00:00:06 ◼ ► Oh God, you have no idea how unpleasant it is to have stuff constantly coming out of your ears. Like, ears are supposed to be input devices?
00:00:20 ◼ ► You know, Marco, I know you've had a rough, I don't know, 48 hours or so, but I gotta tell you, things are not good at the LIS household.
00:00:38 ◼ ► I just wanted to tell everyone, and hopefully this won't make the show so I don't sound like a big jerk, but I need to tell you two one more time that I have gigabit internet now, and it is amazing.
00:00:48 ◼ ► Well, you know, as the old joke goes, do you know how to identify somebody at a party who has gigabit internet? Just wait a few minutes, they'll tell you.
00:00:57 ◼ ► Marco, what's going on with your ears, man? We should probably, even though you sound normal to me, we should probably disclose in case there's any weird snorts or anything that somehow make it through the edit, or if the edit just sounds really, really funny. What's going on, man?
00:01:14 ◼ ► Yeah, I have significantly reduced hearing in both ears and lots of gross problems with things coming out of them and stuff.
00:01:19 ◼ ► I developed this severe ear problem that has just some kind of, you know, side effect of kid virus.
00:01:24 ◼ ► It's winter, I have a child who goes to school, so therefore we get sick on a regular basis, not much we can do about that.
00:01:30 ◼ ► And so anyway, so this manifested itself in me, fortunately this didn't affect him this way, but it manifested itself in me as just this like massive ear congestion all of a sudden.
00:01:39 ◼ ► I had had this once before and so I kind of knew what I was dealing with, with you know, it's a blocked E-station tube, it's you know, most likely a middle ear infection, all this you know, pressure and really painful and everything.
00:01:54 ◼ ► And I knew that the correct way to go about fixing this was to go to an ear, nose and throat, or ENT doctor, to you know, have them look at it, evaluate it, make sure I'm being safe and it's going to heal itself without damaging my hearing.
00:02:06 ◼ ► But because it was a Sunday, I couldn't get into an ENT until at least Monday, so my solution naturally was to go to Twitter to complain in the meantime.
00:02:14 ◼ ► So a person named Scott O'Reilly replied to me on Twitter to give me free advice from his wife, who happens to be an ear, nose, throat doctor, and even offered to have a FaceTime consultation with her.
00:02:31 ◼ ► Yeah, and I didn't take him up on that, but that was incredibly generous. And her advice was extremely helpful to bridge the gap until I could see a local ENT doctor, and the local guy that I saw earlier today gave the exact same diagnosis and recommendations.
00:02:47 ◼ ► So a huge thank you to Scott O'Reilly and his wife. And he didn't ask for anything in return, but I wanted to promote his stuff. Scott is @SCTTOR on Twitter. He runs Spider Strategies, spiderstrategies.com, and has a product that's actually sponsored us before.
00:03:01 ◼ ► It's called Dash. It's thedash.com, not the documentation viewer, thedash.com. This lets you make wonderful real-time web dashboards for metrics in your business or home life. You can set it up to do whatever you want.
00:03:12 ◼ ► First dashboard is free. Go to thedash.com. It's really awesome. And this actually is not even the first time Scott has saved my butt in some kind of significant way.
00:03:22 ◼ ► So this is the same guy. In 2013, I didn't get a WBDZ ticket, and Scott emailed in and sold me his at cost.
00:03:33 ◼ ► In 2014, he sponsored market.org for the Dash. Later that year, he sponsored ATP. And I ran into him at a conference that year. I misheard his introduction when he said he's the guy who ran Dash.
00:03:46 ◼ ► I thought he meant the Dash programmer documentation app, which we now know is written by Bogdan Popesu and not Scott O'Reilly. And I carried on a conversation for a few minutes under that assumption that probably made no sense. And at no point in that conversation did Scott let on that I was making no sense or make me feel like a jerk for getting it wrong. So that was amazing by itself.
00:04:08 ◼ ► And then my personal favorite, in 2017, when I had a blocked ear tube going into a WBDZ flight that I was tweeting about, Scott gave me solid advice from his wife, an ENT doctor, to get through the flight from a blocked e-station tube.
00:04:25 ◼ ► So thank you again to Scott O'Reilly and his wife. And really, you know, the world would be a better place if there were more people like them. So thank you very much.
00:04:37 ◼ ► You know, it turns out not all angels are in heaven, Marco. That's what we've learned today.
00:04:45 ◼ ► So what's the prognosis all kidding aside? Like, you just gotta wait it out, basically?
00:04:53 ◼ ► Fair enough. Alright, anything else? What's going on in your world, John? We all have stories of varying degrees of interestingness and, you know, various degrees of being dramatic. What's going on in John's world?
00:05:16 ◼ ► Just watch. Like, Scott's actually a certified plumber. He just never mentioned it before.
00:05:28 ◼ ► Let's start with some follow-up. Even though we recorded Wednesday and it is currently Monday, we have a surprising amount of follow-ups.
00:05:33 ◼ ► So let's begin with Apple and the FaceTime security bug. And I think we mentioned this on the show, I don't recall if we did or not, but one way or another, a lot of people got their feathers ruffled unjustifiably.
00:05:45 ◼ ► Because, you know, Apple has this bug bounty program, the purpose of which is if you report something that's a legitimate security problem to Apple, then they should, hypothetically, or they have stated that they would compensate you for that and give you some pile of money from not too big to actually surprisingly big.
00:06:02 ◼ ► What we'd understood was that Apple had not offered this 14-year-old nor his parents any of the bug bounty money that they really should have earned from reporting the FaceTime bug.
00:06:13 ◼ ► And after we recorded, there was some information that came out that said not only are they going to provide some amount of money to this individual, Grant Thompson, I believe his name is, is the 14-year-old kid,
00:06:28 ◼ ► but apparently they're also setting up some sort of thing for his college tuition as well, which is really cool.
00:06:36 ◼ ► Yeah, there was the other story that didn't quite make it in last week was like somebody found a bug, like a Mac keychain bug that lets you pull secrets out of the keychain.
00:06:44 ◼ ► But it was on the Mac, and there's no bug bounty program for the Mac, apparently. And this person said, "Hey, here's this bug I found, but I'm not going to tell you what it is because you don't have bug bounties for the Mac as a sort of foreign protest."
00:06:55 ◼ ► Like, they didn't release the bug to the public, but also didn't tell Apple about it, so they're in that kind of standoff.
00:07:01 ◼ ► I mean, I'm not quite sure why there's no bug bounty for the Mac. Maybe the budgets are different. Does the money come from a different place? Who the heck knows?
00:07:10 ◼ ► But they really should be, because if they want people to report bugs, then they're going to have a bug bounty on iOS but not on the Mac.
00:07:15 ◼ ► They're just going to get iOS bugs and not Mac bugs, or not as many Mac bugs. So there's that standoff thing going.
00:07:21 ◼ ► The main reason I put this story about getting money for the kid who found the bug is partly because it just shows how overboard Apple is going with the PR.
00:07:28 ◼ ► Not only are they giving them money, but they're also going to pay for some of its college, which is nice and all, but that's not a scalable system.
00:07:38 ◼ ► And the second is that it is a story that includes Bounty Hunter and the word "compensating," and it makes me think of that scene from Empire Strikes Back.
00:07:45 ◼ ► The thing with a few people regarding the new bug about the Mac keychain thing, a lot of people have said, "Oh, he should tell them the bug. It's the right thing to do."
00:07:56 ◼ ► Bug bounties are not an Apple thing. This is an industry-wide thing that has started over the last few years, I think, and Apple was the last major player to start offering them.
00:08:07 ◼ ► It makes a lot of sense. You might think in practice, or in theory, you should report bugs. It's the right thing to do. Report security problems privately to the company, and then only go public if they don't do anything.
00:08:18 ◼ ► But the reality is the world out there is complicated, and there's a whole bunch of incentives if you discover a vulnerability to sell it to someone else instead of the company.
00:08:28 ◼ ► So to sell it to maybe a government or a hacker group that wants to exploit it, there's lots of other bidders for bugs.
00:08:37 ◼ ► And so the bug bounty is a response to that to say, "Hey, you know what? Maybe we won't give you the money that the government of some country might give you, but we'll give you some money to come to us instead of going to somebody like that."
00:08:51 ◼ ► Apple, again, was very, very late to this program on iOS. They, for some reason, didn't bring it to all their platforms. Like, "What if I discover a watchOS bug? Does that have a bounty program?"
00:09:00 ◼ ► It should just be all Apple products. They shouldn't limit it to just iOS. And I think Apple historically has been very stingy with a lot of things.
00:09:10 ◼ ► You don't get to be the richest company in the world by not being stingy at some point. And Apple, for all the wonderful products they make, they are a very stingy company in a lot of ways.
00:09:18 ◼ ► And I think this just kind of smells like that. This kind of smells like Apple just really... They did the bug bounty program only very reluctantly, after the whole rest of the industry did.
00:09:27 ◼ ► And they only limited it to iOS and probably haven't paid out a whole lot from it because they probably really try not to.
00:09:34 ◼ ► So it's just like... This just requires, I think, a change of attitude from Apple on this and to make it easier for people to file security bugs, easier to get them seen by the right people at the right time.
00:09:46 ◼ ► And to actually cover all their products with a bug bounty program that actually pays out on a regular basis.
00:09:51 ◼ ► Here's the thing about the payoff of this thing. The mother asks, "Oh, and I heard, 'Don't you pay money for these things? We've tried to report to you a bunch of times, and we would love to get money for this thing.'"
00:10:02 ◼ ► It's not like it didn't come up or they didn't think about it because it came through different channels. The topic of being paid a bounty for this bug was there from the very beginning, and Apple only did something after the whole big PR disaster.
00:10:16 ◼ ► So again, not a great look, even though they're making it right for sure. It's much better to do the reasonable, correct thing when prompted by the people asking about it.
00:10:25 ◼ ► I don't know if it actually is stinginess, but it certainly looks that way from the outside. It's like, "Well, why would we do something we don't have to? Oh, now it's a press story. Here you go."
00:10:33 ◼ ► Indeed. So we have more information about Deirdre O'Brien, who is stepping up to be head of retail in addition to being head of people, I think is the term that Apple uses.
00:10:42 ◼ ► Ryan Jones had tweeted some information about this, and he is an ex-Apple employee and apparently worked in her org, if I'm not mistaken.
00:10:50 ◼ ► But Ryan says that she's been at Apple 30 years, which we knew. According to Ryan, she launched the original Apple store, she launched the original online store, she has 20 years of product launches and was vice president of operations, and then moved to vice president of people about 18 months ago.
00:11:08 ◼ ► There's also some Business Insider article about this as well. Just some information about her, because she was an unknown quantity to me until I read some of this stuff. Sounds like she's the real deal, which is good. I'm excited for that.
00:11:22 ◼ ► One piece that I was much interested in is that she was the VP of people, but she's only been there for 18 months, and she was in operations. So now, with this piece of information, like, "Oh, we knew her as the HR person," or whatever, but she's only been in that job for a little over a year, right?
00:11:36 ◼ ► So now I think, rather than her just keeping the seat warm while they try to hire someone from retail, since she was in operations, I think going from operations to retail makes a little bit more sense than going from HR to retail.
00:11:49 ◼ ► So maybe what's actually happening is she's keeping the VP of people seat warm while they look for a new VP of people, and she's going to be the new retail head. I don't know. We'll find out when another face appears on the leadership page.
00:12:01 ◼ ► Yeah, that's interesting. Or maybe Angela Aaron's departure was not so sudden and unexpected. Maybe she was brought to that VP level to be maybe more visible, and as we mentioned last week, a lot of retail is really just a giant HR problem, because they have such a massive retail staff, right?
00:12:19 ◼ ► So maybe they elevated Deidre to the retail, or to the people position, to have better optics for when she was moved to retail.
00:12:29 ◼ ► Yeah, I don't know. I assume we'll see more of this over the next few months, and maybe we'll be able to piece it together.
00:12:36 ◼ ► One way or another, George Spencer writes to say, "Hey, you know, Apple has a very well hidden product called Joint Venture. Here in the UK, we pay a few hundred bucks. I think it's about $500 a year in the US, and you get two awesome things.
00:12:47 ◼ ► Firstly, if you check in your machine for a Genius Bar replacement, they'll give you a loan or machine and data transfer to it. Secondly, and most awesomely, you can get an immediate appointment even at the busiest stores.
00:12:58 ◼ ► You can also do other things like adding up to five iPhones for cheap or free, perhaps, screen repairs and other things. But George says, "I pay every year for the convenience of an immediate Genius Bar appointment whenever I need it."
00:13:08 ◼ ► Now this appears to be, at least in the US, aimed at a business-to-business sort of thing. Like, I think it requires a business account in order to do it.
00:13:16 ◼ ► But if you're the kind of person that really wants to have all of your computers, or perhaps your only computer working pretty much all the time, it's not a terrible idea.
00:13:25 ◼ ► I was not aware of this at all. I think I'd heard of it but knew nothing about it. Did either of you guys know what this was?
00:13:31 ◼ ► Nope, and at $500, that's a heck of a price, although now that I mention loaners, Casey's all into it because he needs to have a loaner every time.
00:13:39 ◼ ► His car is brought in. But like, the owner and data transfer, I just have to think, "How long would it take them to do the data transfer?"
00:13:46 ◼ ► Like, would I trust them to do the data transfer? I wouldn't pay for this. I'd rather just wait in line to the, you know.
00:13:53 ◼ ► If you have this problem, it's probably more economical to just not throw out your old Mac when you get a new one, and just to keep at least two in rotation so that if one dies, you're not out of machine and try to, you know, keep the data either in a cloud or in sync in some way.
00:14:06 ◼ ► Like, I don't want to pay $500 in the off chance that I might have to go to the Genius Bar, and the main advantage that I get is I can get a loaner, which I would be worried about first of all, and second of all, I don't have to wait for an appointment.
00:14:17 ◼ ► That's not worth $500 to me, but it's good to know that exists for people with more money than time.
00:14:25 ◼ ► We got a letter from Mike, who apparently was a genius at one point, and Mike writes us, this is a little bit long, but I think it's really, really interesting.
00:14:34 ◼ ► "No longer do geniuses train at Apple's secret genius room classrooms in Cupertino and later Austin and Atlanta.
00:14:40 ◼ ► No, now they train geniuses in the crazy Apple Store's break room through pre-taped videos and PDFs, the same material that's available to independent third-party authorized techs.
00:14:49 ◼ ► An experience that this individual treasured in the mid-aughts, going to Cupertino for a month, getting to meet Woz one night, and waiting behind Steve Jobs to buy a blueberry muffin at Cafe Max with Johnny Ive right by his side, that's all gone for anyone new, and Angela proved it.
00:15:04 ◼ ► Geniuses today learn how to fix your Mac or iPhone by watching videos and PDFs, if they even get to fix it in the first place.
00:15:11 ◼ ► Most of the laptops get shipped off to Flextronics, which I've heard of, or CTS Depot. I don't know if that's Apple terminology or what that is, but it doesn't really matter.
00:15:18 ◼ ► The experience of having a veteran Apple trainer who was there in the 1980s showing you exactly how a black stick spudger should feel as it removes a connector and the tension of said move are all gone now.
00:15:29 ◼ ► The insider knowledge that you need to feel the edge of the display clamshell with your finger, not your eyes, as you tighten down the T6 screws, that's gone too.
00:15:39 ◼ ► So I guess you could summarize that as saying, you know, being a genius used to have some amount of cache and specialness to it that sounds like has mostly gone away,
00:15:50 ◼ ► which is understandable as there needs to be more and more and more and more of these people, and you know, Apple has more and more devices out in rotation in the world,
00:15:59 ◼ ► especially for John, who's keeping his day Mac and night Mac, but it stinks, and I feel like I can definitely tell the difference.
00:16:07 ◼ ► I don't know if quality is the right word, but I can tell the difference in maybe enthusiasm between the geniuses I occasionally saw, you know, 10 years ago and the geniuses I occasionally see around now.
00:16:18 ◼ ► Yeah, but the same thing is just a concrete example of the trend I was talking about in the last episode about just starting on such a pinnacle of, you know, excess of everyone being overqualified and over cared for and overpaid as compared to using the word over as compared to the retail and then the slow, slow, gradual.
00:16:36 ◼ ► Slide down to be much more like a regular retailer. It always boggled my mind that, you know, they have these Apple stores all over the country and if you wanted to be an Apple genius, no matter what Apple store you worked in, they would fly you to Cupertino and train you there to be a genius and then fly you back so they'd have to pay for your flights, pay for your stay, and then have, you know, facilities to teach you there.
00:16:58 ◼ ► It's not really a scalable solution. Like, can you imagine if you had to train everybody who worked as a Walmart cashier to a central location and train them and then send them back? Like, it's incredibly expensive.
00:17:08 ◼ ► You know, obviously this type of experience in the early days where you get to fly them out, you get to meet like an Apple celebrity, and you get to, you know, go to Cafe Max where Jobs and Johnny are running around.
00:17:20 ◼ ► It's not a thing that can happen. It's like it's too beautiful to stay or whatever the poetic phrase is. It doesn't surprise me that it's gone. So that doesn't bother me that much. It's like, well, you got in early, you got the really cool thing, whatever.
00:17:33 ◼ ► But switching to learning from like videos and PDFs as opposed to being trained by an expert in person in sort of a hands-on way, that's bad. Like, that's the part of this that I think is you've gone from like, okay, get rid of the ridiculous, luxurious frills and try to get more real to now maybe the training is not as good as it used to be.
00:17:57 ◼ ► Like you get more in person, even if it's in person in the store, send people out to train them, train the trainers. Like you don't have to fly everyone to California to do it.
00:18:04 ◼ ► I don't want to think that like someone watched a video of someone doing this incredibly delicate repair. It's like, okay, next step is you hack on a customer's piece of hardware.
00:18:13 ◼ ► Maybe it's not as dire as this thing sounds. Maybe yes, there are videos and PDFs to read, but there's also like hands-on training. I don't know.
00:18:20 ◼ ► But at a certain point, the people who work as geniuses do have to have more experience, more expertise, be better paid and better trained than your average retail employee because they are asked to do so much more.
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00:20:39 ◼ ► One thing we forgot to mention possibly last episode is that in addition to, amongst all the things that Spotify is buying up these days, they also bought up Anchor, which is, I guess to some degree, like a square space for podcasting in the sense that it's kind of a turnkey solution to get your podcast up and running very, very, very quickly.
00:21:00 ◼ ► And I don't know if we brought that up last episode. I don't really have a whole lot to add about that other than to mention that we forgot to mention it, but I'm assuming one of you guys who put this in the show notes have some thoughts.
00:21:11 ◼ ► The Anchor is like a tool for making podcasts. I remember them back when they were like voice blogging, you'd like launch the app and you follow people and then you just like start recording and speaking to the microphone of your phone for 30 seconds and it would just go out and people could hear it and you can find someone else's channel and hear what they're doing.
00:21:27 ◼ ► It's kind of like a microblogging for audio type network, but it has morphed many years ago into like a podcast type thing and that's part of Spotify's play. So they bought content with Gimlet and the ability to produce content with Gimlet.
00:21:41 ◼ ► But then Anchor buys them the ability to attract people who don't yet have a podcast but would like to make a podcast and it's pretty easy to make a podcast. Like you can just go to Squarespace or whatever and record some audio and upload it and Squarespace will make a feed view. It's not that complicated, but Anchor is purpose built to remove, you know, it's not just a generic website builder.
00:22:02 ◼ ► It's for making podcasts and I think they had some stats like 36% of all new podcasts are created on Anchor. I don't know how they come up with those numbers, but the point is this is another aspect of their attempt to reach critical mass in podcasts where when someone mentions a podcast, it's just assumed that it's on Spotify.
00:22:20 ◼ ► And that if you want to go where the podcasts are, you have to go to Spotify. If over time they can get the default for like, hey, I'm thinking of starting a podcast, what should I use? And everyone says, just go use Anchor. It's easiest to make a podcast and Anchor only puts things on Spotify.
00:22:34 ◼ ► That's part of their play. So it's the tool angle. I don't know how good Anchor is. I've never used it in its capacity as a podcast creation tool. Last time I used it, it was this little voice blogging thing.
00:22:47 ◼ ► But it makes sense to have a tool like that and to have what I assume is a pretty good one because it's been around for a while. I'm not going to tell people like don't use Anchor if you think it's the easiest way to get a podcast up, but I am going to tell people that you are not just getting a simpler, at this point you're not just getting a simple way to publish a podcast.
00:23:07 ◼ ► You're now slightly putting another pebble on the pile of Spotify gaining critical mass and becoming the de facto place for podcasts, which is a thing that I do not want to happen.
00:23:17 ◼ ► I focused my thoughts last week on the Gimlet thing. That's what everybody was asking me about. And again, a disclaimer, I was an investor in Gimlet, so I'm making money from that part of this deal. But I have nothing to do with Anchor, so I guess I can talk neutrally about this. I'm actually more worried about what Spotify's plans are with Anchor than I am about what their plans are with Gimlet.
00:23:40 ◼ ► Because Gimlet is obvious. It seems like what their plans are, and again I don't have any inside information regarding this, I'm talking about what's known publicly, it seems like Spotify's plans with Gimlet are to get content that can be made exclusive to them.
00:23:54 ◼ ► And even if Gimlet is not going to make their existing shows exclusive, which they said they weren't, to get a production house that can make new exclusive shows to Spotify. That makes total sense.
00:24:03 ◼ ► And there have been great discussions, by the way, from our friend Ben Thompson on both his site at Stratechery and his podcast called Exponent about what this could mean, why Spotify wants this.
00:24:14 ◼ ► It makes a ton of sense for Spotify to push podcasts heavily, because every minute someone's listening to Spotify and they're listening to music, every minute costs Spotify money.
00:24:25 ◼ ► Whereas every minute somebody listening to Spotify is listening to a podcast, they don't pay a dime. So they have a huge financial incentive to not only attract new subscribers in general, but to make as many of their subscribers as possible spend their listening time with podcasts instead of music.
00:24:41 ◼ ► So anyway, for Spotify to have exclusive content, that isn't a huge deal, because lots of podcast-like platforms or podcast-education platforms have exclusive content, including Spotify before this deal. So that, I don't think, is a major change.
00:24:56 ◼ ► It's going to really meaningfully affect things. But what worries me with Anchor is, Anchor, as you said, John, Anchor is kind of like an all-in-one way to make a podcast.
00:25:05 ◼ ► And so far, I don't think there's been that many huge podcasts on Anchor. I think it's mostly small hobbyist stuff. But it's only a matter of time before there's big stuff on there, if there isn't already.
00:25:15 ◼ ► And so there will be, or already is, significant content on Anchor that is worth paying attention to.
00:25:22 ◼ ► What concerns me is that Anchor recently launched a big centralized monetization program for people who host their podcasts on Anchor, which is super easy and everything, to join their ad network and get some money for their podcasts.
00:25:38 ◼ ► Now, again, it's mostly small shows, but not all small shows. YouTube is mostly channels that get very few views, but not all of them make significant money.
00:25:52 ◼ ► And you know, as a video creator, you know that you can go to YouTube and sign up for their ad thing after a little while and start making like a dollar a month.
00:26:01 ◼ ► And you know someday, maybe you can make real money from that. And so Anchor is building that same thing for podcasts, which doesn't really exist.
00:26:09 ◼ ► Like there is no centralized podcast ad network that any show can join at any size. Like there's things like the Midroll, where they can have a whole bunch of shows that they sell all at once, but you have to be a certain size before they can really sell your show.
00:26:22 ◼ ► So it's kind of like invite only and not everybody has access to that kind of thing. So by Anchor doing this, it's kind of like AdSense for podcasts.
00:26:31 ◼ ► Like we know Google's AdSense thing is the thing that lets you put a little rectangle of terrible ads on any web page about anything for the most part and they'll send you 25 cents a month.
00:26:39 ◼ ► Like that's what Anchor has made for podcasts. And I don't think they're going to compete for effectiveness or quality of ads or total income potential for shows that have enough audience to have their own sponsorships.
00:26:55 ◼ ► Like we're not going to switch to Anchor's ad network because we would have worse ads and we wouldn't make as much. So it makes no sense for us to switch.
00:27:01 ◼ ► It makes no sense for any show that you currently hear is paid sponsors to sponsor. It makes no sense for them to switch.
00:27:05 ◼ ► But there's a whole bunch of smaller shows that can all of a sudden join that when they couldn't before.
00:27:10 ◼ ► And so I worry that what might happen in the future is everyone might start their podcasts on Anchor and therefore Spotify by default because that's the place you can start a podcast and make a little bit of money and never really bother putting it anywhere else.
00:27:29 ◼ ► And eventually those shows will become substantial. Like the long tail of shows eventually will become a substantial block of podcasts.
00:27:37 ◼ ► And those podcasts by default might be set not to work anywhere else. Those might by default be Spotify only.
00:27:46 ◼ ► And then you have a whole bunch of quote podcasts that aren't really podcasts in the technical sense because they're not accessible via public feeds but that people go seek out a podcast by name.
00:27:59 ◼ ► They search an Apple podcast or Overcast and they don't see it because it isn't really out there.
00:28:04 ◼ ► And so Spotify could over time leverage the Anchor platform to become a much larger amount of exclusive shows. And that could become a big problem.
00:28:18 ◼ ► It could also be a problem if they get to a point where their ad network is really successful which honestly I don't think it will ever be as profitable and high quality as what you can do on your own once you're big.
00:28:28 ◼ ► But it could reach a point where even big shows it's like stupid not to go there. And so then you have all the big shows go there.
00:28:36 ◼ ► So that's what I worry about for the future of podcasting and the health of the ecosystem. I worry about that far more than buying a few big name shows and making those exclusive to them.
00:28:49 ◼ ► Because that honestly is not going to make a dent. But when you have an entire creation platform with hundreds of thousands of podcasts being made on it and put up there, if those become exclusive, if that becomes exclusive to them and everyone pretty much participates because there's a huge financial reason for them to do it, that's a big problem.
00:29:09 ◼ ► So if you're looking to start a podcast today, what would you recommend doing then rather than going directly to Anchor? I mean it seems to me the better option is to use something like Libsyn which we use.
00:29:22 ◼ ► And from there you can push to any number of places including but not limited to Spotify. But Marco what would you say, what would you recommend if I wanted to start my own podcast today?
00:29:34 ◼ ► I mean I would just put up a Squarespace site and host the files either there or on Libsyn. That's what I would do. And Squarespace is a sponsor this weekend. I even mentioned you could do this.
00:29:43 ◼ ► But like it really, there's a lot of ways to put up websites these days and they're all pretty affordable and/or free. And you can put up a podcast for very little money.
00:29:54 ◼ ► The hosting side of a podcast is really not the hard part. There's lots of options out there to do it without too much work. I think the hard part is actually the creation side.
00:30:05 ◼ ► And that is, I mean there's some inherent complexity in making audio that isn't present for writing text. So like there's a lot of calls for somebody to be like the tumbler of podcasts.
00:30:19 ◼ ► And I think they're really, I think Anchor is the closest anyone has come to that. But at the end of the day you still have to make audio that is relatively easy to listen to.
00:30:29 ◼ ► So it has decent levels, not a lot of noise, etc. And has interesting content and interesting personalities to get people there.
00:30:37 ◼ ► And that's way harder to sustain and create over time than setting up a website and a feed with RSS audio things in it. Like what people are focusing on here is the platform area.
00:30:51 ◼ ► And that's reasonable to worry about because that's what people think of first. When people think, "I want to start a podcast, how do I do that?"
00:30:57 ◼ ► They're not thinking, "How do I come up with interesting things to say with good personalities on a consistent schedule for the next year?" They don't think that.
00:31:07 ◼ ► They think, "What kind of microphone do I need and how do I set it up? What do I do with the site? How do I publish this?"
00:31:13 ◼ ► I'm a little worried about Anchor's role here, again because at scale this could become a problem.
00:31:20 ◼ ► But the podcast ecosystem, as I said last week, is so strong and has been so resilient over time at attempts to mess it up and lock it up.
00:31:32 ◼ ► I don't think this is going to have bad things happen. I do however think that Spotify has reached the point and will continue extending further.
00:31:44 ◼ ► I do think they're at the point now where you basically need to be on it. If you care about your audience size, this is something I always dreaded with Stitcher back in the day when they were bigger.
00:31:55 ◼ ► I was afraid that you would have to comply with Stitcher's terms and put yourself on Stitcher because their market share was too big to give up.
00:32:03 ◼ ► At the time their market share was something like 5 or 10 percent. Now Spotify's market share is between 5 and 10 percent and they've gotten that really quickly.
00:32:14 ◼ ► So it's going to go up. Spotify I think is already at that point now where most podcasters are not going to say, "I'm going to give up 5 or 10 percent of my audience on principle."
00:32:26 ◼ ► It's too big of an amount. That's a significant amount. So they're probably not going to do that. Even we are probably going to put our show on Spotify because the risks start to be outweighed by, "Well, there's a lot of people there and we have to go where the people are."
00:32:42 ◼ ► We've already gotten requests from listeners who email us saying, "Hey, I really would like it if you were on Spotify. I just switched to them and they don't have you."
00:32:50 ◼ ► So I think Spotify's already to that point where most podcasters are going to want to be on it no matter what. And I really don't love that. I've got to say I really don't love that because they're not part of the open ecosystem and they're actively trying to take it over.
00:33:06 ◼ ► But they are that big and it's hard to tell podcasters to give up a big chunk of their audience on principle.
00:33:14 ◼ ► Ben Thompson had a little bit of follow up on the podcast this week. By the way, if you're wondering where we get all this Ben Thompson stuff from, you can subscribe to his newsletter. He does like what? One free article a week?
00:33:24 ◼ ► But then every single day if you subscribe you get his thing. So I highly recommend it. It's always good. It amazes me that he can write something that's substantive every single day.
00:33:34 ◼ ► Maybe he has a time machine and he just batches them up on the weekends. I don't know. Anyway, the follow up on the podcasting stuff was a point that I remember making back in the eBook days where we found ourselves in a situation where Apple has all the pieces to the puzzle of a particular market and just not interested in picking it up and putting them together.
00:33:54 ◼ ► In the eBook time they had devices that you could use for readers, they had a store where people paid money, they had relationships to people who create content and they were just not interested in the eBook business and basically let Amazon have it.
00:34:07 ◼ ► And only later came in and said, "Oh, I guess ebooks are a thing. We should do that too." And came out with the iBook store. In podcasts, Apple has been the de facto, as we've said, the de facto benevolent dictator king of podcasts for a long time.
00:34:20 ◼ ► They still have the biggest player, they have the most important index. It's not that they're not interested in podcasts, but it's not something where they've taken the ball and run with it.
00:34:30 ◼ ► Which is good for us. We don't want them to be like Spotify, right? But if you wanted someone to save you from Spotify, it's not going to be individual shows like ours protesting about not putting their things up on Spotify.
00:34:43 ◼ ► The only other player that is bigger than Spotify and can stop them from closing up the podcast ecosystem would be Apple if this is a thing they wanted to do.
00:34:52 ◼ ► Apple could continue to keep podcasts open like they are now where they have an index and they have a place where you can find the podcast but they do not re-host all your audio.
00:35:01 ◼ ► They don't make you agree to special terms like blah blah blah. Just a hands-off type of attitude.
00:35:06 ◼ ► And if they just added on top of that their app store goodness of having a way to do subscriptions with your Apple ID or to have like for-pay podcast episodes or whatever.
00:35:19 ◼ ► I don't know how to go so far as to say they should have a centralized ad network, although Apple has not been beyond making an ad network in the past.
00:35:25 ◼ ► But there are ways for Apple to make money from podcasts. Apple is all about service revenue as Ben points out. But they don't see podcasts and say "Oh, we can make more service revenue."
00:35:37 ◼ ► They could, but it's just either it's small potatoes for them or they're just not into it or they're too busy with other things.
00:35:42 ◼ ► Certainly it's nothing like video, at least from their perspective. But it's not an area they pursued.
00:35:49 ◼ ► And for years it's been sitting there. They could have done these things years and years ago. They already have a store and a system of accounts and a way for creators to register and collect money.
00:35:59 ◼ ► And most importantly they have millions and millions of customers with payment information and an ID through which they can do that.
00:36:08 ◼ ► And while continuing in the ideal scenario, while continuing to be entirely hands-off that if you just want to have a podcast that's free, it's just like it is now.
00:36:17 ◼ ► But if you decide you want to have a podcast where you charge people a dollar per episode or have a yearly subscription for a certain amount or whatever, they could do that.
00:36:25 ◼ ► As Spotify grows in power and stature and size, only Apple, as Tim Cook would say, is in the running to do anything about it other than just hope Spotify fails.
00:36:39 ◼ ► Because there's lots of ways this can go badly for Spotify. Music is their main business and they have to balance those two concerns and figure out if they are going to transition, how to transition, or how much of music to preserve, yada yada yada.
00:36:52 ◼ ► Maybe people will unsubscribe if Spotify moves entirely into podcasts and they'll realize not that many people want to subscribe to anything just for podcasts.
00:36:58 ◼ ► So I don't know how it's going to turn out. And I'm not particularly asking for Apple to become more engaged because I mostly like the hands-off attitude.
00:37:06 ◼ ► But they're there in the corner. They have always had the ability to do something about podcasting and thus far haven't done anything.
00:37:14 ◼ ► We are sponsored this week by Squarespace. Start building your website today at squarespace.com/ATP.
00:37:20 ◼ ► Enter offer code ATP at checkout to get 10% off. Make your next move with a beautiful website from Squarespace.
00:37:27 ◼ ► Squarespace basically is so good and so easy to use to make any kind of website you want, whether it's as simple as a blog or one of those two or three page content sites, or whether it's more complex like a podcast or even a whole storefront.
00:37:41 ◼ ► You can sell digital or physical goods on Squarespace. You can have dynamic elements like calendars and galleries and everything.
00:37:52 ◼ ► They have amazing, award-winning 24/7 support if you need any help along the way. But honestly, you probably won't because they're just that good.
00:38:04 ◼ ► They have professional designers making these amazing templates and you can customize them to your heart's content. You can even build your logo from within Squarespace.
00:38:21 ◼ ► I highly suggest next time you have a project or a business or somebody's asked you to make a website for them, start it there with that free trial and see how far you get in like an hour.
00:38:31 ◼ ► And I bet you're going to be pretty much done if not totally done. And it's so nice to just have it done out of your hands and you can move on to focusing on your business or your project.
00:38:40 ◼ ► So start that free trial site today at squarespace.com/ATP. When you decide to sign up, and I'm sure you will, go to squarespace.com/ATP and use offer code ATP to get 10% off your first purchase.
00:38:56 ◼ ► Thank you so much to Squarespace for sponsoring our show and for making it so easy to make websites.
00:39:04 ◼ ► Breaking news, you know, I have to say that the tech industry has been pretty good to ATP over the last few weeks and scheduling their breaking news the appropriate time.
00:39:18 ◼ ► Just a few hours before we recorded, Amazon has declared that they are buying Eero. E-E-R-O, they are many time prior sponsors.
00:39:30 ◼ ► But I can tell you with an honest heart, and they cannot pay me to say this, that I really love their stuff.
00:39:35 ◼ ► I was overjoyed to get rid of the Verizon router that I was compelled to use and instead put in an Eero setup.
00:39:43 ◼ ► And Eero set up that, to be fair, they comped me, but nevertheless, it's really great. I really love it.
00:39:56 ◼ ► Like the doomsday person in me thinks, "Oh God, Amazon's going to know everything I look at on the internet and weaponize that to make me spend even more money than I would already spend at Amazon."
00:40:13 ◼ ► But on the other side, I also have a Ring doorbell, which was also a prior sponsor, also got comped.
00:40:23 ◼ ► So, I don't know. Like, John, what do you think about this? Is this going to be really bad or am I making them out not of nothing?
00:40:38 ◼ ► I mean, that's what we're all worried about. It doesn't surprise me that Amazon bought Eero.
00:40:42 ◼ ► It doesn't surprise me that someone bought Eero, because they've got great products and having a small independent company that makes one very focused, great product is just something that seems not to stand in today's tech industry, because someone will see them and scoop them up.
00:40:52 ◼ ► And it also doesn't surprise me that it's Amazon, because Amazon is all about, lately, electronic smart type devices that go in your home.
00:40:59 ◼ ► And they have this budding ecosystem of their Echo brand products, with and without screens and microphones and speakers of various sizes.
00:41:09 ◼ ► And all those things are on Wi-Fi. So, they bought Ring, to be clear, what you were talking about before. Amazon also bought Ring, which is more home stuff for cameras and doorbells.
00:41:18 ◼ ► And Google's got Nest, of course, and it's home stuff. So, it makes perfect sense for Amazon to buy Eero, because unlike Apple,
00:41:24 ◼ ► both Amazon and Google have not decided that they are going to expunge everything except for the most profitable core products from their lineups.
00:41:32 ◼ ► Instead, they are actually trying to build an ecosystem that covers all bases that people need. And so, neither one of them is shying away from,
00:41:39 ◼ ► "Oh, we're not going to buy a camera company or a doorbell company or a Wi-Fi company. We just want to sell the very most expensive, profitable thing."
00:41:49 ◼ ► We've talked about this before, Apple getting out of the Wi-Fi business. Lots of people saying, "I wish Apple had bought Eero." But we weren't having that conversation.
00:41:56 ◼ ► Apple just doesn't see it that way. So, instead, in the absence of Big Apple buying up these companies, someone's going to buy them all.
00:42:02 ◼ ► But it's either going to be Amazon or Google. I don't know who the third choice would be. But maybe some slightly larger fish would eat the very small fish.
00:42:10 ◼ ► So, I'm not surprised they purchased. I hope in the short to medium term, they continue to sell Wi-Fi routers that just do Wi-Fi things and don't report every single website you go to back to Amazon for the purposes of marketing.
00:42:25 ◼ ► But I don't necessarily think they're going to combine it with an Echo. I'm not sure that Frankentoster needs to exist. They might make one because they're Amazon. Why the heck wouldn't they try it?
00:42:37 ◼ ► But I think even if they just say independent Wi-Fi things, resisting the urge as Amazon, a company that gets tremendous benefit by knowing what you do, resisting the urge of that Wi-Fi router to tell Amazon everything you do on the internet, I don't know how Amazon resists that.
00:42:57 ◼ ► I don't know how someone goes into a meeting and says, "Okay, we own a Wi-Fi router now, but we're not going to have a report back to Amazon everything all our customers do. Just the data is just too valuable."
00:43:06 ◼ ► So, I hope Amazon holds the, whoever is in charge of that decision, I hope they hold the line for as long as they possibly can, but it almost seems inevitable to me.
00:43:14 ◼ ► Yeah, I mean, on some level, like, Amazon already has the potential with AWS. They host a good portion of the internet. And they don't do that, as far as I know, there, because I think the cost to the AWS customers, which are businesses, I think they wouldn't put up with that. That would be too much for them.
00:43:36 ◼ ► That's the difference. In a business-to-business range, there are contracts that set down what they're going to do, and a business has lawyers that looks over the contract. No way a business is going to sign that, but customers will click through any garbage TOS that pops up in front of them when they buy a product.
00:43:48 ◼ ► So that's why they're going to do it on the consumer side. No way they'd pull it off on AWS, and actually it would be difficult on AWS just because of how opaque the infrastructure is from their perspective.
00:43:57 ◼ ► And most businesses are good about it, having stuff encrypted in transit and at rest, and yada, yada, yada. But the bottom line is lawyers. Lawyers will stop that from happening. But consumers don't each have lawyers when they go buy their Wi-Fi router.
00:44:09 ◼ ► And even if it's just as simple as it reporting what your DNS queries are, even that alone is enough sort of intelligence that Amazon would not be able to resist it. Forget about the men in the nailing near SSL or whatever. Like, I'm not saying they're going to go that far on day one.
00:44:26 ◼ ► Maybe. I mean, on some level also, like, Eero has this Eero Plus service, which is optional. One of the things it provides is a service where it'll check the sites you visit against a database of no malicious sites.
00:44:39 ◼ ► So therefore, Eero already has a service that people voluntarily opt in to have their site history checked against a database or something else. So Eero already has that information from some portion of its customers.
00:44:58 ◼ ► I think it's different because Amazon has an immediate use for that information. The Eero use for it is this would be useful. We could sell this to somebody. Or it's useful for an acquirer to show why you should buy us. Like, hey, Amazon, look how we can collect this information. You should buy it. You should buy us because you would like this information.
00:45:14 ◼ ► But Amazon, there's no speculative purpose for this information. We know exactly what we use it for. We use it to figure out how to sell you more stuff on Amazon. And the fact that it's opt-in, Amazon just has to make it like, you know, you get $5 off Prime or whatever.
00:45:29 ◼ ► They have so many knobs to turn to make 100% of the customers use that, even if it's just like the Kindle with special offers. Hey, you can get a Kindle cheaper if you're allowed to show you ads. Hey, you can get an Eero router cheaper if you're allowed to see your websites. And everyone will just do it because it's cheaper. Why wouldn't you?
00:45:44 ◼ ► Yeah, that's true. Yeah. Now that you say, yeah, they probably will at least offer something. Maybe they won't have it always on that way, but I bet they will down the road, I bet they will offer something that really gives them this info.
00:45:57 ◼ ► Yeah, I'm not worried about it for like this year or even next year or whatever. And I'm sure my existing Euro products will continue to work and I'll continue to buy them, mostly because they work really well and they're problem-free and they give me everything I want out of it.
00:46:09 ◼ ► As long as it's optional, I will continue to get them. But it just makes me super-duper extra angry that Apple has just abandoned this and many other markets because they want to let someone else have it.
00:46:20 ◼ ► And in this day and age with these big players and all the consolidation, if Apple doesn't offer it, no one else in the industry is incentivized to give the kind of privacy guarantees that Apple is incentivized to give.
00:46:30 ◼ ► And so it's bad for consumers if there is no Apple option. Bad for well-heeled consumers, let's say, if there is no Apple option for that type of thing.
00:46:38 ◼ ► Another, you know, there's tons and tons of third-party Wi-Fi routers from companies that have absolutely no interest or incentive in gathering information, but that used to be true of television makers too.
00:46:51 ◼ ► Television makers just not care about what you watch for decades and decades, they didn't care what you watch until they did.
00:46:56 ◼ ► So I don't say, "Oh, well don't worry, you can use Linksys or Netgear or whatever or some of that, you know, or Ubiquiti." I guess Ubiquiti is probably the last holdout again because they're a business-to-business type of seller for the most part.
00:47:05 ◼ ► But eventually, nothing is safe because once Netgear and Linksys figure out that they can sell all your data to someone else if they haven't already figured this out, they'll start doing it too.
00:47:14 ◼ ► And then you're just left with, you know, buying ugly, complicated Ubiquiti stuff like Marco has, or just, you know, planning for the days when you could buy a Wi-Fi router from Apple.
00:47:24 ◼ ► Yeah, I haven't seen anybody who was happy with this news so far, and I think that really says a lot about how much people love Eero and how much people don't trust Amazon to do the right thing long-term here.
00:47:39 ◼ ► And I can't fault them. I mean, you know, I'm a huge Amazon customer, and it's hard to think of another company on the web that has more data on me than Amazon does already, just from my activity on Amazon.
00:47:56 ◼ ► But certainly, like, you know, if you're trying to not have a lot of the web giants have info on you like this, Amazon is getting harder and harder to avoid. I think it says a lot about what people are thinking about and worried about these days, that the reaction to this acquisition from customers has been seemingly almost 100% negative.
00:48:19 ◼ ► And I'm from Tech Nerd customers, obviously. And the thing about it is, like, we all have, you know, these devices in our house that we can talk to, like, you know, I have an Echo thing, I have the Google thing, all those things send my queries back to their respective companies and tell them what I'm doing.
00:48:34 ◼ ► Like, I'm voluntarily, you know, I'm an Amazon Prime subscriber, I buy things from Amazon. Like, I hate these companies and don't want them to have any information about me.
00:48:42 ◼ ► And I'm not even like, even if the Wi Fi router, like, has this opt in report back to Amazon thing out, like I said, I would still buy it because I value a reliable, nice to use Wi Fi router. Like I'm not protesting, I'm never gonna buy the Euro game, not far from it. It's just that it's like it's encroachment, right?
00:49:00 ◼ ► So I buy these products and voluntarily use them knowing that they transfer their information back because I accept the trade off, I accept in exchange for you getting this information about me, you provide this service. And I feel like I know what I'm, I know what I'm providing.
00:49:15 ◼ ► Like, the Wi Fi in your house, like the basic internet in your house is it's like the last backstop against, you know, devices that are owned by a company that like it's just individual products. If I buy an Echo thing and put it on my network, I understand that when I talk to that thing, here's this thing that's happening.
00:49:37 ◼ ► But if one company can see everything that's happening on my network, and you know, like it owns the actual internet connection end of things, like Verizon does with that whole thing. That's not scary about Verizon adding like HTTP headers every time you visit a website.
00:49:51 ◼ ► That feels like, to me anyway, personally, a bridge too far. I don't want, I want there to be some backstop where this is the infrastructure that I own, and then I choose which products I put on it. Not like, you know, it's coming from inside the house, you own the entire infrastructure, you see everything.
00:50:08 ◼ ► And that's, I'm not entirely comfortable with that relationship. Maybe it's unavoidable, maybe there's no keeping them out. Maybe soon every single aspect of our internet connection in our life will be owned by some company. But I'm, I think getting back to the Verizon thing, I forget when this was, but like, I forgot the particular details.
00:50:25 ◼ ► I think it was like, since Verizon is an internet service provider, and they could see all your traffic coming and going, they would see when you're making HTTP requests, and they would either shove in a header that identifies you, or read headers, or they would do something with the headers going through, and they would see every single one of your, your web requests that wasn't SSL, which back in those days was a lot more than it is today.
00:50:47 ◼ ► And when people found out about it, there was a little bit of an uproar, and I think they stopped doing it. So I think that it's not just me that there is a line over which companies will not be allowed to, to walk without at least some form of protest. So I'm not saying having your Wi Fi router report back to Amazon is that line. It's just that I think I'm not, I think I'm not alone in drawing some kind of distinction between the products that I put on my network and the entirety of the network itself.
00:51:14 ◼ ► Yeah, I completely agree. I mean, for now, I don't plan on doing anything about my in home network in no small part because I just spent hours doing everything. But, but I don't know, I think it's one of those things where I'm going to keep a watchful eye on it. And I think Marco, your point about everyone's reaction says a lot about Eero, I think that's spot on, you know, I love my Eero devices. And again, they've sponsored before they're sponsoring again, but they they cannot pay us to say that we really, really, really friggin love this stuff.
00:51:43 ◼ ► And I think I speak for all three of us and saying that we do and, and, you know, when I recommend something to friends or family, you know, stuff that I will have to support if it goes bad, I'll recommend Eero. And of course, I'll recommend it with a coupon code ATP. But nevertheless, I will recommend Eero. And I do that because it really is good stuff. It really does walk the fine line between something that is configurable enough for a nerd like me, but also approachable enough for a regular human being and, and for everyone to be like,
00:52:12 ◼ ► Oh, Amazon, really that that's, I think that's, like you said, Marco, I think that that's really indicative of kind of how we feel about both companies.
00:52:20 ◼ ► Yeah, so the thing is, though, like, recommending it to people, I think we fast forward five years and Amazon starts offering your products that do this kind of like, you know, the year with special offers thing. I think I would still be in the position where if I had some relative who didn't have a lot of money, and there's no way in hell they were going to pay for a Wi Fi router to replace the one they quote unquote, get for free from Comcast, right? Like if you can't convince them that they should buy their own thing. But there wasn't, there wasn't a lot of money.
00:52:49 ◼ ► But there was an option to get an era with special offers or whatever that is free or cheap, but reports everything you do back to Amazon and I described this arrangement, they would jump on it. Right that they would say, Oh, well, that's great. Like, yeah, totally. I'm like, well, because because honestly, like, people, not everyone cares as much about that. If you told them, you can get a $500 multi node router set up for free.
00:53:15 ◼ ► But in the catches that it tells Amazon, every website you go to, they'd be like, fine, good, do that.
00:53:22 ◼ ► Right. And so that's why I mean, that's why stuff like this is that's why we all buy everything from like everyone has their own line. Like, I'm, I'm not saying that it's even the wrong thing to do from a business perspective. And I think I'd be in a position where I would, I would bring that up to somebody to say it's an option because you can get better, you know, you'd get better coverage across your house, you wouldn't have the Wi Fi dead spots, like all the things that the ads, they're absolutely true.
00:53:49 ◼ ► They didn't want to pay lots of money for the wire thing. So I just bought it for them and sends them because I just I wanted them to have Wi Fi in their house. But there's no way they would have paid it if they had to, you know, buy it themselves. If I had told them about special offers things, they definitely would have jumped on it. And a lot of people are like that. I'm not even saying that's the wrong choice. Like if you can get good technology for less money, and you understand what you're trading, you know, go into with your eyes open, have someone explain it to you and the consequences of it.
00:54:18 ◼ ► It's approaching, I think, I forgot where I read this. So it's approaching the type of deal that come back to me brain where did they use that? That that regular people can't actually consent to because it's so pervasive. What was that from? It was like a Facebook story or something like that? Like that?
00:54:34 ◼ ► Yeah, from the Oh, no. Oh, yeah, that it's impossible for anyone to, to actually consent to because it's, they don't grasp the full the entirety of what's going on. You know, assume again, assuming euro is not going to man in the middle, you and decode all your encrypted traffic. You know, this is not that, like, if you describe to them, if you go to a website, they can see it. But when you go to your bank, they can't because it's SSL, people would accept that trade off. And honestly, I don't think it's an unreasonable, unreasonable event to accept it.
00:55:01 ◼ ► But I just got done saying that we all accept the trade off of, you know, when we shout to our cylinders that it sends that back to a server in two out of three cases. So, you know, we're sad that Euro, it stopped being the independent beautiful snowflake that it was. And we're all sad that Apple didn't buy them or that Apple doesn't do Wi Fi networks. But in the grand scheme of things, five years from now, we might still be recommending to our friends and relatives to get a euro.
00:55:24 ◼ ► Yeah, you know, as you were talking, I got thinking to myself, you know, is, is the individual data what's valuable? Or is there something else that could be valuable? And of course, the individual data is valuable. But I'm looking at my hero app on my iPad. And among the things that Euro does and does a really good job of is it will take a guess using I think the MAC address and you know, some lookup table that server side, I guess, you know, what are all these devices on your network.
00:55:52 ◼ ► So, as an example, my thermostat, which happens to be a Honeywell, or I'm sorry, a train thermostat, it apparently the network connection within it is made by Murata Manufacturing Company Limited. And that isn't very helpful to me. But a lot of things, it'll say like, Oh, this is an Apple device, we're pretty darn sure it's an iPhone. This is an Apple device, pretty sure it's an iMac. This is a printer. And you know, they'll they'll at least be able to show you like a little icon that indicates it's a printer. And it got me thinking, you know, maybe there's something to be, you know,
00:56:21 ◼ ► to be said about knowing of the all of all of the Euro installations in the world. 80% of them have one Nintendo switch hanging off their network. And 50% of them have Apple devices, you know what I mean? And perhaps even in aggregate in a way that is not across my personal threshold of just having aggregated information about what kinds of people are what kinds of things people are buying and in what quantity.
00:56:50 ◼ ► And and also, like, you know, most switch owners tend to be Mac users, and most ps4 owners tend to be PC users. I probably have that backwards, it doesn't matter. But you get my point that perhaps even just the aggregate information might be useful to Amazon in some way, shape or form as well.
00:57:08 ◼ ► Sure, they would love it all. I mean, because they they sell competitors to a lot of the products, they would love to know what's on everyone's Wi Fi networks and everything they go to every website they go to like, why wouldn't they any this type of information has value to almost anybody that sells anything. So it's so broad.
00:57:22 ◼ ► The internet is such an integral part of all aspects of life that this is incredibly valuable information. It's just a question of who has the ability to convince customers to trade that privacy for something and Amazon has shown they have they have the ability to to trade to get customers to trade their privacy for the value they provide the convenience of buying things on Amazon to get a Kindle for a little bit cheaper.
00:57:46 ◼ ► You know, using using all those things to bootstrap a video service by saying it comes free with your shopping whether you like it or not, we talked about this before, like they're, they're able to honestly get customers to trade something that Amazon wants for something that the customers want. And it just so happens that thing is not always money.
00:58:05 ◼ ► We are sponsored this week by Linode, where you can instantly deploy and manage an SSD server in the Linode cloud. Get a server running in seconds with your choice of Linux distro resources and node location. I gotta tell you, I love Linode. I've used a lot of web hosts in my time for various server needs, business and personal stuff. And Linode is by far my favorite one. I'll tell you why.
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01:00:24 ◼ ► I have only one Nintendo exclusive game right now that I really want, which happens to be Zelda Breath of the Wild. I can't bring myself to pay the full price for the console.
01:00:30 ◼ ► Some retailers sell refurbished consoles that bring the price low enough that I'm willing to buy, but I'm worried that these have a high chance of being lemons.
01:00:36 ◼ ► I personally don't do this terribly often. There are definitely times that I have and/or would do this. Apple stuff is a great example.
01:00:44 ◼ ► If I wasn't so needy about having the new hotness immediately, I absolutely would buy. And I'm pretty sure I've bought at least one refurbished Apple product in the past and it's been fine.
01:00:52 ◼ ► I had heard somewhere, and this may be a complete boldface lie, but I had heard somewhere that with Apple refurbished stuff, any surface the user touches is brand new.
01:01:01 ◼ ► It's just the insides that are gross, or I shouldn't say gross, but recycled. Do you guys know if that's BS or do you know if that's true?
01:01:08 ◼ ► I read the same feedback you did, but I don't know if it was just specifically talking about phones or if it was all products. I'm not sure.
01:01:14 ◼ ► I bet it might have just been phones or something because I can't imagine they're doing it with giant iMacs or whatever.
01:01:18 ◼ ► That's also true. It's a good point. In any case, I would definitely do it with Apple stuff. For something like a Nintendo, probably? I don't have any particular problem with buying refurbished stuff.
01:01:31 ◼ ► I can't say I do it terribly often, but I bought a couple of used cars in the past and I didn't really...
01:01:38 ◼ ► Even though my BMW was a piece of garbage, that was not because it was used, I don't think. I think it was just because it was a BMW.
01:01:49 ◼ ► I have bought refurbished stuff in the past. I've had mixed luck with it. Sometimes I've bought them and they've been totally fine.
01:02:03 ◼ ► So I don't know if that's enough data to really say for sure whether it's worth it or not.
01:02:14 ◼ ► I don't know what the options are for the Switch, but in general with tech products, it's way better to get the refurbs directly from the manufacturer because they will almost always have a regular warranty applied to them.
01:02:24 ◼ ► And then you can always go to the manufacturer if you have a problem during that period and say, "Alright, this thing's broken. Fix it."
01:02:31 ◼ ► As opposed to if you get it through a third-party refurbisher, oftentimes the warranty will then only be through the refurbisher, not through the original company.
01:02:46 ◼ ► So refurbs are a very good way to save a few hundred dollars off of a new Mac or something.
01:02:49 ◼ ► And for a lot of people that's a fine deal to take. But just make sure you're covered by a warranty from the actual manufacturer.
01:02:57 ◼ ► I usually avoid refurbs just because I want to have the shiny new thing, which is a privilege I have being able to buy the shiny new thing most of the time.
01:03:07 ◼ ► And in this specific case, Breath of the Wild, I would personally probably go without meals.
01:03:14 ◼ ► Skip a meal for a week to save the extra money because Breath of the Wild is such an amazing game.
01:03:19 ◼ ► But all that said, if I was in a position where I wanted something that just didn't have the cash, I would be willing to buy refurbs.
01:03:29 ◼ ► And again, like Marco said, buying it through the manufacturer, chances are probably about the same.
01:03:40 ◼ ► If the outside of it shows any kind of wear and tear, or if it's a damaged box type of thing, you're rolling the dice. It really depends on how much money you're saving.
01:03:49 ◼ ► If you're saving ten bucks, forget it. But if you're saving fifty or a hundred dollars, absolutely. Get it with a manufacturer warranty.
01:03:56 ◼ ► And if you buy a new product and it flakes out, and they give you a replacement, you're probably getting a refurb anyway.
01:04:02 ◼ ► Certainly getting a refurb then. So I wouldn't be too scared of it. Just be sure that you get a warranty as if it was new, because if you don't, then I would think twice about it.
01:04:14 ◼ ► And increasingly as the price of the thing goes up. And yeah, just don't be superstitious about the fact that it's refurbished because it'll probably be fine.
01:04:24 ◼ ► Apparently Nintendo does have a refurb store, which we will put a link in the show notes. Thanks to Rybur for getting that link. And also real-time feedback from John Alper via Twitter.
01:04:35 ◼ ► John writes that he's bought a ton of Apple stuff, and the only thing that didn't look as untouched as something brand new is the packaging.
01:04:43 ◼ ► Because I guess they don't necessarily use the super fancy packaging for the refurb stuff. You might just get a basic brown box, according to John.
01:04:50 ◼ ► But yeah, like I said, I have no problem with it. Moving on, Ryan Bible writes, "I've been teaching myself programming on and off for about a year, and I've run into a bit of a roadblock.
01:04:59 ◼ ► I feel like I have a pretty good grasp of the fundamentals, and I'm very unsure of where to go to continue learning.
01:05:03 ◼ ► I've built a simple timer app to learn iOS programming, but I know I've made a ton of neophyte mistakes. For example, all the logic in the app lives in the main view controller.
01:05:11 ◼ ► I know that I should break things up, but I've struggled to find answers on how an app should be structured and the best practices for creating and implementing my own classes.
01:05:18 ◼ ► To summarize, I've found tons of resources for beginners just starting out, but I'm really struggling to find intermediate resources, and I was hoping that you guys could point me in the right direction."
01:05:35 ◼ ► iOS, there seem to be about 8 billion ways to skin that cat, and there's the one true way, which is the MVC way that Apple kind of recommends, and even Apple's own documentation talks about that some.
01:05:49 ◼ ► And certainly WWDC sessions actually are useful for that. But in general, I like to find publications that seem to be pretty well respected on the particular field that you're dealing with.
01:06:00 ◼ ► I'll give you a few examples for iOS stuff. NS Hipster is very good in my personal opinion. And just follow those and see what sorts of things they're talking about.
01:06:07 ◼ ► That's less about app architecture, or really architecture in general, which is what Ryan is talking about, but more how to write decent and good code.
01:06:16 ◼ ► The easiest and best way I've ever found to solve this problem is to work with somebody who is better at what you do than you are, and you will by force or by will end up learning a lot from them.
01:06:29 ◼ ► But I don't know, do you guys have, maybe you can start with Marco, do you have any tips for bridging the gap from being a beginner to being intermediate?
01:06:37 ◼ ► I mean certainly if you have any ability to work with other people who maybe have more experience than you, that is by far the best way to advance yourself quickly in this area.
01:06:47 ◼ ► Of course not everybody has that option available to them, so assuming that Ryan here doesn't have that option available, I would say basically do what Casey did, read up on what patterns and things people have been using.
01:07:00 ◼ ► The only problem there is everyone has a different way of doing it. You probably aren't going to find two sites that tell you to do the exact same thing.
01:07:09 ◼ ► You're going to look at ten sites and they're going to tell you to do ten very different and totally incompatible things. So it's a little hard to get good that way.
01:07:18 ◼ ► You can, to some degree, you can look at Apple's example code. They don't usually ship as example code apps that are complex enough to really have a lot of code structure management to them, but there's probably something out there.
01:07:32 ◼ ► You could also potentially look at open source apps. There aren't a ton of open source iOS apps out there, but there are some and some of them are big enough to have to deal with problems like this. You can see how they did it.
01:07:42 ◼ ► But for the most part this is going to be the kind of thing that you're going to learn mostly from experience. And whether you're on your own or whether you can learn from other people on the way, that might affect how quickly you learn that, but this is mostly an experience thing.
01:07:54 ◼ ► And the other thing I'll add here is it probably doesn't matter as much as you might think. You can have a career as an iOS programmer and put everything in your main view controller. It's fine.
01:08:08 ◼ ► If you have a really complex app that's going to start getting difficult to manage, but for the most part most apps don't need advanced structures and they don't need to be perfect. They need to work. And if it works, and it works for you, and it works for the people, it's fine.
01:08:30 ◼ ► You know, that's a really great point. So I've written and I'm working on this this Poditor thing, which is to help me do my side of the edit for analog. And I also was playing with, and actually this is a very quick side thing that might be interesting.
01:08:45 ◼ ► It occurred to me that a lot of my contacts in my address book on my phone and thus on my Mac don't have images and/or the images are really, really old. And so it occurred to me, well, I could just use like Gravatar to slurp up all the images for people that keep that sort of thing updated, which given that I am friends with a lot of nerds, that's a lot of us, and update my contacts with all of those images that I grab from Gravatar.
01:09:13 ◼ ► I wrote a little iOS app to do it, or I'm mostly done with it. And I bring all this up to say, in both of those apps, 80 to 90 percent of the logic is just in the view controller. And there is only one view controller, and it is called view controller.
01:09:31 ◼ ► Ultimately, it really doesn't matter, at least not today. To your point, Marco, if this becomes, like if I end up shipping either of these, which I strongly doubt, but if it happens, then that becomes a little bit different.
01:09:43 ◼ ► Even if I open source it, I would probably rework a lot, because this is not a particularly strong example of the way I generally like to write code.
01:09:50 ◼ ► But if I'm just goofing off and doing my own thing, if I'm an independent person living my own life the way I want, then there's no reason to worry about these sorts of problems, at least at the stage that I'm at.
01:10:04 ◼ ► But that being said, I think that where you would come into problems with this is if you go to interview to get a regular iOS development job, at which point, if I was interviewing someone, I would want to know that they know one of the 805 ways that you can write "correct" code for iOS.
01:10:23 ◼ ► So I echo what Marco's saying, as long as you're living the blissful indie life that we are, but if you're trying to be a real person with a real job, then it is worth digging into this a little deeper.
01:10:34 ◼ ► And speaking of real people with real jobs, Jon, tell us, as the elder statesman, what is the right answer here?
01:10:40 ◼ ► This question reminds me of back like 15, 20 years ago when I was writing my first e-commerce site, as we called them back then. It was like a website that you go to that has products, you put them in the shopping cart, you go through a checkout process.
01:10:53 ◼ ► I mean, this hasn't actually changed that much in the monitor, but back then on the web, that was basically the main and the only kind of thing that was not a static website.
01:11:03 ◼ ► It was like there was e-commerce and then there was just pages full of text, and that was it. It was the idea of a web app that didn't quite exist yet. We had not yet reached web 2.0, or maybe it was just coming out.
01:11:13 ◼ ► Anyway, so here I am. I'm like, I've got to write an e-commerce site. This has been done, even at that point, hundreds of times before. I'm not the first person to make a website with a shopping cart.
01:11:25 ◼ ► What I wanted to know was basically, okay, I'm writing one of these things. What's the right way to sort of structure it behind the scenes in terms of how do you model the cart and the orders and how the inventory tracking and the transactions and the credit card processing and tracking payments.
01:11:42 ◼ ► If you're going to implement this, like, yeah, I know how it looks on the outside. That's easy enough, but how does it look on the inside? How do you correctly structure an e-commerce site? I'm like, well, this is totally a solved problem. So many people have done this so many times. It's got to be a library full of books about how to implement an e-commerce site.
01:11:56 ◼ ► And guess what? There was not. There still isn't, I don't think. There is no book or, you know, I keep saying books, but there was no website to talk to this thing. I don't think YouTube existed yet.
01:12:08 ◼ ► There's no one out there who's going to explain to you, here's how you implement an e-commerce site. All there were were a bunch of engineers who worked at companies with e-commerce sites that could say, well, here's how we did it.
01:12:18 ◼ ► And if you were to hear those stories, mostly you'd probably be horrified because it's all a bunch of people who were learning their thing on the job because maybe they're the first people to make an e-commerce site.
01:12:25 ◼ ► And it was their early days, but even if, you know, it seems like it was early in the grand scheme of things, but when I was coming in, I'm like, this is the thing that everybody does. Surely there is a well-known state of the art of here's the right way to build an e-commerce site.
01:12:39 ◼ ► And there absolutely wasn't. And today, with iOS apps or Mac apps or choose whatever your platform is, you might think there's a way that everybody builds their apps.
01:12:47 ◼ ► But as Markham Gacy just pointed out, that's not true. People do it all sorts of crazy ways. You have no idea what people do, like especially small developers, but even big companies, if you were to look at their code bases, you'd be like, what is this?
01:12:57 ◼ ► It's like, well, it's the thing that we have and it works. And it's the residue of seven people who worked on it plus the original person. And they all had different opinions about how things were done.
01:13:06 ◼ ► And you're like, isn't there one agreed upon way to structure things? And the answer is no. So there's no place you can go to tell you at this level to say, what is the right way to break down a problem and structure this complicated thing?
01:13:18 ◼ ► A, because it's really complicated, and B, because all the real successful examples look like gardens that have just grown over time for the most part.
01:13:25 ◼ ► That said, I do have some advice on how to get out of this. I mean, it's not the advice to help me with my e-commerce site, but I basically say, well, I've just got to do it myself and I just figured it out.
01:13:35 ◼ ► And did my own weird ass things like everyone else. But in the case of iOS specifically, and I guess in the case of the modern web as well, this applies to it, but didn't way back then.
01:13:47 ◼ ► There is a framework. iOS has frameworks. Apple provides these libraries, these APIs, this structure for you to build stuff.
01:13:56 ◼ ► The best thing that you can do is to understand philosophically how the framework sees things. How, if possible, how the individual people who made these frameworks, how the people who designed the overall system understand the philosophy that underpins the API.
01:14:12 ◼ ► It's not going to tell you exactly how to structure things, but it will make sure that whatever you decide to do is not fighting against that.
01:14:18 ◼ ► Understand how the pieces are meant to fit together. And so this framework is meant to be used in this way. We expect your state to be here. We expect this to be called back and forth like this.
01:14:28 ◼ ► You can get the feel from that from just watching a WWDC session where someone explains their framework. They will present it in a way of saying, here's how we expect you to use this.
01:14:37 ◼ ► Here's how it's designed to be used. And you can use it in all sorts of ways, especially with all these delegates and places where you can override things.
01:14:43 ◼ ► You can put arbitrary code there, but the expectation is that you won't put completely arbitrary code that manipulates your model in some background thread.
01:14:51 ◼ ► UI only has to be from the main thread. I forget if that's enforced now. There's lots of things that the framework is designed with this kind of practice in mind.
01:15:05 ◼ ► And then you can go build on top of that and come up with your own philosophy of how you want to divide things up.
01:15:09 ◼ ► Maybe decide if you want to do RxSwift or any other sort of weird things. But you're not starting from zero like we were back in the Web 1.0 days where there were no frameworks.
01:15:17 ◼ ► There was no anything. It's just like you and a blank page go. You have a framework and there is absolutely a philosophy behind the framework.
01:15:24 ◼ ► Sometimes the philosophy changes from library to library, by the way. Like the VDSP philosophy is very different from the UI window philosophy is very different from the NSTableView philosophy.
01:15:34 ◼ ► So there is a lot to know. But once you know that, you can write a reasonable program and you'll be able to answer intelligently the questions at an interview or whatever. So that's my suggestion.
01:15:45 ◼ ► Yeah, I completely agree with you there. One of the wisest things I've ever been told, which was in the context of iOS development, but I think it's applicable basically everywhere, is my friend Jamie once told me, "Don't fight the frameworks."
01:15:57 ◼ ► And that probably wasn't an original invention of his, but it was the first time I'd heard it. And I think that's absolutely true and that's what you were saying, Jon.
01:16:03 ◼ ► And the other thing I would say to build upon that is even if you end up coming up with some bananas weird way to write your app, let's say, RX Swift or something like that, then what I would recommend is knowing what the tradeoffs are.
01:16:19 ◼ ► Because even if you don't understand every possible way of architecting an app, if you understand the "normal" way of doing it, the MVC way of doing it, and even if you have your own pet way of doing it, as long as you can articulate what the reasons are, what the advantages and disadvantages are of that particular way of writing an app, then that will go quite far, or at least in my eyes, that would go quite far in an interview.
01:16:47 ◼ ► So, you can come in and show me some sample code and I can look at it and be really and truly disgusted, but if you tell me, "Well, this is why I did what I did," and do so intelligently, then that's okay. Then I can work with this, you know?
01:17:01 ◼ ► Finally, Nathan Miller asks, "Hey, I'm shopping for a new car," which happens to be an Audi A6, "and I have the choice of 1920 or 21-inch wheels. What's the consideration? Why does it matter?"
01:17:10 ◼ ► Well, it matters because it can dramatically change a couple of things. One, how the car handles, and two, perhaps even more so, how it behaves in terms of compliance and how cushy it is.
01:17:24 ◼ ► And typically, the bigger the wheel, the less sidewall and the less cushy it is. And additionally, to some degree, the bigger the wheel, the better it handles. It's not exactly one-to-one, but that's often the case from what I've understood.
01:17:38 ◼ ► But if it were me, if I was looking between 1920 or 21-inch wheels, I would just look at whatever I thought was prettiest and go with that because I'm super vain. Marco, what's your thoughts?
01:17:48 ◼ ► I think you covered it well. My decision is a little bit different. So for me, I live in the Northeast and we have winter, which means our roads are filled with potholes.
01:17:57 ◼ ► And so we have a huge risk here of rim damage and unpleasant ride quality if you don't have a lot of tire to protect you. So the best option when you live somewhere with weather is to get the smallest wheel they offer.
01:18:13 ◼ ► Because that means they're going to fill the rest of the space with tire and you will have a nice, cushy ride. And anything else, you're asking for trouble.
01:18:20 ◼ ► Now, Nathan, according to his Twitter bio, lives in North Carolina. That's a lot more temperate. They still have weather, but it's more of the hurricane sort.
01:18:29 ◼ ► Not so much the pothole sort. So it might not matter as much there. I don't know what the road conditions are like, but when you don't have winter, it matters a lot less.
01:18:39 ◼ ► So maybe go somewhere in the middle there. But I usually find the absolute biggest ones with the skinniest tires, I actually don't care for that look a lot of the time. It's a little too in your face.
01:18:51 ◼ ► So even if I lived somewhere pleasant that didn't have winter, I would probably, if my choices were 19, 20, 21, I'd probably go 20 and not 21. But definitely if you live somewhere with winter, go the smallest.
01:19:04 ◼ ► You know, and I should also add that generally speaking, replacing a smaller tire, which implies a smaller wheel, is also going to be cheaper. So replacing a 21-inch tire is probably going to be a lot more expensive than replacing a 19-inch tire.
01:19:21 ◼ ► So on my Accords that I've been buying for many years now, they've been making the wheels bigger slowly too. Of course all car lines, like big wheels or bigger wheels, have always trickled down from the expensive brands to the regular ones. So I forget what size my current ones are. Maybe 17 or 18 inches, whereas my first Accords are like 15 inch. So they're getting bigger.
01:19:41 ◼ ► And they're at the point now where, I mean, I think my wheels, if they're 18s, are smaller than any of these choices. But still, because I live in Massachusetts and live in New England and just the roads are destroyed here, I dented a rim on a pothole like two weeks after I got my car.
01:19:58 ◼ ► And it was expensive to replace because it's a big wheel. So I would strongly urge you, if you live anywhere with lots of potholes, to not get the low-product wheel.
01:20:11 ◼ ► Now my North Carolina advice is still not to get the 21-inch for sure and to think twice about the 20. Because this is where we get into the point where absolute values matter. It's not three sizes, right? 19 is already a big wheel.
01:20:24 ◼ ► 20 is huge and 21 is ridiculous. And unless the wheel arches are gigantic, there's not much room for tire in there. The ride quality over even reasonably okay roads is not going to be that great if the sidewall, if the rubber part of your tire looked at from the sides, if they say the sidewall is what we're talking about.
01:20:42 ◼ ► If that's like an inch and a half, at high speed you might as well be running on your rims. If you hit the smallest bump, unless your suspension is really, really good at quickly accounting for small motions, you're going to feel that up through the car and you don't want to.
01:20:56 ◼ ► It's an A6, it's not a race car, it comes with an automatic, it's not even an automated manual. Get the 19s. Unless they're super ugly, to Casey's point about being vain, there's no advantage of 20 or 21 that you're going to get that makes up for the ride quality difference.
01:21:15 ◼ ► That said, there are some car models that I read reviews of and people are like, "We tried the big wheels and we were shocked at how not awful they were." So depending on the suspension technology, there are a lot of fancy suspension technologies that actually are very good for that first inch or so of travel, of being very compliant and absorbing that quickly before firming up a little bit.
01:21:36 ◼ ► Either with a two-stage damper or those magnetic things where they get stiffer according to electrical impulses. There's all sorts of technologies you can use to give a car that doesn't wallow in turns but is also very good at absorbing small bumps.
01:21:48 ◼ ► In those cars, maybe you can get away with a slightly bigger wheel if you think it looks really good. My advice is to test drive. Decide how much you care about the different wheel choices and how much you care about how it looks.
01:21:59 ◼ ► If you really do think the 20 or 21 inch looks so much better than the 19 that you really want to try them out, test drive them on real roads at reasonable speeds and compare it to the 19. Most people's butts will prefer the 19 in those cases but try it and find out.
01:22:15 ◼ ► Thanks to our sponsors this week, Squarespace, Linode, and Casper. We'll talk to you next week.
01:23:23 ◼ ► Can I talk about people who don't know their email address? Because that's apt to show material.
01:23:27 ◼ ► This is a concern that has plagued me for many, many years and we had some feedback about it too. This wasn't really a question. There's no question here. It's just another person complaining about a thing. I don't understand how this will ever be resolved.
01:23:45 ◼ ► Mike McEwen writes in because he has most recently discovered that dots are not the only thing that can be used to make a car.
01:23:56 ◼ ► Dots are ignored in Gmail email addresses. It's a thing that most people, tech nerds, know but it has consequences that are surprisingly far reaching.
01:24:04 ◼ ► So if you do email@example.com, it's exactly the same as firstname.lastname@example.org. It's exactly the same as j.o.h.n.s. The dots are ignored.
01:24:14 ◼ ► Those all look like different email addresses to people but to Google they do not look different.
01:24:21 ◼ ► This is relevant because it's kind of like a hashbuckets problem where there are many, many, many email addresses that all land in the same hashbucket and all land in the same Gmail inbox.
01:24:31 ◼ ► The problem with people not knowing their email address is if someone thinks that their email address is john.smith but your email address you think is johnsmith, you're going to get all their email because they're going to type email@example.com and the email is going to go to you.
01:24:49 ◼ ► And this happens very frequently with people who have common names for email addresses. It also happens frequently, I can tell you this from experience, with people who have short email addresses.
01:24:58 ◼ ► One of my email addresses is only three characters long. And if you make one typo it's easy to go from your three letter email address to my three letter email address and now I'm getting all your mail.
01:25:09 ◼ ► I do a thing in one of the slacks that we're all in where I post my misdirected email of the day because every day I get someone else's email and occasionally they're funny or interesting or whatever and I don't want to post them to the world to see but to a small slack I want to show people the funny emails that I'm getting.
01:25:22 ◼ ► But it's an epidemic and the reason it's unresolvable is because you can't tell the poor person whose email you're getting about it. You can't tell them I just got your tax return.
01:25:32 ◼ ► You can't tell them I just got an eviction notice. You can't tell them I just got sexy pictures from your girlfriend. You can't tell them your bill is overdue. You can't tell them anything because who do you tell?
01:25:42 ◼ ► You don't know their email address because they think their email address is your email address. They open accounts under your email address. They like to register, in my experience, lots of people like to register for dating sites.
01:25:52 ◼ ► It's surprising the number of people like to register for dating sites. Job things like sign up here will tell you when there's like temp work available. People obviously looking for jobs. Repeatedly sign up to job sites.
01:26:02 ◼ ► This is the case where you can do something. I used to feel bad about it but I don't anymore. When you sign up for an account on a legit site that you're trying to do something.
01:26:11 ◼ ► You're trying to make a hotel reservation, get a job, go on a dating website, sign up for some service or whatever. I can't contact you because again I have no idea what your email address is because you think your email address is mine.
01:26:23 ◼ ► But what I can do is log into your account. How can I log into your account? How do I know your password? I just say forgot password and it emails me a link so I can log in.
01:26:31 ◼ ► I go into that account and I either change the password to this person does not know their email address, this person does not know their email address or something like that.
01:26:41 ◼ ► Or I just close the account. I close it up. Then the person will register it again and I'll close it again and eventually they'll get the picture. Every time I register for an account I don't get any email but then in a second I can't log in because I change their password to something else and then I close down their account.
01:26:59 ◼ ► Some sites, this is where I learned the whole menagerie, the zoo of websites out there. Some sites will not let you change the email address associated with the website. Did you know that? I know that because I'll go to there and I'll say change this email address.
01:27:11 ◼ ► And it's like nope, sorry. They'll send a confirmation email. So then I try to use like Mailinator or whatever, like that service that lets you have like a spam email address and they'll reject Mailinator because they're like oh, we won't let you do that.
01:27:21 ◼ ► I haven't gone so far as to open new Gmail accounts so I can switch my email address to it but I'm very close to it a few times. Many websites won't let you close your account or delete it in any way unless you call them on this phone or send them like a registered letter by Pony Express but screw that.
01:27:35 ◼ ► It is an epidemic and sometimes I've even gone so far as trying to discern what they think their name is because I can see in their tax returns or in their eviction notice or whatever the hell email I'm getting and try to find who they are but there's just too much overlap. I can't email everybody who named John Smith and say is this your email account? Is this your landlord? Is this your bill in Italian for party goods that you bought for a catered event six months ago? Is your daughter getting married? Is this your wedding registry?
01:28:06 ◼ ► Yeah, I get a lot of stuff in Italian as you might imagine. Half of it I can't read. I get attachments, I get spreadsheets, I get word documents, I get PDFs, I get scans, I get photos, you name it, I get it. And it's not just that my short email address is at all of them.
01:28:22 ◼ ► And so having something where the dots don't mean anything or the plus thing where you can add plus to the end of it, it just increases the service area of people getting other people's email. So this is an idea for a single serving site.
01:28:36 ◼ ► It could be some way to put up information and say I got someone else's email, if you think this is your email, contact me. Some sort of secure way to do that, I don't know, no one would ever go to the website. The problem is these people don't know their own email addresses so they're never going to come there.
01:28:51 ◼ ► Like the people who make legit typos you hear from once, people who just do not know their email address, that's where you get the bad one. And the final thing that factors into this besides the dots is Apple in their infinite wisdom has had many domains for their email addresses.
01:29:06 ◼ ► They've had, let's go, mac.com, me.com, iCloud.com, and of course the employees have apple.com and I'm missing one in there.
01:29:17 ◼ ► Yeah, anyway, all of those tend to lead to the same email address. So I always use the domain that I register with but other people use newer ones but it's the same email address.
01:29:28 ◼ ► If it's firstname.lastname@example.org, it's the same as email@example.com, it's the same as firstname.lastname@example.org, which is not the same as email@example.com.
01:29:36 ◼ ► So it just makes it worse, and I'm tired of getting other people's email, and so is Mike, he's tired of it too. I have no solution. Oh, he actually ran into someone trying to create an Apple ID with his email address and apparently the Apple ID registration will let you register the Apple ID but then you get the other person's email and they have to sort it out with Apple and it's just a case where the account, accounts cared about the difference, but the mail servers didn't care about the difference.
01:30:02 ◼ ► That's how he describes it anyways. It just sounds like an incredible nightmare. And I don't know if he's ever going to fix this. All I hope every day is that my misdirected email is at least entertaining and that I don't feel bad if it's not like someone's notice about like their lost child in the mall and that they can't find them because I'm the only one who got the email about it.
01:30:21 ◼ ► You know, it's also interesting that last I looked and this may not be true anymore, but I'm pretty sure it's true with Gmail, you can put a plus sign and put whatever garbage you want after that and it'll be ignored.
01:30:34 ◼ ► So one of my favorite pastimes, which I haven't done in a long time, but one of my favorite pastimes used to be to sign up for a new service where I was fairly confident that I was probably going to get my email address sold.
01:30:45 ◼ ► And so, you know, I would use like kclist plus, I don't know, spam, you know, just name of spam company here at gmail.com.
01:30:56 ◼ ► And so then as I see all the spam coming in, not to firstname.lastname@example.org or whatever my email address was back then, but it would be, you know, kclistplus some spam service at gmail.com.
01:31:07 ◼ ► And I would be like, Oh, I see you some spam service. I know you're selling my information. I know it's you. I know.
01:31:13 ◼ ► And you can't do any of that information anyway. Yeah, that was the plus thing I was talking about, which, which long predates Gmail. The plus thing is I forget who did it first, but it was like, Oh, is that right?
01:31:21 ◼ ► It might've been, it might've been a feature of like the send mail back in the day or like it it's, it's a very old thing.
01:31:27 ◼ ► And I've never had the energy to try to do that because honestly, I just assume everyone's giving out my email address everywhere.
01:31:32 ◼ ► And even if I did find out a specific site gave away my email, it's like, what am I going to do about it? Am I going to not use that site or am I going to like, am I going to complain to them?
01:31:40 ◼ ► It's just, I just want to know, John, I just want to know, anyway, just all that means is that there's more ways for you to get misdirected email. Do you two get misdirected email to the degree I do, or do you like magically spam filtered?
01:31:52 ◼ ► I don't get very much misdirected email for my actual email address. However, I have held email@example.com for like 15 years and there is a Casey Johnson somewhere in the world. I believe that's their name.
01:32:10 ◼ ► And they love to sign up for all sorts of stuff with my old Virginia Tech email and that happens constantly and I almost never take any action on it whatsoever.
01:32:22 ◼ ► You don't log in as them and see what's going on, close their account, change their email address?
01:32:29 ◼ ► I love it when there's like a notes field and I can put in, hello, this person does not know their email address. Is this you? Don't change it back to you and I put my actual email address in there because that's not your email address. It's mine.
01:32:39 ◼ ► I like when I can send the messages if I have lots of room in the box, I will say do not change this back to what it was because it's not your email address at gmail.com.
01:33:00 ◼ ► Well, like marco.org is the domain. First, I don't use Gmail so I think that takes care of a lot of it, you know?
01:33:06 ◼ ► Yeah, I think you'd get lots of like fake mail, like people saying firstname.lastname@example.org which is a real email address but they might put in, it's just like, oh, I got to put a fake thing and my name is Marco. Marco@marco.org.
01:33:16 ◼ ► I occasionally will get something like that but it's very rare. Usually, people who email that address which is not really my address but it'll sometimes get through, they're usually just people who are trying to reach me and just are guessing that's my email address and it's never anything good.
01:33:29 ◼ ► Yeah, the thing that shocks me the most about the misdirected email is every time I get a misdirected email in Italian, I mark it as spam.
01:33:37 ◼ ► And this is one thing that Gmail can't learn is that I don't speak any language except for English.
01:33:41 ◼ ► Like every time I get any email that the entire body of the text is in a non-English language, Google knows, Google offers to translate it.
01:33:48 ◼ ► I mark it as spam and yet the Italian ones come in and it's like, this is an important email that you probably want to say. Really? Is it?
01:33:54 ◼ ► Do you think someone's writing to me Italian? Because I can't speak Italian. I can't read it.
01:33:57 ◼ ► I mean, maybe they're thinking if you get enough emails in Italian, eventually you'll learn Italian.
01:34:02 ◼ ► I'm going to learn Italian, yeah. I mostly learn, I think mostly what I get in Italian emails is invoices, like things that people have purchased and I go through the item.
01:34:10 ◼ ► Sometimes I want to ask the teacher, "What are they buying? What is this? Are these human organs? Are these like illegal drugs? I don't know what all these people are buying."