The Talk Show

88: ‘Cat Pictures’ With Marco Arment (Side 1)


00:00:00   How's your week? Oh my god. Oh

00:00:02   Geez why did I why did I launch an app? I

00:00:09   Forgot how much work this is

00:00:12   It's been a while since I've had an app in the store and the last app that was in the store was the magazine

00:00:15   Which wasn't very popular and didn't require tech support

00:00:18   Man what was I thinking?

00:00:21   What what's gone wrong?

00:00:27   It's it's mostly the funny thing is it's been a very successful launch overall like there have been very few

00:00:32   Real major problems there have been a few minor bugs

00:00:38   many of which I've been able to fix server-side just like you know sub certain podcast feeds weren't being crawled right or something, but

00:00:45   Overall the launch have been really good

00:00:49   The problem is I've gotten nothing done since yesterday when I launched it because I've been trying to keep up with all the tweet responses

00:00:56   trying to read all the reviews, trying to,

00:00:59   and recently started to try to answer all these emails.

00:01:02   - Yeah. - I currently have 1,099

00:01:06   unread emails on my inbox.

00:01:08   I just finally started tackling them tonight

00:01:10   after making a bunch of text spender snippets

00:01:13   for all the common responses.

00:01:14   - The worst part is, the worst part is

00:01:16   that's over 100 higher than the number you quoted me

00:01:19   about six or seven hours ago when I checked

00:01:22   to see if you wanted to be on the show.

00:01:24   - Yeah, and I just responded to like 150 of them.

00:01:27   (laughing)

00:01:28   They're coming in faster than I can respond.

00:01:30   - You were at like 900 around noon or so.

00:01:34   - Yeah, I mean--

00:01:35   - So I guess that was nine hours ago, so that's not that much.

00:01:37   - To give you some idea,

00:01:38   the total downloads of the entire app,

00:01:41   like the number of people who've even downloaded it,

00:01:43   not even the people who've made an account,

00:01:45   just people who've downloaded the app at all,

00:01:47   is roughly 35 to 40,000.

00:01:49   I don't know, I haven't gotten today's stats yet,

00:01:50   so I'm estimating a little bit,

00:01:51   but roughly 35 or 40,000.

00:01:54   - Wow, that's impressive. - And I've gotten,

00:01:56   I mean, and that's a fantastic launch,

00:01:57   I'm very happy with that, but out of those,

00:02:00   at least 1,500 of them have emailed me.

00:02:04   - Oh my God. - That seems like

00:02:05   a kind of high ratio to me, I don't know.

00:02:07   That kind of seems too high.

00:02:09   - Yeah, that does seem high.

00:02:10   But I think it's also the nature, though,

00:02:13   the weird dual nature, and you know, I'm in the same boat,

00:02:17   but we're media personalities, you know,

00:02:20   people read our sites we're sort of have a columnist style and we do podcasts of

00:02:25   course obviously I think we do I think that encourages a sort of wanting to

00:02:35   give feedback you know what I mean like yeah and I don't think and again I yeah

00:02:40   I'll bet you'll agree with me I will bet you will agree with me with this that

00:02:42   even though you're complaining about being swamped but you're it's a

00:02:46   privilege and a thrill that people want to do that and say nice things about

00:02:49   about your app or ask questions and stuff.

00:02:51   I don't begrudge it.

00:02:53   - Oh, definitely.

00:02:54   I mean, I really want to do as much

00:02:57   of the support of this myself.

00:03:00   And I probably will forget saying that.

00:03:03   - Oh, God bless you.

00:03:04   - Well, but what I've done instead is I've tried

00:03:06   to ridiculously minimize the number

00:03:08   of support emails I actually get.

00:03:10   So I can actually treat them like a human being

00:03:13   or at least hire somebody to do it

00:03:15   and keep an eye on it very closely.

00:03:17   Whereas with Instapaper, I was never able to do that.

00:03:19   there was too much support. And that's sort of a virtuous circle where you

00:03:24   being motivated to minimize support issues design and development wise

00:03:30   because you know you're gonna have to deal with them yourself means that if

00:03:33   you succeed it works and you have less time doing support and vice versa you

00:03:37   know whereas if you had somebody doing support you may not maybe you wouldn't

00:03:40   be as you wouldn't care quite as much. Right this is something that you know a

00:03:44   friend of the universe, Daniel Jalkut, has always said

00:03:47   that he, I believe this is still the case,

00:03:49   that he always answers all of his own support email

00:03:52   so that he is both on top of issues as they arise

00:03:55   and aware of what people are asking for

00:03:58   and so that he is motivated to fix problems in the app

00:04:02   that cause a lot of support issues

00:04:04   so that people don't even have to email him.

00:04:06   So everyone wins there.

00:04:08   So I'm trying it out, I'll see.

00:04:09   I mean, I don't have any idea what the stable,

00:04:14   email rate will be, five weeks from now on a Tuesday,

00:04:19   what's gonna be the email rate that day, I don't know.

00:04:24   So I'll see if I can still handle it myself.

00:04:27   I would like to do as much about myself

00:04:29   in the early days as possible though.

00:04:30   Like this initial batch of, oh now it's 1100, got one more.

00:04:34   This initial batch of 1100 plus emails,

00:04:37   I would like to go through myself,

00:04:39   just so I have some idea, like what are people asking for?

00:04:42   what should I be doing differently?

00:04:45   What is confusing people about the app

00:04:47   that I should think about rearranging

00:04:50   or relabeling or rethinking?

00:04:52   - I know Cable Sasser does the same thing

00:04:54   with major releases.

00:04:56   I don't know if he does it with every major release,

00:04:59   but I know that he's done that.

00:05:01   And I don't think he hesitates to dive into the support

00:05:03   on a regular basis, but when they launch Coda,

00:05:06   I don't know, 4.0, whatever the next version is,

00:05:09   he'll spend like that that like thirty six hour manic period of okay it is out

00:05:15   uh...

00:05:16   and on the front lines of the support you

00:05:18   you know working through it because he wants that

00:05:21   experience he wants to see that you know

00:05:24   initial feedback

00:05:25   and it's true valuable

00:05:27   there's there's like an endorphin high of

00:05:29   of a big release like this that

00:05:31   and it to me it it's

00:05:34   in hindsight you look back and say this is a great week

00:05:38   if it's, you know, as long as the launch is successful

00:05:40   and it's not something like, holy crap,

00:05:42   the server actually can't take more than 100 users.

00:05:47   - And I lucked out big time with that,

00:05:49   'cause that's what I was most worried about.

00:05:51   I had forgotten about the concept of support email.

00:05:53   I was much more worried about the servers holding up.

00:05:56   And 'cause I didn't really, I couldn't really predict

00:06:00   how heavy the load would be on the server.

00:06:02   So I went to Linode where all my stuff is

00:06:05   a couple days ago, and I just added like eight new servers.

00:06:08   Just because you can add or destroy them whenever you want,

00:06:11   they're built hourly.

00:06:12   So I was just like, you know, let me just add

00:06:13   way more capacity than I think I will need,

00:06:17   and make a way that I can easily clone them

00:06:18   if I need even more than that.

00:06:20   And then I can always take them all down next week.

00:06:23   - Yeah, and you have the advantage where you've done

00:06:26   large scale things before.

00:06:28   Instapaper had a ton of users, and you know,

00:06:32   a lot like Overcast is largely, you know,

00:06:36   it's the whole thing is,

00:06:37   the whole premise is built on the server.

00:06:39   Tumblr, obviously, I think has a fair number of users.

00:06:43   - Little bit, yeah.

00:06:47   - And even, you know, however much smaller they were

00:06:49   when you left Tumblr,

00:06:51   Tumblr was a big ass website when you left.

00:06:53   - Yeah, I mean, when I left, if I screwed up,

00:06:56   I would serve about 1200 error pages per second.

00:06:58   - Right, well, there you go, that's, yeah.

00:07:00   - Which is kind of pressuring.

00:07:01   But the thing, and so Brent Simmons was in the same boat,

00:07:04   and I will return to this,

00:07:05   'cause one of the reasons I'm so interested by Overcast

00:07:08   is I do see some fair number of similarities

00:07:12   situation-wise with Vesper, and design-wise even.

00:07:16   But one of the things was that Brent has built

00:07:19   large-scale online things.

00:07:21   There's net news, wire syncing,

00:07:24   some of the other stuff he did at NewsGator.

00:07:27   So I felt really good being,

00:07:29   having nothing to do with writing the code.

00:07:31   betting on Brent Simmons and it did work out. We had a great launch. The sync all went fine.

00:07:36   And I would have been just as happy betting on, you know, Overcast and Marco Arment having a good thing.

00:07:42   Because experience really matters. But on the other hand, and Brent, you know, had a couple of these things in mind,

00:07:49   especially for online stuff, every couple of years the state of the art changes and there's little things that are new and different, right?

00:07:56   It didn't used to be that you could go to line ode and say you know what give me a couple of extra database servers

00:08:01   You couldn't do that. Oh, yeah, right and so in in in the large part

00:08:07   And I think the reason by both of those launches went well those things work really well

00:08:10   But you just never know because there might be something there might be something that you overlook because that's what bugs are bugs are always

00:08:17   things that you overlook and you can say here's all that here's the seven things that have bit me before scaling wise and I'm gonna

00:08:23   Make sure all seven of these I've handled

00:08:24   well. There might be a new one, an eighth one that you don't know about. And then all of a sudden,

00:08:29   you've got a big launch, all these websites are writing about you, you're on the front page of

00:08:34   this website, that website, all sorts of Twitter's going nuts, people talking about it, and your

00:08:39   server is down. And yeah, it would, you know, you probably would be a much less happy Marco.

00:08:46   Oh, yeah. And you know, because the difference like, I mean, I did a beta test with about 40

00:08:51   for about two months and 40 people,

00:08:53   'cause Apple has not, as far as I know,

00:08:55   rolled out that new testing thing yet

00:08:57   that they made test flight into.

00:08:58   - No.

00:08:59   - So you're still limited to 100 device slots.

00:09:01   So 40 people, if you wanna leave any room

00:09:03   for anyone to get new phones in the fall

00:09:04   or anyone to have an iPad,

00:09:06   that's about as big of a group as you can do.

00:09:08   And this was the biggest beta I've ever done by a long shot,

00:09:13   the longest beta I've ever done.

00:09:15   And the beta did uncover tons of issues

00:09:17   and which I'm very thankful for.

00:09:20   And yet there are still bugs that none of us found

00:09:24   because the difference between 40 people

00:09:27   and 30,000 people is substantial.

00:09:31   And out of the 40, it was mostly people I know,

00:09:36   like you, and other tech people.

00:09:37   So it wasn't a very diverse group.

00:09:39   And so certain things we just never ran into

00:09:42   because that isn't how we use the podcast app.

00:09:45   Whereas a lot of people do run into that.

00:09:47   - Any good examples?

00:09:48   - That's part of the problem of--

00:09:49   I'd love to hear an example of that.

00:09:51   If you can think of one that's like,

00:09:52   if there's like already like a frequently run into--

00:09:57   - Oh yeah. - Sharp edge

00:09:58   or something like that.

00:09:59   - What do you think the average number of podcasts is

00:10:04   that somebody subscribes to?

00:10:06   - Three.

00:10:09   - Yeah, right, I mean, you're ruling out anyone

00:10:10   who does zero, you know, obviously.

00:10:12   - Right.

00:10:13   - So I don't have that number available for Overcast yet.

00:10:17   However, I have heard from many people,

00:10:20   apparently my OPML importer is having problems

00:10:24   for people who have OPML files

00:10:26   that have like 100 feeds in them.

00:10:28   And there's a lot of these people who keep telling me this.

00:10:31   - I can believe that.

00:10:32   - I listened to, my feed list is about 35 or 40 long,

00:10:37   'cause a lot of those are shows that are retired

00:10:39   or on hiatus, or a lot of them are shows

00:10:41   that I had one episode of,

00:10:42   but I didn't subscribe to the whole show,

00:10:44   and they're still on my list 'cause I haven't deleted them.

00:10:47   And so the number of podcasts I listen to actively

00:10:51   that actually produce new episodes every week

00:10:54   is probably about 10 maybe.

00:10:56   And I consider myself a heavy podcast listener.

00:10:59   But compared to the general public,

00:11:03   there are these edge cases out there.

00:11:05   There are these people who listen to over 100.

00:11:07   One guy complained that his had over 150

00:11:09   and I couldn't import it properly.

00:11:12   And I just never considered,

00:11:14   and that also creates problems.

00:11:16   The problem with OPML is that there's no way

00:11:21   to specify episodes.

00:11:23   You can only say which podcast you subscribe to.

00:11:26   - It's in other words, it's the URL of the podcast feed,

00:11:30   not the URL of the episode.

00:11:33   - Correct, and that's it.

00:11:34   And so the OPML standard cannot communicate between apps

00:11:39   whether you've heard all the episodes or not,

00:11:41   which ones are unplayed, how far you've gotten in them.

00:11:44   It only knows which podcasts you subscribe to, period.

00:11:47   That's it.

00:11:48   - Well, that's not, and to be pedantic here,

00:11:50   I'll fill in for Sir Kusa.

00:11:52   It's not really a limit of OPML in general,

00:11:55   'cause I believe OPML is a general purpose

00:11:57   outliner file format.

00:11:59   It's the specific flavor of OPML that is widely understood

00:12:03   as the lingua franca, how do you say that, lingua franca?

00:12:08   - I think so.

00:12:09   - Of sharing-- - You're a wrong person.

00:12:10   of sharing a list of feeds that you subscribe to.

00:12:14   And that's true for RSS readers too.

00:12:17   It's probably the exact same format.

00:12:18   - And there's actually a very good reason why

00:12:21   nobody's implemented episode exporting and importing.

00:12:24   It's mostly because there is no good way

00:12:27   to uniquely identify the episodes.

00:12:30   - Yeah, I would imagine so.

00:12:30   - Because GUIDs are not required in the standards.

00:12:33   And there's a lot of feeds that do GUIDs wrong anyway.

00:12:38   - And aren't there some feeds that,

00:12:39   you couldn't even use the URL for the audio file

00:12:42   'cause there's some, aren't there some shows

00:12:44   where they'll give it and they'll put two in

00:12:46   and they'll say like here's two different formats,

00:12:48   MP3 and M4A.

00:12:50   - Oh yeah.

00:12:51   There's even still some people who put in Ogg Vorbis

00:12:53   and then there's a new format called Ogg Opus, I think.

00:12:56   I didn't even hear of until yesterday.

00:12:58   I don't know how popular it is,

00:13:00   but yeah, just to give you some idea of what I'm dealing with.

00:13:02   - I think that tells you how popular it is.

00:13:04   - Probably.

00:13:05   (laughs)

00:13:06   But yeah, and so like there's,

00:13:07   And now I'm dealing with broken feeds,

00:13:10   feeds that have clearly broken markup,

00:13:13   but that people are angry about that I don't support

00:13:16   and so I have to figure out how to support them

00:13:17   and it's a mess.

00:13:19   But anyway, so one of the biggest complaints I've gotten

00:13:22   is from people who subscribe to a lot of shows.

00:13:25   My default behavior when importing OPML is,

00:13:29   I will assume that you want the one most recent episode

00:13:32   in every one of those feeds listed.

00:13:34   That is a bad assumption, it turns out.

00:13:36   - Yep.

00:13:37   (laughing)

00:13:38   - And so when you have 150 feeds,

00:13:40   I try to immediately download 150 episodes.

00:13:43   - Right.

00:13:44   - And people are complaining that I'm filling up

00:13:45   their phones 'cause all of a sudden they have three gigs

00:13:47   of podcast downloaded after their import

00:13:49   and I don't have like a bulk cancel operation.

00:13:53   And again, this is something that,

00:13:55   that is a valid problem.

00:13:57   I didn't think of it, it never came up in beta.

00:14:00   I have to figure out some good way to solve that now.

00:14:02   But that is very much a valid problem.

00:14:06   Yeah, and I was a bad tester for that because I don't keep like an archive of old shows.

00:14:14   I don't want, I don't have a subscription to Hypercritical anymore just because I want

00:14:18   to go back and listen to it.

00:14:20   If I do, it might strike me my fancy someday, but then I wouldn't think I want to have subscription

00:14:25   to it.

00:14:26   I would think I'll go into a directory, find it, find the episode I want and play and then

00:14:32   add it there.

00:14:33   think I want to even though I understand the mindset that someone would want to

00:14:36   do that here's the hundred and fifty podcasts I've ever been interested in

00:14:40   and I want to move this file around from app to app my mind that that seems crazy

00:14:44   to me a new I kind of like the idea of switching and trying a new podcast app

00:14:49   every once in a while just to start clean and say here let me find two or

00:14:54   three shows I want to listen to I've got a long drive ahead of me right and I

00:14:57   think it's easier because you know despite those outliers you know like RSS

00:15:01   has always had that problem where usually people listen,

00:15:04   or people subscribe to usually a pretty good number

00:15:07   of RSS feeds if they use it at all.

00:15:09   Like I subscribe to probably 200 RSS feeds.

00:15:11   And again, most of them don't update every day,

00:15:12   so it's easy to follow.

00:15:14   But podcasts, you know, there's a limit

00:15:18   on how many podcasts you can listen to on a regular basis.

00:15:21   And so I always assume the numbers

00:15:23   would be substantially lower for your number

00:15:25   of podcast feeds that most people would be subscribed to.

00:15:27   I assume that would be a very low number.

00:15:30   And yeah, turns out not necessarily a safe assumption.

00:15:33   - So what they want is they wanna be able

00:15:35   to maybe even default to zero downloads per podcast

00:15:40   and then go through and then change it from there.

00:15:43   - Right, and I think honestly, I mean,

00:15:45   a safe default might be zero

00:15:48   and just make people pick one from everything.

00:15:51   I think my assumption that you want the latest one

00:15:53   from everything is probably problematic enough

00:15:56   that I should probably change it,

00:15:57   which is good 'cause I can change that one server side.

00:15:59   Maybe that's a good one that you'd want to do if I add just a single new subscription

00:16:04   in the app.

00:16:06   Maybe assume I want to get the most recent episode, but if I'm importing an OPML file,

00:16:10   don't assume I want any of the episodes.

00:16:12   Yeah, I mean that is certainly, well, actually no.

00:16:15   I think my default behavior now is that if you tap subscribe on a new show, I download

00:16:20   the latest episode.

00:16:21   If you add it from the directory, which, so I think that is a safe assumption.

00:16:24   But yeah, I think you're right with OPML.

00:16:26   I think it isn't.

00:16:27   I think maybe I'll change that later tonight after I'm done with you.

00:16:29   Yeah. Don't let me hold you. That leads directly to another question I've had, and I've seen it,

00:16:36   and I'm not even following anywhere nearly as religiously as I'm sure you are on Twitter,

00:16:41   the day one commentary about it, but I've seen a lot of people remark about the lack of streaming.

00:16:46   Yes, that is a big one.

00:16:50   And again, I never really noticed.

00:16:54   I guess I have, because I guess there have been times,

00:16:57   like I've been trying to run on a more regular basis,

00:17:02   and that's one of the times where I do listen to podcasts,

00:17:06   and it'll be like, hey, I know that there's gotta be

00:17:08   a new ATP out, let me go look.

00:17:12   And there it is, and I do, I have to wait

00:17:16   until I get the whole thing before I go out,

00:17:17   but I don't have to wait that long

00:17:19   that it would ever even have occurred to me to, you know,

00:17:23   write in as a suggestion that I would like

00:17:25   to just leave the house and have it stream over LTE

00:17:27   or something like that.

00:17:28   'Cause it doesn't take that long for, you know,

00:17:31   a hundred and some megabyte file.

00:17:35   But it seems like lots of people want that.

00:17:36   What they want is they want it to start downloading

00:17:40   and playing at the same time.

00:17:42   - Oh yeah, and streaming, it's, you know,

00:17:44   it isn't there because it's hard to do

00:17:46   and I didn't have time to do it

00:17:47   and it's going to take months to do it right.

00:17:49   That's why it's not there.

00:17:51   A lot of people assume that I just forgot to add it,

00:17:53   it's just some oversight.

00:17:54   - Right, just start praying.

00:17:56   - Right.

00:17:57   - That's what I figured. - I did check that checkbox.

00:18:00   - That's what I figured the answer was.

00:18:01   The answer is that it's not,

00:18:03   it's like a lot of these things, it's not easy.

00:18:05   - It's really hard.

00:18:06   And it's harder for me because of my audio engine.

00:18:09   Like it's easier for the other players

00:18:11   that don't use the low level stuff that I do

00:18:13   to do my audio effects.

00:18:15   It's easier for them, but it's a lot easier for them.

00:18:17   the way I'm gonna have to do it is gonna be more manual.

00:18:20   Like I'm gonna have to build more

00:18:20   of those parts from scratch.

00:18:22   But the main argument for it,

00:18:25   and first of all, I think the need for it

00:18:28   is exaggerated on day one,

00:18:30   because so many people wanna just jump in

00:18:33   and try playing it,

00:18:34   and they have to wait for their files to download.

00:18:36   Whereas if you just use the app regularly,

00:18:38   most new episodes you'll get,

00:18:40   we push to you in the background,

00:18:41   and you won't even notice them downloading.

00:18:42   By the time you launch the app next, they're just there.

00:18:45   So, you know, background download,

00:18:47   I think removes much of the need,

00:18:48   but there are still situations where you need,

00:18:51   or where streaming is very nice to have.

00:18:54   The big two are immediate feedback.

00:18:57   Like if you just wanted to add an episode

00:18:58   and listen to it right now,

00:19:00   like right as you add it, then you wanna hear it,

00:19:02   you can start playing it immediately.

00:19:03   And then the second big one is if you,

00:19:06   like a lot of the clients offer a streaming only mode

00:19:10   where nothing is ever downloaded.

00:19:12   You only ever stream things,

00:19:13   and that way you don't use any disk space.

00:19:16   that would never even occur to me.

00:19:18   - And it's a really good idea.

00:19:20   And like, you know, if you think about,

00:19:21   you know, for me, I would never use it

00:19:22   because I, you know, I have,

00:19:24   I live in an area that has spotty reception

00:19:26   and I often, you know, travel and go upstate

00:19:28   or on a plane or something.

00:19:29   And so I want everything to be just downloaded

00:19:32   and there and ready.

00:19:33   But a lot of people don't work that way.

00:19:36   A lot of people want everything to always only be streamed

00:19:40   and leave all the space for you on their phone.

00:19:42   And we'll see what happens like with iOS 8,

00:19:44   with the new photo management thing.

00:19:46   Maybe there won't be as much of a space crunch

00:19:50   on iOS devices as there used to be, who knows?

00:19:53   But either way, I am gonna add streaming,

00:19:55   it's just a matter of doing it,

00:19:57   which is probably gonna take a few months.

00:19:58   - Yeah, it seems like that's actually sort of

00:20:01   under the radar, like one of the big priorities of iOS 8

00:20:06   is space management, because they're doing,

00:20:09   it's a similar thing they're doing with messages,

00:20:14   where it's defaulting to not keeping

00:20:17   the images and other attachments that you've been sent and i think

00:20:22   part of that is a sort of trend towards privacy

00:20:26   in general

00:20:27   and you know things like snapchat and stuff like that where it works like that

00:20:30   and people seem to like it

00:20:32   and maybe it just never occurred to them before but i think another big part of

00:20:35   it is that you know even for me it was not like a super heavy texture but

00:20:40   Whiskas and I communicate a lot about Vesper.

00:20:43   I've got tons of screenshots in my iMessages with him.

00:20:46   If I look in the usage, I do have a couple of gigabytes,

00:20:51   I don't know, four or five gigabytes in messages,

00:20:54   and there's no way to get them out.

00:20:57   I mean, I think you can go through one by one,

00:20:59   but that way lies madness.

00:21:01   - Right, or you can delete the entire conversation

00:21:04   with Dave Whiskas and lose that entire history.

00:21:06   - Yeah, which I don't wanna do.

00:21:07   Yeah, and it's also the weird way iMessage works where I've actually got like seven conversations

00:21:14   with Whiskus.

00:21:15   I don't know if they're based on different, you know, like his phone number to my Apple

00:21:19   ID, my Apple ID to his Apple ID.

00:21:22   I don't know quite how that counts, but everyone, you know, that would be less.

00:21:26   I would probably be easier to delete seven conversations with him, but, you know, who

00:21:31   knows how much of those gigabytes is all sorts of other people too, and I'd have to keep

00:21:34   deleting all those things.

00:21:35   I don't know.

00:21:36   I don't know and I would love to know the answer to maybe somebody who's upgraded their regular phone to iOS 8 betas would know whether

00:21:42   That applies to your old messages

00:21:46   like if you upgrade your phone to iOS 8

00:21:48   Well that that new world only apply to new messages as they come in or is

00:21:54   IOS 8 going to do something smart about your archive of

00:21:58   old images

00:21:59   That's a tough one because you certainly you could see the other problem is like, you know, if if they just default to

00:22:05   alright we're just gonna stop keeping all old stuff by default then as soon as

00:22:09   you upgrade to iOS 8 all your old messages get deleted and that's that's

00:22:14   kind of bad so I can see the problem there right it's one thing if new

00:22:19   messages start coming in with that little keep button and you you know even

00:22:23   if you don't quite notice it right away well it was there and you had the

00:22:26   opportunity to press keep it's another thing to say yeah all those messages

00:22:30   you got over the last three years that you never even had to worry about

00:22:34   about whether they were gonna be kept or not,

00:22:36   you knew they were gonna be kept.

00:22:37   Yeah, we did you a favor and deleted them.

00:22:39   - Right, I mean, I think what would probably make more sense

00:22:43   would be to treat those attachments just like entries

00:22:47   in your photos library where they are all kept on iCloud

00:22:51   and then they can just be pulled down on demand.

00:22:53   If you actually scroll up and go like, you know,

00:22:55   three years back in history,

00:22:57   they can be pulled off the network.

00:22:58   - Yeah, that makes a lot of sense.

00:23:00   - And just have it use your storage.

00:23:01   But unfortunately, with some people

00:23:02   that might use a ton of storage, who knows?

00:23:04   - Right, yeah, I was just about to say it.

00:23:06   The problem is that it, for a lot of people,

00:23:08   a couple of gigs of iMessage images

00:23:11   is probably pretty close to the number of gigs they have

00:23:14   in their iCloud storage.

00:23:15   - Right, exactly.

00:23:17   And there's also a lot of duplication, I think.

00:23:19   Like if you send a picture to somebody,

00:23:22   do you now have two copies of that in your storage?

00:23:25   Like the one in your camera roll

00:23:26   and the one you sent them?

00:23:27   I don't know, like I don't know how that works.

00:23:28   - Yeah, I do think that, oh, that's a good question.

00:23:32   I think you might, because it might also, I don't even know, I actually never even checked

00:23:39   whether they like shrink them at all or anything.

00:23:41   I don't think they do.

00:23:43   But I don't know, that's a good question.

00:23:45   And when you do get a copy, like when you, you definitely get a dupe when you take the

00:23:49   photo with your phone and then you switch to your iPad or your Mac or something and

00:23:54   the conversation is over there too, that's obviously a copy of the image.

00:23:58   Right, exactly.

00:23:59   Yeah, I don't know.

00:24:00   I don't know. It's a good question. Obviously something you have to concern yourself about

00:24:05   though. That's one area where overcast, I think it's in a unique situation where some

00:24:14   users might reasonably want overcast to literally take up a majority of the storage on their

00:24:20   device. Somebody with a 64 gigabyte iPhone might actually want a podcast app that stores

00:24:28   about 40 gigabytes of podcasts.

00:24:30   - Right, especially if you're going on a trip or something

00:24:32   and you're gonna be without coverage

00:24:34   or you're going international,

00:24:35   you don't wanna use data roaming,

00:24:36   or you're just going out for a while

00:24:38   and you're in a country where cell coverage

00:24:41   or cell data is very expensive.

00:24:43   Either way, there are so many reasons

00:24:46   why you want it downloaded

00:24:48   and why you want it to be taking up space in your phone

00:24:50   rather than requiring it to be streamed constantly.

00:24:53   But the other side of that is probably just as frequent

00:24:56   which is you have a 16 gig device and it's full

00:24:59   and you wanna download to podcast

00:25:01   and you don't have enough space.

00:25:02   That sucks.

00:25:03   And so I can see both sides of the argument,

00:25:06   but there's also a problem in having the app offer

00:25:11   a very healthy blend of those two things

00:25:13   'cause then everything becomes way more complicated,

00:25:16   both the code and the interface.

00:25:19   'Cause then you have to manage these states

00:25:21   and offer ways for people to transform a stream

00:25:23   into a download or delete something,

00:25:26   but leave it streamable and all these things

00:25:28   that really complicate the interface and the data model

00:25:31   and even the mental model of the user to know,

00:25:35   like do I have this thing or not?

00:25:37   I'm trying to keep it very simple

00:25:40   so that people can know what's happening.

00:25:43   They can know what they have by looking at it.

00:25:46   They can see it, they can tell, okay, I have this file.

00:25:48   And they can be kind of assured of that

00:25:50   and they can depend on that, you know?

00:25:51   But it's hard.

00:25:53   And this is why podcast apps are so challenging to make,

00:25:55   I think because it's one of those categories like to-do lists where like it seems simple

00:26:00   at first and then you start getting requests from people and you start realizing, wait

00:26:03   a minute, there is not only is there no way to satisfy all of them, like any change you

00:26:08   make is going to satisfy this group but anger this other group, but also that the problem

00:26:14   space is so complicated of what somebody might want and exactly how they might want it that

00:26:20   is infinite potential for improvement for every person. No one is ever 100%

00:26:26   satisfied with their podcast app. Everyone's always like 60% satisfied. And

00:26:30   I'm you know so I made one that satisfies my 60%. I'm very happy with it

00:26:37   but it's it's never gonna appeal to everyone and it's not even close.

00:26:43   I think that's another it's one of the broad areas where I see it as similar to

00:26:46   Vesper in that there's a ton of notes apps including one that ships with the

00:26:53   system from Apple that's not horrible you know and and it is there it's you

00:26:59   know it's it's at least you know one of the things I like about it though is at

00:27:03   least you see where Apple's coming from with it so you don't have to worry like

00:27:06   it's more worrisome if Apple doesn't have an app in your category right like

00:27:10   then you're always wondering like either why isn't there an app in my category

00:27:15   or does my category suck that badly?

00:27:17   Or what will happen if they make one?

00:27:20   Then they'll crush us all, you know?

00:27:21   - And even if it ends up not being crushing,

00:27:24   it's stressful.

00:27:25   Like you must have gone through that with the reading list.

00:27:27   'Cause you start hearing about it before it comes out.

00:27:30   Then they announce it and then you have to worry,

00:27:32   well, how popular is it going to be?

00:27:33   It's coming out in three months when the beta is over.

00:27:36   And it's stressful.

00:27:39   I mean, it's better to know that,

00:27:42   wow, here's Apple's podcast app

00:27:44   and here's all the reasons I don't like it

00:27:46   and I know that there's a lot of other people

00:27:47   who don't like it.

00:27:48   And they're probably not going to wipe it out

00:27:52   and start over, I don't think.

00:27:54   - Well, and there are things about Apple's podcast app

00:27:58   that are the way they are

00:28:00   because that's how Apple does things

00:28:02   or because there's a strategy tax in place.

00:28:04   Like there's a certain amount of cludginess in the app

00:28:09   that is entirely because it has to use

00:28:12   the iTunes podcast directory.

00:28:14   - Right.

00:28:15   - And it has to be tied so firmly to that.

00:28:18   And so like they can't do anything that like breaks that.

00:28:22   - It has to cater to a casual,

00:28:24   I don't even know what a podcast is yet person

00:28:27   in certain ways. - Correct.

00:28:29   And it also, it has to cater to every territory

00:28:32   in the world, every language in the world,

00:28:34   every genre of podcasts in the world.

00:28:37   And like, you know, think about like whenever

00:28:41   the podcast app team wants to get something changed

00:28:45   or improved about the API to the store,

00:28:48   how likely is that to really happen?

00:28:50   You know, like inside Apple,

00:28:51   you know, the iTunes store team has enough to do.

00:28:54   Do you think if the podcast app on iOS team

00:28:58   makes a request, how high a priority is that really

00:29:02   to the iTunes store team?

00:29:03   That's all this other stuff to do with, you know,

00:29:06   the more high profile things like the app store

00:29:08   and the music store, you know?

00:29:09   And so the Apple Podcast app is always gonna be limited

00:29:13   by that, plus it's limited by Apple's 80% strategy.

00:29:16   - Yeah. - You know,

00:29:17   they're never going to do features that are as nerdy

00:29:22   as my playlists.

00:29:23   Like the way I do playlists is so crazy

00:29:25   with all these filters and everything.

00:29:26   And it's a playlist system for nerds.

00:29:30   And Apple's never gonna do one like that

00:29:32   because that's not the way they do things.

00:29:33   - Yeah, I don't think so either.

00:29:34   And in fact, it might even be problematic for them in the way

00:29:40   that their podcast app for iOS has this weird relationship

00:29:48   with iTunes on Mac and Windows, which

00:29:50   is Apple's solution for how you listen

00:29:53   to podcasts on your Mac or PC, where playlist

00:29:56   has a very different word.

00:29:58   I mean, maybe they could just add--

00:30:00   I guess they could maybe piggyback

00:30:02   on playlists that include audio files,

00:30:04   regular audio files from your library or whatever,

00:30:06   but that just turns it into more of a mess in my mind.

00:30:10   - Right, and that's why when the Apple Podcast app

00:30:13   added something, I believe they call it channels,

00:30:16   which is basically a smart playlist.

00:30:17   You can just select which feeds go into this,

00:30:20   and that's your playlist.

00:30:22   And they added that to the podcast app,

00:30:24   and I think the reason they had to call it channels

00:30:26   was because playlists mean something else in iTunes land.

00:30:28   - I never thought about that.

00:30:30   I was always confused as hell by their channels.

00:30:32   I thought their channels were a little bit more like

00:30:35   categories in the store,

00:30:36   and I think that's why I found it so confusing

00:30:39   is that they're not really categories in the store.

00:30:41   They are probably more,

00:30:42   like it would have made more sense to me

00:30:44   if they called them channels,

00:30:45   and then in parentheses, playlists.

00:30:47   - Right, yeah, smart playlists, that's what they are.

00:30:49   They're smart playlists.

00:30:50   - For podcasts.

00:30:51   - Has there ever been anything in the history of technology

00:30:55   after the television where the word channels was used

00:30:59   for something that ended up being a success?

00:31:01   - Ooh, that's an excellent question.

00:31:03   - 'Cause it's been used in a bunch of like half-assed,

00:31:05   terrible things, like the Windows 98 channels bar

00:31:08   on active desktop.

00:31:09   - Yeah.

00:31:10   - Anybody who's listening to the show

00:31:11   actually remembers that.

00:31:12   You don't, 'cause you were a Mac person.

00:31:13   You probably never saw it.

00:31:14   - No, never saw it. - You were very lucky.

00:31:15   (laughs)

00:31:16   Imagine, imagine Microsoft at its worst,

00:31:20   at a time when PC hardware was at its worst,

00:31:23   where the software was trying to do way too much,

00:31:27   web technologies were brand new,

00:31:30   and this is when Microsoft tried to integrate IE

00:31:32   into the desktop so that the desktop

00:31:34   was basically a giant web view.

00:31:36   On hardware that was like a Pentium 90 with 16 megs of RAM.

00:31:41   Like, it was an awful time to be a PC user.

00:31:46   And there are many awful times to be a PC user,

00:31:48   but I think like 1997 was a particularly awful one.

00:31:53   - That's pretty bad for being a Mac user too.

00:31:55   - Yeah, fair point.

00:31:56   - Just a bad year for computers.

00:31:57   Steve Jobs called it in the interview in the interview with cringey a dark ages

00:32:01   of computing exactly yeah he was not that far off about that yeah it was bad

00:32:06   for everybody you know next had like three developers like really cool system

00:32:11   in like six apps and they were super expensive you know the the machines that

00:32:16   could run it maybe by 97 I guess they ran on PCs it was net next step or open

00:32:23   but like no market whatsoever.

00:32:26   Max were part of a company that was dying

00:32:30   and had no real operating system,

00:32:33   no modern operating system.

00:32:36   And then Microsoft was so powerful.

00:32:39   - Yeah, and they shipped Windows 98.

00:32:42   - They just gave in to all of their worst impulses.

00:32:45   - So bad, it was so, so bad.

00:32:48   And the internet was, you know,

00:32:50   the internet was so new in '97

00:32:52   that everyone was, like the most used application

00:32:54   on your computer started to become the web browser.

00:32:57   But web browsers were so bad,

00:32:58   and the hardware was so primitive,

00:33:00   and there was no RAM, so just 1997 just sounds

00:33:03   like hard drives grinding,

00:33:04   as everything just swaps constantly.

00:33:07   That's the entire year,

00:33:08   everything was just swapping for a year.

00:33:09   - And waiting for dial-up.

00:33:11   - Yeah, exactly, that too, yep.

00:33:13   - Oh my God, things that you just could not even imagine

00:33:19   explaining to your kids today would be the dial-up.

00:33:23   Dial-up is impossible.

00:33:25   You can explain slow internet,

00:33:26   but dial-up was so much worse than being slow.

00:33:28   'Cause I remember being,

00:33:30   I can't remember when I eventually,

00:33:33   I think we eventually, Amy and I eventually broke down

00:33:35   and bought a second phone line,

00:33:37   got a second number just for internet.

00:33:39   But I remember, it just, you know,

00:33:42   and I understand this stuff,

00:33:44   and I was able to set up a thing.

00:33:46   Oh, I'm gonna draw a blank on the software,

00:33:49   But it was by a great indie Mac developer named Peter Sitchill

00:33:53   I'm gonna have to take a moment here and Google this and look him up

00:33:56   But he had this great Mac utility that would let you share a dial-up with multiple Macs on your local network

00:34:03   So Amy and I could both get on the internet at the same time and she could just she didn't have the modem hooked up

00:34:09   The whole modem was hooked up to my machine, but she could just get on the internet

00:34:12   Go check email and then you know wait the 90 seconds for the whole thing

00:34:17   But then she'd have internet, you know with just one modem shared between us and we could both be on at the same time

00:34:22   Yeah, that was unheard of back then. Oh

00:34:24   Game changer. It was awesome

00:34:27   This is where I need I need the forum that you guys have the live audience because somebody would yeah the chair I

00:34:34   Don't know. This is pretty obscure even our chat. I'm not yeah, but I just feel like Peter Sitchill S I ch el sustainable softworks

00:34:42   Let me see what?

00:34:44   Well, I don't remember the name of it, but I'll give you a shout out to it

00:34:48   He's still got his URL sustworks.com

00:34:53   I used to have to I we only had one phone line on my house and I was I was like in seventh grade in

00:35:00   1997 so it was a little bit different. I couldn't just buy another phone line

00:35:04   we only had one phone line and my mom had a lot of friends who would call her all the time and

00:35:09   And so I was not allowed to disable call waiting

00:35:13   on the modem. - Oh my God.

00:35:16   - I had to, and it was an external modem.

00:35:18   - So anybody calls your house.

00:35:20   - Yeah, I had to listen, I had to leave the,

00:35:22   you could configure the modem in its string

00:35:24   to leave the speaker on all the time

00:35:26   instead of turning off after it connects.

00:35:28   So the whole time I was just sitting there

00:35:30   listening to static, like shh.

00:35:33   And then you could hear beep if a call waiting came in.

00:35:36   And I had to listen for that, and if I heard a beep,

00:35:38   I had to flick the modem off so it would hang up immediately

00:35:41   and let the phone ring and pick it up and, you know,

00:35:43   then just not be on the internet for the next 20 minutes

00:35:45   during this phone call.

00:35:46   - I've got it here.

00:35:49   It's IP net router.

00:35:50   It's a complete IP router and firewall solution,

00:35:52   including a built-in DHCP server,

00:35:55   NAT with inbound port mapping and IP filtering

00:35:58   to set up your own firewall.

00:35:59   I think it costs like 40 bucks.

00:36:01   May I, what was it here?

00:36:02   Here's a comment from, so it was 89 bucks.

00:36:05   It was a steal.

00:36:06   It was 89 bucks and you had superpowers.

00:36:11   but that's a pretty advanced functionality and like a pretty

00:36:13   immense network stack for that time. Well that was it was built on I'm going way

00:36:19   out in the weeds here but at Mac OS 9 for as crazy convoluted you know a

00:36:26   terrible bag of wires it was in some areas under the hood had some amazing

00:36:31   stuff it was called open transport was the networking stack so he didn't

00:36:36   necessarily write the whole networking stack all the way to the bottom it was

00:36:40   built on open transport but his stuff was almost like like the flagship of why

00:36:47   open transport was great and why a lot of Mac developers were beside themselves

00:36:54   when Mac OS X went with the you know the Unix networking I forget that there was

00:37:03   a whole controversy in that you know there were all these many there are

00:37:05   thousands of these little mini converse controversies between classic the which

00:37:10   parts of the classic Mac OS would stay in which pad parts of next step would

00:37:14   stay and that was one of them I kind of feel very lucky that I didn't even come

00:37:20   to the Mac until 10/4 in 2004 and I bought an aluminum power book so like I

00:37:28   didn't come to the Mac until it was awesome yeah that's actually a good

00:37:31   point because they're like it's like somebody coming to the iPhone with the

00:37:34   5s yeah it's like you've missed this whole history of like a little bit of

00:37:39   rough patches here and there although the iPhone was way easier I think than

00:37:42   being a Mac owner in the 90s yeah there were a couple of years in there where it

00:37:47   was and it really that was the early years of daring fireball exactly around

00:37:51   2002 2003 that's when I started but maybe even count 2001 where Mac OS 9 was

00:38:00   half awesome and half terrible and Mac OS X was half terrible and half awesome

00:38:07   and you know maybe those percentages were 60/40 40/60 and then they got 50/50

00:38:11   and they you know they shifted over time but it took years for Mac OS X to really

00:38:16   be overwhelmingly yeah you know what I just want to use it all all the time

00:38:20   clearly and so it was you know switching I remember for a while I had two

00:38:25   machines at my desk I had a forget what it was running Mac OS X I think it was a

00:38:30   PowerBook running Mac OS X and an old, really old PowerMac running Mac OS 9.

00:38:37   And the older machine running Mac OS 9 of course felt way faster.

00:38:40   Oh yeah, because it was doing way less.

00:38:42   Right.

00:38:43   Yeah, I mean, and Microsoft to their credit, like the 90s, they had a similar scale of

00:38:48   transit, well not similar, they had a much easier transition, but it was still a pretty

00:38:51   substantial transition between the Windows 95, 98, ME kernel and the NT kernel that powered

00:38:58   and then XP and everything after XP.

00:39:01   And that, I was using it heavily during that transition

00:39:05   and I was like, I would be using the beta of Windows 2000

00:39:08   and it was way more stable than Windows 98.

00:39:11   - Yeah, I remember that.

00:39:12   - Even the very first beta of it in February 1999

00:39:16   was way, way more stable than Windows 98.

00:39:19   But it was easier back then to go through that transition

00:39:23   because Microsoft stuff was always mediocre.

00:39:25   It was, to give the, to their credit,

00:39:28   they were consistent.

00:39:30   Whereas Apple, it sounds like they would have

00:39:32   some amazing times and then some terrible times,

00:39:33   whereas Microsoft was always impressively mediocre.

00:39:36   It was like you could count on the mediocrity.

00:39:38   It was the Starbucks and McDonald's

00:39:40   of computer operating systems,

00:39:42   and I would argue probably still is.

00:39:45   And that's actually kind of valuable for a lot of people,

00:39:48   to know what you're gonna get.

00:39:49   It's dependable.

00:39:51   And the transition from '98 to 2000

00:39:55   was not that bad unless you had to scan or print anything

00:40:00   and there were no drivers.

00:40:01   But besides that, as long as you didn't have to scan

00:40:04   or print, it was actually a really easy transition.

00:40:06   - Yeah, I think that was the basic idea

00:40:08   of why they didn't go to NT even earlier.

00:40:09   'Cause I actually had to use Windows in some ways,

00:40:13   like in college when I had jobs and stuff

00:40:15   where that's what people used.

00:40:17   And I remember the first time I saw Windows NT,

00:40:21   I don't even know what the version number was,

00:40:22   but it was before 2000,

00:40:23   but it was probably like NT4 or three,

00:40:27   I think 'cause they numbered it.

00:40:28   - 3.5 probably.

00:40:29   - Yeah, 'cause they numbered it to match Windows 3.

00:40:31   - Yeah, NT4 I believe, or was NT4 2000 or was that NT5?

00:40:35   It doesn't matter.

00:40:36   - And I remember asking like the guys who knew a lot more,

00:40:39   we're into the PC side, I was like,

00:40:41   why isn't everybody using this?

00:40:42   This is actually like, you know.

00:40:44   - It was NT5.

00:40:44   - It's still, yeah, that was it, that was it.

00:40:47   - NT5 was 2000.

00:40:48   - Yeah.

00:40:49   - NT4 was the one that looked like Windows 95.

00:40:52   Yeah, it was NT4 that I had seen and used and had some experience with.

00:40:56   And I was like, this is--

00:40:58   I still think it's kind of gross design-wise,

00:41:00   but technically this is so far superior.

00:41:01   Why isn't everybody using this?

00:41:03   And then they were like, duh, there's no drivers for it.

00:41:05   And I was like, well, don't you say there's an easy way to solve this.

00:41:08   Shouldn't everybody just switch to this, and then everybody

00:41:12   will write drivers for it?

00:41:14   I mean, transitions are hard.

00:41:16   I know it's not.

00:41:16   But it just seemed crazy to me that they were in active development

00:41:19   for so many years.

00:41:20   And the PC world is, I mean, I don't know,

00:41:22   it's probably better now.

00:41:23   I'm actually not sure, I've been out of it too long,

00:41:25   but you actually couldn't count on new drivers

00:41:28   for almost anything.

00:41:29   Like if you upgraded your version of Windows,

00:41:32   you would probably, almost certainly,

00:41:34   you'd have to get a new scanner at least.

00:41:35   Like some of your hardware would just stop working reliably

00:41:38   or at all because they wouldn't put out a new driver

00:41:41   or they would put out a new beta driver

00:41:43   and then go out of business or something.

00:41:45   And like scanners and printers were some of the worst.

00:41:49   And then like the more specialized

00:41:53   your hardware peripherals were, the worse they would be.

00:41:56   So like I had a couple of game pads

00:41:58   'cause I wanted to like play emulators.

00:42:00   And so I bought these game pads

00:42:02   and they were always the absolute worst.

00:42:05   And so you could almost be sure that any hardware

00:42:07   or anytime you upgraded your Windows OS,

00:42:10   you'd have to also spend maybe 200 bucks

00:42:13   upgrading some of your hardware

00:42:15   because just because of driver issues,

00:42:17   you'd have to replace perfectly working hardware

00:42:19   just because there wouldn't be drivers anymore

00:42:21   or they wouldn't be workable drivers anymore.

00:42:23   - Crazy, dark days.

00:42:25   - And that's one of the reasons why Microsoft

00:42:27   had to jump through hoops for backwards compatibility

00:42:29   and all that crap, because that was the world

00:42:31   they were operating in.

00:42:31   That was like the hardware environment

00:42:33   they were operating in, where they couldn't

00:42:35   just dictate to people, you know what,

00:42:36   everyone's now using this, so you have to catch up.

00:42:38   The way Apple does that today,

00:42:40   Microsoft could not do that in the 90s,

00:42:42   and I don't even know if they can do it today.

00:42:44   They probably still can't do it.

00:42:47   Alright, let me jump in here in the early minutes of the show with our first sponsor

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00:46:09   dot-com so what are we talking about we were talking about overcast before

00:46:14   before the detour into old windows of Mac yeah horrible days of the late 90s of

00:46:20   using computers god I don't know how that happened that was terrible all

00:46:23   right that was not the entire computer industry was in middle school yeah

00:46:25   middle school always sucks for everybody and it sucks for the computer industry

00:46:29   And that was it. That's a pretty good analogy. It really was and you're the worst of your personality comes out

00:46:34   Right Apple Apple went pie in the sky

00:46:39   You know off smoking pot thinking they were gonna write a universal

00:46:44   I just linked that up today the Taligent thing with IBM

00:46:47   Like I Apple had had was writing multiple operating systems that never actually came to exist, you know, and there was Copeland

00:46:56   And they did the whole Newton thing which wasn't a failure wasn't a bus but obviously, you know wasn't a hit and therefore didn't

00:47:03   You know, they took their eyes off the ball and left the thing that was actually keeping the company around

00:47:08   they let it languish and

00:47:11   Then Microsoft man, it's just it really got they got bad. But anyway, that's enough of that

00:47:16   I do think it's amusing that that like the biggest Apple news this week is probably the IBM thing and

00:47:22   You choose to have me on I am probably the least qualified person in the world to comment on that in any fashion whatsoever

00:47:29   Well, maybe next to me

00:47:31   Let's get well, let's save it. Let's go. Let's do news at the end of the week. Let's keep going on overcast

00:47:35   I had a couple more programming questions. So

00:47:38   Brent wanted me to ask this when I told him you were gonna be on the show

00:47:41   He wanted to know how hard the audio programming was because he said it sounds like it would be hard

00:47:47   it sounds like it would be hard for him and knowing just some of the

00:47:51   trickery that you're implementing, that it's even harder. So that's, that's a question, how hard was

00:47:57   audio programming, and you had no background in audio programming before you got into this, correct?

00:48:01   Well, it's not entirely true. I did a project in college where I was, I was trying to make

00:48:07   a better lossless compression algorithm like flack. And you know, those those kind of lossless ones.

00:48:12   My project in college failed, because the compression that I wrote,

00:48:17   took like 10 hours to compress one file and the resulting file was actually larger than the input

00:48:22   file. So it was not a success. My idea for for how I can lossily compress them was not a good idea.

00:48:32   Turns out, I remember when I was in college and I was taking computer science courses,

00:48:38   this is mid 90s. I was, you know, 91 to 96. Everybody was writing ray tracers,

00:48:46   ray tracers were like maybe they're still a common thing but man and i i was nowhere near good enough

00:48:52   to even try but i remember that there are some some kids i knew who wrote one and they they were

00:48:58   getting like like one frame a day i mean this just unbelievably slow and it just had no idea how to

00:49:06   improve it and just like despondent it was like we're it's so slow that we can't even figure out

00:49:13   why it's slow. Well when I was writing this thing in 2003, about the same number

00:49:20   of people cared then as now about lossless audio encoding which was about

00:49:24   five and I don't even use like I'm an audio file I love high quality audio I

00:49:31   have all sorts of ridiculous equipment to listen to high quality audio but I

00:49:36   don't even use lossless audio files like even if that doesn't even make sense for

00:49:40   me to have those giant files sitting there when like a 256K MP3 well-encoded

00:49:44   sounds just as good to me I can't tell the difference so it was it was a

00:49:48   ridiculous background anyway compression in general compression in general though

00:49:53   is hard whether it's lossy or lossless because you're still focused on quality

00:49:57   I mean you know even if you're writing lossy compression you know JPEG or

00:50:02   something like that you still you don't it's not it's not like you can

00:50:05   disregard quality. Right. And it's just mathematically it's just it's really

00:50:10   mind-bending. I mean that to me at least. Oh yeah I mean like that once you get

00:50:14   past very elementary forms of compression the met it's all math and

00:50:19   it's all like very complicated difficult to understand math that is far beyond my

00:50:24   comprehension most of the time or like I might understand the general concept but

00:50:28   I certainly couldn't implement it or do it myself. Right there's like a one a one

00:50:32   level deep of compression that anybody can understand and it's like well if

00:50:35   there's like what zip does yeah if there's if there's 16 ones in a row you

00:50:40   could just write it down as six you know say that there's 16 ones and that takes

00:50:44   fewer space than this 16 actual ones oh yeah well guess what that doesn't get

00:50:49   you very far yeah exactly that's that's called RLE and that was in Windows 3.1

00:50:54   you know 15 20 years ago there's these very obvious repeated patterns that's

00:50:59   how gif works actually yeah but that's gif as well that's why gif has such

00:51:03   wonderful compression that Twitter reimplemented this is the movie files

00:51:08   right before living exactly see the cat pictures I saw people because that's I

00:51:15   don't know if anybody doesn't know that the Twitter added quote unquote added

00:51:20   support for animated gifs a couple of weeks ago and then somebody figured out

00:51:24   that they're not actually animated GIFs, they're sending out h.264 video. And then

00:51:30   I saw people who were upset about this, and it's like, well, there's a reason they

00:51:34   did it. The h.264 video files are like 10 times smaller than the GIFs.

00:51:39   Oh yeah, I mean like I wrote the GIF processor in Tumblr. It's dealing with

00:51:44   GIFs is a ridiculous pain in the ass. It's a terrible format, for so

00:51:49   many reasons, and you know, not least of which is that it isn't very efficient at

00:51:53   compression but it for so many other reasons like it has the fixed 256 color

00:51:59   palette right which is really limiting oh it's soul-crushing it's like that's

00:52:05   and and those colors I don't think those colors can change between frames of an

00:52:09   event animation about that oh I'm almost certain that I don't think so I don't

00:52:13   think between frames yeah I I would be very surprised if that were true I

00:52:17   remember can't change anyway yeah it's a terrible format it's terrible well you

00:52:22   know, right back to the 90s, you know, but there was that whole debate when when was

00:52:26   it unisys started trying to enforce the patent on gif. It was like they had it patented,

00:52:32   and didn't do anything with it. And while they didn't do anything with it, you know,

00:52:36   the world the World Wide Web grew up with tons and tons of gif files. And then all of

00:52:40   a sudden, somebody unisys was like, well, we have a patent on that. Yeah, it was a submarine

00:52:44   patent. It's like the canonical example of, of, like a submarine patent, I think. Yeah,

00:52:52   Yeah, right why you should never trust a company that says hey just use our stuff. We're never gonna enforce it

00:52:57   Yeah, but I remember that that the subcurrent of the whole argument about what we should replace it with and what are we gonna do

00:53:03   And blah blah blah was we're doing all this to replace an awful truly awful file format

00:53:09   And you can find people who complain about JPEG and that other there were other formats at the time for photographs

00:53:16   You know with you know

00:53:17   The role that JPEG plays that that there were better alternatives and stuff like that

00:53:22   They could have been done better in certain ways, but nobody really says JPEG is terrible

00:53:26   I mean JPEG is JPEG right, you know pretty good and served. Yeah, I mean JPEG like it and similar mp3

00:53:32   MP3 is a very old format

00:53:35   What people don't realize it stands for mpeg1 layer 3 right like mpeg1 files are I believe from the late 80s

00:53:44   I mean, it was a while before they were commonplace,

00:53:47   but late 80s or early 90s, I believe,

00:53:49   is when MPEG-1 became a standard and became playable.

00:53:54   And that is when the MP3 format, it's from that era.

00:53:58   JPEG is not from that much later than that.

00:54:00   I think it's also from the very early 90s.

00:54:03   And it was a while before it was fast enough

00:54:06   that computers could display them very quickly.

00:54:09   But now, and there are better formats.

00:54:11   There was a format called JPEG 2000

00:54:13   that no one ever uses.

00:54:15   And I believe there were some patent issues with it,

00:54:17   which is one of the reasons why,

00:54:18   but JPEG is good enough.

00:54:22   - GIF is a horrible, just a horrible format.

00:54:24   But yet it was, there were billions,

00:54:26   I forget the estimates for how many GIF files there were

00:54:29   on the early internet, but it quickly went

00:54:31   from hundreds to billions.

00:54:33   - Well, and they're back now.

00:54:34   I feel like this is our bell-bottoms moment.

00:54:36   - Yeah.

00:54:37   - Where this thing that was a weird fad

00:54:41   15 years ago, 20 years ago, mostly 15 years ago,

00:54:45   that this thing was a weird fad back then,

00:54:48   now it's back and all of us who were around back then

00:54:50   are like, why is this back?

00:54:51   This is terrible.

00:54:53   It's the fashion that's come back around.

00:54:56   These are definitely our bell bottoms.

00:54:57   - Yeah, but it's used in a way that is,

00:55:02   there's a little bit of retro to it,

00:55:03   but then in most ways there's not

00:55:05   because the GIFs that people post now,

00:55:07   these huge animated ones with lots of frames

00:55:09   from video and TV and stuff like that,

00:55:11   are so humongous that computers in the mid 90s

00:55:16   and internet connections in the mid 90s

00:55:17   couldn't have even handled one of them.

00:55:19   - Oh yeah, they're like three megs.

00:55:21   I mean, you gotta figure,

00:55:22   imagine the concept of a three meg GIF in 1997.

00:55:27   - Right, we used to try to make,

00:55:29   I forget the target for our web pages,

00:55:31   but a lot of times,

00:55:33   part of your project specs for building websites

00:55:36   were what was the target size for the web page,

00:55:39   and it was always measured in kilobytes, you know.

00:55:41   - Right, like how many seconds would it take

00:55:43   to load over a 56K modem?

00:55:45   - Right, it was, you know, somewhere between,

00:55:46   for most projects that I worked on,

00:55:48   it was usually like 10, 20 kilobytes

00:55:49   for the whole page, all assets.

00:55:51   - Right, 'cause that would take a few seconds to load.

00:55:54   - It would take forever to load, it was horrible.

00:55:57   (laughing)

00:55:59   - So to answer your actual question.

00:56:00   - But a three megabyte GIF file

00:56:03   in the middle of the page would be terrible.

00:56:05   - Right, I mean, if it could even load

00:56:07   without something running out of memory

00:56:09   and crashing while decoding it, which is unlikely.

00:56:11   But if it could even load,

00:56:12   it would have taken 45 minutes to load.

00:56:14   - Right.

00:56:15   I also think if I'm remembering correctly,

00:56:18   then this I hear I could be way off my rocker,

00:56:21   but I seem to recall that like early hosting accounts,

00:56:26   like if you were hosting a website somewhere,

00:56:29   like storage and bandwidth were measured in megabytes.

00:56:33   Like I don't know how many megabytes,

00:56:35   but like, you know, you just, you couldn't serve up

00:56:39   a couple hundred copies of a three megabyte file.

00:56:42   You just couldn't do it. - Oh, definitely not.

00:56:44   - Oh, God, and now people just crap them out every day.

00:56:48   - Well, 'cause now you can host them for free

00:56:49   in a million different services that all want your privacy.

00:56:52   - All right, back to audio programming.

00:56:53   So you did have some experience in college.

00:56:55   - Yeah, and I've like toyed with it here and there.

00:56:59   - Which was a complete failure.

00:57:00   - Yeah, yeah, my college experience was awful.

00:57:04   But you know, I got the basic concept of, you know,

00:57:06   the samples and the frames and the formats and everything.

00:57:09   So, you know, and I've always been an audio nerd.

00:57:13   So I've always been familiar with editing audio

00:57:16   in basic forms, playing with it, you know,

00:57:19   I've, music and talk radio have always been

00:57:23   very important to me.

00:57:25   And so I've always kind of been in this.

00:57:27   Anyway, so the audio programming in Overcast

00:57:31   was by far my favorite part.

00:57:34   And it was ridiculously hard.

00:57:36   But it was the kind of good hard for a programmer,

00:57:40   which is like, it's very intellectually stimulating.

00:57:43   And so it's exactly what I love to do,

00:57:45   which is working at a very low level C code,

00:57:48   doing stuff that you don't think will be possible

00:57:51   to do quickly.

00:57:52   And you know, like it's questionable

00:57:54   whether it will run on an iPhone at reasonable speed

00:57:57   and at reasonable battery drain.

00:57:58   You know, doing very low level stuff like that,

00:58:02   using things that, you know,

00:58:02   try to make it even more efficient,

00:58:04   try to take an even better trick to get this way,

00:58:06   throw in some of the vector algorithms and stuff like that.

00:58:09   That, it was a very, very fun hard, if that makes sense.

00:58:15   And it didn't take that much time,

00:58:18   relative to the entire rest of the app,

00:58:20   the audio engine, it's actually easier in many ways

00:58:25   because it is self-contained and what it's doing,

00:58:29   it's a relatively simple task, it's easy to test,

00:58:32   it's easy to benchmark, it's easy to find bugs

00:58:36   and fix them.

00:58:37   Whereas if you compare that to like UI programming

00:58:41   or sync logic to the server,

00:58:43   like those things are much higher level code.

00:58:46   There's much more code to do that sort of stuff,

00:58:50   you know, in total for the whole app.

00:58:52   And it's much harder to test,

00:58:54   there's all these weird edge cases.

00:58:56   You know, the audio code really was, it isn't that way.

00:58:58   You have a stream of numbers coming in

00:59:01   and you gotta put out a stream of numbers,

00:59:02   and there's some buffering issues you gotta take care of,

00:59:04   and some performance issues you gotta take care of,

00:59:06   and some edge cases here or there,

00:59:09   but it's nowhere near the level of possibility complexity

00:59:14   that programming an interface is.

00:59:17   - I think it helps that you're an audio file.

00:59:20   In fact, I don't know that it would've worked

00:59:22   that way otherwise, 'cause I'm not.

00:59:23   I'm a complete anti audio file.

00:59:26   I just wanna, yeah, I don't know.

00:59:29   I shouldn't say anti, because I do care about quality,

00:59:31   but my threshold for what sounds good seems a lot lower than people who, you know, like

00:59:36   you who are really into headphones and stuff like that. Like my, you know, line up 20 pairs

00:59:42   of headphones and I'm going to say there's a decent chance I might find that they all

00:59:46   sound pretty good. If, you know, they're all cost, I don't know, 60, 70, 80 bucks or above.

00:59:53   And I would have a harder time talking about the differences. If I did hear a difference

00:59:57   between the two, I'd have a harder time describing it.

01:00:00   Right?

01:00:01   Right.

01:00:02   And I think that helps.

01:00:03   Because I would think most people, and I wondered, you know, maybe you know this, maybe you can

01:00:06   even tell, like, if I were going to write a podcast app, or I were going to be part

01:00:11   of a team that was writing one, my idea would be, well, I would just let the system, I'd

01:00:16   let iOS handle all the audio playback.

01:00:18   We get that, there's a part we get for free.

01:00:20   We give the system an audio format that Core Audio knows how to play, and then it'll play

01:00:26   and we don't have to worry about that.

01:00:28   And then start from there.

01:00:29   And I think that, you know,

01:00:32   clearly that would rule out a whole bunch of the features

01:00:35   that are in Overcast.

01:00:37   - Yeah, I mean, the biggest one,

01:00:39   like you can do voice boost using the simpler APIs.

01:00:44   It is not, you can't do it very well, but you can do it.

01:00:48   There's just a few little downsides,

01:00:49   but most people wouldn't notice it'd be fine.

01:00:51   You definitely cannot do smart speed

01:00:55   in any reasonable approachable way.

01:00:57   And so I had to do this if I wanted smart speed.

01:01:02   And it was an important enough feature for me

01:01:04   that I said it was worth it.

01:01:06   And the reality is, as I said,

01:01:09   like the audio engine was very, very hard

01:01:12   for about a few weeks or a month maybe,

01:01:14   and then it was done.

01:01:15   And then the rest of the app

01:01:16   was the rest of the development time.

01:01:19   I haven't touched the audio processing code in months

01:01:22   because it's fine.

01:01:23   Like I made it over the course,

01:01:25   I'd go in every once in a while and make a little tweak

01:01:27   to how something was dealt with,

01:01:29   or the levels or the EQ, stuff like that.

01:01:32   But for the most part, it has barely changed

01:01:36   in almost two years since I wrote it.

01:01:38   - So those are the two magic,

01:01:41   here, just make this better,

01:01:43   features in Overcast.

01:01:46   Smart Speed and Voice Boost.

01:01:49   And I think of them as the audio equivalent

01:01:51   of that magic wand thing in the Photos app.

01:01:54   - Exactly. - Right?

01:01:55   And you say, just make it better.

01:01:56   And a lot of times for me,

01:01:58   that button makes the photo better.

01:02:00   And then every once in a while, it doesn't,

01:02:02   and then you can tap it again and it goes away.

01:02:04   And it's just like that with podcasts,

01:02:06   where you can say, turn on Smart Speed.

01:02:08   And if you think this is better,

01:02:09   this is an easier way to listen to the show, keep it on.

01:02:12   If not, turn it off.

01:02:14   - Exactly, and there are some shows

01:02:16   where one or both of those options

01:02:18   will actually make it sound worse.

01:02:19   And that's why there's buttons for those,

01:02:20   instead of just being on all the time.

01:02:23   But I found in the majority of shows I listened to,

01:02:25   the combination of both of them

01:02:28   usually make it sound better.

01:02:30   - What was the deal, I remember this,

01:02:31   there was a really interesting thread

01:02:33   on the beta glassboard about the names of those features.

01:02:38   And early on, I hope I'm not talking--

01:02:41   - No, no, good. - Behind the scenes,

01:02:42   but the voice boost had a different name, right?

01:02:45   I think it just said boost? - Yeah.

01:02:47   Early on, voice boost was not on or off.

01:02:50   there were three modes to it.

01:02:54   There was, there were four modes.

01:02:56   There was off, where it didn't process anything.

01:02:58   There was enhance, and then boost, and then also reduce.

01:03:03   - Yeah. - And reduce was a mode

01:03:05   that would actually cut off the spectrum

01:03:07   on the extreme highs and extreme lows.

01:03:09   So it would, like if somebody,

01:03:11   sometimes you have a podcast where it's like

01:03:12   way too much bass, and if you play it

01:03:15   like in a bathroom or something,

01:03:16   like it sounds really echoey and horrible

01:03:19   and it's hard to listen to.

01:03:20   Some of them also will leave in

01:03:23   like very, very high pitched wines

01:03:25   as an artifact of some part of their processing.

01:03:28   And I never quite figured out what causes that,

01:03:30   but some podcasts will have that occasionally.

01:03:32   And this has been true for years, way before Overcast.

01:03:34   And so reduce mode would cut those ends off.

01:03:37   And then enhance and boost both did the same thing.

01:03:42   Just boost did it more severely.

01:03:45   Boost was like a larger boost basically.

01:03:48   And so I had this slider, reduce off enhanced boost.

01:03:52   And that was true for about half of the beta, really.

01:03:57   - Yeah, I was always confused as hell by the whole thing.

01:03:59   I kinda just wanted, I really just wanted,

01:04:03   Marco, just make it sound better for me.

01:04:05   - Right, and that was a common request, actually.

01:04:08   And what I eventually found, what I realized is that

01:04:12   even myself, I was just leaving everything

01:04:14   on boost all the time.

01:04:16   Like I wasn't using any of the other settings.

01:04:17   I thought I would when I made them, and then it turns out I was not using them at all.

01:04:22   And so that's when I redesigned that screen to just be just a button. Is this on or off?

01:04:27   Yeah. And it sounds like it's also a real interesting difference between where you listen

01:04:33   to podcasts. And it's like it seems like this feature, the voice booster in particular,

01:04:37   really comes in handy to people who listen in their car.

01:04:39   Yes, definitely. That's why I made it, because I listen all the time in my car. I got a new

01:04:45   car a couple years ago and it came with a serious radio and probably like you

01:04:49   know a six-month trials description I never activated it I'm only listening to

01:04:53   podcasts now I used to listen to satellite radio before that I would

01:04:57   listen to like mp3s and CDs and everything now in my car I'm always

01:05:01   listening to either either nothing like if I'm talking to TIFF or if I'm

01:05:05   writing alone usually it's always podcasts that's it and yeah voice boost

01:05:10   makes a massive difference in the car right because noisy environment and you

01:05:13   yeah, it's a noisy environment. So the baseline for where you need the quietest voice on the show

01:05:18   to be audible is potentially dangerously high for like a burst of laughter or somebody else who's

01:05:26   who was recorded at a higher level. Right, you know, if you have somebody who's very, you know,

01:05:30   polite and soft spoken, like Brent, you know, I used his old show as an example, the what was

01:05:37   that show called with the calendar guy? Oh, the Simmons, the Simmons brothers.

01:05:42   - I don't have cousins, yeah.

01:05:45   Yeah, I use that show as one of the test files.

01:05:46   - Oh, that's good, 'cause Michael Simmons is so loud.

01:05:50   - He was like a loud, boisterous voice,

01:05:51   and Brent was soft-spoken.

01:05:53   - Yeah, that's a perfect example.

01:05:54   - And they didn't level it very well at first,

01:05:55   'cause they were, when they first started the show,

01:05:57   they weren't that experienced producing podcasts,

01:05:59   and they got better at it afterwards.

01:06:00   But I used the earlier episodes as a test for this feature,

01:06:05   because it was the perfect case,

01:06:06   where I wanted to hear what Brent was saying

01:06:08   without having my ears blown out when Michael would talk.

01:06:11   And so it was exactly the situation

01:06:15   where voice boost is necessary.

01:06:16   So voice boost is, it's a combination of an EQ

01:06:20   and a compressor.

01:06:21   And the compressor, and it looks at the files

01:06:23   in a couple other ways, but for the most part,

01:06:25   it's a compressor.

01:06:26   That's most of what you're hearing is the compressor.

01:06:28   And that was exactly what it's for,

01:06:32   which is make Brent loud enough

01:06:34   so I can hear him in the car

01:06:36   without blowing out my ears when anyone else talks.

01:06:39   - Yeah, and there's like an old record producer

01:06:41   adage that you know you don't you don't optimize a music album for high-quality

01:06:49   studio headphones you optimize it for the actual way that people in real world

01:06:53   are gonna listen to this music which might be you know 10 20 years ago you

01:06:58   know a piece of crap portable radio you want to make sure it sounds good on that

01:07:02   because that's where you know that if it doesn't sound good on that you're never

01:07:05   gonna have a hit song no matter how good it sounds on your you know thousand

01:07:09   studio headphones. Exactly. Yeah, got it optimized for the real world. Yeah, and

01:07:13   that's true, it's true. Web design, app design, it's true of everything. Yeah. One more

01:07:18   question I had, I'm surprised Brent didn't ask, is feed parsing a

01:07:23   nightmare for podcasts? Is it just like RSS? It's not as bad as RSS, because, you know, first

01:07:30   of all, podcasts are just simpler than the entirety of RSS feeds, because, you

01:07:35   You know the entire RSS feeds first of all includes Adam and four different versions

01:07:39   of RSS and the use cases for RSS feeds are very varied.

01:07:46   There's all sorts of things like it isn't just a site like Engadget posting news headlines.

01:07:51   There's all sorts of things that publish RSS feeds that any feed parser has to handle.

01:07:57   Podcasts have two things going for them.

01:07:59   Not only is the scope of what they cover much smaller than that because for the most part

01:08:04   It's audio shows that are produced once a day, once a week,

01:08:09   maybe the most extreme ones might be published once an hour

01:08:11   if it's like a dump from a radio station.

01:08:13   But there's not much more than that.

01:08:15   And usually it's pretty well formed for the most part.

01:08:20   And the second big thing is that

01:08:22   for all of the medium's history,

01:08:24   iTunes has been the dominant player.

01:08:26   And historically, iTunes is less picky now.

01:08:30   But before, in previous years,

01:08:32   iTunes used to be very picky about what kind of feeds it would accept. If your

01:08:36   feed was malformed at all, iTunes wouldn't take it. And so it kind of

01:08:41   enforced a level of consistency and quality, even a format. iTunes, for

01:08:46   the longest time, only supported RSS. It didn't even support Adam.

01:08:49   And it still doesn't support it that well. Right, yeah, exactly. Today it does

01:08:54   support Adam, but not well. Because I looked into that when I had to take over

01:08:57   over the feed for this show.

01:08:58   And my backend publishing stuff is all set up for Adam,

01:09:03   or at least it would work better with Adam in theory.

01:09:07   And the bottom line was you could, but you don't want to.

01:09:10   If you really want, you really want your podcast

01:09:12   to be RSS.

01:09:14   - Exactly. - Actual RSS,

01:09:16   not RSS as a catch-all term that includes Adam,

01:09:19   which is confusing. - Right.

01:09:21   And Adam, I know this is like,

01:09:24   this is like a holy war of 2003.

01:09:26   but I really don't like Atom as a format.

01:09:30   RSS was clearly designed to be pragmatic

01:09:35   and Atom was designed to be the standard

01:09:38   that ends all standards and can reproduce anything.

01:09:40   - Yeah. - And it shows.

01:09:42   It shows in the complexity of these two formats

01:09:44   and Atom has a lot of ambiguity in like,

01:09:48   okay, well, there are 17 different ways

01:09:49   to represent the date and you need to support all of these

01:09:52   'cause some people might use this one

01:09:53   and then what the heck is an author?

01:09:54   Does everything have an author?

01:09:56   how is this author relevant to this other author?

01:09:58   And there's like, everything in Atom is, well, it depends.

01:10:03   You know, and there's like 17 different ways to do it.

01:10:06   And in RSS, you know, it isn't a perfect format.

01:10:08   There are some ambiguities built into the format

01:10:11   that are kind of annoying,

01:10:11   like the lack of required GUIDs, for instance.

01:10:14   But for the most part, RSS, you know,

01:10:19   as its name states, is way simpler.

01:10:22   And just to deal with, to publish and to consume,

01:10:25   it is so much simpler because the format

01:10:27   just can't represent all the little tiny nuances

01:10:30   that Adam can, and Adam sees that as a flaw.

01:10:33   I see that as a feature.

01:10:35   - Yeah, I totally agree, in hindsight.

01:10:37   And who knows, maybe someday I'll just change everything

01:10:39   at during fireball to go RSS instead of Adam.

01:10:42   But for some reason, I picked the wrong side back then,

01:10:45   and I somehow convinced myself that, I don't know,

01:10:48   I think I kind of bought into the,

01:10:53   the

01:10:54   That does sound good arguments behind the Adam people

01:10:58   I mean, I never got involved in it and wasn't really active but you know

01:11:01   Rick reading Mark pilgrims blog back then and a couple other people who were involved it it all made a lot of sense to me

01:11:07   And there were certain aspects of it that if you if you rendered a very simple feed in Adam

01:11:13   It looked better to me than RSS and still does in a way

01:11:16   Like I'm not thinking about it from the perspective of someone writing a parser and you have to handle everything

01:11:20   I was thinking of it in terms of what would make my the daring fireball feed look better

01:11:27   If you just looked at it, and I still think Adam is better

01:11:30   In that regard but that's a stupid thing to make the judgment on I think I think

01:11:35   the smarter way to look at it is just to say RSS is super pragmatic and it is

01:11:41   Designed from the get-go for doing exactly and only what I was doing which was here's a bunch of articles

01:11:48   - Yeah.

01:11:49   - Right, as opposed to like here,

01:11:50   we have to design an overarching standard

01:11:52   that will encompass every possible thing

01:11:54   everyone will ever want to do again.

01:11:55   - Yeah.

01:11:56   - You know, and Atom was also, you know,

01:11:58   a lot more strict with certain things,

01:11:59   and it's almost, there's almost a parallel

01:12:01   between XHTML being Atom.

01:12:04   - Yeah, I think so.

01:12:05   - And like HTML5 or even old HTML being RSS.

01:12:08   - Yeah.

01:12:09   - Where it's just like, you know,

01:12:10   it was more structured, more defined,

01:12:12   but way more complex.

01:12:14   - Yeah.

01:12:14   - And it sounded good in theory,

01:12:16   that in practice it just doesn't really work that well.

01:12:19   And it's actually more complicated to deal with in practice.

01:12:21   - Yeah, and the RSS thing went by really quickly

01:12:24   in just a handful of years,

01:12:25   whereas the HTML thing played out over almost 20 years.

01:12:29   But I think it is pretty,

01:12:32   I think that's a pretty decent high-level analogy.

01:12:34   And in that analogy, I think RSS 2.0 is HTML5,

01:12:38   which is, yeah, yeah, yeah, the RSS,

01:12:40   and it had weird numbers.

01:12:41   It was like 0.9 and 0.91 and 0.92.

01:12:45   And the weird thing was that like .91 was from Netscape and Dave Weiner had nothing

01:12:51   to do with it and .92 went back to Dave Weiner and ignored everything that was in .91.

01:12:56   It was really a sequel to .90.

01:12:58   I know I'm getting these version numbers wrong, but it doesn't matter.

01:13:01   It doesn't matter that I'm getting the exact version numbers wrong.

01:13:04   It's – yeah, Brent was literally at ground zero for all of that because he was like writing

01:13:09   all the parsers and generators for all of these things.

01:13:11   Yeah.

01:13:12   And to be clear, when I'm talking about RSS, I'm talking about RSS too.

01:13:14   Earlier ones. Yeah, like the RDF based ones that disaster, but we went but that was the battle though, right?

01:13:20   That was you know, and that's why were they X X HTML never really was pitted against HTML 4

01:13:25   It was really pitted against a you know, it's tml5

01:13:28   I mean even though the time, you know, they weren't at the same time effectively

01:13:31   it was well the world's gonna move off HTML for eventually and

01:13:35   you know the standards people, you know really thought it was

01:13:43   Gonna be X HTML because my god, it's gonna be great

01:13:46   It'll enforce that all of your web pages are XML compliant because if it's not it won't render, right?

01:13:51   Yeah, everything everything was like structure

01:13:53   This is a battle that you know computing has gone back and forth in this in cycles for decades

01:13:58   It was a battle for like structure and definitions and schemas and well-defined everything and extremely unforgiving

01:14:06   implementations

01:14:08   versus forgiving flexible, just kind of spew something out

01:14:12   and we'll try to figure out what it is.

01:14:13   And the same thing is happening now

01:14:16   with Objective-C versus Swift even.

01:14:18   I mean, we keep having the same battle over and over again

01:14:22   where somebody will want,

01:14:23   there'll be some kind of class of problems

01:14:28   that academic people will think needs to be solved.

01:14:33   And the way to solve it is to require standards.

01:14:35   So everything can be strictly typed

01:14:37   and we can validate everything

01:14:41   and everything has to be defined in a file

01:14:43   and we're gonna write everything in Java

01:14:44   with 10 class deep hierarchies of every model.

01:14:48   This isn't just a person.

01:14:49   We need to have a person factory constructor

01:14:51   to construct the factory that builds people.

01:14:53   And like all this, like there's levels and levels

01:14:56   of complexity and structure

01:14:58   to combat the freeform wild west of dirty data.

01:15:03   And then the dirty data people come in

01:15:04   and do everything faster and everything just works anyway.

01:15:06   then and then the cycle repeats again it's yeah I'm I think we're gonna always

01:15:11   see this cycle just go back and forth I don't even know I was not going to get

01:15:15   into this and this could be this could absolutely sink the entire you might as

01:15:21   well now I mean have you seen this thing where there's this group that wants to

01:15:25   turn markdown into an I ETF standard no it let me guess Jeff Atwood I I don't

01:15:31   even know. You know what? It broke last weekend. I was out of town with Amy and I wasn't paying

01:15:38   attention and I've been busy this week on other stuff. I haven't even paid attention

01:15:42   to it. But I don't know if it's associated with Atwood's Crusade or not. And there's

01:15:49   talk from some people. And the funny thing is they're doing it on a mailing list that

01:15:53   I still host and I haven't participated on in years. And I don't know why I haven't pulled

01:15:58   the plug on the damn mailing list. But I still host the Markdown discuss mailing list and

01:16:03   there's people saying that they should just take the name Markdown from me because I've

01:16:08   been such a lousy steward of it, of it and whatever. Meanwhile, you know, there's the

01:16:14   web pages on my site for Markdown with describing the syntax and everything are more popular

01:16:20   every single day. It's more popular. The mark I could actually I've thought about selling

01:16:25   sponsorship just for markdown alone because it's more popular the markdown

01:16:29   pages on during fireball get more traffic than during fireball did as a

01:16:33   whole when I went professional with daring fireball and you can even you

01:16:38   could get like you know web development kind of advertisements for that too like

01:16:42   it's a different market right that's what I've that's exactly why I thought

01:16:45   that I could do it job board just on that page although I do actually think a

01:16:49   lot of the traffic is not coming from web developers it's coming from people

01:16:53   who are using a site that is switched to Markdown as the format, you know, for their comments

01:17:01   or whatever.

01:17:02   But anyway, long story…

01:17:03   I mean, I could go on forever about this, but to me, Markdown's not successful despite

01:17:08   not being a standard and etc. etc. and all that would entail.

01:17:15   But because of that…

01:17:16   Now, it's possible that it would be better off if there were some kind of spec that could,

01:17:21   you know if there were a spec that implementers could implement for some things and you know

01:17:29   maybe I'll do either I don't want to get too deep in this but there's some ideas and some

01:17:33   work that some people have done that's really interesting in that regard because ninety

01:17:37   nine point nine nine nine percent of people wouldn't have to worry about it and it wouldn't

01:17:41   change things but some of the things that people see as a problem like the fact that

01:17:46   different markdown implementations are slightly different is not a problem it's

01:17:50   actually you know that's actually a good thing because then github which has to

01:17:55   my opinion a great flavor of markdown they even call it and they have a great

01:17:58   name for it perfect name it's called github flavored markdown and it is

01:18:02   exactly suited for github users and it does code a little differently because

01:18:07   no shit github users are writing a lot of you know code blocks right and it

01:18:15   would nuttin and almost none of their changes would make sense for markdown

01:18:19   everywhere so you know it's great yeah I don't people see the world is broken

01:18:25   regarding markdown because there's not one true markdown and meanwhile in the

01:18:30   real world everybody's happy writing markdown yeah I think you're right it

01:18:35   doesn't it doesn't seem like it's a problem that needs to really be solved

01:18:39   exactly and you know it's I think I think there's this temp there's a

01:18:43   a tendency for programmers to want to clean up standards

01:18:48   and formalize things like that.

01:18:50   And in many cases that is warranted.

01:18:53   But I think saying that everything has to be a standard

01:18:57   is like saying open always wins.

01:18:58   - Exactly, yeah.

01:18:59   - Like, you know, that is true sometimes,

01:19:02   but it is not a generalization that holds all the time.

01:19:05   And I don't know, I mean, maybe there are things

01:19:09   that should be standardized, but it seems like Markdown

01:19:11   has gotten along just fine without that.

01:19:13   and it's moving along fine.

01:19:14   And you're right that different implementations

01:19:17   will have different needs.

01:19:18   And it is not wise to try to cram all these specialty needs

01:19:23   into one standard that everybody must follow.

01:19:26   And then everything gets versioned,

01:19:28   then you have to be like, oh, well,

01:19:29   does this support markdown 2.0 or not?

01:19:31   And it's kind of a mess.

01:19:33   I don't know, it's a hard problem to solve.

01:19:35   But I wouldn't assume that a standard's body

01:19:38   is necessarily the right solution to this problem.

01:19:41   I would almost certainly say it is absolutely not.

01:19:46   - Well, of course you would say that

01:19:47   'cause they're basically trying to fire you.

01:19:49   - Right.

01:19:50   - But I don't know.

01:19:51   I think that the success of Markdown,

01:19:55   despite not having a standards body behind it all this time

01:19:59   is the biggest evidence why it probably doesn't need one.

01:20:02   - Right, exactly.

01:20:03   And part of what it meant lets it get by without a spec

01:20:07   and I feel like it would be better in some ways.

01:20:11   There are things that could be clarified.

01:20:13   And there's things that make Markdown very hard, for example,

01:20:15   to write a syntax coloring description for because of ambiguities.

01:20:20   There's things-- the general assumption with Markdown, the thing that--

01:20:24   the reason why it doesn't have a spec and why I think it probably shouldn't

01:20:27   is the general assumption is that whoever is writing it

01:20:29   knows what they're doing and isn't going to put input random gibberish.

01:20:34   And there's all sorts of-- the problems that people are talking about is, well,

01:20:36   what if you put seven asterisks in a row what does that generate well don't do

01:20:42   that that's my answer I don't know what it generates is a generate a bunch of

01:20:46   empty m tags or strong tags I don't know it just seems like just why would you do

01:20:52   that you know check what it looks like before you publish it and if you see oh

01:20:57   I forgot that if I put a bunch of asterisks there that means something at

01:21:00   markdown I should backslash escape them just you know take a look at it it could

01:21:07   be better I'm not trying to brush aside all criticism of it and say that there's

01:21:11   nothing I could do better there's maybe I should wait take a couple of weeks and

01:21:15   wait back in and clean up some things but I think what markdown needs from me

01:21:19   would be like a version I don't even know what the official version but like

01:21:23   if it's at 1.0 1 I should do like a 1.0 - right or at most like a 1.1 yeah maybe

01:21:32   at 1.1 there's no need for a markdown 2.0 and there's no need for a standard or

01:21:37   respect but people get really worked up about it what if they just make their

01:21:41   own thing and give it another name and see if it catches on exactly that's I've

01:21:45   said that that's like I probably should set up a text expander snippet for that

01:21:49   make up your own thing and see if it catches on yeah cuz it might and then

01:21:53   then find a problem solved then you have your own thing that you control it has

01:21:57   it has a different name and fine you got it right I don't know we'll see how that

01:22:01   goes it's it's either gonna Peter out or it's going to be a thing that I'm going

01:22:06   to have to take a little more public and then you know and be like no you cannot

01:22:11   take the name mark down and I I do have a nice soapbox for that and I have a lot

01:22:15   of people who are probably gonna be on my side of this and then everybody's

01:22:18   gonna be like oh my god I remember him talking to Marco about that on his

01:22:21   podcast a couple weeks ago you even trademark it maybe yeah well and

01:22:25   probably isn't worth it I mean I don't know I probably should try I don't know

01:22:29   it's probably it probably is not worth it on maybe harder because it's a general

01:22:33   it's a you know getting a regular word even though the pun involved in the name

01:22:38   I think is I still think it's rather clever but I don't know it might be hard

01:22:42   because it's a dictionary word I'm not a trademark lawyer however I filed for a

01:22:46   a number of trademarks now,

01:22:48   so I'm familiar with the process.

01:22:49   And from what I understand,

01:22:52   you could almost definitely trademark it.

01:22:56   It doesn't matter that you haven't yet,

01:22:58   it doesn't matter that it's out there.

01:23:00   The fact is it's still your thing, your project.

01:23:02   - Yeah, I'm not asking for the word.

01:23:03   - It has not become a generic term

01:23:05   that describes all things like this.

01:23:07   It is still a specific thing that you made.

01:23:10   And you could just make the,

01:23:13   'cause you know, this is a very common thing,

01:23:14   I hear people talking incorrectly about on podcasts

01:23:17   all the time, they assume that a trademark

01:23:19   is like a universally unique name.

01:23:22   - Right.

01:23:23   - When in fact, when you file for a trademark,

01:23:24   you have to file for it in certain

01:23:27   relatively narrow categories.

01:23:29   And the more broadly you want that trademark to apply,

01:23:32   the harder it is to get.

01:23:33   And sometimes it is possible to get it more broadly.

01:23:37   There might be someone else that's too close to you.

01:23:38   So like, I have to file for Overcast's trademark

01:23:44   within the parameters of a website

01:23:47   that lets people search and find and play podcasts,

01:23:51   and also a mobile application that lets people search

01:23:53   and find and play podcasts and audio files,

01:23:55   and you have to be that specific.

01:23:57   And overcast is a word, it's an English dictionary word,

01:24:04   but I still have a trademark pending on it

01:24:05   that looks like it's gonna go through just fine.

01:24:08   And there are other trademarks for the word

01:24:10   that are in different industries, and that's fine too.

01:24:12   And so yeah, trademarks are limited to a certain scope.

01:24:17   And if you make that scope narrow enough,

01:24:18   you can trademark almost anything.

01:24:20   - Yeah, it's not like getting the Twitter account name.

01:24:23   - That's impossible, yeah.

01:24:24   (laughing)

01:24:25   Every time it comes up where someone's like,

01:24:27   oh yeah, I wanna recover this abandoned name on Twitter.

01:24:30   Every time this comes up, there's like three people

01:24:32   who are like, oh, I know a guy, I can get it done.

01:24:34   Or oh yeah, you could just email this person.

01:24:37   And every time, if anyone else does it,

01:24:39   they can't do it anymore.

01:24:40   The process has now changed, it is now more strict.

01:24:42   No, sorry, I can't do it. Yeah, I think there might have been some loosey-goosey early days where you could get

01:24:47   You know like in 2009 you could still get a claimed but vacant Twitter name

01:24:55   But it's it's I don't know I think for obvious reasons that it's gotten harder. I have at markdown

01:25:01   I don't think I've ever even posted from it, but I do have that do you know this?

01:25:05   I think I talked about this on the show, but it was years ago

01:25:08   Do you know who wanted to buy it from me?

01:25:12   Matt Mullenweg, nope Glenn Beck

01:25:14   What talk show right-wing talk show personality Glenn Beck? Does he have like a show with that name or something?

01:25:22   Yeah, he started he got involved in some kind of

01:25:25   Like an overstock comm

01:25:31   competitor

01:25:34   Okay, so it's like price mark down either yeah, or maybe it was like Groupon or something

01:25:38   I went and looked at it and tried to figure out what the hell it was and I was just like no so and I just

01:25:43   I got emails from them that they wanted to make a very serious offer about the Twitter account and I

01:25:48   Just never answered him that that is that is really truly someone I just couldn't live with myself

01:25:55   I didn't want to hear the number

01:25:57   Because I don't think it would have been that big anyway. I really don't yeah, I doubt it

01:26:01   I don't think it would have been an offer that I couldn't refuse but I was afraid that it would be an offer

01:26:06   I couldn't refuse

01:26:08   So on the other hand, it would be nice to take a whole lot of Glenn Beck's money. I don't know

01:26:12   There's something about that it

01:26:14   There's yeah, I thought of that too that wouldn't it be nice to you know, buy a new car with Glenn Beck's money

01:26:20   but then I don't know there's something about taking his money that

01:26:22   And I don't know but anyway he wanted to buy it but I think his whole thing fell apart

01:26:26   anyway, now that his markdown is is

01:26:28   Not even remembered. I don't think anybody remembered it

01:26:32   They remember him. I

01:26:35   I don't know because he's not on TV anymore.

01:26:37   I still, he pops up on the politics sites I read every once in a while.

01:26:41   You can actually, you actually read politics?

01:26:43   I can, I, like politics make me so angry, like every, every political news thing I've

01:26:47   ever read has just made me angry.

01:26:49   So I just try to avoid it as much as I can.

01:26:50   I used to be really into it when I, another enormous digression, but circa 2002 when I

01:26:56   thought, you know what, I've got to start a blog.

01:26:59   And it was, maybe it wasn't quite 50/50.

01:27:02   And I know in hindsight everybody's going to say, come on, it couldn't have been.

01:27:04   But it felt closer to 50/50 me whether I would write about tech and etc. or politics and

01:27:12   etc.

01:27:13   And then I thought, "Well, maybe I'll start the Daring Fireball one first," which I always

01:27:17   knew would be the name of this one.

01:27:21   And I thought, "Maybe I'll start a second blog."

01:27:23   I even have a name for it, but I can't say what it is, where I would write about politics.

01:27:29   But it's just, to me, it's not that it makes me angry anymore.

01:27:32   It just bores me.

01:27:33   It bores me to death.

01:27:34   Because it's the same story all the time, you know, everyone's getting screwed.

01:27:39   These people are, you know, being bribed or being bought by lobbyists and, you know, those

01:27:44   common people are getting screwed even further and everything just sucks and there's no hope

01:27:47   in sight.

01:27:48   Like that's basically it.

01:27:49   Like if you boil it down, that's basically what every political story is.

01:27:54   And it's just awful.

01:27:55   I think if I had been alive, if I had been born a few decades earlier and had been like

01:28:01   a same to like a columnist typewriter in the 70s or 80s I think it would have

01:28:05   been about politics because I think it was so much more interesting then and I

01:28:09   know there's a lot of a lot of that some of the problems are exactly the same in

01:28:12   a partisanship and stuff but it wasn't the money wasn't as as corrosive it

01:28:18   wasn't so much that it was really all just about business you know it was it

01:28:22   was more you know the partisanship was actually interesting and kind of fun to

01:28:26   write about I just think it's funny also that you know you and I have a

01:28:30   a similar problem, you have it to a larger scale,

01:28:33   because your audience is much larger than mine.

01:28:36   We have a similar problem in that we say things

01:28:39   that are opinionated about topics

01:28:41   that shouldn't be emotionally charged,

01:28:44   but for many people they are.

01:28:46   And we get a lot of crap from people

01:28:50   who are like unreasonably, surprisingly angry

01:28:54   about some statement we make about like a phone.

01:28:57   I can't even imagine what it would take in your mind to think that it would be a good

01:29:01   idea to enter political writing as an additional thing that you did from that point of view.

01:29:07   Yeah, and when I've dabbled in it on Daring Fireball, it's, you know, I don't mind the

01:29:13   criticism but it was enormous.

01:29:15   It peaked in 2008 with the Sarah Palin thing because I couldn't not hold my tongue.

01:29:20   I was so clear that the woman was, you know, borderline mentally disabled.

01:29:26   I mean, you know, a real, real, real problem.

01:29:31   And she was--

01:29:32   - Yeah, that was a scary time.

01:29:32   - Right.

01:29:33   - When it appeared that like, there was a very good chance,

01:29:36   like most people today who weren't voting

01:29:38   or paying attention in 2008, don't realize that like,

01:29:42   there was a very good chance Sarah Palin

01:29:44   was going to be president.

01:29:45   - Right.

01:29:46   - 'Cause you know, McCain, yeah, McCain's still around now,

01:29:47   but at the time everyone's looking at McCain

01:29:49   saying he's not in great health, he's pretty old.

01:29:51   He was like one of the oldest people

01:29:53   to run for president in his life.

01:29:54   - Well, and there was a tremendous,

01:29:56   And I think well-grounded fear that the polling numbers might be severely off

01:30:00   because there were an awful lot of people who wouldn't want to tell a pollster that

01:30:04   they wouldn't vote for the black guy.

01:30:06   But when they go in the privacy of the voting booth, would.

01:30:10   Right. There was a very real chance

01:30:12   that McCain and Palin were going to win.

01:30:14   And because of McCain's age and health,

01:30:18   there was a good chance he might not make it for a full eight years and that she

01:30:21   might become president. Like these were really like non-trivial possibilities.

01:30:25   And when I'd write about her, man, people would just, a certain subset of people

01:30:29   would just go nuts. And it was funny because some of them were clearly

01:30:32   themselves very low IQ, but others were not. Others were, you know, but that, you

01:30:37   know, they're, because that's their side. And they'd say, you know, if she was

01:30:42   a Democrat you'd love her. It's like, no, if she was, if, I'm not that partisan. It's

01:30:45   It's like, my politics are certainly not conservative, but I'm not, you know, if a true moron ran

01:30:53   on a Democratic ticket, I would do the same thing.

01:30:57   Like it's way more dangerous, way more dangerous.

01:31:00   I prefer to have a Democrat in the White House than a Republican.

01:31:03   I do.

01:31:04   But I would much rather have any Republican of reasonable intelligence than a moron who's

01:31:11   a Democrat.

01:31:12   I think that's terrifying.

01:31:13   - Yeah, I mean. - It's terrifying.

01:31:14   - Like, you know, 'cause when the Democrats

01:31:16   sell out the public, they at least try to do it quietly

01:31:19   and in more subtle ways that are less likely

01:31:23   to be traced back to them.

01:31:24   The Republicans have learned that they can sell out

01:31:27   the public in public.

01:31:29   Like, you know, brashly, they can just,

01:31:33   they can do things that seem ridiculous

01:31:36   to thinking people, but they can get away with it

01:31:40   because no one cares.

01:31:42   And like, they just, the public does not give a crap.

01:31:46   And so, they just, they can do whatever they want.

01:31:49   At least the Democrats give us the illusion that they are, that they have us in mind.

01:31:54   Which of course they don't.

01:31:55   But at least they give us that illusion.

01:31:58   And here's Marco, proving in the email I'll get in the coming seven days exactly why I

01:32:03   made the right choice in 2002.

01:32:06   Totally.

01:32:07   And I think it's best for you and I to keep doing

01:32:12   what we already do with this issue,

01:32:13   which is like, for truly important issues,

01:32:17   blog about them on our tech blogs.

01:32:19   Because if either of us had a political blog,

01:32:23   the only people who would read it

01:32:25   were people who agree with us.

01:32:26   - Yeah, that's true. - Basically.

01:32:28   And there'd be occasional drive-by trolls

01:32:30   who wanted to yell at us,

01:32:31   but that doesn't really do anything.

01:32:33   And so I think you could make more of a difference

01:32:37   for a cause you care about by not usually being political

01:32:41   and choosing occasional times where it's worth it to be.

01:32:44   And then you kind of trick some people

01:32:46   who don't agree with you into seeing that opinion.

01:32:48   - Here's the thing I keep thinking about.

01:32:50   When I look back at it, I think that I wish

01:32:52   that our system were set up in a way

01:32:54   that it would be a lot easier for whoever won

01:32:56   the last election to get whatever shit done that they want.

01:33:00   And if it turns out to be unpopular,

01:33:03   they're gonna get voted out and whoever comes in next

01:33:05   can undo it.

01:33:06   I think there should be a lot more of that.

01:33:11   Whereas we've got a system now where it's like

01:33:13   nothing happens, right?

01:33:14   Like one major, I know I'm exaggerating to some extent,

01:33:19   but really only one major thing has happened since Obama

01:33:23   was elected president, which is the healthcare reform.

01:33:26   - Right, and look at how well that,

01:33:27   like everyone keeps trying to repeal that somehow,

01:33:29   which is comical, you know, but.

01:33:31   And that's one thing, right?

01:33:33   And--

01:33:34   - It's a big thing, but still, like that's--

01:33:35   - Somebody's gonna say, you know, it's because, you know,

01:33:38   that people are gonna email me and say,

01:33:39   it's 'cause Obama is a terrible president and a bad leader,

01:33:41   blah, blah, blah, but it's not.

01:33:43   It's because it's so, the system is set up in a way

01:33:45   that nobody can get anything done.

01:33:46   Bush didn't get much done other than start the wars

01:33:49   in terms of major accomplishments,

01:33:51   because it was like this thing that both sides could somehow

01:33:54   for a few brief years, it was like everybody felt

01:33:58   like we had to get behind them.

01:34:01   I'm not saying I was behind it, but I'm just saying that Democrats who were in the Senate

01:34:04   and House also voted for it.

01:34:06   It was something that...

01:34:07   But other than that, not much...

01:34:09   Nobody passes anything.

01:34:10   I think it would be so much better.

01:34:11   And I say this knowing that in my lifetime, there will be Republican presidents and Republicans

01:34:17   control of the House and Senate and all those things have been flow.

01:34:20   I'd rather see even the Republicans get to get more of their stuff done while they're

01:34:25   winning and vice versa than the current system, which seems to be set up basically around

01:34:31   any idea of let's try to make sure nobody can do anything.

01:34:33   - Yeah, it seems like there are some like security holes

01:34:37   in the procedures in Congress where like, you know,

01:34:41   it's very easy for a party to block everything ever,

01:34:45   even when they're not really in power,

01:34:47   like the whole filibuster thing and certain majority rules.

01:34:49   Like there are certain things where like, it's just,

01:34:52   it seems like when these rules were considered

01:34:55   or made or implemented, it was not really a thought

01:34:58   into it that what if one party or the other just decides to block everything for a decade?

01:35:05   Like just says no to everything the party ever does for a decade and no one ever compromised

01:35:08   on it now on anything.

01:35:09   Like I think that thought never crossed anyone's mind before because it never really happened

01:35:12   before.

01:35:13   And now we're being shown, oh, this is kind of a problem because we can't get anything

01:35:19   done even things that are fairly moderate.

01:35:22   Like we can't even get moderate things passed.

01:35:25   So yeah, it could use some rethought,

01:35:27   like some rule changes in Congress,

01:35:30   just to make it so that it's possible

01:35:32   to get something through for whoever

01:35:36   has the technical majority.

01:35:39   - Yeah, and I think in terms of looking at a career

01:35:41   as a podcasting host and a columnist on a blog,

01:35:46   that's what I mean when I say it to me,

01:35:48   it would be too boring.

01:35:51   I think I might have burned down on it,

01:35:53   not because I would have worked harder at it

01:35:55   that it would have been more stressful, I think I would have burned out from boredom.

01:35:59   I think what makes what we talk about in general interesting is how quickly things can change.

01:36:04   Just look at the phones alone that we've gone from a world where the iPhone didn't exist

01:36:11   seven years ago or I guess it had just come out a couple weeks ago, seven years ago, to

01:36:17   a world where IBM and Apple are selling iPhones together to corporate customers.

01:36:21   It's crazy.

01:36:22   Yeah, that's pretty nuts.

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01:38:57   Speaking of commercials, you know what I saw the other day?

01:39:00   Blew me away.

01:39:01   I'm in a bar

01:39:03   With Amy having a drink and on the TV behind the bar. It's showing ESPN and

01:39:09   You know, I see a TV. I'm gonna pay attention to it and all of a sudden Adam Lisa Gore is on TV

01:39:15   Oh, yeah for what?

01:39:17   That there's a commercial that he shot a sandwich video for a company called true car

01:39:22   T R U E C a R. It's the future of car buying. I actually haven't watched the whole thing

01:39:28   I was in a bar. I couldn't hear it. All I did was see him

01:39:31   Now his videos have gone on real TV like national TV

01:39:35   That's gotta be like that's definitely a strange thing to see like your friend all of a sudden appear on TV. I went nuts

01:39:41   I think I'm usually a pretty you know, I was like that. I know that guy. That's my he's been on my show

01:39:46   Right my guy and there he is up there. It's in it's just a classic sandwich video there. He and he's the spokesman

01:39:53   He's he's in it. He's all you know, that's awesome

01:39:57   I'm so happy for him for everything he's like I remember back when he was you know before he started sandwich video

01:40:03   He was just doing like video work for people and he didn't seem like he was that happy doing it

01:40:07   I don't want to you know

01:40:08   I don't want to put words in his mouth, but it seemed like he was he was not incredibly happy with his previous jobs and

01:40:14   he

01:40:15   He did this thing on his own and it's just exploded

01:40:18   He is because like now everyone sees how cool he is like how his his style how?

01:40:25   talented he is and how good his work is and and his unique like style and voice

01:40:30   that he puts into these things that are so appealing to so many people like it's

01:40:34   so great to see your friends have that kind of success and he's like the nicest

01:40:38   guy in the world you know it couldn't happen a better guy no he's such a

01:40:41   thrill but it's so it's so because - it's like who would have thought that he you

01:40:50   know he just doesn't look like what you think of as celebrity pitchman right

01:40:53   He's and he's like deadpan and like so like muted right and and it works and it works really well

01:40:58   I mean we oh we you know

01:40:59   We all thought that you know like internet nerds because we would see his videos previous videos and love them

01:41:03   But yeah, I think it's it's a surprise in a very good way that Wow. Everyone else feels this way, too

01:41:11   it's it's like like

01:41:13   Nerdy smart stuff like what we so often like around these parts is now popular everywhere

01:41:20   it was so funny like I was making the directory in overcast and I had like whipped together directory a few days ago and and

01:41:25   Jason Snell suggested this category titled pop culture and

01:41:30   almost everything in it is about geek culture and

01:41:34   Part of that's because Jason Snell is a geek like us

01:41:37   But part of it's also because geek culture now is pop culture and that was a very strange thing to realize, right?

01:41:45   Yeah, like the thing the other day where that turned out that turns out the next Thor is a woman and

01:41:52   It was like I couldn't like it was on every site

01:41:55   It didn't matter whether it was a geek site or like a mainstream site. It was covered with equal, you know

01:42:01   Excitement and you know

01:42:05   The it was a perfect example to me because I remember growing up

01:42:09   What happened in comic books would be like something like the other kids in fifth grade

01:42:15   We're talking about you couldn't turn on TV and find out about the new spider-man outfit. You know what I mean?

01:42:21   Yeah, well because they weren't making movies that made billions of dollars with it

01:42:25   But it's just funny how it's crossed over and I but that's the thing though

01:42:30   Is that it's I think it's highly doubtful that that the you know

01:42:35   all sorts of stuff that happens in the comic books doesn't necessarily mean

01:42:38   it's gonna happen in the movies you know so it it's it's only in the comic books

01:42:43   where there's gonna be a where Thor is now a woman I mean I guess it could

01:42:49   eventually be turned into a movie I don't know but I love that you've had me

01:42:53   on here to talk about IBM TV and comics comics I'm like so incredibly unc

01:43:00   I don't read comic books.

01:43:02   It's for babies.

01:43:03   I just think it's an interesting example

01:43:06   of what you were talking about.

01:43:08   - Yeah, yeah.

01:43:09   I think it's more like,

01:43:10   a lot of people know one or two nerds who,

01:43:15   or maybe you are one of these nerds,

01:43:17   who you were a nerd socially growing up,

01:43:20   it did not serve you well,

01:43:22   and then you got a job that paid you good money,

01:43:24   and then all of a sudden people are interested in you.

01:43:26   I feel like that has happened

01:43:28   to the entire nerd industry,

01:43:30   like the whole nerd and the whole geeky category of things.

01:43:34   Now geeks are big business.

01:43:36   We control all the internet stuff,

01:43:38   our comic books and all that crap

01:43:40   are now billion dollar movie franchises and stuff like that.

01:43:43   I feel like the rest of the world now cares about us

01:43:46   because we have all the money.

01:43:48   - I guess to a certain degree that describes me,

01:43:50   but I think I was always a little bit outside that,

01:43:54   a little bit harder to pin down in that sort of, you know, like my high school years were

01:43:59   not unhappy. I wasn't, I wouldn't, I would say the only thing that made me really unhappy

01:44:03   is I just wanted to already live on my own. Not that I don't love my parents and they're

01:44:06   not great, but I felt like I was, I was, I felt clearly able to make my own decisions

01:44:12   about when to go to bed, you know. Like when I was around 11.

01:44:18   You have now reached the conclusion of side one of your official National Lampoon Stereo

01:44:22   test and demonstration record. And what better time for our special end of the record test.

01:44:29   First of all, this is a test of your equipment. No matter what brand or type of record player

01:44:34   you have, the tone arm should now be close to the center of the record and almost at

01:44:40   the shiny area just before the label. If you own an automatic turntable, in a few seconds

01:44:46   The arm should raise itself as if by magic and then return to its rest near the outside of the unit.

01:44:53   If you do not have an automatic turntable, this should not happen.

01:44:58   The second part of this test involves you.

01:45:02   If you have been correctly installed as part of your stereo system, you will now lift the record up, turn it over, and replace it on the turntable with side two on the top.

01:45:14   you will then proceed to listen to all of side two.

01:45:18   If you do not do this, you have failed the test,

01:45:23   and you have the worst hi-fi system in the world,

01:45:26   no matter how much money you spent.

01:45:28   [ Silence ]