00:00:00 ◼ ► everything is a miss in my world right now. Well not a miss. Different. Just your world. Yeah. So, first of all, Aaron is having an outdoor socially distant book club meeting right now. So there's a very slim chance I might need to run away during the recording.
00:00:19 ◼ ► But more pertinently... To go like give your thoughts on the book? Yeah, exactly right. No, in case one of the kids wakes up which is extremely rare for them. But you never know what could happen.
00:00:28 ◼ ► What did you think was the theme of the book? I don't even remember what book it was she was reading. But nevertheless... I don't even remember what themes mean.
00:00:35 ◼ ► But more pertinently, as Marco better than anyone knows, I have had very sporadic problems with my genuinely beloved USB Pre 2.
00:00:47 ◼ ► And every great once in a while, it will... I can't figure out a more descriptive technical term than glitch out, which is neither descriptive nor technical.
00:00:58 ◼ ► But every great once in a while it will glitch out to the point that the only way to get it to work properly is to unplug it and then plug it back in. Like take out the USB connector and plug it back in.
00:01:09 ◼ ► Which in of itself, from my perspective, is not a big deal because it takes all but a moment for everything to write itself and everything's good to go. But from Marco's perspective, it is a very, very different discussion.
00:01:21 ◼ ► Because everything becomes two to three to four to five times harder. And so we've been talking about this, Marco and I, on and off over god knows how long.
00:01:30 ◼ ► And somebody, I don't think it was Marco, but somebody had said, you know, I had a bunch of XLR cables and the USB cable kind of all intertwined with each other.
00:01:41 ◼ ► And perhaps some sort of interference has caused that issue. Or caused a similar issue.
00:01:47 ◼ ► And I don't think that's actually the problem. In fact, I'm pretty sure it's not the problem.
00:01:52 ◼ ► But in an effort to make Marco's life ever so slightly easier, those handful of times each year that this happens, I have taken my microphone and shifted it from the right side of the desk to the left.
00:02:03 ◼ ► Which is like sleeping on the wrong side of the bed. Everything is backwards now. I don't know what to do with it.
00:02:07 ◼ ► And the reason I did that is because on the USB Pre 2, the USB comes in on the right hand side, the XLR cables come in the left hand side.
00:02:13 ◼ ► And so my thought was I will move all the XLR stuff to the left hand side of the desk. It had previously been on the right.
00:02:18 ◼ ► Leave the USB stuff on the right hand side of the desk, which is to say it's like a 3 foot USB CD, USB whatever cable.
00:02:25 ◼ ► And never the two shall meet. And I don't know if it's going to make a darn bit of difference. Smart Money says it won't. But I'm trying.
00:02:41 ◼ ► Yeah, mine was for a different reason. I'm at the beach, had to get a desk and I got like, basically I made the wrong choice on a certain type of frame.
00:02:52 ◼ ► And it was the kind of frame that like, it frames the desk on the front and back underneath with metal framing.
00:02:59 ◼ ► So that way your leg hits the front, your knee hits the metal framing because it isn't only like in the midsection or back the way they usually do it with like the little U shaped legs.
00:03:08 ◼ ► And, because my thinking was, I don't like how most desks that have like the like T or kind of offset T or C shaped legs, if you tap the front lip of the desk, the whole thing kind of rocks a little bit.
00:03:26 ◼ ► And I thought this is, you know, not ideal. I had like, you know, some inexpensive IKEA desk before that did this.
00:03:33 ◼ ► So I thought, let me get a four legged desk that should ideally solve this problem instead of just having like the two C shaped or T shaped ones.
00:03:41 ◼ ► If you just have four legs, then it should make it much more stable. And it turns out it did. It worked in that sense.
00:03:47 ◼ ► That it was indeed way more stable and it was basically like a rock. You could tap it and like your screen wouldn't shake at all.
00:03:55 ◼ ► The downside was that it had that like rectangular, fully rectangular frame that my legs would hit constantly. And literally every single time I like approached and tucked under the desk, every single time I hit my knee on that thing.
00:04:09 ◼ ► Observant listeners might say, why don't you just raise the desk? Good question. In fact, it was a standing desk, so I could raise it to whatever height I wanted.
00:04:17 ◼ ► The problem is, if you raise the desk like an extra two inches, the keyboard's too tall and it's bad for ergonomics.
00:04:24 ◼ ► So, because ideally what you want is a zero thickness desk. Like I know it's not realistic, but you want the thinnest possible desk. That way you can have enough space under it for your legs and maybe a bent knee or two.
00:04:35 ◼ ► But you don't want the keyboard to be higher than it needs to be. You basically want to be like, you want the desk to be as thin as possible so that you can achieve that ergonomic and comfort ideal.
00:04:56 ◼ ► I mean, it gives you a specific plane just for your keyboard that is lower than your desk. So you can get the desk up out of the way and still have the keyboard at maximum like lowness to your legs, essentially.
00:05:08 ◼ ► Without you hitting whatever. I'm trying to visualize what the structure of your desk looks like, but if it's just like a bar that sticks out from the bottom of your desk a couple of inches, this would get it out of your way.
00:05:18 ◼ ► Because you would raise the desk so that the bar is clearing, but the keyboard tray is like two or three inches down. Lots of keyboard trays are adjustable in height so that it can be any number of inches away from the bottom surface of your desk.
00:05:36 ◼ ► But the key feature of the keyboard tray is it gives you a big spot in your desk to put stuff. And that is the main reason. Obviously I do it for ergonomics because I bought my desk before standing desks were really popular and my desk is not adjusted at all, right?
00:05:48 ◼ ► But I would never be able to give up having just empty desk space in front of me where I can put things.
00:05:54 ◼ ► Well, how deep of a desk do you run? Because there's basically the 24-inch class and the 30-inch class of depth that tend to be widely available.
00:06:08 ◼ ► Oh my god. Yeah, I tried the 24s in previous beach arrangements. I'll get something small because it's just vacation. And I was never happy with 24s.
00:06:19 ◼ ► Even in previous apartments where I didn't have a lot of space, I would occasionally have a 24-inch desk. It was never enough depth for me. And so I've been 30 for a while now and I have no regrets.
00:06:29 ◼ ► But anyway, so I didn't think of keyboard tray. I still don't think that's my style. I do like a very clean, basic look, minimalist kind of arrangement here.
00:06:40 ◼ ► So anyway, I had to switch from the four-legged desk, which is now being repurposed as a workbench in a different location.
00:06:49 ◼ ► And now I have a two-legged desk once again and the wobbliness is back, but it is less severe than the inexpensive IKEA desk.
00:06:57 ◼ ► And anyway, I had to redo everything. And so to get back to how I brought this up in a very random way, sorry Casey.
00:07:02 ◼ ► I too, during my desk rearrangement, I had an issue with my audio interface. I was getting electrical noise in my recordings.
00:07:12 ◼ ► And I did all sorts of stuff. I plugged in different things, tried different cables, tried different arrangements, different settings.
00:07:20 ◼ ► I even eventually tried a whole different interface to the microphone and I was still getting this electrical noise in my recordings.
00:07:27 ◼ ► And I eventually traced it back. It took me almost a whole day to figure out the problem.
00:07:32 ◼ ► I eventually traced it to one of the cables I was using was running. It had some excess.
00:07:39 ◼ ► I had coiled up the excess, so there was a small bundle of XLR cable, and I had tucked it in a spot on the underside of the desk that ran next to a network cable.
00:07:50 ◼ ► And apparently it was getting interference from the network cable running past a bundle of XLR cable.
00:07:58 ◼ ► Because when you bundle it up, it basically passes the same cable five or six times at least.
00:08:03 ◼ ► So any interference potential is probably amplified, right? And XLR cables are inherently balanced.
00:08:10 ◼ ► And they actually do a really good job of rejecting lots of noise, but apparently not the kind of noise that running a perpendicular network cable past it generates.
00:08:19 ◼ ► And literally this whole day I was spending trying to get my interface to not have noise on it.
00:08:24 ◼ ► And I literally had to just move this bundle of cable like four inches away from where it was and the problem disappeared completely.
00:08:34 ◼ ► Analog electronics suck. Indeed that's what we learned. That's the reason we invented digital.
00:08:40 ◼ ► Just tell me if it's a one or a zero. Lots of leeway there. Analog is a go. Every little thing that changes my signal.
00:08:47 ◼ ► Well, and it was going to the box that does that, but it has to be analog at some point.
00:08:52 ◼ ► Oh, I know. You want it to be, I feel like in the computer world, at least in my computer world, I want the analog stuff to be as short as possible.
00:09:07 ◼ ► And then, yes, inevitably at some point it needs to become analog for human brains to hear it and for human mouths to influence it.
00:09:13 ◼ ► But then get right back into digital as fast as you can. And you had analog stuff just swirling in circles underneath your desk, underneath the network cable.
00:09:20 ◼ ► Yeah, that was, that was a big mistake, turns out. But I have rectified the issue and with my new desk set up, I not only have my knee not hitting the frame because it's the right kind of frame now again, but I also did a total like organizational change where I actually, I'm very happy with this new desk, the one that's not four legged.
00:09:38 ◼ ► I will, I will pimp the company. It's an uplift desk. I'm very happy with our cable management stuff. It's under the desk.
00:09:44 ◼ ► I got a search strip that mounts under the desk and it mounts so that the plugs don't face down, they face back. So they don't intrude in the foot space.
00:09:55 ◼ ► Because I'm also like, I'm a, I'm a like subwoofer foot rest person now. So I don't want a lot of stuff hanging down from the desk because then when I lean back and put my feet on the subwoofer, my feet will hit the cords and possibly pull them out.
00:10:08 ◼ ► So anyway, no, it's just an adorable image I have in my head of your little swing in your feet is all you know, part of the reason that I, that I have a standing desk is not necessarily because I frequently raise and lower it.
00:10:24 ◼ ► It's because I can set a standing desk to a lower height than most fixed leg desk. Almost all fixed leg desks are either they are like some of the IKEA adjustable ones, which again, I've been using those for years, but I wanted something a little more sturdy, a little more heavy duty.
00:10:39 ◼ ► But almost everything that's not IKEA is a fixed height and it makes the desk roughly 29 inches tall. And that is too tall for me.
00:10:46 ◼ ► My preferred setting on the uplift desk is 27.4. It's like an inch and a half lower than almost all regular desks have as their fixed height.
00:10:56 ◼ ► And that because what I want is for my feet to be resting on the ground at regular sitting height. So like you could just jack the chair up, be at full height and have your feet dangling at the bottom or you can get a desk that you can set at the right height so your feet can be on the floor and you can lower the desk to meet you.
00:11:12 ◼ ► So that's the biggest reason I have a standing desk is to have easy, precise control over the actual desktop height and occasionally to raise it to stand it up.
00:11:23 ◼ ► And it's also really nice if you are going under it to like wire something, it's really nice to lift it up first and go under it while it's in the high position. So much easier to do stuff under there.
00:11:33 ◼ ► Anyway, I've been very impressed with uplift and this desk and all the cable management stuff. I did something similar to Casey where I have all the analog stuff is now on one side of the desk.
00:11:43 ◼ ► And on the other side of the desk, I actually had previously had another issue with analog interference with one of those big like mid cable power supply things where you have like the three prong cable to the blob and blob to a DC cable to the device.
00:11:57 ◼ ► Those big bricks or even the wall warts that go directly on the outlets, those are frequently the source of interference if you run analog cables near them because they're usually pieces of crap.
00:12:07 ◼ ► And they have lots of interference components in them. And so what I have now is the left side of the underside of my desk has a giant mounted surge strip on the inside of the desk.
00:12:20 ◼ ► There's a big cable management rectangle blob thing that can hold up a bunch of stuff. So I put all the power adapters for everything in there.
00:12:29 ◼ ► And that's all on the left side. And then all the audio cables, all the analog stuff is on the right side of the desk.
00:12:34 ◼ ► And they have these cool magnetic channel things that you can stick to the legs and run the cables down them. It's so great.
00:12:41 ◼ ► Anyway, I'm a big fan of the uplift desk and in particular their cable management stuff.
00:12:46 ◼ ► And honestly, this is the nicest standing desk I've ever used with the control panel and everything. I haven't used that many. I've used I think four now.
00:12:55 ◼ ► But it's a very nice one. So I can hardly recommend uplift. They aren't a sponsor. I'm just recommending them.
00:12:59 ◼ ► Anyway, but don't get the four legged one. The four legged one is not at all the right idea for leg comfort.
00:13:11 ◼ ► Yeah, they have a four legged standing desk. That's what I'm looking at. It has a glass top too. So maybe Casey would like it. Or is it a glass top? Or is that just showing me a transparent top where you can pick your material?
00:13:19 ◼ ► There is a frame only option. But don't get the four legged one if you care about the knee comfort thing like I do.
00:13:24 ◼ ► It was incredibly strong. But I'm going to be yeah, that's that's being repurposed as a standing workstation. Like in like the garage area where we can like, you know, use it as a workbench.
00:13:34 ◼ ► My one complaint about the traditional now traditional standing desk is we, you know, over the past few years, my work back when we went into the office, like everything was converted to these standing desks and look a lot like these, I guess they all kind of look the same.
00:13:46 ◼ ► But you know, similar design is the stupid control panel that sort of is on an angle on the right or left side. And it sticks down a little bit, which isn't that big a deal.
00:13:56 ◼ ► And it makes sense like well, where else would you put it, but in an office environment where very often, you're given, it's kind of like having cubicles, but no cubicles think I've described this scenario before when you had a cubicle, at least you had walls that defined your tiny little veal pen that you spend your day in an open office plan, you don't have the walls.
00:14:15 ◼ ► So if you want any space for yourself, you have to claim it somehow. And like, part of part of that is if you have any kind of furniture, like a, usually like a rolling to drawer filing cabinet where you can put stuff.
00:14:31 ◼ ► You have to fit that within your little claimed area. And one way to do that is to take some piece of furniture and slide it under one side of your desk. And like you said, Marco, like being able to lower the desk down is important, especially if you don't have a keyboard tray.
00:14:45 ◼ ► But if you do that, then that little that one stupid little control panel makes it so you can't slide the filing cabinet underneath it, or you can slide it, but now it's trapped in one of the drawers hits it and I just, I just wish those controls are flush or something or movable or whatever they just, there was always annoyed me that no matter what you do,
00:15:00 ◼ ► it always annoyed me that no matter what style of standing desk we got the controls were always like that and always on the wrong side that you wanted them on like, Oh, I wanted my filing cabinet left. Well, that's where the controls are. So tough luck. You got to put it on the right.
00:15:10 ◼ ► Well, this one you you have to assemble the desk and when you assemble it, you can pick either side to put the control panel on.
00:15:16 ◼ ► You have to be in the union to assemble the desk in the working world. Sorry, you can't assemble the desk yourself. No, I would go in there and off hours with I bring my power drill and stuff and just like when no one's in the office, I'd just be under there. You know, I mounted my own keyboard tray in a succession of desks by drilling the holes myself when nobody was in the office. I just thought about that the other day. What are my desk is like, I think I left a pair of my headphones. I think I left the pair of phones that you gave me as a present at one point. I think those are still in the office.
00:15:43 ◼ ► You should go back and claim them. Speaking of what headphones are you using tonight? Still the old ones I have I got I didn't place some orders for new pads. One of the orders came not the one not the real one that I eventually got the right one the marker recommended.
00:15:58 ◼ ► I messed this up. This is my fault. So when I when I was speaking in the episode, I gave the part number for the good pads as EDT 1770. It's actually EDT 1770 D. I gave the right one in the show notes. I caught this error like as I was running this as I was checking the show notes and I corrected it in the show notes, but the audio so like the number I said out loud was wrong. So sorry, anybody ordered the wrong one. Hopefully me. Yeah, John was one of those people. So yeah, I owe john like 36 euros.
00:16:25 ◼ ► Yeah, well anyway, I ordered the right one. Who knows what's gonna come because that a stock but I also ordered like a knockoff. It's like fake leather plus memory foam. And they're not really the right size for the 1770s. But they fit because you know, these things are loosey goosey, you know, so I put them on today. I'm not sure if I'm gonna switch over to them still wearing the old ones for now, but they're, they're ready to go. Maybe I'll try them out next episode. We'll see.
00:16:49 ◼ ► We should start with a final check on what the status is with the St. Jude fundraiser. And if you recall, we've been talking about this all month because September is childhood cancer awareness month as we record it is still strictly speaking September for another couple of hours. So hey, if you wanted to just eat in right at the nick of time, feel free to go to st. Jude.org slash ATP. But I wanted to genuinely thank everyone for having sent so much money
00:17:18 ◼ ► to St. Jude. It is really incredible how much money they and we raised. And the original goal was $315,000, which is not something to shake your stick out. That's a serious amount of money. And as of 9/18 in the evening, tonight, which is Wednesday, the 30th of September, $445,975.03, which is ridiculous.
00:17:47 ◼ ► I am extremely proud of the ATP and relay communities. Thank you to anyone who has donated. It is worth noting that I did. We do we still have the new leader on the leaderboard as far as I'm aware, the very large leader. Yes. So someone who wrote their name as for Evelyn, I am not kidding. As of the time we are recording anyway, we believe this to be valid donated $50,000, which is absurd and incredible. And oh, my goodness.
00:18:15 ◼ ► So if you happen to be that person and want to send me a receipt, I will send you stickers and something else. I don't even know what, but I'll find something and send it your way. And to be clear, we don't actually know if this was an ATP listener or a relay listener. Yeah, they didn't they didn't use an asterisk, which from this point forward will be the way that people indicate.
00:18:34 ◼ ► No asterisk in the name makes us assume that maybe it's just a very generous person who came in through the main relay fund drive. But if by chance you are an ATP listener and you want some stickers, $50,000 will do it. That is that is the low low cost of a handful of ATP stickers. Do you think maybe maybe that might buy two handfuls? Maybe Yeah, actually, we can we can probably arrange that. But But really, thank you to everyone who donated. We all all three of us and the broader, you know, relay community all really, really, really appreciate it.
00:19:03 ◼ ► And it is very kind of you. And we will stop badgering about badgering you about this until next year. See you next year. 500k next year. We're gonna do it. We can do it. All right. Anonymous writes in on some thoughts with regard to Sony's digital versus plastic disc profits. John, take it away.
00:19:19 ◼ ► This is in regards to discussion the past couple weeks about digital versus optical disc games and the different profits that the game makers and Sony may or may not make depending on what the retailer cut and the different prices of the consoles and all that good stuff. This is Yeah, this is an anonymous source who presumably would know. The source says, when developers press optical discs, Sony makes them use its own factories and pay for shipping, paper printing, etc. So all the overhead gets paid for by the game.
00:19:48 ◼ ► So all the overhead gets passed on to the developers. After that digital or disc Sony still gets 30%. This reminds me of the old cartridge days when Nintendo would always make you pay for Nintendo to manufacture the cartridge for you. So they got some profit margin on the manufacturing of the game, then they sold the game. And then they got some margin on that because you have to pay Nintendo's percentage of your game sales. So this is saying is that Sony makes you use Sony factories to make the optical discs. And of course, Sony gets a profit on that they don't do it for you at cost.
00:20:17 ◼ ► Which potentially makes the disc games more profitable than digital. And this person is also saying that whether it's digital or not, Sony still takes 30%. And so I guess it's just the developer and the retailer fighting it out for the remaining 70%.
00:20:33 ◼ ► So it's not entirely clear, at least in the case of Sony who presumably has large factories that make optical discs, whether or not digital is actually more profitable for Sony than the plastic versions.
00:20:47 ◼ ► It also sounds a lot like the record business. Back in the awful peak of it in the 90s where they just, I don't know if they still do this, I assume they do, but it's just less relevant now. But all the things they would charge the bands for, like producing the CDs and everything, they really would just destroy, just screw the bands over at every possible angle. This sounds a lot like that.
00:21:09 ◼ ► And I don't think this is exclusive to Sony. I think this kind of thing has always been commonplace in the game industry, like in the game console industry. But yeah, it just seems like they just screwed the developer at every possible opportunity.
00:21:23 ◼ ► The difference is in this case that Sony legitimately has a reason to own optical disc factories. I'm certain in Microsoft's case they would say, "Oh, well, Microsoft has to pay someone to make optical discs," and then they pass that cost on to the developer. But in this case, Sony already has factories making optical discs for its other businesses. And so it's like, "Look, we already own the factory, so we're going to make our profit the way we..."
00:21:47 ◼ ► I think the person who sent this tip described it as Sony getting its customers to pay to keep the lights on in its factories, because if someone is manufacturing optical discs, then those factories are not making any money, and optical discs are going to become much less popular, the one place they're still kind of hanging on.
00:22:05 ◼ ► They're pretty much out of favor in music, but in video games, it's kind of their last stronghold, although obviously that's slowly shifting to digital.
00:22:17 ◼ ► No, no, you've got to skip back on it. I figured you'd look back, but you didn't. You skipped on Shorty, right above the Dave Mays thing.
00:22:34 ◼ ► I guess I did. So, here we go. The etymology, is that the word I'm looking for? The history of this is that I can't swear like a sailor in front of my children, even though that's my natural state of being.
00:22:46 ◼ ► And so, Aaron and I both, I don't know which one of us came up with this first, but we started saying fluffernutters, which I think is actually a sandwich, if I'm not mistaken.
00:22:55 ◼ ► It sounds vaguely like a f***. It has that nice satisfying F in the beginning. And so we would say, "Oh, fluffernutters!" And that would be kid-friendly. And then that got shortened to, "Oh, fluffers."
00:23:06 ◼ ► Which is not as kid-friendly, but the kids don't know that, and apparently neither do you and Aaron.
00:23:16 ◼ ► And other possible alternatives that I think are more widely popular than fluffers would be Frack from Ballistoc Galactica, which I think you know, right? Or Fuddruckers, the restaurant.
00:23:29 ◼ ► Actually, fun fact. Marco, I don't know if you recall, but that barbecue place we took you to with that huge-ass fan in the ceiling, that actually used to be a Fuddruckers.
00:23:50 ◼ ► Oh, fluffer, right. Oh, right, right. I saw the Wikipedia link, and when it was not pluralized, I realized the error in my ways. Right. Well, here we are.
00:24:02 ◼ ► We are sponsored this week by Customer.io. Are you ready to supercharge your marketing tech stack?
00:24:09 ◼ ► Tech-savvy marketers choose Customer.io for their email marketing and automations for its simple API and easy-to-use interface.
00:24:16 ◼ ► Using its segmentation engine, you can target your audience by who they are, what they do, always updated in real time.
00:24:23 ◼ ► You can automate your emails, notifications, text messages, even direct mail. Any kind of crazy campaign you have in mind is possible with Customer.io.
00:24:32 ◼ ► And if you're trying to stitch data together between different systems, Customer.io's workflow and webhooks action can automate any operational headache you might have.
00:24:40 ◼ ► You can stand out to your users by sending smarter, better-timed, and more personalized messages that show your brand in the best possible light.
00:24:49 ◼ ► And with industry-leading customer support, if you need it, you will have dependable help right there whenever you need to.
00:24:55 ◼ ► So go to Customer.io/ATP to schedule a personalized demo to see how you can improve your messaging.
00:25:04 ◼ ► Be sure to mention that you heard about Customer.io from Accidental Tech Podcast, so you can go from your first campaign to your best campaign faster with Customer.io.
00:25:24 ◼ ► So we talked last week, maybe the week before, about how Apple had the very curious policy of you needing to return the entire watch and band combination if you have a poorly fitting solo loop.
00:25:36 ◼ ► And after quite a bit of outcry, which was to be expected, hey, guess what? They changed their minds on that.
00:25:42 ◼ ► And so now you can actually return just the band and not the entire watch band combination.
00:25:48 ◼ ► I haven't seen anything personally about the mechanisms by which this happens, particularly via mail, but supposedly it is a thing that you can do now.
00:25:56 ◼ ► Yeah, this is good. I'm very glad they fixed this. It is kind of weird that it ever happened in the first place.
00:26:07 ◼ ► Because it's common sense that when you sell a fixed length band as part of a non-separately returnable bundle with the watch, of course there's going to be a bunch of returns, especially in a year where it's really hard for a lot of people to go to stores.
00:26:21 ◼ ► This was kind of an unforced error, I think. They should have fixed this issue in their operations chain before they launched on afterwards.
00:26:29 ◼ ► But I'm very glad they fixed it. I don't know how easy it is to swap the bands. And a topic that we will get to in a little bit maybe is, so my son's Apple watch came, the SE that Reid decided to try.
00:26:42 ◼ ► And I will talk about that in a little bit. But basically, of course the band was one size too big.
00:26:47 ◼ ► And it turns out he actually likes wearing it loose, so we're wearing it that way anyway. And I ordered the smaller band to compare.
00:26:53 ◼ ► But I think the way that sizing tool was initially guiding us to use it, I think a lot of people ordered bands that were one or two sizes too big.
00:27:02 ◼ ► They must have been getting a ton of returns to deal with. And so it's good that they've made this process better.
00:27:09 ◼ ► Moving on, Google has announced their carbon-free plans. And they say, "As of today, we have eliminated Google's entire carbon legacy, covering all our operational emissions, before we became carbon neutral in 2007, through the purchase of high-quality carbon offsets.
00:27:25 ◼ ► This means that Google's lifetime net carbon footprint is now zero. We are pleased to be the first major company to get this done today.
00:27:30 ◼ ► Since 2017, we've been matching all of our annual electricity consumption with 100% renewable energy.
00:27:35 ◼ ► Now we're going even further. By 2030, Google is aiming to run our business on carbon-free energy everywhere at all times.
00:27:42 ◼ ► That's pretty good stuff. That is actually not evil. Who knew? They still do not evil things from time to time.
00:27:48 ◼ ► Nice to see companies competing to be the more green, the more environmentally friendly.
00:27:55 ◼ ► I thought Google had an interesting idea. Because they're such a young company, relatively speaking, they can essentially afford to do this, which is erasing their past debt.
00:28:03 ◼ ► Before they were concerned about this, let's erase all of that. Let's estimate how much carbon we used for the entire life of the company before we started caring about this.
00:28:13 ◼ ► Apple for Apple would be harder, because they started in the 70s. And even just calculating what their carbon usage was would be difficult.
00:28:20 ◼ ► I think Apple's still going farther because they're trying to weave it through their whole supply chain.
00:28:23 ◼ ► Although, Google itself has less of a supply chain than Apple, because they don't manufacture quite as much hardware as Apple does through third parties or whatever.
00:28:31 ◼ ► But yeah, it's good stuff. I like to see it. And dueling press releases and dueling multi-decade strategies to be more environmentally friendly gets a thumbs up from me.
00:28:51 ◼ ► This is a series of follow-up items that have been in the notes for a while. The theme of all of these is related to the Apple Epic struggle, but it's like secondary and tertiary effects.
00:29:04 ◼ ► Setting aside Apple fighting with Epic and doing all their things, which continues to rumble on, what's going on in the rest of the industry related to this?
00:29:11 ◼ ► This first one, it's from many weeks ago, is about Unity. Unity is a competing 3D engine. It's like Unreal Engine, but from a different company.
00:29:19 ◼ ► It's cross-platform. Many games on iOS and many other platforms are built based on Unity.
00:29:25 ◼ ► And they are filing, the company that makes it is filing for an IPO. And one of the, I don't know the details of this, but I've seen enough IPOs.
00:29:30 ◼ ► And one of the things you do, and not just an IPO, but I think in general is like, you have to write up a document that describes to potential investors what things, what are the things that threaten your business.
00:29:43 ◼ ► And it seems to me that in this strange twist of the normal stuff in business where you just constantly try to make your company seem awesome to investors to get people to invest in everything.
00:29:53 ◼ ► Whatever the laws are around this require you to be honest. And it's like an insurance type thing, not literally, but like you never want someone later to say, "Hey, I invested in your company and you didn't tell me that this bad thing could happen. Therefore I'm suing you."
00:30:08 ◼ ► So companies are like painfully honest in these documents because they want to list everything bad that can happen. A volcano could erupt. Aliens could invade.
00:30:17 ◼ ► It's just so that shareholders can't come back and say, "You never told us this could happen. Look at the document. Here it is. Aliens, we told you. It was a potential threat. You invested anyway. So tough luck."
00:30:26 ◼ ► And it seems like the entire investor community in the world has accepted, "Yeah, whenever anyone files for an IPO or files this document, of course if you look at the threats it's going to look like this company is doomed. Look at all these bad things that can happen to the company.
00:30:38 ◼ ► They're so vulnerable." And it's just like they've all agreed, "Yeah, yeah, yeah, okay. We know that you're going to list all this stuff. We know you're going to, but it doesn't scare me away. I'm still going to invest."
00:30:59 ◼ ► So the twist on the usual threats that they put in there from competitors and so on and so forth is listed in Unity's IPO and I imagine it may be soon listed in lots of the companies' IPOs.
00:31:09 ◼ ► It's just basically a warning that a lot of Unity's business relies on people using their product to sell applications through app stores.
00:31:17 ◼ ► And in the typical sort of cold-blooded language of these documents, I thought it was a great encapsulation of the threats posed by app stores to other companies.
00:31:27 ◼ ► I'll read some portions of it here. "Operating system platform providers or application stores may change terms of service policies or technical requirements which could adversely impact our business." Yep, totally.
00:31:37 ◼ ► "If our customers were to violate or an operating system platform or application store believes that our customers have violated its terms or policies, that operating system platform provider or application store could limit or discontinue our customers' access to its platform.
00:31:50 ◼ ► In some cases, these requirements may not be clear or our interpretation of these requirements may not align with the interpretation of the operating system platform provider or application store, which could lead to inconsistent enforcement of these terms of service and policies against us or our customers and could also result in the operating system platform provider or application store limiting or discontinuing access to its platform store."
00:32:08 ◼ ► There's lots of long sort of multi-word phrases there to say app store, but like, yep, you pretty much nailed it. Like that's the environment into which everyone is trying to sell their applications.
00:32:21 ◼ ► Like basically the app stores control the platforms and if you are going to try to ride that bear in any possible way, the bear is going to try to potentially buck you off and it could bite you and it might not even notice you.
00:32:32 ◼ ► And you might just get, you know, I'm straining this analogy. This is from Steve Ballmer's ride the bear analogy from Microsoft and IBM way back in the day.
00:32:39 ◼ ► Anyway, this, I can't imagine any company filing for an IPO these days having anything to do with app store, not having a section like this in a risk section.
00:32:50 ◼ ► I think this would be a great thing to bring out in some case in the future about like, or trying to persuade Congress to apply regulation to app stores or whatever to say, "Here's a demonstration of how much power app stores have.
00:33:04 ◼ ► Now when companies try to go public, all of them list the threat of app stores as a thing that could just be business ending for them because of the power that these app stores wield or whatever."
00:33:14 ◼ ► And that can't be good. Like overall for, you know, humanity, business, you know, economies like that, to have like more massive risk factors like that can't be a good thing.
00:33:28 ◼ ► Yeah, I mean, like I said, these documents always list like everything and they always make it seem dire, but I just thought it was, you know, if you tighten up the verbiage surrounding the, you know, the, what is it called, what is it called, platform providers or application stores, if you squish that down to app stores or if you just squish it further down to Apple or Google, it's very, it's a very straightforward, laurely explanation of the reality that we all face.
00:33:52 ◼ ► Do you think this is just like a blip in computing history? Do you think, I mean, obviously, you know, whatever you can call it, like a 12 year period blip, but like, do you think, say in 10 years from now, that the dominant computing platforms will have these locked down, like single gatekeeper app store kind of situations? Or do you think this will be, you know, kind of partially torn down or completely torn down by then?
00:34:16 ◼ ► I feel like that most industries, what you see is a sort of Cambrian explosion of activity and then consolidation. And I guess you could have a re-explosion if there's technological change, but it's tricky.
00:34:33 ◼ ► I mean, the one I always think of and the one you always see charts about is the auto industry. There used to be tons of car companies and then there were not tons of car companies because most of them went out of business and got bought or consolidated.
00:34:44 ◼ ► And now sort of with the change in tech, you're like, well, electric cars, is there going to be like an explosion in new car companies? Not really. I mean, it just like seeing one new car company like Tesla is like, wow, I can't believe that happened.
00:34:56 ◼ ► But so I think the same thing with computer companies used to be way more computer companies and way more platforms. And there was consolidation. I'm not sure if you how you get the next next explosion in that specific type of business, right?
00:35:11 ◼ ► You can have an explosion in tech companies. I think we've seen an explosion in tech companies, but platforms haven't really exploded. Even mobile. I guess you had a brief period where there was like Web OS and Blackberry or whatever. But then again, consolidation.
00:35:23 ◼ ► So and with app stores, they sort of got it. They were pre-consolidated because you need a platform to have an app store already. So they piggybacked on existing platforms.
00:35:34 ◼ ► I think it's one of those things where regulation could help with this. But the only I think we will eventually see a diversification, but not a diversification of things that look exactly like the app store.
00:35:46 ◼ ► Diversification in how digital products are sold and distributed, sure. But specifically app stores, specifically for mobile devices, there's not going to be like a third one. And I don't think either one of the two parties are going to give up much control without government regulation.
00:36:06 ◼ ► So I think it'll just be like, well, I remember when we used to all buy music from iTunes and now we all use streaming services, right? It'll be like, well, remember when we used to all buy apps from the app store and now we use InsertThingX that I don't know what it is, like, you know, some future unforeseen thing.
00:36:19 ◼ ► I think it has to be a new, a slightly new type of thing in the same way that, you know, streaming services are not, it's just digital music, right? But it's different enough that the players changed around a little bit.
00:36:31 ◼ ► And there was a little, there's a little bit more openness there and competing streaming services versus everybody buying from iTunes, you know, and you know, having Amazon and so on and so forth come in late in the game. So.
00:36:42 ◼ ► And speaking of gatekeeping and things of that nature, news publishers, including the Wall Street Journal, are joining the attack on the app store and ask for Apple's cut to be halved. Surprise, surprise.
00:36:53 ◼ ► Yeah, this is another older story, but it was like when the, another side effect of Apple versus Epic, other companies smell blood in the water. Like when Apple is weakened slash distracted.
00:37:03 ◼ ► Now, if you're part of Apple news, plus, hey, we don't like our deal either. We'd like to get more money and you have less money, Apple, right? Sure. Why not pile on? I mean, I don't know if it'll work out for everybody, but as soon as there's any perceived weakness, it's time to perhaps try to renegotiate with Apple.
00:37:21 ◼ ► Again, this was, this was about a month ago, more than a month ago at this point. So I don't know how it turned out. Probably not well, but people are going to try.
00:37:29 ◼ ► And sort of kind of tangentially speaking of Apple blocked a Facebook update that called out the 30% app store quote unquote tax.
00:37:37 ◼ ► Apple blocked Facebook from informing users that Apple would collect 30% of in-app purchases made through a planned new feature, Facebook tells Reuters. Apple said the update violated an app store rule that doesn't let developers show quote irrelevant quote information to users.
00:37:51 ◼ ► And there's a screenshot here in the show notes, which hopefully we will put as maybe the chapter art or something. But it says there's a button that says purchase access for $9.99 and in small text beneath Apple takes 30% of this purchase. Learn more.
00:38:05 ◼ ► I thought this was interesting because I mean, on the one hand, you know, Facebook's doing this to be a jerk, right? Because they're sore about the 30% and they're, they're offering a price and they want, they want the customer to know you don't like this price.
00:38:20 ◼ ► Well, guess what? Apple's taken a 30% cut out of it. The implication being maybe it would be 30% lower if it wasn't for Apple. Who knows if it would. But anyway, but I think the interesting part of it is.
00:38:30 ◼ ► Like if you have a, if you have a business model of a business model for your digital thing that you don't like that, you don't want the user to know about like that you're kind of ashamed of like it's like they're calling it irrelevant.
00:38:47 ◼ ► There's no need for the customer. That's between you and me, the software developer, that's between Apple and the developer. The customer doesn't need to know about this at all. But this relationship between Apple and developer does affect the customer in profound ways in, in small ways in terms of what is the price of this specific purchase and in big ways in terms of what kind of applications will you ever see available on this platform.
00:39:07 ◼ ► And Apple saying Apple, like literally having a rule or their interpretation of rule that says, don't tell users what's actually going on, even if it's the truth, like it's 100% truth you do in app purchase, Apple gets 30%. That is true.
00:39:20 ◼ ► Apple doesn't want you saying that to the user. And I'm not sure that's a particularly defensive defensible position, even though, like I said, Facebook's putting this text there to kind of be a jerk. And this is a battle of the titans, you know, between these two companies.
00:39:38 ◼ ► It seems like if Apple thought it had a system that really was good, like, hey, the App Store is great. Everybody loves it. Users, Apple and developers were all doing great. Putting the terms in while it may be quote unquote irrelevant or maybe too much information or maybe people don't care.
00:39:56 ◼ ► They wouldn't forbid it. It's like, yeah, you want to tell people what the deal is? Fine. Like the deal is the deal. What harm is there in users knowing this? And I think as I think as any of us who have ever had an app in the App Store know, customers, most people have no idea how the App Store works, nor should they really care.
00:40:11 ◼ ► The same way they don't know what percentage of their purchase price of groceries is going to a vendor and how much people pay to be put in end caps. Like, customers don't need to know that. In some ways, it is irrelevant. But like I said, in this specific instance of apps on the App Store, it is actually much more relevant to customers than perhaps the fees the grocery store charges to get your item somewhere other than the bottom shelf or whatever.
00:40:33 ◼ ► Yeah, I mean, in this case, it's complicated. First of all, like, it could have been a much more complicated situation than what Facebook reported here. Facebook is a terrible company run by a bunch of terrible people who lie constantly.
00:40:46 ◼ ► Facebook could be leaving out some really important information here that makes it a little bit less clear cut. That being said, if there is any kind of rule in Apple that does prohibit app developers from saying below the purchase button, "Apple takes 30% of this purchase," that is indeed a big problem.
00:41:06 ◼ ► I agree with John, that is not something that is a good look. However Apple chooses to coach the language around such a rule, of course it's going to be an unwritten rule, but if they say it's "irrelevant," that's not a meaningful term in app development.
00:41:22 ◼ ► Apps are filled with irrelevant information. How do you define what that even means? That doesn't mean anything. We shouldn't argue about what is relevant or irrelevant to users. That's what Apple wants us to do if they're really doing this.
00:41:36 ◼ ► But the reality is, Apple doesn't want developers to show users where the money goes. There's a huge "if" here. If this story is true, and if this is the whole story, and if Facebook didn't leave out massive information here. Those are big "ifs."
00:41:53 ◼ ► But I think this is a very likely thing. Knowing Apple and their attitude towards this. And I think you could kind of see it both ways. If you go to a store, the prices in a store don't say, "We take 40% of the price of this milk, and Verizon Farms gets 60%."
00:42:19 ◼ ► The store doesn't say that, and customers don't necessarily need to care. But I think the difference here, and why customers are so in the dark about this, is that when you are buying something in an app, it really seems like you are giving your money to the developer.
00:42:36 ◼ ► It doesn't seem like you're giving your money to Apple, and then they're going to give some of it to the developer. So if you're in a store, you know you're shopping in the store. You know that there is such a thing as a markup in the store. And you know that when you buy that gallon of Verizon milk, you know that the store is going to take some part of that.
00:42:55 ◼ ► It's very clear to you how that system works. Whereas in an app on your phone, people don't have that assumption, they don't have that expectation. They expect that when they are buying this thing, that that purchase price is going to the developer. Whatever that price is, it's going to the developer.
00:43:10 ◼ ► Or they assume it all goes to Apple, and a lot of people still think that Apple makes every app in the App Store. So there's that.
00:43:26 ◼ ► So the money goes to the developer, and whatever price they pay, that's the price the developer gets. You know the system has always been more complicated than that. There's always things like credit card fees, when any transaction, but I feel like the difference in magnitude matters here.
00:43:40 ◼ ► If you lose a few percent, like 3 to 5 percent for payment processing and weird tax things, fine. I would even say if you lose up to 10 percent for weird, maybe some kind of weird tax or currency conversion issues in addition, fine. But I don't think people would assume.
00:43:58 ◼ ► There's an in-app purchase button, and they want to give their money to somebody offering some cool thing in their app. I don't think people assume that Apple's taking a third of it. That's why I think this kind of language, if an app chooses to put this here, should be allowed.
00:44:15 ◼ ► And if there is indeed a rule written or not within Apple that says that you can't do this, that's a terrible rule and they should revoke that.
00:44:23 ◼ ► The thing that strikes me about this is, and granted I'm only looking at the image of the picture and the caption beneath, but this plays to me as though Facebook thinks that somebody's going to feel bad for Facebook, that Apple's taking 30 percent of this purchase.
00:44:40 ◼ ► Who's going to feel bad for Facebook in this? There must be. I would assume there are people that are Facebook superfans, in the same way that you could argue the three of us are superfans of Apple, but who are they?
00:44:53 ◼ ► Even the people that enjoy the social interaction that Facebook can provide, friends and family who really enjoy that sort of thing, I wouldn't say any of them are overly enthusiastic about Facebook themselves. I sort of get the play here, like, "Aw man, Apple's screwing us. They're taking 30 percent of this."
00:45:13 ◼ ► But your Facebook, grow up. Who cares if it was you, Marco, or me, or Underscore, or John. Okay, that's different. But it's frickin' Facebook. They print money. Who cares? Y'all get a grip.
00:45:30 ◼ ► Well, they're trying to turn customer sentiment against Apple, because that's part of it. Assuming this is a thing that is as described, it's to Facebook's advantage for people to be mad about the purchase price and to be mad at Apple.
00:45:43 ◼ ► Like, to think that, "Oh, if Apple didn't take that cut, this would be lower." And now Facebook is fomenting anti-Apple sentiment, which is why it's kind of a jerky thing to do, and why you can imagine Apple not particularly liking it.
00:45:55 ◼ ► I would still say, if the deal really is fair, and would seem fair to anyone you described it to, you wouldn't be ashamed of explaining it. It's kind of like when you went to the grocery store, they had a little sign next to the MasterCard thing that said, "MasterCard takes 1 percent of this transaction."
00:46:12 ◼ ► Every time you use a credit card, you have to pay X percent or X amount to MasterCard. Like Marco said, if they had that sign there in small prints underneath the little MasterCard symbol on the register, people might read it and go, "Huh."
00:46:26 ◼ ► But because it's a fraction of a percent or 1 or 2 percent or whatever it is, people would just say, "Oh, that's interesting. I didn't know that. But anyway, not a big deal."
00:46:34 ◼ ► But 30 percent is very different, and that would probably make people notice, especially if they didn't think about that before. They're like, "Really? 30 percent?" Of course, on the other hand, if people knew just how much the retailer takes for certain products, they'd also be amazed.
00:46:46 ◼ ► I think most people think the majority of the purchase price of their thing goes towards Nabisco or the dairy farm that sells the milk, where very often that is not the case, and the majority of the money goes to the retailer.
00:46:59 ◼ ► Who knows what people think about how the world works? It's not something that people should need to know. Sometimes there's just collateral damage in this war between titans.
00:47:08 ◼ ► But I still feel like if you had a deal that seems reasonable, like the credit card fee thing, people would be like, "Oh, well, I don't care. It's irrelevant to me, but it doesn't seem crazy."
00:47:18 ◼ ► If you told someone how credit card fees work, they might be surprised that retailers just have to eat that, and it might make them feel bad for using a credit card instead of cash, but that ship has long since sailed, and I think the entire economy has learned it's worth it for the convenience.
00:47:32 ◼ ► We will pay those fees because we know more people will shop at our store if we don't insist that everyone pay with cash, because it's more convenient.
00:47:39 ◼ ► That's why the credit card entry is as big as it is, and so I think everyone's willing to make that trade-off. It seems reasonable if you explain it.
00:47:49 ◼ ► So if people know about the app store deals, this is setting aside the stuff I said before, the big macro-level stuff.
00:47:55 ◼ ► And by the way, they also control the type of apps you're ever going to see because they decide what is allowed on the store. More on that later, possibly.
00:48:01 ◼ ► I think people wouldn't just go, "Huh." They'd be like, "Wow," and maybe they would take a note of that, and maybe if and when this comes up in the legislature for considering regulation, they'll remember seeing that little sign about Apple taking a 30% cut.
00:48:16 ◼ ► Or maybe they wouldn't care. Who knows? We're in such a developer-centric world view here that I honestly don't know how regular people would handicap these parties.
00:48:27 ◼ ► Because I think, Casey, you mentioned Facebook superfans or whatever, but I think in general, outside of the tech sphere, people like Facebook because you don't pay for Facebook. It's free.
00:48:38 ◼ ► And it's a thing that has positive connotations to a lot of people. They use it all the time. If you took it away from them, they'd be sad. And they never have to pay any money for it, so thumbs up.
00:48:46 ◼ ► And I think people in general like Apple, but I think people in general either don't think about developers or if you were to describe what a developer was, wouldn't like them. Because they'd be saying, "Oh, these people are getting rich selling fart apps," or whatever their notion is of what a developer is.
00:48:59 ◼ ► Their view of it is probably not accurate, and unlike Apple and Facebook, there is no sort of friendly public face that says "developer" that makes people have good feelings about it.
00:49:10 ◼ ► This reminds me of the times, and I can't think of anywhere it has happened recently, except maybe a gas station, when there'll be, and you've alluded to this, a cash price and a credit card price.
00:49:23 ◼ ► And the credit card price is like five tenths of a cent per gallon more or something like that. I forget exactly what it was. But you do see that from time to time.
00:49:32 ◼ ► And I agree with what you said, that convenience definitely trumps pretty much everything else. And so, God, I should really find a better turn of phrase for that. Convenience is more important to most people than anything else.
00:49:44 ◼ ► And so, yeah, I don't know. It's just crummy. And I think, like you said, we're so developer-centric because the three of us are developers and make at least some small portion of our living in the App Store.
00:49:59 ◼ ► And so we are very, very biased when it comes to this. But yeah, it feels like 10 plus years on, 30% might be a little bit preposterous.
00:50:07 ◼ ► Oh yeah. Well, and before we, to save us from a bit of follow-up here, if you want to run a store that accepts credit cards, the deal that you have to make with the credit card companies, I think almost always, this could be out of date information, but at least used to be this way, almost always prevents you from requiring credit card minimums or charging a different price for credit cards than for other customers.
00:50:28 ◼ ► Almost always, the merchants demand that from the terms. Now, that being said, many smaller stores just ignore that and they can usually get away with it because I don't think enforcement on little mom and pop places is very strong.
00:50:41 ◼ ► But that's why the big chains, that's why you can go to Starbucks and charge a $1.50 cup of terrible coffee.
00:50:48 ◼ ► Starbucks knows the deal they make with Visa, MasterCard, American Express, whatever, precludes them from charging different prices to credit card customers. And I don't know, maybe the big gas chains might negotiate things differently because gas is such a weird thing with weird margins and everything.
00:51:03 ◼ ► But for the most part, most stores aren't actually allowed to charge different rates. So that's worth knowing in that argument and in its analogy.
00:51:17 ◼ ► I would also say once you know how this kind of stuff works, your behavior might change. Once I learned how much worse it is, for instance, for the wait staff at restaurants to have credit card tips versus cash tips.
00:51:33 ◼ ► And once you learn how much their income depends on tips as well, I started doing cash tips whenever I can. Like if I'm at a restaurant, if I have enough cash to pay the tip in cash, I will try to do that.
00:51:47 ◼ ► And I started carrying cash to restaurants for that purpose if I have enough because it's a small difference for me. Oh no, I'm not going to get the 1% reward on my card for that portion of the bill.
00:52:00 ◼ ► But it's a huge difference for them. And so when you learn that kind of thing, you might change your behavior.
00:52:08 ◼ ► So I don't think it's unreasonable for an Apple like Facebook to attempt to tell people, as evil as Facebook is, to attempt to tell people Apple is taking 30% of this purchase.
00:52:18 ◼ ► That being said, there is another side of this, I know we're going along on this, sorry, but there is another side of this of like, what do you expect users to do when there is no other choice?
00:52:27 ◼ ► You know, like, okay, Apple takes 30% of this purchase, but there's not a button right below it that says, "Purchase it through us," you know, so we don't have this problem because there can't be because Apple prohibits that.
00:52:37 ◼ ► So like, when there's no alternative, when there's no way for people to change their behavior, I can kind of see why Apple would say, "Well, it's irrelevant then." That's not a good reason.
00:52:50 ◼ ► Well, like I said, they're trying to change sentiment. And it's kind of the same example as you giving the cash tip. Like, so you have an alternative, which is I can change my individual behavior in a way that mitigates this somewhat, which is exactly what you just described.
00:53:03 ◼ ► But there is another alternative. You know, in the case of Apple, there's no individual thing that you can do, but there is a collective thing in both cases that can be done. The collective thing in your case would be to vote for people who are going to vote for a much higher untipped minimum wage, you know, or no distinction between tip versus untipped minimum wage to get rid of or change the terrible system we have in the United States.
00:53:25 ◼ ► And these are terrible systems for a lot of things, by the way, high people who are not in the US. One of them is tipped workers and that whole scam where you can pay them ridiculously low wage and expect them to make it up in tips, which is, you know, anyway.
00:53:37 ◼ ► Collective action. All of us can vote for people who will make laws to change that such that these people don't have to rely so heavily on tips such that, you know, like the individual action of you tipping cash is good, but the collective action of us changing the law surrounding that is better.
00:53:53 ◼ ► And so what I think Facebook is hoping for is, well, there's no individual action you can do, but we want to move your sentiment so that the collective action that somehow we will get behind is all these app stores. They need to be regulated. Let's make laws that change what they're allowed to do.
00:54:06 ◼ ► Yeah, that's fair. And I would say just in general to wrap this up. It's a really like dirty scummy thing. I think anytime Apple has a rule about the app store that precludes app developers from telling the user what's going on, like why things are the way they are or why they can't do something.
00:54:28 ◼ ► Like that's one of the reasons why the rule about in-app purchases I think is so sinister. Like the part that you can't even tell people why they can't sign up in your app, like that to me is incredibly problematic and just a sleazy thing to do that is beneath the ethics that a company like Apple purports to have in other areas.
00:54:49 ◼ ► Anything where they're literally restricting what you can tell your users about material things that matter in the context of an app, those kind of rules should not stand.
00:55:01 ◼ ► Yeah, like any kind of rule that says you can't say mean things about Apple, that seems kind of bad because you're like, oh really, I can't say mean things about you. It's like, well, okay.
00:55:14 ◼ ► I'm dividing into two things. I'm saying like if they said you can't say mean things about Apple, well, you know, it's their store and of all the things that you have to comply with, that's fine.
00:55:23 ◼ ► But the next level is you can't say the truth in a neutral way. You can't literally explain what's going on in many aspects. You just mentioned, you can't explain to people why they can't sign up.
00:55:34 ◼ ► It's the truth. You could explain it like what if I just explained it dispassionately and without saying Apple is a meanie, but they're like, no, you can't tell people what's going on.
00:55:44 ◼ ► And anytime, like it's bad enough when someone says you can't criticize, again, they're not the government, so this is not a free speech issue, but it makes you feel bad about it.
00:55:51 ◼ ► It makes you feel like, okay, well, they really got me under their thumb. I can't say anything mean about them.
00:55:55 ◼ ► But then saying, also, you can't tell people the truth, even if you do it in a way that is entirely neutral, even if you do it in a way that is glowing.
00:56:01 ◼ ► We love Apple. We love giving them 30%. Nope, Apple says just don't, please don't tell people what's going on. It's irrelevant to them.
00:56:08 ◼ ► So I think a way to perhaps understand Apple and other companies, and this was written to us with regard to Apple and Epic, but I think it's true of pretty much every company.
00:56:19 ◼ ► And I try to remind myself of this regularly, particularly when it comes to Apple, but I often forget it.
00:56:24 ◼ ► And Paul Rippey wrote in and had what I thought was a really clear distillation of motivations of businesses.
00:56:31 ◼ ► And so Paul wrote, "Both companies are doing what they owe it to their shareholders to do, trying to maximize profits.
00:56:38 ◼ ► Apple has me," says Paul, "personally locked in, even though my handcuffs chafe sometimes.
00:56:49 ◼ ► At least in some middle schools, kids who play the free version of Fortnite without buying costumes are teased and called defaults.
00:56:55 ◼ ► Ew, gross, Tommy's a default. Like they're wearing the wrong kind of shoes or something.
00:56:59 ◼ ► Apple and Epic aren't bad any more than a lion who kills an antelope is bad. They're just doing what their nature has them do."
00:57:06 ◼ ► Which is obvious for sure, but I think it's something that I at least could use a reminder of from time to time.
00:57:22 ◼ ► Listen, kids since time immemorial have been making fun of other kids for not having the things that the rich kids have.
00:57:33 ◼ ► It's not a thing that we should accept as a status quo, as I hope we haven't accepted many things that were normal for us as kids as a status quo.
00:57:40 ◼ ► In the same way, sort of abdicating responsibility by saying corporations owe it to their shareholders to do this, therefore they must.
00:57:48 ◼ ► That's not true. That is a thing that you can choose to accept as a form of fatalism, but companies are just made up of people.
00:57:56 ◼ ► And there is no privilege that shareholders have to get profit in a specific way, first of all.
00:58:01 ◼ ► And second of all, I don't even accept the premise that doing things that seem bad or mean or greedy are actually the way to increase shareholder value.
00:58:10 ◼ ► Again, Apple itself has made this argument many times. They've made it in words and they made it in deeds.
00:58:15 ◼ ► How do you become Apple? Do you do it by doing the most greedy thing possible all the time?
00:58:23 ◼ ► So it's a small-minded view to think, "Oh, well, they're doing this thing that seems mean, but, well, they owe it to shareholders."
00:58:31 ◼ ► I don't think, like, you're assuming that this thing that they're doing that you don't like actually does benefit shareholders more than doing something that would be nicer.
00:58:39 ◼ ► I don't think that's true. And second of all, even if it was true, companies are not this abstract entity that acts without thinking.
00:58:50 ◼ ► They are groups of people. There is nothing stopping them from choosing to do something that is the right thing to do because it's the right thing to do.
00:58:58 ◼ ► Again, as embodied by Apple in many instances, if not necessarily the ones that we're talking about.
00:59:03 ◼ ► So I reject this whole thing. I hate it when people say, "Oh, companies have to do it. They have to make profit. They have to extract value. They have to enslave us in these work camps. It's just what companies have to do."
00:59:14 ◼ ► Oh, I guess you're right. They do have to do that. You can't blame them for doing it. They're just companies. Nope. Nope. I absolutely can blame them.
00:59:21 ◼ ► It's not what they have to do. And also, on top of all that, it's probably not even what they should do if they want to make the most money.
00:59:27 ◼ ► I understand what you're saying, but, I mean, at some point, the buck always has to stop somewhere.
00:59:37 ◼ ► And what you're saying to me is that the buck does not stop with the shareholder. And I don't think any companies operate that way. Any reasonably large companies operate that way.
00:59:53 ◼ ► If left to their own devices, these companies will destroy the earth and externalize all losses and internalize all gains to benefit a tiny minority if not constrained by the laws that we collectively as a people impose upon them.
01:00:06 ◼ ► And that is probably true, but it is not something that I accept and excuse and say, "Yep, sure, totally. That's how the way the world has to work." No.
01:00:13 ◼ ► No, it's not the way the world has to work. And it's not the way the world should work.
01:00:17 ◼ ► And, like I said, I don't think it's a Pollyanna-ish or something because I think you can make more money by doing the right thing and making good products and not being super greedy.
01:00:26 ◼ ► And I think Apple has actually shown that in many instances to get it to the point where it is because it has done many things that seem, from a bean-counter micro perspective, to be the wrong move.
01:00:41 ◼ ► But if that were the case, then Elon, the savior of all mankind, should be doing so much more to give Tesla technology to other companies, right?
01:00:51 ◼ ► Because if he is really as benevolent as everyone seems to think he is, then he would be giving all of this information away, and he's not.
01:00:58 ◼ ► I mean, it's not saying that you have to just be entirely selfless and give away everything. That is obviously not the greatest strategy.
01:01:05 ◼ ► We're just choosing between the greediest possible thing you can do and something that is slightly more magnanimous.
01:01:11 ◼ ► And people are arguing what—it's such a cynical argument to say, "Well, they could do the ever so slightly more magnanimous thing, but they owe it to the shareholders to be assholes." And they don't.
01:01:20 ◼ ► There's nothing making that so. They are choosing to do it, and we could rightly call them assholes for choosing to do it, but there is no force of nature demanding that they do it.
01:01:30 ◼ ► It's such a cynical view to think that's just—they're just going to do what they're going to do, and there's nothing we can do about it, and we should accept it as the way things are.
01:01:38 ◼ ► No, that's the reason we make laws regulating companies, so that the worst angels, the devils, the worst aspects of humanity are not allowed to have free reign over our entire society.
01:01:52 ◼ ► That's why we make these laws, and in the best cases, in the most successful companies, they are able to sort of restrain themselves from doing the worst possible thing that has the most short-term gain for them specifically.
01:02:06 ◼ ► In general, we demonize companies that do that, at least over the long arc of history. We say, "Well, this company did the sleaziest things possible and filled the water with mercury and made all this money briefly so one big fat cat rich white guy could retire a gazillionaire and then die, but they poisoned an entire town."
01:02:26 ◼ ► In general, we frown upon that, even though in the short term, well, they had to do that to maximize profits. There was no law against putting mercury in that stream. Nope, don't accept it.
01:02:34 ◼ ► We are sponsored this week by ExpressVPN. Now ExpressVPN is a wonderful service if you need a VPN. There's lots of different reasons you might need one.
01:02:44 ◼ ► One of the big ones that people use these for is that it lets you access the internet as if you're in a different country than where you actually are.
01:02:52 ◼ ► So for instance, you can have video streaming services like Netflix, for instance. They have different shows and movies available depending on where you are.
01:02:58 ◼ ► This is actually one of the most recent times I've used ExpressVPN was when I was traveling back when that was a thing and I was able to view my US Netflix account while I was traveling in Mexico.
01:03:09 ◼ ► Because it's a different country, they have different things and we weren't able to watch the show we were watching. We were in the middle of watching Frasier and we weren't able to get to it when we were there because we were out of our country.
01:03:18 ◼ ► But we were able to use ExpressVPN to kind of teleport ourselves back into our country as far as they were concerned and watch the same series we were watching at home even when we were out of the country.
01:03:28 ◼ ► You can do all sorts of things with VPNs and there's hundreds of them out there but ExpressVPN is great. It is ridiculously fast. You can stream video over it in HD quality with zero delay, no extra buffering.
01:03:41 ◼ ► I was shocked how well this worked. Honestly, you couldn't even tell that we were bouncing our traffic through the US. I was shocked it worked as well as it did.
01:03:50 ◼ ► There was literally no perceivable difference on my laptop. You can use ExpressVPN on lots of different devices. They have phones, laptops, tablets, even your TV.
01:04:00 ◼ ► It works with many streaming services. I went to Netflix. They also tested against Amazon Prime, BBC iPlayer, YouTube and many more. You can choose from almost 100 different countries and it's super easy to use.
01:04:11 ◼ ► You just launch the ExpressVPN app, change your location, hit connect and then refresh whatever you're watching and it just works.
01:04:18 ◼ ► It's so simple. See for yourself at ExpressVPN.com/ATP and you can get an extra three months free when you sign up for a one-year package. Once again, ExpressVPN.com/ATP for an extra three months for free.
01:04:40 ◼ ► So, one of the new things from the Apple Watch event from a couple of weeks back is Apple announced Family Setup. The idea here is that until now, every Apple Watch was required to be paired with an iPhone. Not an iPad, an iPhone.
01:04:57 ◼ ► And now, you can set up an Apple Watch for someone else in your family who does not have their own iPhone and it has to be cellular and once you do this, it gets its own phone number similar to the other cellular Apple Watches with the whole number sync system thing.
01:05:13 ◼ ► But it's its own phone number. You can call it directly. It doesn't ring with yours. So, it's kind of its own independent cellular device but without having a phone and then you can use it as any other family device.
01:05:27 ◼ ► So, you can see the person's location, if they share it with you. You can enforce screen time limits. There's a new feature called School Time that basically locks down all the distracting features of the watch during the hours you set if they want to wear it to school.
01:05:41 ◼ ► We've actually been kind of on the edge of wanting to get our son some kind of cellular device so that we could see where he is because in our current situation, he's doing a lot of like going to the playground by himself and stuff like that.
01:05:58 ◼ ► Or maybe going to a friend's house after school. So, we wanted to give him some kind of way that we could see his location if we need to and that he could call us or we could call him or something in an emergency or to see what was going on.
01:06:15 ◼ ► And he's still a little small and a little young we thought for a phone. We didn't really want to get him a phone. Some of the kids in his class actually already have phones but we didn't want to go there yet.
01:06:28 ◼ ► I don't know or care what everyone else's thoughts are about what's too young for phones. This is, sorry for everyone who has different opinions. This is just our needs here and our thoughts here.
01:06:40 ◼ ► Anyway, so this seemed like a perfect arrangement where an Apple Watch that is an inexpensive model, hence the new SE, or even like an old used one of the old ones if we had it but unfortunately we didn't have any aluminum ones that had cellular.
01:06:58 ◼ ► So we went with an SE, you know the nice base model SE1 but with cellular and funnily enough now my son wears the same size watch as I do, the 40 millimeter.
01:07:10 ◼ ► Got him a size 2 of the new rubber strap thing although size 1 is probably going to be the more appropriate size. I'm waiting for that to arrive in a few weeks.
01:07:19 ◼ ► But 2 is loose but it works. Today was the first day of wearing it fully, like for the whole day including going to school with it. Then after school sure enough we were able to send him off to the playground by himself and he was able to come back.
01:07:34 ◼ ► And for anybody who thinks that we're monsters it's a different situation where we live. It's fine. Everyone here does this.
01:07:40 ◼ ► Anyway, so the overall experience of it was surprisingly good. You would expect something like this from Apple that's like a brand new feature that involves like coordinating multiple services, multiple devices, different iCloud accounts, the carrier accounts.
01:07:57 ◼ ► You would expect a lot of rough edges and a lot of things that are broken or don't work well. And largely it was great. So first of all, 2 things have gone very well for me this year with this upgrade cycle. Number 1, I was able to successfully transfer when I got my new Series 6.
01:08:15 ◼ ► I was able to transfer through the regular process my cellular service from my old watch to my new watch. That has literally never worked before. This year for some reason it worked. I'm very happy about that because that saved me from dealing with AT&T's weird chat assistance.
01:08:31 ◼ ► So that was wonderful. And then when it came time to set up Adam's family setup watch, with the exception of one unlabeled button, I took a screenshot, I'm going to get the chapter art. There's like a family setup screen and there's like an unlabeled localized string missing thing where it has a little privacy people shaking hands icon and under it in all caps it says "button_title_wifi".
01:09:00 ◼ ► So besides that one missing localized string, everything else about it actually worked very smoothly. I was shocked. Again, I hit very few rough edges. The only little snags where I had trouble figuring out how do I get his contacts or how do I add myself to his contacts and everything.
01:09:22 ◼ ► And then how do I get his location to show up in our Find My app as the watch's location. It turned out I had to go adjust settings. He'd already had an iPad with his own iCloud account. He's in our family account.
01:09:39 ◼ ► And we had screen time restrictions set up for him, including not only hours of use, but things like privacy settings. Everything that used to be parental controls is now under screen time. So we had to actually go into the screen time settings on our devices, managing his settings, to enable location services at all.
01:10:02 ◼ ► And then to enable him to share his location. And then we could see him in our family group. But before he had the permission to share his location, that didn't work. And that was a weird thing to have to find, but I eventually found it. But besides that, it has worked very well.
01:10:21 ◼ ► My only concern remains battery life. Oh, there's another funny feature. So the school time feature is interesting. Let me go into that for a second here. I actually forgot about this. But they have this feature called school time where you can set during certain hours. It basically locks out the watch from doing anything that might distract the kids in school for the most part.
01:10:42 ◼ ► So it fixes it to a certain face. And I haven't looked to see if I can edit that face at all. But it's like it's a certain face that seems only accessible for school time. It has it's a yellow circular, you know, hourly index face with analog hands.
01:10:58 ◼ ► And it shows digital time below the like, you know, spoke of the hands. And it shows the day and date above. So I guess great, it teaches kids how to read analog time, maybe, but also, you know, has the digital time there and has, you know, day and date.
01:11:12 ◼ ► I was a little disappointed that it seems to force this face, instead of letting him use other faces that he might want. It disables complications and apps, and it puts the watch in do not disturb mode. And only the approved contacts are able to get through.
01:11:29 ◼ ► So it's actually a very good thing for school. I was amused that when he came home, I was I was looking through the settings and I spotted in school time, it tells me every single time he woke up the watch to look at it, and how long he looked at it.
01:11:45 ◼ ► So I was able to say, Hey, hey, you know what, you looked at the watch 71 times during school. We have to lessen that.
01:11:59 ◼ ► Right. And, and, and I, and, you know, we had the whole conversation about, you know, this is not a thing to brag about. This is not a thing to like, you know, show off. Like that's, that's not a good thing. Like just, you know, if people ask you can say that your parents got it for you so they can see where you are. And so they, as you can call them. That's, that's, that's, that's the, that's the official story to tell kids in school.
01:12:16 ◼ ► And, you know, I know he wanted to show it off. Of course, of course he wants to show it off. He's a kid. Right. That's I knew this was going to happen. The reason I bring this up, though, is that the battery life was not great at the end of the day.
01:12:28 ◼ ► So after school, it was down to 33%. As we were like going home from the playground in the evening, I like went to go pick him up. We were going home from the playground in the evening, and it was about to go into like power save mode. It was down to like 5% or something.
01:12:42 ◼ ► So the way it was used today, the battery life seems pretty bad. But I think because it was new and because he probably was looking at it and showing it to a lot of people all the time constantly.
01:12:54 ◼ ► You know, that's it was probably depressed somewhat. I explained to him about things like, you know, the workout mode, which of course has already tried. He is, he is explored so much of the watch already.
01:13:03 ◼ ► He was like, like within 20 minutes of having it, he was like, do like doing the individual handwritten characters to respond to me in a text message.
01:13:14 ◼ ► Can you imagine if you got a device like this when you were that age, what you would have done with it? Like think of what we ever you know, can chronicle cranny that we explored of like our crappy, you know, personal computers that had such a limited functionality.
01:13:26 ◼ ► This, this one thing that's on his wrist all day does so much more than us writing like basic programs. And we were, you know, so I just not surprised me. Like all they've got is time and they're going to find everything that they can do with it.
01:13:38 ◼ ► Exactly. Yeah. He and his friend in school have already asked, are there any games on it? And I'm like, I actually, I know there's not on it now. I don't actually know if there are any good watch games.
01:13:50 ◼ ► Yeah. Yeah. I don't, I don't think that would be a great idea for the battery life reasons, but also in the battery front, you know, one concern I've had with this that, that I've mentioned, I think David Sparks told me, told me about it, you know, years ago is like when an Apple watch with cellular is away from its phone all day long.
01:14:10 ◼ ► It keeps a cellular active way more than the average Apple watch does. Like most people with cellular watches, they're with their phone most of the day, but you just might go out like maybe for a jog and have it be on cellular. But like, it's not going to be like an all day thing.
01:14:23 ◼ ► The way it is, if you're going to school, you don't have the phone. So the cellular is actually not really designed to be on that long battery life wise. And so I think the battery life might just always be really crappy in this context, like the way it's being used this way.
01:14:37 ◼ ► This is also the smaller watch, you know, the bigger the bigger watch would have had a bigger battery, it would have looked even more ridiculous on him. So we didn't do that. But that might be a concern for anybody thinking about this, that battery life is going to be an issue.
01:14:50 ◼ ► This is what I'm going to watch like as the novelty wears off, and it just becomes like a thing that he has on his wrist, you know, we'll see how that changes things. I might also change the screen to tap to turn on rather than raise to wake. I think that might help. Again, because this is the SE does not have the always on screen. In this case, I think that that was a very good decision. Because the battery life is going to be so constrained.
01:15:15 ◼ ► So anyway, we'll see how that goes. Battery life is my primary concern. It at least will be just barely enough. Hopefully we can get better than that with maybe different settings and novelty wearing off. But overall, so far, it seems really good.
01:15:30 ◼ ► And it was amazing that like, I mean, and part of this, you know, again, my kid, you know, he's a nerd, he figured it out real fast, because he's made of us. But like, he, like, he literally has had this phone for a day. And he calls me from the playground, like I had messaged him, like, Hey, we're going to dinner, you know, meet us there, or we'll come pick you up. And he calls me from the playground in response to my text. Okay, daddy. Yeah, okay, well, you know, I'll see you there. Like, I just got my first phone call from my son. That's from his wrist from a playground.
01:15:59 ◼ ► Yeah, if you could have lifted your wrist on the playground when you were eight and called your parents and talk to them. You know, just think of another ridiculous thing. We've talked about this before about things that we did with our programmable calculators. Yeah, which were such pieces of garbage in terms of computing ability. And yet we'll find every nook and cranny of thing that we can do with them. That's cool. And he's living in the Dick Tracy future. Like, just, I'm very jealous of the kids these days. They don't know how good they have it. We had to play snake on a stupid calculator. And we liked it.
01:16:28 ◼ ► You say all that and I agree with you by and large, but also consider that Marco and Tiff will know where Adam is always. And I think we talked about this last episode, maybe a couple episodes ago. But like, I was a pretty straight shooter growing up. I really didn't do anything. I don't think that that was that particularly egregious. But nevertheless, part of being and granted, I'm talking about being a teenager, not talking about being, you know, a grade schooler, but part of being a kid is doing crap that your parents don't want you to do.
01:16:57 ◼ ► And so even though I agree with you that having all this technology on his friggin wrist is incredible. And in putting myself in Marco and Tiff's shoes, I would probably make the same choices. But I think it's worth recognizing that in some ways we're, I was gonna say hindering, but that's not fair. We're changing the way that our kids are associating with us or treating us as compared to the way that we treated our parents, which is probably the most important thing.
01:17:28 ◼ ► Don't you worry about it. Like in like two weeks, you will know how to disable the location and put it in. Like, first of all, teenagers absolutely will figure this out. But even young kids figure out how to get around screen time limits, how to not show their location when they don't want to at this point, Adam probably doesn't want to hide his location for his parents. But when he does, rest assured, he will have no problem doing that. Oh, yeah. And then the other thing is, you have probably haven't experienced this yet, because you just use it for one day, and you haven't been that far away. But, you know, my kids have Apple watches, finding the location via Apple Watch.
01:17:57 ◼ ► It's hit or miss, depending on cell coverage, depending on battery life. Like sometimes you just go to find my and it just it spins for a while and you just don't get to see a location. And these are not in the cases where my kids are intentionally hiding it, but they're just like at school or at their practice, you know, sports practice or something, right? Sometimes you just can't get a signal from where they are. And sometimes you just don't know. So it's, you know, unreliability is a factor. My one suggestion for Marco in terms of his