology focused.

00:31:28   Oh, yeah.

00:31:28   Just an unbelievably disproportionate number of them

00:31:32   were technology focused compared to the interests of the world

00:31:36   at large, because it's the people who

00:31:38   are enthusiastic about technology who

00:31:41   were able to get a blog up and running and keep it running.

00:31:45   And that's the story of my life, which is I had a nice job at a tech publisher.

00:31:50   And so when I wanted to experiment with blogs, I couldn't really write about technology because

00:31:53   that was my day job.

00:31:54   So, you know, all those great tech blogs being founded then and I did like a stupid TV blog,

00:31:59   which was great.

00:32:00   And it was early in the days of blogging and I learned a lot.

00:32:02   But that was one of those funny things that I ended up experimenting in all of these other

00:32:06   areas because my employer wasn't that interested in experimenting in those areas.

00:32:12   That's why I do so many side projects,

00:32:14   because for years, my employer wasn't interested in trying

00:32:17   those things out.

00:32:18   They were looking at where all the money was coming from,

00:32:21   which is that that's the core of the innovator's dilemma, right?

00:32:23   It's very hard to focus on something

00:32:25   when there is this giant sack of money right in front of you.

00:32:29   Let me take a break and thank our sponsor on this show.

00:32:33   And it is our good friends at Backblaze.

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00:33:30   And then what do you do from that point forward

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00:33:33   You just keep your Mac running.

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00:33:44   will get you access to anything any of your files that are backed up in backplace you can just grab

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00:33:54   you're away from your Mac. So it's got plenty of uses that are not just about catastrophic oh my

00:33:59   god my whole computer is broken the whole hard drive froze up I've got nothing I need to restore

00:34:06   everything. They can deal with that, but it's also useful for just restoring one

00:34:11   file at a time when you're on the road at somewhere else and you just need to

00:34:15   grab it. Could not be more useful either way. When you do need a full thing, if you

00:34:19   need your whole system restored, you don't have to wait to download the whole

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00:34:37   you've got everything backed up offline out of your house out of your office.

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00:35:08   everything backed up so my thanks to back blaze just a tremendous tremendous

00:35:14   service really I say that before I say it again I hope they stop sponsoring the

00:35:18   show because everybody who listens to the show signs up for them at some point

00:35:24   Which brings me to a post you had on Six Colors this week about a sponsorship

00:35:34   that didn't go well. Yeah. It was like a, what'd you say, no other gatekeeper but me

00:35:40   and you wrote that one of the privileges of being an editor. That before you

00:35:44   didn't really have to worry about it. That there really was a separation

00:35:47   between editorial and sales. You know, that you just worried about, you guys on

00:35:51   the editorial side just worried about what you're gonna write about and you

00:35:54   a sales staff that sold stuff and you know in theory sold ads and in theory they could

00:35:58   have sold an ad that you guys were you know somehow uncomfortable with and you could have

00:36:03   had a discussion or whatever but for the most part you didn't need to worry about it but

00:36:06   now as a one person publishing company you do.

00:36:12   Yeah there was a it turns out there is a great luxury in being able to be an editor at a

00:36:17   large organization and when some ad that is selling I mean like at Macworld we had a bunch

00:36:22   of like DVD ripper apps that were, you know, spamming our forums and writing these fake

00:36:30   posts, native ad posts about, that were posing as how-tos but it was for their software and

00:36:35   just really awful junky stuff.

00:36:37   And we had the luxury, I mean behind the scenes we would complain about it, but we also had

00:36:40   the luxury of saying, "Hey guys, it's not us.

00:36:42   You know, we have salespeople, they don't tell us what to write and we don't tell them

00:36:45   what ads to sell."

00:36:47   And when you're in my position and your position, I mean you've got, right now I don't have

00:36:52   anybody selling spots for me but that might happen down the road.

00:37:03   But I know you've got somebody selling, but it's still a small operation, it's like you

00:37:06   got you and maybe Dave working on ad sales and you know it comes to you, you're the proprietor

00:37:12   even if you've got somebody selling for you and with podcasts it's like this when I have

00:37:16   somebody selling an ad in my podcast or you do in yours, you've got, you're the proprietor

00:37:21   Even if you've got somebody selling it, and you have to make that decision.

00:37:23   You have to say, "Yeah, this ad is okay."

00:37:28   And so even if it's not, you know, every ad is not a personal endorsement, and you can't

00:37:33   -- I had somebody say that to me, and I wrote about it in that post.

00:37:35   It's like, I don't -- I'm not a developer, but I know I can look at a developer service

00:37:40   or tool and say, "That seems good to me.

00:37:43   That seems on the up and up."

00:37:44   It fits with the audience.

00:37:45   >> Yeah, you can't have it.

00:37:46   You can't have it.

00:37:47   In theory it sounds great that you would only take a sponsorship from a service or product that you actually use and the deck for

00:37:55   a while

00:37:56   Maybe they still even say that but then at with the deck

00:37:59   It's a big 30 site network and it's not that hard to say that somebody somewhere in the network is using the thing, right?

00:38:06   But when it's just you and it's just me I can't do that

00:38:09   No, and and it's not even fair like I use BB edit if I have to code something up. I use BB edit

00:38:15   Would I accept a sponsorship from Coda? Of course I would. Coda is an amazing app

00:38:21   from a great company and in theory I maybe someday I would use it. You know I

00:38:26   mean that to me is my criteria. Is this something that I would recommend

00:38:30   because I use it? That criteria isn't... it's too limiting. Is this

00:38:34   something that I would recommend readers investigate and consider? Yes, absolutely.

00:38:39   That's my criteria. And it has to cross that level and that's harder to

00:38:44   defined but it has to cross that level to be something you feel comfortable in.

00:38:50   On one level it's just to be comfortable with it and say I think this is a legitimate product

00:38:54   and all that.

00:38:55   And again I don't want to throw the guys under the bus who did that sponsorship but the fact

00:38:58   is, and they have a story and I think part of the problem is there's a language barrier

00:39:01   and although I'm skeptical of that product and you know it's an antivirus product and

00:39:05   it included an iOS component and everybody's like whoa, iOS antivirus that seems really

00:39:09   shady to me.

00:39:11   And they have a marketing story that I think they're not telling effectively, but the bottom

00:39:15   line was, "I don't believe in iOS antivirus.

00:39:18   I don't think that's a thing.

00:39:19   And I think my audience doesn't think that's a thing.

00:39:22   And I'm skeptical about Mac antivirus, but at least I'm a little more open-minded about

00:39:25   that than I am about iOS."

00:39:27   And so when I posted this thing, which, you know, I didn't read the stuff closely when

00:39:32   I got it because I was traveling and then I put it up as I was going out the door, and

00:39:38   then people started saying, "What the hell is this?"

00:39:40   And I didn't have an answer for them.

00:39:43   And that was that moment where I'm like, "Oh, you know, if I can't conceive of somebody

00:39:48   asking me and me having an answer, that's probably not a product I should..."

00:39:53   If I'm not comfortable standing by it to that point, not saying I tried it and I like it,

00:39:56   but I think this is a reasonable person would think that this product is interesting and

00:40:01   you should check it out.

00:40:04   That to me would be the difference.

00:40:06   And so while sitting in the passenger seat of my car, this all blew up while I drove

00:40:11   the first leg.

00:40:12   Then my wife drove the second leg and I opened up my phone and I'm like, "Oh, geez."

00:40:15   And in the course of about an hour, I responded to the tweets about it, looked more at the

00:40:24   company's responses, thought about it a little bit, and then I actually opened up Transmit

00:40:30   for iOS and edited the include file for the sponsor on my server and I took it out and

00:40:34   And I deleted their post and I posted a tweet about it and I sent an email to the guy saying

00:40:39   look I'm gonna refund your money but I'm not gonna run the ad because I'm not comfortable

00:40:43   with it and my audience isn't comfortable with it.

00:40:46   And I actually got a text from Lex Friedman saying what if I sell that spot for you and

00:40:53   I said sure go ahead if you want to sell it and he did and I posted the new ad all from

00:40:59   sitting in the passenger seat of my car on my iPhone which is a pretty fun like technology

00:41:03   story but yeah it was educational because I couldn't run and hide behind the salespeople

00:41:12   and you're in the exact same boat and Jim Dowd-Rimple's in the same boat and all of

00:41:16   us who are out here doing this thing, we aren't insulated like that and so we have to make

00:41:21   different rules and there is an expectation that some people have that when we read an

00:41:25   ad on a podcast or post a sponsor on our sites that it's a personal endorsement and what

00:41:31   What I always say is, if I have used the product, and I want to talk about that, I will talk

00:41:36   about it.

00:41:37   But your money doesn't buy my personal endorsement.

00:41:40   My personal endorsement can't be for sale.

00:41:42   That's the flip side of the--not only is it impractical to try every product, and not

00:41:46   every product is for you, even though you know it's good, the flip side is, I want the

00:41:49   freedom to evaluate every product that I want to, and if I'm selling evaluations, that calls

00:41:55   the whole thing into question.

00:41:58   Those rules are very different than if you're in a big editorial organization, but you still

00:42:01   have to kind of come up with the rules and try to disclose them to your

00:42:05   audience as best you can I think but it was a good lesson for me I'll tell you

00:42:08   that yeah antivirus it falls into an interesting crevice where it's a close

00:42:16   call and and I would say that the the sibling to antivirus are system cleanup

00:42:24   utilities. Oh yeah yeah yeah. And I don't think I've ever taken a sponsorship for

00:42:33   antivirus because I really do believe strongly that you you not only don't

00:42:39   need it on a Mac but that you actually it will call it typically cause more

00:42:43   harm than good. Mm-hmm. I really do believe that and you know for iOS it's

00:42:49   even more so I think it's at that point you're talking about snake oil. Now

00:42:53   Now there's possible, you know, I don't know, you know, like the case of the sponsor you're

00:42:56   talking about.

00:42:57   It's possible that you could use something on iOS that would have something to do with

00:43:02   antivirus where you're scanning email attachments somehow or something like that.

00:43:06   I think that's what they're doing is they're scanning attachments in your email and maybe

00:43:09   on your Dropbox or stuff like that for viruses.

00:43:12   But it's not going to affect your iOS device.

00:43:14   Right.

00:43:15   It's not so hard for me to come up with a what-if scenario where it would have some

00:43:18   actual practical utility in theory but I don't see how it you know yeah exactly

00:43:24   it's not actually doing antivirus at the system level on iOS like what you think

00:43:28   of traditionally and then you simplify the marketing message and it's protect

00:43:31   your eye your iPhone and that's not right and that's that's I think that's

00:43:35   where a lot of this this comes from and the cleanup utilities are to me it's a

00:43:40   little bit more like the antivirus to me is a little bit more on the dark side of

00:43:44   the gray area and the cleanup utilities are a little bit more on the light side

00:43:48   But I have I've had sponsors who run, you know clean up utilities and I think it's been a while

00:43:55   And I remember somebody on Twitter one time just you know, they weren't being antagonistic. They weren't trying to

00:44:01   Jab me but it was an honest questionnaire. Like do you use this?

00:44:05   Would you recommend it and I remember thinking like probably not and I kind of felt a little

00:44:10   Like I didn't take the sponsorship back and I don't quite regret it

00:44:14   but it was the closest I've ever come because I just wasn't sure because I don't think a

00:44:19   lot of that stuff is all that useful either.

00:44:21   I feel like part of the genius of the OS X system design is that you don't typically

00:44:31   get the system doesn't degrade over time, which did happen with classic Mac OS.

00:44:36   If you weren't careful, and certainly Windows, right?

00:44:39   Definitely happens with Windows.

00:44:40   They want a Mac.

00:44:41   many of these things happen because it's like oh we have a Windows product we

00:44:44   have an Android product we need Apple products and they can't really do much

00:44:48   but they want to have that that spread of products and so they come out with

00:44:52   one although you know cleanup especially with SSDs there's totally and they may

00:44:57   be out there but there's totally a good case to be made for cleanup that's doing

00:45:00   smart things like you've got preferences from apps from 2004 that you know that

00:45:04   you migrated and you've got duplicate files in all these different places and

00:45:08   and you've got iTunes Match turned on,

00:45:10   so I could save a lot of space

00:45:12   by deleting your music folder.

00:45:15   Stuff like that, there is an argument to be made,

00:45:19   but you're right, then you get into details

00:45:20   and you're like, eh, do I really believe

00:45:22   in this particular product enough to,

00:45:24   not enough to endorse it,

00:45:25   but enough to expose my audience to it?

00:45:28   'Cause there is some understanding between us

00:45:32   and our audiences that some of this stuff's gonna be,

00:45:36   you know, vetted at least, right?

00:45:38   It's on the up and up, right?

00:45:39   Not necessarily we endorse it and use it personally,

00:45:41   but it's on the up and up.

00:45:42   And I think that's right.

00:45:44   I think they should expect that from us.

00:45:47   - The next, you know,

00:45:49   'cause it dates all the way back to next,

00:45:51   but the Coco preferences system

00:45:54   is so brain dead super simple.

00:45:57   It's, you know, it's not genius

00:45:59   because it's this complicated genius system.

00:46:02   It's genius because it is just simple.

00:46:06   It's like one of the simplest, stupidest things they could do,

00:46:09   where each app has a unique identifier,

00:46:12   and they just use domain names.

00:46:13   So like barebones is com.barebones.bbedit.plist.

00:46:21   And that file goes in your library preferences folder.

00:46:25   And it's guaranteed to be unique because that domain

00:46:27   name belongs to barebones, so they get to control that.

00:46:30   There's com.apple.mail for mail.

00:46:33   And it's just a file.

00:46:35   And the app reads from that file,

00:46:38   and that's where your preferences are stored.

00:46:39   And if you delete bbedit,

00:46:42   and that com.barebones. you know, delete the app,

00:46:45   that file is sitting there.

00:46:47   It's only a couple hundred kilobytes,

00:46:49   and it never gets in the way.

00:46:50   It's not like a database that's getting gummed up.

00:46:52   It's just a file that's in the folder,

00:46:55   and you're, you know, there is no harm.

00:46:57   So if you've tried 50 different text editors,

00:47:00   and then settled on one,

00:47:02   those 49 preferences files in your preferences folder,

00:47:05   don't slow a damn thing down.

00:47:07   - No, it's gonna be when you've got Adobe CS4

00:47:09   and CS5 and CS6 in there.

00:47:11   - Or on the other hand, like something like,

00:47:13   well, I never use GarageBand,

00:47:14   so I'll delete the GarageBand app.

00:47:16   Well, GarageBand has like a 400 megabyte.

00:47:20   - Loops and instruments are enormous.

00:47:22   - Yeah, so there's like a huge application support folder,

00:47:26   relatively huge compared to most apps,

00:47:28   that, you know, and again, if you're on an SSD

00:47:31   and space is at a premium because, you know,

00:47:33   like the default SSD is still like 256 gigabytes,

00:47:38   you could save some serious space.

00:47:41   And it's hidden away now that the library folder

00:47:44   is invisible by default for most, you know,

00:47:47   for new user accounts.

00:47:50   It's not something, you know,

00:47:53   I can see how a cleaning utility could actually help

00:47:55   like a typical user if it was carefully written

00:47:58   and you know, but it's a borderline call.

00:48:01   - Can I tell you about my favorite,

00:48:03   my favorite preference joke?

00:48:06   Adobe, of course, is the answer.

00:48:11   There is in my, and maybe in yours too, I don't know,

00:48:13   in my user library folder, so tilde/library,

00:48:18   there's a folder, there's the application support folder,

00:48:20   right, which is where you're supposed to write

00:48:21   all your folders, or write your preference files.

00:48:25   I also have a folder in my library called

00:48:28   application support slash adobe slash acrobat.

00:48:31   That's the name of the folder.

00:48:33   (laughing)

00:48:36   - I don't have that.

00:48:37   - I don't even know, I didn't even know that was allowed

00:48:39   to have slashes in a folder name, but somehow they did it.

00:48:43   You magnificent bastards, you did it.

00:48:45   And I just, it makes me, I wanna delete it

00:48:48   and yet every time I see it, it just makes me laugh.

00:48:51   It's like, how incompetent is that?

00:48:54   yeah good job you're in the application support folder totally nailed it i'll send you a screenshot

00:49:00   it's it's super nerdy um but that was actually when when when the next acquisition was made and

00:49:12   uh and they were going to do this well we're going to we're going to make one

00:49:20   operating system with the best of everything. One of the problems was Next

00:49:23   was a traditional Unix system that used slash

00:49:26   as the directory

00:49:29   separator. So slash was not...

00:49:32   well maybe you could do it with a backslash, but you know slash was something that you

00:49:35   couldn't put into

00:49:36   a file name or folder name. Right, you try to type it and it would give you a

00:49:41   minus or something.

00:49:42   Right, but HFS, the Apple

00:49:45   disk format...

00:49:48   What would you call it?

00:49:49   Where's Syracuse when you need them?

00:49:51   Well, whatever, the HFS used--

00:49:53   - File system.

00:49:54   - File system, used colon.

00:49:56   Colon was the separator.

00:49:57   So you couldn't type a colon in a name.

00:49:59   So you could type slashes.

00:50:01   And so also, like a publication,

00:50:03   you might for each issue of a newspaper,

00:50:07   like a weekly newspaper, I think maybe we did--

00:50:10   - We did this on Macworld, yeah.

00:50:13   - Yeah, it would be like month slash,

00:50:16   We are you know month or year slash month slash date, you know, and that would be it

00:50:21   and so we had all these things that had

00:50:23   Slashes in the actual file names and there was and it just seemed like well something's got to give here

00:50:32   But there was a white paper. Oh

00:50:34   God I forget who wrote it, but I met him

00:50:37   There's an ex-engineer who wrote a white paper figuring out a way to conveniently solve it and the bottom line

00:50:43   Me, you know, the bottom line is the the penalty we had to pay is that you can't have a colon or a slash in

00:50:50   a file name now

00:50:51   For real, but you can it looks like you have a slash in the file name. It somehow is

00:50:58   Fake like when it looks like you have a slash in a file name. It's not a slash. I

00:51:02   Love it, but it all worked out. It actually did work out

00:51:07   We had we had that we had a catastrophe where we we we did that

00:51:11   we at some point at Macworld changed our file name format that used to be you

00:51:16   know the volume number and the issue number so it would be like 16 /04 and

00:51:21   that was the whatever that was April of what's 84 plus 16 right April 2000 issue

00:51:30   and when OS X happened we we moved them all to dashes because we were afraid

00:51:35   because there was a period where OS X would not let you input the slash you

00:51:38   It would transmogrify it on the fly to a dash,

00:51:42   'cause dashes were dangerous.

00:51:44   And to this day, my Apple scripts,

00:51:46   I have to do a lot of, you know, POSIX path stuff,

00:51:50   because if you get an alias in the finder,

00:51:53   it comes in with colon delimited.

00:51:56   And then there are other tools that want it

00:51:58   as a Unix path, a POSIX path,

00:52:00   and you have to do like POSIX path of alias

00:52:05   in order to get it in the right format

00:52:06   so that you can send it to a script or something.

00:52:09   - Yeah, I don't think anybody is more familiar

00:52:12   with the crazy rules over how to specify HFS

00:52:17   versus Unix-style pass than anybody

00:52:19   who's written any Apple script.

00:52:21   - It's like, why is this not working?

00:52:22   And you're like, oh, right.

00:52:24   Now it needs to be a Unix path.

00:52:26   Or, 'cause inevitably with AppleScript,

00:52:29   boy, we are in the weeds now,

00:52:31   you use Duchal script,

00:52:34   which is an incredible boon to AppleScript,

00:52:36   to be able to just basically fire off a Unix script

00:52:39   and get a result back.

00:52:40   It's great.

00:52:42   But if you're using something,

00:52:43   a file you got in the finder,

00:52:45   Unix shell script doesn't understand those colons,

00:52:48   so you need to convert it and then you send it off.

00:52:50   And so that, yeah, that happens all the time.

00:52:53   - We are definitely off in the weeds.

00:52:58   - Yeah, yeah.

00:52:59   I do that with Markdown.

00:53:00   Actually, that was one of the things I would always do,

00:53:02   is I'd like grab something and run it through Markdown

00:53:04   and get the results back and all that.

00:53:06   You got to get the file names right.

00:53:08   So what were we talking about before we went off on the file

00:53:11   system?

00:53:13   Wow.

00:53:14   Old days.

00:53:16   Next, you were talking about next engineers?

00:53:18   God, what was it?

00:53:19   We have to back up a little.

00:53:21   Sponsors, sponsor conflicts?

00:53:23   I think that's where we were.

00:53:24   Yeah, I think that's probably it.

00:53:25   I remember in the early days of doing sponsorships

00:53:33   during fireball

00:53:35   Weekly ones that I was telling myself the first conflict I can remember having was and this was at the time

00:53:41   Do you remember for a brief period there was some controversy over app bundles? Oh, yeah. Yeah. Yeah, or you know, like

00:53:48   Those you would know we Mac heist and all of that. Yeah, like a

00:53:52   Mac heist and I had come out sort of against them as sort of devaluing software at least the extreme ones

00:54:00   where you were getting, you know, an inordinate amount of software for a seemingly absurd low price and

00:54:06   then a bundle wanted to sponsor during fireball right and I

00:54:12   I

00:54:14   Don't know I was very I can't remember which bundle it was but I was very conflicted because I felt like on the one hand

00:54:20   I've just written against them. But on the other hand, you know, it's a good deal

00:54:24   It is what it is, you know and nobody, you know

00:54:27   It's not like the bundles were putting these apps into the bundles without their permission. It was

00:54:32   You know and and I think I wound up going with it I did it I took it because I thought you know, it's

00:54:39   it

00:54:42   in some sense you

00:54:44   You have to be the publisher, you know every publication there never really was a wall between editorial and

00:54:51   Advertising even in a big organization. It might have seemed like a wall

00:54:56   in the trenches. Yes. But eventually you work up the chain and there's a person

00:55:02   whose responsibility, you know, typically their title was like publisher. Like

00:55:06   certainly in the newspaper industry that was the title, is somebody who is

00:55:10   concerned with both things. Yeah and for me, I mean that's what I always said

00:55:14   about my job is that I sat on that, I sat on the top of the wall and then it's like

00:55:17   I got to shield my people from the stuff that was happening on the other side of

00:55:20   the wall as best I could. But my boss was the president of the company and the head

00:55:25   of say it was either the head of sales themselves or the head of sales

00:55:28   reported to them and at that level you know there were always conversations now

00:55:34   again my job was to kind of steer them in the right direction and protect my

00:55:37   people from it but you know ultimately yes if you have if you have a business

00:55:44   the business people are gonna have demands that they're gonna want to make

00:55:47   and then it becomes part of the game to negotiate and get things back in a in a

00:55:52   place that everybody can live with that is not you know hinky for that

00:55:56   editorial side that is that was always part of my job up at the top it's just

00:56:00   harder when you you know what you're saying it's like now it's all exposed

00:56:03   it's just it's this guy it's you you're the guy you gotta you gotta do it you

00:56:07   gotta you gotta make that decision right but overall you know in seven years ish

00:56:16   seven to eight years of selling weekly sponsorships there have been very few

00:56:20   times where it's come up. I mean and they've even been very few times that

00:56:24   that I've had to reject a sponsor. Seems like they know. Well I'm hoping yeah I'm

00:56:29   hoping that that actually is a part of this it's it's partly me and it's also

00:56:34   partly just in the environment that it's I'm hoping it doesn't happen. This was

00:56:40   one out of like 16 it's not even now what 12 weeks one out of 14 weeks

00:56:45   something like that. Well and like I said to you I really do think that that

00:56:48   antivirus and cleaning utilities are sort of especially and like I said

00:56:53   darker side is the antivirus are an exception. Yeah. That there are I can't

00:56:58   think of any other topic you know it's sort of advertiser that's in that area.

00:57:03   Well I could I could see and again I don't think I would come down on the

00:57:06   side of not running an ad for them but you know there are a lot of there are a

00:57:09   lot of memes that go through our our community and our audiences as they and

00:57:14   they're all interconnected right. I have this thing with six colors where I see

00:57:17   you post a link and I'm like well I could post a link to that but everybody's

00:57:20   reading John's site so do I even need to bother or should I just link to John's

00:57:22   link and say just read John's link about it? You know we are all kind of in the

00:57:27   same ecosystem together and there are some of the memes that come out like

00:57:30   there's the whole you know if you're not paying for the product then you're the

00:57:32   then you're the you're what they're selling and I could see something like

00:57:37   that coming up where there's some product that is gonna sponsor you and

00:57:40   what they're really wanting obviously it's free and isn't it great and I could

00:57:44   see people being like "hey that's you know that's no good there's this other

00:57:47   developer who's trying to sell it these guys are doing it for free and they're

00:57:50   just going to get our information and all that" I could see scenario like that

00:57:53   although it doesn't seem to have come up up to now but I could I could see

00:57:57   something like that that would be unpopular with a part of the community

00:58:02   because it seems to be the kind of thing that we all rail against like what you

00:58:06   were saying about the app bundles thing but I think it's encouraging that you

00:58:10   haven't seen a lot of that and that's and that's good but I think I think it's

00:58:13   It's worth, you know, this is so inside baseball, but I think it's worth people hearing that

00:58:17   it's not like we don't think about these issues and take them seriously.

00:58:20   And honestly, I think that's one of the downsides of the big organizations with the separations

00:58:24   of church and state is there's a clear message, and I think people even get trained to expect

00:58:29   it from everybody, which is, you know, we don't care.

00:58:33   It's like the editors are the ones you talk to.

00:58:35   They have no power.

00:58:36   You never talk to the salespeople.

00:58:39   The organization doesn't really care unless it's a serious black eye for the organization.

00:58:44   And so, you know, why even bother?

00:58:45   There's just going to be cruddy stuff that gets advertised.

00:58:48   And with us, you know, we do take it seriously and that's not true.

00:58:51   That's not how we want it to be.

00:58:52   I mean, there's also a reason that our sites don't have junk all over them because that's

00:58:58   crappy.

00:58:59   But big organizations have no problem littering their sites with junk.

00:59:04   Jay Rosen who teaches journalism at NYU and is a big presence in the whole inside baseball

00:59:14   world of online journalism.

00:59:16   But I think he said, I want to put words in his mouth, but something to the effect of

00:59:20   if you work at a publication, doesn't matter whether it's print or online or both or whether

00:59:25   it's new or old, but if it's big enough that it's not just like a one person thing, but

00:59:30   big and you can you can be isolated and just concentrate on editorial if you

00:59:36   don't know understand the business model right of the publication you're you're

00:59:41   you're screwed you're not you're you're not being responsible and you're

00:59:44   probably screwed yeah well the way he phrases you should quit your job which

00:59:47   is probably a little extreme but he's not wrong that you should you should

00:59:53   understand why your company does what it does and what decisions they're making

00:59:56   making and whether they're good or not.

00:59:58   And, you know, I, over the years, I have been fortunate

01:00:03   to work with a bunch of incredibly talented people.

01:00:06   But what I will say is, I was always surprised

01:00:10   at how some incredibly intelligent, talented people

01:00:14   would have no conception about how parts

01:00:18   of our business worked.

01:00:19   Even though some of that was communicated fairly clearly,

01:00:24   and some of that has to do with frame of reference,

01:00:25   and some of that has to do with not wanting to hear it.

01:00:28   'Cause if you're trained as a journalist

01:00:30   and you hear from the sales guys or the business people,

01:00:32   it's very easy to put that in a box.

01:00:33   It's like that's not my concern.

01:00:35   In fact, it's my duty to not even pay attention to that.

01:00:37   But it always surprised me that I would hear,

01:00:40   even up to the end,

01:00:41   and one of the things Rosen points out too

01:00:43   is that you need to know the difference

01:00:44   between what product people refer to as product

01:00:46   and what editorial people refer to as product,

01:00:48   which is super important.

01:00:49   Because the media today,

01:00:50   so much of what happens at these sites

01:00:52   is based on the product roadmap

01:00:54   and product managers and developers.

01:00:55   And the product is not just the words on the website.

01:00:58   The product is the features of the website

01:01:00   and the design of the website

01:01:02   and tools that editors can use

01:01:04   to build things on the website.

01:01:05   And if you're thinking of the product

01:01:07   as being what you write

01:01:09   or as product as being some weird amorphous sales thing,

01:01:13   you have a really distorted view of what your business is

01:01:17   and that's probably not a healthy place to be.

01:01:21   And I would have that

01:01:22   I would have people talking about HR or developers or marketing people, people not in ad sales

01:01:30   and people who'd been at the company for a long time would say, "Oh, well, those are

01:01:36   sales people."

01:01:37   It's like, no, they're not sales people.

01:01:40   They're other parts of the business that aren't editorial, but they're not sales people.

01:01:45   I understand why people would cultivate a simplified view in the sense of like, "I just

01:01:49   don't want to hear it.

01:01:50   I don't want to know about it."

01:01:51   But in reality I think it is a good thing to know about that stuff and understand it

01:01:55   and understand your place in it.

01:01:57   And then if it doesn't make you comfortable, it certainly makes you a better judge of whether

01:02:00   the decisions your business is making are solid or are bad or desperate.

01:02:06   And if you are in any position to determine what kind of stuff is going to go in the product,

01:02:12   then knowing where your business is going could actually help.

01:02:16   You could actually get some good ideas or help have a bigger voice in deciding what

01:02:21   gets built next. So I thought that piece, while a little bit hypey and saying you

01:02:27   should quit your job is a little bit rich, but he's not wrong about a lot of

01:02:31   those points that you really should understand the business that you're in.

01:02:33   Yeah, I think he has a sort of better to overstate it than understate it style.

01:02:41   Yeah. Well, and without going into sensationalism. Well, I'm

01:02:47   trying to communicate some of this stuff. I mean, like I said, some of this, you're

01:02:50   You're trying to battle against, "La la la, I don't want to hear it, it's not my job,

01:02:55   it's in the business side, I'm an editor, I don't need to hear it."

01:02:57   So you kind of do need to shout sometimes and say, "No, no, no, pay attention to this."

01:03:02   Especially something like the difference between what, you know, product.

01:03:04   I mean that's come up in a bunch of cases where people have angrily left various website

01:03:09   startups who are editorial people.

01:03:11   They're like, "Oh, they're just in it for the product."

01:03:13   And it's like, I dealt with, at the end there at IDG, I worked with a really great product

01:03:18   manager and he and I spent a lot of time talking about ways we could improve the

01:03:21   product. Unfortunately most of those things never got prioritized but that

01:03:25   was a great experience because we were working together, editorial and product

01:03:30   management, to identify things that would make the website better and

01:03:35   sometimes it's better to refer to it that way than to say "the product"

01:03:38   because that sounds a little bit like you're selling something but the fact is

01:03:41   you know my editors were frustrated by the fact that all they could really do

01:03:45   was put text in the CMS and why can't we do this and why can't we do that and the

01:03:49   answer was well we could do that if we worked with the product group but you

01:03:53   got to speak their language and that is a challenge so I appreciate when Rosen

01:03:57   sort of waves his hands and it's like hey pay attention this is really

01:04:00   important because a lot of people in journalism don't want to hear that they

01:04:06   want to just work and it's a natural response right to be like no no no I'm

01:04:09   just gonna do my thing that I'm comfortable with but I think it leads to

01:04:12   to bad places.

01:04:14   - I think it's a danger,

01:04:16   it's dangerous to use the word religion,

01:04:18   but I do feel like in a casual way,

01:04:23   the belief that if you're a journalist,

01:04:27   that you should, you're almost like obligated

01:04:31   in a moral sense to not pay attention to the business side,

01:04:35   was ingrained in at least a generation,

01:04:38   maybe several generations, especially,

01:04:40   I don't know if it's especially US centric or not, but it it certainly seems so in the newspaper industry that it was just almost

01:04:47   Almost religious that it was you know, and and it was only sustainable because newspapers were you know

01:04:55   Like you said they had a monopoly. Yeah, and they were incredibly profitable licensed to print money, right?

01:05:00   I remember when I was at the Inquirer there was a time

01:05:03   Where they had and this is in the late 90s where they had buyouts

01:05:08   Because they had a quarter where their profit margin was 19%

01:05:13   They were the inquirer was a night ritter paper Wow

01:05:18   And they were so they that 20% was like this like red line in the sand

01:05:24   You know, I guess you can't have a line in the sand

01:05:27   And you know that they dipped to 19 and they were like instantly went into red alert and you know

01:05:35   Sirens went off and they like bought people out

01:05:37   And it was crazy. Like I don't know if you guys have this. I think it's an East Coast thing called Metro

01:05:43   It's a free daily newspaper. I don't even know if they're still around here in Philly, but it was they were a free daily

01:05:50   And they'd set up most of their kiosks at commuter entrances subway entrances bus stops

01:05:58   Not real thick but you know, you know, it was definitely a competitor to you know

01:06:06   the Inquirer and the Daily News. Because if you could read the Metro for free and finish it before

01:06:12   you got where you were going, you had no reason to buy the Inquirer or Daily News. And it led to

01:06:18   crazy scenarios like the guy who was in charge. As the graphic design work I did, I worked with

01:06:24   a lot of the classified advertising people and did a lot of the promotional stuff that they needed to

01:06:31   give to people. And so like the guy, he was a great guy, I forget his name, but he was in charge of

01:06:36   auto advertising, classified, all auto advertising, which was huge, huge, huge business, took the buy

01:06:43   out, which was like two or three years salary. And a week later, he took the job as the automotive

01:06:49   ad guy at Metro, at the Metro. And it was like, they just paid him three years salary to go

01:06:58   and start selling ads at a rival.

01:07:01   And while they were still incredibly profitable.

01:07:03   I mean, it was just crazy. - I mean,

01:07:05   I've definitely experienced the layoffs

01:07:07   while we're profitable,

01:07:08   where the business people are like,

01:07:09   no, no, we're profitable, we're gonna make a profit,

01:07:11   we're profitable, and then they lay off 10 people.

01:07:13   And there is nothing worse than saying,

01:07:16   you can't work here anymore

01:07:17   because we're not quite making enough profit.

01:07:19   And that's a disconnect in business.

01:07:22   I mean, there are businesses that are all about

01:07:24   looking for growth and investment,

01:07:25   and there are businesses that are just trying

01:07:27   to be sustainable profitable businesses that can employ a bunch of people.

01:07:32   And that too is part of the disconnect of like not understanding what kind of business

01:07:35   you work for and what their metrics are and not on a very detailed level of like what's

01:07:39   the bonus structure for the salespeople but to understand like what are they looking for

01:07:44   and you know what do they expect from us and what's the growth.

01:07:48   And some of that is it has to come from the top and you know in my years I would get a

01:07:54   a varying degree of that, depending on who the CEO was,

01:07:57   of what do we show the employees.

01:07:59   And to a varying degree, the employees wanted to

01:08:02   or didn't want to hear it.

01:08:04   But I think that's just a dangerous situation

01:08:06   to be in, to not understand what kind of company

01:08:09   you're working for and what their goals are.

01:08:10   I mean, at Knight-Ritter, at least,

01:08:12   it was clear that 20% was the line.

01:08:14   And if you weren't showing 20% profit margin,

01:08:17   that was red alert time.

01:08:19   Boy, those were the days.

01:08:20   And I think the danger there is that it

01:08:24   seemed very clear, because I wasn't involved,

01:08:26   I wasn't going to be in my career.

01:08:28   I was never even full time.

01:08:29   I was always a contractor.

01:08:30   But I loved the business.

01:08:32   And I loved being-- but my view from the ground floor

01:08:36   and just looking at the whole thing

01:08:38   was that it was so clear to me once I got in and sort of got

01:08:41   the gist of how the Philadelphia Inquirer ran at the time,

01:08:45   that the people who were in that building working

01:08:49   on that newspaper were incredible people, absolutely

01:08:53   amazing people I

01:08:55   Forget the exact years

01:08:57   But there's a stretch from like the mid 80s to mid 90s where the Philadelphia Inquirer were won more Pulitzer Prizes than any

01:09:04   Newspaper in the US. Yeah, it was a tremendous tremendous team and eventually all these this great talent that wound up

01:09:12   You know working at the New York Times and Washington Post and Newsweek and time and they all took these buyouts and went to these

01:09:18   other places but at the time it was amazing and they you know were dedicated

01:09:22   to the craft and dedicated to the civic you know duty of a newspaper in a big

01:09:27   metropolitan city and all this stuff but it was so clear that Knight Ritter was

01:09:32   an in was a corporate as a corporate parent didn't give two shits if they

01:09:35   were selling widgets or newspapers or whatever as long as they hit that 20%

01:09:42   profit margin and had growth didn't matter what they were doing had no no no

01:09:47   No love or interest in what it meant to actually be making a newspaper.

01:09:52   And you know, like we were saying, when you've got the license to print money, it's a little

01:09:56   bit easier to be blissfully ignorant.

01:09:58   But I think, again, somebody could listen to this podcast and say, aha, here they are.

01:10:03   They're all admitting that journalism is not truly objective.

01:10:07   It's actually affected by what the business does.

01:10:10   Well, you know, the truth is, of course it is.

01:10:12   Unless you are Consumer Reports or something.

01:10:15   And even then you have the objective of getting donations and if you don't get them you can't

01:10:20   stay in business.

01:10:21   There is always a fundamental precept of a media business about what they're doing and

01:10:27   what why they're doing it.

01:10:29   And like a sports writer at the Philadelphia Inquirer who is from San Francisco can't say

01:10:34   you know I've decided I'm going to write about the Giants.

01:10:38   It's like no no we're in the business of covering Philadelphia.

01:10:40   I got that when I went to Mac user, they told me like Apple's big in education, but we're

01:10:45   not targeting education.

01:10:46   It's like that was the target market.

01:10:48   Our target market was the Mac and it was the business market primarily and then secondarily

01:10:54   you know other users using it at home but not education.

01:10:58   Why was that?

01:10:59   Because they didn't spend a lot of money and those advertisers didn't want to reach them

01:11:03   because of that and yeah that was focusing what we could write about but you know that's

01:11:08   just a fundamental business constraint. What, you know, the objectivity comes on, like,

01:11:13   on the inside of those constraints. Like, this is what this publication is. This is

01:11:16   what this website is. Whatever it is. And then within there, I need to be free to make

01:11:20   the decisions about the best way to serve that audience. But how do you choose the audience?

01:11:24   In large part, in most of these businesses, is you're choosing an audience you can make

01:11:28   money selling ads to. And that's okay, but that is a fundamental thing that, I mean,

01:11:35   freedom only goes so far there is a fundamental precept of your business

01:11:39   that you do need to follow as much as that guy might like to write about not

01:11:43   if not the Giants but write about darts or Canadian football or whatever it's

01:11:47   like that's not what you're here to do that's not who we serve with with the

01:11:51   Philadelphia Inquirer right yeah and you have to be able to you know even even in

01:11:57   our lean mean you know one person type operations like six colors or daring

01:12:02   Fireball, you still have to be able to do it in a way that makes sense financially.

01:12:08   And the thing that makes me think about that, so in the whole 10, 15 years, it's very, very

01:12:14   feasible to just run a web blog out of your pocket.

01:12:19   I think I could, I forget what I pay per month for doing Fireball, but if I really wanted

01:12:23   to go for, if I just wanted to do it without any sponsorships or ads or any revenue at

01:12:27   even with the readership I have I think it would be like a hundred dollars a

01:12:31   month yeah maybe maybe I could probably find a way to you could do it yeah you

01:12:34   could certainly do it for 50 right I'm paying 50 and I'm running the

01:12:38   incomparable and six colors on the same server for $50 a month it's not a

01:12:42   problem yeah but the reason that podcasting has exploding has exploded

01:12:46   recently is that until recently it was financially unfeasible there was no way

01:12:50   it doesn't seem like that long ago when I started during fireball but there's

01:12:55   There's just no way financially that in 2002, 2003, 2004,

01:12:59   that I could distribute 100 megabyte MP3 files

01:13:04   to thousands of people.

01:13:05   It would have cost thousands and thousands of dollars a month.

01:13:09   Even a couple of years ago,

01:13:10   I think that would have been the case.

01:13:11   No, the rise in podcasting correlates exactly

01:13:16   to when it became financially pretty cheap.

01:13:21   Yeah, through SoundCloud or Libsyn or Squarespace

01:13:24   or through a hosting company that gives you a terabyte of data

01:13:28   for $50 a month, that sort of thing.

01:13:30   Right.

01:13:31   But until recently, there was no such thing.

01:13:33   Correct.

01:13:34   The bandwidth limits were in the low gigabytes or even

01:13:39   the hundreds of megabytes.

01:13:41   And so if your files are--

01:13:44   typical podcast for this show is somewhere around 100 megabytes,

01:13:47   sometimes a little less, sometimes a little more,

01:13:48   depending on how long it is.

01:13:50   But every 100 people, that's 100--

01:13:54   or that's a gigabyte, right?

01:13:56   Or no, every 10 people.

01:13:58   I don't know, it adds up super fast.

01:13:59   It adds up really fast.

01:14:00   I did the math when we were pulling the incomparable off

01:14:02   of 5x5, and I was trying to figure out

01:14:04   whether we would host that on our own server

01:14:06   or whether we wanted to use a CDN for it.

01:14:08   And I did the math, and I was like, wow,

01:14:10   that's a lot of data, just on a regular episode

01:14:12   of a moderately popular podcast.

01:14:14   It's a, just in five years ago terms,

01:14:18   an impossible amount of data.

01:14:20   - And cost aside, it wasn't even something

01:14:23   people would tolerate when they were connecting

01:14:26   with very slow connections.

01:14:27   They might think, I'd like to listen to that,

01:14:29   but Jesus, it's gonna take all night to download.

01:14:31   - Oh yeah, I remember those days of like,

01:14:33   leave the Mac on downloading podcasts and iTunes

01:14:36   'cause it's gonna take forever.

01:14:38   - All right, but you really,

01:14:39   you need to understand stuff like that.

01:14:41   You need to know that if you're gonna do video,

01:14:43   you're probably gonna have to host it YouTube

01:14:44   or something like that just because that way

01:14:46   you don't have to pay the bill.

01:14:48   - Yeah, and you better know what the terms are

01:14:50   for YouTube then and you know,

01:14:51   are you gonna use YouTube's ads

01:14:53   and what percentage do you get and is that gonna,

01:14:55   you know, then how many people do you need to get

01:14:57   is viewing each video for you to be able

01:14:59   to make a living doing that.

01:15:00   - Right, yeah, you know, it's not too complicated

01:15:03   but you've got to, there's all these abstractions

01:15:07   where you can just pretend that these things don't exist

01:15:09   and you don't have to worry about them.

01:15:11   It doesn't work like that.

01:15:12   Let me take a break, good time to take a break and thank another long time friend of the

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01:15:35   Something like a blog or do you want to host a podcast?

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01:16:59   did in a text editor through FTP and you had to know HTML and browsing was

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01:18:50   What else is going on?

01:18:51   I don't know. I mean the funny thing about this time of year is it's pretty quiet. And

01:18:58   talking about going out on my own, we used to have like a whole staff who would come

01:19:01   up with ideas of like stuff you could write that you could put in the system and just

01:19:06   sort of have it play out over the last two weeks of the year when nothing was going on.

01:19:10   And doing this myself, I'm like, "Oh yeah, I should probably put something--I should

01:19:13   probably write something today because there's nothing going on." But it's difficult because

01:19:16   there's really, you know, there's nothing going on. So you end up writing lots of, "Hey,

01:19:21   Let's look back at 2014 and what did we learn and what are my favorite things and I don't

01:19:26   know it's a tough time of year because there isn't a lot of tech stuff going on.

01:19:32   I've used it in the past this year I've just been busy it's just been a crazy busy holiday

01:19:36   thing with family and stuff.

01:19:38   A lot of times I use this the low period to write something that it might take a long

01:19:45   time and therefore you know like if I have a big thought piece on you know

01:19:49   where I what we know about the Apple watch now two or three months later I

01:19:55   wish I had more time for that maybe in this coming week I will but I have idea

01:19:59   but something like that where it's not has nothing to do with what's new or

01:20:03   news but just take advantage of the fact that there isn't any news to really

01:20:08   focus on and write it something like that right yeah I that's one of the

01:20:13   things that I've been grappling with and doing the site is how do you balance writing, you

01:20:19   know, being a one-person operation, right? If you're busy writing a deep think piece

01:20:23   about something that's going to go on for a thousand words, you're not writing things

01:20:27   to post on the site today. And I feel like with a less established site like mine, I

01:20:31   definitely feel pressure to keep the lights on every day and try to balance those things.

01:20:36   And you know, you have a different pace. You can post some links and then you put out a

01:20:41   bigger piece every so often and I like your pace but I don't feel like I can do that right now.

01:20:48   I feel like I need to keep the heartbeat a little stronger because I'm trying to establish myself

01:20:52   and pick up an audience that I may not have, you know, have captured yet. But then I end up in this

01:21:00   situation where it's like, wow, it's going to take me three days to write. Like the review of the

01:21:04   retina iMac was an example where it took me like two or three days to write that and one of my

01:21:08   challenges was always should I keep writing this now or should I stop and

01:21:14   find something short to write and post to the site just to let people know I'm

01:21:17   still alive while I'm also writing this longer piece and trying to find that

01:21:21   balance is tricky. It's one of the, again, not being on a team anymore and

01:21:26   being just myself I've learned the powerful lesson of how little one person

01:21:31   is capable of producing versus a staff. Then every once in a while though I

01:21:36   I surprise myself and I'm like, "Holy crap, I got a lot done in the last--a lot published

01:21:40   in the last 24 hours." Like, not just like stuff that I'd been working on for a long

01:21:44   time and happened to finish, I would just be like, "Wow, I got like eight links and

01:21:50   a full article all done in the last day. Why can't I do this every day?"

01:21:53   Well, I think part of it is energy and part of it is that that stuff doesn't always happen

01:21:59   like that, right? I mean, there are days--I know exactly what you're talking about and

01:22:02   maybe I didn't recognize them as much before as I do now, but there are those days where

01:22:05   oh my god there's like five great links and there's like three articles I could

01:22:10   write about things that happen today and those are wonderful days and and maybe

01:22:13   you defer a couple of those articles to later in the week and you just keep on

01:22:17   writing about it and then there are other times when it's just like wow what

01:22:20   is happening nothing is happening and and you know CES is gonna happen next

01:22:26   week I think yeah and there's always something interesting to write about

01:22:30   there even if it's sort of the anti-CES I'm very happy to not be going to CES

01:22:35   this year. But so that you know things the news cycle will will spin up again

01:22:40   but you're right it is kind of nice to have that ability to either spend time

01:22:44   with family or reflect a little bit or work on a longer-term project and you

01:22:48   know I've been thinking about that too but the with travel it becomes a lot

01:22:51   harder to to find the time to do that stuff when you're when you're traveling

01:22:56   or with family and all that. Yeah do you have the I know I don't know did I don't

01:23:02   I don't know if you've ever, I happen to know that Six Colors is running on movable type.

01:23:06   Yes.

01:23:07   I've been reading and read a post about that at some point.

01:23:10   Just like kind of come out of the closet and be like yes.

01:23:13   It might be the last new major site to launch on movable type.

01:23:18   It's possible.

01:23:19   I heard from the people who were doing the current version of movable type because I'm

01:23:21   using movable type four which I think maybe you're using.

01:23:25   Yes definitely.

01:23:26   The last, I mean the joke would be the last good version.

01:23:29   That's what a lot of it, because five was not so good.

01:23:32   I heard from the people who are the current support license people for movable type and

01:23:36   they're like, you know, we want to talk, maybe we can give you a license and we can use you

01:23:40   as an example.

01:23:41   And on one level I was like, oh, that's interesting.

01:23:43   But then I also was kind of thinking, I'm not sure they added anything that I would

01:23:46   actually want.

01:23:48   And I'm fortunate to have my friend Greg Noss is like savant with Pearl for one and movable

01:23:54   type for two.

01:23:56   And so in a way I've got an off the shelf, you know, CMS from five years ago or eight

01:24:00   years ago and a guy who can customize it to do whatever and so that's pretty good

01:24:05   and I threw out all their templates I didn't use any of their templates when I

01:24:07   built the site templates it's all original templates but you know

01:24:12   sometimes it's just go with what you know and all the movable type is old and

01:24:16   weird I also know it like I I could have done WordPress but I actually don't know

01:24:21   WordPress I would have to learn a lot about WordPress or Squarespace or

01:24:25   anything that I was doing and I thought I've already got the server here it's

01:24:28   already running movable type for some other projects why not just do that I

01:24:33   can do that without learning anything about the CMS and I can just focus on

01:24:37   the content and getting the templates live and when I was launching a site in

01:24:40   a week that seemed like a good idea so you know it's fine. Do you have the

01:24:44   IMT plugin that gives you like a posting interface from the iPhone? Oh I

01:24:52   don't think I do. See that to me is the game changer and I don't know and I know

01:24:58   I know that WordPress has like a pretty good, maybe even better iPhone optimized interface.

01:25:06   I forget who else wrote IMT.

01:25:08   I know Brad Choate, C-H-O-A-T-E, who was a long time Six Apart employee wrote the plug-in

01:25:15   originally.

01:25:16   It goes back to like 2008.

01:25:17   I mean it came out or maybe even 2007.

01:25:19   It came out very early.

01:25:23   It doesn't give you all of movable type.

01:25:24   It only gives you, just pick a blog, either make a new entry or edit an existing entry

01:25:31   and then when you open an entry it's just, you know, here's the fields that you show.

01:25:37   So I hacked mine a little bit just to make it a little bit more specific to how I use

01:25:41   the fields.

01:25:42   But…

01:25:43   Yeah, well that's what I did with, like Greg wrote a plug-in that does audio processing

01:25:49   because doing podcasts in movable type is problematic because movable type doesn't

01:25:53   like what the byte count is and you're supposed to put that in the RSS feed the

01:25:57   length and the byte count of the file you're linking to and so he just wrote a

01:26:00   plug-in for me that that does that and that means I can keep using it is a

01:26:05   little bit like you know an IT person saying I know that there have been five

01:26:09   versions of Adobe Photoshop that have come out but we're just going to stay on

01:26:13   you know version 3 because it works for us and we're okay right it's a little

01:26:18   like that being on this old CMS but it works fine and if at the point that it

01:26:22   It doesn't work fine.

01:26:23   It's got a perfectly reasonable database format,

01:26:25   and I could migrate it somewhere else.

01:26:27   But like I said, knowing somebody

01:26:29   who can write a movable type plug-in in a few hours

01:26:34   to solve a problem helps a lot.

01:26:36   I could do anything with six colors, though.

01:26:38   It's so simple.

01:26:39   The incomparable is much crazier.

01:26:40   It's in movable type, but it's got multiple blogs,

01:26:42   and they're all related to each other.

01:26:44   So it's like a relational database.

01:26:45   Yeah, right.

01:26:46   Well, the incomparable is no longer one thing.

01:26:48   Right, right, because it's multiple podcasts.

01:26:50   So we've got a podcast blog and an episodes blog

01:26:54   and they interrelate and that's how you can generate

01:26:56   multiple podcast feeds and a master list and a master feed.

01:27:00   And all of that is actually a bunch of movable type things.

01:27:03   That's a totally crazy thing, but it works.

01:27:06   And we built it because there was just things

01:27:10   that the Dan Benjamin CMS didn't offer.

01:27:13   And they were not things Dan should ever have built

01:27:16   because his other shows would never use them.

01:27:19   But for like, I want an index so that people can find out that we talked about Raiders

01:27:23   of the Lost Ark in like episode 8 or something.

01:27:26   And they can go to a page and scroll down to Raiders of the Lost Ark and there's a link

01:27:30   to the podcast where we talked about it.

01:27:32   And Dan's site was never going to do that, and that's not his fault, it's just it didn't

01:27:36   make sense for him, but I wanted those features.

01:27:38   So we built this crazy thing in movable type.

01:27:41   And you know, it's crazy, but it works pretty well.

01:27:45   And once I had that up and running, it was really easy to just add the Six Colors blog

01:27:51   on to movable type too, because I was already wrangling it and Greg already knew it, and

01:27:55   so we decided to do that too.

01:27:57   The nice thing about movable type is, you know, its template language is fairly simple,

01:28:00   but it's pretty robust, and it's rendering static pages, which means you're not going

01:28:07   to get fireballed, which is nice too.

01:28:09   Well, everybody renders static pages.

01:28:12   just a question of whether they're rendering them immediately or whether

01:28:16   they're calling it caching. Well that's true, that's true, and caching with

01:28:20   WordPress has gotten a lot better, which is good, and I've used

01:28:23   WordPress, it's just I'm not comfortable with it. It's interesting to see stuff

01:28:29   like this is in some cases is a nerd litmus test a little bit, right? It's like

01:28:34   oh what blog platform do you use and and there's some immovable type is not cool

01:28:38   It's old and weird, but right tool for the job, you know, right tool for the job.

01:28:44   And I'm a big believer in that, that I shouldn't have to spend a week getting up to speed in

01:28:48   a platform that's going to let me do exactly what I was going to do on the thing that I

01:28:52   already know.

01:28:53   And if I had to jump, I would.

01:28:54   In fact, when I'm thinking about doing like site registrations or something for the website,

01:29:01   that one option I have to do like a membership, a voluntary membership for Six Colors, there's

01:29:07   a WordPress plugin that does a good job with that.

01:29:10   I think that's what Ben Thompson's using.

01:29:13   It might be and it's what Sean Blanc is using.

01:29:15   Or if not, he's customized.

01:29:16   Yeah, yeah.

01:29:17   But Sean Blanc I know told me about it.

01:29:19   And you know, if I want to use that tool, I can just set up a WordPress instance too

01:29:25   and use that for that and not for the rest of it and just have them interconnect.

01:29:29   And I can do that too.

01:29:30   It's not, you know, it's not necessarily bad to do stuff like that, but it does make me

01:29:35   feel not cool when I get.

01:29:37   I got an email the other day from somebody who was like, "I see this feature on your

01:29:41   blog and I would like to implement that.

01:29:43   I assume you use WordPress like I do.

01:29:45   How did you do it?"

01:29:46   I'm like, "Oh, okay.

01:29:47   Bad news.

01:29:48   Not using WordPress."

01:29:49   Yeah.

01:29:50   I've gotten that over the years too with the combined posts thing.

01:29:54   Although you can definitely do it in WordPress, but you would have to do it in a different

01:29:58   way.

01:29:59   Yeah.

01:30:00   Yeah.

01:30:01   And again, I don't know how you'd do it in WordPress, but I know exactly how you'd do

01:30:02   it in movable type.

01:30:03   So especially for just wanting to get it up soon, it made a lot of sense to do that.

01:30:10   I kind of like movable type.

01:30:12   It's funky and weird, but I had an argument with somebody where they were talking about

01:30:16   what real markdown was.

01:30:18   I mean, don't get me started, don't get you started, but I had a moment where I said,

01:30:22   you know, I still consider markdown.pl the definitive markdown, and they very, I think,

01:30:27   thought they were being very smart.

01:30:29   They said, yeah, but you don't actually, you know, how much of what you do actually gets

01:30:32   processed by markdown.pl and I said all of it because either I run it in a

01:30:37   script in bbedit and it outputs HTML and I paste that in somewhere or I'm using

01:30:42   movable type which is using the markdown.pl on the fly to convert those to HTML

01:30:47   so I'm you know it has that advantage too. Even my the markdown dingus at

01:30:53   daring fireball which is an extremely popular thing I mean I had thousands of

01:30:59   There the number of people who use that web page every day is

01:31:03   Greater than I think the daily readership of daring fireball when I went full-time

01:31:07   It's it's that popular

01:31:10   It's just a little PHP form or you can enter some markdown hit a button and then it gives you the output beneath which you

01:31:16   Can then copy and paste elsewhere?

01:31:18   Which I originally wrote just for people I didn't think people would actually use it as a as a tool tool

01:31:24   I thought it was just like if you're learning this if you're reading about this and you want to learn

01:31:28   Type something here, and then you can see the output here

01:31:32   And there's no better way to learn then you know you can see that you put

01:31:36   Asterisks around the word and then in the output it puts em tags around the word

01:31:40   But people use it on a daily basis. Just like oh, I want to convert

01:31:45   I need to get some I need to have this in HTML

01:31:47   I'll quick - it out here hit the button and copy and paste it and I have so anyway

01:31:51   That's great, but it's a little form written in PHP, but behind the scenes it still calls out to the pearl verse

01:31:57   And it sounds, when I did that, I thought, well that's never going to scale.

01:32:04   Like if this page gets popular, it's got to be slow.

01:32:07   But it's not.

01:32:08   It's because the whole thing is so stupid simple that even if it's a PHP script that

01:32:13   calls out to the Unix shell and runs a Perl script on the text file and then puts the

01:32:16   input back in, it all takes place in a fraction of a second.

01:32:19   You're waiting longer for the network than you are for my server to do that.

01:32:25   (laughs)

01:32:26   - It's amazing how far we've come.

01:32:28   - Yeah, 'cause I remember when running a Perl script

01:32:30   was actually like, you know,

01:32:32   - Stop the presses. - Kinda slow.

01:32:33   Right, it was like, should I write this in C

01:32:36   or should I just write like a Perl script

01:32:39   and it's like, well, it'll take a second or two

01:32:41   for Perl to fire up, but you know what,

01:32:42   I don't, it's so much easier, I'll just do it.

01:32:47   I wanna take a break, and this isn't even a sponsor break,

01:32:49   I wanna circle back half an hour.

01:32:52   the research department, the award-winning research department here at the talk show,

01:32:57   has found the white paper that I was talking about. It's by Wilfredo Sanchez. I cannot

01:33:03   believe I forgot Fred's name because I've even had drinks with him at WWDC. Great guy.

01:33:10   It's a USENEX 2000 presentation. So this is from the year 2000. The challenges of integrating

01:33:18   the Unix and Mac OS environments. And I will put it in the show notes guaranteed. It is,

01:33:24   I swear it sounds very dry, but it is a terrific read if you have any technical interest in

01:33:31   this sort of thing like, well, how do you square the circle of having a classic Mac

01:33:35   OS with colon separators and Unix with slash separators and other issues too like the fact

01:33:41   that the Unix file system didn't have file IDs and the Mac had aliases and didn't have

01:33:46   have Simlinks and Unix didn't have aliases and did have Simlinks and etc.

01:33:51   How did they make it all work?

01:33:54   It is a wonderfully well, you know, it's typical just for someone who would be a great engineer

01:33:58   at Apple.

01:33:59   It is, it's written in very, very clear language.

01:34:02   So I will put it in the show notes.

01:34:04   I don't want to forget that.

01:34:06   And my apologies to anybody out there who's listening who remembered that Fred Sanchez

01:34:14   wrote that paper and for the last 45 minutes has been writing email while they listen to

01:34:19   us continue on this show.

01:34:20   Tim Cynova Isn't that great when you get the Twitter

01:34:22   feedback that's like, "Oh, you can't – the answer is this," and you're like, "Just

01:34:25   keep listening.

01:34:26   We got it."

01:34:27   So my apologies to them.

01:34:29   Tim Cynova I know where you are in the show right now.

01:34:32   Your patience will be rewarded.

01:34:33   Just keep on listening.

01:34:35   Tim Cynova You had another – oh, you know what?

01:34:39   Let's talk about the interview Sony thing.

01:34:41   Oh, yeah, that is something that was going on over over Christmas right this whole thing

01:34:48   where

01:34:51   Sony Entertainment got hacked by somebody

01:34:54   Many people including the US government believe either by the North Korean government or by a group sponsored by the North Korean government, right?

01:35:02   Perhaps in protest of this movie Seth Rogen

01:35:08   James Franco or as

01:35:11   President Obama called him James Flacco.

01:35:13   James Flacco, yeah.

01:35:15   What's the story? He was conflating him with the Ravens quarterback, right?

01:35:19   Yeah, Joe Flacco, right.

01:35:20   Joey Flacco.

01:35:21   You know, a movie that is about a comedy about them assassinating North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

01:35:32   Right, they're asked by the CIA to assassinate him.

01:35:36   him. Yeah and then they got hacked and all this embarrassing stuff came out and

01:35:43   then they got threatened there were threats whether they were real or

01:35:48   imagined that any theater it was supposed to come out on Christmas Day I

01:35:51   guess and any there were threats that any theater that showed it was going to

01:35:54   you know perhaps suffer some kind of terrorist attack. I think they said there

01:35:58   would be another 9/11 at movie theaters near you. Yeah right which it doesn't

01:36:03   seem like seems implausible yeah yeah you're gonna fly how many airplanes into

01:36:08   the movie theaters but anyway theaters decided I think I I think it was a

01:36:16   mistake but I think they made a simple economic decision which was well

01:36:20   Christmas is a huge time for movies and period this movie in particular wasn't

01:36:24   gonna be a big hit anyway just screw this movie and keep the theaters open

01:36:28   right and then you know next thing you know Sony wanted to release it online

01:36:31   and

01:36:33   they did but iTunes was not among the

01:36:35   Streaming outfits that had it on on day one day, right?

01:36:40   As we record we're recording on

01:36:43   the 29th

01:36:45   29th it hit iTunes yesterday the 28. Mm-hmm

01:36:48   I

01:36:50   Think that summarizes the situation. Yeah, and there was a there was one weird story that I that

01:36:55   Suggested that Sony had called the White House

01:37:00   asking for help in getting Apple to put it on iTunes,

01:37:05   which I have not seen any corroboration of that,

01:37:07   but that was the one that struck me as like,

01:37:09   that's weird, that's a weird.

01:37:10   - Yeah, that was the New York Times and it was an off,

01:37:14   it was just like in the middle of the article

01:37:16   and it was just sort of offhand.

01:37:18   - I mean, I don't know if that's your call to switchboard

01:37:19   and you ask for Eddie Q's number

01:37:20   or is that like President Obama,

01:37:22   can you do us a solid and call Tim Cook?

01:37:24   There's a spectrum of what might've happened there.

01:37:28   And it's unclear from that,

01:37:29   There's sort of the implication that they wanted it to be an iTunes exclusive, but Apple

01:37:34   wasn't interested.

01:37:36   And then what ended up happening is that it went up on Christmas Eve on Google Play and

01:37:44   on YouTube for purchase or rental and Xbox Live.

01:37:53   But not iTunes until the 28th, I guess.

01:37:58   You know, I wrote today, just before we started the show, I gave it my headline of the week

01:38:04   award.

01:38:05   Finally.

01:38:06   What was the...

01:38:08   BGR's headline was Apple...

01:38:10   Oh God, I don't want to get this wrong because it's so classic.

01:38:16   BGR's headline was Apple finally decides to stand up to Sony Hackers releases the interview

01:38:22   on iTunes.

01:38:23   Oh man.

01:38:26   So whether it's true or not, I've got nobody on the record, but speaking to some people

01:38:32   at Apple, nobody directly involved at iTunes, but people who know people who are involved

01:38:36   at iTunes, the story I've heard, and it makes sense, because for example, if you're a developer,

01:38:40   this is public knowledge, iTunes Connect closes around the 22nd or 23rd, and they even say,

01:38:47   you go to the iTunes Connect site, they say iTunes Connect is closed until December 28th.

01:38:51   They close a couple days before Christmas,

01:38:54   and they don't open until a couple days afterwards,

01:38:58   and that's it.

01:38:59   Like whatever you want, if you're a developer,

01:39:01   if you wanna get a bug fix in,

01:39:03   you've gotta get it in before they close,

01:39:04   and otherwise you're gonna wait about a week

01:39:06   because they wanna give people time off.

01:39:09   So my understanding, I think that what happened was Apple,

01:39:12   and the New York Times article kinda hinted at this.

01:39:14   Not that Apple wasn't interested,

01:39:16   but they weren't interested in doing it on Sony's timetable.

01:39:19   that it was, this was like the blackout period for iTunes.

01:39:23   And it's not easy, like this stuff is non-trivial.

01:39:27   Like to have all these movies streaming around the world,

01:39:31   it takes a while for them to propagate around to the CDNs,

01:39:35   the content delivery networks that Apple uses.

01:39:38   And again, in theory,

01:39:41   if they wanted to get it up on Christmas,

01:39:43   I'm sure they could have,

01:39:44   but I think they would have had to call people back

01:39:45   vacation and you know make all sorts of exceptions and I just think Apple's

01:39:50   decision was this is not our problem you know yeah we have the movie if we get

01:39:55   the movie three days from now so what yeah I think they might have said it's

01:39:58   not gonna be the bigger thing I don't know I look at the I look at how this

01:40:02   story had gone and kind of think that somebody at Apple probably should have

01:40:06   said let's be prepared to slide this thing up on Christmas Day just because

01:40:12   that may be how this goes. I think it was clear a while ago people were talking

01:40:16   about maybe they would just make it available video on demand and I know

01:40:21   that that's probably telling an employee or two at Apple that they

01:40:25   need to come to work or be on call to come to work over the

01:40:29   holiday and that sucks but at the same time you know although that headline is

01:40:34   ridiculous I do feel like there was a chance here for Apple to just kind of be

01:40:39   part of the story and instead the story was "Oh, Apple doesn't have it, that's weird."

01:40:45   And I don't know, I mean if they're in the business of working with the studios to get

01:40:47   this stuff up wouldn't you want to be seen as being on the forefront of this and being

01:40:51   flexible enough to get it up and I kind of feel like what was revealed is that Apple's

01:40:55   systems are a little bit rickety and they were running a skeleton crew and so they just

01:41:01   couldn't get it up in time for the timing of it which is kind of weird although if you've

01:41:05   used iTunes connect it's not unreasonable to think that that's a

01:41:09   weird you know back-end system that regular people never have to see but

01:41:14   yeah it's not a big deal but it is a little surprising that it shouldn't

01:41:17   Apple be at the forefront of this stuff and be like sure we can put that up no

01:41:20   problem yeah I do I do kind of feel that aside you know and again who knows what

01:41:24   the actual capabilities are I don't know for sure but I do think that it might be

01:41:28   true that Apple's back-end system for this stuff is less nimble than you know

01:41:34   And you know, no surprise that Google might be a lot more nimble in this regard. Yeah. Yeah that they can do something quicker

01:41:40   They can pull something put it up quicker and have it propagate and stream around the world quicker than Apple can

01:41:47   Were they mean Apple Apple still the company that when they make changes to the store has to take the store down for an hour

01:41:52   Or two. Yeah, exactly

01:41:54   Exactly. Yeah

01:41:55   I just think that's that's part of the story and they've gotten better at it also used to be that they would be like TV

01:41:59   shows that would come out and it was like supposed to be released on midnight

01:42:03   after the after the show aired or something like that and then on iTunes

01:42:07   it would always be like sometime the next day or maybe the day after and I

01:42:11   never knew whether that meant that somebody at the TV studio just didn't

01:42:14   get the file to them in time or whether it was like literally there's a lag in

01:42:19   iTunes Connect for content and you know the systems are slow or the approval is

01:42:23   slow and that stuff gets gets delayed and they seem to be better at that now

01:42:28   too but it's possible I don't know it's also possible that Google and Microsoft

01:42:32   and whoever else posted this thing had no problem telling their staff to work

01:42:38   on Christmas and maybe they maybe they had that plan and Apple has this kind of

01:42:41   corporate culture of dismissing everybody for that period of time and

01:42:46   you know maybe that's that played into this too I don't know it's not really

01:42:51   anybody though right I mean it can't really be everybody because you know on

01:42:55   Christmas morning when everybody's launching new iPods or iPads and iPhones.

01:42:59   Somebody's got to be there.

01:43:00   There are always people on call.

01:43:02   So that's the part that just, I don't know, maybe they just didn't think it was that big

01:43:05   a deal and that it was, that they didn't need to be there.

01:43:09   It's just, it's funny, in the end when the president is talking about it in his news

01:43:11   conference it's probably a big enough deal to pay attention to it, I think, if you're

01:43:15   Apple.

01:43:16   Just to not be, even if you're not going to be the only exclusive provider of it, to not

01:43:19   be the one major player who's not providing it.

01:43:23   I'm not saying they were afraid or anything that it's a lot of stupidity and in those statements

01:43:26   But I'm just saying for PR purposes alone. Don't you want to be not seen as being a step behind?

01:43:31   Microsoft and Google Play

01:43:34   yeah, I totally agree with that and and though the movie is a

01:43:39   Silly stupid comedy and not like a serious political statement

01:43:44   Which you know what?

01:43:45   I think if it had been if it had been some kind of like documentary on North Korea that had

01:43:52   You know sparked the hack and public need to see this movie

01:43:57   Right that I bet I wouldn't be surprised if Apple had made the exception then but I feel like it almost doesn't matter like

01:44:05   And I actually did rent the movie. Have you rented it now? It was really bad

01:44:10   Yeah, that's what I've heard

01:44:11   I mean I did not I don't know guys that they're best but at their worst seems like not a not a best showing for them

01:44:17   No, there are very few movies that even even though I'm like halfway through and like wow

01:44:22   I regret running this but I'll stick it through to the end that this one I did not make it

01:44:27   Like my wife and I just looked each other's like let's just go to bed. Let's go sleep

01:44:30   Because otherwise, I think I'm gonna fall asleep down here in front of this thing. It was not funny, but I still feel like you know

01:44:38   We can't have our movies being held to the whims of you know anonymous nutjob hackers. Yeah

01:44:46   Oh, yeah, totally got it. You got to stick to your guns and I kind of feel like

01:44:50   So as stupid as the movie itself actually is I kind of feel like it really was an exceptional situation that warranted probably

01:44:58   Exceptional and you know an exception from Apple from what they would typically do, right?

01:45:04   You know, it wasn't just like Sony had called them up and they're like we had this movie from the summer and

01:45:13   We've got it scheduled to come up with you guys on January 2nd

01:45:16   But you know what?

01:45:17   It's like can we do it like a week early and maybe get it up on Christmas and Apple's like no you guys you know

01:45:22   Before you know your chance to do that was last week

01:45:25   It's coming up on January 2nd. This was not just like a regular situation

01:45:30   Like you said the president United States is talking about right, right?

01:45:33   I mean, I'm glad that it ended up back in theaters and it sounds like it was the theater chains

01:45:37   We're like we're afraid we don't want to scare people away from the other movies

01:45:40   so we're just gonna punt it. And I'm glad that that some theaters finally showed it,

01:45:45   and I'm glad that it was on VOD and that people could watch it. And yeah, it's a shame in a way

01:45:50   that this isn't over a more serious, thoughtful piece of work instead of a kind of stoner road

01:45:57   comedy. But, you know, I like Franco and Rogan. I mean, I like from all the way back in Freaks

01:46:02   and Geeks days, actually. And the fact that Seth Rogan is a guy who headlines movies is totally

01:46:09   crazy for me because I mean look at that guy he's not a movie star and yet he is a movie star I love

01:46:14   that and he's a writer who has become you know he was primarily a writer who has become more of an

01:46:19   actor now I have lots of positive thoughts about those guys even if their movie is kind of sucky

01:46:23   I'm glad that it got out there and yeah yeah you would think I don't know you would think somebody

01:46:30   that would be like yeah guys I think we need to do this and and I think perhaps that did happen

01:46:35   eventually after the fact where maybe on Christmas Day somebody was like, "Why are we not out

01:46:40   there with this?"

01:46:41   And so now we see it, you know, because it went on iTunes faster than I thought once

01:46:46   it didn't go on iTunes on the day of release.

01:46:48   I thought, "That's going to lag behind and they're going to come up and turn all the

01:46:51   lights back on and then they're going to put it out there."

01:46:54   It got up there faster than I thought after they passed by the initial drop date.

01:46:59   Now, it was exactly -- I would say it was exactly what I expected.

01:47:03   I read between the lines and my guess was all they said was we're not gonna do this

01:47:09   We're not gonna get this up by Christmas. Oh, that's it

01:47:11   We'll get it in you know, somebody will come back in on Friday or Monday and push the button. Yeah

01:47:15   We'll make it. Yeah. Yeah stupid movie cannot

01:47:19   Really not I really cannot an incident. Yeah an international incident

01:47:24   propelled by a

01:47:27   Stoner Road comedy. It's amazing. This is amazing

01:47:32   world we live in. Alright, let me take a break and thank our third and final sponsor of the

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01:50:57   - I have 16 domains at Hover.

01:50:59   I may have a problem, but I do.

01:51:02   - And count.

01:51:03   - Yeah, well, and this is where I put all the,

01:51:04   when I got six colors, that's where I put it.

01:51:07   - Yeah, see, I was about to say I'm gonna repeat myself,

01:51:09   but it must have been something I told you in person,

01:51:11   because you haven't been on the show.

01:51:13   I think Six Colors is such a great name.

01:51:16   - Thanks.

01:51:17   - When you came out with that, you didn't ask me,

01:51:19   you didn't say, "Hey John, what do you think of the name?"

01:51:21   My feelings were a little hurt.

01:51:23   I think it was 'cause you knew you had a home run.

01:51:25   - Yeah, well that was, I mean,

01:51:26   I expected a lot more hand wringing and difficulty.

01:51:29   Honestly, I did some brainstorming

01:51:32   when I decided I was gonna do this site.

01:51:35   And I thought, I don't want it to be iSomething

01:51:38   or Mac something.

01:51:39   I'd already spent years dealing with a brand name

01:51:42   with Mac in it that was talking about iOS and I also wanted the freedom to

01:51:45   talk about other tech stuff that's not Apple related at all but I also didn't

01:51:48   want it to be just completely divorced I wanted I wanted to mean something to me

01:51:51   completely divorced from Apple I was like well if I can tip my cap at Apple

01:51:55   somehow and yet have it not be necessary to understanding just have it be an easy

01:51:59   to scan site. Site name that that was what I was looking for and I also wanted

01:52:04   to be something that was kind of normal words and spellable and a dot-com those

01:52:08   Those were sort of all my rules because I did TV.net, which was T-E-E-V-E-E dot net

01:52:13   and there's nothing worse than having to spell it out and then point out it's not a dot com,

01:52:16   it's a dot net.

01:52:18   I wanted it to be simple.

01:52:20   And then that struck me, that classic, it comes from the D interview that Steve Jobs

01:52:26   did with Walt and Kara about when he came back to Apple, wrapping back around to the

01:52:31   beginning of the show in '96, '97, and he was amazed at how many good people were still

01:52:38   there when he thought the company should be just empty because it was in such dire straits.

01:52:42   And the phrase that struck him at the time was, somebody told him, or multiple people

01:52:46   told him, that, you know, "We bleed six colors here," or "I bleed six colors," that the classic

01:52:52   Apple rainbow logo, which was the logo at the time, it's like, it's in my blood.

01:52:55   This is, Apple is part of who I am, and that struck Steve.

01:52:59   It's like, oh yeah, bleeding six colors, that makes sense.

01:53:01   You love Apple like I love Apple, let's make some great stuff.

01:53:03   And I felt like that was, that was it.

01:53:06   like I'm not going to always praise everything Apple does, I'm going to criticize Apple,

01:53:09   I'm going to try to be fair when I write about Apple, and I'm going to write about things

01:53:11   that aren't Apple.

01:53:12   But Apple has defined my career in tech journalism, there's no doubt about it, and it would be

01:53:17   crazy for me not to find a way to reference that.

01:53:21   And so I thought, you know, bleed six, six colors, bleed six colors, you know, let me

01:53:26   look that up.

01:53:27   And I found out that there were no websites called that.

01:53:30   The dot-com domain for it was available, it was owned by somebody, but it was just a site

01:53:35   literally saying make me an offer and I thought oh well it's like and then I

01:53:39   gave it a few days where I just thought maybe maybe not do I want to do this

01:53:43   what do I want to do but I never went to a backup name because I thought well

01:53:48   this is great it doesn't say Mac it doesn't say I it's a dot-com it's

01:53:50   regular English words and so yeah so then I ended up making making those

01:53:56   people an offer and transferring it to hover and I bought six colors with a U

01:53:59   for everybody in Commonwealth countries it redirects to the one without the U.

01:54:03   Does it redirect or does it mirror it? It redirects it and what I want to do at

01:54:08   some point is write a script or something that mirrors it with all of

01:54:12   the words swapped out for their English equivalents but I haven't gotten to that

01:54:16   point yet. Maybe that would be a good addition to smarty pants. Englishify.

01:54:21   Like yeah put a monocle on a top hat on it but yeah so it was I'm glad you like

01:54:27   it I mean I've gotten incredibly positive feedback from it which is which

01:54:30   is great because you never expect positive feedback from anything on the

01:54:32   internet you expect people to grouse about it but I've been

01:54:37   happy to have the people say nice things about it and yeah I'm happy about it.

01:54:42   Like I said I expected this to be a real trial and for me to get something

01:54:46   that was a compromise because you hear those stories like Marco tells a story

01:54:49   about Overcast and how he had all these different ideas and you know things he

01:54:52   couldn't get and things that didn't pass a trademark search or

01:54:56   anything like that and you know for this I was really just looking for a ideally

01:55:00   dot-com domain. I would have taken some others probably if I could have come up

01:55:05   with something clever. But you know this for me was a good fit. It's like if you

01:55:08   get what it's referencing then great. And if you don't it doesn't matter. It's just

01:55:12   a brand. I mean like Daring Fireball is it's a good name. You know it's a

01:55:18   good name. But it's funny though because it's not enough to have a good

01:55:21   name though because well I wonder about that today. Like I know like Jason Fried

01:55:27   At base camp I was gonna say 37 seconds. I still always want to call them 37 seconds

01:55:32   I will for the rest of my life, but he's written about

01:55:35   How domain names don't mean as much anymore and they have base camp calm down, right?

01:55:41   But for I think at least 10 years your base came HQ

01:55:45   HQ everybody who used base camp knows that it was HQ and his thing was look man people just google base camp

01:55:52   You know, and then what you know when they have an account they just start typing B in their auto

01:55:57   you know in their address field and it fills in and

01:55:59   When they're looking for it, they don't go to the website

01:56:04   They go to Google and they type base camp and basically, you know, we could be base camp

01:56:08   HQXFG and you know, they would get to us

01:56:12   So I do think it's a little bit less important

01:56:15   I agree like it's better to have a good name that just sounds like a good name six colors

01:56:19   It sounds good rather than worry about the domain

01:56:21   But I still think that there's an art to getting a name where it looks like a good URL, you know

01:56:28   And every once in a while

01:56:29   It's like I'm trying to think of an example but like a lot of times when you have like an S in the middle

01:56:34   it

01:56:36   If it's plural like sixes colors comment, it's like, you know, it doesn't look good

01:56:43   It's like you lose the two words, you know, you want if you're gonna combine two words

01:56:47   Yeah, they're like daring fireball or six colors

01:56:49   you want it to be completely unambiguous even without camel case because that's how most people are gonna see it and

01:56:55   Every once in a while you come up with a domain name. It's like two words put together

01:56:59   They sound great. The meaning is great, but then you look at them all lowercase together and it's like you can't read it

01:57:05   I mean

01:57:05   It's like we had a lot of politics

01:57:07   Involving picking a name for the site that we launched it at IDG and we chose tech hive and there are a lot of things

01:57:12   I love I love the logo. I love the colors. I like the name but in a browser

01:57:16   It looks terrible because it's the two H's in the middle. Yeah, that's a good perfect. That's exactly the sort of thing

01:57:21   I'm talking about. Yeah, no, but it again it did, you know, but that's two H's in a row

01:57:26   It's it's exactly right

01:57:28   Whereas in if it wasn't for the URL you would never it would never occur to you

01:57:32   right because the eight the second H would always be uppercase and I'd be as

01:57:35   They either be camel case or it would be two words with a space between them

01:57:39   But either way it would be a lowercase H and a capital H and it wouldn't be a problem

01:57:43   Oh, I did get and I've never even used this it redirects, but I did get six color dot RS

01:57:49   Because I don't know why not that's like Serbia Serbian domain registrar has some of my money now

01:57:56   But I don't know

01:57:57   I I bought a lot of domains when I was speculating about that about the name and that's why I have 16 domains and hover is

01:58:03   I've got I've got bleed six colors and bleed six and I've got numerals some six of something but not of six colors and and

01:58:09   and a few other names that were in there, Snell World,

01:58:12   which is where I posted my like sort of resignation

01:58:15   announcement thing that was just a placeholder

01:58:17   until I could launch Six Colors.

01:58:19   But yeah, it's a name, right?

01:58:22   It's a name with real words.

01:58:23   You don't have to explain it.

01:58:24   And Daring Fireball is like that.

01:58:25   I mean, people might ask, what does that mean?

01:58:28   But the words are recognizable.

01:58:30   It's an understandable concept.

01:58:31   And I think in the art of naming, that's what you want,

01:58:34   is you want something that is gonna catch a little bit

01:58:36   and be like, oh yeah, because yeah,

01:58:38   even if the domain doesn't matter,

01:58:39   Although quite frankly, you're on a podcast or you're on a TV interview and somebody says,

01:58:43   "Oh, where can people read about you?"

01:58:45   It helps, especially at the beginning to say sixcolors.com because if you say, "Well, here's

01:58:50   a weird URL you have to go to," it's less likely anybody's going to remember it, but

01:58:54   they might remember the name.

01:58:56   Did you get the digit sixcolors.com?

01:58:58   I didn't.

01:58:59   And I would like to get that at some point, but it was quite frankly, it was too expensive.

01:59:04   After I bought the others, I was like, "Wow, that's really pricey for just a reader act."

01:59:08   And to your point about Google, I feel like after some amount of time of me doing this,

01:59:14   I can decide whether I want to go ahead and buy that.

01:59:17   And my feeling is at some point those other alternatives are a lot less valuable because

01:59:23   there's already a thing that is sixcolors.com and so numeralsixcolors.com is not a, you

01:59:28   know, they're going to think, well it's valuable if they can sell it to me, but nobody else

01:59:31   is going to want it.

01:59:33   So I hope to get them eventually, but I'm not going to pay an arm and a leg to get them

01:59:37   just because they'll redirect.

01:59:39   - I've told this before, when I registered during Fireball,

01:59:41   I registered .net and .com at the same time.

01:59:44   And I went with .net as the canonical one,

01:59:47   because I've since grown out of it,

01:59:51   and I guess if I had it to do all over again,

01:59:52   I'd probably use the .com.

01:59:54   But at the time, I had a weird aversion to .coms.

01:59:56   I just thought, I don't know.

01:59:58   It's inexplicable, I cannot express it.

02:00:02   It just felt like .com meant you were like a big company.

02:00:04   - Well, there was a time when .net was kind of cool.

02:00:06   It was like a cool like insidery, you know,

02:00:10   we're the techie people of the internet and we have .net.

02:00:13   We had ITV, .net and .org, I just didn't ever get .com.

02:00:17   - Yeah, I don't know.

02:00:18   It just seemed to me like a person with a site

02:00:21   should not have a .com.

02:00:22   And I don't even know, I've never even asked him.

02:00:23   I've always thought maybe that's why Kotke uses Kotke.org.

02:00:26   But I registered those two.

02:00:29   And this is back at a time when there were really only

02:00:31   three big ones, .net, .com, .org.

02:00:33   And I didn't register .org.

02:00:35   Somebody else has it, it's this guy Peter Ha-Ha-s something.

02:00:39   If you go to daringfireball.org,

02:00:41   it's a guy who hosts his personal blog there.

02:00:43   I swear to God, I swear to God.

02:00:46   - That is crazy.

02:00:47   I bought the .org for six colors.

02:00:50   - Every once in a while, somebody will write to me

02:00:53   and point it to me and be like, hey, are you aware of this?

02:00:56   But it's like the guy, he hasn't updated it in two years.

02:00:59   And it was never popular.

02:01:03   So I just thought it's not worth it.

02:01:05   I don't know why he did it. It just seems to me like he's probably it must be some kind of crazy person

02:01:10   It's also possible that his blog is somewhere else

02:01:12   But he's parked he's parked that domain at the same IP address and it's just accepting all the all the traffic

02:01:17   And so even though he's thinking that he's serving that at you know, my my blog dot Peter hahaha calm

02:01:23   It's also Sarah still serving it during fireball org. I don't know that happens sometimes

02:01:29   Yeah for a while the guy who owns

02:01:32   Newspaper calm or at least he did own newspaper calm had it redirecting to daring fireball

02:01:38   I didn't have it. I wasn't my domain

02:01:42   It was this the guy who had it and it's a you know, I don't know newspaper comm is probably pretty valuable

02:01:47   Domain, maybe it no longer it still isn't a thing if you go to newspaper calm. It's like a sorry

02:01:54   we're down for the moment and there's an animation but

02:01:57   for a while and it was just weird though because

02:01:59   It was like I don't know

02:02:01   It was enough traffic on a daily basis that it showed up in my referrals

02:02:06   Like I was like what the hell is this newspaper calm that is like my 15th highest referral and I went to it and it was

02:02:12   Daring fireball and I was like what?

02:02:14   And and oh and I'll the other thing was while he was doing it

02:02:17   I would get I would get about one or two offers a month to buy it. Sure and I was like, it's not me

02:02:23   I was like, I don't know why it's pointing to my site, but it ain't me

02:02:27   Yeah, I remember there was a story about that. I think maybe even a site

02:02:30   I did had that for a while where somebody owned it and they didn't want to give it to us

02:02:34   Or sell it to us, but they said but I'm not using it. So I'll just redirect it to you for now

02:02:38   I was like, okay, that's that doesn't really help me because I can't rely on it

02:02:42   But it's nice that you turn the spigot on us for a while

02:02:45   You know the story with TV comm is that it was a it was a blog on CNET for a while and TVE

02:02:52   I think it was no wasn't even seen that it was like hotwired or something like that

02:02:55   And they got wired digital got sold to like Lycos or Alta Vista or something like that

02:03:01   And it basically got sucked into this giant internet company

02:03:04   To the point where they were never using it if you visited that.com of my.net.org

02:03:09   if you went to the.com you just went to the search engine homepage and

02:03:12   I spent years trying to get them

02:03:16   To not even to sell it to me to find the person who is in charge of the domains at

02:03:21   TerraSoft, Lycos, whatever.

02:03:23   To this day, I have no idea.

02:03:26   - Just give me somebody to talk to.

02:03:27   - Yeah, 'cause we just have this blog, you're not using it.

02:03:30   It was the name of a blog on a website

02:03:32   that you bought 10 years ago.

02:03:34   They only did 10 posts or whatever,

02:03:35   and then they shut it down.

02:03:37   And to this day, if you go to teeve.com,

02:03:40   you end up at insiderinfo.com at the Lycos Network.

02:03:47   which yeah, with a form submission of SRC

02:03:52   equals NM domains.

02:03:54   I wonder if that's like all of our dead domains

02:03:57   just redirect to this page where they,

02:03:59   where they, I don't even know what.

02:04:03   It's like a user submitted content or something like that.

02:04:05   So they're renting out all these old domains.

02:04:08   But it's like that they just, they got that domain,

02:04:10   domains are funny.

02:04:11   They got that domain a million years ago

02:04:13   and they just keep paying whatever they're paying

02:04:15   as part of the thousand domains that they own.

02:04:17   and will pay for it forever.

02:04:20   And that's always the problem

02:04:22   when you're shopping for domains is that,

02:04:24   is that if it's, somebody wants to sell it, it's great.

02:04:26   But if it's just inside the maw of a giant corporation,

02:04:29   forget it, just forget it.

02:04:31   - TV.

02:04:32   - T-E-E-V-E-E, you see the problem here.

02:04:35   - Dot com.

02:04:36   - Dot com.

02:04:37   - Yeah, it just redirects to like some kind of--

02:04:40   - Weird site, but .net and .org,

02:04:42   we still have actually.

02:04:44   And that was my, that was the TV blog

02:04:46   my friends and I did for like 96 to I don't even know when sometime in the 2000s.

02:04:52   Ends up Lycos is still a thing. I guess so or again there's a company that swallowed Lycos

02:04:58   that owns the assets and including all those domains that they bought. And they still run it

02:05:02   and no I just went there they still operate as a search engine. Wow yeah I have not thought of

02:05:08   Lycos in a long time. It's amazing it's amazing and it may even be powered by somebody else but

02:05:12   it's it's it's still there so you can still go there and get searchers nice

02:05:16   so I'm sure they're really good I wonder if their search results from the 90s

02:05:20   that'd be funny I searched for Jason Snell and it to redirect me to Snell

02:05:25   world so well that's not bad they're up to date it's not bad I was at my mom's

02:05:30   house and she found a thing I did at Mac user again bringing it back around

02:05:34   called the internet roadmap and it was like literally this this subscription

02:05:40   premium I think or maybe it was a newsstand premium it was like a road map except it was

02:05:44   of sites on the internet and they were all interconnected and it was actually a project

02:05:48   we did where we went from site to site with links.

02:05:50   Each site had to link to the next site in a chain and it is crazy but the funny thing

02:05:57   about it is that the backbone of that that we used to really make it functional was Yahoo

02:06:02   at Stanford when they were the just like a link directory and we would use that to link

02:06:08   out to the sites and literally there were like 150 sites on the map and it

02:06:11   was most of the internet in 1995 or whenever that was so old I had to look

02:06:18   this up I actually looked it up through Lycos okay but talking about domain name

02:06:22   forget it duck duck go like us it's a weird that now it's a classic McSweeney's

02:06:27   article you had to have seen this from 2004 written by Michael Ward and it's

02:06:32   Email addresses it would be really annoying to give out over the phone

02:06:36   It's it's much more of a visual joke than a verbal joke because of the nature of the email addresses

02:06:45   but it's like for example, imagine if your surname were

02:06:48   underscore mmm, Mike underscore

02:06:52   2004

02:06:54   Yahoo.com

02:06:56   I'll just put it in the show notes the rest of these I don't want to spoil it but it's a funny little

02:07:02   little five item list gag. I'll put it in the show notes. I've started doing more show

02:07:08   notes.

02:07:09   That's good.

02:07:10   I don't know if you've noticed. I used to be really lazy about it, but I feel like it's

02:07:17   one of the little things that can do to make the show a little better.

02:07:20   Well you know people are in their cars and they hear about something that's going to

02:07:23   be interesting and then they get to work and they forget and they're like "oh yeah what

02:07:27   was that thing and it's hard to look back and you know scan through two hours

02:07:33   of podcast when you can just go to the show notes and be like oh yeah that's

02:07:36   the thing I was looking for it's like it's like you're pre insta-papering the

02:07:39   show for them yeah exactly and it's a pain I mean it it's totally a pain but I

02:07:45   as you do it as you go along it's a little bit easier I started to do that

02:07:49   with incomparable and with clockwise Mike does it for upgrade but you know

02:07:54   just somebody mentioned something and I just write it down. It's like and it's a

02:07:57   pain to do that because it gets you a little bit out of the flow of your

02:08:00   concentration of the of the conversation but at the same time it kind of beats

02:08:04   having to go back later and say where did they mention something and you know

02:08:08   and people do like it people appreciate it when you add those links in. I had

02:08:14   Rene on the last episode and I think he even wrote on iMore that he was on

02:08:19   over 300 podcasts last year and I knew I already had already asked you to do the

02:08:23   next episode. I do think I've gotten back-to-back the two most prolific

02:08:28   podcasters on the Mac web. How many podcasts do you think you do a year?

02:08:32   Oh man. And you're probably doing more now, so maybe a better question is how

02:08:37   many are you on pace to do it? Yeah, I don't know. Mike Hurley probably has me beat or

02:08:42   it's close. I would say if I keep doing what I've been doing now next year, let

02:08:49   Let me do, I'm gonna do some launch bar math here.

02:08:51   Let's see, I'd say, oh man, 250.

02:08:58   - So you're at ballpark, right?

02:09:02   I mean, we're talking like if somebody wanted to listen

02:09:04   to every show that you're on and every show that Renee's on,

02:09:06   they're talking 500 episodes a year.

02:09:08   - Yeah, I mean, it goes fast and I don't expect anybody

02:09:13   to be a completist, but yeah.

02:09:15   So basically I'm doing four weekly podcasts.

02:09:18   I'm not the center of all four.

02:09:21   I mean, I do the one with Tim Goodman from the Hollywood Reporter and we talk about TV

02:09:25   because he's the TV critic at the Hollywood Reporter.

02:09:27   And I'm kind of the classic Dan Benjamin role in that where I'm facilitating it and producing

02:09:32   it and posting it and really it's like I'm asking questions of the guy who's the expert

02:09:37   on TV because he's a TV critic at the Hollywood Reporter.

02:09:40   That's a very different kind of show to do than Incomparable or like Clockwise is just

02:09:45   half an hour and it's me and Dan Moore and an upgrade is me a lot of me but

02:09:48   Mike produces that one so you know each of them takes a little bit a different

02:09:52   amount of time but yeah if you put those together and multiply them by 52 that's

02:09:56   208 podcasts right there and then there are some others that are like I did I

02:10:02   did a podcast after every episode of Game of Thrones last year and or this

02:10:06   year and Doctor Who as well and so that that's an extra like 23 episodes and

02:10:11   And then we do our little done done done. Those were under the those were under the incomparable

02:10:16   Those were the flashcasts were under TV actually TVE and reusing the names and the logos

02:10:22   I think if you just pronounce it TV TV. Yeah TV

02:10:27   Long ease anyway, we put it there because I I don't know I'm torn

02:10:32   I could basically have like five podcasts a week in the main incomparable feed and I feel like that's that would be litter

02:10:38   So there's like a master feed with everything and then you can just subscribe to the individual podcast if you want to

02:10:43   And then we do the Dungeons & Dragons thing

02:10:45   Which is literally we play Dungeons & Dragons once every six weeks for like four hours

02:10:49   And then that comes out every other week in a one-hour chunk. So it's not a lot of time

02:10:53   And it's fun. But that is another podcast that I'm on and then I say yes to be on other people's podcasts like this one

02:11:00   So it's a lot. There's a lot of podcasting. We'll see how long I last

02:11:05   I wish podcasting was more like aerobic exercise because I could really use some more exercise and instead I'm just doing a lot of

02:11:10   Podcasting I'd be very healthy if podcasting was

02:11:14   More aerobic than it is

02:11:17   I've been dreading this the whole time

02:11:19   I've been putting off the end of the show, but I feel like I've got to run it by

02:11:22   almost an apology is that I've got one more episode of the talk show scheduled for 2014 and

02:11:29   It's it's gonna be a special episode on Star Wars. Oh

02:11:33   And and I it I didn't invite you. That's okay. I know I know I know I

02:11:40   Forgive you. I know way more

02:11:43   I'm I know so many huge Star Wars fans and I am NOT I'm not one of those I like Star Wars a lot and

02:11:49   I'm happy to talk we talked about it on the incomparable a million times for millions of hours and

02:11:53   Sir Cusa and Dan Morin and I did and out more than an hour on the trailer for the force awakens, right?

02:11:58   but you know in even in our sphere I could list off a whole bunch of people who are bigger Star Wars fans than than

02:12:04   Me including you and and John, Syracuse and Dan Morin now, it's gonna be me

02:12:09   It's gonna be Syracuse and and then to keep us straight and sort of and sort of keep us from getting too serious guy English

02:12:16   Oh, that's good. Oh, that's a that's perfect. I love I love it. See I'm well

02:12:20   My thing is I feel like I I cannot be responsible

02:12:24   I can't be the host for more than a panel of three including me because it's it's

02:12:31   It's beyond my can as a host that would also be like eight hours long

02:12:35   If if yeah, you were just completely just free to talk about Star Wars

02:12:40   that's the that's I

02:12:42   Don't know if I said this before but I'm gonna mention it here because I'm not sure I've said it anywhere one of my favorite

02:12:47   moments in waiting in line for an Apple keynote ever was you and me and I think like Dan Moore and

02:12:53   And I'm not sure if Syracuse it was there because I think was the press area before a WWDC

02:12:57   And we were talking about Raiders of the Lost Ark for like 20 minutes

02:13:00   And there was that moment when the doors started to accordion up and you looked at me and you're like forget this

02:13:06   Let's just go talk about Raiders the Lost Ark some more

02:13:08   It was I was good stuff. That was that was I almost took you up on it. It's like yeah, that would be fun

02:13:13   But well, that was the incomparable. I did the I did the incomparable then. Yes Raiders, right? Yeah

02:13:18   Yeah, that was you and me and Dan talking about it. Yeah, I have to do one of those again sometime

02:13:22   time, you know, on something that you really like that we could cover, because that was

02:13:28   a good one.

02:13:29   And one of the -- I still hear from people who listen to that one, partially, they're

02:13:33   like, "Oh, John Gruber was on The Incorporable, I should listen to that."

02:13:36   But the whole goal of that show from the beginning was it's a catalog show.

02:13:40   You should be able to go back to 2010 when we recorded that one and listen.

02:13:43   I mean, Rares of the Lost Ark isn't any different.

02:13:46   It's fixed in time, and you should be able to go and pick that episode off the shelf

02:13:50   and listen to it and get something out of it, you know, and I think you can.

02:13:55   And that was always the intent, and I'm happy that, you know, four plus years later that

02:14:00   that's still true.

02:14:01   That's still one of my favorites because it's one of my favorite movies.

02:14:03   In fact, I look back and I think, boy, we should have gone for like two or three hours

02:14:06   on that, not just one.

02:14:07   Yeah, exactly.

02:14:08   I think it was when we had an artificial timeline.

02:14:10   I was shooting for an hour, yeah.

02:14:13   I always want--you say it hasn't changed and isn't going to change.

02:14:16   I always imagined in the back of my head that like

02:14:19   every Monday Spielberg comes into the office at Amblin and there's like a stack of like

02:14:24   Three pink slips that say George George Lucas call the ones

02:14:28   Once the talks Raiders of the Lost Ark special edition and he just he just picks them off the spike

02:14:34   It's been the trash can that's yeah. No, I mean, it's actually bad enough that the

02:14:39   Packaging is now labeled Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark, which is just unacceptable

02:14:45   Yeah, you heard George called he had an idea the boulder could be on fire. Yeah, that would be much better

02:14:51   Let's insert a scene in CGI where Belloq is already in Egypt

02:14:56   George called he had an idea. There's a whole fleet of airplanes waiting on the river. Not just one

02:15:04   Instead of them traveling across the map they travel across a 3d globe

02:15:09   That'll be good. Did you see somebody put together a

02:15:15   Special edition of the force awakens trailer. Yeah. Oh, yeah. Yeah, I did and they did like a killer

02:15:20   I should I have to put that in the show notes

02:15:22   they did like a killer job like somebody actually who knows what they're doing like with vfx like

02:15:27   and

02:15:29   Yeah, just more like more buzzing junk and tattooing and yeah, I mean

02:15:33   It is uh

02:15:36   well, like the the

02:15:38   It it's only funny because it's not even an exaggeration because it's exactly the sort of stuff that did happen in the special edition of the

02:15:45   Star Wars movies but like there's the scene where you see all of a sudden you see the Millennium Falcon

02:15:49   And it's like being chased by like three TIE fighters. Well now it's being chased by 45

02:15:54   More exciting that way clearly

02:15:58   Anyway, so everybody out there if you want to if you're listening to this this show will air first and then the Star Wars special edition

02:16:08   If you want to warm up for a holiday week end of the holiday season special talk show

02:16:13   pop your favorite Star Wars movies into your movie player of choice that's good

02:16:20   advice all right Jason Snell it's I'm gonna let you go I think I think I think

02:16:25   we've we've rattled on long enough prattle down long enough I appreciate

02:16:30   the invite it's always it's always nice to talk to you and and hopefully no

02:16:34   calamitous things will befall me in the next couple of days after this one I'll

02:16:39   tell you what if they do anything bad happens in the next week I think we're

02:16:42   gonna have to call this yeah that may be I may ask you to delete the episode just

02:16:47   salt the earth forget it all right thank you Jason thanks John hey have a good

02:16:53   new year you too I should be invited anytime okay see you soon I'm probably

02:16:58   probably so all right I'm hitting stop