305: An Uneasy Peace


00:00:00   - How's it going? - Not bad.

00:00:02   You?

00:00:03   - So I was taking a sip, I'm well.

00:00:06   I have, as of four seconds ago, started my holiday party.

00:00:10   - Yeah, you started a little early.

00:00:12   - I did not bring a bottle like I did.

00:00:14   No, no, no, the critical error I made years ago,

00:00:17   which I will not make again, was bringing the bottle with me.

00:00:20   I have rationed appropriately.

00:00:22   I do not have an inappropriate amount.

00:00:25   And the only way for me to refill is if I go

00:00:28   all the way downstairs.

00:00:30   I am learning from my mistakes, don't worry.

00:00:33   (phone ringing)

00:00:35   How's it going?

00:00:36   I agree, and we have a long night ahead.

00:00:40   - Oh my God.

00:00:41   - Are you having a beer tonight?

00:00:43   - Not yet.

00:00:44   - Pacing yourself.

00:00:46   Very boring, but very adult.

00:00:48   - Yes, I'm very tired today,

00:00:50   so I'm having some caffeinated tea to help keep me

00:00:52   nice and alert and lucid as much as possible

00:00:56   for this podcast.

00:00:58   This is busy week.

00:00:59   For Christmas week, in our family, we tend to basically

00:01:05   do nothing for an entire week.

00:01:07   And when you have a job or something, a regular job,

00:01:12   for the most part, not everybody, but for the most part,

00:01:15   when you take a vacation, you just kind of stop going

00:01:18   to the job and other people pick up your slack.

00:01:20   And I know it's a little hard for the holidays,

00:01:21   but when you're self-employed, as Casey, you know now,

00:01:25   when you're self-employed, when you take a week off,

00:01:29   the work doesn't get done by other people,

00:01:33   it just doesn't get done.

00:01:34   So all you're doing is moving the work from your

00:01:38   quote vacation week, you're just moving it to different

00:01:40   times before and after.

00:01:42   So the week before vacation is extra busy,

00:01:45   and that's where we are now.

00:01:48   - Which explains why I saw a new test flight beta

00:01:52   from Overcast fly by like, I don't know, half an hour ago

00:01:55   or something like that.

00:01:56   - Yeah, it was like 20 minutes ago, because I'm trying

00:01:58   to fix all these bugs in time for the App Store Connect

00:02:00   holiday shutdown, which--

00:02:02   - When is that?

00:02:03   I know what you're referring to.

00:02:04   - I believe it begins on the 24th, I think, which is Monday.

00:02:06   - I'm surprised it's that late.

00:02:08   - It's something like that, but I want to ideally

00:02:11   submit this to the App Store tomorrow, and that way,

00:02:14   it gets approved probably by Thursday, and then if I have

00:02:18   to do an emergency fix, I can issue that Thursday or Friday.

00:02:21   - Smart.

00:02:22   - It's a whole thing.

00:02:23   So it's like everything is compressed,

00:02:26   and it's a very busy week.

00:02:28   This is the same time that I believe it was last year

00:02:32   that I started using things, because in the holidays,

00:02:35   like in our lead up to our big holiday family trip,

00:02:38   all the stuff we traditionally do for that,

00:02:41   we have a whole bunch of to-do items for that,

00:02:43   in addition to just life stuff all catching up,

00:02:46   end of the year stuff, tax stuff, all sorts of things,

00:02:50   and it becomes very, very nice as you're running around

00:02:53   doing crazy things to just be able to yell into your phone,

00:02:55   "Hey, thing, add this to my to-do list and things,"

00:02:58   or whatever, and to build up a quick list via Siri

00:03:01   and be able to plow through them as you get chances to.

00:03:04   So I'm in that kind of mode, like the super busy,

00:03:06   doing everything mode, like getting tons of stuff done,

00:03:09   juggling five different things,

00:03:10   but I have an important update.

00:03:12   I called US Bank this morning to inquire

00:03:16   about my Tesla lease balance,

00:03:19   and they said that they had just, this morning,

00:03:22   received payment from Tesla, and I have a zero balance.

00:03:25   - Yay!

00:03:26   - Yeah, we finally, they're gonna send me a statement

00:03:29   that confirms that I have a zero balance

00:03:31   that I don't have yet, but they told me verbally

00:03:33   that it is done, and this should be the last I hear

00:03:37   of my old Tesla lease that Tesla failed to terminate

00:03:41   properly when they offered to. (laughs)

00:03:44   So-- - So, wait,

00:03:45   so let me play this back to make sure

00:03:47   my understanding is right.

00:03:48   So you had paid a bunch of money that you shouldn't have

00:03:53   against that lease that should have been closed

00:03:56   but wasn't, or done, or what have you, and it wasn't.

00:03:58   So that has or has not been refunded to you,

00:04:01   that pile of money.

00:04:02   - The pile that I had paid has--

00:04:04   - Correct. - Tesla sent me

00:04:05   a check for that.

00:04:06   - Okay, and you have received it?

00:04:08   - Yes, and I deposited it, and it hasn't bounced yet,

00:04:10   so we'll see what happens. (both laughing)

00:04:12   I don't know how long it takes to check

00:04:13   to really be totally clear.

00:04:14   I think it takes like a week. - Sure, sure.

00:04:16   - I don't know, but yeah, so hopefully

00:04:18   that doesn't bounce.

00:04:19   If it does, it'll make for a great segment on the show.

00:04:22   - Oh, my word, that would, in a way, I kind of want it to.

00:04:25   (both laughing)

00:04:28   Okay, so you have that money already,

00:04:29   and as far as we can tell, all is on the up and up,

00:04:31   and then the only other missing piece was to get the bank

00:04:35   that held, or whatever the terminology is,

00:04:37   that held the lease to agree that the lease is done.

00:04:40   And that sounds like that is also now accomplished.

00:04:44   - Yes, 'cause Tesla had to both pay me the money

00:04:46   that I had overpaid to them,

00:04:47   and they had to pay the bank the rest of the balance,

00:04:49   'cause the bank sent me like a $5,000 bill.

00:04:51   And so, (laughs)

00:04:54   both of those things have now been done.

00:04:56   And so as far as I can tell, I think I'm done.

00:04:59   I think I'm finally out of that.

00:05:01   I think it's all taken care of, finally,

00:05:04   and I can finally get back to enjoying

00:05:06   what is really my favorite car I've ever had,

00:05:09   and I just want to enjoy it.

00:05:10   So now I'm back to enjoying it.

00:05:12   - Did you read, was it a Wired article, is that right?

00:05:16   - Yes, this Dr. Elon and Mr. Musk, Life Inside,

00:05:21   Tesla's Production Hell.

00:05:23   - I have, you know, I typically don't read anything,

00:05:26   anything like that, because here's, like, this,

00:05:28   even before this lease debacle,

00:05:30   where they totally butchered basic administrative tasks,

00:05:34   I knew the company was a mess.

00:05:36   I knew Elon Musk personally was a mess,

00:05:38   and kind of a horrible person, especially to work for.

00:05:41   And so I knew there was a bunch of, like,

00:05:43   you know, toxic waste over there.

00:05:47   And I love the car so much.

00:05:50   I didn't want, I wouldn't want my view to be tarnished.

00:05:53   I didn't want to have to get down into, like,

00:05:55   the dirt of that and get involved in that.

00:05:56   So, like, I don't pay attention to their drama,

00:06:00   their company, their stock, anything like that.

00:06:03   I don't get involved.

00:06:04   I just like the car a lot,

00:06:05   and there is no other car I'd rather have.

00:06:08   And so whenever some big, you know,

00:06:11   toxic whirlwind starts about them,

00:06:13   I try to ignore it as much as possible.

00:06:15   And a lot of them are BS anyway.

00:06:18   Some of them are true, but a lot of them are BS anyway,

00:06:20   so it's just kind of nice to just stay out of the whole thing.

00:06:22   - Yeah, did you read this, Jon?

00:06:24   - I read it, I just kept waiting for you to say,

00:06:25   ignorance is lisp, but I guess you're off that train.

00:06:28   (laughing)

00:06:29   - Never. - Never.

00:06:30   - I just didn't think about it.

00:06:30   No, I'm never off the train, let's not get ridiculous.

00:06:32   - The lisp puns will never end.

00:06:34   - The puns will continue until morale improves.

00:06:36   - Do you hear this, by the way?

00:06:38   Can you hear this on my microphone?

00:06:39   - It sounded like a printer for a split second.

00:06:41   - Yeah, no, sure, people can print while I'm in here, it's fine.

00:06:43   (laughing)

00:06:46   - Which family member is committing--

00:06:50   - It's the one that's my daughter, 'cause she doesn't care.

00:06:52   (laughing)

00:06:53   Just so you can hear the dulcet tones

00:06:55   of my Canon inkjet printer.

00:06:57   - Oh, yi yi yi.

00:06:58   Now, I read this article, and then it was a good article,

00:07:01   but it's really more of the same.

00:07:03   Like, you don't need to read any more Elon Musk articles,

00:07:06   or really any more Tesla articles.

00:07:08   This is a little more detailed than I had read previously,

00:07:11   but ultimately it says what we all knew,

00:07:13   which is exactly what you were just trying to say, Marco,

00:07:15   is that Elon seems to be kind of a dirtbag

00:07:19   for a loose definition of the term,

00:07:21   and the company seems to be a complete disaster.

00:07:23   So, news at 11.

00:07:25   - Yeah, exactly, exactly.

00:07:27   - But I don't know, whatever.

00:07:29   But it was interesting.

00:07:31   I'm not saying don't bother,

00:07:33   but it is exactly what you expect it to be.

00:07:36   But it's well written.

00:07:37   - Yeah, and it does raise the question.

00:07:39   People have asked me before, how can I support them,

00:07:41   and this horrible person who runs this company,

00:07:45   how can I support them by being their customer?

00:07:47   We've talked about this a little bit before.

00:07:51   There's only so many companies to buy certain things from.

00:07:54   There's only so many large corporations.

00:07:56   Large airlines are a big one of these,

00:07:58   where an airline can make you really mad,

00:08:01   but then sometimes you gotta fly them again

00:08:02   in the future anyway, 'cause there's only five airlines.

00:08:06   With cars, there's a pretty small number

00:08:08   of car companies out there that make cars

00:08:10   that are anything like what I would drive.

00:08:12   I don't know anything about the other ones, really.

00:08:15   They could be led by horrible people, too.

00:08:18   You typically don't become the CEO of a large corporation,

00:08:22   and you especially typically don't succeed

00:08:24   as the CEO of a large corporation

00:08:25   without being able to play the politics game real well,

00:08:28   and a lot of that comes kind of dirtily.

00:08:31   Is that a word?

00:08:32   - I know what you're saying, yeah, yeah.

00:08:33   And so most people who run most large corporations

00:08:38   have some dirt on them and are not the nicest

00:08:41   or best people in all of their lives.

00:08:43   And so it's like we typically just don't hear

00:08:47   about most of the other ones.

00:08:49   We hear about a few high-profile examples

00:08:50   of these companies, but we don't hear

00:08:52   about most of anything else.

00:08:54   And so it's better to just do what you can here and there,

00:08:59   but not be super religious about it,

00:09:01   because chances are anything you love,

00:09:05   somebody can ruin it by saying,

00:09:06   "Well, you know, this executive who works there

00:09:09   "was kind of a jerk once."

00:09:10   So you gotta kind of be willing

00:09:13   to look past some degree of that.

00:09:15   - Yeah, my dad worked at IBM for a very long time,

00:09:18   and by virtue of his particular role in the company,

00:09:21   he would interact with the CEO

00:09:23   on a not-completely-regular basis,

00:09:27   enough that the CEO would recognize who my dad is,

00:09:29   although my dad was nowhere near the CEO.

00:09:30   It was one of those, like, he sidestepped his way

00:09:33   into the CEO's world, if you will.

00:09:35   Well, anyway, he worked there under the tenure

00:09:38   of a few CEOs, 'cause he was there for like 30 years.

00:09:41   And I'd asked dad once,

00:09:44   this was around the time of a CEO change,

00:09:46   "Hey, is Joe Smith or Susie Smith or whatever,

00:09:50   "is Mr. and Mrs. Smith, are they kind of mean?"

00:09:53   And my dad just looked at me and scoffed,

00:09:55   and he was like, "Of course they are!

00:09:56   "They're the CEO of IBM.

00:09:58   "You don't get to that position by being nice."

00:10:00   You know, which is exactly what you're saying.

00:10:03   He was kind of almost offended

00:10:05   that I'd even asked such a ridiculous question.

00:10:08   Of course they're a jerk.

00:10:10   - See also most politicians, right?

00:10:12   Most politicians who start ranking highly,

00:10:16   once you get to the national level especially,

00:10:19   you have to be a certain level of dirtbag

00:10:21   to be able to succeed and to climb the ladder.

00:10:25   Very few people make it that far

00:10:27   who aren't just total jerks in some way.

00:10:30   Some do, it is possible to.

00:10:32   Just the odds are against you.

00:10:34   - Yeah, well done.

00:10:36   All right, so let's continue,

00:10:37   since we've already started with follow-up,

00:10:38   and let's continue.

00:10:39   A lot of people helpfully wrote in

00:10:42   to tell us why your camera error happened.

00:10:45   And some people seemed to think it was ridiculous

00:10:47   we didn't know this.

00:10:48   I will come to your defense, Marco, and say,

00:10:50   "I had no idea this was a thing,

00:10:52   "and I think that it's utterly preposterous."

00:10:55   But Marco, would you like to tell us

00:10:57   why your video cut off at just barely shy of 30 minutes?

00:11:00   - All of Europe told us about this.

00:11:02   (laughing)

00:11:04   There was an EU import law that classified video cameras

00:11:09   at a different tax or tariff or import rate,

00:11:13   whatever it is, to other types of cameras.

00:11:16   And that by the all DSLR and mirrorless manufacturers

00:11:21   setting their limits to just shy of 30 minutes

00:11:23   would get them classified not as a video camera,

00:11:26   but as a still camera.

00:11:27   And that got them, I guess, a lower import tax or whatever,

00:11:30   and so they could be sold for lower prices.

00:11:32   And so basically all of those camera makers

00:11:34   that make those kind of cameras

00:11:36   all limit their cameras to 29, 59 or whatever.

00:11:39   And apparently we've also heard,

00:11:41   although I have not yet verified,

00:11:42   we've also heard that that tax regulation

00:11:45   is getting relaxed next year,

00:11:47   and so maybe the camera makers will adjust things.

00:11:50   We also have already been told, thank you very much,

00:11:52   about various hacked firmware things

00:11:54   that we can install on our cameras.

00:11:56   That's nice, I'm glad those exist, I'm not gonna do that.

00:11:59   - Yeah, no, not a chance.

00:12:01   - And finally, we absolutely did hear

00:12:03   about external recorders to be used,

00:12:06   to basically use HDMI recorders or recording monitors

00:12:09   to get around this limit.

00:12:11   That is nice, I believe I said this last episode,

00:12:13   but cut it out, those cost like $800,

00:12:16   and that doesn't seem like a great solution

00:12:19   to this problem either.

00:12:20   So my solution instead is gonna be

00:12:22   I'm going to just not record

00:12:23   for more than 30 minutes at once.

00:12:25   (laughing)

00:12:27   Chris Adamson writes and says,

00:12:28   another reason not to use Dropbox for everything.

00:12:30   So this was in the context of,

00:12:31   why don't I just put pretty much everything in Dropbox

00:12:35   or Google Drive or what have you?

00:12:36   And so Chris says, another reason not to use Dropbox

00:12:38   for everything, it cannot store bundle files,

00:12:40   such as GarageBand projects.

00:12:42   And Apple's support article notes

00:12:43   that while GarageBand for iOS can save files locally

00:12:46   or to iCloud, saving via the files app

00:12:47   won't work to Dropbox, Google Drive, Box,

00:12:49   or Microsoft OneDrive.

00:12:51   John, I get the feeling that you're twitching

00:12:53   because I didn't appropriately describe what a bundle is.

00:12:57   Would you like to elaborate any or are you satisfied?

00:13:00   - I'm not sure the summary is right

00:13:01   where it says it can't store bundle files.

00:13:03   The tech note says it can't store GarageBand files,

00:13:05   which I assume are bundles.

00:13:06   Bundle is just a directory full of files,

00:13:08   but the directory itself has a dot

00:13:11   and a bunch of letters at the end of it.

00:13:13   And the OS and applications treat it specially

00:13:16   and don't show you that it's a directory,

00:13:18   they just show it to you as a file

00:13:19   unless you do a particular run.

00:13:21   Anyway, there's nothing particularly special

00:13:24   about bundles or GarageBand bundles

00:13:28   that would prevent Dropbox from storing them correctly.

00:13:31   And in fact, I'm pretty sure Dropbox does store,

00:13:35   you know, just bundles as a concept, okay,

00:13:37   'cause I'm pretty sure I put some bundle files in there

00:13:39   and taken them out and they continue to work.

00:13:40   But there must be something about either

00:13:41   how GarageBand works or how iOS treats them,

00:13:45   or maybe there's some Mac-specific metadata

00:13:47   that Dropbox doesn't support that's important in this case

00:13:49   that Apple has a tech note that says,

00:13:51   no, don't try to save your GarageBand files to cloud storage.

00:13:54   You can save them to iCloud Drive,

00:13:55   which again shows that it's not some limitation

00:13:57   of cloud drives, it's just some limitation of these services.

00:13:59   So yeah, that kind of gets back to what I was saying,

00:14:03   or I think we talked about this when we were talking

00:14:04   about Plex, like not all file systems are created equal

00:14:09   when it comes to storing stuff from your Mac,

00:14:13   because the rules about file names are different,

00:14:15   and in this case, whatever thing is preventing

00:14:18   this particular kind of bundle from working

00:14:19   in a particular application might have

00:14:21   particular requirements.

00:14:22   Some applications are cranky about storing stuff

00:14:25   on what they perceive to be network volumes,

00:14:28   so you have to fool them somehow.

00:14:30   We've talked about that before.

00:14:31   So yeah, the world of file systems is still

00:14:35   filled with pitfalls, and if you don't think about them

00:14:39   and just think, oh, like everything is everything,

00:14:41   and I can store this file anywhere I want,

00:14:44   in a cloud, on a drive, you know,

00:14:46   on a fish in a box with a fox, you actually kind of have

00:14:49   to be careful a little bit.

00:14:52   - All right, there's another link in the show notes

00:14:55   which I only had a chance to very quickly glance at,

00:14:58   because it came in late breaking.

00:15:01   I don't know which one of you gentlemen added this.

00:15:02   I'm guessing, John, but can you tell me

00:15:04   about shortcuts.fun, please?

00:15:06   - .fun, yeah.

00:15:07   - That's a fantastic domain name.

00:15:09   - It is a really good domain name.

00:15:10   - Yeah, well, the first thing is that my work,

00:15:13   firewall prevented me from getting to it.

00:15:14   I'm assuming just because it has .fun on the name,

00:15:16   you're like, you know what, just don't allow anyone

00:15:18   to go to .fun from work, because they shouldn't

00:15:20   be going there.

00:15:21   Anyway, I got to look at it later.

00:15:23   So this is a website and a library created by Josh Verant,

00:15:27   and the upshot is it lets you make shortcuts

00:15:31   by writing JavaScript, like just open a text field

00:15:34   and start writing JavaScript against his library,

00:15:37   and then it will compile it, sort of, or package it

00:15:40   into a .shortcut file, which I'm assuming is just like

00:15:43   a bundle directory that's zipped and renamed .shortcut

00:15:45   or whatever, you can do it right on the website.

00:15:46   You can go to the website, there's a text field,

00:15:48   you can write stuff there, you can click a button

00:15:49   and it will take what you typed in that text field

00:15:51   and download in your browser a .shortcut file

00:15:54   that you can run on iOS.

00:15:55   And so this is like a reverse engineering

00:15:57   of the .shortcut file format, which again,

00:15:59   I know nothing about, but I assume,

00:16:00   like so many of Apple's other formats,

00:16:02   it's just either a zip or a zib file

00:16:06   that if you decompress it as a directory full of files,

00:16:08   then a particular format, a particular folder structure,

00:16:10   and it just runs them.

00:16:12   So if you do want to make shortcuts,

00:16:15   but don't want to use the UI, this is the thing for you.

00:16:19   What Josh wrote on the website is,

00:16:21   "I built this library out of frustration

00:16:22   with Apple Shortcuts app, as I found complex shortcuts

00:16:24   were difficult to manage using this drag and drop interface.

00:16:26   I wanted to write shortcuts the same way I write code,

00:16:28   so I created shortcuts.js."

00:16:30   Or shortcuts.js.

00:16:31   He's got a big article in Medium where he describes

00:16:33   the whole process and the reverse engineering,

00:16:35   we'll put a link to that in the show notes.

00:16:37   So that's cool, I mean, obviously this is a hack

00:16:40   and it's reverse engineered and Apple can change

00:16:41   the format at any time, yada, yada, yada.

00:16:43   Like there's no guarantee this will continue to work,

00:16:46   but it's nice that it has an option.

00:16:48   Of course, one of the links is to an example.

00:16:51   I said like, "What do these things look like?

00:16:52   What does it look like when you write a shortcut

00:16:53   in JavaScript?"

00:16:55   Doesn't quite look maybe the way you would expect it to.

00:16:59   So this is, they have a bunch of examples,

00:17:03   like here's a battery level checker example,

00:17:06   and everything is done in terms of what I presume

00:17:08   are the underlying either Objective-C or Swift objects

00:17:11   or whatever.

00:17:12   So there's a thing called getBatteryLevel

00:17:15   that gives you the getBatteryLevel, right?

00:17:16   And the shortcut is, if you're writing the shortcut

00:17:18   in the shortcuts app, it would be like,

00:17:20   "Okay, we'll get the result of this action

00:17:22   and then compare it with this comparison block."

00:17:24   And you know, it's parameterized so it's a less than thing,

00:17:27   and then when I say it's 20, it's like,

00:17:29   "Oh, great, well now I get to write this in code,

00:17:30   I'll just be able to do if getBatteryLevel less than 20."

00:17:33   No.

00:17:34   You have a function called conditional

00:17:36   that takes an object with keys named input,

00:17:39   and that's a string, which is the less than sign,

00:17:42   and then value, and that's a number, which is 20,

00:17:44   and then an if true key, which gives you an array of,

00:17:49   just, it's like, it's not how you would write it.

00:17:52   You don't, you can't just use the less than operator

00:17:54   in JavaScript, I mean, this is,

00:17:56   you could add this on top of the library,

00:17:59   you know, eventually, this is like version one,

00:18:00   or it just shows that under the covers,

00:18:03   all those blocks you see in shortcuts

00:18:04   apparently map directly to silly functions

00:18:07   called conditional that takes strings as input to,

00:18:11   it's just, it's not the way you would write it in code.

00:18:13   I still say this is probably more comfortable

00:18:16   for a programmer than using the shortcut UI.

00:18:19   Not sure if it helps with debugging,

00:18:21   I just, again, I just looked at this this afternoon.

00:18:23   I don't think just because you write it in JavaScript,

00:18:25   you can actually debug it in JavaScript,

00:18:27   because in the end, you have to package it up

00:18:29   as a .shortcut file and run it on your phone.

00:18:32   At that point, you're at the mercy

00:18:33   of whatever debugging abilities you have there,

00:18:34   but if you're a programmer and you're interested

00:18:37   in playing with shortcuts in something

00:18:39   other than a bunch of rounded rectangles

00:18:42   on your phone or iPad screen,

00:18:44   check out this site, shortcuts.fun.

00:18:46   Is that it, plural, yeah, plural, shortcuts.fun.

00:18:49   - This is very cool and very impressive,

00:18:52   but I agree with you that the language of it,

00:18:56   and I don't mean that like JavaScript,

00:18:57   but the kind of flow of the way

00:18:59   it's been implemented is clunky.

00:19:01   This reminds me of, what was it?

00:19:04   It was some god awful SharePoint thing I did.

00:19:06   What was it, camel C-A-M-L?

00:19:08   It doesn't matter.

00:19:09   Now I'm miserable just thinking about SharePoint again,

00:19:12   but basically a query language where you have to say,

00:19:16   okay, I want this thing, and then I want a comparison,

00:19:18   and the particular comparison I want is less,

00:19:20   and it's exactly what you said before.

00:19:21   It's just so clunky, and it's probably a lot less clunky

00:19:26   than dragging stuff around on the screen.

00:19:29   I mean, I've seen some Federico shortcuts,

00:19:30   and they are masterpieces, but they are out of control,

00:19:34   and so this does seem like it would help a lot, but oi.

00:19:39   - So I've done some research while you guys were talking

00:19:42   on the dot fund TLD.

00:19:44   I was wondering like what's available there,

00:19:46   'cause I'd never heard of this.

00:19:47   I was wondering what's available,

00:19:47   and how much do these cost,

00:19:50   and it turns out that you can register

00:19:53   a lot of keywords there that are like dictionary words,

00:19:56   but they seem to be priced such that the ones

00:20:00   that are better and more desirable are way more expensive.

00:20:04   So for instance, coffee.fund is $5,600 per year,

00:20:09   and so that to me suggests coffee is a very fun thing,

00:20:12   so I wondered what can I get that's less fun than coffee?

00:20:17   Now I think podcasts are pretty fun.

00:20:19   Podcast.fund is only $2,800 per year,

00:20:22   so that's about half the price for podcast.fund

00:20:26   compared to coffee.fund.

00:20:27   That does seem to suggest we're getting less fun though,

00:20:29   so then I tried SharePoint.fund.

00:20:33   - Oh, God. - That's only $1,160 per year,

00:20:35   so that one has a lot less interest

00:20:37   in the fun buyers looking for SharePoint.

00:20:40   Then I found the bottom of the barrel.

00:20:42   - How is that not SharePoint?

00:20:44   That is the bottom of the barrel.

00:20:45   - There are things that are less fun than SharePoint.

00:20:47   Tied at just $4 a year each are airportsecurity.fund

00:20:52   and finally tetanusshot.fund.

00:20:57   - Nice.

00:21:00   - This is useful podcasting content.

00:21:03   I'm glad we're here.

00:21:04   - I'm not sure this is an efficient market

00:21:06   setting these prices.

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00:23:03   (upbeat music)

00:23:07   - Apple is shutting down Apple Music's

00:23:09   rarely used connect feature.

00:23:11   So is this the thing where like as an artist,

00:23:13   you could go up there and like talk about what you're up to

00:23:15   and what tour you're doing

00:23:17   and do a little behind the scenes stuff, is that correct?

00:23:19   - Was this the thing that Drake introduced

00:23:21   or was this before that?

00:23:22   - Yeah, yeah, yeah.

00:23:23   - I don't remember.

00:23:24   - But yeah, it was basically Ping 2.0.

00:23:27   It's like here, let's build a social network

00:23:29   inside Apple Music so that the artist can post

00:23:31   their stuff here and people can follow them.

00:23:34   It was basically, you know, the world of music promotion

00:23:36   is very heavily tied to other networks,

00:23:39   especially like YouTube, Twitter, Facebook.

00:23:41   So like it was basically Apple's attempt

00:23:44   at trying to capture that world of social promotion

00:23:47   of musical stuff and musical bands

00:23:48   and fans following musicians into their own thing.

00:23:53   And it was, you know, not that different from Ping, really.

00:23:55   Ping was like follow your friends.

00:23:57   This was follow the bands you like.

00:23:59   And I don't think it ever had any traction at all.

00:24:03   Even at the very beginning, like they had a few artists

00:24:06   on board to start it out and start posting

00:24:08   and I tried following some artists I liked

00:24:10   but it didn't, it seemed to pretty much die out

00:24:14   and have nobody posting there that I followed

00:24:17   almost immediately afterwards.

00:24:19   I think the reason why social networks like Twitter

00:24:21   and Facebook and to some degree in this area, YouTube,

00:24:24   the reason these succeed is because like, you know,

00:24:27   artists that you follow tend not to have a lot to say

00:24:30   most of the time.

00:24:31   Like, you know, if you go follow your favorite

00:24:34   handful of bands on a social network,

00:24:37   if the social network is only them,

00:24:39   if you're not seeing anyone else posting,

00:24:41   that's gonna be a pretty low volume social network.

00:24:43   Whereas the other ones, you're going there all the time

00:24:46   for other stuff, for you know, for all sorts

00:24:49   of different sources and people to follow

00:24:52   or communicate with or you know, post things yourself.

00:24:54   There's tons of reasons to go to social networks

00:24:56   other than, whatever this is, not App Store Connect,

00:24:58   not iTunes Connect, Apple Music Connect, Apple Music Ping,

00:25:02   whatever the heck it was called.

00:25:03   There's no reason to just keep going to that,

00:25:05   to have that be integrated as part of your life

00:25:07   that you're constantly going to.

00:25:08   Whereas the other ones have other draws

00:25:10   that keep people going back and checking in all the time.

00:25:14   So I don't think this ever really stood a chance.

00:25:15   Even when it was introduced, I don't think anybody

00:25:18   was saying like, this is gonna take over the world.

00:25:20   I think everyone was basically saying,

00:25:22   what are they doing, why are they doing Ping again?

00:25:24   And it didn't work out.

00:25:26   - This falls under our category of the best time

00:25:28   to cancel services after people have forgotten that it exists

00:25:31   and this definitely qualifies 'cause I've never read

00:25:33   this story, I'd forgotten that it exists.

00:25:35   Like, oh yeah, they did that thing.

00:25:37   I do think it's actually very different from Ping

00:25:38   for exactly the reason you said.

00:25:40   Ping was, you know, see what your friends are doing.

00:25:43   Like an actual social network that all the participants

00:25:45   would both be able to consume the output of other people

00:25:49   and produce output for other people in the network.

00:25:52   So it was all, it's many to many, right?

00:25:54   - And that was fundamentally flawed

00:25:55   because it was based on the assumptions

00:25:57   that you and your friends have the same taste in music.

00:25:59   I guess, you know, nobody has like a fish friend.

00:26:02   - It doesn't expect you to be the same taste

00:26:04   and it doesn't expect you to be just your friends,

00:26:05   but the whole point, it was just regular people

00:26:07   to regular people, but Kinect seemed,

00:26:08   I don't know if this is entirely true,

00:26:10   but it very much seemed, this is, first of all,

00:26:13   it was pitch to creators to get them to come.

00:26:16   Like, hey, you famous person who makes music,

00:26:18   come to our service.

00:26:18   All the things that you think you wanna do

00:26:20   to communicate to your listeners,

00:26:23   we will make it easy for you to do those things.

00:26:25   So it made it attractive for them.

00:26:27   And then for everyone else, it was like,

00:26:28   you sit back and wait to hear from the famous people.

00:26:32   So like you said, your band has an album

00:26:34   once every few years and then they go on tour

00:26:36   and maybe they'll have some behind the scenes stuff,

00:26:37   which takes work to produce.

00:26:39   Like that was the whole picture of the team.

00:26:40   Like your fans are hungry to know, like,

00:26:43   how you're in the studio working on your album

00:26:45   and what did you have for lunch today?

00:26:46   And here's some behind the scenes,

00:26:47   look at our lyrics in progress and whatever.

00:26:50   You have to encourage the artists to do that.

00:26:52   I mean, Apple probably went so far as to let you know,

00:26:55   get the ones that are friendly to them to do it,

00:26:57   pay them to do it, whatever.

00:26:58   Just gotta kickstart the service.

00:27:00   And then presumably the fans are sitting there waiting

00:27:02   to see something from their band.

00:27:04   But that's the ghost, like I said, it's a ghost town

00:27:07   because people don't follow that many artists

00:27:09   and artists don't have that much to say

00:27:11   and that much to update.

00:27:12   And the artists aren't gonna invest the time and energy

00:27:14   to put highly produced content out to an audience of nobody.

00:27:19   All the people are not sitting in,

00:27:21   I don't know where you would sit in iTunes application,

00:27:23   in the music application on your phone,

00:27:26   waiting for the once a month thing to come.

00:27:27   No, you're gonna be someplace else.

00:27:29   You're gonna be on YouTube looking

00:27:30   at the millions of videos.

00:27:31   You're gonna be on Twitter, you're gonna be on Facebook.

00:27:33   You're going to be where things are actually happening.

00:27:36   So no one's going to produce for an audience

00:27:37   that isn't there.

00:27:38   And it's like, you can't have an audience

00:27:41   if there's nothing for them to do except for wait

00:27:43   for messages from on high from the famous people.

00:27:46   So I think Ping was actually a better,

00:27:49   smarter everything connect, which is saying something

00:27:52   because Ping was also fundamentally flawed

00:27:53   because it's like, why would people,

00:27:55   how do you bootstrap this social network

00:27:58   when you don't have anything to offer

00:28:00   over the million other social networks

00:28:01   that are already much better established

00:28:03   and where people already have a place to talk about music

00:28:06   that they like or send each other links to things

00:28:08   that they think are cool.

00:28:09   Like they do that on every other social network

00:28:11   and Ping didn't have any, you know, all these services,

00:28:14   especially when they're tied to iTunes,

00:28:15   seem like they were created by an Apple

00:28:17   that still thinks it's the king of digital music, you know,

00:28:19   'cause of the iTunes store and selling people songs

00:28:21   for 99 cents, like that time has passed.

00:28:24   But that seems to be the place where Apple thinks

00:28:26   they can, they have a lever to bootstrap a social network

00:28:30   and they just don't, they just don't have one.

00:28:32   Like you can bootstrap a social network

00:28:34   with enough money and effort,

00:28:35   but iTunes is not an advantage.

00:28:37   In fact, at this point, it is probably

00:28:38   a very big disadvantage because no one wants

00:28:40   to launch that app and the apps on iOS

00:28:45   are not particularly well suited to that

00:28:47   or neither is any real music player app.

00:28:50   Even something like Spotify,

00:28:51   which is doing what Apple wishes they could do

00:28:52   where people trade Spotify playlists with each other

00:28:54   and create them and like even that,

00:28:58   Apple is so far behind that and that's a thing

00:29:00   that has existed for years.

00:29:01   So I kind of feel bad for Apple's efforts in this area,

00:29:06   especially since they, like they continue to think that,

00:29:10   you know, producing high quality content by famous people

00:29:13   is a thing that helps you win.

00:29:14   Like, I don't understand how YouTube hasn't convinced them

00:29:17   that's not the case.

00:29:18   YouTube didn't win by having high quality content

00:29:19   by famous people.

00:29:20   YouTube won by having people making videos in their basement

00:29:23   showing demonstrations of VCRs.

00:29:25   Like that's how YouTube won.

00:29:27   And I can't imagine Apple producing anything

00:29:31   that encourages and fosters and builds on

00:29:33   that type of content.

00:29:35   But that's, you know, that's apparently the way

00:29:37   you build a social network.

00:29:39   - All right, moving on.

00:29:41   Microsoft Edge, which I guess is a web browser,

00:29:44   don't really care, but apparently it's coming to Mac OS.

00:29:46   Hooray!

00:29:48   Yes, I think.

00:29:49   - That's not what this says.

00:29:50   You are missing the story here.

00:29:52   (laughing)

00:29:54   - Now I know that the story is that it's,

00:29:57   my understanding of the story is that they're canning

00:29:59   their custom rendering engine

00:30:00   and they're now forking Chromium, is that right?

00:30:03   And using that as a rendering engine,

00:30:05   which means basically the entire world

00:30:07   is going to be WebKit going forward.

00:30:08   It's just a matter of what the particular genesis is

00:30:11   of your particular flavor.

00:30:12   - Excuse me, Chromium is not WebKit.

00:30:13   - Well, no, it is a descendant of WebKit, is it not?

00:30:18   - Yeah, so the family tree is getting complicated.

00:30:20   - Yeah, exactly, there you go.

00:30:21   - You mentioned before you didn't know what Edge was.

00:30:22   So Edge is the thing, we all know Internet Explorer.

00:30:27   Good old, bad old Internet Explorer.

00:30:30   That was a big problem for the whole world for a long time.

00:30:33   And many generations of web developers

00:30:37   will continue to loathe into their retirement.

00:30:41   They will tell stories of IE6 forever.

00:30:43   Again, I will tell stories of IE6 forever, I guarantee it.

00:30:46   Edge was supposed to be the successor to Internet Explorer

00:30:49   'cause Internet Explorer was old and creaky

00:30:50   and had to support people's corporate internets forever.

00:30:53   And as much as Microsoft tried to improve it,

00:30:56   they had increasingly Byzantine backward compatibility hacks

00:31:00   involving HTML comments and different modes

00:31:02   and a mini language inside the headers to basically say,

00:31:05   we won't break your intranet,

00:31:07   but if web developers know the right incantations,

00:31:09   their standards compliance sites will render

00:31:12   almost as good as they do

00:31:13   in insert standard compliant browser here.

00:31:15   Edge was a successor to that to say, clean sheet,

00:31:18   this is not compatible with your stupid IE6 only intranet.

00:31:22   It's a modern browser and it's fast.

00:31:24   And they spent a while developing that.

00:31:27   And then I wish I knew the exact timeline

00:31:29   so I could say the number of years

00:31:30   they spent on the Edge stuff.

00:31:32   But this announcement is,

00:31:33   all right, nevermind about the Edge thing.

00:31:34   We're gonna make a new web browser

00:31:36   and it's gonna be based on Chromium,

00:31:38   which is based on Blink, which was based on WebKit,

00:31:41   which was based on KHTML and KJS,

00:31:43   which are from the KDE Foundation.

00:31:45   And if you know what KDE is, you're probably very old.

00:31:48   Yeah, so that's quite a lineage of these browsers,

00:31:53   but the, and it'll be coming to macOS.

00:31:55   So you'll be able to run a Microsoft web browser on your Mac

00:31:58   if that's really a thing you wanna do.

00:32:01   But the main thing that's got people in a tizzy about this

00:32:06   is it kind of reduces the biodiversity

00:32:10   of the web browser ecosystem by one,

00:32:14   which is a lot when there weren't,

00:32:16   how many browsers out there, how many web browsers exist

00:32:20   that you can basically view modern websites with?

00:32:24   Not many.

00:32:25   You can count them on probably one hand,

00:32:28   especially if you coalesce the mobile and desktop variants.

00:32:31   And so Microsoft apparently is not a big enough company

00:32:36   and does not have enough money

00:32:37   and is not strategically important enough for them

00:32:39   to sustain the development of a separate web browser engine

00:32:44   so they're gonna build something on Chromium.

00:32:46   Are they gonna fork it?

00:32:47   Are they gonna say, in the same way

00:32:48   that Blink was forked from WebKit,

00:32:49   are they going to take Chromium and run with it?

00:32:52   I doubt it because if they could support

00:32:54   the continued development of a web engine,

00:32:57   a web browser engine, they would do that.

00:32:59   I think they want Google and the open source community

00:33:03   to continue to advance Chromium

00:33:04   and they just want to reap the benefits of that.

00:33:06   So I think they will release a browser built on Chromium

00:33:09   and when Chromium gets updated,

00:33:11   they will incorporate those updates into their browser

00:33:13   and they will just keep doing that

00:33:14   and basically be mostly out of the business

00:33:18   of developing a full featured modern web rendering engine

00:33:23   and instead allow that to happen,

00:33:26   allow someone else to do that

00:33:27   because it's just too much of a pain,

00:33:30   it's just too much work to do that as a product

00:33:32   which is making me think about,

00:33:34   it used to be we talk about how many companies

00:33:37   have enough money and technical expertise to be a platform.

00:33:40   In the old days, it was like a desktop PC platform.

00:33:44   You have to make an operating system

00:33:45   and you have to have APIs,

00:33:46   you have to have a developer program

00:33:47   and you have to support them

00:33:48   and you have to get hardware vendors

00:33:49   to make the hardware you want

00:33:51   or you have to make your own hardware

00:33:52   and you have to deal with drivers

00:33:53   and you're just like, it takes a lot of time, money

00:33:57   and expertise to make a platform

00:34:00   and then for that platform to be successful enough

00:34:02   in the market and sustain that, it's very difficult.

00:34:04   So there's not a lot of say personal computer platforms

00:34:07   that exist in a popular today.

00:34:09   You've got the Mac, you've got Windows,

00:34:10   you've got Linux on a desktop,

00:34:11   which is coming anytime soon

00:34:12   and various also brands in the mix there.

00:34:17   At this point, web browser engines seem like perhaps

00:34:20   even more difficult to keep up with than desktop operating

00:34:23   systems from a technical perspective

00:34:25   because the web changes much faster

00:34:27   and it's a sort of a communal thing

00:34:29   where if new web standards come out

00:34:31   and those web standards are supported by,

00:34:34   insert whatever the important browser is

00:34:35   that has the most market share

00:34:37   and you don't support it on a reasonable timeline,

00:34:40   and websites start using it because the browser

00:34:43   that has 80% market share supports it,

00:34:45   you will be left behind and people will come to say,

00:34:47   well, the site doesn't work and insert my favorite browser,

00:34:50   I have to go to the market later.

00:34:52   That's what happened with Internet Explorer

00:34:54   and Chrome and it's, right now even Microsoft thinks,

00:34:59   we can't keep up with that.

00:35:00   It's just too much, it's too much too fast

00:35:02   and actually that's not our strategic strength.

00:35:05   It's not an important advantage

00:35:06   for us to have our own browser engine

00:35:07   so we'll let someone else do it.

00:35:09   If everybody does that though,

00:35:11   eventually there's only one browser engine,

00:35:14   hopefully not controlled by some single company

00:35:17   and then we're back to Internet Explorer again

00:35:19   where Microsoft and Internet Explorer dictated

00:35:22   what could and couldn't be on the web

00:35:23   because so many people ran Windows and Internet Explorer 6

00:35:27   that even if you made a cool standard compliant site,

00:35:29   if it looked like crap in IE6,

00:35:31   it was basically invisible

00:35:32   to a large portion of the population.

00:35:33   So this has a lot of people nervous.

00:35:36   I kind of understand why Microsoft bailed on it

00:35:39   from an investment perspective

00:35:40   but and I do understand exactly how complicated it is

00:35:44   to build and sustain a modern web rendering engine

00:35:47   but I just don't really have a particularly good feeling

00:35:49   about this happening.

00:35:50   - Yeah, I already feel like, as you said,

00:35:53   Chrome is becoming the de facto standard

00:35:56   and that makes me uncomfortable.

00:35:59   Like I can't think off the top of my head of that many,

00:36:01   or really anything that absolutely requires Chrome

00:36:04   but certainly Google's own web properties

00:36:07   work a lot better in Chrome, which makes sense.

00:36:09   But there's a handful of sites, again,

00:36:10   I wish I could think of an example

00:36:12   that just don't work properly in Safari

00:36:14   and do work better in Chrome.

00:36:15   And a lot of people seem to really like Chrome.

00:36:17   I don't particularly care for it.

00:36:20   It doesn't really work for me in a few different ways

00:36:22   that really don't matter.

00:36:24   But I am not keen on the idea of Chrome

00:36:28   kind of getting even more cemented as the de facto standard.

00:36:34   And yeah, it's all sort of WebKit behind the scenes

00:36:38   but there's more differences here

00:36:39   than I'm comfortable with already

00:36:41   and that just makes me uncomfortable.

00:36:42   - Yeah, the JavaScript engines are totally separate

00:36:44   because Chrome has the V8 engine

00:36:48   and Apple has what the hell is there called?

00:36:52   - Is it Nitro, is that a thing?

00:36:54   - There's a bunch of code names for the faster versions.

00:36:57   But anyway, they have their own

00:36:57   and they're separate from each other.

00:36:58   JavaScript core is I think the framework.

00:37:01   Anyway, someone posted in the chat room

00:37:03   an article I read earlier today,

00:37:04   an article, a Hacker News comment

00:37:06   that shows just how fraught the world

00:37:08   of browser development is.

00:37:12   So this is Microsoft back when they were doing

00:37:14   their Edge thing, they're having a problem

00:37:17   where YouTube, if you tried to go to YouTube

00:37:20   and play a video in Edge, all of a sudden

00:37:23   the sort of hardware accelerated efficient

00:37:26   GPU driven video path that was nicest to your battery

00:37:30   stopped working in Edge.

00:37:32   And when Microsoft's browser team investigated it

00:37:34   they found there was like an invisible div,

00:37:36   like a div with some transparency

00:37:38   or a hidden div or whatever covering the video.

00:37:42   And their acceleration framework thought

00:37:44   that it couldn't accelerate that

00:37:45   because there was an element in front of it.

00:37:46   Like it thought that it couldn't use the fast path

00:37:49   so it fell back to like the less efficient rendering mode.

00:37:52   But that didn't happen in Chrome.

00:37:55   Chrome was apparently smart enough to know that,

00:37:56   oh yeah, there's something in front of it

00:37:58   but use the accelerated path anyway

00:37:59   but because the thing in front of it is invisible

00:38:01   or is zero present opacity or whatever.

00:38:04   And the nefarious interpretation of this is that,

00:38:07   aha, Google is intentionally making changes to YouTube,

00:38:10   which Google owns, to make Microsoft's browsers worse

00:38:12   because Google was touting how battery efficient Chrome is.

00:38:17   Look at us when we, which is ironic considering

00:38:20   Chrome is a battery pig compared to Safari

00:38:22   but everything's relative.

00:38:24   So if you have a PC and you're not running a Mac

00:38:27   and you're trying to watch YouTube video,

00:38:29   you do it in Chrome, it hurts your battery

00:38:31   much less than if you did it in Edge.

00:38:33   And so they're like, look at this Chrome,

00:38:36   Google taking advantage of the fact that they own YouTube

00:38:39   to crap on someone else's browser

00:38:41   to make Chrome more dominant.

00:38:42   And that could be what happens.

00:38:43   That's the thing that happens in technology all the time,

00:38:45   doing stuff to make your competitor's product look bad.

00:38:49   But a more benign explanation is that YouTube

00:38:53   and many other web properties have to do all sorts of things

00:38:55   to either defeat ad blocking or defeat bots or both,

00:38:59   like all sorts of obfuscation techniques

00:39:02   because the web is a very adversarial environment

00:39:04   and Google knows this.

00:39:06   People are constantly trying to game Google,

00:39:08   people are, you know, lots of things are coming by

00:39:10   trying to scrape content or be automated

00:39:12   and sometimes you have to do stuff in the markup

00:39:14   that doesn't make any sense

00:39:15   because it breaks some other adversary

00:39:18   and might have also broken Edge HTML at the same time

00:39:21   because its optimization didn't understand

00:39:23   that that thing was invisible.

00:39:24   So there are also plausible,

00:39:26   and again, I'm not saying this is what happened,

00:39:27   but plausible benign explanations.

00:39:29   So the bottom line is if you are Microsoft

00:39:32   making Edge HTML, it doesn't really matter

00:39:34   whether it was they're trying to mess up your browser

00:39:37   or they're trying to fight bots or something,

00:39:40   you have to be aware at all times,

00:39:42   how is our browser doing with the latest version

00:39:44   of insert popular site that we don't control?

00:39:46   Oh, it looks like it used to work great on that site

00:39:49   but now it doesn't.

00:39:49   Quickly figure out why it doesn't work

00:39:51   and fix our rendering engine so it does.

00:39:53   And that's what it means to make a web browser.

00:39:55   Like if your web browser works worse in YouTube,

00:39:59   you can't ignore that.

00:40:00   You have to have people, a very large engineering team,

00:40:03   forget about adding features,

00:40:04   just all the time making sure

00:40:05   that all the popular websites that must work

00:40:07   and must work well,

00:40:09   continue to work and continue to work well.

00:40:11   And those websites are changing all the time

00:40:13   and they're not consulting you when they change them.

00:40:14   They're making the changes that they need to make,

00:40:16   whether they're trying to intentionally mess you up

00:40:18   or they're just doing something totally unrelated

00:40:19   that incidentally messes you up

00:40:21   because what they're doing seems inexplicable.

00:40:23   But again, many inexplicable things happen on the web

00:40:25   for purposes other than screwing other web browser vendors.

00:40:29   That's just a tiny glimpse of what it would take

00:40:30   to maintain a web browser engine.

00:40:33   And if you don't think it's strategically important

00:40:36   for you to do that, why would you waste all that money?

00:40:39   Thus far, Apple continues to think

00:40:40   it's strategically important for them

00:40:41   to have their own web browser engine.

00:40:43   I don't think they're ever going to change their mind

00:40:44   about that because it seems like that battle

00:40:47   was won a long time ago.

00:40:48   And now that they have their own browser engine,

00:40:50   they can be much more battery efficient with it

00:40:52   on all their portable devices,

00:40:53   which is super important to Apple

00:40:54   because phones is their whole biz

00:40:55   and other portable products.

00:40:57   And I think they like the control and yada yada.

00:40:59   And you can see Google and Apple

00:41:02   and Firefox, the Mozilla Foundation, whatever,

00:41:04   duking it out over standards,

00:41:06   both inside and outside the formal standards process.

00:41:08   So they're all, and Microsoft's in that mix too.

00:41:11   So everyone still has a stake in this,

00:41:13   but Microsoft's sort of bowing out

00:41:16   and not getting behind the Google side of things,

00:41:19   but saying of all the,

00:41:21   because they could have just picked WebKit, right?

00:41:23   They could have picked WebKit

00:41:24   and JavaScript core or whatever, but they didn't.

00:41:27   And just basically saying, we'll use what you do.

00:41:30   You just do what you do and we'll,

00:41:31   I'm assuming Microsoft will continue to participate

00:41:33   in W3C standardization process and put their 2 cents in,

00:41:37   but they're just gonna take Google's work.

00:41:40   And so now it is Google,

00:41:42   which already had by far the dominant market share

00:41:45   of web browsing across the entire world.

00:41:48   And then in a tiny little corner off to the side,

00:41:51   Apple with its whatever it is, 20% worldwide market share,

00:41:55   but a much larger percentage of people

00:41:57   who buy things through the web browser.

00:41:58   So they still have that power base to work from.

00:42:00   So I don't know, I'm a little nervous about this.

00:42:04   I'll try Edge when it's on the Mac,

00:42:06   but kind of like Firefox,

00:42:08   I don't think that the change is gonna stick

00:42:11   unless it does something pretty amazing.

00:42:13   - I gotta tell you, I do not miss doing web development.

00:42:16   - Nope. - It was fun for a while,

00:42:18   but I do not miss it at all.

00:42:21   - I mean, every field of development,

00:42:23   you have to deal with somebody's BS,

00:42:25   but it feels like with web development,

00:42:27   you had to deal with a lot of people's BS

00:42:30   and it never really ended.

00:42:31   In fact, it only seemed to increase over time.

00:42:34   We thought, okay, once IE6 is out of the picture,

00:42:36   everything will be easier.

00:42:38   And instead, it just got harder in different ways.

00:42:41   And now what modern web development is,

00:42:44   certain things are very easy,

00:42:46   but in general, the entire field as a whole

00:42:49   has not gotten easier.

00:42:50   It's just way more complicated,

00:42:52   and there's so much more that you, quote,

00:42:55   have to do and use and know about and learn,

00:42:59   and it seems like it's accelerating

00:43:00   like how quickly things change

00:43:01   and how much stuff you have to know

00:43:03   to be a working web programmer in most of the industry.

00:43:07   It's just nuts.

00:43:09   - It's kind of like programming in the early days

00:43:11   where you're just writing some sort of batch job

00:43:14   in Fortran or something on a high-performance computer

00:43:17   that just does some operations on a bunch of numbers.

00:43:19   And today, to be an iOS developer,

00:43:21   you need to know so much more than they needed to know.

00:43:23   They needed to know how to write to one machine,

00:43:25   and they needed to know some basics,

00:43:26   and the API was small, and you could do it now.

00:43:28   In order to be an iOS developer,

00:43:29   you have to know all the stuff about using the IDE

00:43:31   and the million APIs and everything about design

00:43:34   and layout, and it's just so much harder.

00:43:35   It's because we make better programs.

00:43:37   We make more complicated programs.

00:43:38   So in web development, things are better

00:43:40   if what you wanted to make was a website

00:43:43   that you could have made in 1993.

00:43:44   You could make that today so much better

00:43:46   with so much less work,

00:43:47   but you don't want to make a 1993 website.

00:43:49   You want to make a modern website,

00:43:50   and modern websites, guess what?

00:43:52   Have way more features and do way more things,

00:43:54   and so you have to learn more APIs,

00:43:56   and it's just scaled up.

00:43:59   So I think the standards were to get IE6 out of there

00:44:02   and to basically try to get everyone

00:44:04   on some semblance of the same page

00:44:06   and get basic support for things

00:44:08   that everyone knows are good

00:44:10   but that Microsoft was preventing us

00:44:11   from using for years, like basic CSS.

00:44:14   That's so boring, no one even talks about it anymore.

00:44:17   We're like 17 battles on from that,

00:44:19   but the stuff that we fought the battles over and won,

00:44:22   you can use that right now, and it is very pleasant to use,

00:44:25   but just the table stakes have been raised.

00:44:29   You can't even participate in the web at the highest level

00:44:33   if you don't know how to use all these other things,

00:44:36   and that's where everyone's fighting and working

00:44:38   at the bleeding edge to have the coolest,

00:44:41   most advanced website.

00:44:42   The nice thing is that if you don't want to have

00:44:44   a cool advanced website,

00:44:45   but you just want to have a bunch of static pages

00:44:48   with words on them and pictures and stuff,

00:44:50   it's so much more pleasant now to do something like that.

00:44:53   There is a little bit more you need to know,

00:44:54   because you didn't have to worry about responsive

00:44:55   back in the day, because what did that mean?

00:44:57   Who's gonna be, you look at a website and your phone,

00:44:59   so you don't have to worry about that,

00:45:00   and you just gotta make sure you support

00:45:02   the smallest computer screen at 640 pixels wide

00:45:05   or whatever the hell, which ironically is narrower

00:45:07   than most phones these days.

00:45:09   But if you just want to do a simple website,

00:45:12   the web is incredibly pleasant today,

00:45:14   but yeah, if you want to make YouTube or Gmail or whatever,

00:45:18   it's incredibly complicated.

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00:46:57   (upbeat music)

00:47:01   - Over the last week or two,

00:47:04   there has been a pitch from NPR

00:47:07   for something that's rad.

00:47:10   It's called remote audio data,

00:47:12   and this is the pitch directly from rad.npr.org.

00:47:17   Remote audio data measures podcast listening

00:47:20   across a range of participating clients and platforms,

00:47:22   aggregating the data in publishers analytics endpoint.

00:47:25   No thanks.

00:47:26   I mean, what, huh?

00:47:28   What is this about?

00:47:29   Marco, tell me about this.

00:47:31   - Yeah, this is, I mean,

00:47:32   I guess I should be careful here

00:47:34   because I'm in this field

00:47:36   and it's involving other people who are in this field

00:47:38   and everything else.

00:47:39   So, you know, I don't wanna like be rude or anything,

00:47:42   but this is a spec that NPR developed

00:47:46   to get more analytics in podcasts.

00:47:50   And I honestly don't think we're gonna hear about it at all

00:47:55   past about this week or so for the simple reason,

00:47:58   and again, I'm not saying this to be mean,

00:48:00   for the simple reason that there is absolutely no reason

00:48:04   for podcast app developers to implement this at all.

00:48:09   The only support I think I expected to get client-side

00:48:12   is from NPR One, which is their own app,

00:48:16   and maybe down the road, Pocket Casts,

00:48:18   which they, through a consortium of something complicated,

00:48:21   they do own it, but Pocket Casts has said publicly

00:48:24   they're not planning on adding support to it.

00:48:25   So I don't see any reason why app makers, including Apple,

00:48:30   which is the big one that matters the most,

00:48:33   would implement this.

00:48:34   So here's what RAD is.

00:48:36   So the fundamental problem that they're trying to solve,

00:48:40   right now in podcasting,

00:48:41   the only way you can really measure your audience

00:48:44   is either by number of hits to the RSS feed,

00:48:47   which is incredibly unreliable

00:48:49   and not very relevant for podcasts,

00:48:51   but the bigger one that people usually use

00:48:52   is number of downloads that an average episode gets,

00:48:55   or some of the bigger shows will say

00:48:57   number of monthly downloads that the show tends to get total,

00:49:00   including all of its archive downloads.

00:49:02   And so that's kinda how you sell your ads,

00:49:06   based on, well, our show tends to get X downloads

00:49:09   per episode, and so if you buy an ad for this episode,

00:49:12   you are likely to get about X downloads.

00:49:14   Now, there's a number of problems with this,

00:49:17   and limitations of this.

00:49:19   First of all, measuring a download is itself a little tricky,

00:49:23   and there's all sorts of efforts

00:49:24   that have been made over the years

00:49:25   to try to standardize what that means,

00:49:27   or what counts, what doesn't count.

00:49:30   There's been lots of complexity in the real world

00:49:32   that have made it harder.

00:49:33   So for instance, a download is not just a quote hit

00:49:38   or a request to the file, because even since like,

00:49:41   forever ago, since like desktop iTunes,

00:49:44   sometimes clients would make multiple requests

00:49:46   for the same file, taking different ranges of the file

00:49:49   for each request to basically run like four download segments

00:49:52   in parallel to speed up the download.

00:49:54   So you kinda have to, like if you see multiple

00:49:58   download attempts from the same IP address,

00:50:01   if they're for different ranges of the file,

00:50:03   you might have to conclude, well, that's one download, really.

00:50:07   But there's lots of situations where multiple people

00:50:12   are sharing one IP address.

00:50:14   So you can't just say that like one IP

00:50:17   has at most one download that's attributed to it.

00:50:21   Also, in the modern world, people download

00:50:24   from their mobile phones, and so they can roam

00:50:27   between cell networks and have different IPs

00:50:29   at different times of the day.

00:50:31   So you might have 10 people behind one IP,

00:50:35   or you might have one person who's roaming

00:50:37   between four different IPs throughout the same day,

00:50:40   trying to stream the same podcast bit by bit.

00:50:42   So it's actually not incredibly accurate

00:50:45   to measure downloads.

00:50:46   And then the other problem with downloads

00:50:48   is that you don't know if they actually listen

00:50:52   to the podcast.

00:50:53   All you know is that these people who you can sort of measure

00:50:58   download the podcast, for the most part, we think.

00:51:01   And then you can assume, based on that, well,

00:51:04   it seems like most of them listen to it, I guess, you know?

00:51:07   And for a while, that was pretty much

00:51:09   the only information we had, is like,

00:51:11   we can see people are downloading it,

00:51:13   and our advertisers who advertise with us,

00:51:16   they'll put in coupon codes or special links

00:51:18   that we read out, and people are using those codes.

00:51:21   So it seems like people are hearing the ads.

00:51:23   So it seems like we have an audience.

00:51:25   Or people write in, they say they listen to the show.

00:51:27   You can have people try to take a survey,

00:51:28   but that never works.

00:51:29   So everything is based in podcast metrics.

00:51:32   Everything is based on estimations.

00:51:35   Now, a big thing happened a few months back.

00:51:38   After years of big podcast producers campaigning Apple,

00:51:43   they convinced Apple Podcasts to open up something

00:51:46   called Podcast Analytics.

00:51:48   And Apple has the iTunes directory,

00:51:50   and Apple also has the biggest podcast player

00:51:53   in the Apple Podcasts app, which has something

00:51:56   like 60% to 70% market share, depending on who you ask.

00:51:59   So it's like the big dog.

00:52:00   It is the only big player that matters in podcasting.

00:52:02   Everything else is way smaller by comparison.

00:52:04   Spotify matters a lot.

00:52:06   They're estimated to have like 5% to 7%, something like that.

00:52:09   Apple has like 60% to 70%.

00:52:11   It's a big deal.

00:52:13   Apple finally agreed with podcasters a few months back,

00:52:16   and they introduced Podcast Analytics,

00:52:18   which in typical Apple fashion is not

00:52:21   personal, creepy level type stuff.

00:52:24   It's very privacy respectful, aggregate stats,

00:52:28   and only for people who opt in with Apple's global

00:52:31   opt-in thing during the iOS setup thing.

00:52:33   It's very anonymous, what you get from them,

00:52:35   but you are able to see basic trends like

00:52:39   how many people who download the,

00:52:41   first of all, how many people download it,

00:52:43   how many of those people actually listen to it,

00:52:46   and then how far into each episode they listen,

00:52:49   and you can see what parts they skip over.

00:52:51   My position basically is that's plenty.

00:52:54   That's more data, that's way more data than we had before.

00:52:58   And what it showed us, honestly,

00:52:59   was that all of our assumptions have basically been true,

00:53:02   that most people who download it listen to it,

00:53:06   most people who listen to it listen most of the way through,

00:53:09   and most people don't skip ads.

00:53:11   That's kind of what we've figured out over the years

00:53:13   based on how ads performed and everything,

00:53:15   and so that seemed to be the case.

00:53:16   And now we have really good data

00:53:19   from the biggest podcast app by far in the world

00:53:22   that supports that theory that,

00:53:24   yeah, you know what, podcasts are fine.

00:53:27   The downloads are mostly being measured accurately,

00:53:30   they're mostly counting,

00:53:31   people are hearing the ads, et cetera.

00:53:33   But there's a lot of big publishers now of podcasts,

00:53:35   and they really want to have their own,

00:53:38   first of all, they want more, they want much more data.

00:53:41   And then they also want more control over that data,

00:53:44   and they have all these backend systems,

00:53:47   there's all these ad platforms.

00:53:49   There are things like dynamic ad insertion,

00:53:51   which we've talked about before,

00:53:52   where they inject ads at certain timestamps of the file

00:53:55   at download time for each user

00:53:57   that can be locally tailored or whatever.

00:53:59   That's why if you listen to big popular podcasts,

00:54:01   you might hear a local car ad or something like that.

00:54:04   That's why that's happening.

00:54:05   When you're injecting ads at download time,

00:54:08   and those ads might be different lengths,

00:54:10   a bunch of stuff breaks.

00:54:12   Things like sync in a podcast app between multiple devices.

00:54:15   Things like sharing timestamps

00:54:17   that all of a sudden can't be guaranteed

00:54:19   to be pointed to the same part of the file

00:54:20   because the ad that came before them

00:54:22   might be different durations

00:54:23   based on when you downloaded it.

00:54:24   Things like range requests and resuming downloads break

00:54:28   because subsequent requests at the same URL

00:54:31   can get different durations.

00:54:33   You might make a request for the first chunk of a file,

00:54:36   then get interrupted.

00:54:37   You go into a subway tunnel or something.

00:54:39   You come out of the tunnel.

00:54:40   It makes a second request for the second half of the file,

00:54:42   and you have a little gap in the middle of the file,

00:54:44   or you have a part that gets repeated

00:54:46   because it's being served a different duration file.

00:54:49   All these platforms are out there that try to do this.

00:54:53   None of them do a great technical job

00:54:55   of actually inserting the ads.

00:54:56   They usually ignore basic HTTP caching

00:54:59   and ETag types of directives,

00:55:02   and they typically violate the MP3 standard

00:55:05   in a number of ways.

00:55:07   So lots of weird stuff happens

00:55:08   with podcast app seeking and everything else.

00:55:10   It's a mess.

00:55:10   But anyway, the bigger problem with dynamic ad insertion

00:55:13   in the context of this conversation

00:55:15   is that it breaks the relevance of Apple Analytics.

00:55:18   If the podcasters wanna know how many people listen

00:55:20   to a particular ad, Apple's aggregate stats

00:55:23   of all people who downloaded that episode

00:55:25   aren't going to really give them that information

00:55:27   because that particular ad wasn't necessarily served

00:55:31   at the same timestamp every time

00:55:33   and wasn't served for all downloads of that same file

00:55:35   because they might run an ad for two days,

00:55:38   and then the rest of the week,

00:55:39   they put a different ad in that spot or whatever.

00:55:41   So what the big podcasters want is a system

00:55:45   that they control completely,

00:55:47   that they can have individual tracking of everything

00:55:51   integrated with their ad servers

00:55:52   so that they can tell exactly how many people

00:55:55   listened to a podcast through certain timestamps,

00:55:57   through certain ranges of time.

00:56:00   They wanna know whether they made it to the end,

00:56:01   whether they made it most of the way to the end,

00:56:03   and of course, they really wanna know

00:56:04   how many people heard how many ads

00:56:06   and exactly which ads and when.

00:56:08   Now, this introduces a number of privacy concerns.

00:56:11   So in the old system,

00:56:14   the system that we are all still operating in,

00:56:17   the only information they have on you is your IP address.

00:56:20   When you fetch the file, they see your IP

00:56:23   because that's how internet transfers work.

00:56:25   You make a request to their server,

00:56:27   they see your IP, simple as that.

00:56:29   And the reality is there are services out there

00:56:32   and ad networks out there where they on the backend

00:56:35   can submit your IP to a web service

00:56:38   and learn everything about you.

00:56:39   No, this is true.

00:56:41   So already, the publishers that want to be gross

00:56:45   about your privacy are being gross about your privacy.

00:56:47   They're already able to with your IP address.

00:56:49   They're able to, with reasonable certainty,

00:56:52   correlate your IP address with other data sources

00:56:55   and services out there to figure out exactly

00:56:56   who you are if they want to,

00:56:58   and use that for advertising purposes.

00:56:59   They absolutely do that.

00:57:00   They will try their hardest to do that,

00:57:03   and that's the reality of big publishing businesses.

00:57:07   So to some degree, the cat's out of the bag, right?

00:57:11   So, but just because they can do that

00:57:15   doesn't mean that I wanna make it easy on them

00:57:16   to do anything else.

00:57:18   I have been very adamant in Overcast,

00:57:20   and just as a podcast listener,

00:57:22   against any other attempts to track any more data.

00:57:26   I think on a number of levels, it would be bad.

00:57:29   There's the personal privacy level

00:57:31   where it's just kind of gross,

00:57:33   that I think listeners don't need that and don't want that.

00:57:37   There's the kind of infrastructure level

00:57:40   of like I don't want other entities

00:57:44   telling me what to do in my app

00:57:46   and what I need to support in my app,

00:57:49   'cause podcasting right now is wonderful.

00:57:51   It's open, it's an RSS feed with MP3s in it.

00:57:54   It's pretty basic.

00:57:56   You download those MP3s,

00:57:57   and you can do whatever you want with them.

00:57:58   You can play them, you can not play them.

00:58:00   You can do whatever you want with them as the player,

00:58:03   and as the listener, and there's no,

00:58:05   the contract basically ends between the podcast maker and you

00:58:10   at the point of download.

00:58:11   Once you download it, you have full control,

00:58:14   and they have no visibility.

00:58:16   And I like to keep it that way.

00:58:18   But anyway, so that's not what the big publishers want.

00:58:23   And I should clarify too,

00:58:24   while it is true that many of the publishers

00:58:27   of the largest podcasts in the world want things like this,

00:58:31   most of the podcasts that you, dear listener,

00:58:34   probably listen to, like if you listen to this show,

00:58:37   you probably listen to other tech shows.

00:58:39   You probably listen to other indie shows,

00:58:40   smaller shows that are produced by people

00:58:42   and not big corporations.

00:58:44   Chances are the people who make the shows you want,

00:58:48   you listen to, don't want any of this.

00:58:50   Like, we don't want any of this.

00:58:52   Our friends over at Relay and Five by Five

00:58:54   and all these other networks,

00:58:55   they don't want any of this either.

00:58:56   Like, indie podcast makers don't want any more tracking

00:59:00   and dynamic ad insertion and other BS.

00:59:03   We don't want that.

00:59:03   We don't need it.

00:59:05   Our ads sell fine, our podcast does fine.

00:59:08   We are very satisfied with the status quo.

00:59:10   We don't need any of this garbage.

00:59:12   So this is only a request from like the biggest,

00:59:16   biggest, biggest podcast makers

00:59:18   because that's what they do.

00:59:20   When you get to a certain size,

00:59:21   you can start thinking that way

00:59:22   and you start getting data people on board

00:59:23   and growth people and this kind of stuff happens.

00:59:26   So anyway, what the RAD standard is at a technical level

00:59:30   is simply an ID3 tag that includes a JSON bundle,

00:59:34   you know, JSON dictionary inside of it.

00:59:37   And it's basically a series of timestamps

00:59:41   and URLs to hit with arbitrary dictionary,

00:59:45   you know, key value pairs to hit those URLs with

00:59:47   when a user hits those timestamps in the file.

00:59:50   So what you're supposed to do if you implement RAD

00:59:52   on the client side is when you hit certain timestamps

00:59:55   given in the file, make an app-bound network request

00:59:57   to the URL that is provided by the podcaster.

01:00:01   Once you have that, you have user-level tracking.

01:00:03   You have individual tracking.

01:00:04   It's as simple as that.

01:00:05   The spec has certain privacy promises

01:00:09   that aren't actually fillable in practice.

01:00:12   The spec requires apps to make outbound requests

01:00:17   to arbitrary URLs that are specified in an ID3 tag

01:00:20   in the file that was downloaded.

01:00:22   So even if the player doesn't provide like a user identifier

01:00:26   the download server already has your IP

01:00:30   and it can serve you a dynamically generated file.

01:00:34   So it can serve you a file that has dynamically inserted

01:00:37   a unique set of URLs just for you to be called back to.

01:00:41   So it can track you through multiple IPs

01:00:43   as you run throughout the day.

01:00:44   It can see exactly how far you,

01:00:47   user that started out at this IP address

01:00:49   which they might be able to resolve to you, KC list,

01:00:52   that's all trackable then.

01:00:54   Once you know which copy of that file you serve

01:00:59   to which user, which you can do by just a dynamic URLs,

01:01:02   then you can track a user from start to finish.

01:01:05   You can see exactly what they do

01:01:07   and you can build a network of knowledge

01:01:09   of what IPs they tend to use at what time

01:01:11   they tend to use them and then you can track users

01:01:14   between shows over time.

01:01:16   So the privacy angle of this is pretty rough.

01:01:21   There's pretty much no privacy guarantee here

01:01:24   and the fact is even if a publisher now says,

01:01:28   oh well we won't do that, the fact is it's ad tech.

01:01:32   People will do it eventually.

01:01:33   If you won't do it, someone else will.

01:01:35   Like it'll happen.

01:01:35   So the only protection against ad tech is to block it

01:01:39   completely and so on the privacy front

01:01:44   and on the feature front, I see no reason at all

01:01:49   why podcast apps would implement this

01:01:52   and the good news about the world of podcasts

01:01:55   is that what are they gonna do about it?

01:01:58   Like right now, if I implement, so suppose I say,

01:02:03   no I'm never implementing this

01:02:05   which I did because I won't.

01:02:08   And so suppose a podcast app says that.

01:02:11   A podcast publisher, like a big publisher

01:02:14   cannot then block Overcast from downloading those files

01:02:19   because a podcast is beautifully an RSS feed

01:02:22   full of MP3 files or links to MP3 files

01:02:25   and if they somehow try to lock that down

01:02:29   any further than that, Apple Podcasts can't play it

01:02:33   and they lose their entire market.

01:02:35   So as long as Apple doesn't do stuff like this,

01:02:40   then we're pretty safe and I cannot possibly see Apple

01:02:45   implementing this for all the privacy reasons.

01:02:47   There's no way and there's nothing in it for them.

01:02:50   So there's basically no incentive that anybody could provide

01:02:55   that would make this worth implementing on a player side.

01:02:58   Unless they back up a truckload of money into my driveway

01:03:00   and buy Overcast, I don't think there's any path to this

01:03:05   on the client side.

01:03:06   There's no reason for clients to do it

01:03:07   and there's lots of reasons for clients not to do it.

01:03:10   Number one, being creepy, number two, GDPR liabilities.

01:03:15   Like there's huge liabilities.

01:03:17   Like if I am taking your behavioral data

01:03:21   and sending it, basically phoning home

01:03:24   and telling any arbitrary URL what you are doing

01:03:27   as you're listening,

01:03:28   that's a pretty huge security violation,

01:03:30   or privacy violation I should say.

01:03:33   And while it technically might not be

01:03:36   personally identifiable information by the GDPR definition,

01:03:40   it's still real creepy and it's still a liability

01:03:42   and it's still something that like,

01:03:44   if your users found out that you were doing that,

01:03:47   I bet they'd be upset about that.

01:03:48   I bet that's the kind of thing you would want your users

01:03:50   not to know about.

01:03:51   And typically, it's a good idea to minimize

01:03:54   those kinds of things in your business.

01:03:56   If you have a lot of those things, you're doing things wrong.

01:04:00   So I see the problem they're trying to solve with RAD.

01:04:05   I don't think it's as big of a problem

01:04:08   as they seem to think it is.

01:04:09   This is not a problem that most podcasters

01:04:11   that I listen to or know have.

01:04:14   And the solution they've come up with,

01:04:17   I fail to see why any app would ever integrate that

01:04:20   and there's a lot of reasons why we shouldn't.

01:04:23   - So I have a couple of thoughts about this.

01:04:26   I guess starting with what you just said,

01:04:29   I don't understand what,

01:04:32   why would you do this?

01:04:35   - I don't know.

01:04:36   - What is in it for anyone other than NPR?

01:04:40   Why does anyone, as a podcast app,

01:04:44   as a podcast client developer,

01:04:46   why would you spend the time to do this?

01:04:48   What's in it for you?

01:04:50   I just don't understand.

01:04:52   - The NPR website has answers to all your questions.

01:04:55   - Yeah, so what's the answer?

01:04:56   - Yeah, so to their credit, they did put up a page,

01:04:59   basically like a fact to explain this.

01:05:01   But this is their best chance.

01:05:04   They write this website.

01:05:05   It's their best chance to present their best case.

01:05:09   And so they address everybody.

01:05:10   So what does RAD mean to me?

01:05:12   If you're an app developer,

01:05:14   why should you implement this spec?

01:05:16   Which is, that's one constituency.

01:05:18   They spend one short paragraph

01:05:21   and basically say RAD will allow publishers

01:05:23   to receive organized enhanced listening metrics

01:05:25   and editorial blah, blah, blah, blah, right.

01:05:26   So I am an app implementer.

01:05:28   You've told me that RAD will allow publishers

01:05:31   to receive a bunch of new information.

01:05:33   Okay, I'm still waiting for the part

01:05:35   where I'm an app developer and it's appealing to me.

01:05:38   It reduces the need for each platform

01:05:39   to have a detailed analytics dashboard.

01:05:41   Am I a platform?

01:05:44   Do I have a-- - Again, not our problem.

01:05:46   - Do I have a detailed analytics dashboard?

01:05:48   I just have an app that plays podcasts.

01:05:51   I don't have a detail.

01:05:52   I don't want a detailed analytics page.

01:05:54   It allows for information to be aggregated

01:05:56   in a third party location.

01:05:58   Do I care about aggregating this information?

01:06:00   - And why is that an advantage?

01:06:02   That's not necessarily an advantage.

01:06:03   - RAD does not track specific user behavior.

01:06:06   Instead RAD uses a session ID blah, blah, blah,

01:06:08   the SDA credit to be lightweight, blah, blah.

01:06:10   So they say it'll be easy

01:06:11   to integrate into your application.

01:06:12   So they have an entire paragraph,

01:06:13   which as far as I can tell,

01:06:14   doesn't contain any piece of information

01:06:16   that would say why I should implement this spec

01:06:17   unless I really, really want to have

01:06:22   detailed analytics dashboard,

01:06:23   but I don't want to implement it myself.

01:06:25   I want to like have a third party one,

01:06:26   like it's an industry standard or whatever.

01:06:28   So speculatively in some future

01:06:30   where everyone implemented RAD,

01:06:32   there could be this dashboard that lets you look

01:06:34   at your RAD reported information

01:06:36   or provide the server side for whatever.

01:06:38   And it allows publishers to receive

01:06:41   organized enhanced listening metrics.

01:06:43   And I suppose if you are a publisher

01:06:44   and you want organized enhanced listening metrics

01:06:46   and you have your own app, maybe you would do that.

01:06:48   Then it says, what if you're a podcast creator?

01:06:50   What if you, you know, you make podcasts?

01:06:53   Why should you use RAD?

01:06:54   So, and this is an even shorter paragraph.

01:06:57   And I think probably an even less power

01:07:00   because that was the best case right there.

01:07:01   If you're like an app developer,

01:07:02   like they go to the publishing thing or whatever.

01:07:04   Anyway, why should you use RAD if you're a podcast creator?

01:07:08   The metrics will help you better understand your audience

01:07:10   across a range of platforms.

01:07:12   You'll be able to produce more informed, engaging content

01:07:15   and over time develop improved data

01:07:17   for your sponsors and advertisers.

01:07:18   So basically they're saying, if you knew more

01:07:20   about exactly what your listeners were doing,

01:07:22   you'd be able to make better content.

01:07:24   'Cause if you're like, if you know, okay,

01:07:26   this is the point where they hit pause

01:07:28   and a whole bunch of people hit pause here,

01:07:29   a whole bunch of people stop listening at this point.

01:07:31   I'll know whatever we did there, let's do something different.

01:07:33   Like you can just get inside the heads of your audience

01:07:35   and use that as a direct feedback loop

01:07:37   to produce better content.

01:07:40   And also develop improved data

01:07:42   for your sponsors and advertisers.

01:07:43   Again, saying sponsors and advertisers want this

01:07:45   and if you give it to them, it will be better data for them.

01:07:49   But that's the whole pitch that if you knew more

01:07:51   about your audience, you could make a better podcast.

01:07:53   Which on its face seems like, okay,

01:07:55   well maybe that makes some kind of sense.

01:07:56   But on the other hand, you think about it like,

01:07:57   well, but does it?

01:07:59   Like is the information I'm gonna get about people,

01:08:02   you know, in terms of what timestamps and everything,

01:08:04   really going to help me?

01:08:05   Like, is that the best way to create good,

01:08:08   you know, content, good entertainment, right?

01:08:11   To be able, it's kind of like those things

01:08:13   where they, they parodied on the Simpsons

01:08:15   with an episode that you guys might've seen.

01:08:16   But like, and based on a real thing

01:08:19   where they would show like test audiences,

01:08:22   something, a movie or a television show,

01:08:24   and the members of the test audience

01:08:26   would have some kind of device or feedback,

01:08:28   real time feedback, like a dial that they can turn

01:08:30   to say you like this, you don't like it or whatever.

01:08:33   Some sort of way to give real time feedback

01:08:35   about how they're feeling about what it is

01:08:37   that they're watching.

01:08:38   And it would all be like, it would be aggregated

01:08:40   into a graph, so like a boring part of the Oscars

01:08:42   would come on and all the lines would dip down,

01:08:44   and then like a cool part would come on

01:08:46   and all the lines would go back up.

01:08:47   You ever see that type of thing?

01:08:49   - Mm-hmm, mm-hmm, mm-hmm.

01:08:50   - And it's like, as if they expect either in real time

01:08:55   for you to be reacting to this, oh, all the dials went down,

01:08:57   everybody be funnier, or like, next time we do the Oscars,

01:09:01   we won't do a segment like that because nobody liked it.

01:09:03   Like it seems to make sense, but if that's,

01:09:06   Marlon talks about this a lot on his various podcasts.

01:09:09   That's not really the best way to improve

01:09:11   the quality of your content is to micromanage

01:09:14   the psyche of every person consuming it

01:09:15   because there's too many assumptions.

01:09:18   The main one being that the people who are currently

01:09:20   listening and giving you feedback are the audience

01:09:21   that you want or that represent the only audience

01:09:24   that could ever exist for whatever it is you're doing.

01:09:27   Nevermind that this is not like that little dial

01:09:28   of happy and sad, it's merely like,

01:09:31   when did they hit each timestamp or whatever?

01:09:32   It's really geared towards, did they hear the ad or not,

01:09:35   which has some relevance to you as a podcast creator,

01:09:37   but it probably won't help you make your actual podcast

01:09:40   better unless your podcast is 100% ads,

01:09:42   in which case maybe it will help you.

01:09:44   And then finally, if you're a brand/sponsor/advertiser,

01:09:48   what does RAD provide access to and all the information

01:09:51   they want about download, stop, starts, ad listings,

01:09:53   so on and so forth.

01:09:54   So this page where they explain why you would want to,

01:09:59   why RAD, where does RAD fit into your life?

01:10:02   If you're making a podcast play rap, why would you do it?

01:10:06   If you make your own podcast, why would you want it?

01:10:08   And if you're a listener of podcasts,

01:10:09   why would you want it?

01:10:11   And it's not a really particularly compelling case.

01:10:15   And so, yeah, I don't,

01:10:17   it's one of those things where the way stuff like this

01:10:22   actually comes to pass is not because of the cases

01:10:25   made successfully to all constituencies,

01:10:26   it's because one particular consistency has all the power

01:10:29   and they also reap all the benefits and they just do it.

01:10:33   So if Apple were an advertising company like Google

01:10:36   and they were the dominant podcast platform,

01:10:39   they would do this immediately

01:10:40   and it would become the de facto standard

01:10:42   because the person who could benefit most from it

01:10:44   has the most power and they just do it.

01:10:46   And it wouldn't really matter whether app developers

01:10:47   want to do it, whether podcast creators want to do it,

01:10:49   or whether listeners want to have it happen,

01:10:51   it would just happen.

01:10:52   Again, getting back to web browsers,

01:10:54   if every web browser influenced that W3C DRM scheme,

01:10:58   it doesn't really matter whether you as a web browser user

01:11:03   care about that, you're getting it

01:11:05   whether you like it or not,

01:11:07   which is why it's bad to concentrate power like this.

01:11:09   So I think we've talked about this before,

01:11:11   how we've basically been saved by Apple's,

01:11:14   at one point, benevolent neglect

01:11:16   and now just general benevolence of podcasts.

01:11:18   The fact that they're not an advertising driven company,

01:11:21   they don't care that much about podcasts,

01:11:23   so they're gonna be careful about privacy

01:11:25   and they're not gonna screw it up.

01:11:27   It's an uneasy piece we have right now with podcasts

01:11:31   and we just better hope that Apple

01:11:34   doesn't turn into an advertising company

01:11:37   or doesn't lose its dominant position in podcasts

01:11:39   'cause that'll be bad for everybody.

01:11:41   - So the other thing I wanted to say about this is,

01:11:44   I'm gonna put a little bit of words in Marco's mouth

01:11:47   and you know what, he's the editor,

01:11:49   so he can always cut this later.

01:11:50   But I feel like this is an example

01:11:55   of why Marco is so fiercely independent

01:11:58   and why Marco, you went for market share

01:12:02   a year or two ago or whatever it's been.

01:12:04   - For?

01:12:05   - For that, for, good grief, God.

01:12:08   - Sorry.

01:12:08   - Anyway, the point I'm driving at is that

01:12:11   if you have a lot of market share,

01:12:13   if you have some amount of influence

01:12:17   or perhaps leverage over the community

01:12:22   or over the market, if you will,

01:12:23   then you can say no to RAD or things like it

01:12:28   and that may be enough.

01:12:31   Now I don't know if you're at that point

01:12:32   and honestly it doesn't really matter one way or the other,

01:12:34   but for those of you who heard Marco say four years ago,

01:12:39   oh, I'm going for market share

01:12:41   because podcasting is important to me

01:12:43   and I wanna try to steer it in the way

01:12:45   that I think is best.

01:12:47   Well now the fruits of your labor are coming to fruition

01:12:51   because now by you not implementing this,

01:12:54   I don't know if it would be enough to kill RAD,

01:12:55   like I think you're right that Apple's the one

01:12:58   who will really put the nail in the coffin,

01:13:00   but by you and Pocket Casts, and I don't know

01:13:05   if Castro's made a statement about this one way or the other.

01:13:07   - I can't possibly see them doing this.

01:13:09   - Yeah, exactly, and we know the Castro guys

01:13:12   and they're great, great people and I agree

01:13:14   that I don't expect them to do it.

01:13:15   So by you guys as a collective and you as an individual

01:13:20   angling for market share and refusing to do

01:13:23   this sort of invasive stuff,

01:13:26   that, if not you individually, but that in aggregate

01:13:29   could be enough to really make this go away.

01:13:33   And as both a podcast consumer and a podcast creator,

01:13:37   that's really darn important to me

01:13:38   and I'm thankful for you and Castro and Pocket Casts,

01:13:41   at least so far, for standing your ground

01:13:44   and not caving to this.

01:13:46   And so if you scratch your head and thought Marco

01:13:48   was being ridiculous and getting on his high horse

01:13:51   for no good reason, well, maybe it was for good reason.

01:13:54   It just took four years for us to get there.

01:13:56   - Like ultimately what I want and what I've wanted

01:13:58   this whole time is I want the podcast client side ecosystem,

01:14:03   the player ecosystem, to be so diverse

01:14:07   that nobody accumulates enough power

01:14:10   to dictate things like this to the market.

01:14:12   And Apple already has that much power,

01:14:14   but due to the aforementioned benevolent neglect

01:14:17   they've been mostly doing with podcasts,

01:14:19   they're basically this giant unmovable force,

01:14:22   but that mostly is good to us.

01:14:24   That mostly doesn't make waves and doesn't ruin things

01:14:27   and doesn't lock things down.

01:14:28   And that's really nice.

01:14:29   That has allowed podcasting to flourish

01:14:34   and to be what it is today.

01:14:35   If Apple tried to lock this down for themselves

01:14:38   10 years ago, five years ago, they could have.

01:14:40   And apps like mine wouldn't be able to really have a market,

01:14:44   but they didn't and that's really nice.

01:14:47   But beyond Apple, the other 30 to 40% of the market,

01:14:55   that does have the potential for significant consolidation

01:14:59   of power if it doesn't remain diverse.

01:15:02   Right now it's nicely diverse.

01:15:04   Spotify's a bit of a concern to me,

01:15:06   but for the most part we're doing okay.

01:15:09   And you can't get 40% of the market right now,

01:15:13   'cause it's so many different players,

01:15:15   to all agree on a new standard to implement.

01:15:18   You're never gonna get all of us to do that.

01:15:21   And that's actually really good.

01:15:25   Besides Apple, which is not moving,

01:15:27   there is no other consolidated source of power

01:15:29   in this business that has enough power

01:15:32   to really matter that much.

01:15:33   And as a result, the medium can't move forward,

01:15:38   quote forward in the way that people want it to.

01:15:41   But I consider that a good thing,

01:15:43   because right now where the medium already is, is great.

01:15:46   It's thriving, it's flourishing, it's booming.

01:15:49   People are making tons of money.

01:15:52   It's very, very healthy.

01:15:54   And it's wonderful for listeners too.

01:15:56   It's not, you don't have people making tons of money

01:15:59   at the top and then listeners having their privacy

01:16:01   all crazily, horribly invaded on the other end.

01:16:05   It's just really good, it's nice.

01:16:06   It's a great market.

01:16:08   And the last thing I want is for that to get ruined.

01:16:12   And when people say, the people who argue

01:16:14   for things like this, I was talking about it

01:16:16   on Twitter the other day and I got a bunch

01:16:17   of responses from people.

01:16:19   Most really were in support of my position,

01:16:21   but a few were opposed to me saying they need this.

01:16:25   And be careful when you hear somebody describe anything

01:16:30   as the future or as moving forward.

01:16:35   Because that implies a certain level of inevitability

01:16:40   that podcasting is, by staying where it is,

01:16:43   by not implementing things like this,

01:16:45   they're trying to position the future they want

01:16:50   as the future period.

01:16:52   And the future they want as the way forward.

01:16:56   But that's not a foregone conclusion.

01:17:00   The future of podcasting hasn't been written yet

01:17:05   because it's the future.

01:17:06   We can make it whatever we want.

01:17:10   And based on certain power structures and dynamics

01:17:13   in the market now, there are certain outcomes

01:17:16   that are more likely than others.

01:17:17   And I think an outcome where everyone's doing tons more

01:17:20   of tracking on the client side is pretty unlikely

01:17:23   because of the way this power structure is set up.

01:17:25   And I would absolutely argue that it is not

01:17:30   a foregone conclusion that the way forward

01:17:32   is more ad tracking because that presumes

01:17:36   that we have a problem today, that ads are terrible today

01:17:40   and people can't build real businesses or whatever.

01:17:42   And that's totally bogus.

01:17:44   The only people trying to make that argument

01:17:46   are the biggest companies in podcasting,

01:17:48   who by the way, tend to make like millions of dollars

01:17:50   a year in ad revenue.

01:17:51   We don't need things like this.

01:17:53   The only people pushing for this are people

01:17:54   who want even more, even more, even more.

01:17:57   And you know, that's what big companies do.

01:17:59   I understand the urge to do that.

01:18:01   But the rest of the podcasting ecosystem out here

01:18:04   doesn't want or need any of this.

01:18:07   And I would strongly argue that the future of podcasting

01:18:11   is not gonna be what these handful of big publishers

01:18:14   want it to be.

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01:20:10   (upbeat music)

01:20:13   I'm gonna try this.

01:20:15   I apologize in advance.

01:20:16   So Kapila Wimalararatne, I hope I got that right.

01:20:21   - We've done this name before.

01:20:22   You've read this name before.

01:20:24   - Have I?

01:20:24   - Yes.

01:20:25   - Oh, yeah, totally.

01:20:27   I totally knew that was correct.

01:20:28   - You did better the second time,

01:20:29   or the first time, rather.

01:20:31   - Oh, well.

01:20:32   Wimalararatne, I'm sorry.

01:20:33   So Kapila writes, "Researching a TV purchase for next year.

01:20:36   "Something I'm finding weird.

01:20:37   "I'm not concerned about picture quality

01:20:39   "since anything 4K over 40 inches

01:20:41   "will be far superior to our current TV.

01:20:43   "The criteria have narrowed down so far.

01:20:45   "Built-in Chromecast, so I don't need to switch HDMI inputs

01:20:47   "to cast from Google Home or Pixel 3.

01:20:49   "Hard buttons on the remote to jump straight

01:20:51   "to a given HDMI input when using PS4, et cetera.

01:20:54   "A built-in webcam, question mark,

01:20:56   "so my son could video chat with his friends

01:20:57   "while online gaming, and that's it.

01:20:59   "Is there something important missing from my list?

01:21:01   "What is your criteria list for buying a new TV?

01:21:03   "As I've stated in the past,

01:21:05   "I haven't bought a TV in forever and a day,

01:21:07   "so I am useless when it comes to this.

01:21:09   "I have a feeling that Jon will have

01:21:11   "the most thoughts about this,

01:21:12   "so Marco, let's start with you.

01:21:14   "Any immediate thoughts?"

01:21:16   - I don't know how to shop for a TV

01:21:19   for someone who says they're not concerned

01:21:20   about picture quality.

01:21:21   That's not my style, and so I really can't help on that.

01:21:25   I also would highly question the feature request

01:21:29   of a built-in webcam, because TV manufacturers

01:21:33   are not known for their incredible privacy respect

01:21:36   or their ability to deliver really secure software.

01:21:39   I honestly don't think you should be plugging your TV

01:21:42   into a network at all, or ever giving it

01:21:44   your WiFi password, but that's just me.

01:21:46   Maybe I'm being overly cautious there.

01:21:48   But however, the feature request for hard buttons

01:21:53   on the remote to jump straight to a certain HDMI input,

01:21:57   I would love that.

01:21:59   I hate going to the input menu and going down

01:22:01   and hitting enter, or having to hit the input switch button

01:22:05   and going through one by one.

01:22:07   I would love to just have, look,

01:22:08   there's only four HDMI inputs.

01:22:10   Just have HDMI one, two, three, and four buttons

01:22:12   on the remote.

01:22:12   That would be amazing.

01:22:14   My TV doesn't have that, so I can't recommend it, I guess.

01:22:16   But that is a feature request that I wouldn't have thought

01:22:19   to make, but wow, does that sound great.

01:22:21   I wish I had made that feature request.

01:22:23   - John?

01:22:24   - Built-in Chromecast.

01:22:27   These features, I'm in Marco's camp work.

01:22:29   Picture quality is the thing that I care about the most.

01:22:32   But, you know, there's something important missing

01:22:35   from my list.

01:22:36   Like, yeah, webcam thing covered.

01:22:38   Luckily, I don't think you'll even be able

01:22:39   to find many TVs with webcams.

01:22:41   Mine has one, by the way, because they used to be a thing

01:22:43   that people did, but it's not very popular anymore.

01:22:47   The thing about the built-in Chromecast,

01:22:51   Chromecast is not expensive or big.

01:22:54   Like, you can add it to any television.

01:22:56   Like, I wouldn't reject a television

01:22:57   because it doesn't have built-in Chromecast.

01:22:59   You can add Chromecast very, very easily and cheaply.

01:23:02   It's not a thing that you have to get a TV

01:23:04   where it's built-in.

01:23:05   In fact, it'd be better for it not to be built-in

01:23:06   because if Chromecast gets better

01:23:08   or there's a new Chromecast that comes out,

01:23:10   you can upgrade it, whereas if it's built-in, you can't.

01:23:12   The hard buttons on the remote thing

01:23:13   for jumping to inputs, setting aside

01:23:15   the most television remotes are terrible.

01:23:18   If you just get a receiver, like you have that,

01:23:21   receivers have buttons for not only switching inputs,

01:23:24   but switching to like whatever they might call them,

01:23:25   scenes or presets or whatever, which is a combination

01:23:28   of input and a bunch of other settings.

01:23:30   So my receiver remote has, I think, at least four,

01:23:33   probably more buttons that let me switch

01:23:35   to different scenes and also direct buttons

01:23:38   to go to each of the inputs,

01:23:39   which then it's more than four inputs you can go to.

01:23:41   The television is only, you know, if you have this setup,

01:23:45   is only ever on one input.

01:23:46   It's only ever on the input

01:23:48   that's coming out of your receiver.

01:23:49   So there are better solutions to that.

01:23:52   And even if you don't have direct input switching,

01:23:55   if you have the thing that works 50% of the time,

01:23:59   what are the hell is it called, HEC or?

01:24:01   - CEC.

01:24:02   - CEC, yeah.

01:24:04   If you are a CEC unicorn and you get a television setup

01:24:07   where that works all the time,

01:24:08   you don't have to switch inputs either

01:24:09   because it'll auto switch based on

01:24:10   which one is giving output.

01:24:11   So this feature list looks really weird to me.

01:24:13   And I think this feature list,

01:24:15   say this is kind of like I'm trying to suss out like,

01:24:18   what are you looking for in a TV

01:24:19   based on the things you listed?

01:24:21   There's a bunch of things you probably haven't thought about

01:24:24   that may be important, like how long does it take

01:24:26   from the time you hit the power button in the television

01:24:28   to the time you can start watching television?

01:24:29   Like sort of the boot time?

01:24:31   How sluggish are the menus?

01:24:35   Where on the screen is the volume up and down thing

01:24:40   if you use the volume on television,

01:24:42   which you shouldn't because you should have a receiver

01:24:43   and it should be invisible on TV.

01:24:45   And how ugly is it?

01:24:46   Samsung has incredibly ugly overlays for their volume thing

01:24:49   showing like an ugly speaker cone

01:24:51   with a glow around it and crap like that.

01:24:53   Things like that you'll never think about

01:24:55   in your sort of criteria.

01:24:56   But once you get a TV, you'll be like,

01:24:57   oh, every time I change the volume on the TV,

01:25:00   I see an animated frog jumps across my screen

01:25:04   and says, "Ribbit," right?

01:25:05   And then the overlay stays on the screen for seven seconds

01:25:08   after I stop hitting the volume button.

01:25:10   Stuff like that will probably have a bigger effect

01:25:14   on your enjoyment of your television

01:25:16   than whether it has a built-in Chromecast.

01:25:19   But all of this said, like everyone's got

01:25:22   their own criteria.

01:25:22   My criteria are almost entirely about picture quality.

01:25:26   And then I live with all the other things

01:25:29   that are inevitably going to annoy me about the television

01:25:31   because most of the time I'm using my television,

01:25:33   I'm not touching the remote and there's nothing

01:25:35   on the screen except for the picture I'm displaying.

01:25:37   So that's why I feel like picture quality

01:25:38   is my biggest criteria.

01:25:40   But as for what you're missing, I guess you'll find out

01:25:42   after you buy your Chromecast TV with a webcam.

01:25:46   - Wow.

01:25:48   All right, Ivan writes, "I have a few Blu-rays

01:25:51   "that I've converted with MakeMKV,

01:25:53   "but my Mac Mini Plex server has a hard time

01:25:55   "live encoding 30 gigabyte MKV movies.

01:26:00   "So which settings do you use to compress those large MKVs?

01:26:04   "Handbrake has so many options

01:26:06   "and the internet has too many opinions.

01:26:08   "This is why you trust somebody else to do it."

01:26:10   So we've made mention of this many times in the past,

01:26:13   but Don Melton, who among other things was instrumental

01:26:16   in getting Safari onto Mac computers,

01:26:20   he in his retirement has decided to do the community

01:26:24   a tremendous service and create a series of scripts

01:26:27   that you can use to transcode videos.

01:26:29   And I have a less discerning eye,

01:26:32   certainly than Jon and probably than Marco in this context.

01:26:35   And so for me, I am more than happy

01:26:40   with the output of Don Melton scripts.

01:26:42   And you do have to be able to use command line,

01:26:44   but it is very straightforward.

01:26:45   Well, it's easy for me to say that

01:26:46   'cause I'm used to the command line,

01:26:47   but I find it to be very straightforward and easy to use.

01:26:50   And basically it will take those 30 gig MKVs

01:26:54   down to like anywhere between five and 10 gigs,

01:26:56   depending on the particular film.

01:26:58   And you can use it without,

01:26:59   he has a bunch of options that you can give to his scripts

01:27:02   in order to tweak this, that, or the other thing.

01:27:04   But really I just use them in the default settings.

01:27:08   The only real option I give the script

01:27:11   is to tell it to output an MP4

01:27:13   rather than a compressed MKV.

01:27:16   And that's more than enough for me,

01:27:18   and that's what I recommend.

01:27:19   So Jon, thoughts about that?

01:27:22   - So the business about real time live encoding

01:27:25   a 30 gigabyte MKV movie,

01:27:27   depending on the compression codec used on Blu-rays,

01:27:30   I think they have two options,

01:27:31   like there's the VP whatever thing,

01:27:33   and I forget what the other option is,

01:27:34   probably some MPEG thing.

01:27:36   If you have a player that can natively play

01:27:39   whatever codec is used on the Blu-ray that you're showing,

01:27:42   there is no sort of recompression step

01:27:45   or transcoding step that has to take place.

01:27:47   It can just take that 30 gigabyte data

01:27:51   that it pulled right off the Blu-ray disc

01:27:52   and didn't transcode or change in any way,

01:27:55   and just send it to the decoder

01:27:57   that will decode that image and put it on your screen.

01:27:59   That's the benefit of using it and make MKV

01:28:01   to just pull the data off of Blu-ray

01:28:03   without changing it in any way.

01:28:04   Just take the bits that are on the disc

01:28:06   and put those bits in a file, in a container, blah, blah, blah.

01:28:09   That's not, that's conceivable.

01:28:12   That's the thing that you can do.

01:28:13   In fact, I think Infuse on Apple TV will natively play

01:28:18   without any transcoding or recompressing

01:28:21   at least one of the formats

01:28:22   that it's commonly used on Blu-rays.

01:28:24   But that's something you might wanna look into.

01:28:25   If you're worried about quality

01:28:28   and you don't care about disc space,

01:28:29   which apparently you don't

01:28:30   'cause you're pulling 30 gigs off of Blu-rays,

01:28:33   look into that, 'cause then you don't have to worry

01:28:36   about recompressing into what format

01:28:37   should I compress in a river.

01:28:38   I, as Casey surmised, don't particularly like the idea

01:28:43   of taking compressed video and then compressing it again,

01:28:47   no matter how many options and settings there are,

01:28:50   it's a lossy process.

01:28:51   You are losing quality.

01:28:53   It's why I buy Blu-ray discs and why I play Blu-ray discs,

01:28:56   because it's already lossy compressed.

01:28:59   I'll just take it the best I can get it,

01:29:03   straight off the disc, decode the image, decode the sound,

01:29:06   put it to the outputs.

01:29:07   I think the last time I looked into doing that

01:29:11   with my setup, I couldn't get the 24 frame per second cadence

01:29:13   but now presumably with the new Apple TV I could,

01:29:15   but I haven't actually revisited it

01:29:16   because disc base is still an issue.

01:29:19   Blu-rays are very big and I'm still just putting plastic

01:29:22   discs into a drive and dealing with it like that.

01:29:25   But yeah, if you are going to recompress

01:29:28   either mountain scripts or honestly,

01:29:30   Handbrake has a bunch of options, but it also has presets.

01:29:33   A whole bunch of presets come with Handbrake.

01:29:36   Try a couple of the presets to Casey's point.

01:29:39   If you find a preset that makes files

01:29:41   that are about the size that you want

01:29:43   and they look okay to you, you're done.

01:29:45   Like it may not be the best thing in the world,

01:29:47   but if you can't tell the difference

01:29:48   and you're happy with them and they compress down

01:29:51   to a size that you like, just keep using that preset.

01:29:53   You'll probably be fine.

01:29:55   The only places where you might be,

01:29:56   get a little bit messed up are if it's messing

01:29:59   with the frame rate, which can be a little bit tricky

01:30:01   to mess with, you probably shouldn't change the frame rate

01:30:03   of the video at all because then it'll interpolate

01:30:05   and you're basically just embedding motion smoothing

01:30:07   into your videos, which will make somebody sad,

01:30:09   but hey, maybe you can't tell.

01:30:11   And also if it's a particularly strange movie,

01:30:13   like if it's animation versus live action,

01:30:15   sometimes artifacts that aren't visible in live action

01:30:17   become visible in animation due to the large regions

01:30:20   of uninterrupted color and other things

01:30:22   that are unique in animation.

01:30:24   And if you just don't wanna deal with any of this

01:30:28   and you're compressing video anyway,

01:30:29   you can just buy it from iTunes or some other video service

01:30:32   and then hopefully play that natively

01:30:35   on the player of choice.

01:30:36   And instead of buying giant videos on Blu-ray

01:30:38   and then figuring out a way to get them off the disc

01:30:40   and compress them.

01:30:41   - All right, Brian Edwards writes,

01:30:42   "What would you recommend for somebody

01:30:43   "who wants to learn their way around

01:30:45   "a command line interface?"

01:30:46   I don't have any particularly good suggestions for this.

01:30:50   As always, in the same way that I say this

01:30:52   about learning to write code,

01:30:55   really you need a specific task in mind,

01:30:58   at least that's what works best for me

01:31:00   is having a specific task in mind

01:31:02   and looking for a solution for that task.

01:31:04   But one of you added a link to a book in the show notes,

01:31:08   so who was that?

01:31:10   - I'll give you one guess.

01:31:11   - Yeah, I had a feeling, but you never know, you never know.

01:31:14   - So this is actually a difficult question

01:31:16   because as I think I've recounted before,

01:31:18   this is another situation where people ask,

01:31:21   what's a good way for me to get started learning

01:31:24   whatever subject?

01:31:25   And they ask someone who has experience

01:31:28   in whatever the field of the subject is.

01:31:30   And the way that that person learned so many years ago

01:31:35   is almost never the best way to learn right now.

01:31:40   - That's almost certainly true about this.

01:31:43   The best way to learn your way around the command line

01:31:45   is probably some online course or tutorial

01:31:49   or something that I don't know about

01:31:50   because that's not how I learned

01:31:51   because when I learned it, the web didn't exist, right?

01:31:53   So, but anyway, the answer is really,

01:31:58   I don't know, there's probably a really good way to learn it

01:32:00   and I don't know what it is and you can go and find it.

01:32:02   But if you're asking how I learned it,

01:32:04   and also I think this is a way you could learn it,

01:32:08   there are a bunch of old books and other things that I read

01:32:13   and then actually the main way I learned

01:32:16   the command line stuff is by printing man pages

01:32:19   on the printer at my college.

01:32:22   So you could just do like man command pipe LPR

01:32:26   and it will just print the man pages

01:32:28   and then it take the man pages on paper

01:32:30   back to my dorm room and read them.

01:32:32   I do not recommend it, however, that is special.

01:32:35   It will take you a long time.

01:32:37   The man pages are, some of them are well written

01:32:39   but most of them are not.

01:32:40   But there is a book that I read.

01:32:41   I read many, many books when I was an undergrad in college,

01:32:44   many books about Unix and the book I'm gonna recommend

01:32:48   is not the first book I read and it's not like,

01:32:51   the title, as the title suggests,

01:32:52   not like a teach me the basics type thing,

01:32:55   but I'm still gonna recommend it and I'll explain why.

01:32:57   The book is called "Unix Power Tools."

01:32:59   So it's basically saying like,

01:33:00   "Oh, so you know the basics of Unix,

01:33:01   "well, here's some power tools," right?

01:33:03   It's an older book. (laughing)

01:33:05   It's in like third edition,

01:33:07   but the third edition is like 10 years old, right?

01:33:10   It contains a bunch of information

01:33:12   that is basically not relevant to modern Unix or Linux

01:33:17   or anything like that.

01:33:19   - Oh, you're selling it well.

01:33:20   - Right, but what it shows you is,

01:33:23   what it shows you is the mindset of,

01:33:25   so you've got some basic knowledge

01:33:27   about how to use command line stuff.

01:33:28   What can you do with these tools?

01:33:30   And it strings them together in different combinations

01:33:32   that I think will be mind expanding and eye opening,

01:33:36   both to learn what it is that you can do,

01:33:38   like how an operating system works, how Unix works,

01:33:41   even if your particular Linux doesn't work like this

01:33:42   or your Unix doesn't look like this.

01:33:44   The things they describe, the details are no longer relevant,

01:33:47   but the concepts are, and to say,

01:33:50   all right, so you've got a Unix operating system

01:33:51   that works like this, and you've got this bucket of tools,

01:33:54   this toolbox over there, what can you do?

01:33:56   And it's kind of like, getting back to the shortcuts

01:33:59   we were talking about the other day,

01:34:00   seeing someone build a shortcut,

01:34:02   and make it do something you didn't think shortcuts

01:34:05   could do by just stringing together a bunch of pieces

01:34:07   in a novel way, is mind expanding.

01:34:09   So "Unix Power Tools" is a huge book,

01:34:11   and it's kind of like jumping into the deep end

01:34:13   because it assumes some base knowledge

01:34:14   that you may or may not have, but I guarantee you,

01:34:16   if you read "Unix Power Tools" from cover to cover,

01:34:18   and start with zero knowledge by the end of it,

01:34:21   you will grok, as we used to say,

01:34:24   you will understand the Unix command line way better

01:34:29   than someone who just did a basic tutorial

01:34:31   of like here are the bases of how to use the command line.

01:34:33   I think it actually is a very valuable tool

01:34:36   for understanding the mindset of Unix,

01:34:40   and seeing just how deep the rabbit hole goes.

01:34:43   Even if you don't understand every single thing

01:34:45   that's described in it, and even if you don't know

01:34:46   which parts are relevant or which parts aren't,

01:34:48   you'll be in a better place when you come out

01:34:51   the other side of this phone book sized Unix book.

01:34:54   - I would go with a little bit simpler solution.

01:34:58   I would say, as the old saying goes,

01:35:01   necessity is the mother of all command line experience.

01:35:04   I would say, try to do something with a Linux server.

01:35:09   So we have sponsor of this episode, Linode,

01:35:12   you can get one for five bucks a month.

01:35:14   Get a Linux server for whatever level of resources you need,

01:35:17   which is probably five bucks a month,

01:35:19   and try to set up something on it,

01:35:21   whether it's like a VPN or a small simple web app

01:35:24   or some kind of other server role.

01:35:28   Setting up a Linux server requires you

01:35:31   to do everything remotely via the command line,

01:35:34   and that will teach you a ton of basics.

01:35:36   And as I said last episode during this discussion,

01:35:38   the basics you learn on the Linux server,

01:35:41   much of that will apply also to Mac OS.

01:35:44   A lot of the basics of using the command line

01:35:45   will apply to Mac OS as well.

01:35:48   Not every single tool is the same,

01:35:50   but they're all pretty similar, or they're very close.

01:35:53   So having to do something will basically force you

01:35:58   at every step, like, okay, I'm getting this weird error,

01:36:00   or I'm stuck in VI, how do I get out?

01:36:04   There's gonna be something that's gonna make you

01:36:07   do a bunch of web searches to save your butt

01:36:09   every single time, and that process will build expertise,

01:36:13   and you will learn it, and you will have the goal in mind,

01:36:16   then the motivating force of whatever you want

01:36:19   this server to do for you.

01:36:21   And you will hopefully, then at the end of it,

01:36:24   have something useful.

01:36:25   - The chat room is commenting on my description

01:36:28   of this as a phone book size book.

01:36:29   It is actually 1,200 pages in paper form, the third edition.

01:36:34   So it is a very big book.

01:36:35   - Oh, God.

01:36:36   - And yes, I did read it from cover cover.

01:36:38   In fact, it's sitting on, within arm's reach right now,

01:36:40   I can touch the spine of the book,

01:36:41   and I was looking at it to see,

01:36:42   do I have the first edition?

01:36:43   I'm pretty sure I do have the first edition,

01:36:44   'cause I got it a long time ago.

01:36:46   And back then, O'Reilly, which was then the king

01:36:49   of the technical books for budding

01:36:52   computer/internet nerds, they had a brand

01:36:55   for their various books, which was like the Nutshell series.

01:36:59   It would be like, learn whatever in a nutshell.

01:37:01   Like it was just one book that would tell you

01:37:02   everything you needed to know about send mail or whatever.

01:37:05   So the Unix Power Tools has the Nutshell logo on it.

01:37:07   - Yeah, Unix Power Tools in a nutshell.

01:37:09   So in a nutshell, it's 1,200 pages.

01:37:12   Kind of subverting the brand there.

01:37:15   But the thing is, it doesn't tell you everything

01:37:18   you ever could know about using Unix,

01:37:20   because there's just too much to know.

01:37:21   So in some respects, it is in a nutshell,

01:37:23   but in other respects, it's not at all.

01:37:27   But yeah, I think it's incredibly valuable

01:37:31   to read that book, and this is another advantage

01:37:34   you get from listening to ATP.

01:37:35   No one else is gonna tell you to read that big book.

01:37:37   No one else is going to have read it.

01:37:38   You, by reading it, will know secret things

01:37:41   that no one else knows.

01:37:43   - You're probably doing more than me and Casey.

01:37:45   - Yeah, definitely, for sure.

01:37:46   You will know incredibly obscure stuff

01:37:48   will probably never become useful.

01:37:50   But actually, I think it will make lots of the weird,

01:37:52   Unix is weird in that there's lots of residue or layers.

01:37:56   It's like an archeological dig.

01:37:58   It's like, why does this command have these flags?

01:38:01   Or what is the mnemonic,

01:38:02   what is that command even supposed to mean?

01:38:05   Or why do these two commands exist

01:38:07   with this third command that seems like a combination?

01:38:08   Like, if you learn the history behind it, it helps you,

01:38:11   it's kind of like a story you tell yourself.

01:38:13   It helps you remember how things fit together.

01:38:15   You're not just remembering arbitrary stuff.

01:38:16   You kind of see how things evolved.

01:38:19   I don't know if this is the same category.

01:38:22   We're in the same category last show where I said,

01:38:24   like, command shift one was eject the first floppy drive,

01:38:27   and command shift two was eject the second.

01:38:29   Now you know why command shift three is over there.

01:38:30   Maybe it helps you remember

01:38:32   what the screenshot keyboard command is,

01:38:35   because now there's a story to go along with it.

01:38:36   You know it's three because one and two are floppy drives.

01:38:39   Maybe that's a bad analogy, but I always feel like knowing,

01:38:43   knowing the reasons behind things

01:38:45   helps you to internalize them better than just memorizing.

01:38:49   Like, oh, I just have to know, you know,

01:38:51   this flag is like that and capital letters do this,

01:38:54   and this command is called that for these reasons,

01:38:56   and this is why the variant of that command

01:38:58   is called something different.

01:39:00   Anyway, check it out.

01:39:01   It's a big, giant paper book.

01:39:03   It's cool, you should read it.

01:39:04   - Thanks to our sponsors this week,

01:39:06   Squarespace, Eero, and Linode,

01:39:08   and we'll talk to you next week.

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01:40:27   - You should get, Unix Power Tools, a great gift idea.

01:40:30   - Yeah. (laughs)

01:40:31   - Look for it in your stocking.

01:40:33   - If you need a last minute Christmas gift,

01:40:35   that one probably won't be out of stock.

01:40:37   - Yeah, probably.

01:40:38   - No, actually, I went on the,

01:40:40   I always wonder how popular these books are.

01:40:43   I wanted to see if it was still even in print,

01:40:44   but on the Amazon page, they think that it was like,

01:40:47   hurry, only three more in stock,

01:40:49   and available from other sellers.

01:40:50   You can buy it directly from O'Reilly too.

01:40:51   There's also a Kindle version.

01:40:53   Although I feel like you're missing out

01:40:54   if you don't get to see the cool fonts and everything

01:40:57   for all the Command Line stuff.

01:40:59   (laughs)

01:41:00   - Like, true. - Corrier.

01:41:02   - O'Reilly books, did you guys read O'Reilly books

01:41:06   when you were learning stuff?

01:41:06   - Yes, but it's been a long time.

01:41:08   - Yeah, yeah, yeah.

01:41:09   - So they use, they look like they were laid out using

01:41:13   the, what the hell is it, the typesetting thing,

01:41:18   LaTeX, or latex, or however you wanna pronounce it.

01:41:23   They look like they were laid out using that,

01:41:25   whether they were--

01:41:25   - It's pronounced for cotta.

01:41:27   - Yeah, whether they were or not,

01:41:29   because they use a similar font.

01:41:30   And just sort of the style,

01:41:32   like what do I use for my monospace font?

01:41:34   What's my proportional font?

01:41:35   How do I set out the code examples?

01:41:37   Just has a certain historic flavor that I appreciate,

01:41:41   because it reminds me of all those books from that era.

01:41:44   (beeping)

01:41:46   [ Silence ]