470: Computers Can Do Things


00:00:00   All right, we should move on before I get cranky again.

00:00:01   All right, let's do some follow up.

00:00:03   - Have another donut, move right along.

00:00:04   (laughs)

00:00:05   - It's time to have another donut.

00:00:06   If you don't understand that, ATP.fm/join.

00:00:09   Moving right along, we had talked last episode,

00:00:14   I think the context was you jump starting the FJ

00:00:18   via the Model S, and we were curious if that was possible,

00:00:22   you know, what would the mechanism for that be?

00:00:24   And Jesper Weltz wrote in--

00:00:26   - I don't even know where the battery is.

00:00:28   That's why YouTube exists.

00:00:30   - Yeah, exactly.

00:00:31   So Jesper Wells wrote in and pointed us to a video

00:00:34   wherein you have to dismantle half the Tesla

00:00:36   in order to get to the battery terminals,

00:00:38   but it is possible. - There you go.

00:00:39   - Big Tesla energy there.

00:00:40   And then somebody else,

00:00:42   whose name I don't have in front of me, I'm sorry.

00:00:44   Jameson sent us a second video.

00:00:46   Each of these videos is like two and a half minutes,

00:00:48   so they're quick to watch.

00:00:49   And this reminded me of like a year ago,

00:00:52   James May of Top Gear and the Grand Tour,

00:00:55   he has a Model S among his many other cars.

00:00:57   And he apparently, at the beginning of lockdown, basically stopped driving it, as basically all of us did, we just stopped driving.

00:01:04   And especially in the UK where they really took lockdown seriously, where they actually had actual lockdown, not what Americans think of as lockdown.

00:01:11   Anyways, so the Model S sat for a long time, Marco, and it was not on any sort of charger of any kind.

00:01:18   And if I recall correctly, I watched this video like a week ago, he went to get in the car,

00:01:24   but because the door knobs, the door handles are inside the car until you walk up to it,

00:01:29   he couldn't get in the car because the door handle knobby things wouldn't pop out.

00:01:33   So then he assumed that the key fob battery was broken or dead or flat in Britishisms,

00:01:38   and it was not, so, you know, he put in a different battery and that didn't do it.

00:01:42   Come to find out that, you know, there's two different battery systems in a Tesla, or at least in the Model S.

00:01:47   There's the 12-volt battery and then the big, big battery.

00:01:49   It would appear if I understand things right and now I'm gonna get everyone writing me. Trust me. I really don't care everyone

00:01:55   But anyways one way or another the big battery doesn't exactly always

00:01:58   Totally charge the little battery and so what he had to do in order to get into his car

00:02:05   Was he needed to pop the frunk and in order to do that you needed to crack open the the wheel well

00:02:11   Trim in the front of the car on each side and squeeze your hand in there and pull a cable on each side

00:02:17   That would let you get the frunk open.

00:02:19   Once you get the frunk open,

00:02:20   you have to remove four different panels,

00:02:23   a smattering of ducting,

00:02:25   and then eventually at that point,

00:02:27   you can actually get to the terminals.

00:02:29   So you can put a charger, like a trickle charger,

00:02:31   which we talked about last week,

00:02:32   like a trickle charger onto the battery

00:02:34   to get enough juice so that you can actually

00:02:36   open the driver's side door.

00:02:37   Excellent work, excellent job Tesla.

00:02:41   Just great work there.

00:02:42   - Yeah, I have heard from a number of Tesla owners

00:02:46   problems with the 12 volt battery.

00:02:49   And this is, they seem, over time they have seemingly

00:02:53   improved this with software updates and things like that.

00:02:56   But even-- - That's also big Tesla energy.

00:02:58   - Yeah, right.

00:02:59   But yeah, definitely like, so the problem is like,

00:03:03   you know, the way electric cars use or don't use

00:03:07   12 volt batteries is totally different

00:03:09   from the way gas cars use them.

00:03:11   The batteries aren't necessarily designed

00:03:13   for the kind of use electric cars are using them for.

00:03:16   'Cause this again, this is not the battery

00:03:17   that they're using to power the wheels.

00:03:19   This is just the battery they use

00:03:20   to do all the accessory stuff in the car.

00:03:22   And so many people have the 12 volt battery

00:03:26   just totally die within a few months

00:03:28   of buying a brand new electric car.

00:03:30   Because it's failing 'cause the usage pattern

00:03:33   is totally wrong for it or whatever.

00:03:34   And this is actually a problem

00:03:35   that other electric car manufacturers have.

00:03:39   And this is something that Tesla has finally

00:03:41   pretty much solved, I think.

00:03:44   But then you start seeing problem reports of this

00:03:46   from other car manufacturers who have launched

00:03:48   more recent electric car models.

00:03:49   Like they're all going through this stupid learning curve

00:03:51   of learning like, wait a minute, these batteries

00:03:53   are totally wrong for this purpose.

00:03:55   And we don't really have a good solution for that

00:03:56   except that I think Tesla now does a little bit smarter

00:03:59   management of its charge level in software.

00:04:02   - Yeah, these videos show, you know,

00:04:05   jump-starting a gasoline-powered car from your Tesla.

00:04:08   It's not so bad to get the battery in some of the cases.

00:04:09   I think one of them shows a Model 3

00:04:11   where it's really just pop off a panel

00:04:12   and there are the terminals.

00:04:13   And I like the idea of the person getting into the Tesla

00:04:15   and revving the engine, you know,

00:04:17   just make sure there's enough juice.

00:04:18   (laughing)

00:04:20   - Indeed.

00:04:21   - Oh, I saw, what's the big Porsche thing

00:04:23   that you guys were trying to get me to buy?

00:04:25   - The Taycan?

00:04:25   I always pronounce it wrong.

00:04:26   I think that might be wrong as well.

00:04:28   Taycan, Taycan?

00:04:29   - I finally saw one in real life.

00:04:30   - Really?

00:04:31   I'm surprised it's taken that long.

00:04:32   They're all over the place around here.

00:04:33   - So first of all, it was basically on the ground.

00:04:37   It's a very low car, way lower than mine appears to be.

00:04:42   And second of all, it looked certainly very large.

00:04:47   Now, this wasn't right next to my car,

00:04:50   this was like I was walking towards the ferry

00:04:51   and I saw one coming into the parking lot.

00:04:54   But it looked like a,

00:04:56   I don't know how the dimensions compare,

00:04:57   but it looked bigger than my car and it looked very low.

00:05:02   So again, I don't know,

00:05:03   maybe this was just like my perspective at the time,

00:05:05   but it looked like something that was probably not

00:05:09   gonna be a good thing for any of my near future needs.

00:05:12   - Your car is two inches longer

00:05:14   and it is identical in the other dimensions.

00:05:16   - Cool, all right.

00:05:17   (laughs)

00:05:18   Then this is totally wrong.

00:05:19   - So leaving the money aside--

00:05:22   - Which is substantial.

00:05:23   - Which is substantial.

00:05:24   Is this even a possibility to you or not even close?

00:05:27   - I don't even know what my needs are gonna be right now

00:05:30   with like, you know, beech vehicles and stuff like that.

00:05:33   So right now I am not looking to buy any new electric vehicles

00:05:38   unless they happen to be like trucks or SUVs at this point.

00:05:41   But hopefully in a few years when I no longer am here

00:05:44   full time, that will hopefully change things.

00:05:48   I mean, I'm trusting the Google results on this, by the way.

00:05:51   It's eerie how close they are, because this is in inches.

00:05:53   They're literally down to the inch of the same,

00:05:55   except for the Model S is two inches longer and one inch

00:05:59   wider, depending on which trim level you got on the Porsche,

00:06:02   I think.

00:06:02   That's that you can tell when one car is targeting another car when they're like

00:06:06   Inch basically the same size. I wonder if the EQS is similar

00:06:09   The EQS is much more like the model S and it's got the lift back as well

00:06:13   So it was like it's just basically a Mercedes model S. Is there a substantial difference in ground clearance? I

00:06:18   Don't know. I agree with you. They definitely look lower and of course the Porsche because it's a Porsche you can get with

00:06:24   8,000 different options. So I'm sure there's one of them that actually is lower but maybe the plaid is lower too

00:06:29   It goes into cheetah stance, right?

00:06:31   Doesn't it lower with the air suspension on the Model S

00:06:34   when you go into the super fast mode?

00:06:36   - I think when you're going above 70 miles an hour,

00:06:38   it has an option to go extra low.

00:06:41   I believe you can set the threshold,

00:06:43   the speed threshold when that happens,

00:06:45   but it only goes down like a half inch.

00:06:47   It's not a big difference.

00:06:48   - All right, moving right along.

00:06:50   We talked about AirTags in the past

00:06:52   and how they can be used for nefarious purposes,

00:06:55   and Apple has posted an update on AirTag

00:06:57   and unwanted tracking.

00:06:59   And Apple has detailed some steps they're going to take in the future in order to make this better.

00:07:03   New privacy warnings during AirTag setup that basically says,

00:07:06   "Hey, among other things, it's probably illegal for you to stalk somebody with this."

00:07:10   Addressing alert issues for AirPods.

00:07:12   So I haven't personally seen this, but apparently it's very common for you to get an alert for an AirPod

00:07:18   that's on the Find My network that was... or if you're near an AirPod that's on the Find My network

00:07:23   that doesn't belong to you, you'll get an alert on your phone, "unknown accessory detected,"

00:07:26   which is not particularly helpful in the vein of most Apple errors. And so they're going to fix

00:07:33   that and say, "Hey, there's an AirPods Pro near you," or whatever the case may be. There's going

00:07:37   to be better support documentation. I believe that when I see it. And then additionally, later on

00:07:43   this year, they will allow precision finding, even if it's not your AirTag. So this is the like

00:07:48   thing where you wave your phone around and it'll point an arrow in the direction that the AirTag is.

00:07:55   that will display alert with sound.

00:07:58   And so I'm going to read a little bit from their post.

00:08:00   When AirTag automatically emits a sound to alert anyone nearby

00:08:02   if it's present and is detected moving with your phone,

00:08:04   iPad, or iPod touch,

00:08:06   we will also display an alert on your device

00:08:07   that you can then take action on,

00:08:09   like playing a sound or using precision finding if available.

00:08:12   This will help in cases where the AirTag may be in a location

00:08:15   where it is hard to hear or if the AirTag speaker

00:08:16   has been tampered with.

00:08:18   Additionally, refining unwanted tracking alert logic,

00:08:20   so they're going to futz around with the logic there

00:08:23   if they think that you're being tracked.

00:08:26   And then finally, tuning the AirTag sound.

00:08:28   Currently, iOS users receiving an unwanted tracking alert

00:08:30   can play sound to help them find their unknown AirTag.

00:08:34   We will be adjusting this tone sequence

00:08:35   to use more of the loudest tones

00:08:39   and to make an unknown AirTag more easily findable.

00:08:42   It's a tough thing, right?

00:08:43   Because AirTags, I only have one of them so far,

00:08:45   and they are super cool.

00:08:47   And when used as intended, it works really well,

00:08:50   and it's really well done.

00:08:51   But the problem is people are terrible.

00:08:53   and people are using them not as intended

00:08:55   and they're ruining it for everyone.

00:08:56   - Yeah, it's like the better they make it

00:08:58   for the people who are using it as intended,

00:09:01   the worse it gets for the bad people and vice versa, right?

00:09:05   So as they're trying to make it sort of safer,

00:09:07   it is getting worse for you, the normal user, right?

00:09:09   It's complete, it's like security,

00:09:11   like security and convenience, right?

00:09:13   The more security you make it,

00:09:14   the less inconvenient it is.

00:09:15   It's difficult.

00:09:16   Like the line I'm trying to walk here in particular

00:09:18   with most of these changes is,

00:09:21   Air tags are increasingly not for helping you when your stuff gets stolen.

00:09:27   Because all the stuff that we just described is going to alert the thief that there is

00:09:31   an air tag traveling with them.

00:09:34   It's about you losing things, which is someone didn't take them, you just lost them and misplaced

00:09:40   them.

00:09:41   So it's even further narrowing the use case of like, "Aha, I'll put this air tag on so

00:09:45   if someone steals my thing I'll find it."

00:09:47   No, if they actually steal it, now it's going to be more aggressive about alerting the thief

00:09:50   on their, the thief's iPhone to say,

00:09:52   "Hey, you might not know this,

00:09:53   but you're now traveling with somebody else's AirTag."

00:09:55   And they'll be all, "Thank you, phone,"

00:09:56   and they'll take it off and then have your thing, right?

00:09:58   That's not the use case, Apple.

00:10:00   Apple just has to basically say,

00:10:02   "If you're looking for something to help you find

00:10:04   stolen stuff, this ain't it," right?

00:10:06   Because of the safety concerns,

00:10:07   because of it being used for stalking or whatever.

00:10:09   So the use case gets narrower.

00:10:11   It becomes a little bit less convenient,

00:10:13   but it also becomes that much slightly more safe.

00:10:16   Yeah, and it is -- I think when we talked about this

00:10:20   the first time. I give Apple a lot of credit for trying very hard to think of and account

00:10:25   for the bad scenarios with this product, but it's difficult to think of all the bad scenarios

00:10:33   and to know exactly how to tune all these parameters that Casey just read, like how

00:10:37   aggressive should it be about this? What should this sound be? When should it do this? And

00:10:41   it takes some experience in the real world to figure out the right balance of those things.

00:10:46   So I still think it's definitely a valid product to have,

00:10:49   but it's good for people to understand what it can do well

00:10:52   and what it can't do.

00:10:53   And I think Apple's moving in the right direction

00:10:56   by saying even if it makes this less useful

00:10:59   for certain cases like stolen items,

00:11:01   it's better for it to be safer for more people.

00:11:04   - Yeah, I mean, I can see both sides of it.

00:11:07   Like, I'm glad they're making this

00:11:10   a little bit safer for people.

00:11:12   I don't know if it's possible for them to ever make it safe enough that it can't

00:11:19   be used in a widespread way for bad people doing bad things.

00:11:24   I still question whether it was worth them making this product at all because of that

00:11:29   risk and because it really does seem like that's going to have a really hard time being

00:11:35   possible.

00:11:36   That being said, as a customer of AirTags, for things that I was hoping would get tracked

00:11:42   and casual theft, this update is going to make it significantly worse at that. And that

00:11:48   kind of like I'm kind of annoyed about that. I see why they're doing it. And it's probably

00:11:53   for the best for you know, the abuse reduction. But as a customer of these things, they're

00:11:58   actually making this product worse for me now, to the point where it's going to only

00:12:02   barely serve the purpose I wanted it to serve. So having that happen after purchase is kind

00:12:08   of crappy as well. So I don't see a great way out of the situation for them. It seems to me that

00:12:15   the AirTags are a tough product to not cause problems and maybe they shouldn't have been

00:12:24   released at all. Do you think the drunk people will notice when they're stealing your bike that

00:12:27   their phone is going off? They'll probably just keep going. I don't think they're gonna scour

00:12:31   your bike for the AirTag if they even notice the notification. I think it still works for your use

00:12:34   case. Yeah well I've heard the notifications like the audible ones like

00:12:38   like the air because the air tag makes a little chiming sound when you when you

00:12:42   move it away from its phone for a while because I have one on my wagon that I

00:12:47   pulled a town to get packages and every the wagon lives like on my deck next to

00:12:52   my house so it is always maybe 20 or 30 feet away from my phone like when we're

00:12:58   just sitting in the house that's apparently far enough that it doesn't

00:13:02   I think the phone is connected to it.

00:13:03   So almost every time I go grab the wagon to walk to town,

00:13:07   I hear (mimics waggon)

00:13:09   a little sound coming from the speaker.

00:13:11   And even though I am there with my phone in my pocket,

00:13:15   like I approach the wagon with my phone in my pocket,

00:13:17   I grab the wagon and I start moving it

00:13:19   with the phone in my pocket,

00:13:21   the phone is often even on with its Bluetooth active

00:13:23   playing a podcast into my headphones,

00:13:25   and I'm still hearing (mimics waggon)

00:13:27   because it takes so long to recognize that,

00:13:30   oh, oh, the phone is here.

00:13:32   Oh, nevermind, we're okay.

00:13:33   So these are already products that just barely work.

00:13:38   And so I'm a little bit disappointed

00:13:43   that they're going to be made worse for my purpose.

00:13:46   But I think, John, you are right,

00:13:47   that considering that this is mostly,

00:13:50   for my use, this is mostly to solve casual drunk theft,

00:13:53   it will still probably work okay enough for that.

00:13:56   But it is kind of annoying.

00:13:57   And again, it's annoying that, kind of like Tesla,

00:14:00   they're making my product worse after purchase.

00:14:03   Real time follow up according to the random results

00:14:06   that Google chucks up when you try to do a search

00:14:08   and you're too lazy to follow a link.

00:14:10   Model S ground clearance, 4.6 inches.

00:14:12   Porsche Taycan ground clearance, 5 inches.

00:14:16   Again, again with the caveats that both of these cars, I

00:14:19   think, can change their ride height.

00:14:20   Yes.

00:14:21   And the Model S, I think, can go up to like 6 point something

00:14:24   on the max height.

00:14:25   Don't take either one on the beach.

00:14:27   No.

00:14:27   But I do, I leave it.

00:14:28   So one thing about Long Island is that it's pretty low

00:14:33   across the whole thing, or at least most of it.

00:14:36   And so Long Island, like the regular parts of the island

00:14:40   where regular suburbs are, floods all the time.

00:14:43   - Well, if you're near the water,

00:14:46   no place that I ever lived growing up on Long Island flooded

00:14:48   because I was in the middle of the island.

00:14:50   - Well, that's fair.

00:14:51   But yeah, so all these places on the South Shore.

00:14:53   So one thing I have to be concerned about

00:14:55   is during the biggest flood season,

00:14:57   which is I think usually the fall,

00:14:59   you have to be careful that if you leave your car

00:15:03   parked at the ferry terminal, it might get flooded out.

00:15:06   So I learned through habit, I learned like,

00:15:09   all right, the parking lot is very slightly sloped,

00:15:13   and so I know like where the tallest part is.

00:15:15   Yeah, so I park on the high ground,

00:15:17   and I raise the air suspension all the way up

00:15:20   when I leave the car.

00:15:20   - On its little tippy toes.

00:15:22   - It looks ridiculous, like it does not look

00:15:24   like an attractive vehicle in this stance.

00:15:26   However, that extra inch might be enough

00:15:30   to save my car from being flooded sometime.

00:15:31   - Yeah, you gotta get the functional high ground.

00:15:33   - Oh, God. - There it is.

00:15:35   That's a deep cut.

00:15:36   Oh my gosh, you know, I genuinely hope

00:15:39   that there is a time that I can come visit y'all

00:15:41   on Fire Island because the way you describe it,

00:15:43   it seems like everything about this

00:15:46   is made to be inconvenient and basically intolerable.

00:15:49   And I bet that if I were there, I would say,

00:15:51   "Oh, no, no, no, I totally get it now."

00:15:53   But from afar, everything about this sounds terrible.

00:15:56   You can't get mail or shipments in a quick way.

00:15:59   It's certainly not exactly cheap.

00:16:02   You can't drive anywhere, which in some cases is a benefit,

00:16:05   not a downside.

00:16:06   It randomly floods random hurricanes,

00:16:09   but no, other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, the play is great.

00:16:11   - So actually, it's about to get worse.

00:16:14   - Oh, and the sound or whatever freezes over

00:16:17   and then you can't get off the island.

00:16:18   - It's not the sound.

00:16:19   - Whatever it is.

00:16:20   Whatever it is.

00:16:21   - Okay, so two things.

00:16:22   For one, it's about to get worse in one way, but I'm about to tell you why it's great.

00:16:25   But the way it's about to get worse, the ferry company told us a couple days ago that they're

00:16:32   going to cut off all servers to us starting March 1st indefinitely because they can't

00:16:36   reach an agreement for a contract with the village.

00:16:39   Oh my gosh.

00:16:41   So that's fun.

00:16:42   And then…

00:16:43   You've got to talk to your village people over your PA system.

00:16:45   Hey, there it is.

00:16:46   And say, "Hey, get a deal because you'll be stranded here without our SAND license."

00:16:52   - No, it's like when a cable or satellite provider

00:16:57   drops a channel or threatens to drop a channel

00:16:59   and then so they drop it for a few weeks,

00:17:01   everybody complains and eventually they work it out.

00:17:03   It's gonna be like that.

00:17:04   So anyway.

00:17:05   - You realize this is just like incrementing

00:17:07   the doomsday clock on Marco getting a boat, like one more.

00:17:10   Like five more minutes, right?

00:17:12   - You know, there aren't a lot of people who have boats

00:17:15   on the Long Island in the Great South Bay in March.

00:17:18   That's not--

00:17:20   - I know, well you have to put them somewhere

00:17:22   for the winter, but then they go back in the water.

00:17:24   - Don't they marshmallow wrap them for the winter

00:17:26   and put them on land somewhere?

00:17:27   - Getting a boat is the inevitable conclusion

00:17:30   of your complete transformation into a Long Island man.

00:17:32   (laughing)

00:17:33   - Anyway. - I was just listening

00:17:35   to Downeaster Alexa earlier today.

00:17:37   And before you tell me the good part,

00:17:38   I want you to be clear, hand to God,

00:17:41   I really do believe it is an amazing, wonderful place.

00:17:43   I'm not trying to actually yuck your yum.

00:17:45   It's just so funny to me the way you describe it,

00:17:47   is that it sounds terrible from a distance.

00:17:50   And I don't doubt that when you're there,

00:17:52   all of that goes away.

00:17:53   - Well, the ferry parking lot is not the cool place,

00:17:56   to be clear. - Right.

00:17:57   - That's also true. - It's a parking lot

00:17:59   for a ferry, it's not. - Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

00:18:01   - Yeah. - A ferry that isn't gonna

00:18:02   run much longer. - Yeah, right.

00:18:04   - Yeah, but anyway, but you know,

00:18:06   so I noticed I went last week on Thursday.

00:18:11   The reason why the show came out

00:18:12   a couple hours later than usual

00:18:14   is because I had to schedule all these errands on Thursday

00:18:16   where in one day I went off the island,

00:18:19   drove all the way back to Westchester,

00:18:21   brought hops in for service, then drove all the way back.

00:18:23   And I was editing the show on the ferry on the way there,

00:18:28   sitting at a supercharger, sitting in my passenger seat

00:18:30   in front of a Whole Foods, and then back on the ferry back.

00:18:33   That's how I edited last week's show.

00:18:35   So if anything, it sounded like if there was some

00:18:39   slight transition between words that were edited

00:18:42   that I couldn't quite hear somebody's wrong breath on,

00:18:44   it's because I was editing it on a very loud boat

00:18:47   while wearing AirPods Pro,

00:18:48   which while they have great noise cancellation features,

00:18:53   are not as good as sitting in my quiet office

00:18:55   doing it that way.

00:18:56   Anyway, so during this day where I was going back

00:19:00   and back to my old neighborhood and getting things done

00:19:02   and then coming back,

00:19:03   every time I spend time off the island,

00:19:05   I realize that the entire rest of the world

00:19:10   that most people live in is designed for cars first

00:19:14   and people second.

00:19:16   - Yeah, which is not a good thing for the record

00:19:18   and I agree with you.

00:19:19   - And in many ways, like there's so many things

00:19:21   wrong with this, but that's the, like,

00:19:23   the place I live, like, to be clear,

00:19:26   maybe I'll put a picture in the art, I don't know,

00:19:28   but to be clear, like, we have,

00:19:31   there's a bunch of houses packed together here.

00:19:33   You know, most of the house lots here are like

00:19:37   30 to 50 feet wide by about 50 to 80 feet deep.

00:19:42   And so these are not large house plots.

00:19:45   The houses are all close together, it's very dense.

00:19:47   And instead of having streets,

00:19:50   we basically have wide sidewalks that are,

00:19:54   I don't know exactly how wide they are,

00:19:55   maybe eight or 10 feet wide.

00:19:58   It's wide enough that a regular US pickup truck

00:20:03   can fit as a road, but just barely.

00:20:07   and the side view mirrors on the truck

00:20:10   will brush against everyone's hedges as they go by.

00:20:14   That's how tight it is.

00:20:15   And so here I'm in a place that is designed for people first

00:20:20   and will just barely accommodate cars when necessary.

00:20:26   The rest of the world is designed to accommodate cars

00:20:29   as easily and great as possible

00:20:31   and just barely accommodates people when necessary.

00:20:34   That's the difference.

00:20:35   And it is so different, even just like walking my dog

00:20:39   in the regular suburbs on regular land,

00:20:42   I'm constantly having to look around for cars

00:20:44   and oh, stop here at this intersection,

00:20:46   wait for the cars to go by, cross the street,

00:20:48   look for the car, I'm squeezing onto this little tiny

00:20:50   sidewalk and the cars have all this nice space.

00:20:53   And here, I have this space 'cause I'm the person

00:20:57   and my dog and I can walk down this super wide sidewalk

00:21:00   and have room, I can bike easily without having to worry

00:21:04   that I'm gonna get hit by a car on my bike and die.

00:21:07   Like, it's really, it's so different.

00:21:10   And the sad part is that there aren't more places like this.

00:21:15   - Well, but before we get the entire rest

00:21:17   of the planet riding us, there's not more places like that

00:21:19   in America, and surely there are other countries

00:21:21   that are similar to the way we are,

00:21:23   but there are many, many, many places on the planet

00:21:25   that are people first and are not car first

00:21:29   like so much of America is.

00:21:30   - That's fair, but honestly,

00:21:32   there's not a lot of those places.

00:21:33   most places are car first.

00:21:36   And usually, to have anything that is not car first,

00:21:40   you have to be somewhere that is so old

00:21:42   that it was all laid out and built before cars.

00:21:45   And there aren't that many of those places.

00:21:46   - No, I mean, you just need people

00:21:48   who are willing to make that change.

00:21:50   I mean, there's the big meme of,

00:21:51   what country is it they were showing?

00:21:53   Like, is it Amsterdam or something?

00:21:54   And they're like, you know, it's a constant meme

00:21:57   of people saying, well, you know, in America,

00:21:59   we can't all be like Amsterdam.

00:22:01   Or I'm sorry if it's not Amsterdam, who knows whatever it is.

00:22:03   But then the follow up is, well, here's what Amsterdam looked like in 1975.

00:22:07   And it looked just like America.

00:22:08   It was filled with cars, filled with street, you know, cars parked along the line,

00:22:11   along every single street in all directions, cars, cars, cars, cars.

00:22:14   And they changed it. Right.

00:22:16   You can make you can change the way your city works

00:22:18   by changing the laws and doing construction.

00:22:21   And as a lot of the the COVID stuff, you know, came down,

00:22:25   a lot of places and cities were closed to cars or had much less traffic.

00:22:29   And it was an opportunity to change the way things were.

00:22:32   and a lot of the cities decided to keep it that way.

00:22:35   I think Paris actually is now, you know,

00:22:37   they shut down a whole bunch of roads

00:22:39   and made no cars allowed anymore on these streets,

00:22:42   and then people filled the streets,

00:22:43   and instead of just going back to normal,

00:22:45   they're trying to make that permanent and say,

00:22:46   actually, those roads are shut down permanently,

00:22:48   and now they're gonna be for people,

00:22:50   and sidewalks, or whatever.

00:22:51   It is possible to do that in countries

00:22:53   with mildly functioning governments,

00:22:55   and a citizenry not 100% brainwashed by fascists,

00:22:59   but that's not where we live, so.

00:23:01   that we take what we can get.

00:23:03   But anyway, change is possible.

00:23:05   But it's-- yeah, cars--

00:23:07   and it's mostly for a good reason that cars--

00:23:09   we built everything around cars because they're super convenient

00:23:12   and they make a lot of new things possible.

00:23:14   But we obviously went way too far

00:23:16   in that direction in this country.

00:23:17   We need to reel it back in and probably

00:23:19   are going to have a difficult time doing that.

00:23:21   Yeah, it's a shame.

00:23:22   Because when all you've ever known

00:23:25   is car-focused design, which is all I ever knew before this,

00:23:30   You don't realize quite what you're missing.

00:23:33   And once you have a taste of people first design,

00:23:37   effectively, it kinda ruins you, kinda like the XDR.

00:23:42   It kinda ruins you. (laughs)

00:23:43   It's really nice, and now I just,

00:23:46   maybe I'll become an activist to try to get that done

00:23:50   in more places in the US, because it really is,

00:23:53   it really is a breath of fresh air, on many levels,

00:23:56   including literally, because you have fewer cars

00:23:58   polluting the air that you're breathing.

00:23:59   But it's really, it's so nice,

00:24:02   and I wish everyone in America could experience

00:24:05   this kind of life so that you could know,

00:24:08   A, what you're missing, and B, what we can maybe aspire to.

00:24:12   - Yeah, part of the reason that I like visiting

00:24:14   Cape Charles so much is because,

00:24:15   although it is not car-free,

00:24:17   the downtown or the historic district is,

00:24:20   I think it's a square mile or something like that,

00:24:22   and there are roads all over the place,

00:24:25   but there are fewer cars than almost anywhere else

00:24:29   that I go on a regular basis.

00:24:31   And so it is kind of de facto people first.

00:24:35   It's not the same as Fire Island.

00:24:36   I'm not trying to say it's one-to-one,

00:24:38   but it's spiritually similar, I think.

00:24:40   And oftentimes when we go for a week,

00:24:42   we will park Aaron's car on whatever day we arrive.

00:24:45   And the next time we climb in is when we get to go home.

00:24:48   And we'll walk the rest of the time.

00:24:51   Or perhaps if we were feeling lazy, we could,

00:24:53   although we haven't done it yet,

00:24:54   we could rent like a golf cart for the week.

00:24:57   And people will do that.

00:24:58   And I do agree with you that it is quite lovely

00:25:01   to walk to dinner instead of driving to dinner,

00:25:04   you know, and stuff like that.

00:25:04   So I hear you, it's just so funny to me hearing

00:25:08   all the woes and issues that you have,

00:25:10   particularly in the wintertime,

00:25:11   which is certainly not when Fire Island's

00:25:12   putting its best foot forward.

00:25:13   Again, I don't mean that to be a turd,

00:25:14   I'm just saying it's clearly not designed

00:25:17   by your own admission for many year-round residents.

00:25:20   - Oh, yeah.

00:25:21   - So yeah, so it's just funny to hear.

00:25:23   (upbeat music)

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00:27:14   - You know what was great to hear though,

00:27:20   or read actually, was a blog post

00:27:22   by our very own John Sirahusa.

00:27:24   - Hey! - Imagine that.

00:27:25   It's that time of year, and I mean that

00:27:27   in every sense of the phrase.

00:27:29   It is that time of year, 'cause we usually

00:27:30   only get one a year, and we got a blog post from John.

00:27:33   And you know what?

00:27:35   There are times on this show that I'm a host,

00:27:37   and there are times that I am simply just listening.

00:27:40   And as far as I'm concerned, John,

00:27:42   if you wanna just talk the rest of the episode,

00:27:45   I am happy to hear it.

00:27:47   I loved this blog post, and this is the one

00:27:50   that you've been threatening to write

00:27:51   for a couple of years now

00:27:52   about how to make a decent streaming app.

00:27:55   So as deep or as wide or both as you'd like to go,

00:28:00   tell me, Jon, about your unsolicited

00:28:02   streaming app specification.

00:28:04   - To be clear, it's not one blog post a year,

00:28:06   it's an average of one a year,

00:28:07   and those are two different statements.

00:28:08   One a year means that in every calendar year

00:28:10   there should be one post.

00:28:11   An average of one a year means that over the course

00:28:13   of 10 years there should be 10 posts.

00:28:15   It's around an average of one a year.

00:28:17   I think I'm over 1.0.

00:28:19   Anyway, yeah, I missed 20, I didn't do anything in 2021.

00:28:24   Sorry, everyone.

00:28:25   So maybe I'll do a second one

00:28:25   to follow up on this eventually in 2022.

00:28:28   So what I wrote about was I was just trying to have an outlet

00:28:33   for my frustration with streaming video apps

00:28:36   like on any platform, on your phone, on an iPad,

00:28:39   on Apple TV, on your television,

00:28:41   things you use to watch Netflix, Prime Video, Hulu, HBO,

00:28:45   like whatever.

00:28:46   I think we know what streaming video apps are.

00:28:50   I subscribe to a whole bunch of those services.

00:28:52   I subscribe to them all the time.

00:28:54   I can't even keep track of how many I subscribe to.

00:28:56   I'm getting better about unsubscribing when

00:28:57   I'm done watching shows on them.

00:28:59   But sometimes they just have enough good content

00:29:01   that I just keep my subscription going.

00:29:02   Anyway, and that means I get to use a lot

00:29:04   of these different apps.

00:29:05   And it boggles my mind how annoying they are in basic ways.

00:29:10   Like obviously everyone's gonna have their own peeves

00:29:13   about some feature that one has that another one doesn't

00:29:16   and I wish it did this cool thing or whatever,

00:29:18   but I'm just talking about like the super duper basics.

00:29:20   What I originally planned for this post

00:29:21   probably last year or the year before that was

00:29:24   just the playback screen,

00:29:25   like the screen where you've got a play button, right?

00:29:28   And you're watching the thing and you can press it

00:29:29   and you can pause and then you can press it

00:29:30   and you can play that, like the playback screen.

00:29:33   That screen alone, it amazes me how many apps get that

00:29:37   just entirely wrong by omitting some major feature.

00:29:39   Most of them, you know,

00:29:40   I haven't found one that omitted play and pause,

00:29:42   so good, thumbs up.

00:29:44   You got the play and pause thing,

00:29:46   but pretty much any other feature you can think of,

00:29:48   there's some streaming video app that doesn't implement it.

00:29:52   And I find that, you know, so it was like,

00:29:53   I was gonna say here, just,

00:29:55   here's a list of things you have to have

00:29:56   in your sort of now playing video player, whatever screen.

00:30:01   And then you could go through all the streaming video apps

00:30:03   and see that none of them fulfill that, right?

00:30:05   That eventually expanded into,

00:30:07   oh, what happened was I was gonna write that

00:30:08   and someone else wrote it.

00:30:09   Someone else wrote like, it was like a year or two ago.

00:30:11   Someone else wrote essentially that exact article.

00:30:12   I'm like, ah, someone else already did it, it's fine.

00:30:14   Even though what they wrote was not exactly the same,

00:30:17   it was the same idea.

00:30:18   Like, here's the controls that should be

00:30:20   in every streaming video app or something like that.

00:30:22   But time has passed and people forgot about that article.

00:30:25   And I said, you know, I should write about this too,

00:30:26   but I shouldn't just limit it to the now playing screen,

00:30:28   I should talk about the entire app experience.

00:30:31   But how am I gonna do that?

00:30:31   Am I just gonna go like, here are, you know,

00:30:34   things that annoy me about the apps that I use,

00:30:36   or here's some stuff people could do

00:30:39   to make their apps better?

00:30:40   And I was still sort of concentrating on

00:30:42   how frustrated I am that these things can't get the basics right.

00:30:45   So instead of what I decided to do was write a sort of informal specification

00:30:50   that you could hand off to a development team at a company that has a streaming

00:30:54   app and say, here, we're a streaming service.

00:30:57   Please make an app that people can use to use our service.

00:31:00   Here are the requirements.

00:31:01   Here's the specification of just the basics.

00:31:04   It's not a complete spec.

00:31:06   It's not like if you make this, you make an awesome app.

00:31:08   It's like you have to do these things.

00:31:11   After that, you can do all sorts of awesome stuff

00:31:13   on top of it.

00:31:14   Fun things, things that are branded,

00:31:17   things that differentiate the app,

00:31:18   things that make, as Apple would say,

00:31:20   your app surprise and delight the user.

00:31:23   That's not what I'm talking about.

00:31:24   I'm saying, before you even get into all the cool stuff,

00:31:27   make sure at the very least,

00:31:29   your streaming video app does these things.

00:31:31   And it's such a boring list.

00:31:33   Like it is just, you read it, you're like, great,

00:31:36   so people should be able to find video and play it?

00:31:39   okay, thanks, why did you even need to write this?

00:31:42   But then you look at any real app,

00:31:44   pick whatever your favorite app is,

00:31:45   and you realize how many of these things it doesn't have.

00:31:48   And it's not like this is a list of optional stuff.

00:31:51   I feel like every single thing on this list

00:31:53   should be mandatory because it's so simple.

00:31:57   And if you don't have it,

00:31:58   if you don't have even just one of these things,

00:32:00   using it is frustrating because like the things

00:32:03   that we're using to watch during video apps,

00:32:06   they're computers, like even the TV,

00:32:08   Like Apple TV is a computer, right?

00:32:09   Your phone, your iPad, those are computers.

00:32:12   And we all know computers can do things with digital video.

00:32:15   Like for example, computers can skip forward and backwards

00:32:18   by some number of seconds.

00:32:20   Like you don't have to hold down the fast forward

00:32:22   and rewind button like you're on a VHS player, right?

00:32:25   You can skip any number of seconds backwards and forwards.

00:32:28   If you're using a streaming video app

00:32:30   that does not have that feature, you get angry,

00:32:32   because you're like, "You're a computer!

00:32:33   "I know you can do this!

00:32:35   "Why does this feature not exist?"

00:32:36   Right?

00:32:37   And other things, I didn't really delve too much into this,

00:32:40   but I tried to put these features in a way that doesn't

00:32:44   dictate their implementation.

00:32:46   It's just like, look, the app needs to let the user

00:32:48   be able to do these things.

00:32:49   How you let them do it is kind of up to you.

00:32:51   Some of these can be implemented in different ways, right?

00:32:54   So I didn't want to be too prescriptive.

00:32:56   But one example of that is a lot of the features

00:32:59   can be satisfied by using the timeline thing.

00:33:02   Like most video players have a timeline

00:33:04   that goes along the bottom.

00:33:04   There's a little scrubber, like the little play head

00:33:06   that you can grab and move around,

00:33:08   to move among the video.

00:33:09   A lot of these features, if you implement a timeline,

00:33:12   a video timeline with a little scrubber,

00:33:14   it satisfies a lot of these.

00:33:16   So that's one way to do it.

00:33:16   I didn't wanna say you have to have a timeline,

00:33:18   you have to have a scrubber or whatever,

00:33:20   but in practice, that satisfies a lot of these things.

00:33:24   But a lot of video apps put that timeline

00:33:27   with a scrubber in it and they're like,

00:33:29   well, we're done, this solves all of our problems.

00:33:31   Skip forward and back is a good example.

00:33:32   We don't need a skip forward and back button

00:33:35   because we've got the little timeline.

00:33:36   If you wanna go back 30 seconds,

00:33:38   just grab the little scrubber thingy

00:33:40   and move it backwards 30 seconds.

00:33:41   - No problem, no problem.

00:33:42   - And to that I say, if I'm watching a two hour movie,

00:33:45   do you know what kind of like magical dexterity

00:33:48   you would need to move the play head backwards

00:33:51   10, five, 10, 20, 30 seconds precisely?

00:33:54   I was, speaking of this,

00:33:56   getting off the streaming house for a second,

00:33:58   I was taking photos of a,

00:34:00   it was like a document that I wanted to have a picture of

00:34:02   or whatever I do that frequently just have,

00:34:03   you know, put it in my phone,

00:34:05   especially now with text recognition in iOS,

00:34:06   which is neat.

00:34:07   And I didn't get my camera lined up exactly.

00:34:10   Yes, I know you can do the documents, scanning thing,

00:34:12   and notes, but I was just using the phone app, right?

00:34:15   And so I went into edit and I'm gonna straighten,

00:34:17   I'm gonna straighten the picture,

00:34:18   'cause it wasn't exactly at 90 degrees.

00:34:20   Like the corners was a little bit twisted.

00:34:22   But the control to straighten things

00:34:25   on my fancy amazing computer phone thing

00:34:28   is that like the little bar in the photos app

00:34:31   with the little notches on it,

00:34:32   it's like a sliding bar that you slide left and right

00:34:34   and it rotates the photo, and that bar has a kind of

00:34:39   snap to center field, you know what I'm talking about?

00:34:41   Like, you know, the default, like the way you took

00:34:44   the picture, it snaps into that, right?

00:34:47   So if you take that little thing, if your thing is only off

00:34:51   by like a very tiny amount, you grab that little line

00:34:55   and you move it, and all of a sudden your picture

00:34:56   starts rotating, you're like, whoa, that's way too much,

00:34:57   so you start moving it back towards the middle,

00:34:59   because it's like, it's just a little bit off,

00:35:01   I just need it to be rotated a little bit.

00:35:02   And as you get closer and closer to the middle,

00:35:04   all of a sudden it snaps back to the middle again.

00:35:06   So you yank it out again and it yanks,

00:35:09   okay now it's twisted too much,

00:35:10   let me put it back back towards the middle,

00:35:11   almost almost straight,

00:35:12   oh it snapped back to the middle again.

00:35:14   It is literally impossible as far as I can tell,

00:35:16   with even if you had a robot

00:35:17   with a tiny little fleshy thing,

00:35:19   the size of like the minimum size needed

00:35:21   to activate the capacitive touchscreen,

00:35:23   it's literally impossible to rotate an image

00:35:25   less than the minimum degree they decide is reasonable

00:35:28   because then it snaps back to the center.

00:35:29   That's why a scrubber thumb timeline thing,

00:35:32   especially with touch controls,

00:35:34   is not a replacement for a skip forward and back

00:35:37   X number of seconds button.

00:35:39   And that's why it's listed as a separate thing.

00:35:41   And that's why I say these are minimum requirements,

00:35:43   because these are things that people frequently need to do,

00:35:47   want to do, and expect to be able to do

00:35:50   because they're using a computer.

00:35:51   So if you decide no one will ever want to skip forward

00:35:54   or backward by some fixed number of seconds

00:35:56   in your TV thing,

00:35:57   'cause they can always just swipe on a touch pad

00:35:59   grab the scrubber thong, you're wrong,

00:36:02   and you're making a mistake, and your app is bad.

00:36:04   (laughing)

00:36:06   That's why I listed all these things.

00:36:08   I'll just read off a few of them

00:36:09   just so you can see what the features are like.

00:36:11   For the video player, this is what I talked about earlier,

00:36:14   a play and pause button, skip forward and backwards.

00:36:17   I didn't even say button.

00:36:17   Play and pause, skip forward and back

00:36:19   some small number of seconds.

00:36:21   Skip to the beginning or end of video.

00:36:23   Again, why do you say, why do you need these buttons?

00:36:24   Why can't you just grab the little scrubby thing

00:36:26   and go all the way to the left or all the way to the right?

00:36:27   You don't need buttons to skip to the end of the beginning.

00:36:30   Well, two things, one, grabbing the little thing,

00:36:32   dragging it can sometimes be annoying and fidgety.

00:36:34   And two, if the thing you're using is like a remote,

00:36:37   even if it has a swipey pad,

00:36:39   that requires some dexterity and finesse

00:36:42   that a lot of people either don't have

00:36:43   or don't wanna deal with.

00:36:45   If you could just have a button that says

00:36:46   skip all the way to the beginning

00:36:47   and all the way to the end,

00:36:48   that's way easier than activating, putting pause,

00:36:51   swiping on the touchpad, especially if it like,

00:36:53   again, if you're watching a two or three hour movie

00:36:55   and if the acceleration on your touchpad isn't right,

00:36:57   You're going swipe, swipe, swipe, swipe, swipe, swipe,

00:37:00   especially if while you're swiping

00:37:02   it is scrubbing through the movie,

00:37:03   then maybe you're spoiling yourself if you hadn't seen it

00:37:05   and your spouse had left it in the middle,

00:37:06   but you wanna go back to the beginning,

00:37:08   skip to beginning event.

00:37:09   Why?

00:37:10   Because it's a thing computers can do.

00:37:11   Select the audio tracks, select the subtitle back,

00:37:14   subtitle track, things like answering the question,

00:37:18   what am I watching?

00:37:20   I forget, I can't even keep track of which app this is,

00:37:22   but it frustrates me every time.

00:37:23   Like we'll start watching it

00:37:24   and for a variety of terrible reasons

00:37:25   not listed in this spec. We won't know whether the thing is showing us the next episode in

00:37:30   the series we've been watching every single night for the past month, right? Is this the

00:37:34   next episode or is this showing us the one we already saw last night? I don't know what

00:37:39   episode are we looking at? And then you pause it and it pauses and it shows the little timeline

00:37:45   on the bottom with a little thumbnail where you're paused and no other text is on the

00:37:49   screen. So you swipe and you press and you're just like, "What am I watching?" Put text

00:37:53   on the screen that tells me what am I watching.

00:37:55   And not just what I'm watching, what is the TV show?

00:37:59   What season number is it?

00:38:00   What episode number is it?

00:38:01   Why are you hiding this information?

00:38:02   You know this information is there.

00:38:04   It's a question people might wanna know.

00:38:06   You must show this on the screen.

00:38:08   It must be possible to tell what am I watching

00:38:11   without leaving the thing.

00:38:12   And then leaving a thing is a whole other problem

00:38:13   because how do you leave the thing that you're watching

00:38:15   and where do you go when you leave it?

00:38:16   Anyway, it's all in the post.

00:38:18   It's very boring and dry of like,

00:38:20   these are the minimum things that you should do.

00:38:22   And then at the very end, I look at three representative apps,

00:38:26   one on iOS, one on iPadOS, and one on Apple TV.

00:38:29   And I see how they measure up.

00:38:30   And you can see how even these extremely famous, extremely

00:38:32   well-funded apps fail in a few ways

00:38:35   to meet even this most basic spec.

00:38:39   Beyond the basic spec, there's tons of awesome things

00:38:42   that you can do.

00:38:42   And a lot of the feedback I got from people is, oh, I

00:38:45   think you should have put more things on even your basic spec

00:38:47   because I think this feature is essential

00:38:49   and you didn't list it or whatever.

00:38:50   but I was really trying to limit it to the basics.

00:38:52   The closest I got is saying that one of the basics

00:38:55   should be a button to enable and disable subtitles

00:38:58   that essentially nobody does.

00:39:00   But it annoys me so much that nobody does it

00:39:02   that I put it on my basic list.

00:39:03   It's my list, I'm allowed to have one given for me.

00:39:05   Because if you have occasion to enable subtitles briefly,

00:39:12   which I personally have occasion to do

00:39:14   and I am also frequently asked to do by other people

00:39:16   to figure out what somebody said

00:39:18   or how something is spelled or what the hell that name was

00:39:20   and that weird accent or whatever,

00:39:22   you don't want subtitles on the whole time.

00:39:24   Say you don't want,

00:39:25   some people do want them on the whole time, fine.

00:39:26   But for people who don't want them on the whole time,

00:39:29   you want to be able to turn them on,

00:39:31   use that 30 second skip back feature,

00:39:32   turn subtitles on, watch that line

00:39:34   that you didn't understand

00:39:35   and then turn them back off again.

00:39:36   But if every time you need to turn them on

00:39:38   or turn them off, you need to do tap, swipe, swipe,

00:39:41   tap, swipe, scroll, scroll, scroll, English,

00:39:43   tap, swipe, tap, okay, play,

00:39:46   and then go through that whole thing again

00:39:47   to turn them off, that's bad.

00:39:49   There's so much room on the screen.

00:39:50   Put a single button that enables and disables subtitles

00:39:53   and then a separate thing to pick

00:39:54   which subtitle track you want.

00:39:55   Anyway, that was my only sort of minor pet peeve

00:39:58   that I put in there, but instead of people complaining

00:40:00   about the subtitle peeve that I had,

00:40:01   they had their own stuff that they demanded

00:40:03   be in the basics, so I think the overall theme

00:40:06   and probably what I will write about

00:40:08   if I do a followup on this is, how do people feel?

00:40:11   How do people who use streaming video apps

00:40:14   feel about the apps?

00:40:15   Do they love the apps?

00:40:16   Do they have an affectionate feeling towards them

00:40:18   or do they hate them with the fiery passion?

00:40:19   Now obviously, when you write a post like this,

00:40:22   you're gonna hear mostly from the people who hate them,

00:40:24   but usually when you write a post like this,

00:40:25   you're also gonna hear from at least a few people who say,

00:40:28   "I know you were complaining about streaming apps,

00:40:30   "but I actually really, really like streaming app X.

00:40:33   "Nobody has sent me that.

00:40:34   "I've got zero feedback from anybody telling me,

00:40:38   "yeah, most streaming apps are bad,

00:40:40   "but I really love this one.

00:40:41   "Nobody loves them."

00:40:42   And I touched on this towards the end,

00:40:44   maybe I should have emphasized it more

00:40:46   because people won't get through a long post or whatever,

00:40:48   But like some of the reason these apps are annoying

00:40:50   are misaligned incentives, right?

00:40:52   In particular, the thing I emphasize very early on is

00:40:56   when you launch a streaming video app,

00:40:57   the most important thing that it should do

00:40:59   is quickly allow you to continue watching

00:41:01   whatever you were watching before.

00:41:03   'Cause that's the sort of job to be done.

00:41:05   Every night we're gonna sit down

00:41:06   and we're gonna watch an episode of my favorite show, right?

00:41:08   They drop the whole season

00:41:09   and we'll just watch an episode per night, right?

00:41:11   I, you know, for the past five days,

00:41:13   all I've done is at night, I sit down, turn on the thing,

00:41:16   I watch the next episode.

00:41:17   And then you sit down the next night,

00:41:18   you turn into the thing, you launch the app,

00:41:20   and it's like, what do you wanna do?

00:41:22   You're like, what do you think I wanna do, app?

00:41:23   I wanna watch the next episode of that show

00:41:26   that I've been watching every single night for a week,

00:41:28   and it's like, I don't know what you're talking about.

00:41:29   What do you wanna do?

00:41:31   People want to find the thing

00:41:33   that they were previously watching and continue watching it,

00:41:35   and the apps make that more difficult

00:41:38   because the incentives of the company

00:41:42   that makes the streaming apps are not the same

00:41:44   as the incentives of the people who are using it.

00:41:47   You know that and what did I think I phrased it in a very sort of

00:41:50   neutral way in the article of saying like

00:41:53   Emphasizing new content versus continuing content that you're already watching the streaming app wants to show you

00:41:57   Hey, I've got these new shows

00:41:59   You should check them out because you know the more shows you get into

00:42:02   The better it is if you just keep watching the show you want to watch and you finish it

00:42:06   Maybe you'll unsubscribe from the app, right?

00:42:08   So just to confirm what should be obvious to everyone which is why I didn't delve too much into it

00:42:14   I had some anonymous feedback.

00:42:17   This person said, "There was an experiment at Hulu last year

00:42:20   "to move the continue watching section below the fold

00:42:23   "down two rows from where it is."

00:42:24   Below the fold being like it's off the screen.

00:42:27   You launch the app and you can't even see

00:42:29   the continue watching section.

00:42:30   You have to scroll down to find it.

00:42:32   This was done with a very small group of users.

00:42:35   "It was so successful that the increased engagement

00:42:37   "was projected to generate more than $20 million a year.

00:42:41   "The experiment was immediately ended

00:42:43   and the new position was deployed to all users.

00:42:45   While I understand and largely agree with your frustration

00:42:48   that your in progress isn't at the top feature,

00:42:51   isn't the top feature, you could argue

00:42:53   this even provides more value to the user

00:42:55   as they discover content they wouldn't have otherwise,

00:42:57   hence the increased engagement, right?

00:42:59   So this last bit about, well, isn't it great

00:43:02   that you learn about new stuff?

00:43:04   Isn't that better than you just finding the show

00:43:06   that you wanted to watch and watching it

00:43:07   and then getting done?

00:43:08   This will let you see stuff that you never would have discovered

00:43:09   because we're constantly throwing it in your face.

00:43:12   That's not what I hear from people who are sending feedback.

00:43:16   And also, what they're doing in testing here and saying,

00:43:19   hey, we move, continue watching down so it's below the fold,

00:43:21   and we got more quote unquote engagement.

00:43:25   Well, some percentage of that engagement is people flailing,

00:43:28   wildly trying to find the thing

00:43:29   that they were previously watching.

00:43:31   Some percentage of that engagement

00:43:32   is people giving up finding it.

00:43:34   Some percentage of it is just,

00:43:35   well, I can't see the thing that I want,

00:43:37   so I'll try this other thing.

00:43:38   What is not measured by this thing,

00:43:40   if you're just measuring engagement,

00:43:42   What is not measured is the frustration being induced

00:43:44   in people that have to hunt for the thing

00:43:46   they were previously watching.

00:43:47   There is no sort of measure of that frustration really,

00:43:50   except maybe abandonment before watching or whatever,

00:43:53   but maybe even that would show increased engagement

00:43:55   because if you just go launch the app

00:43:57   and click the show you're watching,

00:43:58   that's a limited amount of quote unquote engagement

00:44:00   versus hunting for it.

00:44:01   If you hunt for it briefly and bail on the app,

00:44:04   that may count as more engagement in your measurement

00:44:06   than finding it successfully and watching it.

00:44:09   So as with any with metrics,

00:44:11   Be careful what you measure,

00:44:12   because if you're measuring the wrong thing

00:44:14   or you're ignoring something that you should be measuring,

00:44:16   you're gonna end up with an app that frustrates users

00:44:19   that nobody loves, right?

00:44:20   So again, while I understand there is lots of motivation

00:44:24   to show you the new show they paid $100 million for

00:44:27   at the top of the screen, filling the entire screen,

00:44:29   rather than showing you the next episode

00:44:31   of the show you're watching, it's a bad choice long-term.

00:44:35   People will have affection for an interface

00:44:38   that lets them do the thing they wanna do.

00:44:39   The example that I didn't dive too much into

00:44:41   because it's like old man news or whatever,

00:44:43   is the TiVo interface.

00:44:45   Tons of people use TiVo and loved it.

00:44:47   And if you ask them, they loved the interface.

00:44:50   They let them do what they wanted to do.

00:44:52   They didn't feel lost, it was responsive.

00:44:55   The playback experience was good.

00:44:56   It had all the controls they wanted on it.

00:44:59   And it made a user base that was so loyal

00:45:01   that essentially kept the company alive

00:45:02   for way longer than it should have been.

00:45:04   It's still alive technically now,

00:45:05   but it's a bit of a corpse.

00:45:07   So it is possible and also valuable and important

00:45:11   to have users who love your interface

00:45:13   and I think no streaming service has that today.

00:45:15   So I really hope somebody somewhere reads this,

00:45:18   realizes that their app doesn't measure up

00:45:20   to even the basics and then I hope they go beyond

00:45:23   these basics and do all the things

00:45:25   that a good video player should do.

00:45:28   I said good to great, like maybe a great video player

00:45:30   should do, so to give an example,

00:45:31   I talk all about like, oh when an episode is over,

00:45:34   when you finish watching an episode,

00:45:36   the next thing it should offer you to do

00:45:38   is to watch the episode that is next in the series, right?

00:45:41   But I didn't say, how do you tell when an episode is over?

00:45:44   I think we all know and understand that a really good app

00:45:48   will have good heuristics for determining

00:45:50   whether you've completed an episode,

00:45:52   'cause most people don't sit through all the credits, right?

00:45:55   You get to a certain point and you're like,

00:45:56   well, we're done with the episode.

00:45:57   But if you looked at the progress bar,

00:45:59   oh, you're not really done 'cause there's 17 minutes

00:46:01   of international credits on this Marvel show, right?

00:46:03   (laughing)

00:46:04   And so then if you launch the app the next day,

00:46:08   and it says, "Do you wanna continue watching?"

00:46:09   And you say, "Yes," and it just keeps showing you

00:46:11   the credits, like, "No, no, I finished that episode.

00:46:14   "Show me the next one."

00:46:15   We expect an app to go above and beyond the basic spec

00:46:19   of when the episode is over, show the next one.

00:46:21   We expect it to know, and by over, I mean,

00:46:25   what a person would think of as over.

00:46:28   Like this is what Boggess and I,

00:46:29   like we talk about on the show,

00:46:30   when we talk about app development

00:46:32   or what Mark was doing with Overcast or whatever,

00:46:34   any decent software developer,

00:46:37   this is all they spend their time thinking about.

00:46:39   These details, how do I tell when the show is over?

00:46:42   What is the right balance of how far into the credits

00:46:45   did they get?

00:46:46   Does it look like it's over?

00:46:47   Is there a post-credit sequence?

00:46:48   And if I send them to the next episode,

00:46:49   are they gonna miss the post-credit sequence?

00:46:51   Oh, now it seems like I need to have metadata to understand

00:46:54   on a per episode basis.

00:46:56   If there's a post-credit sequence,

00:46:58   this is the thought that goes into making an application.

00:47:00   This is not the basics.

00:47:01   I don't mention this anywhere in this article.

00:47:03   I'm just saying like basics, let people launch the app,

00:47:06   find the thing they wanna watch, watch it, right?

00:47:09   But to actually make a really great app,

00:47:11   you have to go beyond the basics

00:47:13   and these apps don't even get the basics right.

00:47:15   So that's why I tried to limit myself to the basics

00:47:17   to say, look, you're not even in the ballpark yet.

00:47:21   Make sure your app has the basic functionality

00:47:24   and then please, please spend a lot of time

00:47:27   on every single one of these individual things,

00:47:28   finding out how you can do a better job of that.

00:47:32   Most actual apps are a mix.

00:47:33   Like some apps do a really good job of one thing,

00:47:36   like the Amazon Prime app has that x-ray thing

00:47:38   where at any time you're watching something

00:47:40   on the Amazon Prime video player and someone says,

00:47:42   what is that person from?

00:47:44   You just hit pause, it shows the faces and names

00:47:47   of all the actors who are in the current scene

00:47:49   you're watching and you can drill down into them

00:47:50   and see the other stuff that they were in.

00:47:53   Why has nobody copied that?

00:47:54   I mean, the snarky answer is because Amazon owns IMDb

00:47:57   and because potentially there's patents about it,

00:47:59   but I'm just saying like,

00:48:00   that's an example of surprise and delight.

00:48:03   That is way above and beyond the basics.

00:48:05   Amazon's been doing it for years and years.

00:48:07   No one else seems to care.

00:48:08   Even though you know,

00:48:09   everyone's sitting on their captors watching a show

00:48:11   and saying, "What is that person from?"

00:48:12   And then we take out our phones

00:48:14   and we have to look it up

00:48:15   in the stupid IMDb app that's terrible

00:48:17   or we have to Google it or whatever.

00:48:18   It's like, oh God.

00:48:20   Anyway, there's a lot of room for improvement here.

00:48:23   My angle is just try to go to the basics

00:48:25   and I really hope these things get better over time.

00:48:27   I'm a little bit pessimistic

00:48:29   because of the misaligned incentives,

00:48:32   but I feel like there's so many of these apps,

00:48:36   at least one of them needs to be in there and say,

00:48:39   rather than chasing what we think of as engagement

00:48:41   at all costs, maybe we should try to make an app

00:48:44   that people actually like using.

00:48:46   Or maybe we should just start measuring user sentiment.

00:48:48   Do you love our app or do you hate it?

00:48:50   No, not one star through five star,

00:48:51   but like some kind of user sentiment analysis,

00:48:54   some kind of net promoter score,

00:48:57   some kind of business jargon mumbo jumbo that says,

00:49:00   do people like using our thing?

00:49:01   because the answer right now is mostly no.

00:49:04   - It's so true.

00:49:07   One time sponsor channels, they did a victory lap

00:49:11   saying that they think they fit your criteria pretty well.

00:49:14   And to the best, I use channels regularly,

00:49:16   and to the best of my recollection,

00:49:17   I think that's mostly true, if not accurate.

00:49:20   I had a couple people write in say that Plex

00:49:22   does most, if not all, of this.

00:49:24   You use Plex enough that you would know.

00:49:26   I didn't have the chance to go through and verify myself,

00:49:30   but I think a lot of it they do right.

00:49:31   certainly not all of it, but a lot of it.

00:49:33   So there's hope to be had,

00:49:35   but I think that that is the problem,

00:49:37   and you've nailed it,

00:49:38   is that the misaligned incentives

00:49:40   for anything like a Netflix causes them to make decisions

00:49:44   that are contrary to what I want

00:49:47   as a just regular schmo that wants to watch some TV.

00:49:50   - That's one of the things about,

00:49:51   the things you mentioned, channels, Plex.

00:49:54   Very often you hear people deriding

00:49:56   or sort of developer interfaces, right?

00:49:59   Like, oh, it looks like a developer made this UI.

00:50:01   You know because it's very kind of

00:50:03   By the numbers, you know boring straightforward

00:50:07   No frills. No real creativity, right?

00:50:11   Especially like perhaps, you know

00:50:13   Navigational even think of like old iOS apps of like a master detail view or a simple straightforward

00:50:18   Hierarchy with the expected number of steps between A and B and it's like okay fine, but that's very sort of computer in developer

00:50:24   II and things like Plex or

00:50:27   XBMC before it or was that other one especially the K like these sort of

00:50:31   Mostly nerd derived media player thingies, which did not start life as streaming video

00:50:36   So I know Plex has some streaming or whatever. That's not but Plex does not start its life as a streaming video service

00:50:42   I think it started before that's that thing even existed

00:50:44   Or even channels, which is kind of a nerdy thing for setting up to you or whatever

00:50:49   They tend to have interfaces that have a lot of features

00:50:53   so then they tend to also have the basics.

00:50:55   Because if they're made by tech nerdy people,

00:50:58   like, well of course, it's a computer,

00:50:59   we'll put in all the features the computer can do.

00:51:01   Why would we not have skip to beginning

00:51:02   and skip forward back?

00:51:04   In fact, we're computer users,

00:51:05   we're not afraid of having a setting screen.

00:51:07   Maybe we'll have a setting screen

00:51:08   that lets you choose how many seconds

00:51:10   backwards and forwards you can skip,

00:51:12   and nobody in the room says,

00:51:13   whoa, whoa, whoa, we can't have settings, that's madness.

00:51:16   Users will not be able to figure this out.

00:51:18   Whereas they put that one little feature in there

00:51:20   and then anyone who uses them is like,

00:51:21   oh thank God, I can pick the number of seconds

00:51:22   forward and backwards. In fact, maybe I'll only go backwards, you know, seven seconds

00:51:27   and forward 30 seconds. I can pick different amounts. It's amazing and that makes them

00:51:30   happier. Anyway, the reason those apps tend to do better is because they have those sort

00:51:34   of straightforward interfaces. No one in those meetings is saying, we should have an algorithmic

00:51:39   timeline that figures out what we think they want to watch and shows them that. And it's

00:51:44   like, no, let's just make a hierarchy. You have TVs and movies. TV shows are broken down

00:51:48   into seasons and there are specials that are out of the seasons and they're ordered sets.

00:51:52   can be in series and we can have trilogies.

00:51:54   And they just do the straightforward hierarchy.

00:51:58   And the navigation is like down, down, down, up, up, up.

00:52:01   And it's not the smoothest thing in the world,

00:52:04   but it's the obvious way that this could work.

00:52:07   And that's one of the things I say is here.

00:52:09   You have to support the obvious intrinsic hierarchy

00:52:12   of the material, right?

00:52:14   Above and beyond that, if you wanna do this cool,

00:52:16   like here's what we recommend for you

00:52:18   or based on what your friends are watching

00:52:19   or we built in a social network.

00:52:21   Yeah, sure, by all means do that,

00:52:23   but you also have to support the idea

00:52:25   that there are TV shows that have seasons

00:52:27   and seasons have episodes,

00:52:28   and episodes are made by people and have titles

00:52:30   and have durations.

00:52:32   There is an intrinsic hierarchy to this stuff.

00:52:35   And you can spend hours and hours making it better saying,

00:52:37   "Okay, but what about series that have special episodes

00:52:41   inserted, what about the Doctor Who Christmas special,

00:52:43   where does that fit in and how do we?"

00:52:45   Yes, you can go, like we talked about with music,

00:52:47   you can spend a lot of time making the data model

00:52:50   just perfect, but let's just start with the basics.

00:52:53   And I think the smaller the app,

00:52:55   and the more it predates streaming video services,

00:52:58   the more likely it is to pass this basics test,

00:53:00   because no one was there to tell them

00:53:03   that it's wrong to make a simple usable app

00:53:06   with a few settings.

00:53:08   Whereas the streaming video apps all look like

00:53:09   they were made with like, we have a blank canvas

00:53:12   and we've never heard of hierarchy,

00:53:13   throw a bunch of squares on it, good, we're done.

00:53:15   (laughing)

00:53:18   Is that it for that topic?

00:53:20   - Unless Marco's gonna announce a streaming video app.

00:53:23   - Oh God, no, well the problem is that

00:53:25   there is no way, you know, right now we have

00:53:30   this wonderful situation in the podcast app market

00:53:35   where anybody can make a podcast app.

00:53:38   And the world of podcast content that's out there

00:53:42   with some, a growing number of exceptions unfortunately,

00:53:45   but the world of podcast content is mostly available

00:53:48   to anybody who wants to make an app.

00:53:50   So we aren't stuck with only a small number

00:53:54   of big companies as the content owners

00:53:57   being the ones who can make the apps

00:53:58   that play that content.

00:54:00   That is the case where we're stuck in that kind of situation

00:54:04   for most other forms of media today.

00:54:06   Most of the forms of media, especially video,

00:54:08   like the reality is that Apple tried with the Apple TV

00:54:13   to have standardized players and everything like that.

00:54:15   Actually, the old Apple TVs before tvOS

00:54:19   actually achieved this in a much better way,

00:54:21   in part because it was simpler and capable of less,

00:54:24   and also in part because I believe Apple

00:54:27   was actually writing all that software themselves

00:54:29   and just making deals with content providers

00:54:31   to access some of their stuff on the backend or whatever.

00:54:33   But now we're in this world where,

00:54:36   only, say, only the programmers at Netflix

00:54:41   are going to be able to make the apps

00:54:44   that can play the Netflix content.

00:54:46   Only the programmers at Disney

00:54:47   are gonna make the Disney Plus content playable and so on.

00:54:50   And so we have this unfortunate situation where,

00:54:53   first of all, we have a million different apps

00:54:55   to play this now, which, where like,

00:54:58   and not in a good way, like what I mean by that is like,

00:55:01   if you as a consumer wanna watch six different TV shows,

00:55:05   you probably have to use four different apps to watch them.

00:55:07   And all those apps are gonna behave differently,

00:55:10   and they're all gonna be written by different people

00:55:11   with different priorities and different skill levels.

00:55:13   And so they're gonna have all these different experiences

00:55:16   that are gonna drive John nuts.

00:55:18   In part because they're bad,

00:55:19   and also in part just because

00:55:20   they're different from each other.

00:55:22   But you also have this problem of now that things

00:55:24   are so siloed and locked down by these giant corporations

00:55:29   that don't wanna work together with anybody else,

00:55:31   no one else can make another app to play it.

00:55:34   I can't make a streaming video app if I wanted to

00:55:36   because I wouldn't be able to play any video.

00:55:38   Music is almost that bad.

00:55:40   Like back when we all were playing MP3s

00:55:43   that we pirated off a Napster and stuff,

00:55:45   excuse me, that we ripped legally

00:55:48   from our own CD collections,

00:55:49   that you could have other MP3 players,

00:55:53   anybody could make a music player

00:55:55   and have a chance of it getting traction.

00:55:57   Yes, I know when iTunes came out,

00:55:59   it kind of crushed the market,

00:56:00   but for the most part,

00:56:02   there was a time span there with music

00:56:04   where anybody could make a music app.

00:56:06   And as somebody who uses the music app

00:56:10   on my devices every day,

00:56:13   I would love to make a new music app that,

00:56:18   how do I put this gently?

00:56:22   I would love to make a music app where it appears

00:56:24   that the person who makes the app uses the app, ever.

00:56:28   - Well done, well done, 'cause oh my gosh,

00:56:31   in my continued attempt to force myself to like Apple Music,

00:56:35   (exhales)

00:56:36   The music app is so bad, and it's so bad everywhere.

00:56:40   It's not like--

00:56:42   - There are third party music apps though.

00:56:44   I mean, like Marco said, the existence of Apple's app

00:56:47   kind of makes that market tough,

00:56:48   and so there's not a lot of entrants,

00:56:50   but to Apple's credit, it is possible

00:56:53   to make a third party music app for iOS and the Mac,

00:56:55   and they do exist.

00:56:56   - Well, yes, and it is possible, however,

00:56:59   the market for them is very small,

00:57:02   because in a large part, because what customers are accessing

00:57:09   in their music apps is so frequently now a streaming

00:57:12   service and not their own collection.

00:57:14   Now, there are some exceptions to this.

00:57:16   You can make an app for iOS and Mac that accesses Apple Music.

00:57:21   There are some limitations on what that app can do then,

00:57:24   for various DRM reasons and everything like that.

00:57:27   But you could make an app, a third party app,

00:57:30   for Apple Music playback.

00:57:32   And if I were to ever make my own music app,

00:57:34   this is not an announcement,

00:57:35   I haven't written a single line of code

00:57:37   or even decided to do this ever, let alone anytime soon.

00:57:42   But if I were to make a music app,

00:57:45   that is probably what I would make.

00:57:46   I would probably make something that could either

00:57:49   integrate with the API to play Apple Music for that demand,

00:57:52   or I would say, eff it, I'm not gonna integrate

00:57:56   with any streaming service.

00:57:57   if you can somehow find a folder of MP3s

00:58:01   that you either brought from the 90s with you until now,

00:58:05   or somehow, I don't even know if people,

00:58:08   like do people even pirate music anymore?

00:58:10   Like there's no point.

00:58:11   But anyway, like that's how I've always thought

00:58:15   about it in my head.

00:58:16   Like if I were to make a music app,

00:58:17   it would either be using the Apple Music API

00:58:19   and being very limited and tied to this thing

00:58:21   that I'm sure is a buggy mess.

00:58:23   Because think about like an API that's A,

00:58:27   based on an Apple web service,

00:58:29   and B, almost certainly not at all the same API

00:58:33   that Apple's own apps use.

00:58:34   So the chances of that being good

00:58:37   and long-term stable are very low.

00:58:39   - It probably is the same one that Apple's apps use

00:58:41   because the Apple's apps are also laggy and weird,

00:58:44   and so they are probably dog fooding it.

00:58:46   That'd probably limit the quality of your third-party app

00:58:49   is that in the end, you have to make a bunch of HTTP calls

00:58:52   to get the music that you have to play,

00:58:53   and if those stall out and are slow,

00:58:55   then your app suddenly is slow when you hit the play button.

00:58:58   - That's fair.

00:58:59   But anyway, so yeah, so my plan would either be that,

00:59:01   or again, like, just, just plays files.

00:59:04   Like, maybe it will sync to an S3 bucket

00:59:07   so you can have them on multiple devices,

00:59:08   but like, literally just plays DRM-free files

00:59:12   that you happen to have.

00:59:13   How you get those, that's up to you.

00:59:15   'Cause honestly, that's what I use most of the time.

00:59:17   Most of the time, I am playing my fish concerts

00:59:20   that I download legally from them.

00:59:23   And those are all just DRM-free MP3 files.

00:59:26   And that's, the vast majority of my collection

00:59:28   is not stuff I've added from Apple Music.

00:59:31   It's mostly stuff I either bought legally or ripped legally

00:59:35   that I had before streaming services became a thing,

00:59:37   or it's fish concerts that are legal

00:59:40   and totally outside of that system.

00:59:41   But the problem is, getting back to the point,

00:59:44   the problem is, the reason I'm probably never

00:59:46   gonna make this app is because there is basically

00:59:48   nobody else who would wanna use it.

00:59:50   Like I know all dozens of you are saying,

00:59:53   oh, I would, I would, but the problem is,

00:59:55   this is an app for almost nobody.

00:59:58   Relatively speaking, like percentage wise,

01:00:01   of today's music listening population.

01:00:03   Almost everyone now, first of all, listens to music

01:00:06   I don't even understand anymore.

01:00:07   So why should I even make this app?

01:00:09   This is not obviously my expertise area.

01:00:11   But also, most people are listening on a streaming service.

01:00:15   And so to launch a music app today,

01:00:19   when you don't own a major streaming service

01:00:24   is market suicide probably.

01:00:26   Well that's the problem you have with video.

01:00:28   - There is a market for that though.

01:00:29   Like the companies, two of the companies we listed.

01:00:32   So Plex obviously, I mean I think they have

01:00:35   their own streaming thing or whatever.

01:00:36   But the Plex's deal is, if you can somehow get the video

01:00:41   to me, Plex, I will organize it for you

01:00:44   and let you play it and let you, you know,

01:00:47   Mark it up and get the artwork and do all the things right and then channels which former sponsor my understanding of the way

01:00:53   Their things work is they will also say look, you know, if you if you pay for cable

01:00:58   Sign in with your credentials because a lot of the cable providers have a way that they show video on the web and we will extract

01:01:05   That and then and so it's like you get everywhere you get to use our player the channels player

01:01:10   Even though they don't own the streaming service. They don't own, you know

01:01:13   Xfinity or Fios or you know over-the-air antennae or

01:01:17   or like the HD home run things like,

01:01:19   it is plausible and possible and these companies do it

01:01:23   to say, I'm gonna try to make a player interface

01:01:26   to this video that like Marco said,

01:01:28   is locked up in these third party services,

01:01:30   but man, do they not make it easy.

01:01:32   Like the companies that actually own the video

01:01:34   do not want those other companies putting their player

01:01:38   or system on top of them.

01:01:39   Plex is like, okay, well, you know,

01:01:41   we have other ways to get that video,

01:01:42   so screw you streaming service, right?

01:01:44   But things like channels are trying to play along

01:01:48   as best they can with things like cable cards

01:01:50   and over the air video and your cable subscription

01:01:53   and the web interface.

01:01:54   But the companies that own that stuff

01:01:58   don't want that to happen and will stop it

01:02:00   any way they legally can.

01:02:01   So it is an extremely tough market.

01:02:03   - Yeah, and that's why I like,

01:02:06   it's really hard to have usability or experience innovation

01:02:13   in an area where you are beholden to content

01:02:17   provided by a small number of large companies.

01:02:20   Because the reality is that it's very difficult

01:02:25   or impossible to build an app as somebody

01:02:28   who is not one of these big companies

01:02:30   to access other people's content today,

01:02:33   unless that content is an existing,

01:02:35   already wide open medium, and the number of those

01:02:37   is dramatically shrinking and isn't large to begin with.

01:02:41   I have to say I'm kind of heartened to see that there was so much feedback from people

01:02:48   having dissatisfaction with the first launch experience.

01:02:51   Because I had feared when I was writing this that an entire generation of people had been

01:02:55   conditioned to the idea that when you launch a streaming service app, of course it's not

01:03:00   going to give you an obvious way to continue watching the show you're watching.

01:03:03   Like that you will always be presented with essentially a splash screen promoting a bunch

01:03:07   of things that it thinks you might like.

01:03:09   that you will always have to dig or scroll or search

01:03:13   or do a voice command or whatever

01:03:16   to find the show that you've been watching, right?

01:03:18   But no, even though essentially every big streaming service

01:03:22   does that, again, for user engagement reasons,

01:03:24   'cause it's important for them.

01:03:26   If you're one of these companies, what's more important,

01:03:29   that the user finish watching the TV series

01:03:32   that they really wanted to watch when they signed up

01:03:35   or that they start watching a new thing?

01:03:37   If they finish watching the series,

01:03:38   Maybe they say, "Oh, that's done.

01:03:39   "Now I can unsubscribe from Power Hunt Plus.

01:03:41   "I've finished the Star Trek."

01:03:43   They don't want that.

01:03:44   They want you to start a new thing.

01:03:45   So it is so in their interest to hide that.

01:03:48   But despite the fact that every single streaming service

01:03:51   makes it degrees of difficult for you to continue

01:03:54   watching what you're watching,

01:03:55   that is still what everybody wants to do.

01:03:57   And that is absolutely the number one complaint

01:04:00   I heard echoed is like,

01:04:01   nobody can find, where was the thing I was just watching?

01:04:05   Nobody can find it.

01:04:06   Even though the answer is often, it's right there,

01:04:09   or it's down two rows, or you don't see it,

01:04:10   it's over, some hide it really well,

01:04:13   some hide it just a little bit,

01:04:15   but the bottom line is people go in there

01:04:17   trying to accomplish a task, which is,

01:04:19   let me watch the next episode of "Ted Lasso,"

01:04:22   and the apps fight them, the apps fight them.

01:04:25   They launch the app and it's like,

01:04:26   I don't know what you're talking about with the "Ted Lasso,"

01:04:28   but what about this show?

01:04:29   Or it shows the big banner for "Ted Lasso,"

01:04:31   and you click it and it starts playing

01:04:32   episode one of "Ted Lasso," and it's like,

01:04:34   God, you have one job, but I guess that counts as engagement.

01:04:37   Anyway, so I'm glad that people have not been conditioned

01:04:41   to accept that this is how it has to be.

01:04:44   With streaming music, I think people have,

01:04:45   unfortunately, been conditioned to accept it,

01:04:47   because honestly, I think streaming music apps are better

01:04:50   in the grand scheme of things than streaming video apps.

01:04:52   But streaming video, despite--

01:04:53   - Are they?

01:04:54   - Despite apparently all going to the same conference

01:04:58   where they all agree to suck in exactly the same ways,

01:05:00   users still don't like it.

01:05:03   They just wanna watch their show.

01:05:05   - Well, and the problem too, as you talked about earlier,

01:05:08   is that when it's only big companies making these apps

01:05:12   or even able to make these apps,

01:05:15   it's so much easier for them to justify the decisions

01:05:19   they make based on quote data.

01:05:21   And it's not that they're not being evil

01:05:24   or stupid or anything, that's just how large companies work.

01:05:29   - They're being a little bit stupid though,

01:05:30   'cause like I said, data,

01:05:31   it depends on what you decide to measure.

01:05:33   You have to be careful with what you're measuring.

01:05:35   - That's fair, but for the most part,

01:05:36   like if they have some data that shows like,

01:05:39   hey, this kind of less user friendly

01:05:43   or less graceful design actually resulted

01:05:47   in higher performance on whatever metrics we're tracking,

01:05:50   it's really hard if you're in a company to argue,

01:05:53   hey, but why don't we do the nicer thing instead?

01:05:56   Like that doesn't, when you're in a company,

01:05:58   that kind of logic does not get rewarded

01:06:01   and does not succeed.

01:06:02   Because everyone's like, well,

01:06:04   I'll make more money this way.

01:06:05   That's it.

01:06:06   And when you're an individual or a small group

01:06:10   that is less focused on extracting every penny of profit

01:06:14   and more driven by like,

01:06:16   hey, let's make the best thing we can make,

01:06:18   you make different decisions, you think differently,

01:06:20   you have different priorities.

01:06:21   And you can because you're smaller.

01:06:24   But it's very different when you are like

01:06:26   a very small cog in a very big machine

01:06:28   where you are rewarded only for making money and that's it.

01:06:32   - I think it's a little bit subtler than that.

01:06:34   A lot of the cases where when you're small,

01:06:38   you think the way to make money is to make an app

01:06:41   that people like using.

01:06:42   Like that's the connection that you make, naively make.

01:06:45   You know, like okay, well,

01:06:46   if I'm gonna make a word processor

01:06:48   and I want my word processor to be really great,

01:06:50   I want people to love my word processor,

01:06:52   I wanna make the best word processor I can make

01:06:53   because if I make the best word processor I can make,

01:06:56   I'll make money, right?

01:06:57   When you're big, that connection,

01:06:59   quality of product equals making money,

01:07:01   that's not how you make money in the big leagues, right?

01:07:03   It's different than that.

01:07:04   It's like, okay, but how do we actually make money?

01:07:06   Show me the path from make a really good

01:07:09   streaming interface to making money.

01:07:11   And they'll say, well actually,

01:07:12   the streaming app is not that big a deal,

01:07:14   we just need a giant play button, right?

01:07:15   What we really need is content,

01:07:16   and how do you get content?

01:07:17   And what we really need is distribution,

01:07:18   how do we get it installed on everybody's TVs?

01:07:20   And there's so much more to making money.

01:07:23   The connection between making money means

01:07:25   doing these things gets farther and farther

01:07:27   from the simple thing of like,

01:07:28   if I just make a really good app or piece of software,

01:07:32   that's it, especially for things like streaming services.

01:07:33   Honestly, we're complaining about these interfaces

01:07:36   or whatever the bottom line is,

01:07:37   if there's not good TV shows on it or not good movies,

01:07:39   you're not gonna watch it no matter how good the app is.

01:07:41   So the most important thing is content

01:07:44   and that's a whole other ball of wax.

01:07:46   But I don't think that even the app itself

01:07:48   is like second or third or fourth,

01:07:49   or if it is, the purpose the app is serving

01:07:53   is not let the user accomplish their intended task

01:07:57   with the least amount of frustration.

01:07:59   That's not the thing that is going to make the money.

01:08:02   Because they say, okay, say our app is 10 times better

01:08:04   than the next person's.

01:08:05   They're still going to do better

01:08:07   because they're making that extra $20 million

01:08:09   from extra engagement by putting up the big promo

01:08:12   for their new show and we need to do that, right?

01:08:14   And so it's, I think everyone in it wants to succeed

01:08:17   or make money or whatever you wanna say,

01:08:19   but it's the way, it's the sophistication

01:08:22   of the connection between what I do

01:08:25   and how that translates into money.

01:08:26   And this small developer,

01:08:29   it can usually hold on to the,

01:08:33   right or wrong, can hold on to the connection

01:08:34   between the quality of their app

01:08:36   and how much money they make

01:08:37   much longer than a large corporation can.

01:08:40   - Yeah.

01:08:41   - I think it was that Dilbert strip

01:08:43   where there was some character

01:08:44   having an existential crisis and saying,

01:08:46   "Oh no, I just lost the connection

01:08:47   "between my performance and how much I'm paid."

01:08:49   Like having a thought in your head is like,

01:08:52   If you lose that, if you're just like,

01:08:54   I know I've lost it, I can't see it anymore.

01:08:56   'Cause when you're, especially when you're first starting

01:08:58   at a job, you think, if I do well in my job,

01:09:00   I will succeed.

01:09:02   And there are various times in one's long career

01:09:04   where you will lose that connection and say,

01:09:06   how well I do my job seems to have no connection

01:09:09   to how much I'm paid or how I'm promoted, right?

01:09:12   And you just lose it.

01:09:13   You're like, what even is anything?

01:09:15   And then maybe you get it back.

01:09:16   Anyway, it definitely seems like the connection

01:09:21   between the quality of the streaming app and how streaming companies make money essentially

01:09:25   doesn't exist.

01:09:26   (upbeat music)

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01:11:20   (upbeat music)

01:11:23   - All right, so there was some slightly breaking news

01:11:26   that happened, I believe this morning as we record.

01:11:29   Akamai, which is a, if not the CDN,

01:11:34   content delivery network, has announced

01:11:35   that they are going to acquire a very frequent former

01:11:39   and probably a future sponsor, Linode.

01:11:41   - They're literally sponsoring this episode.

01:11:43   - I was gonna say, I was about to look,

01:11:44   are they sponsoring tonight?

01:11:46   So we are obviously all big fans of Linode here.

01:11:49   And we certainly have a financial interest

01:11:53   in what happens with Linode in the sense

01:11:55   that they sponsor us.

01:11:57   But that being said, I think-- and I would hope that you all

01:11:59   know us well enough to know that we'll call it like we see it.

01:12:03   And so Akamai has announced that they're

01:12:05   going to acquire Linode.

01:12:06   Reading from their announcement, just a couple of quick things.

01:12:10   It says, "Together with Linode, Akamai

01:12:11   will become the world's most distributed compute platform

01:12:14   from cloud to edge."

01:12:16   And then the Akamai CEO, Tom Leighton,

01:12:18   said, "We are excited to begin a new chapter

01:12:20   "in our evolution by creating a unique cloud platform

01:12:23   "to build, run, and secure applications

01:12:24   "from the cloud to the edge.

01:12:26   "This is a big win for developers who will now be able

01:12:28   "to build applications on a platform

01:12:29   "that delivers unprecedented scale,

01:12:32   "reach, performance, reliability, and security."

01:12:37   - I hope nothing happens.

01:12:40   (laughing)

01:12:41   So here's the thing.

01:12:42   So my concern here is less, you know, selfishly,

01:12:46   It's less about them sponsoring our show in the future

01:12:50   and more, 'cause I think we perform pretty well for them

01:12:52   and I think if they continue doing sponsorships at all,

01:12:54   I think they'll probably stick with us.

01:12:56   But I think my concern for them is more as a customer

01:13:00   that I have everything hosted there.

01:13:02   And I have been through web host acquisitions

01:13:07   as a customer before.

01:13:09   I've also been through Linode's own migrations before

01:13:12   where maybe they're trying to retire some old hardware

01:13:16   and move everybody onto newer hardware.

01:13:17   I've been through those before.

01:13:19   Linode has always handled those very well.

01:13:23   I'm not concerned that Linode will,

01:13:25   as they're almost certainly going to start moving stuff

01:13:29   into Akamai's infrastructure on some level,

01:13:32   I'm not worried they're gonna do a bad job of that.

01:13:35   They've done a great job of that in the past,

01:13:37   and so that's been fine.

01:13:40   I'm also, again, having been with other hosts

01:13:43   when they've gotten acquired,

01:13:45   Normally what happens is for a while everything is the same

01:13:50   and then eventually the new owner of it

01:13:54   makes everybody move over to their plans,

01:13:57   whatever their structure is, their plans,

01:13:59   and they shut down all the old stuff eventually.

01:14:01   So that might happen here, but in this case,

01:14:04   Linode was not acquired by another web hosting company.

01:14:08   They were acquired by a large CDN that has other solutions,

01:14:11   but they don't really, like Akamai does not sell

01:14:15   what Linode is.

01:14:16   And if you look at the statements

01:14:18   from the Akamai people and everything,

01:14:21   it seems like their main interest in Linode

01:14:24   is to have a server platform and server solutions

01:14:29   that they can sell their other customers

01:14:33   through their massive sales channel.

01:14:35   This was covered very well in the Stratechery article

01:14:38   for subscribers this week or today about this.

01:14:41   I strongly recommend anybody out there, check it out.

01:14:43   Sign up if you want, it's a great thing, it's worth it.

01:14:46   Anyway, so we'll link to it in the show notes.

01:14:47   But the Akamai position on this publicly seems to be like,

01:14:52   they want a server platform or solution

01:14:55   that they can sell to their other customers

01:14:57   through their big sales channel.

01:14:59   Now, what this means to existing Linode customers

01:15:03   is that it sounds like we are not super important to Akamai.

01:15:08   Now that can be good and bad.

01:15:11   In one way, it can be good in the sense that

01:15:14   we probably don't matter enough for them to mess with us.

01:15:18   It can be bad in the sense that as they choose

01:15:20   what directions to go in the future,

01:15:22   they might not consider our needs,

01:15:24   or they might not prioritize us

01:15:25   over their other larger goals.

01:15:27   But I imagine, you know, they paid Linode

01:15:30   a decent amount of money to buy this

01:15:32   decently sized company for a reason.

01:15:34   Like, it wasn't just to, you know,

01:15:37   sell stuff and get a commission or whatever,

01:15:39   like they could have done that

01:15:40   through some kind of affiliate marketing deal.

01:15:42   They didn't have to buy the company to do that.

01:15:44   So I think this will probably be okay for a while.

01:15:48   If it ends up that what I use and need about Linode

01:15:54   is somehow ruined or no longer available,

01:15:59   then I'll be really sad and I'll be forced to move

01:16:01   and that'll suck because when you look around,

01:16:03   like I looked around today to see like,

01:16:05   well, what does the competitive landscape look like?

01:16:08   And there's not that many companies like this left.

01:16:13   You know, it's basically like DigitalOcean

01:16:15   and then this one that Ben Thompson linked to

01:16:16   that with the V, I hadn't even heard of them before.

01:16:19   But apparently they're huge.

01:16:20   I had never heard of them.

01:16:22   But I looked at their offerings and everything

01:16:24   and yeah, I would have some stumbling blocks

01:16:28   moving to either of these companies

01:16:29   because as I mentioned in every single ad,

01:16:32   Linode's really good and they solve my needs really well.

01:16:36   And I currently, I spend something like $5,000 a month

01:16:40   on overcast servers there.

01:16:42   - Oh, God, that makes my heart hurt.

01:16:45   - Yeah, and if you look at Linode's prices,

01:16:47   they're like, you know, 20 bucks a month, 40 bucks a month,

01:16:51   you know, look at the plans, it's a lot of servers.

01:16:54   To reach those numbers, it's a good number of servers.

01:16:57   And so to move to another host would not only be

01:17:01   a very large technical ordeal that just, you know,

01:17:05   again, I've done this before, I could do it.

01:17:08   It's a pain in the butt to move hosts.

01:17:10   But you know, I could do it.

01:17:12   But it's just, it's a big pain for something

01:17:15   that I really don't wanna do.

01:17:16   And also, I don't have a track record

01:17:18   with somebody else established now.

01:17:19   Like I know, I know that with Linode,

01:17:22   I don't really have to think about my stuff

01:17:24   most of the time.

01:17:25   Like, as somebody who runs this by myself,

01:17:28   I am my own server admin.

01:17:30   I am the one who's always on call if anything breaks.

01:17:33   And I know that I can do things like go to sleep at night

01:17:36   and not have to worry that I'm gonna be woken up at 2 a.m.

01:17:41   or worse, not woken up at 2 a.m. when a database breaks

01:17:44   and my entire site's down.

01:17:46   I know that I don't have to worry about that

01:17:48   most of the time because I know Linode is reliable

01:17:50   and I know I have a long history with them now

01:17:53   and I know what I can count on.

01:17:55   Anytime, if I'm gonna be forced to move anywhere else,

01:17:59   like if my Linode solutions go away or get ruined,

01:18:02   I would have to relearn all of that

01:18:04   and take risks at a new host.

01:18:05   And frankly, what I would be very tempted to do,

01:18:10   or at least to try, is to just move to AWS at that point.

01:18:14   But moving to AWS would probably, again,

01:18:17   I said $5,000 a month for what I have at Linode.

01:18:21   If I moved to AWS, that would probably multiply

01:18:25   by at least three or four.

01:18:26   - You are correct.

01:18:27   - And that's why I'm not there now.

01:18:30   Because AWS is a great deal if your usage fits certain profiles and mine doesn't.

01:18:36   Here's the thing about AWS.

01:18:38   AWS is a role-playing game.

01:18:40   [laughter]

01:18:43   If you go into—it's like Progress Quest, kind of.

01:18:45   If you go into AWS and naively re-implemented your Linode stuff there, you would pay so much money.

01:18:51   Yes.

01:18:51   But it's a game.

01:18:52   And it's a game that can be played, and the game is essentially,

01:18:55   "How do I get this functionality while spending the least amount of money?"

01:18:59   and it's a hard game.

01:19:00   (laughing)

01:19:02   The only good thing about this game

01:19:04   is that essentially everybody who works for AWS

01:19:06   in my experience wants to help you win the game,

01:19:09   which is weird.

01:19:10   Like they're telling you like,

01:19:10   here's how you can get that functionality

01:19:13   by paying less money to us,

01:19:15   but I swear that's what they do,

01:19:17   but it's a hard game.

01:19:18   You need their help.

01:19:19   And so yeah, if you went in there and you're like,

01:19:21   how is this possible?

01:19:23   Why does this cost so much money?

01:19:24   And it's like, you don't know the secret ways

01:19:26   of you use this service with that

01:19:28   and do this and get these discounts and this thing

01:19:30   and that, and it's like, when you win the game,

01:19:33   when you solve it, you're like,

01:19:34   "Wow, I'm paying one eighth what I was

01:19:36   "and I get better performance and it's more reliable."

01:19:38   But it took me a year to figure out how to win this game.

01:19:41   So anyway, get ready for that

01:19:43   if you ever decide to go over there.

01:19:44   - But, and I hope I don't, because like,

01:19:46   the reason I haven't gone to AWS yet,

01:19:49   yeah, I mean, to be fair, I use S3,

01:19:52   but I've never used EC2 or, you know,

01:19:54   their various compute services.

01:19:56   I've only ever used S3 from their services.

01:19:58   - There's so much beyond EC2, you don't even know.

01:20:00   - I know, I know.

01:20:01   - One of the secrets to winning the game is don't use EC2.

01:20:03   - Yeah, that's true.

01:20:04   (laughing)

01:20:05   But, so, one of the reasons I haven't gone over there yet

01:20:08   is that, or, you know, ever really,

01:20:11   is that I know that cost would be a big difference.

01:20:14   But another one is that I always loved the idea

01:20:17   with being with somebody like Linode.

01:20:19   And by the way, the chat says that the one

01:20:21   I was thinking of earlier and couldn't remember the name

01:20:22   is Vulture, or Vulture, it's V-U-L-T-R dot com.

01:20:25   And yeah, apparently they're huge

01:20:27   and I've never heard of them.

01:20:28   But yeah, as far as I can tell,

01:20:30   the big names in this space are Linode, Vulture,

01:20:32   and DigitalOcean, and I don't know of any others

01:20:35   that are substantial and are good deals.

01:20:38   And so, the reason I ever went to AWS with my server needs

01:20:41   is that I never liked the idea,

01:20:44   besides the price issues which are substantial,

01:20:46   I never liked the idea of moving my stack

01:20:49   to something that is pretty proprietary,

01:20:51   that if the host ever went bad,

01:20:54   if AWS ever went bad in some way,

01:20:56   it would be hard to move something off of AWS

01:20:59   because it's all this kind of custom tooling,

01:21:04   custom stuff that like,

01:21:06   it isn't just a bunch of EBSs

01:21:07   if you're not just using dumb EC2 stuff.

01:21:09   Like you're using some of their more high level

01:21:11   or managed services in some way

01:21:13   and so it's harder to move away from it

01:21:16   and that reduces my portability and that locks me in

01:21:19   and that could screw me later if pricing or quality

01:21:23   goes south in some way.

01:21:24   Well, by staying on something like Linode,

01:21:27   that was based on the assumption that Linux VPSes would be

01:21:30   always available from a diverse set of hosts

01:21:33   that would all be competing well and would be pretty good

01:21:36   indefinitely into the future.

01:21:37   And I'm having some doubts on the viability

01:21:42   of that assumption.

01:21:43   It seems like maybe the number of server hosts

01:21:47   out there that just will give you commodity, unmanaged Linux

01:21:51   VPS's seems like it's shrinking.

01:21:55   When Linode, which is either the biggest

01:21:58   or second biggest player in this field,

01:22:01   if they are taken out of the market,

01:22:04   that makes me feel very nervous for this market in general.

01:22:07   So again, I hope, what I hope happens here

01:22:11   is largely nothing for me,

01:22:14   because if Akamai just wants to sell Linode services

01:22:17   to their things, that doesn't have to impact

01:22:21   the way that Linode's customers are using Linode.

01:22:24   But the reality of acquisitions is that it usually does.

01:22:28   And it might take a while, and it might not be so bad.

01:22:30   Like, you know, the last time I was through

01:22:32   a host acquisition was back when I was at Tumblr,

01:22:35   and we were with a host that was called The Planet,

01:22:38   and they were eventually bought by Softlayer.

01:22:40   And actually, that was eventually bought by IBM.

01:22:43   (laughs)

01:22:44   But going through those two acquisitions,

01:22:48   It was largely fine for a long time.

01:22:51   Like going from the planet to SoftLayer,

01:22:53   that was just a bigger host buying a smaller host.

01:22:56   And so they continued to offer web hosting.

01:22:58   Like it was just the regular service.

01:23:00   But then when IBM bought it,

01:23:01   I haven't kept up with it since,

01:23:03   shortly after that, but when IBM bought it,

01:23:06   the direction they wanted to go was very different.

01:23:07   And my needs as a smaller user of it

01:23:10   that wanted unmanaged services,

01:23:13   which, you know, read low profit for them services,

01:23:17   My needs were very unimportant from that point forward,

01:23:20   and the products I was using were very unimportant,

01:23:21   they probably don't exist anymore.

01:23:23   So if Linode goes this direction,

01:23:27   then there's a high chance that my needs

01:23:30   would no longer be important to them anymore.

01:23:33   I hope that doesn't happen,

01:23:35   and there is probably a reason why

01:23:38   Akamai paid so much money for them

01:23:40   that hopefully is not wanting to get rid of what they are.

01:23:43   But this is a lot of hope.

01:23:46   And everyone involved could have the best of intentions right now.

01:23:49   Both parties, Akamai and Linode, right now might think, "We intend fully to have Linode

01:23:55   customers be well-handled into the future forever and to have this continue operating

01:23:58   as an independent business or whatever."

01:23:59   They might think that today.

01:24:02   But it's different when you get acquired.

01:24:03   Things change.

01:24:04   People bought it for a reason.

01:24:06   They want to get certain values out of it.

01:24:08   And then once they have it, maybe the leaders of the companies who were there now in five

01:24:13   or 10 years, if they aren't there anymore, new leaders come in with different priorities.

01:24:17   This stuff changes over time, you know, no matter what anyone's intentions are upfront.

01:24:21   So I hope, and I think there's a decent chance of this, I hope that Linode continues to be

01:24:26   what it is today so that customers like me who are very happy there and don't want to

01:24:31   move anywhere else can continue having the types of products that we use today be available

01:24:38   forever. And if they're not, I guess I'll check out DigitalOcean or Vulture, but I,

01:24:43   I won't like that.

01:24:44   And then if there's a big market

01:24:46   for this kind of acquisition,

01:24:47   what's stopping them from being acquired by other CDNs?

01:24:50   Who knows?

01:24:51   That's the problem.

01:24:53   When things get consolidated

01:24:54   or when there's a lot of money in a part of a market

01:24:57   that you're not in as the customer of these things,

01:25:00   sometimes you're left with no options.

01:25:02   And that's the part I want to avoid.

01:25:04   But as long as Linode continues to be

01:25:08   what they've been for me for the last,

01:25:10   whatever it's been, 10 years, whatever,

01:25:11   I have no intention of leaving it and I hope they continue to because I really don't want

01:25:16   to go anywhere else and I think anywhere else I would go would be worse.

01:25:20   That's I think my ultimate concern long term is like if Linode goes south, I don't think

01:25:27   anyone else is going to step up and be the new Linode.

01:25:30   I think this category of things will just have fewer options and be worse and that's

01:25:35   not good for anybody.

01:25:36   So I hope that doesn't happen.

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01:27:29   Chris Glime writes, "This winter I've had to scrape ice off my car's windshield quite

01:27:37   a few times, and I usually do this while wearing AirPods listening to podcasts. I turn on the

01:27:41   car so it can defrost while I'm scraping, and I have an early 2010s Honda CR-V with

01:27:44   no carplay and use Bluetooth audio while I'm driving. The problem is my car's Bluetooth

01:27:49   is greedy, and it takes over my Bluetooth no matter what I do, even if I go into the

01:27:52   Bluetooth settings and select my AirPods again. After about 30 seconds, the car steals the

01:27:56   Bluetooth connection again. Eventually I get fed up and forget the device so I can use my AirPods

01:28:02   and then I'm stuck later connecting to my car Bluetooth with an obnoxiously loud walkthrough

01:28:07   where I type in 0000 to connect again. Is there some sort of Bluetooth priority that devices have

01:28:12   which allows my car to steal the Bluetooth connection? Have you ever run into this and if so,

01:28:16   how do you deal with it? I definitely see this from if I ever touch my car doors while I've got

01:28:22   AirPods in because what ends up happening is the little dongle I have that gives me wireless

01:28:27   CarPlay. It does the same sort of thing and tries to take over the connection and play to the radio

01:28:32   that isn't even on because it doesn't know that it's not really on right then. And what I can do

01:28:38   is I can go into Control Center and just say go back to my AirPods. However, I get this little

01:28:43   skip every three or four seconds and it's incredibly frustrating. So I don't know if

01:28:49   if there's a good answer to this.

01:28:51   And I would suspect that the thing that's happening

01:28:54   is that iOS is just trying to figure out

01:28:57   what it suspects to be the highest priority.

01:28:59   But I don't necessarily agree with the choices

01:29:03   that it makes, that the car is definitely

01:29:06   more important than AirPods.

01:29:07   But I don't know.

01:29:08   Do you guys have more actionable advice here?

01:29:10   - So I have a 2014 Honda that I scraped the eyes off

01:29:13   of when the car, with my AirPods in,

01:29:15   listening to podcasts with the car turned on.

01:29:18   - Wow.

01:29:19   - And it also steals the audio from me,

01:29:22   but mostly only if I forget to do this thing, right?

01:29:26   So my car also doesn't have CarPlay,

01:29:28   it's just Bluetooth or whatever.

01:29:30   Again, it's four years later than this one,

01:29:32   but it's a possibility.

01:29:33   If you press the little volume knobby thing,

01:29:37   it shows on the screen audio off.

01:29:40   Like that's basically saying,

01:29:42   regardless of what it happens to be paired with,

01:29:44   I won't play audio out of the speakers

01:29:47   from your Bluetooth device.

01:29:49   If it's an audio off, if I remember when I start

01:29:51   the car engine to just whack the little thing

01:29:53   so it says audio off, it will still steal,

01:29:57   like it'll stop playing in my AirPods

01:29:59   when it steals the audio, but then all I have to do

01:30:01   to fix it is tap or squeeze the little AirPod stem,

01:30:05   and then it starts playing in my AirPods again.

01:30:08   Try that, if you haven't tried it, try that.

01:30:10   That actually works reliably for me.

01:30:12   So you just, you let it steal it,

01:30:13   and I think the reason it's stealing

01:30:14   is because it's the newest thing, like here I am,

01:30:16   and you told me to pair with your thing,

01:30:18   which is normally what you want to do

01:30:19   when you get in the car, so I'm gonna do that right now.

01:30:21   Here I go, I'm pairing.

01:30:22   'Cause if it didn't do that, think about it.

01:30:24   If you got in your car and drove away,

01:30:25   it would never stop sending through your phone speaker

01:30:28   or whatever.

01:30:29   You want it to do that.

01:30:30   It's just that you have to immediately sort of correct it.

01:30:33   So if you do audio off,

01:30:34   the reason the audio off is important

01:30:35   is 'cause I think it steals it, but then doesn't play it,

01:30:37   so you don't miss any seconds of audio.

01:30:39   And then if you just squeeze or tap the AirPods,

01:30:43   it might start playing again.

01:30:43   So that's my suggestion.

01:30:44   If that doesn't work, then yeah,

01:30:46   Essentially you are at the mercy of the stupid Bluetooth audio implementation of your car

01:30:50   thing which you have limited control over.

01:30:52   I don't think there's anything in particular that iOS can do that would be useful to stop

01:30:57   that from happening because in the end you do want your car to be able to, without any

01:31:01   interaction from you, realize that your phone is in the car and it's the last device it

01:31:05   paired with and therefore it should pair, right?

01:31:08   So I think maybe the best the phone could do is maybe use GPS to realize the car is

01:31:14   not moving.

01:31:15   You can't even use the motion sensor because you're busy scraping the ice, you are actually

01:31:17   moving it.

01:31:18   But if it uses the GPS to realize you haven't left your driveway, then maybe it could fend

01:31:24   off the pairing thing.

01:31:25   But even that would work because maybe you're outdoors with a Bluetooth speaker.

01:31:27   It's like a limitation of the Bluetooth protocol.

01:31:31   It doesn't have enough smarts to understand the various scenarios.

01:31:34   So it does what we think is the right thing to do, which is just pair with the thing that

01:31:39   I'm used to pairing with.

01:31:41   if you're lucky, you can correct it after it has made

01:31:44   the wrong choice, which is not as good as it making

01:31:46   the right choice, but it's definitely better than

01:31:49   taking out your phone, swiping your control center,

01:31:51   pressing the little icon, doing all that stuff.

01:31:54   - And then as we discussed earlier, Marco hates cars.

01:31:57   So, moving right along.

01:31:58   - Actually, there is one really annoying Bluetooth quirk

01:32:01   in the FJ.

01:32:02   So, first of all,

01:32:03   pairing my phone to this radio was amazing.

01:32:11   So this, it has like an old style LCD screen,

01:32:15   so not like a bitmap display,

01:32:17   but one of those multi-segment things

01:32:19   where it makes a small number of letters

01:32:22   with two lines of segments or whatever,

01:32:24   but mostly a text-based interface.

01:32:27   But it does have Bluetooth support on the stock radio.

01:32:30   The way you have to pair,

01:32:34   I remember I was sitting in front of the baseball field

01:32:36   the day after I bought it,

01:32:38   trying to pair my phone to it in the cold

01:32:40   with my gloves on and going through this process.

01:32:43   So you have to, I hope people out there with photos

01:32:48   who have done this are hearing this,

01:32:51   and being like, oh yeah, that crazy thing.

01:32:53   You have to flip it over to the accessory Bluetooth mode,

01:32:56   and then using the up and down and enter keys,

01:32:59   you have some very rudimentary interface,

01:33:01   pair a Bluetooth device, but do it by voice.

01:33:07   - Oh no. - The actual interface

01:33:09   to pair a phone, delete a paired phone,

01:33:13   or even list the paired phones,

01:33:16   does not show up on the text of the radio very easily,

01:33:20   and in some cases at all.

01:33:22   The way you're supposed to do it is by voice.

01:33:26   And so you have to go through this weird voice menu

01:33:29   where you hit whatever button it is,

01:33:32   and it's like, list phones, or list of devices, new device,

01:33:37   and then you go to list devices,

01:33:38   you gotta wait till it reads all of them,

01:33:40   and like, you could tell,

01:33:42   this car had occasionally been borrowed by people,

01:33:45   and the owner was not super technical,

01:33:47   and I don't think the owner ever paired her own phone to it.

01:33:51   And so I had to go through it, and it's like,

01:33:54   Joe's iPhone, delete, you know, repair.

01:33:57   Frankie's iPhone!

01:33:59   And it's like, 'cause what you have to do eventually is,

01:34:03   when you pair your phone,

01:34:04   it records you saying it in your voice for some reason,

01:34:08   and then plays that back, it is the most amazing system.

01:34:13   - Is that because the display is inadequate

01:34:15   to communicate that information?

01:34:17   You said you have two lines of text,

01:34:18   that's plenty to say, Marco's iPhone.

01:34:20   - But there's no way to enter text,

01:34:21   I think that's the thing, and so when it's asking you

01:34:24   to specify things by voice, I think it's doing

01:34:26   like a voice similarity match.

01:34:28   - It doesn't extract it from the device?

01:34:32   - No, 'cause I don't think it ever displays the text

01:34:34   on the screen, at least I couldn't figure out

01:34:36   how to make it do that.

01:34:37   It was amazing.

01:34:39   But anyway, so besides that amazingness,

01:34:41   one quirk of this, and this is part of the problem,

01:34:45   like what you're describing, you don't realize

01:34:48   Bluetooth behavior is so dependent on little tiny details

01:34:54   of how these things are handled in the devices

01:34:57   and in the software, and a lot of this stuff,

01:34:59   there is no clear standard,

01:35:01   or at least people don't follow it,

01:35:03   and so you're kind of at the mercy

01:35:05   of whatever you happen to be.

01:35:06   This is why I'm actually fairly happy with Tesla

01:35:09   in this department, that Tesla's handling of Bluetooth,

01:35:12   while it is often buggy, and while it is

01:35:16   sometimes hilariously limited, they have good behavior

01:35:21   in ways that you expect.

01:35:23   So for instance, this situation wouldn't happen to me

01:35:26   because if you get out of the car and close the door,

01:35:30   the radio inside turns off and does not take the focus

01:35:33   from Bluetooth.

01:35:35   It only takes the, oh, and if you open just the back door,

01:35:40   but the front door's not open, it doesn't take it.

01:35:42   If you open just the trunk, it doesn't take it.

01:35:44   It only takes the Bluetooth if you open,

01:35:48   I think one of the two front doors,

01:35:50   and then sit down and push the brake to turn the car on.

01:35:53   If you are out of the car, it does not take the Bluetooth.

01:35:56   Even if the car's heat is running to defrost the car,

01:35:59   if you're out of the car, the heat can still run,

01:36:01   but your Bluetooth is not being taken by the car

01:36:04   at that point, which is very, very nice.

01:36:06   Overall, I've been very happy with that,

01:36:08   and their behavior among a lot of this stuff is great.

01:36:11   One little quirk of the FJ is, as far as I can tell

01:36:14   with the built-in radio, I can't get driving directions

01:36:19   to announce themselves over Bluetooth

01:36:21   unless I am playing music or a podcast.

01:36:23   - Nice. - Because the radio

01:36:26   tries to be smart and read the play/pause status

01:36:31   of the phone over Bluetooth and reflect that in the radio.

01:36:34   Okay, great.

01:36:35   However, the play/pause status does not necessarily reflect

01:36:38   the audio channel of the device.

01:36:42   So if the device is paused in the media logic sense,

01:36:47   like if you have paused your music or podcast,

01:36:50   your map app can still be announcing a direction

01:36:52   over that audio channel.

01:36:53   Well, in the FJ's Bluetooth thing,

01:36:55   if the music or podcast is paused,

01:36:59   you don't get the voice prompts from your app app.

01:37:02   So I have to constantly be playing something.

01:37:06   - Time to get that two hour silent track.

01:37:08   (laughing)

01:37:10   - A very good song.

01:37:12   Was that, that was cool?

01:37:14   - Something like that.

01:37:14   (laughing)

01:37:16   - Anyway, sorry, go on.

01:37:18   - All right, well I think that's all we have for that.

01:37:19   So moving on, Christopher Ward writes,

01:37:21   I have a small community on Discord

01:37:22   and like to screen share for my M1 Mac.

01:37:25   I have a workaround for desktop audio capture,

01:37:27   but it's a pain.

01:37:28   There's native support for audio capture,

01:37:29   but it requires quote "reducing security" quote in recovery mode. Is that as scary as it sounds?

01:37:34   This really ticked me off when I got my M1 MacBook Pro because in order to record

01:37:42   our show, two-thirds, if not three-thirds of us use Audio Hijack and

01:37:47   Audio Hijack is an app by our friends at Rogue Amoeba, which is just incredibly good at capturing audio. In

01:37:55   In order to get that to work on an Apple silicon computer,

01:38:00   you need to do the following.

01:38:03   Launch audio hijack, enter your administrator password,

01:38:06   acknowledge the system extension, blocked alert,

01:38:08   open system preferences, security and privacy,

01:38:10   click the enable system extension button,

01:38:11   shut down your Mac, press and hold the power button,

01:38:12   boot into recovery environment,

01:38:14   select administrators, enter the administrator password,

01:38:15   open startup security utility,

01:38:17   switch to reduced security,

01:38:18   approve the change by entering your password again,

01:38:20   restart your Mac, acknowledge system extension,

01:38:21   blocked alert, open system preferences,

01:38:22   security and privacy, unlock, click allow, restart,

01:38:25   Again, that entire thing took me seriously

01:38:29   20 or 30 minutes when I was actually doing it.

01:38:32   - It's three reboots, right?

01:38:34   If you do everything right, it's three reboots.

01:38:37   And I think I had to enter my password like six times.

01:38:40   - Something like that.

01:38:41   - It's some ridiculous, and this is not,

01:38:44   to be clear, this is not Rogue Amoeba

01:38:46   doing a bad job of their installation.

01:38:48   This is what Apple makes everybody do

01:38:52   to achieve this function.

01:38:54   And oh, man.

01:38:55   And the good thing is, so the way

01:38:58   Ruger Miebe has implemented theirs,

01:38:59   I don't know what Discord does.

01:39:02   But the way Ruger Miebe does it for audio hijack, which again,

01:39:05   to echo Casey's statements, I absolutely

01:39:07   recommend if you have any needs that audio hijack solves.

01:39:12   Because it isn't just hijacking audio.

01:39:14   It's also like recording, processing, broadcasting.

01:39:17   There's so much stuff.

01:39:18   We're using it now to broadcast the live stream

01:39:19   plus record stuff plus adjust the audio so we're

01:39:22   all the same volume level.

01:39:23   It does a lot.

01:39:25   It's a fantastic app that I very strongly recommend.

01:39:28   And yeah, and if AudioHijack ever stopped working on Mac OS,

01:39:33   I might stop working on Mac OS.

01:39:36   Like that's how big of a deal that is to my work.

01:39:39   But anyway, it does sound scary with AudioHijack

01:39:43   that you have to set it to reduce security.

01:39:46   Now to be clear, this is not

01:39:48   disabling system integrity protection.

01:39:51   There's multiple different security options

01:39:53   that you have to set in the boot environment

01:39:55   with modern Mac OS on M1 Macs in particular.

01:39:58   And you don't have to disable

01:39:59   system integrity protection entirely.

01:40:01   You just have to allow it to run signed extensions.

01:40:05   And then you have to enable this whole thing

01:40:08   and go through all that.

01:40:09   But with Audio Hijack,

01:40:11   at least with current version of Mac OS,

01:40:13   after you've enabled it once and gotten it working,

01:40:16   you can then go back into the secure boot environment

01:40:19   and re-secure it back down to the default level.

01:40:23   Once it's been approved once, it will continue to work,

01:40:26   so even after you re-lock it down.

01:40:29   So if you're uncomfortable with running things

01:40:30   in reduced security mode, which frankly I am,

01:40:33   so all you have to do is set it this way once,

01:40:35   approve it, get it going,

01:40:37   and then you can go back to your secure mode

01:40:39   and then this will be the only thing

01:40:40   approved to run that way.

01:40:41   - Imagining system integrity protection makes me wonder

01:40:46   what additional things that does these days,

01:40:50   because the original purpose of it was what it said,

01:40:52   it protected the integrity of the system,

01:40:54   meaning the operating system.

01:40:55   It would prevent you from modifying files

01:40:57   that come as part of macOS, right?

01:40:59   'Cause you know, by accident or on purpose, you know,

01:41:01   it would, even if you were root,

01:41:03   you would try to like, you know,

01:41:04   modify, hex edit the kernel, you know,

01:41:07   and it would say, no, you can't edit that file.

01:41:09   You're like, what do you mean I'm root, I can't edit?

01:41:11   Aha, system integrity protection, right?

01:41:13   But nowadays on modern macOS,

01:41:15   you boot from a read-only snapshot

01:41:18   of a cryptographically signed system image.

01:41:21   So the whole, first of all, it's not even a disk,

01:41:24   it's a snapshot, and second, the whole thing is read-only.

01:41:27   Like there is no writing to it by anything ever.

01:41:30   So I mean, I guess that qualifies system,

01:41:32   but if you turn off system integrity protection,

01:41:34   you still can't modify the OS,

01:41:36   'cause it's an amount that read-only snapshot.

01:41:37   So system integrity protection probably does things

01:41:39   above and beyond that, but I feel like in some ways

01:41:43   it's been surpassed by a structural change

01:41:45   to the way macOS works, in particular,

01:41:48   regarding protecting the operating system.

01:41:49   But yeah, all those other features of like,

01:41:52   am I allowed to run any kernel extensions?

01:41:54   Is this Mac allowed to boot from an external disk,

01:41:57   which I had adventures with way back

01:41:59   when I was trying to get my thing to boot from Windows.

01:42:01   There are lots of security settings,

01:42:03   and your comfort with them really depends on like,

01:42:06   as long as you know what the setting does,

01:42:07   and don't forget that you turned it off,

01:42:10   so that you can turn it back on later.

01:42:13   Yeah, part of it comes down to do you trust the developer,

01:42:16   but part of it also comes down to

01:42:17   do I remember what state I left my Mac in?

01:42:19   Because if your Mac is in some weird state

01:42:22   that you put it in to do something

01:42:24   with some piece of software,

01:42:24   but you forgot to set it back to full security

01:42:27   that you could be vulnerable for a long period of time.

01:42:29   The other good thing you have going for you is

01:42:31   most people don't mess with these defaults.

01:42:33   This process that Casey read out,

01:42:35   not only is it complicated and long,

01:42:37   but it brings you to parts of your operating system

01:42:39   that you've probably never seen before

01:42:41   if you've never done this type of thing,

01:42:43   like booting into recovery

01:42:44   and using these startup security utility,

01:42:47   like nobody sees that during the normal course

01:42:49   of using a Mac.

01:42:50   It's there, but no one usually has to see it.

01:42:52   So if you make any of these changes,

01:42:55   you are one of a very, very tiny minority of people.

01:42:58   And most sort of malware that's gonna be out there,

01:43:01   or viruses, are not going to target the 0.001% of Mac users

01:43:05   that have ever screwed with system security utility,

01:43:08   their startup security utility.

01:43:09   they're gonna target the mass market of Mac users.

01:43:12   And the mass market of Mac users

01:43:14   is generally much better protected than that.

01:43:16   So I wouldn't worry about it too much

01:43:18   if it's a reputable software developer

01:43:21   that has been around for a while that you trust.

01:43:23   And especially if, like Marco said,

01:43:24   if you can switch it back

01:43:26   after the installation process has been done.

01:43:28   That said, I don't know too much about Discord.

01:43:30   I don't know if they're,

01:43:31   not that they're gonna be malicious,

01:43:33   but how reliable is our software?

01:43:35   Is it likely to introduce some kind of bug

01:43:36   that causes system instability?

01:43:38   I can't judge that one way or the other,

01:43:39   but you'll find out by trying it.

01:43:41   So worst case you can do what Margaret used to do

01:43:44   and have one computer where you install the scary software,

01:43:46   but you use your Mac Mini for that.

01:43:47   - Yeah.

01:43:48   - Yeah, so try it on a Mac that you don't care that much

01:43:51   about and if it seems like it's stable, you know,

01:43:53   or ask around, like you could even ask Discord,

01:43:55   it's a big company, right?

01:43:56   Say, hey, can I set all the settings back

01:43:59   to the non-scary mode after I'm done

01:44:00   or will it break your thing?

01:44:02   And like they'll walk you through what your options are.

01:44:04   But yeah, the Rogue Amoeba's incredibly Byzantine process

01:44:08   That's what Apple requires you to do, to do things the quote-unquote right way.

01:44:13   And it is very user hostile, but in theory provides a more secure system for all of us.

01:44:19   Finally, Ava writes, "What's the best dumb TV on the market now, and are they any good at all?

01:44:24   Am I better off just getting a monitor instead?" I don't have a well-researched answer for this,

01:44:31   but I will tell you that right around, I think it was Black Friday or Cyber Monday,

01:44:35   We replaced the TV in our bedroom, which we use exceedingly rarely, and when we do it's typically

01:44:41   because we're both working out but doing different workout videos at the same time. But that being

01:44:46   said, there was an incredible deal. This might be a Walmart exclusive, I don't know, but there was a

01:44:52   really good deal on a 4k, which actually was planning on getting a 1080 TV. That's how much

01:44:56   which we don't care about that TV.

01:44:58   But anyway, there was a 4K 43-inch TV by Sceptre,

01:45:02   and this is a dumb TV.

01:45:07   - The James Bond villains?

01:45:08   - It's perfectly-- - That's Spectre.

01:45:10   - It's perfectly sufficient.

01:45:12   - The classic Mac game you mean?

01:45:13   - Yeah.

01:45:14   This TV is sufficient,

01:45:16   except the one thing that I haven't cracked,

01:45:18   and because I've used it so early,

01:45:19   I don't really care that much,

01:45:21   is that it does not seem to,

01:45:23   and this actually is kind of table stakes,

01:45:24   to be honest with you,

01:45:25   seem to remember to do native resolution for the Apple TV, you know what I mean? Where it has like

01:45:30   the whole frame is like kind of sucked in a little bit. Over scan is always on. Yeah, yeah, or something

01:45:35   like that, which is infuriating and maybe there's a setting somewhere that I missed to do it, but

01:45:40   it is a dumb TV. It doesn't have like Netflix or anything like that. It never asked me to get on

01:45:44   the wi-fi or anything like that. I don't remember if it even has an ethernet port in the back of it

01:45:48   it or not. So this is sufficient and I landed on this in part because when we tailgate at

01:45:58   University of Virginia football games we'll bring a television because you know one of our tailgate

01:46:02   people has a generator and so we'll bring a television and we have this like ancient ancient

01:46:06   ancient ancient 720 scepter tv that has been that has traveled to and from Charlottesville from

01:46:12   Richmond which is about an hour-ish drive has done that for years and years and years and it still

01:46:17   hasn't broken yet. And so I considered that a good omen, and maybe one that's just stuck on the wall

01:46:22   and never moves may not be so terrible. So that is an example. I would give it a tepid endorsement,

01:46:29   but I don't know if either of you guys, particularly John perhaps, since I know you

01:46:33   live and breathe TVs that you'll never buy, perhaps have a better solution here.

01:46:38   There's not enough information about the intended use of this thing to know

01:46:42   much more, but for reading the letter of the statement,

01:46:46   you know, for dumb TVs, you know,

01:46:48   what are the best dumb TVs and are they any good at all?

01:46:50   The answer is no, they're not any good at all.

01:46:52   I mean, if you don't care and you just need,

01:46:54   I just need a TV, then yeah, you can get the, you know,

01:46:57   this thing that Casey got, right?

01:46:58   But like, in terms of how good a TV is,

01:47:01   like how good is the picture?

01:47:02   No, like none of the ones that don't have smarts in them

01:47:06   care at all about the picture.

01:47:08   So it's just gonna be an LCD panel.

01:47:09   And it's like, you get what you get.

01:47:10   Like the black levels are terrible.

01:47:11   the color reproduction is bad, but hey,

01:47:13   if you just need a TV to show pictures, it'll do that job.

01:47:16   But that said, if you buy a real TV

01:47:19   and they all have smart stuff in them,

01:47:21   you can starve it, right?

01:47:23   Most, I'm pretty sure that there's only a few

01:47:26   really scary companies that ship with free cell phone access

01:47:31   like they connect to the cell network

01:47:33   that you don't have to pay for, right?

01:47:35   Just so they can suck your private information

01:47:38   and report on what you're watching.

01:47:39   - Wait, that happens?

01:47:40   - I think it was like at least one or two

01:47:42   like electronics companies,

01:47:43   I don't forget if they were smart TVs,

01:47:44   they would essentially do like the Kindle thing

01:47:46   where it's like it would connect to the cell network

01:47:48   on that they're at their own cost to exfiltrate your info.

01:47:51   But for the most part,

01:47:53   they need to either be plugged into ethernet

01:47:55   or they need to get on your wifi.

01:47:57   Hopefully your wifi has a password,

01:47:58   never give it to your TV.

01:48:00   Don't plug it into ethernet.

01:48:02   That will starve your quote unquote smart TV.

01:48:05   And most of them will still function as a television.

01:48:09   You won't be able to use any of the apps

01:48:10   or any of the other stuff where you don't care,

01:48:11   you just want the dumb stuff.

01:48:13   But the sad fact is that televisions now,

01:48:15   like plain old televisions have to come with software,

01:48:19   but it's expected in the product.

01:48:21   So all of the even remotely good ones

01:48:23   in terms of picture quality,

01:48:25   they're all quote unquote, smart TVs.

01:48:27   It'll be like, kids, young kids today

01:48:30   don't consider this a smartphone

01:48:31   'cause what the hell does a smart,

01:48:33   it's just a phone, right?

01:48:34   A phone that doesn't do all the things that our phones do

01:48:37   is not a phone.

01:48:38   That's what TVs are like now.

01:48:39   A television that doesn't have apps on it

01:48:42   and connect to the network is a broken television, right?

01:48:45   So you have to buy a smart one

01:48:47   if you care at all about picture quality.

01:48:49   But you can currently, this may not be true forever,

01:48:51   but currently you can buy a quote unquote smart TV

01:48:53   and just starve it.

01:48:54   - Another thing that's worth looking into,

01:48:57   and I don't know if this is really doing me any good or not,

01:48:59   but if you're a piehole user like I am,

01:49:02   and if you're not, just don't even bother,

01:49:03   but there are ad lists that are specifically

01:49:08   for smart TV stuff.

01:49:09   So one of the ad lists I use is Smart TV,

01:49:13   Blacklist for Pi--

01:49:14   Or Blocklist, excuse me, for Pi-hole.

01:49:16   And somebody put this together,

01:49:17   and it's apparently a bunch of domains

01:49:19   that these TVs will try to use to call home and phone home.

01:49:23   And when you have this DNS server

01:49:25   that you're running in your network,

01:49:26   it will just deny those requests.

01:49:28   It will give them a bogus IP in return,

01:49:31   so those requests won't work.

01:49:32   And that is kind of an okay halfway.

01:49:35   John's approach is unquestionably better.

01:49:37   But if you wanted to, I don't know,

01:49:39   for example, hook up your TV to your Wi-Fi or ethernet

01:49:42   such that it can be an AirPlay receiver,

01:49:44   you're gonna need internet

01:49:46   or at least network access for that,

01:49:48   but you may not wanna give it

01:49:49   Carplaunch to everything else,

01:49:50   and this is a sort of kind of halfway.

01:49:53   - People in the chat room pointed out

01:49:54   that televisions will find your neighbors

01:49:57   on protected Wi-Fi network.

01:49:58   (laughing)

01:49:59   - Oh, God.

01:50:00   - If you have a neighbor who doesn't have a password

01:50:02   and you don't let it get to anything,

01:50:04   it will find that one very often and connect to it.

01:50:06   So starving it may involve tinfoil at a certain point,

01:50:09   not on your head, but yeah, like it can be done.

01:50:12   But that's just a sad fact.

01:50:14   Like no one who cares about picture quality

01:50:16   would ever make a television that doesn't have any smarts.

01:50:18   And unless they were doing something like,

01:50:20   oh, for commercial purposes, for your restaurant,

01:50:22   here's this essentially monitor,

01:50:24   but those are gonna cost you like 10 grand or something

01:50:26   because anything for commercial purposes

01:50:28   is always ridiculous money.

01:50:29   - Thanks to our sponsors this week,

01:50:32   Squarespace, Linode, and Lutron Quesada.

01:50:35   And thanks to our members who support us directly.

01:50:37   You can join at ATP.FM/join.

01:50:40   We will talk to you next week.

01:50:43   (upbeat music)

01:50:46   ♪ Now the show is over ♪

01:50:48   ♪ They didn't even mean to begin ♪

01:50:50   ♪ 'Cause it was accidental ♪

01:50:52   ♪ Accidental ♪

01:50:53   ♪ Oh, it was accidental ♪

01:50:55   ♪ Accidental ♪

01:50:56   ♪ John didn't do any research ♪

01:50:58   ♪ Marco and Casey wouldn't let him ♪

01:51:01   ♪ 'Cause it was accidental ♪

01:51:03   ♪ Accidental ♪

01:51:04   is accidental. And you can find the show notes at ATP.fm.

01:51:11   And if you're into Twitter, you can follow them at C-A-S-E-Y-L-I-S-S.

01:51:20   So that's Casey Liss, M-A-R-C-O-A-R-M, Anti Marco Armin, S-I-R-A-C, USA,

01:51:31   They say, "Recuser, it's accidental!"

01:51:34   (Accidental!)

01:51:36   They didn't mean to!

01:51:38   (Accidental!)

01:51:39   (Accidental!)

01:51:41   Tech podcast so long!

01:51:45   Speaking of playing games like AWS, the game that we played this episode was,

01:51:50   if you, during the course of listening to this episode, sent me an email to tell me

01:51:54   that I can hold down the microphone button on the Apple TV remote and say,

01:51:57   "What did he say?" and it will rewind, turn on captions, and play forward,

01:52:00   You lost the game because that means you didn't read my article which mentioned

01:52:03   Thanks for everyone for playing I hope you did well Wow, sorry John

01:52:11   So one of you put this in show notes, I probably should have done this to be honest with you

01:52:17   This made the rounds a couple of days back

01:52:19   Toyota apparently has a patent for a quote-unquote manual transmission for electric cars

01:52:27   including something that vaguely resembles a clutch.

01:52:30   I actually completely forgot to look into this

01:52:34   before the show, so I apologize for that.

01:52:36   Can one of you do the job of chief summarizer

01:52:38   in chief for me?

01:52:40   - Yeah, I read this article a few days ago,

01:52:42   so I've already blocked most of that out of my mind,

01:52:43   but it's exactly what you think.

01:52:44   It's a stick shift lever with an H pattern, right,

01:52:48   and a clutch pedal, and they all work

01:52:50   the way that you would expect them to,

01:52:52   but imagine that the clutch pedal

01:52:54   is not connected to a clutch,

01:52:55   and the stick shift is not connected to a gearbox, right?

01:52:58   It's kind of like if you're in a really cool simulator,

01:53:01   it doesn't go anywhere.

01:53:02   There's no wheels, there's no engine, but it's a simulator.

01:53:05   It's trying to teach you how to drive a stick shift.

01:53:07   So it works kind of like a flight simulator.

01:53:09   The flight controls aren't connected

01:53:11   to control surfaces on wings,

01:53:13   but it has to feel like a real plane.

01:53:15   So when you're diving or something,

01:53:18   or if there's tension on the stick, you have to feel that,

01:53:21   and the pedals you have to feel,

01:53:22   that's what it seems like this is like.

01:53:24   And you know, hey, like most cars are brake by wire

01:53:28   and throttle by wire these days,

01:53:30   meaning that rather than the gas pedal

01:53:32   being connected to a series of cables or whatever

01:53:35   that cause a throttle to open, right?

01:53:37   Instead, they're just connected to an electronic switch

01:53:39   that can tell you have pressed the gas pedal 1%, 2%, 3%, 4%,

01:53:43   and that measurement of that electronic thing

01:53:46   sends a signal through wires to something

01:53:48   that eventually opens and closes throttles on the engine.

01:53:51   Same thing with the brakes.

01:53:52   A lot of modern cars are brake by wire.

01:53:54   rather than the brake pressing on a thing that causes hydraulic fluid to press the little

01:53:58   calipers to squeeze the brake pads, that brake is connected to nothing except for an electronic

01:54:03   sensor that tells how hard you're pressing on the brake.

01:54:06   And that electronic sensor then does the rest of the stuff in the car.

01:54:08   Well this thing is like, imagine if the clutch was not connected to anything except for a

01:54:14   little electronic sensor, and imagine if the stick shift was also not connected to anything

01:54:18   except for an electronic sensor.

01:54:20   It's exactly the same.

01:54:22   It makes much less sense than break by wire and throttle by wire because the whole point

01:54:29   of the stick shift and the clutch is to be mechanically connected to the things that

01:54:33   they do because you're mechanically changing gear ratios and you're mechanically engaging

01:54:39   and disengaging clutches.

01:54:42   So it strikes me as the coolest technology ever for playing like Gran Turismo or some

01:54:48   other like ray-eye racing or whatever like video game racing because to make

01:54:52   this work they have to take a car that probably has one fixed gear ratio maybe

01:54:57   two right but that you have no control over it and simulate a clutch and a

01:55:03   gearbox so that you can play a fun game while you drive and that means that like

01:55:08   your engagement of the clutch and the slipping of it and the gear ratios is

01:55:11   used to essentially I guess calculate how much torque the electric motor

01:55:15   should put out right so I think you could actually do this in a really

01:55:20   convincing way because you have really good precise control especially

01:55:24   especially if this is a fixed ratio like you have really precise control over it

01:55:27   and because you get like a hundred percent of the torque from zero rpm on

01:55:31   an electric motor you can simulate I'm assuming less than a hundred percent of

01:55:35   the torque by just controlling how much power you send to the electric motor and

01:55:40   I imagine it could feel almost like you're like slipping a clutch they even

01:55:44   put installing so that if you don't give it enough gas, they simulate that as well.

01:55:49   Like what are you stalling?

01:55:50   There's nothing to stall but they simulate that as well.

01:55:52   It is essentially a video game.

01:55:55   So I think it's really clever and they should totally sell this technology to those people

01:55:58   who make those cool racing rigs that people play video games with.

01:56:02   But I can't imagine wanting this on an electric car because, I mean, maybe.

01:56:10   On one side I think like, well what if you want to play this video game when you're really

01:56:15   driving?

01:56:16   I mean, you could, right?

01:56:19   But I don't think I want to play this game.

01:56:22   And it's not because it's not real.

01:56:23   I feel like once I go to an electric car, the game is there from, as far as I'm concerned,

01:56:28   and your mileage may vary in case you can chime in in a second to hear how you think

01:56:31   about this, but the reason I enjoy that game of driving is because it makes the car perform

01:56:36   better than it would if it didn't have a stick shift.

01:56:39   So if I took the stick shift out of my Accord and put literally any other transmission in

01:56:42   there except for probably even the worlds best current like automated manuals and automatics,

01:56:49   it would be worse because it has so little power.

01:56:51   There's not a lot of horsepower.

01:56:53   I need the stick shift to have complete control over what gear I'm in and how much of it I'm

01:56:57   putting down to the tires to make the car perform better and be more fun and not annoy

01:57:02   me like "oh you picked the wrong gear stupid transmission" or whatever.

01:57:06   But you don't need to do that to make an electric car perform well.

01:57:10   Just let it do what it naturally does, and it's great.

01:57:13   So I don't think I would choose to play this game, but Casey, would you choose to play

01:57:16   this video game in your car?

01:57:18   I don't know.

01:57:21   The whole point of learning to drive a stick, and the reason I enjoy it so much is because

01:57:28   it is a skill that, my impression is, is not unlike golf.

01:57:33   I wrote one or two posts about this years and years and years ago that I'm too lazy to dig up

01:57:38   But the idea is you know every time you take off from a stop or every time you switch gears

01:57:41   That is another chance to have something that's smooth and efficient and sometimes I do a good job of that and sometimes I don't

01:57:47   and part of the reason I like a stick shift so much is because

01:57:51   it is as you were saying like it's such a direct connection to the mechanics of the car and

01:57:57   I think

01:58:00   Stimulating that while novel would probably be silly and honestly one of the things that I love about electric cars is

01:58:06   That there is instant torque always and you can mash down on the loud pedal it well

01:58:12   We'd accept it isn't loud, but you know what I mean you can match down on the accelerator down on the whining pedal

01:58:17   It's the loud it makes a noise. It's just that's fair. You can mash down on the whiny pedal and

01:58:21   And you are launched forward you know and that's what makes electric cars so fun, and I don't know again

01:58:29   And I think this is novel, I would certainly love to try a car that did this, but I don't

01:58:35   suspect that this would be something that I would particularly enjoy.

01:58:40   And I feel like it's simulating, I wouldn't say it's simulating the bad parts of driving

01:58:46   a stick, but it's simulating the not that terribly fun parts.

01:58:50   Stalling is not fun, and yes, I guess that's an increased realism.

01:58:54   But that's the failure condition of the game, right?

01:58:56   Well, yeah, I guess.

01:58:57   I don't know. It's just I enjoy driving a stick because it gives me increased control and it prevents me from just

01:59:04   being a

01:59:06   passenger while I'm driving if that makes sense like the idea of

01:59:09   Full self-driving like leaving aside the safety aspects and all that like the idea of full self-driving

01:59:13   Yeah, I guess that's kind of cool

01:59:15   And it would be neat to go on a highway and just turn you know tune my brain out and be able to like scroll

01:59:20   Twitter I guess or whatever but but the reason I don't drive an automatic today is that

01:59:26   No matter what automatic I've ever driven it always feels

01:59:29   And error I should say any torque converted automatic

01:59:34   So like a dual clutch that does not fall under this but any any automatic with a torque converter

01:59:39   You know that they called a slushbox for a reason it feels disconnected

01:59:43   And yes, I'm aware of like locking torque converters and so on but like it still feels disconnected to me

01:59:47   or that that there's like this this just

01:59:51   Or this this just I don't know how to say it other than disconnection

01:59:55   and there's this like goo between me and the car.

01:59:58   And I love driving a stick because I have

02:00:02   a direct visceral connection to the car.

02:00:04   And I don't feel like this would give that back.

02:00:09   It would just remind me that what I'm doing

02:00:12   is a crummy facsimile of the real thing.

02:00:15   - One thing I think of that might be a use case for this,

02:00:18   that it would provide some benefit on an electric car,

02:00:20   is that controlling how power goes down to the ground

02:00:30   sometimes can be done in a more sophisticated way

02:00:33   than simply a dial that goes from 0 to 100,

02:00:36   like the gas pedal.

02:00:37   So an electric car--

02:00:38   say you're stationary.

02:00:39   And let's say you're in a snowy, slippery, icy condition,

02:00:42   and you want to get the car going,

02:00:44   and you don't want to have wheels spin.

02:00:46   Just controlling how far you press the gas pedal

02:00:49   is only a one-dimensional way of controlling this.

02:00:53   Like you can only sort of like, you know, you can move,

02:00:55   it's like a dial and you can move it

02:00:56   and you know, try to get the car going,

02:00:58   give it enough so that it starts moving,

02:00:59   but not so much that it slips,

02:01:00   but sometimes you need a little bit of slip,

02:01:02   setting aside traction control, whatever,

02:01:03   pretend you could turn off all the traction control stuff,

02:01:05   which most of the time you can't, but pretend you could.

02:01:07   Just having the gas pedal alone in an electric car

02:01:10   may not give you as much control as having a fake gas

02:01:14   and a fake clutch and a shifter,

02:01:16   because very often what you might want to do

02:01:18   if you're a super duper expert, which I am not,

02:01:19   but if you're a super duper expert in like

02:01:21   getting the car going in questionable traction conditions,

02:01:24   is you might wanna sort of rev up the engine, right?

02:01:28   But with the clutch disengaged or slipping,

02:01:31   and then quickly engage the clutch to essentially

02:01:34   give a burst of power at, you know,

02:01:38   like at the current quote unquote RPM,

02:01:40   if you know what I'm saying, right?

02:01:41   To immediately put that power down and then take it away.

02:01:44   It's almost as if you would put the gas pedal

02:01:46   to a certain position and then decide at this position

02:01:48   of the gas pedal, I don't know why I keep going

02:01:50   with the gas pedal, at this position of the accelerator,

02:01:53   engage and disengage the clutch,

02:01:54   it gives you a second dimension with which to control

02:01:57   the power that's being put down.

02:01:59   This may just be something that's in my head

02:02:00   and physically speaking, there's no difference

02:02:01   between the one-dimensional pedal

02:02:03   and the two-dimensional thing of like throttle position

02:02:06   and clutch engagement.

02:02:07   - No, no, no, no, no, what you're saying is correct

02:02:09   and it's bananas to me that you are a resident

02:02:11   of a winter hellscape and don't ever have to do this,

02:02:15   - But like-- - I do have to do it,

02:02:17   I'm just not very good at it,

02:02:17   but I'm saying like in an electric car,

02:02:19   would that kind of control mechanism,

02:02:21   as opposed to just the gas pedal,

02:02:23   give you a better ability to control the car

02:02:26   in slippery conditions?

02:02:27   Maybe, maybe not.

02:02:28   - Oh, hell yeah, because here's the thing,

02:02:31   why do you start in second gear in the snow?

02:02:34   - Well, you have such faith in the horsepower in my car.

02:02:36   I can start in second gear,

02:02:37   but you have to do it so carefully

02:02:39   'cause I have less than 200 horsepower.

02:02:41   - Well, then the reason we do that

02:02:42   is because you want less torque to the wheels,

02:02:45   because if you just start it in first,

02:02:47   it might be too much torque and you'll start slipping.

02:02:48   So if you apply less torque, or fewer, whatever,

02:02:51   less torque to the wheels,

02:02:53   then you will potentially get going without slipping.

02:02:56   And when you have-

02:02:56   - But I'm also applying a lot more gas

02:02:58   'cause I don't wanna stall.

02:02:59   And so it's, I mean, obviously doing it a gas engine

02:03:01   is very different than doing it electric,

02:03:03   but like those two dimensions of control

02:03:05   do allow me to do things like,

02:03:06   hey, you're giving it a huge amount of gas,

02:03:08   the engine is going at really high RPM,

02:03:09   but because you're in second gear

02:03:11   and you're slipping the clutch a little,

02:03:13   the actual amount of torque that goes,

02:03:14   and it's also like how bursty it is,

02:03:16   does the torque go down all at once

02:03:17   or does it gradually go?

02:03:18   And you can modulate those two different things,

02:03:21   how engaged is the clutch

02:03:22   and how far down is the gas pedal,

02:03:24   to get a result that I think would be more difficult to do

02:03:28   with just an accelerator pedal on an electric car.

02:03:30   - Right, and so that's why in this faux stick shift,

02:03:34   I could see if you were to start in second gear,

02:03:37   second quote unquote gear,

02:03:39   and slip the quote unquote clutch,

02:03:40   perhaps instead of giving you 100% of the torque immediately,

02:03:43   maybe it only gives you 50% or something like that.

02:03:45   - But how does it do that?

02:03:46   Does it just provide less power to the electric motor?

02:03:48   Like it's all a question of how good this simulation is.

02:03:52   Like, 'cause under the covers,

02:03:53   it's a bunch of wires going to an electric motor

02:03:55   with electricity flowing through them.

02:03:56   And I'm not sure if it collapses down to that one dimension.

02:04:01   You know, I don't know enough about the electricity,

02:04:02   but I would certainly wanna try this

02:04:04   because if only kind of like portrait mode on the camera

02:04:06   so you could see like, is it able to do a decent job

02:04:09   or is it just awful, right?

02:04:10   'Cause this is not an easy game to get right

02:04:13   because a real clutch and a real shifter

02:04:15   don't have to cheat, it's a physical thing, right?

02:04:17   And it's simulating that with something

02:04:20   where there's no gearbox and no clutch,

02:04:22   that's gonna be hard.

02:04:23   - It's a novel idea though, and I approve the,

02:04:25   I approve them chasing down this rabbit hole.

02:04:29   I just don't expect that I would be impressed by it.

02:04:32   - What was the other one?

02:04:32   There was, I think they were gonna do,

02:04:34   was it the Mach-E?

02:04:35   There was some other sort of stick shift in electric car,

02:04:37   but I think it didn't have a clutch.

02:04:39   It had a shifter, but only two pedals,

02:04:41   which was also like, why even bother with that?

02:04:44   But why not just put a fidget toy

02:04:45   in the middle of the dashboard?

02:04:47   (laughing)

02:04:49   - You're not wrong.

02:04:49   - With ballpoint pens, you can click the thing,

02:04:51   click, click, click, click.

02:04:52   - Ford has a new manual transmission patent

02:04:53   that doesn't need a clutch pedal.

02:04:54   It still has a clutch,

02:04:55   but it could operate it automatically.

02:04:56   Didn't, shoot, there was,

02:04:59   I thought sobs did this like forever and a day ago.

02:05:02   They like, it was like a traditional H pattern,

02:05:04   but there was only two pedals or something like that.

02:05:06   I probably have that wrong.

02:05:07   It was like sob or Volkswagen or something, I thought.

02:05:09   But I don't know, whatever.

02:05:11   Anyway, it's novel and interesting,

02:05:13   and I'd certainly, like you said,

02:05:14   I'd certainly like to try it,

02:05:15   but I'd be very surprised if it impressed me.

02:05:19   - I understand where you guys are coming from

02:05:21   as the more car nerdy people on the show compared to me,

02:05:26   but as much as I loved driving stick

02:05:30   when I drove gas cars,

02:05:32   the reason I loved driving stick was because,

02:05:37   Casey, you were talking earlier about

02:05:38   the pile of hacks that it is to drive an automatic

02:05:40   and how it doesn't really feel good,

02:05:42   and it kind of disconnects you from the car.

02:05:44   And the reality is the gas engines have this narrow band

02:05:49   of RPMs where they can be most powerful,

02:05:52   and everything else around that band kind of sucks,

02:05:55   and so they have these complicated systems of gearing

02:05:58   and clutching to try to control the car better

02:06:01   and to optimize it better for performance and various needs

02:06:04   and everything like that.

02:06:05   Well, an electric car typically only has one gear,

02:06:10   I know there's a few exceptions, but most of them it's fixed gear and you have all the

02:06:16   torque you need from the beginning and so you don't need to have all these different

02:06:21   levels of control to finally customize what it's doing.

02:06:25   You just let the pedal do what you tell it to do and it does it immediately and directly

02:06:31   and very gracefully.

02:06:33   And so to me, the stick was not something that was itself something that I took joy

02:06:40   and operating, it was more that it let me have greater control over what was a very

02:06:45   complicated process that my car was trying to do. Because my car, trying to guess with

02:06:50   an automatic like what I want at any given moment, but often guess wrong. Because of

02:06:54   course, how, you know, it's not magic. And you know, sometimes things that try to be

02:06:58   smart about a complex process, see also Bluetooth, will guess wrong. And so in those cases, sometimes

02:07:03   it's better to just turn off automatic pairing and just manually shift your AirPods to all

02:07:07   the different devices that you have them paired to.

02:07:09   Well, once you have something,

02:07:11   like once all that complexity goes away,

02:07:14   like I don't need to feel the feeling of manual shifting

02:07:20   on an electric car because the electric car

02:07:22   doesn't have that giant pile of hacks.

02:07:24   It's a much simpler and more direct drive

02:07:27   that you're operating to begin with.

02:07:28   And so I don't need to feel the feeling of operating

02:07:33   a clutch and shifting gears and everything

02:07:36   to be simulated for me on a car

02:07:37   that doesn't need any of that.

02:07:38   I would rather just drive the car directly

02:07:41   with my foot on the single pedal

02:07:43   that you actually need to drive the car directly.

02:07:45   And the feeling I get of the control over my car,

02:07:50   it doing exactly what I want it to be doing,

02:07:53   those feelings I would get by operating a stick on a gas car,

02:07:56   I get those already with electric,

02:07:57   because that's just how electric works.

02:07:59   And so I don't need something like this

02:08:01   to simulate this old thing for me

02:08:05   in the same way that I don't need my electric car

02:08:06   to play engine noises over the speakers.

02:08:08   - A lot of them do, but to be clear,

02:08:10   electric motors do have power bands.

02:08:12   It's just that, like I said, they're shifted down

02:08:14   so that all the torque starts at zero RPM,

02:08:16   which is not how gas engines work.

02:08:18   But they do have power bands,

02:08:19   and the complaint about, they're good, they're wide,

02:08:23   and they're shifted way down low,

02:08:24   which makes them ideal for almost all use cases.

02:08:26   But in the case of very sporty cars,

02:08:29   the electric motors tend to tail off

02:08:30   when you get to really high RPMs,

02:08:32   which is why the Porsche Taycan has two gears in it,

02:08:35   because when that power tails off, it upshifts, right?

02:08:37   And now you're, you know, it's,

02:08:40   if you drew the power and torque curves

02:08:42   for the various engines, you'd see the electric ones

02:08:44   are way better suited to the case of driving around

02:08:47   in a car, but it's not like a flat plateau forever,

02:08:50   it does tail off, so that's why gear ratios exist.

02:08:52   And the other thing about driving with the electric car

02:08:54   is because this power band exists,

02:08:56   and mentioning like, thing choosing for you

02:08:58   versus you doing it yourself,

02:09:00   The equivalent of that, I think, in electric cars

02:09:02   is the setting that most of them have

02:09:05   for how much regenerative braking you want

02:09:06   and the idea of one pedal driving.

02:09:08   The manual transmission way to drive an electric car

02:09:11   is not to do one pedal driving

02:09:13   because you don't want one pedal to dictate

02:09:17   both how much energy is going to the motor

02:09:19   and also how much regenerative braking is being applied

02:09:22   because those are two separate things.

02:09:23   The manual way to do it is to say,

02:09:25   okay, both pedals are totally disconnected.

02:09:28   that's all electronic, obviously an electric car, right?

02:09:30   Gas pedal just controls power to the motor

02:09:32   and brake pedal controls braking.

02:09:34   And most of the brake pedal may be regenerative braking

02:09:37   before it hits the friction brakes.

02:09:38   But the point is you decide how and when to apply

02:09:42   any braking at all and how much braking should be applied

02:09:45   versus just having the gas pedal and saying,

02:09:47   okay, when I lift up on the gas pedal,

02:09:48   apply regenerative braking.

02:09:49   Because the thing about one pedal driving is

02:09:52   you can't do an emergency stop with one pedal driving, right?

02:09:54   Like the regenerative braking is never gonna be such

02:09:57   that when you lift your foot off the gas,

02:09:58   it slams on the brake maximum.

02:10:00   It would look like you'd injure people, right?

02:10:02   So you do have to use the friction brakes

02:10:05   or the brake pedal itself sometimes,

02:10:08   but sometimes you don't.

02:10:09   And so that sort of automatic mode of like,

02:10:11   we'll mostly choose what you think is the right thing,

02:10:13   but of course, if a kid runs out in front of your car,

02:10:16   take your foot off the accelerator

02:10:17   and jam on the brake as hard as you possibly can.

02:10:20   We still expect you to do that,

02:10:21   but in the easier cases, the regenerative braking,

02:10:24   which we will dial in based on your setting

02:10:26   and a preference screen somewhere will give you that

02:10:29   as you lift up on the gas pedal

02:10:30   so you can do one pedal driving around town

02:10:33   like you're in a golf cart, right?

02:10:34   So I think that when I think about my electric car future,

02:10:37   when I think of like, what it would be like

02:10:38   to have a manual transmission,

02:10:40   what I mostly think about is, please no one pedal driving.

02:10:43   I don't want any braking of any kind to be applied

02:10:45   unless I touch the brake pedal

02:10:46   because I'm an old fogie and that's what I want.

02:10:49   And that I feel like would give me the most control

02:10:52   over an electric car 'cause I find one pedal driving

02:10:55   disconcerting because I'm not used to it,

02:10:57   but also philosophically in the same way

02:10:59   I don't like automatic transitions,

02:11:00   I would like to control when braking is applied.

02:11:03   - Maybe that's the answer is we repurpose

02:11:06   the third and leftmost pedal as a analog application

02:11:10   of how much regenerative braking you want.

02:11:13   - Yeah, I don't want that.

02:11:14   - So if you want to just slow down a teeny bit,

02:11:17   you put your left leg just a teeny bit down

02:11:20   on what was formerly known as the clutch,

02:11:21   now is the regenerative braking pedal.

02:11:24   And then when you want to get a lot of regenerative braking,

02:11:26   like you want to slow down on a very steep hill,

02:11:29   downward hill, then you just mash down on the thing

02:11:32   that was formerly called a clutch,

02:11:33   and you get a whole bunch of regenerative braking.

02:11:36   - That's one of the measures of really good electric cars,

02:11:38   is how well they blend the regenerative braking

02:11:41   and the friction brakes, right?

02:11:42   'Cause you don't want to feel

02:11:43   when they're switching from one to the other,

02:11:45   and that's actually tricky to do.

02:11:47   But I think with the exception of doing,

02:11:50   what is it called, wheel stands or whatever,

02:11:51   with the exception of the thing where you,

02:11:53   when you're taking a gas car and you stand on the brake and the gas at the same time

02:11:57   to build up torque for a big launch or whatever, you generally don't want to give anyone the

02:12:01   opportunity to apply both the quote unquote gas and brakes at the same time.

02:12:05   Which is why when you learn how to drive, even though there are two pedals in an automatic

02:12:09   car and you have two feet, the way you drive it is not left foot on the brake, right foot

02:12:13   on the gas.

02:12:14   Because that's bad.

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