336: Your Face Is Not Your Face


00:00:00   I'm trying to stall for time because I need to finish my homework teacher. Somebody pull the fire alarm quick.

00:00:06   This is why you're in the back of the class because when they're handing the papers in you get to hand yours last.

00:00:12   Is that why people sat in the back?

00:00:14   No, that's a lot of reasons, but that's one of them. Depending on the paper collection technique, that is one potential advantage of being in the back of the class.

00:00:20   If the paper collection technique was pass the paper to the person in front of you, then you wanted to be in the front because you get the maximum time to scribble.

00:00:26   But if they did, the teacher comes up the aisle and grabs the papers, then you want to be in the back.

00:00:31   I think pass to the front was the more common arrangement.

00:00:33   Depends on the teacher.

00:00:35   I was always in the front either because I was just being a nerd or because I had a last name beginning with A.

00:00:41   So if the teacher would alphabetize the seating chart, I was always the front corner.

00:00:44   I was always in the back.

00:00:46   Yeah, you and your S all the way near the end.

00:00:48   Circles.

00:00:49   Not just alphabetically, I just wanted to be back there. I don't know.

00:00:52   You get a good view of the room. You can always have your back to the wall so no one can come up behind you.

00:00:58   Right, Jason Bourne. Good girl.

00:01:00   Know where all the exits are.

00:01:02   How did you actually misbehave in school?

00:01:05   I didn't misbehave in school. I suppose not paying attention. That's the kind of misbehaving, though.

00:01:09   You're not bothering anybody when you're doodling in your notebook.

00:01:13   I suppose talking with my neighbors could be disruptive depending on who I was sitting next to.

00:01:18   That's about it.

00:01:20   Falling asleep if it was high school and it was the first period.

00:01:23   As you do.

00:01:24   I think I slept through literally about a quarter of high school.

00:01:27   It started at 7 a.m. What did they expect?

00:01:29   Not only did it start at 7 a.m., but now for much of high school I would make myself for lunch every day a bagel sandwich.

00:01:37   So I would have a bagel with turkey and cheese on it.

00:01:39   Bagel. I'm doing the air quotes.

00:01:41   No, it was from Brugers. It wasn't that bad.

00:01:44   So I would bring my Brugers bagel sandwich to school. I'd eat that for lunch.

00:01:47   I would buy a 20-ounce bottle of Sprite from the vending machine to drink with it.

00:01:52   Look at you, Mr. Sprite.

00:01:54   Oh yeah, I forgot that that's your drink.

00:01:56   Think about the amount of sugar and carbs that I would fill myself up with every day at lunch.

00:02:02   No wonder I slept every day during the 1.30 class.

00:02:06   Whenever class was after lunch I was out cold.

00:02:09   I never made the connection.

00:02:11   The peak of my unhealthy high school eating was this.

00:02:16   I would wake up in the morning, I would have a bowl of cereal.

00:02:19   Then I would get on the bus at some godforsaken hour.

00:02:22   Go to school with no lunch.

00:02:24   Spend the entire day.

00:02:26   Do not eat lunch.

00:02:28   Didn't buy lunch. Didn't have lunch with me. No snacks.

00:02:30   You are a monster.

00:02:32   No vending machine. I would drink from water fountains during the day.

00:02:35   Then after school I would go to an away tennis meet.

00:02:38   I would bring a water bottle with me.

00:02:41   Get on a bus and go to another school and play a tennis match in 98 degrees, 80% humidity.

00:02:47   Then I would come back to the high school and I would go to the vending machine before the late bus left.

00:02:52   I would buy a welch's grape soda.

00:02:54   I would drink the welch's grape soda.

00:02:56   Then I would get on the bus.

00:02:58   Then I would go home and have dinner.

00:03:00   Oh my god.

00:03:02   You were basically powered by cereal and grape soda for most of high school.

00:03:05   That's the thing. The grape soda came after everything was over.

00:03:08   The only food I had the entire day was cereal in the morning.

00:03:11   Then it's just water.

00:03:13   An hour long tennis match in the blazing heat.

00:03:16   Back to the school.

00:03:18   Then the welch's grape soda.

00:03:20   The welch's grape soda is one of the best tasting things I've ever had in my entire life.

00:03:23   After not eating for an entire day and having a full day of high school and playing tennis and sweating your body weight out in water.

00:03:29   I still think about that.

00:03:31   That is horrendous.

00:03:33   That was my pattern for tennis season.

00:03:36   I had the opposite problem.

00:03:38   During high school for breakfast, I mentioned my bagel sandwich on Sprite lunch.

00:03:43   For breakfast I would usually have either cereal or pop tart.

00:03:48   Some kind of sugar bomb for breakfast.

00:03:50   Or maybe another bagel.

00:03:52   Go to school.

00:03:54   Have my bagel and have my carbs and sugar for lunch.

00:03:57   Then I would after school have usually one or two hot pockets.

00:04:03   Possibly a bowl of ice cream after that.

00:04:07   Then later in the evening have dinner.

00:04:09   Somehow I stayed very thin.

00:04:11   I guess it's just the metabolism of youth.

00:04:14   I certainly stopped having that metabolism three years later.

00:04:18   In college I got a lot thicker.

00:04:20   Especially after college I got significantly more thick after that.

00:04:23   But in high school I could eat anything.

00:04:26   I don't know how I wasn't unhealthy in various ways.

00:04:30   I guess when you're a teenager you can get away with a lot.

00:04:34   Not eating for the entire day and playing a sport.

00:04:36   I don't understand how I didn't collapse.

00:04:38   Where were the calories coming from?

00:04:40   The one bowl of Cheerios in the morning and that was it?

00:04:44   I would like to comment that Eggos are the best.

00:04:46   That's what I had for breakfast for pretty much most of my high school career.

00:04:49   I had I believe a peanut butter or if I was really living it up,

00:04:53   a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch.

00:04:55   Because I'm that guy.

00:04:56   Then fast forward 15-20 years.

00:04:58   Up at my jobby job I was having PB&Js again for lunch more days than not.

00:05:03   Then for a while I started having grilled cheeses for lunch most days.

00:05:06   Then I had a cholesterol problem.

00:05:08   So who knew?

00:05:10   By the way, I learned this past week that there was/is a Pop-Tarts cereal.

00:05:17   Oh of course, I'm sure.

00:05:18   Can somebody tell me the point of that?

00:05:20   Oh I would try it.

00:05:21   It's all the same.

00:05:22   All Sugar Cereals are the same cereal you realize.

00:05:24   They just extrude stuff in different shapes and sugar in different amounts on them.

00:05:28   It's all the same cereal.

00:05:30   Well it seems like Pop-Tarts, just Pop-Tarts, are superior to cereal in every possible way.

00:05:37   If you're going to have a Sugar Bomb regardless, the Pop-Tart is not only better tasting,

00:05:41   but it's more portable, it's more interesting, it's smaller.

00:05:45   It doesn't require milk or a bowl or a spoon and no cleanup.

00:05:48   People like cereal though.

00:05:50   People like having things in milk.

00:05:52   And I like my cereal crispy.

00:05:56   I used to love, I still do love Frosted Flakes.

00:05:59   I just don't eat them anymore, speaking of Sugar Bomb.

00:06:01   And there was a precise, not even science, but it was like a juggling act.

00:06:07   Having the correct ratio of new to old Frosted Flakes.

00:06:12   When I say old I mean like 10 minutes prior as opposed to 10 seconds prior.

00:06:17   And so I would eat like two thirds of the bowl and then I would notice that okay it's getting a little too soggy,

00:06:22   you add a little bit more Frosted Flakes.

00:06:24   Now okay you've got a little bit of soggy but you've got all that fresh new crunch.

00:06:27   And you would do that dance but you don't want to go too far so you have like half a box of Frosted Flakes in one sitting,

00:06:34   unless you're John apparently.

00:06:35   And so it was a very tough balancing act.

00:06:38   That was my game of golf when I was growing up was balancing the soggy to unsoggy Frosted Flakes.

00:06:43   I was definitely not having any Frosted Flakes.

00:06:45   This is one of the things I thank my parents for.

00:06:47   In addition to not having soda in the house, thus making me have no desire to have soda for the most part,

00:06:52   no sugar cereals ever in our house of any kind.

00:06:56   So not even Honey Nut Cheerios.

00:06:59   Regular Cheerios are okay, not Honey Nut Cheerios because that's a sugar cereal.

00:07:03   So you realize there's a good deal of sugar in even regular Cheerios.

00:07:07   Like all breakfast cereals have a good deal of sugar in them.

00:07:10   Oh yeah, no I'm sure but you know what I mean when I say sugar cereals.

00:07:12   The ones that actually taste cloyingly sweet.

00:07:15   At least to me like any sugar cereal tastes so sweet I can't believe anybody eats it.

00:07:19   So thinking of Casey eating his Frosted Flakes, I'm just kind of gagging because I had them.

00:07:23   I'd sleep over at a friend's house and they'd have sugar cereals and I'd be excited to try the –

00:07:27   or my grandparents had the little boxes of stuff for me and I would try it and I'm like,

00:07:30   "Oh my God, this is like corn flakes totally covered in sugar."

00:07:34   And it's like corn flakes ruined.

00:07:36   So not a big thing for me.

00:07:38   The only one I could kind of tolerate was I have good memories of having Captain Crunch.

00:07:43   Oh that was my other weakness.

00:07:45   When I hung out with my friend in his trailer in upstate New York.

00:07:48   But that had the cutting into the roof of your mouth problem as we all know.

00:07:52   That is true.

00:07:53   But Captain Crunch, oof, I haven't had a bowl of that in years and I would destroy one if it was put in front of me right now.

00:07:58   Because that's not – I mean it's sweet obviously.

00:08:00   Again, they all have tons of sugar but it's not the thing where there's like sugar coating the outside.

00:08:04   The difference between Frosted Flakes and Captain Crunch I feel like is pretty significant.

00:08:07   And Captain Crunch is more vaguely recognizable as what it is, you know, aerated corn.

00:08:12   And this is a good opportunity to plug the top four cereals from a van episode that my wife and I did with some friends back at XOXO in Portland a few years back.

00:08:21   Where there's a cereal from a van, like food van that sells cereal.

00:08:26   Like a food truck but in a van by people wearing pajamas.

00:08:29   And you can get whatever cereal you want and it's really fun.

00:08:31   We did a live podcast recording there and we taste tested a whole bunch of different cereals with some friends.

00:08:37   And it turns out like old favorites really hold up still.

00:08:41   Whatever cereal you liked as a child they probably still make it.

00:08:45   And it probably hasn't changed much if at all.

00:08:48   And it still tastes exactly as garbagey sugary as you remember.

00:08:52   I still have cereal by the way as a modern normal breakfast and it's still not a sugar cereal.

00:08:57   Is it still Cheerios or do you have some kind of weird granola thing?

00:09:00   My son has Cheerios. I rotate Cheerios, Corn Flakes, Special K which is basically Frosted Flakes but not covered with sugar.

00:09:08   There's so much sugar in all of those.

00:09:10   Grape Nuts I like.

00:09:11   I actually like Grape Nuts.

00:09:13   I knew the only person I'd ever meet who would have a chance of liking them is you.

00:09:16   But I actually like them.

00:09:18   Grape Nuts is the sort of the black swan of cereal or at least the way I have it.

00:09:22   I don't know if everybody has it the same way.

00:09:24   So all the other cereals it's like there's a ratio of cereal to milk and you got to deal with that case he was talking about it.

00:09:30   You can do the incremental approach like he was doing.

00:09:32   You could do the one shot where you make sure you have the right amount of cereal and the right amount of milk and blah blah blah.

00:09:36   But Grape Nuts is an outlier.

00:09:39   Like the way I eat Grape Nuts and I feel like the only way you can eat them is you put a very small amount of Grape Nuts in there.

00:09:45   Because they are very densely packing compared to other cereals.

00:09:49   Like they go close to each other right?

00:09:51   That's why the box is so small.

00:09:52   It weighs like as much or even more than other boxes.

00:09:54   But it's so small because they're densely packed.

00:09:56   So you put a little mound that seems like it's way too small but you don't realize that's actually a lot.

00:10:01   And then you completely cover it with milk.

00:10:04   So the top surface of the bowl is just white milk from edge to edge where you see no cereal.

00:10:08   Because they don't float right?

00:10:10   That's how you eat Grape Nuts.

00:10:12   Because first of all the Grape Nuts slowly expand to absorb that milk as you eat it.

00:10:16   And second, you will end up when you're done with no milk left.

00:10:19   Like literally no milk.

00:10:20   You may have to add additional milk because Grape Nuts just soak up all the stuff.

00:10:23   And of course raisins.

00:10:24   You've got to add the raisins.

00:10:25   We will add to the chat room a great article about Grape Nuts from 2009 in the Wall Street Journal.

00:10:29   No grapes, no nuts, no market share.

00:10:31   It's actually a really great profile about Grape Nuts that I remember reading in 2009.

00:10:37   And it's quite good.

00:10:39   I actually really enjoy Grape Nuts.

00:10:41   If I'm going to eat cereal, which is very rare, but if I'm going to eat cereal, that is high on my list of consideration.

00:10:47   And I always feel good buying it and having it in the house and taking it out.

00:10:52   Because everyone around me during any of those times is always shocked.

00:10:56   You eat that? You like that? What are those? What do those taste like?

00:11:00   Because everyone's either never had them before or has had them when they were a kid and didn't let them.

00:11:05   Because they don't have nearly as much sweetness as most cereal.

00:11:08   They are sweetened, I believe, by barley malt.

00:11:10   They are definitely sweetened, but it's not nearly as much as most cereal.

00:11:14   So it's more like bread gravel.

00:11:18   Do you do my technique, though? Do you cover it completely with milk like I know?

00:11:22   I use a lot less milk than that.

00:11:24   I don't like a lot of milk in my cereal.

00:11:26   So what I normally do, if I have a more puffed style of cereal,

00:11:30   I'll put the cereal in the bowl and I'll pour the milk only until I can start seeing the level of milk rising.

00:11:36   Once it reaches the point where the level is visible, I will stop.

00:11:40   So it's usually maybe halfway up the bowl at most.

00:11:43   So with grape nuts I use even less because they don't...

00:11:46   Wow. It's pretty dry, I feel like.

00:11:48   Because they soak up the water.

00:11:50   By the end you're just eating grape nuts that have absorbed some milk and there's no more actual milk in the bowl.

00:11:55   Well, then it becomes an exercise for your jaw, so it serves double duty.

00:11:58   All right. I like the very milk version.

00:12:03   And like I said, I still end up with zero milk left, which doesn't happen with almost any of the...

00:12:06   Most other cereals will have a little bit of milk, so you can add a little bit more cereal with the KC Technique milk cereal.

00:12:10   But with grape nuts I end with nothing.

00:12:13   And sometimes for the one pour that I put in, I actually have to add additional milk.

00:12:16   All right. Let's start with some follow-up.

00:12:20   We have some follow-up about optimized battery charging strategy.

00:12:23   This is already getting us some follow-up.

00:12:26   So what's going on here?

00:12:28   People were asking, like...

00:12:29   I think we did a bad job of explaining exactly what it does.

00:12:32   And honestly it's because I didn't know the particular details, but sure enough lower in the show notes we had a link that explained it.

00:12:38   So again, this is the strategy that's trying to...

00:12:41   What it's trying to prevent is a situation where you plug in your phone before you go to bed,

00:12:45   it charges up to 100% in the first 20 minutes, hour, whatever that you're sleeping,

00:12:50   and then it just spends the whole rest of the night sitting there at 100%.

00:12:53   And having your battery sit at 100% is bad for the battery.

00:12:57   So the optimized charging is trying to avoid that.

00:13:00   It doesn't refuse to charge your phone at all until like an hour before you wake up.

00:13:07   It refuses to charge it all the way.

00:13:09   So it will charge it apparently according to the screenshot from whatever iOS 13 beta this was.

00:13:14   It will charge it to 80%, and then it will leave it at 80% all night long, which is better than leaving it at 100%.

00:13:21   And then 20, 30 minutes before it thinks you're going to wake up, it will top it off.

00:13:27   So worst case scenario, you wake up in the middle of the night and it's an emergency, you have an 80% charge phone.

00:13:32   But the idea is that it will learn your routine and make sure that by the time you wake up it's 100%.

00:13:37   Some people mentioned, I think this is a good idea, if it integrated with the alarm,

00:13:41   like if it saw you had an alarm for 5 a.m., it would notice that.

00:13:45   Obviously you can do that with a built-in alarm app.

00:13:47   I'm not sure it can do it with third-party ones, but there may be some framework that they all use that it could detect that.

00:13:51   But that would be something clever. I have no idea if it does that. It just seems like a good idea.

00:13:55   All right, tell me about the Apple TV remote's influence on product box size.

00:14:00   I'm still getting feedback about the Apple TV remote.

00:14:03   And one thing a lot of people bring up about the Apple TV remote is if they made a better one,

00:14:09   or a more ergonomic one, or one that's less likely to get lost in your sofa, or whatever, basically a bigger remote.

00:14:15   Some people say Apple will never do that because it would make the box bigger,

00:14:20   and they want all their boxes to be small because it's inexpensive or whatever.

00:14:23   Other people say if they made their remote bigger, would they make the box bigger? Would they sell it separately?

00:14:29   There's a little bit of fatalism. They would never do that because the box is the size it is, and that's the size that Apple wants it.

00:14:35   And Apple does talk about how they make the box as small as they possibly can,

00:14:39   because it's environmentally conscious, and it costs less to ship, and all these other reasons.

00:14:44   That's all true. But in the case of this and any other product they make,

00:14:49   Apple makes the box big enough to fit the product that they make.

00:14:53   I know it sounds dumb, but I don't think they're not making their remote bigger because they don't want to make the box bigger.

00:14:58   They control the box and the product. Whatever product they make, like the Mac Pro,

00:15:02   they're going to make a box that fits the Mac Pro.

00:15:05   At no point during the development of the Mac Pro or any laptop or anything else, they're saying,

00:15:09   "Sorry, you can't make a computer that size or shape because the box has to be smaller."

00:15:13   They build the product, and then they put the box around it.

00:15:17   So if Apple makes a new remote, and that new remote is a different size and shape than the current one,

00:15:22   they will make a box that fits the new remote plus the Apple TV.

00:15:27   I swear to you, it will all work out.

00:15:29   So yes, it wouldn't be a slightly bigger box, but it wouldn't be tremendously bigger,

00:15:33   and I think that is not a barrier to them improving the remote and will not stop Apple in any way.

00:15:38   Other things might stop them, but not the box size.

00:15:41   Tom English wrote us, "On episode 334, Casey mentions in passing that his Time Machine backup failed over Wi-Fi from the adorable to the Synology.

00:15:49   My personal experience with NAS boxes and Time Machine over several years has been consistently awful,

00:15:52   leading me to assume that Time Machine back and forth to a NAS is just not tested

00:15:56   or maybe only works with Synology boxes and time capsules.

00:15:59   I get the dreaded 'to improve reliability, Time Machine must create a new backup for you' box,

00:16:03   followed by hours of wasted traffic and the complete loss of backup history.

00:16:06   Rendering Time Machine unusable and pointless."

00:16:09   So, Tom had three questions. Number one, and I'll ask each of you.

00:16:13   Number one, have you guys found Time Machine reliable with your Synology boxes?

00:16:17   So let me start. On my iMac, yes.

00:16:20   I don't recall having ever had a problem with my iMac, which is hardwired to the same switch that the Synology is sitting on.

00:16:26   The adorable usually goes somewhere between six to twelve months before I get the exact same

00:16:32   "to improve reliability, Time Machine must create a new backup for you" dialogue, and then I have to start all over.

00:16:37   Let's start with Marco. What are you using for Time Machine, actually, these days?

00:16:41   Are you using something physical?

00:16:43   I mean, as opposed to what? Something mental?

00:16:46   Well, no, I'm sorry. I'm sorry. Physically connected to the computer, as opposed to some sort of NAS or something like that.

00:16:51   I mean, it's all physical somewhere.

00:16:53   Oh, God. Okay, you get my point. Good grief.

00:16:55   Do you use a mechanical keyboard, Marco?

00:16:57   I use an analog keyboard.

00:16:59   I hate everything.

00:17:00   Analog's not the opposite of mechanical, but yes.

00:17:02   So I use Time Machine backup to my Synology, their built-in Time Machine server, which is, I think, based on some kind of open source thing to do it.

00:17:10   Both my computer and TIFF's computer backup to it using disk quotas to split those two up between one volume.

00:17:17   And it has been the most reliable Time Machine setup I've ever had.

00:17:22   Ever since we got our Synology, what, like four years ago or something?

00:17:25   More than that. It was almost six, I think.

00:17:27   Every other system I've had before, from internal disks in a Mac Pro to externals to network-based things, nothing has ever worked reliably for very long until this.

00:17:38   This has been 100% reliable. The dialogue that you and Tom cite, "To improve reliability, you must create a new backup," I've never even seen that.

00:17:46   The issues I've had before with previous systems would be that eventually the Time Machine disk would fill up in such a way that it couldn't make enough space even to make a smaller backup that wouldn't fill it up.

00:18:01   However Time Machine fails in that way, that would happen to me eventually with almost every system I ever used.

00:18:06   For whatever reason, this doesn't happen.

00:18:08   And maybe it's because I'm lucky now.

00:18:10   Maybe it's because I have the Time Machine volume pretty over-provisioned.

00:18:14   The Time Machine volume I think is about twice as big as my internal disk that I'm backing up to it.

00:18:19   So it has a lot of headroom for history and stuff.

00:18:23   But yeah, every other Time Machine I've ever done, like with disks or anything else, local, remote, anything else, I would have to basically blow it away and recreate it maybe every six months to a year.

00:18:35   But with the built-in one and the Synology, I never have.

00:18:38   Now, do you back up your laptops to the Synology? I assume not because you don't have them long enough for them to complete the initial backup.

00:18:47   No, laptops are considered basically like disposable data.

00:18:51   It's the most Marco answer I've ever heard.

00:18:54   No, but they're not considered like primary data stores of anything.

00:18:58   I do run the Arc backup client on my laptop just for a few select folders, like working folders basically.

00:19:04   Fair enough. And John, just question number one, have you guys found Time Machine reliable with your Synology boxes?

00:19:09   Yes, very. I have seen that dialogue they're talking about, but I've seen it rarely first of all.

00:19:15   And second of all, I've seen it in equal amounts with my Synology and with internal drives.

00:19:20   So I feel like it's not related to what the backup volume is.

00:19:25   It's just related to Time Machine. And I haven't seen it in years obviously.

00:19:28   And I was thinking about this question of Time Machine reliability with your Synology. I can't even remember how I set up Time Machine.

00:19:34   Like what is involved? Is there some special thing?

00:19:37   I went during setup, I did a thing and now I have this massive Time Machine volume and I back up three max to that thing.

00:19:43   I mean, there's been more at various times.

00:19:45   All to one giant shared Time Machine volume on my Synology.

00:19:49   And I can't remember the last time I saw this dialogue, but I have seen it in the past on both the Synology and on internal disks, and external disks for that matter.

00:19:58   But I could count the number of times I've seen that dialogue in my life on one hand, like maybe three or four times in the history of Time Machine.

00:20:05   Do you back up to sparse images? And you kind of took the wind out of my sails, John, because I was going to say the same thing here.

00:20:11   Hand to God, I have no idea how I'm backing up to the Synology.

00:20:14   In the sense of like on the Synology side, I don't know what I did to set this up.

00:20:18   I set it up six years ago, I haven't looked back.

00:20:20   And so I was trying to dig a moment ago to figure out where or how or what I did in order to make this work.

00:20:27   I'm sure you can Google and I'm sure there's a bazillion things that say, "Here's how you do Time Machine on the Synologies."

00:20:33   But I don't remember how I did it, but I don't think I'm using sparse images.

00:20:37   I basically have a two physical drive RAID 0 array.

00:20:41   Yes, do not email me. I understand RAID 0 is dumb.

00:20:46   I did it knowingly. It is okay if all of this data goes up in smoke.

00:20:51   The only thing on there is duplicates. I don't need you to email me. It's okay. I got it.

00:20:56   My Time Machine volume is also RAID 0 for the record.

00:20:59   In fact, I think you recommended it to me and I was like, "Yeah, you know what, Marko's right."

00:21:02   I think I did one of the Nathan Fillion GIF where he's like, "Oh, okay, yeah."

00:21:08   That was me when I was about to argue with you about that.

00:21:10   But anyways, so it's RAID 0, it's two physical drives, three terabytes each.

00:21:15   And that is the only stuff on that volume.

00:21:20   And so I don't think I'm using sparse images, but honestly I don't have the faintest idea.

00:21:24   I'm pretty sure mine does use sparse images because I use encrypted backups.

00:21:30   And I'm pretty sure that is always using sparse images.

00:21:32   Oh, then maybe I am too and I just didn't even know it.

00:21:34   All right, John, tell us the real deal.

00:21:36   You won't be surprised to learn that I'm not using RAID 0 for my Time Machine.

00:21:40   No.

00:21:41   I have at various times used RAID 1, RAID 5, and now I'm using the Synology SHR,

00:21:48   which is basically just like RAID 5, but you can use different sized disks to get more space sooner.

00:21:53   You don't have to have every disk exactly the same size.

00:21:55   It's not the same as Drobo, but it's not as bad as real RAID 5.

00:21:58   Because Drobo lets you see the space immediately.

00:22:00   This is like if you replace enough disks, suddenly you see the thing, you don't have to replace them all.

00:22:04   Anyway, one of the great things about Synology is this is more or less the same volume

00:22:08   that I've changed my mind about how it's going to be rated, and I've had enough spare space to shuffle things around.

00:22:13   And that's why I know, and because I've seen the volume a few times, that it is in fact using, I think,

00:22:18   .sparse bundle files or whatever.

00:22:20   I didn't make that choice. I don't remember how I set it up.

00:22:22   Just the Mac started backing up the Time Machine and they are making these image files.

00:22:27   And so that's how it works, and I guess it's fine.

00:22:31   All right, I have a related question.

00:22:35   And this is not something I expect you guys to answer.

00:22:38   This is something I would like email about, please.

00:22:40   Oh, no.

00:22:41   I was thinking, here we go.

00:22:43   Feedback something something something at ATP.fm.

00:22:45   I forget what the actual email address is.

00:22:47   But anyways, last week when we were talking about how Dropbox is a complete dumpster fire these days,

00:22:52   it occurred to me I'm pretty sure there's something that the Synology can host

00:22:59   that effectively can operate in cooperation with a client app.

00:23:04   Operate is like my own private Dropbox.

00:23:06   And I very briefly dug into this.

00:23:08   Very, very briefly. I'm talking like five to ten minutes.

00:23:10   And I quickly got confused because there's Cloud Station Server,

00:23:16   there's like something that effectively looks like Google Apps.

00:23:19   I don't even remember what it's called anymore.

00:23:21   Yeah, they're totally out of good names in Synology for anything having to do with Cloud.

00:23:24   Yeah, so is there, and maybe you guys, if you do know the answer, I'm happy to hear it,

00:23:28   but I thought that there was a thing that I could use that would let me basically host my own private Dropbox.

00:23:38   Now I am running Cloud Sync, but that's like a Synology native Dropbox client.

00:23:44   So that's to get another redundant copy of my Dropbox on the Synology.

00:23:48   Or at least I think, I mean that's what I'm using it for today.

00:23:50   Maybe it does other things too.

00:23:51   But if you, the two of you guys, or if you, the listener,

00:23:54   happen to know of a relatively straightforward way of doing, you know, basically making my own private Dropbox.

00:24:00   I would love to hear it.

00:24:01   Because I started down the road of looking at the Google, it's not literally called Google Apps of course,

00:24:04   but whatever they call their equivalent of Google Apps.

00:24:07   And it looked like they wanted to do like a SharePointy, here's where reports go, here's where documents go,

00:24:13   here's where this goes, here's where that, and I don't want any of that business.

00:24:16   I just want to have a space that's tied to me that I can put files,

00:24:21   and even better if I could share them with other users, even if it's only other users on this Synology,

00:24:26   I'm actually kind of okay with that.

00:24:28   But I got very lost, and Synology's website is so enterprise-y that I can't get the wheat from the chaff or whatever the turn of phrase is.

00:24:35   So I am completely clueless as to what to do here.

00:24:38   If you guys, you too, or if you folks, listeners, happen to know a solution, I would love to hear it.

00:24:46   You haven't been paying attention to this, this week's, this past two days of feedback.

00:24:50   Everyone's telling us about all their Dropbox alternatives, and there apparently are a lot of them.

00:24:54   Yes, but none of them--

00:24:56   I know they're not on Synology, but all you're going to hear about is more of those.

00:25:01   And I'm sure there's like ten solutions you can do on the Synology, so I hope you find something you're looking forward.

00:25:06   Honestly, I would rather not trust myself to host my cloud drive.

00:25:11   I'd rather outsource that to somebody else.

00:25:14   And I don't disagree, but I'm at the point that I'm running out of companies that I trust with this.

00:25:20   And now, to be fair, I haven't heard of a lot of the companies that people have referred us to.

00:25:24   That doesn't mean that they're not great, but because I haven't heard of them, I'm a little bit reluctant to throw all my data at them.

00:25:30   Well, not all, but you know what I mean.

00:25:32   So my thought was, well, with the exception of podcast-related stuff with you guys and with Mike,

00:25:39   there's very little that I share on my Dropbox. Pretty much everything else is stuff that I'm sharing between my own computers, including iPads and iPhones.

00:25:48   So my thought was, if I could just offload all of that onto the Synology, maybe I'd be alright.

00:25:53   So again, if you have something that you know that is native to the Synology, I'm not interested in allowing myself to--

00:26:01   I almost said telnet--to SSH into my Synology and do a bunch of command line stuff.

00:26:06   I am capable of that, I'm just not interested in that.

00:26:09   So if there is some Synology-friendly package that I can install, I would love to hear it.

00:26:14   Or I would even consider a Docker container that's pretty much plug-and-play, like Homebridge is on Docker.

00:26:21   So I would love to hear it. You can either @ me on Twitter or, if you wanted to, reply to the email address you can find on our website.

00:26:29   I'm happy either way. Thank you.

00:26:31   We are sponsored this week by Squarespace. Start building your website today at squarespace.com/ATP.

00:26:37   And if you offer code ATP at checkout to get 10% off, make your next move with a beautiful website from Squarespace.

00:26:44   Now I mentioned last week about how I had taken a website that I had to use from somebody else and I had modernized it with Squarespace.

00:26:51   It took me one evening to completely remake an old site with tons of content, tons of pages, dynamic functionality.

00:27:00   I remade it all on Squarespace and it worked better. It looked way better. It jumped like 25 years forward in web design.

00:27:08   And it worked better on mobile devices. It had dynamic features like search and galleries. It was just so easy to use.

00:27:15   And I showed it to the people who were responsible for the old site and they were just so pleased with it.

00:27:20   They couldn't believe that I had done it all in one night. You can do that too with Squarespace.

00:27:25   Whether you're making a site for yourself or you're making it for somebody else as a favor or something,

00:27:30   Squarespace is probably the place to do that for pretty much everything these days.

00:27:34   You can do simple sites, complex sites, store fronts, podcasts, blogs, galleries, whatever you want on Squarespace.

00:27:41   No matter what your skill level is, I had to do zero coding to get this site to work.

00:27:46   And you don't have to be a coder. No matter what your skill level is, you can do it on Squarespace.

00:27:51   Best thing is, once you're done setting it up, first of all, you can hand it off to somebody else.

00:27:56   You're out of the picture then. Because they have support. Squarespace supports it. You don't have to.

00:28:01   And if you're building it for yourself, guess what? Great news. They have great support if you ever need it.

00:28:05   So it's just a wonderful place to build a website. Check it out today at squarespace.com/atp.

00:28:11   Start your free trial today. And when you want to sign up, make sure to go back there and use offer code ATP to get 10% off your first purchase.

00:28:18   Once again, squarespace.com/atp. Code ATP for 10% off your first purchase.

00:28:23   Make your next move with a beautiful website from Squarespace.

00:28:26   Marco, tell me about your headphones. Apparently you are not done updating us on headphone stuff.

00:28:33   So when I started talking about trying to get my new headphones for the summer a few weeks back,

00:28:41   a few people recommended an option that I didn't even know existed that I got in today.

00:28:48   And I have only one day of use with it. But I think it's worth pointing out what they are.

00:28:54   This is the category that I didn't know existed called audio sunglasses.

00:29:01   Ah, yes.

00:29:05   So Bose may, and I think other companies do too, but the ones that everyone talks about are the Bose ones.

00:29:09   Bose makes two fairly identical models of sunglasses that have headphones in them.

00:29:16   And so they are marketed as part of the new Bose AR line of products.

00:29:23   I think that's a bit of a reach.

00:29:26   It's AR in the sense that there are glasses that can communicate information from a computer for you.

00:29:33   But in that sense, every pair of headphones is an AR device because they are literally just regular sunglasses

00:29:40   that have headphones in the, I don't know, the sticks? What are those called, John?

00:29:46   You can just keep calling them sticks. That's what you called them last time. I was calling them stems.

00:29:50   I have no idea what they're really called.

00:29:52   Okay, well, so there are speakers in the sticks and the sticks are a little bit thick and bulbous

00:29:56   because they presumably also have batteries somewhere in there and everything.

00:29:59   So I think I kind of like it, but it's very weird and limited in a certain way.

00:30:05   So first of all, they're $200 and that's not very cheap, but in the realm of small, portable, nice headphones

00:30:16   that actually isn't too crazy, the sunglasses themselves are the biggest downside of them.

00:30:23   They're just really mediocre sunglasses. They're fine, but they're not great.

00:30:29   They come with a regular shaded pair of lenses that isn't even polarized.

00:30:35   You can also get polarized lenses separately for $30 more that you can pop out the other ones and pop these in, which I did.

00:30:42   But they're just not very good, not very attractive sunglasses.

00:30:47   They're very kind of like big, plastic-y. You can get sunglasses that were just like these for $7 at any drugstore.

00:30:56   Can we see a photo?

00:30:57   Of me?

00:30:58   With the sunglasses on, yeah.

00:30:59   I don't have them up here, but I will try to send you one tomorrow. Sorry.

00:31:04   But yeah, maybe I'll make up the show art for this chapter.

00:31:08   So what I like about them though, there's a couple of interesting things.

00:31:13   And there's a couple of annoyances too, so I'll get the annoyances out of the way first.

00:31:17   So they're not very nice sunglasses. Even the polarized ones are not very good.

00:31:20   The front of them, the shape of the lenses and the frame, the main part of the front, is basically flat.

00:31:29   Some types of sunglasses will curve around your face slightly, and I generally like those better

00:31:35   because it prevents a lot of the sun from getting around the lenses, around the periphery of the lens,

00:31:40   like from that getting into your eye. And there's also a good deal of the outer perimeter of the lens reflection,

00:31:47   like the way you might see the reflection of what's behind you or your hair through the very corner of the lenses

00:31:53   when the sun is behind you. You know how certain lenses do that?

00:31:56   I can't say I do, but I bet you the next time I have sunglasses on I'm going to notice it and then hate you for it.

00:32:01   Yeah, it's worse on mirrored front lenses, which the polarized lenses are and the stock lenses aren't.

00:32:06   Anyway, as sunglasses, they're pretty mediocre, but they're fine. They work. I took a walk with them.

00:32:13   The sun was in my face and it wasn't as bad with the sunglasses on, so it was fine.

00:32:16   I wish they were better sunglasses. I have a nice pair of Maui Jims that I bought when I learned that real sunglasses are really nice.

00:32:23   And it's nothing like those. Those are way nicer than these as sunglasses.

00:32:27   Their control scheme is hilarious. There is one button on them. You push that button to turn them on, they connect.

00:32:34   They announce to you, "Connected to Marcos iPhone battery 60%."

00:32:38   And then that one button behaves like the remote clicker button.

00:32:42   So one click is play/pause, two clicks is seek forward, three clicks is seek back.

00:32:46   Notice there is no gesture to turn them off. The way you turn them off is you hold them face up,

00:32:54   like as if you were setting them down on a table where they're upside down on top of a table.

00:32:59   If they're upside down flat for two seconds, they turn off.

00:33:03   What?

00:33:06   So it's like a gesture. You have to set them down on something or hold them flat really still for two seconds.

00:33:11   And then the light blinks and they turn off. So it's kind of clumsy.

00:33:15   And because, you'll notice I didn't mention any kind of volume control, that's because there isn't any.

00:33:20   Cool.

00:33:21   So about as convenient control-wise as AirPods. Maybe a little more convenient actually,

00:33:26   but not nearly as good as something that actually has a full suite of buttons on it.

00:33:31   Or like a full suite of gesture controls, like my big Sony's or my AfterShokz.

00:33:35   Like those actually have buttons or controls. But this is a very minimal control scheme.

00:33:40   But what's really nice about it, if you're going to be wearing sunglasses anyway,

00:33:46   you can kind of have headphones for free, like in the sense that you're not carrying something else to have headphones.

00:33:52   You don't have all the busyness around your ears if you're trying to wear sunglasses with headphones.

00:33:58   I think it will also be nice in situations where I don't necessarily want everyone to see that I'm wearing headphones.

00:34:05   Like I wear headphones as I'm walking around Beechtown here that allow outside sound in.

00:34:12   That's why I like the AfterShokz so much. And these do the same thing because the speaker is kind of like,

00:34:17   it's in the stick of the glasses and it just kind of like fires sound into like the top of your earlobe

00:34:24   that kind of curves down and somehow reaches your ear properly.

00:34:26   Interesting.

00:34:27   I don't know how it works. It doesn't actually leak that much sound out to the outside world.

00:34:33   Like you can hear it in a quiet room. But if you're like walking around outside,

00:34:37   like people around you aren't hearing your music. But you can hear it and it's pretty clear.

00:34:41   And I don't know how that works. That is a marvel of some kind of engineering.

00:34:45   The sound quality is actually not bad. It's great for podcasts.

00:34:50   And as long as you don't care too much about bass, it's not that bad for music either.

00:34:56   Like I listen to an acoustic guitar singer/songwriter type thing and it sounded great on these.

00:35:03   I was shocked. Way better than any other headphones I've tried that are like light and portable.

00:35:07   So the bass is nowhere to be found but that's kind of to be expected for this kind of thing.

00:35:12   And for speech, for podcast speech, it was very clear. It was fantastic.

00:35:16   Charging is a little bit awkward because they have like a proprietary MagSafe-like thing

00:35:23   that just ends in USB-A on the other end. So you have to have their proprietary charging cable.

00:35:28   Which comes with it but if you lose it, you're kind of out of luck I think.

00:35:32   So that's less good. I would prefer just like a regular micro USB port or USB-C port on it.

00:35:37   But I don't know if that would fit. And it was kind of nice.

00:35:40   I was wearing them on my walk and I ran into a neighbor.

00:35:43   And so I just reached up to the sunglass stick and just tapped the button subtly

00:35:50   to the point where then I don't think she ever knew I was wearing headphones.

00:35:54   I reached up and I paused it so I could talk to her.

00:35:56   I don't think she ever knew that they were headphones. And then I just kept going.

00:35:59   She was thinking, "Look at this guy. He's really proud of his glasses pointing them out to me."

00:36:03   Well, it's the same move. If you reach up with your hand to adjust your glasses at all,

00:36:08   it's the exact same move because the button is on the underside of the right stick.

00:36:12   So I got to say, they're really cool. There are so many major downsides that I almost wanted to return them.

00:36:19   But I think I'll keep them because for situations where they fit, that's pretty cool.

00:36:26   Now, the other major downside, of course, is that these can't be your only headphones

00:36:30   unless you only listen to music during the day.

00:36:32   [laughs]

00:36:34   Because when you combine your headphones with your sunglasses,

00:36:38   it makes it awkward to listen to your headphones in situations where you don't want to be wearing sunglasses.

00:36:43   So that's like, it's a bit of an odd thing in a number of ways, but it's kind of cool.

00:36:51   If you want to set $200 on fire, there are a lot of worse ways to do it than these Bose Frames.

00:36:57   That being said, them being sold as an AR device is hilarious.

00:37:02   I mean, they're kind of like the iPod Shuffle of AR.

00:37:05   But set that aside. Set aside the weird control scheme and the "No Off" button and all that.

00:37:12   And it's actually kind of cool technology.

00:37:15   I look forward to a future where actual sunglass companies maybe help them out and make the sunglasses better on them.

00:37:22   But yeah, it's surprisingly cool. It's totally ridiculous, totally unnecessary, but kind of fun.

00:37:30   Well, I don't know about you, Marco, but I wear my sunglasses at night.

00:37:33   Yeah, there you go. I was waiting for it.

00:37:35   Thank you.

00:37:36   A couple of other things. Does the long press on the power button turn it off?

00:37:39   No, that invokes Siri.

00:37:41   Oh, that's a bummer. And just so we don't have to deal with a million people wanting to send us this answer, the sticks, the stems on glasses are called temples.

00:37:50   That's stupid. The part of your head is called the temple.

00:37:53   Oh, just put the temple next to the temple.

00:37:55   But the whole thing is called a temple, not just the part that's near your temple.

00:38:00   I reject that name, and I think sticks is less...

00:38:03   That's what it's called on glasses. I knew it was something like that.

00:38:06   You hear about it if you go shopping for glasses that people at the store will occasionally let the jargon leak out.

00:38:12   No, I'm invoking the George Lucas and gift clause. The creator is wrong.

00:38:16   I don't think this is like the creator of glasses. I think this is just what that part of the glass...

00:38:20   Anyway, remember it for a Jeopardy question, because if there is ever a Jeopardy category called glasses, temple will be like the second to bottom answer.

00:38:29   All right. For the rest of my life, when I'm not on Jeopardy, I'm going to keep calling them sticks because that is a less bad name.

00:38:35   But sticks, though, I finally followed the link to your ugly Bose glasses things. Those are not sticks. Those are more like chicken wings.

00:38:44   That's pretty big. I also put in a link to some suggested sunglasses that you might want because they'll really help with the light leakage.

00:38:51   For non-AR sunglasses, I'm set. I have my Maui Jims. I'm very happy with them.

00:38:59   I have another suggestion for you. Follow the link. I just put it in the chat.

00:39:02   All right. Oh, yeah.

00:39:06   There you go. No leakage there, and you're apparently fine with gigantic temples.

00:39:10   I could put these in front of the Bose AR experience.

00:39:14   You certainly could, yeah.

00:39:16   All right, and then our final item of follow-up. And, you know, usually listeners, when I see something in the show notes, even if it's really vague, I have at least a vague notion of what we're about to talk about.

00:39:27   But the following isn't follow-up. Big WWDC. What is this about?

00:39:34   So my usual struggle would put it, like, I'll think of something I want to talk about in the show, right?

00:39:38   But I don't have a separate document, which is like notes for me. This shared note document is the only document.

00:39:47   So I want to put a note for myself to remember there's a thing I want to talk about, but I also don't want to give away what it is just so you two are surprised.

00:39:56   But, of course, I think whatever I write, if I write it two up here, I won't remember what the heck I was talking about.

00:40:02   And so I assumed you would know what this is about. It's just a small item.

00:40:06   So this is, here we are doing our, you know, pre-Beach Vacation episode with weird scheduling. This is really next week's episode.

00:40:14   And then, like, the week I come back, we're going to record a day after we normally do, so on and so forth.

00:40:19   And usually during the summer is a time when we have difficulty coming up with topics and everything. And it occurred to me when preparing for the show that we're still going through topics that were added to this document at WWDC.

00:40:31   And it's not because we've been slacking off and not talking about things on the show, right?

00:40:35   Like, there was so much of this WWDC that we are here well and truly into the summer, towards the tail end of it even, approaching August.

00:40:43   And still, you know, it feels like we're not even halfway through the things that happen in WWDC. And of course, Marco is even farther behind in actually implementing all the things that he wants to do in WWDC.

00:40:53   So, big WWDC, that's it.

00:40:57   Okay, is there a question there?

00:41:01   No, it's just something that just occurred to me. Because normally, this part of the summer, like this show that we're recording now, like I suggested last week, we'll make it like a Q&A episode.

00:41:08   Because we're like, well, nothing's happening during the summer, and we've already talked about everything, and there's no news, so let's just have a Q&A episode. That's not happening this year.

00:41:16   Maybe later in the summer we'll have a Q&A episode. We'll see.

00:41:20   We are sponsored this week by ExpressVPN. Protect your online activity today and find out how you can get three months free at expressvpn.com/atp.

00:41:29   Nobody should be using public Wi-Fi in 2019. Because when you use public Wi-Fi, any unencrypted data that is sent or received by your devices can be snooped on and seen by anybody who's either operating the network or even on the network with you, or anywhere between the network and the internet.

00:41:46   And so what you need is a VPN. This encrypts all of your traffic. It protects you from people in between you and the good part of the internet, like the trusted backbone. It protects people from seeing what you're sending, even when it's unencrypted data.

00:42:00   It takes only one click to turn ExpressVPN on using their easy-to-use apps that run seamlessly in the background of your computer, phone, or tablet.

00:42:09   And using ExpressVPN, you can safely surf on public Wi-Fi. Because the reality is, while we shouldn't do this, we sometimes need to. Because we travel, or we're in another country or something, or you're in a coffee shop or an airport or somewhere that has no cell coverage, so you need Wi-Fi.

00:42:25   The fact is, we still need Wi-Fi these days. We still use it. So use it responsibly. Protect your data with encryption using a VPN.

00:42:33   And ExpressVPN is rated the #1 VPN service by TechRadar. You can see for yourself for less than $7 a month, and it comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

00:42:43   So protect your online activity today, and find out how you can get 3 months free at ExpressVPN.com/ATP. That'll give you 3 months free with a 1-year package.

00:42:53   Once again, ExpressVPN.com/ATP to learn more. Thank you so much to ExpressVPN for sponsoring our show.

00:43:01   [Music]

00:43:04   Some time between when we're recording and when this is released, I think there will be a new version of Overcast out?

00:43:10   I hope so.

00:43:11   Question mark? Okay, so Marco, tell us about what has already "wink" come out.

00:43:16   I hope it does. Yeah, the problem is, I'm just waiting for app review since Tuesday, so I don't know, maybe. Or since Wednesday, I don't know, whenever it was.

00:43:23   But anyway, it brings a couple of new things. I am officially announcing, though, with this, my updates for iOS 13, WatchOS, MacOS, Catalina, you know, Catalyst Build.

00:43:36   It's halfway through the summer, and I have just not made enough progress. It's not going to make it. I'm not going to make it on day one.

00:43:43   I've had a number of setbacks, a number of slowdowns, various technical debt issues of my own. I have some design issues I have to work out that are going to be a lot of work.

00:43:55   I have a lot more updates for iOS 13 that are required than what I had initially expected when I was thinking up my fall schedule.

00:44:05   Catalina has proven, or Catalyst has proven to be, I think, more work than I expected to make something good. You know, I can make something crappy sooner, but I don't want to do that.

00:44:15   I want to make something good, at least passable, and that's going to take more time. I want to make a standalone watch app, and that's going to take more time.

00:44:25   And my iOS 13 update, I want that to be good as well, and that's going to take first priority. So the iOS 13 update is probably going to come out sometime within maybe a week or two of iOS 13, if that goes well, which is a big if.

00:44:40   The standalone watch app and the Mac app that I want to do are not going to come yet. They're going to come probably over the next year.

00:44:48   So, I'm sorry, I'm trying my best, but this has been a very rough beta season for lots of reasons, some of which are Apple's fault, many of which are my fault.

00:44:58   But it's been a very, very rough beta season, and I'm simply not getting done what I want to get done.

00:45:04   I'm not getting enough things done to be able to hit these deadlines that are granted self-imposed. So I'm prioritizing iOS 13 first, and then watch and Mac are kind of being deferred until later.

00:45:18   I think that makes sense.

00:45:19   I did have time to work on the iOS 12 app. I think I mentioned here a couple weeks ago, I was doing an iOS 12 update to basically maintain my own sanity, and some of this is to pave the way for what I'm going to need in some of the app protocol to the server, some of the app protocol to iCloud.

00:45:39   I'm paving the way for what my fall updates need with an iOS 12 update now, and it took the opportunity to also add a couple of features.

00:45:49   So, number one, this is a really boring thing, but you would be amazed how many people requested this for such a long time.

00:45:59   You can now set download versus stream and auto-delete behavior per podcast. Super boring, I know.

00:46:08   To do this required a bunch of really boring server work. That has just taken me a very long time.

00:46:14   It required me to upgrade my version of MySQL so that I could alter the tables in a way without causing a bunch of downtime and get certain good behavior and good performance characteristics to add a lot of columns to the feed subscriptions table.

00:46:27   It was a whole thing, and to do that I wanted to upgrade from my ancient version of Linux I was using on the servers to a more modern version, which brought in this crazy systemd thing everybody hates, and I had to rewrite all my scripts, and it was a big, huge operation to do something very boring, which was add a bunch of database columns to a very big table in a way that was performant and was scalable and wouldn't require a lot of downtime.

00:46:51   So now it's there, and so you can now set download versus stream and auto-delete behavior per podcast. I know that's very, very boring.

00:47:01   Also I've raised the limit on clip sharing from 60 seconds to 90 seconds. This wasn't a huge scientific thing. Basically I have found that 60 seconds felt a little bit too tight a little bit too often.

00:47:15   There were some times where I just needed like three or four more seconds, and I saw other people complaining about the same thing.

00:47:21   In the style of podcasts that many overcast listeners, including me, listen to, like this, that are conversational, that are not scripted, it can often take like a minute five, a minute ten to get a complete thought out.

00:47:34   I raised the limit to 90 seconds. I don't think anyone's going to have any problem with that. It does make it so that that won't fit in Instagram stories unedited, but I have also found that a lot fewer people are sharing to Instagram stories than I expected.

00:47:48   By far the number one share destination is messages and the camera roll, after which they do God knows what. But yeah, so it's actually mostly being used, as all sharing is, turns out, it's mostly being used for private sharing and for personal stuff.

00:48:07   Did you consider something that people have talked about a lot, half jokingly, half serious, which is allowing people to make clips with all of their smart speed, voice boost, blah, blah, blah settings enabled. So you could cram a one minute five second thing into a minute or whatever, or people would talk fast the way they're supposed to.

00:48:24   I think it's weird to present a clip to the world as though this is what the show sounds like when it's been altered in a significant way. Like what if you do it on a show that the effects make it sound worse? Like smart speed would fail on a show that has music in it.

00:48:41   And so if you're sharing like a brief clip that has some music and smart speed makes it sound weird, I feel like that would be misrepresenting the show and possibly making the show look bad to other people. So it feels like it's maybe overstepping a line that I don't want to overstep.

00:48:56   And of course the reason it comes up is people say, again half jokingly but also half serious, that it sounds weird to them when they get a shared clip of a show that they're familiar with because they're used to listening at 1.5x or whatever. Again, getting back to everyone sounding drunk or whatever.

00:49:09   Right. And the reality is, I don't think there's a good solution to this. 1x is the most popular speed and then among the other speeds there isn't one agreed upon ideal popular speed. It's a range. As you can guess, basically it scales from 1x and then the next popular is the first step above that.

00:49:28   And the next popular is the next step above that. And the popularity basically goes down until you reach the fastest speeds with a couple of minor fluctuations towards the end but it doesn't really matter. So the fact is, nobody can agree on what speed is the ideal speed for sharing in a situation where you can't then control it during playback.

00:49:47   So 1x is the only safe thing to do there. That won't sound weird to even more people. Anyway, and then the final feature that I changed in this update that I'm going to talk about today, although I did a crazy cloud kit thing but that's for later.

00:50:02   The final update that I'm going to talk about today is I have removed all of the Twitter recommendations engine. There are still stars. Stars are still recommendations and recommendations still decide what shows up in the directory in the categories and the most recommended section.

00:50:19   But the Twitter recommendation function is gone. If you want to share to Twitter, you can still do that. You can share a clip, you can share a link through the regular share sheet but all Twitter integration is gone. Overcast has had Twitter integration literally since version 1.0.

00:50:35   This is five years ago. And at the time, everyone has always been complaining about podcast discovery being a big problem. And at the time I thought this would be a good idea. This is like, I'll let people connect their Twitter accounts and they can have like a feed of Twitter recommendations.

00:50:49   They can recommend stuff to their friends. They can see what their friends are recommending. And bam, podcast discovery solved. And it also made sense at the time for me to tie a lot of the suggestion functionality to that. Most apps of this type will have some kind of recommended podcasts for you, suggestions for you.

00:51:10   And I didn't have any data to generate those suggestions with. So I used Twitter to try to basically replace the need for that. And I figured it would be great. People will share with their friends and they can see what their friends recommend and everything else.

00:51:26   But it turns out that after five years of this feature being there and being very prominent in the interface, like it was the top block in the ad podcast screen with this giant promo for connect to Twitter account. And in most cases, every time you would hit the recommend star, it would prompt you to connect to Twitter account first.

00:51:45   So like I very heavily promoted this feature and only 10% of people have ever actually connected an account to it. And 10% is not nothing, but it's not great. Because one thing that means is that 90% of my users weren't getting recommendations, right? Which is not good.

00:52:04   The other problem that I've been keeping records for a while now of how many subscriptions were the result of the search screen or the result of an ad being tapped or the result of browsing the categories in the directory. The rate of subscriptions that were the result of Twitter recommendations was about 0.2%.

00:52:28   Not only was this feature not really being used by that many people, relatively speaking, but even the people who were using it weren't really using it much. Because they weren't really getting new podcast recommendations that were turning into subscriptions at a meaningful rate.

00:52:46   Also, I wrote this all five years ago, well in five years I've built up pretty good data. More than enough data to build the engine that says people who subscribe to this also subscribe to that.

00:52:59   So I just built that as the entire engine and I decided let me see what I can build here. And over the last few weeks I've been tweaking it a little bit and it turns out it's really good. Like basic data. We had a question the other day about machine learning stuff for this and I'm not using any machine learning, I'm just using data.

00:53:19   It's a pretty simple algorithm and it's fine. It actually works great. It's way better than the Twitter based recommendations that I was using before and it works for everyone. 100% of users.

00:53:30   As long as you subscribe to at least one podcast, which if you don't my app isn't very useful to you, as long as you subscribe to any podcast you will get recommendations that are pretty good.

00:53:42   And so I've replaced, I've pulled out all the Twitter stuff. And there's also other issues with Twitter too. Like it's kind of like five years ago being integrated with Twitter in some way was still kind of cool.

00:53:55   Today being integrated with Twitter is kind of like being integrated with a toxic waste plant run by Nazis. Like it's not a great association. It's not a positive association for a lot of people anymore.

00:54:10   So I admit that part of my desire to do this was to disassociate myself from Twitter in the app because it's not a good look. It's not a positive association and social networks are becoming increasingly toxic and problematic.

00:54:27   And so I wanted to see if I could do something without it. And yeah, it turns out I could. And not only could I, but it was way better. So I think this is actually a pretty big upgrade. And so I've given it like the new top spot in the directory.

00:54:42   It's called suggestions for you. It'll show up for everybody. And I think it's pretty cool.

00:54:47   Yeah, that sounds awesome. I don't look at recommendations particularly often because I feel like I'm always catching up to my list of podcasts. You know, I'm always like several days if not a week behind.

00:55:00   And so I don't look at recommendations often, but I think ditching Twitter is definitely the right call. And it sounds like it's going to be better for everyone the way you've done it. So, excellent.

00:55:10   I was just looking at my phone to see. This isn't the latest beta, right? The suggestions for you?

00:55:15   Yep. That's the one.

00:55:17   Yeah. I mean, I've got so many podcasts. I'm not often looking to find things that are recommended to me, but I did check it out. And there it is. And the recommendations make sense to me.

00:55:28   Cool.

00:55:29   All right, moving on. There's a rumor that happened, I don't know, a week or two ago that Apple's AR glasses that we don't even know if they're real or not, that that program has been terminated. And there's been some thoughts from a friend of the show, Steve Trout and Smith, that says, "Eh, I'm not so sure that's true."

00:55:48   I haven't really kept up with this because, sitting here now, I'm not really that interested in AR glasses. Remind me of this in two to ten years. But can one of you explain to me what's going on here?

00:56:00   Well, it fits him in this show because we're talking about AR glasses, like Marco's fake AR glasses. It augments reality by playing sound.

00:56:06   Yeah, I already have AR glasses.

00:56:09   Yeah, I just thought this was interesting. It's not exactly like the car, but the car was heavily rumored, and then we had the rumors about it being pivoting, not canceled. But now we were going to make a car, but now we're not. Now we're just making driving stuff. And it's all just stuff that hasn't been released at all. So same deal with the glasses.

00:56:29   And I didn't dig too far into this rumor, but I mostly agree with Steve Trout and Smith. But if Apple's not making any glasses, why keep doing this AR stuff? I feel like we've all been humoring all the AR stuff.

00:56:47   Because it's super cool, and you can do lots of fun stuff with it, and you can place furniture with IKEA. But it's all just been like, "All right, it's good. You really should work on this technology so that when you come out with the glasses, this will be all ready to go."

00:57:02   But if we were to take the glasses off the table and say, "Actually, Apple is never going to make glasses," then I'd be like, rewinding in my head and looking back at all those AR demos, and it's like, "So what are you going to use all this for?" Because I think by now we more or less know that other than placing furniture in your house and doing stuff like that, as a non-novelty interface, AR by holding an iPad in front of you or a phone in front of you is not great.

00:57:29   It's always just been waiting for something that just changes the way that we see, presumably glasses.

00:57:36   So not only do I think that this rumor is not true, like that, or not true in the sense that Apple is not going to make glasses. Maybe a particular glasses project was canned and they're rebooting it and making a new glasses project because the program isn't working or whatever.

00:57:50   But I feel like Apple must inevitably come up with something that you can put on your face that they can project all that AR stuff on because that seems to me the only way all this great AR tech is going to be given a chance to be anything more than a novelty or marketing gimmick or thing that's fun for a few seconds in a couple of games.

00:58:12   But just think back to the past several years of Apple Keynotes. How many have had an AR table? How many have had an AR demo? We've seen it so many times now. It's not really that impressive anymore.

00:58:25   And if we knew that this was all there was going to be is just holding up a pane of glass in front of you and doing AR like that, I think we'd be getting angry about it.

00:58:35   I feel like we're all watching it and just thinking about what is it going to be like when we have those amazing glasses. But if I say you can't have the glasses, it's like stop showing me people holding iPads in front of them.

00:58:46   Stop trying to make Minecraft on an iPad and AR happen. It's not going to happen. I know it's happening, but it's not a thing.

00:58:55   VR and actual video game consoles is barely a thing. VR and PC is barely a thing. I know VR and AR are different, but I'm saying things that you strap to your face that can display computer stuff on them is still in its infancy.

00:59:10   So I'm not surprised that Apple doesn't have it yet, but I think basically Apple has to do this. They either have to do this or they have to stop doing ARKit. Those are their two choices.

00:59:19   And I really don't think the third choice is like, "Oh, Apple will do this software," but then someone else will make the hardware. Nope, that's not the Apple way.

00:59:25   So Apple, you better still be making glasses eventually. Maybe on something better than a Mac Pro timeline.

00:59:33   Sick burn.

00:59:36   I think it's inevitable. I think they are going to do glasses. Just looking at everything else, I'm not that excited about AR, to be honest. I'm a huge AR skeptic. However, I also recognize the rest of the world is not, and I'm not seeing a lot of the benefit because we don't have it yet.

00:59:55   And once I had it, I might really like it. And also, you look at what Apple's putting into it. Apple is putting clearly a lot of investment into AR, like via ARKit, as you said. There is no way they would be putting in so much effort if it was just for placing furniture in a room on the phone.

01:00:14   That's not enough. That wouldn't justify the amount of effort they're putting into ARKit if what we know today as AR was all it was really ever going to be.

01:00:24   And to be clear, placing furniture is also better with glasses. Everything is better with glasses. It's just that we're willing to accept the clumsiness of using a device just because it's a cool application that there is no real equivalent for. But even that is massively improved.

01:00:37   Yeah. And honestly, I've heard from a couple people also that this report is BS. I don't think anybody besides this Digitimes report has heard that they've actually disbanded this team or anything. It certainly sounds like this article is total BS. That the AR glasses team is...

01:00:59   It's like a game of telephone where during the course of the project, they change technology partners, change manufacturers, change approaches, reboot seven times over. And if one of those stories leaks out, it's like, "Oh, the project is canceled."

01:01:12   And what really happened is they decided to get a part from a different manufacturer. And as far as that manufacturer is concerned, Apple no longer talks to them about AR, so they think the project is canceled. There's all sorts of ways that this could be plausible.

01:01:23   And I'm also willing to believe that the reason we don't have them is still because the technology is not ready. I don't expect Apple to work magic. I expect that by the time Apple is actually ready to introduce a product that is AR glasses, we will know that it is possible based on the seven other competing companies that have already introduced some crappier product.

01:01:46   That's usually the way things go these days. So it's still going to be a little while, and I really don't expect Apple to ship anything quite as awkward as those Bose glasses that don't even display anything in front of your face.

01:01:57   But as for your AR skepticism, I mean, I'm not sure how big it will possibly be, but I am very convinced of a few particular applications. To give one example that I think you can relate to and I think that everybody can relate to is navigation while in cars.

01:02:14   Like you love your heads up display. Well, imagine if, you know, carplay with AR glasses, it would let you drive, continue to look at the road, and it would overlay the directions on the actual road.

01:02:24   It is the best version of, if done well, the best version of navigation without taking your eyes off the road. Literally, they can put like transparent overlays on the actual road telling you where exactly where the right turn is.

01:02:35   Like that is unbelievable, and it is using technology that we're very close to having today in terms of can you do this setting aside the glasses. We already have navigation.

01:02:45   We already have ARKit, and if we can get some glasses to combine those, you don't need to do much. You don't really care if you're exactly on the road.

01:02:53   It's just a very thin, very transparent amount of overlay information. That type of stuff where you just, you know, literally augmenting just a little bit of extra stuff in your field of view.

01:03:03   It doesn't mean you're using your computer by seeing a bunch of windows floating around or some stuff. It's just like, and the other one that always comes up, which people I think is silly but I think is useful, especially if you go to a jobby job.

01:03:16   Can I have people's names floating over their head? God. I know it's in every sci-fi movie. I'm so bad with names. I am the worst with names.

01:03:25   No, that's not true. That's me.

01:03:27   I would love that. And then obviously in the movies it's always like, it's not just their name. It's like their blood type and whether they're divorced and how many kids they have and what their kids' names are and the last time you spoke to them.

01:03:41   It gets all, you know, Black Mirror, you know, what if AR but too much. It goes there really quickly. I understand that, but I'm not an AR booster, but I'm also not a skeptic because I see so many actual, real practical applications in addition to the ridiculous ones that we will inevitably get.

01:04:00   It's just a question of can you make glasses that do that? And we apparently can't even get reasonable size and shape glasses that play sound alone, so I think we might be waiting a while for our magic apple glasses.

01:04:11   Okay, so over, I don't know, it was like a week or two ago as we record this, there was a bit of a brouhaha, I don't want to say kerfuffle because that sounds negative, so I'll go with brouhaha, about how in the iOS betas they have this new feature that I think was pretty quietly just slipped in.

01:04:30   And it's a toggle somewhere in settings called FaceTime Attention Correction. And that doesn't mean a lot to me, but the footer underneath that row says, "Your eye contact with the camera will be more accurate during FaceTime video calls."

01:04:47   Huh? So I saw some stuff fly around Twitter about this. It turns out, if you think about you being on a FaceTime call, what you're going to be looking at is the screen and the person you're talking to.

01:05:01   But from the perspective of the person you're talking to, you're not looking at the camera, you're looking down.

01:05:07   And that isn't necessarily bad, I think we're all pretty much used to this, but it would be kind of neat if you could talk eye to eye, so to speak, so that it, so you know, I actually try occasionally to look at the camera to kind of show the person I'm talking with that I'm paying attention to them, but then I can't see what they're doing, so then there's no point in being on FaceTime at all.

01:05:26   So apparently what this does is it uses AR or some sort of other magic to make it look like you're looking at the camera, even though you're looking at the screen, and this crap blows my mind.

01:05:42   I, it's such a cool thing, I think it's cool, maybe one of you is about to convince me I'm wrong, it's such a cool thing, but how? How is this magic happening? Because I've seen videos of it float by on Twitter, and it looks perfect to me. How is this possible? So, John, what's going on here?

01:06:02   So I had two thoughts about this, and this has been in the notes for a while, and it's kind of fortuitous that it came up today, because just in a tangent about the overcast clip sharing with the speed thing, Marco was talking about how it's not really an accurate representation of the show to be sharing that, and I kind of, my first instinctual reaction to this attention correction thing was exactly that, not to be wowed by the technology, but to think the whole point of FaceTime is so someone can see me.

01:06:29   If the phone, computer, whatever, is literally altering the structure of my face by taking my eyeballs and remapping them so that they, like, it's synthesizing geometry for my face, essentially.

01:06:45   It's not just like changing the lighting, doing a better job of picking up my face in a dark room, it is literally altering the geometry and look of my face. Then at that point, are they looking at my face, or is it like I have, you know, those bunny ears on my head the entire time, which is another feature of many of these, you know, sort of real-time conferences and things, which is fun and all, but imagine if, like, it's clear to someone that you're putting the bunny ears on or the unicorn horn or whatever, right?

01:07:09   Whereas with the eye correction, I just feel like everyone can start looking like, you know, the weird orangutan eyes from the emperor in Empire Strikes Back. Isn't that orangutan chat room? Chat room's not going to know this one.

01:07:23   Anyway, that is an actual Star Wars reference that Star Wars nerds will get, but I've seen the videos too, and honestly, I find it a little bit creepy, and I don't want that.

01:07:31   Now, that said, I understand why the feature exists. It's even worse on the iPad, because I often FaceTime with the iPad with it held sideways, so then you're not looking down. You're looking, like, to the left. It's like you're not making eye contact with them, like you're looking past them, right?

01:07:47   And sometimes I try to look into the camera too, you know, whatever that Hypercritical episode was, look right into the eyes of your sweetie. Like, it's hard to look right into the eyes of your sweetie with the camera so far off axis from where you are. The phone is smaller, and usually if you're holding it vertically, it's just, you know, like you're looking down a little bit.

01:08:04   So I understand the motivation, but the mind-blowing technical solution that I would like to see is put the damn camera under the screen in the center, right? Now, obviously, that's easier said than done, but there are cameras that are sort of behind the screen to varying degrees.

01:08:20   Obviously, there's probably many compromises that go with that, but if I could just snap my fingers and have sci-fi technology, that's the solution to eye contact. I really do not want something, I mean, I know it's a feature and it's an option, and I hope it's off by default, but I really do not want something remapping either my eyes or anyone else's eyes, because I want to know that I'm looking at a person, not a, you know, CG-augmented reconfigured, you know, suggestion of a person.

01:08:45   It's like deep fakes, we're all just going to be deep fakes, it'll just, you know, the equivalent of holding up a puppet to your teleconferencing camera.

01:08:53   Currently, the way it currently is in the beta is it is off by default, and you have to enable it for yourself, for your own eyes to be corrected to others.

01:09:02   So, like, if you have somebody who you FaceTime a lot with and they're never looking at the camera, you can't enable it for them, so I think it's implemented in a responsible way.

01:09:10   That being said, this is exactly the kind of feature that if anyone else besides Apple did this, we would make fun of them relentlessly for how creepy and weird like robots they are for thinking of this feature.

01:09:25   Like, we as Apple people would make fun of them for this being over the line, they're all, you know, they're too nerdy, they're not thinking of humans, like, so the fact that Apple did it and we're not making fun of them,

01:09:38   I think, exposes a real double standard that we have. But anyway.

01:09:41   Who's we? I just made fun of them.

01:09:43   Yeah, but I know, we as a community.

01:09:45   Or complained about them is worse, I'm not joking, I think this is seriously a misguided feature.

01:09:51   Yeah, and I think also, humans are really, really good at detecting minor fluctuations, minor communication from eyes. We're really good at it, our brains are really tuned to notice imperfections or differences or very subtle things about eyes.

01:10:14   So to have our eyes be algorithmically altered in a video, it isn't even just like a photo feature, like, I can almost see this making sense for selfies.

01:10:25   It makes a lot more sense there, like when you have to like, oh, look at the lens, don't look at the picture, like, you know, that actually makes more sense to have that there, I think that's a more common need.

01:10:32   But for it to be altering how your eyes look in a live video stream is very much running risks of it getting things very slightly wrong and you looking really disturbing and weird to the other end.

01:10:49   Maybe even, maybe it's just a frame or two, maybe it's a split second that you look weird, but that's going to be really disruptive if that happens. Like, it's going to be very unsettling to see as you're having a video call with somebody, their eyes, you know, bug out or get weird.

01:11:06   Like, that's, if they're going to do this at all, which I think is worth questioning, if they're going to do it at all, it has to work perfectly and I think that's just very unlikely. It's not going to work perfectly every time and so that seems like a huge risk of like, the downside when it fails is going to be way worse, even if it's just for a split second, it's going to be way worse for the quality of that call than if it wasn't there at all.

01:11:31   Even if it worked perfectly though, like I think it doesn't change the fundamental issue, which is that you are presenting something that the other person thinks is your face, but that you know is not.

01:11:42   It's again, unlike putting rabbit ears on or something where the other person is clear that you're augmenting your face or doing something silly. This is going to look exactly like you just looking in a different direction and I feel like that's not, you know, like, how does it affect your expression?

01:11:59   Like the whole point of FaceTime is you can see the other person's face and see their expressions and emote in a higher bandwidth way than just audio and I just don't think we need anything messing that up.

01:12:08   I mean, what, you know, what's next? A very subtle feature that also gets rid of my acne or something? Like, again, those things, those features are fun when it's clear to both parties what's going on, but these very subtle things that are like correcting for essentially a hardware flaw, the fact that the camera is off axis, fix it in hardware. Don't try to fix my face in software.

01:12:26   Yeah, it's just, it feels like it's overstepping a line of like just creepiness and messing with like very intimate things that I don't know. I don't like this.

01:12:37   I don't think that I am nearly as bothered by this as you guys are because I don't know, maybe I just haven't experienced it and that's why I'm not bothered by it. But I mean, 90% of the time on a FaceTime call, maybe even more than that, I'm looking at the screen and I'm emoting with eyebrows or something like that.

01:12:55   But in a perfect world, what I'm doing really is looking at the other person and if this thing can just shimmy my eyes up so that it represents what I'm actually doing, I don't think I'm bothered by that. However, I do agree with what you guys were saying that if Google did this, I would probably, knowing me, be making extreme fun of them.

01:13:15   So I definitely have a double standard and I'll be the first to admit it. But I don't know, it's, I don't feel as bothered by this as you guys seem to do.

01:13:23   I was going to throw another landmine here, which hasn't come up yet, but could. Eye shape is a thing that people have strong feelings about and if in the course of trying to do its best effort to implement this feature, they end up changing people's eye shape, that has all sorts of political and racial implications that are surely are unintentional.

01:13:40   But it's like when you start altering people's faces, this stuff comes up. Or if it works better on white people's faces than black people's faces, this is, yeah, it's just, is this where we want to go? Like move the camera. Or put two cameras, like here's another one.

01:13:55   Put two cameras in and synthesize the image out of the two cameras. Isn't that the same thing? They're altering your face or whatever. I feel like it can be done optically rather than take the picture and a depth map and then apply CG 3D magic.

01:14:11   It's great if you're making a movie with a bunch of actors, but not so great in my actual FaceTime call.

01:14:18   I wonder if they could do a slight tilt shift optic thing to make the perspective change. But yeah, it seems like the risks of this going wrong are so great, like it's so bad if it goes wrong, that it's not worth the benefit that it has if it goes right.

01:14:37   Compare, by the way, compare to a similar feature that we've talked about on the show, which is the fake depth of field, which some of us like and some of us don't. But it has so many fewer downsides because A, it's clear when it erases somebody's ear that their ear is not actually gone.

01:14:54   And B, they can't fix it optically because physics. And C, it's like it's your own pictures. You're not presenting anything to the world. If you want to put a picture on Instagram with your ear blurred off, go ahead. No one is thinking that you actually have a transparent ear.

01:15:10   I don't know. I'm really looking forward to trying this. And like I said, I think I'm a lot less grumpy about it than you two, but who knows? Maybe I'll try it and say, "Oh, that is no good!" So we'll see what happens.

01:15:22   We are sponsored this week by Linode, my favorite web host for running servers. Go to linode.com/ATP. Use promo code ATP2019 for a $20 credit.

01:15:33   I run all of Overcast's servers at Linode. I currently have, I think, about 30 instances running there, and it's fantastic because they have amazing technical capabilities there.

01:15:44   You can run big servers, small servers. They're all virtualized in the Linode cloud, so you get all these nice conveniences of modern cloud instances. You can replicate them. You can move them. You can resize them.

01:15:55   They're amazing, and they're all backed by really fast hardware. These use enterprise-grade SSDs, a 40 gigabit network, Xeon processors. You can put your Linode instances in any of their worldwide data centers.

01:16:08   They have 10 so far. They just opened one in Toronto, and they're going to add one in Mumbai, India by the end of the year. They're constantly adding more, and it's backed by amazing support.

01:16:17   I had to ask their support something the other day, and they got back to me. It was like 15 minutes, and it was a really deep technical question. It was really fast, and their support is just very responsive and very good and very capable.

01:16:30   They don't treat you like an idiot. They don't make you like, "Oh, did you try restarting the computer?" They can tell when you're asking a technical question. They give you a technical answer. It's really, really great.

01:16:39   It's amazingly priced, too. This is why I've been with Linode for about eight and a half years now, since way before they were a sponsor of anything I did, because I just like them the best.

01:16:48   They are the best value. They have great support, and they've been the best value for that entire eight years I've been with them.

01:16:54   Their plans start at just $5 a month. They get you a server with one gig of RAM in the Linode cloud, and of course, they have lots of things above that if you have higher needs than that.

01:17:04   They're bringing this stuff out all the time, and they're constantly staying on top of things. They're constantly the best value in the business.

01:17:09   Check them out today. Linode.com/ATP. Promo code ATP2019 for a $20 credit.

01:17:17   Thank you so much to Linode for hosting all of Overcast and for sponsoring our show.

01:17:22   [Music]

01:17:25   All right, let's do some Ask ATP, and let's start with Matthew Lowen.

01:17:30   Do you guys start iMessage conversations from a phone number or email address, and why?

01:17:36   I think I start them from an email address, and the theory being that if I ever go overseas, which I totally do all the time, if I ever go overseas, then my iMessages are uninterrupted if I were to switch SIMs.

01:17:49   So the idea being my phone number would then go away in theory, unless I'm living the fancy-pants-to-SIM life, which I am not today.

01:17:58   And so my phone number goes away, and then as of the time I made this decision years ago, Apple's server-side stuff wasn't smart enough to realize, "Oh, these are all part of the same account. Just shove them to this other phone number."

01:18:12   That may or may not be true today. I honestly don't have a clue, but I am pretty darn sure that I do it from my email address.

01:18:20   Oh no, I'm wrong! Look at that! I lied. I start new conversations from my phone number, which I almost read out by accident.

01:18:26   No, I guess I'm wrong. So either I'm doing this wrong, which is likely, or I am doing this right and don't realize it. So I apparently don't follow my own advice. Marco, what do you do?

01:18:37   Phone number all the way. Many issues that people have with iMessage threads splits or multiple threads where there shouldn't be multiple threads, many of those issues stem from a discrepancy between whether people are communicating with your phone number or your email address.

01:18:53   I was so tired of those issues cropping up whenever I would do this that I just disabled the email altogether and said, "Alright, no, you can't message me that way anymore. Now you have to message me on my phone number and that's it." And that has solved most split-thread issues on iMessage for me.

01:19:09   And I don't worry about the international travel thing anymore. I did screw it up in the past and that was not fun, but I don't worry about it anymore because now when I travel internationally I just do that whole day pass thing with AT&T where I just use my number over there and it's fine.

01:19:23   So I think your split-thread problem is not solved by what you think solved it. I think it was just solved by Apple doing a slightly better job and this is why. I have the exact opposite stance. I am Apple IB all the way rather than phone number for a couple of reasons.

01:19:37   First, Apple IDs, they say email addresses but it's basically Apple ID when we're talking about iMessage, are friendlier. I don't know what people's friggin' phone numbers are and in theory they should all be in my address book and contacts but sometimes they aren't. I might be messaged from somebody who I didn't realize had never added my contacts and I have no idea what they are when I see their phone number.

01:19:55   Apple IDs, email addresses are just a friendlier way to address someone in a series of numbers. Second, I would like to think that I am, and iMessage is not on the same page with me quite yet, but I would like to address the person, not the device and certainly not the phone.

01:20:12   And yes, I know you can get the phone on your Mac, you can tell messages on the Mac to answer on your phone and all these other things like that, but the one thing that spans everything is your Apple ID, which any Apple device, your future glasses or anything like that, or your iPad or your phone or your Mac or whatever else they come out with, the Apple ID as far as I'm concerned represents the person.

01:20:32   So when I want to iMessage the person, I want to be from me a person with an Apple ID, to them a person with an Apple ID and I don't care what the heck their phone number is or whether they even own a phone.

01:20:42   So you get a world where I'm doing this and Marco is only using his phone number and how does that work? This is the problem, right? Some people want to always do it from their phone number, some people always want to do it from their Apple ID.

01:20:52   That's where you initiate it as you, but sometimes when I message somebody, because I have everybody's Apple ID, Marco's Apple ID and his phone number in my thing, I get a choice of where I want to start messaging.

01:21:05   Again, I don't want that choice, I just want to message the person, but it makes me choose. And when I choose, I will never choose the phone because I'm like, well, some people have notifications on their phone and if they get a text on their phone, then they think it's important, so I want to use the less important one because it's not super important, so I'll just send it to their Apple ID and they can choose to.

01:21:21   Receive that on their phone or not, and honestly I have no idea how they've, you know, because in all the messages applications you can choose, receive messages in any of these seven email addresses or this phone number and hopefully people set that up, but I'm not even sure.

01:21:33   So anyway, I always pick start conversation from my Apple ID and when I send text messages, I message messages to Marco, I pick his Apple ID and not his phone number.

01:21:43   So that must still be working because you get them and you respond, despite the fact that you have your things set to initiate your conversations from phone number. Is that why we get thread splits? Maybe, but it's just, I don't like this, it's a bad system because everyone can't just all agree to pick one or the other.

01:22:00   And I almost kind of wish that phone numbers didn't exist anymore and it was just all computers and internet and we could get this all sorted out, but I don't think I'm going to live to see that.

01:22:09   Alright, next up on our list, Hassan Al Amiri writes, "Has Syracuse used LFG sites for ratings?" Well, that sounds like it's about Destiny, so we can just skip it. Marco had a great idea for a thing that we can talk about. No, I'm just kidding, John, you can have your moment. The clock is ticking.

01:22:25   Don't you want to know what I think about this question?

01:22:27   Well, yes, Marco, let's start with you. Yes, sir, in the front of the room.

01:22:31   I'm going to guess yes.

01:22:34   I'm going to guess no.

01:22:35   Do you understand the question without having to Google anything?

01:22:38   "Has Syracuse used LFG sites for ratings?"

01:22:42   I'm assuming it's some sort of like assistance site. I would guess it's either having, like orchestrating meeting up with a raid party or more likely it's just like a description of the raid and tips about how to complete it.

01:22:55   I'm going to guess LFG sites must be a new kind of configuration method for raid arrays. You used to have like jumpers, like those little pin jumpers or dip switches on controllers and everything. LFG sites are maybe it's like a dot that you put a pencil in and that's how you configure your rating.

01:23:18   If it was that kind of raid, REID would be in all caps, right? Just like LFG?

01:23:22   I mean if it's correct, but people often miss capitalize things. Like, "You're Mac!"

01:23:27   Casey was closest. Casey's first guess was the closest to being correct. LFG stands for "looking for group," although I often read it in my head as looking for game. So when you have a multiplayer game like Destiny where you have to get together large-ish groups of people, not just one or two, to do an activity, like you can't even, you know, I can't even start.

01:23:52   You can't even complete a raid without a full group of people unless you're very good and experienced or overleveled for it or whatever. So it's hard to get a bunch of people together. Try getting a group of six people together on the computer at the same time to play a game.

01:24:07   And Marcos talked many times about LAN parties and trying to just get everyone in the same room to get all the map downloaded and everything. It literally takes like two-thirds of any LAN party I ever had in high school.

01:24:16   Yeah, and it's easier now because we're all in our own homes, but it's harder because we're all adults or whatever. So LFG sites are like a way for you to say, "Maybe me and one or two friends need a bunch of other people to make a full six."

01:24:30   So it's just, you know, it's not like a dating website, but similar to that where you say what activity you want to do, how many people you have, depending on the site, you can list all sorts of other criteria, like a dating site where you can say, "We have microphones or we don't have microphones. We accept cursing or we don't accept cursing. This is our level in the game. These are the items we have."

01:24:51   And then there are LFG sites where people were listing things like, you know, "Gjallarhorn only," which will make sense to people who are in Destiny 1.

01:25:01   Can you believe it? "Gjallarhorn only?"

01:25:03   And then you're trying to say who you're willing to group with. And all this gets back to the basic idea, which is doing a raid or playing something like this with a group of people requires a certain amount of trust and communication in the group to be successful, which is why you want to do it with friends.

01:25:21   And these sites exist because they want you to be able to put enough criteria, enough data into the thing so that you actually get matched with people who you will not immediately hate and who will be able to successfully communicate with you and who are on the same wavelength of what your expectations are.

01:25:38   You don't want to get matched with a bunch of people. Say you've never done the raid. You don't want to get matched with a super experienced group who is full of angry teenagers who are A) not going to be patient with your lack of knowledge or skill about a thing and B) are going to be cursing at you and being jerks.

01:25:54   Again, it gets worse from there for all the various toxic behavior that we see in gaming. So it's a difficult problem to solve. And these LFG sites, these exist mostly as third-party things because for a first party to set up essentially matchmaking for raiding with people on microphones by default is, as you would imagine, a formula for the outlet of all the worst toxic things in gaming culture.

01:26:18   So Destiny, for its history, by default, has basically not let you hear anyone's voice unless you opt into it on both sides, which is the right choice.

01:26:29   There is a little bit of matchmaking and LFG-style stuff in Destiny 2 with their iOS app and with their website.

01:26:35   But that's for, I mean, I suppose you could use it for raiding too and they have the guided games beta that they've been doing. But bottom line is it's an extremely difficult problem to solve.

01:26:44   Now getting back to what I do, I have not used an LFG for raiding because raids are very complicated, very difficult, very time consuming, and there's no way in hell I'm going to, like, to be able to carve out that amount of time in my life is difficult to begin with.

01:27:00   I'm never going to carve that amount of time out and roll the dice on some random people I'm going to group with. I'm always dealing with friends or people I've played with before who I actually know are, like, reasonable human beings and who are on a similar level to me or are willing to be patient with my lack of experience or whatever.

01:27:15   Because I want to actually have fun and that's the whole point of doing it. I'm not actually accomplishing it. I'm not actually saving the universe, right? The whole point is to hang out with people you enjoy hanging out with and are going to have a good time, right?

01:27:24   So I don't use LFG sites for that. I have used it for, like, some activity that I can do with somebody off mic where I just need a couple of people to help me out. I've used LFG sites and the built-in Bungie one for Destiny just to get random people.

01:27:37   Even that's difficult because then some people will join and they'll just be idle and then you'll have to kick them out, but you feel bad for kicking them out and, ugh. Anyway, it's much better when you play with either people you know or people that you know you can tolerate or enjoy.

01:27:52   I feel better for having known that. How about you, Marco?

01:27:54   Oh, yeah. I've rated all over my lifts and I feel great.

01:27:59   It's only a matter of time before we get both of you playing Destiny. It's going to be the special, special, special episode.

01:28:05   On an infinite time scale.

01:28:07   Yeah, exactly.

01:28:08   We'll be streaming it. We've got me, you two, Mike, Tiff. We almost have a full six-fer raid right there.

01:28:18   Can you play it on a late 2015 iMac on Mac OS?

01:28:22   Yeah, eventually. Because of the Stadia thing, remember?

01:28:26   Yeah, uh-huh. And can you play it on the Switch?

01:28:29   Not eventually.

01:28:31   Okay, so then I am incapable of playing that.

01:28:33   Although, who knows? With Stadia, imagine Stadia for the Switch, that'd be a hell of a thing. You'd have to like jailbreak it and put Linux on it and then run Stadia on your Switch.

01:28:41   There is a gaming PC in my house, but I refuse to touch it.

01:28:44   No, I'm mostly joking because there's quite a learning curve, but it would be fun to do a stream of like, watch someone who has no idea how to play Destiny try playing Destiny guided by me.

01:28:59   Oi. Alright, our final Ask ATP of the Day is going to be probably the biggest and, gosh, it only knows how long this is going to take, so this could be a while.

01:29:12   But we had several people apparently write in, I had seen this personally from BJ Nemeth, who had written in so many words, "Can we do a like, cheap iPhone watch thing, like, best bang for the buck for new or used Macs?"

01:29:27   And, you know, we got different suggestions, I guess, about what price point, but I think where we landed was, "Okay, what is the best bang for the buck for something from Apple that is $1,000 or less?"

01:29:40   I will start the bidding, if you will. I think the best, I'm going to break the rules two different ways.

01:29:47   I have two answers, because this is not top one, this is apparently top two, and my first answer is, I think probably the best bang for the buck is a refurbished 9.7 inch iPad Pro Wi-Fi and cellular 256 gig, unfortunately in gold, for $700.

01:30:04   I think that is the best bang for the buck, it is probably the most computer that you can get for under $1,000, and you could even add the keyboard thinger, if I'm not mistaken, and still keep it under $1,000.

01:30:14   But if you force me to stick with a Mac, I'm going to somehow find $19 before tax in my couch and get a refurbished 13.3 inch MacBook Pro, the escape version with a 2.3 gigahertz processor, and unknown amounts of RAM, it just occurred to me.

01:30:33   But hey, you know what, we're sticking to close to $1,000. It is 8 gigs of RAM, which is frickin' terrible, but it's $1,000, so that's what you get. Marco, what do you got?

01:30:44   So, I immediately reject your iPad suggestion, because if you want an iPad, get an iPad. But the question was about Macs, and if you're looking for a Mac, you probably are not going to be satisfied by an iPad.

01:30:57   So, let's set those right aside. I do agree, if an iPad satisfies your needs, they are better values than Macs in most configurations.

01:31:05   But anyway, what I found is, if you're looking at "new", nothing really seems to beat Apple's refurbished deals. The only downside with refurbished deals is that there are very few that are under $1,000.

01:31:20   The closest I found is actually $19 over, it's $1,019. - That's what I was just looking at, yep. - Yeah, the refurb 13.3 Air, yeah, yeah.

01:31:30   - Oh, no, not the Air, I was looking at a Pro, but it was also $1,019. - Basically, it's the refurb version of anything that Apple charges $1,200 for, which is a pretty common price point.

01:31:39   I would go with the MacBook Air, new generation, for $1,019, they have one that has 256 gigs of SSD at that price.

01:31:50   One of the main issues I found trying to find things under $1,000 was storage size. Almost everything you find under that price is 128 gigs, and I cannot abide that.

01:32:01   That is not enough, I would not recommend anybody ever buy anything that small. Even 256 is smaller than I would buy. I would go 512 minimum if I could.

01:32:12   But I recognize in this price category, a lot of times it's less about what you want and more about what's available.

01:32:18   But yeah, I would say 256 should be your minimum. And so what you tend to see in this price category is the MacBook Air. You see a lot of MacBook Airs.

01:32:28   The downside is that most MacBook Airs that are in this price category were configured to be cheap. They were configured for fleet sales, or selling a big bunch of them to schools and everything.

01:32:38   And those are all almost always 128 gig models. So it's pretty hard to find good configurations that are this cheap that are anywhere near new.

01:32:48   Now if you're willing to go a little bit older, you can get the old model MacBook Air, which I wouldn't recommend because it's non-retina. And again, just like we said last week, non-retina is non-starter for me.

01:32:58   But you can still also get refurbs and Amazon's quote "renewed" which is not refurbished but whatever. You can get that version of older models. I would not recommend any of the USB-C series laptops before the 2018 models.

01:33:18   Because only the 2018s and the 2019s are capable of being fitted with the newest butterfly keyboard that has the improved materials. And while we don't know whether that's going to fix a lot of the problems, the combination of the membrane in the 2018s and the new materials in the 2019s, I think is more likely to have longevity and to survive being refurbished without any keys being flaky or failing soon.

01:33:44   I think your chances are best of long-term reliability with 2018 or 2019 models. And there just simply aren't that many of those in refurbished lots yet. Because they're just too new and too expensive.

01:33:57   So if I was really sticking to this price cap firmly, I would go back to the 2015 generation. The last one before the USB-C generation. The 13-inch version of that generation. The 13-inch 2015 MacBook Pro is available, refurbished in many places.

01:34:21   Many people sell those for around $700 to $900 with reasonable configurations. Unfortunately, most of them are 8GB of RAM. But you can get some 256GB, some 512GB, and occasionally you might see a terabyte, but that's probably going to be over $1,000.

01:34:41   But you can get reasonable configurations of the 2015 13-inch for under $1,000, often by a couple hundred dollars. If you're willing to go a little bit over $1,000, you can get my "best laptop ever," the 15-inch 2015 laptop.

01:34:58   Same thing with 15-inch. Those are all 16GB of RAM, which helps a lot. And you can find more of those that have been configured up to like 512GB for storage. And I found, like there's a listing on Amazon I found that is $1,188. So it's $1,200 instead of $1,000.

01:35:16   But that gets you a 15-inch 16GB of RAM, 512GB disk. That I think is going to be really hard to beat for bang for the buck.

01:35:24   Of course you would go back to the 2015. Of course. John, save us. What's the right answer?

01:35:31   I saw this question like 10 minutes before we started recording, so I didn't have time to do anything. But I think laptops are bad.

01:35:39   Oh, gosh. There we go.

01:35:41   I waffled about suggesting this, but I think I'm going to do it. You can buy old cheese graters for not enough money.

01:35:47   Oh, no!

01:35:48   And the reason I'm going to suggest that, you're like, "Old cheese graters can't even run Catalina anymore. Why would you even buy that?" The question is bang for the buck. And you get a hell of a lot of bang at these things.

01:35:57   So you mentioned like storage. You buy one of these things for a small price. You can put tons of storage in them. You can put a fairly powerful video card in it.

01:36:05   Still today there is this subgenre of YouTube videos where someone takes a cheese grater and they fill it full of high-end PC gaming parts and manage to get the drivers to work and it becomes this amazing machine that rivals any Mac Pro that Apple ever makes.

01:36:18   It's like a hot rod basically. So bang for the buck doesn't mean necessarily like the computer that is the most sort of middle of the road exactly what you would get to just do normal computer stuff. Bang could be like, "What can you do? Can you hot rod it? Can you get lots of enjoyment out of it?

01:36:34   Can you make it do amazing things that no Mac for any amount of money can do?" And the answer to all that for a cheese grater is yes. And you have lots of cheese graters to choose from depending on your budget.

01:36:43   And the good thing is, as someone tweeted at me earlier this week, if eventually you get bored of hot rodding it and sell all the parts or make a gaming PC out of them or something, you can haul this thing out and jam a new Mac Mini inside there and make a Mac Mini Frankenstein thing.

01:36:59   I think I likened it to if raccoons could come and make a home in your grill in the backyard, you just open up the family raccoons in there. Someone shoved a Mac Mini, a bunch of external hard drives, and I don't remember what else, inside a cheese grater case.

01:37:13   So cheese grater is obviously any cheese grater. 2008, the 2012 models, any generation of any cheese grater you can do amazing things with. So that's my answer. And I didn't even look up prices, but I'm pretty sure you can get them for less than $1,000 now.

01:37:28   That is not a good answer.

01:37:32   Bang for the buck is a phrase that is very open to interpretation, is all I'm saying.

01:37:37   And if you're willing to skirt the monitor question and have it not be portable, a refurb Mac Mini or maybe a used iMac would probably give you more bang for the buck.

01:37:49   That would be my second choice, yeah, a Mac Mini.

01:37:52   Mac Minis don't actually get that cheap. A lot of people want cheap Mac Minis, so the market for used ones is propped up by so much demand, the prices don't actually go down very far.

01:38:05   But for $1,000, you can get an okay used one.

01:38:08   Yeah, but you still don't have a monitor or anything.

01:38:11   Right, you have to get your monitor keyboard, but this is just talking about the Mac. All I'm saying is don't get, I guess we're not talking about iMacs because it's really hard to find a decent one of those for under $1,000 probably, but laptops.

01:38:22   You all just recommended laptops in case you tried to recommend an iPad. No one wants those laptops, they all have bad keyboards. Have you not been listening to the show? Get a desktop Mac.

01:38:30   The ones I recommended don't have bad keyboards.

01:38:33   You recommended 2018 or later USB-C.

01:38:35   Or 2015 MacBook Pros.

01:38:37   The 2018 keyboards are still not good.

01:38:40   I agree, but if you're looking for something that is at all recent, that's your option.

01:38:44   I would take a Mac Mini with that every day because I don't like laptops.

01:38:47   And the modern Mac, if you can find one of the modern Mac Minis for less than $1,000, it's a fast computer. Just hook it up to whatever keyboard and mouse you've got lying around.

01:38:55   Apple does actually sell refurbs of the modern Mac Mini for under $1,000, but not much under $1,000.

01:39:02   And the configurations are pretty barebones at that level. The best you can get is a 256 SSD and 8GB of RAM, which is fine, but...

01:39:13   But unlike a laptop, that's not limiting to you because you can just connect an external drive and it's not a burden because it's on your desktop and you're not carrying it around.

01:39:20   Yeah, fair enough.

01:39:22   (sigh)

01:39:24   Desktops, they're great.

01:39:26   I know, you don't have to convince me of that, but...

01:39:28   Until you have to move them, I...

01:39:30   Actually, man, just get some wheels.

01:39:32   Well, don't even start with me.

01:39:33   Yeah, tell Marco about that.

01:39:34   Yeah, just get a wheeled cart and you're all set to go.

01:39:37   Thank you to our sponsors this week, Squarespace, ExpressVPN, and Linode. And we will see you next week.

01:39:45   (music)

01:39:47   Now the show is over, they didn't even mean to begin.

01:39:52   'Cause it was accidental.

01:39:54   Oh, it was accidental.

01:39:57   John didn't do any research, Marco and Casey wouldn't let him.

01:40:02   'Cause it was accidental.

01:40:05   Oh, it was accidental.

01:40:08   And you can find the show notes at ATP.FM.

01:40:13   And if you're into Twitter, you can follow them at C-A-S-E-Y-L-I-S-S.

01:40:22   So that's Casey List M-A-R-C-O-A-R-M.

01:40:26   And T-Marco Arment S-I-R-A-C-U-S-A-C-R-A-C-U-S-A.

01:40:34   It's accidental.

01:40:37   They didn't mean to.

01:40:39   Accidental.

01:40:42   Tech podcast so long.

01:40:48   Tell me, gentlemen, what you think about the Corvette C8.

01:40:52   That's the new one, right? The mid-engine thing with the weird buttons?

01:40:55   Mm-hmm.

01:40:57   I'm not qualified to give any kind of intelligent commentary, so I'll go first and let John clean it up afterwards.

01:41:02   But I have never driven a mid-engine car. I want to.

01:41:07   I'm very curious what it feels like, how it handles.

01:41:10   'Cause I've heard they're amazing, but I've never driven one, so I'm...

01:41:14   By all accounts, that sounds like a good idea.

01:41:17   I've never been tempted by a Corvette ever, 'cause it's actually kind of not my style car in a number of ways.

01:41:24   You know, I don't tend to like the kind of old American brands, the way they do things.

01:41:30   I don't love the way they look. They're a little bit loud and low and wide for me.

01:41:36   And the low part really kills it.

01:41:39   Like I've said before, I really prefer sitting at regular sedan height, not down on the ground like you do with a lot of low sports cars.

01:41:48   So it's not really for me.

01:41:50   I also would question the weird row of buttons on the inside from the pictures that floated around today.

01:41:59   It looks like many of the controls of the car are on a long strip of buttons that run basically where the passenger's arm would be in the middle of the car.

01:42:11   If the driver had to operate those, I feel like you have this long row of very similar looking buttons.

01:42:19   You would probably have to look at them a little bit to operate them.

01:42:23   And they are so far, you have to turn your head so far out of the field of view of where you're supposed to be looking to look at these buttons.

01:42:30   I feel like there's no way to operate those buttons without crashing the car.

01:42:33   So there's a number of issues with this that I have that make it probably not for me.

01:42:39   But I also recognize if you're looking for a fast, fun car for under 60 grand, that's actually probably going to be a pretty good value.

01:42:50   So, I don't know. Jon, fix this.

01:42:54   I was saying in the chat before that this car is like the Mac Pro of the automotive world, but times a thousand.

01:43:02   Because literally for my entire life that I've been able to read and have read about cars, I've been reading about mid-engine Corvette.

01:43:09   Because it's been rumored, it's been prototyped, there's been concept cars, it's been shown in car shows or whatever.

01:43:16   And the reason they talk about it is because Corvette is sort of America's supercar.

01:43:22   It's a flagship sports car of our country.

01:43:26   And for a very long time now, the flagship sports cars and supercars of other countries and the world have leaned heavily on the mid-engine design.

01:43:34   Because it has many advantages in terms of weight distribution and acceleration.

01:43:37   And you know, you've got Porsche with the engine out the back or whatever.

01:43:40   But anyway, it was an obvious thing that was always there on the table. It's like, Corvette, you want to be taken seriously as actual competition with these other cars.

01:43:50   What you need to do is have a mid-engine model.

01:43:53   Which in some respects is a little bit, not silly, but a little bit overblown.

01:44:00   Because the role, especially in recent years and most of my adult life for the Corvette has been an extremely inexpensive car compared to other cars to get the same performance.

01:44:11   So you would look at exotic cars, Porsches, Ferraris, Lamborghinis, and they would cost huge amounts of money.

01:44:21   And for one half, one quarter, one fifth, one eighth the price, you could get a Corvette that matched the performance numbers.

01:44:27   Granted, that Corvette would not be as nice as they say. And the interior would probably be terrible.

01:44:33   But you can't argue with like, again, bang for the buck.

01:44:36   If you try to translate dollars into performance numbers, the Corvette has always been an amazing deal.

01:44:42   So to say that, well if you really want to compete you have to be mid-engine, it's like I'm already matching or beating their performance numbers for an eighth of the price and you're telling me there's something structural I need to do in my car to compete.

01:44:53   And yes, it's not as nice. And usually it's uglier and the interior is gross. But I feel like that's the role that the Corvette has been playing.

01:44:59   All that said, the reason it's been rumored for my entire life and there's been all these different concepts and various prototypes made is because it actually is kind of a good idea.

01:45:09   You know, mid-engine has all sorts of packaging compromises that make it awkward for regular cars.

01:45:13   But for your top end car, for your supercar, for your sports car that represents the whole US or whatever, yeah, it makes sense to make a mid-engine model.

01:45:22   I'm excited that they actually finally have made one. Again, this is not a surprise. We've all known the mid-engine Corvette, the CH, has been in the works for years and years.

01:45:31   But now it is actually out publicly, out of disguise, blah, blah, blah. So it's not a surprise revelation, it's just the culmination, like the Mac Pro at WWDC.

01:45:39   Not really a surprise, although this is less of a surprise because we knew it was coming and we had pictures of it beforehand.

01:45:45   Anyway, but this is a culmination of years and years, decades and decades of rumors, finally there is a mid-engine Corvette.

01:45:52   Will this car be any good? I can tell you looks-wise it's not the most elegant thing, but it...

01:45:57   Oh, stop, it's not bad.

01:46:00   I also have to say it does look like a Corvette, so success there.

01:46:02   Because that's difficult, you're going to go from front engine to mid-engine, is it still going to look like a Corvette? I think it still looks like a Corvette.

01:46:07   Down to the same features that I find ugly in existing Corvettes. It's awkward in the ways the Corvettes usually are.

01:46:15   In particular, I noticed that when you open the door, part of the scoop comes with the door in a particularly awkward way because it's a different color.

01:46:21   And I can just imagine that jamming into the car next to you and making weird little dents.

01:46:25   But I give them kudos for finally making a mid-engine. I give them kudos for the amount of storage space they've managed to add.

01:46:33   You can tell it's a U.S. sports car because they better go out being able to fit two golf bags in the trunk, which is a very important thing for dentists in Florida that they need to fit two golf bags.

01:46:43   Which is who's going to buy this car, right?

01:46:46   The performance numbers will surely be great. The price is low. I think it is more attractive than the C7.

01:46:53   In general, even though I don't particularly like the styling of the C7 or the C8, I respect it. I understand what they're going for. It's just not to my taste.

01:47:05   The interiors of Corvettes have always been awful. Despite Marco's complaints about this interior, this is a much better interior than the ones that were replaced.

01:47:12   It doesn't mean it's still not bad. It still is. And that you highlighted the worst aspect of it.

01:47:16   It's not just that those buttons are there, but that the whole structure is there.

01:47:19   Yes, that's a terrible place to put buttons, but take the buttons off of there. I still don't want a wall between me and my passenger.

01:47:26   I know they're trying to make it seem like the cockpit is wrapping around you, but they're just...

01:47:30   But that said, there's lots of good things about this car. They've taken advantage of the mid-engine structure.

01:47:35   The nose is lower, the view out the front is better. The view out the rear is terrible.

01:47:41   Only Honda apparently understands that the ultimate luxury is being able to actually see out of your damn supercar.

01:47:49   But maybe someday everyone else will figure that out.

01:47:51   But overall, I give it a thumbs up. I think Corvette buyers waited long enough for it.

01:47:56   I think Corvette buyers will like it, and I think it is better than the C7 it replaces.

01:48:00   It's still no Ferrari, but come on.

01:48:03   You know, so my dad has a C7, and I've driven it a couple times, very briefly. I love that car, but it is very much a product of where it comes from.

01:48:14   Like, the interior is a very nice Chevy interior. I don't mean to be that snooty guy, but I'm going to be that snooty guy.

01:48:22   Like, my Volkswagen, which was like a third the price of his car or something ridiculous like that, has, in my opinion, much nicer materials.

01:48:32   Generally speaking, a better interior than his.

01:48:35   And not just nicer, but better ergonomically. Like, better in all ways than interior can be better.

01:48:39   Your little hatchback thing destroys your father's interior.

01:48:43   He says with such distaste.

01:48:46   I'm just saying, your Volkswagen Rabbit has a better interior in all aspects than your dad's supercar.

01:48:51   But yeah, you know, it is very American. In all the best and all the worst ways.

01:48:56   It's very shouty, it's very loud, it's reasonably big given it's only a two passenger car.

01:49:02   And it is extremely fast. Just stunningly fast.

01:49:07   I mean, his car is 650 horsepower, which is quite a bit more than the initial run of C8's is going to have at 495.

01:49:15   What's the base engine, though? Like, there's never been a Corvette with a base engine at 490 horsepower.

01:49:21   Just wait for the actual, you know, good versions of this car to come out. They'll have plenty of horsepower.

01:49:25   Yeah, but dad's car is also a seven speed manual. Yes, seven. With three pedals.

01:49:31   And I read a very fascinating article about this, and I'm going to have to dig up the link and put it in the show notes.

01:49:36   But there was an interview, I think on Road and Track, with a couple of the engineers who worked on the project.

01:49:41   And they were saying that making a car mid-engine is actually considerably harder than you would initially think.

01:49:46   Which, once you stop and think about it, actually does make sense.

01:49:49   But one of the things that they were saying was, because of the way the driver, where the driver sits,

01:49:54   their feet are way up next to the tire, the front tire.

01:49:59   And that means that in order to offer a manual transmission and thus have a third pedal,

01:50:05   that legitimately might bump into the space they need for the car to be able to turn.

01:50:11   And that was just fascinating to me.

01:50:14   And so, if you ask me, the likelihood of this being offered with a traditional manual is effectively zero.

01:50:20   I mean, I'll never say never. On an infinite time scale, gentlemen, you never know what will happen.

01:50:24   But it sounds like it's not going to happen, which is really too bad.

01:50:28   I'm surprised you find that excuse compelling, given the long history of mid-engine cars with three pedals

01:50:33   that have managed to deal with this packaging issue.

01:50:36   Maybe in the design they ended up with, fine.

01:50:39   But honestly, you know the manual wasn't a high priority, as it shouldn't be, because you can't even get manuals in Supercars anymore.

01:50:46   So I feel like they just needed some kind of excuse to throw to the people who are, you know...

01:50:51   The Corvette owners have to get over their anger about this, just like the Ferrari owners did, just like the Lamborghini owners did,

01:50:56   just like the BMW owners are currently in the process of.

01:50:59   The manuals are slowly disappearing, and this excuse about the pedal placement is one of the weakest I've ever heard.

01:51:04   Just admit that you're not doing a manual for the same reason Ferrari doesn't,

01:51:08   because the other transmission is faster and better, and just, you know, manuals are the best.

01:51:13   I'm going to cry now, but you're right.

01:51:15   This is going to throw off my car sense even more.

01:51:17   My car sense when, like, out of the corner of my eye in distance I see a car and I think it might be a good car,

01:51:23   and it's always like, "Oh, it's just a Corvette."

01:51:25   Because they're low and they're wide, and often they're red, right?

01:51:28   And so they do, like, from a very far distance, like, off in the heat haze,

01:51:33   you catch a glimpse of it coming in the opposite direction on the highway,

01:51:36   and for a second you think it might be, like, some kind of exotic car, but it's just a Corvette, right?

01:51:39   This is going to destroy that.

01:51:41   Like, they even have, like, Ferrari look-alike wheels on it, because that's a front-engine car.

01:51:45   Again, you can't tell from, like, this mid-engine red C8 is going to look so much like a Ferrari from a distance.

01:51:52   It's going to have to be 200 yards closer to me before I figure out that it's a Corvette.

01:51:57   But why is that a problem? I mean, if it looks the part--

01:51:59   Because Corvettes are a dime a dozen.

01:52:01   Ahh.

01:52:02   They're everywhere.

01:52:03   I see so many of them, and I see far fewer Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Estenmarns, or whatever.

01:52:07   It's more exciting to see the more rare cars.

01:52:09   Okay, I mean, I guess, but I don't know. The more I think about it, the more I could--

01:52:14   and this is-- oh, I should just stop talking, but here we go!

01:52:17   The more I think about it, the more I think that in many ways this is the better car than a Ferrari or an Aston or what have you.

01:52:22   And hear me out before you jump all over me.

01:52:24   For a golf club carrying, yeah, for sure.

01:52:26   Oh, would you stop?

01:52:27   So the reason being, I still have after-effects--

01:52:32   I don't want to say PTSD, because that's really insensitive,

01:52:34   but I still have the scars from having a car that was unaffordable to maintain.

01:52:41   Now, to be fair, you've got to pay to play, etc., etc.

01:52:43   Yes, if you're going to buy a BMW, if you're going to buy an Aston, if you're going to buy a Ferrari,

01:52:46   you have to sign up for the fact that it is going to be unaffordable to maintain that car.

01:52:50   Because in the case of, you know, in some BMWs, in every Aston and every Ferrari, they are unaffordable to get in the door.

01:52:57   But I just find it so compelling and so interesting and so cool that you can spend roundabouts of $60,000,

01:53:03   which, to be fair, is a pile of money.

01:53:06   But as compared to its competitors in that interview that I'll dig up for the show notes,

01:53:10   they were saying that compared to the 911 Turbo, which is like $200,000 these days,

01:53:14   they compared it to the Ferrari 488, which is what, like a quarter million, half a million, something like that?

01:53:18   These are the cars that they were using as a benchmark for the C8.

01:53:21   And this thing comes in at $60,000, and the best part is the parts have got to be effectively free compared to those cars.

01:53:28   Yeah, I think you're going to be disappointed in exactly how much those tires and wheels cost, for example,

01:53:34   and how much those brake pads cost. Yes, obviously.

01:53:36   But comparatively?

01:53:37   Cheaper than those other, but it's more expensive than, it's more, I think they're going to be more expensive than the parts would be on a $60,000 BMW, let's put it that way.

01:53:45   Although, you do point out one important factor with this, which I think is the most important part of this car.

01:53:51   You have, as far as I'm aware, never been able to buy a big boy real mid-engine sports car for this little money relative to inflation.

01:54:00   Yeah, there's the MR2 and the Fiero and stuff like that, but no one looked at those and like they were not the big boy cars.

01:54:06   Like it was, "Oh, fun little thing, look, it's a little mid-engine thing, it might catch on fire."

01:54:09   This is a full-fledged, full-sized, normal mid-engine car for $60,000.

01:54:16   That has never existed, as far as I'm aware, in this country and it is like bang for the buck.

01:54:21   Corvette has always been an amazing deal bang for the buck and this is just like a new category bang for the buck.

01:54:27   Because there was no car in the market like this before. It's completely unprecedented.

01:54:31   So, if you are shopping for a mid-engine sports car, this undercuts the competition by multipliers of 2x, 3x, 4x.

01:54:42   And yeah, you're going to see where that price is missing and you're going to feel it because it's 3,300 pounds or whatever, but who cares?

01:54:48   It is really in a class of its own in terms of value for money.

01:54:52   That doesn't make it a better car than a Ferrari for sure, but it makes it a better deal than pretty much all of its competition.

01:54:58   Yeah, and I mean I do think you could get a Cayman, especially like lightly used for $60,000-ish.

01:55:05   I'm not saying...

01:55:06   Yeah, until you had a radio and then it's $80,000.

01:55:09   No, I'm saying lightly used, lightly used.

01:55:11   Yeah, but the thing is this will crush a Cayman. Even the base model is going to destroy a Cayman in all performance metrics and it looks cooler.

01:55:21   I think the Cayman is a better car, but in any actual way that you can measure other than ergonomics I suppose, it's going to destroy it.

01:55:33   Because the Corvette is not playing in the little leagues. It is not the little brother to the 911, right? It is the top tier thing.

01:55:41   So it is top tier in all the ways they can make it top tier except for price.

01:55:44   And I mean they're saying sub three seconds for 0-60 for the base model engine.

01:55:49   When they come out with the inevitable 750 horsepower version of this car, it's going to be nuts.

01:55:54   Yeah, I agree. I don't know. I just think this is super cool. I'm really excited about it.

01:55:59   I don't think I would ever buy one, in no small part because I don't have $60,000 laying around.

01:56:04   But this is not a car meant for me or at least certainly not me at 37 years old and without a mustache because I think that's required.

01:56:12   But it's something that I think is super cool. And I don't agree with your turning up of your lip, Jon, when you see that it's just a Corvette.

01:56:22   I still think they're cool.

01:56:23   Because they're everywhere. They're common. If there was a million Ferraris around, I wouldn't be as excited about seeing them either. It's the rarity.

01:56:29   I take your point, but I don't think I live in as... Is it affluent? Did I get that right?

01:56:36   God, every time I try so hard. I don't live in as rich an area as you, Jon.

01:56:41   Well, you have dentists too, right? I mean...

01:56:43   Yeah, yeah.

01:56:44   In case he has affluenza.

01:56:45   Yeah, I have affluenza. God, every time I overthink it is the problem.

01:56:49   They're probably rare around Marco because no one would slum it and buy a Corvette. I mean, it's just the three dentists that have them, but around me, they're everywhere.

01:56:57   Honestly, I think it's kind of more like a red stator kind of thing. I hardly ever see them.

01:57:02   I saw... I mean, to give you an example, Long Island. Corvettes are everywhere.

01:57:06   Really?

01:57:07   Every generation, tons and tons. Because people who come into money, like the suburbs, right, but they're not ridiculously wealthy, so what's the best, you know, all-American car you can get? Or you want performance for the money?

01:57:20   There are a lot of Mustangs, a lot of Camaros, and yes, all the dentists and old bald white men are driving Corvettes of all generations.

01:57:28   Excuse me, it's bald and mustachioed white men, thank you very much.

01:57:31   I don't think... The mustache has faded with the '70s, I feel like.

01:57:34   I'm kidding, I'm kidding, I'm kidding.

01:57:36   Yeah, it's people who once did have a mustache in the '70s.

01:57:39   Yeah, I mean, it's a game you can play. If you are on the East Coast and you see a Corvette, make a bet with the person with you that the person driving will be a white man with white hair. You will be right a lot of the time.

01:57:51   That is fair.

01:57:52   Yup.

01:57:53   (loud thud)