469: Tiny Toastie


00:00:00   I choose to believe that it's a friendly troll.

00:00:03   But one way or another, I feel that Marco gets an unreasonable--

00:00:07   well, no, maybe it's reasonable--

00:00:09   a considerable amount of enjoyment

00:00:11   by writing extremely vague and very interest-peaking things

00:00:15   in the show notes, especially for pre-shows and after-shows.

00:00:21   So moments before recording, the following appears in the show document.

00:00:25   "Pre-show, the newest member of Marco's family."

00:00:28   I don't know if this is a very unexpected pregnancy announcement, which I doubt, or

00:00:32   if this is something like you found Rivian to replace the FJ, or maybe Hopps really needed

00:00:37   a buddy after 10 years or however old he is.

00:00:40   Or he got a new USB charger.

00:00:42   Like, really, the "family" is a very large and wide-encompassing term.

00:00:47   Indeed.

00:00:48   So is this a new jumpstart thing for your perpetually broken FJ, or is this something

00:00:53   else entirely?

00:00:54   I actually have a new jumpstart thing for my perpetually broken FJ.

00:00:58   - Is it part of the family?

00:00:59   - No, I wouldn't say that.

00:01:00   - Not yet, it means they're in its spot.

00:01:02   - Yeah, not yet.

00:01:03   - It means they're in its keep.

00:01:04   - I will say that the Arment family

00:01:08   has been expanded by--

00:01:10   - Another XDR?

00:01:12   - Another toaster oven.

00:01:15   - Oh, this is not where I expected you to go.

00:01:17   - How many toaster ovens does one family need?

00:01:20   - Well, one is the, well, okay, so for a while

00:01:25   we have had, what the hell is it called?

00:01:27   - What's that, the Dash?

00:01:28   What's the, it's the tiniest toaster oven

00:01:31   you've ever seen.

00:01:32   - Dash mini toaster oven in Aqua at Nordstrom.

00:01:35   - Yeah, here. - I see it.

00:01:36   - Here's the link. - It's a,

00:01:36   you see it in a crate and barrel.

00:01:37   25 bucks, looks like a piece of garbage.

00:01:39   - Yes, it is.

00:01:40   So it is a very nice piece of garbage.

00:01:42   So-- - Does that even fit

00:01:44   a single slice of bread? - One piece of--

00:01:46   - This looks minuscule. - It fits one piece of bread.

00:01:49   - Oh my gosh. - Not too big

00:01:50   of a piece of bread. - Yes.

00:01:51   Or nine kid chicken nuggets,

00:01:53   which is its most common use. (laughing)

00:01:55   - All right, so this was your only toaster oven

00:01:58   until recently, I take it?

00:01:59   - Yes.

00:02:00   Where we keep appliances in this house

00:02:02   is a pretty small area.

00:02:04   It's like this countertop in a little pantry

00:02:07   off the side of the kitchen.

00:02:08   Now, we could keep appliances in other places,

00:02:11   but then they would be like out in the middle

00:02:13   of the room, basically, and we don't want--

00:02:14   - You feel like you're spitting in the face

00:02:15   of people like me who have no counter space.

00:02:17   I just want you to know that.

00:02:18   - That's fair.

00:02:19   So, we have counter, you can choose

00:02:21   to use it for big ugly appliances.

00:02:22   - I know, you're just like, we have it,

00:02:24   but we're not gonna use it.

00:02:25   - Right. - Yeah, this has hurt me

00:02:26   a little too, John, if it makes you feel better.

00:02:28   But carry on, Marco. - Right, so anyway,

00:02:29   we want things to look nice, and so we don't wanna have

00:02:32   our countertops in the most visible part of the room

00:02:35   covered in appliances.

00:02:35   - I wouldn't want this thing on my counter either, actually.

00:02:37   (laughing)

00:02:39   - So anyway. - That's fair.

00:02:40   - You know I'm a huge fan of toaster ovens.

00:02:42   - Who isn't?

00:02:43   I mean, come on.

00:02:44   - Yeah, and I don't usually toast that many pieces

00:02:47   of bread, per se.

00:02:49   Tiff does, she makes Adam toast every morning almost,

00:02:51   but we don't usually toast a lot of bread,

00:02:54   but we do heat a lot of things up in toaster ovens.

00:02:56   So I wanted to have one.

00:02:57   So in the spousal negotiation process

00:03:01   of trying to get a toaster oven in this house,

00:03:03   we came upon this kind of joke.

00:03:07   So Tiff got me this as a joke gift,

00:03:10   this mini, this dash mini toaster oven.

00:03:13   She got me this about a year ago.

00:03:16   I forgot whether it was for Christmas

00:03:17   or some other occasion,

00:03:18   but she got me this as a joke gift.

00:03:20   And it actually is really nice

00:03:24   if you have extremely small needs.

00:03:27   So we have an oven as part of our stove,

00:03:32   but obviously the larger the air space you're heating up,

00:03:36   the longer it takes.

00:03:37   And so this thing, by being so incredibly tiny,

00:03:40   we call it tiny toasty,

00:03:42   and it heats up incredibly fast.

00:03:45   So when you are heating things like chicken nuggets

00:03:48   for a kid dinner or something like that.

00:03:51   It actually is really nice

00:03:53   because it is so damn fast to heat up.

00:03:56   The downside is that it fits basically nothing.

00:03:59   And it's so small that certain items

00:04:02   can't fit into it at all.

00:04:03   Like if you wanted to reheat a slice of pizza or something,

00:04:05   like that doesn't even fit, so forget it.

00:04:06   - That's the whole purpose of a toaster oven,

00:04:08   for goodness sakes.

00:04:09   - Right.

00:04:10   So, but we've been getting,

00:04:11   and Tiff uses a slot toaster in the morning

00:04:14   to make Adam's stuff, so like we've been getting by

00:04:16   with just a slot toaster and this.

00:04:18   both of which were cheap, kind of garbagey things

00:04:21   that were purchased mostly for aesthetics,

00:04:24   not quite for their functionality.

00:04:25   They're both this kind of like minty teal aqua color.

00:04:30   So anyway, so we've had those things for a year or two,

00:04:33   whatever.

00:04:35   And I kept thinking, I really would love a toaster oven

00:04:38   that was a little bit bigger.

00:04:40   Now, if you look at the market of toaster ovens,

00:04:42   including the Syracuse approved models,

00:04:45   There really are not many that are both small and good.

00:04:50   There are almost none.

00:04:53   And what small means is actually a pretty narrow range.

00:04:58   'Cause okay, so at the higher end,

00:05:00   you have these toaster ovens

00:05:01   that are trying to be everything.

00:05:03   They're trying to be a quote air fryer,

00:05:06   which look, everyone, air fryers are great,

00:05:09   but they're just convection ovens.

00:05:10   That's what they are.

00:05:11   Convection ovens are great.

00:05:12   This is just a new marketing term

00:05:15   for small convection ovens.

00:05:17   So it's great, but we didn't really need a new word for it,

00:05:20   but hey, okay, whatever, I'll leave that aside, okay?

00:05:23   So all the new ones trying to be these,

00:05:26   they have these large convection fans

00:05:28   and they wanna be able to fit a whole frozen pizza

00:05:30   or they'll show pictures of people putting

00:05:33   two whole chickens next to each other in a toaster oven.

00:05:36   Okay, at that point, we'd be fine to just use the oven,

00:05:40   the regular oven.

00:05:42   We don't need a toaster oven that can fit

00:05:45   an entire animal in it.

00:05:46   Like that's fine, we have an oven if we need to do that.

00:05:50   So the toaster oven is supposed to be smaller

00:05:53   than the oven by a good margin so that it can be faster,

00:05:57   more convenient, and countertop, et cetera.

00:05:59   So okay, so we have this small space.

00:06:02   So we wanted something that was bigger than Tiny Toasty

00:06:05   that could fit at least two slices of bread.

00:06:08   (laughing)

00:06:10   but we also didn't need it to fit eight slices of bread.

00:06:12   We don't need it to fit an entire everything.

00:06:15   So, okay, we wanted a new toaster oven,

00:06:17   but it had to be small-ish, not super, not this,

00:06:21   but small and compact and good looking.

00:06:25   And ideally, here's the other thing,

00:06:28   nothing we have in this kitchen or in this house, really,

00:06:32   is like silver stainless steel.

00:06:35   Every single appliance that everybody makes

00:06:38   is silver stainless steel front.

00:06:41   Everything.

00:06:42   Everything for like the last 20 years,

00:06:44   it's just all stainless steel or fake stainless steel.

00:06:47   It's all gray and silver.

00:06:48   One of the reasons why we have the microwave that we do

00:06:51   is that it was one of the only ones

00:06:53   that I could find in white.

00:06:55   'Cause white looks best in the place

00:06:57   that we're putting these things.

00:06:58   So it's like, all right.

00:06:58   - But would you say white just happened to you then, Mark?

00:07:01   - So. (laughs)

00:07:03   - What do you have against stainless?

00:07:04   I mean, stainless is obviously a fad,

00:07:05   But it also has the benefit of mostly being neutral.

00:07:09   So it goes in lots of different kitchens.

00:07:10   Whereas if you make any colors, you've

00:07:11   got to make it in 50 different colors,

00:07:13   and it might not go in everybody's kitchen.

00:07:14   Like, obviously, I know why you're

00:07:15   looking for something that's not silver.

00:07:17   But if white is OK, why is-- that's

00:07:20   how the same blah goes with everything neutral, right?

00:07:24   It only goes with everything because everything

00:07:26   in most houses is stainless, or has stainless accents,

00:07:30   or has at least brushed silver accents.

00:07:32   So things like cabinet handles, and drawer pulls,

00:07:35   and towel rods, and in most houses these days

00:07:39   that were built any time recently,

00:07:40   those are all some kind of silver or gray.

00:07:43   And so it fits in only because everything is that color.

00:07:46   Here we don't have any of that color.

00:07:48   And so everything's like white or gold or, you know,

00:07:51   so, or you know, teal or blue, whatever, so it's--

00:07:53   - But it's still neutral, like it doesn't,

00:07:55   if you have gold draw poles,

00:07:56   the stainless steel doesn't clash with that really.

00:07:58   - It's neutral, but it's not,

00:08:00   it doesn't match with anything we have here.

00:08:02   - No, it definitely doesn't match,

00:08:03   unless again, unless you have all stainless steel.

00:08:04   And by the way, I had recently was forced to get a dishwasher,

00:08:08   see upcoming rectives, and I couldn't get white.

00:08:11   I wanted to get white.

00:08:12   Every dishwasher I've ever owned has been white,

00:08:14   but COVID supply chain, they're like,

00:08:16   "Yeah, no, we don't have white.

00:08:17   Your choices are stainless and stainless."

00:08:18   So guess what?

00:08:19   I have a stainless dishwasher now.

00:08:21   - Yeah, everyone does.

00:08:22   (laughing)

00:08:23   - Yep.

00:08:24   - Yeah, it's hard to buy anything that's not,

00:08:27   as you just found out.

00:08:28   - I'm just so glad I got my fridge before COVID,

00:08:30   because I would not, like, our fridge is white.

00:08:31   Our fridge has always been white,

00:08:32   but I would not want a stainless fridge.

00:08:35   So I decided to purchase.

00:08:39   I did some research, I measured things.

00:08:41   I took boxes of graham crackers and boxes of tea bags

00:08:45   and stacked them up into the shape and measurements

00:08:48   of different models I was looking at

00:08:49   so I could put it on the counter

00:08:51   and see exactly what kind of toaster oven would fit,

00:08:53   how much counter space would it take up.

00:08:55   'Cause we also, the counter that these are placed on,

00:08:57   this is also used as an active working area

00:09:00   in Merlin's parlance.

00:09:02   This is also like, you know, sometimes a food prep area

00:09:04   or a staging area for food that is like going in and out

00:09:06   of the microwave or something like that.

00:09:08   So, smallness again, smallness was greatly preferred.

00:09:11   I came up with the, pretty much the only one I could find

00:09:16   that was small, white, although it's kind of white-ish,

00:09:21   it's a little bit off-white, but it's pretty white.

00:09:23   So, small, white, and toaster oven, and reasonably decent.

00:09:28   - Wait, is this gonna be on your counter?

00:09:31   Is that why you're worried about the appearance so much?

00:09:33   - It's in the pantry area,

00:09:34   but we care about how things look back there too.

00:09:36   - But the pantry area is hidden.

00:09:37   Like the whole benefit of not having it out

00:09:39   is that you can get it in your toaster.

00:09:41   It doesn't match everything.

00:09:42   Who cares?

00:09:42   It's off in another room.

00:09:43   - We see it.

00:09:44   - All right, good.

00:09:45   Here's this.

00:09:46   I just feel like this is gonna be inferior

00:09:48   to what you know will be my recommendation,

00:09:50   which is the 450.

00:09:51   - Jon, through, this was not my goal.

00:09:56   However, I got the toaster oven

00:09:58   that I think is the choice that will maximally piss you off.

00:10:02   - Oh no, oh no.

00:10:04   - Is it shaped like an animal?

00:10:06   Does it have a griddle on top for making sausage?

00:10:08   - I was gonna say, what was that red one with,

00:10:11   oh gosh, what is this thing?

00:10:12   The multifunction breakfast choppy.

00:10:14   That's what Marco got.

00:10:16   - Here I'm pasting an image in the chat.

00:10:19   - Oh my God, you got the Balmuta?

00:10:22   - I got the Balmuta toaster.

00:10:24   This is the steam toaster oven.

00:10:27   - Not as bad as the breakfast station thing.

00:10:30   - This is the one that we did on stage, right?

00:10:32   - Friend of the show, yeah.

00:10:32   This is the one that Alex Cox and Cars Against Humanity

00:10:35   brought up on stage when we did our last live show.

00:10:38   - Mother of God.

00:10:40   - As a joke.

00:10:40   - You think this looks better than stainless?

00:10:43   I think the off-white clashes way more than stainless would.

00:10:46   - It actually, when you see it in person,

00:10:49   it blends in a lot more.

00:10:51   Like I think the camera's white balancing

00:10:53   is doing a little bit more of an aggressive job

00:10:55   of showing the difference here.

00:10:56   In person, it just looks white, basically.

00:10:57   Especially 'cause it is on the other end of the counter.

00:10:59   - Do you recall the Photoshop gradient toast

00:11:02   that came out of this thing?

00:11:03   When we did a review on stage.

00:11:04   - Oh yeah.

00:11:05   - The picture of me holding it up.

00:11:06   It's like a literal gradient from dark to like white.

00:11:09   - Yeah, I know.

00:11:10   - That's not what you want out of a toaster oven.

00:11:13   - I am familiar with all of the shortcomings of this toaster.

00:11:16   I know.

00:11:17   I know from doing that live show.

00:11:19   I know from watching YouTube videos and reading reviews.

00:11:21   I am familiar with all the shortcomings of this toaster.

00:11:24   - And yet.

00:11:25   And don't forget what I said a little while ago,

00:11:28   we don't actually eat toast that often.

00:11:30   But this was the smallest nice looking white toaster oven

00:11:35   I could find and it's nice.

00:11:38   - I'm gonna Photoshop the Breville 450 in there

00:11:41   and it will look so much better.

00:11:43   - So the problem with almost all the Breville ones

00:11:44   is that it's like one to two inches bigger

00:11:47   in each dimension.

00:11:48   So it's actually like substantially larger.

00:11:50   - I think it's close to the Belmutah.

00:11:51   - No, it's not.

00:11:52   It's like two inches wider.

00:11:54   it's about two inches deeper, it's similar height.

00:11:56   - Well, again, looking at the embarrassment of riches

00:11:59   you have in terms of countertop space,

00:12:01   even in your little pantry thing, you've got so much space,

00:12:04   who cares if it's an inch wider?

00:12:05   - But I've, so I have cleaned this up, you know,

00:12:07   for installing the new toaster, you know,

00:12:09   when you install a new appliance,

00:12:10   you pick up all the old ones,

00:12:11   you clean under them and everything.

00:12:12   - You have so much room.

00:12:13   - But this is a working area, I need the room to put stuff.

00:12:17   - Oh, again, see, upcoming rectifs

00:12:19   about active working areas.

00:12:20   I understand what you're saying,

00:12:21   but you have the extra inches there.

00:12:23   So anyway, we got this thing.

00:12:26   And of course, even though we don't usually

00:12:28   eat a lot of toast, I had to also order

00:12:30   the fancy Japanese milk bread to put into it.

00:12:33   And so we actually, we had like the correct type of bread

00:12:37   as far, I mean, it starts with what I could get mailed to me

00:12:40   but you know, the correct-ish type of bread,

00:12:41   this Japanese milk toast with a name that I forgot

00:12:45   but be into the nest.

00:12:45   - Lots of good recipes for that on YouTube

00:12:46   if you wanna try baking again.

00:12:48   - Yeah, I thought about that actually.

00:12:50   But it was easier just to buy a pack

00:12:51   to see if I liked it first.

00:12:52   before I bought the special pan and everything else.

00:12:55   But anyway, yeah, we tried it out today.

00:12:58   It all arrived today, tried it out,

00:12:59   and it's actually really good.

00:13:02   (laughing)

00:13:04   I can strongly recommend making crazy Japanese steam toast.

00:13:08   It is so good.

00:13:10   Now, granted, it tastes mostly like toast.

00:13:13   It is not like, if the best toast can be,

00:13:17   is a one to 10 kind of scale, it's not like a 20.

00:13:20   It's more like a 13 or 14, like it's a really good toast.

00:13:24   It still tastes like toast, but man is it good.

00:13:27   And yeah, oh man, strongly recommend.

00:13:31   So now I have the toaster that,

00:13:32   I apologize so much to Mr. Syracusa,

00:13:36   but my God, I am so happy with the ridiculous

00:13:39   steamed toast that came out of this thing.

00:13:40   And I will say, I never actually touched it

00:13:43   when we had it on stage.

00:13:45   Relative to other toaster ovens that I've seen,

00:13:48   It's pretty nice, like it's nicely designed,

00:13:51   it's a nice appearance.

00:13:52   The knobs, they don't feel like BMW knobs,

00:13:56   but they feel pretty decent for a toaster oven.

00:13:59   The interface is nice and simple.

00:14:01   It has nice simple iconography, it's very subtle,

00:14:04   but it sounds good.

00:14:06   The LEDs are yellow and not bright searing blue.

00:14:09   It's just like a nice toaster.

00:14:11   And so overall, I'm very happy with it so far

00:14:13   after 12 hours, and we'll see how it goes after that.

00:14:17   I think I remember one of my complaints from the show was that the rack inside there is made of such thin wire you feel like you could crumple it up in your hand which doesn't give a quality appearance.

00:14:25   But you know, anyway, if you're not going to get the toaster I recommend, I'm glad at least you got one that has a trick, like this whole steam thing.

00:14:32   It has a trick that makes it unique, has a unique selling proposition as they say, and you like the result of that. You like the toaster that came out of it.

00:14:39   So, you know, at least you didn't get another thing

00:14:43   that's basically like a larger version of the Tiny Toasty,

00:14:45   which is just a bad toaster

00:14:46   and has no extra features to it at all.

00:14:49   Although, every time I look at this one,

00:14:51   I'm so angry that they made the window so small.

00:14:52   It's like, we're not welding inside there.

00:14:54   Just let me see what you got.

00:14:56   - Nice.

00:14:57   Oh my gosh.

00:14:58   This is not at all where I saw this conversation going.

00:15:02   And I am surprised that, John, you're being so gentle.

00:15:05   Maybe it's because at least Marco and you and me

00:15:08   all agree that the toaster oven is the one true method of toasting, but golly, that's,

00:15:15   I'm surprised.

00:15:17   [Music]

00:15:18   All right, anyways, I was not happy last week.

00:15:23   So last week we had a couple of power spikes and then we had a power failure.

00:15:30   Now on the plus side, this all happened within days of me getting, I don't remember which

00:15:36   one it is, but what is it you recommended, Marco, a cyber power?

00:15:39   Yeah, the UPS, Cyber Power AVR series, I believe, right?

00:15:43   I think that's right.

00:15:44   I'll try to remember to put something in the show notes, but one way or another, I had

00:15:48   just gotten that actually because my whole power setup, really everywhere in the house,

00:15:52   but particularly in my office, was a mess.

00:15:57   So now I've got that straightened out a little bit, but last Thursday, thankfully it was

00:16:00   Thursday and not Wednesday, last Thursday we had a power spike and it flickered on and

00:16:05   off a couple times and it died for like an hour and I'm still not entirely sure

00:16:07   why it doesn't really matter but there didn't seem to be any casualties from

00:16:12   this except my one and only set-top box for my Verizon FiOS TV service. Yes I

00:16:19   still have traditional TV service, no I'm not interested in getting into a debate

00:16:22   about it, it's just the way we work. So we had this easily 10 possibly 15 year old

00:16:28   DVR like truly this thing was ancient I don't remember exactly where it came

00:16:31   when we got it, but it was old. And it had been long in the tooth already, but apparently it

00:16:37   really improperly died. And the behavior that we saw was it was constantly rebooting itself over and

00:16:42   over and over and over and over. So I get online with Verizon because they're the Verizon Terrestrial

00:16:48   Service. I can't speak for the wireless stuff, but for Fios, surprisingly in the last couple of years

00:16:54   you can do a lot with their automated systems. As an example, when the power did come back, my

00:17:00   Fios internet wouldn't come back and I got online, you know, tethered to my phone and I said, "Hey,

00:17:06   you know, my phone number doesn't have, you know, Fios service right now." And the website just said,

00:17:11   "Okay, we're going to reset your," presumably my ONT or whatever, "but we're going to reset your service."

00:17:15   And, you know, five minutes later, sure enough, it was back. I didn't talk to a human, not via chat,

00:17:19   not via phone, nothing. So I get on the website and I'm, you know, saying, "Oh, my setup box is broken."

00:17:27   and one of the options it actually gave me was, you know, it's rebooting constantly, and it said,

00:17:32   "Okay, well, we'll send you a replacement, you know, just like the one you've got. Which one is it?"

00:17:38   And the options, I forget if there was like no option for me to select the one in question,

00:17:43   or if that, or maybe it didn't look right to me one way or another, I was like, "No, it's none of those."

00:17:48   And immediately, "Okay, time to talk to a person via chat." Fine. So I talked to a person via chat,

00:17:55   They're very, very nice.

00:17:56   And even though it took forever, presumably,

00:17:57   because they're talking to like 17 other people at once,

00:18:00   they did agree to send me a new file box

00:18:04   after they insisted

00:18:07   that they send a text message to my phone.

00:18:09   Why did they send a text message to my phone,

00:18:11   do you think, gentlemen?

00:18:12   - Hmm.

00:18:13   - Oh, to make sure you're who you say you are?

00:18:15   Is there a two-factor?

00:18:16   - Well, that, okay, yes.

00:18:17   Okay, I'm sorry, two text messages to my phone.

00:18:19   One was to verify who I am.

00:18:21   But the other one was more interesting.

00:18:22   We've talked about this just a couple of months back.

00:18:24   Did you have to record a video of the broken box?

00:18:26   I am stunned, Marco Arment. Well done, sir.

00:18:30   Really?

00:18:30   You get a gold star for today.

00:18:32   So they send me this link.

00:18:33   In the future, you will have to record all broken things on your phone.

00:18:36   Right?

00:18:36   What if your phone breaks?

00:18:40   All right. So they send me this link via text message to techse.me.

00:18:45   And what it basically did was initiate a one-way video chat. So the person,

00:18:53   the chat person could see my camera, but they couldn't see me. Like it was, you know, the

00:18:59   camera on the back of the phone. So they couldn't see me, but they could see my camera and they had

00:19:04   me hold up the set top box so they could see it. And I don't know why, but they like used a cursor,

00:19:09   which I could see on my screen, on my phone. They used a cursor to like circle where the serial

00:19:13   number was and like circle a couple other things. I'm not entirely clear why. And then when they

00:19:18   they were done, they wrote with their cursor, they wrote O K on the screen. And that was

00:19:24   my, that was my hint that we were done here. Uh, so I would say when you put this link

00:19:28   in the show notes, I couldn't figure out what, why you did. I thought we had the wrong URL

00:19:32   because I'm like, you have to replace your files box. I expected this to be a website

00:19:35   with like a different ONT or a different cable box or something. But let me just tell you,

00:19:39   if you haven't gone to the site listener, you go to the site and the text on top says,

00:19:44   delight your customers with visual AI,

00:19:46   apply the power of computer vision and augmented reality

00:19:49   to transform your customer experience

00:19:50   and dramatically improve your business outcomes.

00:19:52   That sort of business marketing speak there

00:19:56   is basically their version of what Casey described.

00:20:00   You're gonna point your phone at something

00:20:01   and they're gonna write on it

00:20:02   so you can see that they're circling

00:20:04   where the serial numbers and stuff.

00:20:05   And I guess technically that's augmented reality,

00:20:09   but I'm not sure it transformed the customer experience

00:20:11   and dramatically improved business outcomes

00:20:13   versus Casey just saying my box is broken

00:20:15   and them saying the serial number is on the bottom.

00:20:18   - You have to figure, the hoops that these companies

00:20:21   are making people jump through now

00:20:22   for simple stuff like this, there must have been,

00:20:26   and probably still is, such a massive amount of fraud

00:20:30   that consumers pull on companies to get free boxes

00:20:34   or free electronics or make an extra 10 bucks somewhere.

00:20:38   You just gotta figure the number of scams

00:20:40   and the amount of fraud that's out there must be massive,

00:20:43   way more than anybody thinks.

00:20:44   - It's hard to tell.

00:20:45   Like we always hear about that on the iPhone,

00:20:46   like there are way more scams than you think

00:20:47   and Apple has to deal with them and it's a headache.

00:20:49   But for like cable boxes or computer mice, I do wonder.

00:20:53   - And remember, remember they have billing information

00:20:56   for me and they made it very clear

00:20:58   that if I don't send the existing box back

00:21:00   within a month-- - Right, they're gonna

00:21:01   repossess your house, yeah.

00:21:02   - They're basically gonna repossess the house.

00:21:03   So like I agree with you,

00:21:05   like what are they trying to prevent?

00:21:07   - Well in this case, I actually believe the marketing speak

00:21:10   in this case.

00:21:11   In this case, I think the problem is like

00:21:12   If you've ever worked tech support,

00:21:15   you know that you wish you could do something

00:21:18   where you could just see what they're seeing

00:21:19   or show their screen or whatever.

00:21:21   So I think this technology is as ridiculous as it sounds,

00:21:25   it beats trying to explain to someone on the phone

00:21:27   where the hell the serial number is

00:21:28   when you're not entirely sure

00:21:29   that they're even touching the right box.

00:21:31   - That's true, but consider that at the time

00:21:34   in which I was picking up or starting the video call,

00:21:38   all I had been instructed to do was show them the box.

00:21:42   I was never instructed to send a serial number.

00:21:44   - Oh yeah, no, they jump right to this tech

00:21:46   once they get accustomed to it, right?

00:21:48   I'm not essentially defending this use here,

00:21:50   'cause I feel like with you,

00:21:51   conversation on the phone would have been better,

00:21:52   but once this tech is available, it becomes the cure-all.

00:21:55   It's kind of like when I'm debugging anything with my parents

00:21:57   I just like, step zero, share your screen.

00:21:59   Like I don't wait to get to that point,

00:22:01   we just jump right to there,

00:22:02   because it's just more efficient.

00:22:03   - But I don't think the purpose of it

00:22:06   was to see the serial number.

00:22:08   I think the purpose was actually just to verify

00:22:09   that the box was in my possession

00:22:11   and didn't look like it had been drop-kicked or something,

00:22:13   which is the weirdest part to me.

00:22:14   - Yeah, or yeah, just sanity-checking what you're saying,

00:22:17   because when people say, like, you know,

00:22:18   I have done tech support in a professional context,

00:22:21   and you can't trust the things that people say,

00:22:22   'cause you're not on the same page.

00:22:25   - Yeah, so anyway, I just thought it was funny,

00:22:27   given that we had just talked about that a few months ago,

00:22:29   and they eventually did dispatch a new box,

00:22:31   it arrived, and very, very briefly,

00:22:33   the new box arrives, and it has to activate itself,

00:22:37   because reasons, and it tries to do that,

00:22:40   and it's like, "Psh, nope."

00:22:42   And try it again, "Psh, nope, can't connect."

00:22:44   Then eventually I have it try another time.

00:22:47   Meanwhile, my ERO, which is my in-home router,

00:22:49   is saying, "Oh, hey, there's a new box

00:22:51   "that just pulled an IP address on your network."

00:22:53   And it's such and such, such and such,

00:22:54   which is clearly the cable box.

00:22:56   And it was like, "Nope, can't activate."

00:22:57   So I call Verizon, this time I actually called them,

00:23:00   and I'm like, "Hey, my box won't activate."

00:23:02   And they're like, "Okay, well, have you checked

00:23:03   "that your Verizon router's on?"

00:23:05   It's not a Verizon router.

00:23:06   "Uh, uh, oh, well what are you doing? Well I have an Eero and a couple of mocha bridges

00:23:14   and blah blah blah blah blah."

00:23:16   This is when you get kicked up the chain, I think.

00:23:18   Actually, no. So what ended up happening was there was a very, very kind guy who was clearly

00:23:24   way out of his depth, and he seemed to be chatting either verbally or via keyboard with

00:23:31   a coworker who eventually stumbled on the right incantation

00:23:35   to get the thing to force an activation.

00:23:37   But it was funny to me because, I mean, this is not,

00:23:40   it's an odd setup with Verizon Files.

00:23:42   Typically you have their router, not always,

00:23:45   but typically you have their router.

00:23:46   And it's weird to not, but it's not completely

00:23:50   and utterly unusual.

00:23:50   Like, neither of you guys are using Verizon routers, right?

00:23:52   'Cause Mark, you have a Ubiquiti setup.

00:23:55   Jon, you have Eero, if I'm not mistaken, right?

00:23:57   - Yeah, and every time, like, the thing is,

00:23:58   as long as you know what you're doing with your stuff,

00:24:00   The number of things they can do on their end

00:24:03   mostly affect things that are not the router.

00:24:05   They'll help you debug their router,

00:24:07   but if you don't need their help debugging your router,

00:24:10   they can still do all the same things

00:24:11   that they do on their end, like resetting your ONT

00:24:13   or testing their connection from your end or doing all that.

00:24:16   Like that's all you need them to do.

00:24:17   And so really, I mean, you could even just lie and say,

00:24:19   "Oh yeah, I've totally got the Verizon router."

00:24:21   And if they say, "Is the green light on?"

00:24:23   Just say, "Yes, the green light is on."

00:24:24   You could do that if you wanted, but--

00:24:25   - What if they ask a more point, a more like, you know,

00:24:28   - Vague question, like how many lights

00:24:30   do you see on the front?

00:24:31   - Right. (laughs)

00:24:31   - Seven?

00:24:33   (laughs)

00:24:34   - No, but anyway, so it all worked out fine in the end,

00:24:36   but it just made me laugh real bad

00:24:38   that I had to video chat with them

00:24:40   in order to prove that I had the box

00:24:41   that I inevitably have to send back anyway

00:24:44   because otherwise they repossess the house.

00:24:46   (laughs)

00:24:48   - We are sponsored this week by something

00:24:50   honestly very close to me, very dear to me,

00:24:52   the Stack Overflow Podcast.

00:24:55   For more than a dozen years,

00:24:57   the Stack Overflow podcast has been exploring

00:24:59   what it means to be a developer

00:25:00   and how the art and practice of software programming

00:25:02   is changing our world.

00:25:04   Now, this actually means something to me personally

00:25:07   because the Stack Overflow podcast,

00:25:09   they say they've been doing it for more than a dozen years.

00:25:11   That's true 'cause more than a dozen years ago,

00:25:12   I was listening to it.

00:25:14   I listened to it whenever it would come out.

00:25:15   I remember clearly listening on my video iPod

00:25:18   on the way as I was walking in when I worked in the city

00:25:22   and I was listening to them talk about

00:25:24   how they were building the site

00:25:25   and the considerations they were having over time

00:25:28   and everything, and it really was one of the very first

00:25:31   podcasts I listened to, and I kind of never stopped

00:25:34   after that, and I'm very happy about that.

00:25:37   But this is a great show, and it really has evolved

00:25:40   over time as Stack Overflow, of course, became the juggernaut

00:25:43   that it became in our world of programmers here.

00:25:46   The podcast grew and everything, and it really has

00:25:49   really gone in great directions.

00:25:50   From Rails to React, from Java to Node,

00:25:53   They host important conversations

00:25:55   and fascinating guests that will help you understand

00:25:57   how technology is made and where it's headed.

00:25:59   Hosted by Ben Popper, Ryan Donovan, Cassidy Williams,

00:26:03   and Ciorra Ford, the Stack Overflow podcast

00:26:06   is your home for all things code.

00:26:09   So check out the Stack Overflow podcast

00:26:11   wherever you get your podcasts.

00:26:13   Obviously I'm biased, but wherever you get your podcasts,

00:26:16   it's great.

00:26:17   I strongly recommend if you like our show,

00:26:19   you're probably gonna like their show too.

00:26:21   So once again, the Stack Overflow podcast

00:26:23   available wherever you get your podcasts.

00:26:25   Thanks to the Stack Overflow Podcast

00:26:26   for sponsoring our show.

00:26:28   - Moving right along, we got a lot of feedback

00:26:34   with regard to battery charging

00:26:36   and I think this originated as an Ask ATP thing.

00:26:39   And a lot of people recommended Al Dente,

00:26:41   which I have not tried myself,

00:26:43   but we got lots of recommendations for it.

00:26:45   I believe there's a free, or perhaps even open source,

00:26:48   and a paid version, if I'm not mistaken.

00:26:50   And somebody wrote, and I didn't put the quotation in here,

00:26:53   so I don't know who to credit, I'm sorry.

00:26:54   But with Aldente installed, you can set a charging limit

00:26:57   in a more healthy charging range

00:26:59   and with more features like sailing mode,

00:27:01   not sure what that means, or heat protection,

00:27:03   so you can keep your battery healthy even longer.

00:27:05   - I think it was marketing copy from the website.

00:27:06   - Oh, is that what it was? Okay.

00:27:07   - Yeah, it basically gives you way more options

00:27:09   about when should the battery charge to full,

00:27:12   what level should it stop.

00:27:13   Like if you want to customize that

00:27:15   and you don't want to use discipline

00:27:18   in your own timing system to do it,

00:27:20   there's software that will do it.

00:27:21   So Al Dente is recommended by many of the battery micro-managers who listen.

00:27:29   That is accurate.

00:27:31   So anyways, moving right along.

00:27:33   We have some more feedback with regard to my email woes.

00:27:38   I haven't solved anything yet.

00:27:40   I'm still kicking the can down the road, but the current theory is indeed to switch to

00:27:43   Fast Mail for reasons, but that is the plan.

00:27:47   However, there's a little bit of, there's some updates and something in the show notes

00:27:51   I presume John put in called the Gmail funnel solution.

00:27:54   Tell me about this.

00:27:55   - A lot of people suggested it,

00:27:56   and it's actually what I do, and it's worth mentioning,

00:27:58   even though I don't think it solves any of Casey's problems.

00:28:00   It may not solve all of your problems

00:28:01   if you have the same sort of Google for my domains

00:28:04   or whatever thing, but the solution

00:28:06   lots of people suggested is do whatever you want to do

00:28:10   to get your email address at whatever service

00:28:12   you want to use.

00:28:14   Like, yeah, you have to have somewhere for the mail to go

00:28:16   for you at yourcooldomain.com, right?

00:28:19   and for however many accounts you have.

00:28:21   But then, behind the scenes, what you do

00:28:24   is you make yourself a free Gmail account,

00:28:28   and you forward everything from all your other email accounts

00:28:32   to the free Gmail account.

00:28:34   And then you set up Gmail so it can

00:28:36   send through the outgoing SMTP servers of those services,

00:28:39   so you can send as those people as well.

00:28:42   So you get email to me@mycooldomain.com.

00:28:45   And when you reply, it comes from me@mycooldomain.com,

00:28:48   but that people don't know that it went to the actual mail server for mycooldomain.com

00:28:52   then got forwarded to Gmail and then it was sent from Gmail through the outgoing mycooldomain.com

00:28:58   servers.

00:28:59   I do that for all my email accounts.

00:29:02   Gmail is my funnel.

00:29:03   I have lots of different email accounts, lots of different custom domains, all sorts of

00:29:06   random crap.

00:29:07   They all fund them through Gmail and I could send as them from Gmail if I want to.

00:29:12   In practice I barely bother but if you just set up the rules to say like reply to who

00:29:16   who it was sent to, you can set that up in Gmail

00:29:18   so when you reply it automatically will reply

00:29:20   from whoever it was sent to.

00:29:21   Sometimes it's a pain to set that up.

00:29:23   It can be tricky and it's changed over the years

00:29:25   but Gmail does have enough features

00:29:27   for you to get that done in most cases.

00:29:29   And that would solve the problem if you're like,

00:29:31   well I wanna use Gmail, I don't wanna pay for mail storage,

00:29:35   I wanna have, you know, I like the interface,

00:29:37   I like the search, I like having lots of room,

00:29:39   but I don't want it to actually be the front door

00:29:41   to my email.

00:29:42   And then your other places where you have mail,

00:29:44   if you get a full-fledged account somewhere else

00:29:46   and don't just forward it, but instead keep a copy there

00:29:49   and also forward it, then you can still use

00:29:51   the Gmail interface but have a backup copy

00:29:53   of your mail at Fastmail or whatever.

00:29:55   The problem it doesn't solve is if you have lots

00:29:56   of different accounts and you need more storage

00:29:59   than Gmail free offers or you don't wanna use

00:30:02   the Gmail interface or you don't like Gmail,

00:30:04   then obviously things like Fastmail are more straightforward.

00:30:06   But so many people suggested this.

00:30:08   I thought I should bring it up,

00:30:09   especially since it's what I actually do.

00:30:10   - Yeah, and speaking of storage,

00:30:12   according to Ashish Gandhi,

00:30:14   The discontinuation of the free custom domain

00:30:17   affected me as well, but wanted to point out

00:30:19   that for $6 a month, you'd get 30 gigabytes of storage

00:30:23   and not 15 like free Gmail.

00:30:25   So your 20 gig need would be fulfilled

00:30:27   without paying for extra storage space at $2 a month,

00:30:30   which I did not realize.

00:30:31   I don't have any links to share about that,

00:30:33   but it is worth noting.

00:30:35   Additionally, so this is a very quick tangent.

00:30:40   When I was a younger man and really wanted to watch

00:30:43   a BBC television program about cars,

00:30:45   I would hang out on a website in an IRC chat room

00:30:49   called Final Gear in order to see if any trucks drove by

00:30:52   with episodes of Top Gear on it.

00:30:54   And a friend of mine, Daniel Nelson,

00:30:57   who I'd friended long after this was a thing in my life,

00:31:00   Daniel is one of the main people that was at Final Gear,

00:31:04   and so it's always a pleasure to hear from him.

00:31:06   And Daniel wrote us, and he wrote,

00:31:08   "Please don't run your own mail server.

00:31:10   "If you do, you won't be able to run it

00:31:12   directly on your Synology unless you have a quote "relay host" quote that has a non-residential

00:31:16   IP because all known residential IP ranges are included on all the block lists that email

00:31:21   providers use. If you do decide that you want to go down that rabbit hole of running your

00:31:24   own server, my favorite setup is from, and then I'll put a link in the show notes, and

00:31:28   it explains things really well. But seriously, don't run your own mail server. It's caused

00:31:32   me more headaches than anything except for maybe running IRC servers. Trying to get your

00:31:37   IP unblocked so people can receive your email again because someone at Microsoft got a little

00:31:40   too excited with their IP ranges is exactly as fun as it sounds. So yeah, no thank you.

00:31:46   Yeah, I can definitely see like, you know, because if you think about why would mail

00:31:51   services block residential IP ranges? Well, because if your computer is hacked like by

00:31:57   some malware to relay spam through it, then it's good. That's going to mostly come from

00:32:03   residential IP ranges. And how many legit mail servers are coming from there? Almost

00:32:08   So it's like, oh god, back,

00:32:12   I think I went to this show before,

00:32:14   but at Tumblr, David was very adamant

00:32:19   that the signup process be as smooth as possible.

00:32:23   That's why there was no confirm your password box

00:32:26   and there was no email verification at first.

00:32:29   I don't know if this changed after I left in 2010,

00:32:31   but that was a long time ago.

00:32:33   But anyway, signup was just three fields.

00:32:36   it was like the blog name, email, password, that's it.

00:32:40   And he was very adamant that it has to be super easy,

00:32:43   super smooth and go right in.

00:32:44   And after a while of it being popular for a little while,

00:32:49   we started getting spam at an amount

00:32:52   that we had to actually act on it.

00:32:55   And so we decided to put up a CAPTCHA

00:32:57   on the registration form, but only for people

00:33:00   who we thought were already spammers.

00:33:02   So only if we had a high confidence

00:33:05   that the person was a spammer anyway.

00:33:06   so we weren't putting everyone through a CAPTCHA,

00:33:08   only likely spam candidates.

00:33:12   And there were a number of ways that,

00:33:13   so I devised a number of heuristics of like,

00:33:15   well first of all, what are they entering

00:33:17   as their blog name, email, and password?

00:33:19   Like certain patterns are being used by spammers.

00:33:22   But the one that was by far the most effective,

00:33:26   the first class A, whatever it is, of Russia,

00:33:30   I just put all of Russia through the CAPTCHA,

00:33:33   anything coming from Russia,

00:33:34   and that stopped something like 98% of the spam.

00:33:37   - Nice, good for you.

00:33:39   - And the Russia, you know, and it sounds like, you know,

00:33:42   to the good people of Russia who aren't spam bots,

00:33:46   you know, there are some of you out there,

00:33:48   you're certainly not the majority,

00:33:50   most of the people from Russia are not people,

00:33:51   they're spam bots that we experience on the internet,

00:33:53   but there are good people there,

00:33:55   and I understand, like, maybe you might be offended

00:33:58   by the fact that I was putting your entire country

00:34:02   through a cap show as if you were a spammer,

00:34:04   But the reality is that actually did stop most of it.

00:34:07   And so I can see kind of the same thing going on

00:34:10   with this email server thing of like,

00:34:11   yeah, if you're running a mail server out of your house,

00:34:14   there are some people who do that.

00:34:16   I'm sure there are good people out there

00:34:17   who are trying that, but the vast majority of email

00:34:21   coming from houses like as the SMTP agent

00:34:24   is gonna be bots and is gonna be people

00:34:27   whose computers have been affected by malware.

00:34:28   So like, of course, every mail server is gonna be like,

00:34:31   nope, forget it, no way.

00:34:33   That actually reminds me, by the way, very quickly,

00:34:35   I was reminiscing about the open source software, Zimbra,

00:34:40   which was like some sort of kind of G Suite

00:34:44   before the G Suite existed sort of thing.

00:34:46   And I had a handful of people reach out

00:34:48   who are either recent or current Zimbra users

00:34:50   who said, stay away, stay far, far away.

00:34:53   Apparently it has gone very downhill

00:34:55   since I dabbled with it 10, 15 years ago.

00:34:58   So I thought that was funny.

00:34:59   Marco, you could have free email forever,

00:35:03   or you have other options apparently.

00:35:05   - So big thank you to Emmanuelle Courvissier,

00:35:09   who wrote in to tell me that Fastmail,

00:35:11   so I had said last episode that,

00:35:14   I've been using Fastmail as my email host

00:35:15   for something like 10 or 12 years,

00:35:17   some absurdly long time,

00:35:19   and I have posted referral links here and there,

00:35:21   like on my blog or whatever else,

00:35:22   and so I've built up over time,

00:35:25   like $2600 in referral credit,

00:35:27   and every time they bill me,

00:35:28   It just deducts from that,

00:35:30   but I'm building up credit faster than I'm spending it.

00:35:33   And so I was joking like, it's gonna take me 100 years

00:35:35   to actually go through all this.

00:35:37   Well anyway, Manuel wrote in to say

00:35:40   that FastMail has like an FAQ entry

00:35:42   that you can get paid out excess referral earnings

00:35:46   above $100.

00:35:47   So I open a ticket, I'm like,

00:35:48   "Hey, can I have like $2,500 of this as a payout?"

00:35:52   And they paid it out within like an hour.

00:35:55   It was so fast.

00:35:56   - Holy cow.

00:35:57   So legitimately, thank you to Emmanuel.

00:36:00   You made me $2,500, and I'm very thankful for that,

00:36:04   and that paid for some of the car stuff

00:36:06   we'll talk about later.

00:36:07   - Oh, no.

00:36:08   All right, moving away from email--

00:36:10   - And my new toaster.

00:36:11   - Oh, gosh.

00:36:13   It's all Emmanuel's fault, Jon.

00:36:14   It's all Emmanuel's fault.

00:36:16   All right, so moving away from email,

00:36:18   we talked last week, Carlos Carpio Garcia

00:36:21   wrote in with regards to universal control

00:36:23   from Wi-Fi to cellular and back,

00:36:25   And after hearing the show, Carlos had recorded a video

00:36:29   which we will link, wherein you can see this in action,

00:36:31   which I thought was really cool and worth,

00:36:33   I think the video's like two minutes

00:36:34   or something like that, and it's worth

00:36:35   a couple minutes of your time.

00:36:36   And then unrelated to that, Carlos writes that

00:36:39   apparently you can play Xbox Game Pass

00:36:41   on the iPhone using HTML5, which I remember

00:36:43   us talking about when that was promised,

00:36:46   but I didn't remember it having launched.

00:36:47   And according to Carlos, it works, quote, pretty well, quote.

00:36:50   - Yeah, that show was a long time ago,

00:36:51   so people can be forgiven for not remembering,

00:36:53   was when we were debating like when Microsoft was trying to get their app on the App Store

00:36:57   and Apple was rejecting them saying you can't put a streaming game service on our App Store

00:37:02   and you know, so they're like well fine we got to go to the web. But yeah, you can't

00:37:05   get the app on there but you can try and play on the games through the browser. Good luck.

00:37:10   Works okay I guess.

00:37:11   Steven: Could this actually be a good way to get gaming on the Mac? I mean I understand

00:37:14   like iOS has certain limitations and everything but like I know it still is going to be limited

00:37:18   by what browsers can do but browsers can do a lot these days. Like what if the solution

00:37:21   to gaming always kind of being second rate on the Mac is this kind of thing.

00:37:26   I mean you can do this now but it's not really setting the world on fire because it's not

00:37:31   the best way to play in particular games that require sort of low latency, you know, quick

00:37:36   reflex type stuff which a lot of the most popular games tend to be like that.

00:37:40   You could probably play, you know, Hearthstone or Magic the Gathering or something like that

00:37:45   but even then I feel like it might take away from the experience.

00:37:47   Like I've done it.

00:37:48   Every time one of these streaming things comes out I try it.

00:37:50   It's not the browser that's holding it back, especially on the Mac where you've

00:37:53   got a lot of horsepower behind it and your input options are not as constrained as they

00:37:59   are on the phone.

00:38:00   But still, the thing running your game is far away from you geographically and it takes

00:38:07   a while for the signals to get from your keyboard to that computer and then back to your screen.

00:38:11   So it's more of a latency problem?

00:38:13   Yeah.

00:38:14   Don't get me wrong, it's viable and it's better than nothing if you have no other

00:38:18   way to play a game.

00:38:19   Sometimes before I go to bed, I remember there's a thing I need to do in Destiny and I pick up my phone

00:38:23   And I do the PlayStation 5 remote play thing

00:38:26   I can wake up my PlayStation 5 from my bed with my phone

00:38:29   Turn it on launch destiny go do a thing and then put my PlayStation 5 back to sleep

00:38:34   Wow, that is pretty slick and that's just me within my house, but it is not a great experience

00:38:39   It's like even within my house like the thing is it's just you know

00:38:43   It's over in the same Wi-Fi network

00:38:45   the latency is not great, and Destiny has a lot of controls.

00:38:48   Try using those controls in a confident manner

00:38:50   on a phone screen.

00:38:51   Not easy, but it's good enough for me to go get the thing

00:38:54   that I almost forgot to get from Zur.

00:38:57   - Totally.

00:38:57   I hate when that, don't you hate when that happens, Marco,

00:38:59   when you forget the thing at Zur?

00:39:00   - That sounds like a parody.

00:39:02   - Old Snakeface, yeah.

00:39:03   Yeah, sometimes he's got good stuff and I forget about it

00:39:06   until I watch one last YouTube video before I go to bed.

00:39:08   Oh, I should pick that up,

00:39:08   and I don't have to get out of bed to do it.

00:39:11   That's the future that I was promised.

00:39:12   (laughing)

00:39:14   - All right, with regard to the Ask ATP about phone theft,

00:39:17   Guy Rambo points out an article where the theory is

00:39:21   it's actually about stealing banking information.

00:39:23   So quoting from the article,

00:39:25   "Before the pandemic, it was common to see bicycle thieves

00:39:27   stealing phones from inattentive people on the street,

00:39:29   but they used to resell the phones.

00:39:30   Now there's a specialized gang that not only invades

00:39:33   the iPhone, but also the bank accounts on it as well."

00:39:36   So basically you grab an unlocked iPhone,

00:39:38   and the first thing you do is go searching for banking apps

00:39:40   and start plundering poor people's bank accounts

00:39:44   and stealing money and stuff.

00:39:45   So that was not something I expected,

00:39:47   but it's an interesting thought.

00:39:48   - It was like a 90s hacker movie,

00:39:49   a specialized gang of techno thieves.

00:39:52   - Right, totally.

00:39:53   All right, Marco, did you fix your problems

00:39:55   with playing music from the 60s and 70s and so on?

00:39:59   - So this was really interesting too.

00:40:00   So as part of the three-part after show last week,

00:40:04   which by the way, normally I would,

00:40:06   that was, I always feel like a multi-part after show

00:40:08   is kind of an editing cop-out.

00:40:10   I try to pick one part and just make it,

00:40:13   that's the after show and that's it.

00:40:14   But you had these three distinct parts last week,

00:40:17   I just had to do it.

00:40:18   So anyway, I recognize it's a little bit of a cop out

00:40:21   to just glue things together, but anyway,

00:40:23   I think it was worth it.

00:40:24   - It's not a cop out, that's called editing.

00:40:27   - Yeah, but with no transition, I just had to use--

00:40:29   - Like there was any transitions

00:40:30   in the actual conversation, it's fine.

00:40:32   You should feel free to do that.

00:40:33   You do not have to insert fish between them.

00:40:34   Please don't insert fish.

00:40:35   - That wasn't fish.

00:40:36   It's Archie Bell and the Drells,

00:40:38   which I just heard organically through this music.

00:40:40   So anyway, so I was saying how we've been doing

00:40:43   this fun thing where we're asking Siri on the HomePod

00:40:45   every morning to play the top hits from a certain year.

00:40:49   And we're incrementing year by year, doing one year a day,

00:40:52   starting from 1960, and we're gonna keep going

00:40:54   until the present day.

00:40:55   And we're still doing that, we're in, I think, 1973

00:40:58   or something like that now.

00:41:00   Man, the '70s, it's like, the first few years of the '70s,

00:41:03   it's like everyone's taking a nap,

00:41:05   'cause so much happened in the '60s,

00:41:06   They're just tired now.

00:41:08   It's so mellow and sleepy.

00:41:10   But anyway.

00:41:11   - How dare you?

00:41:12   There's amazing hits of the '70s.

00:41:14   I'm gonna take the--

00:41:15   - The early '70s?

00:41:16   - I'm gonna take the time to promote an album,

00:41:18   but it's only going to be exciting to you

00:41:20   if you already like things from the '70s, so nevermind.

00:41:22   But I like things from the '70s.

00:41:23   - I like a lot.

00:41:24   I do like a lot of things from the '70s,

00:41:26   but what the top hits are is a different story, necessarily.

00:41:29   Anyway, so I was complaining that it seemed like,

00:41:34   when I would ask, I would say,

00:41:35   "play top songs from X year."

00:41:38   And it would say, "okay, playing top 25 songs from X year."

00:41:43   And it seemed like it wasn't getting through that many

00:41:46   before it would like, you know,

00:41:48   forget what it was doing and start playing something

00:41:49   from the 90s or whatever.

00:41:51   And so it just, it seemed like it was getting sidetracked

00:41:54   fairly easily and we were like,

00:41:55   "wait, this came out back then?"

00:41:56   And we'd go and check and it didn't.

00:41:58   And so, even though, this is crazy.

00:42:01   So a few people wrote in to suggest that

00:42:04   I look at the up next queue on the phone.

00:42:07   'Cause one of the great things about AirPlay 2

00:42:09   and the way this works with handoff and everything

00:42:11   is you can tell the HomePod by voice,

00:42:14   play whatever you want.

00:42:16   And then you can go on your phone to Control Center

00:42:18   and you can connect to it.

00:42:20   And you can then reveal the HomePod's music session

00:42:23   in your iPhone's music app.

00:42:25   So you can control it from there.

00:42:27   So you can see everything the music app can normally see.

00:42:29   You can see the, of course, artist and band info

00:42:32   and everything.

00:42:32   You can jump to the album, you can add it to your playlist

00:42:34   if you like it, and you can see the up next queue.

00:42:37   And so, if you ask for top hits from a year,

00:42:41   and it says playing top 25 hits,

00:42:44   if you actually look at the up next queue,

00:42:45   it only has like, depending on the year,

00:42:48   between like six and nine songs on it.

00:42:51   - Nice.

00:42:51   - So, even though it says top 25,

00:42:54   it's playing like nine songs,

00:42:56   and then it's going to other related stuff

00:42:58   that it thinks is related,

00:42:58   but is not what you ask for anymore.

00:43:00   So, first of all, that's the most amazing Siri thing ever,

00:43:04   because of course Siri says it's playing 25 songs

00:43:07   and then plays nine.

00:43:07   Like, okay, fine, Siri, I'm used to you now.

00:43:12   Siri's like your stoner friend.

00:43:15   You mean well, but God, you're always high.

00:43:18   Like you're always forgetting everything.

00:43:20   It's like, geez, like you seem like a good person,

00:43:23   but my God, I'm relying on you to do simple things

00:43:27   and you just forget what you're doing and walk away.

00:43:29   Like, oh my God, anyway.

00:43:31   But a few people wrote in to say the trick here,

00:43:34   instead of saying play top hits from 1975,

00:43:37   to say play pop hits 1975,

00:43:41   because they have these playlists in Apple Music,

00:43:43   pop hits colon year number.

00:43:46   And if you say play pop hits year,

00:43:49   and I think it's also, you know,

00:43:50   there's rock hits and stuff like that,

00:43:51   but if you say that, that plays much longer playlists

00:43:55   that are actually available on Apple Music,

00:43:57   you can go look at them,

00:43:58   And so it seems like that is the correct way to do this.

00:44:02   - So instead of saying T-O-P or anything like it,

00:44:05   you're saying P-O-P.

00:44:06   - Yes.

00:44:07   - It's kind of shocking that Cyrian didn't mishear you

00:44:09   and do the right thing accidentally.

00:44:11   - Maybe once or twice it might have, but yeah.

00:44:14   So that's what it's, that's like the smart thing to do.

00:44:18   That's the effective thing to do,

00:44:20   to say pop hits from a year or rock hits

00:44:23   or something like that.

00:44:24   But if you just say top hits,

00:44:26   it'll say it's playing 25 songs,

00:44:28   then it'll play like eight or nine of them

00:44:30   and then walk away.

00:44:31   - Neato.

00:44:32   - Or if you're doing the 70s, you could just say,

00:44:33   "Play Some Guys" by Jonathan Colton.

00:44:36   That's the album I put in the--

00:44:39   - I haven't heard that one.

00:44:40   - Show notes in the chat.

00:44:41   It is faithful, note for note,

00:44:44   exact soundalike covers to 70s hits,

00:44:47   which is normally when you do covers like,

00:44:48   "I'm gonna do my own spin on this song,"

00:44:50   or "I'm gonna do an acoustic version of a 90s song

00:44:52   and put it in a movie trailer."

00:44:53   This is I'm going to try to sound as much like the original track as I possibly can allowing for the fact that I am not those people.

00:45:00   I mean what I did when Colton first put out this album, he also said, and by the way here are links to all the original tracks so you can get them.

00:45:10   Because those are all on Apple Music, they're all on all the streaming services.

00:45:13   So I have both the cover album and the original tracks.

00:45:15   And again, obviously his voice is not going to sound exactly like the voices of 17 different singers.

00:45:20   singers but this album is amazing he does an amazing job what it made me do

00:45:25   is realize how much I liked a lot of these songs from the 70s so then I got

00:45:28   the originals as well and they're all in my collection now. We are brought to you

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00:47:23   - So there's been a lot of drama, additional drama,

00:47:29   with regard to the Netherlands and Apple's attempt

00:47:32   at compliance with their dating app rules.

00:47:36   Oh my gosh, you guys.

00:47:38   So I'm having a real hard time.

00:47:41   I don't think we're gonna have time to explore this

00:47:43   during this episode, we're already running kind of long,

00:47:45   but I really feel like,

00:47:49   am I rooting for the bad guys?

00:47:54   I know I've said this before,

00:47:55   but Apple is really not acting like good guys these days,

00:47:58   or good people, I should say.

00:48:00   It really seems like Apple, in this context,

00:48:04   if not many others, is really being kind of gross,

00:48:10   and they're kind of acting like petulant children,

00:48:14   which is not entirely unlike Apple,

00:48:16   but I don't know, it's just,

00:48:18   so much of my being is tied around

00:48:21   being enthusiastic about Apple,

00:48:23   and it's a real culture shock for me personally anyway,

00:48:27   when Apple does things that I just find

00:48:28   to be so deplorable and gross,

00:48:31   and maybe that's a little bit strong,

00:48:32   but it's just, I don't dig this at all,

00:48:35   and I know that most people who listen to this show

00:48:39   are probably also enthusiastic about Apple.

00:48:41   And if we just sit here and complain and moan and whine

00:48:43   about Apple for two hours every week,

00:48:46   that's not fun for any of you to listen to.

00:48:47   And I don't want to alienate our listeners,

00:48:49   but I also want to call it like I see it.

00:48:52   And this is gross, my guys, this is gross.

00:48:55   And so what's going on?

00:48:57   - Wait, wait, before we continue, Casey,

00:49:00   I need to tell you that this podcast does not support

00:49:03   the App Store's private and secure payment system.

00:49:05   (laughing)

00:49:07   All purchases in this podcast will be managed

00:49:10   by the developer ATP.

00:49:12   And your stored App Store payment method

00:49:13   and related features such as subscription management

00:49:16   and refund requests will not be available.

00:49:18   Only purchases through the App Store are secured by Apple.

00:49:22   Now, would you like to learn more?

00:49:24   Continue or cancel? - Yes, please.

00:49:25   Let's learn more. (laughs)

00:49:28   So when you use a third-party payment system

00:49:31   within your app, this is actually quoting

00:49:33   from an Apple support document.

00:49:35   When using a third-party payment system within your app,

00:49:37   your app must include an in-app modal sheet

00:49:39   explaining that purchases are made

00:49:41   through a source other than Apple.

00:49:42   The modal sheet design and messaging

00:49:44   must exactly match the specifications provided in figure one.

00:49:49   The title is, "This app does not support

00:49:52   "the App Store's private and secure payment system,"

00:49:54   and the body is exactly what Marco just read.

00:49:56   So, oh my God.

00:49:59   I understand to a degree that,

00:50:04   I don't think it's entirely unreasonable

00:50:06   For Apple to wanna say, "Hey, listen, you are taking

00:50:10   "your credit card," I almost said your life,

00:50:12   "but you're taking your credit card into your own hands now.

00:50:14   "Like, this is not, this could be dangerous,

00:50:17   "you know, here be dragons, potentially.

00:50:20   "But good grief, this is aggressive.

00:50:23   "This is really aggressive, unnecessarily aggressive."

00:50:28   Like, I feel like we're back in like the mid to late 90s,

00:50:32   and I'm sure I've told this story before in the show,

00:50:34   but my dad started buying CDs from,

00:50:37   I think it was CD Now, if I'm not mistaken.

00:50:39   And that was like the Amazon of music,

00:50:42   and then eventually got bought by Amazon actually,

00:50:44   but it was like the Amazon of music long before

00:50:48   people were really comfortable

00:50:49   putting credit card information on the internet.

00:50:51   And I remember dad tried it once or twice,

00:50:54   and like legitimately mom was like,

00:50:57   "Okay, well we're gonna have to cancel these credit cards

00:50:59   "'cause inevitably this data's gonna be stolen."

00:51:01   And it ended up fine and dad spent an inordinate amount

00:51:06   of money at CD now, but it feels like that kind of fear

00:51:10   all over again.

00:51:10   (gasps)

00:51:12   It could be, it's not secure and it's not private.

00:51:16   What's gonna happen?

00:51:16   Oh my gosh, do I need to burn this credit card after use?

00:51:19   What am I gonna do?

00:51:19   Oh my gosh, I should learn more.

00:51:21   (laughs)

00:51:22   - Obviously the incentives are not aligned here

00:51:26   when the company that has its own payment method

00:51:28   that they want to use that pays them

00:51:30   is allowed to dictate the text that you have to write

00:51:33   to send someone to your other payment method.

00:51:35   Of course they're gonna talk up their own thing

00:51:36   and say, "You don't wanna leave us, we're great."

00:51:39   And by the way, you have to write it this exact way.

00:51:41   I think the worst thing about this text

00:51:43   is the bit towards the end that says,

00:51:45   "Your stored App Store payment method

00:51:48   "and related features such as subscription management

00:51:50   "and refund requests will not be available."

00:51:52   We know what they're saying

00:51:53   'cause we know all the ins and outs of the thing.

00:51:54   People do like the fact that all of your subscriptions

00:51:56   are in one place and now say this is a subscription

00:51:58   a third party, it's not going to be listed with your other subscriptions, right?

00:52:02   And Apple makes it really easy to unsubscribe so you don't have to call someone on a phone

00:52:05   and all the other BS, right?

00:52:07   So that's what they're referring to there, and we know what that means.

00:52:09   But the second bit is really the worst because it says, "Subscription management and refund

00:52:13   requests will not be available."

00:52:16   We know that one of the worst things about the App Store is that people who sell things

00:52:19   on the App Store cannot refund people.

00:52:22   Only Apple can refund them.

00:52:24   Even if developers want to give someone their refund, they can't.

00:52:28   don't know that, would never guess that,

00:52:31   and this is saying, oh, you might not be able

00:52:32   to get refunds, but in reality, chances are very good

00:52:35   that you will have a much better refund experience

00:52:38   with a third-party payment provider than you will with Apple,

00:52:40   because Apple, you know, when you,

00:52:43   if you make a request to the developer,

00:52:44   developer says, I can't refund you,

00:52:46   and then people think you're lying,

00:52:47   because that sounds absurd, because it is absurd,

00:52:49   and then if you make a request for Apple for a refund,

00:52:51   they'll probably give it to you,

00:52:53   but Apple doesn't care about you,

00:52:54   and if they reject your refund, you have no recourse,

00:52:56   because Apple, it's not like you can go talk to somebody

00:52:59   about it at Apple.

00:53:00   Like, you'd have to put up,

00:53:01   getting through the impenetrable wall that is Apple

00:53:04   to get a refund for some software

00:53:06   that you got rejected for a refund for

00:53:07   is the same thing developers have to deal with

00:53:09   when their app gets rejected

00:53:10   and they try to get through app review and say,

00:53:12   "Hey, you shouldn't have rejected this

00:53:13   "'cause you're wrong about how my app works.

00:53:14   "Can I find a human to talk to?"

00:53:16   And the answer is no.

00:53:17   I'm not saying that Apple is bad about refunds,

00:53:19   but I'm saying one of the reasons people want to use,

00:53:21   developers want to use third-party services

00:53:24   is so that they can give better customer support

00:53:27   than Apple does.

00:53:28   It is a way to differentiate their product.

00:53:30   Please let us, you know, good companies obviously,

00:53:32   bad companies wanna do it so they can refuse a refund,

00:53:33   right, but good companies wanna do it

00:53:35   so they can give you a better experience

00:53:37   with customer support, so they can give you your refund

00:53:39   more willingly than Apple would

00:53:42   and more quickly than Apple would.

00:53:44   I know there's two sides to this,

00:53:45   but you read this text and it makes it sound like,

00:53:47   whoa, I might not be able to get a refund.

00:53:50   And that's just like flying in the face

00:53:52   of one of the big motivations for people to want to use third party ones. Now, granted,

00:53:57   the much bigger motivations, which we'll get to in a second, is save money. And then the

00:54:02   bigger motivation for the bad people is refuse to give anyone refunds ever and scam people.

00:54:06   But it's not like scams don't happen on the App Store as well. So anyway, going moving

00:54:10   on to the exciting part of this.

00:54:12   Well I don't know which part you're talking about because all so much of this is exciting.

00:54:16   But consistent, this is again from Apple, consistent with the ACM's order, dating apps

00:54:21   that are granted an entitlement to link out or use a third-party in-app payment provider

00:54:25   will pay Apple a commission on transactions."

00:54:28   So that sounds like, hey, if you're going to use, and I'm picking on it just arbitrarily,

00:54:32   like if you're going to use Stripe in-app, then you owe Apple a commission.

00:54:36   Well, that seems a little weird, but okay, I can go with it.

00:54:40   Google's doing something similar, kind of.

00:54:42   But then as you keep reading this document, even via the web, so if you link to, I believe

00:54:50   do you have to go to Safari if I'm not mistaken?

00:54:52   You can't, or whatever the default browser is, you can't.

00:54:54   - And you have to link out to the default browser,

00:54:56   you cannot do web payments in app.

00:54:58   - Yeah, and you can't provide any sort of query string,

00:55:00   if I recall correctly, or if you do,

00:55:02   it has to be like static amongst every single user.

00:55:04   - Yes, you have to-- - Which again,

00:55:05   like I can sorta understand that to a degree.

00:55:08   - No, that's just, that is them complying

00:55:12   with what regulators are asking for in the most minimal way.

00:55:16   But again, it's Apple, this entire thing,

00:55:19   Look, I don't even wanna nitpick this to death

00:55:21   because it's probably gonna change in a week.

00:55:23   And as Casey was saying, I don't wanna bring us down

00:55:25   'cause I'm in a good mood this week.

00:55:26   And I'm a huge fan of almost everything Apple does

00:55:30   these days, except all this crap.

00:55:33   Like, except the App Store crap.

00:55:34   And to be clear, when I complain about the App Store,

00:55:38   the payment stuff, many people assume

00:55:41   that because I'm an App Store developer,

00:55:43   that I'm trying to avoid paying Apple their commission.

00:55:46   I'm not.

00:55:47   I'm sticking with the in-app purchase

00:55:48   no matter what people allow me to do elsewhere,

00:55:51   because frankly, it works well for me and my app.

00:55:53   However, A, it doesn't work well for everyone

00:55:57   and everyone's apps, and B, I disagree with the assumption

00:56:02   that Apple deserves to take a third of all commerce

00:56:08   that happens on a major computing platform.

00:56:12   And I so often will go back to the issue of things like,

00:56:17   Lots of people build infrastructure or systems

00:56:20   that then have customers come in,

00:56:22   and it's okay when it's a small thing in a diverse pool.

00:56:25   So for instance, it's okay if a store like Walmart

00:56:30   or something wants to charge you 50% markup

00:56:34   and you just gotta eat it if you wanna be in Walmart.

00:56:37   That's okay as long as there are other stores.

00:56:40   As long as there's a lot of retailers,

00:56:42   then what one retailer does on their rules

00:56:45   is not super severe, but as they get larger,

00:56:50   the larger that retailer is,

00:56:51   the more of like all of commerce

00:56:54   has to play ball with that one retailer.

00:56:56   - Kind of like Walmart,

00:56:57   which is why it might not be a great example, but anyway.

00:56:59   - Terrible example actually, but you know,

00:57:01   like the larger that one retailer is,

00:57:04   and the fewer alternatives people have,

00:57:07   or the less of the market the alternatives represent,

00:57:11   the bigger a problem it is,

00:57:12   And historically, you look at all forms of capitalism,

00:57:15   that's when you start having to introduce

00:57:17   things like regulation.

00:57:18   Capitalism in the more pure forms,

00:57:21   like the less regulated forms,

00:57:22   work well in certain conditions,

00:57:24   things like smaller environments or diverse environments

00:57:27   or environments with healthy competition.

00:57:29   - Or the first half of a sci-fi movie.

00:57:30   - Right.

00:57:31   Like, as one player starts getting bigger and bigger

00:57:35   and bigger and bigger,

00:57:37   it starts to become more like a public utility

00:57:39   or a monopoly where regulation of some sort

00:57:44   is needed just to preserve the health of all commerce

00:57:47   that's involved in such a major area.

00:57:51   And I maintain that iOS is one of those areas.

00:57:56   iOS is now large enough and has been for some time

00:58:00   and represents such a large proportion

00:58:03   of so much commerce these days

00:58:07   that to have this one provider, being Apple,

00:58:12   dictating that they deserve a third of all the money

00:58:15   that goes through it in certain ways,

00:58:18   that starts to become problematic

00:58:19   from a large-scale regulation perspective.

00:58:23   And so I do think that this deserves

00:58:26   to be looked at by regulators.

00:58:27   And again, my concern remains

00:58:30   that we don't usually benefit

00:58:34   when regulators around the world

00:58:35   start forcing changes upon tech companies.

00:58:38   That's usually not great.

00:58:41   Ideally, the tech companies would kind of self-regulate

00:58:44   to the point where the governments wouldn't have

00:58:46   to step in, because they can probably do a better job

00:58:49   of knowing what they want, knowing what we want

00:58:52   as technology users, et cetera.

00:58:54   And Apple keeps trying to argue that if they start

00:58:59   making less money from the App Store fees,

00:59:04   that this whole world of hell is gonna rain down

00:59:08   upon everybody through things like sideloading

00:59:10   and payment fraud and everything.

00:59:12   Apple is trying so hard to conflate these issues,

00:59:16   but I really think we need to exercise extreme discipline

00:59:20   in keeping them separate when arguing about them

00:59:23   or when discussing them.

00:59:24   Because the reason why Apple's trying to conflate

00:59:26   all that stuff is because these other outcomes

00:59:28   like sideloading, alternative app stores, things,

00:59:31   I don't want that.

00:59:33   Apple doesn't want that.

00:59:34   I would say I bet most people who use iPhones

00:59:37   don't want that.

00:59:38   I bet most iPhone developers don't want that.

00:59:40   But Apple is lumping those together

00:59:44   because what they're trying to say is

00:59:47   if we aren't allowed to take our 30%,

00:59:50   then the only alternative is this other extreme,

00:59:53   and therefore you must leave things the way they are

00:59:55   so we can take our 30%.

00:59:56   But these are all separate issues.

00:59:58   Now, if Apple does not relent on the 30% rules enough

01:00:03   to get regulators off their back,

01:00:06   regulators are looking at it in much larger ways.

01:00:10   Regulators and lawmakers are all over the world

01:00:13   floating bills right now to do things

01:00:16   like require sideloading or require alternative app stores.

01:00:19   That's a big problem for Apple.

01:00:21   Like, again, I, look, I'll be honest with you.

01:00:25   I do not have a lot of respect for Tim Cook

01:00:28   on a number of levels.

01:00:30   And so maybe this is coloring my viewpoint here,

01:00:32   but Tim Cook's huge strategic risks he is taking

01:00:37   in two areas, this and China,

01:00:42   I think are really gonna be a problem for him long term.

01:00:45   And I think these are blind spots for him, honestly.

01:00:48   I think he sees nothing wrong with this

01:00:51   because keeping things the way they are in both China,

01:00:55   that's a whole other thing,

01:00:57   and all this App Store stuff,

01:00:58   they are making so much money from it.

01:01:00   When you make this much money from it,

01:01:03   you really start to believe that you deserve it,

01:01:05   like you earned this.

01:01:06   But Apple doesn't deserve a third of all commerce

01:01:10   that happens on their phones

01:01:11   any more than the cell phone carriers do,

01:01:13   or the browser makers.

01:01:16   Does Mozilla take a third of all commerce

01:01:18   that happens through Firefox?

01:01:19   No.

01:01:20   Imagine if the web came up that way, it would be terrible.

01:01:23   That would have been a horrible outcome for the web,

01:01:26   and it would have been much more limited

01:01:27   and things wouldn't be where they are today.

01:01:30   Apple's pulling a lot of crap here,

01:01:31   but I think it's really important to try

01:01:34   to disentangle it to some degree,

01:01:36   try to talk about these things separately.

01:01:38   And Apple, unfortunately, won't see them separately.

01:01:41   'Cause Apple is really doing a very good job

01:01:44   of painting this as one extreme or the other.

01:01:46   Either give us all the money or you have all the malware.

01:01:49   And nothing in between.

01:01:51   But the reality is, it's not that way.

01:01:54   The reality is, all this stuff about App Store,

01:01:56   to give the example of earlier,

01:01:58   they're saying, oh, the App Store can give you easy refunds.

01:02:01   You know why the App Store gives you easy refunds?

01:02:03   Because credit card companies give you easy refunds.

01:02:06   And if you issue a chargeback with your credit card company,

01:02:08   they're gonna take the money back from Apple.

01:02:10   And that sucks for Apple,

01:02:11   then Apple has to pay certain fees and chargeback fees,

01:02:13   and it raises their risk profile and everything.

01:02:15   They don't want that.

01:02:16   So the reason why Apple gives you refunds easily

01:02:18   is the reason why anybody online

01:02:20   who takes credit card payments gives you refunds easily.

01:02:23   because the fear of chargebacks

01:02:24   from their credit card companies.

01:02:26   And the credit card companies are the ones

01:02:27   who provide protection from things like fraudulent charges.

01:02:31   Additionally, the App Store is filled

01:02:33   with fraudulent charges.

01:02:35   And App Store payments are not the only way

01:02:38   to spend money on your phone.

01:02:39   So like none of this makes any,

01:02:41   like Apple's trying to frame this

01:02:43   in the way that makes them look best

01:02:44   'cause that's what lawyering does.

01:02:46   But A, they don't provide the protection you think they do.

01:02:50   The credit card companies provide most of that.

01:02:52   B, you can make tons of purchases on your iPhone

01:02:56   in apps like Safari or in apps like Uber or Lyft

01:03:00   or apps that sell services that the app store does not

01:03:03   take a commission on.

01:03:04   - Amazon.com, Amazon has an app.

01:03:06   No, you don't have to go through Safari to do it.

01:03:07   You can just get the Amazon app

01:03:08   and you can buy things with real money.

01:03:10   - Yeah, I spend money on the Amazon app all the time.

01:03:11   And you know what, the Amazon app is not available.

01:03:14   It doesn't support my app store payment method

01:03:16   and related features such as subscription management

01:03:18   and refund requests.

01:03:19   - Oh yeah, I guess you won't be able to get refunds then.

01:03:20   - Yeah, yeah.

01:03:21   And the Amazon app is not having Apple secure my purchases.

01:03:25   It's not keeping my purchases.

01:03:27   There's this whole thing, it's just a huge smokescreen.

01:03:30   Apple is taking what they can.

01:03:32   And you know what?

01:03:33   When I saw this document, I really was laughing my butt off.

01:03:37   This document is a version of Apple that I really,

01:03:44   Steve Jobs could have written this.

01:03:47   I don't like to pull out the

01:03:49   "Steve, we're still alive" thing very often

01:03:51   because it's usually in poor taste and usually wrong.

01:03:54   But this attitude of like, "You know what?

01:03:57   "You're gonna try to regulate us.

01:03:59   "We're gonna give you the biggest middle finger.

01:04:03   "You're gonna shove it right where you know

01:04:04   "you wanna shove it."

01:04:06   - You didn't even get to the worst part of it

01:04:08   'cause we didn't get to the, for the people

01:04:09   who aren't already familiar with this document

01:04:11   and we said, "Oh, they're gonna charge you money."

01:04:13   The number that they chose was a 27% commission

01:04:16   as opposed to a 30% one. - So bad.

01:04:18   So Apple wants 27% and then you're free to use

01:04:23   whatever payment provider you want.

01:04:24   Obviously your payment provider will also

01:04:25   probably want a percentage.

01:04:26   And they said, "We're allowing 3% for payment processing,"

01:04:29   which seems like it's low.

01:04:31   So if you wanted to use a third-party payment with it

01:04:34   as an effort to save money, you won't,

01:04:37   because Apple wants almost as much money

01:04:39   as they wanted before,

01:04:39   but Apple's not gonna process your payment.

01:04:41   So you still have to pay a payment processor

01:04:43   to do the actual payment after Apple takes its 27%.

01:04:46   That's why that's the biggest FU,

01:04:48   because everybody, seems like everybody knows

01:04:50   but no one ever says,

01:04:52   the reason we want to use other payment methods

01:04:54   is so we don't have to give you 30%.

01:04:56   And Apple says, "Okay, fine, you can give us 27."

01:04:58   - Yeah, I mean, it's incredible.

01:05:00   'Cause if you look at the regulations

01:05:03   that are coming down so far,

01:05:04   and the Epic case, and what the judge said

01:05:08   in the Epic case, no one is saying Apple

01:05:11   can't collect commission.

01:05:12   So Apple is seemingly complying for the most part

01:05:17   with the regulations so far.

01:05:18   - Well, not with this Dutch one,

01:05:20   because the Dutch regulations said other things.

01:05:22   - Right.

01:05:23   - Dutch regulations didn't specifically say

01:05:25   how much Apple could or couldn't charge,

01:05:26   but they said you have to allow developers

01:05:28   to do A, B, and C, and Apple was like,

01:05:29   "No, we'd rather have developers just have to pick

01:05:32   "one of A or B or C."

01:05:33   Like, there's a bunch of--

01:05:34   - Yeah, there are different parts of the Dutch regulation

01:05:36   that Apple's not complying with,

01:05:38   but the commission itself has not been attacked

01:05:41   by anybody yet.

01:05:42   - Yeah, and seemingly, the parts that Apple

01:05:44   isn't complying with with this Dutch dating app thing,

01:05:46   it's like, but why?

01:05:47   Why are they not complying with those parts?

01:05:49   I mean, it's almost like there's just crosstalk

01:05:50   and Apple thought this would satisfy it,

01:05:52   because Apple is doing this as an FU,

01:05:54   especially the text or whatever,

01:05:56   but I don't understand the timelines here.

01:05:58   It seems to me that Apple could have made this plan

01:06:00   and then this is the plan that the Dutch regulators rejected

01:06:03   and that's why Apple continues to be fined.

01:06:05   Like, I don't think, if there was a plan

01:06:08   that we didn't get to see before that wasn't it,

01:06:10   that wasn't this, then maybe this is a second attempt at it,

01:06:13   but this is non-compliant in ways that I think

01:06:17   should be obvious to anyone who saw the Dutch thing.

01:06:20   So why would Apple bother coming up

01:06:22   with a technically non-compliant solution

01:06:26   that they had to know is gonna be non-compliant

01:06:29   and also fill it with all this FU text and everything?

01:06:32   The upshot is Apple continues to get fined.

01:06:36   This doesn't satisfy the regulations.

01:06:39   - Well, and look what's gonna happen.

01:06:40   They're gonna get more regulated

01:06:41   because there had been these couple of relatively light hands

01:06:46   trying to be applied to them,

01:06:47   and Apple has basically bitten them off.

01:06:49   So of course they're inviting more laws and regulations

01:06:54   upon themselves that are gonna go further,

01:06:56   like possibly things like sideloading in app stores.

01:06:59   And that's not good, that's not a good outcome.

01:07:02   Not for Apple, not for anybody, we don't want that.

01:07:06   And yet, that's what Apple is forcing to happen

01:07:10   by their insane greed around the app store.

01:07:13   Like, the app store money is such a corrupting influence

01:07:17   on the company.

01:07:19   It's making them bend over backwards

01:07:21   to defend indefensible positions.

01:07:23   They say horrible things in the press.

01:07:25   They have a horrible reputation

01:07:27   that impacts the other parts of their business.

01:07:29   This is not smart planning.

01:07:32   This is not good strategy.

01:07:33   And honestly, they need new leadership already.

01:07:37   This is not how this company should be handling this.

01:07:40   And if they can't see that,

01:07:42   they need to bring people in who can.

01:07:43   - Yes, this is one of those episodes

01:07:46   where Marco calls for someone to be fired.

01:07:47   Mark it on your bingo sheet.

01:07:49   - Yes, we need better leadership.

01:07:51   This is not appropriate.

01:07:53   This is terrible strategy.

01:07:55   This is not good,

01:07:57   and they're going to have more regulation forced upon them

01:08:00   that's going to be a worse outcome

01:08:01   for everyone, including them.

01:08:03   - Anyway, they're not compliant.

01:08:06   they continue to get fined.

01:08:08   The fines go up to a maximum of 50 million euros

01:08:11   or something and then there's the possibility

01:08:12   of this expanding to different kinds of apps

01:08:14   or going to the EU and the same scenario

01:08:16   that just Marco outlined is like,

01:08:18   this could snowball and get worse.

01:08:20   There is the possibility that Apple could do something

01:08:22   to smooth it over and make things better.

01:08:24   Who knows what will happen, but yeah.

01:08:26   That's why the sort of the dickishness of this thing

01:08:30   is so baffling because like why bother being petty

01:08:34   for something that you know isn't going to satisfy the thing anyway.

01:08:38   This description of a system has no point in the real world.

01:08:43   It is not a thing that's going to be implemented.

01:08:44   It doesn't solve any problem that Apple is presented with.

01:08:47   And so Apple's not going to do it because why would they do a thing that they don't

01:08:51   want to do that won't solve the problem of them being fined?

01:08:54   So this saga continues.

01:08:57   I'm sure it will continue for a while now.

01:08:59   but this is a sad chapter in the saga as the ACM,

01:09:04   the Dutch association of whatever that is

01:09:08   applying these rules says,

01:09:12   says the ACM is disappointed at Apple's behavior and actions.

01:09:15   They're not mad, they're just disappointed.

01:09:17   Like a sad parent.

01:09:18   - I'm just, I mean, honestly,

01:09:19   I'm coping with this just by laughing at it.

01:09:21   Like, it's just, it's so over the top ridiculous

01:09:26   that I just have to laugh at it.

01:09:27   Like at this point, I'm so, like I'm out of anger.

01:09:31   I have no more anger left, it's just funny now.

01:09:34   And it's sad to watch, it really is sad.

01:09:37   - The only way it could be funnier

01:09:38   is if they asked for like a 97% commission.

01:09:40   (laughing)

01:09:42   Like 'cause there is, especially if these,

01:09:45   and I'm not sure why regulators haven't caught on

01:09:47   to this yet, it's like look, if you don't include

01:09:49   anything about like the fee being charged,

01:09:51   Apple's free to charge whatever it wants.

01:09:53   That's part of the thing that shows why we need regulation.

01:09:56   It's like, okay, well, in a functioning economy,

01:09:59   a functioning market economy,

01:10:01   Apple wouldn't be free to charge whatever it wants

01:10:03   because if it charged too much, developers would say,

01:10:05   well, I'll just go elsewhere.

01:10:06   But it seems that no matter how hard Apple turns the screws,

01:10:10   their market position is so dominant

01:10:13   with respect to money being made in the mobile space,

01:10:16   even though Android exists and is technically bigger,

01:10:19   more money is made at iOS devices,

01:10:21   that Apple, it's like, how much could Apple charge

01:10:24   before people would actually have an effect.

01:10:26   Like when someone in the market is so dominant

01:10:29   that they can do things that hurt the other people

01:10:32   and those people don't flee to a competitor

01:10:35   that shows they might have too much power.

01:10:37   And so that's, you know, like in these regulations,

01:10:40   if one of the concerns is, hey, these companies

01:10:43   want to be able to use third-party payment providers

01:10:45   so they don't have to give 30% to Apple,

01:10:46   you need to write that into the regulation.

01:10:48   Otherwise Apple will be like, all right, fine,

01:10:50   we'll just, you know, we'll keep charging this,

01:10:52   and we always charge, whatever.

01:10:53   You didn't say we didn't have to.

01:10:54   And so if that's the goal of regulation,

01:10:56   these regulations are failing to accomplish that goal.

01:10:59   Obviously the Epic thing didn't even touch it at all.

01:11:02   I'm not sure what the Dutch one says about percentages,

01:11:07   but it's clear that whatever it said,

01:11:10   it's not enough to accomplish that goal.

01:11:12   If your goal is people should be able to process payments

01:11:15   by paying Apple, while paying Apple less,

01:11:18   that's not part of this regulation at all.

01:11:20   So again, I'm baffled as why Apple didn't comply.

01:11:23   and just continue to get their 30%?

01:11:26   'Cause if it was just about the 30%,

01:11:27   why wouldn't Apple play nice and say,

01:11:29   "Oh, fine, we'll comply with all of your regulations

01:11:31   "in a nicey-nice way

01:11:32   "and continue to get exactly the same amount of money."

01:11:35   It's really, that's why it looks so petulant.

01:11:37   It's like, it's not even like

01:11:39   we're taking the money away from Apple.

01:11:41   You can still have the money

01:11:42   due to the stupid way this regulation is written,

01:11:44   but you still won't comply with it.

01:11:46   - Yeah, you know, and so,

01:11:47   there was some really good coverage about this

01:11:49   on this week's upgrade, number 393,

01:11:52   And about two thirds into the Apple's 27% chapter,

01:11:56   Jason said a few really, really interesting things

01:11:59   that kind of crystallized something in my head.

01:12:02   So Jason said, you know, he's talking, you know,

01:12:04   from the perspective of like, you know,

01:12:07   an average Apple employee.

01:12:08   Since Apple built the platform,

01:12:09   Apple deserves a portion of the revenue

01:12:11   of the apps that were generated.

01:12:12   And so then Jason continues,

01:12:14   of course the truth is that Apple benefits so much

01:12:16   from the sale of devices that run those apps

01:12:19   that if the apps didn't exist, you know,

01:12:20   the products wouldn't be as popular.

01:12:22   You know, and he points out,

01:12:23   think, look at like, you know, late 90s Apple and Mac OS,

01:12:27   where things were not great,

01:12:29   unless you were really enthusiastic like John Syracuse,

01:12:31   but things were not great in terms of software

01:12:33   for the most part.

01:12:34   And there wasn't a lot of software,

01:12:36   or at least comparatively anyway,

01:12:37   there wasn't a lot of software on the Mac.

01:12:39   And I think what this crystallized in my mind

01:12:42   is that it appears as though Apple feels like

01:12:48   it has a parasitic relationship with developers.

01:12:52   The developers just suckle at Apple

01:12:54   and suck all the good stuff out of Apple.

01:12:56   And because of that, god darn it, Apple does deserve 30%.

01:13:01   Because all these parasites, you know,

01:13:05   sucking on the side of us,

01:13:06   all they do is take, take, take, take, take,

01:13:08   and they never give anything back.

01:13:11   Where the reality,

01:13:12   if you have two brain cells to scrape together,

01:13:14   the reality is it's a completely symbiotic relationship.

01:13:17   that without Apple, Marco wouldn't have written Overcast

01:13:20   or arguably wouldn't be as popular

01:13:22   or wouldn't have made as much money or what have you.

01:13:25   But similarly, without people like Marco

01:13:29   writing apps like Overcast, and maybe me soon

01:13:33   because I'm getting close, but nevertheless,

01:13:35   without people like Marco writing apps like Overcast,

01:13:37   nobody would be buying an iPhone.

01:13:39   How many tens, dozens of people bought Windows phones?

01:13:42   Dozens, I tell you.

01:13:44   And so, this is what I find so gross,

01:13:47   is that I don't think it's unreasonable

01:13:50   for Apple to think it wants a cut.

01:13:52   And I think what you were saying earlier, Marco,

01:13:55   is exactly where I come down, that there's a threshold,

01:13:57   and maybe it's like pornography, you don't really know it,

01:13:59   you can't describe it, you just know it when you see it.

01:14:02   But there's a threshold wherein suddenly

01:14:05   this doesn't feel appropriate anymore.

01:14:07   And 30% early on, it was still aggressive,

01:14:10   but I think it was mostly appropriate.

01:14:12   But at this point, we are reaching what I would call,

01:14:15   and I'm probably using the term wrong,

01:14:16   but I would call like a common carrier point

01:14:19   where this is, like you had said earlier, Marco,

01:14:21   this is a utility.

01:14:22   And I just find it really, really gross

01:14:26   that Apple seems to think that because of work

01:14:28   they did 15 years ago, whatever it's been,

01:14:30   they still deserve 30% of everything that happens.

01:14:35   Like they still deserve 30%, even though, Marco,

01:14:38   how much do you spend?

01:14:40   This is a rhetorical question,

01:14:41   but how much do you spend on advertising for overcast

01:14:43   just to make sure that overcast appears in search results?

01:14:46   How much-- - Actually,

01:14:47   that's a bad example because a few months ago

01:14:49   I dropped it to zero because I was so tired of it.

01:14:52   I have spent over the last few years enough money

01:14:57   on search ads to have bought a small house somewhere.

01:14:59   And I felt bad about that.

01:15:01   Given the direction the app door was going,

01:15:03   I didn't feel like I wanted to support it

01:15:05   in that way anymore.

01:15:06   And so I totally stopped.

01:15:08   I stopped all search ads.

01:15:10   Honestly, looking, like now that I have a few months

01:15:12   of sales data without them,

01:15:13   it seems like the people who I was getting from search ads

01:15:19   were not very valuable, and so I'm actually,

01:15:22   I'm saving a ton of money, and it seems like

01:15:26   the business is fine without them.

01:15:28   And honestly, it's more of like an emotional thing,

01:15:31   like I just didn't wanna keep paying into that anymore,

01:15:33   'cause it's a very, it's a gross system.

01:15:35   - So you and I are both coming up with just stellar examples

01:15:38   in this segment, but the point I'm driving at

01:15:43   is that what you just said, it's a gross system.

01:15:45   It really is.

01:15:47   And if Apple had really spotless documentation

01:15:51   for everything, okay, maybe they'd earn their 30%.

01:15:53   If they gave us extremely reliable dev tools

01:15:56   that worked every time and web services

01:15:59   that worked every time, hello recent iCloud problems,

01:16:01   okay, maybe they would earn their 30%.

01:16:03   But like-- - But see, even that,

01:16:04   I feel like we're conflating it again.

01:16:07   where we're buying into their framing of the argument

01:16:10   by saying that, but Apple makes the Mac,

01:16:13   and there's developer tools,

01:16:14   there's all the same tools built stuff for the Mac,

01:16:16   and the Mac has APIs, and they don't take 30%

01:16:19   of all software that runs on the Mac,

01:16:21   because that's not how that market grew up, right?

01:16:24   But they still have very clear incentives

01:16:27   to make those things for the Mac, to make the tools,

01:16:30   to make the APIs, to run the platform,

01:16:32   because they sell Macs, and they profit off of Macs,

01:16:34   and nobody would buy the Mac if it didn't have apps.

01:16:37   The phone is the same way.

01:16:38   They don't need the App Store itself

01:16:41   to be a huge profit center.

01:16:43   The App Store is what makes people buy iPhones in part,

01:16:48   and in a big part.

01:16:50   It's not the only thing that makes people buy iPhones,

01:16:52   but the apps that people buy are a huge reason why.

01:16:56   And more importantly, if the App Store was not there,

01:17:00   or was less healthy, or didn't have as much good stuff in it

01:17:04   and had even just one more scam.

01:17:07   It's so full of crap, even the App Store.

01:17:11   I'm sorry, the App Store is full of scams and garbage.

01:17:16   That's one of the most galling parts about this.

01:17:18   Apple is painting this picture like

01:17:19   they're protecting everyone from scams.

01:17:21   The App Store is filled with scams.

01:17:24   And it seems like no one's watching.

01:17:27   It seems like scams climb the top charts

01:17:30   and make tons of money, and as long as Apple

01:17:33   making 30% of that scam money, they don't give a crap until bad press happens. Then

01:17:39   someone goes and looks.

01:17:41   Mm-hmm. If you think about the App Store, it's kind of an ideal environment for scams.

01:17:46   Like any kind of sort of criminal enterprise where you're trying to deceive people and

01:17:50   get money, that is—or anything where it's like sort of a rigged type of game—that

01:17:55   is the most appealing environment for—in a case where you're gonna get—someone's

01:18:00   someone's gonna take a cut, right?

01:18:01   Because you're like, look, it's all just profit for us.

01:18:04   We make the scam app we typically want to pay,

01:18:07   we will gladly pay 30% for the privilege

01:18:09   of being able to spam our scam apps

01:18:12   to get them in front of tons of eyeballs.

01:18:13   If you are a criminal enterprise,

01:18:16   you'll gladly pay that protection money.

01:18:19   Those are the customers that are the most happy

01:18:22   to work within the App Store system.

01:18:26   They're like, yeah, 30%, I'd rather keep all of it,

01:18:28   but this is a scam anyway.

01:18:29   Like it's all, it's all criminal enterprise.

01:18:32   And it's, boy, they make it so easy to just make,

01:18:35   make a new Apple ID, make a new scam app,

01:18:37   send it in the store, get a bunch of customers,

01:18:38   burn it down, and we just do that over and over again.

01:18:40   It's a big machine, we turn the crank and we get the money.

01:18:42   In the same way that organized crime is happy

01:18:44   to pay protection money to the people,

01:18:46   the big bosses up the chain, it's like,

01:18:47   yeah, but we're all making money here, right?

01:18:49   That's why we're all in on this.

01:18:50   Like, I pay protection money because that's, you know,

01:18:53   that's just the cost of doing business,

01:18:55   but I love the fact that I can do all these crimes, right?

01:18:57   So they are probably the, they complain the least about the App Store rules,

01:19:02   because as far as they're concerned, it's just a system that they can work with.

01:19:05   I can work with the system.

01:19:06   This, I can use the system to spray a bunch of scam apps.

01:19:09   Whereas the very best developers, the ones that make the best apps that want the

01:19:14   best for their customers, they like the rules the least because the App Store

01:19:18   rules impair them from being really good developers, again, giving better customer

01:19:22   service.

01:19:23   If someone contacts them, knowing who their customer is,

01:19:26   being able to help them specifically,

01:19:28   being able to issue them a refund directly

01:19:30   instead of sending them to Apple, right?

01:19:32   Stuff that good developers wanna do,

01:19:34   the App Store rules, like they punish the best developers

01:19:37   and they essentially reward or the cost of doing business

01:19:41   for the worst developers.

01:19:43   And so like it's no surprise that the App Store

01:19:44   is kind of filled with scams because it is,

01:19:47   they thrive in that environment and they don't mind,

01:19:49   they don't mind all the like,

01:19:51   it's just like well if something's bad

01:19:53   or you get rejected, burn that Apple ID,

01:19:54   make a new one, make a new scam app.

01:19:56   Like, oh, I got banned?

01:19:57   And I'm sure Apple spends lots of time

01:19:59   banning thousands and thousands of apps,

01:20:00   but it's just like, they're outnumbered by the bad scams,

01:20:04   'cause they've made an ecosystem where scams can thrive.

01:20:08   - You know, in summary, I think,

01:20:10   Raxel Brof in the chat has hit the nail on the head,

01:20:13   Apple should be required to distribute to developers

01:20:15   30% of iPhone hardware sales to account for the value

01:20:17   the third-party apps provide to the iPhone.

01:20:19   - I mean, that gets back to, like,

01:20:21   I was looking at this blog post I wrote,

01:20:22   - Yeah, look at the date of this, boy, it's 2020.

01:20:24   - I would settle for 27%.

01:20:26   (laughing)

01:20:27   - At night sleep time. - Exactly.

01:20:30   I wrote this post in 2020, it was about

01:20:32   whatever the app store issue of the day was,

01:20:34   but I tried to write it in as clear and generic terms

01:20:37   as I can, and reading over it again,

01:20:38   it still applies today.

01:20:41   On this show, very often we talk about

01:20:43   what Apple is greedy and what they deserve

01:20:47   and what they feel like they're taking,

01:20:48   and also these emotional type of words about

01:20:51   this tug of war between these two parties

01:20:54   who are fighting over this pool of money

01:20:56   and how much of it should I get

01:20:57   and how much of it should you get.

01:20:58   But like in the end, it is a market situation

01:21:03   where in healthy markets,

01:21:06   there is a relationship between the parties involved

01:21:09   where neither one of them can really screw over

01:21:12   the other one because the other one

01:21:14   will just go elsewhere, right?

01:21:15   So if Walmart decides to quintuple their prices overnight,

01:21:19   people will shop elsewhere.

01:21:21   as big as Walmart is, and it's really big,

01:21:23   if suddenly they said, "Ha ha, now it's quintuple prices."

01:21:27   The market is competitive enough that people say,

01:21:30   "Well, I'm not going to Walmart anymore

01:21:31   "because they just quintupled their prices.

01:21:34   "I'm gonna go someplace cheaper," right?

01:21:36   You need to have a healthy enough market

01:21:37   where when one party does something

01:21:39   that the other party really doesn't like,

01:21:41   that there is some sort of competitive give and take.

01:21:45   And you might say, "Okay, well, if Apple does things

01:21:47   "that developers don't like, they should leave the platform."

01:21:49   That's how it should work if the system is healthy.

01:21:51   But I feel like now we're in a situation

01:21:53   where developers and Apple can't agree

01:21:56   on how this relationship should be,

01:21:58   but it's not yet bad enough

01:22:00   to make the developers go elsewhere,

01:22:01   because there are other countervailing forces,

01:22:03   one of which being where else would I go?

01:22:06   To the other platform that has the same rules as Apple?

01:22:09   That's not much of a choice.

01:22:10   What if Walmart controlled this prices?

01:22:12   You said, well, I'm not shopping at Walmart anymore.

01:22:13   I'm gonna go to some other store.

01:22:14   And every other store you went to

01:22:16   also controlled its prices.

01:22:18   then you as a consumer, or a developer in this case,

01:22:22   you would feel like, why would I go to Google Play?

01:22:24   Their rules aren't that much different than Apple's.

01:22:27   And they're the only other game in town

01:22:30   for if I wanna make a native app on a mobile platform.

01:22:33   That makes it feel like a market

01:22:35   that is not functioning correctly.

01:22:37   And what I wrote in this post is,

01:22:39   if Apple wants to make this relationship work, and it can,

01:22:43   it just needs to come to an arrangement

01:22:44   where everyone feels like things are okay.

01:22:46   As Casey pointed out, there wasn't this acrimony

01:22:48   on day one of the App Store,

01:22:50   'cause everyone was getting rich and it was awesome, right?

01:22:52   And those rules were not that much better

01:22:54   than they are now in many ways.

01:22:55   They were worse and there were fewer options, right?

01:22:58   It's not the specifics of the rule,

01:22:59   because we always get feedback, it's like,

01:23:01   well, what percentage is right?

01:23:02   If you think they don't deserve 30%, what about 15?

01:23:04   What about two?

01:23:05   You think they should have nothing.

01:23:06   It's not the specifics that matter.

01:23:08   And we keep bringing up game consoles.

01:23:11   Game consoles have way worse rules

01:23:13   than Apple's App Store was.

01:23:14   So why isn't every game developer revolting against game consoles?

01:23:18   Because the game consoles have managed a relationship such that there's been enough give and take

01:23:23   and there's enough competition in the game console market, even though there's not a

01:23:25   lot of competition, but there's Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft, and they have different

01:23:29   rules and different platforms.

01:23:31   Even that little extra bit of competition versus Android and Apple is enough to make

01:23:35   the game console market function correctly such that the relationship between developers

01:23:40   and console makers, though often acrimonious, is not to the dire state that the relationship

01:23:46   between Apple and its developers currently is.

01:23:49   And it's up to Apple to manage that relationship, and it's up to us collectively to potentially

01:23:56   add laws and regulations to make this market function more efficiently such that the two

01:24:01   parties can find a way to come to an agreement.

01:24:04   Because right now it seems like Apple has too much power and developers have too little.

01:24:07   I don't know, it just makes me feel gross.

01:24:10   And it's complicated by all of a sudden today, as we record, Microsoft announces "a principled

01:24:18   approach to app stores."

01:24:20   And so I'm going to read kind of a lot, and I apologize, I'm going to try to summarize

01:24:24   as best I can, but there's a lot here.

01:24:26   But Microsoft is kind of seeming, at least on the surface anyway, to be the good guys.

01:24:33   So now, even as someone who was kind of Team Microsoft-ish

01:24:37   in the 90s, even I'm kind of looking around like,

01:24:40   wait a second, Apple's the jerks

01:24:41   and Microsoft's the good guys now?

01:24:43   Well, I keep saying guys, I'm sorry.

01:24:45   Apple are the jerks and Microsoft are the good people now?

01:24:48   That's weird.

01:24:50   I don't know.

01:24:51   - I think I could summarize this

01:24:52   without having to read all the things.

01:24:54   - Okay, go, please do. - I'll put a link

01:24:54   in the show notes and people can check it out.

01:24:56   But you could replace all the text in this entire document

01:25:00   with we're a distant third.

01:25:03   (laughing)

01:25:05   Now I don't mean that, that's a cynical and bad way to do it.

01:25:08   I think Microsoft really does believe all these things,

01:25:11   but when you are not the market leader,

01:25:14   when you are not the strong second place,

01:25:16   but when you are a very distant third,

01:25:18   you need something to make you different

01:25:21   and to get into the game.

01:25:23   And so Microsoft has laid out a bunch of rules

01:25:25   that are much nicer to developers.

01:25:27   This is an example of like,

01:25:28   hey, I guess the market is working, right?

01:25:30   'cause look, now there's a competitor saying,

01:25:32   is Apple being mean to you?

01:25:34   Is Android, Google, Alphabet being mean to you,

01:25:36   mobile developer?

01:25:37   Or in this case, they're mostly addressing game developers.

01:25:41   Come to the Microsoft side, we'll be nicer.

01:25:44   Why?

01:25:44   'Cause we're hungry, we want your business.

01:25:46   We are a competitor and right now everyone's over there

01:25:49   and we're trying to get people to pay attention to us.

01:25:50   So we are going to be nicer to you.

01:25:52   We're going to let you side load,

01:25:54   we're gonna let you use your own payment methods.

01:25:56   We're not gonna take any percentage of them,

01:25:58   just do whatever you want with that, we'll have a great developer program, we'll give

01:26:03   you all the tools you need, we'll let you deploy to all sorts of different platforms.

01:26:06   If you look at the rules there, like if Apple came out with a set of rules, it would be

01:26:09   like the scene at the end of Return of the Jedi, the good version, not the SE, where

01:26:14   everyone is celebrating.

01:26:15   It would be like, "Yay, look!"

01:26:17   But Microsoft's saying, "Here we are, we'll do all this great stuff for you."

01:26:22   And the reason the cynical take comes in is like, well of course they're going to say

01:26:25   that because they're in third place and it's like well what if they really mean this?

01:26:30   You eventually get down to a lower part of the document and to Microsoft's credit they

01:26:34   call this out but still the lower part of the document that says "some may ask why today's

01:26:39   principles do not apply immediately to the current Xbox console."

01:26:43   That's just the best part.

01:26:45   As you listener may know Xbox even though Xbox is doing way better than Microsoft's

01:26:51   other efforts. So Xbox is one of the big three in consoles and maybe they're in third place

01:26:57   in this console generation but they're not distant third. Xbox does okay. And at various

01:27:02   times Xbox has done really well in the console market. So Apple, or Apple, Microsoft is stronger

01:27:07   in the console market. I was not asking myself why these rules do not immediately apply to

01:27:12   Xbox because they don't have to because Xbox already has a relationship that works because

01:27:17   Because Xbox has more power in the console space than all these other app stores that

01:27:22   Microsoft is trying to get off the ground.

01:27:24   And so the spin that Microsoft puts on this, it says, "Well, emerging legislation is not

01:27:34   being written for specialized computing devices like game consoles for good reasons."

01:27:37   Oh please Microsoft, tell me what these good reasons are.

01:27:40   And Microsoft says, "Game consoles specifically are sold to gamers at a loss to establish

01:27:45   robust and viable ecosystem for game developers. The costs are recovered later through the

01:27:49   revenue earned through the dedicated console store.

01:27:51   Okay, well first of all, Nintendo may not have gotten your memo about selling a hardware

01:27:55   at a loss, because at various times in history Nintendo has absolutely not done that. Because

01:27:59   they make really cheap hardware and eventually, or sometimes from day one, sell it at a profit.

01:28:04   But second, the idea that you're saying, "Well, you shouldn't regulate us because we sell

01:28:09   our hardware at a loss and this is the only way we can make money," is like, that's not

01:28:13   a law of nature, you could make money by selling the hardware, in fact Nintendo sometimes does

01:28:17   doing that, like they're saying well this is the way the market is so of course you

01:28:20   have to let us do whatever we want with our console games, which is kind of BS.

01:28:23   Anyway, Microsoft goes on to say, "Nevertheless, we recognize that we need to adapt our business

01:28:27   model even for the store and the Xbox console.

01:28:30   Beginning today we will move forward applying principles 1 through 7, and if you look at

01:28:33   the document, principles 1 through 7 are very touchy feely and are easy to comply with,

01:28:37   to the store and the Xbox console.

01:28:38   We're committed to closing the gap on the remaining principles over time."

01:28:41   "Okay, well, good luck with that, because I feel like if Xbox becomes dominant, they're

01:28:45   not going to be motivated to comply with the other more difficult things about complete

01:28:48   openness and third-party payment methods and multiple app stores and all the other stuff."

01:28:53   Now, I'm not faulting Microsoft for this.

01:28:56   It's a smart move, it's a good move, and they are essentially being the good guys, as Casey

01:29:00   pointed out by having these much more open rules.

01:29:02   It's not hard.

01:29:03   But it is a carve-out.

01:29:05   It's like, in the areas where we are weakest, we are willing to cede power, but in the areas

01:29:09   where we have even a little strength like on the Xbox, yeah we're not gonna do all those

01:29:13   nice things there, cuz come on, like, we need to, things need to be exactly as they are

01:29:17   today forever because that's how our console business, and don't get me wrong, Microsoft

01:29:21   is selling Xbox consoles at a loss, and so is Sony, especially in the beginning for that

01:29:25   matter, and then making it up in games, but that's not the only way money can be made

01:29:31   from games, people don't sell PCs at a loss and then make it up in game sales, PCs are

01:29:35   are sold for a profit, a small profit,

01:29:37   but PCs are sold for a profit,

01:29:39   and games are also sold for a profit.

01:29:41   There are lots of different ways the market can work,

01:29:43   and it doesn't really matter one way or the other.

01:29:45   Anyway, this is interesting because it is a contrast

01:29:48   to Apple and Google, the Android stuff.

01:29:52   It's also interesting in how little of a splash

01:29:54   this is going to make.

01:29:55   I know this is mostly about game stores

01:29:57   and gaming on PCs, but it is also about gaming

01:29:59   on mobile devices and everything.

01:30:01   But honestly, I don't think Google and Apple

01:30:04   feel like they're threatened by Microsoft's better policies,

01:30:07   because Microsoft, despite their efforts--

01:30:09   sorry, Windows Phone.

01:30:10   Sorry, I can't handle the other ones.

01:30:12   The Kin, Windows CE--

01:30:14   come on, what else have we got?

01:30:16   Microsoft has tried to have a mobile platform.

01:30:18   Zune.

01:30:19   Yeah, Zune, but that wasn't really the same thing.

01:30:21   PocketVC was really just Windows CE.

01:30:23   Yeah, they've tried to have a mobile platform,

01:30:25   and it didn't work out that well for them.

01:30:27   So they're not really a player in that space, which

01:30:29   puts them at the mercy of Google and Apple

01:30:32   when it comes to doing things like, oh, we want to put

01:30:34   the Xbox streaming app on the App Store and Apple says no and they have to use a web browser

01:30:37   to do it, which is not ideal for them.

01:30:41   This shows how little power they have in that market.

01:30:43   So yeah, I don't, again, I don't want to fault Microsoft for saying we're going to do, we're

01:30:49   going to be better because that's how a competitive market should work, but I don't think the

01:30:53   market is competitive enough for this proposal to really change things in a dramatic way

01:31:00   and I'm slightly disappointed that they did not have the sort of courage of their convictions

01:31:05   and apply these rules to Xbox as well.

01:31:08   I think they may actually apply to Xbox because honestly, like I said, the console market

01:31:11   doesn't have to work the way it has and a lot of things that Microsoft has said, especially

01:31:16   that interview with Phil Spencer on Sir Techery, has indicated that Microsoft has a vision

01:31:21   of the future of making money in gaming that is different than it is now.

01:31:26   And I think in that future, there's no reason these rules couldn't apply to Xbox.

01:31:29   But today, they're not quite ready for that.

01:31:32   - I don't know, it's just, like I said,

01:31:34   I'm having a little bit of an internal crisis over,

01:31:37   like, I love, like Marco said,

01:31:40   I love so much Apple stuff,

01:31:41   and I love so much about the choices that Apple makes,

01:31:44   but golly, this is, the choices around the App Store,

01:31:48   in China, but the choices around the App Store

01:31:51   are really, really gross, and it's really,

01:31:53   it's yuck in my yum quite a lot,

01:31:55   and it's really making me sad.

01:31:57   - I mean, in many ways, like,

01:31:58   I can feel as mixed about it as I often do

01:32:01   about my country or my state or my town.

01:32:04   I love my country where I live

01:32:06   and it would be a pretty big ordeal to ever leave it,

01:32:11   but it doesn't mean I agree with everything

01:32:13   that the government does.

01:32:15   You can have mixed feelings about something.

01:32:17   You can like some of what something does and not all of it.

01:32:21   So often people try to simplify it into like,

01:32:23   "Oh, these people are all complaining.

01:32:25   "Apple is responsible for your success," or whatever,

01:32:28   And like, no, it's more complicated than that.

01:32:30   And we can overall be a pretty big fan

01:32:33   and pretty good customer of this company

01:32:36   while also pushing for them to be better

01:32:38   in the areas that they're currently, frankly, full of crap

01:32:42   and doing real damage.

01:32:45   Because the reason why I care so much about this

01:32:48   is, as I was saying earlier,

01:32:50   I think they're totally blundering this

01:32:53   to the point where it would not surprise me

01:32:56   if two to five years from now,

01:32:58   we have iPhones that are all out there

01:33:01   filled with Facebook BS spyware mostly

01:33:05   because they got sideloading

01:33:06   or they got alternative app stores.

01:33:08   And now everyone has to install the Facebook sideloader app

01:33:12   to get Instagram or whatever the new thing is

01:33:14   or WhatsApp, whatever Facebook makes people install.

01:33:17   People will install whatever Facebook tells them to install.

01:33:19   And so I worry about that outcome.

01:33:22   I worry like right now, this platform's in a pretty good

01:33:25   place in a number of areas, and if we get side loading

01:33:29   or alternative app stores, there's gonna be a number

01:33:32   of things about it that I'm afraid are going to get worse.

01:33:35   That's going to significantly impact my life,

01:33:38   both as a developer on this platform,

01:33:40   and as an iPhone user.

01:33:42   And I really don't want that to happen,

01:33:44   and I really think that where we're headed right now

01:33:47   shows clearly that Apple does not see anything

01:33:52   that they have to change.

01:33:53   They see nothing wrong with what they are doing,

01:33:56   and more importantly, setting aside any judgment

01:33:58   of whether they deserve anything

01:34:00   or what they think is moral or whatever else,

01:34:03   setting aside all that,

01:34:04   Apple thinks they can get away with this.

01:34:06   They clearly think they can get away with this

01:34:09   on the current strategy they're on,

01:34:10   like kind of indefinitely into the future.

01:34:12   And that's a big risk.

01:34:14   That's a huge risk,

01:34:15   and I think it's going to blow up in their face

01:34:17   by forcing the platform to get worse in these other ways.

01:34:20   That's why I'm so, you know, riled up about this,

01:34:23   because I don't want this platform to get worse.

01:34:26   I love this platform, I live on this platform,

01:34:28   I make my living on this platform.

01:34:30   This is one of the most amazing platforms

01:34:32   that's ever come out of computing,

01:34:34   but it's at risk right now.

01:34:37   It is being put at risk by Apple's own mishandling

01:34:41   of the situation, by Apple's own bad leadership

01:34:44   in regards to this area of just not giving an inch

01:34:48   to the point where they're gonna be forced

01:34:50   to give way more than that

01:34:51   and that's gonna be bad for everyone.

01:34:53   Now you're still against sideloading, but my opinion has never been as extreme as yours

01:34:57   and with each passing day is getting more and more in favor of sideloading because honestly

01:35:01   I see it as the best competitive pressure to put on Apple.

01:35:05   I agree with you about all the bad things, but I feel like I would much prefer Apple

01:35:10   to change the rules of the App Store because there is a competitor, which is sideloading,

01:35:15   rather than them changing them in response to regulation because regulation is written

01:35:19   by people who don't understand the problem and it can never be forward looking enough

01:35:23   and it's so slow moving and it's so terrible.

01:35:25   Like, regulation at this level of detail of like, "Oh, this piece of software has to allow

01:35:29   this thing to happen," never works out well.

01:35:33   But if there was sideloading, in addition to all the bad things, developers who didn't

01:35:37   like Apple's rules would say, "Well, I'm just going to go to sideloading."

01:35:41   And I think they would very quickly build up an ecosystem of good developers on sideloading.

01:35:45   Obviously, there would be an ecosystem of bad developers, but there already is that

01:35:47   in the App Store.

01:35:48   because I'm a good developer on sidelining which would apply competitive pressure to Apple people wouldn't have to leave the platform entirely

01:35:55   Abandoning their entire skill set and their entire company and their entire product that they worked all his years on

01:35:59   Instead they could say we're still gonna have the product

01:36:01   But we're going to sell through this alternate app store or from our website or whatever, you know

01:36:07   And that would apply pressure on Apple's app service because Apple wants those people back in the app store paying a cut to them

01:36:12   they would have to write rules where

01:36:15   Everyone the developers agreed it is worth it for me to be in the App Store for these benefits

01:36:20   I'm willing to pay this amount that whole thing that whole ratio is screwed up right now

01:36:24   And the problem is those developers have nowhere to go nowhere where they can go easily because then people like oh

01:36:30   We have competition. They just go to Android

01:36:32   What if you have an entire company filled with developers who are iOS developers?

01:36:36   And you have a product line and cut and thousands of customers

01:36:38   Who are paying you every month on a subscription basis to use your really cool app that you spent years and years writing

01:36:43   and it's like, oh, just go to another platform.

01:36:45   That is a weaker form of competition.

01:36:47   - That's not an option.

01:36:48   I mean, 'cause the reality is,

01:36:50   there's so many markets of apps,

01:36:52   like for instance, podcast players,

01:36:54   where the iPhone has three quarters of the market.

01:36:57   Like, it isn't like 50/50 here.

01:36:59   We're not talking about small differences,

01:37:01   we're talking about very, very big differences.

01:37:03   There is no real alternative.

01:37:05   - And it's not like, it's not an impossibility,

01:37:07   it's all about the ratio.

01:37:08   Like, how painful would it be for me to move

01:37:11   versus how painful are the current rules.

01:37:14   And Apple has not made the commission 99%,

01:37:18   because that would be so painful

01:37:20   that everyone would have to leave

01:37:21   and everyone would go out of business, right?

01:37:22   But they're also, and they decreased it to 15,

01:37:26   but only if you follow these rules

01:37:27   and only if you make less than this amount of money.

01:37:29   Like the current balance, I mean, again,

01:37:31   I'll put this link in the show,

01:37:32   it's called The Art of the Possible.

01:37:33   You just read it, it sounds kind of generic or whatever,

01:37:35   but like it describes the problem accurately,

01:37:39   which is that Apple wants it to be like this

01:37:41   and developers want it to be like that,

01:37:42   and Apple thinks it can get to its goal state

01:37:44   with its current set of rules,

01:37:46   and just by holding a hard line,

01:37:47   and they're getting farther from their goal, not closer.

01:37:50   Are they getting farther from their goal

01:37:52   'cause developers are getting more pissed,

01:37:53   or are they getting farther from their goal

01:37:55   because they're making worse rules?

01:37:57   I think it's mostly the developers are getting more pissed

01:37:59   because Apple is giving in various ways,

01:38:02   but they still haven't found the meeting point.

01:38:04   But the problem is developers have no recourse

01:38:05   other than to grumble because it is so painful

01:38:08   for them to go elsewhere.

01:38:09   Not impossible.

01:38:10   It's not impossible for them to go elsewhere,

01:38:12   but it is a balance.

01:38:13   How much pain is this versus how much pain is that?

01:38:16   But developers should really just not be in pain.

01:38:18   - We are sponsored this week by Caseta by Lutron,

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01:39:04   But the great thing is that when,

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01:40:15   Thank you so much to Lutron Caseta for sponsoring our show.

01:40:18   - All right, let's do at least a little bit of Ask ATP,

01:40:24   turn these rounds upside down.

01:40:25   We can start with Steven J. Stutz who says,

01:40:28   "I really enjoyed your discussion on AirPods

01:40:30   potentially using ultra wideband chips."

01:40:31   This is, I don't know, took a month or two ago.

01:40:34   Something I don't quite understand is why doesn't anyone think of using Wi-Fi for audio playback? The

01:40:38   HomePods uses as well as Sonos speakers. Can't Apple use Wi-Fi in the AirPods, AirPods Pro, and AirPods

01:40:43   Max? I'm curious to hear what your thoughts are. I think to me this is pretty clear. So it's power.

01:40:49   It's just Wi-Fi is way too expensive from a power perspective and that's why we need to

01:40:54   figure out, or not we, but that's why Apple's working on all these like super low power

01:41:00   but yet high bandwidth tools is because Wi-Fi is extremely

01:41:05   expensive from a power perspective.

01:41:07   I mean, unless I'm missing something, right?

01:41:08   Yeah, I mean, there's probably more to it than that.

01:41:10   I don't know the specific technical details,

01:41:12   but sort of the way the protocols work with Wi-Fi

01:41:14   and how-- sort of the use case of Wi-Fi

01:41:18   is like full-fledged devices that

01:41:20   are on the network together.

01:41:21   And there are things about that in terms

01:41:23   of how do you join the network?

01:41:24   How do you communicate it across the network?

01:41:26   What is the latency?

01:41:27   What kind of protocols are you used

01:41:29   to send packets to and fro that are made for what we use it for.

01:41:34   Computers on a network that spans your whole house or a pretty long distance that gets

01:41:41   very high speeds but it's not optimized for super low latency, for something in your pocket

01:41:49   to get to something that's in your ear with very low power.

01:41:53   It's just not made for that.

01:41:55   I'm not sure what the rules are for Wi-Fi in terms of like what do you need to be what you need to do to

01:41:59   Be sort of a citizen on that network like how many identifiers are available?

01:42:03   How quickly can you get on and off the network and you know latency and?

01:42:06   addition to what you said which is the power stuff and so that's that's the thing about these protocols like

01:42:11   it's just invisible magic going through the air as far as you're concerned, but every one of them is made for a specific use case and

01:42:16   when we you know when we talk about the ultra wideband stuff the reason we're excited is because

01:42:20   This is even better for this specific use case we were talking about like

01:42:25   communicating with your AirPods, right? That use case is very different than the

01:42:30   requirements for my laptop is on the TCP/IP network that's made in my house so

01:42:37   that can be on the internet through like a NAT or whatever. Very different use

01:42:40   cases. So it's just a technology that never targeted this scenario and so it's

01:42:45   not as good at it in basically every way that you could possibly measure.

01:42:48   Including, by the way, like how much does it cost to get a Wi-Fi chip and you know

01:42:53   all the way down to how small can you make it

01:42:55   on top of all the power stuff.

01:42:56   Like if you just look at the whole list of requirements,

01:42:59   it's not like Wi-Fi is terrible,

01:43:00   it's just a poor fit for this case.

01:43:02   - Chris Kerner writes, "Do any of you use

01:43:06   "a color calibration tool like the Spider by DataColor

01:43:09   "on your third party monitors?

01:43:10   "Now that I asked this, I guess this is mostly

01:43:12   "a question for Casey.

01:43:13   "If so, why or why not?

01:43:14   "Related, do you think Apple will bring the

01:43:15   "'use your iPhone to calibrate your TV' feature

01:43:18   "to the Apple TV, from the Apple TV to the Mac?"

01:43:21   No, I don't do any sort of color calibration

01:43:23   because I don't do the kind of work

01:43:26   that I think necessitates it,

01:43:27   or I'm too dumb to know otherwise.

01:43:29   So, no, this is not something I've ever bothered with.

01:43:32   I'm going to guess that Marco, you probably haven't,

01:43:36   and I'm gonna guess that, John,

01:43:37   there's a better than 50% chance you have.

01:43:39   - I actually used to use this kind of thing

01:43:41   back forever ago before I used IMAX and Apple monitors.

01:43:46   'Cause I used to, before the retina age,

01:43:50   I used exclusively third party monitors.

01:43:54   I had a giant HP 30 inch, I had Dell 24s before that,

01:43:59   and I actually did use one of these

01:44:01   Spyder color calibrators for a few years

01:44:04   in the middle there.

01:44:05   I could never get my monitor colors and everything

01:44:09   to look exactly right.

01:44:12   And I don't know if that's just because

01:44:13   I was using maybe not super great monitors

01:44:16   for things like color accuracy.

01:44:19   I wasn't doing color correction work.

01:44:21   I was just a programmer with fancy cameras sometimes,

01:44:23   but otherwise I wasn't doing super critical work.

01:44:27   I just thought it was cool.

01:44:29   And Tiff was doing critical photo work at that time,

01:44:31   and so we got it for her to use it,

01:44:34   but once you have the hardware,

01:44:35   you can calibrate as many Macs as you want normally.

01:44:37   I don't know if that's changed since then,

01:44:39   but that's how it worked back then.

01:44:41   So yeah, I used it and it was fine.

01:44:44   I would occasionally look back at the other profiles

01:44:46   and kind of switch between them every so often

01:44:48   and try to figure out like, is this better?

01:44:50   Do I like this better?

01:44:51   Or, you know, somebody might be a little bit too dark

01:44:53   or whatever else.

01:44:54   And yeah, I never really quite nailed it.

01:44:57   - Yeah, the problem with the calibration tools,

01:44:59   especially with third-party monitors,

01:45:00   is often the monitors don't give you enough control

01:45:03   over the monitor's output to align it

01:45:06   with correct calibration.

01:45:07   This is a problem with TVs too.

01:45:08   Like, usually you have to unlock the super-duper expert

01:45:12   service settings to even get close,

01:45:14   but some TVs still don't give quite enough adjustments

01:45:17   to get it exactly perfect.

01:45:19   And then obviously there's variations in hardware and whatever technology your screen is using.

01:45:25   For calibration I used to do the silly on-screen calibration with color sync back in the day

01:45:30   on the Macs just to see that you aren't super far off.

01:45:32   And that for people like Casey and other people who think, "Oh, I don't care about colors."

01:45:36   If you have a third party monitor that's really far off, you should do something about it.

01:45:39   Because if you're making an app and you're trying to decide, "Is this amount of contrast

01:45:43   between the label and the background sufficient for this to be a usable thing?"

01:45:46   You may be fooled by a different calibration on your monitor.

01:45:49   This used to happen back in the day when Macs and PCs had different gamma settings and things

01:45:53   that looked awesome on the Mac would look weird on the PC and vice versa.

01:45:56   So even if you're not doing fancy color work, you just want to be in the ballpark at least.

01:46:01   Or at the very least you need to be able to set up your monitor so you know what your

01:46:04   customers are seeing.

01:46:06   Are your customers on a PC?

01:46:07   Are they on a Mac?

01:46:08   Are they on a phone?

01:46:09   Because the contrast between elements in your application can make a difference in usability

01:46:13   and especially if you're trying to walk that line and be fancy and kind of like push up

01:46:17   to the edge of contrast, which you probably shouldn't do anyway, but if you are, then

01:46:20   you have to have an accurate enough monitor to know that your judgment call and when it's

01:46:24   the right color looking at your screen applies to everybody else.

01:46:28   And as for the Apple TV feature where you hold up your phone coming to the Mac or whatever,

01:46:33   I would guess that the Apple answer to that question would be like, "Well, you don't need

01:46:37   to do that with Apple monitors because we pre-calibrate them at the factory and we're

01:46:40   really good at it but your TVs we have no idea what it's like out there so we gave you

01:46:43   this feature.

01:46:45   But third party monitors whether Apple wants to know it or not are a thing especially since

01:46:49   Apple makes so few monitors especially no affordable ones that I could see that feature

01:46:54   coming.

01:46:55   Hey if you've got a third party monitor use this little thing but it's the same problem

01:46:58   it's like okay well you know it's the same problem with TVs where we complained about

01:47:02   the system.

01:47:03   You hold the phone up and it does a bunch of measurements or whatever but then the only

01:47:06   thing that that app has the power to do is change what the Apple TV outputs. It

01:47:12   doesn't have a way to change the settings on your TV and if the settings

01:47:16   on your TV are super wackadoo you're never going to get close enough by

01:47:21   changing the output coming over the HDMI cable to compensate for that. That's why

01:47:25   when people calibrate televisions they don't do it by changing the output of

01:47:28   the devices they actually change the settings on the TV itself but the app

01:47:31   has no way of doing that has no idea what your settings are. Ditto for third

01:47:34   party monitors. The app has no way to change the buttons and menu systems that are on your

01:47:41   third party monitor for adjusting your thing. And I think the settings on monitors tend

01:47:45   to be far less extensive than especially the super duper expert settings on TV if you have

01:47:49   to type a weird code in the remote and you get these scary menus where you can screw

01:47:52   stuff up. That's what a real television calibrator will do to actually get your television accurate.

01:47:58   So if Apple does introduce this, just like on the TV, it's probably better than nothing

01:48:04   if you're using a display that is super far off, but the real solution is for Apple to

01:48:08   make a much more affordable Apple monitor that is good enough out of the box.

01:48:13   Priyansh Singh writes, "My partner is using the new M1 MacBook Air for the last few months

01:48:17   and it has signs of this problem that I thought Apple would have fixed by now.

01:48:20   The keyboard leaves an imprint on the screen.

01:48:22   I had the same issue with my Air back in 2017.

01:48:24   Do you have suggestions on how to save the screen?

01:48:26   Putting in a case for the laptop or a membrane over the keyboard feels icky."

01:48:30   I've noticed this from time to time, but it's never been bad enough to bother me, which

01:48:33   which is basically the story of my life,

01:48:35   see also fan noise and so many other things

01:48:38   that I know deeply upsets the two of you.

01:48:42   I know people who have put some sort of like,

01:48:44   you know, thin piece of foam in between the keyboard

01:48:47   and the screen anytime they close their laptop,

01:48:49   which seemed a bit excessive to me.

01:48:50   - Just make sure you always put it the right way.

01:48:53   - Fair.

01:48:53   - Because if you keep flipping it over,

01:48:55   all you're doing is transferring the finger grease

01:48:57   to the screen by way of an intermediary.

01:49:00   - Right, right.

01:49:01   But for me, I just don't stress about it, to be honest.

01:49:05   - So this is, people always talk about this

01:49:07   as if it's like a design flaw in the computer,

01:49:09   and you could argue that it is,

01:49:11   but the engineering trade-offs Apple would have to make

01:49:14   to fully eliminate this problem

01:49:15   are not the ones that people would want.

01:49:17   And like, obviously, if you just leave it on your desk

01:49:20   and you close it and it's getting finger-wrist on the screen

01:49:22   that's probably some kind of design flaw,

01:49:23   but most of the time when people get this,

01:49:26   it's because they put it in a backpack or something

01:49:28   where it gets squished,

01:49:30   And it's very difficult to make something as thin

01:49:33   and as wide, large, length and width

01:49:37   as the top of a laptop that will resist flexing so much

01:49:42   that it won't flex even the millimeter it takes

01:49:44   to hit the key caps, right?

01:49:45   So the trade-offs Apple have to make

01:49:46   is that you have to make it way stronger

01:49:48   or they'd have to make the gap bigger

01:49:50   or the lid thicker or all of those things.

01:49:54   And I don't think you want a thicker lid that's heavier

01:49:56   and I don't think you want a bigger gap.

01:49:58   You may say, "Oh, well, let's just make it two millimeters."

01:50:01   If you put your laptop in a book bag full of books,

01:50:04   a surprising amount of force can be applied

01:50:06   to the middle of that screen.

01:50:08   And to try to get it so there is no amount of force

01:50:11   in a book bag that can compress the middle of the screen

01:50:13   to hit the keyboard, you need a very big gap

01:50:15   or a very big screen or both.

01:50:16   I don't think people want that.

01:50:18   Now, it's possible Apple is not making the right trade-offs.

01:50:21   So they need a little bit more space,

01:50:23   a little bit more strength.

01:50:24   I will be on board with that.

01:50:26   But if you want to avoid this,

01:50:28   rather than putting a weird piece of paper

01:50:30   in between your thing,

01:50:31   try not to put your laptop in a situation

01:50:33   where it gets squished.

01:50:34   And if it's never squished, and it's on a desk,

01:50:37   and no one is ever putting pressure on it,

01:50:38   and still getting fingerprints,

01:50:40   then yeah, Apple has made a design problem there,

01:50:43   or maybe your hinge is screwed up in some way or whatever,

01:50:46   and Apple should definitely fix that.

01:50:48   But most of the cases that I've seen,

01:50:50   especially in the modern age where that happens,

01:50:51   it's due to squishing.

01:50:53   - Yeah, and a lot of times,

01:50:54   if you just flip it around in the bag,

01:50:56   if you make the screen point the other direction

01:50:58   from when you've been doing it,

01:50:59   sometimes that can improve things.

01:51:01   Obviously, as John said,

01:51:02   if you can reduce the amount or frequency

01:51:04   at which it's getting squished, that's better.

01:51:07   But yeah, this is entirely from squishing

01:51:08   and there's not much you can do about it

01:51:11   if you're gonna keep having it in squished situations.

01:51:14   Almost always backpacks are the challenge here

01:51:17   and how you solve it is up to you.

01:51:20   I would also suggest that ever since the screens

01:51:23   have gotten glass coverings

01:51:25   instead of the old kind of matte coverings,

01:51:28   it's way easier to clean these marks off.

01:51:30   As soon as you see them, clean them.

01:51:32   Because if they sit there for a long time

01:51:34   and build up long, you know, over years,

01:51:36   it will be much harder to clean them off

01:51:38   without damaging the screen finish and everything.

01:51:40   But if you just clean them regularly as you notice them,

01:51:45   it's pretty easy to stay ahead of it.

01:51:47   - The other solution is you just pretend

01:51:48   you have a touchscreen Mac.

01:51:49   - Wow. - Because if and when

01:51:52   touchscreen laptop Macs ever come,

01:51:53   and you think you have finger grease on your screen now,

01:51:55   just wait.

01:51:57   Thanks to our sponsors this week,

01:51:59   Stack Overflow Podcast, Lutron Quesada, and Memberful.

01:52:03   And thanks to our members who support us directly.

01:52:05   You can join atp.fm/join,

01:52:08   and we will talk to you next week.

01:52:10   ♪ Now the show is over ♪

01:52:16   ♪ They didn't even mean to begin ♪

01:52:18   ♪ 'Cause it was accidental ♪

01:52:20   ♪ Accidental ♪

01:52:21   ♪ Oh, it was accidental ♪

01:52:22   John didn't do any research, Margo and Casey wouldn't let him

01:52:28   'Cause it was accidental, it was accidental

01:52:33   And you can find the show notes at ATP.FM

01:52:38   And if you're into Twitter, you can follow them

01:52:43   @CASEYLISS

01:52:48   So that's Kasey Liszt

01:52:50   M-A-R-C-O-A-R-M

01:52:53   Auntie Marco Arment

01:52:55   S-I-R-A-C

01:52:58   USA, Syracuse

01:53:00   It's accidental

01:53:03   They didn't mean to

01:53:06   Accidental

01:53:08   Tech podcast

01:53:10   ♪ So long ♪

01:53:13   - You, Marco, have asked me a couple

01:53:18   of deeply alarming questions last week,

01:53:21   including sending me a photograph of your FJ Cruiser

01:53:26   on a flatbed or being loaded onto a flatbed.

01:53:29   (laughing)

01:53:30   What's going on there, bud?

01:53:31   - All right, so where we left last week was--

01:53:34   - Our intrepid hero.

01:53:35   - Yeah, so where we had left was,

01:53:38   like the previous couple of times I had gone to run some errands on the mainland, I had

01:53:44   tried to start up the FJ and it would start but it would take some doing, it would not

01:53:49   start easily, it would slowly and eventually start. And I had said also, I wasn't sure

01:53:58   if it was the battery because I would start it up eventually, go to a store, drive for

01:54:03   15 minutes to get there, and then I'd come out of the store and it would have the exact

01:54:07   same trouble starting up afterwards. So I was like, "Well, I don't know if it's the

01:54:09   battery or the alternator or the starter or who knows what." Now, I don't know really

01:54:15   anything about cars. Like, I talk about cars sometimes. I don't know how to fix cars. I

01:54:21   don't know how to diagnose problems. I don't know what's what and like what certain symptoms

01:54:25   indicate. But you know, so I described this in the show and everyone was basically like,

01:54:29   "Yeah, you should get a new battery." So I thought, "All right." First of all, John

01:54:32   was saying, and everyone said like,

01:54:34   just go to any car store, or any car parts store

01:54:38   that sells batteries, they'll install it for you.

01:54:40   And I can do it in five minutes myself, thanks John, I know.

01:54:42   But, okay, go to any store that sells them

01:54:45   and they'll install it.

01:54:46   Well, not so on Long Island.

01:54:48   Even like chain stores that say officially on the website,

01:54:54   like we'll install it for you, they also all say like,

01:54:57   call the store to check, and if you call any of the stores

01:55:01   around here, most of them are like,

01:55:03   "Oh yeah, we don't actually do that."

01:55:04   Or, "Sorry, we don't have enough staff to do that right now."

01:55:07   - To be clear, I was telling you to install it yourself,

01:55:09   the listeners were all saying they'll install it for you.

01:55:11   - Yes, but I did eventually find there was an advanced

01:55:14   auto parts somewhat nearby that both had batteries

01:55:19   and would install them for me and I called the store

01:55:22   and confirmed, "Yes, we will actually install it for you."

01:55:25   Yes, even on a Saturday.

01:55:27   So I thought, okay.

01:55:28   So I went over on Saturday because a Saturday

01:55:32   is the only time that I have a window

01:55:35   that I can take the ferry over

01:55:36   and have a two and a half hour stay there.

01:55:38   Normally it's one and a half hours

01:55:39   and you can't get anything done then.

01:55:41   So on the weekdays, but on Saturday

01:55:44   I can get two and a half hours.

01:55:45   So thanks Winter Ferry Central.

01:55:47   So I made this plan, I'm like all right,

01:55:50   I'm gonna go and I pre-ordered the battery online

01:55:54   so it'd be waiting for me in the store, guaranteed stuck.

01:55:57   I'll get there, I'll do whatever it takes

01:55:58   to start up the FJ, drive over the advanced auto parts,

01:56:01   get the battery installed by them, and I'll be all set.

01:56:05   And I had a couple other errands to run,

01:56:07   but I figured like, worst case, I can just switch over

01:56:10   to the Model S and do the errands and that,

01:56:13   but once I get the FJ figured out, if I have to.

01:56:16   Okay, on the way there, I'm bringing with me

01:56:19   my new super cap battery charger, or jump start thing

01:56:23   that I had just gotten, the AutoWit super cap from Amazon,

01:56:26   and I already had in the car the lithium battery

01:56:30   that I'd mentioned which was the,

01:56:32   I'll say it now, it was the NOCO one

01:56:35   that gets really, really high reviews on Amazon.

01:56:39   Okay, so I get there and I cannot get it to start.

01:56:44   This is the first, like every other time

01:56:46   I've tried to start it, I have eventually gotten it

01:56:47   to start after maybe five to 10 seconds,

01:56:50   I'd be able to get it to start.

01:56:51   And this was just not having it.

01:56:53   So I thought, well, I'm prepared for this outcome.

01:56:57   Pop the hood, look around, oh, there's the battery,

01:56:58   pull the little caps off so I can get to the terminals.

01:57:00   And I connect the jumpstart battery,

01:57:03   which I had pre-charged on the boat right over,

01:57:05   so I knew it was fully jumpcharged.

01:57:09   I connect it, it activates, it beeps,

01:57:12   and it counts down, and then it beeps

01:57:14   when you're supposed to try to start the car.

01:57:16   So I try to start the car, and it turns,

01:57:19   (grunts)

01:57:19   and then it doesn't start.

01:57:23   And I go, that's not good.

01:57:25   So I go back to the battery and tell it to go again.

01:57:28   And, oh sorry, this is the super cap.

01:57:31   (growls)

01:57:33   And then, it doesn't start.

01:57:34   - What noise did it actually make?

01:57:35   'Cause I'm sure it didn't make that noise.

01:57:37   Did you get a ticking noise?

01:57:38   Did you hear the starter motor running or not?

01:57:41   - Not yet.

01:57:42   So, eventually, after a number of tries,

01:57:47   I started hearing a rapid clicking noise.

01:57:50   Now, again, listeners,

01:57:52   I don't know anything about cars.

01:57:53   I know you're all screaming now what the problem is.

01:57:56   But I didn't know the problem,

01:57:57   'cause I don't know anything about cars.

01:57:59   I remember that somebody had said like,

01:58:00   "Oh, if you hear a clicking noise,

01:58:02   "it could be something else,

01:58:03   "like the alternator will start or something."

01:58:04   And I thought, oh no.

01:58:07   So here I am, the Super Cap won't start.

01:58:09   I then tried the NOCO GB40, whatever it is.

01:58:12   I tried the lithium battery,

01:58:14   which claimed to have enough charge to do it.

01:58:17   It had almost a full charge.

01:58:18   Tried that, also didn't have enough power

01:58:21   to actually get it going.

01:58:22   And I eventually just heard that rapid clicking again.

01:58:25   So I thought, I'm in over my head.

01:58:28   Now, keep in mind the situation I'm in.

01:58:31   I have a very short time window.

01:58:34   I have, like at this point I have two hours

01:58:37   before I have to get back on the boat and go back.

01:58:38   I also have other errands I have to run

01:58:40   that's gonna take most of that time.

01:58:43   And I don't know what to do.

01:58:45   And so I'm like, you know what?

01:58:48   Coming over here, it takes up the whole day

01:58:50   to go over there, so it's not,

01:58:53   I don't have a lot of options here.

01:58:54   So I get in my other car and I drive over

01:58:58   and I start doing, I had to go to a Target

01:59:00   and charge the car and also stuff like that.

01:59:02   So I'm doing those errands and as I'm sitting

01:59:03   in the parking lot, I start calling,

01:59:05   I call the Toyota place that the previous owner

01:59:08   always got serviced at and I'm like,

01:59:09   hey, do you have a tow service or anything?

01:59:13   - Do you not have AAA?

01:59:14   - I don't have AAA, no.

01:59:15   - All right, well they would have come to you

01:59:17   with a big super duper chargey thingy

01:59:19   and probably got you going.

01:59:20   - Well the problem is, at this point,

01:59:22   because I had two different jumpstart batteries

01:59:25   of two different types,

01:59:26   both of which being very well reviewed,

01:59:29   both not able to start the car,

01:59:32   I thought at that point, it's probably not the battery,

01:59:35   and I'm in over my head now,

01:59:36   and so this needs somebody who has,

01:59:39   this is gonna be a bigger problem.

01:59:41   - AAA will do whatever is needed to get you going.

01:59:44   I'm just saying, rather than calling the Toyota dealership,

01:59:48   if you had a AAA membership,

01:59:49   they would have come over for probably substantially

01:59:52   less money and they can tackle whatever problem you have.

01:59:54   If it involves taking your car and putting it on a flatbed.

01:59:57   - Well, fun fact, the battery that I had pre-ordered

02:00:00   at Advance Auto Parts was about $200.

02:00:04   And for Toyota to install a brand new battery,

02:00:07   including labor, was $220.

02:00:08   (laughs)

02:00:10   - That's actually not bad.

02:00:11   - Yeah, so I'm like--

02:00:12   - That's what happens when you buy Toyotas

02:00:14   and not the Teslas or Lexus or BMW.

02:00:18   - Yeah, so I called them and I asked them,

02:00:19   I learned that, I'm like, all right, you know what,

02:00:21   I'm just gonna send the car to you.

02:00:22   And they didn't have a towster,

02:00:23   they recommended a local company.

02:00:25   And so I had to pay an extra like 200-ish dollar,

02:00:28   like 180, whatever, to get a tow there.

02:00:32   - You had the Model S, drive the Model S

02:00:34   to the auto parts store, get the car battery, drive it back.

02:00:37   - But I didn't know that it was the battery at this point.

02:00:39   Right, 'cause again, think of--

02:00:40   - No, I can get behind--

02:00:41   - I had two jumpstart batteries that both failed to work.

02:00:45   - Yeah, no, I know what you're saying,

02:00:46   but you also highlighted that you're not an experienced jump

02:00:49   starter.

02:00:50   No, but these things-- this is very simple.

02:00:52   You don't have to figure out, oh, do I

02:00:53   connect to the wrong terminals?

02:00:54   Do I connect one to the car body?

02:00:55   No.

02:00:56   You just connect it right to the right terminals,

02:00:57   and you power them on.

02:00:58   Is that actually what the jump starter batteries

02:01:01   told you to do?

02:01:02   Yes.

02:01:02   Did you not read the instructions?

02:01:04   No, they tell you to connect it to the same colors.

02:01:06   You connect light colors to light colors.

02:01:08   OK.

02:01:09   Sometimes they would tell you to attach--

02:01:11   like when you're jump starting, you

02:01:12   attach it to the car frame to avoid sparks.

02:01:13   You don't blow yourself up.

02:01:14   Whatever.

02:01:15   No.

02:01:15   Anyway, so at this point I figure like it's gotta be,

02:01:20   it's gotta be something else, not just the battery

02:01:22   because I was equipped to deal with the battery

02:01:24   with these Jumpstar things.

02:01:25   It's not, it's clearly not just that.

02:01:27   So anyway, I get it towed over.

02:01:30   I'm like arranging this like from the parking lot of Target

02:01:32   as I'm like trying to do other errands.

02:01:34   And then I eventually go back, meet the tow truck

02:01:36   at the car, get it loaded up, get it to Toyota,

02:01:39   and then yeah, they called me on Monday morning

02:01:41   and they're like, "Yeah, you know what?

02:01:42   "We looked through everything.

02:01:43   "It was just the battery."

02:01:45   The alternator's fine, the starter's fine.

02:01:48   - Oh my gosh. - It was just the battery.

02:01:50   - Marco, you should have kept this a secret.

02:01:52   - Interestingly, we got this tweet from Michael Panzer,

02:01:55   who referred me to this YouTube video

02:01:58   reviewing different jumpstart batteries

02:02:01   and testing them out and actually seeing

02:02:03   how much voltage they deliver and everything else.

02:02:04   And included in this test is an earlier version

02:02:08   of the SuperCap from AutoWit that I have

02:02:10   and the NOCO GB40 thing that I have.

02:02:13   So it was both, both of them were included in this test.

02:02:15   and the SuperCap delivered okay performance,

02:02:20   but for a pretty short time.

02:02:22   It burns out pretty fast.

02:02:25   The NOCO battery that was supposed to be even more powerful

02:02:30   was like one of the worst performers in this test.

02:02:33   - Oh cool.

02:02:34   - So this thing that has very strong reviews on Amazon,

02:02:38   it turns out it seems like it just might be really bad.

02:02:41   And so I have learned a few things.

02:02:44   So first of all, keep in mind,

02:02:45   The cost of these two jump starters

02:02:47   was about 200 bucks total.

02:02:49   The tow truck was about 200 bucks.

02:02:50   All this was to actually just replace a battery

02:02:54   that had I had more car knowledge and--

02:02:57   - Had you just listened to me and ordered a battery

02:02:59   from Amazon instead of buying all this weird stuff

02:03:01   and carrying the battery from Amazon with you,

02:03:04   the car shoved it in there.

02:03:06   - Yeah, but I didn't know if that would be the problem.

02:03:08   Because all the other signs pointed to it

02:03:10   not being the problem necessarily.

02:03:12   - Well, yeah.

02:03:13   So anyway, Amazon reviews, I know there's a lot of like,

02:03:16   you know, review spam and fake reviews and everything,

02:03:20   but I, yeah, this thing, (laughs)

02:03:23   I can't recommend the NOCO product.

02:03:26   The Super Cap maybe for different needs,

02:03:28   it might be better, but instead,

02:03:31   I ordered from the video,

02:03:33   the one that performed a lot better. (laughs)

02:03:36   - Imagine that. - So now,

02:03:37   I spent another $100 on--

02:03:39   - You got a brand new battery now.

02:03:41   If there's nothing else wrong with your car,

02:03:42   you're not gonna need this thing.

02:03:43   This is also true.

02:03:44   - Well, in theory, again, for a car that is driven regularly

02:03:48   the way regular people drive their car,

02:03:49   maybe I wouldn't need it for another five years.

02:03:51   - If you start the engine once a month

02:03:52   and drive it around, you're probably okay

02:03:53   with a brand new battery.

02:03:54   - Yeah, but that's a lot of probabilities.

02:03:55   And I will gladly spend $100, not six or whatever,

02:04:00   but I'll gladly spend $100 for a jump drive battery

02:04:03   that allegedly works so that if I ever need

02:04:06   something like this again, I'll be better prepared for it.

02:04:08   - Well, so I'm sure you thought of this

02:04:11   and probably I don't know the details of how this works,

02:04:14   but it seems somewhat absurd to me

02:04:16   that you're buying a series of jumpstart batteries

02:04:19   because you're worried that when you get over the ferry

02:04:21   that your car and the parking lot won't be able to start

02:04:23   because its battery is bad,

02:04:25   and it's parked next to your other car

02:04:27   that is a gigantic battery.

02:04:29   Like a huge battery,

02:04:31   like way bigger than those jumpstart packs,

02:04:34   and you own it and it's there.

02:04:36   Is that not possible in Teslas?

02:04:38   You can't jumpstart another car with a huge battery?

02:04:41   - Well, you probably can. - First of all,

02:04:41   I don't think you can. (laughs)

02:04:43   - I mean, that just seems-- - I mean, you could,

02:04:44   I could charge up one of these other ones,

02:04:46   but that would take like, you know, a half hour.

02:04:48   Like, it would take a while. - I know, it just seems,

02:04:49   it just seems so terrible, because like, again,

02:04:51   when regular people have their batteries die on them,

02:04:54   very often, you have jumper cables in your trunk,

02:04:57   and you're looking for a friendly person in the parking lot

02:04:58   who can help jumpstart your car, that's a thing.

02:05:01   - Oh, yeah. - And they,

02:05:02   and they jumpstart the car with another car

02:05:04   that just has a gasoline engine plus a 12-volt battery,

02:05:06   but you've got a huge battery inside this car,

02:05:10   and you're like, oh, I need a new tiny little 12 volt battery

02:05:13   to get my car started.

02:05:15   - Yeah, because it can't deliver the right kind of power

02:05:17   in the right way to an external terminal.

02:05:19   - I know, I know.

02:05:20   What you need is a dongle.

02:05:22   - Yeah, that's it.

02:05:23   (laughing)

02:05:24   - But it just seems very absurd.

02:05:25   You're buying a series of way smaller lithium ion batteries

02:05:28   and you have the world's supply of lithium ion batteries

02:05:31   sitting next to you.

02:05:32   - I know, well, but the thing is,

02:05:34   I'm not always gonna have that giant battery sitting

02:05:36   next to me.

02:05:36   Like ideally, first of all, if I ever got the driving permit

02:05:38   this car is gonna be here,

02:05:40   and it's gonna be not starting next to my house.

02:05:43   - And you get a battery tender,

02:05:44   because it's plugged in to your house's voltage.

02:05:47   - Right, which is probably a better idea.

02:05:48   But right now I don't have that option.

02:05:50   But I don't wanna have to rely on having two cars forever.

02:05:53   I don't know where I'm gonna be in a couple of years

02:05:56   if I still have the FJ, if I still have the Tesla.

02:05:58   I might have only one of those cars,

02:06:00   I might have neither of those cars.

02:06:02   I might still have both of them, I don't know.

02:06:04   So yeah, so I don't,

02:06:07   This is all, regular people who have better car knowledge

02:06:11   could have probably avoided all of this,

02:06:13   but because of both my combination of bad knowledge,

02:06:16   bad luck with these jumpstart batteries,

02:06:19   and a weird situation that makes it very difficult

02:06:21   to actually get my car worked on--

02:06:22   - Don't forget refusal to listen to me.

02:06:24   Add that to the list.

02:06:26   - Yeah, I'll add that to the list, thanks, John.

02:06:27   (laughing)

02:06:29   But yeah, so anyway, that's what happened.

02:06:31   I got the car back, it's fine.

02:06:33   It is kind of funny, they give you,

02:06:34   it's one of those giant Toyota service centers,

02:06:37   and where they had like a car wash on premises.

02:06:40   So they give you like this code,

02:06:41   you can go get a free car wash.

02:06:42   I'm like, "Oh, sure, what the heck?"

02:06:43   And like, this is the first time

02:06:45   I've been through a car wash with the FJ.

02:06:47   And you know, it was an automatic one,

02:06:48   you know, just the big, you know, rollers and everything.

02:06:50   And the front windshield on it

02:06:54   is at such like a vertical angle,

02:06:57   like it's still like straight up and down,

02:06:59   so un-aerodynamic, that the little blow dryer

02:07:03   at the end of the automatic car wash couldn't even,

02:07:07   it didn't even blow the windshield dry.

02:07:08   You're like, it blows all the water off,

02:07:10   but that thing assumes that your car's

02:07:12   gonna have an aerodynamic shape,

02:07:14   so the water can all blow off the whole thing all at once.

02:07:17   And with this, it comes out, it's still dripping wet,

02:07:19   because it's so unaerodynamic. (laughs)

02:07:22   - It's like a Jeep. - Exactly.

02:07:24   - You could end up with a Jeep.

02:07:25   - Well, it's also got windshield wipers,

02:07:26   so I think you'd be okay.

02:07:27   - Yeah, I have three of them. (laughs)

02:07:29   - So TWJ writes in the chat, quote,

02:07:31   "According to the Tesla's owner's manual,

02:07:34   you cannot use the Tesla engine to jumpstart a regular vehicle due to the low voltage batteries

02:07:40   in electric vehicles. If you were to use your Tesla to do the job, then you risk damaging

02:07:43   your engine. I'm not sure why it says engine there, but if you're to believe this, then

02:07:48   you cannot use that.

02:07:49   - Are they talking about trying to use the 12 volt battery from Tesla?

02:07:52   - I assume they would have to, because I can't imagine there's any mechanism in the car to

02:07:59   unload the power from the main battery pack,

02:08:02   like at 12 volts and probably hundreds of amps.

02:08:06   - Well, I mean, some cars have this.

02:08:08   I forget which brand it is, but one of them has a thing

02:08:10   where you can power all sorts of stuff.

02:08:12   Like they have power lights and something,

02:08:13   you can power your house with them.

02:08:15   - The lightning does that. - The lightning

02:08:16   that does that.

02:08:17   It's just a matter of having the right electronics in there

02:08:19   to get the voltage in the amps to the point

02:08:22   where it can do a 12 volt battery, right?

02:08:25   That's a thing car makers could do.

02:08:27   The problem is not lack of electricity.

02:08:29   The problem is we just didn't think that was a feature

02:08:31   that's worth adding to the Tesla so they didn't add it.

02:08:32   - Yeah, and it's not, it wouldn't be a trivial thing to add.

02:08:35   Like, you know, to have, to be able to deliver that--

02:08:37   - It's kinda trivial.

02:08:38   - Well, but to be able to like deliver like exactly 12 volts

02:08:41   at a huge amount of amps for a short time

02:08:43   to like to charge someone else's battery

02:08:45   or get their car thing, like it is kinda specialized.

02:08:47   - On the grand scale of the electronic stuff

02:08:49   that's going on inside a Tesla,

02:08:51   this additional amount of hardware,

02:08:52   it would be additional hardware space and expense,

02:08:54   but it's nothing compared to what they have to do

02:08:56   to allow you to slam all those volts and turn it into torque at the wheels.

02:08:59   Oh yeah, it's just different.

02:09:00   Although, I guess now I know that you can actually do that for 100 bucks.

02:09:04   If you picked the right one.

02:09:05   Yeah, I was speaking of picking the right one, this link will be in the show notes of

02:09:09   the video review of this.

02:09:10   The guy who does this video review, he's, I'm familiar with this person because he comes

02:09:14   up on all my channels because I watch videos like this all the time.

02:09:17   The channel is called Project Farm.

02:09:19   The guy, if you watch one of these videos and then you watch another one, you realize,

02:09:22   "Oh, they're all like this and this guy is like this the whole time."

02:09:25   And I like that he reviews lots of different things and you can get these big sort of I

02:09:29   have 50 of these things and let me show you them in action.

02:09:33   But very often he takes these tools, it's very often, it's mostly tools, takes these

02:09:38   tools and uses them in ways that are not a reflection of how they would be used in real

02:09:45   life.

02:09:46   Like if I get a pair of wire cutters, I probably want them to cut wire, but he's like, I tried

02:09:50   to cut in half this hardened steel nail and here's how they held up.

02:09:54   It's like, I'm never going to do that.

02:09:56   You found the toughest wire cutters,

02:09:59   but if all I ever cut is wire,

02:10:01   I don't care how long it takes

02:10:03   to get through an inch thick nail,

02:10:04   and oh, I tried to get through an inch thick nail

02:10:06   and it broke these pliers.

02:10:07   I'm never gonna do that with hand pliers.

02:10:10   I don't have the strength to do that.

02:10:11   They use like a hydraulic press to make it do it.

02:10:13   I don't know, these didn't hold up that well, right?

02:10:15   And then the second thing is,

02:10:16   in addition to testing crap that doesn't matter,

02:10:19   he won't test things that do matter,

02:10:21   like how comfortable are they?

02:10:23   subjective things like does this cut into my hand

02:10:26   when I use it?

02:10:27   One of the ones I was watching, he was testing scissors

02:10:28   and he's like, here's how they perform.

02:10:30   He said in an offhand comment,

02:10:31   boy my hand really hurt after I use these.

02:10:33   That should make it lose the competition.

02:10:36   It's like, but it came in second place

02:10:37   'cause it was sharp.

02:10:38   I did the sharpness test after I cut through 500 sheets

02:10:41   of aluminum foil with it and then I did the sharpness.

02:10:44   A, I'm not gonna be cutting aluminum foil

02:10:46   and B, I don't care how sharp it is

02:10:47   if it hurts my hand when I use it.

02:10:49   So it's very kind of like, he gets it in his head

02:10:52   of, you know, how it's always testing for toughness,

02:10:56   kind of like a machismo approach.

02:10:57   Like what does it take to break this tool?

02:10:59   How much of a ridiculous thick item can it cut through?

02:11:02   And for the batteries is like,

02:11:04   can it start a local diesel electric locomotive?

02:11:07   Like I don't care about that.

02:11:08   It's just, can it start a car?

02:11:09   I'm not saying all his tests are bad.

02:11:10   Like very often he is testing very relevant things.

02:11:12   But if you watch enough of them,

02:11:13   you realize a lot of the time he's testing things

02:11:15   that you don't care about.

02:11:16   And he's not testing things that you should care about.

02:11:19   - Yeah, this is my problem with almost every reviewer

02:11:21   of almost everything ever.

02:11:23   Like that's why I actually usually look at things

02:11:26   like Amazon reviews, even though I know there's so much

02:11:28   garbage there because I don't want to get just one person's

02:11:33   opinion on something because a lot of times

02:11:37   what they are looking for is not necessarily

02:11:40   what I am looking for in the qualifications.

02:11:42   Like you mentioned, the scissors that hurt your hand.

02:11:45   I would love to know that actually because I bought

02:11:48   a lot of products that were rated by some review site

02:11:52   that might be about cutting wires as being like,

02:11:54   "Hey, this is something that's really,

02:11:56   "this is the best one, this is the single best one."

02:11:59   - It holds its edge after cutting through

02:12:01   8,000 reams of paper.

02:12:03   It holds its edge better than the other ones.

02:12:04   It's like, "I'm never gonna cut through that much paper,

02:12:06   "but I totally care that it hurts

02:12:08   "after the first two sheets,

02:12:09   "and that should disqualify it.

02:12:11   "Don't put it in second place,

02:12:12   "'cause it was the second sharpest

02:12:13   "after a thousand reams of paper.

02:12:15   "I don't care."

02:12:16   - Right, exactly.

02:12:17   Like that's the kind of, like,

02:12:18   that's why when I read reviews,

02:12:21   I wanna read multiple reviews or something,

02:12:23   and that's why, that's where Amazon has some value,

02:12:24   even though I know a lot of stuff on there is fake,

02:12:27   I can at least have quick access to lots of reviews of this,

02:12:30   so I can kind of assess, like first of all,

02:12:32   which of these even seem real,

02:12:34   and then the ones that seem real,

02:12:35   what kind of stuff are they complaining about,

02:12:36   and what is this person looking for,

02:12:40   and did this give that to them,

02:12:42   and is that the kind of stuff I'm looking for?

02:12:44   Or is this person, like, you know,

02:12:45   you look at the negative reviews,

02:12:46   and a lot of the negative reviews will say things

02:12:49   that are actually positives to you.

02:12:52   So you can kind of be sure those are probably real reviews

02:12:54   if they're negative.

02:12:55   And so there's actually a lot of input there

02:12:58   that you can process it, even if you assume

02:13:00   most of it is garbage, you can at least process it

02:13:03   and get some kind of aggregate value out of

02:13:06   bits and pieces you pick up.

02:13:07   Whereas if you just go to one reviewer,

02:13:10   if you don't know what their priorities are,

02:13:12   if you don't know whether your priorities

02:13:15   line up with theirs, you can make a lot of really bad

02:13:18   choices or bad conclusions of how much you might like

02:13:21   something based on how much they did.

02:13:22   - Yeah, the good thing about the project farm thing

02:13:24   is that it's clear, they're mostly objective tests.

02:13:28   Here's a measuring device, here's a challenge.

02:13:31   I do the challenge, I use the measuring device,

02:13:33   which is like how much force did it take

02:13:35   or I have a sharpness testing thing.

02:13:36   It's not subjective, it's all objective measures, right?

02:13:39   But the trap is, these videos are made to get views

02:13:41   or whatever and are tuned to the interest of this person,

02:13:44   it's like, oh, they're all objective tests.

02:13:45   You can just take that information and leave it.

02:13:47   The trap is watching these videos

02:13:49   and not realizing that you are falling into the trap

02:13:53   of saying these are the values that matter,

02:13:56   'cause there's like 17 tests in this video

02:13:58   and those are the tests that matter, right?

02:14:00   'Cause it's very easy to fall into that.

02:14:02   It's very easy not to think about

02:14:04   how your priorities might differ

02:14:05   or to not see the thing that he didn't test.

02:14:07   He's like, well, they're objective tests.

02:14:08   It's just data.

02:14:09   You can take it or leave it.

02:14:10   But because the video is choosing which things to test,

02:14:14   it's not the fault of the video that this happens,

02:14:18   but it is natural for people to say,

02:14:20   well, there's so many different chests here.

02:14:22   Clearly this probably covers all of the value of the thing.

02:14:24   And then you get it and you realize,

02:14:26   oh, it's too small for my hand.

02:14:27   And that was nowhere in the criteria

02:14:29   and you didn't even think to look for it.

02:14:31   'Cause it couldn't be in the criteria.

02:14:32   How can they know how big your hand is?

02:14:34   So that's why when you're looking to buy a product,

02:14:36   you're looking at reviews or whatever,

02:14:38   don't sort of like accept the list of things that are being tested as the world of possibilities

02:14:44   for things that could be tested about the thing.

02:14:46   [Door closes]

02:14:48   [BLANK_AUDIO]