480: Three Wise Admins


00:00:00   I guess we have to talk about him this week, huh?

00:00:02   Okay, so here's the thing.

00:00:05   Every year I say over and over again, you gotta order, you gotta order, you gotta order. And every time all of you

00:00:11   justifiably roll your eyes, "Oh sure, Casey, whatever, ho ho ho, we've heard this before."

00:00:15   Really, this is your last warning. If you're driving

00:00:19   signal, because you're an adult and you know what a damn turn signal is, signal and then pull off the road.

00:00:26   Park,

00:00:28   open up ATP.fm/store and take a look at our wares,

00:00:32   our merchandise, that's W-A-R-E-S.

00:00:35   - Oh yes. - Mind you.

00:00:35   - Not our wares.

00:00:36   - Not our wares.

00:00:38   So yeah, so here's the spread one last time real quick.

00:00:41   We've got the M1 Ultra shirt,

00:00:43   which is exactly as you would expect.

00:00:44   The M1 Interposer shirt, which,

00:00:47   follow-up is far and away in the lead of our new offerings.

00:00:50   I am very pleased by this.

00:00:52   If you don't know what we're talking about,

00:00:53   this is the M1 logo that we've kind of created,

00:00:56   and then underneath it, it says Max,

00:01:00   and then adjacent to that with a kind of interposer

00:01:02   in between them is an upside down Max.

00:01:05   So I am in love with this shirt,

00:01:07   I am so excited to get one, I have ordered mine.

00:01:09   We additionally have M1 Ultra in monochrome,

00:01:12   which is a little bit cheaper,

00:01:13   because we're not doing 34 passes to print them.

00:01:16   And then, and that comes in many, many different colors.

00:01:19   We also of course have the traditional ATP shirts,

00:01:22   and we have brought back the embroidered zip hoodie as well,

00:01:26   which I quite like. I actually, to be honest with you, I prefer not to have the hood on my hoodie.

00:01:30   I know this is very controversial, but it's still an excellent, excellent sweatshirt/hoodie.

00:01:34   And then finally we have brought back the ATP Pankglass and you might ask, "Well, what do you mean finally? You said they're mugs."

00:01:39   No, no, you should have ordered. You should have listened to Casey and you should have ordered because guess what? Mugs are sold out.

00:01:45   I'm so sorry. There is a slim chance we will have some extras after returns and things of that nature.

00:01:51   Maybe, and we might be able to put it up later, but no promises. You should have listened to me.

00:01:56   You should have pulled the car over, stepped to the side of the sidewalk, done whatever you needed to do

00:02:00   to go to ATP.fm/store. Your time is running out as we record this, which is presumably

00:02:07   hours before you hear it. There's only a couple days left. It will end, the store sales will end

00:02:14   on the 30th of April at eight in the evening ATP time.

00:02:18   So that is Saturday at 8 p.m. ATP or New York time.

00:02:23   That is your last chance.

00:02:24   So now is your moment.

00:02:26   Signal or say, "Excuse me," and pull the car

00:02:30   or pull your butt over, do whatever you gotta do.

00:02:33   Go to ATP.fm/store, please, and thank you.

00:02:36   - Consider buying our pint glasses.

00:02:37   We've got plenty of them left.

00:02:39   - And they're actually-- - You'll be seeing them

00:02:40   on the on-demand store for sure,

00:02:42   'cause it looks like we are not going to sell out of those.

00:02:44   And the funny thing is, hand to deity of your choice.

00:02:48   I love these pine glasses. - Deity?

00:02:50   - Deity, is that what I meant to say?

00:02:52   Sorry, whatever.

00:02:52   Hand to God, fine. - Affluent.

00:02:54   - Affluent.

00:02:56   What is that, bezel, but that was John's.

00:02:58   Anyway, so yeah, hand to a thing that you consider holy.

00:03:02   These pine glasses are excellent.

00:03:03   They really, really are.

00:03:04   They're dishwasher safe, they're engraved, they're excellent.

00:03:06   I have four of them, I haven't broken any yet,

00:03:08   and I actually have ordered two more

00:03:10   'cause I love them so darn much.

00:03:11   So all of my pronunciation mistakes aside,

00:03:15   I apologize, the offending people have been sacked,

00:03:17   but please, ATP.fm/store.

00:03:20   - Not one store-related thing.

00:03:22   I did another blog post.

00:03:23   I'm out of control.

00:03:25   I'm just like, "Foast into--" - It's a whole new world.

00:03:27   It's a whole new world.

00:03:28   - I would say not only did you write a blog post,

00:03:30   you launched a new app, sort of.

00:03:32   - Kind of. (laughs)

00:03:33   - Anyway, the post is about,

00:03:35   the thing I do on Twitter when the store is,

00:03:37   when we have the ATP store up,

00:03:38   I do this thing I call Frame Game

00:03:40   I post little snippets of frames from movies or TV shows and I ask you to guess what it's

00:03:45   from and the first person who guesses it gets a free t-shirt in the ATP store.

00:03:50   I've been doing that for several years now.

00:03:52   It's a fun little game.

00:03:53   I finally did a post about it to explain the game for people who don't know.

00:03:59   This was really unrelated as I started doing this before the holy animus twitter thing

00:04:03   where I was like, you know, I've been playing this game for years on twitter and it's kind

00:04:07   It's kind of hard to follow on Twitter if you go back in time and try to look at it

00:04:10   because of the way I've chose to thread the tweets together.

00:04:13   It's just not easy to go back in time and look at it for even my own purposes.

00:04:18   Did I ever do this movie before?

00:04:20   Did somebody guess it?

00:04:22   It's not easy to look at.

00:04:23   I was afraid having all this stuff locked up in Twitter isn't great.

00:04:27   I do the thing where you download your Twitter archive periodically too, but that just gives

00:04:30   you a local copy that's hard to follow.

00:04:32   So I wanted to have my own copy of the history of Frame Game, which is stupid, whatever.

00:04:38   But I saved all the images in a folder on my Mac, so I'm like, I should put a web version

00:04:42   of this up.

00:04:43   So I did.

00:04:44   So there's the post explaining it, and then there's a big shiny candy button on the post,

00:04:49   just because I always need something to distract myself with when I'm doing a blog post, and

00:04:53   this time it was, can I make a shiny button?

00:04:54   Anyway, you follow that button and it will take you to the Frame Game history viewer.

00:04:59   Is that a place where you can go and play Frame Game?

00:05:01   Kind of in your head if you want but really it's a history of you or if you want to see all the frames that

00:05:06   We've ever done

00:05:07   There's a surprising number of things like more than 50 of them all the frames you've ever done the person who won them

00:05:13   How long it took them to win because I put that in there just because it's so surprising like I think the best one is

00:05:19   The I'm not gonna ruin the movie in case you haven't seen it

00:05:22   But there's one with I think the smallest little piece of a frame I've ever posted it was 64 by 64 pixels

00:05:29   out of like a 1920 by 1200 frame.

00:05:32   That's how much I posted with the frame

00:05:33   and someone got it in like a minute.

00:05:35   So.

00:05:35   - It looks like 48 seconds for one of them.

00:05:38   - Yeah, oh, and sometimes they're kind of easy,

00:05:39   but, and as I noted in the post,

00:05:41   there's a good chance that people will figure out

00:05:43   how to brute force this with computers,

00:05:45   but I like to think that most people

00:05:46   are trying to play it legit.

00:05:47   So anyway, read the post, play the game, it's lots of fun.

00:05:50   One other aside I want to throw in here

00:05:51   for a little dev corner thing.

00:05:53   I ran, when making this thing,

00:05:56   which is, oh, it's a history viewer

00:05:57   that shows a bunch of pictures.

00:05:58   How hard could that be, right?

00:06:00   I ran into a classic of layout that I've certainly

00:06:03   run into before on the web.

00:06:04   And I imagine people with more experience doing iOS and Mac

00:06:08   apps have also run into it.

00:06:10   Tell me if this sounds familiar.

00:06:11   So if you go to the frame game--

00:06:13   game-- hypercritical.co/frame-game,

00:06:16   you'll see that it's trying to show the frame.

00:06:20   And it shows a small snippet of the frame.

00:06:22   And then it shows the full frame.

00:06:23   And when it's showing the small snippet,

00:06:25   it's in a container that's the size of the full frame.

00:06:28   And of course, every full frame is different aspect ratio,

00:06:31   probably because movies and TV shows

00:06:32   are different aspect ratios, and partially

00:06:34   because I'm taking screenshots of video players

00:06:37   and I'm not pixel accurate.

00:06:38   So they're all over the place.

00:06:39   So I have to change the aspect ratio.

00:06:41   And it's like a single page web app or whatever.

00:06:45   But something that you may not know

00:06:47   if you're not a long suffering web developer

00:06:49   is that when you get what we call the viewport width, which

00:06:53   is the width of the browser window from the left

00:06:55   to the right edge, that returns the same value,

00:06:58   whether the scroll bar is visible or not.

00:07:01   Now, most people who run their Macs

00:07:02   in a default configuration don't even have scroll bars.

00:07:04   They just have that thing where like,

00:07:05   oh, when you're scrolling,

00:07:06   like a little lozenge appears or whatever,

00:07:08   but old people like me have it set

00:07:10   in the general preferences and system preferences set

00:07:12   to always show scroll bars, which is a confusing setting.

00:07:15   It's kind of like the cache control, no cache header,

00:07:18   which tells it it's okay to cache.

00:07:19   But anyway, always show scroll bars means,

00:07:23   it doesn't mean that always shows the scroll bar.

00:07:24   means if there's stuff that you need to scroll to,

00:07:27   then it will always show the scroll bar, right?

00:07:29   So if you're looking at a very long web page

00:07:31   and it's way taller than your monitor,

00:07:33   you will see on the right side of your browser a scroll bar,

00:07:36   you know, a Mac OS X or whatever Mac OS scroll bar,

00:07:39   and it will always be there.

00:07:41   When that scroll bar is there,

00:07:43   the viewport width does not change,

00:07:45   but part of the viewport is blocked by the scroll bar.

00:07:48   So what if you want to have, like I did,

00:07:50   want to have a frame for a movie

00:07:52   that spans from edge to edge, okay?

00:07:55   Well, you could get the viewport width and you could say,

00:07:58   okay, I'm going to make this image

00:08:00   the same width as the viewport.

00:08:02   But of course, you know, frames have a width and a height

00:08:05   and an aspect ratio.

00:08:07   So if you make it the same width as the viewport,

00:08:09   then you can calculate what the height would be

00:08:10   based on the aspect ratio, right?

00:08:12   And then you make it that height.

00:08:13   But oops, what if making it that height

00:08:16   pushed the crap on the bottom of the page

00:08:17   down below the bottom of the browser window?

00:08:19   Now you need a scroll bar

00:08:21   and suddenly the scroll bar appears.

00:08:22   And now the scroll bar is covering some of the content,

00:08:25   which also means that a horizontal scroll bar now appears

00:08:28   because there's some part of the content

00:08:29   that you can't see that you need

00:08:30   to horizontally scroll for.

00:08:32   And so you're like, okay, well, if that happens,

00:08:35   I'll figure out that the scroll bar is visible

00:08:38   through an annoying hacky technique.

00:08:40   And then I'll shrink the picture

00:08:43   so that it moves out from under the scroll bar.

00:08:45   And I'll say, make the picture the viewport width

00:08:48   minus the width of the scroll bar,

00:08:49   which I can also calculate using some hacky ass way

00:08:51   to do it, right?

00:08:53   And now you think you're all clever.

00:08:54   So you shrink the thing, but when you shrink it,

00:08:57   of course the height shrinks too, right?

00:08:59   Because you have to maintain the aspect ratio.

00:09:01   What if the height shrinks so that now the content

00:09:04   doesn't roll off the end of the screen

00:09:05   and you don't need the vertical scroll bar anymore?

00:09:08   Do you see what the problem is here?

00:09:10   Right?

00:09:11   So you made it too big and a vertical scroll bar appeared

00:09:13   because it pushed the content down.

00:09:15   Then you move it out from under the scroll bar

00:09:16   and now in certain scenarios, the vertical content

00:09:19   is no longer big enough to require vertical scroll,

00:09:21   now you have a blank space on the right side

00:09:22   of your picture.

00:09:24   This is a classic layout problem of like,

00:09:27   changing my metrics to avoid things that pop in

00:09:30   and out on the sides, also changes the metrics,

00:09:32   because you have to maintain an aspect ratio.

00:09:35   And so I had fun chasing my tail about this

00:09:37   and sort of cursing and saying,

00:09:38   like, I don't know why I didn't think of this,

00:09:40   'cause I've run into this exact same problem so many times,

00:09:42   but you just forget about it.

00:09:43   It's like childbirth amnesia, right?

00:09:45   You just forget about the pain, right?

00:09:47   And so I have to do-- any programmer who's dealt with this

00:09:51   probably knows what I did, because this is not

00:09:53   a really important application.

00:09:54   That's just throw ugly hacks at it.

00:09:56   Isn't that all of web development ever?

00:09:58   No, it's all of all development ever.

00:10:01   Because if you think about this, there's no actual solution.

00:10:06   In this edge case, which if you get a window that

00:10:09   sides just right and a content that sides just right,

00:10:11   both of those settings don't work.

00:10:13   One of them, it's hidden underneath the scroll bar.

00:10:15   The other one is an empty space.

00:10:17   There is nothing in between that you can get.

00:10:18   They're both wrong, right?

00:10:20   So the only way to do it is to figure out

00:10:23   how much did the content have to grow

00:10:26   to cause the scroll bar to become visible

00:10:28   and add a blank space that's that size

00:10:30   so that you make sure that when I resize this image

00:10:33   and it gets a little bit shorter,

00:10:35   I shove enough white space in there

00:10:37   such that the vertical scroll bar,

00:10:39   I'm sure the vertical scroll bar is not gonna go away.

00:10:42   Then you can shrink the image and shove in the white space.

00:10:44   And so don't look at the code for this, it's horrendous.

00:10:48   But you know, I just got sick of it

00:10:50   and just wanted to get it done.

00:10:51   So while you're playing the game,

00:10:53   you can appreciate the edge case layout nuances

00:10:57   that I had to suffer,

00:10:58   all so I could get the image to go exactly

00:11:00   from one edge to the other.

00:11:01   And please don't look on a red and display

00:11:03   and look for half pixels because they're there.

00:11:05   (laughing)

00:11:06   - All right, let's do some follow up.

00:11:09   The Apple Studio Display has a beta firmware

00:11:13   that is available that fixes all of the camera problems.

00:11:16   It is now perfect in every measurable way.

00:11:19   There's nothing else to talk about.

00:11:20   - Oh, I wish.

00:11:22   - This is interesting that this change,

00:11:24   like we were saying, like, oh, the screen runs iOS, right?

00:11:27   So I guess the next time the screen is gonna get

00:11:29   new quote unquote firmware is the next iOS update.

00:11:32   But of course this update is part of the next macOS beta.

00:11:35   Now, you know, I'm sure there's an iOS beta

00:11:37   to go along with this and this,

00:11:39   maybe this beta is the same build number as the iOS beta.

00:11:42   We don't know yet.

00:11:42   Anyway, if you want to try out if you have a studio display you want to try this out

00:11:46   Which I don't recommend by the way, but if you're really desperate to try it out, it's in the Mac OS 12.4 beta

00:11:50   So a friend of the show Jason Snell has

00:11:53   possibly the best

00:11:56   Reasonable setup to show before and afters for this a lot of people like other friend of the show James Thompson

00:12:01   Had you know taking some photos before and after or compared them to like an iMac Pro or what have you but?

00:12:07   Jason still has a review unit which he didn't update and then updated his his actual unit or perhaps vice versa

00:12:13   So he has two studio displays sitting right next to each other one at one updated one not and so he put a video on

00:12:20   YouTube where he filmed and linked up, you know the both of them and have has them side by side

00:12:25   So I am biased because I'm looking at a studio display and it's in my best interest not to think it's a piece of garbage

00:12:32   Because I've been waiting for it for like six years. So consider your source here

00:12:35   I have not installed the firmware update,

00:12:37   but of course I've looked at all these different,

00:12:40   you know, examples and whatnot,

00:12:41   and it's not great, I mean, it's not fixed

00:12:45   by any stretch of the imagination.

00:12:47   I do think it's better from what I can tell,

00:12:49   but it's not fixed, but I was talking with Jason briefly

00:12:52   on Twitter, and having had only one experience

00:12:57   with, what's the, not the front and center,

00:13:00   that's your thing, what's the little--

00:13:02   - Center stage.

00:13:03   - Thank you, center stage, I couldn't think

00:13:04   darn name. So I've had one experience with center stage and I loved it. I thought it was amazing. I

00:13:09   thought it made being on a call when people are flipping in and out of the call, you know, just

00:13:14   that much better. And perhaps if I was just sitting on Zoom by myself all day, I would have a very

00:13:18   different opinion about it. But for my needs, I think I would take an imperfect camera with center

00:13:25   stage over a flawless camera without it. I am not saying that anyone has to agree with me. In fact,

00:13:30   In fact, I bet most people don't.

00:13:31   But for me, I'm willing to make that trade,

00:13:34   and I am happy to see that this is getting better,

00:13:38   but I mean, I never expected this webcam

00:13:39   to be particularly stupendous.

00:13:41   I wish it was better.

00:13:42   I think it should be better,

00:13:45   especially for a company that seems to pride themselves

00:13:47   on being so great at imaging and so on,

00:13:49   but it doesn't look like this is fixed yet.

00:13:52   And now people are starting to wonder,

00:13:53   well, is this really hardware?

00:13:54   Is this as good as it's gonna get?

00:13:56   And I don't know, it's hard to say.

00:13:59   I mean, I think it's pretty clear that the hardware here

00:14:01   is very limited.

00:14:03   When this first hit the news, whenever

00:14:06   that was a few weeks back or a couple months back,

00:14:10   my guess then was like, I think the software might

00:14:12   be able to be tweaked a little, but you have this relatively

00:14:17   low-resolution camera that's being cropped significantly

00:14:20   to achieve center stage.

00:14:22   And it's at quite a distance from people

00:14:25   compared to the iPad that has similar hardware.

00:14:27   So it just seems like this was doomed to always be pretty mediocre to poor.

00:14:33   And so far this bears that out, that the tweaks that we're seeing now are seemingly fairly

00:14:39   minor.

00:14:40   And I think one of my favorite comparisons was, and I mentioned it a second ago, the

00:14:44   James Thompson comparison.

00:14:45   This is our friend who makes PCALC, you know, great programmer and a great member of our

00:14:50   community.

00:14:51   And James, he posted the before and after from the old software and the new software

00:14:54   here.

00:14:55   that him posted the similar shot from his iMac Pro

00:14:59   built-in webcam, which may I remind you is I believe

00:15:03   a something like a two megapixel.

00:15:04   It's a very low-resolution camera.

00:15:06   It's from 2017 and has no super fancy image processing.

00:15:11   It probably has whatever kind of basic stuff

00:15:13   would come in any webcam, any commodity thing

00:15:16   up to at least a couple years ago.

00:15:18   So no ML stuff.

00:15:20   So in my opinion, and many others who saw this,

00:15:24   The iMac Pro built-in webcam looks way better

00:15:27   than the studio webcam, before or after.

00:15:30   And it's not that it looks super great,

00:15:33   but it seems like it was working with more

00:15:36   on the hardware side and didn't need to do

00:15:39   so much software processing to get it to look right.

00:15:42   And there's only so much you can do in software

00:15:46   when you have a little tiny sensor and a little tiny lens,

00:15:49   and especially with these new center stage cameras,

00:15:52   then you're further cropping it down

00:15:54   to do the center stage effect.

00:15:56   I think center stage in this context was a mistake.

00:16:00   It makes a little more sense on the iPad

00:16:02   in the sense that again, you're holding it closer to you,

00:16:05   it is more consumer targeted,

00:16:06   you might have those situations where like,

00:16:08   you know the family's coming in and out,

00:16:09   like they demoed in the background.

00:16:10   But for a professional display like this

00:16:12   that's mostly being bought for workplaces

00:16:14   and power users and nerds like us,

00:16:17   I don't think center stage is necessary

00:16:19   and it's definitely not necessary

00:16:21   if it comes at the expense of whatever hardware resolution

00:16:25   is necessary to have a decent picture.

00:16:27   And in this case, it seems very clear,

00:16:29   putting this camera in here was a mistake.

00:16:33   And if you look at the built-in webcams

00:16:35   of all of Apple's recent hardware,

00:16:37   I mean, look, they're never good.

00:16:38   They're clearly relying very heavily on image processing,

00:16:43   in all of them, including the brand new MacBook Pros.

00:16:45   People also say, why don't you put the iPhone camera,

00:16:48   you know, the iPhone front camera even

00:16:50   in the MacBook Pro cameras.

00:16:52   And you know, the answer there usually is depth

00:16:54   of those screenlets being very, very limited.

00:16:56   And you know, we had to get the notch now

00:16:58   and you don't want the notch to be bigger

00:16:59   and stuff like that.

00:17:00   But again, in a desktop display,

00:17:03   you have significantly more depth.

00:17:06   Now, they did have to keep the margins thin

00:17:08   to make it look nice and look modern.

00:17:10   So agreed, you know, there's not a lot of like depth

00:17:13   or not a lot of like width and height

00:17:15   in the screen bezel that I put it,

00:17:16   but I have to imagine there was better hardware available

00:17:19   that could have fit, and they just picked wrong here.

00:17:22   They just made the wrong choice.

00:17:24   This webcam and this display was the wrong choice,

00:17:27   and if they have to give up center stage

00:17:29   to have a better one,

00:17:30   I think that's the path they should have taken.

00:17:32   - I think it's kinda weird that, as you noted,

00:17:34   Apple has always had crappy cameras,

00:17:36   crappy front-facing cameras in all its products.

00:17:39   We used to complain about the two megapixel

00:17:40   one and the iMac Pro, we were just saying it was good.

00:17:42   It just seemed like they didn't care about them that much.

00:17:45   We didn't think they would make it worse.

00:17:47   - Yeah, same thing for the MacBook Air or the MacBook Pro.

00:17:49   They have like a 640 by something camera

00:17:52   in like the original MacBook Air.

00:17:54   They were always just kind of not good behind the times.

00:17:57   And we'd complain about them and nothing would happen.

00:17:59   And I think the silver lining

00:18:00   to this Apple Studio display thing

00:18:01   is I think this is the first time

00:18:03   that sort of the Apple tech review community

00:18:06   has latched onto the idea that the camera sucks

00:18:09   in such a way that Apple might notice.

00:18:10   'Cause we all said it about the other ones.

00:18:12   Like, oh, the new laptops are out.

00:18:14   Oh, does it still have a non-HD camera?

00:18:17   We meant like, is it not up to 1080p yet or whatever?

00:18:19   Like we'd make these snarky comments,

00:18:21   but it was never like a story, a big story.

00:18:24   And the studio display, the front-facing camera

00:18:26   has suddenly become a story.

00:18:27   So I have to imagine, especially with the Mac hardware team

00:18:32   that has produced the last few years of products,

00:18:34   that they have taken notice

00:18:36   that we all think their cameras suck.

00:18:38   And the next version of anything that they put out

00:18:41   that starting from now, right?

00:18:43   so that's probably three years from now,

00:18:44   like whatever the pipeline is where they are making

00:18:47   decisions about future products now,

00:18:49   I hope that they will say, oh, we don't want a repeat

00:18:51   of the Apple Studio display thing,

00:18:52   so let's actually put a decent camera in this.

00:18:55   That's my hope anyway, we'll circle back in three years

00:18:57   and see how it is.

00:18:58   And the second thing is about this software update,

00:19:00   I still continue to think that the processing they're doing

00:19:03   in software is not as good as it could be, right?

00:19:07   Because it's not as if we're looking at it and saying,

00:19:11   oh, there's not enough light or it's too noisy or whatever.

00:19:14   If you look at James Thompson's thing,

00:19:16   some people were looking at the histograms of them

00:19:18   and someone said, did they not have the iPhone camera

00:19:22   image processing team look at this?

00:19:23   'Cause the histogram is crap.

00:19:25   You haven't processed it to,

00:19:27   you could do a better job of processing this,

00:19:29   it wouldn't look as gross.

00:19:30   It still wouldn't look great,

00:19:31   like it's not a good camera or whatever.

00:19:32   And by the way, one of their solutions to like,

00:19:34   oh, we have a big fisheye camera

00:19:36   that you're taking a small crop of,

00:19:38   they just took a bigger crop.

00:19:40   So it makes it look less bad because you're not sort of

00:19:43   throwing out more pixels.

00:19:44   Of course, you are smaller in the frame than you were before

00:19:47   and you can decide if that's a feature or benefit.

00:19:48   But that's one solution.

00:19:52   Like, okay, we'll just zoom back out.

00:19:53   So now you can't see how ugly it is.

00:19:54   But the processing, especially on James Thompson's one,

00:19:57   looks off.

00:19:58   If you look at Jason Snell, I agree he has the best example

00:20:01   because he's literally like in front of both cameras at once

00:20:03   so he gets to move and you can see how the camera moves

00:20:05   around or whatever.

00:20:06   And the one with the firmware update or the one without,

00:20:09   at various times look very similar to each other.

00:20:12   So I don't think it's a particularly big change.

00:20:15   I still think they could do better with better firmware.

00:20:19   And I do wonder if it's like, again,

00:20:21   like I was saying in the camera, I think a policy choice,

00:20:24   where they've decided that the most important thing

00:20:27   is to have every pixel on a human being's face

00:20:29   as bright as possible, even if it makes them look

00:20:31   like a wax death mask.

00:20:33   I think that's the wrong choice,

00:20:34   but that sure seems like what they're trying to do,

00:20:36   like eliminate shadows on people's faces.

00:20:39   And they don't need to because like in James Thompson he had a ring light on him.

00:20:42   He had plenty of light on his face and the image processing was like I've detected the

00:20:45   human face.

00:20:46   Brighten that sucker up because I guess most people like you know in front of their webcams

00:20:51   and they all otherwise look like they're in a dark dungeon so that the processing is really

00:20:54   trying to brighten the face up.

00:20:56   They need to detect that they don't need to make certain faces brighter because they're

00:20:59   already bright enough.

00:21:00   So anyway we'll see in future firmware updates but yeah if you're buying this display for

00:21:05   camera you're gonna get what you're gonna get and you're probably gonna be upset.

00:21:11   Meanwhile, you know, when I first got the XDR, which as you know does not have a

00:21:15   built-in webcam, you know, I bought the little Logitech magnetically attaching

00:21:20   thing that goes on top of it. As I've said before, that's a pretty good webcam

00:21:24   and when I first set that up I was kind of disappointed that I had to look at

00:21:29   this giant black blob on top of my monitor all the time. But I've gotten

00:21:34   used to it now and I'm really happy that I have a really good webcam for whenever I have

00:21:37   to appear on a zoom call. I kind of wish like maybe, you know, the webcam now is pretty

00:21:43   important of a feature and that seems to be only growing over time. You know, there's

00:21:48   obviously a big a big bump during COVID of everyone all of a sudden working from home

00:21:52   who wasn't before. But I think obviously a lot of that's going to stick around, even

00:21:56   as COVID kind of, you know, goes into an endemic and waning state where a lot of people go

00:22:01   go back to work.

00:22:01   So to have designed this product,

00:22:04   which chances are this studio display

00:22:06   was probably designed almost entirely

00:22:09   or entirely during the COVID era.

00:22:12   And so to have designed this product

00:22:14   with a really crappy webcam situation

00:22:17   in this day and age, it was a misstep.

00:22:21   And the more I look at the studio display,

00:22:23   the more I think, you know, they put it in like,

00:22:25   you know, the A13, it runs iOS, it's kind of buggy.

00:22:29   I'm kind of thinking like, hmm,

00:22:31   did they have to make this product,

00:22:33   did they have to design this with all this complexity?

00:22:36   Did they have to give it a whole like phone OS

00:22:38   in there to control stuff?

00:22:39   Did they have to do this fancy center stage thing

00:22:42   with this crap hardware when the iMac Pro

00:22:46   with its five year old basic webcam looks better than it?

00:22:50   The XDR works as a perfectly great display

00:22:52   without having to boot an OS that occasionally crashes.

00:22:55   Like I just, I have to wonder like,

00:22:56   Was all of this weird engineering they did in this

00:22:59   the right choice when what they really just needed to do

00:23:03   was make a smaller XDR?

00:23:05   - I think it was the right choice to have all the features

00:23:07   that it has, good speakers, camera, whatever.

00:23:10   I mean, obviously we just wish they were better,

00:23:11   but that's what you want out of,

00:23:13   it's more of a middle of the road $1600 monitor thing.

00:23:17   The really expensive one doesn't have any extraneous crap

00:23:19   'cause you just, you know, you just buy that stuff,

00:23:22   you're gonna have external speakers,

00:23:23   you're gonna have a fancy external camera.

00:23:24   Like it makes more sense on the pro end

00:23:26   and this thing.

00:23:27   And also for them doing the iOS thing,

00:23:29   that was probably the fastest, cheapest way to do it.

00:23:32   Because I think about it, if they didn't do that, OK,

00:23:34   so we're going to have a camera, we're going to have speakers.

00:23:35   And we want to do center stage.

00:23:37   I can imagine them wanting to do that.

00:23:39   Pretend the camera was good.

00:23:40   We would all be saying, great, center stage is cool.

00:23:44   How do you control center stage?

00:23:46   You have to have some way to thread through your M-whatever

00:23:50   chip in your Mac, and all of its image processing,

00:23:52   and all of those smarts, and all that code that you wrote

00:23:55   now has to control a camera that is not in the same piece of hardware as the

00:23:59   system on a chip but is actually connected externally and so you have to

00:24:02   write drivers to do all that and it's just like the the shortest distance to

00:24:07   getting something working is that we already have an incomplete system that

00:24:09   does this just put an a13 in there and then the a13 acts like it would in an

00:24:13   iPad the cameras in the same case and the speakers are there and it's like

00:24:15   it's it seems like it might even be less work I don't know probably people who

00:24:19   worked on this project are laughing at me now but it seems to me that could

00:24:21   the conceivable would be less work to do what they did.

00:24:24   Like, because you don't have to do as much brand new stuff.

00:24:27   You already have the pieces that know how to do

00:24:29   the things you want it to do.

00:24:30   And then it's a smaller amount of communication

00:24:33   between the host Mac and the things there.

00:24:35   If it wasn't less work, if it was in fact more work,

00:24:38   and it's buggier, then it's definitely the wrong choice.

00:24:40   But I look at this and I think, you know,

00:24:42   it's part spin engineering.

00:24:44   And part spin engineering is, you know,

00:24:46   a dirty word in the car industry, but it shouldn't always be

00:24:48   because if you have something that works, you know,

00:24:50   If you have door handles that work on your cars,

00:24:52   you don't need to reinvent the door handle with every car.

00:24:54   Just put the good door handle on every car, it's fine.

00:24:56   - We're talking about him already.

00:24:57   - Yeah, right? - Yeah.

00:24:59   (upbeat music)

00:25:00   - We are sponsored this week by Sanity.

00:25:02   What is Sanity, you ask?

00:25:03   It's a content platform that powers exceptional

00:25:06   digital experiences for many companies,

00:25:08   including National Geographic, Figma, Nike, and more.

00:25:12   Developers, designers, content professionals,

00:25:14   and digital leaders rely on Sanity to collaborate

00:25:17   in real time, ship new experiences quickly,

00:25:19   and delight their customers with rich media content.

00:25:22   It takes less than 10 minutes to get set up and running

00:25:24   with Sanity, and then your content will flow across APIs,

00:25:27   and there's no limit to how and where you can display it

00:25:30   on any of your channels, websites, mobile apps, kiosks,

00:25:33   anywhere you need it to go.

00:25:34   You can use Sanity for free for low-scale projects,

00:25:37   and it's pay-as-you-go if you need more API usage after that.

00:25:40   And they have great price plans and features for larger

00:25:43   businesses as well.

00:25:44   So now let's talk about their inaugural conference happening

00:25:47   this May called Structured Content 2022.

00:25:50   Teams from around the world will be coming together

00:25:52   to discover new approaches to creating rich, connected

00:25:54   digital experiences.

00:25:56   There will be a mix of talks, panels, and conversations,

00:25:59   covering topics like foundations for building a content

00:26:01   system, real-life applications for structured content

00:26:03   from well-known brands like AT&T or The New York Times,

00:26:06   proven collaboration methods to better connect everyone

00:26:08   who works on content.

00:26:10   And here's a few of the sessions, for example.

00:26:12   Reflections on the Future of the Web,

00:26:13   with digital leaders Guillermo Roque from Vercel

00:26:16   and Michael Sippy from outside.

00:26:18   Overcoming the challenges of digital transformation

00:26:20   with Sanity CEO Magnus Hillestad and AT&T's Director

00:26:23   of Technology Strategic Platforms Scott Gents.

00:26:26   Improv consulting.

00:26:27   A panel of content strategy consultants

00:26:28   will improvise solutions to real life problems.

00:26:30   That's pretty cool.

00:26:31   So there's more than one way to attend as well.

00:26:33   You can join in person in San Francisco on May 24th to 25th,

00:26:38   or you can attend virtually for free.

00:26:41   Space is limited for the in-person location,

00:26:42   so if you want to attend, be sure to reserve your spot soon.

00:26:45   To learn more about Sanity and the Structured Content 2022

00:26:49   conference, go to sanity.io/atp.

00:26:53   That's sanity.io/atp.

00:26:55   Thank you so much to Sanity and the Structured Content 2022

00:26:58   conference for sponsoring our show.

00:27:00   [MUSIC PLAYING]

00:27:04   Tell me, Jon, about your Sonos Roam power button.

00:27:06   I was complaining about my Sonos Roam,

00:27:07   that I didn't like the power button because to turn

00:27:09   the stupid thing off, you needed to hold it down

00:27:11   for a ridiculous amount of time and listen

00:27:13   through a series of beeps.

00:27:14   and it was hard to hold the button

00:27:15   'cause the button was very skinny

00:27:16   and it was on the edge of a triangle

00:27:17   and you had to just keep holding it and holding it

00:27:19   and it was terrible.

00:27:21   Anyway, brilliant thingy, I noted on Twitter

00:27:23   that the Sonos Roam software was updated a few months ago

00:27:26   and now a quick press of the button on the back

00:27:28   turns it off, so I updated my firmware

00:27:30   and lo and behold, I can turn it off by pressing the button

00:27:32   and it immediately turns off, so that's much nicer.

00:27:35   The plus, minus and play buttons on the end still suck though.

00:27:39   (laughing)

00:27:40   - And then tangentially related, Patrick Niemeyer writes,

00:27:43   "Hearing Jon talk about the power button

00:27:44   on his shower speaker reminded me of a topic that I can't believe I've never heard him

00:27:47   discuss. The fact that a few generations ago the lock button on the iPhone went from being

00:27:51   instantaneous to more of a suggestion. It currently takes almost a second for the phone

00:27:55   to lock after hitting the button, during which time the screen and touch input are fully

00:28:00   active. I find myself constantly falling into the following trap. I prepare to pocket by

00:28:04   making a quick volume adjustment, then lock the phone, and attempt to put it in my pocket,

00:28:08   however in the movement to put the phone down I accidentally swipe down the on-screen volume

00:28:11   gadget and mute the phone. Is this because the lock button became all things to all people?

00:28:17   Because it used to be that the lock button was the lock button, but now it, well, even

00:28:21   with guided access turned off, or sorry, accessibility turned off, you still have like Apple Pay

00:28:27   and Siri if you hold it down. And so I think this, that's what this is, is because when

00:28:31   you hit the button once, there needs to be some amount of time for Apple to wait and

00:28:36   say, "Are they hitting it a second time? You know, is this really a double tap?" And we've

00:28:39   only seen the first of the two taps. And so there's no way for them to divine what it

00:28:46   is you're going to do. They just have to wait it out and wait whatever the amount of time

00:28:48   is to time out, if you will, and know, "Oh, that was definitely a single tap we should

00:28:53   lock now."

00:28:54   That's exactly right. And so if you think about the different, you know, holding it

00:28:57   down, they don't have to wait really for that. As soon as you release the button, they know

00:29:00   you're not holding it down. But they do have a delay to see, are you double-clicking it

00:29:06   or triple clicking it or just single clicking it.

00:29:08   So the interesting thing is,

00:29:10   if you disable the things that it might be waiting

00:29:13   for double or triple clicks for,

00:29:14   so that's Apple Pay,

00:29:16   and if you have the accessibility shortcut

00:29:18   as the triple click,

00:29:20   if you turn those things off,

00:29:21   which you can do in settings,

00:29:23   and you hit the button, it sleeps instantly.

00:29:25   So if you care that much about that being a thing

00:29:29   and if you can live without double tap to Apple Pay,

00:29:33   now I actually, I tried this,

00:29:34   And I couldn't figure out how to go

00:29:37   to that Apple Pay screen otherwise.

00:29:38   Like I opened up the Wallet app.

00:29:40   - That's what I was gonna ask, if I turn this off,

00:29:42   then how do I Apple Pay?

00:29:43   - Yeah, you go into Wallet

00:29:44   and then you tap on a card, right?

00:29:45   - No, it didn't bring up the,

00:29:48   well, I don't know, maybe I did it wrong,

00:29:49   but I tried that and it didn't bring up

00:29:50   like the payment confirmation.

00:29:52   - Oh no, you're right.

00:29:53   - Yes, anyway, if you turn off those things,

00:29:55   you can get instantaneous sleep again.

00:29:58   But yeah, unfortunately, you'd have to like

00:29:59   never use Apple Pay.

00:30:00   - There's gotta be a way.

00:30:01   - Oh, apparently the chat's saying

00:30:03   that if you hover the phone over the active NFC terminal

00:30:07   at the store, then it will prompt it to open up that screen.

00:30:11   So you can't pre-approve it with your face,

00:30:13   but you can at least open it up,

00:30:15   move over the terminal first, then Face ID approve it.

00:30:17   - Huh.

00:30:18   - I do wonder if, for the double tap thing,

00:30:22   if they could immediately sleep,

00:30:24   but then if you hit the button again

00:30:26   within the double tap interval, unsleep it,

00:30:28   and do Apple Pay, you know what I mean?

00:30:30   - Oh, that's interesting, yeah.

00:30:31   - That is wild, I had no idea that

00:30:32   That was the only obvious way to get into payments.

00:30:36   That's very interesting.

00:30:37   Anyway, Apple's self-service repair site is live.

00:30:40   So if you recall, they announced--

00:30:41   I don't know, it was a few months ago or something like

00:30:43   that-- that you will be able to buy parts and repair things

00:30:49   yourself if you so desire.

00:30:50   And apparently, that has gone live, particularly

00:30:53   for the iPhone.

00:30:54   I don't believe there's anything for the Mac yet.

00:30:56   And the website is weird.

00:31:00   It is super weird.

00:31:02   It's selfservicerepair.com and it looks super janky.

00:31:07   I don't know what's going on here, but it's weird.

00:31:11   And apparently it's version, what is this?

00:31:14   It says on the bottom, on the bottom left,

00:31:16   it's Spot version 8145.5.

00:31:20   I feel like I'm looking at the little pie symbol

00:31:21   in the corner now.

00:31:22   And there's a little doggy in the icon, which is very cute.

00:31:25   But anyway, I guess they just outsource this whole thing,

00:31:27   this whole website, which is super weird,

00:31:29   but you can go ahead and order parts.

00:31:32   You can look at the repair manuals,

00:31:33   and you can get general info, and so on and so forth.

00:31:36   So that is something you can now do.

00:31:38   Is it something that I would do?

00:31:39   Heck no, because that scares the poop out of me.

00:31:42   Trying to repair my phone, just the thought of it

00:31:44   sounds terrible in my personal opinion.

00:31:45   But I am genuinely glad that this

00:31:46   exists for people who are not scaredy cats like me.

00:31:49   Steven Hackett did an investigation

00:31:50   of this whole external website and looked

00:31:52   at the company that did it.

00:31:54   Apparently, they've done some other work for Apple as well.

00:31:56   We'll link to his blog post where he explains it.

00:31:58   The service manuals themselves are on Apple's website.

00:32:01   and we'll put a link to that, it's just support.apple.com/manual/repair-manual.

00:32:07   And the website's fine.

00:32:08   Like, the complaint is it doesn't look like it was Apple designed, which is for sure,

00:32:11   it just looks like someone used, you know.

00:32:13   It's a simple, it's perfectly fine, it's a perfectly reasonable website.

00:32:17   It's got three boxes with icons and buttons and you know, it's like a template from a

00:32:22   bootstrap website, I don't know.

00:32:24   It's not terrible, but it certainly doesn't look like an Apple site.

00:32:27   And it's not, to Steven's point, it's not an apple.com anywhere.

00:32:32   It's not self-service-repair.com, it's self-service-repair.com, right?

00:32:35   So it's not even an Apple's domain.

00:32:37   You could be forgiven for thinking it's some kind of weird scam site or like not affiliated

00:32:41   with Apple anyway, but it totally is.

00:32:43   This is Apple's official, like, we'll link to the press release.

00:32:47   Apple's press release links to this site.

00:32:48   This is not a scam, right?

00:32:50   And that I feel like is a slight problem for Apple, but on the other hand, I bet there's

00:32:54   probably all sorts of not particularly nice looking websites

00:32:58   that you have to go to if you're an Apple authorized dealer

00:33:01   to deal with stuff.

00:33:02   I mean, Steven obviously knows about these things

00:33:03   having worked in an Apple store at least,

00:33:05   but those ones still probably are under

00:33:08   the apple.com umbrella.

00:33:09   But yeah, if you want to dive in

00:33:11   and start repairing your stuff,

00:33:12   if your thing is one of the supported devices,

00:33:15   check it out.

00:33:17   - All right, moving right along.

00:33:18   There's been a lot of discussion,

00:33:19   mostly led by John Gruber about

00:33:22   Would Apple do this WWDC thing inside the ring of Apple Park?

00:33:27   And I think it's a very reasonable--

00:33:29   - How is that discussion led by John Gruber?

00:33:30   We recorded an episode where we said the exact same thing

00:33:32   before he released his, so--

00:33:34   - Yeah, but he really deep dove, did a deep dive, whatever.

00:33:37   - We just said the same thing.

00:33:38   We did just longer and later.

00:33:40   I reject this notion.

00:33:41   We have primacy about whether or not

00:33:43   people are allowed in the ring.

00:33:44   - So having nothing to do with John Gruber at all,

00:33:46   copyright 2022, John Syracuse.

00:33:48   - Copyright ATP, you were all there.

00:33:50   We were talking about it, remember?

00:33:51   "Hey, would they let people into the ring?

00:33:52   "Doesn't it seem weird?

00:33:53   "Have they ever had people in the ring?

00:33:54   "That was us.

00:33:55   "It was this show."

00:33:56   (laughing)

00:33:57   - Moving right along.

00:33:59   - One thing.

00:33:59   I just wanna remember it from one thing.

00:34:00   - Just wanna be remembered for one thing.

00:34:03   - I just wanna remember two episodes ago

00:34:05   when we talked about people being let in to Apple Park ring

00:34:07   and then the talk show episode came out a week later

00:34:08   and everyone's like, "Led by John Gruber?"

00:34:10   No, no, Casey.

00:34:11   - Two episodes ago, it was like three months.

00:34:13   We haven't recorded in forever.

00:34:14   Anyway, all right, so regardless of who it was,

00:34:18   gosh darn it, people familiar with the matter

00:34:21   have been wondering about whether or not Apple would bring civilians, regular schmoes, into

00:34:27   the inside the ring of Apple Park. And Anonymous wrote us the following, "You guys wondered

00:34:32   if there had been any large events where visitors were able to go into the Apple Park Ring Courtyard.

00:34:37   There was a series of Friends and Family Saturdays in summer of 2019. Employees could bring up

00:34:40   to four people, the theaters, some lobbies, and some of the inner and outer hallway of

00:34:43   the ground floor. Nearly all of the green space inside and outside the ring and all

00:34:47   All of giant Cafe Max were accessible.

00:34:50   The majority of staff keeping people going where they were allowed seemed to be contract

00:34:53   event staff that had experience working with other Apple events like WWDC and Keynotes.

00:34:57   Some people brought picnics, they served gelato pops (Apple doesn't do things as plebeian

00:35:01   as the pros and novelties, you get an ice cream truck), and a beverage I don't recall.

00:35:06   Officially no photos were allowed, but Twitter had plenty of photos from the days before

00:35:08   I went.

00:35:09   Unofficially, the staff seemed to direct people toward photos of outside spaces rather than

00:35:13   inside spaces.

00:35:14   So apparently it has happened.

00:35:17   Yeah, and I think the Cafe Max thing answers another question of like, how are they going

00:35:22   to feed people and where will people go to the bathroom and stuff like that?

00:35:24   Apparently they do have a subset of the the the ring and the space in the building, you

00:35:31   know, the inside of the ring and also the space in the actual building where they allow

00:35:34   the public at least allowed the public to go once or twice that they can sort of cordon

00:35:38   off with people and feel safe enough that, you know, there's places for people to be

00:35:43   taken care of but that they're not going to just wander into the ring and you know.

00:35:46   All the doors are locked in there anyway with key cards and stuff so it's not,

00:35:50   I don't think it's a real problem but I also don't think they want strange people just wandering

00:35:53   around. Indeed and then Benedict Evans tweeted, "An idle observation. I have no idea what this

00:35:59   kind of fencing costs but it's very not cheap and it extends around the entire Apple Park site."

00:36:05   And so I've not seen this in person but judging on this picture, I'll paint you a word picture here,

00:36:09   It seems like there are many, many, many vertical metal rods,

00:36:14   each of which I would guesstimate is like four

00:36:16   to six feet tall, but they're completely freestanding.

00:36:19   Like if you think of an average fence,

00:36:20   you would put some posts down and then have some stuff

00:36:22   linking from one post to the other,

00:36:24   but you wouldn't put a post every six inches,

00:36:27   which is apparently what they've done here.

00:36:29   Like there must be either like a river of concrete

00:36:33   that went through the ground, I don't know.

00:36:35   - Yeah, I'm guessing they're bound together

00:36:37   underground somehow.

00:36:38   There's something supporting them.

00:36:40   - But this is like the most expensive kind of fence

00:36:43   you can ever imagine you're making.

00:36:44   Very Apple-like, right?

00:36:45   So in case you're having trouble picturing,

00:36:47   I'll put a link to his tweet in the show notes

00:36:49   with the photo, but it's like, you know like the bars

00:36:51   of a jail cell, just vertical bars?

00:36:53   Like that, but they just come out of the ground.

00:36:55   There are no horizontal members whatsoever.

00:36:57   It's just vertical bars.

00:36:59   - Yeah, nothing bridges across the top.

00:37:01   - Or the bottom.

00:37:02   - Well, as far as we can see.

00:37:03   - It's just a vertical bar.

00:37:05   Now here's the thing about just vertical bars like this.

00:37:06   Now first of all, yes, obviously there needs to be

00:37:08   something underground to make it so these aren't just stuck into the earth

00:37:10   they're probably in cement or something but the second thing is the precision

00:37:13   required to make this fence not look terrible it's extremely high because

00:37:19   these sticks are like probably look like they're at least six or seven feet tall

00:37:22   the tops of these things need to be even with each other so the fence makes a

00:37:26   line and not like a wavy thing right every one of these sticks needs to be in

00:37:30   concrete and aligned up just so the correct distance from each other and

00:37:33   they and it needs to be sturdy enough that you couldn't just go and like pull

00:37:37   the tops of the bars apart, but think of the leverage

00:37:39   that you have at the top of those bars.

00:37:40   If these are stiff, you know, metal bars,

00:37:43   just do the math and the physics,

00:37:45   of how much leverage do you have down there?

00:37:46   You have to not be able to bend them apart,

00:37:48   and they have to not be able to be bent forward

00:37:50   or backwards, and if this goes around all of Apple Park,

00:37:54   how much does this cost per like, linear foot?

00:37:57   I don't even understand, and I don't think it's any more

00:38:00   particularly secure than any other kind of fence,

00:38:02   'cause you know, you throw a carpet over this thing,

00:38:04   and hop over like they do in every action movie,

00:38:06   it's not like there's barbed wire on it, right?

00:38:08   It's just as susceptible to hopping over

00:38:10   by a bunch of kids or like climb a tree and hop over.

00:38:12   They see the tree that's over there.

00:38:14   If there's a tree near the fence,

00:38:15   you climb up the tree, hop over it.

00:38:16   Kids know how to get over fences.

00:38:17   But it just boggles my mind.

00:38:19   This is a Johnny Ive special.

00:38:22   I would like a fence that looks like this.

00:38:23   And they say, "Johnny, this is gonna cost

00:38:25   "$250,000 per linear foot."

00:38:27   It's like, I don't care, just do it.

00:38:29   - Well, I mean, in all fairness,

00:38:31   I've been fortunate, maybe, as a question mark

00:38:35   at the end of that enough in life

00:38:36   to have once purchased custom windows.

00:38:38   And oh my God.

00:38:42   And so if you look at the amount of glass

00:38:45   that is custom made in Apple Park,

00:38:47   this fence is a drop in the bucket

00:38:51   compared to what they must have spent on glass, trust me.

00:38:55   - Well, I mean, so the big doors on the cafeteria,

00:38:57   like the height of the whole building

00:38:58   and they go out or whatever,

00:39:00   I think those are only a few million each

00:39:02   and maybe this fence is more expensive than those two doors.

00:39:05   Maybe, maybe.

00:39:06   I mean, there's certainly, you know, if it's going through on the whole site, like,

00:39:08   they had, like, how many miles of, like, it's probably, like, a couple of miles

00:39:11   worth of fence, right?

00:39:12   Yeah, that's what I'm saying.

00:39:13   So if you were in the fencing industry, maybe this is just a standard kind of fence that

00:39:16   we don't know, and there's been an advance in fencing technology that makes it cheap

00:39:20   to manufacture, and it's actually not that hard to line these things up.

00:39:22   Like, maybe they're all made in a factory, and they just come and you just bury them

00:39:25   in units or whatever, but it looks expensive.

00:39:28   It looks fancy and expensive and maybe not particularly functional.

00:39:32   So very Apple-like.

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00:41:35   All right, a very quick follow up. I had made offhanded comment, I think early on in the

00:41:42   last episode that I was not a fan of the Radiohead song "Creep" and I think John, you were giving

00:41:46   me a little bit of flack about that. Dozens of people, dozens I tell you, wrote in to

00:41:51   to say I too love Radiohead and I dislike the song Creep,

00:41:54   but most interestingly of all, my friend Spencer,

00:41:57   a friend of the show really, Spencer Wohlers wrote in

00:41:59   and said, "Hey, Tom York, the lead singer and songwriter

00:42:02   "of Radiohead also hates Creep."

00:42:04   And so I'll put a link into a short article

00:42:09   that Spencer had sent that basically talks about

00:42:11   how he always thought it was kind of garbage too.

00:42:13   So there, Jon.

00:42:14   - Bands always hate their big breakout hit

00:42:16   because they just get sick of it.

00:42:17   I can feel them.

00:42:19   I think if you're asked any band how much they like the song that made them famous, they're probably over it now, too.

00:42:24   Yeah, imagine like being Tham York and having to go to any party and like "Hey man, play creep, here's a guitar."

00:42:30   Like it's just yeah, and yes, I know about the whole piano man comic or whatever the was it on The Onion or something?

00:42:36   I don't know. I have no idea what you're talking about, but that's fine. All right. Why don't you tell me about your game streaming setup, please?

00:42:41   Yes, so I mentioned I believe it was last show or the one before that. I was looking at some new

00:42:47   video capture hardware and trying to get some video capture recommendations for the Team

00:42:52   Arment video game streaming setup that we have here, where there are three gaming PCs

00:42:57   being captured over HDMI, three webcams, and they're all shown on screen at once in like,

00:43:02   you know, three video screens or three webcams. So there's six little viewports being shown

00:43:06   on screen at once for our game streaming for our family.

00:43:08   And to jump in real quick, I gotta say, we got a lot of feedback about this and more

00:43:12   More than possibly any other time in ATP's history, the feedback was universal about

00:43:18   Blackmagic stuff.

00:43:19   And you can tell me whether or not it's good or not, but it seems like anyone who had touched

00:43:23   Blackmagic stuff was like, "Oh, this stuff is great."

00:43:25   Most.

00:43:26   We did get a couple who said it had some issues, but for the most part.

00:43:30   So quickly, before I go to the hardware route, I did mention briefly that I looked into NDI.

00:43:36   This is basically sending video and audio over the network, running software on the

00:43:40   the PCs to do capture and stuff in software.

00:43:43   And I tried that, we had a couple of people write in,

00:43:47   actually more than a couple, who wrote in

00:43:48   with experience with NDI.

00:43:50   Basically for me to use NDI to do all this over the network,

00:43:55   it probably would require me to hardwire

00:43:58   the gaming PCs with ethernet,

00:44:00   and have possibly even like 2.5G or 10G ethernet,

00:44:05   because the data rates for the amount of data

00:44:08   I'd be capturing would be pretty high.

00:44:10   I might still do that at some point,

00:44:11   or maybe I'll do it for part of it,

00:44:12   like the webcams maybe,

00:44:14   'cause they're much lower bandwidth stuff.

00:44:15   But I don't know, that seems more finicky

00:44:18   than I wanna get into right now.

00:44:20   Because the thing is, what I want here out of the setup

00:44:23   is when we want to stream,

00:44:25   to be able to basically turn it on and have it just work.

00:44:29   However, because the setup is massive

00:44:31   and lives on our kitchen counter basically,

00:44:34   I have to be able to take it apart sometimes

00:44:37   and put stuff away, and then take it back out,

00:44:39   and have it work somehow without having to like

00:44:42   reset up a bunch of stuff.

00:44:44   So the more complex it is, the more finicky it is,

00:44:46   the more things can change between invocations,

00:44:49   the less appealing that is to me.

00:44:51   And also, the more stuff is required to be out

00:44:55   and to be used and to be bought and everything.

00:44:57   Again, that also makes it less appealing to me.

00:44:59   So anyway, so NDI I'm keeping on the back burner

00:45:02   as an option, but right now I'm not using it.

00:45:04   By far and away, the top recommendation

00:45:07   was the Blackmagic, I don't know if it's ATEM or A-T-E-M,

00:45:11   however you say that, ATEM Mini Pro.

00:45:14   This was by far and away the most common recommendation.

00:45:16   What this is is basically a little hardware video switcher

00:45:20   and compositor thing and it has a bunch of great features.

00:45:23   You can basically have it do,

00:45:26   and the feature I need is called multi-view,

00:45:27   where you show different view ports

00:45:29   all at once on the screen.

00:45:30   So the ATEM Mini Pro could show the three,

00:45:34   it has four input multi-view.

00:45:36   So it could theoretically show the three big game screens

00:45:40   and then it can be a USB input to the computer running OBS.

00:45:45   And so I could theoretically have that be the main input

00:45:48   on the main background of the OBS composition

00:45:50   and then put in the webcams myself manually.

00:45:53   There's also a higher end ATEM Mini Extreme

00:45:57   that has eight ports.

00:45:59   I could theoretically use that and have it all in one box

00:46:02   being done on hardware if I just replace the webcams

00:46:05   with something that output HDMI instead of USB.

00:46:07   So that's an option I might go with in the future.

00:46:09   I don't really want to.

00:46:11   Because this thing is this giant control panel

00:46:15   covered in buttons with a thousand features

00:46:17   I wouldn't use and don't need.

00:46:19   And it's also super high end in its capabilities

00:46:24   and so it's also like $1,000 for the big multi-input one

00:46:27   or $500 for the only four-input one.

00:46:29   So these are big chunks of money

00:46:31   for a lot of features I wouldn't use.

00:46:33   and I think it would actually make my setup

00:46:36   physically more complicated,

00:46:38   which is a little unappealing to me.

00:46:40   So I'm also back-burnering that idea.

00:46:42   I might go to that in the future, we'll see.

00:46:44   But what I decided to try first

00:46:45   was a PCI Express Thunderbolt enclosure

00:46:50   and using the Blackmagic DeckLink Quad HDMI recorder,

00:46:54   which is a four HDMI input PCI Express card.

00:46:58   And I put it in the Sonnet Echo Express

00:47:01   Thunderbolt enclosure that has three slots

00:47:03   because once I started going into looking for this,

00:47:05   I was thinking, well, hey, wait a minute.

00:47:08   If I have the, if I could get a PCI Express enclosure,

00:47:12   if I just get one that has more than one slot,

00:47:13   I can also get one or two USB cards

00:47:17   and get rid of the whole hub entirely,

00:47:19   stop using a Thunderbolt hub and just use this one box

00:47:23   with all these ports that I need all built into it.

00:47:25   So that's what I did.

00:47:26   I bought the one box, I got the three slot enclosure,

00:47:29   I got the HDMI quad input from Blackmagic

00:47:32   and I got two Sonnet USB cards.

00:47:34   One that has four USB-Cs and one that has four USB-As.

00:47:39   This is, so far, it looks like it has a lot of promise.

00:47:43   I was very, very impressed that the enclosure

00:47:47   and the USB cards don't need drivers.

00:47:50   This is a huge appeal to me,

00:47:52   because every single time I'm looking at these things,

00:47:55   I have to first figure out, try to go to their site

00:47:57   or they go to their support page and see,

00:47:58   all right, does it support Macs, number one.

00:48:01   When you're buying PC style hardware,

00:48:04   you gotta really make sure, number one,

00:48:05   does it support Macs?

00:48:06   Number two, does it support Apple Silicon Macs?

00:48:09   That's a huge question mark on a lot of these things.

00:48:12   And the answer is not always yes,

00:48:13   or the answer is sometimes like,

00:48:15   well, it supports some features,

00:48:17   or it supports some configuration,

00:48:18   or it supports some of the hardware, but not all of it.

00:48:20   - You forgot number three.

00:48:22   Number three, does it look gross on the back of my Mac Pro?

00:48:25   Nobody makes color matched cards.

00:48:29   I was looking at USB cards and I was like,

00:48:30   - Yeah, I have all these ports, I could put--

00:48:32   - Are the brackets the wrong,

00:48:33   what color are your PCI brackets?

00:48:35   - Yeah, everything on the back of the Mac Pro

00:48:37   is like matte black, like the part,

00:48:40   the part that has the ports in it, right,

00:48:42   that kinda needs to be matte black to match,

00:48:44   and all these are shiny silver,

00:48:46   and you just can't have that, what is this, a PC, come on.

00:48:48   (laughing)

00:48:50   - Wow.

00:48:51   Anyway, so the enclosure and the USB cards

00:48:55   require no drivers, they just worked instantly.

00:48:57   I was very, very happy.

00:48:58   So the Sonnet enclosure and the two Sonnet

00:49:00   Allegra USB cards, fantastic.

00:49:02   And I love the fact that I could just add this.

00:49:04   I was also very pleased that the fan is not super loud

00:49:08   relative to being in my kitchen.

00:49:10   Now, I wouldn't really want this thing in my office.

00:49:14   Oh, and also, I was impressed when I took it apart,

00:49:16   the fan they use is a Noctua 80 millimeter fan.

00:49:19   That's a really good fan.

00:49:21   Noctua is an enthusiast fan brand

00:49:24   that specializes in very quiet fans.

00:49:26   So I was very impressed to see that in there.

00:49:28   That's not something you usually see

00:49:29   in someone else's hardware.

00:49:31   So that was pretty cool.

00:49:33   Anyway, so very impressed with the enclosure

00:49:35   and the USB cards.

00:49:37   The Blackmagic DeckLink Quad HDMI card,

00:49:40   I did have to install their software.

00:49:41   It is comically difficult to figure out

00:49:44   where exactly you go on their website

00:49:46   to download the software.

00:49:48   It ends up being called desktop video something.

00:49:50   Like it isn't called what you think it'll be called.

00:49:52   You can't just go to the page from this card

00:49:54   and click download.

00:49:55   The manual doesn't, it's hilarious how opaque

00:49:59   this process is.

00:50:00   Eventually got it in there, got it working.

00:50:02   The problem is, you know, this card said it works with Macs.

00:50:07   It said it works with Apple Silicon Macs.

00:50:12   It said you can capture things, and you know what?

00:50:15   You open up any kind of capture app,

00:50:17   including the one that comes with it,

00:50:18   or OBS or anything like that,

00:50:20   and all four ports show up

00:50:22   as four different capture devices, great.

00:50:25   Unfortunately, the card, while it says,

00:50:28   it will capture audio from the HDMI signals,

00:50:32   and while it will attempt to capture said audio,

00:50:37   it will also crappily do that by overlaying

00:50:41   a whole bunch of noise and repeated blocks of audio,

00:50:44   so like, if you click a button in Minecraft,

00:50:46   it'll play the click, and then a half second later,

00:50:48   it'll play it again, and the whole time,

00:50:49   they're static playing.

00:50:51   And no matter what I did,

00:50:52   tried searching their support forums and all that crap,

00:50:56   could not get past this issue.

00:50:57   I cannot figure out why it's doing that.

00:50:59   It's difficult with Blackmagic stuff

00:51:01   if something doesn't work right

00:51:03   because they have so many different products

00:51:06   that it's really hard to search for things

00:51:08   that are relevant to what you are doing with them.

00:51:10   But anyway, for whatever reason,

00:51:11   the audio capture does not work on this card.

00:51:15   So I'm going back to the drawing board on some of this stuff.

00:51:18   I ordered a Magewell card,

00:51:21   which is like a, I guess one of their rivals in this area.

00:51:24   I already wanted those to try.

00:51:26   Elgato does make a PCI express card called the Cam Link Pro

00:51:29   with four inputs, but it's Windows only,

00:51:31   so I can't use that one without, again,

00:51:33   doing a whole PC based setup,

00:51:34   which I really don't wanna do.

00:51:36   So we'll see if the Magdwell card is any better,

00:51:39   and then I guess I'll go from there.

00:51:40   The Magdwell card also claims to support Macs,

00:51:42   claims to support M1 Macs,

00:51:44   so we'll see if it actually does,

00:51:45   claims to support audio capture, we'll see if that works.

00:51:48   But I'm very, very happy with most of the setup,

00:51:51   except for the video capture card.

00:51:53   (laughing)

00:51:54   Which is unfortunately kind of important.

00:51:56   So we'll see.

00:51:57   - I know, far be it from me to recommend

00:51:59   that you not bend over backwards to use a Mac

00:52:01   for something that it's not well suited for,

00:52:03   but I'm telling you, if you just made,

00:52:04   use the PC as your capture machine,

00:52:07   I think you'd have a lot easier time.

00:52:09   But keep plowing bravely forward, I guess.

00:52:12   - I guess.

00:52:14   - You're spending some serious money on this.

00:52:16   Like, I mean-- - I'm aware.

00:52:17   - Well, he's gonna return a lot of this stuff,

00:52:18   I'm assuming.

00:52:19   - Well, I mean, I'm hoping to keep the enclosure.

00:52:23   The only thing I might be returning

00:52:24   is the Black Magic card,

00:52:24   'cause the audio capture literally does not work

00:52:26   the way they say it will.

00:52:27   - Well, but eventually, when you give up on this

00:52:29   and get a PC to do it, like all this stuff will come back.

00:52:32   - Well, not necessarily.

00:52:34   Presumably the PC could use a lot of it, right?

00:52:36   - No.

00:52:37   - A PC with Thunderbolt?

00:52:38   Come on.

00:52:39   - But I will say, this is the first time

00:52:40   I've ever used a Thunderbolt enclosure,

00:52:41   and I'm very pleased with how nice and easy it was.

00:52:45   Now granted, I'm not using it for GPUs,

00:52:47   which is I think what a lot of people use them for,

00:52:49   but for this kind of thing, it was very nice to see.

00:52:52   And this really solidified, if anything,

00:52:55   this solidified my opinion that if we don't need

00:52:59   external GPU support, or rather,

00:53:02   if we don't need additional GPU support,

00:53:05   then future Mac Pros are totally able

00:53:08   to use Thunderbolt enclosures for other types

00:53:11   of PCI card needs if they don't want to have internal slots.

00:53:15   because this is great, this is all running off

00:53:16   a 13 inch MacBook Pro, like I don't even need a desktop

00:53:19   to have full bandwidth PCI cards in there.

00:53:21   That's fantastic, and that works great.

00:53:24   So certainly it at least has been educational

00:53:28   in the sense that I now know what these enclosures are

00:53:31   and how they work and the kinds of things they can do.

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00:55:16   [Music]

00:55:18   All right, I have some news.

00:55:21   At long last, I am finally off of Gmail for my email.

00:55:26   I switched my MX records like a week ago, maybe a week and a half ago,

00:55:30   and I am receiving my email at Fastmail, as the prophecy foretold.

00:55:34   foretold. So if you too are looking to move off of Gmail and would like a

00:55:38   referral link where I believe both of us get some money off and I get some free

00:55:42   time it is going to be in the show notes it's ref.fm/theosomemorableU2818-3245

00:55:47   It's like an ICQ number. Right? 1202572. I still don't think I get a lot...

00:55:54   2-5-7-4-4-2-9-4. There you go. Why does that get drilled into every nerd's head? I don't understand.

00:56:00   I mean I had an ICQ account but I did not memorize the number I don't know I

00:56:04   I wasn't young enough to want to memorize it.

00:56:06   Like, I never had a reason to memorize it,

00:56:09   because if anyone wanted, I would just

00:56:10   copy and paste it to them.

00:56:11   - I don't know what my deal is, or Marko's for that matter,

00:56:14   but I don't know, I memorize mine.

00:56:16   - I'm kind of sad that I don't remember

00:56:17   what my ICQ number was.

00:56:18   I think I could dig out one of my classic Macs

00:56:19   that probably still has the account information in there,

00:56:22   just launch ICQ and see what it tries to log in with.

00:56:25   - A couple years ago, I think I tried logging into ICQ

00:56:27   with 1202572, and it was not happening.

00:56:30   And God knows what email address

00:56:32   associated with that account. So yeah so many new friends for Blista now. That wasn't Blista, that was AIM.

00:56:39   So many new friends. Anyway we're getting sidetracked as per usual. So yeah so I did the

00:56:45   migration for Fast Mail. So to fill you in in case you're not keeping up, I was on the Google Apps

00:56:50   for Your Domain free plan which had come out somewhere around like 2004, 2006, something like that.

00:56:56   And if you wanted to you could sign up for you know Gmail and then eventually you know Google

00:57:01   Docs and all these other things were kind of stabled on the side. You can get it for free

00:57:04   You thought for life and a couple of months ago. They've said oh no not for life

00:57:08   We're gonna end of life this free thing and you're gonna have to start paying us which I mean, okay fair

00:57:13   I mean, I've freeloaded for like 10 15 years at this point, so I can't entirely fault them

00:57:16   But I would already been trying to wean myself off of most things Google as it was

00:57:23   And so this seemed like a pretty good opportunity to wean myself off of Gmail

00:57:27   So I went to fast mail. I signed up for an account and I paid for a year and I told it, okay

00:57:35   Take all my things from Google and put them into fast mail

00:57:40   Expecting that this would be a 42 month endeavor that never ends and and presumably will not work

00:57:46   So what they have you do is you know sign in via OAuth and it looks at Gmail says I have about 20 gigabytes

00:57:54   of email

00:57:56   and so I started it at something like 930 in the morning like a week ago and

00:58:02   It took all of my calendar entries, which was almost 5,000 calendar events

00:58:08   It took that in I think it was literally two minutes or something like that

00:58:12   It was absurdly fast, which like if you think about it, that's the way it should be right?

00:58:15   Like you would hope that it would be able to download, you know from internet phone to internet backbone if you will

00:58:21   extremely quickly, but I didn't expect it to actually happen and

00:58:25   and even more so to work.

00:58:27   And it seemed like it did.

00:58:30   It did happen, and it did work.

00:58:32   But that was calendars.

00:58:34   What about my email?

00:58:35   So sure enough, I'm buckled up for like two weeks

00:58:39   of transferring and so on and so forth.

00:58:41   And it took two hours.

00:58:45   In two hours, I got an email that said, hey,

00:58:47   all your past emails here now, we have downloaded 149,409

00:58:53   of 149,396 messages.

00:58:56   And you might ask, well, why does that number not match?

00:58:58   Well, I think because at the time it started,

00:59:00   which was 149,396, I had gotten like 20 emails.

00:59:04   So it ended up with 149,409.

00:59:08   - Well, that brings up a point.

00:59:09   Is there a catch-up mode?

00:59:10   Like how do you deal with the gap?

00:59:13   - So I think it does.

00:59:15   I think I could have it refresh,

00:59:18   but once it was clear that it was actively working,

00:59:21   I pretty much immediately flipped my MX records

00:59:23   and was like, screw it, this is gonna work,

00:59:25   I'm just going for it.

00:59:25   Which is a bit cavalier, I'll be the first to admit.

00:59:27   - I mean, you could've flipped down

00:59:29   an MX record first, right?

00:59:31   - I could have, theoretically, yeah.

00:59:33   But I was a little--

00:59:34   - But you just wanted to make sure

00:59:35   there was still a race condition.

00:59:36   - Yes, exactly right.

00:59:37   (laughing)

00:59:39   No, I really just wanted to make sure

00:59:41   that something was being transferred

00:59:42   and that it was working in some way, shape, or form.

00:59:45   And once I saw the transfer was starting to work,

00:59:47   I was like, okay, this is gonna be a mess.

00:59:49   And so there was, maybe I lost five minutes of email

00:59:51   because I was too slow on the MX record change.

00:59:53   But one way or another, yeah, so the chat is asking,

00:59:57   did I give FastMail my username and password?

00:59:59   No, no, no, like I said, this is OAuth.

01:00:00   So it has me log in via Google.

01:00:03   Google gives them some sort of token back.

01:00:05   It's been so long since I've done an OAuth implementation.

01:00:08   So there's magic tokens that are exchanged,

01:00:10   and then that's that.

01:00:11   So I never actually gave FastMail my username and password.

01:00:15   So yeah, so in the span of two hours,

01:00:16   I got literally 15 years of email or something like that

01:00:20   that went through Lickety Split, no problem.

01:00:22   All of my folders, which are really labels in Gmail world,

01:00:27   that came through.

01:00:28   I had the option of importing the rules that I set up in

01:00:31   Gmail, of which I had a not insignificant amount of them.

01:00:34   But I wanted to take this as an opportunity to clean Slate

01:00:37   and start anew.

01:00:39   One thing that I did try was Fastmail, by default, is IMAP.

01:00:44   And so it uses folders as folders rather than labels,

01:00:49   which is what Gmail does.

01:00:51   And I tried for a few days, maybe a week, to see if I

01:00:55   could go back to the world of folders.

01:00:57   And for me, I couldn't do it.

01:01:01   And so what I did was, very nicely, Fastmail has an option

01:01:04   that says, hey, instead of organizing your messages with

01:01:07   folders, you can organize them with labels.

01:01:09   And then it's basically what I would call Gmail mode.

01:01:12   And so now it behaves much like Gmail does,

01:01:16   which is super great.

01:01:16   And not for everyone, of course, but for someone who's

01:01:19   been used to Gmail, that worked out excellently.

01:01:21   And like I said, all the folders came through,

01:01:22   everything was great.

01:01:24   - Sorry, so is the idea here that you can basically

01:01:26   have a message in multiple folders,

01:01:27   like it's kind of like a tag instead of a--

01:01:29   - Yes, exactly, it's like a tag, yeah.

01:01:32   And when you add a tag, it doesn't necessarily mean

01:01:37   that it is no longer in the inbox.

01:01:39   So part of the reason I went back to labels was,

01:01:42   I like to label, say, ATP feedback with an ATP label.

01:01:47   And that was all well and good,

01:01:49   but what was happening was,

01:01:50   and maybe this was user error on my part,

01:01:52   but I don't think so.

01:01:54   But what was happening was when I set up my rule

01:01:56   that said, okay, put this in the ATP folder,

01:01:59   that's literally what it did,

01:02:01   is it moved it out of my inbox and into the ATP folder.

01:02:04   And I personally prefer any new email,

01:02:07   regardless of where it came from or why it's there,

01:02:09   I wanna see it in my inbox.

01:02:10   It's the only place I wanna check.

01:02:11   Then I will file it away as necessary,

01:02:13   but I only wanna have to look at my email.

01:02:15   And with the way folders were set up,

01:02:17   or perhaps the way I set up the rules,

01:02:19   I would have to go into the ATP folder

01:02:20   to look at the new ATP email.

01:02:22   And so I said, now the hell with this.

01:02:23   I'm just going back to labels.

01:02:24   And now it works exactly as I want.

01:02:26   I have a rule that says, hey, when an ATP email comes in,

01:02:28   mark it with the ATP label, but leave it in the inbox,

01:02:32   which is exactly what I wanna do.

01:02:33   Again, not for everyone, but that's how I like it.

01:02:36   So all good news on things that FastMail can control.

01:02:40   The web app is surprisingly good.

01:02:43   Now I'm not like John.

01:02:44   I never use a Gmail web app.

01:02:46   And I know the Gmail web app, if you like it,

01:02:48   you really like it.

01:02:50   I really enjoyed it when it was new.

01:02:51   Over time, I decided it was not for me.

01:02:54   I'm not saying Jon's wrong.

01:02:55   It's just not for me.

01:02:57   And the Fast Mail web app is really good.

01:02:58   I don't have it open in front of me, but I believe there's

01:03:01   even a way to make it use Gmail key shortcuts, or

01:03:05   keystrokes, if you will.

01:03:06   I'm not 100% sure about that.

01:03:08   You'll have to check me on that.

01:03:09   But I believe that to be true.

01:03:11   So everything Fast Mail related, the web app is great.

01:03:13   The email comes in super fast.

01:03:15   I haven't had two, I've had a couple pieces

01:03:17   of spam breakthrough, but not a lot.

01:03:19   There's also a neat feature where you can set up a folder

01:03:22   or a label and say, hey, when I put something in here,

01:03:26   tell your spam thing that this is something

01:03:30   it should have caught a spam,

01:03:31   and so you can help train it.

01:03:32   Or what's even more interesting is,

01:03:34   there's a, you can set up a second label that you say,

01:03:38   hey, if I put something in here, this is not spam.

01:03:41   Like this is something that you thought was spam, but isn't.

01:03:43   And that's not the only way to do that.

01:03:45   Like if you're in the web interface,

01:03:47   you can say, oh, not spam.

01:03:48   But I just thought that was a very clever approach,

01:03:50   especially if you're using a third party client.

01:03:52   The other interesting thing about FastMail,

01:03:53   which I feel like we said this on the show at some point,

01:03:56   but FastMail seems to have some sort of

01:03:59   certification or entitlement or something,

01:04:03   such that it is one of the very, very few

01:04:05   third party email providers that actually

01:04:08   can do push email on iOS.

01:04:12   I don't necessarily need that, but I turned it on

01:04:14   'cause it's cool.

01:04:15   (laughs)

01:04:16   And so, in fact, I can make an argument why it's not cool,

01:04:18   but because it's new and shiny, I turned it on.

01:04:21   And you can get push email via iOS, which is cool.

01:04:25   And oh, and to log into your email in iOS,

01:04:29   one of the ways you can do it,

01:04:32   they do have their own bespoke iOS app,

01:04:34   but the way I did it is I logged into Fastmail

01:04:38   on the computer, and then they give you

01:04:40   a convenient little QR code,

01:04:42   and you scan the QR code with your phone,

01:04:45   and that installs a profile, which sounds sketchy,

01:04:47   but all the profile does is put in the account for you,

01:04:51   which is super neat.

01:04:52   And so, again, like, FastMail's a prior sponsor.

01:04:56   It wouldn't surprise me if there's,

01:04:57   they're going to be a future sponsor, I haven't looked.

01:05:00   So I'm at least slightly biased,

01:05:02   but they didn't pay me to say any of this stuff.

01:05:04   Like, this was all me on my own.

01:05:06   And it's been really great.

01:05:08   So if you're interested in moving away from Gmail

01:05:10   for any reason or from whatever your current

01:05:12   email provider is, I really do recommend Fastmail.

01:05:15   It's really been really good so far.

01:05:17   I mean, Marco, you've been there for forever, right?

01:05:19   - Yeah, for, I mean, geez, probably over 10 years now.

01:05:23   It's been fantastic, I have no complaints.

01:05:26   - Yeah, I cannot say enough good things

01:05:27   about how this process has gone.

01:05:29   So then, by comparison, I went back to Gmail

01:05:33   and was like, okay, what do I need to do

01:05:35   to tell them I wanna get on the list of people

01:05:37   that would like to maybe not do email anymore

01:05:40   but I don't wanna lose like what little YouTube stuff

01:05:43   I have saved, I don't wanna lose Google Docs,

01:05:45   I don't wanna lose the shared ATP calendar,

01:05:49   even though we should probably move it to Apple Calendar,

01:05:51   I'm just gonna leave that here.

01:05:53   I don't wanna lose any of that.

01:05:54   - Move it to Apple Calendar, that's madness.

01:05:56   What are you talking about? - No, it's not.

01:05:57   No, it's, it's, right now what I have to do

01:06:00   is do it via freakin' CalDAV, which is absurd,

01:06:04   just because you're on Google, John, not that I'm bitter.

01:06:06   - I'm the one who moves the calendar rent anyway,

01:06:07   don't worry about it.

01:06:08   Anyway, the point is, so I think the way this works is,

01:06:12   if Google blesses me, which they're not guaranteeing,

01:06:16   with, I forget what they call it, but like,

01:06:18   if I'm allowed to have one of their freebie accounts,

01:06:21   then I think I can keep all of the Google Docs calendars,

01:06:25   et cetera, and YouTube and whatnot,

01:06:27   and I just lose my email, which is fine by me.

01:06:29   But when I went to go do that, you know,

01:06:32   they sent all these scare grams about,

01:06:34   "Oh, everything's gonna be expensive,

01:06:36   "and you gotta pay, you gotta pay, you gotta pay,

01:06:37   "Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh."

01:06:38   Or you can sign up for this thing,

01:06:40   but that's probably not what you want.

01:06:41   (screams)

01:06:42   And so I went to sign up for the thing,

01:06:43   and for the life of me, I couldn't find it.

01:06:46   And of course, the Google website has gone,

01:06:49   especially Google Apps website, is so full-on enterprise,

01:06:53   which means everything is confusing.

01:06:54   It's all using verbiage that even I'm far enough removed

01:06:57   from real jobs that I don't know what they're talking about.

01:07:00   It was a mess.

01:07:01   And eventually I finally found my way into an online chat

01:07:04   where someone was genuinely very helpful and was like,

01:07:06   "Yeah, I'll take care of it.

01:07:06   put it on the list for you. But oh my word, it was just like the biggest F you on the

01:07:12   way out the door. Like, Oh, you want to leave? Oh no, no. This is like canceling cable, baby.

01:07:18   You got to work for it. And it was a mess, but fast mail. Great Google. I'm over you.

01:07:23   And if you're interested in fast mail, please check out my referral code. It would make

01:07:27   me very happy. John, tell me about your security camera.

01:07:30   I feel when I sit on the show about this, did I just say I was getting one? I think

01:07:35   were talking about how you had intended it as a home project and I don't think we went

01:07:41   too much further than that, but I thought we talked about how you didn't want to put

01:07:45   any holes in your house and I'm pretty sure a little birdie told me that involved in this

01:07:50   process was putting a hole on the outside, through the outside of your house.

01:07:53   I mean, I knew it would, I just wish the hole had worked out a little better, but anyway,

01:07:59   that wasn't that bad. So I talked about this a bit more on a yet-to-be-released episode

01:08:04   of our console differences which we would link in the show it's if we could

01:08:07   but we can't but maybe we will later the camera that I got is this the latest

01:08:12   nest camera it's called nest cam outdoor indoor comma battery great product name

01:08:17   and I have a bunch of nest cams already and I the reason I got this one is

01:08:24   because I realized that I'm already paying for whatever the fancy plan is it

01:08:27   lets you add cameras without having to pay anymore so if I bought another

01:08:32   camera I didn't have to like it doesn't increase my monthly fee. I used to have a ring camera and

01:08:35   I got rid of that one so I could stop paying for that and I could you know just buy this camera and

01:08:40   you know it's going to be an outdoor security camera and I had a place where I wanted to put

01:08:45   it especially where the old ring camera was but I didn't want to have to deal with batteries. Now

01:08:50   this camera as the description indicates has a battery so you can run it on battery but from

01:08:57   experience I don't like you know using cameras and batteries no matter how long

01:09:01   the battery lasts first of all the batteries degrade especially if they're

01:09:03   outdoors all year long in New England and the freezing in the winter and hot

01:09:07   in the summer that really kills the battery and second I don't want to have

01:09:10   to recharge it right so why not get one of the ones that you can plug in well

01:09:14   this camera you can also plug in and if you plug it in it just so it kind of has

01:09:18   like a little it's like a USB C type cable or whatever but you can also get

01:09:23   one that has a an AC plug wall wart thing and then a little cable runs so

01:09:27   the camera and so even though the camera is battery powered it's still plugged in

01:09:30   and if you lose power then the battery takes over right and the battery lasts

01:09:34   like a month or whatever so this is great it's it's essentially power powered

01:09:39   by wire all the time except when if the power goes out you don't lose your

01:09:42   camera so I had to find a place to run the wire this is near a light that I had

01:09:48   that kind of shines where like my garbage cans are so I can scare away the

01:09:51   raccoons when I go out there to deal with that at night in the winter or

01:09:54   whatever and so there was already like you know electrical wire running to the

01:10:00   outdoor lights they're just plain old regular lights right so I knew there was

01:10:04   a way to get a cable from where I wanted to go you know from from inside my house

01:10:09   to outside my house and I figured what I could do was make another small hole and

01:10:14   then fish a wire in the same place where the the wire that goes to lights go but

01:10:20   instead of going out the hole where the lights are I would go out a different

01:10:23   hole and I spent a long time trying to get that to work without tearing everything apart.

01:10:30   In the end I had to tear apart a little bit more than I wanted to to get at the guts because

01:10:34   this is like the eaves by my garage and the inside wall of the garage and the outside

01:10:39   eaves and I drilled, here's my big mistake, I was trying to drill a hole that I was going

01:10:44   to be able to fit this little wire through and so I was looking at my drill bits and

01:10:48   I'm looking at the little adapter going is this drill bit big enough, is this drill bit

01:10:51   big enough, whatever, and comparing it.

01:10:54   And the little plug that I had to get through is not,

01:10:57   it's not symmetrical, it's like the plug goes

01:11:01   and then the sort of socket that's on the end of the plug

01:11:03   is on an angle, and I think I miscalculated.

01:11:07   It's kind of like if you have a square,

01:11:09   you measure the dimensions of the square, that's fine,

01:11:12   but if you tilt the square and the angle

01:11:13   suddenly gets bigger because the diagonal

01:11:14   is much bigger than the legs of the square, right?

01:11:17   That's kind of the situation I was in.

01:11:18   So I drilled a nice, neat hole that was about,

01:11:21   half of a millimeter too small.

01:11:23   Like, you could fit the plug into there,

01:11:26   but it was like, the hole went in a ways,

01:11:28   and so it would get like, it would get bound up and jammed,

01:11:31   and so I had to make the hole bigger,

01:11:33   and making an existing hole bigger is difficult to do.

01:11:37   Didn't do a great job of it.

01:11:38   It got bigger.

01:11:39   But anyway, you can't see it.

01:11:42   I'll, you know, I'll paper over it.

01:11:44   Luckily, it's hidden behind a downspout,

01:11:45   so you can't actually see my horrible job I did.

01:11:47   But I did get it plugged in, and it works.

01:11:51   and it's doing its thing.

01:11:53   Two bits that I want to talk about with this camera.

01:11:56   The first one is, if you look at the webpage of Lincoln,

01:12:00   Google's website, you'll see that one of the things

01:12:04   that they advertise about this camera,

01:12:05   in fact, it's in the little animation,

01:12:07   is that it is magnetically attached to the base.

01:12:10   So the camera is just like a unit,

01:12:12   like a little semi-circular thing or whatever,

01:12:14   that's the camera, and it's got a really powerful magnet

01:12:17   in it, and then the base also has a really powerful magnet

01:12:19   and you screw the base to whatever surface you want,

01:12:21   and you stick the camera on with the battery.

01:12:23   And if you look their installation instructions,

01:12:25   they say, "If you're putting this camera outdoors,

01:12:27   "we recommend that you put it six to six and a half feet

01:12:29   "off the ground for best operation, blah, blah, blah."

01:12:33   Well, if you've got a supposed security camera,

01:12:36   six to six and a half feet off the ground,

01:12:38   that's connected only with a magnet,

01:12:40   someone can just walk right up to it

01:12:42   and yank your security camera off the wall,

01:12:45   and A, now you don't have a security camera,

01:12:48   And B, now they have your camera.

01:12:50   Right, now obviously you probably got a recording

01:12:52   of them doing that because it's sending the data

01:12:54   to the internet constantly,

01:12:55   but what good is that gonna do you

01:12:56   when they've got your camera?

01:12:58   It's like taking $200 bills and thumbtacking them

01:13:01   to the side of your house, right?

01:13:03   It's like, I don't want somebody to be able to take that.

01:13:05   So there's this sub-market of products

01:13:08   to try to take Google's stupid design

01:13:10   and make it slightly more secure.

01:13:12   So you can buy a little kit that connects one of those

01:13:16   metal security wire things, you know?

01:13:19   I mean, security wire, right?

01:13:22   Little metal wire, right?

01:13:24   And so one end of it is kind of screwed behind the base

01:13:26   so you can't get to it, and the other end is screwed

01:13:28   to the camera with like one of those security screwdriver

01:13:32   tips that's like a weird shape.

01:13:33   It's not a Torx wrench, it's not a normal shape, right?

01:13:37   So you buy one of these little kits and it comes

01:13:39   with a little 2 cent weird security screwdriver tip

01:13:42   and a screwdriver, and anyway, at least now it's harder

01:13:46   for someone to casually take the camera off my house,

01:13:49   that if they tried to do it, they would say,

01:13:50   "Oh, it's stuck with something."

01:13:51   And then they'd have to have also brought with them

01:13:54   a pair of nail clippers or something

01:13:55   to cut through the metal security wire.

01:13:57   - Or just pull harder.

01:13:59   This is not a thick wire.

01:14:00   - Yeah, or just, exactly.

01:14:01   Or just pull, but if they pulled harder,

01:14:02   they might break the camera too.

01:14:03   So they should really just, you know.

01:14:05   And no, it's not pentalobe.

01:14:06   It's like, it's got a little nub.

01:14:08   - It's a star with a dot in the middle.

01:14:10   - Yeah, the dot in the middle is the security feature, right?

01:14:12   So a Torx wrench doesn't have a hole in the middle.

01:14:14   I guess probably some of them do.

01:14:15   But anyway, it's stupid.

01:14:17   But that's what I did.

01:14:18   I mean, I don't think, I'm not in a neighborhood

01:14:20   where people are routinely steering security cameras

01:14:22   off of the wall.

01:14:23   So, so far so good at that.

01:14:24   But the real thing I want to complain about,

01:14:26   and I went into more depth on this than on RecDiffs,

01:14:28   but it's worth at least mentioning here.

01:14:31   This camera, like the other Nest camera,

01:14:32   has a feature where it can identify faces.

01:14:36   And so you can teach it, like it'll, you know,

01:14:37   you can have a prompt, you look at this face, who is this?

01:14:39   Who is this?

01:14:40   And you could just tell it who all the people are.

01:14:41   So it attaches a name to a face.

01:14:44   It calls that feature familiar faces, right?

01:14:46   And so, you know, I already have this from like my cameras

01:14:50   that are in my house that I know as all my family

01:14:51   and stuff like that.

01:14:52   And it's pretty good with the facial recognition,

01:14:56   even at weird angles and with, you know,

01:14:57   bad resolution and in the dark and all sorts of other things

01:15:00   it can identify who it is and, you know,

01:15:02   identify the face.

01:15:03   And one of the features of that is

01:15:06   if you have notifications turned on,

01:15:07   instead of saying person was spotted in the kitchen,

01:15:10   it will say, you know,

01:15:11   so-and-so was spotted in the kitchen by name, right?

01:15:13   it'll tell you the name of the person.

01:15:15   But what I wanted from this,

01:15:19   and I just assumed I would be able to get, silly me,

01:15:22   is that, okay, if I have a camera

01:15:24   that's facing outside my house,

01:15:26   and it knows all about all the familiar faces, right?

01:15:29   Then it also knows if it sees a face

01:15:32   that's not a familiar face.

01:15:33   Like, I saw a face, but it's not one of the five

01:15:36   that's in my familiar face list.

01:15:39   What I would like is for the outdoor camera to say,

01:15:42   oh, hey, I saw somebody, and it's not

01:15:44   on your familiar face list.

01:15:45   So here's a push notification.

01:15:47   And as far as I've been able to determine,

01:15:50   even though they built this facial recognition

01:15:52   system into their cameras, they have no way

01:15:54   to tell it to notify you when it sees

01:15:56   a face that is not familiar.

01:15:58   Your choices are no notifications

01:16:00   for people whatsoever or notifications

01:16:03   of every single person.

01:16:04   Those are the only two choices.

01:16:06   Nice.

01:16:07   And if you have a camera notify you of every single person

01:16:10   and it's at your house, it's gonna constantly

01:16:12   notify you, your son is by the camera,

01:16:14   your daughter's by the camera, your wife is by the camera,

01:16:16   you're by the camera, like that's too many notifications.

01:16:19   But I don't want zero notifications.

01:16:22   The camera knows whether it's familiar face

01:16:25   because it tells me who's in front of the camera by name

01:16:27   or it says a person.

01:16:29   It knows, but there is no mode that I could find

01:16:32   that says just send a push notification to my phone

01:16:35   if it's an unfamiliar face.

01:16:36   That seems like the feature that a security camera

01:16:39   what happened, this thing doesn't seem to do it.

01:16:42   And I Googled for it and I found one of those sad

01:16:44   Google help pages, you ever see these ones?

01:16:45   Like Google doesn't actually have any humans helping you,

01:16:47   they just have like this community forum

01:16:49   where users just wail into the void.

01:16:50   Are you familiar with these pages?

01:16:52   Like if you're looking for the answer

01:16:53   to anything Google related, you'll find like,

01:16:55   I don't know what it is, like a,

01:16:57   it's like a sick twisted version of a web bulletin board

01:16:59   where people are like, help me, I can't figure out

01:17:01   this thing with Google and other users,

01:17:03   commits are right, yeah, I can't figure out either,

01:17:04   I can't figure out either.

01:17:05   And at the bottom of the thread is always some Google

01:17:06   employee saying, yeah, we don't support that,

01:17:09   you should file a ticket and maybe we'll look at it.

01:17:10   And then you look at the date, it's like 2015.

01:17:13   No, right, so I found a page where somebody said,

01:17:17   can I only get push notifications for unfamiliar faces?

01:17:20   And they're like, yeah, you can't do that yet,

01:17:21   you should file a feature request.

01:17:23   Oh my God, I don't understand how they ship this product

01:17:25   without that feature.

01:17:26   Like what is the point of familiar faces

01:17:28   if this feature doesn't exist for an outdoor security camera

01:17:31   just so you can know exactly which person it saw

01:17:34   but you still want notifications for everybody?

01:17:36   Boggles my mind.

01:17:37   So anyway, I don't have person notifications on,

01:17:40   because otherwise I'd be notified every single day,

01:17:42   every single time anyone in my family came

01:17:44   and went from my house or walked in front of my house.

01:17:47   Good job, Google.

01:17:48   - That's amazing.

01:17:50   This is the kind of thing I would assume

01:17:53   Google would be very good at.

01:17:54   - They're good at identifying faces.

01:17:56   They're not good at understanding

01:17:58   what to do with that information,

01:17:59   which is tell me when it's not familiar.

01:18:02   - Honestly, I don't find this surprising at all,

01:18:03   but whatever.

01:18:04   - And if this is a brand new product,

01:18:06   "Oh, it's just version 1.0? Fine, whatever. It'll come in the next version." This is years and years

01:18:10   they've had Nest security cameras. I've owned them for years and years, right? And inside my house,

01:18:15   it never occurred to me that this would be an issue because my inside the house cameras aren't

01:18:18   even on when we're home. They're only on when nobody's home. And so being notified when it

01:18:23   sees any human is appropriate. If nobody's in the house and there's a human in the house, notify me,

01:18:27   right? So I never went looking for the feature that I just assumed exists, which is just tell

01:18:31   Tell me if you see an unfamiliar face.

01:18:33   - I'm too lazy to look right now,

01:18:36   but I wonder if the Synology surveillance station,

01:18:39   which is there.

01:18:40   (phone ringing)

01:18:41   For third camera, I just had no idea what that noise was.

01:18:44   It startled me.

01:18:45   (laughing)

01:18:45   Anyway, I wonder--

01:18:46   - You need to get closer to the mic.

01:18:47   You need to figure out how to mic a VibraSlap.

01:18:50   - I can get closer.

01:18:51   - Yeah.

01:18:52   (phone ringing)

01:18:53   - How's that, better?

01:18:54   - That was better.

01:18:55   - I can keep the bell really far away.

01:18:56   It's nice and sharp.

01:18:58   But I guess I gotta bring the VibraSlap closer.

01:18:59   - You need to mic it.

01:19:01   Like you need to like have it as in like an instrument setup

01:19:03   where there's a separate little mic,

01:19:04   little wire going, you know.

01:19:06   - What black magic box will fix you?

01:19:08   - Yeah, right.

01:19:09   I got a PCI express capture card

01:19:10   to capture the sound of the virus.

01:19:12   (both laughing)

01:19:14   Anyway, I wonder if Surveillance Station does any of this.

01:19:17   And I honestly don't know.

01:19:18   It may be the dumbest thing in the world.

01:19:19   - It has to because the facial recognition

01:19:21   is like table stakes.

01:19:22   And once any product other than this,

01:19:24   I assume has facial recognition,

01:19:25   the first feature we implement is semi-notifications

01:19:28   of his unfamiliar face.

01:19:29   Unless you're Google,

01:19:30   in which case you just let it sit there for years,

01:19:31   without this feature.

01:19:32   - Yeah, so I can say for whatever it's worth,

01:19:35   I continue to have only very good experiences

01:19:38   with HomeKit Secure Video and with the Logitech Circle View.

01:19:40   I know it's a really weird specialized niche thing

01:19:44   that no one besides me appears to be using.

01:19:46   However, this is a pretty good product.

01:19:49   I actually, we recently took a trip

01:19:51   and so we had found on our previous trips

01:19:55   that there were a couple of areas of our house

01:19:58   that we wanted eyes on.

01:20:00   I bought a couple of additional Logitech Circle views

01:20:04   right before this trip.

01:20:05   It's fantastic, like I set them up in two seconds.

01:20:08   John, they are outdoor rated, John.

01:20:11   And also, if you wanted to drill one through your house,

01:20:16   you only need to fit a USB-A plug,

01:20:17   a regular little rectangular USB-A plug through the wall.

01:20:20   - My hull is bigger, smaller than a USB-A plug already.

01:20:23   I was hoping it would be really tiny

01:20:25   and I had to make it a little bigger,

01:20:26   but it still wouldn't fit USB-A.

01:20:27   - Oh, okay.

01:20:28   Anyway, they have been fantastic.

01:20:30   I have had perfectly fine luck with them.

01:20:33   I think I now own something like four or five.

01:20:37   HomeKit, like if you have much of an iCloud plan,

01:20:41   if you have like the medium plan,

01:20:43   you have I think five cameras worth of stuff.

01:20:45   If you have the really big plan, you have unlimited cameras.

01:20:49   Although I question like, what does unlimited mean exactly?

01:20:52   (laughs)

01:20:53   The only, the major downside, and I mentioned this

01:20:55   back months ago when I first talked about this,

01:20:57   the only downside is that Nest actually gives you

01:20:59   continuous recording and none of the HomeKit stuff does that.

01:21:02   HomeKit stuff is like, if it detects motion

01:21:05   or whatever conditions you set,

01:21:06   it will start recording a clip

01:21:08   and it will record a clip until that motion

01:21:10   or whatever is gone for a few seconds.

01:21:12   So you don't have continuous recording,

01:21:15   but you do have a lot.

01:21:16   - Yeah, that was kind of one of the features

01:21:17   that I like about the Nest is that it's internet,

01:21:21   so everything's going up to the internet.

01:21:22   So again, if someone steals the camera,

01:21:23   I'll have a video of that and it is continuous

01:21:25   because for things that are facing outside,

01:21:27   even if there's no interesting events,

01:21:29   like you can cordon off areas that you're not interested in.

01:21:31   Sometimes you just want to see,

01:21:32   did the UPS truck come?

01:21:34   Did, you know, when did this Amazon thing?

01:21:36   Does the neighbor walk in their dog?

01:21:37   If the tree falls across the street,

01:21:39   like just having it, just recording all the time

01:21:41   and saving or whatever, it saves like 60 hours or 60 days.

01:21:45   It saves a lot of video.

01:21:46   - I think it's like 60 days.

01:21:47   I mean, it depends on what plan you have, I think.

01:21:49   - Yeah, but anyway, like it's just one less thing

01:21:51   because I had, the Ring camera was the same type of like,

01:21:54   oh, I only turn on when I detect

01:21:55   something interesting happening or whatever,

01:21:57   and that's cheaper and it's nicer on battery,

01:21:59   but that's why I wanted this to be plugged in.

01:22:00   So it's just recording all the time

01:22:02   'cause it's facing out of the house.

01:22:04   And it's plugged in so I don't have to worry about it

01:22:06   and about it running out.

01:22:07   - But I will say also, for whatever it's worth,

01:22:09   because it's only recording via Eclipse,

01:22:11   I haven't missed anything because it does have,

01:22:14   it seems to be recording a rolling buffer

01:22:15   because it doesn't, I've had certain ones,

01:22:18   I think the Eufy ones, where if somebody walks

01:22:21   into the frame, it wouldn't record the first couple

01:22:24   of seconds of them being there because it would take

01:22:26   a couple seconds for it to notice, wake up,

01:22:28   and start the recording.

01:22:29   Whereas the Logitech Circle View,

01:22:32   and I don't know if HomeKit always works this way or what,

01:22:34   but the Circle View, it seems to be recording

01:22:37   a rolling buffer all the time, and if you text motion,

01:22:40   the clip you get includes a couple of seconds

01:22:42   before the person enters the frame.

01:22:44   So you have the complete entrance, activity, and exit,

01:22:48   and then a few seconds after the exit,

01:22:49   all recorded, which is nice.

01:22:50   So in practice, I haven't actually,

01:22:52   it only recording clips has not been a problem for me.

01:22:55   It also does have all similar features

01:22:57   of like you can draw out an activity zone

01:22:59   to pay attention to in the frame.

01:23:01   All this within the home app,

01:23:02   I mean it's by far the nicest part of the home app.

01:23:04   And it's like for as much crap as HomeKit gets

01:23:07   for a lot of other stuff,

01:23:09   this has worked extremely reliably for me.

01:23:11   And this hardware has worked great.

01:23:12   I only wish there was more hardware available

01:23:14   like with maybe a few different things

01:23:16   like maybe a less expensive indoor cam that was good.

01:23:19   There's not very many options.

01:23:20   But overall the Circle View and HomeKit secure videos

01:23:23   have been great for me.

01:23:24   It detects people, it detects animals, packages.

01:23:28   It's just fantastic.

01:23:29   I can strongly recommend HomeKit Secure Video.

01:23:32   I only have experiences with Nest with their older hardware,

01:23:36   but my experiences with Nest have been very mediocre.

01:23:40   Whereas HomeKit Secure Video with Circle View

01:23:42   has been pretty good so far.

01:23:43   - Yeah, this hardware seems good,

01:23:45   and the recognition, like animal person, vehicle,

01:23:48   like it all seems dead on.

01:23:50   Like I don't have notifications,

01:23:51   but I can still go and look at the events

01:23:53   for the last, you know, whatever many days and see that, yeah, that is a person, that

01:23:57   is an animal, you did hear a dog bark, you know, and it has all the other stuff like

01:24:00   if it hears a fire alarm, if it hears glass breaking, I'm assuming all this stuff works

01:24:04   well, I just don't want to find out.

01:24:05   Hey, so I'm looking at the Circle View camera website and there's a, you know, a bunch of

01:24:12   general marketing material and then like halfway down, unparalleled privacy, and there's three

01:24:18   images side to side, side by side, tilt to hide, need instant privacy at a moment's notice,

01:24:23   Simply tilt the camera down to instantly shield yourself from view.

01:24:26   Simple turn off.

01:24:27   A rear mounted button immediately cuts off both audio and video so you're not left fumbling

01:24:31   during private moments.

01:24:32   - Oh, that's what that button does?

01:24:35   - Do people put these in their bedrooms?

01:24:37   Is that what's going on here?

01:24:38   - If they wanna go have intimate moments underneath Marco's house, they need to be able to turn

01:24:42   the camera off.

01:24:43   - That's true, that's a good point.

01:24:46   That was a much better joke I did not even see.

01:24:48   Well done, John.

01:24:49   Well done.

01:24:50   Alright, so since we last recorded a week and a half ago or whatever it was

01:24:53   Elon Musk has said no really I would like to buy Twitter and Twitter was like no and then they were like

01:24:59   Okay, sure. Yeah, let's do it

01:25:02   Last week we remember he had just bought like

01:25:07   9.2% of Twitter and then we said, you know, we don't even know what could happen by next week

01:25:11   So he hadn't even offered to buy the company

01:25:14   He had just bought a percentage and they offered him seen on the board and eventually turned that down because it seemed you know

01:25:19   My guess was that it seemed too restrictive.

01:25:22   And then after he recorded, he said,

01:25:23   "You know what, forget about being on the board.

01:25:25   "I want the whole company."

01:25:26   - Yeah, so he has put together the financing,

01:25:29   and this is, all the financing stuff,

01:25:32   I just plumb don't understand it.

01:25:34   I will tell you the summary,

01:25:36   but the particulars about who's paying what,

01:25:38   and what is giving--

01:25:40   - I can strongly recommend,

01:25:41   if you're a Stratecker A subscriber,

01:25:43   Ben Thompson did a really great job

01:25:45   with the last two daily updates.

01:25:46   I guess we'll link to them in the show notes.

01:25:48   They do require a subscription to read.

01:25:50   But the last two daily updates for Anjan Thakare

01:25:52   were fantastic at explaining all of this stuff.

01:25:54   - So, first of all, yes, I completely agree.

01:25:57   But coming back to what we know,

01:26:00   as of right now, it is 9.30-ish

01:26:04   on the evening of Wednesday the 27th of April.

01:26:08   And so who knows what'll happen tomorrow.

01:26:11   - I gotta edit this show really fast

01:26:12   before it gets out of date.

01:26:13   - Right?

01:26:14   So as we know, Elon has said he was going to buy Twitter,

01:26:18   So from Twitter's PR announcement,

01:26:21   Twitter announced that it has entered

01:26:22   into a definitive agreement to be acquired

01:26:24   by an entity wholly owned by Elon Musk

01:26:26   for $54.20 per share in cash in a transaction valued

01:26:29   at approximately $44 billion.

01:26:32   Upon completion of the transaction,

01:26:33   Twitter will become a privately held company.

01:26:34   Under the terms of the agreement,

01:26:35   Twitter stockholders will receive 54.20 in cash

01:26:38   for each share of Twitter common stock that they own

01:26:40   upon closing of the proposed transaction.

01:26:43   The purchase price represents a 38% premium

01:26:45   to Twitter's closing stock price on April 1, 2022,

01:26:48   which was the last trading day

01:26:49   before Mr. Musk disclosed his approximately 9% stake

01:26:52   in Twitter.

01:26:53   Note, that's not when he got it,

01:26:54   it's just when he talked about it, but moving on.

01:26:57   Quote, "Free speech is the bedrock

01:26:59   of a functioning democracy,

01:27:00   and Twitter is the digital town square

01:27:01   where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated,"

01:27:05   said Mr. Musk.

01:27:06   Quote, "I also wanna make Twitter better than ever

01:27:09   by enhancing the product with new features,

01:27:10   making the algorithms open source to increase trust,

01:27:13   defeating the spam bots and authenticating all humans.

01:27:16   Twitter's tremendous potential.

01:27:18   I look forward to working with the company

01:27:19   and the community of users to unlock it.

01:27:21   Okay, sure.

01:27:24   Let's go with that.

01:27:26   - I actually, I am kind of okay with this.

01:27:31   Twitter as a company has always been a disaster.

01:27:36   Twitter's leadership has always been

01:27:40   weird libertarian tech bro billionaires.

01:27:43   They've always been that.

01:27:45   And Elon Musk is another one of those.

01:27:47   Twitter's leadership has always been really crappy

01:27:51   and inconsistent with how they handle political problems,

01:27:54   how they handle abuse problems.

01:27:56   They've done a pretty crappy job of spam control,

01:28:00   bot control, they do a really inconsistent job

01:28:05   of dealing with abuse.

01:28:08   They have really opaque and confusing

01:28:12   and inconsistently applied policies

01:28:15   regarding certain types of speech that are controversial

01:28:18   or that are just outright illegal or hateful,

01:28:21   they've always been really crappy at all that stuff.

01:28:25   They've always been run by these tech dude bros.

01:28:28   If you look at anything wrong with Elon Musk

01:28:31   running this company, look at Jack Dorsey,

01:28:33   and be like, well, why is he better?

01:28:35   - I can answer that question.

01:28:38   - Well, okay. - Other than Elon Musk.

01:28:39   I get what you're getting at,

01:28:40   that Twitter has been poorly run, and I agree with that.

01:28:44   But I think there's a difference in degree for sure.

01:28:48   Like, who is the bigger jerky tech bro, Jack Dorsey or Elon

01:28:52   Musk?

01:28:52   No contest, right?

01:28:55   Is it no contest?

01:28:56   Oh, no contest, right?

01:28:57   I mean, I don't think that high a Jack Dorsey, I guess.

01:29:00   Yeah, Jack Dorsey still wants to think of himself

01:29:02   as a good person.

01:29:02   And I think he's trying to do the right thing.

01:29:04   Jack Dorsey spearheaded the Blue Sky Project

01:29:07   of trying to do the right thing years later,

01:29:10   of trying to make a protocol as a replacement for Twitter.

01:29:13   - Right, so far that's very much still in the blue sky.

01:29:15   - Yeah, no, but I'm just saying Elon Musk

01:29:17   would never even think about doing anything like that.

01:29:19   Elon Musk is definitely a difference in degree.

01:29:22   I think he's also a difference in type,

01:29:25   just because Jack Dorsey didn't buy Twitter

01:29:30   because on a whim, sort of, like Elon Musk is doing.

01:29:34   He's the company that he, was he a founder?

01:29:39   He was there at the beginning at the very least,

01:29:41   and has a tie to the company,

01:29:43   and has high-minded ideals

01:29:44   about what he wants the company for.

01:29:46   So I think, and Elon Musk does not, as far as we can tell,

01:29:50   despite the incoherent statements that he throws out,

01:29:52   and then just goes and does whatever the hell he wants

01:29:54   that isn't totally in conflict with the statements, right?

01:29:56   But I wanna say that, like, I mean,

01:29:58   so first let me just get this out there.

01:30:00   I think it's obvious all the terrible things

01:30:01   that could happen, like, we'll see,

01:30:02   but everyone knows the terrible things.

01:30:04   Why do people not like it?

01:30:05   Elon Musk could make Twitter worse for everybody, right?

01:30:09   We use Twitter, and if he makes it worse for us, that's sad.

01:30:13   He can make it worse for the world

01:30:15   by making Twitter do more evil and less good in the world.

01:30:17   That's definitely a thing that he could do.

01:30:19   And he would do that by allowing more bad behavior

01:30:23   that is currently now not allowed.

01:30:25   And despite what Margaret said,

01:30:27   like that Twitter has done a bad job

01:30:29   of controlling bad behavior, they've at least been trying.

01:30:32   Elon Musk's stated goal is to do less of that,

01:30:35   to essentially allow more bad behavior

01:30:37   than they're currently allowing.

01:30:38   So if you think it's crappy now, he's already said,

01:30:40   I wanna make it crappier.

01:30:41   But setting all that aside,

01:30:42   because I think we could spend too long talking about

01:30:45   how Elon Musk could make Twitter worse,

01:30:48   there are parts of this deal that have the potential

01:30:51   to make things better, right?

01:30:54   First one is Twitter becoming privately held,

01:30:58   which is, you know, Casey read before,

01:30:59   that means there'll be no stock,

01:31:00   no one is looking at the stock price,

01:31:02   no one involved in the thing has to be

01:31:05   worrying about what this move is going to mean

01:31:08   for the stock price tomorrow morning,

01:31:09   because there is no stock prices, privately held.

01:31:11   Now it doesn't mean you just get to lose money forever then,

01:31:14   but privately held gives you more leeway to do things

01:31:17   that the quote unquote stock market would frown upon.

01:31:20   The second thing that's good about private ownership

01:31:22   and Elon Musk in particular is,

01:31:24   when a single person controls your company,

01:31:27   they can do things, like get things done.

01:31:29   It's not the sort of middle of the road,

01:31:33   you know, now now let's not be too hasty,

01:31:36   big committee full of people,

01:31:38   none of whom can make a decision.

01:31:39   That's why Twitter stagnated for so long.

01:31:41   That's why Twitter has just sort of spent years and years

01:31:44   just not really getting any better

01:31:46   and fumbling towards maybe making some things

01:31:49   a little better.

01:31:50   When you have a singular person in control,

01:31:52   they can get things done.

01:31:53   And Elon Musk in particular,

01:31:54   one of the things he has going for him

01:31:56   along with Steve Jobs is when they get it into their head

01:31:59   or any strong leader, when they get it into their head

01:32:01   they want to do a thing they make that thing happen. if you're lucky that thing

01:32:06   is good like I think it would be cool to have an electric car powered by lithium

01:32:11   ion batteries designed from the ground up to be electric. luckily that was a

01:32:16   good idea and he made sure that it happened right? you can also have

01:32:21   terrible ideas and then make them happen and that's not as good right but at the

01:32:25   very least the just the years that Twitter went like not really changing

01:32:30   their product at all.

01:32:31   I was reading some articles today talking about like,

01:32:34   people don't remember this if you haven't been on Twitter

01:32:36   for ages like we all have, but like,

01:32:38   so many things that are part of Twitter now,

01:32:40   Twitter didn't even think of themselves.

01:32:42   They were things the community was doing

01:32:44   and they adopted them like, you know,

01:32:46   it's going all the way back to like,

01:32:48   the fact that an individual thing on Twitter

01:32:50   is called a tweet, Twitter didn't even come up with that.

01:32:52   It was like, what was it, Craig Hockenberry and Twitteriffic

01:32:54   or whatever like? - Yeah, I believe so.

01:32:55   - Yeah, retweets, that was the thing the community did.

01:32:59   we would type capital R, capital T, space,

01:33:01   and then paste the content of another tweet.

01:33:03   And we did that for a while, and Twitter was like,

01:33:05   huh, I guess that's a good idea, we should probably do that.

01:33:08   @mentions, replying, so many features

01:33:11   that people think are part of Twitter,

01:33:12   Twitter didn't even think of and do themselves.

01:33:15   They had to wait for people to sort of

01:33:16   use in-band signaling to do them.

01:33:19   You know, all the innovations that the clients came up with,

01:33:21   Tweety, one of the original Twitter clients,

01:33:24   invented pull to refresh.

01:33:25   Have you ever pulled to refresh an iOS app?

01:33:27   That came from a third party app that was used on Twitter,

01:33:30   not from Twitter itself.

01:33:32   And on and on for all the years of like,

01:33:33   people who use Twitter,

01:33:34   wanting them to add features in Twitter being like,

01:33:36   I don't know, maybe we'll do ads I guess, I don't know.

01:33:41   You know, we should do a little bit more to fight spam,

01:33:44   but I don't want to annoy people, I don't know.

01:33:47   They just, I just always see the Twitter board as like,

01:33:50   and the CEO is just like hemming and hawing

01:33:52   and not doing anything.

01:33:54   And having a single leader who is known

01:33:57   for getting things done and who will be running

01:34:01   a private company where he's unanswerable

01:34:03   to shareholders or whatever,

01:34:05   means that at the very least things will happen.

01:34:07   It all depends on what things will happen.

01:34:10   If he has terrible ideas, then terrible ideas

01:34:12   will come to fruition really quick.

01:34:14   Or if he decides he doesn't want to do anything

01:34:17   and just the fun of it is owning it

01:34:18   so he can just sort of make the, satisfy his whims,

01:34:23   that could happen too.

01:34:24   I'm not making any prediction about what will happen,

01:34:25   but I will say that it is not a relief.

01:34:28   It is like,

01:34:29   it could potentially be terrifying

01:34:33   for him to be able to do all sorts of things,

01:34:35   but at the very least, watching Twitter flail

01:34:38   for the past decade and a half

01:34:41   has always kind of been frustrating.

01:34:42   And so now I kind of feel like,

01:34:44   I feel this way about government a lot too.

01:34:46   One of the worst things that can happen is

01:34:50   that the thing you're trying to make better

01:34:52   is too hard to change.

01:34:54   So it can never get much worse,

01:34:57   but also can't get much better.

01:35:00   And it's just this war of these tiny,

01:35:01   incremental ratcheting things.

01:35:03   And it feels, in some ways it's better to say,

01:35:06   to give a democracy example, right?

01:35:08   If you vote for somebody and they wanna do X,

01:35:13   and they just can't get X done

01:35:14   because it's too hard to change government,

01:35:17   then they get voted out because you're gonna say,

01:35:19   hey, you said you were gonna do X and you didn't,

01:35:20   so they get voted out.

01:35:21   And then people come in and they want to do Y,

01:35:23   and then they can't make Y happen

01:35:24   because it's too hard to change anything,

01:35:25   and they get voted out,

01:35:26   and just nothing ever gets done, right?

01:35:28   That's kind of been the case with Twitter,

01:35:31   where there's been a lot of complaints about it

01:35:33   and say, "You should do this.

01:35:34   "You should do whatever things we think you should do."

01:35:36   And they would just never really do them that well.

01:35:39   I mean, you could say over the past several years,

01:35:41   like the sort of the trust and safety team

01:35:43   trying to make it better for harassment or whatever,

01:35:45   has been making progress

01:35:47   and making slow incremental changes,

01:35:48   but it's taken so long.

01:35:50   Like, Gamergate was a long time ago.

01:35:52   It's not like this is like fresh,

01:35:53   and oh, this is a new problem we have to face.

01:35:55   They've had years and years to tackle it,

01:35:56   and they've gotten better than they were,

01:35:58   but not fast enough, right?

01:36:01   So I'm hoping that whatever happens here,

01:36:05   if Elon Musk decides to do literally anything with Twitter,

01:36:08   that something will happen,

01:36:10   and maybe that something will be disastrous,

01:36:12   and we'll all hate it, but at least the disaster

01:36:13   will just get it over with.

01:36:15   Like, get the disaster over with.

01:36:16   Burn it to the ground, destroy it.

01:36:17   Whatever's gonna happen, make it happen.

01:36:19   or do something that makes it better,

01:36:21   or do something that turns out really bad

01:36:23   and then make a hard right turn and then fix it, right?

01:36:26   As opposed to a sort of slow motion,

01:36:29   sort of floating dumpster on fire

01:36:31   just floating down the river,

01:36:33   which is like what Twitter has been for the past decade.

01:36:36   So I'm not trying to give you the optimistic taste

01:36:38   because I really think Elon Musk is a total jerk

01:36:41   and has terrible ideas about almost everything,

01:36:44   but at the very least his terrible ideas

01:36:45   should come to fruition very quickly

01:36:48   if he's doing anything at all.

01:36:49   The other possible take I just read recently,

01:36:51   I'll try to find the link for notes,

01:36:54   is that there's a potential that he doesn't do anything.

01:36:56   And the whole point is that he just wants to control it

01:36:57   so he can make decisions like a king.

01:37:00   But if there's nothing for him to decide about,

01:37:03   he'll just let it run the way it is

01:37:04   and not do anything at all.

01:37:07   In which case, that's probably the worst case scenario

01:37:09   where that means things won't get better

01:37:11   and they'll maybe slowly, slowly get worse.

01:37:14   And that I think would be a total waste

01:37:15   of private ownership and single person control.

01:37:17   I really hope something happens to Twitter.

01:37:20   I can't bring myself to hope that the something that will happen will be good, but I kind

01:37:24   of hope that the something bad, like let's just get it over with.

01:37:27   Like just make it terrible now as fast as possible so we can all collectively push back

01:37:34   against it probably futilely.

01:37:35   Who knows?

01:37:36   I mean maybe what will happen is we'll get round steering wheels back on Tesla cars and

01:37:41   something terrible will happen to Twitter and we'll complain so much about it that he'll

01:37:44   change it because he'll just be too annoyed.

01:37:46   - I agree with a lot of that, but I think,

01:37:49   I don't know, when you look at what Twitter has,

01:37:54   how Twitter has run over the last 10 years,

01:37:58   what all those improvements that you mentioned

01:38:00   to the product, like they have really not improved

01:38:04   the core product in a very long time.

01:38:08   All the things they've worked on over time,

01:38:10   like feature wise or product wise,

01:38:12   have been basically trying to rip off

01:38:14   the hot thing of the day.

01:38:15   So, oh, look, Clubhouse exists,

01:38:16   we're gonna make our own Clubhouse.

01:38:18   Oh, look, you know, Substack exists,

01:38:21   we're gonna make our own Substack.

01:38:22   - That's every social media company, every.

01:38:24   I mean, and Twitter has been even doing that

01:38:26   more slowly and worse than their competitors.

01:38:28   I mean, not that I'm saying that's a thing

01:38:31   that they should be doing,

01:38:32   but that's kind of par for the course.

01:38:33   But I think about like, so they made tweets longer.

01:38:35   They used to be one forwarding another 280.

01:38:37   How long did that take to do?

01:38:39   Like, it's just, it's too long.

01:38:42   - There's so much they could do to make the product better,

01:38:45   And this is why, all right, if you'll permit me

01:38:47   a bit of a thought experiment here.

01:38:49   One of the reasons why, as I've thought about this,

01:38:52   I am less down on it.

01:38:54   I mean, look, I think the idea of Twitter going private,

01:38:58   getting out of the issues that come with being

01:39:01   in the public market, especially since their business

01:39:03   is just not a very good business.

01:39:05   - Yeah, they're not good at being a public company.

01:39:06   Like, the people who run the company never figured out

01:39:10   how to make money, and so if you're gonna be

01:39:12   a public company and you can't figure out how to make money,

01:39:14   like what's the point? Yeah and I do by the way I do think this deal is going to

01:39:19   go through. Now it isn't definite yet and everyone's like oh maybe he's you know

01:39:23   he's gonna get tired of it and just like move on and just back out. I don't think

01:39:27   he is. If you look at first of all how much of his personal wealth he has on

01:39:31   the line here it's pretty clear he's thought a lot about this. You know say

01:39:35   what you want about the guy but when he does have a big idea he tends to try to

01:39:40   to do it. His track record is that he does achieve many of those big ideas. Not all of

01:39:45   them. I think his self-driving promises have been grossly overblown, and there's a lot

01:39:53   of problems there. But generally, electric cars, big solar company, rockets, all that

01:39:59   stuff, he's done very, very well on most of his big promises. And so I think he is going

01:40:04   to go through with this.

01:40:05   There's a whole category of thing that he talks about and Twitter buying Twitter used to be in that category of just things that he says

01:40:11   He just says things sometimes right and so you can find tweets from years ago or someone was like

01:40:16   Hey, you know and you should buy Twitter and he said how much is it? Right? That was like years ago, right?

01:40:21   52 minutes ago. He tweeted the following next. I'm buying coca-cola to put the cocaine back in

01:40:27   He'll say things like this like he'll say Oh Flint Michigan has a problem with water

01:40:35   I'll just just tell me I'm gonna pay to replace all the pipes. Oh kids are trapped in a cave. Don't worry

01:40:40   I'm gonna send this up in there. Oh, there's a there's a power problem in Australia

01:40:43   I'm just gonna send you a bunch of batteries, you know, oh you can solve solve world hunger for six million dollars

01:40:49   Just tell me your plan. I'll give you the six billion like

01:40:51   But he constantly says things that sound like you know

01:40:56   what the the thing that we get from is like he'll say that he's gonna replace all the pipes in Flint, Michigan and

01:41:02   His fans will latch on to that and say see Elon saves a day and never look at it again and just assume that that happened

01:41:07   When it actually didn't happen, right?

01:41:09   you know and he so fine, whatever he's a

01:41:12   Brazilian there who just says random crap on Twitter buying Twitter could have been one of those things and in fact

01:41:19   He did make jokes about buying quote-unquote jokes about buying Twitter before this time though. It's not a joke. And so I feel like

01:41:26   Of all those things that he says some of them, you know, very often they sound like good things like hey

01:41:32   I've got a lot of money. You've got a problem. Here's a solution. Let me just do it

01:41:35   But they usually don't happen usually don't happen for this category of things. The only things that he's made happen

01:41:41   SpaceX Tesla

01:41:43   Maybe solar roof, but if you look at stories and that it's not doing too hot, right?

01:41:46   He said so many other things some of which were jokes

01:41:50   Some of which were half jokes some which would have been like yeah do fix all the pipes in Flint

01:41:55   But nah lost interest right and so I feel like buying Twitter falls into that category of like

01:42:01   like, thing that could have been a joke,

01:42:04   but turns out to be real,

01:42:06   but I don't know whether once he owns Twitter,

01:42:09   he's actually going to do anything with it

01:42:10   other than, you know, enjoy the control that he has,

01:42:14   because Twitter is important for, you know,

01:42:16   has outsized importance compared to the people

01:42:18   who are on it, right?

01:42:19   So one of the things he could do with it is, you know,

01:42:22   continue the destruction of American democracy

01:42:24   by allowing right-wing nut jobs

01:42:26   to have free reign over the thing

01:42:27   and make sure that Trump gets elected in 2024.

01:42:29   Like, if that's what he wants to do,

01:42:30   He can make that happen, or at least make it much more likely.

01:42:34   But maybe he doesn't care.

01:42:35   Maybe he just wants to be able to find the one or two people who he likes and give them

01:42:39   a thumbs up and ban the one or two people he doesn't like, and that's the extent of

01:42:43   him owning Twitter.

01:42:44   But I can't tell now.

01:42:45   It seems clear to me, despite his high-minded talking, that Twitter is not Tesla and Twitter

01:42:50   is not SpaceX.

01:42:51   Twitter seems more like, one, a cool toy, and two, an undervalued asset.

01:42:58   Like as a businessman, he can see that Twitter has made him a lot of money and is a powerful

01:43:03   tool to have control over.

01:43:05   And why shouldn't he have control over that?

01:43:07   He can probably use it to make a lot of money.

01:43:09   We do have to think too, like, he has so many things going on, he has so many projects,

01:43:13   he runs so many companies, he's not going to be running Twitter day to day.

01:43:17   He's going to have to hire somebody.

01:43:18   It looks like Jack Dorsey's kind of sucking up to him, maybe he's hoping to have the CEO

01:43:22   job, who knows?

01:43:23   He did so well the other two times.

01:43:24   I know, right?

01:43:25   But we're assuming that if this goes through,

01:43:30   I think it probably will again,

01:43:31   we're assuming that changes will happen.

01:43:33   He's talking about changes.

01:43:35   Honestly, some of the changes he's talking about

01:43:37   sound pretty good if he can pull them off.

01:43:40   - Which ones though?

01:43:41   And I can tell you the contradictory ones.

01:43:43   Which ones sound good?

01:43:45   Defeating Spambot sounds good.

01:43:46   Open sourcing the algorithm is not compatible

01:43:48   with defeating Spambots,

01:43:50   because if you tell them what the algorithm is,

01:43:52   the Spambots will game it.

01:43:53   He knows that, or at least I hope he knows that,

01:43:55   but he just says random crap.

01:43:56   - Yes, and the thing is, when you look at the things

01:43:59   he's been good at, things like building pretty great

01:44:03   electric cars overall, and the SpaceX stuff,

01:44:07   a lot of these things are problems that I think involve

01:44:10   different types of engineering and different types

01:44:13   of challenges than the kind of really messy crap

01:44:17   you get into with running a social network.

01:44:19   Running a social network, you don't understand

01:44:22   the level that you have to deal with this stuff.

01:44:24   Like, everyone out there who thinks they have

01:44:26   a silver bullet to solve the problems

01:44:30   of moderating content and controlling people

01:44:33   and spam and abuse on a social network, you don't know.

01:44:36   It's way more complicated than you think it is,

01:44:38   and there are so many instances where

01:44:41   you're between a rock and a hard place,

01:44:42   where there is no good solution

01:44:44   to a certain type of problem or a certain situation.

01:44:47   - The type of problem that it's most comparable with,

01:44:49   that Elon does have experience with,

01:44:52   It's not comparable to, like I said,

01:44:53   the idea of, his big innovation for Tesla is like,

01:44:57   it's a good idea to use modern battery technology

01:45:01   to make a purposeful electric car, right?

01:45:03   That's a good idea, make that happen.

01:45:06   But the thing that's close to content moderation is,

01:45:08   okay, so how do you build a whole bunch of cars

01:45:11   reliably in a cost-effective manner?

01:45:14   That is way more complicated than you think it is.

01:45:17   It seems like, ah, just people build things all the time,

01:45:19   how hard could it be, right?

01:45:20   Turns out it's pretty hard.

01:45:21   Like there's a reason Apple and all its manufacturing partners,

01:45:24   part of their power and their strength

01:45:25   is their expertise in building millions and millions

01:45:28   of things precisely, without spending too much money,

01:45:33   making a good product, making it reliable consistently.

01:45:36   There's a whole auto industry that

01:45:38   has spent decades and decades figuring out

01:45:39   how can we build cars.

01:45:41   So they all come off the assembly line,

01:45:42   and they're all identical or whatever.

01:45:44   And if you just think, ah, it's the detail, whatever.

01:45:47   Just the big idea is we should make electric cars.

01:45:49   and everyone's cheering you on and they think it's great.

01:45:52   And Elon is like, what if we use robots?

01:45:54   That would be cool.

01:45:55   And it's like, Elon, people have spent a long time

01:45:58   figuring out how to build cars.

01:45:59   It doesn't mean they're all right.

01:46:00   Like, you don't have to do everything that they do,

01:46:02   but they do have some knowledge that you don't have.

01:46:05   So maybe consider that you coming into this field fresh

01:46:08   and reading a few books or articles,

01:46:10   and you're just gonna say, I'm doing everything my way

01:46:12   and I think it would be cool to have robots.

01:46:14   You know, that's what I feel like

01:46:16   what content moderation is like,

01:46:17   where it maybe has a good big idea about Twitter,

01:46:20   but the detail of like, I think we shouldn't allow bots.

01:46:23   Well, great, you're the first one to think of that, Elon.

01:46:26   (laughing)

01:46:26   If you think that's your big idea,

01:46:28   like that is a good idea, we all agree, get rid of bots.

01:46:30   Like no one wants bots, right?

01:46:32   That's not, you're not bringing any value here.

01:46:35   Okay, but how do you get rid of bots?

01:46:36   Lots of people have looked at this before

01:46:38   and you say, I think we should use robots to get rid of bots.

01:46:40   I don't know, I'm just making an example.

01:46:42   He gets in his head like, I don't care about details,

01:46:44   just do this thing that's cool

01:46:45   and I know everyone else does it differently.

01:46:46   I know everyone else is using LiDAR on their cars,

01:46:48   but we don't need to just use cameras.

01:46:49   But Elon, what makes you think we can do it

01:46:51   all with cameras?

01:46:52   I don't know, it seems like we can, just go.

01:46:53   Right, that's where his mindset falls down, right?

01:46:57   That there's nothing he can learn from anyone else,

01:47:00   and the details aren't that important,

01:47:01   just make it happen, and I'll just drive you

01:47:03   until you make it happen, and that's why a lot of people

01:47:05   don't like working for Elon Musk,

01:47:06   and it's difficult to deal with him.

01:47:08   Again, much like Steve Jobs, it all depends

01:47:11   on how good your idea is and how right you are.

01:47:13   Is it true that you don't need LiDAR

01:47:14   and just need cameras?

01:47:15   If so, you're a genius.

01:47:16   It turns out not to be true, you wasted many, many years

01:47:19   and had many, many promises of a thing

01:47:20   that's just literally never gonna work

01:47:21   because you can't do it with cameras

01:47:23   or current technology, you need LiDAR.

01:47:24   We don't know how that one's gonna turn out yet.

01:47:26   So far it's not looking great.

01:47:28   But content moderation is much more like

01:47:31   how do you build cars reliably?

01:47:33   And Tesla has not figured that out, they just haven't.

01:47:36   And other car companies are better than they were

01:47:39   despite Tesla saying we're doing everything our way

01:47:42   and we don't look at you stodgy companies,

01:47:44   you are stuck in the old mindset,

01:47:46   the new mindset is better and it is better in lots of ways,

01:47:49   but he's not able to synthesize the best of the past

01:47:52   with new ideas, he's more like, ah, just do it.

01:47:55   And so I feel like content moderation, he's gonna be like,

01:47:57   I know lots of people looked at this problem for years,

01:47:59   including Twitter, but I have an idea,

01:48:01   we should just do this.

01:48:02   And he's gonna like start from like,

01:48:04   he's gonna start relearning mistakes that people learned

01:48:06   in like 1994, if he falls down that route.

01:48:09   So I am not optimistic that he has anything to bring

01:48:15   to the table when it comes to implementing his vision

01:48:19   of, for example, a Twitter free from spam bots.

01:48:23   - I know this is very, very difficult for everybody.

01:48:26   If we can step back for a second from the person himself

01:48:30   and just think like, do we think it is possible

01:48:35   to have a different balance between,

01:48:39   I hate to use the term free speech,

01:48:43   But let's use the term jerks,

01:48:47   because that's the people who are yelling the loudest

01:48:49   about demanding free speech,

01:48:51   even though that doesn't even apply here.

01:48:52   But the people who are demanding that the most

01:48:54   are largely jerks, and what they're saying is,

01:48:57   I want my jerkitude to have a publishing platform

01:48:59   and an audience.

01:49:00   But I wonder how much of this problem,

01:49:04   'cause this is, again, this is a really hard problem,

01:49:07   really hard, because everyone thinks

01:49:10   that certain types of speech should be allowed

01:49:12   and certain types of speech shouldn't be allowed

01:49:13   on this platform, but they don't agree

01:49:16   on what the types are, any decision they make,

01:49:18   even if they decide we're gonna allow everything,

01:49:21   is going to anger a large group of people,

01:49:23   or break laws, or cause really horrible things in real life.

01:49:27   And so maybe they're trying to tackle at a policy level,

01:49:32   which can only ever be reactive to problems.

01:49:36   Anything that they're gonna solve

01:49:39   with a health and safety kind of team,

01:49:42   or whatever those are called.

01:49:43   If you're relying on the community moderation team

01:49:46   or structure to respond to people who are jerks,

01:49:50   what has to happen is first someone has to be a jerk

01:49:53   and post something horrible,

01:49:55   and then you respond by trying to get them kicked off

01:49:58   and maybe a day or two in, maybe you get them kicked off.

01:50:02   That's only ever gonna be so good

01:50:04   and that's really inconsistent and hard to get right.

01:50:07   So I wonder if it would be a better idea

01:50:10   to tackle the problem more on the client side

01:50:15   of basically, so I think a combination of two things here.

01:50:18   Number one, we have to distinguish between

01:50:21   what content is allowed to exist on the platform

01:50:25   versus what content the platform will promote.

01:50:29   Those are very different things.

01:50:31   Like I face this issue in Overcast.

01:50:33   You know, Overcast is a podcast platform

01:50:34   and there's a lot, you know, I don't have

01:50:37   any control over what people add to it

01:50:38   it's all the Apple directory.

01:50:41   But I will occasionally have people write in

01:50:43   who are very upset that something has reached a point

01:50:46   in a top list where it shows up in my directory categories.

01:50:49   And it's something usually, some weird like ultra,

01:50:53   alt-right kind of thing.

01:50:54   And I have to decide, is this thing bad enough

01:50:58   that it should not be available in Overcast?

01:51:02   Or is it bad enough that I should not promote it

01:51:06   in top lists and recommendations?

01:51:08   Or is it neither and I should just leave it alone

01:51:11   because people who are seeking this kind of stuff out,

01:51:13   you know, they're seeking it out, you know.

01:51:14   And so those are very hard decisions to make,

01:51:16   even on my level as one person looking at

01:51:19   the world of podcasts which is way, way, way smaller

01:51:21   than the kind of thing they're dealing with.

01:51:22   So like I see these issues and so I think,

01:51:25   you know, the way I usually fall on this is

01:51:28   stuff has to be pretty bad for it to not be allowed

01:51:32   to exist at all on a publishing platform like this.

01:51:36   But you can exert much more editorial control

01:51:39   and have much more of an opinion as the platform.

01:51:42   First of all, if you're small like me,

01:51:43   then it doesn't matter.

01:51:44   But even somebody like Twitter,

01:51:46   they have much more control over what they promote

01:51:49   in things like ranking algorithms,

01:51:51   recommendation algorithms, stuff like that.

01:51:53   And so I actually think most people

01:51:56   should be allowed to post most stuff

01:51:58   that is not outwardly illegal

01:52:00   or like threatening harm to people.

01:52:01   Most of that I think, having that be allowed to be posted

01:52:05   is usually okay, again, with those exceptions.

01:52:08   And even, I mean, I know a lot of people

01:52:10   don't even agree with those exceptions.

01:52:11   Those people are ridiculous and naive.

01:52:13   But if somebody's posting something

01:52:15   that is not like a threat, and is not harassment,

01:52:19   and is not illegal in some other way,

01:52:21   I don't see anything wrong with that,

01:52:22   but I don't believe they deserve an audience.

01:52:26   And I do think that the people who they're trying

01:52:29   to be in communication with, if they're trying to like,

01:52:32   some guy's writing in, calling somebody an (bleep)

01:52:35   or whatever, you know.

01:52:37   I don't think it's necessarily the platform's job

01:52:41   to actively prevent everyone from being a jerk.

01:52:45   It is the platform's job to give people the tools

01:52:50   to not see most of that most of the time

01:52:53   and to let people have way more control than we do now

01:52:56   over how many jerks we allow access to us,

01:53:01   how many jerks posts that we allow

01:53:04   even to show up in our timelines.

01:53:05   We have right now only extremely rudimentary controls

01:53:09   over those things.

01:53:11   You know, we have like blocking and muting

01:53:12   and you can, in certain contexts,

01:53:14   you can disable replies, I think.

01:53:15   But for the most part, we have very little control

01:53:18   over that relative to the platform's age

01:53:21   and alleged maturity.

01:53:22   If Twitter really focuses on that end of things,

01:53:26   I think it would be less controversial, first of all.

01:53:31   It would still be controversial

01:53:32   because the jerks still believe that everything oppresses them because their politics are

01:53:38   like factually wrong and factually dangerous and factually full of hate and abuse and horrible

01:53:45   things and they call it politics and they think it's okay.

01:53:49   And a quick aside back to him, it disturbs me greatly all of his tweets about basically

01:53:54   both sides-ism.

01:53:55   That's a clear warning sign that he doesn't really think right about this stuff.

01:54:00   Anyway, going back to the product itself,

01:54:02   if we can get to a point where the jerks

01:54:07   are able to have their post on the platform within reason,

01:54:12   but most people don't see them,

01:54:15   and if you don't want to see jerks,

01:54:17   you have very easy and obvious controls,

01:54:20   probably hopefully that are on by default,

01:54:22   that filter a lot of that stuff out

01:54:23   from even being shown to you or your followers,

01:54:26   that can go a long way.

01:54:28   And this is the kind of area that I think Twitter

01:54:32   so desperately should have been investing in all these years

01:54:35   instead of building freaking Clubhouse and Instagram Stories

01:54:39   and whatever else they were ripping off

01:54:41   from other companies.

01:54:42   Their core product is full of garbage

01:54:45   because they haven't tackled problems like this.

01:54:48   Whatever change in leadership has to happen

01:54:51   to make them start looking at their product differently

01:54:54   and maybe prioritizing different parts of it,

01:54:56   I really hope they tackle that

01:54:58   because that I think is so much more powerful

01:55:01   than relying on letting a jerk post and become a jerk

01:55:05   and then having to report them

01:55:06   and then having to wait for the report to be seen

01:55:09   and hoping the report is dealt with correctly.

01:55:11   Like that whole thing leaves a bunch of jerks

01:55:13   on the platform and lets a lot more people

01:55:15   see their jerkitude.

01:55:16   Whereas if you have filters up front

01:55:18   and smarter filters and more controls for people

01:55:20   to not see abuse in the first place,

01:55:22   you're doing way more good for way more people

01:55:25   and the jerks can still have their jerk Twitter

01:55:27   if they wanted.

01:55:28   - So one of the dumbest things Twitter ever did

01:55:30   was when they cracked down on third party clients.

01:55:33   So we already said earlier that like a lot of the new

01:55:36   features, the new features, the features that we all take

01:55:38   for granted on Twitter, like retweets and replies

01:55:42   and you know, all that good stuff, came from users

01:55:47   and client applications and there was a story recently

01:55:50   of it explaining like one of the things that motivated

01:55:51   Twitter cracking down on third party clients

01:55:53   because there was some, a person was buying up

01:55:56   all the third-party clients to try to hijack Twitter's network by making those clients

01:55:59   work with Twitter and also his own new network or whatever.

01:56:02   And then Twitter caught wind of this and they bought TweetDeck and then they shut down third-party

01:56:06   clients.

01:56:07   And anyway, turning off third-party clients killed all innovation on the client side.

01:56:12   And I think a lot of what you're talking about, Marco, is like, and this was in Ben Thompson's,

01:56:15   one of Ben Thompson's recent posts on Mr. Decker, the idea that, I'm not going to say

01:56:20   it's an abdication of responsibility, but it is an outsourcing of certain responsibilities.

01:56:23   It's saying, look, we, Twitter, are never

01:56:25   going to get it perfectly right.

01:56:26   So why not let third-party developers

01:56:29   have a crack at this?

01:56:30   We'll run the service.

01:56:31   We'll have all the tweets and features and everything

01:56:33   like that.

01:56:33   But third-party clients will reopen our API.

01:56:35   And we'll say, if you want to make a client,

01:56:38   build on top of our API.

01:56:40   We'll add more sophisticated features.

01:56:42   We'll actually improve our API.

01:56:44   We'll give you access to all the good stuff

01:56:45   that only the first-party client has access to.

01:56:47   And we'll add new features.

01:56:48   And then you, third-party clients,

01:56:50   can work on making clients that are better at--

01:56:53   you know, hiding tweets that you don't want to see,

01:56:56   or quality filtering and stuff like that.

01:56:58   I think that is a good idea, and that is potentially

01:57:01   one of the good things that could come out of Elon Musk,

01:57:03   because if somewhere in his weirdo head,

01:57:06   he has decided that having an API is cool and good,

01:57:09   he'll make it happen.

01:57:11   And he'll just say, and by the way,

01:57:12   give the API all the features

01:57:13   that the first-party client has,

01:57:14   and that will be an improvement over the status quo.

01:57:17   If he doesn't care about it, it won't happen.

01:57:18   But it's possible that somewhere in his little brain,

01:57:21   He'll be like, oh yeah, libertarian, API, good, whatever,

01:57:25   just do it, and that will be like

01:57:26   an accidental good side effect of this, right?

01:57:29   But setting that aside, I feel like that is not

01:57:31   the solution to the quality problem,

01:57:34   because a lot of the things that you were describing

01:57:37   are sort of just redefining the problem and say,

01:57:40   oh, we'll see less bad stuff and more good stuff.

01:57:42   The problem is always, what's the bad stuff?

01:57:44   What's the good stuff, and who decides?

01:57:46   And having third-party clients decide that

01:57:50   is just asking each one of them to do something

01:57:51   that Twitter, the company with 7,500 employees,

01:57:53   hasn't been able to do over 15 years,

01:57:55   where you think two people making a Twitter client

01:57:57   are gonna be able to figure it out.

01:57:59   I mean, maybe there's larger third-party companies,

01:58:01   but there's no business model there.

01:58:02   I don't understand how anyone would ever be able

01:58:04   to staff up to the point where they can do any good here.

01:58:07   Kind of like car manufacturing,

01:58:10   it's not like no one has ever run a community

01:58:12   on the internet before.

01:58:13   There is tons of prior art on what works and what doesn't.

01:58:16   There's academic papers on it.

01:58:18   There's real examples of real communities.

01:58:19   This is real communities that we've been in, personally,

01:58:22   each individual person has been on the internet

01:58:23   for a couple of decades or whatever.

01:58:25   We've been in communities that have gone well,

01:58:27   that have burned themselves down.

01:58:29   It's not like this is totally new territory.

01:58:31   It's a hard problem to be sure,

01:58:33   but it's not like this is the first time

01:58:34   anyone's ever looking at this.

01:58:36   Even Twitter before Elon did a bad job

01:58:39   of looking at other internet communities

01:58:41   and learning from them what works and what doesn't work.

01:58:44   The reactive thing where you were talking about is like,

01:58:46   well, we have blocking and muting and you can report, right?

01:58:49   that is such a rudimentary system and it doesn't scale well

01:58:52   and any community that's reached this scale

01:58:55   that has done a better job has differed in ways

01:58:58   that are not mysterious.

01:58:59   Like there's been tons of people writing articles

01:59:01   about this for years, right?

01:59:03   What distinguishes these big communities

01:59:05   that work better from this one?

01:59:06   Usually what distinguishes them is, first of all,

01:59:09   they have much more restrictive rules,

01:59:11   which I know people who are like,

01:59:13   "Oh, I wanna be able to say whatever I want,

01:59:14   wherever I want."

01:59:15   The fact is communities with more restrictive rules

01:59:18   and norms do better.

01:59:20   Maybe those rules are rules you don't like

01:59:22   or do like or whatever, but at least it defines the community.

01:59:25   If you don't like that community,

01:59:27   you'll know you don't like it because you'll say,

01:59:28   "I don't like these rules, I'm gonna go elsewhere."

01:59:30   You'll know, is this the place for me

01:59:32   or is this not the place for me?

01:59:33   Fairly strictly harshly defined rules.

01:59:37   If you're the type of person who wants to be somewhere

01:59:41   where there aren't harshly defined rules,

01:59:42   you will go elsewhere, but that leaves only the people

01:59:44   who are willing to work within those rules.

01:59:46   Second thing that works is context.

01:59:49   Twitter always seems to me that if you report

01:59:52   someone's tweet, it's like they look at that tweet,

01:59:55   they look at their set of rules,

01:59:56   their whatever their set of rules is this week,

01:59:58   and they try to make a decision.

01:59:59   Even then it's hard 'cause the rules are,

02:00:01   you know, whatever, are fuzzy, right?

02:00:03   Communities that work well at scale don't just say,

02:00:07   okay, I've got an incident, I've got a set of rules,

02:00:10   I'm gonna smush 'em together

02:00:11   and say thumbs up or thumbs down.

02:00:13   You have to look at the context,

02:00:14   and the context is, who is this person?

02:00:17   Has this person been reported 100 times in this past week?

02:00:20   Is this person a known bad actor?

02:00:23   Is this a bot account?

02:00:24   What is the larger context of this conversation, right?

02:00:29   That's really hard to do at scale,

02:00:31   but the way communities that have been more successful

02:00:34   have done it is by having some kind of reputation

02:00:36   type system that lets you build up and build down reputation.

02:00:39   Look at Stack Overflow, for example, or look at Red,

02:00:40   or any other kind of community where they have

02:00:43   a sort of persistent, ongoing, gamified reputation system

02:00:46   where the behavior that the system wants you to do

02:00:48   gets rewarded and the behavior the system

02:00:50   doesn't want you to do gets punished.

02:00:53   And any time any action is taken,

02:00:55   they look at the context of your history and activity

02:00:58   in the community to decide what should be done.

02:01:00   Not just, here's a tweet, I don't know who posted it,

02:01:03   I don't know anything about them,

02:01:04   and then here's a set of rules.

02:01:06   Except of course, if it's the president of the United States

02:01:08   and then the rules go out the window

02:01:09   because it's all noteworthy, you know, anyway.

02:01:12   I'm not saying this is an easy problem,

02:01:14   but whenever I see Elon Musk talk about it,

02:01:16   it's like he's never been in an online community before.

02:01:18   And for years and years, when I've read articles

02:01:20   about things that Twitter is doing poorly

02:01:23   and here's these communities to do better,

02:01:25   like there are a bunch of obvious things

02:01:27   that they could be doing that would make things better,

02:01:29   but almost all of them would anger people

02:01:32   who think the real problem

02:01:33   is that there are too many restrictions.

02:01:34   That's just not the way online communities work.

02:01:37   Online communities that are free for all

02:01:39   burn down real quick,

02:01:40   because when anyone can do anything,

02:01:43   the only people who are happy to stay there

02:01:45   are the people who just wanna tear everything down

02:01:49   and everyone else leaves.

02:01:50   It's like if you're at a party and someone comes in

02:01:52   and they start screaming and shooting flames in the air,

02:01:54   everyone who does not enter screaming in flames

02:01:56   leaves pretty quickly and you're just left

02:01:57   with a room full of people screaming

02:01:59   and shooting flames in the air, right?

02:02:00   That's why all these right-wing networks

02:02:01   can't get off the ground,

02:02:02   'cause you get a bunch of people together

02:02:05   who just wanna scream at things.

02:02:06   No one else wants to be there except for them

02:02:09   and then they just look around

02:02:10   they all see each other and they get bored and leave.

02:02:13   - Also they have no ability to attract good talent

02:02:16   to build them, none.

02:02:18   - Well, I don't know, there's probably some people

02:02:20   who will do something for the right price or whatever.

02:02:23   But anyway. - Not good people.

02:02:25   - I know people don't wanna hear that.

02:02:28   What they wanna hear is, someone told me

02:02:31   I couldn't post something once and now I'm angry

02:02:33   so I think everything should be allowed, right?

02:02:36   And if you feel that way, start a blog, right?

02:02:39   You can write whatever you want and then no one can read it.

02:02:41   But if you wanna be, if Twitter wants to run a community,

02:02:44   especially, we haven't even talked about this,

02:02:46   like Elon in theory eventually has to do something

02:02:50   to make Twitter make some kind of money.

02:02:52   I mean, first thing he'll probably do

02:02:53   is lay a bunch of people off

02:02:54   or maybe they'll get laid off before the buyout goes through

02:02:56   like watch Twitter's earnings,

02:02:57   probably by next week's show,

02:02:59   maybe we'll see what happens here.

02:03:00   But like one way you can make Twitter more profitable

02:03:02   is to get rid of a lot of costs

02:03:03   and most of those costs are people.

02:03:04   So you can lay off a bunch of people

02:03:06   and suddenly the balance sheet looks a lot better.

02:03:08   But you probably do have to figure out some way

02:03:11   to make money.

02:03:12   Like Elon could probably run Twitter for the rest

02:03:13   of his life just burning cash,

02:03:14   but I don't think he wants to do that.

02:03:16   I think he wants it to make money.

02:03:19   So how do you figure out how to make money?

02:03:20   One way you can make money is to, you know,

02:03:25   do something to make it grow.

02:03:26   That's the whole problem that Twitter has to be able to do.

02:03:28   Like we're gonna need more people to be on Twitter.

02:03:30   The way you grow a service, a social network service,

02:03:33   you have to make it be a place where people want to be.

02:03:37   And Twitter has not been as successful at that as,

02:03:39   for example, Facebook.

02:03:40   That has billions of users, and Twitter

02:03:42   has a small number of hundreds of millions or whatever.

02:03:46   Twitter has like-- is it like 20% of the US population

02:03:50   or something?

02:03:50   Anyway, they're not as big as Facebook.

02:03:53   How do you make a place where people want to be?

02:03:55   You have to make something that is pleasant for the majority

02:04:00   of people.

02:04:01   And the way you make a community that

02:04:03   is a place where people want to be and is generally pleasant

02:04:06   is not by removing rules.

02:04:08   You have to add more rules.

02:04:10   You have to make the rules well understood,

02:04:11   and you have to make it restrictive,

02:04:13   and you have to make it so that behavior you don't want

02:04:16   that makes it an unpleasant place for people,

02:04:18   that behavior is disincentivized.

02:04:21   And good behavior, however you define that,

02:04:23   that makes a nice place for people to be, is incentivized.

02:04:26   There are lots of ways to go about doing it,

02:04:28   but that's what you have to do.

02:04:29   You have to add rules

02:04:30   to make it a more pleasant place for people to be.

02:04:33   If that's not your goal,

02:04:34   if you don't want it to be a pleasant place

02:04:35   for people to be,

02:04:36   you wanted to adhere to some high-minded ideal about anything goes, you're not going

02:04:39   to get new users that way.

02:04:41   People are going to flee, and you're going to be left with a room full of loud jerks.

02:04:45   That is not a money-making proposition, getting back to, "Do you want this to succeed?

02:04:50   You're just going to narrow it down to the 500,000 loudest jerks and charge each of them

02:04:54   $10 a month?"

02:04:55   I don't think that's a good business plan.

02:04:57   So far, I haven't seen anything as Elon said that made me think that any of these changes,

02:05:02   he to implement them would suddenly make Twitter make more money.

02:05:06   Every single one he said is going to make it a less pleasant place to be, which will

02:05:10   translate for it making less money than it does now.

02:05:13   But that's all assuming he's actually going to do any of these things.

02:05:15   So if I had to give some advice either to the current owners of Twitter or the future

02:05:19   owner of Twitter is you need to look at online communities that have been more successful

02:05:23   and copy some of the things that they do.

02:05:25   And then maybe imagine this, maybe add some innovations of your own with your millions

02:05:29   of dollars and thousands of really super smart employees.

02:05:32   you can do something better than a web forum did in 1997.

02:05:35   I know that's hard to imagine,

02:05:36   but you haven't even caught up to web forums

02:05:39   with three wise admins from 1997.

02:05:41   Like Twitter is below that level.

02:05:43   Obviously scale is different, I understand that,

02:05:44   but like the model of how to make a community

02:05:49   that is a pleasant place for the people

02:05:51   that you want to be there to be in the community,

02:05:53   Twitter has utterly failed that,

02:05:55   and so far I don't see Elon doing any better.

02:05:58   - Thanks to our sponsors this week.

02:06:00   Remote, Sanity, and Trade Coffee.

02:06:03   And thanks to our members who support us directly.

02:06:05   You can join atp.fm/join.

02:06:07   And we'll talk to you next week.

02:06:10   (upbeat music)

02:06:13   ♪ Now the show is over ♪

02:06:15   ♪ They didn't even mean to begin ♪

02:06:18   ♪ 'Cause it was accidental ♪

02:06:20   ♪ Accidental ♪

02:06:20   ♪ Oh, it was accidental ♪

02:06:22   ♪ Accidental ♪

02:06:23   ♪ John didn't do any research ♪

02:06:25   ♪ Marco and Casey wouldn't let him ♪

02:06:28   'Cause it was accidental, it was accidental

02:06:33   And you can find the show notes at ATP.fm

02:06:38   And if you're into Twitter, you can follow them

02:06:43   @c-a-s-e-y-l-i-s-s

02:06:47   So that's Casey Liss, M-a-r-c-o-a-r-m

02:06:52   [music]

02:07:13   I think if there's any bit of consolation I can give people when dealing with this jerk

02:07:18   is, so I was explaining to my kid the other day,

02:07:23   there's this one kid that always will say or do something

02:07:30   to provoke a response, like that's just the kind of kid

02:07:33   he is, he's like the provocateur kind of personality.

02:07:37   I was explaining to my son, like look,

02:07:40   he's going to keep pushing buttons until he gets

02:07:44   a negative reaction, that's what he's doing,

02:07:47   You can see it, once you see it that way,

02:07:50   you see that's what he's doing every single time,

02:07:52   he wants that negative reaction.

02:07:54   And he's gonna keep pushing buttons until he gets it.

02:07:57   That's Elon Musk.

02:08:00   If you see all the crap he posts on Twitter all the time,

02:08:03   that's what he does.

02:08:04   For all of the good ideas and implementation he has

02:08:09   with some of his companies and stuff,

02:08:11   he also is just that same kind of provocateur,

02:08:14   kind of just, as people say, shit poster.

02:08:17   Like what he's doing is provoking a reaction.

02:08:19   He's, all of the good things, he's also extremely juvenile

02:08:24   and a jerk in a lot of ways.

02:08:26   That's what he's doing here.

02:08:28   And so for all of us to pick apart any particular tweet

02:08:33   that he posts and basically let it set us all on fire,

02:08:39   you're just giving him exactly what he wants.

02:08:41   You're feeding the trolls, as I said last week.

02:08:44   I don't find that productive,

02:08:47   and I think if I can advise all of you,

02:08:51   well-meaning people out there,

02:08:53   you're giving the bully what they want,

02:08:56   you're giving the provocateur the negative reaction

02:08:59   that they were literally seeking.

02:09:01   He doesn't post these tweets

02:09:03   because he thinks they're good ideas.

02:09:05   He posts them to get that reaction.

02:09:07   That is the entire point.

02:09:09   So don't engage, don't let yourself get set on fire.

02:09:13   Don't give him the reaction.

02:09:14   Don't let him make you that mad

02:09:15   because that's literally what he's going for.

02:09:17   Ignore him like the troll that he is trying to be.

02:09:20   My chapter title for the whole thing

02:09:23   when you last talked to him last time

02:09:24   was the roll eyes emoji.

02:09:25   Give him that.

02:09:26   Give him, not even respond.

02:09:27   Just roll your eyes in real life and move on.

02:09:30   That's it.

02:09:30   Don't give him anything.

02:09:32   Do not feed this negative energy that he wants

02:09:34   because it's not gonna help anybody

02:09:37   and you are literally making him win by doing that.

02:09:40   And I know it's the hardest thing in the world

02:09:42   not to get mad when someone's being a jerk like that.

02:09:44   It's super hard.

02:09:46   I know all this.

02:09:47   I just gave this speech three days ago.

02:09:49   It's super hard. (laughs)

02:09:52   But trust me, don't engage.

02:09:54   Don't feed the troll.

02:09:56   Let him get the reaction from other people.

02:09:58   Don't make it you.

02:09:59   - He is getting the reaction from other people.

02:10:02   Anyway, I mostly ignore him too.

02:10:03   But the weird thing about him buying Twitter,

02:10:05   and I mentioned this, I think,

02:10:07   when we were talking about him investing,

02:10:09   it's not like he's on Twitter getting banned and stuff.

02:10:11   Yeah, he says stupid juvenile things, but they're all fine.

02:10:14   Like, he's just-- he's just-- like, he

02:10:16   posted that picture of, like, making

02:10:17   fun of Bill Gates's gut.

02:10:19   That's a jerk move, but there's nothing wrong with it.

02:10:21   Like, that's not-- he's not going

02:10:22   to get banned from Twitter for making fun of Bill Gates.

02:10:24   He's just making a dumb joke.

02:10:25   Like, you know what I mean?

02:10:26   Like, he's not-- except for when he occasionally

02:10:28   is leading harassment campaigns against people, right?

02:10:31   But for the most part, you know, Musk's problem

02:10:34   is he tweets things on the SEC, maybe gets mad at them

02:10:37   or whatever.

02:10:38   Like, he's done stuff on Twitter that

02:10:40   has run afoul of various laws.

02:10:41   but I don't think he has this long history

02:10:44   of wanting to tweet things and then getting his account banned

02:10:47   and having to delete tweets and stuff like that.

02:10:49   So it's kind of like,

02:10:52   it's not like he's buying Twitter

02:10:57   so that he can finally say what he wants to say.

02:10:59   He says what he wants to say all the time anyway,

02:11:01   and most of it is just silly juvenile stuff.

02:11:05   Some of it is harmful,

02:11:07   some of it is just stock market manipulation,

02:11:10   hyping up Dogecoin, like he uses the power of Twitter

02:11:13   to whatever amuses him or whatever,

02:11:15   but it's not like he's taking it over it

02:11:16   so he's like, finally I can say what I want to say.

02:11:19   The thing that I think a lot of people are afraid of is like,

02:11:22   he would like to make it easier for people

02:11:24   who are getting banned to come back

02:11:27   and say what they want to say,

02:11:28   like his Reinstate Trump's account,

02:11:30   or this person was banned for saying something

02:11:32   that I think, oh, you know, well it doesn't bother me,

02:11:35   so I think he should probably come back, right,

02:11:37   you know, 'cause I'm not a trans person

02:11:39   so this anti-trans harassment doesn't bother me,

02:11:41   so I feel like they should be allowed to come back.

02:11:42   It's kind of funny, isn't it, right?

02:11:45   No, it's not funny.

02:11:46   And those kind of regressive attitudes that he has,

02:11:49   it's not like he's doing that.

02:11:50   He's spending most of his time doing random jerky things

02:11:54   and occasionally either accidentally on a purpose

02:11:57   initiating harassment campaigns

02:11:58   just because he's got millions and millions of followers.

02:12:00   But even that, half the time,

02:12:02   it's probably just by accident, right?

02:12:04   But to the degree that he has regressive attitudes

02:12:09   that he mostly has kept under wraps that slip out,

02:12:14   that's the degree to which his policy changes

02:12:17   are just gonna make it worse when the people

02:12:19   who are not afraid to say the things out loud

02:12:22   that he is wise enough not to say,

02:12:25   come on board and bring their army of bots or whatever.

02:12:27   But of course he's gonna ban bots

02:12:28   who don't have to worry about that.

02:12:31   It's just easy, just ban bots, what's the problem?

02:12:33   I know why no one thought of that before.

02:12:34   - I wonder, so I know this is a big throwback,

02:12:37   but I mentioned before that when I was a teenager,

02:12:40   I was on the Something Awful forums.

02:12:42   One of the things that worked really well

02:12:44   was that this was like 2000.

02:12:46   This was a long time ago, 2002, that kind of range.

02:12:49   To have an account, you had to pay,

02:12:53   I think it was five or 10 bucks.

02:12:54   But if you violated any of the rules,

02:12:56   your account would get banned,

02:12:57   and you'd have to pay another 10 bucks

02:12:59   if you wanna come back.

02:13:00   - MetaFilter did the same thing.

02:13:01   - Right, and I wonder,

02:13:04   Like I've always thought, you know,

02:13:07   for a modern social network to do that,

02:13:08   it's just too much of a hindrance to new signups.

02:13:12   - But Twitter is so small already,

02:13:13   like I was totally thinking of this too.

02:13:15   Like hey, you know what, another way you make money,

02:13:16   just charge everyone who uses Twitter.

02:13:18   But you know, of course, that would destroy the market.

02:13:22   - Well, but he already said that he wants to quote,

02:13:25   authenticate humans, well, a pretty good way to do that

02:13:29   is like a $1 credit card charge for a new account

02:13:31   or something, you know?

02:13:32   And I know there's a lot of challenges for doing that,

02:13:35   that kind of thing.

02:13:36   There's a lot of people you'd be artificially keeping out

02:13:38   and that's not good.

02:13:39   But one of the reasons why,

02:13:43   those old forums that charged money back then,

02:13:46   those were pretty well under control for the basic rules.

02:13:50   Occasionally you'd have somebody come in and violate them

02:13:52   and then the moderator would handle it.

02:13:54   Now granted, this is a very different problem today.

02:13:56   Very, very different problem today.

02:13:58   Hugely different scales, massively different situation.

02:14:01   I recognize all of that.

02:14:03   However, it worked really well.

02:14:06   Now, Twitter is already not and never will be

02:14:10   the biggest social network.

02:14:12   It is not appealing for most people.

02:14:14   Most people look at Twitter and they don't see

02:14:15   why they should be there, and part of that's

02:14:17   because of their crappy product direction

02:14:19   over the last decade, part of that's just inherent

02:14:21   to the product that I don't think will be solved.

02:14:23   It's kind of the social network for,

02:14:25   I wouldn't necessarily say smart people,

02:14:28   but it's the social network for more engaged people,

02:14:31   possibly, in certain ways, especially in things like media,

02:14:34   compared to other networks.

02:14:37   So it is already kind of a specialized audience,

02:14:39   and I wonder, might that model work

02:14:43   on some kind of level here,

02:14:45   where many problems about spam and about abuse

02:14:48   and about mass account creation and fraud,

02:14:51   many of those problems get easier to deal with

02:14:53   if the creation of accounts has a cost,

02:14:56   and if the loss of an account has a cost.

02:14:58   One of the reasons why people are a little more civil

02:15:03   in real life compared to the internet

02:15:05   is because in real life you have something to lose.

02:15:08   You have your face in your community,

02:15:11   you have a reputation, you have the safety

02:15:13   of your physical body.

02:15:15   If you say something,

02:15:16   you might have somebody like punching the face.

02:15:18   So you have something to lose in real life

02:15:20   and so people tend to be a little more civil.

02:15:24   One of the reasons why people tend to be jerks in cars

02:15:27   is because they have a little bit less to lose

02:15:29   because you can't really see who it is behind the wheel

02:15:32   and you're out of there in two seconds anyway.

02:15:34   And you look online and people are infinitely jerkier

02:15:37   everywhere online in part because everything

02:15:40   they created online is free.

02:15:42   They have an account with no followers.

02:15:44   They created it in two seconds.

02:15:46   They have nothing to lose.

02:15:48   Whereas you have a lot fewer people on Twitter

02:15:52   who have like built up followings,

02:15:54   like strong, you know, a valuable account basically.

02:15:57   You have a lot fewer of those people

02:15:59   being extreme jerks to others.

02:16:01   And so I wonder if there is some way

02:16:03   in this future product direction/revenue direction,

02:16:06   maybe you involve something like paid account creation

02:16:09   on some level, I don't know.

02:16:11   I think this is the kind of thing

02:16:13   that not being a public company anymore

02:16:15   does give them the freedom to experiment

02:16:17   with something that's that dramatic.

02:16:19   because that kind of thing would absolutely crush

02:16:22   quote growth, like that would crush new member growth.

02:16:26   But that actually might be good in a lot of other ways

02:16:30   for the people who are already on the platform

02:16:32   and even if you crush much of the new member growth,

02:16:35   you would probably still get like quote good people

02:16:39   on a lot of levels, like people who are more valuable,

02:16:41   who actually add to the conversation

02:16:42   or who are actually intending to use it well

02:16:44   instead of using it to crap all over people.

02:16:47   So I don't know, I think that's the kind of thing

02:16:49   that is worth considering.

02:16:51   When you give people a cost to being jerks,

02:16:56   when they are trying to protect something

02:16:58   they have either paid for or built up over time,

02:17:01   you tend to have better outcomes.

02:17:03   - Well, I mean, the problem with that,

02:17:06   probably a lot of it is like authenticating human things

02:17:08   is that past experience with many online communities

02:17:11   has shown that making people authenticate as themselves

02:17:15   does not make them behave better, right?

02:17:17   So the removing anonymity does not increase the,

02:17:20   does not make people act more nicely.

02:17:22   They're just as big a jerk as they always were.

02:17:25   And of course anonymity and pseudo-animity

02:17:27   or whatever you wanna call it,

02:17:28   is super important online for a lot of people

02:17:30   who don't want their identity to be shown

02:17:32   because they're in an unsafe situation

02:17:33   or they don't, you know,

02:17:34   they don't wanna be outed for something or whatever.

02:17:36   So it's very difficult to do that

02:17:37   and has a lot of downsides.

02:17:38   But the other side of that,

02:17:39   of like making there be a cost for account creation,

02:17:42   has proven its utility,

02:17:44   but only in communities that have never needed

02:17:46   to be all that big.

02:17:47   Because the only way you get that done

02:17:49   is not for like, hey, new account creation costs money.

02:17:51   I suppose you could do it that way,

02:17:52   but you kinda have to say, every account needs money.

02:17:55   And it's very difficult to go to Twitter and say,

02:17:58   okay, all, you know, whatever, 100 million active users,

02:18:01   starting tomorrow, all your accounts are locked

02:18:03   until you each pay a dollar.

02:18:05   - What if it only applied to new accounts?

02:18:08   - I know, but like if you only do it for new accounts,

02:18:09   you kind of have your existing problem

02:18:11   and you gotta weed out these giant bot networks,

02:18:12   'cause like-- - Yeah, but that's way,

02:18:14   I mean, that's so much easier of a problem to deal with

02:18:16   than if they're still coming in the door, you know?

02:18:18   - There's giant armies of bot accounts

02:18:20   that get traded around the whole economy

02:18:22   of having accounts that have existed for X number of years.

02:18:25   Y accounts that have existed for X number of years

02:18:27   and have Z followers, right?

02:18:28   That's a thing that you can buy and sell on Twitter, right?

02:18:32   That is a commodity, and the fact that Twitter

02:18:34   hasn't been able to weed them out over a decade and a half

02:18:36   shows that it's probably not a super easy problem,

02:18:39   or maybe they just haven't been really into it

02:18:41   because they don't want their daily

02:18:42   active account numbers to go down.

02:18:43   But either way, I feel like being authenticated

02:18:47   as a specific human is a loser idea.

02:18:50   It's not gonna make people behave any better

02:18:51   and it cuts off a lot of people

02:18:52   who would need to have access to it.

02:18:54   Anonymity is an important part of being online.

02:18:56   - Agreed.

02:18:57   - But making there a barrier to entry,

02:18:59   like charging for accounts, is a great idea

02:19:02   as long as you don't really care about growing

02:19:05   or being or staying big.

02:19:07   And as long as you also don't care about people

02:19:09   who can't afford that money being locked out

02:19:11   of your network and it's just,

02:19:13   like it works great for MetaFilter,

02:19:15   works great for something awful.

02:19:16   Twitter I feel like is probably on the other side of that.

02:19:20   Probably a little bit too big, but hey,

02:19:21   but like this gets into the idea of like just again,

02:19:23   setting aside Elon, pretend you, you know,

02:19:25   you're gonna have a conversation about Twitter or whatever,

02:19:27   what kind of community do you want?

02:19:29   If part of your definition of community is

02:19:31   I would like a community where everybody in the community

02:19:34   had at least one dollar that they could spend

02:19:35   on Twitter once, that suddenly becomes a definition

02:19:38   of your community, so like okay, so if that,

02:19:40   If someone doesn't meet that criteria,

02:19:42   I don't want them in my community.

02:19:44   That's what you're saying.

02:19:44   And you may be fine with that, right?

02:19:46   That's maybe a perfectly good idea for like,

02:19:48   you know, I don't want anybody in my model train club

02:19:51   who couldn't pay the annual union dues of five bucks.

02:19:54   Fine.

02:19:55   Then if there's someone who's super into model trains

02:19:57   who you'd love to have in your thing,

02:19:58   but they don't have five bucks a year to pay for it,

02:19:59   they're not gonna be in your community

02:20:01   and you have to be okay with that, right?

02:20:03   Coming up with that set of rules

02:20:04   for something like Twitter is tricky, right?

02:20:07   And this is assuming the answers that you come up with

02:20:09   are going to be satisfactory.

02:20:14   Again, Elon says nothing particularly coherent,

02:20:16   but ask any of the current people on Twitter,

02:20:18   what kind of community do you want Twitter to be?

02:20:22   If you could snap your fingers and make it happen,

02:20:24   what would it be like?

02:20:25   And thus far, anything that has created a barrier

02:20:29   to creating an account, like charging an amount of money

02:20:32   or making it sort of slowing down

02:20:34   the bot creation type stuff or making it

02:20:36   so that people have something to lose,

02:20:38   just hasn't been in their definition,

02:20:40   or if it wasn't in their definition,

02:20:41   they were doing nothing about it.

02:20:42   It's so hard to tell with current Twitter management.

02:20:44   Is this something that you want,

02:20:45   or is this just something that you haven't bothered

02:20:48   to not do?

02:20:48   - Yeah, is this a choice or a neglect?

02:20:51   - Yeah, it's really hard to tell.

02:20:53   What is your vision for Twitter?

02:20:54   And someone may say, "Well, it's 'cause we're a public

02:20:56   "company, we can't do anything like that,

02:20:57   "because our daily active users would go down like a cliff

02:21:00   "and our stock price would fall,

02:21:01   "but they don't have to worry about that anymore," right?

02:21:03   - Yeah, well, beyond being a public company,

02:21:04   I think a lot of this is like,

02:21:06   Twitter's leadership has seemed to almost never understand

02:21:10   their own product.

02:21:11   They like create all these weird little side features

02:21:16   that nobody wants basically,

02:21:19   while not creating any of the features

02:21:22   that people who have used Twitter for a while

02:21:23   have been needing for years.

02:21:26   - Musk said he's gonna bring an edit button,

02:21:27   so we can just add that to the Flint water pipes

02:21:30   or maybe it'll be a thing that really happens.

02:21:32   - Maybe, but like the point is like I think the,

02:21:35   we've seen the current direction,

02:21:39   'cause they haven't changed in a very long time,

02:21:41   and they haven't done anything.

02:21:43   They don't understand the product,

02:21:44   and so we've seen what they have now,

02:21:46   and if they change it in some significant way,

02:21:51   I think we've seen how the current direction,

02:21:54   how it grows or doesn't.

02:21:56   We've seen what retains users and what doesn't,

02:22:01   and we've seen what works,

02:22:03   And we've seen if you have the way things are now

02:22:06   where everything's free and open to create accounts

02:22:07   as much as you want, we see the problems with that.

02:22:11   They have this huge number of employees,

02:22:15   many of whom are having to deal with all this crap

02:22:17   that results from all these bots and abusers and stuff

02:22:22   being able to create 5,000 accounts

02:22:23   and then spam the crap out of people.

02:22:25   I feel like that is not free to them.

02:22:30   It's free to the world.

02:22:31   It's not free to them by a long shot

02:22:33   and it creates all these problems

02:22:35   that drive a lot of people off the platform

02:22:36   or keep them off in the first place.

02:22:38   And so if they do things that they might,

02:22:42   in the short term, inhibit growth by doing things,

02:22:45   and by the way, I fully agree,

02:22:47   I'm not saying they should require real names.

02:22:50   I'm not saying that at all.

02:22:52   That causes way too many problems.

02:22:53   I mean, look, look at what I did at Tumblr.

02:22:55   That was very intentionally set up

02:22:57   so that people could create anonymous blogs,

02:23:01   any number of them on their own account,

02:23:03   And you could never tell, like if you had an account

02:23:05   with like five Tumblr logs on it,

02:23:07   you could never tell, like the audience of those Tumblr logs

02:23:10   could never tell which user had created that blog.

02:23:14   That was always kept secret.

02:23:16   And that was a very intentional decision.

02:23:18   So if you wanted to have five blogs,

02:23:20   and one of them was your meme blog,

02:23:23   and one of them was your main blog,

02:23:24   where you posted political quotes, whatever,

02:23:25   and you wanted to have something totally different,

02:23:27   something totally private that was like a sex blog

02:23:30   or something, you could have that.

02:23:31   That was all separate and nobody could see

02:23:34   that that was the same person running all those things.

02:23:35   Like anonymity by default,

02:23:39   and you can choose whether to use your name or not,

02:23:42   which is how Twitter is now, that is the right choice.

02:23:45   However, that's separate from requiring

02:23:48   possibly a small payment to create an account,

02:23:50   or things like that.

02:23:52   Now granted, yes, if you,

02:23:53   in whatever payment method you choose,

02:23:56   there are certain people who won't have that payment method

02:23:59   or who literally can't afford the dollar it would cost

02:24:02   or whatever, I agree.

02:24:03   - Or there are certain people for whom the payment method

02:24:05   is immaterial and then just billionaires will keep

02:24:08   by unlimited number of accounts.

02:24:09   Anyway, it's actually a pretty tricky problem.

02:24:11   Again, works for MetaFilter.

02:24:12   Doesn't work when some Koch brother decides

02:24:14   that they're gonna put $17 million to burn

02:24:17   into 17 million accounts right around election season.

02:24:20   - Maybe, but the point is that that does overall

02:24:24   dramatically cut down on the crap you have to deal with.

02:24:27   And if Twitter is no longer going to be chasing

02:24:31   user growth at any cost, which is what they have to do

02:24:34   as long as they're a public social network company,

02:24:36   like if they can pull back a little bit on that

02:24:39   and try some things, and this is one of the things

02:24:41   they end up trying, I actually think that could be really,

02:24:45   that could work really well.

02:24:46   And that's the type of thing that again,

02:24:48   like if they're public, they could never do that.

02:24:51   But now that they have a random jerk possibly owning them

02:24:55   soon who does crazy things on a whim all the time,

02:24:59   even if they are in the short term not very profitable.

02:25:02   I mean look, we're gonna have the jerk running it

02:25:05   regardless, we might as well have some good ideas

02:25:06   come out of it.

02:25:07   And I think that kind of thing is a possibility

02:25:10   of the kind of thing they might try.

02:25:13   I think that could be really good.

02:25:16   Twitter has so many problems the way it is now

02:25:18   and I don't see a lot of solutions that are gonna

02:25:21   massively make a change to things like abuse

02:25:24   and spam and everything like that.

02:25:26   Unless you do something drastic like that.

02:25:28   Hey, it's worth trying, you know?

02:25:30   It's certainly worth a try.

02:25:31   - Yeah, speaking of the edit button,

02:25:32   just to foreclose and any people are gonna say this,

02:25:35   Twitter's already working on the edit button.

02:25:36   They already announced it on their official Twitter account.

02:25:39   If it happens after Elon Musk buys it,

02:25:41   it wasn't because of him, just FYI.

02:25:43   They were already doing it.

02:25:45   If it doesn't happen, I'm gonna blame him

02:25:46   because they're already just, naturally.

02:25:49   - No, I don't know.

02:25:50   I feel like leaving Elon aside,

02:25:52   I really have come around to the Ben Thompson idea

02:25:56   that Twitter being private is a good thing.

02:25:58   And I think while I wholly agree

02:26:02   with what both of you were saying,

02:26:03   that the company has just been chasing its own tail

02:26:05   for as long as I've been a member,

02:26:07   I do think that at least some of that was self-imposed

02:26:11   because like you said just a moment ago, Marco,

02:26:13   growth, growth, growth.

02:26:14   All we care about is growth.

02:26:15   That's all that matters.

02:26:16   Growth, we need growth.

02:26:17   We need it now.

02:26:18   We need it yesterday.

02:26:19   We need it tomorrow.

02:26:20   We need growth.

02:26:20   Yes, all the growth.

02:26:21   - And they were bad at getting it.

02:26:22   They didn't pursue growth to the exclusion of everything else and then and they grow really they grew really really fast and got huge

02:26:27   No, they kind of topped out and I stagnated. Yeah, their growth has sucked

02:26:31   They're a terrible business and they and they kept pursuing the strategy of growth at any course

02:26:35   At any cost even when they had stopped growing really fast, right?

02:26:39   So it's like we're just gonna keep doing this because we really need to grow. What else can we try to grow?

02:26:44   it's like maybe you know, you could say maybe this is the natural size for the community you've created or

02:26:50   Maybe you should try like, you know, it's a little Apple thing

02:26:53   Oh, we'll just make really good products and that will help us grow and the other strategy is let's figure out

02:26:57   What needs to grow and who cares if it makes the product worse? Yeah, but either way the idea of

02:27:02   Twitter being able to focus on something other than growing that sounds super appealing to me and you know

02:27:09   The the optimistic take on this is you know, we'll see that Twitter design Twitter apps becoming a design playground all over again

02:27:16   we'll see Tweetbot and Twitterific no longer being neutered by crummy APIs or limited APIs

02:27:23   or whatever the case may be. Like in so many ways, there's so many things that could be better

02:27:28   if Twitter doesn't have to focus on growth. And I mean, I could argue that maybe being better at

02:27:34   whatever sort of moderation or I mean, I guess the extreme version of this is censorship,

02:27:41   but one way or another, cleaning up Twitter. Because I mean, why does everyone refer to

02:27:45   Twitter as the hell site. Doesn't that indicate that there's a problem somewhere? If they

02:27:50   don't have to focus on growth, if kicking thousands of bots off the network is suddenly

02:27:58   okay, maybe we'll see some of that now. Maybe it'll be better for everyone. And again, the

02:28:04   optimist in me, I'm really hopeful that we're going to see a lot of positive changes for

02:28:10   or the social network that I love so much,

02:28:12   even though I don't really know why anymore.

02:28:14   So I'm hopeful, I'm really hopeful that

02:28:18   if they go private through Elon or through someone else,

02:28:22   I'm really hopeful they get to concentrate on the things

02:28:24   that make the experience better for those of us who are here

02:28:28   and not necessarily here for 10 years, just here in general,

02:28:31   rather than always chasing the next new person.

02:28:35   - Yeah, the downside of private ownership, of course,

02:28:37   is like, let's say Twitter does something now.

02:28:39   during Game Brigade, with people harassing everybody

02:28:41   and these giant brigades of things.

02:28:43   People complained about it, and the complainers

02:28:46   had some leverage, because if Twitter becomes

02:28:50   a hostile environment for certain classes of people

02:28:52   and those classes of people leave, their numbers go down.

02:28:56   And we know the numbers go down, because they

02:28:57   have to report, and they're earning reports of,

02:28:59   here's how we're looking in terms of user growth

02:29:01   or user stagnation or whatever.

02:29:03   And that means that the mass movement of users on Twitter

02:29:08   and how they're feeling about using Twitter

02:29:10   can change what Twitter does.

02:29:12   Private ownership, that becomes much less powerful lever

02:29:16   because the whole point of private is,

02:29:18   I don't have to tell you how our daily active users

02:29:20   are doing, what do you care?

02:29:21   It's not your problem, I'll figure out how to make money.

02:29:24   And if things get really bad on Twitter,

02:29:26   because Elon does what some of the things he says

02:29:29   he's gonna do, which everyone agrees is gonna make things

02:29:31   worse for a lot of people, and people leave,

02:29:34   he's like, good, that's what I wanted.

02:29:35   The kind of community I want is where people like you leave

02:29:37   because you can't take being harassed

02:29:41   because of who you are, get off my network.

02:29:43   And there's nothing you can do about that

02:29:44   because it's a private company.

02:29:45   If you don't like it, go somewhere else.

02:29:47   And you leaving causes my numbers to go down,

02:29:50   but I don't have to show those numbers to anybody

02:29:51   and that's my problem to deal with,

02:29:52   so don't worry about it.

02:29:54   So, and now we're trying to be optimistic,

02:29:55   like, oh, single ownership means they're free

02:29:57   to do things they couldn't do before

02:29:58   because Twitter was sort of, you know,

02:29:59   not going anywhere and they were treading water

02:30:01   and now they can make bold moves and they can,

02:30:03   but it also means that our ability

02:30:05   as the collective users of Twitter

02:30:07   who enjoy it enough to keep using it today,

02:30:10   have much less power to influence the direction it goes

02:30:13   because if changes happen that make us like it less,

02:30:18   that could be by design.

02:30:21   And they could be showing us the door

02:30:22   and saying, "We don't want people like you here, so leave.

02:30:24   And I don't care if you leave

02:30:25   'cause I don't need to meet any daily actor user numbers."

02:30:29   - Yeah, I'm also interested to see

02:30:30   what Elon really actually wants out of this

02:30:33   because obviously the terrible (bleep) poster

02:30:37   that we see says, "Oh, I just want edit button,

02:30:40   "I just want an edit button, and I want all the bots

02:30:43   "off the network, blah, blah, blah."

02:30:44   But what does he really want?

02:30:45   Like, is this-- - And why does he care

02:30:46   about the bots?

02:30:47   Are bots bothering him?

02:30:48   - Yeah, who knows. - It seems, I haven't

02:30:49   ever really seen him care much about anything

02:30:51   that doesn't affect him personally.

02:30:53   - I mean, for whatever it's worth,

02:30:54   there, a huge amount of the harassment on Twitter

02:30:59   and has been Russian bots.

02:31:02   That's been a huge thing.

02:31:04   And the whole thing with the Trump

02:31:07   and all the original meaning of the word fake news

02:31:09   and all this stuff, that's a big thing.

02:31:11   A ton of what you see on Twitter that's crappy or negative

02:31:16   is actually Russian bots.

02:31:18   Now, there's also a lot of bad people

02:31:20   that are legitimately posting those things,

02:31:22   but I think it's more than you think that are actually bots.

02:31:25   - Well, either way, what is his goal?

02:31:27   Is his goal pump and dump?

02:31:28   Is his goal to remove all the bots?

02:31:31   What is his actual goal?

02:31:32   because if his goal is to just make Twitter profitable

02:31:36   and otherwise keep it mostly as is,

02:31:38   then the difference to Twitter employees, I reckon,

02:31:43   is that rather than having to convince

02:31:47   thousands upon thousands upon thousands of shareholders

02:31:49   that what they're doing is smart,

02:31:50   they have to convince Elon and maybe a handful

02:31:52   of other people, and I guess the board or whatever,

02:31:54   but it can change the math dramatically,

02:31:58   or maybe it doesn't change it that much.

02:32:00   What if Elon says I want a 2x monthly active users

02:32:03   because that's what the king wants

02:32:05   and that's what the king will get.

02:32:07   - Why would he want that?

02:32:08   - I don't know.

02:32:09   I don't, because he feels like it'll make Twitter

02:32:11   more profitable, maybe because he could,

02:32:13   he could bring it public again.

02:32:15   This is pretty well outside my comfort zone,

02:32:17   this is probably obvious, but it just,

02:32:19   I can't help but wonder what is his goal with Twitter?

02:32:22   Is it simply to make more than zero dollars?

02:32:25   Is it to make gazillions of dollars?

02:32:27   Is it just to pay off all the loans

02:32:30   into the debts and whatnot and then walk away?

02:32:32   Is it to IPO again and make a whole shed load more money?

02:32:36   Like, I just, I wonder what he's really actually after.

02:32:40   And I don't think anyone will ever know.

02:32:41   But I wonder what he's after because, you know,

02:32:44   our thinking, including very much my own thinking

02:32:47   just a moment ago about, oh, you know,

02:32:48   the API will get better 'cause who cares?

02:32:50   And they don't have to worry about growth 'cause who cares?

02:32:52   - Have you ever heard Elon mention the API?

02:32:54   I mean, we're just saying that

02:32:55   'cause it's the thing that we want

02:32:56   and it's the thing that can happen now, right?

02:32:57   - No, exactly, that's my point.

02:32:59   But our theory is, oh, well,

02:33:01   if they don't have the shareholders breathing down

02:33:03   their necks more and more and more, growth, growth, growth,

02:33:05   then everything will be perfect now.

02:33:07   And that may not actually be the case.

02:33:09   It may be that Elon says, no, I still want growth

02:33:11   because that's what I want.

02:33:12   And I don't know why, but he could say that.

02:33:14   - I mean, I think he probably wants a lot of those things

02:33:17   or all of those things.

02:33:18   I've read this great article on New York Magazine today

02:33:21   basically interviewing Kara Swisher,

02:33:23   who knows Elon Musk pretty well,

02:33:26   interviewing Kara Swisher about him

02:33:28   and basically asking like, what is he like,

02:33:30   what is he, how does he think, stuff like that.

02:33:33   It's pretty short, it's worth reading,

02:33:35   because the thing is, he's not a one-sided caricature.

02:33:40   He is, for all of his faults, a very smart person,

02:33:44   and he does seem to have complex and multiple thoughts

02:33:49   on this kind of stuff.

02:33:50   What does he want from Twitter?

02:33:52   Lots of things.

02:33:53   I'm sure he wants to make money eventually on it,

02:33:55   But if you look at the kinds of things that he creates,

02:33:59   the ways he invests his money, the companies he starts,

02:34:02   he's not trying solely to make money.

02:34:05   If he wanted to just make money,

02:34:07   he could probably find out much better ways to do it

02:34:09   instead of doing really risky businesses

02:34:11   or buying a very unprofitable social network.

02:34:14   - I don't think he needs to make money on Twitter.

02:34:17   I think he just needs to make money by using Twitter.

02:34:20   Which is, like you say, what does he want out of Twitter?

02:34:22   Look at what he's ever used Twitter for.

02:34:24   Twitter is a powerful way for him to influence the world.

02:34:27   It is a powerful megaphone.

02:34:29   Just think of something simple like hyping up Dogecoin.

02:34:33   Barely hyping up, right?

02:34:35   When you have that many followers

02:34:36   and people hang on everything that you say,

02:34:38   and you say something about Dogecoin

02:34:40   and the price of Dogecoin goes up by X percent

02:34:42   and you had a bunch of Dogecoin,

02:34:44   Twitter is suddenly a powerful tool for you to make money.

02:34:46   Even if Twitter itself loses money,

02:34:48   even if you are the owner of Twitter

02:34:50   and it loses money for you,

02:34:52   you can make that up just by hyping up other things.

02:34:54   And if you wanted to say like,

02:34:56   Elon is very good at having things that he owns

02:35:00   and controls be valued well beyond

02:35:02   the supposed rational worth.

02:35:04   Look at Tesla, look at how much Tesla is,

02:35:06   I think isn't Tesla worth more than like the entire rest

02:35:08   of the audio industry combined or something?

02:35:10   Like, it's not, Tesla is not value based on its fundamental

02:35:14   in terms of how much profit do they make

02:35:16   selling cars each year.

02:35:17   It's valued based on its potential value, you know,

02:35:20   Like what could it be, right?

02:35:22   That's all what all stocks are valued, right?

02:35:24   Elon is good at making assets that he owns and controls,

02:35:28   making you believe that they will be

02:35:30   and are even more valuable than the hard numbers show.

02:35:34   So he could do that to Twitter to say,

02:35:37   now Twitter, this asset that we all basically believe

02:35:40   is more valuable than the numbers show, right?

02:35:43   But he could just use Twitter as he has in the past

02:35:46   to continue to influence the world.

02:35:49   And it's like a loss leader for him.

02:35:50   It's like, I control it so I don't have to worry

02:35:52   about anyone ever taking away this megaphone.

02:35:54   I don't have to worry about this megaphone

02:35:55   to do anything that screws me up.

02:35:57   And I'm just gonna use it as it slowly drains money

02:35:59   as a private company as long as I stay above

02:36:01   where I need to so I don't have to repay

02:36:03   that giant loan that I took over

02:36:04   the hell the financing crap is.

02:36:06   It's fine.

02:36:07   And I can use it to, it's like,

02:36:09   it's one of the most powerful tools he's found

02:36:12   to help him accomplish his other goals.

02:36:15   And he has a lot of them, right?

02:36:16   So, I mean, who knows?

02:36:18   It's so hard to tell what he's gonna do,

02:36:21   and he's got so many different things going on.

02:36:23   We're supposed to be going to Mars now too, by the way.

02:36:25   I don't know why people don't think about that.

02:36:26   And he's got satellite, internet.

02:36:28   He's got a lot of things that he thinks are cool

02:36:31   that he would like to see happen,

02:36:32   but how many of them will actually get his attention?

02:36:36   I don't know.

02:36:37   And so far, what he's used Twitter for

02:36:39   is whatever he's currently concentrating on,

02:36:41   Twitter has been a component of that push.

02:36:45   And it seems like controlling Twitter

02:36:46   is a way to ensure that that continues to be the case.

02:36:49   Setting completely aside,

02:36:51   yeah, but what about Twitter itself?

02:36:52   Is that a business where you're going to somehow make money

02:36:55   or make it grow or whatever?

02:36:57   Maybe, maybe merely by owning Twitter,

02:36:59   everyone will suddenly believe it is way more valuable

02:37:01   and who will be able to sell it for a profit.

02:37:03   But he's not the type of person who like buy something

02:37:05   and quickly sells it when it's more valuable.

02:37:07   He didn't sell Tesla when it was worth more

02:37:09   than he bought it for.

02:37:10   He didn't sell SpaceX when it was worth more

02:37:12   than he bought it for.

02:37:13   He held them for way longer than anyone thought he should.

02:37:16   and refused to sell and kept finding ways

02:37:19   to keep them above water by financing them or whatever.

02:37:21   And you don't do that when you're trying to just,

02:37:23   you know, buy a company, make it more profitable,

02:37:26   and dump it like the other private equity investors.

02:37:28   So I can't imagine him doing that with Twitter.

02:37:29   I think he's in it for the long haul

02:37:32   until, nonetheless, it becomes super unfun for him.

02:37:35   - I think his motivations are much more complex

02:37:38   than anything.

02:37:39   In the same way, like, I always say,

02:37:42   when you have anything complex like a social network,

02:37:46   Everyone has their hot take on what they have to do

02:37:49   to fix their problem.

02:37:51   And it always begins with, if they would just.

02:37:54   If you would just X, if you would just do this,

02:37:58   you'd fix, all you have to do is just this,

02:38:01   and everyone has some simple thing,

02:38:03   and the reality is much more complex than that, right?

02:38:05   And I think that's, you know, he's a person,

02:38:08   he's clearly a very smart person,

02:38:09   again, for all of his faults,

02:38:11   he's clearly a very smart person.

02:38:12   He has achieved a lot of very lofty things,

02:38:15   And so I don't think, if you say what does he want Twitter

02:38:18   for, it's not just anything.

02:38:20   He wants Twitter for lots of reasons,

02:38:22   and I don't think it's as small as he wants a platform

02:38:26   to pump up Dogecoin or whatever.

02:38:28   I don't think that's it at all.

02:38:29   I think he's been doing that for free.

02:38:31   - I mean, but he uses it for everything,

02:38:33   not just for pumping up Dogecoin,

02:38:35   talking about Tesla, for talking about SpaceX,

02:38:37   for saying he wants a platform where people can hear him

02:38:39   say that he's gonna fix the pipes in Flint.

02:38:41   Like that is valuable to him as a person.

02:38:44   - Yeah, but he doesn't have to own it to do that.

02:38:45   He's been doing it for free for years.

02:38:47   - But he has to own it to make sure no one stops him

02:38:49   from ever using it that way.

02:38:50   - Yeah, but I mean, was that ever a risk?

02:38:51   I mean, I think the worst case outcome here

02:38:54   that's likely to happen, I mean, there's lots of worst cases

02:38:58   that are unlikely to happen, I think,

02:38:59   but I think the most likely bad outcome here

02:39:03   is that his acquisition goes through

02:39:07   and he appoints frickin' Jack Dorsey as the CEO

02:39:09   and he doesn't really actively manage anything,

02:39:10   and that's it, and then nothing else ever changes.

02:39:13   And so then we have-- - You think that's

02:39:13   the worst one?

02:39:14   The worst one is he immediately reinstates Trump,

02:39:17   Trump wins in 2024, our country is destroyed.

02:39:19   I think that's the easy-- - No, frankly, no.

02:39:22   First of all, I think this is the worst outcome

02:39:25   that is likely, that is like the worst

02:39:27   and most likely outcome is he puts Jack back

02:39:31   and then nothing else really ever gets better.

02:39:33   - Why would he put Jack back?

02:39:34   Does he think, I know there are buds in everything,

02:39:36   but like, man, I just don't--

02:39:39   - Well, that's why, there are buds in everything.

02:39:40   But ultimately I think, and again,

02:39:43   'cause Elon can't run it himself 100% of the time,

02:39:46   he's not gonna be a super active involved CEO.

02:39:51   But worst case I think that is likely to happen is that.

02:39:54   It becomes a jack vehicle again and everything gets,

02:39:58   continues to just be finance tech bro BS and that's it.

02:40:02   But hopefully more changes in a positive way.

02:40:07   And again, I think the reason why I am not super down

02:40:12   on this is just because I have so little faith

02:40:15   in Twitter's leadership up 'til now.

02:40:16   Like they have just shown themselves to be totally inept

02:40:19   and weirdly guided and misguided

02:40:22   and to not understand their own product at all,

02:40:25   to not understand what it needs, what it doesn't need,

02:40:28   like to not be able to properly moderate anything

02:40:31   on their platform.

02:40:33   I have zero faith in their,

02:40:35   oh, and also to have it be a bad business.

02:40:37   So I have zero faith in their current and past leadership.

02:40:41   So to have somebody else come in, it's like,

02:40:43   "Eh, I guess, let's see what happens."

02:40:46   - No, I'm still thinking it definitely has to be worse

02:40:50   'cause the attitudes of the people who have run Twitter

02:40:52   are better, like what they were trying to do

02:40:54   is better than everything I've heard Ian say

02:40:57   he's trying to do.

02:40:57   There's still, like I said, I'd much rather like fail fast.

02:41:00   Like if you're gonna try to do some bad things,

02:41:02   I want them to be bad immediately.

02:41:03   I don't want them to be slowly bad

02:41:04   over the course of a decade through neglect.

02:41:06   Neglect is worse, right? And so that's my optimistic scenario is that all the bad

02:41:12   things happen super fast and hopefully maybe after the election.

02:41:17   (beep)