419: This Week’s Gasp


00:00:00   I have an update about our household Alexa situation.

00:00:05   - Oh, is this for everyone or just for the two of us?

00:00:08   Are we live? - Oh, we're live.

00:00:10   - Okay. - It's for every device

00:00:11   that responds to that trigger word that you just said.

00:00:14   - Apparently. (laughing)

00:00:16   - I decided to finally not say like,

00:00:18   "Hey, everybody, we're live!"

00:00:19   And started with that.

00:00:20   'Cause it's very, like the first thing I do when,

00:00:23   so after we record the show, first thing I do,

00:00:26   usually I upload the bootleg while we are still talking

00:00:31   off the air, if we're doing like, you know,

00:00:32   scheduling discussions or whatever, like,

00:00:34   'cause I wanna get the bootleg up as fast as possible

00:00:36   for the members, so normally I will upload the bootleg

00:00:39   like in the browser with the drag and drop thing

00:00:42   while we're still talking.

00:00:43   And I think it's the right file, 'cause you know,

00:00:45   like I have a system that has made it the right file

00:00:47   every time, but because I haven't actually listened

00:00:50   to it yet, I wanna make sure, like before I go to bed

00:00:54   that night, 'cause you know, we record at night,

00:00:56   usually I go to bed right afterwards, basically.

00:00:58   I'm in Casey's sleepy shirt, and--

00:01:01   - Nice.

00:01:02   - Anyway, normally I have to, you know,

00:01:04   my final task for the night after I close up the studio,

00:01:08   you know, leave, turn the lights off,

00:01:09   my final task for the night is to empty the dog before bed.

00:01:12   And so I bring him outside, and while I'm doing that,

00:01:16   I open up my Overcast app on my phone,

00:01:19   and I look for the bootleg that was released,

00:01:21   10 minutes earlier, whatever it was, and I hit play

00:01:23   and just make sure that it's the right episode.

00:01:26   But because all of them begin with,

00:01:28   hi, everybody, we're live!

00:01:29   It's hard for me to really know whether it's the right one

00:01:34   or not until like at least a few seconds in.

00:01:36   So I was trying to save myself a few seconds of uncertainty

00:01:40   and time later tonight by beginning this one

00:01:44   with something else.

00:01:46   - I see.

00:01:47   Well, you know, it's funny you say that,

00:01:48   because I don't know if the two of you have noticed,

00:01:51   and I promised myself I wouldn't call attention to it,

00:01:53   but here we are.

00:01:54   I have been trying for the last several weeks

00:01:56   to have some sort of like, I don't wanna say icebreaker,

00:02:00   'cause that has all the terrible connotations

00:02:02   of like awkward corporate gatherings,

00:02:03   but like some sort of fun question,

00:02:05   sorta kinda in the spirit of Snell Talk

00:02:08   at the beginning of Upgrade,

00:02:09   but just some sort of fun question that I come up with

00:02:13   that I can ask the two of you each week

00:02:14   that's kind of off the wall and totally random.

00:02:17   And the first couple of weeks I've decided to try this,

00:02:20   I was able to sneak it in right up front, it was great.

00:02:22   And the last two weeks,

00:02:24   I've been dedicated to doing it at some point,

00:02:26   but I've been doing it semi-randomly

00:02:28   in like the middle of the pre-show,

00:02:30   or like as the transition from pre-show to follow-up.

00:02:33   And I've been trying so hard not to call attention to it,

00:02:35   so it would be more natural and take you guys off guard,

00:02:38   but now you have ruined yet another one of my attempts.

00:02:41   And I think last time, in your defense,

00:02:42   last time was my fault, 'cause I made a clubhouse joke

00:02:44   and then everything went off the rails.

00:02:45   But you have ruined yet another attempt of mine,

00:02:48   because I do have a question for you all,

00:02:50   to have some sort of icebreaker in the beginning,

00:02:53   and it seems like this is a futile attempt

00:02:56   to add a new feature to the show.

00:02:58   - You both are overthinking this.

00:03:00   Marco's overthinking his like,

00:03:01   "Oh, I've gotta change what I would naturally say."

00:03:03   You're overthinking, like both the thing that you're doing,

00:03:05   Casey, it happens naturally, you don't need to plan to do it.

00:03:08   Just, we just gotta go with the flow, just,

00:03:10   I don't know why seven or eight years in,

00:03:12   it's all of a sudden you're trying to do this thing.

00:03:14   Just go, it'll be fine.

00:03:16   - Well, so here actually, since you've asked,

00:03:19   now we're really going off in the weeds,

00:03:21   I worry a lot, and worry is maybe too strong a word,

00:03:25   I think a lot, and I'm somewhat worried,

00:03:28   that one day we're gonna wake up

00:03:31   and we're gonna realize that we haven't really

00:03:35   changed with the times,

00:03:36   and we're gonna talk about that a little bit.

00:03:38   No, just hear me out for a second,

00:03:39   before you jump all over me. - Casey, I have news for you,

00:03:41   we already aren't changing with the times, and it's fine.

00:03:44   - No, no, and that's fair, and that's fair, and that's fair.

00:03:46   But I think that there are some things

00:03:48   that we can do while not destroying the spirit of the show,

00:03:52   and Ask ATP is an excellent example of that,

00:03:54   which we totally didn't steal from Upgrade, not one bit.

00:03:56   - Yeah, it's the new feature of the show

00:03:57   that we added five and a half years ago.

00:03:59   - Well, still. (laughing)

00:04:00   But no, I think that there are things that,

00:04:02   I just don't wanna look around in five or 10 years,

00:04:06   God willing, and be like, wow,

00:04:08   we really haven't done anything different

00:04:10   in a long, long time.

00:04:11   And I don't think we're really guilty of that yet.

00:04:13   I think membership almost a year ago now,

00:04:16   I think that was a great development,

00:04:18   and I really am pleased with how that's going.

00:04:20   And actually, I was thinking earlier today,

00:04:22   it's been a while since we've thanked everyone properly,

00:04:25   and thank you, everyone.

00:04:26   - Thanks, everyone.

00:04:27   - It really means a lot to all three of us.

00:04:29   I think membership is a nice change like that,

00:04:31   but I don't wanna be in a situation

00:04:33   where all of a sudden I realize the world has moved on,

00:04:36   and us three old dudes are sitting here

00:04:39   just talking to each other, which, for the record,

00:04:41   I would still be doing, even if no one was listening.

00:04:43   But if there's something that we can be doing differently,

00:04:45   or some little spice that we can add to the show

00:04:48   from time to time, I wanna do that.

00:04:49   And I'm scared that I'm gonna get complacent,

00:04:51   and I'll just speak for myself now,

00:04:52   that I'm gonna get complacent and just be like,

00:04:54   oh, I'm sure everything's great.

00:04:56   And then we become ever more irrelevant

00:04:59   with each passing day,

00:05:00   which is probably happening anyway.

00:05:01   - You're getting a head start

00:05:02   on your midlife crisis here or something.

00:05:04   You should relax, Casey, 'cause if you're wondering

00:05:07   if we're falling behind the times,

00:05:08   just watch to see on all of the Mac websites

00:05:11   whatever topic we've been talking about

00:05:13   for the past month suddenly appear,

00:05:14   and you will know that we are not behind the times.

00:05:16   We are, as always, slightly ahead.

00:05:17   - There's some attitudes to that,

00:05:20   and I hope that remains true.

00:05:21   - Yeah, I mean, I think a lot about

00:05:23   making sure our show is good.

00:05:25   I care a lot about that, as I know you both do.

00:05:29   And I think the key to a lot of this stuff

00:05:32   is to know who you are

00:05:35   and to know who your audience slash customers are,

00:05:39   and to do what keeps you comfortably

00:05:43   making something that's good for you and for them

00:05:46   without trying to be something you're not also.

00:05:48   Like this is something like,

00:05:50   you look around the tech business,

00:05:52   you got places like Twitter

00:05:54   that is famous for not knowing who they are,

00:05:58   always trying to be somebody else

00:06:00   to varying degrees of failure.

00:06:03   They never succeed, they just fail in different ways.

00:06:06   Twitter's always trying to be mostly Facebook

00:06:10   and oftentimes other things mixed in.

00:06:12   - How's your reels?

00:06:14   - Oh God, I don't even know what that is, I'm so glad.

00:06:16   - Isn't that the Instagram Stories--

00:06:18   - Oh, that's Instagram TikTok, I think, isn't it?

00:06:21   - I don't even know anymore.

00:06:22   - Or is it Twitter TikTok, Instagram, I don't know.

00:06:24   Anyway. (laughs)

00:06:26   If you try to be something you're not,

00:06:29   then that doesn't usually work.

00:06:31   Everyone can tell and it doesn't go well.

00:06:34   But I think if your customers

00:06:37   have a certain thing they want,

00:06:39   and you can keep giving it to them

00:06:41   in a good, high quality way that doesn't feel stale,

00:06:46   it just feels consistent,

00:06:48   there's nothing wrong with that,

00:06:49   as long as it's still good.

00:06:50   Usually when things start feeling stale

00:06:52   is when they start getting super repetitive

00:06:54   and they run out of things to talk about

00:06:57   and you're just fishing for topics every week.

00:07:01   That happens to podcasts after a while,

00:07:04   especially those that are not particularly news-based.

00:07:07   But that hasn't happened to us

00:07:08   because we are so news-based

00:07:09   and I think we also have a healthy amount of diversion

00:07:14   every episode that--

00:07:16   - Jeez, whatever do you mean?

00:07:17   - Keeps people interested.

00:07:18   - Maybe too much diversion.

00:07:20   - Possibly, yeah.

00:07:21   And we've actually had ebbs and flows

00:07:23   of the amount of diversion that we allow into the show

00:07:26   versus some kind of topic or structure,

00:07:28   the amount of follow-up we allow in,

00:07:30   the amount of questions, that fluctuates over time.

00:07:33   But I think as long as we keep putting out

00:07:34   a show that our listeners like,

00:07:36   that we don't really have to necessarily care

00:07:39   about what everyone else is doing

00:07:41   as long as what we are doing is working for our customers,

00:07:44   which so far it seems to be.

00:07:46   And there's lots, I mean, the good thing,

00:07:49   the tech business is so big.

00:07:51   Like, there's so much.

00:07:52   I love that we can go through entire episodes

00:07:56   not covering some massive story

00:07:59   that everyone else that we listen to

00:08:00   has covered on their shows.

00:08:02   And it doesn't matter.

00:08:03   No one complains to us like,

00:08:04   "Why didn't you talk about this big, like, you know,

00:08:07   "court drama or Android phone?"

00:08:09   It's like, well, that's just not, you know,

00:08:10   we ran out of time, we talk about other stuff more.

00:08:12   (laughs)

00:08:13   And I'm fine with that.

00:08:15   To keep making our show for our listeners

00:08:19   who seem to be fine with it,

00:08:21   and whatever everyone else does, that's up to them.

00:08:24   But as long as we know who we are and we know what we do

00:08:27   and we keep doing that for our customers

00:08:29   who keep wanting it, I think we're fine.

00:08:31   - Jon, thoughts?

00:08:33   - Don't worry, Casey, be happy.

00:08:35   (electronic beeping)

00:08:36   - Marco, we got way derailed from,

00:08:38   you apparently have some Amazon tubes

00:08:41   that are in or out of your house.

00:08:44   - Well, the tubes that we haven't been able to get

00:08:45   for some time, we're now in the balls phase.

00:08:47   (laughs)

00:08:48   'Cause that's all they make now,

00:08:49   they just make a series of balls.

00:08:50   But the recent Amazon Echo balls,

00:08:54   I talked about them when they first came out

00:08:57   a few months back, it seemed like a really good buy

00:08:59   'cause they were something like 70 bucks or 100 bucks,

00:09:02   something like that.

00:09:04   And they were kind of between the HomePod Mini

00:09:07   and the big HomePod, and they sound pretty decent,

00:09:10   especially for their price.

00:09:12   And the Alexa ecosystem has historically been

00:09:16   just much more reliable for us,

00:09:18   it's been faster to respond to voice queries,

00:09:21   it had way more features, things like it had named

00:09:24   multiple timers many years ago now.

00:09:27   I regret to inform you all that tonight we unplugged

00:09:30   the last Echo in our house, and we've gone all HomePod/HomePod

00:09:35   Mini because a combination of two factors.

00:09:40   The HomePod Siri has gotten better enough

00:09:43   and more reliable enough that the gap has narrowed.

00:09:47   The Alexa ecosystem is still significantly faster

00:09:51   and more consistent to respond,

00:09:53   but the HomePod got close in many ways.

00:09:56   And it got close enough now that we're willing

00:09:58   to tolerate the difference most of the time.

00:10:00   In that regard.

00:10:02   But where the Echos have a problem is that the new

00:10:05   Echo Ball series, the hardware is terrible.

00:10:09   It's very buggy, and we've had, we own two of them,

00:10:13   we've had multiple issues with both of them.

00:10:16   And right now, I don't think I can recommend anybody

00:10:19   buy this generation of Echos, they're terrible.

00:10:21   Like we have issues where the tweeter will fail,

00:10:25   there's two drivers in there, I'm pretty sure,

00:10:27   I'm pretty sure there's a tweeter and a woofer.

00:10:29   And the tweeter, which does like the whole high range

00:10:31   of sound frequencies, will frequently fail

00:10:33   until a power cycle.

00:10:35   And the way this manifests is the sound sounds

00:10:38   really muffled, as though all the music and stuff

00:10:40   is playing through a pillow, because the high frequency

00:10:44   sound is just dying, it's just not being there.

00:10:46   And that will persist until a reboot.

00:10:47   And I thought it was a hardware issue, we did a return

00:10:50   and a repurchase of one of them, and they both,

00:10:54   both the returned one, the one that replaced it,

00:10:58   and the second one we have in the house,

00:11:00   all have this problem.

00:11:01   So I think it's just a problem with this whole generation.

00:11:04   And we also have software issues with them.

00:11:06   Like the Echo service has been really buggy on these.

00:11:11   And I don't know if that's just a thing recently

00:11:13   with Echo service with all Echos,

00:11:14   'cause these are the only ones we've used recently,

00:11:16   but we are all in on HomePods now, and so far it's fine.

00:11:20   - Jon, are you still running like 44 different

00:11:22   voice assistants in the house?

00:11:23   - Yeah, when you're talking about this,

00:11:24   I was just thinking about the fact that I have

00:11:26   a Google Home Mini, still unopened, sealed in the box,

00:11:30   'cause the last free one that we got

00:11:32   as part of whatever Google stuff we're paying for,

00:11:34   just no one in the house wanted.

00:11:36   So we have, yeah, I've got all of them I talk to,

00:11:40   most of them, at least once a week probably,

00:11:43   talk to my big Siri ball, the full-size Siri the most,

00:11:47   'cause it controls my lights.

00:11:48   But yeah, I got a lot of these things in the house.

00:11:51   I don't know what I'm gonna do with that

00:11:54   completely sealed Google Home Mini.

00:11:57   It's pretty good as far as like,

00:11:59   it's better than the Amazon Dot, I feel like,

00:12:01   'cause we've got one of those too.

00:12:02   Like it's better in terms of the speaker is slightly better,

00:12:04   it's nicer looking, and the Google Assistant

00:12:07   is actually pretty smart and good at answering questions.

00:12:10   It's just that we don't have that many rooms in the house,

00:12:12   and in general I don't bring these things

00:12:15   up into the second floor where the bedrooms are,

00:12:17   so it's all just first floor stuff, so I don't know.

00:12:20   I'll just give it away to a listener or something.

00:12:23   Like I feel like the, you know,

00:12:26   there's no way I would run the Google one in my house,

00:12:29   just 'cause, you know, privacy, trust, and everything.

00:12:31   Google, I mean, granted, Google and Amazon

00:12:34   are both creepy companies, but I feel like Google

00:12:36   is creepier in certain ways.

00:12:39   But the Amazon one, like I was willing to run it

00:12:41   all this time because it was so much better

00:12:44   than the alternatives.

00:12:45   Like first it was the only one for a while

00:12:47   that was really defining its category,

00:12:49   and then when the alternatives came out,

00:12:51   it was just so much better, you know?

00:12:53   And it remained so much better for quite some time.

00:12:55   And so when something is that much better,

00:12:59   it becomes worthwhile to a lot of people

00:13:00   to overlook or tolerate the downsides

00:13:04   of having that company's stuff in your house

00:13:06   for the upside it's providing.

00:13:08   But when that gap became smaller,

00:13:10   when the HomePods have slowly gotten better,

00:13:12   and when the Echo got way worse,

00:13:14   that was no longer worth overcoming.

00:13:16   So now, it's like, while the Echo is still better

00:13:19   at certain things, I'd rather not run them in my house

00:13:22   if they're not gonna be massively better than the HomePods,

00:13:24   and they're not anymore.

00:13:25   - All right, so I need my icebreaker.

00:13:28   It's required now.

00:13:29   That's the way the show works, despite what you guys made.

00:13:32   - You think you're gonna do an icebreaker.

00:13:33   You have like too many topics,

00:13:34   and now you think you still need to throw in an icebreaker?

00:13:36   - Yeah, I'm trying to get it in every episode, man.

00:13:39   It's too much. - It's too much.

00:13:40   If you're gonna do that, see,

00:13:42   Marco's got his thing that he does before a follow-up,

00:13:44   and then you've got your thing you do before a follow-up,

00:13:45   and then sometimes Marco has two things they do.

00:13:48   You're just building a whole separate show

00:13:49   before we begin the show, you guys.

00:13:51   - You know what, that's bonus content.

00:13:52   You're welcome, everyone.

00:13:53   All right, so I would ask this question of Jon,

00:13:57   and I probably will try because I'm a fool,

00:13:59   but Marco, since you can deal with hypotheticals

00:14:03   that are not completely and perfectly fleshed out

00:14:05   in every measurable way, you are given the keys

00:14:08   to either a boat, and that can be a speedboat, a sailboat,

00:14:11   it doesn't matter, a yacht, whatever, or an airplane,

00:14:15   and let's assume something more in the direction of Cessna

00:14:18   and probably with a boat less in the direction of yacht,

00:14:21   more in the direction of a speedboat or sailboat.

00:14:23   You're given the keys to something like a personal-ish size,

00:14:27   you know, seating maybe four to 10 people, plane or boat.

00:14:31   All of the expenses are paid for.

00:14:33   You are magically, through the magic of the Matrix,

00:14:37   able to pilot whatever it is that you choose.

00:14:40   What kind of vehicle are you choosing?

00:14:43   - Boat, no question, I'll tell you why.

00:14:45   I don't particularly love boats, honestly,

00:14:48   but two things, number one, you know,

00:14:50   you said I have the skill to drive them,

00:14:52   however, I still think I'd be more comfortable

00:14:55   driving a boat because I'd be way less likely

00:14:57   to die while doing it.

00:14:58   So that's number one.

00:15:02   Number two, again, while this is not something

00:15:05   I actually plan to ever indulge myself in in real life,

00:15:09   having a boat would provide some utility for my actual life

00:15:14   in the sense that we frequently have to travel

00:15:16   across a body of water, and having your own boat

00:15:19   does make that better in certain ways,

00:15:21   whereas I don't really have any problems

00:15:23   that having a small plane would solve for me.

00:15:25   I'm not frequently traveling moderate distances

00:15:28   across the country, I don't particularly have any drive

00:15:32   to fly, to get in the sky and fly my own plane.

00:15:36   I'm not super-driven to do that,

00:15:37   so they wouldn't have a lot of utility for me,

00:15:39   whereas the boat would have utility,

00:15:41   and I'd be way less likely to die doing it.

00:15:44   - You know, I didn't want you to visit me anyway, then.

00:15:45   Fine.

00:15:49   Now, all kidding aside, if you had a motorboat,

00:15:52   and define that however you want,

00:15:54   I'm not necessarily saying a cigarette boat,

00:15:57   but let's say you had some sort of motorized boat

00:16:00   that moved with some amount of quickness,

00:16:03   I presume there is a place where you are right now

00:16:06   that you could dock it, probably for $11 gazillion,

00:16:08   and then there is a place on the other side of the sound

00:16:11   that you could also dock it temporarily

00:16:13   when you're trying to go to the mainland, is that fair?

00:16:16   - Not the sound. - The bay, and yes.

00:16:18   I knew I probably had that wrong,

00:16:19   and I was like, no, I think it is, sorry.

00:16:21   - It's the Great South Sound, anyway.

00:16:23   - Sorry.

00:16:24   - Yeah, it's in Long Island.

00:16:25   So the issue with boats here is exactly that.

00:16:30   It's like, you don't just have to buy the boat,

00:16:33   which itself is a whole thing, right?

00:16:34   - Oh yeah.

00:16:35   - All the jokes about it being a hole in the water

00:16:37   you throw money into, there's that,

00:16:39   but then also, you have to pay for parking,

00:16:42   boat parking on both sides.

00:16:43   They don't call it that, they call it, I think, slips,

00:16:45   but you're basically buying boat parking spots,

00:16:48   and yeah, you have to buy them on both sides

00:16:49   of the body of water.

00:16:51   You can't have them year round.

00:16:54   You have to take the boat out of the water for the winter

00:16:56   because it freezes sometimes, as it recently did.

00:16:59   So you have to have boat parking on both sides,

00:17:02   which is, as you mentioned, limited and expensive,

00:17:05   and the boat, which is very expensive

00:17:07   and highly maintenance intensive,

00:17:10   and you have to then have a place and a method

00:17:14   to lift the boat out of the water for the winter

00:17:16   and put it somewhere and wrap it

00:17:19   and do whatever care is required to do that.

00:17:22   And so it's just, it's such a massive pain in the butt

00:17:25   that I feel like it's only worth it

00:17:26   if you really love boating as a thing.

00:17:30   And I don't care about boating as a thing.

00:17:33   Like, I would appreciate the utility in transportation

00:17:37   that it would provide me,

00:17:38   but for the cost of having a boat,

00:17:42   I could hire my own private water taxi

00:17:44   from the ferry company every single time across the bay

00:17:46   and still come out way ahead.

00:17:48   - Oh, that's interesting.

00:17:49   I didn't think it that way.

00:17:50   I hear you, though.

00:17:50   - Yeah, so I don't think it's ever gonna be worth it.

00:17:52   The only reason I indulge this is that you said

00:17:54   all expenses were paid for magically.

00:17:55   - Sure, sure, sure.

00:17:57   All right, Jon, I know you're gonna tear this all apart,

00:17:59   but let's go ahead, make me earn it.

00:18:02   What would you choose?

00:18:03   - You're not gonna add any more constraints to this thing?

00:18:08   - Not yet.

00:18:09   I will fill in blanks if you need me to,

00:18:11   but let's just go with it as presented.

00:18:13   - You can't just change it after I have my answer,

00:18:15   'cause you're not gonna like my answer,

00:18:17   but given what you've said, my answer fits just fine.

00:18:20   I would pick the one that has the highest resale value

00:18:23   and I would sell it because I do not wanna be on a boat

00:18:25   and I do not wanna be on a plane.

00:18:27   I don't like being on either one of those things.

00:18:29   I wouldn't wanna own them.

00:18:30   I get seasick, I get airsick.

00:18:31   I don't wanna die in a plane crash.

00:18:33   Just none of them appeal to me whatsoever.

00:18:35   It was all about resale value.

00:18:37   - I do not want green eggs and ham.

00:18:38   I do not like you, Sam.

00:18:39   I am.

00:18:40   - All right, that's fair, that's fair.

00:18:41   For me, in this magical world where I could

00:18:45   just snap my fingers and know how to fly a plane

00:18:47   and have a Cessna or something like that,

00:18:50   it is appealing, but I come back to what you had said,

00:18:53   Marco, as much as I was giving you grief about it.

00:18:55   There's not a lot of places that I could just casually

00:18:57   fly my Cessna to, right?

00:19:00   If I'm going to go somewhere, in all likelihood,

00:19:02   I would be driving, and if I don't drive,

00:19:05   then I would need to acquire a rental

00:19:07   or use the piece of garbage,

00:19:09   I forget the term for it, but my understanding

00:19:11   is general aviation has the house car, so to speak,

00:19:14   where it's some beat-up Caprice from 50 years ago

00:19:17   that you can borrow to make a quick errand

00:19:20   or run a quick errand or whatever.

00:19:22   And so, as much as I think flying,

00:19:24   knowing how to fly a plane would be fun,

00:19:25   and flying it would be incredible fun,

00:19:28   the whole falling from the sky thing notwithstanding,

00:19:31   I think I would definitely wanna boat.

00:19:32   And when I was growing up, my family had a Yamaha jet boat,

00:19:38   and it was phenomenally fun.

00:19:40   We used to go on Candlewood Lake in western Connecticut,

00:19:43   and I think we even had it in the lake

00:19:46   that Marco and I met each other at a couple of times.

00:19:50   - You did.

00:19:51   - I remember my grandfather was furious about it

00:19:53   'cause he hated anything other than a rowboat in that lake,

00:19:55   but here we are.

00:19:56   And then we also brought it to Lake Wallop-Paul-Pack

00:19:59   in Pennsylvania, which you might know from the office,

00:20:03   'cause it was very near Scranton, actually.

00:20:06   And my grandparents lived there,

00:20:07   and they had a pontoon boat, and that was impossibly fun,

00:20:10   because you could either drive all of these boats

00:20:12   right up on the sand on an island or on the shore,

00:20:16   because a jet boat has an extremely small draft,

00:20:18   a pontoon boat has an extremely small draft.

00:20:20   You didn't need a lot of depth to run them.

00:20:22   Or the pontoon boat made a great floating anchor,

00:20:25   so to speak, where you could just tie up to the pontoon boat

00:20:28   and it was extremely fun, and I miss that dearly.

00:20:32   Gosh, I miss that so much.

00:20:33   And in this fantasy world where I could,

00:20:36   snap my fingers and have whatever boat I wanted,

00:20:38   I would totally get some obnoxious, ridiculous cigarette boat

00:20:41   with two humongous supercharged V8s in it,

00:20:45   and be that jerk that's blowing up and down the lake

00:20:49   at 100 miles an hour, which is probably illegal.

00:20:52   It would just be impossibly fun.

00:20:53   I remember when I was really young,

00:20:56   my dad, who was a mechanic professionally

00:20:59   for a brief window of time before he started working for IBM,

00:21:02   I guess he was just doing this as a side gig.

00:21:04   He took a very wealthy friend of a friend's cigarette boat

00:21:09   and was doing something to the motor,

00:21:11   'cause there was a Chevy motor in it.

00:21:12   I don't remember what exactly it was.

00:21:14   But I remember when dad was done,

00:21:16   the guy who at the time I think was running

00:21:19   a Chiquita banana distributor in Newburgh,

00:21:23   he took us on the boat on the Hudson,

00:21:25   which is kind of hazardous in many ways.

00:21:27   But nevertheless, I remember doing like 50 or 60

00:21:31   on the water, maybe even more than that,

00:21:33   going under the Newburgh Beacon Bridge and thinking,

00:21:35   well, I usually am in the car with mom and dad up there,

00:21:37   and now I'm on a boat blasting under it,

00:21:39   probably even faster than the cars are going.

00:21:42   It was a lot of fun.

00:21:43   And so I think that's what I would do.

00:21:45   - We are sponsored this week by Fastmail.

00:21:49   I'm so happy to have Fastmail as a sponsor.

00:21:51   I have been a Fastmail customer

00:21:53   for longer than this show has existed.

00:21:55   This is the first time I've sponsored anything.

00:21:57   This was a totally objective thing.

00:21:59   I've chosen them and I've stuck with them this entire time

00:22:02   because they're just fantastic.

00:22:03   So if you're ready to move away from using Google products,

00:22:07   Fastmail is a solid option for your email hosting.

00:22:10   It works great with the built-in mail, calendar,

00:22:13   and contacts apps on Mac OS and iOS,

00:22:15   in addition to offering a great web client.

00:22:18   You are in control of your workflow

00:22:19   with all the tools to do things your way,

00:22:22   whether it's simple and powerful or new and inventive.

00:22:24   You can set up processing systems

00:22:26   that eliminate unwanted mail

00:22:27   and prioritize what's important automatically.

00:22:29   And Fastmail also offers modern email features

00:22:31   like labels, rules, filters, notification controls,

00:22:34   calendar sharing, and so much more.

00:22:37   You can bring in all your domains,

00:22:39   so you can email from an address that matches your name

00:22:41   or side hustle on one account without paying more.

00:22:43   And you can use hundreds of email aliases

00:22:45   that keep your main address private.

00:22:47   This is what I do.

00:22:49   Again, I've been using Fastmail for so long.

00:22:51   If you just want straight email hosting

00:22:53   with all modern features,

00:22:55   but without you being the product,

00:22:58   if you want your data to be private

00:22:59   and if you want the incentives of the company

00:23:01   hosting your email to be aligned with your incentives,

00:23:04   you want Fastmail.

00:23:06   Fastmail is independent, they're employee owned,

00:23:09   they believe in working for customers

00:23:11   as people to be cared for, not products to be exploited.

00:23:15   You can focus on your workflow

00:23:17   knowing that your privacy is protected

00:23:19   with a business model that does not involve

00:23:21   advertisers at all.

00:23:23   For over 20 years,

00:23:24   Fastmail has been keeping customer data private.

00:23:27   It's one of the longest operating

00:23:28   and most trusted email services in the world.

00:23:31   This is why I use it.

00:23:32   This is why Fastmail has been my email host for so long

00:23:35   and I'm so happy with them.

00:23:37   People choose Fastmail because it works

00:23:39   by putting you in control.

00:23:41   They even work on internet standards

00:23:43   and they move the standards forward.

00:23:45   They do open source email innovations,

00:23:47   powers many email services other than their own.

00:23:49   So to be part of the very best in email,

00:23:51   go directly to the source, go to Fastmail

00:23:54   at fastmail.com/atp.

00:23:57   And you can try Fastmail for free for 30 days

00:24:00   and get 10% off your first year

00:24:02   using that link, fastmail.com/atp.

00:24:05   Thank you so much to Fastmail for hosting my email

00:24:08   for I think over a decade and for sponsoring our show.

00:24:11   - All right, let's start with some follow up

00:24:17   because we haven't been talking for half an hour already.

00:24:20   We have some smart tools doubts from Jeff E.

00:24:23   And Jon, can you tell me about this please?

00:24:26   - This is the topic I was alluding to

00:24:28   and the part before which may or may not make it

00:24:29   into the show where a bunch of Mac websites

00:24:32   have picked up on the story we've been talking about

00:24:33   for a few weeks about potential SSD ware on M1 Macs.

00:24:38   And as we discussed on the past several shows,

00:24:43   this is all derived from people's doubts

00:24:47   about the output of this smart mon tools command line tool.

00:24:53   And as we said earlier, we don't know if that tool

00:24:57   is correct or accurate or able to give valid statistics.

00:25:02   We also don't know how much to compare it to

00:25:04   because unless you've been using this tool for years,

00:25:07   maybe what you're seeing is normal, maybe it's not,

00:25:08   everyone's comparing their numbers, they're not sure.

00:25:10   So Jeff's doubt is based on the tools.

00:25:13   He says, "Drive makers often use raw values

00:25:16   and may obfuscate numbers in the smart fields.

00:25:18   Attributes are not really required to follow any format.

00:25:21   Makers can use their own attributes

00:25:22   and they may not share how to translate them.

00:25:25   Your mileage may vary by vendor."

00:25:26   So the tool to read these attributes from the drive,

00:25:31   obviously the tool is not endorsed by Apple

00:25:33   or blessed by the drive.

00:25:35   And also there's not even a good standard

00:25:37   for tools to comply to to make sure

00:25:39   that they're interpreting the values correctly.

00:25:41   So who knows what's going on?

00:25:42   And in case you were wondering,

00:25:43   all the different stories in Mac websites about this

00:25:46   have added as far as I've been able to tell

00:25:48   zero new information.

00:25:49   So if there was more information,

00:25:51   we would give it to you here,

00:25:52   but there isn't, it's just a bunch of people

00:25:55   running that tool, looking at the numbers

00:25:57   and feeling afraid in varying amounts.

00:26:00   - Yeah, it seems like there's definitely some smoke here.

00:26:02   You know, one of the things-- - Is there though?

00:26:04   - Well, so it's funny you say that.

00:26:06   So one of the things that I've been wrestling with of late

00:26:11   with regard to the show is when we should indulge

00:26:16   the latest (gasps)

00:26:17   because I feel like there's always a (gasps)

00:26:19   that's happening in this community

00:26:20   and I don't think that's unique to us.

00:26:22   - That's such a great way to put it.

00:26:23   - And I think that's what this is,

00:26:25   like the pearl clutching, oh no.

00:26:28   And I feel like all of us, I'm certainly guilty of this,

00:26:31   like I am no angel, but we all have something

00:26:33   that we've gotten worked up about,

00:26:35   like I don't know, maybe SMS messages for example.

00:26:38   (laughs)

00:26:38   We all have this thing that we're,

00:26:40   perfectly executed, thank you.

00:26:42   So we all have this thing that we're worked up about

00:26:44   and a lot of times if you just give it a week or two,

00:26:48   the thing will get resolved or it'll blow over,

00:26:51   more information will come out or so on and so forth.

00:26:53   And there's a bunch of topics in the show notes document

00:26:56   that nobody can see but us where this thing

00:27:00   was like super dramatic and then it got resolved

00:27:03   and we never had the time to talk about it

00:27:04   and so the three of us keep arguing as to whether or not

00:27:08   we should give it any air time at this point.

00:27:10   And I feel like this is one of those things

00:27:12   that we're right on the cusp between,

00:27:15   yes this is something to legitimately be worked up about

00:27:18   or no, this is just this week's (gasps)

00:27:21   and I'm not sure which one it is

00:27:22   but we'll see over time, I'm quite sure.

00:27:24   - My criteria for deciding which way to go on those things

00:27:27   is is there something technically interesting to discuss?

00:27:30   Because even for stories, like that's why I'm the big

00:27:32   defender of the one story you're referring to

00:27:33   down on the topics 'cause even if the thing is over,

00:27:35   even if the controversy is over,

00:27:37   very often there is some related technical detail

00:27:40   that is not over and is very relevant as a thing

00:27:43   that listeners of the podcast I think would be well served

00:27:47   to know about, right?

00:27:49   And the reason I brought up this whole SSD ware thing

00:27:52   is entirely because I was hoping and expecting

00:27:54   that we would get to some kind of technical explanation.

00:27:58   Yes, in the beginning it's all dramatic and like,

00:28:00   oh well, you know, something weird is going on

00:28:02   and the M1s are new or whatever, but at this point,

00:28:04   if you look at these stories, it's like,

00:28:06   people have it on Intel Macs, people have it on old Macs,

00:28:08   on new Macs, on Macs with lots of RAM,

00:28:09   on Macs with not a lot of RAM, look at my numbers,

00:28:11   look at your numbers, it's all over the map.

00:28:13   Like it's getting less clear instead of more clear.

00:28:16   So this may be one of those things

00:28:18   that we'll have to revisit.

00:28:19   Like when it starts to manifest in a way

00:28:23   that is consistent enough for someone to take action.

00:28:27   So for example, if Apple does like a repair program

00:28:29   where like, oh, if you got one of these early M1 Macs,

00:28:32   there was a problem that was causing the SSDs to wear out

00:28:34   and we'll replace them for free, right?

00:28:37   And then we'll know it's absolutely definitely a thing,

00:28:39   right?

00:28:40   But for now, it's still just a bunch of people

00:28:41   running a command line tool that may or may not be accurate

00:28:44   and looking at numbers that they have no comparison for

00:28:46   except for other people who ran the same thing

00:28:48   10 minutes ago.

00:28:49   I hope there's some kind of reason for the variance,

00:28:54   but the reason may very well be just like Jeff said,

00:28:57   oh, well actually it's different vendors drives

00:28:59   and they return bogus numbers

00:29:00   or the tool doesn't know how to interpret them.

00:29:01   So that's why it looks like somebody

00:29:03   is writing 100 terabytes an hour

00:29:05   and the other person is writing 100 terabytes every 10 years.

00:29:09   - We spoke last week about Clubhouse

00:29:11   and we're probably gonna talk about that

00:29:12   more in a little bit in how we were all kind of grossed out

00:29:14   to varying degrees about the contacts API in iOS

00:29:18   and how you're allowed to basically slurp up

00:29:22   an entire address book full of data.

00:29:24   And Rick Santos wrote us to point out

00:29:26   that there is an API to auto fill email addresses

00:29:29   without asking for contacts permission.

00:29:31   And this was mentioned in WWDC 2020 sessions.

00:29:34   They're called and we'll put links in the show notes,

00:29:37   build trust through better privacy and auto fill everywhere.

00:29:40   I didn't have the chance to go through these

00:29:42   and kind of look through them

00:29:43   and I'm guessing that neither of you did either,

00:29:46   but nevertheless it sounds like there is

00:29:48   at least some amount of motion in this direction

00:29:50   and where was it?

00:29:52   Was it on dithering that I think that there was some call

00:29:55   like we had said for having a photos-esque front end

00:30:00   from a user perspective to the contacts API?

00:30:04   You can bless a small series of contacts

00:30:06   or yeah you can just slurp everything up, have at it.

00:30:09   - Yeah, maybe I was half remembering this WWDC session

00:30:12   when I was proposing an API like this

00:30:14   because I did watch a lot of these

00:30:16   and I probably had it in the back of my mind.

00:30:18   So I'm glad that's a thing.

00:30:19   The other thing that people have talked about

00:30:20   that I think doesn't quite exist yet

00:30:21   but that I was also alluding to in past episodes

00:30:24   is even for situations where you want to answer the question,

00:30:28   hey, has anybody else in my contact

00:30:31   signed up for this service?

00:30:32   So I can know to like friend them or whatever.

00:30:34   You can even answer that question

00:30:36   without giving out your contacts.

00:30:37   If you just do one-way hashes of everything

00:30:39   and have a standardized system

00:30:40   for sharing those one-way hashes,

00:30:42   you can find out sort of in a secure way

00:30:45   where all you pass over is a bunch of one-way hashes

00:30:48   that cannot be turned into contact information

00:30:50   and then people can match them up.

00:30:51   Now obviously this is up to the existence of these APIs

00:30:56   and also the willingness of the service

00:30:58   to be nice about it, right?

00:30:59   Because currently there's, if you give contact access,

00:31:04   they have access to your actual contacts.

00:31:05   So they could be nice and say,

00:31:06   oh no, we only make hashes of them

00:31:07   and compare them, we don't store them,

00:31:08   but that's not what they're doing.

00:31:09   So, you know, baby steps here.

00:31:12   But the point that we tried to make last week

00:31:15   is lots of things like this are technically possible

00:31:17   where you can get almost all of the features you have now

00:31:20   without giving your contacts to anybody, which is ideal.

00:31:24   - Indeed.

00:31:25   We also spoke last week about the rumor

00:31:28   that the iPhone will get an astrophotography mode

00:31:30   and we were fairly clueless about it.

00:31:32   And a handful of people have written in

00:31:34   to point us in the direction of Google,

00:31:37   who has already been doing this,

00:31:38   which we should have known.

00:31:40   And there's an excerpt from Android authority

00:31:43   that I'd like to read.

00:31:44   The Pixel 4 combines 16, 15 second exposures

00:31:47   into a single four minute mega exposure,

00:31:50   for lack of a better term,

00:31:51   while the Pixel 3a and the Pixel 3 combine

00:31:53   four of these frames into a one minute exposure.

00:31:55   To actually capture astrophotography shots,

00:31:58   you'll need a tripod or some other makeshift way

00:32:00   of holding your phone completely still.

00:32:01   And then you'll have to enter night shift mode

00:32:03   for the phone to automatically enter astrophotography mode.

00:32:06   If you click through to this link,

00:32:08   it actually does have some darned impressive images.

00:32:11   And I know that Google phones still images

00:32:14   are generally speaking accepted to be

00:32:16   really, really, really good.

00:32:17   And these are no exception.

00:32:19   They're very impressive and worth checking out.

00:32:21   And obviously the link will be in the show notes.

00:32:23   - Yeah, whether or not Apple actually does this,

00:32:25   the fact that there was a rumor about it

00:32:27   and the fact that Google already does a thing likes it,

00:32:29   puts strong weight towards Apple doing whatever,

00:32:32   whatever they need to do to be competitive

00:32:33   with what Google's doing.

00:32:34   Or they could just not do it at all

00:32:35   and that rumor is totally wrong.

00:32:36   But knowing that this feature exists on Android

00:32:39   really pushes heavily in the direction of Apple saying,

00:32:42   we're gonna do that too.

00:32:43   Or we're gonna do that same thing,

00:32:45   but we have a better way that like doesn't require

00:32:47   a tripod or something.

00:32:48   You know what I mean?

00:32:49   - Yeah, absolutely.

00:32:51   All right, and then we spoke,

00:32:52   I don't remember if it was the last week, the week before,

00:32:54   but recently we've spoken about magnets and MagSafe

00:32:57   and anti-soder home rates.

00:32:59   Regarding magnets and MagSafe,

00:33:00   accessories can use magnets of their own

00:33:03   to make the attachment stronger.

00:33:04   I've got a car mount for my phone that uses MagSafe.

00:33:06   It has its own magnets to make the attachment stronger

00:33:09   so that the phone doesn't come loose

00:33:10   when you hit a bump while driving.

00:33:12   I'm actually a little confused about this.

00:33:14   Isn't MagSafe, doesn't that require magnets

00:33:16   on both the receptacle and the phone itself?

00:33:19   So like there's going to be quote unquote magnets

00:33:21   of their own regardless, right?

00:33:24   I think I'm just confused.

00:33:25   - I think this is just the idea that like,

00:33:28   so there's probably some standard for MagSafe

00:33:30   or you're supposed to make these many magnets

00:33:32   in these positions of these strengths,

00:33:33   but there's nothing saying that you can't put much,

00:33:38   much stronger magnets on the accessory side

00:33:40   to try to help out, you know what I mean?

00:33:42   So this is the theory.

00:33:45   We got a lot of feedback from people saying,

00:33:47   I have a bunch of MagSafe accessories in my car

00:33:49   and they're just plain old MagSafe,

00:33:51   no super strong magnets,

00:33:52   just like the same ones you'd get from a puck.

00:33:55   And my phone doesn't fall off when I go over a bump.

00:33:57   So apparently it's good enough to work for a lot of people.

00:34:01   The other factor that we talked about,

00:34:03   I forget what Marco called it.

00:34:04   What did you call the force that?

00:34:07   - No, sandwich closing force.

00:34:09   - Anyway, to be a little bit more precise about that,

00:34:14   the magnets are pushing the two surfaces together.

00:34:16   - More precise than sandwich closing force.

00:34:17   - Yeah, the magnets are pushing the two surfaces together,

00:34:19   but the thing you care about in a car mount

00:34:22   is the friction between the two surfaces.

00:34:25   And Apple's puck has terrible friction

00:34:27   because it's hard metal.

00:34:28   It's like a ring of, you see what it looks like.

00:34:30   It's like a little silver ring of metal

00:34:32   and then a slightly indented reason.

00:34:33   That metal region is the surface

00:34:35   that is pressing against your phone.

00:34:38   If you have nothing on your phone,

00:34:40   then it's a ring of smooth metal

00:34:43   against smooth or matte finish glass.

00:34:46   There's not a lot of friction between those surfaces.

00:34:48   If you have leather case,

00:34:49   then it's a ring of smooth metal against leather.

00:34:53   What you really want is tacky rubber against tacky rubber.

00:34:56   And given the same magnetic force,

00:34:58   if you have tacky rubber against tacky rubber

00:35:00   with that same sandwich closing force,

00:35:02   as Mark recalls it, that's actually pretty strong.

00:35:05   That said, it really depends

00:35:06   on the size of the potholes in your area.

00:35:08   I can't imagine any mag-safe thing

00:35:09   surviving some of the things that I've hit

00:35:11   that have bent my actual wheels.

00:35:13   - All right, then we had a little bit more

00:35:18   on supervised iPhones from Mark Wichens.

00:35:20   If you recall, this is an iPhone

00:35:21   that is owned by your employer,

00:35:23   and thus they can do a lot with it.

00:35:25   And we were talking about how,

00:35:27   while there's not actually that much they can do with it

00:35:29   from Apple's perspective,

00:35:30   in terms of snooping what you're doing

00:35:32   and your web browsing and whatnot.

00:35:34   And Mark wrote in a good point that I had considered,

00:35:37   but I don't think I mentioned on the show

00:35:38   and certainly glossed over if I did.

00:35:40   And Mark writes, "Regarding managed devices and privacy,

00:35:42   something I don't think you mentioned

00:35:43   is that it's possible for an employer

00:35:45   to enforce an always-on VPN via a configuration profile.

00:35:49   You should know about it if your employer has done this,

00:35:51   but just in case anyone thought,

00:35:52   based on your recent follow-up,

00:35:53   that everything was guaranteed to be private,

00:35:56   if the device is sending all internet traffic

00:35:58   via your employer's VPN,

00:35:59   then they can monitor a lot more."

00:36:02   See earlier episodes when we mentioned

00:36:03   Facebook VPN app that got banned.

00:36:06   There's a page that has instructions

00:36:08   to find out if this is the case,

00:36:09   and we'll put a link in the show notes.

00:36:10   And that's a really excellent point.

00:36:12   So basically, your employer could, hypothetically,

00:36:15   force all of your internet traffic to funnel through them,

00:36:17   and if they're gonna be, effectively, your ISP,

00:36:20   then yeah, they can look at whatever they want,

00:36:21   and that's worth considering.

00:36:23   - We are sponsored this week by Buzzsprout,

00:36:27   your podcasting success toolkit.

00:36:30   It's really great to start a podcast.

00:36:32   I love this medium, as you all know.

00:36:34   We're all big fans of podcasts around here.

00:36:36   You probably are too, if you're listening to this.

00:36:38   Podcasts are more popular than ever,

00:36:40   and the barrier to entry has never been lower.

00:36:44   And there's a lot of places that will host your audio files,

00:36:46   but Buzzsprout gives you a complete toolkit,

00:36:49   including best-in-class publishing tools

00:36:51   that are really easy to use,

00:36:53   a full team of podcast pros ready to answer your questions,

00:36:56   the best educational resource for podcasters,

00:36:59   because the team at Buzzsprout,

00:37:00   they really care about helping you succeed.

00:37:03   They are also very forward-thinking.

00:37:05   They have great modern features like Magic Mastering

00:37:08   to automatically make your podcast episodes sound better

00:37:10   by fixing any mismatched levels and reducing noise,

00:37:13   dynamic content if you wanna upload audio clips

00:37:15   that you can add and remove from your podcast episodes

00:37:17   on the fly for things like time-limited announcements

00:37:20   or sponsorships.

00:37:22   They also support modern things like the full support

00:37:24   of the new podcast namespace,

00:37:25   which allows you to add more information to your RSS feed

00:37:27   for increased discoverability and accessibility.

00:37:30   But Buzzsprout is also privacy-focused.

00:37:32   This is all done with no creepy

00:37:34   audience tracking or targeting.

00:37:36   So all of this and so much more

00:37:38   is available on every Buzzsprout plan,

00:37:40   starting at just $12 a month.

00:37:43   And Buzzsprout's offering our listeners three months free

00:37:47   on whatever plan works best for you.

00:37:48   So go to buzzsprout.com/promo and use code ATP

00:37:54   to get three months free on your Buzzsprout plan.

00:37:57   Once again, buzzsprout.com/promo with code ATP

00:38:01   for three months free.

00:38:03   Start that podcast that you've been thinking about

00:38:05   or switch to Buzzsprout if you're already podcasting

00:38:07   somewhere else, Buzzsprout is ready to help you become

00:38:10   a successful podcaster.

00:38:11   Thank you so much to Buzzsprout for sponsoring our show.

00:38:14   (upbeat music)

00:38:17   - John, you have some Clubhouse thoughts.

00:38:20   Tell me about it.

00:38:21   - Yeah, I've used Clubhouse a lot more since last.

00:38:24   Episode and you know, at all, I mean.

00:38:26   - More than zero.

00:38:28   - Yeah, I was sad to learn that my username

00:38:30   was already taken.

00:38:31   In fact, it had already been taken

00:38:32   when we were discussing it.

00:38:33   But it was taken by someone who I think is actually Italian.

00:38:36   So I guess that's fine, but I'd really wish

00:38:39   I'd gotten that first.

00:38:40   (laughing)

00:38:42   There's a lot of people with my last name in the world.

00:38:44   Not all of them are in Italy.

00:38:45   Anyway, a few points to note before I talk

00:38:49   about my experiences on there.

00:38:52   The sign up for Clubhouse is that you sign up

00:38:56   with your phone number.

00:38:57   You don't sign up with your email address,

00:38:59   although you can enter an email address and everything,

00:39:00   but you sign up with your phone number.

00:39:02   And that's interesting for a couple of reasons

00:39:05   having to do with social network.

00:39:07   But before we get to that, there's an aspect

00:39:08   that Marco will love, which is they don't have passwords.

00:39:11   They use the Marco login system.

00:39:13   So every time you wanna sign in,

00:39:15   it's like the things that Marco makes

00:39:16   that drive me up a wall where you go to sign in

00:39:18   and it says, hey, you wanna sign in,

00:39:19   enter your identifier here.

00:39:21   And then it says, okay, great.

00:39:22   We'll email you a link.

00:39:23   And they email you a link and you click the link

00:39:24   and you log in.

00:39:25   That's it.

00:39:26   That's the only way.

00:39:27   I mean, for now.

00:39:28   I mean, maybe they'll change it, but I think

00:39:29   that was interesting. - Hey, you really feel

00:39:30   just now. (laughs)

00:39:32   - I know, I don't like having to go.

00:39:33   I'm at the login page.

00:39:35   I wanna log in.

00:39:36   I don't wanna be at the login page

00:39:37   and have to go back to my email client.

00:39:38   But that's what they do.

00:39:40   Apparently, if you're going to invite somebody,

00:39:43   we were talking last time, oh, I don't wanna share

00:39:45   my contacts 'cause it forces you to share your contacts.

00:39:46   It's like, oh, Casey, just get another phone

00:39:48   and empty out all your contacts and turn off iCloud.

00:39:51   And then do it.

00:39:53   And then invite me.

00:39:54   Apparently, the app only lets you invite somebody

00:39:57   who's in your contacts.

00:39:58   So if you were to empty out your contacts

00:40:00   and then say, okay, here you go.

00:40:02   Here's my contacts.

00:40:03   Ha ha, there's nothing there.

00:40:04   Now please let me invite somebody.

00:40:06   When you went to invite me, it wouldn't work.

00:40:07   So you'd have to add me specifically to your contacts

00:40:10   and then invite me, which is silly.

00:40:12   Again, this is a young service.

00:40:13   Things change a lot.

00:40:14   So who's to say how this will be?

00:40:16   But all this is to say is they're very adamant

00:40:18   about getting your contacts.

00:40:20   'Cause really, there's no reason they need your contacts

00:40:23   for you to invite people.

00:40:24   And then even if you try to work around it,

00:40:26   it's like forcing you to at least add the people

00:40:29   you wanna invite to your contacts.

00:40:31   And the phone number thing and the contacts thing

00:40:35   brings to mind a topic that is near and dear

00:40:39   to any new social network's heart,

00:40:40   which is how do you bootstrap any kind of social network?

00:40:44   How do you start building the web of people

00:40:47   who are friends or followers

00:40:49   or whatever terminology you use

00:40:51   to make your social graph in your network,

00:40:53   how do you get that going?

00:40:55   A while back, various social networks used to allow you

00:40:58   to essentially hijack their social network

00:41:03   by saying please tell me all the relationships

00:41:06   between this person and any other person

00:41:08   that they have as friends or followers or whatever.

00:41:11   And that turned out to be a bad idea

00:41:14   as far as those companies were concerned

00:41:16   and they started locking it down.

00:41:18   - So it used to be like, for example,

00:41:19   that if you went on a social network,

00:41:21   you could give your Twitter a handle

00:41:22   and then it could crawl your Twitter relationship graphs

00:41:26   and just say oh, we know all these people,

00:41:27   looks like that you know and we'll invite them

00:41:29   and you can invite them here.

00:41:31   - That honestly, I'm pretty sure that is

00:41:33   what made Instagram take off.

00:41:35   Like Instagram took off massively

00:41:38   because they were sucking in the Twitter graph

00:41:41   and then Twitter cut it off about a few months into that

00:41:44   once they realized like oh, this is probably strategically

00:41:47   not a great thing to do.

00:41:48   - Yeah, and it's in some ways,

00:41:50   it's a little bit of a cat and mouse game

00:41:52   'cause you can get this, it's not,

00:41:54   the information is available to a human

00:41:56   with a webpage clicking with a mouse.

00:41:57   It's supposedly not available through APIs.

00:42:00   It depends on how devious you wanna be

00:42:02   and how much you anticipate being sued or whatever.

00:42:05   But anyway, it's a problem every social network faces.

00:42:10   People don't wanna go in and have to be like

00:42:11   oh, I'm on this thing and I don't have any friends

00:42:14   or followers or people who I follow.

00:42:16   How do I find people to follow?

00:42:18   Why can't you just tell me if any of my friends are on here

00:42:20   so I can follow them?

00:42:22   Or better yet, why don't you just make me

00:42:24   automatically follow everybody who I already follow

00:42:27   on Twitter or who I already am friends with on Facebook

00:42:31   and while that's good for users,

00:42:33   it's bad for Twitter and Facebook.

00:42:35   That's why they can't do it.

00:42:36   So the phone number thing as the way to build

00:42:40   a social network is interesting

00:42:43   because well, for a couple reasons.

00:42:44   One, as was discussed on Dithering recently,

00:42:48   most people only have one or maybe two phone numbers.

00:42:51   So it's more of a, it's a slightly more reliable

00:42:55   identifier for a person.

00:42:58   Whereas things like email addresses or usernames,

00:43:01   you can make an unlimited number of those.

00:43:03   Bots can make them really quickly.

00:43:05   Any individual human probably already has

00:43:07   many email addresses and it's really easy to make new ones.

00:43:10   And so it's hard to say what the actual social graph is

00:43:14   if people can just make up usernames.

00:43:16   I have multiple Twitter accounts, they're all me,

00:43:18   but there's no real way for Twitter to know that

00:43:21   unless they're doing some kind of IP tracking

00:43:22   and even then that can be unreliable.

00:43:24   But if you have phone numbers, it's harder to make bots

00:43:28   and I say this and knowing full well that next episode

00:43:31   someone's gonna send us follow ups saying,

00:43:32   oh you don't understand how easy it is to grind out

00:43:34   new phone numbers for these giant spam farms.

00:43:36   So I'm saying it's harder, not impossible, right?

00:43:38   But it's harder to make bots

00:43:40   and it ties your identity for regular people

00:43:44   who don't easily have access to get new phone numbers

00:43:47   constantly or it's just a big hassle.

00:43:49   It ties your identity and reputation more closely

00:43:52   to the thing that you are signing in with.

00:43:54   And then for your social network,

00:43:57   although you might not have knowing all the Facebook names

00:44:02   and Twitter handles of everybody,

00:44:04   in your context the most likely thing you are to have

00:44:06   is either an email address or a phone number.

00:44:09   And if it's on your phone, maybe,

00:44:11   and especially if you're not,

00:44:13   if everyone you know doesn't use iMessage or whatever,

00:44:15   you probably have their phone numbers,

00:44:16   which is their identifier as far as you're concerned

00:44:18   for text messaging and other things

00:44:20   that you do from your phone.

00:44:21   So if you can't get access to the Twitter graph

00:44:24   and you can't get access to the Facebook graph

00:44:25   or the Instagram graph or whatever,

00:44:28   your best bet for building that network

00:44:30   is to go with telephone numbers from people's cell phones

00:44:34   that are more reliably, uniquely identify people

00:44:39   and that are likely to be in their contacts database.

00:44:41   And you can ask that for access for it.

00:44:43   So it makes perfect sense why Clubhouse is very enthusiastic,

00:44:48   let's say, about getting your contacts

00:44:50   'cause it wants to build its network

00:44:52   and it wants to build its network in a reliable way

00:44:55   that's harder to spam or pollute or fill with garbage.

00:45:01   Part of this identity-based, more reliable,

00:45:06   identity-based system where you can't easily make

00:45:10   a million throwaway accounts is that when you get

00:45:13   on to Clubhouse, I don't know how long

00:45:14   this is gonna be there, but when I was invited on

00:45:17   and I go to my profile page,

00:45:19   at the bottom of my profile page it says,

00:45:22   nominated by, and then the person who invited me.

00:45:25   And I don't know how long that's gonna stay there.

00:45:27   Is that gonna stay there forever?

00:45:28   And so it's like, if you invite someone to Clubhouse,

00:45:32   forever you are responsible for any garbage thing they do

00:45:35   'cause everything is going to their profile and say,

00:45:37   this person was nominated by so-and-so.

00:45:39   Why did so-and-so invite this guy on?

00:45:41   He's a jerk.

00:45:42   I don't know how long it's gonna last,

00:45:43   but I thought it was interesting,

00:45:44   especially given how hard it would be to sort of,

00:45:47   again, make throwaway accounts or disassociate yourself

00:45:50   from your number, it's a hassle to change your phone number,

00:45:53   it's real easy to make a new Twitter handle.

00:45:54   So I will continue to be nominated by the nice person

00:45:58   who gave me an invite.

00:45:59   When someone gets, when you've shared your contacts,

00:46:06   and someone in your contacts comes on to Clubhouse,

00:46:10   I don't know if they do this all the time,

00:46:12   but many people have been reporting

00:46:13   that they get a notification that says,

00:46:15   hey, welcome your friend Joe Schmo to Clubhouse,

00:46:18   like an iOS notification on your phone,

00:46:21   which is A, kinda creepy 'cause it's like

00:46:25   they're rubbing it in your face

00:46:26   that they have all your contacts.

00:46:27   Wait, how did you know that I know,

00:46:29   oh, I gave you all my contacts,

00:46:30   I thought you weren't gonna look at those.

00:46:32   (laughing)

00:46:33   Like that's the thing, when people give access

00:46:35   to their contacts, they're like, okay,

00:46:36   well this is probably just for something

00:46:38   that makes it easier to do in the program or whatever,

00:46:40   but it's like, no, they actually look at those and use them,

00:46:43   and so every time they say,

00:46:45   we noticed something that happened,

00:46:46   and then you're like, ugh, it's depressing.

00:46:49   But the second aspect of this that's creepy

00:46:51   and disconcerting and has already caught me is,

00:46:55   if you tap that notification that says,

00:46:57   hey, your friend Joe Schmo joined Clubhouse,

00:47:00   why don't you welcome them?

00:47:01   If you tap that notification,

00:47:04   it launches you directly into a live,

00:47:07   real-time, two-way audio conversation with that person.

00:47:11   Oh, God.

00:47:12   With no intervening, like it makes a room in Clubhouse,

00:47:15   like it just throws you right in there.

00:47:17   Like not even like a, 'cause there's nothing

00:47:20   in the welcome message that makes you think

00:47:22   that's going to happen, 'cause you're like,

00:47:23   well, I can tap this and it'll probably like

00:47:25   show me their profile page or at the very least prompt me,

00:47:28   hey, do you wanna talk to so-and-so?

00:47:29   Nope, I'm making a room, here you are, they're invited in,

00:47:32   and you could be suddenly in a real-time audio conversation

00:47:36   you had no expectation would happen, so--

00:47:38   - Oh my God. - That seems like--

00:47:38   - That can backfire in so many ways.

00:47:41   - A part of the app that the Clubhouse folks

00:47:43   might wanna reconsider, because that is going

00:47:47   from zero to 60 awful fast.

00:47:49   I get a creepy notification, I tap it,

00:47:51   and now they can hear what I'm saying

00:47:53   and I can hear what they're saying.

00:47:55   - No, that's not good.

00:47:57   - Oh God, yeah, 'cause I mean, Jesus,

00:47:59   you think about every possible scenario

00:48:01   that you could be in, who could they be?

00:48:03   Like people you have in your contacts,

00:48:05   I don't know a lot of people who frequently go through

00:48:09   and delete people out of their contacts.

00:48:11   Most people have contacts in their phone

00:48:13   and the numbers just always increase,

00:48:15   they never go through and fill it in their mouth,

00:48:16   'cause there's usually not much reason

00:48:17   to go delete contacts.

00:48:19   Like I went through mine when I had that sync issue

00:48:22   a few months back with Big Sur, I went through that,

00:48:24   and that was the first time I deleted contacts

00:48:26   in probably 12 years.

00:48:28   Like I was going through deleting people

00:48:30   who I literally haven't talked to since 2006.

00:48:33   And I had their constant info from back then,

00:48:36   but there was no reason to ever go through.

00:48:37   So imagine like ex-boyfriends could be in there,

00:48:41   ex-bosses, like oh God, that could go very badly.

00:48:45   - Yeah, those are two things brought up

00:48:46   by a lot of our listeners, like all these social networks.

00:48:50   They're just trying to make edges, make lines between nodes,

00:48:55   but they don't have the knowledge based on,

00:49:00   oh, we got all your contacts.

00:49:02   Is this your abusive ex-boyfriend or girlfriend?

00:49:06   Is this the boss that you hate?

00:49:08   Is this your ex-wife who you're currently not speaking to?

00:49:11   Is this just someone who you just don't wanna be talking to?

00:49:16   It doesn't know that, it just knows,

00:49:17   well, here's some contact information.

00:49:19   It's not like people annotate them with the desirability

00:49:22   of suddenly being in a real-time conversation with them.

00:49:24   So this seems like not the correct default for anyone.

00:49:29   I mean, in many ways, it's similar to the problem

00:49:33   that Facebook and everything had forever

00:49:35   where they'll try to bring up memories from your past,

00:49:39   but they have no idea if they're good memories

00:49:41   or bad memories, even if it's something like,

00:49:43   oh, look, it's a picture of your dog,

00:49:44   and your dog just died.

00:49:48   They're trying to be helpful,

00:49:50   but they don't know what they don't know,

00:49:52   and it's a dangerous thing to do at scale,

00:49:54   so I would suggest that Clubhouse reconsider this.

00:49:57   I have heard a lot of reports of people

00:49:58   who are on Clubhouse way earlier,

00:49:59   'cause Clubhouse has been around for a while.

00:50:01   I haven't seen Twitter discussions of it forever,

00:50:03   and I could not for the life of me figure out what it was.

00:50:05   Like, for whatever, however many months

00:50:07   people have been talking about it.

00:50:09   Maybe they're talking about two different things,

00:50:10   'cause I think there might be two things called Clubhouse.

00:50:11   Anyway, I've heard that the app has changed a lot

00:50:16   in the short time that it has existed,

00:50:19   and it's still in closed beta invite only,

00:50:21   so these are some suggestions

00:50:22   that Clubhouse might want to change.

00:50:25   Now, as for experiences, I intentionally tried to,

00:50:27   once I got on the thing and finished mourning

00:50:30   about not getting my username, I wanted to be--

00:50:32   - You're still on over that.

00:50:33   - No, it's really upsetting.

00:50:35   Now, as many people said, sort of facetiously,

00:50:38   but not really facetiously,

00:50:39   now I'm rooting for the service to fail,

00:50:41   'cause if I can't get my username,

00:50:42   it just needs to be burned down.

00:50:43   - That's it, it's over. - Wow.

00:50:44   - Yeah, well, I mean, they'll just get bought by Facebook

00:50:48   or whatever the heck happens to social media.

00:50:51   - I bet they're bought within six months.

00:50:53   - Or they just get Instagram storied.

00:50:55   - Oh, to be fair, I think both will happen.

00:50:57   I think they're gonna be bought by somebody

00:50:58   within six months, and also they're gonna

00:51:00   get Instagram storied.

00:51:01   - Yep, I tried to get into a bunch of rooms

00:51:04   to try to use this thing.

00:51:05   That was tricky for me, because I haven't given it

00:51:08   my contacts, so I don't have much of a social graph

00:51:11   on the network.

00:51:13   I mean, I'm doing it the old-fashioned way,

00:51:14   which is follow one person that you know is there,

00:51:17   like the person who invited me,

00:51:18   and then look at who they follow,

00:51:19   and then follow all the people you know who they follow,

00:51:21   and then just keep iterating, and then look at those people,

00:51:24   and then look who they follow,

00:51:25   and then look who they follow.

00:51:25   So I'm bootstrapping my social network

00:51:27   by digging down the tree of people I know

00:51:30   and just scrolling through all of their contacts

00:51:32   until I don't recognize anybody, you know what I mean?

00:51:34   - That is so much better than how I did it.

00:51:37   So I decided, normally, my problem usually

00:51:40   with news services is I usually wait,

00:51:44   usually anything that comes out

00:51:45   that everyone's talking about I'm too skeptical of,

00:51:48   or I'm too slow to it, so I'll be like,

00:51:50   ah, it's not gonna, yeah, Twitter's gonna be a passing fad.

00:51:53   I don't need to sign up on Twitter.

00:51:54   But usually, that results in me missing

00:51:57   some huge activity there, and then I get there late,

00:52:00   and I regret having missed the earlier stuff.

00:52:03   And so this time I thought, let me do it right,

00:52:04   even though I know it's, again, as you said,

00:52:06   it's been around for a while, but I thought,

00:52:07   let me do it right.

00:52:08   I'm gonna go into this all optimistic.

00:52:11   And so I went in, and I actually did the thing

00:52:13   where you fill out your interests up front,

00:52:14   which are hilarious, by the way.

00:52:16   One of the interests you could pick was podcasts, period.

00:52:20   Just podcasts.

00:52:22   Like, okay, that's a bit broad, but okay.

00:52:24   - Well, they all find TV in movies,

00:52:25   but I was baffled by those lists too,

00:52:27   because they were so short.

00:52:29   There was a list of seven things,

00:52:31   and it's like, is that the world of entertainment,

00:52:33   those seven things?

00:52:35   (laughing)

00:52:36   - Yeah, and so I went through that.

00:52:37   I actually look, honestly, like, all right,

00:52:40   well, yes, I do like podcasts, so I picked that.

00:52:42   I picked probably five or six other things

00:52:44   on the list of poorly chosen blobs.

00:52:48   And then I went to, and then it shows this list

00:52:50   of people you might like to follow.

00:52:53   And it was all just investor dicks.

00:52:57   It was just like, it was nobody I want to follow.

00:53:00   It was just a whole bunch of trendy futurists

00:53:04   and all those people who I just have no tolerance for,

00:53:08   and I accepted every single recommendation.

00:53:11   I followed all of them.

00:53:13   I'm like, I want to know what people are at,

00:53:15   like, how this service is actually being experienced

00:53:20   by the people who are saying how great it is.

00:53:22   I want to see why it's so great.

00:53:24   And so I followed every single person they recommended,

00:53:27   and it's all these people who I would never

00:53:29   in a million years choose to follow on any other service.

00:53:32   (laughing)

00:53:33   But I thought, hey, I want to get a good picture

00:53:35   of this thing.

00:53:36   And so, yeah, the list of channels that I was exposed to

00:53:41   during my time trying it, oh, man,

00:53:44   I did not find anything good.

00:53:46   - I don't know why you would do that.

00:53:48   I mean, I get your idea of like,

00:53:50   I want to see what other people are seeing,

00:53:51   but you know you don't want to see what other people are seeing.

00:53:54   - It's funny, 'cause I think I did something

00:53:56   in between you guys.

00:53:57   I definitely and honestly filled out that interest,

00:54:01   like questionnaire isn't the right word for it,

00:54:03   but you know, the like, what do you like?

00:54:05   Do you like this, do you like that?

00:54:06   And I filled that out honestly.

00:54:08   And then I saw, or I tried to look up a handful of people

00:54:11   that I thought were already there that I know

00:54:13   or enjoy their work and I started following them.

00:54:16   But I feel like the suggestions that I get 99% of the time

00:54:20   are at least the suggestions from people

00:54:24   that I'm not following.

00:54:25   So it's one thing if like, I think it's this coming Friday,

00:54:30   Matt Bischoff is doing some sort of thing on Clubhouse

00:54:33   that sounded reasonably interesting.

00:54:35   But for like just random things, like I'm getting,

00:54:39   oh God, I keep tapping into these rooms like an idiot.

00:54:42   I'm getting housing around,

00:54:44   which is a bunch of people I don't recognize.

00:54:47   Welcome to Clubhouse in convo with Mike Judge.

00:54:51   I don't know if that's the Mike Judge or not.

00:54:53   - I like Mike Judge.

00:54:54   - Yeah, that'd be kind of cool if that's the case.

00:54:55   - I would love to listen to that some other time when I can.

00:54:58   - Exactly, exactly.

00:54:59   - I'm not sure of most modern media.

00:55:00   - Right, State of Crypto Policy and Houston Lives,

00:55:05   Benefit Concert.

00:55:06   And that's the things that are offered to me

00:55:08   on like the main screen.

00:55:10   And I'm not particularly interested in any of that.

00:55:13   And every time I open up Clubhouse,

00:55:15   which I keep doing to just see like,

00:55:17   okay, what is there that people are talking about right now

00:55:20   that may or may not be interesting to me?

00:55:22   And it's just never interesting to me,

00:55:24   which isn't by necessity a failing of Clubhouse.

00:55:26   Like that could be a failing on my part

00:55:28   because I just don't like the sorts of things

00:55:30   that Clubhouse seems to like.

00:55:31   It could be a failing on my part

00:55:32   because I don't follow the right people.

00:55:33   And so it's not bubbling up the right stuff.

00:55:35   But I don't know, it's,

00:55:38   there was a lot of talk about this on Upgrade this week.

00:55:41   And I really, really thought it was an excellent,

00:55:44   excellent discussion.

00:55:45   And a lot of it was around,

00:55:47   and this is what I was kind of referring to earlier

00:55:49   in our show, you know,

00:55:51   are we getting passed by, says Mike and Jason,

00:55:54   because we're not particularly interested in this.

00:55:56   And I think Jason in particular said,

00:55:58   I don't want to approach any new thing

00:56:00   and be like, oh, that sucks.

00:56:01   You know, I want to at least invest,

00:56:03   and you were saying this more, also, both of you were.

00:56:05   - Yeah, I've done that in the past.

00:56:07   I regretted doing that in the past.

00:56:08   And I'm trying to get better at not doing that,

00:56:11   you know, to new things now.

00:56:13   - Same, same, completely agree.

00:56:15   And I don't know, I just,

00:56:17   the impression I had before having gotten an invite

00:56:22   was that it seemed very like Silicon Valley broey,

00:56:26   which I have a deep repulsion to.

00:56:30   Like, I just find all of that just repulsive

00:56:33   in so many ways.

00:56:34   And I do think Clubhouse is more than that,

00:56:39   but it also seems pretty clear to me

00:56:42   that that's where the bread and butter is still right now.

00:56:44   Like, you know, growth hacking and influencing

00:56:48   and doing all that stuff that like is just,

00:56:50   I don't know, I find it icky.

00:56:52   And that's not to say that it will always be that way.

00:56:55   I think obviously it started that way

00:56:57   because that's the people who made it, you know,

00:57:00   or VC people and they showed it to their VC friends

00:57:03   and they're all having VC fantasy lives

00:57:05   in their VC, you know, fake world.

00:57:08   But nevertheless, I haven't seen anything yet

00:57:12   that makes me say, oh, that's totally sweet.

00:57:14   And I can envision ways that it might be totally sweet.

00:57:17   And like, if the two of you wanted to sometime

00:57:20   and get on and do a show or whatever it's called,

00:57:23   whatever the vernacular is,

00:57:24   and do something for a few minutes just for funsies,

00:57:26   I'd totally try it.

00:57:27   But I don't know, nothing about it has really grabbed me

00:57:31   in the way that it like only took a few minutes

00:57:34   or maybe, I don't know, a day for Twitter to really land

00:57:36   once I gave it an honest shake,

00:57:38   because I had the same impression as you did, Marco.

00:57:40   Like, who cares?

00:57:42   Like, no, I don't want this in my life, no.

00:57:45   And then once you give Twitter an honest shake,

00:57:47   was at least back in 2008 before it was truly toxic,

00:57:50   it was pretty obvious pretty quick that it was good stuff.

00:57:53   And Instagram, holy crap, Instagram,

00:57:55   it was like four seconds before you realized,

00:57:57   oh, this is delightful.

00:57:58   And I just, I haven't yet gotten that from Clubhouse.

00:58:02   And maybe this is just reason 7,455,002 that I'm an old man.

00:58:07   But I don't know, it just hasn't stuck with me quite yet.

00:58:10   - Well, I feel like these communities are influenced

00:58:12   by the sort of founding members,

00:58:14   and whether or not it's because they're a VC-backed company

00:58:16   that it seems VC brewery,

00:58:17   or whether that's just like the first people who are there.

00:58:20   I think things like Twitter benefited from the fact

00:58:22   that the sort of the founding settlers,

00:58:24   the first people who had Twitter accounts

00:58:26   were in our circle of friends.

00:58:28   So of course it's gonna feel welcoming and normal to us.

00:58:30   And as I was trying to say last time

00:58:32   about introverts versus extroverts,

00:58:34   it could be that there is a community of people

00:58:36   that is ill-served by the current services,

00:58:38   and those are exactly the people

00:58:39   who are sort of the founding members of this one.

00:58:41   So when they show up here,

00:58:42   it's all their people doing things that they wanna do.

00:58:45   And so it may be awesome for them.

00:58:47   Like the reason we're looking at it at all

00:58:48   is because it has some amount of buzz.

00:58:51   You know, that said, it's a young servicing,

00:58:52   young application, and there's lots of complexities.

00:58:55   The whole thing of how do you,

00:58:57   again, bootstrapping your social network,

00:58:59   that thing where it asks you your interests

00:59:01   is an attempt to do that, because okay,

00:59:03   if you wouldn't give us your contacts,

00:59:04   we can't help you there.

00:59:05   But even if you did give them,

00:59:06   we can't really make heads or tails of most of it,

00:59:09   'cause again, we don't know which person in those contacts

00:59:13   is the type of person you'd like to talk to on Clubhouse,

00:59:15   and which is the type of person

00:59:15   you'd never wanna talk to again,

00:59:17   and they just happen to still be in your contacts.

00:59:19   So the interests thing, which you know, music services,

00:59:21   of course, do this for recommendation engines

00:59:23   and you know, anything.

00:59:24   Pick from this big giant cloud of stuff

00:59:26   and tell us what you're into,

00:59:27   and then we'll try to give you

00:59:28   some kind of intelligent suggestion.

00:59:30   Obviously, that is undercut if what you pick

00:59:33   as your interests, no one is talking about that in Clubhouse

00:59:36   'cause it's still invite only,

00:59:37   it's a small group of people,

00:59:38   and those people are of a particular type

00:59:41   or a particular circle of friends or whatever,

00:59:43   'cause remember, people get onto Clubhouse

00:59:44   by being invited by other people,

00:59:46   so it's kind of, you know, it's growing

00:59:47   from whatever that original core was.

00:59:49   If there's no one discussing your thing,

00:59:51   you can pick it as an interest,

00:59:52   but you're not gonna see it.

00:59:53   But you know, as I was mentioning before

00:59:55   about the interests thing, when I was filling them out,

00:59:57   I was shocked at how bad the interest interface was

01:00:01   just because there are things I'm interested in

01:00:03   that I couldn't select and they weren't super weird,

01:00:06   so Marco picked podcasts, I picked television

01:00:09   and gaming or whatever.

01:00:10   This one really drives it home.

01:00:12   This one should really drive it home for everybody.

01:00:14   They have a category for sports.

01:00:16   Here are the sports that you can select.

01:00:18   This is, as far as Clubhouse is concerned,

01:00:22   this is the entire world of sports.

01:00:25   - The whole world of sports.

01:00:26   - Yep, football, soccer, MMA, cycling, baseball,

01:00:31   cricket, tennis, Formula One, basketball, golf.

01:00:33   That's it, there are no other sports.

01:00:35   Nothing else exists in the world of sports

01:00:39   except for those 10 things.

01:00:41   - I'm pretty sure I can go with a better list than that.

01:00:43   - I'm pretty sure, like, that's not even like,

01:00:45   even if you wanted to be charitable

01:00:47   and say, "Oh, it's a very US-centric list," it's not.

01:00:49   They're trying to cover the literal world of sports,

01:00:51   the entire globe, and they come up with 10 things.

01:00:54   Sports is a little bit, and I'm pretty sure sports

01:00:56   is not an obscure topic that they wouldn't have

01:00:59   lots of detail on.

01:01:00   Now, maybe these categories are fed by people

01:01:04   creating rooms, maybe I don't understand

01:01:05   how they're coming in here, but if you can't get

01:01:08   a good social graph and recommendations for your contacts,

01:01:11   because say you didn't share them

01:01:12   or they're just not anything to go for,

01:01:14   and people try to diligently fill out their interests,

01:01:17   like Casey was doing, I'm gonna say what I'm interested in,

01:01:19   and then they go back to your main screen

01:01:21   and they're trying to say, "Show me something,

01:01:24   "I wanna do this thing.

01:01:26   "I filled out my interests, I gave you my contacts,

01:01:30   "I don't know what to do next."

01:01:31   Clubhouse needs to find a way to throw up something

01:01:36   that you can tap on and get into and understand it.

01:01:39   Now, the one thing they have that does work

01:01:42   a little bit better than these two things

01:01:43   is what worked for me is if you enable notifications,

01:01:48   which I never do for any app, but pretty quickly

01:01:50   I learned with Clubhouse, I'm never going to,

01:01:53   I'm gonna be like Casey, where you launch the app,

01:01:54   you look at it and go, "Nah," and you turn it off.

01:01:56   And I did that for like a couple days in a row,

01:01:58   I'm like, "I'm not using Clubhouse,

01:01:59   "I'm just launching the app and then saying,

01:02:01   "no, nothing interested me," and leave it.

01:02:03   So I've gotta do something else,

01:02:05   and what I did was I enabled notifications,

01:02:07   which is very rare for me, I enabled notifications,

01:02:08   almost nothing on my phone.

01:02:10   And the reason I enabled them is because I understood

01:02:13   that if you follow people, I did do the thing

01:02:16   that I was describing where I would follow someone

01:02:18   and then go through the list of everybody they follow

01:02:20   and follow those people and so on and so forth,

01:02:21   so I built a little graph for myself

01:02:23   of a bunch of people who I follow.

01:02:25   If one of the people you follow starts a room,

01:02:29   subject to whatever algorithm they're using,

01:02:31   they may or may not send you a notification that says,

01:02:33   "Hey, your friend Joe Schmoe just made a room on Clubhouse,

01:02:36   "do you want to join?"

01:02:38   And again, if you tap that notification,

01:02:40   you are in that room instantly.

01:02:43   Although you probably won't have the ability to speak.

01:02:46   Anyway, so that's what I did,

01:02:50   and I was lucky enough of the small handful

01:02:52   of people that I was following,

01:02:53   one of them was actually experimenting with Clubhouse

01:02:57   by creating rooms and doing stuff,

01:03:00   and that was Paul Hudson of, what's his website,

01:03:02   Hacking with Swift, I think.

01:03:04   He was just trying the thing out,

01:03:07   and the way he was trying it out is,

01:03:09   as a bit more of an extrovert than I am,

01:03:11   he was making rooms and inviting people in

01:03:13   and saying, "Okay, we're gonna have a room."

01:03:16   One of the first ones I was in, he was like,

01:03:18   "Let's do iOS interview questions,"

01:03:21   where he was going to pull people from the audience

01:03:25   and give them a question that they might receive

01:03:27   if they were interviewing for a job as an iOS developer.

01:03:30   And the person from the audience would try to answer it,

01:03:33   and then they would talk about it.

01:03:35   That was it, that was the whole room,

01:03:37   and he did that for hours.

01:03:40   And I just listened to it. - That's super clever.

01:03:41   - I listened to it ambiently like you would listen

01:03:43   to a podcast.

01:03:44   It's the type of, it's kind of like a call-in show,

01:03:49   but here's me bringing my own interest to Clubhouse.

01:03:54   It's basically like a tech podcast, right?

01:03:58   Like talk radio and people calling in to tell you

01:04:01   that what their coach or their favorite sports team

01:04:04   should have been doing, or political talk radio,

01:04:06   or stuff like that.

01:04:09   That would work in this format as well,

01:04:11   but I'm not interested in any of those things.

01:04:12   Same deal with growth hacking and how to get press

01:04:17   for your startup or Bitcoin, or all sorts of other things

01:04:19   that I'm not interested in, and they have rooms

01:04:21   that where people are talking about.

01:04:22   But what I'm interested in is tech nerdy stuff,

01:04:25   and people who run websites to tell you how to program

01:04:27   in Swift, right?

01:04:28   And so when he made a room and started doing

01:04:30   these interview questions, it was like a nerdy version

01:04:34   of talk radio, where instead of the people coming

01:04:37   on the line and yelling about their favorite sports team,

01:04:40   they would politely answer questions about iOS.

01:04:43   And so I got two things from it.

01:04:47   One, I actually learned a lot about iOS and Swift, right?

01:04:51   'Cause how can you not?

01:04:52   Like it was just question after question after question,

01:04:54   most of which I didn't know the answer to

01:04:56   until they were answered, and then they discussed

01:04:57   the answers, so that was fun.

01:04:58   And two, it has the same entertainment value

01:05:01   as a call-in show, where there's a host

01:05:04   who is doing a good job, and Paul does a really good job

01:05:07   of being a host.

01:05:08   He's cheating by being British, but whatever.

01:05:10   (laughing)

01:05:11   Sounds very proper and correct and official

01:05:16   and important to our American ears.

01:05:19   And he's also super smart and knows everything.

01:05:21   And then you're the participants who were unfailingly,

01:05:26   polite and conscientious and humble and smart

01:05:34   and just all the things that you would expect.

01:05:36   Nobody yelled Baba Booey, no one was being a jerk, right?

01:05:39   It was just a bunch of programmers

01:05:40   answering programmer questions.

01:05:41   So I felt like I was in my element for that type of thing.

01:05:43   He did a bunch of other rooms, and every time he started one

01:05:46   I would join it and just listen to it.

01:05:48   I forget what his other ones were.

01:05:50   Some general discussions of things, like Q&A type stuff.

01:05:53   And then the final one I did was,

01:05:57   this is the first big wiggy thing that I've been in.

01:06:00   It was a room, I don't know how I got invited.

01:06:02   It was probably someone I followed,

01:06:03   but it was some famous person that I follow,

01:06:06   famous in Apple circles, and it was Steve Jobs stories.

01:06:09   I think people were mentioning this on Twitter,

01:06:11   so maybe people might have joined it

01:06:13   from just seeing tweets about it.

01:06:15   It was a bunch of people who knew Steve Jobs

01:06:17   when he was alive and who worked with him

01:06:18   in various capacities telling stories about Steve Jobs.

01:06:22   Granted, most of which I'd heard already,

01:06:23   but if you read every single book that comes out

01:06:26   about Steve Jobs and fallen for your whole life,

01:06:28   you probably know a lot of these stories,

01:06:29   but some of them you won't know.

01:06:30   In fact, even some of the people who are telling the stories

01:06:32   you won't know because they worked with Steve

01:06:34   in a very obscure capacity, obscure enough

01:06:37   that they haven't been in Seven Forbes profiles

01:06:40   telling their stories or whatever.

01:06:42   And this was this entire room.

01:06:44   I don't even know which of the famous people was hosting it,

01:06:46   but a bunch of people were in there

01:06:48   from the original Mac team and old ex-Apple people,

01:06:50   and they would just get invited on stage,

01:06:52   and they would tell their story,

01:06:54   and then someone else would come up as a speaker,

01:06:56   and they would tell their story,

01:06:57   and I was at hours and hours of people

01:06:59   telling stories about Steve Jobs.

01:07:01   Some of the people who told stories

01:07:02   were really good storytellers.

01:07:03   Some of them weren't.

01:07:04   Some of the stories you heard, some of them you hadn't,

01:07:07   but that's what it was.

01:07:08   Now, that was interesting because it was like,

01:07:12   you know, famous people, right?

01:07:13   So in that way, it's a lot like regular people's

01:07:16   relationship to podcasts where it's by some,

01:07:18   you know, I almost said Joe Rogan.

01:07:21   I didn't mean to say that, but I don't know.

01:07:23   Like famous NPR personalities

01:07:26   or a podcast featuring Barack Obama, right?

01:07:29   Like actual famous people who just happen to be appearing

01:07:32   in the medium of podcasts.

01:07:33   This was, you know, semi-famous and nerd circle people

01:07:37   who were on Clubhouse.

01:07:40   It was the type of thing that you can imagine

01:07:43   would be more to my taste, I was gonna say better,

01:07:47   but I'm not gonna say better.

01:07:48   I'm gonna say more to my taste if it had been a podcast

01:07:51   because if you did a podcast, oh, here's a podcast

01:07:55   with people telling stories about Steve Jobs,

01:07:57   you'd get only the best stories.

01:07:58   You'd edit them, right?

01:07:59   You'd, you know, you would produce it.

01:08:01   You'd get rid of all the dead air

01:08:03   and the parts that didn't work,

01:08:05   but making a podcast of people telling stories

01:08:07   about Steve Jobs would require hunting down

01:08:10   all the people who have stories,

01:08:11   getting them to agree to be on your podcast,

01:08:13   arranging a time for them to come and record,

01:08:15   making sure they're set up so they can record,

01:08:17   getting their recording, doing that 20 times,

01:08:20   editing it all down, producing it,

01:08:21   putting it in, you know, like it's way more work

01:08:24   than what seemed like this was more or less ad hoc,

01:08:27   hey, we're doing a stories about Steve Jobs Clubhouse

01:08:29   right now, and then people just come to you, right?

01:08:33   People just, people come and say,

01:08:35   oh, I see they're having a Clubhouse thing

01:08:36   and Andy Hertzfeld joins and Bill Atkinson joins

01:08:39   and they're all, and once they appear in the room,

01:08:41   the moderators like bless them and say,

01:08:43   oh, come on stage, you talk, you know what I mean?

01:08:45   And so it was ad hoc and messy

01:08:48   and not like a produced podcast,

01:08:50   but it was also a thing that probably

01:08:52   just wouldn't have happened period

01:08:54   unless there was someone with an established podcast

01:08:56   willing to put in the time and energy

01:08:58   to make a produced podcast version of this.

01:09:00   I saw lots of people saying like,

01:09:02   this is what Clubhouse is great about,

01:09:04   like you would never see this in a podcast.

01:09:06   No, you could absolutely see this in the podcast,

01:09:08   it would just be a lot harder.

01:09:10   Like I said, the result of that would be more to my tastes,

01:09:13   but some people may like this more freeform one.

01:09:16   And also of course, if you're in that room

01:09:17   and you happen to have a story about Steve Jobs,

01:09:19   you can raise your hand and maybe they'll let you

01:09:20   tell your story and you can never do that with a podcast

01:09:22   'cause you're not there, you're not a participant,

01:09:24   you're just listening, right?

01:09:27   Both of these things though,

01:09:29   made me think of a few more features

01:09:31   that Clubhouse should add to their platform.

01:09:35   And we've been talking mostly about like,

01:09:37   what is it like in Clubhouse

01:09:38   and what kind of people are there,

01:09:39   what are they talking about?

01:09:40   But it's important not to lose sight of the fact

01:09:42   that like Twitter or email or Facebook or Instagram,

01:09:46   these things are essentially platforms.

01:09:48   It's a system that works in a certain way

01:09:52   and that system encourages certain behaviors

01:09:54   and discourages others, but it doesn't dictate subject matter

01:09:57   or like population or relationships really.

01:10:02   Anything that works in this way,

01:10:05   where you want to come into a room

01:10:06   where a bunch of other people can be

01:10:07   and you can nominate them to speak,

01:10:09   anything that fits within that platform

01:10:11   will work on Clubhouse.

01:10:13   It just so happens this is what we're getting now.

01:10:15   And so within that platform,

01:10:16   platform features that I think they could really use

01:10:19   are pausing and rewinding.

01:10:21   Now you may think that's totally counter to this,

01:10:23   it has to be live.

01:10:24   If you can pause and rewind,

01:10:25   like you're gonna be ruining the liveness of the experience

01:10:29   and you're gonna be behind other people

01:10:30   and you won't be able to participate

01:10:31   and all that other stuff.

01:10:33   But I feel like those two features are kind of essential

01:10:36   for the best functionality of the features they do have.

01:10:41   Because when something is live

01:10:45   and you're sort of listening to it the same way,

01:10:48   like, I don't know, like you listen to podcasts,

01:10:49   like you're doing dishes or whatever,

01:10:52   you don't wanna miss like the good part

01:10:54   of the person who's telling the story about Steve Jobs.

01:10:55   You don't wanna miss the good part of their story

01:10:57   because you had to talk to somebody

01:11:00   or you got distracted for a second or whatever,

01:11:03   or like a dog was barking or you're outside taking a walk

01:11:06   and a loud truck went by and you didn't hear that last part.

01:11:10   It's not actually that difficult

01:11:12   to add a little bit of a buffer

01:11:13   to allow you to pause or rewind

01:11:16   to figure out what somebody said or to pause for a moment,

01:11:19   as long as you have a good UI to say,

01:11:21   okay, well, when you're ready to catch back up

01:11:23   to real time, do so.

01:11:24   In fact, you could even use something like Smart Speed

01:11:27   that would let you catch back up

01:11:28   without actually skipping over anything.

01:11:30   I'm not saying the buffer should be a half an hour long,

01:11:33   but five or 10 seconds of grace would go a long way

01:11:36   towards making Clubhouse a more satisfying experience

01:11:39   because I missed a bunch of things that people said

01:11:41   because either I misheard them or there was noise

01:11:43   or I had to pause to do something

01:11:45   and there's no way for me to get that back.

01:11:47   And I'm sure the Clubhouse people would say,

01:11:48   well, that's the beauty of Clubhouse.

01:11:49   It's here and then it's gone.

01:11:51   It can't be recorded or, of course it can't be,

01:11:53   but anyway, we discourage it from being recorded

01:11:57   and it's all about being there in the moment

01:11:59   and it's not about recording or rewinding.

01:12:02   We just need you to be there in the moment

01:12:03   and if you miss it, that's the beauty of Clubhouse.

01:12:05   Sometimes you just miss it because the dog barks

01:12:07   and I'm not down with that particular beauty.

01:12:09   I feel like people want to go there to get the value

01:12:13   of hearing the cool stories about Steve Jobs.

01:12:15   And I love the fact that someone didn't have to arrange

01:12:18   all those interviews and make it into a big podcast

01:12:20   and everything and anyone could just join,

01:12:21   but I don't like the fact that if I missed

01:12:23   what somebody said because I was distracted for a moment,

01:12:26   that there's no way for me to get that back.

01:12:28   Just a little tiny buffer to pause and rewind would do it.

01:12:32   So I'm still not sure Clubhouse is for me.

01:12:36   I didn't actually participate.

01:12:38   I didn't raise my hand to participate in any of these things.

01:12:40   It's not my kind of MO.

01:12:41   I did think about types of things that ATP could do

01:12:43   in that scenario.

01:12:45   Just didn't seem like, I don't know.

01:12:48   For now, it just didn't seem like something

01:12:50   that I was enthusiastic about participating in as a,

01:12:54   I hate when people say that, as a creator, as they say.

01:12:57   That's not to say that that will change over time,

01:12:59   but I do think I understand some of the value

01:13:01   people get out of it.

01:13:03   Again, the people who want this type of experience

01:13:06   are probably not the same people as me.

01:13:08   I like podcasts for a reason and I would love

01:13:11   podcast versions of everything else that I listen to,

01:13:13   but I just think that there wouldn't be podcast versions

01:13:17   of those because it's so much more work

01:13:19   to make a podcast version of those things.

01:13:20   It's kind of like how Twitter was the low effort version

01:13:23   of blogging.

01:13:24   Clubhouse in some ways can be the low effort version

01:13:27   of doing an interview podcast.

01:13:29   - That's an interesting way of looking at it.

01:13:31   Some semi-real-time follow-up.

01:13:32   A long time ago, I think it was for a Twitter account.

01:13:36   I don't remember which one.

01:13:38   I needed a phone number in order to do something.

01:13:39   Maybe it was do something with an API

01:13:41   and I didn't want to give them my regular phone number

01:13:44   or I tried and I couldn't.

01:13:46   And so I was trying to figure out a way

01:13:47   to get another phone number so I could just hand it

01:13:49   to Twitter just for the purposes of clearing this hurdle

01:13:52   so I can do what I wanted to do.

01:13:54   And I had stumbled upon an app called Burner,

01:13:57   which makes sense.

01:13:58   And at the time, you could get a free burner

01:14:01   that would receive a handful of text messages

01:14:03   or only last a week or something like that.

01:14:05   I don't know if that's still the case.

01:14:06   I think you have to pay for everything.

01:14:08   But it worked really well and it gave me

01:14:11   a temporary phone number that I could use

01:14:13   for the purposes of what I was trying to do

01:14:15   and then it just went away.

01:14:17   And additionally, you could use something like Google Voice

01:14:19   or whatever the case may be.

01:14:20   But yeah, I don't negate your point earlier.

01:14:22   I'm just saying that the barrier of entry

01:14:24   for getting a new phone number is ever lower,

01:14:27   even lower than I would have expected a while ago.

01:14:29   - Yeah, the good thing about phone numbers

01:14:31   is that the namespace, so to speak,

01:14:33   at least in the US of phone numbers, is fairly limited.

01:14:36   Unlike the namespace of email addresses,

01:14:38   which is essentially unlimited.

01:14:40   I mean, it's not really unlimited

01:14:41   'cause there are length limits,

01:14:42   but there are way more possible email addresses

01:14:45   in the world than there are possible phone numbers.

01:14:47   So I always wondered how Google Voice gets away

01:14:49   with just handing out free phone numbers.

01:14:51   I have a Google Voice number.

01:14:52   Like just, you know, it's very easy to get one.

01:14:55   But it is still more of a hassle

01:14:56   than getting an email address.

01:14:57   And most of us do not currently have seven phone numbers

01:15:00   that are just ready to pull out of our pocket

01:15:03   and sign up with a service for, you know, another way.

01:15:06   - Yep.

01:15:06   All right, let's see if we can get through

01:15:09   like two topics today before we run out of time.

01:15:13   Something flew by, flew across my desk a few days ago

01:15:17   that I wanted to briefly call attention to.

01:15:19   Apple Platform Security released,

01:15:23   I guess a series of pages or maybe it's a PDF, I don't know.

01:15:26   But one URL that I can give you

01:15:29   is about memory safe iBoot implementation.

01:15:32   And I just thought that this was cool.

01:15:34   And we don't necessarily need to talk about it a whole lot,

01:15:36   but it was something that I thought was very interesting.

01:15:38   And on this page, Apple writes,

01:15:42   in iOS 14, iPad OS 14,

01:15:45   Apple modified the C compiler tool chain

01:15:47   used to build the iBoot bootloader to improve its security.

01:15:50   The modified tool chain implements code

01:15:52   to prevent memory and type safety issues

01:15:54   that are typically encountered in C programs.

01:15:56   For example, it prevents buffer overflows

01:15:58   by ensuring that all pointers carry bounds information

01:16:01   that is verified when accessing memory.

01:16:03   It prevents heap exploitation by separating heap data

01:16:06   from its metadata and accurately detecting error conditions

01:16:09   such as double free errors.

01:16:10   It prevents type confusion

01:16:12   by ensuring that all pointers carry runtime type information

01:16:14   that's verified during pointer cast operations.

01:16:16   And finally, it prevents type confusion

01:16:19   caused by the use after free errors

01:16:21   by segregating all dynamic memory allocations

01:16:23   by static type.

01:16:24   This technology is available on iPhone

01:16:26   with Apple A13 Bionic or later in iPad with A14 Bionic chip.

01:16:31   That I just think this is so cool that,

01:16:32   hey, we wanna write something in C,

01:16:34   but C is inherently a little bit unsafe.

01:16:36   So we'll modify the C compiler

01:16:38   to make it a little more safe, please and thank you.

01:16:40   Like I just think that's super, super cool.

01:16:43   - So a bunch of discussion from some folks

01:16:46   who do low level programming at Apple and other places

01:16:49   about the general topic of C just being, you know,

01:16:54   an unsafe language to do any new development

01:16:57   in modern times, right?

01:16:59   Every time there's some kind of a bug

01:17:02   or security exploit that comes out,

01:17:03   it's just another nail in the coffin of C

01:17:07   when it comes to security.

01:17:08   Like there was the sudo one recently

01:17:10   that there's this silly bug in the Linux version of sudo

01:17:13   that also affected Macs by the way.

01:17:15   That was just straight up normal, you know,

01:17:17   C, rookie C mistake that everybody makes

01:17:20   because it's very easy to make them of, you know,

01:17:22   I forget what it was.

01:17:23   It was, I think it was just a straight buffer overflow.

01:17:26   But anyway, C makes all these things eminently possible

01:17:31   and therefore it's probably not wise

01:17:35   to start some new project of something security,

01:17:40   something that has security implications in C.

01:17:44   And when, you know, when C was the dominant language,

01:17:47   people say, oh yeah, well it's difficult to remember

01:17:49   but it's the only choice.

01:17:50   It's not the only choice anymore.

01:17:54   You know, there are so many memory safe languages

01:17:57   and if your choice is, well I need to use C

01:17:59   because only C gives me the performance I need.

01:18:02   If we were to tell you, okay fine, but 10 years from now

01:18:04   there'll be a terrible security flaw

01:18:06   that will infect billions of computers

01:18:07   that you still want to use C.

01:18:09   And you know, when it was the only choice

01:18:11   there was also this sort of machismo about like,

01:18:13   well I'm a good C programmer,

01:18:15   I won't make those mistakes, right?

01:18:16   Or I'll use a, I have a tool that will help me figure out

01:18:20   whether I'm making those mistakes

01:18:21   or the people who do that,

01:18:22   there's just the bad C programmers

01:18:23   or there's too much code written by people

01:18:25   who don't understand C and all sorts of excuses.

01:18:27   But the bottom line is history has shown

01:18:29   if you're writing any security critical software in C,

01:18:33   there will be security related bugs in your code.

01:18:36   There's no way to stop it no matter how many eyes are on it,

01:18:39   if it's open source and everyone's gonna look at it

01:18:41   and they'll find it, nope, they didn't find it in whatever,

01:18:42   it was the Heartbleed thing that was in there for years,

01:18:45   the Sudowon has been in there for years.

01:18:47   C is just never going to be a tool that humans can use

01:18:52   to make programs that don't have security flaws.

01:18:56   And today we have things that are better in that regard,

01:19:00   not perfect, but better.

01:19:02   Things like Swift or Rust that don't let you make

01:19:04   a lot of the common errors.

01:19:06   This memory safe boot up implementation C compiler thing

01:19:09   is like taking C and trying to mutate it

01:19:13   to have a little bit of the memory safety

01:19:14   that things like Swift and Rust have, which is a great idea,

01:19:17   but you're also kind of changing the language as you do that.

01:19:21   And as you start to do that, you're like mutating C

01:19:24   into a poorly specified half implementation of Rust or Swift,

01:19:29   which is probably not ideal.

01:19:33   Now, obviously you don't have the option

01:19:36   in most of these cases to say,

01:19:37   I'm just going to rewrite everything in Swift or Rust.

01:19:39   'Cause you've got a bunch of software in C,

01:19:42   you've got to deal with it.

01:19:43   The core of Darwin, BSD, mock, all that stuff,

01:19:47   that's C and there's tons of C++ code.

01:19:49   It's not going away anytime soon.

01:19:51   But the Twitter discussion I found interesting

01:19:53   was general agreement about people who work

01:19:57   on this type of code in C all day long

01:20:00   at the highest levels, all agreeing that,

01:20:04   yeah, this is not, humans will never be able to do this.

01:20:07   So we need to just use different languages.

01:20:10   There's nothing we can do in terms of discipline

01:20:13   and linting and testing that's going to save us.

01:20:17   The compiler helping here is great,

01:20:19   but it just adds sort of another variable, right?

01:20:24   'Cause there could be parts of this implementation

01:20:26   of this safe C thing that themselves

01:20:30   are end up being venues for exploits.

01:20:34   You really kind of have to build in this type of safety

01:20:36   from the very beginning to have a little bit more confidence.

01:20:39   So I would say using this compiler is vastly better

01:20:42   than not using it.

01:20:43   But if given the choice and you're writing some new code

01:20:48   that doesn't exist, that's going to be

01:20:50   in a security critical area,

01:20:52   I'm starting to agree with the notion that C

01:20:55   and to a slightly lesser extent, C++ are just non-starter

01:20:59   and you should really think about using something else.

01:21:01   - Yeah, no argument here.

01:21:03   I, you know, the first several years

01:21:04   of my professional career were in C++

01:21:07   and there was a brief window of time where I thought

01:21:10   I was an OKC++ developer,

01:21:12   which just indicates how young I was.

01:21:14   I do not miss those times really at all.

01:21:18   Like I am glad that that's how I learned

01:21:21   and I'm glad that that was the foundation

01:21:23   upon which I started using other languages,

01:21:26   but man, I just, I do not miss it.

01:21:28   I really don't.

01:21:29   All right, Ming-Chi Kuo has some interesting information

01:21:32   for us, new Mac Pro models with HDMI port

01:21:36   and SD card reader to launch later this year.

01:21:39   Marco, I thought I heard your celebration

01:21:42   from all the way down here, several hundred miles below you.

01:21:45   Are you OK?

01:21:47   Do you need a moment?

01:21:48   Do you need a beer to kind of calm you down?

01:21:51   How are we doing?

01:21:52   - We know how Marco always loves to hiccup his laptops

01:21:55   to the projector so he can present to the room, right?

01:21:57   (laughing)

01:21:58   - No, here's why this is very good.

01:22:01   So we heard the rumors, I believe also from Ming-Chi Kuo

01:22:04   or from Mark Erman or whoever was reporting it

01:22:07   a few weeks back talking about how the new MacBook Pros

01:22:10   were rumored to have a few different improvements

01:22:12   that were all really pretty good fan service improvements

01:22:15   as well as quote, more ports or more types of ports,

01:22:19   more connectivity, however they worded it.

01:22:21   But they didn't specify like, well what ports?

01:22:23   Like what's going to be added besides the rumor

01:22:26   about MagSafe, but it left the rest of it

01:22:29   as an exercise to the reader to speculate.

01:22:31   So what's nice about this is that Ming-Chi Kuo

01:22:32   who is pretty well sourced and pretty reliable

01:22:35   with stuff like this is saying specifically

01:22:38   which ports are coming back in addition to MagSafe

01:22:41   which again has many benefits including

01:22:43   just freeing up a USB port.

01:22:46   But to have the SD card slot back and the HDMI port back,

01:22:51   I will say I don't think I will ever use

01:22:55   the HDMI port on a laptop.

01:22:57   However, as I said back when we talked about this

01:23:00   a few weeks ago, if you look at what like every single

01:23:04   dongle has, everyone, like I don't know anybody

01:23:07   who has a MacBook of any kind from 2016 forward,

01:23:12   so you know the USB-C only generation,

01:23:14   who doesn't have some kind of multi-port dongle.

01:23:17   And you look at what ports are on those

01:23:19   as kind of an indication of like what ports

01:23:22   do most people need from their laptops

01:23:24   that maybe should be on the laptop if possible,

01:23:27   like as this is like evidence of that.

01:23:30   And they all have the same ports.

01:23:31   Ethernet, which okay it doesn't really fit anymore, fine.

01:23:35   USB-A, HDMI, and SD card slot.

01:23:39   All of them have those things.

01:23:41   'Cause clearly those are very common needs.

01:23:44   And we can look at both just generally

01:23:47   the way Apple does things and also the physical

01:23:49   side profile of these laptops and we can say

01:23:51   okay USB-A might be a stretch.

01:23:55   I don't think many of us are expecting that

01:23:57   even though I still would like it if it could fit.

01:24:00   I would like to have one USB-A port

01:24:02   because you just still frequently need that.

01:24:05   But okay I can understand arguments against that.

01:24:07   You know it is easy enough to get USB-C cables

01:24:10   and USB-C peripherals much of the time now.

01:24:12   So okay maybe we can go without that one.

01:24:15   Again Ethernet, many people don't need it anymore

01:24:18   and it doesn't fit on the side so okay

01:24:20   I can go without that one.

01:24:22   But HDMI is so commonly needed

01:24:26   that I think it should be there.

01:24:28   Even though I don't use it, I think it should be there

01:24:31   because so many people need it and that's an area

01:24:35   where the need for it doesn't seem to be going away

01:24:39   anytime soon 'cause it's so often used for like

01:24:42   projectors and stuff like that and workplaces

01:24:44   and stuff like that.

01:24:45   So you know that's a common thing.

01:24:47   But also the HDMI ports on dongles

01:24:51   are historically very unreliable.

01:24:54   It's really hard to find a good one.

01:24:56   That is something that needs to be rock solid for like,

01:24:59   nobody is presenting their presentation on a projector

01:25:02   who can tolerate that being flaky.

01:25:04   No one is watching a movie on their hotel TV

01:25:06   from their laptop who really wants it to be flaky.

01:25:08   Like that really needs to be solid

01:25:12   and it's a tricky thing to get right from dongles apparently

01:25:15   as we have learned from practice I guess.

01:25:17   - Yeah it's so true, it's so true.

01:25:18   I had bought, I don't know, three or four

01:25:23   of knockoff versions of the Apple USB-C in HDMI out,

01:25:28   USB-A in out dongles.

01:25:31   I forget the official name like USB-C multi-port adapter

01:25:35   or something like that is the official name.

01:25:36   And I'd bought a few knockoffs because the official one

01:25:40   is literally like $70 or something like that.

01:25:42   It's absurdly expensive.

01:25:44   - Oh I have one, it sucks.

01:25:45   - Oh I have one and it's fine but I can tell you

01:25:49   that all of the knockoffs that I've tried

01:25:51   and maybe it's just the particular devices I'm using,

01:25:53   who knows, maybe I like stepped on one or something

01:25:56   that I don't remember but every single one

01:25:58   of these knockoffs it's exactly what you described Marco

01:26:00   that sometimes if I plug it in the wrong way

01:26:03   the TV will be showing nothing but static.

01:26:06   Sometimes if I plug it in the wrong way

01:26:07   it's showing things but the colors are wrong.

01:26:10   Like it is unbelievable to me that this completely digital

01:26:14   transport mechanism can fail in so many different ways.

01:26:18   Not completely fail mind you,

01:26:20   just mostly fail and I don't understand

01:26:23   why this is so difficult.

01:26:24   It seems like it should be fairly straightforward

01:26:25   but I guess it ain't and because of that

01:26:28   the only dongle that I ever use even though I have literally

01:26:30   like have the official and three or four knockoffs

01:26:32   the only one I ever use is the Apple one

01:26:34   because the only one that reliably works for me.

01:26:36   It's ridiculous.

01:26:38   - If you can reduce the need for most people

01:26:39   to need a dongle at all that's a huge advantage

01:26:43   and if most people need a dongle

01:26:46   then I think that's a product design failure.

01:26:48   It isn't like a case where like you know

01:26:50   people put cases on their phones.

01:26:52   I mean that's partially a design failure

01:26:54   in that the phones are too breakable

01:26:56   but people also have lots of different preferences

01:26:58   for like which cases they want and everything else

01:27:00   but a dongle for a laptop means like

01:27:04   I have a pretty significant need for some kind of ports

01:27:06   that this lot of doesn't have

01:27:08   and if everyone bought different kinds of dongles

01:27:12   then you could argue well it's good to offer people

01:27:15   flexibility because then they can pick what they need.

01:27:18   If everyone is using these same three ports

01:27:20   on their dongles that needs to be built in if possible.

01:27:24   When things are built in they are inherently more reliable

01:27:27   'cause you're not, everyone's not using some like

01:27:31   weird $10 no name chip that all these manufacturers

01:27:35   on Amazon that have like Markov generator brand names

01:27:39   with the same plastic enclosure around it

01:27:40   with different things printed on it

01:27:41   and you're like okay well that might not be very reliable

01:27:45   and compared to the built in port on the laptop

01:27:47   that is usually 100% reliable.

01:27:50   To make a large portion of your customer base

01:27:53   rely on dongles is not a great thing.

01:27:55   So if everyone is requesting the same three ports

01:28:00   and you can just build them in that's great and you should.

01:28:04   And so again, USB-A I see why, you know,

01:28:08   that one's easier to go without.

01:28:09   HDMI is for the people who need it,

01:28:12   like they need it period and you can,

01:28:15   if you can build that in great.

01:28:17   That resolves a huge problem that a lot of people have

01:28:20   and SD card slots, this is again,

01:28:23   I've made this argument before, I'll be quick.

01:28:25   People who don't use SD cards always think,

01:28:30   oh those are in the past now,

01:28:31   you can just use WiFi or whatever.

01:28:33   Like everyone always thinks SD cards

01:28:36   are not useful anymore if they don't use them.

01:28:38   But to the people who use them we know,

01:28:41   oh no we still need that.

01:28:42   If you use SD cards in your workflow,

01:28:44   chances are nothing can or will replace that

01:28:48   except at best a future removable card standard like that

01:28:53   that just has bigger, faster cards, whatever.

01:28:55   But like right now SD is still like the most mainstream

01:28:58   widely used one, it's supported by the most devices.

01:29:00   I know some of the higher end ones are having these like

01:29:02   CFast and other like faster things but for the most part

01:29:05   that is still like, if you're gonna pick one slot

01:29:07   to build in that's the one to build in.

01:29:08   And nothing replaces that over time.

01:29:11   It's not like all the cameras now go to WiFi,

01:29:15   there's no like sound recorders that record to WiFi.

01:29:18   That never materialized because, for lots of good reasons,

01:29:22   but like basically SD cards still work really well

01:29:24   and are still used in massive numbers of devices

01:29:27   and peripherals and specialty workflows

01:29:31   that people still need and that need has not gone away

01:29:34   in the last five, four and a half years

01:29:37   that we've had the USB-C world.

01:29:38   So, again, build that back in if you can.

01:29:42   SD card slots are really small, they can be really thin,

01:29:45   so there's no reason that can't fit on a redesigned laptop.

01:29:49   So this is great news, I'm so happy to hear this

01:29:53   from such a reliable leaker as Ming-Chi Kuo

01:29:56   because this is 100% guaranteed that's gonna happen

01:30:00   but it's a pretty strong signal.

01:30:03   So if these laptops are roughly what is rumored,

01:30:07   which is some kind of faster M series chip

01:30:11   or a bigger GPU or whatever it is,

01:30:13   somehow expanded M series chip,

01:30:15   it probably expanded RAM ceiling

01:30:17   for people who need more than 16, great.

01:30:20   Possibly bigger screens, possibly a redesigned enclosure,

01:30:23   but the return of MagSafe and HDMI and SD

01:30:28   while hopefully not ruining anything else,

01:30:30   like no new keyboards please, I guess.

01:30:33   Don't mess with too much.

01:30:35   Oh, and the alleged departure of the touch bar.

01:30:39   This is all great news, I'm looking forward to this.

01:30:43   Even if only half of this stuff comes true,

01:30:45   this is gonna be a great series of products

01:30:47   in all likelihood, so I'm really very much looking forward

01:30:51   to this year of products.

01:30:53   - We've been talking about this for a couple weeks

01:30:55   just because of the way these rumors have been rolling out.

01:30:57   Like Margaret said, it started off as like,

01:30:59   oh, they're gonna have new things with new ports.

01:31:00   Well, which new ports?

01:31:01   And then it's like, oh, one of them's gonna be an SD card

01:31:03   and then we talked about that and this week it was like,

01:31:05   oh, and the other one's gonna be HDMI.

01:31:07   And I feel like they're really, we talked about this before,

01:31:09   like really straining the limits of how much I'm willing

01:31:12   to believe these rumors because it's just in many ways

01:31:14   too good to be true.

01:31:16   The selection of ports is interesting because,

01:31:20   so USB A, like lots of people who wanted that for a while,

01:31:25   but as Margaret said, we do actually have USB.

01:31:28   It's just the little connector, and that little connector

01:31:31   slowly but surely is making inroads.

01:31:34   It's not, I know A is still very, very common,

01:31:37   I understand, but unlike some of the other things,

01:31:40   the replacement exists and is making steady progress.

01:31:45   And USB A is actually pretty big, right?

01:31:48   HDMI, like obviously I haven't been in the office in forever.

01:31:52   When I was in the office, everyone had one of these

01:31:54   stupid dongles to connect them to HDMI

01:31:55   and they're just as reliable as you said.

01:31:58   HDMI is interesting because it ties

01:32:00   into the form factor rumors.

01:32:02   HDMI is too big to fit on the edge of current Apple laptops,

01:32:06   but that's only because they have the curve

01:32:08   that lets you get your fingers underneath it.

01:32:10   If they have flat sides and then rubber feet

01:32:12   to bring them off the ground so you can actually

01:32:13   pick them up, the flat side is probably gonna be there

01:32:17   to give it enough room for HDMI unless it's mini HDMI,

01:32:20   which everybody hates and won't actually solve the problem

01:32:23   'cause now everyone's gonna have mini HDMI

01:32:25   to regular HDMI adapters.

01:32:26   - Right.

01:32:27   - This HDMI rumor is really pushing against,

01:32:31   you know, I'm just like,

01:32:33   not that I don't think they should have it,

01:32:34   I'm like, but HDMI, that's big.

01:32:37   And that just seems like complete wish fulfillment of like,

01:32:41   remember what you complained about in 2016?

01:32:44   Well, we're fixing all of those things.

01:32:45   And you know, and I granted, like I said,

01:32:47   this is what we've all been wanting, fix the keyboard,

01:32:50   bring the ports back, do all the things.

01:32:52   It'll be awesome when it happens.

01:32:53   But in some respects, I'm like,

01:32:55   all you're doing is catching back up

01:32:57   to where you were in 2015.

01:32:59   In some respects, obviously the computer

01:33:00   is gonna be way faster, the screens are better,

01:33:02   they're lighter, you know, the battery life is better.

01:33:04   Like it's not exactly the same,

01:33:06   but in terms of like the product features and benefits.

01:33:10   Oh, it's a laptop, it has a big screen,

01:33:12   it has a keyboard, a track pad, and it has ports on it.

01:33:15   It's setting aside the march of technology

01:33:17   that allows everything inside there to get better,

01:33:20   you're not really making that much progress.

01:33:22   You're more or less going back

01:33:23   to the last good idea you had, which you should.

01:33:25   Don't keep going with the idea that we don't like, right?

01:33:27   You know, good.

01:33:28   But it's a little bit depressing

01:33:31   when I think about the time that we wasted.

01:33:33   Forget about the time we wasted on the butterfly keyboard,

01:33:35   just the time that we wasted--

01:33:36   - I'll never forget.

01:33:37   - Dealing with the insistence

01:33:41   on just having Thunderbolt/USB-C ports for everything.

01:33:45   And if these rumors turn out to be true,

01:33:48   and Apple finally does consent to have useful ports

01:33:51   on the side of its laptops, whatever they may be,

01:33:54   and that they are as welcomed by the customers

01:33:58   as we all expect them to be,

01:34:00   it's just gonna be so depressing to think about

01:34:02   during all those years.

01:34:04   'Cause during all those years, it was like,

01:34:05   well, maybe this is the future,

01:34:07   and we just have to get used to it or whatever,

01:34:09   and we're waiting so long, even for just USB-C

01:34:12   to come around to replace A.

01:34:14   And although that is still slowly happening,

01:34:17   all the other ports, there's nothing for them.

01:34:19   Like, it's just, you know, it's dongles or nothing.

01:34:22   And so while we still have the ability

01:34:25   to fit any of them on there,

01:34:27   'cause SD will fit 'cause it's skinny, Ethernet won't,

01:34:29   HDMI might fit if you make that side

01:34:32   a lot flatter and bigger,

01:34:34   and maybe, you know, on the wedge-shaped computer,

01:34:38   you could have the fat side of it or whatever.

01:34:40   But I don't know how long, like, some of these connectors,

01:34:44   I'm not sure how long they're going to last.

01:34:46   SD card, I guess it will last for a while,

01:34:47   or if they replace it with the one that also reads the,

01:34:51   whatever the new CompactFlash standard is

01:34:53   that looks like an SD card.

01:34:55   That could last for a little while too.

01:34:57   And presumably these things would just be

01:34:58   on the high-end ones that are made for, like,

01:35:00   pros or whatever, because, you know,

01:35:03   who needs this stuff on a lower-end laptop?

01:35:05   And on something as skinny as a replacement

01:35:09   for the MacBook Adorable,

01:35:10   there's no way you're even getting an SD card slot

01:35:12   on the side of that thing, so forget about that.

01:35:14   But I don't know, like, at this rate,

01:35:16   it's been like every week there's a new rumor.

01:35:18   Next week is the rumor that they're adding

01:35:20   an Ethernet port?

01:35:21   Like, I don't know what comes next.

01:35:22   Like, are they going to add the giant, chunky,

01:35:25   you know, back to it?

01:35:26   Is it micro Ethernet that such a thing exists?

01:35:28   I don't even know.

01:35:29   So, hopefully this is the last of the features

01:35:35   of the new MacBook's rumors,

01:35:36   and the next time we talk about this,

01:35:38   it will be about an actual product, but we'll see.

01:35:41   - You know, I'd like to enter old man corner, if I may.

01:35:46   When I was-- - That's our entire show.

01:35:48   - Yeah, well, touche.

01:35:49   When Marco and I were in school, in college,

01:35:53   it was unusual, possible but unusual,

01:35:56   to find a laptop with built-in wireless.

01:35:59   And in fact, it was, particularly at the beginning

01:36:02   of college, it was very unusual to find a laptop

01:36:04   with built-in Ethernet.

01:36:05   You would always find a laptop with a built-in modem,

01:36:07   but it was very unusual to find a laptop

01:36:09   with built-in Ethernet.

01:36:10   And what you often had to do was add,

01:36:14   well, especially for us PC users,

01:36:17   you would have to add a PCMCIA card,

01:36:20   and that, it was like an expansion card

01:36:22   specifically for laptops.

01:36:23   And I think cable cards in cable boxes

01:36:25   use the same form factor, if I'm not mistaken.

01:36:28   But at the time, you would slide this card

01:36:34   into the laptop, and then you would often have

01:36:36   a little mini dongle coming out of it

01:36:38   in order to plug in, like your phone jack

01:36:41   or your Ethernet cable.

01:36:43   And then, the magic of X jack appeared.

01:36:48   And what they ended up doing was,

01:36:51   there was a little pop-out, like, not a door necessarily,

01:36:54   but a little pop-out thing, receptacle, I guess,

01:36:57   wherein you could just plug the phone cable

01:37:01   or the Ethernet cable directly into this little receptacle

01:37:05   that popped right out of the cord, no dongles required.

01:37:08   Guys, kids, it was amazing.

01:37:13   And I think I've told this story at least once or twice,

01:37:15   and I apologize for repeating it,

01:37:16   but it was so unbelievably cool.

01:37:18   See also, when you had Wi-Fi PCMCIA cards

01:37:22   where it had the antenna hanging out the side

01:37:24   of the computer, which was often like a solid inch wide,

01:37:28   it was so bad.

01:37:29   And then I remember I got,

01:37:30   I know I've told this story, I got a,

01:37:33   some ThinkPad, I can't remember which one it was,

01:37:35   that had a port on the bottom of it

01:37:38   where you could slot in a Cisco Wi-Fi card.

01:37:42   So it was internal, and it already had the antennas

01:37:45   and the display that I think you had to hook up

01:37:47   or something like that.

01:37:48   But I didn't have, I could get on the internet

01:37:51   using my laptop without having this thing sticking,

01:37:54   this wart sticking outside the side of my laptop.

01:37:56   Oh, my word, kids, it was like a whole new world.

01:37:59   It was amazing.

01:38:00   So anyway, I'm ready for an X-Jack Mac, Mac Pro

01:38:03   is what I'm saying.

01:38:04   - Please don't do that.

01:38:04   (laughing)

01:38:05   - Come on, man, it'd be awesome.

01:38:07   - Is that the thing that looked like a little

01:38:08   square basketball hoop that looked like it was ready

01:38:10   to break at any second?

01:38:11   - Yes, it looks incredibly perilous.

01:38:13   Like, I don't know how sturdy they actually were

01:38:16   in practice, but it looks like you would just look

01:38:18   at it wrong and break it.

01:38:20   - No, it's the opposite of MagSafe,

01:38:22   where MagSafe is someone who's over the cord,

01:38:23   your laptop will be okay.

01:38:25   If someone sneezes on the cord,

01:38:26   it's gonna snap that thing off.

01:38:28   - We are brought to you this week by Squarespace.

01:38:31   Start building your website today at squarespace.com/ATP.

01:38:36   Enter offer code ATP at checkout to get 10% off.

01:38:38   Make your next move with Squarespace.

01:38:41   Squarespace makes it incredibly fast and easy

01:38:44   and low hassle to make a website,

01:38:47   regardless of any of your skill level in making websites.

01:38:51   So you can be a web developer,

01:38:53   or you can be a total novice.

01:38:55   With Squarespace, it doesn't matter,

01:38:56   because there's no coding required.

01:38:59   They all have intuitive, easy to use tools

01:39:01   to do pretty much anything you wanna do on Squarespace

01:39:04   for all sorts of different sites.

01:39:06   Whether it's something simple, like a few pages

01:39:08   that just say your business information,

01:39:10   the hours at your store or whatever,

01:39:12   or whether it's something that is

01:39:14   typically more complicated to host,

01:39:15   something like hosting an entire podcast

01:39:17   or hosting a dynamic gallery,

01:39:20   dynamic event calendar, stuff like that.

01:39:22   Squarespace makes it incredibly easy to host all that stuff.

01:39:25   You can even host a store on Squarespace.

01:39:27   Digital or physical goods can be sold on Squarespace,

01:39:30   and it's super easy.

01:39:31   It's just an incredible platform to build on.

01:39:34   And when Squarespace hosts your site,

01:39:36   there's all sorts of things you don't have to worry about.

01:39:38   You're not running your own servers,

01:39:39   you don't have to worry about software upgrades

01:39:42   and security patches and migrations and all that stuff.

01:39:46   You don't have to worry about getting hacked.

01:39:48   You don't have to worry about supporting your site

01:39:50   or keeping things running.

01:39:51   They do all of that for you.

01:39:53   And you can see how easy Squarespace is to use

01:39:56   by using their free trial.

01:39:58   You can start a site on Squarespace,

01:40:00   never give them a credit card,

01:40:02   with their free trial,

01:40:04   so that you don't have to remember to cancel it.

01:40:05   It doesn't auto bill you.

01:40:07   You never give them a credit card.

01:40:08   You just start building your site.

01:40:09   You can build the entire site before you pay them anything.

01:40:12   You can see how it works.

01:40:13   And when you're ready to launch,

01:40:15   that's when you can sign up.

01:40:16   Start that free trial at squarespace.com/atp.

01:40:20   When you decide to sign up,

01:40:22   go back there, squarespace.com/atp,

01:40:24   and use the offer code ATP to get 10% off

01:40:27   your first purchase.

01:40:28   That's squarespace.com/atp, code ATP.

01:40:31   Thank you so much to Squarespace.

01:40:33   Make your next move with Squarespace.

01:40:36   - Let's do some Ask ATP.

01:40:41   John Hovland writes,

01:40:42   "I have a 2009 iMac running High Sierra,

01:40:44   and I've recently learned that Apple plans

01:40:45   to discontinue security updates

01:40:47   as of the end of January, 2021."

01:40:49   Sorry, we're not the most timely.

01:40:51   "My question is how dangerous is it

01:40:52   to continue to operate a Mac under these circumstances

01:40:54   while old, the iMac is meeting my needs,

01:40:56   and I would prefer to delay a replacement

01:40:58   until an Apple Silicon iMac is available."

01:41:01   It's a tough spot that John's in.

01:41:02   I mean, I would say if it were me,

01:41:06   I'd probably still continue to use it,

01:41:07   and just try not to visit the dark corners of the internet.

01:41:11   But I don't know, what do you think, John?

01:41:14   - Yeah, there are security flaws in this already.

01:41:18   Like, just the pseudo thing that I mentioned

01:41:20   is probably in this High Sierra thing,

01:41:22   and it's never gonna be patched, right?

01:41:25   But if that's the latest OS your Mac can run,

01:41:27   it's okay to just ride that out for a little while.

01:41:32   Like, you should be planning

01:41:33   to eventually replace this computer,

01:41:35   but in the grand scheme of things,

01:41:38   just because you have security vulnerabilities

01:41:41   doesn't mean they'll be exploited.

01:41:42   There's more risk than if you had

01:41:44   an up-to-date patched version of the OS,

01:41:46   but how much more risk?

01:41:48   Because even in a patched version of the OS,

01:41:50   there are flaws that aren't yet patched

01:41:52   or that Apple doesn't yet know about.

01:41:54   So it's not as if you're going from,

01:41:56   like, the wrong way to think about this is,

01:41:58   previously I had a secure OS,

01:42:00   and now I have an insecure one.

01:42:02   You've always had an insecure OS.

01:42:03   Just a question of how many vulnerabilities are there?

01:42:06   And as time progresses,

01:42:08   High Sierra will gather more vulnerabilities, probably,

01:42:12   up to a limit, because eventually

01:42:13   no one cares about exploiting it anymore.

01:42:15   But I wouldn't characterize it as a sort of

01:42:19   binary black and white, I was supported,

01:42:21   and now I'm not.

01:42:22   It's more of this long gradient,

01:42:23   and you know you've been sort of abandoned

01:42:26   at the back end of this gradient

01:42:27   that things are just gonna slowly get worse for you.

01:42:29   So start planning on a new Mac,

01:42:31   but as someone who has run Macs

01:42:34   that could no longer be upgraded

01:42:35   to newer versions of operating systems for literal years,

01:42:38   it's mostly okay, right?

01:42:41   Like I said, don't think about it as running an insecure OS.

01:42:44   Thinking about it as running an OS

01:42:47   that is not getting any better.

01:42:49   - Marco, any other thoughts?

01:42:51   - Yeah, I would just add that, like,

01:42:54   this is probably gonna be for a reasonably short time,

01:42:58   because John says they prefer to just delay replacement

01:43:01   until an Apple Silicon iMac is available.

01:43:04   That's probably gonna be within a few months.

01:43:06   So I think it would be,

01:43:09   it's not that big of a time that you're in this state,

01:43:12   and I would just say, you know, John's right,

01:43:15   but I'd just say, you know,

01:43:16   once you are no longer being security patched,

01:43:18   just be a little extra careful.

01:43:20   And I know that's hard to say, you know,

01:43:22   just be a little bit careful with, like,

01:43:25   weird websites you might visit,

01:43:26   like dark corners of the web.

01:43:27   Try to use a web browser that is more up to date

01:43:30   than whatever version of Safari will be in that.

01:43:32   So maybe use, like, Firefox or Chrome,

01:43:34   or, you know, something else that is,

01:43:36   like, if you can get some other browser

01:43:38   that is still being updated for that OS,

01:43:43   I believe Firefox goes back pretty far,

01:43:44   so that could be something.

01:43:46   Just because, you know, your most likely attack vectors

01:43:48   are gonna be, like, weird network stuff,

01:43:50   which I'll get to in a second,

01:43:51   or, you know, weird web exploits.

01:43:54   So if you can just reduce your attack vector there

01:43:56   by using a more up to date browser

01:43:58   than the built in Safari, that's probably a good idea.

01:44:01   And then for the network side, you know,

01:44:04   just make sure that you're not directly connected

01:44:06   to the internet, you know, but these days, no one is.

01:44:09   Like, these days, everyone's going through a router

01:44:10   of some kind, so, you know, the basic security

01:44:14   inherent in being behind a NAT router

01:44:16   is gonna be largely protecting you from, like,

01:44:20   you know, weird, like, network port scanning

01:44:23   kind of threats.

01:44:24   So, you're mostly okay on that, but yeah,

01:44:27   just the web browser, I think,

01:44:28   is your biggest attack surface.

01:44:30   So, try to get better than the built in stuff

01:44:32   for the web browser, and then, you know,

01:44:34   when the new web maps come out,

01:44:36   jump on them reasonably quickly, but again,

01:44:38   I think that's probably gonna be within a few months.

01:44:40   - And maybe, like, don't install lots of new software,

01:44:43   don't download a lot of attachments

01:44:44   and double click them to launch them, like,

01:44:47   the way to think about it is, whatever was on your computer

01:44:50   when it stopped getting patches, just use it in that mode.

01:44:52   Like, the desire to say, oh, there's a cool new program,

01:44:56   I should try it out, or, you know, like,

01:44:57   just, that's where you get yourself into trouble.

01:44:59   That's what sort of being slightly more cautious means,

01:45:01   but like I said, I ran my 2008 Mac Pro

01:45:04   with an OS that was multiple years old,

01:45:07   and mostly, you know, I mean, I have a certain level

01:45:10   of caution I'm always operating with,

01:45:11   but it wasn't, it's not the end of the world,

01:45:14   and so, you know, we don't know when new iMacs

01:45:16   are coming out, we're hoping they're gonna be this year,

01:45:18   but you're not gonna be spending three years

01:45:20   using this computer, so I wouldn't worry too much about it.

01:45:23   - And to put things in perspective,

01:45:25   I actually meant to talk about this earlier,

01:45:27   somebody I know who shall remain nameless,

01:45:31   they were running Big Sur on their MacBook Pro,

01:45:34   I think it's roughly the same vintage as mine,

01:45:37   and they noticed that when they were going to do a search

01:45:41   in their web browser, and this was true of both Chrome

01:45:43   and Safari, which is where the story starts to get alarming,

01:45:46   they would do a Google search but end up on Yahoo.

01:45:49   Like, the browser settings are for Google,

01:45:52   and I verified this myself, but they ended up on Yahoo,

01:45:57   and some spelunking later, I realized they had

01:46:02   both HTTP and HTTPS proxies in their networking settings

01:46:06   that they absolutely did not turn on themselves,

01:46:09   and so, suffice to say, that computer has been burnt down

01:46:13   and rebuilt from the ground up with no migration assistant,

01:46:16   and things are looking better now,

01:46:17   but that was on Big Sur, and for the life of me,

01:46:22   I have no idea how this individual ended up

01:46:24   getting this particular virus or malware,

01:46:27   or whatever it was, not a clue.

01:46:28   They're not the kind of person I don't think

01:46:30   that would be on the darkest of dark corners of the internet

01:46:32   or even the particularly gray corners of the internet,

01:46:34   so I don't know what happened there,

01:46:36   but it can happen to anyone, even on Big Sur.

01:46:38   - Well, you click on an ad, ban or download a thing,

01:46:41   say okay to a bunch of dialogues,

01:46:42   you don't understand, it can happen,

01:46:43   and like I said, one of the things

01:46:45   that's protecting your older computer is that

01:46:47   it becomes less interesting as an exploit target,

01:46:50   as the installed base, how many people

01:46:51   are still running iSierra, as that installed base shrinks,

01:46:54   you become a less interesting target.

01:46:56   Even though your thing is not getting any more secure,

01:46:58   maybe Big Sur is where all the new action is happening,

01:47:01   or all those hot new M1 malware software things.

01:47:04   - Yep.

01:47:05   All right, Colin Mini writes,

01:47:07   do you store your parents' contacts under their real names,

01:47:09   or are they under mom and dad or similar?

01:47:11   It's worth noting that there's a nickname field in contacts.

01:47:15   When you use it, it seems to take over in all Apple UIs

01:47:21   as the one true version of that contact's name.

01:47:25   So for example, if you use mom

01:47:27   as your nickname for your mother,

01:47:30   then in messages, in, I'm trying to think of other places,

01:47:34   but in, I think the phone or in the phone app,

01:47:37   in all the places that Apple controls,

01:47:39   you won't see Janelle Liss, you'll see mom.

01:47:42   And that's fine, but it does kind of take everything over.

01:47:47   Also, there is a way, and I forget exactly how to do it

01:47:50   other than apparently you can tell Siri,

01:47:52   but there's a way to establish relationships,

01:47:54   I think through your own contact,

01:47:56   or perhaps through other contacts where you can say,

01:47:59   oh, this person is related to this other person

01:48:02   because this is their mother,

01:48:03   or this is their sister or brother or what have you.

01:48:06   So for me, I do have nicknames for my parents,

01:48:09   and I think I do have relationships for my immediate family

01:48:12   in terms of both Erin and the immediate family

01:48:15   that I grew up with.

01:48:16   I think if this started as an email thread

01:48:19   that maybe John and I both participated in,

01:48:21   so John, do you have more thoughts about this?

01:48:23   - Yeah, my general advice is use the people's real names,

01:48:25   put their first name in the first name field,

01:48:27   put their last name in the last name field,

01:48:28   but then use the nickname field,

01:48:30   that's exactly what it's there for.

01:48:31   At various times, Apple software has had, like some of it,

01:48:34   some of it has sometimes had a preference to say,

01:48:37   should I show the nickname, should I show their first name,

01:48:40   should I show the long name, but Apple being Apple,

01:48:42   those options are few and far between

01:48:44   and I think have been disappearing over time.

01:48:46   But that's what I recommend people do.

01:48:49   If you don't see the nickname field in your contacts,

01:48:51   if you go edit contact and you don't see a nickname,

01:48:53   you have to scroll down and there's a thing at the bottom

01:48:55   that says add new fields or something,

01:48:57   and then you can pick from the fields that you can add,

01:48:59   you can pick nickname and it will appear,

01:49:00   like it's there, you might have to dig for it a little bit,

01:49:02   but it's like an officially supported field

01:49:04   that Apple will honor.

01:49:05   There's a bunch of other fields

01:49:06   that you can also fill in for relationship stuff,

01:49:08   but I don't even know what those things are

01:49:10   because the way I've mostly done it

01:49:12   is the way that Casey just described,

01:49:14   you can have a conversation with Siri about this

01:49:17   and it has all the benefits and drawbacks

01:49:19   of having a conversation with Siri, right?

01:49:21   So you can just say, you know, hey, Dingus,

01:49:25   Jane Doe is my mother and James Doe is my father-in-law

01:49:29   and it will essentially make those relationships for you

01:49:32   in your contacts.

01:49:32   I think it will just fill in the fields

01:49:33   that you could fill in manually,

01:49:34   but if you don't know what they are, you can just talk.

01:49:37   The downsides of conversations with Siri

01:49:39   is that if it misunderstands you

01:49:41   or you say the wrong thing,

01:49:42   you don't know what Siri just did to establish

01:49:45   that relationship.

01:49:46   If you didn't know about these secret fields

01:49:48   at the bottom of contacts

01:49:48   or you don't know how to show them in the editor

01:49:50   or whatever, you're like, how do I fix that?

01:49:52   Hey, Dingus, James Doe is not my father.

01:49:56   He's my father-in-law.

01:49:58   And it's like, I'm sorry, I don't understand.

01:50:00   But you're just like, oh no, Siri's not a human.

01:50:03   It just, it's like a text adventure.

01:50:05   It knows how to understand who is my mom and my dad,

01:50:08   but now when I want to say,

01:50:09   the thing you just did is not quite right.

01:50:12   Can you just undo that and do something different?

01:50:15   And it doesn't know.

01:50:16   So I'm not sure what the best way

01:50:19   to do the relationship stuff is.

01:50:22   The way I've had the most success

01:50:24   is sort of the demand-paged approach

01:50:26   where I ask Siri to do a thing for me,

01:50:30   and it says, I don't know who your father is.

01:50:33   Can you tell me who they are?

01:50:35   And sort of that type of thing

01:50:36   where I try to do a thing expecting it to know

01:50:39   who my wife is, but it doesn't yet know.

01:50:41   And it asks me and I answer.

01:50:43   And if that works out and I answer correctly,

01:50:46   from that point on, it's all set.

01:50:47   I think this entire realm of features

01:50:53   deserves a better interface than what it has

01:50:55   than obscure fields at the bottom of contacts

01:50:58   that you don't even see unless you add them.

01:51:00   Because, and I bet Apple would say,

01:51:02   well, that's what Siri's for.

01:51:03   We don't want people messing with OCLs.

01:51:04   It's too fidgety.

01:51:05   We just want them to talk to Siri.

01:51:06   But Siri's not up to the task a lot of the time,

01:51:09   especially if you get it wrong.

01:51:10   But anyway, yeah, I recommend using real names everywhere

01:51:14   and then just somehow try to get into the system

01:51:17   the various relationships.

01:51:18   Because once all those relationships are in,

01:51:20   you can pretty reliably say,

01:51:22   hey, Dingus, call my wife at work,

01:51:24   and it will figure out what to do.

01:51:26   I mean, even my ancient Honda Accord can do that,

01:51:30   that type of thing where I can yell into the air

01:51:33   and specify someone by their relationship

01:51:35   and specify a location, and it will just do it.

01:51:39   So we are at that level of technology

01:51:41   that a 2014 Honda can do it.

01:51:43   I think Apple can do it as well.

01:51:45   - And then Hardjus Monga writes, you know, fun fact,

01:51:48   when Declan was really little,

01:51:50   his word for grandma was monga.

01:51:52   And so when one of the moms showed up, it was mongamonga.

01:51:56   Anyway, Hardjus writes, I'm irrationally annoyed

01:51:58   by the non-permanent apps in my dock

01:52:00   that stick around after I close all the windows.

01:52:02   I don't necessarily want to quit those apps.

01:52:04   I don't care if they keep running,

01:52:05   but I don't want them cluttering up my dock.

01:52:07   I really don't need to be aware

01:52:08   that TextEdit is running three days after the one time

01:52:11   I open a random file with it.

01:52:12   Is there a way to auto-hide apps from the dock

01:52:14   that have no open windows?

01:52:16   Now, I'm not entirely sure that I understand

01:52:19   what is being asked here,

01:52:20   because there's like several different things

01:52:21   that this could mean.

01:52:23   First of all, in Big Sur,

01:52:24   and it might've been even in Catalina before it,

01:52:27   there will be, I think, up to three recently used apps

01:52:31   that will show up on your dock next to the trash,

01:52:34   which you can turn off in System Preferences.

01:52:36   There's a checkbox, Show Recent Applications in Dock.

01:52:39   And those apps may or may not be running at any given point.

01:52:43   And so maybe that's what it's being referred to.

01:52:46   Also, worth noting,

01:52:47   although I don't think this is the question,

01:52:49   there used to be little dots or lights

01:52:52   next to apps that were actively running,

01:52:53   and then those lights or dots would go away

01:52:56   if the app is not actively running right now.

01:52:59   This is one of those things that I always turn back on,

01:53:03   even though I try to stick to as vanilla in installation

01:53:06   in terms of preferences and things like that as I can.

01:53:09   That's Show Indicators for Open Applications,

01:53:11   again, in Dock and Menu Bar and System Preferences.

01:53:14   But I think what's actually being asked is,

01:53:17   if you open an app, and then, I guess like it was said,

01:53:22   close all the windows, but the app hasn't been terminated,

01:53:25   it does still sit in the dock for a while.

01:53:27   And I guess, to me, if that's a problem,

01:53:31   just quit the darn app.

01:53:32   And obviously, that's not the actual solution.

01:53:34   That's not fair of me to say.

01:53:35   But that's what I do.

01:53:36   Like, if I have text headed open,

01:53:38   and I close the last window, I'll just Command + Q,

01:53:41   and then the problem and the icon goes away.

01:53:44   But I'm guessing one of you, maybe John,

01:53:46   has more or better thoughts about this.

01:53:49   So what should be done?

01:53:51   - Are those dots really off by default?

01:53:53   This is what happens if you never do a clean install.

01:53:55   I have no idea what the defaults are anymore.

01:53:57   - I am not 100% sure, but I'm close.

01:53:59   - I think they're on by default.

01:54:01   - Okay, maybe I'm wrong.

01:54:02   - All right, so the general complaint here,

01:54:05   it seems like, it sounds like the common

01:54:08   Windows user complaint, because in Windows,

01:54:11   the sort of hierarchy that exists on the Mac

01:54:14   doesn't exist in the same way.

01:54:15   On the Mac, you have applications,

01:54:18   and there is an application that is the front application,

01:54:20   and that owns the menu bar, and within that application,

01:54:23   you can have multiple windows.

01:54:24   And the original Mac model and the Mac model

01:54:26   that more or less has stayed since day one,

01:54:30   subject to the caveats that I'll get to in a moment,

01:54:32   is that an application can be open and running

01:54:37   independent of how many windows it has on the screen.

01:54:39   And you can tell that it's running

01:54:40   because you look at the menu bar in modern Mac OS,

01:54:43   you can see the name of the app there, right?

01:54:45   It's the front-most application, it owns the menu bar,

01:54:47   it's running, doesn't matter if there are any windows open.

01:54:50   Whereas in Windows, the windows themselves

01:54:52   more or less are the application,

01:54:53   and if you close all the windows

01:54:55   by hitting the little X button, and they're all gone,

01:54:57   well, the app's not running anymore,

01:54:58   'cause how could the app be running

01:54:59   if there are no windows open?

01:55:00   Because on Windows, there is no menu bar

01:55:03   at the top of the screen,

01:55:04   so if you've literally closed all the windows,

01:55:05   how would you access the UI of the application?

01:55:08   It is not running anymore, right?

01:55:09   And that's what Windows users expect.

01:55:11   Now, on the Mac, there's always been exceptions

01:55:12   like desk accessories, which no one knows what those are,

01:55:15   unless you're super old, or other applications

01:55:17   like calculator, for example, where you close that window,

01:55:20   and it's like, oh, well,

01:55:21   when I close the calculator desk accessory,

01:55:24   the calculator's not running anymore,

01:55:25   and desk accessories didn't own the menu bar anyway.

01:55:27   So at some point during, I think it was probably

01:55:31   in the early days of Mac OS X,

01:55:32   Apple made it more or less an officially supported thing

01:55:35   that, hey, if you have a little application like calculator,

01:55:38   you can make it so that when you close the last window,

01:55:40   your application quits.

01:55:41   Now, you've always been able to do that on the Mac.

01:55:44   It's just a program.

01:55:45   You can make your app do anything,

01:55:46   but it hasn't been in the culture.

01:55:48   Especially in classic Mac OS, the culture was,

01:55:51   if you have an application, and it's launched,

01:55:53   and someone closes the last window,

01:55:55   like if you have a text editor open in this example,

01:55:57   and someone closes the last open text editor window,

01:55:59   you would never quit TextEdit.

01:56:01   Of course, you would leave the application running,

01:56:03   because maybe the person closed it,

01:56:04   and the next thing you wanted to do

01:56:05   is make a new TextEdit document, so they hit Command + N.

01:56:08   And if TextEdit quit after you closed the last window,

01:56:10   how can you hit Command + N?

01:56:11   You have to go relaunch it, right?

01:56:13   So, and that's the way I'm used to.

01:56:15   That's the way Mac culture tends to work.

01:56:17   And so this complaint is the opposite of saying,

01:56:19   once I close that last TextEdit window,

01:56:21   it annoys me that TextEdit sits there still being open,

01:56:24   waiting to see if I want to make a new TextEdit window

01:56:26   or open a new document in TextEdit.

01:56:28   Why doesn't it just quit?

01:56:29   I don't have any windows open.

01:56:30   In fact, TextEdit specifically is the one app,

01:56:35   that and Preview, but TextEdit,

01:56:38   these apps drive me up a wall, because in,

01:56:42   well, let me see, what version of it?

01:56:44   I think in Lion, Mac OS X 10.7 from 2011,

01:56:49   Apple added a feature called automatic termination.

01:56:54   And the way that works is you can opt into it.

01:56:57   The way it works is if you close all the windows

01:57:00   belonging to an application,

01:57:02   an application may decide to automatically terminate

01:57:06   because it thinks you're not using it anymore

01:57:07   after a short period of time.

01:57:09   If you use the doc without that recent applications thing,

01:57:12   which is a new thing, it didn't exist in Lion anyway,

01:57:15   what you'll see then is you'll close the last window

01:57:18   for TextEdit and let's say, or let's pick Preview.

01:57:21   You open a bunch of pictures in Preview.

01:57:22   I'm looking at the pictures.

01:57:23   All right, no, I don't like that one.

01:57:25   I like that one.

01:57:25   So I closed the window, I closed the window.

01:57:27   I have no windows open in Preview.

01:57:28   Then I go back to the finder

01:57:30   to find the next image I wanna open.

01:57:31   While I'm in the finder looking for the next image,

01:57:33   Preview quits out from under me and disappears from the doc.

01:57:37   And I was like, well, wait,

01:57:38   I was just about to go back to you.

01:57:39   So now you have to reopen Preview

01:57:40   or double click the image and reopen Preview,

01:57:43   or if the image is owned by Photoshop,

01:57:44   manually open Preview and then drag it onto Preview,

01:57:46   because you don't want the thing to open in Photoshop

01:57:48   when you double click it, which is a whole other ball of wax.

01:57:50   I don't like the application quitting behind my back

01:57:53   because it thinks I'm done using it

01:57:55   based solely on the signal

01:57:56   whether or not it has any windows open.

01:57:59   So we have the opposite complaint here, right?

01:58:02   That he wants these apps to quit

01:58:04   as soon as they have no windows open

01:58:05   and I can't stand when they do that.

01:58:08   The other feature that Apple added related to this,

01:58:11   again, around the same time, is called sudden termination.

01:58:13   And I'm pretty sure both of these two things still exist.

01:58:16   They're both things that you can opt into.

01:58:18   Sudden termination is a way for your application

01:58:20   to essentially set a flag or signal to the OS

01:58:24   that not only is it okay to terminate me,

01:58:27   but you can terminate me with prejudice.

01:58:29   You can send me SIGKILL.

01:58:30   Like you don't have to like politely send me

01:58:33   an Apple event asking me to quit.

01:58:35   You can just literally just kill me.

01:58:37   I don't have any cleanup work to do.

01:58:38   I don't have any open files.

01:58:39   I don't need to write any preference files.

01:58:42   I am ready to be terminated suddenly.

01:58:44   And this feature was added, I think in Snow Leopard actually,

01:58:48   to make it so like when you log out or shut down,

01:58:51   that it doesn't have to essentially send a quit Apple event

01:58:54   to every single application,

01:58:56   have that application swap back in,

01:58:58   have it respond to the quit Apple event,

01:59:00   have it to run all the handlers that you can run.

01:59:02   And, you know, AppKit has handlers for it

01:59:04   and Classic Mac has handlers for it.

01:59:06   And, you know, like there's things you can do on quit

01:59:08   to clean stuff up, like close your indexes, whatever.

01:59:12   Like there's all sorts of crap apps can do on quit.

01:59:15   And that would make log out slower or shut down slower

01:59:18   or restart slower because you'd have to wait patiently

01:59:21   for every application to be done doing what it's doing.

01:59:23   It was especially true on the days of spinning hard disks

01:59:26   and not a lot of RAM,

01:59:27   when these things would have to swap back in from disk

01:59:30   just to get to the point to say,

01:59:32   "Okay, you finally swapped back in.

01:59:33   Now process this quit event up.

01:59:35   Now you're exiting."

01:59:36   And it would just be, you know,

01:59:37   taught you to wait for the thing to come off the disk

01:59:40   into RAM just so it could quit itself.

01:59:42   Whereas if you allowed the OS,

01:59:44   if you had previously signaled,

01:59:46   "I'm not actually doing anything here.

01:59:47   You can kill me," then Mac OS would just send,

01:59:50   I think it would actually literally send SIGKILL,

01:59:52   kill minus nine, to just kill that process off.

01:59:54   Like I don't, no chance to do anything.

01:59:56   You don't get to swap back in.

01:59:57   You don't get to run again.

01:59:58   You're just dead.

01:59:59   And then automatic termination is the thing where it says,

02:00:01   "Oh, when no windows are open

02:00:02   and you haven't used me in a while, I'm just gonna exit."

02:00:06   And both of those, you could use them in any combination.

02:00:08   Right?

02:00:08   And then finally, this was in my line review.

02:00:10   It's a good thing I go back through my old reviews

02:00:12   and learn things that I had long since forgotten.

02:00:14   I'm not sure if they're still doing this,

02:00:15   but one of the things that Lion did was,

02:00:19   if an application was automatically terminated,

02:00:22   it would disappear from your dock

02:00:24   if it wasn't permanently there,

02:00:25   or the dot would disappear underneath it.

02:00:27   I do wonder how many people understand

02:00:28   how the dock works these days.

02:00:30   Like what makes an icon disappear from the dock

02:00:33   when it's quit versus what makes it stay there, right?

02:00:35   How does the fact that I dragged an icon one space to the left

02:00:38   mean that it's forever on my dock, right?

02:00:41   Like the model hasn't changed in 16 years,

02:00:43   but it is kind of a weird model.

02:00:45   Anyway, let's say this thing wasn't permanently on your dock,

02:00:50   and it was automatically terminated

02:00:51   and disappears from your dock.

02:00:53   And you're like, "Oh, that application I was using,

02:00:55   "you made it quit?"

02:00:56   The OS, as of Lion anyway,

02:00:59   reserve the right to just keep

02:01:01   that application running anyway.

02:01:03   So you could go to activity monitor and you say,

02:01:05   "Wait a second, I thought preview just quit.

02:01:06   "I saw it disappear from my dock.

02:01:08   "Why do I still see preview in activity monitor?

02:01:10   "Is there some kind of lag or something?"

02:01:12   No, the OS would terminate preview,

02:01:16   but it wouldn't actually terminate it.

02:01:17   It would keep it running

02:01:19   just in case you wanna launch it again,

02:01:20   and you would click to launch it again,

02:01:22   and it would be up instantly.

02:01:23   And this is, again, a lot easier to notice

02:01:25   than the days before SSDs.

02:01:26   Like when the days of spinning disks,

02:01:27   you would really notice when you launch an app for real.

02:01:29   So it would automatically terminate in scare quotes,

02:01:33   preview, but it didn't actually terminate.

02:01:34   It just hit it from the dock.

02:01:35   And so the next time you launched it,

02:01:36   it'd be like, "Oh, here I am.

02:01:37   "I'm still running.

02:01:38   "You didn't know that.

02:01:39   "Look, I launched it instantly."

02:01:41   I find this entire approach maddening, right?

02:01:44   The thing that iOS does, which didn't help,

02:01:47   and people still love to force-code all their applications,

02:01:49   but the thing that iOS does, which is,

02:01:50   "Don't you worry about whether an application

02:01:52   "is running or not.

02:01:53   "That's not a thing you have to concern yourself with.

02:01:55   "The OS will manage all that.

02:01:57   "As far as you're concerned, running application,

02:01:59   "not running application,

02:02:00   "they all look the same in the app switcher.

02:02:02   "From day one, we've required the applications

02:02:04   "to be able to resume where they left off

02:02:06   "and have auto-save and all that stuff."

02:02:08   That's the model of iOS.

02:02:10   That is a fairly clean model,

02:02:12   even if it didn't account for the foibles of human nature

02:02:14   that would result in millions of people

02:02:17   swiping their applications upward all day long, right?

02:02:21   The model on the Mac has never been like that,

02:02:23   and attempts to make the Mac like that,

02:02:24   like sudden termination, automatic termination,

02:02:27   and all the other stuff they did to try to ISFI Mac OS

02:02:31   back in the lion days,

02:02:33   have not been particularly successful,

02:02:36   whereas the previous model that the Mac had,

02:02:39   which is you launch applications,

02:02:41   when you're done with them, you quit them.

02:02:42   Windows are owned by applications,

02:02:45   so you have a bunch of applications,

02:02:46   each of which own a bunch of windows.

02:02:48   You save explicitly.

02:02:50   You can save to save the current thing.

02:02:51   You can save as a save in a new name.

02:02:53   Like that whole paradigm, that was also understandable,

02:02:57   if not quite as friendly as the iOS model.

02:03:00   And I feel like where the Mac is now

02:03:02   is in this uncomfortable in-between place

02:03:04   where there's a bunch of features of Mac OS

02:03:06   that are trying to give you the benefits of iOS,

02:03:10   but failing in various ways,

02:03:12   and they're also not configurable enough

02:03:14   to let people with differing preferences decide,

02:03:17   hey, do you want me to yank preview out from under you

02:03:19   because you glance away from it for one second,

02:03:22   or do you want preview to always stay running?

02:03:24   Now, there are hidden plist keys for a lot of these things.

02:03:27   You can disable automatic termination.

02:03:28   You might be able to disable sudden termination,

02:03:30   or at least there were hidden plist keys for these

02:03:32   back in the day,

02:03:33   but I've long since given up trying to tweak them,

02:03:35   and for all I know, they disappeared in recent OS releases.

02:03:37   But these should be,

02:03:39   if Apple insists on having these features,

02:03:41   they probably need more flexibility in Mac OS

02:03:44   so it behaves the way the user wants it to,

02:03:46   or expects it to behave,

02:03:48   because the current default behavior is like

02:03:51   dependent on whether the app supports automatic termination,

02:03:54   and off the top of your head,

02:03:55   do you know which applications that you use every day

02:03:58   to support automatic termination,

02:03:59   or do you just have no idea?

02:04:00   It's not a great situation.

02:04:02   Thanks to our sponsors this week.

02:04:04   Squarespace, Buzzsprout, and Fast Mail.

02:04:08   And thanks to our members who support us directly.

02:04:10   You can go to atp.fm/join to join them,

02:04:14   and we will talk to you all next week.

02:04:16   ♪ Now the show is over ♪

02:04:21   ♪ They didn't even mean to begin ♪

02:04:24   ♪ 'Cause it was accidental ♪

02:04:27   ♪ Oh, it was accidental ♪

02:04:30   ♪ John didn't do any research ♪

02:04:32   ♪ Marco and Casey wouldn't let him ♪

02:04:35   ♪ 'Cause it was accidental ♪

02:04:36   ♪ Accidental ♪

02:04:37   ♪ It was accidental ♪

02:04:39   ♪ Accidental ♪

02:04:40   ♪ And you can find the show notes at atp.fm ♪

02:04:45   ♪ And if you're into Twitter ♪

02:04:48   ♪ You can follow them at C-A-S-E-Y-L-I-S-S ♪

02:04:53   ♪ So that's Casey List M-A-R-C-O-A-R-M ♪

02:04:59   ♪ Auntie Marco Arment ♪

02:05:01   ♪ S-I-R-A-C ♪

02:05:04   ♪ U-S-A-C-R-A-Q-S-A ♪

02:05:06   ♪ It's accidental ♪

02:05:08   ♪ Accidental ♪

02:05:10   ♪ They didn't mean to ♪

02:05:12   ♪ Accidental ♪

02:05:13   ♪ Accidental ♪

02:05:14   ♪ Tech podcast ♪

02:05:16   ♪ So long ♪

02:05:19   - Do you actually know which applications

02:05:22   support automatic termination on your Mac?

02:05:23   Do you know that this is happening

02:05:24   or is this a non-issue in your life?

02:05:27   - I didn't know about the sudden termination thing.

02:05:29   I did know about the automatic termination thing,

02:05:31   but I don't know.

02:05:32   I'm kind of surprised that,

02:05:34   I mean, there's areas of Mac OS

02:05:39   that seem like common stumbling blocks

02:05:42   for people learning Mac OS,

02:05:44   or common little sticking points

02:05:47   that people just never really understand

02:05:49   who aren't super nerds.

02:05:51   And I think disk image distribution of apps

02:05:55   is definitely one of those things.

02:05:57   And I think window management,

02:05:59   there's certain things about it

02:06:00   in application life cycle management

02:06:01   that a lot of people just don't get.

02:06:04   It doesn't mesh well with them.

02:06:05   And this thing about the difference

02:06:08   between an app being quit

02:06:10   versus an app having no open windows,

02:06:12   I think this trips people up so often

02:06:15   and is so counterintuitive to how most people assume

02:06:18   their computer will work

02:06:20   that I am kind of surprised

02:06:22   that it hasn't been changed over time.

02:06:26   Like, if you look at the kinds of things

02:06:29   that Apple has done that make Mac OS worse in certain ways,

02:06:34   but that they do in the name of trying to make it

02:06:39   more easily understandable for novices,

02:06:41   there is so much low-hanging fruit

02:06:44   that they haven't touched,

02:06:46   especially in this area, I think,

02:06:48   of window management, application life cycle management,

02:06:51   disk images.

02:06:51   - I mean, they tried to.

02:06:53   They touched it a lot.

02:06:55   They just didn't do a good job.

02:06:57   Like, it was constantly,

02:06:58   like every release around this middle period

02:07:00   of like the 2011, 2012, 2013,

02:07:03   they were changing stuff, tons of stuff related.

02:07:05   So it was the whole autosave thing,

02:07:07   the reason we got like duplicate menu items

02:07:09   and you had to hold down modifier keys to get save as, right?

02:07:12   - And I think that, by the way,

02:07:13   that gets me every single time.

02:07:15   Every time I open up an image in preview

02:07:18   to like make it a chapter artwork image or something,

02:07:20   and I modify the size and I hit,

02:07:22   I go to save as and like,

02:07:24   oh, actually I modified the original.

02:07:26   You're welcome.

02:07:26   I'm just like, it, that's.

02:07:29   See, like, again, like it,

02:07:31   I'm sure they had the best of intentions, you know,

02:07:33   trying to bring the iOS data life cycle to files on the Mac.

02:07:38   But the problem is that when they introduced that,

02:07:41   most of society had already been using computers.

02:07:45   And most of society was already very familiar

02:07:49   with the saving and save as workflows

02:07:53   and meanings and behaviors on computers.

02:07:55   And so by completely breaking that,

02:07:59   I think they caused more confusion

02:08:01   than they could have possibly resolved

02:08:03   by having moved to that system.

02:08:05   - They didn't completely break it.

02:08:06   If they had completely broken it, they would have been better.

02:08:08   They partially broke it.

02:08:09   That's what I was getting at with my question.

02:08:11   Like, do you know which applications

02:08:12   support sudden termination?

02:08:14   Because the Mac was and continues to be

02:08:17   this mixed environment where some apps do that,

02:08:21   but some apps don't.

02:08:22   Some apps support automatic termination, some apps don't.

02:08:24   Some apps have save as, some apps don't.

02:08:27   And you'd have to essentially keep an inventory

02:08:29   of your head and know, well,

02:08:31   text edit and preview work this way

02:08:32   'cause they're simple Apple apps

02:08:34   and they're trying to demonstrate good behavior.

02:08:35   But BB edit works the other way,

02:08:36   but Photoshop works a different way,

02:08:38   all the Microsoft apps work a different way.

02:08:40   No one can keep track of that in their head.

02:08:41   And if you tried to explain to somebody,

02:08:43   okay, let me explain to you save and save as,

02:08:45   or duplicate it or whatever, or versions or whatever,

02:08:49   you can explain that to them, but then they say,

02:08:51   okay, but this app works different.

02:08:52   How am I supposed to know how this app works?

02:08:54   And you'd have to say, yeah,

02:08:55   well some apps work the other way

02:08:56   and some apps work this way.

02:08:57   You can't even say one is the old way

02:08:59   and one is the new way and we're in a transition period

02:09:01   'cause this transition period has been like

02:09:03   10 years long at this point.

02:09:05   It's just been left in this inconsistent state

02:09:07   where a bunch of sort of flagship simple Apple apps

02:09:12   have one behavior.

02:09:13   And by the way, you also have apps like Calculator

02:09:15   that have the other behavior or things like iTunes.

02:09:18   There have been various sort of iLife apps

02:09:20   that supported the, when you close the main window,

02:09:22   the app quits, right, for a little while,

02:09:24   but then later on they didn't support that

02:09:27   'cause they changed in various ways.

02:09:28   It's too hard to explain.

02:09:30   They never landed on one thing.

02:09:33   In the classic days, there was one thing

02:09:35   and it was not a particularly friendly thing,

02:09:36   but at least it was consistent.

02:09:37   And once you learn open, new, save, save as, quit,

02:09:40   if you learned how the window opening and closing works,

02:09:42   the only exception you had to explain was desk accessories

02:09:44   and they were so different

02:09:45   'cause they didn't have a menu bar, it was pretty easy.

02:09:47   But now Calculator, I'm pretty sure,

02:09:49   I gotta launch it to find out,

02:09:52   Calculator does have a menu bar,

02:09:54   but it also quits when you close the Calculator window.

02:09:57   Like trying to explain this to a new Mac user,

02:10:00   and believe it or not, every day someone who's born

02:10:02   has never used the Mac, it's impossible.

02:10:05   Whereas iOS has worked this particular way since day one

02:10:07   and even though they've added multitasking,

02:10:09   they added background tasks and all that other stuff

02:10:11   and it's gotten more complicated,

02:10:12   it's way easier to explain the paradigm of iOS,

02:10:15   especially on the iPhone,

02:10:16   than it is to explain the stuff on the Mac.

02:10:18   So if I was still writing Mac OS X reviews,

02:10:20   I would probably still be complaining about this stuff,

02:10:22   despite the fact that I complained

02:10:24   about these exact issues 10 years ago.

02:10:26   They haven't been solved.

02:10:27   And so those of us who have Macs just muddle through,

02:10:29   that's, again, that's why I was asking,

02:10:31   like how do you deal with this in your daily life?

02:10:35   Do you just have a memorized list in your head

02:10:36   of which applications behave in which ways,

02:10:38   or do you just, are you surprised every time

02:10:40   you go up to the file menu about what you see there

02:10:42   and which modifier keys you might have to hold down

02:10:44   to get the options you want?

02:10:46   - I mean, like for me, like I think, I haven't,

02:10:50   it's one of those things where like,

02:10:52   if you ask somebody what the keyboard command is

02:10:54   for something they do all the time,

02:10:55   it's kinda hard for them to tell you

02:10:56   'cause it's just by feel.

02:10:57   But I think the normal behavior of this is

02:11:01   apps that are not document window based,

02:11:06   so like calculator, for instance,

02:11:08   like you're not supposed to open calculator

02:11:09   and hit Command + N to open up a new calculator

02:11:12   and then have multiple calculators on screen sometimes.

02:11:13   Like it's just a single window app.

02:11:15   So I think apps that are not document based

02:11:18   are supposed to quit when their only window is closed.

02:11:21   But apps that are document based that have

02:11:23   the potential to have multiple document windows open

02:11:25   at the same time are not supposed to quit

02:11:27   when their last document is closed.

02:11:30   But that, to me, like, so I'm pretty sure

02:11:32   that's like the standard and I'm pretty sure

02:11:33   that's what most apps do. - But it's not,

02:11:34   because preview and text edit both quit

02:11:36   when you close the last window, eventually.

02:11:38   And it's because Apple was trying to, at one point,

02:11:41   say hey, everybody's app should do this, right?

02:11:43   Like there's one part of the HIG that says,

02:11:46   oh yeah, if you've got a calculator app,

02:11:47   it should totally quit when you close that window.

02:11:49   It's a particular mode that you can operate in.

02:11:50   And it makes sense, I'm not arguing against that.

02:11:52   Like they're just the modern version of desk accessories.

02:11:54   It's a little bit confusing to have menu bars,

02:11:55   but so what, it makes sense.

02:11:57   But the text edit thing was like, well,

02:11:59   we wanna make it, like the whole thing with the dots

02:12:01   that Casey was getting at, the whole point of that,

02:12:03   this is also straight out of one of my old reviews,

02:12:05   is that they wanted to do the iOS thing

02:12:07   where you don't know whether an application

02:12:09   is running or not.

02:12:09   And the best way to do that is hey,

02:12:10   previously for all these years we had dots underneath

02:12:13   and the ones with dots are running

02:12:14   and the ones without dots aren't running.

02:12:15   What if we just take away the dots?

02:12:16   It's like iOS now, isn't it?

02:12:18   And the answer is no, it's not like iOS at all.

02:12:19   Because iOS has, every single app in iOS

02:12:22   has the ability to auto save when you leave it

02:12:24   and pick up where it left off when you relaunch it.

02:12:26   And pretty much no apps in Mac OS do that.

02:12:29   I mean, maybe BB Edit and maybe a few other

02:12:32   exceptional apps that are really good

02:12:33   about state preservation like web browsers.

02:12:35   But in general, that's not the way Mac OS works.

02:12:38   So no amount of yanking the dots out from under us

02:12:40   or having the applications quit, but not really quit,

02:12:43   but quit, but not, you know, like,

02:12:45   it's just so confusing that it's hard to even keep track

02:12:48   of all the different things that different apps are doing.

02:12:50   And over time it has not converged.

02:12:52   There has been no consensus.

02:12:54   Applications continue just to do what they feel like doing

02:12:57   to the point where, I mean, we've talked about this before,

02:12:58   like hold down Command + Q to quit Chrome.

02:13:01   Why?

02:13:02   That's what Chrome felt like doing.

02:13:03   People are accidentally quitting it.

02:13:05   And it's damaging if you accidentally quit

02:13:07   and you don't have the preference set

02:13:09   to restore your session the way it was before,

02:13:11   which is not the default in Chrome.

02:13:12   And so we get a little overlay that says

02:13:14   hold down Command + Q to quit.

02:13:16   That's just trying to explain how the Mac works

02:13:18   to someone who hasn't been using it for a few decades

02:13:20   is extremely difficult and frustrating.

02:13:22   And the solution is not just let's make the Mac like iOS,

02:13:26   but the solution is also not to just leave it

02:13:27   in its current state, 'cause it's kind of a mess.

02:13:30   - You know, when I started using the Mac,

02:13:33   which was roughly '08, it was different enough from Windows

02:13:37   that it was very frustrating at first, but it was knowable.

02:13:41   And what do you mean mail is still open

02:13:44   when I close the last window?

02:13:46   Like that's dumb.

02:13:47   Why would I wanna do that?

02:13:49   Well, as it turns out, you don't necessarily want

02:13:52   to have any mail windows open

02:13:53   when you're not actually reading your mail,

02:13:55   but you probably still want it in the background

02:13:57   checking for mail.

02:13:58   So guess what?

02:13:59   You can close the last window

02:14:01   and it's still there, still checking.

02:14:04   Oh, okay, this makes sense.

02:14:06   I like it.

02:14:06   But now to y'all's point, it's not knowable.

02:14:10   I mean, it is knowable, but it's not effectively knowable.

02:14:13   And it is--

02:14:13   - It's not obvious, I think.

02:14:15   - That's a better word for it.

02:14:16   It's not obvious.

02:14:17   Like, I think it is knowable,

02:14:18   but it is certainly not obvious.

02:14:20   And even early on, like, okay, well,

02:14:22   how do I know if an app is running or not?

02:14:24   Because this, you know, mail is always in my dock.

02:14:26   Well, there's that little dot,

02:14:27   or that I think early on it was a light,

02:14:29   like I had said earlier.

02:14:30   There's that little light, and if the light is on,

02:14:32   that means mail's running.

02:14:33   And if the light is gone, that means mail is not running.

02:14:36   Oh, okay, that's a little wonky, but I can get behind this.

02:14:39   And it was pretty straightforward.

02:14:41   And now it is neither obvious nor straightforward,

02:14:44   and that's really unfortunate.

02:14:46   [beeping]

02:14:48   (beep)