425: Hey Billionaire


00:00:00   How was vacation? Sorry. Green tea, I/O, wrong pipe exception.

00:00:05   The vacation when he goes back to the... no, I get it. Okay, Easter.

00:00:10   All right. It's confusing. What even is vacation? When your life is a vacation,

00:00:14   John, you can't even tell anymore. I mean, honestly, it does feel morally a vacation

00:00:18   to be here. Yeah, that's what I'm saying. It's all messed up now. Everything is backwards.

00:00:23   What a hardship it is to have too much vacation, to have my regular life feeling vacation.

00:00:28   Yeah, I'm really doing something wrong over here.

00:00:30   I am half vaccinated.

00:00:34   Two-thirds of this podcast, Marco, are half vaccinated. And if I was better at math,

00:00:40   I could make some sort of math joke about what the sum total of our vaccination status is.

00:00:44   But I'm terrible at mental math. John, what the hell's the holdup, man?

00:00:47   It's killing me. It's killing me. Everybody I know is vaccinated. Everywhere I look, vaccinated,

00:00:53   vaccinated. I want to get vaccinated so bad, you have no idea.

00:00:56   Would you drive three hours each way to do it? Like I did.

00:00:59   I would go anywhere. All of my searches are like, "What distance for in your house are you

00:01:03   want us to look?" Like whole state, anywhere. Infinity.

00:01:05   Doesn't matter. Exactly. My problem is I'm not eligible to be vaccinated until the 19th. But,

00:01:10   but you know, we have this technology where you can like, say, buy tickets to a concert that

00:01:15   happens next month. I don't know how we can do that. But it's impossible to make a reservation

00:01:21   to get vaccinated, you know, after April 19th, which is when I become eligible, right? Just let

00:01:26   me make the appointment now. Anyway, I'm dying to get vaccinated.

00:01:29   For all of you out there who are maybe on the fence, I don't honestly, I don't expect a lot

00:01:35   of our audience is on the fence. But there are a lot of people out there who are. And I really want

00:01:41   to encourage everyone. I know it isn't available everywhere yet, not even close. And I know it

00:01:47   isn't available to all people in the places where it is available, you know, not even close.

00:01:51   I became eligible because in New York, they started allowing anybody over age 30. And I'm,

00:01:58   as you know, not 50, but well over age 30. And so I just wanted to, you know, make a plea to

00:02:08   our listeners, if and when you get the opportunity to get vaccinated, please do. Many of you out

00:02:15   there are probably on the same page and think, of course, I'm going to get it as soon as I possibly

00:02:19   can. Many people aren't though. And we don't get a lot of chances as a society to like really

00:02:26   step up and like, serve the world in some big way. You know, most of us, my age or your age,

00:02:34   you know, most of us in the audience, and certainly all three of our hosts,

00:02:37   have not been alive during a military draft. Certainly not, you know, the big world wars.

00:02:44   This is something that like, we, as a society, I think we are, we are really given a huge

00:02:51   opportunity and duty here to like, help the world out, help us get out of this pandemic,

00:02:56   help literally save people's lives by stopping this virus. And the way we do that is widespread

00:03:03   vaccination. And so for you to go get it as soon as you're able and eligible to, for those of you

00:03:10   who are able to, because that's an important thing here, not everyone's able to. So for those of you

00:03:15   who are able to get vaccinated safely with whatever health criteria you have, it's kind of up to us

00:03:22   to all get vaccinated so that the people who can't get vaccinated for whatever reason,

00:03:27   whether it's health conditions or eligibility or whatever else, or if they're children,

00:03:30   which is a big thing right now, those of us who can get vaccinated, I think have a duty

00:03:35   to everyone else who can't to build up the herd immunity to finally stop this terrible thing. And

00:03:41   we were lucky. We were able to schedule it on the way we were coming back home from a trip. And

00:03:49   so therefore we had Adam with us. We had our kid with us. And so Tiff and I both got appointments

00:03:55   back to back and we brought him in with us and we were able to like show him like, look, this,

00:04:00   like we're making history here. And he understood. He understood very well. Like, you know, we

00:04:03   explained what was going on and why this was important. And we're like, look, this is like,

00:04:06   all these people here, they're all doing this, you know, for, to help out the world and, you know,

00:04:11   doing our duty for society. And it was amazingly run. It was super well done, like very big kudos

00:04:18   to the government and, you know, the state and whoever else was involved in making this happen,

00:04:22   because it was very well run. It was very easy. We were in and out in under 45 minutes. And most

00:04:28   of that time was walking through mostly empty lines. Like, you know, you go through the little

00:04:33   zigzag things that they set up, but like there's nobody in it. You just have to walk through it.

00:04:36   And you know, you walk through, you reach somebody at a booth, you enter their questions,

00:04:40   you show them your paper or whatever, and then they, they go down the hall, go to the next booth,

00:04:44   you know, and you go through two or three of those, you get shot. It doesn't hurt much. It's,

00:04:49   I would say that I got the Pfizer vaccine, so to Tiff, and, and I would say it hurt less than

00:04:55   an allergy shot. I've had many, many allergy shots in my life. So I, I've been stabbed a lot.

00:05:00   This hurt less than an allergy shot. It was very, very fast and had a sore arm today,

00:05:04   but that's it. You know, I know, I know the second one frequently gives people like fevers and stuff,

00:05:09   but that's, you know, I'm willing to do that because we need this. The world needs this.

00:05:13   We all need this. And the sooner you get vaccinated, if you're able to,

00:05:17   the sooner this comes to an end, please, everyone out there, as soon as you're able to please

00:05:23   get the vaccine. If you are in any position to help other people get it, who might need help

00:05:28   or convincing, please do that as well. Parents, grandparents, you know, any, anybody who like might

00:05:33   need help getting an appointment, locking one in, like with the technology side of things,

00:05:36   please get this done. Please, everyone. This is so important. This is like one of the most important

00:05:42   things that anybody in my generation has ever been called to do. Please, everyone go out there and do

00:05:46   it. Yeah. And you're right about the tech nerd angle. Like I'm, I'm doing what I'm so used to

00:05:50   doing for so much stupider reasons, like trying to get a PlayStation five or trying to get a

00:05:55   DMI back in the day, having a million web browser windows open with a million tabs and furiously

00:06:00   reloading and using all my web developer skills to find out when a website is broken and how I can,

00:06:06   you know, edit the DOM to get through something that's preventing me from putting today's date

00:06:10   in the date picker. Cause they don't understand that you may, you know, like, Oh, it's just anyway,

00:06:14   use your technology skills to help other people. Cause just because someone wants to get vaccinated

00:06:20   doesn't mean they're going to be successful. Especially if your state is a giant cluster

00:06:24   like Massachusetts where everyone, I mean, they're all like this in the U S where it's like, Oh,

00:06:29   everyone just do your own thing. Community center, make your own website for letting people sign up

00:06:33   for vaccines. You know how to make a website, don't you? Uh, no, nevermind. You got to do anyway.

00:06:36   And CVS has their own website and Walmart has their own website and Massachusetts state has

00:06:40   its own websites for the mass vaccination sites. And it's all a free for all on every one of these

00:06:44   websites is terrible. So please use your technology skills to help the members of your family

00:06:49   navigate this, make appointments for them if you can. Right. Like if you know people who are

00:06:53   eligible before you just make the appointment for them and tell them I made your appointment

00:06:57   and I'm going to drive you to it and you're going. Yeah. You're like, cause you don't have to like,

00:07:01   they don't check ID to make the appointment on the website and you can always cancel it.

00:07:04   If they really can't make it, you can always cancel it. So like, yeah, that's a good idea. Just

00:07:08   get, get people to get yourself in there and get everyone else that you might be able to help or

00:07:13   influence who is able to do this. Because again, like there's a lot of people out there who are

00:07:17   not able to get this. We owe it to them with those of us who can to build the herd immunity

00:07:23   so that they aren't in danger. And so we aren't in danger either. I mean,

00:07:27   it doesn't, it doesn't really matter which one you get. They're all effective enough

00:07:30   that the right answer, unless you have some health reason, like, like I know some people's doctors

00:07:34   are telling them for their particular needs to wait for like the Johnson and Johnson one,

00:07:38   because it works. You know, it's not the mRNA based one. It's a little bit gentler on some systems.

00:07:41   If your doctor says, get a particular one, fine. If you don't have such direction from anybody and

00:07:46   you don't have any particular reason, get the first one you can get. That's because the more

00:07:51   people getting the vaccine, it doesn't matter which one, just get the first one you can get.

00:07:55   - You know, I probably don't even accept or realize how American the three of us are,

00:08:00   but I recognize that this conversation probably is in a way uniquely American because everything

00:08:06   I've understood from those who are not in America is that vaccinations are extremely hard to come

00:08:11   by. Like they're hard to come by here. Don't get me wrong. Talk to John. They're extremely hard to

00:08:16   come by outside of America. And obviously there are other mechanisms by which one could defeat

00:08:22   this virus. Look at New Zealand, but for Americans in particular, I cannot echo what John and

00:08:28   particularly Marco have said enough. If you have the opportunity, which supposedly in the next week

00:08:33   or two, every adult American will have the opportunity. Please do everything in your power

00:08:39   to get whatever vaccine you're offered. Just like Marco said, as it so happens, I got my first

00:08:44   Moderna shot like a week and a half ago, two weeks ago. I had a sore arm for a day or two,

00:08:50   and then that was it. I'm expecting to be positively run over the day after I get my next

00:08:54   one. And you know what? If that's the price I have to pay in order to help my family stay safe and

00:08:59   others stay safe, then so be it. And you can bet your bottom before we get too many emails

00:09:03   that I'm going to still mask up. I'm going to still be afraid of the indoors. I'm still going

00:09:09   to be afraid of other people because I, like Marco said, I have children that can't get vaccinated.

00:09:14   Yet. And so for me, even though it makes me feel immeasurably better that I can go into a building,

00:09:22   if necessary, even like a doctor's office and not stress for two weeks following about what I just

00:09:28   did. It's still, you know, this doesn't end for those of us with small children. And so please do

00:09:34   your part wherever you are. Be that masking and distancing, be that vaccinating, whatever it is,

00:09:40   please do your part. And you know, I don't view myself as a anti-science kind of person,

00:09:45   but especially in the prior administration, I was very nervous about them just ramming approvals for

00:09:53   all this through and, you know, and not really taking a step to, or taking a minute to think

00:09:57   about like, is this a safe, does this work, et cetera. And there's been a couple of jokey videos

00:10:03   about how the vaccine works, particularly the mRNA based ones, which I think is not Johnson and

00:10:09   Johnson, but Johnson and Johnson uses a similar, but yet different approach. But the two mRNA based

00:10:16   ones, there's a very popular TikTok video about four cans that we'll put in the show notes. That's

00:10:21   like a literally a minute long and it's great. But for our audience, if you have not read reverse

00:10:27   engineering, the bioNTech/Pfizer SARS-CoV-2 vaccine, which we'll put in the show notes,

00:10:32   it is a deep dive in the actual, oh God, Aaron's going to be so mad at me as a former bio teacher.

00:10:37   What are ACT and G called? It's the things that are DNA are made of and MRI. Yeah, exactly. I'm

00:10:42   so sorry, Aaron. I'm so sorry. She doesn't listen to this. It's so good. This article is so good.

00:10:46   It is very long, but I cannot speak highly enough. Like once I read this, I felt like, okay, no, no,

00:10:54   no, this makes sense. I'm in sign me up. I'm ready. Just tell me where I'm ready. And if you

00:10:58   listen to this podcast, I think you can get through that. Put that. Absolutely. Absolutely.

00:11:03   I think if this podcast is not too long or nerdy for you, I'm pretty sure you can read blog post.

00:11:08   Strongly agree there. Strongly agree there. But, you know, I apologize for rubbing this in

00:11:14   Jon's face, but I know your, your day is coming soon. The amount of relief I felt even after the

00:11:20   first shot, like I don't know how to verbalize how incredibly relieving and how genuinely my

00:11:29   stress level and I mean, I'm extremely privileged. I'm a, I was born white and a dude, you know, I,

00:11:35   I haven't had a particularly hard life by any reasonable measure. And so perhaps I'm just a

00:11:40   big whiner cause I'm not used to having latent stress in my life 24 seven. But I tell you what,

00:11:44   for the last year, yeah, I've been pretty stressed. So to have, to have even just the first dose,

00:11:50   just in, in my arm just gave me immense amount of relief. And Jon, I say with no reservations that

00:11:57   I'm incredibly excited for you to get yours. I am incredibly excited that certainly the next time

00:12:03   the three of us see each other, I don't see any reason why we wouldn't be able to hug it out,

00:12:07   which will be very disappointing for Jon and mildly disappointing for Marco, but I will be

00:12:11   extremely happy for it. So, um, yes, please. I'm not against hugs. What is he trying to say? I'm

00:12:15   anti-hug. This is, this is libelous. Libels written, slanderous. Slanderous. There you go.

00:12:23   Yeah. Yeah. Anyway, it's wrong is what it is. But, uh, please, please do what you can to help

00:12:29   everyone out, especially those close to you. John, how are you going to replace your router

00:12:33   with a switch? I don't even remember you saying this. I must, I would have called you on this

00:12:36   had I realized that's what you said. So can you explain the foible here? Yeah. I want to talk

00:12:40   about my network stuff. I mean, it was implicit. If you, there was circumstantial evidence to

00:12:47   surmise this, but a lot of people were confused because I said, I'm getting rid of my airport

00:12:51   extreme, which I was using as my router. And then I talked about how I need to buy an unmanaged

00:12:55   switch because the router had like four plugs in the back of it. And where do I plug all that stuff

00:13:00   in? I don't have an ethernet ports. And people were like, well, how can you replace a router

00:13:03   with an unmanaged switch? Uh, the, the, the little bit that you needed to catch was that I do have

00:13:10   an Eero that I'm using and the Eero can act as a router, of course, right? I wasn't using it as

00:13:17   a router. I was just using it in bridge mode where it was just doing all the wifi. And then my

00:13:21   airport extreme was the router, but of course the Eero can do all of that. Uh, and does do all of

00:13:26   that by default out of the box. So when I got rid of my airport extreme and replaced it with an

00:13:31   unmanaged switch, I let my router, uh, my Eero be the router. And to that end, there's a whole big

00:13:37   thing that I go, I complained about a little mini tech podcast portion of, uh, I think it's in the

00:13:42   member, the members only version of rectives, uh, where everything went great in my network upgrade,

00:13:47   except my one smart outlet, a homekit smart outlet just is now invisible. So my network,

00:13:57   it was like, your thing is offline. I removed the device and now I can't add it. I thought the

00:14:02   hardware was dead. So I bought another one, Marco style. Um, Oh, it's my style to replace dead

00:14:08   hardware. Really? Like that's, that's on me. Well, I didn't know it was dead. All I knew is I

00:14:13   couldn't get it to work. I'm like, you know what? I'm not a home kid expert. Maybe the hardware is

00:14:18   dead. I have no way to know if the hardware is dead because I can't, I literally can't see it

00:14:22   or connected in any way. I can plug it into the wall and see if the lights turn on and no smoke

00:14:25   is coming out. But beyond that, maybe it's just dead. So I bought another identical one, exactly

00:14:30   the same problem. So I'm like, okay, so now I start now I'm actually engaged in support emails

00:14:34   with the various companies. And I leave that one as a kicker for the end. Cause I say, here's what

00:14:38   I did. I list the 800 things that I did for troubleshooting at the very end. They go, Oh yeah.

00:14:43   And I bought a brand new one and it does the same thing. Cause you know, they're going to say, Oh,

00:14:46   maybe your hardware is broken. It's not our fault. You're going to say it's not awful. I think your

00:14:50   smart outlet is dead. It's like, no, that was the problem. Anyway, I will give updates. Not if I

00:14:55   ever figure it out, but I also want to give updates on, um, what did I get from my unmanaged switch

00:15:01   again, context clues in the last episode. Uh, I had already ordered, I think I mentioned that

00:15:05   I had already ordered the unmanaged switch to replace it last episode. Uh, so everyone who

00:15:10   was sending me suggestions, thank you for the suggestions, but it was kind of too late cause

00:15:13   I had already ordered, uh, uh, the replacement. And so that came and I'm using it. Um, and it's

00:15:20   working out pretty good. Uh, the one I ordered, we'll put a link in the show notes is from trend

00:15:25   net, uh, which is a brand I had not used before. I love how you pronounce that as if it's the first

00:15:30   time you've ever seen this word. Meanwhile, like they've been making inexpensive networking gear

00:15:33   for a very long time, like over a decade. I think, well, I was trying to pronounce the all caps trend

00:15:39   part. It's like trend net. Have you heard of this company called net gear, TP link? Yeah. I mean,

00:15:47   I think it's weird that the trend is an all caps and net is lowercase. So anyway, it's an eight

00:15:52   port switch. It's got eight ports in the back of it. It's got the power connector on the back of

00:15:56   it. It's got lights in the front of it. The case is made of metal, which I mean, in the grand

00:16:00   scheme of things probably doesn't matter, but like, you know, maybe it helps with dissipation,

00:16:04   who knows? Uh, and it's black and it's rectangular, you know, and it has little rubber feet that go

00:16:11   on the bottom of it. Um, so there you go. That worked fine for me. The only thing I, I, uh,

00:16:16   the only mistake I made is this is, this is sitting in the same place as my airport extreme was

00:16:21   and the airport extreme in typical Apple fashion is this white monolith has one tiny pinprick light

00:16:27   that is green when it's working and orange when it's like trying to connect and it blinks during

00:16:32   the connection. But otherwise it's basically a constant pinprick of green light. I wanted lights

00:16:37   in the front of this thing so you can look at it and see, you know, which link is having problems

00:16:41   or is traffic flowing or whatever. But it didn't really think through the idea that there would be

00:16:46   eight lights on front of this blinking very quickly, almost all the time. And that was a

00:16:51   bit much to me, but it's nothing that a black piece of gaff tape couldn't solve. So I bought

00:16:58   this thing with lights in the front of it and I put a piece of black tape over the front. It's just

00:17:01   fine. Um, but anyway, I'm happy with it. That part worked out. My entire network converted with only

00:17:07   minimal downtime. I was actually pretty impressed with the Eero router software stuff cause I was,

00:17:13   I had everything all customized in the airport extreme and I basically exported that configuration

00:17:18   and then manually re-entered it in the Eero one and it took me a little while to find them, but all

00:17:21   the options were there. Every one of the devices that had reserved IPs, I gave them all the exactly

00:17:26   the same IPs. I put in all the Mac addresses and you know, like it was just completely seamless

00:17:32   except for the home kit disaster. Um, and I'm still working on that. So there's one device that

00:17:37   didn't make the conversion, but as far as the rest of the family is concerned, this is a non-event.

00:17:40   And I had many, many team meetings since then and have had no drops, but again, they happen like

00:17:45   once a month. So stay tuned on this same topic. I had briefly breezed by, uh, the Ubiquiti, uh,

00:17:51   flex mini switch that I've, I bought like the four pack because I had said that you had to manage

00:17:58   them under Ubiquiti network environment to have them work. And we've heard from a number of

00:18:03   listeners. Thank you. Uh, that apparently that's wrong. Apparently if you just plug in the Ubiquiti

00:18:08   flex mini switch, it will work unmanaged by default. So you don't have to actually be running

00:18:13   a Ubiquiti network to use it. So that's nice, but one, one caveat to that. So yes, it will work

00:18:18   unmanaged, but one person said, you know, if you look on your network with like, you know,

00:18:23   a network snoop or whatever, you will see the Ubiquiti flex mini switch mournfully calling out

00:18:28   doing a DNS resolution to try to find the Ubiquiti management thing every once in a while. So it's

00:18:35   not happy being an unmanaged switch. Like at the very least it will do a periodic DNS query and

00:18:40   attempt to connect to a host thing. That's not going to end up being there. So I, I mean,

00:18:46   I'm sure it works fine as an unmanaged switch, like no big deal, but I would prefer my unmanaged

00:18:51   switches to actually be completely dumb. And they're also probably cheaper.

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00:20:46   for yourself with hover. I also wanted to do some quick follow up on something I was corrected on

00:20:54   a couple of weeks ago, but I just kept forgetting to correct it here. Sorry. That when I was talking

00:21:00   about how, how good the home pod actually was when you're in the Apple ecosystem, I had mentioned the

00:21:05   integration with control center and how nice it is that like when you play something on a home pod,

00:21:10   other people in the house with iPhones and iPads can just access that device from their devices in

00:21:17   control center and can start controlling it and can, you know, open it up in their music app and

00:21:22   can enqueue things or change the controls or see what's playing and all that other stuff.

00:21:27   And I had mentioned that this was a feature of AirPlay 2. It's not. This is actually two

00:21:33   different Apple technologies that I'm conflating here. Handoff is what's happening here when you're

00:21:38   using a home pod. So if I, using the music app, if I go to the AirPlay menu and fire that over to

00:21:44   a home pod, it will actually use Handoff, not AirPlay 2, to transfer that session to the home

00:21:52   pod. And what that means is instead of my phone then streaming the music bit by bit to the home

00:21:57   pod for it to play, it's actually just telling the home pod, play music, play this track ID,

00:22:02   starting at this timestamp, go. And then after that point, my phone is not really involved.

00:22:07   It can like retake over the session. And this is, you know, this is the handoff feature that,

00:22:11   that, you know, Apple has whole APIs for this. They even usually tend to work most of the time.

00:22:16   They definitely never cause any, you know, Bluetooth mouse dropouts or anything like that.

00:22:19   And there definitely wasn't a bug in Catalina that made me have to disable it for all of Overcast.

00:22:24   But anyway, that this is Handoff and this only works with home pods, not other AirPlay 2 devices.

00:22:29   So this big benefit, I was saying AirPlay 2 is a great ecosystem to get into because of

00:22:34   things like this, this, that actual benefit where, where the home pod takes over the playback session

00:22:40   completely for itself. And then that phone is no longer involved or necessary for it to continue.

00:22:44   That only works when you are using the Apple music app with a home pod. If you stream with

00:22:52   the music app to any other AirPlay devices, AirPlay 1 or 2 that don't support that, like, you know,

00:22:57   my Sonos home theater gear and stuff like that, the phone that initiated it is still doing the

00:23:03   streaming. Other people can't control it. I think they can like play pause, but that's about it.

00:23:07   They can't like, you know, pick new tracks or rearrange things or change the play mode or seek

00:23:12   within the track you picked or anything like that. That's your phone doing that stream the whole time.

00:23:16   If you use AirPlay 2 from an app that the home pod does not natively support Handoff for,

00:23:22   like Overcast still work, work that same way as well, where they're doing the constant streaming.

00:23:26   If you do the music app to a non home pod AirPlay 2 speaker, then it does that same kind of streaming

00:23:34   as well. It's not doing Handoff. So Handoff is its own thing when you, when you're using the music app

00:23:39   with home pods and that provides that awesome control center integration for everyone in the

00:23:42   house. And you only get a very small subset of that power when you're using different apps or

00:23:49   non home pod AirPlay 2 speakers. So obvious. I don't know why we all didn't figure that out.

00:23:54   I find, I find this whole ecosystem very confusing. And the fact that you, you also were confused by

00:23:58   it makes me feel a little bit better. Yeah. Oh, also a one mother complicating factor is that

00:24:03   Handoff is kind of buggy and, and this works to varying degrees of success with different versions

00:24:11   of iOS, different versions of the home pod software, different home pods, and even just

00:24:17   like different times in the same network with the same version of everything. Um, you know,

00:24:22   if you get into a bad state where this happens with home kit stuff too, if you get into a bad

00:24:27   state where like sometimes your home networking or your home kit stuff or your Handoff stuff just

00:24:33   won't work until you like unplug your home pod and plug it back in like that happens sometimes with

00:24:37   this. And so actually if you want things to work the exact same way, every single time, you actually

00:24:43   don't want the music app with home pod to perform Handoff because it doesn't work all the time,

00:24:48   but it works most of the time. And when it does work, it's very nice. 80% of the time it works

00:24:53   every time. That's a reference, John. Uh, Zach wrote in to tell us about a reason why Apple may

00:25:01   have announced WWDC in March for a virtual event in June. And Zach writes the student challenge

00:25:07   students have until April 18th to submit a project. And then Apple has until June one to review and

00:25:11   grade them all student winners, get dev program memberships and thus access to the labs and thought

00:25:16   about that. This message made me think about the fact that my son could enter this now. I think

00:25:22   high school students, cause he's, he's taking, actually taking iOS development. You know,

00:25:27   he's taken a bunch of programming courses and done a little bit of dabbling wherever. Now he's taking

00:25:31   a straight up iOS development class in high school, which is pretty cool. Um, I'm not sure

00:25:36   he's particularly interested in it and or whatever, but it just, it just occurred to me that I, you

00:25:40   know, I now have a potential contestant for this. Come on down. But he's just, he's doing school

00:25:46   projects though. I guess he can't probably turn in your school project. He's got enough on his plate

00:25:49   to deal with. I don't think this should be his top priority, but cool. Indeed. Uh, an anonymous

00:25:55   Apple employee writes that Apple uses WebEx for all internal video conferencing. When all the

00:25:59   stores were shut down over the summer, all communication was done via WebEx. Even now,

00:26:03   internal interviews are conducted this way. And as John said, it is the bottom of the barrel

00:26:07   and myself and other coworkers would have vastly preferred anything else.

00:26:10   The worst part about WebEx is it's like, you know, people complain like Chrome is such a

00:26:15   memory hog and you just shoot a memory hog, a battery hog, and you should use Safari because

00:26:18   it's nicer on your battery. WebEx is like Chrome times 10 is the most battery draining application

00:26:24   you could possibly run an Apple laptop. So Apple does all this thing. They make their,

00:26:28   their iOS and their browser and everything, all their apps, very sensitive to energy.

00:26:32   And then they make all their employees run WebEx. It's like, what's the point? You're just killing

00:26:35   all their batteries. Carlos Lopez Ferreira writes that Microsoft teams killing the network, many

00:26:40   small, perhaps UDP packets can more easily kill the router than fewer large packets. Typical big

00:26:45   downloads that John had mentioned. This is because the high volume of packet headers that the router

00:26:49   or network equipment has to process might this explain the behavior that John is observing on

00:26:52   the network. I would buy this. I don't know what your thoughts are, John, but it's a reason.

00:26:57   Yeah. This is the most plausible theory that I heard was I was saying like, oh,

00:27:00   I've got this network and I do all this stuff with, you know, I use the network a lot. I use

00:27:04   my one gigabit, you know, upload and download fiber connection all the time. And then my router

00:27:10   only seems to have problems when I do teams. And if teams really is sending many small packets,

00:27:14   that could overwhelm things. So this, this is the working theory that I'm going with as I

00:27:20   blindly replaced the oldest piece of equipment on my network and then cross my fingers for a

00:27:24   month to see if the problem ever happens again. Surely a winning strategy. Simon writes that

00:27:29   they had to install teams, which they had never used before. And since that day that they lose

00:27:34   their internet connection only when in a team's call, at least once a day, it doesn't just hang

00:27:39   the team's call. It kills their laptops, wifi. They see the wifi icon and the menu bar doing it,

00:27:44   searching for internet dance. And if they ping something, they get nothing back. Usually it sorts

00:27:48   itself out in 30 seconds, but sometimes they have to renew their DHCP lease. They've never had this

00:27:54   issue when teams is closed. We're not in a call and they've never had the issue before installing

00:27:58   teams. Apparently they've been using the same ISP provided router for three years with no issues.

00:28:02   They have a Ubiquiti wireless AP, which has been rock solid for over a year now. Whoopsie doopsies.

00:28:07   This is one of many, many pieces of feedback we got from people saying I too use teams and my

00:28:14   internet goes out. Now it's difficult because lots of people are forced to use teams for obvious

00:28:19   reasons in these COVID times, right? And lots of people have their internet go out. And if you

00:28:23   spend all day on the internet using teams, it stands to reason that when your internet goes out,

00:28:27   there's a high chance that you're using teams. That said, the explanation that if teams actually

00:28:33   does send many small packets and people have routers that might get overwhelmed with it,

00:28:37   maybe there's something to it. But I think there is also the possibility that like I was saying,

00:28:42   maybe it just always seems like I'm using teams because the only time I really care with my

00:28:46   internet blips is when I'm in the middle of an important meeting or giving a presentation. But

00:28:53   lots and lots of people say, I use teams, it kills my connection. And lots of reports like Simon say,

00:28:58   when I'm not in teams, I never lose my internet connection. It's only when I'm in teams.

00:29:03   Lots of other people also had complaints of like, well, it does something weird to my laptop or

00:29:07   whatever. But to be clear, when I say I lose my internet connection, I know that because I would

00:29:11   see, speaking of that pinprick of green light on the airport extreme, when the airport extreme

00:29:16   loses its IP address, essentially, or like, you know, it's the thing that connects to my

00:29:20   Fios R&T and it's the thing that gets my IP address. If that router dies, reboots, does

00:29:27   anything bad, can't get an IP, everything in the house is offline because that is the internet

00:29:32   connection. So when teams starts flaking out, I just turn my head around and look behind me. And

00:29:37   instead of seeing a green pinprick of light, I see either no light or a blinking orange light,

00:29:42   I know that essentially my router is rebooting, right? Or has lost its IP address and is trying

00:29:47   to gain another one. Like, you know, so if it's just that your laptop loses Wi-Fi, but everyone

00:29:52   else is still online, you're not having the same problem as I was. This was like literally knocking

00:29:56   the whole house offline briefly and it would come back on. Was it crashing my router? Was it

00:30:00   rebooting the router? Did it just lose its IP? Or was it really just a brief Fios outage and nothing

00:30:05   in my house could have saved it? We'll find out in a month. Stay tuned to find out. More from Carlos

00:30:12   Lopez Pereira, this time on crypto mining. Thinking about crypto mining recently made me think of how

00:30:16   wasteful typical heating systems are. I live in Norway and I have to heat up my house about seven

00:30:21   to eight months of the year, not to mention water heating for showers, et cetera. That made me think

00:30:24   that we could produce heat in more intelligent, productive ways than just heating up resistors.

00:30:28   Heating up the house is a necessity. How can we make the electricity to heat conversion more

00:30:32   useful? And whether it's mining cryptocurrency, protein folding, or some other useful computation,

00:30:37   do you see any merit in this idea? If so, what would you choose to do to make heating smarter?

00:30:41   Oh, these are technology connections video that somebody has linked, isn't it?

00:30:44   Yeah. So this is about crypto, which we'll get back to in a little bit to touch on. But the whole,

00:30:49   you know, it's kind of the idea of what I was talking about before. Like when you're

00:30:52   enthusiastic about a new technology and let's say the technology has a downside,

00:30:55   like using lots of energy, you think, well, I'm heating my house anyway. And if I can produce a

00:31:02   bunch of heat by using my computer, at least I'm doing something useful with that electricity. So

00:31:06   I've got to produce it anyway. I've got to heat my house. So what if, you know, let's say protein

00:31:11   folding may be a better example than cryptocurrency, but you know, anyway, two angles in this one,

00:31:18   the electricity that you are using as an individual with a computer doing either protein

00:31:23   folding or cryptocurrency is not really the problem we're addressing here. Like, especially

00:31:27   in terms of cryptocurrency, the real problem is like the giant, you know, shipping containers

00:31:31   filled with GPUs that have their own power source burning coal somewhere or whatever. Anyway,

00:31:37   like in the grand scheme of things, kind of like pollution, other things, individual action,

00:31:41   especially by individuals who are just living a normal life is not that big a deal. But the

00:31:45   second thing, and this is where I get to link to some fun videos, heating your house with

00:31:50   electricity is not really the best way to go. So it's not, you know, I know it's made to be the

00:31:55   only option you have, but in terms of efficiency, in terms of greenhouse gas emitted per BTU of heat

00:32:01   provided to a human inside a house, it's not like, oh, let's just do something useful with electricity.

00:32:06   The real answer is if you possibly can avoid it, do not use electricity to heat your home because

00:32:12   it doesn't have a particularly good carbon footprint unless you're getting a lot of electricity

00:32:15   from wind or solar, which maybe you are in which case, you know, fine. But in the U S that is more

00:32:21   rare. So to that end, I want to put some links into some technology connections videos. This is

00:32:27   a channel on YouTube that covers sort of like how everyday things work. It's very good. It is very,

00:32:31   very good. Yep. It's really good. And they did a bunch of episodes on heat pumps and heat pumps are

00:32:38   in particular, in the first heat pump video, there's a direct comparison again in the U S so,

00:32:43   you know, obviously your mileage may vary based on where you live and what's available to you. But in

00:32:47   the U S electric heat is generally much worse in terms of carbon emission per BTU than heat pumps.

00:32:54   And the videos explain why, and it's pretty cool. So I think you should check those out.

00:32:58   Yep. I've only seen the first of these two videos, but it is very, very good. And,

00:33:02   and, you know, I can only give you one data point, but here in Virginia where we have

00:33:06   winter, but certainly compared to my two co-hosts, it's winter light. And the way my particular

00:33:13   furnaces work in my house is that they're heat pumps at reasonable temperatures. And then if it

00:33:18   gets cold enough, I have natural gas service via my city. And so if it gets that cold, then it'll

00:33:26   start burning natural gas. And let me tell you when it gets to that level, it heats up real quick

00:33:30   in here, which is delightful. So, uh, yeah, it's not just resistors getting warm, like, like was

00:33:35   implied. John, tell me about Emma NS running application, please. This was the API that I

00:33:41   was complaining about how all these bugs enlisted, all the radars last time, the quote unquote worst

00:33:45   API on the Mac. And I surmised that it's like, it's weird that it would be broken so much because

00:33:50   I just assumed it was some really old API that had been around forever, but apparently not

00:33:54   Daniel Jowkut, uh, reminded me that this API was actually added in snow leopard, which might seem

00:33:59   like ancient history to some people, but I was thinking it was back from the next days in the 90s.

00:34:03   So 10.6 is when NS running application was added to Mac OS. All right. And then we have good news

00:34:09   about this, don't we? Yeah, this is, uh, the bug that I was talking about where, uh, I had the one,

00:34:16   the bug I filed on this was I needed like a reproducible test case because the bug I

00:34:19   described in the show was like, it works pretty much all the time, but not all the time. And

00:34:23   that's the worst kind of bug as Casey knows. Right. So, but to file a really good bug,

00:34:28   you're always looking for that reproducible test case. So when I was reaching my peak of frustration

00:34:32   with these, you know, with the various window activation API is not working correctly.

00:34:36   I found a reproducible test case just from my, you know, experimentation or whatever. And my test

00:34:41   case was a version of Microsoft outlook that I was running. Never responded like you do like activate

00:34:49   all windows and outlook and outlook would 100% of the time go hot. No, I'm bringing one window

00:34:53   to the front. And I was like, yes, like this application. Cause cause here's the thing it's

00:34:57   like, Oh, well that must be a bug in outlook. Again, I will say, like I said, the last time

00:35:02   the window server is part of the operating system. If the operating system offers an API,

00:35:07   that's part of the OS whose job it is to say, bring all the windows that belong to a particular

00:35:12   application to the front. I don't feel like the application should have any say in that happening

00:35:17   whatsoever because the operating system runs the window server and the operating system controls

00:35:23   the window layering. It can bring polls, windows, even those windows don't have any contents or the

00:35:28   application is stuck in an infinite loop and hasn't updated them. It doesn't matter the whole point

00:35:32   of a double buffered window manager is the window manager has buffers for all those windows or

00:35:36   whatever state they were in before. Like there it's the content is available. So if that API

00:35:41   fails to bring windows to the front, that's a problem in the OSS API, nevermind what brokenness

00:35:46   is an outlook is causing this. So I'm like, here's a reproducible bug, Apple. I made a sample project

00:35:52   with a little window that explains you need to be running outlook. You need to be doing this,

00:35:56   follow these steps, click this button. What should happen? All the outlook windows should come to the

00:36:00   front. What will happen? Just one window will come to the front, a hundred percent reducible

00:36:04   every single time. It literally never, ever, ever works. Right. And so we were talking about that

00:36:09   bug in a Slack and I looked at, occasionally I look at it, I'm like, yeah, they haven't done anything

00:36:13   to it. It's just totally, you know, no comments, no nothing. It already had a Sysdiagnosis hatch,

00:36:17   so they couldn't ask me for one. You know, and then, and I figured, you know what? I should

00:36:23   check that bug again, because someone said they had changed a bunch of stuff in Big Sur and lo

00:36:27   and behold, in the current version of Big Sur, this bug is a hundred percent fixed. Like it no

00:36:32   longer reproduces. You run my sample project, you click the button, all the windows and outlook come

00:36:36   to the front every time. And so I was like, yes, my bug is fixed or this particular bug is fixed.

00:36:41   But then I thought, wait a second. I don't know. Before when it wasn't working, right. I just got

00:36:49   through saying, this is something the OS is supposed to do. Like it controls the windows.

00:36:53   It can bring any window to the front anytime. It's the OS, it runs the windows server, right.

00:36:56   But it wasn't working before only for outlook. Like outlook was the only app that would like not

00:37:03   do it a hundred percent of the time. Right. Other apps would, you know, like finder occasionally

00:37:07   would freak out and safari would freak out. But most of the time everything worked. Outlook never

00:37:12   worked. So obviously there was something about outlook that was triggering this bug in the OS.

00:37:19   Right. And outlook, which I unfortunately know because I use every day at work,

00:37:24   has changed a lot recently. In fact, there's this new outlook with this new look with a big switch

00:37:29   at the top that says, would you like to try outlook's new look? Like it's a whole new

00:37:31   application. It's a new application that I hate. But anyway, right. I like the new version worse

00:37:36   than the old one. I'm sticking with the old version as long as I can. Anyway, outlook has changed

00:37:41   substantially. So now I'm like, okay, did apple actually fix this bug or did Microsoft just so

00:37:48   substantially change outlook that it no longer triggers the bug in the OS? So now I'm depressed

00:37:54   about it. So I'm excited that outlook works now. So no one who's running outlook will send me

00:37:59   complaints that, hey, I tried to use your thing and it didn't bring all the outlook windows to

00:38:02   the front. Your app is broken. And then I have to point them to this feedback number.

00:38:06   And I was tempted to close the bug to say, well, so much for this bug. It doesn't reproduce. But

00:38:10   then I thought, you know what? I should just leave it there and let apple close it. But then they're

00:38:13   never going to close it. So I just closed it myself. Anyway, I'm of multiple minds about

00:38:18   what I should do about this bug report. Practically speaking, this a hundred percent reproduction that

00:38:23   I had for this bug no longer works. And we're back to the situation I was in before, where it's an

00:38:27   intermittent impossible to reliably reproduce, but nevertheless infuriating error.

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00:40:21   I have to non-sarcastically congratulate our cryptocurrency enthusiasts listeners and our Tesla

00:40:32   enthusiasts listeners because I saw a startling lack of feedback about how wrong we were about

00:40:37   everything we said, which typically with those two groups doesn't necessarily relate to whether or not

00:40:42   we were actually wrong about anything we said. But everyone kept it to themselves and I'm very proud

00:40:48   of you all. Which by the way, quick aside, did you, did I put, I think I put in the neutral channel in

00:40:53   the relay slack, did you guys see that there's an entire GitHub repo with a like delivery checklist

00:40:59   for model 3 owners? So it's this entire list, I'll put in the show notes, it's this entire

00:41:05   humongous list of things you need to look at when you take delivery of your model 3 because more

00:41:10   likely than not at least one of these things will be wrong. Now to be fair, a lot of them are like

00:41:15   standard, you know, any new car sort of things, but oh my goodness, it was hilarious to see this.

00:41:20   But we also realized that we didn't exactly cover kind of cryptocurrency 101, which I think John,

00:41:28   you would like to do now. I like how in the intro to this tiny follow-up item, you managed to get

00:41:33   another dig in at Tesla users. Like really at a certain point you're bringing this on yourself.

00:41:37   I know, I know. Let me just say one more mean thing about Teslas. Yeah, this is not cryptocurrency 101,

00:41:43   this is cryptocurrency 000. And the reason I wanted to bring it up is A, I don't have much

00:41:50   deep knowledge of cryptocurrency and I don't think any of us do, and B, I don't really want to go

00:41:55   into it that deeply, but I felt like the last time we kind of talked about the issue with the

00:42:02   assumption that everyone listening knew at least a tiny bit of the basics to have the context. And

00:42:07   if you don't, I feel like it's our duty to explain one or two things about the basics, and that's

00:42:12   what I wanted to do. Marco mentioned thinking the sort of digital underpinnings of it are interesting,

00:42:18   and that I think is the one, probably the coolest thing about cryptocurrency and blockchain and all

00:42:23   that that people should actually read about because it is kind of interesting. So the

00:42:28   quick version of that is crypto currency, you know, I'm probably using the wrong terms,

00:42:34   people say it's not cryptocurrency, it's the blockchain or whatever. Anyway, the problem

00:42:38   they're solving is, if you have, I mean, let's just use money because that's what they use in

00:42:42   the thing, if you have two parties and they want to, you know, exchange money or like complete a

00:42:48   transaction, right, you know, in some network, right, that involves exchanging, you know,

00:42:54   money, right? But no one trusts anyone else. And there is no party in the middle being the referee.

00:43:01   So there's no bank, there's no government, there's just two completely anonymous, totally

00:43:06   untrusted people on the internet. How can you possibly ever get any kind of exchange where

00:43:11   someone doesn't end up getting ripped off or like, someone doesn't end up like spending the same

00:43:15   dollar two times or like, how can you reliably do that? You don't, isn't that why banks and

00:43:20   governments exist to have a place who's sort of like the, you know, the referee, the party in the

00:43:27   middle that is going to make sure everything happens fairly or like the government with the

00:43:31   military that's going to come and, you know, drop a bomb on you if you don't do what you're supposed

00:43:36   to be anyway, like, with no enforcement, zero trust on the internet, right? And this is the

00:43:41   problem they're solving. Can we get a network of entities on the internet that are able to

00:43:47   complete transactions where nobody trusts anyone else? And, you know, and it's assumed that people

00:43:54   will attempt to do malicious things, they'll attempt to double spend their money, they will

00:43:58   attempt to receive money but not send the amount that they promised, they will attempt to break and

00:44:03   corrupt the system. How can we make a system that works in that environment? And that is part of

00:44:08   what the whole block train and distributed ledger thing does, where there's various consensus

00:44:12   protocols and ways that everyone is incentivized to make sure that the transactions are valid,

00:44:19   and they can't become validated until enough of the network agrees that they're legit. So that

00:44:24   one or two or a small number of bad actors can't cause things to go bad. My understanding is a lot

00:44:28   of these schemes, if one particular entity controls more than half the network, it kind of breaks down,

00:44:35   so you want to avoid that. But I think there are other systems that try to help with that. So that

00:44:40   is pretty cool and technically interesting, because if you think about that problem in the abstract,

00:44:43   it seems like it's impossible. Well, you can't do it. If you have just a bunch of people who are

00:44:47   liars and cheats, and, you know, again, theoretically, like actors in the computer science sense,

00:44:52   where it behooves them to lie about transactions and to cheat and to try to get more money or

00:44:57   whatever, how is anything ever going to work? Right? And that's the problem they're solving.

00:45:01   So I would encourage everybody, even if you don't care about Bitcoin or cryptocurrency,

00:45:03   to read up on the tech behind that, because that is a cool, in the abstract, cool kind of

00:45:08   information computer science problem. And then you can look into the implementations, it's like,

00:45:12   okay, theoretically, I understand how it works. And there are various different schemes to sort of

00:45:16   set up the incentives to work correctly, like what we were getting at with the

00:45:20   cryptocurrency. Pollution and everything is some of them use proof of work, which is you have to

00:45:26   solve a complicated problem that's easy for other parties on the network to check your answer, but

00:45:31   it's hard for you to get the answer in the first place. So there's an asymmetry there. And the

00:45:35   proof of work ones have the unfortunate side effect of, okay, well, you want me to do work? Well,

00:45:39   just buy 1000 GPUs and do tons of work and use tons of energy to do whatever. There's also proof

00:45:44   of stake, which is a different system for solving the same problem that doesn't have the exact same

00:45:50   downsides, right? And then on top of all this, there are things like Ethereum, where if you have

00:45:55   this sort of baseline distributed ledger type thing, you can use that to build other systems,

00:46:01   like a system of contracts that describe what parties agree to and have those contracts be

00:46:06   validated on the blockchain and agreed on by all parties and be verifiable and all sorts of stuff

00:46:10   like that. So the tech part of this actually is cool. It's just that the, I mean, you'll hear this

00:46:16   word a lot in the heat pump technology connections thing. The externalities are less than ideal,

00:46:22   let's say. Yeah, you get to do all these things, but at what cost to the entire planet and world?

00:46:27   And by the way, you know, what are these things actually good for other than speculating on the

00:46:32   value of the things themselves, right? So technologically and intellectually,

00:46:38   I would encourage anyone who has any interest in this to read one or two or three of the Wikipedia

00:46:43   articles that we link, we will link in the show notes to get a feel for it and dig deeper on how

00:46:48   they solve the problems. But practically speaking, I would still encourage people, maybe not to

00:46:53   invest their life savings into Bitcoin just yet. That I agree with, but I actually slightly disagree

00:46:58   with reading up on this and maybe it's just because I'm a more visual learner or something,

00:47:02   but I'm going to call out one more time the video I mentioned last week by, oh shoot, I forget the

00:47:07   name of them, but it's three blue, one brown or something like that. And it is like a 20,

00:47:11   25 minute video, but it was the first time that I had seen something or read something for that

00:47:15   matter, because I had tried reading on it plenty, that really helped me understand how you arrive at

00:47:21   the blockchain and Bitcoin. And it starts with, you know, like you were saying, John, let's say

00:47:27   you had two parties that you just wanted to agree on, you know, exchanging money or something like

00:47:33   that. And it walks you through, okay, how do you land on the blockchain? It's fascinating. And I

00:47:37   also wanted to call out since last episode, when I mentioned this before, Twitter user Elijah pointed

00:47:43   out to me, apparently these videos are just Python scripts that are, that generate all the animation

00:47:48   and there's a GitHub repo for the videos Python script, which blew my mind. So I will link that in

00:47:55   the show notes as well, which I thought was almost as interesting as video in the first place. But I

00:48:00   really, really enjoyed that video. I cannot recommend it enough because I had tried on and

00:48:04   off for years to understand what the crap this was all about. And it did not click until I saw

00:48:08   that video and it will be in the show notes yet again. And the people who made that video were

00:48:12   made from just a series of instructions. Oh my God, with, you know, DNA made up of those things

00:48:18   that in case you couldn't remember the name of before. Yep, that's right. That's right.

00:48:21   Oh goodness. No, I mean, I snark on Tesla a lot and they really do make good cars usually. I snark

00:48:30   on crypto more recently than before, but it is extraordinarily fascinating as an academic exercise,

00:48:38   even though I have tremendous concerns about its impact on the planet. So I couldn't agree with

00:48:44   you more, John, that in, as an academic exercise, it's very much worth looking into. And there's the

00:48:49   other angle that I didn't get into is the political angle. Obviously, like if you can, if you don't

00:48:52   have to have a government or a bank involved governments and banks through their role in

00:48:58   basically making the economy work by being the things that enforce the correctness and validity

00:49:06   of various financial transactions and agreeing on how much money you actually have and what even is

00:49:10   money and all that other stuff and the whole fiat currency thing, right? Any kind of system that can

00:49:15   in theory solve the same problem without requiring banks and governments has some advantages because

00:49:20   banks and governments historically have done some pretty bad things and have some, have their own

00:49:24   terrible externalities, right? And then the final thing I'll add is setting aside pollution and

00:49:30   energy use and setting aside governments and banks. There is on top of all of that, the basic

00:49:36   economic question of, is this a pyramid scheme? Like what are we even doing here exactly? Is

00:49:43   anyone buying anything with Bitcoin or is it just, again, great for people who need to be able to

00:49:49   perform transactions with untrusted parties? So now hopefully given all this rattling across two

00:49:54   episodes, the description of imagine if I don't in your car 24/7 would produce solve Sudoku's that

00:49:58   you could change for heroin. I hope that all finally makes some form of sense because again,

00:50:02   every part of that sentence hits on one of these things. Oh man, that is such a perfect tweet. That

00:50:08   is up there in my book as one of the most perfect tweets of all time. Oh yeah. All right. So there's

00:50:14   been some news in America recently about, for coming from the Supreme Court with regard to

00:50:20   Google and Oracle and whether or not Google copied the Java API and whether or not that's fair use

00:50:27   and so on. I'm not even sure even as chief summarizer in chief, the best way to summarize

00:50:34   this. I mean, I could take a stab at it unless one of you would prefer to, but I don't know.

00:50:38   There's a lot of moving parts here. I think I can do a reasonable summary. Like this is a really old

00:50:43   case. I'd forgotten that it existed in between the time that it went to the Supreme Court and has a

00:50:49   decision, but this is good news, right? The Supreme Court miraculously came to a decision A, not along

00:50:56   party lines, which in itself is miraculous because our court is also screwed up in that way, and B,

00:51:01   they came to the right decision. The court case was essentially around the Java API. So Oracle

00:51:09   bought Sun. Sun made Java. Oracle bought Sun. And then Oracle being giant evil corporations,

00:51:14   what do we have that we can sue somebody about? So Google had basically re-implemented the Java

00:51:20   API itself. Programmers probably understand this, but goodness knows that the judges and lawyers in

00:51:26   this court case clearly didn't. But if you're not a programmer, don't know what we're talking about

00:51:30   here. When we say the API, like the Java API, Java is a language, but there's always standard

00:51:36   libraries that come with it you use to do things. Some of them are complicated. Some of them are

00:51:39   simple, but the Java API has a bunch of functions you can call. Oh, this function adds two numbers

00:51:45   together. This function concatenates strings. This function opens a file. This function reads a file.

00:51:49   There has to be method calls. It's like a name and a bunch of arguments. It says you call this

00:51:54   thing with these arguments and you get a result. Like if you had an add function, the function

00:51:57   would be called add, and it takes two arguments, the two numbers you want to add. And what does it

00:52:00   return? The sum of those two numbers. That's obviously silly and simple, but it's a type of

00:52:04   example of the game. The thing, but Java SDK has tons of APIs and that's what makes it the library

00:52:11   for Java. Someone has to pick, hey, when you open a file, what does that API look like? Is it called

00:52:15   open file? Is it just called open? Is it called open buffer stream factory? Like maybe if it's C++.

00:52:19   But there is an API, right? And there's all these different functions and they take the certain set

00:52:26   of arguments to do the thing, right? Google wanted to essentially have, you know, its own development

00:52:34   system for Android phones and so on and so forth that use the Java API that had all the same

00:52:40   functions with all the same names, with all the same arguments, with all the same return values,

00:52:44   but they didn't want to use or license Java. They just said, well, we'll just look at what your API

00:52:49   is. We can see that from your documentation. Here's all the different function names. Here's

00:52:52   the argument takes, here's what they're supposed to do with the return. And then we'll just implement

00:52:55   them ourselves, right? They call it like a clean room implementation. We didn't look at how you

00:52:59   made this work. We just know there's a function called add that has two numbers and returns the

00:53:04   sum. So we will make that function signature and we'll write the part of the body part. And

00:53:09   obviously it's much more difficult for functions that are not just adding two numbers. But they

00:53:13   re-implemented it all from scratch. And Oracle said, you can't do that. You copied our API.

00:53:17   And they're like, well, we didn't, you know, we didn't look at your source code at all. Like

00:53:21   we just, we have an API that has the same functions that yours does, but we wrote it all

00:53:26   ourselves. Like there's not a single line of this that came from what you did. Like it's not,

00:53:30   we're not stealing anything from you. You just made an API and we implemented the same API to

00:53:37   make it convenient for our programmers to use an API they might be familiar with. And this is the

00:53:41   court case, right? And it would have been a terrible catastrophic decision if they'd say,

00:53:46   oh, you can't copy that API because all of a sudden, anybody who had any API with any kind

00:53:50   of function that did anything, you know, like say someone did the add function, right? It would be

00:53:53   like patents basically, or an existing terrible system we have. If you made a function called add

00:53:58   add, that took two arguments and returned the sum, and then someone else made it, had that function

00:54:03   in their code, you could sue them and say, ah, we made the add function. That's ours. You can't have

00:54:09   a function called add. You have to give it a different name and make it different. So yours

00:54:12   has to be called add two numbers or something, right? It can't just be called add. And it gets

00:54:16   absurd from there. Like the entire foundation of the way, you know, software works, the idea that,

00:54:22   yeah, I can make a function with the same name as yours that takes the same arguments,

00:54:25   does the same thing. But if I write the whole function myself, it's my work. I didn't copy

00:54:29   anything from you. So anyway, the Supreme Court came to the correct decision, which is, yeah,

00:54:34   they're allowed to do that, get a grip. They didn't steal anything from you. It's just,

00:54:39   they use this, they copied the same public API as you, but they wrote every single line of that

00:54:45   code themselves. So tough luck. I also think like, you know, you can think that what Google did

00:54:52   was slimy, but also agree that this is not a legal thing that they should be barred from doing.

00:55:00   And that's where I fall on it. Like Google, you know, they do slimy stuff all the time.

00:55:04   Their corporate ethics are not great. This was a slimy thing to do. But I also think they should

00:55:10   be allowed to do it. - Here's the thing. They needed a development platform for Android, right?

00:55:15   Rather than make their own from scratch, they said, why don't we just do a thing that we know

00:55:19   people like already? People use and know Java. Why don't we get on board that train? - But do they

00:55:24   like it? - Well, anyway, like I feel like that shows it's this kind of a sign of weakness and

00:55:28   they didn't feel like they could make their own API from scratch that would be attractive enough

00:55:32   to make people come over to a new unfamiliar thing. And they also didn't think they could,

00:55:36   you know, it's like, I can't, we're not going to make something so much better that people

00:55:41   are willing to use it even though it's not familiar to them. So why don't we just copy

00:55:44   the familiar thing? I don't think that's a particularly strong move, but I don't think

00:55:48   it's unethical. And there is something to be said for like, it's a conservative move. Let's put it

00:55:52   that way. It's a safe move. Like we know people know Java already. Why don't we just do that?

00:55:57   And maybe people who, the people who do this, maybe they really like Java, right? To give an

00:56:01   example, I'll put these links in the show notes. We're all familiar with, well, maybe not all,

00:56:06   but anyway, Nextstep, the operating system that Next made that eventually got purchased by Apple.

00:56:10   And then, you know, the whole company got purchased by Apple and then turned into

00:56:13   Rhapsody and then Mac OS X and yada yada. It has an API called AppKit, a bunch of other frameworks

00:56:19   in there. And they've been around for years. They've been around since the 90s, since before

00:56:22   Apple bought them, right? And it's a cool new API, like from scratch, a thing that didn't exist

00:56:28   before with its own weird language Objective-C that was also made around the same time, right?

00:56:32   And the open source community saw that and they said, wow, these Next things are cool,

00:56:36   but they cost 10 grand. What if I want to write a program on my little Linux computer

00:56:42   that costs way less than 10 grand and I want to use that cool new API? I want to use Objective-C,

00:56:46   and I think you could do that with a, you know, supported in GCC or whatever, open source compilers.

00:56:50   But I also want to use AppKit. Like, I want to make, I want to make an NS window and do,

00:56:56   you know, I'll do all the things that you can do with the AppKit API. But of course,

00:57:00   they couldn't get AppKit because it came as part of Next, which is a proprietary thing,

00:57:04   and they didn't have the source code to all that. So they made GnuStep, which is a play on Nextstep,

00:57:09   which is an open source re-implementation of AppKit and a bunch of the other Nextstep APIs.

00:57:15   Exactly the same thing that Oracle was suing Google about. They saw the Next API,

00:57:22   they didn't have the source code for it, but they said, that's a cool API. Can we make something that

00:57:25   has all the same functions with all the same arguments, but then we'll just write all the

00:57:28   code ourselves? And they did. Luckily, Next wasn't foolish or litigious enough to try to sue

00:57:35   the people, the volunteers that made the open source GnuStep implementation. They rightly

00:57:40   surmised this was not a particularly big threat to the success of Next. And even when Next was

00:57:45   bought by Apple, Apple didn't sue GnuStep out of existence, as far as I know. Tune in next week for

00:57:50   people to send me all the court cases where Apple crushed GnuStep under its heel. But anyway, I

00:57:56   think it was just another example that came to mind. If you know what AppKit and Cocoa are and

00:58:01   can imagine someone looking, basically looking at Apple's documentation and saying, that's pretty

00:58:04   cool. I would like to do that. And they just copy all those APIs, but write all the code themselves.

00:58:09   That's GnuStep. I don't know though, to go back to what Marco was saying, I tend to agree with him.

00:58:14   I feel like the not slimy thing for Google to do would be to pay Oracle whatever they needed to pay

00:58:21   in order to license the API. Like it's paying Oracle is always a little slimy. Yeah, also true.

00:58:30   And it's tough because I think I'm, as I'm listening to myself say this, I think I'm being

00:58:33   slightly hypocritical because I think the most honest thing for Google to do would be to arrange

00:58:40   some sort of agreement with Oracle, even if it's that, you know, that they're just going to use the

00:58:44   API. I think if you really look at the spirit of everything, Google arguably owed them something,

00:58:53   maybe not the absurd amount of money that Oracle would want, but they owed them something. And I

00:58:58   think the kind of screw you, I want to have my cake and eat it too approach is to do what they did,

00:59:03   which isn't necessarily wrong, but it's slimy, like Marco said. But all that being said, let me

00:59:09   disagree with myself slightly and say, I do think that the Supreme Court ruling was correct. Like,

00:59:13   I don't think an API really should be copyrightable or certainly they shouldn't be able to be sued for

00:59:20   copying the API because API is to my eyes, and I say, I want to use so many words that have double

00:59:28   meaning, but it's kind of like a framework in a sense. Like if you want to be something that looks

00:59:33   and smells like Java, then you need to be able to do these things. Or if you want to be something

00:59:36   that looks and smells like AppKit, you need to be able to do these other things. And I think the more

00:59:42   honest thing for Google to do would be to enter some sort of an agreement with Oracle, but I don't

00:59:47   think it's necessarily wrong what they did. It's just not the rightest thing they could do. And

00:59:54   certainly I think the rightest and least evil—remember that? Don't be evil—the least

00:59:58   evil thing they could have done was either to create something like Kotlin from the get-go,

01:00:02   which is a very swifty—or I think it predates Swift, strictly speaking—but it's a very swifty

01:00:07   version of their APIs and language and whatnot. You know, just start with Kotlin from the get-go

01:00:12   or make their own thing in its entirety. And I understand how they landed—well,

01:00:16   to some degree—I understand how they landed on "Let's just use Java APIs." I've never been a fan

01:00:21   of Java, and I find Java to be a very clunky language to work with, but I understand how they

01:00:26   got there. So, like, take another example. C#, by most metrics—especially early on—C# was just

01:00:33   Microsoft's version 2 of Java. Like, they looked at Java and said, "Hey, there's a bunch of good

01:00:36   ideas here, but let's do this in a less crummy and more proprietary way, and we'll make C#."

01:00:42   And even though it's spiritually very similar in execution and application, it's very, very

01:00:48   different. And that, to me, is a far less slimy approach. But it's exactly what you said earlier,

01:00:54   Jon, that they wanted anyone who knows Java to be able to just swoop in and continue where they left

01:00:59   off for all intents and purposes. And I understand how they landed on this course of action, but I

01:01:04   still find it to be slimy. Yeah, I don't think it's slimy. I just think it's weak. I think it shows

01:01:09   that they didn't believe they can make something better, so they did this. And I think it should

01:01:14   always be valid for people to do this. If someone sees SwiftUI—I think there already is a Linux

01:01:20   implementation of SwiftUI—and you think, "SwiftUI is a great API. I wish I had that API in Linux."

01:01:24   I think, by all means, write it, especially if it's open source type stuff, because no one expects a

01:01:29   band of volunteers to come up with a new thing as good as SwiftUI, maybe, on their own. But if you

01:01:36   want to reimplement SwiftUI, go for it. And Apple, I think wisely, would say, "That is not a threat

01:01:41   to us. It's not on our platform. They're writing for Linux. It is not going to take anything away

01:01:46   from us." And in fact, the more people that know SwiftUI, the better it is for the thing that we

01:01:51   wrote and controlled the evolution of, which is SwiftUI. So if Oracle was smart, if it was still

01:01:58   Sun, I think they would say, "The more people who know the Java SDK, the better." And if they're

01:02:01   copying us and we're leading, that's great. But anyway, I don't attach any ethical consideration

01:02:10   to it. It's merely a potential strategy misstep or a smart strategy if you know for a fact that

01:02:17   nothing in your company is going to come up with it's going to be any good.

01:02:19   [laughs]

01:02:20   Yeah, and I think it's wise to remove ethics as the particular line you're trying to draw. Is this

01:02:27   ethical or not? To me, it's not a question of ethics. It's a question of doing this as kind of

01:02:32   distasteful, which is different. Lots of things are not exactly unethical, but many people would

01:02:39   find distasteful. A really good example, I think, on a different kind of scale, but for a similar

01:02:44   problem, is Microsoft famously does not want to license any kind of proprietary technologies

01:02:53   for Windows. And so they almost always, when something is popular out there in the world

01:02:59   that they might have to license to build support in, they will almost always make their own version

01:03:05   of something very similar that they can then offer for free. A great example of this is when MP3 was

01:03:10   all patent encumbered, they didn't want to build an MP3 encoder, so they built WMA, their own

01:03:15   similar format that they could do their own thing. A more common case that is still the case today

01:03:21   is certain fonts like Helvetica that they decided, you know what, Helvetica costs money to license.

01:03:29   So instead of licensing this font that's very popular and useful, we're going to make our own

01:03:33   clone of it called Arial. That's almost the same, but just different enough not to get sued.

01:03:38   By the way, I believe Google also did that. But anyway, it's a distasteful thing to do,

01:03:44   but they did it and it mostly was okay if you don't care about taste. And Microsoft doesn't

01:03:53   and Google doesn't. So it's okay in the sense that it is legally acceptable for them to have done

01:04:01   this and we don't think it should be made illegal, but it is distasteful and these companies should

01:04:07   be, you know, in John Parlin's given a thumbs down maybe for having done this this way.

01:04:11   >> No, I don't give them a thumbs down though. I don't.

01:04:14   >> Oh, wow.

01:04:14   >> I mean, I don't even think it's distasteful. I think it's, I mean,

01:04:18   although your font example is interesting, so Apple obviously licensed Helvetica, right? But Apple

01:04:24   also with the original Mac made a bunch of fonts because they couldn't or didn't want to license

01:04:31   the real ones and they gave them names that are similar. Like instead of Times New Roman,

01:04:35   they made a font called New York and instead of Helvetica, they made a font called Geneva.

01:04:39   Like you can do the mapping. It's there, right? But then they licensed Helvetica, right? But then

01:04:45   the modern Apple, what modern Apple did is they decided, you know what? We think in-house,

01:04:50   we can make a font that's better than Helvetica for our purposes. And they did, well, as far as

01:04:54   they're concerned, San Francisco. They made their own font with many different variants suited to

01:05:01   exactly what they need the font to do, which is work on watches, work on their Mac, work on the

01:05:06   phone or whatever. And they did San Francisco. And I think that shows kind of like, depending on what

01:05:11   position you're in, are you in the position to license the thing? Does licensing it help your

01:05:17   competitor in a way that you want? Can you do your own thing that's similar? Can you do your own

01:05:22   thing that is 100% compatible with the thing you don't own by just relatable in the API?

01:05:26   Or do you feel like you're in a position to actually do an original thing that's better, right?

01:05:30   Apple bought Nex, so arguably they didn't do the original thing that's better, although Steve Jobs

01:05:36   did Nex, right? But, you know, Apple's APIs are not like, even though Apple used Java back in the day,

01:05:43   because Java looked like it was going to be super popular, it was Java. So you could call, you know,

01:05:47   Next Step APIs from Java, right? It wasn't, you know, Swing or whatever. And when the time comes

01:05:55   for them to do something better, they think, actually, we can make a new original thing that

01:05:58   we think is even better. They come out with SwiftUI, right? They don't say we're going to copy WinFX or

01:06:03   whatever the hell the, you know, the Windows new APIs are. They don't copy the Java APIs, right?

01:06:10   They come up with something on their own. But you're not always in a position to do that. So I feel like

01:06:13   if something is out there, like the implementation, obviously you can't steal their code, right? But if

01:06:20   something is out there as a public API with publicly available documentation, and you think

01:06:23   you can just simply re-implement that from scratch, just looking at the API, go for it. Because that's

01:06:29   not easy, right? Like, just think of any operating system. Unix with all the system calls. I can give

01:06:33   you a list of all the Unix system calls. No, go write your own operating system. Say, you can't

01:06:37   do that. That's cheating. Shouldn't you make your own operating system? Everyone accepts everyone's

01:06:40   going to make a POSIX compatible operating system. And just because POSIX is this open thing that no

01:06:45   company owns, it's exactly the same thing. Oh, you have a call called fopen and you have printf

01:06:50   and you have sprintf? You're just such a copier. That's distasteful. It's like, no, it's fine.

01:06:54   Because you still have to write the implementations yourself or use Linux or whatever and have a bunch

01:06:59   of other people write it for you. But anyway, I think it's perfectly fine. But the best way to

01:07:03   think about this, legally speaking, is imagine if the opposite was true. Like I said, if the

01:07:09   opposite was true and it was illegal, absurd situations arrive immediately. That basically,

01:07:14   you could squat on all these sensible APIs for doing any kind of reasonable thing and no one can

01:07:18   ever use them. And then you could have court cases over, I have an ad API and they have one called

01:07:23   add two numbers, but the arguments are exactly the same as mine. So they're basically copying me.

01:07:28   It's like, oh God, look, sometimes when it comes time to make an API for opening a file, there's

01:07:34   only so many ways you can do that. And we don't want to have to avoid the 8 million other

01:07:38   implementations made previously. I mean, again, it's like patents, which is the stupidest system

01:07:43   we have in our country. See previous hypercritical episodes about. And as some people said in the

01:07:48   chat, sometimes we have more sane law about this. You can't copyright a chord progression,

01:07:53   but you can copyright a performance of a song, right? It gets sketchy after that music. I don't

01:07:58   bring up music too much fonts are similar. And then I think you can't copyright like the shape

01:08:03   of a font, but you can copyright the font itself. Anyway, laws should be made so that we don't end

01:08:08   up in absurd scenarios that discourage, uh, to discourage innovation and make it harder to do

01:08:13   stuff. And if this is a court decision had gone the other way, it would make everything harder

01:08:18   for everybody. So I'm glad it went this way. Yeah. In general, I have similar views on patents. I

01:08:26   don't think any patents should exist on anything. Um, yes, including the vaccines. I was just

01:08:30   talking about like everything. I don't think any patents should exist. Um, I think the system

01:08:35   causes more harm, uh, than, than it, uh, prevents. Uh, but you know, generally when looking at

01:08:41   technology, one of the biggest reasons the technology industry has been able to develop

01:08:47   so quickly and do such huge things. So, you know, in such a short amount of time in relative history

01:08:53   and, and keep moving and advance is that there isn't a lot of intellectual property protection,

01:09:00   restricting it. Um, you know, patents while, while they are a burden on our entire industry, um,

01:09:07   most developers don't use software patents. Most developers don't file them. Most developers don't

01:09:12   need to license them. Um, even if you believe in them, uh, and even if you consider them valid

01:09:16   and most developers are violating them right now and it does, and it just kind of goes

01:09:20   unaddressed and unenforced most of the time. Thank God. Uh, and everything is fine. And, and you,

01:09:28   and you have people copying each other all the time. You have people, you know, you have,

01:09:33   you know, applications that, that, that compete in the same market space. They're copying each

01:09:37   other's features back and forth all the time. And it's fine. You have platforms copying each

01:09:41   other's stuff all the time. You have, you know, iOS and Android copying each other,

01:09:44   windows and Mac copying each other, everything. Everyone's copying everyone all the time.

01:09:48   And it's fine. And that is a fundamental reason why the tech industry has been able to get as big

01:09:55   and great as it is and whatever problems you might have with how big it is now with, you know,

01:10:00   political stuff with certain big companies, whatever the reality is the entire business,

01:10:04   all of us rely on that relative unrestrictedness of most intellectual property in technology with

01:10:13   the exception of like trademark, which I think, I think of all the intellectual property categories,

01:10:18   I think trademark is probably the most defensible and the one that brings the fewest problems

01:10:23   compared to copyright and patent as an, as, as they are currently enforced. You know, the,

01:10:28   the reality is like the industry is better off for everyone, including themselves and all of us using

01:10:35   this stuff when there are fewer intellectual property restrictions, basically as few as

01:10:41   possible that, you know, besides really obvious stuff like direct copyright infringement or

01:10:46   direct trademark infringement, otherwise like almost nothing else being protected is a good

01:10:52   idea in technology. Yeah. And the proof is the lack of protections for this stuff has not

01:10:58   caused the technology industry to fail to thrive. Let's say I think the technology industry is doing

01:11:04   pretty well with everybody free to copy everybody else's APIs. Cause again,

01:11:08   it's, it's like having an idea for a startup. It's the execution that matters. Feel free.

01:11:13   Anyone out there, if you would like to copy all of Apple's APIs and make your own implementation

01:11:18   of Mac OS X, go for it. It's harder than you think the APIs, even though, even though they'll say,

01:11:24   it's really hard to design a good API. There is the implementation is also really hard. You do not.

01:11:28   So Apple does not need legal protection to prevent you from copying Swift UI and their entire

01:11:34   operating system, right? Their moat is the fact that doing that is incredibly hard and they

01:11:38   already did it and you haven't. So go ahead, copy that. Apple does not need that legal protection.

01:11:43   And if that legal protection existed, it would make everybody's life miserable because

01:11:47   we would very quickly run out of names for functions that add two numbers together.

01:11:52   It'd be like domain names, quite like someone would just, you know, creating copyright,

01:11:56   every conceivable function that does a thing, you know, all possible print functions, right?

01:12:00   Just, and they would just, it would be like patent trolls. Like they'd be just a holding company.

01:12:04   It's like, we own the copyright of every conceivable API, any human will ever think of

01:12:07   to perform these basic tasks. And they just wait for someone to use an API like that. So,

01:12:11   oh, you can't use that API. We own that one license it from us just like patents. Oh God,

01:12:17   patents are terrible. I don't want to go off on that. Anyway, we need to get to the next top.

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01:14:16   with Squarespace. Tim Cook did an interview with Kara Swisher sometime over the last day or two.

01:14:25   I don't know when this landed, but it is very interesting. I have thoughts. I'd like to point

01:14:34   you to our show notes where someone, I probably John, put in a link to the, put in the overcast

01:14:40   link to the podcast. There's also a transcript, which we will put in the show notes. I'd also

01:14:45   like to call out dithering. If you happen to be a subscriber, I believe it was today's or yesterday's

01:14:49   episode of the show. They kind of go through it a little bit and also upgrade this week was really

01:14:56   good and upgrade touched on a lot of the things that I heard in this interview. I should probably

01:15:05   summarize it. So there was a, it's a lot of talk about a lot of different things, including Apple's

01:15:12   gatekeeping and their, you know, Apple tax, if you will, on the app store, you know, the 30 or 15%.

01:15:18   They talk about AR and future products ish. They talk about Tim's future, which we'll get to in a

01:15:25   little bit. And there were several other things that were discussed. I, this was probably the best

01:15:32   interview of Tim Cook that I've heard. And I didn't come away from it feeling great. And I'm curious

01:15:41   what you guys thought. Marco, since I heard you snicker a second ago, why don't we start with you?

01:15:46   What did you, have you heard this and what did you think if you did? Yeah, I listened earlier tonight

01:15:50   and, and I do think the only other Tim Cook interview that I've really been able to get through

01:15:55   was the one he did for, I think it was outdoors magazine or outdoor magazine. That was also a

01:16:00   podcast. I think podcasts are a good format for Tim because first of all, smart speed, he, he really

01:16:07   needs it. So I'm able to pay attention a little bit more easily. And he also, you also are able

01:16:14   to pick up little bits of his personality here and there that he very carefully, you know, drips out.

01:16:21   If you see Tim like giving a TV interview, usually I don't even watch those cause they're,

01:16:26   they're so usually relatively low in value. You know, certainly like the, whatever he says during

01:16:31   the keynotes and presentations they do, like that's all so incredibly tightly scripted that he, again,

01:16:37   there's, there's not a lot of value to what he says there. It's hard to, it's hard to like see

01:16:41   through the cracks and actually see the personality and, and, and the, you know, the interesting parts

01:16:46   that aren't, that don't seem like PR statements. And so podcasting, I think it's, it's nice to be

01:16:50   able to get that sense from him a little bit. He's still extremely guarded and extremely careful with

01:16:55   every word he's saying, but you do get a little bit more of that personality and yes, smart speed

01:16:59   helps. So in general, I was pleased with the interview. I liked Kara Swisher's style. I don't

01:17:04   know if this was done in editing or if this is actually how it went, but she was very just kind

01:17:08   of like, you know, rapid fire questions. Maybe that was the smart speed, but it was, you know,

01:17:12   very much like, you know, she asked a lot of hard questions and Tim would answer some of them,

01:17:18   many of them maybe. And then she would just move right onto the next thing. Like he, it would be

01:17:22   like question one sentence answer, occasionally a followup question and then right into the next

01:17:26   thing. And it covered a very wide range of topics in a relatively short time. So that was actually,

01:17:32   you know, as just like a thing to listen to. And as, as an interview, I thought it was pretty good.

01:17:37   Kara Swisher's a good interviewer. She has interviewed a lot of CEOs, including, you know,

01:17:41   Steve Jobs, multiple occasions, Tim Cook before. And I think she knows what you can get out of

01:17:48   somebody like Tim Cook and what you can't. So it was very like the ratio of like, you know, meat on

01:17:54   this bone versus PR filler or fluff, I think was pretty good. As for the actual content of what

01:18:00   Tim said, obviously there's a number of areas that we'll talk about. One of them was the whole like

01:18:06   app tracking transparency thing. I think that was mostly fine. It's actually, it's worth listening

01:18:12   to dithering and stratechery because I like Ben's approach to the tracking debate. You know, Ben is

01:18:20   mostly on the side of that Apple's not super clear and often accurate about the terminology they use

01:18:28   and how they describe data brokering and tracking businesses and stuff like that. And like a lot of

01:18:32   times Apple will say something like, you know, these companies sell your data, which is like

01:18:35   technically untrue, or at least not the whole story or misleading or something like that.

01:18:41   So it's good to hear that point of view. I lean a little closer to the Apple point of view,

01:18:46   but that's in part because I'm not one of these companies that does all this tracking. I don't

01:18:51   have like an app install network where I'm trying to attribute, which means track purchases to,

01:18:58   you know, between ads and stuff like that. Like I'm not doing any of that stuff. My businesses

01:19:01   don't depend on any of that stuff. And I'm generally on Apple's side of like how things

01:19:06   should be in theory, you know, with this kind of stuff. So even with all that said, I found

01:19:11   the app tracking transparency discussions mostly okay. They were very high level, but

01:19:19   when it got to the app store stuff, man, this is, and this applied to Steve Jobs as well,

01:19:29   but it certainly has not gone away with Tim Cook. Apple usually when they give statements or when

01:19:36   they're, when their executives give statements or interviews, whatever, usually they are

01:19:41   straightforward and honest. And it usually seems like they are arguing with good faith

01:19:46   and that they believe they're doing the right thing. And, and usually you can take them at

01:19:50   their word and they're not trying to BS you, et cetera. And occasionally you get something like

01:19:55   this where they're doing something a little bit greedy or a little bit wrong, or, you know,

01:20:02   a little bit, you know, to something where the truth of the matter is not super PR friendly.

01:20:09   And so they start doing distortions and spin and they hammer on certain talking points that are,

01:20:15   that are kind of misleading or kind of, you know, dodgy or whatever. Modern Apple, that's the app

01:20:20   store. Like that's, that's the problem they have with this. When they talk about stuff like other

01:20:26   recent debates they've had with governments or the public, you know, things like, like,

01:20:30   as mentioned in the podcast, the San Bernardino shooting a phone unlocking thing. I think Apple

01:20:35   was on the right side of that, of like not building in the back door for law enforcement. Like that's,

01:20:40   I think that was the right move in retrospect. And I thought it back then, I think that move that has

01:20:44   held up as being the right move. And that was a big fight that Apple had in public, but they were

01:20:49   right. The app store stuff is mostly about money. They make a ton of money from being the app store

01:20:56   gatekeepers. And that's not great for PR that that's the reason for their app store, like

01:21:02   over controlling behavior. I think one of the best questions that, that Cara asked during the

01:21:07   interview was like, you know, they were on the, on the topic of the app store and Apple's cut. And

01:21:11   she said something on the lines of like, you know, cause Tim was saying like, Oh, well, you know, we,

01:21:15   our app store protects users from, and from privacy, you know, and which was again,

01:21:20   that's complicated and kind of misleading. And she had asked like, well, what's, why not allow people

01:21:26   to basically accept in-app purchases directly in their apps through their own in-app purchase

01:21:31   systems or make alternative app stores, something like that. And Tim's answer was along the lines of,

01:21:36   well, then people, people need our app store to trust it. And if it wasn't, if it wasn't for our

01:21:41   app store, people wouldn't trust it to, they wouldn't input their payment information. They

01:21:44   wouldn't, they wouldn't make purchases. And that's just complete BS because like

01:21:49   literally the entire internet is filled with independent websites that take credit card

01:21:53   payments and have for many decades now. And it's been fine. Like it's people do it all the time.

01:22:00   And Tim is not an idiot. He knows the internet exists. He knows this is a BS argument and he's

01:22:07   giving it anyway. And it's not, this isn't just like, you know, solely a Tim Cook thing.

01:22:12   I guarantee you, if Steve jobs was still here, he would have made the exact same argument for

01:22:16   the exact same reason. That's the story they tell themselves, which is partially, but mostly not

01:22:22   true, but they make a ton of money from it. And it's so hard that, you know, the famous quote about,

01:22:27   you know, it's hard to get somebody to believe something if their job depends on them not

01:22:30   believing it. It's so hard for people in the position of like an Apple executive who have

01:22:38   told themselves this justification over and over and over again for years, we have to be the

01:22:43   gatekeepers here because it keeps people safe and they, then nobody would trust giving their credit

01:22:48   cards to apps. So therefore we have to do this. Well, that's, that's really not true and hasn't

01:22:54   been true for a long time if it was ever true. And, but, but they are, they've told themselves

01:23:00   that story so much for so long. And they, you know, it's like when you keep telling a lie over

01:23:05   and over again, eventually you kind of start to believe that it's the truth, or at least you

01:23:09   suppress the fact that it's a lie in your mind so much, even subconsciously that like, this is just,

01:23:15   you just say it over and over again. It's, it just becomes true to you. But this argument is so

01:23:20   flimsy. And when you hear it like out in the world, when you're not an Apple executive and you hear

01:23:25   these arguments, they sound completely ridiculous and, and almost, almost offensively so. And so

01:23:31   most of the rest of the interview, you know, well, I'm sure it's the other stuff, but to me,

01:23:34   it's just every time you get an Apple person talking about the app store cut and their,

01:23:39   their in-app purchase policies and all that stuff, it just sucks. A bad look for them.

01:23:44   It's so uncomfortable and it's so cringe-worthy and it's, and it is offensive because it's almost

01:23:49   like they're insulting our intelligence by continuing to advance arguments that really

01:23:53   don't hold a lot of water. And Tim even said, it's so funny. Tim even said at the beginning,

01:23:56   when asked about app tracking transparency and, uh, you know, Kara said something on the lines,

01:24:00   like, you know, what do you think of Facebook counterarguments that this is hurting small

01:24:03   businesses and everything? And Tim said, I think those arguments are flimsy. And you can say the

01:24:09   exact same thing about everything Tim said about app store control. The all of Apple's arguments

01:24:14   are really flimsy. It sounds good on, you know, if you don't think too much or if you don't know too

01:24:19   much about it, it sounds logical, but I'm so mad you said that. Cause that's exactly what I was

01:24:24   going to say. Cause it, you know, the thing of it is, is that it's, it's when you look at it on

01:24:29   the surface, you're like, yeah, yeah, that makes sense. And then you think about it for a half

01:24:32   second, you realize, no, the Apple's just pulling this like, Oh, we're so magnanimous card. Like,

01:24:36   look at us, look at all this innovation we created. There was some absolutely disgusting phrase used

01:24:40   for that, like this economic miracle or something like that. I might have that wrong, but it was

01:24:44   something along those lines. And, and, and, Oh, look at all this that we've done. Like,

01:24:48   Oh, be thankful plebes that we've given you all these opportunities. And it's like,

01:24:53   so obnoxious the way they seem to think. Well, and the thing is like, some of that is true.

01:24:59   They have given a lot, they have created a lot of opportunities. They have created an amazing

01:25:03   ecosystem and lots of people make money from it. Like that's, that's true, but that doesn't answer

01:25:09   the argument of why they have to be the only game in town for payment processing. Like that's,

01:25:13   it's, that's a totally different argument. And, and it's, and even like, it's so funny that like,

01:25:18   even in the app store, there are tons of apps that take credit cards directly in the app. They just

01:25:26   aren't selling digital goods, but I can type my credit card into the Amazon app to buy stuff that

01:25:30   gets delivered to my house. I can type in a credit card into the, you know, Uber or Lyft apps to get

01:25:35   a car to come somewhere and pick me up and bring me somewhere. That's fine. I can type a credit

01:25:39   card into the, into the parking meter app when I park somewhere. And I have to like go to the

01:25:43   stupid park mobile app and enter the numbers and then PayPal fails and Apple pay fails. And you

01:25:47   got to type in a credit card. Like I can do that. And there's no trust issue there. And people buy

01:25:52   stuff online all the time, like from, from every other website. So it's a, it's a complete farce

01:25:57   of an argument. Like it makes no sense whatsoever that Apple has to, has to be the only game in town

01:26:04   for payment processing for digital goods in apps on their phone. That makes no sense whatsoever.

01:26:10   **Matt Stauffer** I feel like another reason Apple should hire me is I listen to these interviews

01:26:16   when he does these things. I feel like Tim, I can make the argument you're trying to make,

01:26:20   I think in a, in a more convincing way. Now I real, I think I know why he doesn't make it in

01:26:26   this way because the way I would make it would be more revealing of Apple strategy than Tim Cook's

01:26:34   Apple has ever particularly wanted to do. And also I think, bring up Steve Jobs again, I think I agree

01:26:40   that he would be making similar arguments and I agree that he would also totally be thinking about

01:26:43   the control and money behind the scenes. But I think also he would agree with this other angle

01:26:48   that I was just, they take and that's this. And you can disagree with it. Like it's, it's open,

01:26:52   it's open for debate whether you find this convincing, but I think it's a better argument,

01:26:56   which is by having one method to do digital purchases and you can get into a side argument

01:27:03   about why are physical distinct or whatever, but in general, like digital purposes purchases are the

01:27:08   new thing that didn't exist before the app store in this particular fashion, like in app purchases

01:27:12   and all sorts of like digital goods, right. In our store, people were always paying things through

01:27:16   credit cards, right. But you know, for these digital goods in our store, which are very easy

01:27:21   to basically, you know, rip people off with or whatever, because there's no actual physical

01:27:24   product moving around, it's just bits and taking people's money, witness the scam apps signing up

01:27:29   for weekly subscriptions, having a single way to deal with that type of thing, right, the bulk of

01:27:36   the purchases, all those in-app purchases, whatever, having it always go through Apple,

01:27:40   no exceptions, no ifs, ands, or buts for that type of thing, provides a simple to understand,

01:27:47   unified experience for customers that Apple thinks provides, differentiates its platform and makes

01:27:54   it more valuable to customers than it would be otherwise if they just did what other people do,

01:27:58   which is allow multiple payment methods. And that has more value to Apple as a company. Like,

01:28:04   in other words, why do we keep doing this? It's because we think Apple is a more valuable,

01:28:08   better company that is more differentiated from its rivals by this particular simplification,

01:28:14   right. And that is true of so many things that Apple does, that it has fewer options,

01:28:20   and it is less flexible, but the simplicity is what provides the level of comfort to the customers

01:28:26   and overall, overall, net net that makes Apple a more valuable company, a more desirable company

01:28:32   for customers to interact with. It's the thing that makes Apple, Apple, right. But I think that

01:28:38   reveals too much, and Apple is basically describing here's why we're beating you at your own game,

01:28:44   because all these things that you think are detriments are computers that don't have a lot

01:28:48   of features and we seal in the batteries and all this other stuff that you think, and you get rid

01:28:52   of the floppy drive, and like, I mean, by now, all their competitors should know, and they're just

01:28:56   choosing not to do it, but like, that is the Apple MO. And it would be honest, I think there is a

01:29:03   section of Apple, like part of the reason they're doing this is exactly what I'm describing. And

01:29:09   even though it's, we feel like it has limits the options for customers, and it's certainly worse

01:29:13   for developers and all these other things, there is an argument to be made that even though it is

01:29:19   worse for all those parties, and even though it's actually kind of worse for customers in certain

01:29:22   ways, overall, it is still a win because it's what differentiates Apple, because if we didn't do that,

01:29:27   we'd be down in the mud fighting with Google and Microsoft at their own level. By making these

01:29:32   different choices, this is what makes Apple, Apple. Behind all that is also, let's look at the

01:29:37   server's revenue graph, right? Like, that is unavoidable. They're not going to say that, but

01:29:42   everybody knows it's true, including Kara Swisher, right? And I thought in this interview, she was

01:29:46   actually good with the quick, it wasn't a follow-up question, it was like a follow-up assertion,

01:29:52   like to give an example, not particularly from the App Store section, but like,

01:29:54   we was talking about the tracking stuff, and they're like, oh, these companies are tracking

01:29:58   you and doing all these things and invading your privacy and stealing all your stuff or whatever,

01:30:02   and Kara would say, yeah, and they do that with the devices that you make running the OS that you,

01:30:07   you know, like with the app they got from your App Store, right? She would always just stick that in,

01:30:11   and statement of fact, like, oh, they, you know, and Apple could have come back, Tim could have

01:30:15   come back and said, yeah, that's why we're doing this thing, because it is on our platform, but

01:30:18   she's trying to say like, you are partially culpable for this, because you have been vending

01:30:22   these apps that do all these bad things, and yes, you're trying to make up for it now by

01:30:26   hurting your competitors who you won't admit are really your competitors, right? And there's that

01:30:30   whole other angle there, right? But I thought she was good at about sort of just reminding people,

01:30:36   just have a, wow, this is all happening on iPhones, and you are the iPhone person, so it's not like

01:30:40   you can just say this is all just a thing happening at arm's length from you, you are, you know,

01:30:45   you are part of this ecosystem, in fact, you run this whole ecosystem, and then later in the

01:30:48   interview we'll talk about how you run this ecosystem with an iron fist and don't allow

01:30:51   certain things to happen, so you surely share some of the blame for any bad effects that we're

01:30:56   experiencing now, even though you're also the one who's trying to fix them. But anyway, I think,

01:31:01   I wasn't bothered by the interview, I enjoyed it, I'm used to Tim Cook saying these things,

01:31:06   I wasn't particularly frustrated by the App Store section, just because this is what I expected him

01:31:10   to say, but I think there are actually stronger arguments than he was making, and I think mostly

01:31:16   the reason he didn't make them is because they are more revealing than he wanted to be, and I think

01:31:20   he thinks and Apple thinks as a collective corporate entity that they continue, they can

01:31:25   continue to make the case they've been making and essentially get away with it, because it is,

01:31:32   may not be convincing to us in particular, but we are not the mass of the public,

01:31:39   we are not the government, we are not Congress. Maybe the arguments they're making are sufficiently

01:31:44   convincing that they don't have to go into the whole, here's what makes Apple, Apple,

01:31:48   and here's why it's a competitive advantage, which I totally buy and think is a huge factor,

01:31:53   and maybe they never have to really examine the fact that like, okay, but what is this really

01:31:57   about? We know you make a ton of money from this, right? Someone in the chat mentioned like how Steve

01:32:02   Jobs said in the beginning, like they're running the App Store at break even, I'm pretty sure that

01:32:07   was never true, I mean maybe I'm wrong, but like I said, oh, so much has changed since then, the App

01:32:12   Store is a huge store, so many, yes, obviously the App Store and digital purchases have become

01:32:16   way bigger than they were, but when Steve Jobs said we're running the App Store at break even,

01:32:20   I was given that side eye from day zero, it's like, okay, all right, we get it, Steve,

01:32:25   like you're not trying to make a ton of money, I get what you're saying, but the way he said it,

01:32:29   it was like, all right, yeah, what you're trying, it's like, nobody, who believed that,

01:32:34   who believed they were running, you know, maybe the App Store was losing money, but he's just

01:32:38   saying that as a way to try to say, you know, look, we're doing it, like you just said, we're

01:32:43   out here killing ourselves for you developers, oh, I can't believe the developers are yelling

01:32:46   at us, we're making this great platform, we're running this App Store for you, like basically

01:32:51   the charity, I'm not buying it, right? I mean, maybe they ran the App Store at a loss for a

01:32:57   while, but we understand projections, like we understand that there is motivation to get people

01:33:00   into the App Store and get them to start selling things so you can start going on this upward

01:33:04   slope, or maybe it was probable from day one, I don't know, either way, claiming poverty or asking

01:33:10   to be better appreciated for what they've given everybody are probably not viable strategies,

01:33:15   but the safety argument, I think, has legs even without getting into the nuances that are

01:33:20   subscribed, because most people hear it, like Casey just said, and go, all right, that makes

01:33:24   some sense, and they're not listening to this podcast, and they don't care about the nuances,

01:33:27   so, you know, problem solved, so it could be that the Tim Cook strategy is actually the winning one.

01:33:33   Thinking back to our earlier conversation about how Marco and I seemed to think that what Google

01:33:37   did was a little slimy, and I feel like Apple's perspective on the App Store is slimy, like, yes,

01:33:43   I suppose as the gatekeeper, they could charge 30 or 15 percent to, you know, to be on the App Store,

01:33:51   and yes, they should earn some amount of money for innovating and creating the App Store in the first

01:33:55   place, and so on and so forth, but like, ah, it's just the way in which it came across is, it just,

01:34:02   it was so gross to me, like, it was so looking down from on high and saying, be thankful for what we

01:34:10   give you, you are welcome, what can I say, except you're welcome, and also 30 percent, and it's just,

01:34:18   it's just, it was so gross, and I just, I get that feeling, like, even, even when I, I speak to

01:34:25   friends at Apple about this, I get this feeling that it's inherent within Apple as a corporation

01:34:33   that they are owed for doing this. They, they are owed for bringing this into the world, and again,

01:34:41   to a degree, I think that is reasonable, but I don't know, at some point, I feel like, okay, like,

01:34:48   yes, you did innovate 10 years ago, what is it, 13 years ago, how long has the App Store been out,

01:34:53   it's like 2008 or something like that? Yep, so 13 years ago, you innovated, and I'm very happy for

01:34:59   you, I am, but things have changed since then, and like, oh, Tim says, oh, you know, the App

01:35:05   Store rules aren't set in concrete or something like that, and I'm like, well, let's change them

01:35:09   then, like, let's move on, like, you, you have extracted the rent you deserve. I think he was

01:35:13   good in that section, because he did make the point that the rules have changed, and he emphasized

01:35:17   the point that they have essentially changed over time, more or less, to be more favorable to people

01:35:22   other than Apple, which I think is true. I mean, the, obviously, the 30 to 15 really supports that

01:35:26   argument, like, a lot of, that's why I thought he did, for the most part, a pretty good job in this

01:35:31   interview, he, at various times, and I think this is what you're finding distasteful, and be to some

01:35:36   degree, is that he sounded like he was, he always sounds like he's on a witness stand, right? He

01:35:41   always sounds like a lawyer had coached him on exactly what to say, even when he's being

01:35:44   persuasive, or either that he's on a witness stand, or that he's talking in front of Congress,

01:35:49   you, you know he's coming with the talking points, and his talking points are, well, we do change the

01:35:54   App Store rules, and in fact, we pretty much only change them in one direction, and in fact, we

01:35:58   recently changed them to be way better for developers, so you telling us that we are ruled,

01:36:03   ruling with an iron fist, and not, you know, and making the rules that are bad for everybody,

01:36:07   like, we're not saying the rules are perfect, but we change them all the time, and we then,

01:36:11   basically, change them to get better, right? Those are all true and valid points, and reasonable

01:36:16   counter-arguments to the extreme arguments against, right? Well, but it's all just misdirection. Well,

01:36:21   okay, don't worry about that, but hey, have I told you about... But it's not, but it, it, it is true.

01:36:25   Here's the, here's the problem. So I just got through saying, where Tim Cook could have made

01:36:29   his case better, that having a single payment method actually is a benefit to both Apple and

01:36:34   the world at large, as in terms of differentiation and simplification, the basic Apple argument of why

01:36:39   is it better for you to have fewer things, right? Or fewer options, right? On the flip side of that,

01:36:44   I don't understand why everybody, including Kara Swisher, doesn't come back at him with the obvious

01:36:49   counter-argument to this whole, like, ecosystem thing that you're talking about. It's like, oh,

01:36:53   you know, this economic miracle that we've created in the App Store, and I think you're right,

01:36:57   there was something like that, right? The obvious comeback is like, everybody knows, Tim, everybody

01:37:02   knows how platform works, right? Pick a platform, right? Games, right? PlayStation. Yes, they make

01:37:08   the console and they sell it. But they need the games, right? It's, you can't have one without

01:37:14   the other. It's a clearly symbiotic relationship. Oh, we made the App Store, you should be thankful.

01:37:20   And the game, the app developers or the game developers console say, we made the software,

01:37:24   you should be thankful. You need both. It's so obvious. Everybody, and maybe they don't say it

01:37:29   because it's so obvious, but I think most people listening be like, oh, well, you know, Tim's right,

01:37:33   like they did make the App Store. The App Store is nothing without the apps. It's nothing, right?

01:37:37   You need the apps. That's how every platform works. You make the platform and you attract

01:37:42   the developers to it by making it a good deal for them. And Apple did that. But it's a partnership.

01:37:47   I mean, not really, because Apple owns everything, but you know what I mean? Like,

01:37:50   nobody who makes the world's most awesome game console, like, it's the best. It costs, you know,

01:37:57   a small amount of money and has a huge amount of power and it's better than everything else. But

01:38:01   if no one makes games for it, it's a brick. Nobody wants it. You need people to make games. And so,

01:38:07   you need to sell a lot of them or convince somebody that you are going to sell a lot of

01:38:10   them in the future, right? I mean, what did Microsoft have to do with the Xbox? Hey,

01:38:14   we're making a game console. We're trying to make some games ourselves, which is going to cost a lot

01:38:18   of money, but we need other people to make games for it. And we haven't sold any of them yet. We've

01:38:22   sold zero. And in fact, we've never sold a game console, but we have to convince you, game developer,

01:38:27   to put your game on this console that we can't tell you how many we're going to sell, but we

01:38:31   think we might sell this many. What do you think? Right? And no platform is successful without

01:38:36   people that build on it. And so, every single time Apple or Tim Cook or whatever says this,

01:38:42   it should be some sort of immediate sort of rote cliche comeback. It's like, yes, but of course,

01:38:48   the platform is pointless without the apps that develop for it. So, you owe them maybe not equal

01:38:54   amount as they owe you, but it's not 99.1%. That everybody knows it's useless without the apps,

01:39:00   right? And in fact, every time someone makes a cool app for your platform, that adds value to

01:39:04   your platform, and their reward is that they get 70% of the money, you get 30 or 85, 15 or whatever,

01:39:10   right? And so, I'm frustrated when that counter-arguing is made. Kara probably didn't

01:39:17   make it because she knows and Tim knows and everybody, you know, like they know between

01:39:21   themselves that this is all right, all right. Like in some respects, I felt like when she got

01:39:25   a talking point, she was just like, you know, over it and wanted to go to the next one because she

01:39:31   knows it's a BS talking point and didn't want to get bogged down in it. But even when these people

01:39:36   go in front of Congress, I hope some congressional staffers like, you know, get them up to date and

01:39:40   say, if they come in and say it's an economic miracle, whatever, tell them how awesome it

01:39:43   would be if they had zero apps, right? How awesome would your store be if developers didn't write

01:39:49   applications for it, right? They're not just doing you a favor. You're not just doing them a favor by

01:39:54   allowing their apps to be on your store. Their apps make people buy your phones and the phones

01:39:59   you make bazillions of dollars with because they have, you know, great margins or whatever. So,

01:40:03   yeah. Yeah. Overall, I thought the interview was very good though. And I also wanted to briefly

01:40:08   call out the kind of prelude discussion on dithering. It was interesting hearing John

01:40:16   and Ben talk about, and I feel like they'd done this before, talk about the questions that

01:40:22   Kara Swisher chose to ask because on the rare occasions that we get an audience with someone

01:40:27   at Apple, it's everyone's favorite thing to do is to yell at us about not asking the quote unquote

01:40:33   hard questions. And there was a really good discussion between John and Ben about how much

01:40:38   of a waste of time that often is. And then it becomes, I forget which one of them said it,

01:40:43   but then it becomes, you know, us grandstanding at, "Ooh, look at us, look at the three of us

01:40:47   and how fricking tough we are. We asked those hard questions." This question is more of a comment.

01:40:52   Exactly. No, it really is. It really is like that. And if you're one of those people who thinks,

01:40:59   "Oh, if the three of us, or if somebody else has an audience with the king, so to speak,

01:41:05   they better ask that question nobody else wants to ask. They better stick it to them."

01:41:10   And it's just, that's oftentimes a waste of time because if there's anything we've learned from Tim

01:41:14   Cook particularly, and I actually think Schiller is also extremely good in this regard, you know,

01:41:19   neither of them is going to reveal anything unless they absolutely want to. So yes, like the three of

01:41:25   us or Kara Swisher could ask the quote unquote hard question, but there's really not a lot of

01:41:31   point to that because all you're going to do is waste time that you could be using to ask something

01:41:35   that you may actually get interesting content and interesting data out of. So I just wanted to point

01:41:41   that out as well. Yeah. I mean, it's not, it's not even the hard questions. Like don't ask a question

01:41:45   that you know, that they're not going to give a real answer for, right? You can ask the hard

01:41:48   question and very often they'll, they invite the hard question, ask me the difficult thing and let

01:41:52   them give their canned answer for it. But like, if, if you're looking to reveal information,

01:41:57   if you want to extract information, information that your audience hasn't heard before,

01:42:01   getting them to regurgitate an existing talking point is not the route to that, right? Like we,

01:42:07   we've all heard those talking points and some of the hardest questions have talking point,

01:42:13   you know, canned answers, right? A lot of the questions Kara asked were hard questions,

01:42:17   but then when Tim started the answer, you're like, oh, he's doing that one. The greatest

01:42:20   sense, right? You know, that if there's no new information, like you, what people want is to ask

01:42:25   the hard question and we get like a different answer or more insider for them to be more honest

01:42:30   about it. But if they're coming in with their, you know, and so in some respects, sometimes the,

01:42:34   not easier, but the less expected question that they don't have a prepared answer for,

01:42:39   because you know, every, the question about like app store and, you know, uh, whatever privacy and

01:42:45   ad tracking is, those are hard questions and, you know, or like he's coming in with answers to those.

01:42:50   He knows they're going to be asked, right. But maybe if you ask something obscure, they don't

01:42:54   have a canned answer for that. And maybe you get something interesting out of that. Right. Um,

01:42:58   anyway, like obviously Kara Swisher's interview is different than our podcast is different than

01:43:04   a New York Times article is different than congressional testimony is different than

01:43:08   court testimony. Context matters as well. So there's, you know, it all depends, but

01:43:15   if what you're expecting is like a, uh, oh, I got to do it again, but Marco still hasn't seen it.

01:43:20   A few good men's style, you know, moment of reckoning. You are not going to get that on a

01:43:26   casual podcast. I'm sorry. You're just not, uh, yeah. And, and probably not even in court if, uh,

01:43:32   any past cases are judged. We've gone long on this topic, but just want to get in this one last bit.

01:43:38   Uh, it was one that got a lot of press cause it was, it was the one, Hey, it was a tidbit of new

01:43:43   information, information that hadn't been said before. And this is why it's getting all the

01:43:46   press. And this is why it's actually kind of a fun question that is not maybe something that he came

01:43:50   in with. Although knowing this, he probably knew all the questions at the time, but who knows?

01:43:53   Anyway, uh, I don't think he had a can answer this, but he clearly came in prepared to give

01:43:59   this answer, right? Maybe he's been prepared to give this answer for three months now. And no one

01:44:03   asked it. And maybe he just, you know, told Kara, you should ask me about this. Cause I got a cool

01:44:07   answer for you. Like that would be nice thing to do. Anyway. The question was, can you see yourself

01:44:11   still at apple 10 years from now or something similar to like that basically, uh, saying 10

01:44:15   years from now you think you'll still be at apple. Uh, and what Tim said is 10 years from now,

01:44:21   probably not, but I have no plans to leave now and I'm really enjoying it. And so on and so forth.

01:44:25   He basically did an infinite timeline argument with 10 years being the timeline. He said,

01:44:30   well, 10 years from now, y'all surely I'll be gone by then, but I'm not leaving today.

01:44:35   And I'm not leaving tomorrow and I'm not leaving next year, but 10 years. Yeah,

01:44:38   probably in 10 years. Cause 10 years, 10 years now, Tim cook will be 60 or 70 rather.

01:44:42   And I think it's, you know, that is not an unexpected answer. If you ask, Hey,

01:44:48   Hey billionaire, do you think you'll still be doing this backbreaking job when you're 70

01:44:53   or will you spend some time to enjoy your billions? It's not a shocking answer to say,

01:44:57   no, 10 years. No, I'm out of here by 70 perfectly valid, reasonable, not unexpected answer,

01:45:04   but something he has never said before. And it is kind of like the first step in the seven year plan

01:45:10   to sort of, you know, lay the groundwork for a transition, right? He's a good CEO, you know,

01:45:15   like knows how these things work. Uh, if you have the time, it's good to set up these transitions

01:45:21   well ahead of time. So here is the first little, first little tiny step, which is to say,

01:45:26   just so you know, in case you were thinking, I'm going to live forever and be like the God emperor

01:45:29   of Apple. I'm not, I'm really rich. I'm not going to be working here when I'm 95. Uh, so let's put

01:45:37   a cap on it. So 10 years, surely I'm out of here, but I'm not going to tell you when it's just the

01:45:41   10 years is so long from now and I'll be sold. I'm certainly out of here by then. So just keep

01:45:46   that in mind anyway. I'm not leaving today or tomorrow. Don't worry about it. Yeah. I mean,

01:45:53   before we blow past it, I also thought it was kind of interesting that he basically confirmed

01:45:58   it. The AR and car projects. Yeah. I mean, he's been, he's, he's been doing that for a long time

01:46:03   now. Every interview he's in, he doesn't shy away from the fact that Apple is very interested or

01:46:08   looking into that or like he never actually says we're going to make a thing, but he comes so close

01:46:14   to it for so many years now that it's been so like, unlike jobs who jobs was better at just

01:46:19   flat bald face, lying denial. Right. Just say, you know, we think AR is cool, but you know,

01:46:27   you know, is Apple doing anything about that? It's like, ah, you know, I don't, I don't think

01:46:30   that's, we don't talk about here, but Tim is like, Apple is deeply interested in this and we are very

01:46:35   interested in this area and we are looking into it deeply and he'll say every phrase that you can say

01:46:39   other than we're making a car. Right. Even when they said, are you making a car? You're making

01:46:43   driving stuff. It's like, he didn't say we're making a car. He didn't say we're making driving

01:46:47   stuff. What he said was boop soundboard can't answer. Number 12 Apple really lives at the

01:46:52   intersection of software, hardware and services. Right. But it's so obvious that it's like wink,

01:47:00   wink, nudge, nudge software, hardware and hardware and services. That's all true. And that's a canned

01:47:07   answer. But when you give that to your answer over, you're making a car or you're making

01:47:10   software, it's like hardware doesn't really answer anything. Cause what does that even mean? Are you

01:47:14   going to build it yourself? Are you integrating with hardware of a car made by somebody else?

01:47:19   So Tim Cook is still following the Apple playbook. We're not going to actually tell you anything.

01:47:22   But he is so not interested in hiding the fact that they've been working on AR. Honestly,

01:47:28   how can he hide it? There's been so many leaks and on AR, Apple, every WWDC has a new AR thing.

01:47:34   They just don't have the glasses. Right. But here's the new AR technology and you can use AR

01:47:38   on your phone. And did you know, like that's a canned answer. Did you know that you can use AR

01:47:42   with our iPads, with the LIDAR detector or LIDAR thing in it. And they're in our phones and look

01:47:47   at this is amazing AR. Are you going to make any goggles? Well, Apple really works at the

01:47:51   intersection of our phones. You know, there it is. We're all just waiting. And I think at this point,

01:47:57   Apple could never ship AR things and never ship anything with the car. And all his answers are

01:48:03   still valid because Apple has been shipping things in those areas for a long time. Will they, will a

01:48:09   product ever come of it? We think so eventually, but we also thought that air tags would arrive

01:48:14   eventually. And so far, so far nothing, but you know, two weeks from now, check again.

01:48:20   Yeah. And if anything, I think his answers for, you know, regarding AR and the car basically

01:48:27   confirm what most rumors have been triangulating on for years, which is like, both of these are

01:48:33   projects that are being worked on heavily. The car is probably not anywhere near being a product

01:48:39   or even defining what the product might be. It's still very much seemingly in the like exploratory

01:48:45   or like early development or experimental kind of, kind of areas. The third attempt at early

01:48:50   development, maybe. Right. Yeah, yeah, possibly. And, and I think the AR project is very close.

01:48:55   Like I think you can, you can look at like, you know, the way Apple talks, the way Tim talks,

01:48:59   this basically confirms the AR product is real and very close. The car project is also real,

01:49:05   but not very close and not quite well defined or, you know, maybe not nailed down yet. And both of

01:49:10   them are very much definitely products. Although that being said, did Tim Cook make anybody less

01:49:15   excited about AR? Like then is it possible to be less excited about what he was talking about here?

01:49:20   You know, as we're talking right here, we could both be looking at a chart.

01:49:23   Just think of everyone in the audience was watching a chart. You know what, if only there

01:49:28   was a way. He just wants to replace WebEx. Yeah. Even, even back, you know, in like a regular,

01:49:34   you know, regular room back when we get to back to normal, imagine if there's a way that we can be in

01:49:39   a meeting together and we can both be looking at the same chart. We've never come up with a way to

01:49:44   do this before. How amazing would that be? Like, I am so like, I got, is anybody on earth as excited

01:49:53   about AR as Tim Cook? No. And the thing with the AR with Tim Cook is like, like, you know what he

01:50:00   must be shown and maybe that's the way to get Tim Cook personally excited is to share a chart,

01:50:04   right? Because maybe that's an application that he can relate to. But so all the rumors of the AR

01:50:10   stuff is like whatever, whatever thing that is potentially in somewhat releasable state is

01:50:15   essentially like a VR, VR thing that looks a lot like a Oculus or, you know, what is the other big

01:50:20   one? VIVE. Yeah, there we go. I forgot all these brand names. Yeah. Anyway, then it's a big honking

01:50:27   thing. It's not a pair of dainty little glasses that are magically in future, right? No, you know,

01:50:31   obviously Apple is internally working on things to that, to that end, but they're nowhere near

01:50:37   release. Whereas Apple has had in-house, according to the rumors, many different prototypes and

01:50:41   iteration of things that you would recognize as VR AR goggles, like HoloLens or like, like the

01:50:47   Oculus things. But if you imagine those that you could actually look through instead of being

01:50:50   completely opaque or whatever. And in that context, it's still fascinating to me how Apple will try

01:50:56   to sell that as a product, because as we, as we known from years of these things existing,

01:51:01   especially the VR things, so far, it's not a mass market product. I mean, Sony made one for their

01:51:06   PlayStation, which is a mass market product. And even that accessory didn't set the world on fire

01:51:10   and there wasn't really any killer app that made everyone go out and get one, right? And then,

01:51:14   you know, hardcore gamers have them and it's, it's very sort of narrow interest. And it, I,

01:51:20   it'll be fascinating to see how, if Apple releases a product like that, which is what the rumors are,

01:51:25   how they will try to sell it. Will they say this is also for hardcore people and early adopters or

01:51:30   whatever, will they try to make it mass market? Because to get back to what Tim Cook was saying,

01:51:34   if you're trying, if you're going to pitch this as mass market, like everyone else did it,

01:51:38   but they didn't know how to do it right. So we finally made a good one. And this will be

01:51:43   more widely appealing. Telling people they can share a document is not the way to do it.

01:51:48   Right? Like, I mean, even with the Apple watch, you can make fun of digital touch all you want,

01:51:53   but whatever. But there was clearly a very mass market pitch about personal interaction and,

01:51:58   you know, like the power that, what this watch was going to do to you, Apple's most personal product.

01:52:03   And some of it panned out and some of it didn't, but you can see if someone showed you that pitch

01:52:07   beforehand, it's like, look, if you want to make this a mass market product, this is a mass market

01:52:11   pitch. Turns out that promise was not, you know, fulfilled. That's not how we ended up using your

01:52:17   watches, but the things that they are good for are equally mass market. Fitness, fitness is

01:52:22   essentially a mass market thing, right? It's not, it's not a narrow, you know, and health also mass

01:52:27   market and telling time mass market, very important, right? But sharing documents, no. So,

01:52:32   I guess maybe they haven't come up with the pitch for the AR product yet and all Tim Scott is the

01:52:39   thing that makes him excited. But I guess we'll find out either at WWDC this year or next.

01:52:45   One more quick thing. I know this is ridiculous to cover as a one more quick thing at the end

01:52:49   of a podcast that we haven't prepared for at all, but that's your way. Yeah.

01:52:54   If Tim Cook does retire or step down for what I know any other reason in the next 10 years,

01:53:00   who do you think is the next CEO? Because like, yeah, that's why I put, that's why I put this

01:53:05   element in there. I thought we were going to talk about that, but I didn't think we had time,

01:53:07   but now we will, I guess. Yeah. Like, I mean, just really, I mean, cause I don't,

01:53:10   I don't actually know that much about the, like the people, you know, at Apple and all their

01:53:14   inner workings and everything, but you know, I think obviously it's been very obvious that

01:53:19   Jeff Williams is kind of being groomed in the public eye, not necessarily as the next longterm

01:53:26   CEO, but at least as like a hot spare, you know, like if something, like if something happened to

01:53:31   Tim Cook and he suddenly couldn't be CEO anymore, I think it's obvious that Jeff Williams would be

01:53:36   the stand in, like at least interim CEO. But I don't think Jeff Williams is that much younger

01:53:43   than Tim. I think they're, they're of similar age. If Tim is saying, you know, by the time he's 70,

01:53:47   he probably won't be CEO anymore. Like by that time, I don't think Jeff Williams would be,

01:53:51   you know, super young at that point either. And once you go past Jeff Williams in the like

01:53:57   hierarchy, I don't know that there is an obvious next candidate up. Well, I mean, the thing I was

01:54:03   going to say about this was I think Jeff Williams, well, I think Tim Cook has shown that Apple can

01:54:09   function reasonably well with someone as a CEO who is not a visionary and not a product guy.

01:54:16   That was an open question when Jobs died, right? That could Apple function without someone who

01:54:21   does what he does? And Tim showed more or less, yes, you can. Like he, Tim doesn't have any of

01:54:28   those skills. And unlike let's say John Sculley, sorry, Mr. Sculley, doesn't try to have those

01:54:34   skills. He delegates those to varying degrees of success, depending on who he's delegating to.

01:54:40   So Jeff Williams, I think, could run Apple in a Tim Cook style successfully. Now you're right about

01:54:48   the age thing, but my instincts for super rich executives is that if you haven't been the CEO

01:54:55   of Apple, you at least want to be it for a few years, even if you're the same age as the guy

01:54:59   who's leaving, whereas Tim Cook is over it. Jeff Williams would be honored to be the CEO of Apple,

01:55:05   even if he was the same age as the outgoing guy for, let's say, five years, right? Just because

01:55:11   he hasn't been before. And Tim Cook has done it for a while, right? The danger of replacing Tim

01:55:15   Cook with somebody who is not willing to govern in a Tim Cook style, as in not being the product

01:55:23   visionary and delegating that to other people, is that you get someone in there who has bad ideas

01:55:28   and forces them on the whole company, right? Like that's the danger of the position at the top of

01:55:32   the org chart, is your badness becomes everybody's problem. Whereas if you delegate, if you're a good

01:55:39   manager, you can deal with your mistakes. "Oh, I delegated this to these people and they had

01:55:43   bad ideas, but I can shuffle those people because I'm results-oriented and I know how's the company

01:55:47   doing? Do people like our products? Are they selling well? What is public perception?" Tim

01:55:53   Cook, I think, is a little bit underrated. He's overrated, and if you look at the numbers, like,

01:56:00   "Oh, look at what Tim Cook's done with Apple since he came on. He's the best CEO ever." But

01:56:04   I think we underrate him a little bit, just because we don't care about that stuff and we only care

01:56:07   about the products. But his style is, it has benefits. In that when you do make mistakes,

01:56:15   you're not sort of wedded to them in the same way that if it was Tim Cook's idea that he was

01:56:19   wedded to because he thought he was the visionary for this product, it would be harder to dislodge

01:56:23   him if it turns out that was a bad strategy or whatever. We'll see. But anyway, I agree with

01:56:28   Marco that I don't know what the obvious sort of line of succession is. You can always hire from

01:56:33   the outside. It's not unheard of. It seems like a totally un-Apple thing to do, but stranger things

01:56:38   have happened. But I am heartened by the fact that Tim Cook has shown that you don't necessarily need

01:56:46   Steve Jobs to have a successful Apple, and that really opens up the field to people who can be

01:56:52   good at that job. Because if your demand is you must be Steve Jobs, it's a hard position to fill.

01:56:58   Tim Cook is probably the best in the world at the few operational things that he does,

01:57:03   but you don't have to be the best best when you have such a successful company. Maybe you won't

01:57:07   be as efficient as Tim Cook was, but there's a lot of money raining down on Apple. I think

01:57:11   as long as you don't screw it up too badly, you can do pretty well.

01:57:15   So what I'm saying is hire me. I'll do it. I don't think you would. I honestly think you wouldn't.

01:57:21   I think you'd hate it if you did. Oh, delegate. Everyone else handle it. I'll just do podcasts.

01:57:27   Yeah, totally. That'll be fine. That'll work. Talk to Kara Swisher. She'll ask me the hard

01:57:32   questions and I'll give her better arguments about why we need to control that.

01:57:35   Hold on. I got to give you my wild card because it's going to really make you happy. So officially,

01:57:41   my official answer is absolutely Jeff Williams. No question. That's the next one. But my unofficial

01:57:46   answer is, and I can't believe I'm saying this out loud. What about Q? I was like the guy from

01:57:53   Star Trek. What? Oh, that's the thing. Like almost all the executives that we know their names like

01:58:00   that have been in presentation, everything. They're almost all at least in their fifties.

01:58:04   They're old and rich, but, but like I said, they're all, of course they're all the rich,

01:58:07   but they haven't been CEO before and they have any desire to be CEO. You take the job and you stay in

01:58:13   it for a while. Like, and I don't think any Q wants the job. So I don't think so. I'm not so sure.

01:58:17   So Eddie Q is 56 as we are recording right now and I don't, I, again, my official answer is Williams,

01:58:24   full stop. Yeah. I think that's, Williams is clearly like he's, he's the person who

01:58:29   replaced him tomorrow if necessary. Right. Exactly. And would do and would do it, I think,

01:58:34   similar to how Tim does it, which is not a bad way. Yeah. Agreed. But I think about this and I

01:58:39   think that Q seems to have that he seems to have the ambition that I think it would take to do it,

01:58:48   I think. And beyond that, what's important to Apple these days? Like, yes, hardware's important

01:58:54   to Apple, but I don't know. I don't really see like Ternus just showing up or Suruji,

01:58:59   Johnny Suruji just like showing up as CEO. Maybe Suruji, maybe, but even then I feel like that's

01:59:04   a stretch, but what else is important to Apple these days? Services is really fricking important

01:59:09   to Apple these days. And so I could see the seemingly golden boy of services rising up

01:59:17   in being the next CEO. I don't know that it would be a particularly good choice, but I see it. I can

01:59:22   see it happening. I'm looking at, you know, apple.com/leadership and I'm looking at eddy

01:59:26   Q stare me in the face saying, Oh yeah, I'm your man. Like I'm just looking at it. I'm telling you.

01:59:32   I feel like if anybody on this leadership page could hear this segment, I'm of two minds. One,

01:59:38   they'd be like, Oh, Casey knows our secrets. How did he find out? But more likely I think

01:59:42   they're all laughing hilariously at the idea of this happening. I hope so. I hope so. Yeah. No,

01:59:47   I mean, I actually, I have, I would say a different, I would say Eddie's not number,

01:59:51   you know, if Jeff Williams is number two, I don't think Eddie's number three. I think Jager O'Brien

01:59:55   is number three. Why do you say that? So she is from operations. She has been recently promoted,

02:00:02   you know, up to like SVP level and becoming more visible. You know, we know like Tim,

02:00:07   Tim's from operations, Jeff Williams, by the way, real time follow up Jeff Williams is three years

02:00:12   younger than Tim. So not a lot. So he's got, he's got five years to be CEO then. Yeah. And Jager

02:00:16   O'Brien is six years younger than Tim. So not, we're not doing, still not doing great here, but

02:00:20   you know, at least, and Eddie by the way is up there too. Eddie is four years younger than Tim.

02:00:25   So we're dealing with, you know, everyone's in their fifties are up. But I would say Jager O'Brien

02:00:32   is the number three, like after Jeff Williams in the line of current succession. People keep saying

02:00:38   like, you know, Federighi or Ternus, but like, these are, these are, those are like tech people.

02:00:43   I don't think they want to be CEO. And frankly, I don't think Eddy Q wants to be either. I think

02:00:47   the desire to be CEO is the number one factor because, because it's a hard job and you have to

02:00:54   want it. So just cross off every bear on this page who doesn't want it. Eddie, I think wants to go

02:00:59   have fun. He deserves to go have fun. He wants to go to sports games again and drive his Ferraris and

02:01:05   just generally have fun. And you don't have fun as CEO. It's a hard job. So you really got to want

02:01:11   it. Who on this page really, really wants it? Jeff Williams. I can believe he wants it. Jager

02:01:16   O'Brien. I can believe she wants it. Eddy Q. Can't believe it. C-Fed. No. I mean, well, actually,

02:01:21   I don't know. C-Fed. I can't, I can't imagine him because these people see what the job of CEO is

02:01:28   like and I can imagine them just being like, no, like that's not, that's not for me. Right. Because

02:01:32   like if you look at what the job actually is, like it's a lot of politics, it's a lot of diplomacy,

02:01:37   it's a lot of PR stuff. Like it's because like this is such a big company in such a big world.

02:01:42   Tim Cook has to deal with like world leaders. He's got to go on CNBC. Yeah, that's terrible.

02:01:48   No nerd wants that job. Like I guarantee you Fedor Riga's one of the job. Probably John Turnus. He's

02:01:53   also a nerd probably given his job. Like I guarantee you these people do not want that job. Eddy Q. I

02:01:59   think you're right. I think Eddy Q doesn't just want to retire and have fun. I think Eddy Q has

02:02:03   fun in his current job. Everything I've ever heard about him. He wants to keep it. Yeah. Yeah. Like

02:02:07   it seems like he actually is a pretty fun person and has a lot of fun even with his job of like,

02:02:13   you know, meeting with like people from the FBI and stuff. Like I think he actually has fun. He's

02:02:17   joking around with them right now. Can I give you a, can I give you a second wildcard since

02:02:22   now I'm going top four on this. What about Lisa Jackson? I don't think she wants that. I feel like,

02:02:28   and this is a very California California thing of me to say, but I feel like she has the right

02:02:31   energy for it. Like I feel like she has that kind of Tim coolness to her. The just very chill. Do

02:02:39   you think she wants to run a technology company though? I don't get that impression. I don't know

02:02:44   that I do. I very much not. I feel that way way more about Q than I do about Lisa Jackson, but

02:02:50   I could see Lisa Jackson wanting to do it. I could see Apple wanting her to do it because, you know,

02:02:56   after all of our, and I mean ours in the three of us and ours in the collective community,

02:03:00   all of our whining and moaning about, you know, diversity and how there's a complete lack of

02:03:06   diversity, especially above the fold here on this webpage I'm looking at. I could see how that would

02:03:12   check a few interesting and different check boxes than any CEO they've had before. And I don't know,

02:03:18   I think I could see she strikes me as the kind that can get difficult things done because certainly

02:03:25   doing all of this, doing, doing all the things that they do for, for environmental causes,

02:03:31   while I argue is the right thing to do, I can't say it's the easy thing to do, or certainly not

02:03:36   in many cases, the profitable thing to do. And I mean, as much as we laughed about her saying,

02:03:41   Hey, enjoy the fact that you're getting less crap for the same money. When, when they took the power

02:03:47   power supplies out of the iPhone boxes, she did a pretty admirable job of it all told, I thought she

02:03:52   sold it reasonably well. I don't know. I feel like I can see a world where Q is an ex CEO and I can

02:03:58   see a world where Lisa Jackson is the next CEO. Although I expect to see the world where Jeff

02:04:03   Williams is the next CEO. You have quite an imagination. I have to, I just look at, I mean,

02:04:10   what'd you make me think of when I was thinking as the, who was the retail person before? Who was

02:04:14   the Apple store person who left from Burberry? What was her name? Oh, Angela Ahrens. Yeah. Angela

02:04:20   Ahrens. She wanted to be CEO. So she, she like, and not the, not that she would have been in line

02:04:25   for that necessarily, but if you want to see somebody who has ambition to sort of climb the

02:04:30   corporate ladder and like that, you know, she was ambitious, right? Would they bring her back?

02:04:35   I don't, I wouldn't want her as Apple CEO. I'm just saying like, it's all about desire because

02:04:40   you see this, you see this all the time in companies. Like at a certain point, people don't

02:04:44   want to be promoted anymore, right? They, they, they see the jobs that their bosses do and they

02:04:48   do not want them right for whatever reason. And the CEO is the ultimate version of that.

02:04:53   I think we can look at like most of the people that we know from like, exactly. I think Eddy Q,

02:04:58   I think Craig Federi, I think, I think Phil Schiller. I think all of those people,

02:05:01   as far as I could guess, probably don't and didn't want to be CEO.

02:05:06   Phil, Phil might take CEO. We should ask him. Let's give him a call.

02:05:09   So you were offered CEO. I think Phil would take it. Here's why. Here's why I think Phil

02:05:13   would take it. Not because he relishes the job of doing the work of CEO, but just because he

02:05:17   thinks he would be good at it. And honestly, I think he would actually kind of be good at it,

02:05:20   right? In his way. Because it's a leadership position too. That's the other thing we're

02:05:25   talking about. It's not just going on CNBC. It's about leadership and Phil, I think, understands

02:05:30   the job style of inspirational leadership and can actually execute it fairly well. It's very

02:05:35   different than the Tim Cook style, but you know, if you think about Phil and how he operated in

02:05:40   all of his roles, he was very much in that mold and I thought he did a pretty good job of it.

02:05:44   And that type of role, you say, well, I hate the drudgery of CEO, which of course Steve Jobs did

02:05:48   well, but I like the leadership part. And Phil would be a good leader, right? In the same way

02:05:53   that I think Lisa Jackson would be a good leader, I just think she would want to lead a company

02:05:56   that's not Apple, right? You know, I don't think her ambition is to run Apple. I think her ambition

02:06:02   is to run a very different kind of company. If she was a CEO of Apple, I feel like she would change

02:06:07   it to be a very different kind of company. Potentially a better company, but maybe the

02:06:12   board is not going to throw her in there if they know that she's going to shake things up that much.

02:06:18   Yeah, I don't know. Because I feel like the idea of Schiller being CEO, I think that would have

02:06:23   worked great back during the Steve Jobs era when the company was much smaller, when the world was

02:06:29   much smaller around them. And when he was younger and actually wanted to do it. Maybe now he's sort

02:06:33   of on his way out and you know. Oh sure, that aside, but I think like, you know, today's Apple,

02:06:39   you're basically like a world leader. You have to operate on such a political level and such a

02:06:45   operational level. I don't think it's an accident that the CEO today is a boring operations person

02:06:54   who doesn't show a lot of personality ever, but can manage a large scale operation and can

02:07:01   give statements to Congress when asked. Like product people or tech people tend to be not only

02:07:09   not very good at that, but also totally uninterested and actually turned off by all of

02:07:13   that. So I can imagine, I think Phil is a diehard product person through and through. I think he

02:07:18   always has been. I don't think a product person today can take over as CEO of Apple. I don't see

02:07:25   it. I would love it if that was the reality because I would love a product person to be CEO again,

02:07:30   at least if they made good decisions, as you said earlier. That's the hard part, isn't it? That's a

02:07:35   big if, yeah. But I think at today's scale, I just don't think that's realistic. Yeah, the danger,

02:07:41   again, looking at all these faces is you see this happening in big companies all the time.

02:07:44   Someone who you just described, like who is actually a tech person and probably is going

02:07:48   to hate the job of CEO, nevertheless really, really wants it because they don't realize what

02:07:54   it's going to be like. Like they just have sort of ambition blinders on and they're just like,

02:07:59   I want to be CEO because I think I would be great at it. And then they get in the job and they're

02:08:03   like, oh my God, this is terrible. I didn't think it would be like this. I envisioned, and you

02:08:09   wouldn't think that people who work a long time at high levels of companies would have illusions of

02:08:13   what it's like to be CEO, but especially in a company the size of Apple, it's hard to really

02:08:18   internalize what it's really going to be like. And sometimes people end up getting a CEO job.

02:08:23   I mean, even at Apple, there was a long line of CEOs that you probably don't know the names of

02:08:28   because you weren't following Apple back then who clearly got the job and then went, oh no.

02:08:32   This is not what I thought it would be. It's harder than I thought it would be.

02:08:39   And I don't enjoy it. But I can't leave now because you can't really-- once you get the job,

02:08:47   you can't be like, this is too hard and leave after two weeks because it's kind of--

02:08:50   I don't think anyone on this page falls into that category. But I look and I wonder if some

02:08:56   technical person would be like, you know what? I think I could be CEO because I would do a much

02:09:00   better job than Tim Cook because he doesn't understand technology. And then they get in

02:09:03   a position and they're like, I didn't understand CEO. Oh no.

02:09:06   Thanks for listening, everybody. We were sponsored this week by Squarespace, ExpressVPN,

02:09:11   and Hover. You can join as a member if you want things like ad-free episodes and our bootleg feed

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02:09:29   talk to you next week. [MUSIC PLAYING]

02:09:33   Now the show is over. They didn't even mean to begin.

02:09:37   'Cause it was accidental. Accidental.

02:09:40   Oh, it was accidental. Accidental.

02:09:43   John didn't do any research. Marco and Casey wouldn't let him.

02:09:48   'Cause it was accidental. Accidental.

02:09:51   It was accidental. Accidental.

02:09:54   And you can find the show notes at atp.fm. And if you're into Twitter, you can follow them

02:10:03   at C-A-S-E-Y-L-I-S-S. So that's Casey List, M-A-R-C-O-A-R-M.

02:10:12   A-N-T-M-A-R-C-O-A-R-M-E-N-S-I-R-A-C-U-S-A-C-R-A-C-U-S-A. It's accidental.

02:10:21   They didn't mean to. Accidental.

02:10:26   Tech podcast so long.

02:10:31   So I have a quick after show if you want, unless you don't want anything else.

02:10:36   Uh, yes, please. I see something about your car and your quote-unquote current car. So I am very interested what's happening.

02:10:43   As I mentioned in previous episodes, where I had a flat tire and a minor impact on my car,

02:10:50   because it was parked and it was hit while parked. Current theory is that it might have been hit by a

02:10:57   truck with a plow on the front that was not currently plowing at the time because there was

02:11:01   no snow on the ground during this two-week interval. But this was a parking lot where a lot

02:11:05   of contractor trucks were always parked. And so it's possible one of them had a plow mounted on

02:11:09   the front because it does look a lot like it was hit by a plow. The scratches proved deep enough

02:11:13   that, um, the, uh, that, you know, for, for purposes of a leased car that is not actually mine yet,

02:11:20   or ever, maybe, um, I needed to get them fixed and it needed to go to an actual body shop and they

02:11:26   have to go through insurance and everything. This anecdote, just as a side note, this is the first

02:11:31   time as far as I know that I've ever filed an insurance claim. Huh. You've been very lucky.

02:11:36   Yeah. Anyway, and it was actually not that hard yet. Uh, I don't know if it's going to get hard.

02:11:42   We'll, we'll see. Please don't clip that sound out. Anyway, so I can't believe nobody. I was

02:11:48   waiting for Casey to come in. I was done found it. And then I kept flashing back to when I told

02:11:54   Marco that he gets me so hard, which was not at all what I meant, but it is what I said. Okay.

02:11:59   Uh, so anyway, the right along, I was expecting it. That's what she said.

02:12:03   Uh, I know I should have, I was dumbfounded. Just disappointment all around here. That's what she

02:12:10   said. Oh boy. Anyway, moving on children. So, so yeah, so I had to go to a body shop.

02:12:18   You had to start this over. You're never going to get a clean edit out of this. You've got to start

02:12:23   this all over. What kind of bodies were they Marco? Anyway, so they have to have my car for

02:12:27   like a couple of weeks to get, you know, get all the parts in and paint and they're going to be

02:12:31   repainting two panels and it's going to be a whole thing. Um, anyway, for coming back here,

02:12:35   we took Tiskar at the BMW I3. It's not really made to go super long distances, but this is the

02:12:42   longest I drove it for this trip. This included the vaccination trip and, and, and, you know,

02:12:46   driving to the beach and this whole thing and longterm parking. I even stopped at a fast charger

02:12:51   on the way to kind of top off because I don't know how it has to sit for like two weeks in the

02:12:56   parking lot. I don't know how much charge it's going to lose on the way. So, uh, so I wanted

02:13:00   to like get there with as much power as possible. Can I just interrupt very briefly? I would like to

02:13:05   offer my apologies to Tiff for having to deal with you complaining and moaning as I'm sure you did

02:13:12   about not having the access to the supercharger network, about all the things that make this a

02:13:17   considerably worse electric car than the, than the Tesla is. So Tiff, on behalf of me and perhaps only

02:13:24   me, I'm sorry for having to deal with all this because I can only imagine how difficult and,

02:13:28   and frustrating Marco has been over the last several days.

02:13:31   So actually it's, it's a bit of a mixed bag. Um, Oh, I'll take it. I'll take it. Carplay makes

02:13:38   up for a lot, I guess. Yeah. And I'm going to get to that in a second, but the I3 like,

02:13:42   you know, from model S driver, it is certainly a step down in a few areas. You know, obviously it's

02:13:47   way less range, it's way less like speed and power and it's, it has fewer luxury features in most

02:13:53   ways, but I was actually really impressed by a few aspects of it. So first of all, I know from being

02:13:59   an electric car driver that the, the range estimate they give in miles, you can't really take that as

02:14:05   an absolute because it depends on a lot of factors. And I knew on this day, for instance, that we'd

02:14:10   probably be using the air conditioning. Uh, I knew that we'd be driving a lot on the highway, which

02:14:14   might be going faster than 55 miles an hour and therefore might be a little less efficient. Um,

02:14:20   and I knew, you know, I knew it would be a very heavily loaded car. And so I thought, you know,

02:14:25   maybe when it tells me that we have whatever it is like 138 miles, whatever it is, when it's full,

02:14:30   you know, we were going on a 55 mile journey. So I thought maybe it actually would need to be

02:14:36   charged in the middle before we could get home with it or whatever else. So I planned all the

02:14:40   stop. I planned the stop at it's actually kind of funny. The connector that it uses for fast charging

02:14:46   is not a common connector in the U S and if you search for fast charge stations with that

02:14:51   connector, it's, I forget what it's called, but there's almost none except like BMW dealers.

02:14:57   And so, and there was one BMW dealer on long Island that has one of these things in their

02:15:04   parking lot. So I thought, great, I'll show up. Uh, and so that's what we did. So we drove there

02:15:11   on the way first. I allocated like an extra hour so we could sit there and charge if we had to. So

02:15:15   again, I had no idea how much battery dream we would see after at that point, probably 45

02:15:19   miles of driving. Ostensibly that could be half the car's range or more depending on, you know,

02:15:25   how, how much it actually used. So I put the car in eco pro mode, which really lops off the

02:15:32   acceleration, but not only, not only was the range estimate accurate, it over promised or under

02:15:39   promised rather and over delivered. We drove something like 45 miles and had only lost like

02:15:44   35 miles on the range indicator. So it was great and we actually needed very little charging. Like

02:15:51   it couldn't even take it at full speed anymore cause it was all we got there and it was at like

02:15:55   70%. So I fast charged for like 15 minutes just cause we were there. And it was kind of funny too.

02:16:00   Like you could tell like the people at the BMW dealer, you could tell that they don't get a lot

02:16:05   of people doing this and that they really don't like it. We, we pulled up and it was, you know,

02:16:12   we spotted it from across the parking lot. It was just, you know, that's sort of like, you know,

02:16:15   booth thing with the big cable commander. It was like, Oh, that must be it. And we went over to it.

02:16:18   It was at a parking spot, but they had parked one of their cars, like one of their show cars. They

02:16:24   just parked it in that spot because clearly like no one uses this. And so I just pulled up next to

02:16:31   that spot and just ran the cable like out to the car and just kind of partially blocked a driveway,

02:16:36   but it was, they could get by. It was fine and charged for a few minutes and like the,

02:16:40   and the whole time I'm looking around like, okay, you know, maybe, you know, go inside,

02:16:43   look at the new cars and walk around the showroom for a few minutes. What else am I going to do for

02:16:47   15 minutes? You know, Adam and Tiff had no interest. So I went in, walked around. I,

02:16:51   well, I was most, must've been in the showroom for five or 10 minutes.

02:16:54   Zero salespeople came up to me or said anything to me or even looked at me. None. I got no

02:17:00   acknowledgement that I existed. I actually was curious to ask some questions to the salespeople

02:17:05   about like their future electric models. I really haven't been paying much attention.

02:17:08   Anyway, eventually I left and charging experience was totally fine. It wasn't as nice as super

02:17:13   charging cause you, it was, it was one of those charge point network things. So you have to like

02:17:17   unlock it by first like logging into their app and putting in a payment method. But even that

02:17:24   was kind of nice once I figured it out because it supports the Apple wallet, like NFC type API.

02:17:30   So you just hold your phone up to the thing once you have an account and you just like double tap

02:17:35   it as if you're using a wallet card like on a, on an NFC reader and it just starts it up and you

02:17:39   do the same thing to stop it and that's it. So that whole thing worked pretty well. I can't remember

02:17:44   what I paid, but it was not much. Maybe like a dollar. It wasn't, wasn't a lot. So anyway,

02:17:49   I ended up driving this car for probably about 60 miles that day over multiple hours,

02:17:56   lots of different environments and everything. Using CarPlay the entire time.

02:18:00   Oh, imagine that.

02:18:02   Of course. Right. And this was, I think the most real world experience I've had with CarPlay

02:18:07   because I haven't had a car that has it. All the development I do on CarPlay for my app,

02:18:11   I do with a little test rig. But like on my desk, that's plugged into like a 12 volt adapter.

02:18:16   But I, I, I don't own a car with CarPlay and never have. And so, but Tiskar has it. So in this case,

02:18:23   I got to use it a lot, way more than I've ever used it before in any kind of real world environment.

02:18:28   And I have some thoughts. So first of all, the i3 was surprisingly good. It was,

02:18:33   it was not as nice as my Tesla, but it was not that much worse. In, in a few, in a few big areas,

02:18:40   the range proved to be very good. The power was okay. And I was actually kind of impressed how

02:18:47   much we were able to fit into it. It is not a big car at all. It's a, it's a very compact car,

02:18:52   but you can fit a surprising amount of cargo into it, which I did not expect because it looks like

02:18:57   when you look at the trunk, you're like, that's super tiny. But if with, with smart packing,

02:19:01   you can actually fit a lot in. I just want to point out that this is a reinforcing my notion

02:19:06   that Marco should definitely look at other electric car brands because in the grand scheme

02:19:10   of things, the i3 is not looked upon as a particularly good electric car. It's a very early,

02:19:15   very early effort from BMW that most people don't particularly like isn't even considered a real

02:19:21   competitor in the current crop of electric cars. And yet you are finding it as not that

02:19:27   bad, not as bad as you thought compared to what is basically the best electric car in its class.

02:19:33   And so if you think these things are that close, I can only imagine what you would think of anything

02:19:39   that is actually a legit competitor to your model S, which the i3 is not. So I encourage you to look

02:19:46   at like the weirdo, the Audi Taycan that's coming out, whatever, what is that one called? KZ? Oh,

02:19:51   I don't remember. I know what you're thinking of. I don't remember that. Anyway, that, that,

02:19:55   you know, if, if you are surprisingly impressed by the i3, I think you'd be blown away by a car that

02:20:01   is actually a competitor to yours. So anyway, continue. Well, and I will say like the i3 on

02:20:05   paper doesn't compete in practice. It's nicer than the paper suggests. Like it's like, if you look at

02:20:12   specs and value and things of that, it is outclassed by almost all the modern competitors,

02:20:17   but it's actually nicer than you would think based on its specs and class and everything. Anyway, so

02:20:23   CarPlay, I actually have very mixed opinions about CarPlay as implemented in the BMW iDrive system.

02:20:32   Circa 2017, like what year? Yeah, well, yeah, I think it's a 2019 model, but it's, it's not a

02:20:38   super recent update for this. It is wireless, which is great. It's wireless CarPlay, but,

02:20:42   I have two main issues with CarPlay as implemented today in BMWs. One is the like scroll wheel style

02:20:49   of interaction rather than a touch screen. That time has passed. I think you now need these to be

02:20:54   touch screens. You can operate CarPlay interfaces with wheels and buttons and stuff. You can. Oh,

02:21:01   it stinks though. But yeah, it's terrible. It's awful. It's clearly designed as a touch screen.

02:21:06   It's clearly designed to have like, you know, quick access to the little quick icons on the left for

02:21:09   things like quick app switching and Siri access and stuff like that. And, you know, going back

02:21:14   between the map and the music app maybe or whatever, that kind of thing, like CarPlay is clearly

02:21:19   touch first and that's clearly the right way to do it. This kind of thing should have a touch screen.

02:21:25   I know we went through a time in the automotive industry where nobody wanted to put in touch

02:21:31   screens. They wanted to have, you know, lots, everyone had their things. We had an entire

02:21:34   episode of neutral about this, if I'm not mistaken, where we were complaining and moaning about touch

02:21:38   screens in cars. Yeah. And you really, with CarPlay, you really need to be a touch screen.

02:21:42   It's very awkward to use with, with wheels and stuff like that. The other thing is the whole time

02:21:46   I kept hitting weird little friction points between the BMW system and CarPlay. Like which one of them

02:21:54   is running the show here? BMW thinks they are and Apple thinks they are. And the result is a really

02:22:00   weird mixed bag of interaction and modes and things like for instance, above the aforementioned wheel

02:22:08   to navigate stuff, there's like five or six buttons. It's like, it says like, you know,

02:22:11   media menu, map, stuff like that nav. And when you're in CarPlay, if you tap the map button,

02:22:17   it jumps you to the active navigation app in CarPlay, which is great. Oh, that's cool.

02:22:23   If you tap the nav button right below it, it jumps you to the BMW one and kicks you out of CarPlay.

02:22:27   I don't know why. I'm not sure what the difference is. Honestly, somehow there's map and nav.

02:22:31   Also, so tapping the map button brings you to the map app in CarPlay. Great. But tapping the

02:22:39   media button does not bring you back to the music app. It brings you to the BMW media screen.

02:22:43   There's little inconsistencies, you know, like one of the, I think, critical ways to interact

02:22:50   with CarPlay is via Siri. How do you invoke Siri on the system? Well, there's a voice button

02:22:58   on the steering wheel. Tap that and you think Siri answers? Nope. BMW's voice system answers

02:23:04   instead and kicks you out of CarPlay. And there kept being these cases, the car popped up a message

02:23:11   about the range extender maintenance thing, doesn't matter, but it popped up this like,

02:23:16   basically modal dialogue box a few times throughout the drive. And one of them caused me to almost

02:23:20   miss a turn because it popped up this box from the BMW interface that kicked me out of CarPlay.

02:23:27   And then getting back into CarPlay, there is no one button to get back into it. You have to like

02:23:32   hit the media or home button or whatever, and then scroll over to the like CarPlay item in that list.

02:23:38   And then it goes right back into it. And so there was just all these issues that I just kept facing,

02:23:43   like what I would actually want here is the option for a car that is navigated only in CarPlay.

02:23:52   Well, you see that's where Apple excels in the union of software, hardware and services.

02:23:57   On an Apple car, you won't have these problems is what I'm saying.

02:24:01   Yeah, like, so I think if I were ever to leave the Tesla family, I would want a car

02:24:09   that was dumb enough to let CarPlay just fully take over. Like, if I have a CarPlay head unit, hell,

02:24:16   give me a double din in the dash and I'll put my own in. That's probably unrealistic to expect

02:24:22   these days. I think most modern cars don't let you easily swap in like a standard radio in there,

02:24:27   without like wrecking your entire dashboard. But what I actually want is at least an option

02:24:34   to just have CarPlay literally take over and to have all of the buttons in the car that are that,

02:24:40   you know, if there happens to be like a voice command button somewhere, or a map button or

02:24:45   a radio button, whatever, I want all of those buttons to map only to CarPlay and to never kick

02:24:50   me out of CarPlay unless I have to go look at like the tire pressure monitor or something,

02:24:54   some kind of like rarely used niche setting of the car. That's fine. But during routine driving,

02:25:00   I want if I'm using CarPlay, I want to only use CarPlay. I want to be locked in there.

02:25:05   I don't want to have to be kicked out of it every so often because I hit the wrong button and the

02:25:09   car is taking over saying, Oh, you wanted my crappy navigation system instead of your nice

02:25:13   one using Waze like, no, I like I just want CarPlay. Whenever the time comes that I have

02:25:19   to replace my car, I'm going to actually look at this as a pretty important criterion of like,

02:25:24   if I'm gonna get a car that supports CarPlay, I want that kind of takeover mode. And it has to be

02:25:29   a touchscreen. Well, so I think I understand how you've come to this conclusion. But I think you've

02:25:35   been wronged by BMW's implementation, most specifically that it doesn't have a touchscreen.

02:25:40   So with my Volkswagen, there's physical buttons on the outsides of the screen. And I forget exactly

02:25:46   what they're but there's like media, nav, app, which really means CarPlay. I forget what else

02:25:53   is there, shoot, but there's like six or seven of them, maybe six or eight around the screen or on

02:25:58   the left and right hand sides of the screen. And if I hit anything other than app, I will be dumped

02:26:03   back into the VW stuff. So if I hit media in there, I'm, you know, back to Volkswagen's onboard

02:26:11   media player. If I hit nav on there, I'm going to Volkswagen's navigation. And on the surface,

02:26:16   that sounds terrible. And on the surface, the BMW implementation where you said map brings you to

02:26:21   whatever your current map app is, sounds like it's better than what I'm just, you know, than the

02:26:26   Volkswagen way of doing it. But it's actually way more consistent, which I'd argue is better. And

02:26:31   it's unlikely I'm gonna be hitting any of those buttons because once I'm in CarPlay,

02:26:35   like you're saying, I'm just staying in CarPlay. And I'm just tapping the damn screen if I want to

02:26:39   do something on CarPlay. And I don't have to futz with the iDrive stick, which at the time, you know,

02:26:45   when we were recording neutral, at the time, car touchscreens were really bad and they weren't in

02:26:50   places that were very conducive to hit. And they weren't making touch targets big enough. So I

02:26:55   stand by my opinion at the time that they were garbage. But now I think you're exactly right,

02:27:01   that you really need to have a touchscreen in the car in order to make a lot of things

02:27:06   considerably easier. Similarly, in Aaron's car, there's not really any physical buttons around

02:27:12   the screen, but only the bottom third or so of the screen becomes CarPlay. And there's still Volkswagen

02:27:17   like UI and Chrome above it, or excuse me, Volvo UI and Chrome above it. And if you tap any of that

02:27:24   stuff, it'll kind of like, almost window shades CarPlay. But, you know, to get back to it, you

02:27:29   just tap the title bar down at the bottom and then there you are again. And I find that these

02:27:35   implementations, even though they don't lock you in CarPlay in the way you're talking about,

02:27:40   because it's consistent, and because you're never ever, ever really interacting with any physical

02:27:46   buttons, you're only locked on the touchscreen in a manner of speaking. I think it's pretty decent

02:27:52   that way. And I think you would like it that way. And I think that that's how these typically work.

02:27:56   Yeah, I think if I had a touchscreen and like that, that easy one button button somewhere to

02:28:02   kick me back into CarPlay from anywhere, I think that combination would be fine.

02:28:06   Yep. And that's that's what we have.

02:28:08   I mean, the variety of implementations I've seen, I haven't used a car like this,

02:28:11   but I've looked at like reviews of the various interiors and everything. They're all over the

02:28:14   place. And I think one combination that works really well is a touchscreen for CarPlay, which,

02:28:20   although I disagree with you about the appropriateness of touch in cars, I agree that

02:28:26   CarPlay itself needs touch. Right. So if you're going to use CarPlay, touch is the best way to do

02:28:33   that. If you're going to operate the interior of a car, maybe touch isn't the best way to do certain

02:28:38   things. But anyway, if you like CarPlay, definitely touch. But a central screen for CarPlay,

02:28:42   and then a lot of the newer cars have a surprising amount of functionality in the instrument cluster

02:28:49   on that screen, because that screen keeps getting bigger too. Like it's no longer just like, oh,

02:28:52   we can make two little gauges, but they're graphics, right? Now they're huge. Like if

02:28:55   you look at like Mercedes, like basically the entire dashboard is a giant screen, right?

02:28:59   So CarPlay sort of gets its outpost on the touchscreen, right? And then when you do other

02:29:05   things with the car features, like turning on the seat heaters or whatever, it's not competing with

02:29:09   the CarPlay screen, right? That that information is elsewhere on one of the umpteen other screens,

02:29:14   whether it's the instrument cluster or the various other screens that are between there or whatever,

02:29:18   which lets you essentially do everything at once to not have them fighting with each other,

02:29:22   because they're both active at once. I think that solution works really well, because it sort of

02:29:27   separates the duties. Like, okay, Apple, you get this square and the car makers are doing it,

02:29:31   knowing that people are mostly going to use Android Auto or CarPlay or whatever, and dedicating a chunk

02:29:36   to it. It's like, okay, that's you. You get the touchscreen, you get this, you get to do those

02:29:40   things. But we, the car maker, there's a bunch of other crap that we want to have available and on

02:29:44   display all the time too. So, you know, it's kind of like the next step after what Casey was

02:29:48   describing, which is like minimizing CarPlay and then popping it back up, which is great because

02:29:51   you don't lose state, but it's clear that two things are fighting for the same screen.

02:29:54   There's no reason to fight in these things with like acres of screens in them. So,

02:29:59   I think that will eventually trickle down and probably become like the sort of most prominent

02:30:06   way to do it. Just carve out a space for Android Auto or CarPlay, right? And then the Apple way to

02:30:11   do it would be everything is all Apple from top to bottom, so you don't have to worry about it.

02:30:14   (laughing)