303: Your Mahogany World


00:00:00   This is a very major recurring segment of the show where Marco asks for CEOs to be fired. Should have institutionalized this.

00:00:09   It appears to me that the universal law of podcasting with John Siracusa is that on an infinite time scale it all goes back to food.

00:00:19   Why am I taking blame for this? Hang on a second. Marco's got a whole podcast where he talks about food and buys cans of Pringles and stuff. I'm not responsible for the food talk.

00:00:29   I participate in it, but I'm not why it's there. You're the common denominator between robot or not, and here. I'm not on top four and they got food everywhere. They're making themselves sick with food.

00:00:39   Other people are also allowed to talk about food, but it seems that the trend line with the John Siracusa podcast is that you inevitably will talk about food.

00:00:47   I do not accept this blame/credit any more than you two. I think it is equally distributed. Can I get an amen on this Marco? I mean, come on.

00:00:56   I would also say we got a lot of feedback about Italian desserts, none of which I think adequately defended them.

00:01:04   They don't need to be defended from you. You just might not like them. But I think the thing that needs to be defended is the idea that Italian is one of those cuisines that doesn't really have good desserts, which is kind of what your starting point was, which is ridiculous on its face.

00:01:17   Whether or not you like them or have been impressed with them or found good ones is different than like, because there are some cuisines that from an American perspective you might say, "Not really known for the desserts." Like, you know, Chinese food as we know it. Not really known for the desserts, right? Italian is not one of those cuisines.

00:01:32   Gotta say, I had some Italian desserts over the weekend at nice restaurants, and they were fine.

00:01:38   That's exactly what I say about every Italian dessert that I have. This is fine. You just might not like them except for the six that you listed that you said were good that were all exceptions.

00:01:47   You know what the problem is, is that you just haven't been to a good Italian restaurant, Marco. You have a dessert. So here's the thing. You really need to find yourself the nearest Olive Garden. You know, a really good Italian restaurant and try their desserts.

00:02:01   I think Italian restaurants in the fake Italy in Las Vegas are not too far from Olive Garden. I think what we need to do is go to John Syracuse's places on Long Island and see if they're actually that good.

00:02:12   Pick me up something. No, you'd have to meet us there. That's the rules. This is starting to sound more complicated and not as good.

00:02:20   No, because John has named a spot that is good. So look, I'm nearby. I'll go there. You can come to Boston and go to Mike's. It's fine. But you just might not like cannolis. That's what the problem is.

00:02:31   Okay, so if I go to whatever the place was that you gave me in Smithtown or whatever. Alpine and Smithtown. Yeah. If I go there, what should I get in addition to cannolis?

00:02:42   I mean, I can tell you a cookie assortment to get. I like a couple of ones in particular. I like the little rainbow sandwich things, which granted look better than they taste, but I do like them. They're a sentimental favorite. We could do a whole top four episode on it.

00:02:55   So actually, Tiff's mom makes those really, really well. And the ones she makes I love. I've never had any of those rainbow sandwich cookies from anywhere else that tasted like anything.

00:03:08   The flavors are strong with flavor because she uses a lot of, I believe it's because she uses a lot of almond taste. So they really have a nice dense almondy flavor. It's wonderful. Most of the ones I taste just taste like air. They just taste like nothing.

00:03:18   Maybe they taste like the chocolate that's drizzled on the outside. Or maybe they use too much jelly between the layers and it tastes too much like jelly. But the actual sponge in it, the actual cake part of it, usually tastes like absolutely nothing.

00:03:33   I don't mess those up for sure. They're complicated, but they're just fun. I like most of the cookies, the varieties that look like sugar cookies dipped in chocolate with jam between them. Those can really be screwed up by having the ratio not right.

00:03:43   Like if you have too little jam for too much cookie or the cookies are monstrous, this is a problem. Like I mentioned that Alpine, their cannolis had gotten bigger and I like the smaller ones of my youth because I feel like you start to supersize everything.

00:03:55   Everything at Mike's is supersized, but whatever. It's New England. They don't really know what they're doing. Everything about them is good tasting, but everything is huge. Actually, Tina brought back bagels from New York City and they were these giant monstrosities. There's definitely a food size inflation epidemic going around.

00:04:11   That can affect cookies as well. The ratios just go off. You can't have a cookie like that with the same thin smear of jam but two huge cookies. That gets to what you were talking about where it's just like dry sugary cookie.

00:04:26   You talked about this in your top four episode with assorted chocolates. Any individual chocolate can be hit or miss, but the excitement is in the assortment. You have a whole bunch of different kinds of cookies. Maybe only one or two of each kind.

00:04:43   You get a good feeling if you got one of the rainbow cookies and there were only a couple of them there or you did or didn't get the one you wanted. There's such variety, you don't know which one you want to take because they're all so different from each other. As opposed to a giant plate of all the same kind of cookies. That's not the thing you're going for.

00:04:59   You're going to go to your place, we're going to order one of everything, and we're going to get it home, and when it's right, I'm going to be like, "This is fine." And you're going to be like, "Well, it was a bad day." What you really have to do is go there every day for 30 years and then that's really what it's about.

00:05:27   No, I'm going to say you just don't like Italian desserts. It's okay for you not to like it. It's not okay for you to say Italian is one of those cuisines that doesn't really do good desserts. That's not okay.

00:05:35   I didn't say the desserts were bad. I said they're just average. They're just fine. They disappoint me.

00:05:41   It is not an ethnic cuisine with average desserts. It's a cuisine with above average desserts. That is my contention.

00:05:47   I don't know that I agree to that. Whether or not you like them, whatever.

00:05:50   So now that we've already covered follow-up, even though this wasn't in the follow-up list.

00:05:56   If you want to have a project, I'm more invested in getting you into the ocean and not drowning you in the process than you going out to Smithtown and going to Alpine Bakery.

00:06:03   Although if you're there, you should definitely go to my pizza place too. I don't know if you've had good Sicilian, but you'll be right there. You should go to Brancinelli's. You'll be closer to there than Emilio's. Just go there and get Sicilian with nothing on it.

00:06:16   Wait, what about cheese?

00:06:18   You know what I mean.

00:06:20   So a plain cheese Sicilian.

00:06:22   No toppings, no nothing.

00:06:25   John, what would it take for us to do a food tour of Long Island?

00:06:29   The tour is like the three places I grew up near.

00:06:32   I don't care.

00:06:34   With you, John. For you to come with us.

00:06:36   Yeah, I will drive up or fly up or whatever and you will drive down and we will all pile in one of Marco's six Teslas that he's paying for right now.

00:06:45   And we will go to Long Island and do a food tour. What is the Kickstarter goal that we need to hit?

00:06:54   I don't know. I probably have to be unemployed, so you just wait around for that, I guess.

00:06:57   Well, we're two-thirds there, so it's only the third time.

00:07:01   Yeah, yeah, yeah. We should probably get properly started at this point.

00:07:06   And we have to do an ISH corner, which I'm apparently making a thing.

00:07:10   If you recall, ISH is an app that lets you run Linux on your iOS devices.

00:07:15   And I've been kind of updating everyone on the progress of ISH, specifically with the things I want to do on it, which is mostly YouTube DL and FFmpeg.

00:07:23   There's been another release to TestFlight and FFmpeg kind of ISH occasionally works and YouTube DL also, generally speaking, works now.

00:07:33   Which is super cool. And YouTube download takes forever and a day to get started, so if you try this at home, understand it will literally take about a minute to get going.

00:07:42   But once it gets going, it downloads at reasonable speeds and everything's happy.

00:07:46   Unless it needs to do something with FFmpeg on the other end.

00:07:51   So, a lot of times, just hear me out here, a lot of times what will happen is when you download something, particularly from YouTube, it'll come in as a separate video and audio file, and then YouTube DL will run FFmpeg behind the scenes in order to merge those together.

00:08:05   And one of two things will happen in that occurrence on ISH.

00:08:11   Either FFmpeg will give a very peculiar error, which is unknown encoder called copy. So I can go into the reasons why that would happen. I don't think it's terribly pertinent for the show.

00:08:22   And if you do know the reasons why this happened, tell me why it's happening, please, because I don't understand how the copy encoder could be missing.

00:08:29   But anyway, suffice to say, it will either die because of that or it will be so hilariously slow, which it makes perfect sense given how ISH works,

00:08:38   I was literally watching the frame count rise. So usually, you know, it'll do like 30, 40, 50 frames a second. I was watching the frame count go frame one, frame two, frame three.

00:08:49   Mind you, there's at least 24 frames per second. Frame four, frame five. It is hilariously slow.

00:08:56   But again, I don't blame ISH for that. It perfectly makes sense given what's going on.

00:09:01   The reason why I want this copy encoder issue fixed is because what FFmpeg can do is just kind of mash files together without re-encoding them.

00:09:08   And that's what the copy encoder does. But for some reason, it's not working on ISH. It's got to be something ISH related, although darn if I know why or what.

00:09:15   So if you have any thoughts on this, I'll put a link to the error message that I tweeted about a few days ago in the show notes.

00:09:22   And additionally, the GitHub issue that friend of the show Federico Vititi opened. And so you can check that out and perhaps provide feedback.

00:09:30   Can you remind us why you're doing this at all? Why you want to run YouTube DL and FFmpeg on an x86 emulator on top of an ARM chip on iOS?

00:09:40   What is the use case, as they would say in your old life?

00:09:43   Yeah, sure. The summary is I'm an idiot. The longer version is it would be convenient to be able to download a YouTube video, say, before I go on a plane or something like that.

00:09:53   I know, I know there are ways to do this, some of which involve money, some of which don't. I understand. But I'm used to using YouTube download to do these sorts of things.

00:10:03   It would be cool to be able to do that on my iPad.

00:10:05   Is that a premium feature? Because my kids do this. They download it, but it's because I pay for whatever the hell weird...

00:10:10   YouTube Red or whatever it's called now.

00:10:12   Google...

00:10:13   I believe it's a premium feature.

00:10:15   Yeah, if you're a member of YouTube whatever premium, then you can download stuff offline in their app, but not on the Mac.

00:10:19   You're not a member of YouTube whatever premium?

00:10:22   That's such good branding, we don't always know what the hell it is.

00:10:24   I am a member of it, but I don't know what it's called.

00:10:27   Yeah, no, I am not a member of it. I don't watch that much YouTube.

00:10:30   You need to eventually become a member of that. Otherwise, your children are going to...

00:10:36   I bought it slightly too late in the life of my children and their YouTube exposure, so all of my kids know everything about Geico.

00:10:44   If you want to avoid that fate, sign up just before they start becoming tiny YouTube addicted little demons.

00:10:52   Because it is well worth it not to have your kids see YouTube better.

00:10:56   Then all you have to worry about is your kids becoming white supremacists. But that's it.

00:10:59   Oh, no big deal. No big deal.

00:11:01   Yeah, so I know there are other mechanisms by which to do this, but I would just like to.

00:11:09   Sometimes I'll download a copy of, and it's not always YouTube, but usually YouTube, a copy of a video that I really love.

00:11:15   Maybe that's a music video, maybe it's a concert, maybe it's an instructive video that I really, really love and I want to have locally just in case it gets pulled from YouTube sometime.

00:11:22   And I could absolutely SSH into my iMac to do this. And that's generally speaking what I do when I need to do this sort of thing.

00:11:30   But I'm going on this kind of Spirit Walk Vision Quest, whatever the silly turn of phrase is, in order to try to eliminate needing a computer when I've decided to take my iPad and do something on my iPad.

00:11:42   And this is one of the small but not infrequent stumbling blocks that I'm running into.

00:11:48   So I really think if this FFmpeg issue gets fixed, then generally speaking you won't have to re-encode the thing that YouTube downloads.

00:11:59   And so because of that I actually think even though it's in this ridiculous layer upon layer upon layer of emulation and virtualization and things of that nature,

00:12:07   I really think it'll go pretty quick because there's no real computing to be done, you're just copying stuff from one file to another.

00:12:14   But sitting here today it is hilariously slow and it's understandable.

00:12:17   Plus it's more about the ritual anyway, right?

00:12:19   Yeah, exactly. It makes it feel better. It sounds better, it looks better when you have the...

00:12:23   It makes it warmer?

00:12:24   It's warm, much warmer.

00:12:26   Your iPad is definitely warmer.

00:12:28   That's a fact. Nicely done.

00:12:30   Friend of the show Andreas Netzmann was one of the first people to write in to point out to us, with regard to humongous 8K screens,

00:12:38   well what if they're not so humongous because Andreas pointed out that Apple could go to 3X scale.

00:12:43   At the same UI size a 3X 8K display would be just slightly larger than 27 inches.

00:12:50   So if you think about how 2X or what we currently consider retina is pixel doubled off of traditional resolutions that we've had for years,

00:12:59   well if you pixel triple, if you will, that will pretty much put you at an 8K display that's something in the realm of like 27 to 30 inches.

00:13:05   And so maybe that's why 8K is more interesting to us than we initially thought last episode.

00:13:11   That would definitely be more palatable but the reason I think 3X is more suitable to handheld stuff is that just practically speaking they're closer to your face.

00:13:20   I think 3X would be lost on people's eyes at the distances that they view the phone.

00:13:27   It still means that you'd be able to watch your 8K video natively which is an advantage but I don't know if 8K on a 27 inch screen,

00:13:35   does anyone have the eagle eyes to distinguish that from 2X on a 27? Put a 2X on a 3X 27 inch screen right next to each other and ask somebody at normal viewing distance to tell a difference and if they can't then you're just wasting money and it's not a great idea.

00:13:49   But if Apple made an 8K 27 inch, I think that is a reasonable size for the monitor and if the price wasn't ridiculous I would buy one even if I thought I was wasting my money.

00:14:03   I'd rather have a slightly wasteful, slightly more expensive 8K screen at 3X than that LG thing that Marco hates.

00:14:11   The 3X theory is a nice theory, I don't buy it. If you look at what devices have 3X now, it's only the iPhone X and XS and XS Max. That's it.

00:14:26   The previous Plus phones didn't even have 3X. They rendered the 3X in the software side but then they scaled it down to the actual screen pixels so it made it between 2 and 3X.

00:14:39   And then of course all the other iPhones are always 2X. If you look at why they might have gone 3X where they did, there's a lot of other factors.

00:14:47   For instance, phones are hyper competitive and all the other phones went to nearly those densities or maybe a little bit past those densities but in the ballpark of those densities.

00:14:57   So it was hyper competitive and everyone else was in this other region so Apple maybe felt they had to meet that region.

00:15:03   The other big reason on the iPhone X and why it wasn't used on any other phone including the iPhone XR which is LCD is that the XS and XS Max are OLED.

00:15:13   And as I believe we talked about briefly a couple weeks ago, if you look at the sub pixels of an OLED screen, every pixel doesn't have every color.

00:15:22   And there's different arrangements. There's like the pen tile arrangement and there's a bunch of other ones that phones have used over the years with OLED screens.

00:15:28   And the arrangement Apple uses, every pixel contains a green and either a blue or a red but not all three.

00:15:37   And so you need this little matrix of a certain block of pixels to be able to represent all colors nicely and sharply and everything else.

00:15:44   So my theory is that they went to 3X on the iPhone X family only because it was OLED and they needed that density to make that sub pixel pattern look up to their standards.

00:15:57   If you look at other products in their line, almost everything is 2X or slightly above 2X like the Plus phones or notably for this purpose, slightly below 2X like every MacBook and MacBook Pro that's gone retina.

00:16:11   - Which is terrible.

00:16:13   - Yes it is. All of them are below 2X. All of them run in scaling modes by default ever since about 2016 or so.

00:16:21   In the case of the MacBook 2015. So basically if your MacBook has a USB-C port, it runs a scaling mode by default that runs at lower than 2X resolution because they have not changed the screen resolutions since 2012 when the retina happened.

00:16:32   And that was actually a step back from what was there before. So anyway, what really needs 2X resolution or 3X resolution rather like on the Mac is not much.

00:16:43   We can't even hit 2X on most Macs sold yet because most Macs sold are laptops and we can't even hit 2X there. So I don't see them going to 3X for a 27 to 30 inch display that sits two feet away from you.

00:16:56   I don't see that being a priority when they can't even get 2X in the laptops for four years or whatever.

00:17:04   Interestingly for televisions, I believe most of the modern sets do, rather than not having all of RGB on every pixel, every pixel has all of RGB plus a dedicated white to be able to crank up the brightness that they mix in there.

00:17:18   So obviously their pixels are huge compared to 3X on a phone or whatever. But it just goes to show that lots of different things are possible depending on your use case.

00:17:27   I'm not holding my breath for an OLED desktop screen. But boy, a 2X, 5K, iMacs iScreen that was OLED would be pretty cool for watching movies and TV and stuff.

00:17:40   Which you probably shouldn't be doing. You should probably be watching it on your actual television or on your OLED iPad. But it would be cool on a Mac too.

00:17:49   At the same price you could get a 60 inch OLED TV that has it. Exactly. And you could sit farther back from it. On a couch instead of in a computer chair.

00:17:57   And you could run webOS. You can.

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00:19:58   Alright, so there were a bunch of people who took some issue with our price increase discussion from last week.

00:20:08   And one of you thought that Stuart Lord's feedback was worth noting. So Stuart points out that the iPad launched at $500.

00:20:17   And today, the cheapest full-size iPad starts at $350. The cost of the original iPhone over two years was $1815, depending on your plan.

00:20:25   And you can get the XR at considerably less than this. But even with the cheapest AT&T plan, it's still $1995.

00:20:32   Almost the same as the $1975 two-year cost of the iPhone 3G and over $200 less than the original iPhone adjusted for inflation.

00:20:41   Similarly, the original MacBook Air started at $1799. The new MacBook Air is starting at $1199. And it's the cheapest new generation of MacBook Air has ever debuted.

00:20:51   The difference is about $300 according to Stuart, adjusted for inflation.

00:20:55   Yeah, I was surprised. There wasn't a lot of feedback like this, but there were some pushing back against the basic premise that Apple is increasing prices once you account things.

00:21:03   So the example Stuart gave I thought was interesting because they're all original products. The original iPhone, what the iPad launched at, the original MacBook Air.

00:21:11   And I think that's a pretty clear exception for two reasons. One, when things originally launch, sometimes they're pushing the envelope technologically speaking as the original MacBook Air was.

00:21:20   So there's a cost built in there, like, look, this is the first uni-body thing we're making. It's the thinnest thing we've ever made. It costs us a lot of money to make it. We have to charge a lot.

00:21:29   And second is, new product lines when they're introduced, like the iPad or the iPhone, are not yet diversified. And so the first one tends to be more towards the high end.

00:21:36   Once the line gets diversified, you know, the original iPhone compared with the iPhone XR, the iPhone XR is not the flagship phone, despite it being a really great phone.

00:21:44   The XS is. And the XR Max are the flagship phones, right? And the iPad, comparing the original iPad, that was the best iPad you could buy, period, for any amount of money.

00:21:55   And then the iPad Pro, I know it's not quite apples and oranges because the features have expanded. But still, when there is just the first one, it is necessarily expensive.

00:22:04   And you would expect down the line that there would be a more expensive iPad and a cheaper iPad. So I don't think these comparisons are straightforward.

00:22:12   And I think the price increases, it's hard to, you know, you can go through every single product and try to average it out.

00:22:19   The interesting thing, a couple people brought this up, although they weren't really pressing against the conclusion that prices are increasing.

00:22:25   But if you go back far enough, as we've pointed out on the show many times, you go back far enough, the cycles repeat, right?

00:22:30   The original, you know, no Mac available today matches the cost of like the Mac 2 FX, which is like 16 grand in today's money or something like that for the base price.

00:22:40   And the reason why Macs used to be much more expensive is just that in the semi-recent history, in living memory of the people who are on this podcast, even the young people, Apple's hardware was cheaper and has been crawling up.

00:22:58   Apple of course also says that their average selling price is increasing. That doesn't mean their hardware is becoming more expensive, they could just be selling more of the expensive models because they don't break it down at that granularity and they're not even going to tell us the number of Unix sales anymore.

00:23:10   But I think it is pretty clear that for the major product lines that Apple cares about, it's portable devices, it's Macs and it's iPhones and iPads and everything like that, that over the past couple of years there has been a substantial price increase.

00:23:25   And well, you know, the next item is also about things that might explain it.

00:23:28   Indeed. So Andy Hanson writes that Apple's pricing is high, no doubt, but eight weeks ago I got called by two technology vendors telling me that OEMs are raising prices up to 25% in 2019 because why? It's because of tariffs.

00:23:43   And so Andy says, "I've been in a purchasing role at my organization for almost nine years and he has never before received a call like this." And we'll also put a link in the show notes to a Washington Post article about tariffs and how they do or do not really to Apple.

00:23:58   Yeah, so that's the interesting part. So yes, tariffs are a thing and vendors might have prices increases and they pass that on to you, that's the way this works.

00:24:06   The Washington Post article is about how Tim Cook-Schmoozing has presented the article, but in general tech industry lobbying has managed to exclude some of Apple's, you know, flagship products from these tariffs.

00:24:20   So while tariffs surely don't help the pricing of things, it's interesting that Apple has managed to carve out some exceptions for its most important products so they aren't as affected by tariffs.

00:24:32   That's just the lovely, weird, corrupt system that we live in. I don't want to go into the politics of it, but I want to address tariffs because that is potentially a factor, but I did think it was interesting that Apple, who is obviously philosophically and fundamentally opposed to everything the current US administration stands for, is nevertheless doing what it takes to make sure it doesn't get hurt as much by this stuff as it could.

00:24:55   Oh, and it's doing what it takes to benefit from it as well. Don't forget those giant tax cuts.

00:25:01   That Tim Cook pushes for really aggressively.

00:25:03   Oh, and the repatriation of the foreign currency.

00:25:06   Yep, that too. Yep. Yeah, you know, Apple plays it, they definitely play both sides of the hand when they need to. When there's a lot of money on the table for them, they work with the administration.

00:25:18   Yep, very much so.

00:25:21   That's the platform working with might take because, God, can you imagine, just, I don't want to get too, anyway, whatever they're doing, they're making it happen for them and they are getting some of the benefits they want.

00:25:37   Indeed. And then finally, Jonathan Dietz writes in with regard to component costs, and his theory is that the number one factor is SDRAM pricing, which is currently at the center of a major price fixing lawsuit.

00:25:50   Instead of DDR4, SDRAM prices falling by almost 50% between June 2016 and February 2018, as we would expect them to, they nearly quadrupled a 280% increase.

00:25:59   The problem is exacerbated by the sheer amount of silicon Apple is putting into their products these days, and furthermore, all of Intel's prices have inched up because their transistors still cost as much as they did back in 2014 when they first moved to 14 nanometers.

00:26:14   In summary, particularly RAM, but even other things, are still just expensive and in some cases are getting more expensive over time, which is unusual.

00:26:21   Yeah, so this is tariffs and component costs, the two things we briefly mentioned but with some more concrete examples that surely are affecting Apple's prices, and yet I still say on top of all that there is a conscious decision by Apple to charge more money for some of its products.

00:26:34   Sometimes because they're new, like the iPhone X, but then they kept that price increase when the XS came along, and sometimes because of component prices and foreign currency and everything like that,

00:26:43   but I don't think all of those factors combined are enough to explain the across-the-board very large, not just 1 or 2% price increases that are way, put it this way, if these trends continue, these things will cost as much as a car in like 10 years, which is obviously untenable.

00:27:02   I'm kind of surprised that in Apple's earning calls and everything people don't ask about this because in fact they'd probably ask the opposite. Tell us what you're going to do to get more money from your customers. They're not going to say, "Why are your prices so low?"

00:27:14   There is a different constituency on those earning calls, but a lot of the other strain of feedback we got about pricing increases is from people saying, "Yeah, I usually buy Apple stuff, but I'm experiencing sticker shock."

00:27:28   They just kind of get accustomed to, like Casey was saying, buying an iPad for around $500 or $600 and they go in to get what they think is the new iPad that is more or less equivalent to their current one, but maybe a little better, and it's just so much more expensive.

00:27:40   Same thing for the MacBook Air, which obviously suffers from being the low-end model. Now the new ones come out and they are not $999 anymore, and there aren't any $999 models except for, guess what, the same MacBook Air that you could have bought before with the USB-A port on it and all that other stuff.

00:27:55   I think whether or not the price increase makes up for the customers who are priced out of the market, we'll find out when Apple does earnings, but in the meantime, some people are sad that if they're on the fringe of being priced out of the market for a particular product, they might have got pushed over the edge and they just have to wait another year and save their money.

00:28:16   Are you guys worried at all about the, I mean, we don't usually talk about the financial results and everything, but it does seem like sales are flattening, certain categories seem shaky, the massive rise of prices has to have some effect to lower volumes, and the iPhone 10 seems okay, but then you see the reports of the 10R seems to be doing horribly,

00:28:45   the whole S generation might not be doing very well, and usually these reports are BS, but this year it seems like maybe they might not be because there's more stuff going on.

00:28:52   It seems very clear that the direction that Cook has decided to take the company recently is in the absence of strong growth, they'll extract more money out of everybody, and part of that is raising prices on all the products, part of that is servicing and stuff,

00:29:09   just generally like a tightening, tightening the screws and just extracting more and more out of everybody, but that obviously has a cost, and that cost is, you're really alienating a lot of customers, you're losing some customers to some degree,

00:29:23   I don't know what degree, but certainly some customers will just say no, that's more than I will take and I'll go somewhere else.

00:29:29   Do you think this is the right move long term, or do you think this is maybe the wrong thing to do?

00:29:37   It depends on who you're asking, right? I mean obviously you're asking the two of us, but if you think of Apple as a machine to make money for the people that own even a portion of Apple,

00:29:48   you know, for shareholders and everyone else, then I think this is an inevitability, right? They've painted themselves into a bit of a corner wherein they have made so much money and they have had so much growth,

00:30:00   that in order to keep that growth and money machine moving, they're going to have to do exactly what you said, which is get more money out of each and every one of us.

00:30:09   And it seems, I could make an argument that by virtue of them kind of twisting these screws, that implies that whatever is on the horizon,

00:30:22   they don't think it's a brand new thing that's going to print them brand new money. Like let's say for the sake of discussion that Project Titan, whether or not it was ever real,

00:30:30   but they've come up with this Tesla beating electric car and they know it's right around the corner. I wonder if they would be so aggressive about ratcheting up the money machine,

00:30:40   knowing full well that we're all going to throw tens of, or maybe even $100,000 at them for a Project Titan Tesla killer.

00:30:49   But from a consumer perspective, which is what Apple claims to care about more than anything else, but in reality it's a money machine like any other company,

00:30:56   from a consumer perspective, yeah, this stinks. And I have heard, since I've become an Apple fan, I have either been the one complaining or have heard complaining about how expensive Apple stuff is as compared to everything else.

00:31:09   And I think the problem might be twofold. I think by virtue of increased complexity in everything, I think that the easy answer to, "Oh, it costs so much more," well, yes, but it also just works correctly.

00:31:24   And so I think there's, we're losing that, I almost said high ground, so now I don't know where I'm going with this because I know that's a loaded word now.

00:31:35   But we're losing that high ground in the sense that, okay, yeah, yeah, I know you could get the same PC for half as much money, but Mac OS always works and always works properly and you never have to mess with it.

00:31:45   Well, that isn't always the case anymore, and I think some of that's on Apple's shoulders because I think they just aren't doing as good a job with releasing quality software as they did in years past.

00:31:55   But I think some of that is just by virtue of being more complex. Everything is more complex now, and that's just hard. It's hard no matter who you are.

00:32:04   I forget what the other side of this coin was. I got myself wrapped around the axle. But anyway, what I'm trying to say is, from a consumer's perspective, there's not as much of a functional high ground as there used to be, and the cost is getting ever more egregious.

00:32:18   And the three of us are unlikely to break anytime soon, but maybe less enthusiastic Apple users might either hold onto their phones longer, which just makes the problem worse, or may say, "You know what?

00:32:31   Android isn't looking nearly as offensive as it used to. Maybe I should take a look at that after all."

00:32:38   And it's just, I'm a little, not worried, not scared, but I'm giving a Stephen Colbert eyebrow to this. I'm giving it a little bit of side eye because I'm not sure where this is going.

00:32:51   And somebody wrote in, I don't have the email in front of me, but somebody wrote in, actually I think it was Matthew Iglesias, I'm pretty sure it was him, had said, "Hey, I am the prototypical Apple purchaser," much like the three of us.

00:33:06   "I typically have bought iPhones every year. I typically buy Apple watches fairly commonly. I buy iPads frequently."

00:33:14   And I'm heavily paraphrasing, of course. I haven't really bought anything this year, and that's in no small part because it's just frickin' expensive. I mean, look at me. I want a XS, but I don't know if I really want to drop another $1200 on top of the iPad I've already purchased.

00:33:29   I really want an Apple Watch Series 4, but, eh, you know what, seriously, it's fine.

00:33:35   And it was not long ago that I was on the "Upgrade my iPhone every year no matter what" train, and just this year I'm like, "Eh, I'll be alright."

00:33:43   Now, some of that is because I don't exactly have the disposable income I once had, but nevertheless, it's changed the math a little bit for me.

00:33:51   The increases at the top end are actually probably a good idea, because I think the customers that purchase the high-end products, they're correctly guessing that increasing by this amount is not going to stop those people.

00:34:08   The game is like poker. How much more money do you have in your wallet, and how much of that would you be willing to put out for the latest iPhone?

00:34:15   And, you know, you don't want to guess too high, but it's probably a safe bet that you can crank up the high-end.

00:34:26   And on the Mac, which has, I would say, less market share than the phone, or certainly less important than the phone overall, but I think even less important within its market, within the market of personal computers, than the phone is within the phone market.

00:34:42   Maybe that's okay, but for the phone line, because it is such a dominant product, the numbers are so big, and despite the fact that it only has 20% market share or whatever, it still is a bigger player in its market than the Mac is in the other ones.

00:34:56   The phone has the potential to be, if not as mass-market as the iPod was, then at least more mass-market than the Mac. It already is more mass-market than the Mac, but it could be more so.

00:35:08   The other thing is not so much raising the prices at the high-end, it's raising the prices at the low-end. The whole thing is shifting to the right on the price graph, and that, I think, is leaving money on the table, because I don't think the phone, I don't think Apple should be content to push its main product upmarket and leave behind the people who can't afford $800 for a phone.

00:35:33   Apple can, and I've always said this, and I will continue to say, can make a really good phone for way less than they're currently selling a phone. They don't, but they could, and they may be afraid of account analyzing their sort of middle-of-the-road or high-end sales, but I think it's, this move is just like, make more money from the people who we're already selling to, maybe leave a few behind, but make up for it in profit.

00:35:53   I think they can do that at exactly the same time as they say, also introduce a bunch of much lower-cost phones to expand our market. They should be working to expand. They have diversified the iPhone line, which is great, but I always assumed when I talked about diversification I was calling for back when they had one phone, was that it would mean expansion to the high-end low-end, and they have expanded to the high-end low-end, but then they've taken the little Popsicle stick that's attached to their entire market and just shifted it to the right.

00:36:17   So they're expanding out from the Popsicle stick both to the right and to the left, but the whole stick is moving to the right. I don't know, I'm imagining some puppet show of Apple pricing or whatever.

00:36:24   They need to expand down market. If they're going to shift to the right like that, if they're going to go higher-end, they need to expand down market faster.

00:36:31   So if there's any turn of events that I think they should consider is, and as much as the pain has been to say, it's not so much for the Mac, because I don't think you're going to suddenly eat up all Windows PC market share any faster than you already are by going downscale on the Mac,

00:36:45   there is, as they would say, a price umbrella there, but they probably should have a lower-end Mac than they do that's decent.

00:36:49   But on the phone in particular, I think they really need to not give up and say, "Well, we're a boutique phone maker, and we don't really have…"

00:36:57   They need to go down market with the phone, because it's going to start to be untenable if your cheapest phone of any reasonable quality that's not like a two-year-old model is $600 or $700 or $800. It's just too much.

00:37:11   What do you think, Mark? You posed the question. Where do you stand on this?

00:37:14   I'm worried. It's easy to miscall Apple is Doomed. It's easy to think Apple is doing something really wrong in a big way, and then most of the time that doesn't pan out and they're doing fine and they're record profits and everything else.

00:37:34   But this is a pretty major shift over the last few years where… And I think, Jon, you have it right. It's fine to raise the bar on the high end to some degree.

00:37:44   Obviously, to raise the ceiling of the high end, that's fine. You've always been able to buy a Mac for $12,000 if you try to.

00:37:53   To raise the entry point to the high end, I'm not entirely sure that's necessarily right, because high-end buyers are buyers, too. High-end buyers have budgets, too.

00:38:06   And so if you say, "I'm a high-end buyer because I buy the 15-inch laptop," then if the 15-inch laptop starts way more expensive than it used to, that still affects you, and that can still lose customers.

00:38:20   So I don't think the entry point to the high end needs to be pushed as high as it has been, necessarily, in most of the products.

00:38:29   And I also agree that the low-end scene is pretty much not there for most of the product lines. The 329 iPad, I think, is the major exception. That is a fantastic deal.

00:38:41   With that sole exception, I don't think any of the low-end entries in any of their major product lines are very good right now. They're not very competitively priced. They're usually not very well-specced, unless you upgrade things.

00:38:54   The MacBook Air coming with 128-gig SSD is inexcusable. The iMac coming with a 5,400-rpm spinning hard drive should be illegal.

00:39:04   And there is no low-end iPhone anymore because they killed the SE, which itself was getting pretty old, and the low-end iPhone is now $800 or whatever.

00:39:14   So I don't think they are addressing the low-end enough, as John said, and I think it's almost as if Apple has totally stopped seeking market share entirely.

00:39:24   It's almost as if they've decided, "You know what? Our market share is as big as it's going to get in all these major areas, so we're just going to stop trying, and we're just going to crank up the prices on the people we already have."

00:39:33   And that is usually a terrible business idea. That's usually only good, if anything, for short-term, like quarterly or annual earnings, that usually in the long run really hurts a business.

00:39:46   Now, I know Apple knows what it's doing more than I do in this case. There's a reason why I'm not the CEO of Apple. There's lots of reasons.

00:39:54   But I don't think this is the right move to seemingly totally abandon market share growth and to only go for cranking up more profits from your existing customer base in a way that is actually costing you those customers also.

00:40:08   I don't think they have struck the right balance here at all. I really don't. They are a mass-market brand, whether they think so or not, and they need to continue to appeal to the mass market as much as possible.

00:40:20   It has taken them a decade and a half to slowly almost lose the reputation that their products were way too needlessly expensive for everybody, and now they're just going right back to that.

00:40:31   They're just throwing away that goodwill and that reputation that they make really good stuff for the money.

00:40:36   And a combination of extreme price hikes and major problems like the MacBook Pro keyboard situation I think is throwing away a lot of their reputation and turning away a lot of their customers.

00:40:49   And even if they can make more money from the high-end ones that stick around, that doesn't seem like the right move to me.

00:40:55   You mentioned the $350 iPad, and I think that's a good example of how to frame this. Some people panic when they hear the idea of Apple going down market with any of its products.

00:41:07   The $350 iPad is a great deal and a good product and proof that Apple can make a product in its current line for a reasonable price that has a good set of features. It is not a cheap tablet. Cheap tablets are $99.

00:41:19   All we're talking about is going down market for Apple. It doesn't mean suddenly they're going to be selling things for bargain-basement prices.

00:41:30   The whole trick is to make products that are more affordable than your current products but are also good Apple-quality products.

00:41:42   I talked about this a lot in an upgrade this week with Jason Snell, which is going to overlap with some of the other topics we talk about later.

00:41:48   I'll just repeat myself, but you can listen to that episode if you want to hear me drone on more about it.

00:41:54   The iPad sold to everybody. The iPad was probably the most mass-market thing Apple has ever sold.

00:42:01   But none of the iPods were just garbage. They weren't poor quality or had bad sound or could only hold three songs so they were useless.

00:42:14   They were all good for the most part, except for maybe the buttonless shuffle.

00:42:20   Even the little shuffles, which Jason didn't like but I like, you can make a product that is not cheap for an MP3 player but cheap for an iPod.

00:42:29   So the iPad is not cheap for a tablet, it's cheap for an iPad. Inexpensive, let's say.

00:42:35   But it's still a high-quality product. The thing they do with the phones is they do have cheap phones. They sell you last year's model or the year before that or whatever.

00:42:45   But that is unsatisfying to everyone involved. Maybe it's satisfying for Apple and they can keep those production lines going or whatever.

00:42:51   But it is possible and Apple should endeavor to do so to make a product with current technologies to hit a price point.

00:42:58   The XR is like that. It just happens to be the less expensive version of their high-end product.

00:43:04   The XR approach is a great example. Put in the same guts, use a cheaper screen, one camera instead of two, a little bit thicker.

00:43:12   As the XR is to the XS, so should be the insert product here to a bottom-end phone like the V8 or whatever.

00:43:22   Make a variant of an inexpensive phone that doesn't feel like an inexpensive phone. In the same way that the XR is cheaper but doesn't feel cheaper.

00:43:30   I feel like the last time I had this conversation it was before the 5C came out.

00:43:36   Maybe Apple is a little bit shy about doing that because the 5C wasn't a big success.

00:43:42   When they had cheaper laptops, we'd always hear or surmise or be able to determine that the best-selling Apple laptop is the least expensive one.

00:43:54   Apple probably didn't like that because they would like the numbers to be slightly different.

00:44:01   They don't want to sell tons and tons of the cheap one and very few of the expensive ones. They would like to change those ratios.

00:44:06   The only way you can change it is to eliminate the cheap one and see if people still buy Macs. For the most part they do and so you shift everybody up, but it's unsatisfying.

00:44:13   Maybe they fear that in the phone, that if they introduce a phone that is too good and too cheap, that it will change things in ways that the people on those financial calls are upset about.

00:44:27   Apple shouldn't be upset about it and customers wouldn't be upset about it.

00:44:31   Everyone would be like, "Your profit and revenue in ASPs or phones are going down and we don't care that your unit sales went up because we've also decided that Apple, your market share is never going to increase.

00:44:44   So if you tell me that your volumes are going down and that your ASPs are going down and you don't show me a huge dramatic market share increase, I'm going to downgrade you and your stock is going to go down.

00:44:57   I don't care what the hell the stock does. I don't think anyone should care about that. It's not a video game. The stock market is not the video game that I care about. It's about making good products.

00:45:08   What brought Apple where it is today? Hopefully they'll concentrate on that as well. To Casey's point about what their confidence and what the next big thing is, I think they continue to try to figure out what the next big thing is, whether it's the car or the AR glasses or whatever.

00:45:21   I think they're absolutely doing that. I don't know what their confidence level is or whatever, but they're doing that no matter what. That is definitely happening.

00:45:28   It's just hard to do that. It's hard to do that. It's hard to know whether you have a hit, but they are absolutely doing that. In the meantime, though, they have to take care of their current businesses and treat them well and do what's right.

00:45:38   Oh, and I finally remembered my point from before that Marco edited out my forgetting because he's a nice person.

00:45:44   Another factor in the pricing is devices lasting longer, partially because they slow down and eventual demise of Moore's law, partially because in the case of the Macs Intel specific woes about its 14nm process not being changed over to 10nm process.

00:45:59   When devices last longer, people keep them longer. They buy new devices less frequently, which means in theory they have more time to save more money.

00:46:07   And as Apple's concern, it means that if you're buying less frequently, if we keep the prices the same, we make a lot less money. So that I think is also an explanation.

00:46:14   Apple being a victim of its own success, making iPads that last ridiculously long, and new iPads not having, this is probably not great for iPads because they do have dramatic changes.

00:46:23   Let's say new Macs not being dramatically better than they were before means that people aren't as motivated to buy a new one, which means they'll just keep using their old MacBook for a long time.

00:46:33   And it's certainly that they were using a 2013 MacBook Air and it was pretty much good at everything they wanted it to do.

00:46:37   That is bad for Apple. They are a victim of the success of their own products. Partially Intel is to blame because computers aren't getting faster. Partially the slow demise of Moore's law is to blame.

00:46:49   But that's a fact of life. So that may be a thing that we have to consider, is that it could be that if the pace of performance increases, the pace of things that obviously make the products better, "Oh, I can do my work in half the time. I'll definitely buy a new computer every one and a half years."

00:47:07   As that slows down, we will all buy electronic things less often. Even Casey. Casey didn't buy a new XS. We will buy things less often. If we buy them less often to make the same money, Apple has to make them more expensive.

00:47:20   Otherwise, they're going to make less money and then there'll be a company in decline and this gets held back to the stock market video game again, I suppose.

00:47:28   You know what it is? To me, I feel like in the last 6, maybe 12 months, a company that to me appeared to be almost wholly myopically motivated by building great products, seems now to be more motivated than I'm comfortable with generating profits.

00:47:53   And some of that is my own, maybe not ignorance, but wishful thinking because again, it's a company. It's a money-making machine. Their job is to make money.

00:48:01   Now, the way that Apple chooses to make money is by making cool things, but ultimately their job is to make money.

00:48:09   And so I don't think that anything has necessarily changed, but my perception of it has changed in the last 6 to 12 months.

00:48:16   And I wonder if that's because even if the rank and file are still just as devoted to building great products as they've ever been, if not more so, it certainly seems from an outsider's point of view that the executive team, again, mostly Tim, but probably more than just Tim,

00:48:33   but the entire executive team, I would guess, is more concerned with profits or more outwardly and obviously concerned with profits than they had appeared to me to be in the past.

00:48:44   Do you guys feel the same way or am I crazy?

00:48:46   I think that's the one interpretation, but I think the more likely interpretation, especially considering the executive team, who you all sort of know from a distance well,

00:48:55   there's not a brand new crop of people in there. It's kind of all the same people that we know. Even Tim Cook is not new, especially at this point.

00:49:03   The other thing is that I think all those top people still are trying to make the best products they can make. It's just kind of how we talked about Johnny Ive's potential blind spots in his design.

00:49:14   Making the best products you can make is they're doing that, but they're ending up with more expensive products.

00:49:22   And yes, more expensive products tend to be better. It's just they're not correctly weighting pricing in their "make the best product we can make."

00:49:32   Obviously they could make better all their products if they made each one of them cost a million dollars.

00:49:36   So they're not that disconnected, but they say, "The new MacBook Air is an example." It's much more expensive than the old one. It's also much better than the old one.

00:49:46   Part of what makes a good product, though, is how many people are potential customers for this.

00:49:54   An example of how the MacBook Air could have been... There's lots of examples of how it could have been a better product, but let's take something like the SSD. We're complaining about it being 128GB and it's too small.

00:50:03   It's like, "Well, you're saying they're too expensive. You want to get a bigger SSD?"

00:50:06   For the MacBook Air, if that's going to be the lower-end laptop compared to the non-wedge-shaped ones, one thing you can do is use a slower SSD that costs you less money so you can put a bigger one in.

00:50:22   But I think the people there are like, "Let's make the best product we can." But let's not use a slower SSD. We know we have these super-fast SSDs now. Let's use the fast one and we'll just increase the price because that's a better product.

00:50:34   Obviously they are weighting the price into what makes a great product, but they're not weighting it enough. They're not thinking about...

00:50:42   The products they introduce are like, "We're proud of this product. It's really good. It's high quality. It's high performance." Maybe they're not so proud of the keyboard anymore, but everyone makes mistakes.

00:50:51   It's like, "Yeah, but I can't afford that. I could afford the old MacBook Air and the new one. Yeah, it's way better. Sure, it's way better, but now I can't afford it anymore."

00:51:00   So as good as proud of this product you might be, you need to think more about a great product that more people can buy.

00:51:10   I think everyone is still motivated to make a deal. It's kind of like when you have the ability to use the finest materials for everything. Say you're a woodworker or something and you start off just using basic oak and pine, but then you get good enough to the point where you can do justice to mahogany.

00:51:27   You're like, "I'm making everything out of mahogany from now on." It's like, "This is great. This is so much better than the crappy oak thing I made two years ago." And it is. The mahogany is more finely crafted than the oak was, but if you make everything out of mahogany, it's a better product.

00:51:39   It's more weather-resistant, it's tougher, it looks nicer. It's just nicer. We don't care about money. We're just making the best product we can make. But you're leaving people behind.

00:51:49   What good is your mahogany world if a few people can afford to buy it? Or it doesn't fit into their life the way a lighter weight, cheaper wood did?

00:52:03   I did a wood analogy instead of a car analogy. You should be proud of me for avoiding the car analogy, but I'm not sure it makes that much sense.

00:52:09   But anyway, a long-winded way of saying that I still believe that everyone in senior leadership at Apple, certainly Tim Cook is the one you argue the mostest cares most about the numbers, but certainly the lieutenants that we all know, really want to make the best products they can make.

00:52:29   They're just not giving enough weight to pricing in their calculus, maybe.

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00:54:25   So, I took an airline flight this past weekend, and I was juggling between my MacBook Pro and my iPad Pro, because I like parts of both devices on a plane. There isn't just one of those that I definitely want.

00:54:43   The MacBook Pro I had using YouTube DL. I had downloaded a whole bunch of YouTube videos to watch. I had downloaded a whole bunch of Seinfeld episodes to watch from iTunes, and I had some documents I could work on.

00:54:58   I had email I could respond to real fast with the terrible keyboard if I wanted to. I had Xcode. I could work on Overcast if I wanted to, because I never really know what I'm going to be doing on a plane ahead of time.

00:55:10   I don't like to be in my classes, but I always like to be prepared for whether I want to work or watch stuff or just geek around on Twitter or whatever. I want to be able to do whatever strikes my fancy at the time.

00:55:21   So, I don't like to just only have an iPad, because I can't do some of those things with that, but I do like having the iPad, because I can do some of those things if I want to with that.

00:55:30   So, there I was alternating different points in the flight between this almost $3,000 laptop and this $1,200 iPad.

00:55:40   There was a guy across the aisle from me who had whatever kind of surface is like the iPad Pro, where it has the tablet with the keyboard case that can be detached and the pen.

00:55:53   Not the laptop kind of surface, like the tablet kind of surface. At different points in the flight, this guy using this one device used pretty much every mode you could use on it.

00:56:02   It looked like a Microsoft commercial. He started it out in keyboard laptop mode, and he was working on some office documents or spreadsheets. I couldn't see much, but he was working on documents with a keyboard.

00:56:16   Then at some point, he detaches it and uses a pen, the surface pen, whatever it is, and is marking up a document in tablet mode for a while, for a couple hours.

00:56:27   Then, he redocks it and watches a movie on it. Here I am juggling these two devices, both of which I think are more expensive than that one device he was using.

00:56:38   There were so many years, the really good period of Macs and of Apple stuff in general, where we could look at the PC people and we could kind of laugh at them and kind of feel superior.

00:56:52   Like, "Look at the crazy things you're doing over there in PC land. It's so much nicer over here. We have things really figured out."

00:56:59   At this flight, when I'm watching this guy use one device for everything correctly, and yeah, I know it's still Windows. I know it isn't the best tablet OS or the best desktop OS.

00:57:11   But to see him using one device for everything, this was the dream. This is the dream that we keep wanting in Apple land, and it seems like it's never going to actually happen.

00:57:21   It seems like they keep trying to convince us that this shouldn't happen. I think they're wrong, but it just seems like there's this impossible dream in Apple land that we're never going to get there.

00:57:30   Whereas in Microsoft world, they're there now. It was really hard for me to see that and to not feel like the roles have reversed here and to not feel like we are now the ones who are behind in this pretty big way.

00:57:48   But Tichi doesn't feel that way. He's just got the iPad. You're the one juggling two devices. Apple would argue that you can do all those things that you're doing on the surface just on your iPad.

00:57:57   And it's probably true, it's just that you don't want to do certain things on your iPad. You feel like you're more efficient and they're better to be done on your Mac.

00:58:04   And I agree with you. I'm in your camp. I think using that hybrid solution, it lives and dies in the details.

00:58:14   I personally would probably be more comfortable using a fancy iPad Pro as my only thing than trying to do the same stuff on the surface for the same reason that you would.

00:58:21   Because we're all familiar with iOS applications so much more than we are Windows, especially how Windows behaves on a weird tablet-y thing.

00:58:28   But Microsoft is certainly in a better place in the abstract, if not in the concrete details of what they're doing.

00:58:36   They don't have two different operating systems, albeit built on the same base with two very different UIs. They have this weird hybrid thing that sounds better, but I think in practice has a few problems.

00:58:47   But I see where you're coming from, especially with the pricing, where juggling two more expensive devices.

00:58:52   Would you feel better if you were Viticci and you just had one device that was twice as expensive or three times as expensive and you were both just sitting there using tablets and folding them into different origami shapes and using the pencil and swiping all over the screen?

00:59:05   Because that's the Apple of today. Do the same thing as people with non-Apple devices at twice to three times the cost, but it's also better.

00:59:12   See, in that moment, I didn't feel like it was better. In that moment, as I'm juggling two devices with two batteries and two purchases I had to make, two devices I have to keep updated.

00:59:23   Yeah, that's because you're using two devices, but pretend you were just using your iPad.

00:59:27   Yeah, I mean, that would be fine. I could just use my iPad, but then I couldn't do a lot of things that I want to do. So it's hard.

00:59:36   Until the iPad, sorry, I should say until and unless the iPad gets the ability to do everything I want to do, then I'm going to have this problem.

00:59:47   Ultimately, what I decided afterwards is next trip, I don't think I'm going to bring my iPad, which I know is the opposite of what I said literally here a week ago.

00:59:56   But if I have to just pick one, like bringing two was so cumbersome, so heavy, so expensive, so clunky, and it was just a pain.

01:00:07   And if I'm only going to have one, I want the one that can do an okay job at everything instead of a better job at a smaller number of things.

01:00:18   And that's kind of a metaphor for this whole Windows divide. The Windows world makes devices that, yeah, they're not as good as Macs at being laptops, and they're not as good, well, except for the keyboards, and they're not as good as iPads at being tablets.

01:00:34   But you do get one device that can do all the things, and that has value even if it isn't as good.

01:00:41   And this is why I wish Apple would kind of suck up their pride a little bit in this area and be willing to make some compromises in the kind of no-touching zone they have right now between the Mac and the iPad.

01:00:53   This divide is hurting customers pretty badly at this point, and it's making them look ancient compared to the rest of the technology industry.

01:01:03   Have you considered suffering from motion sickness to the point where you can't look at screens on the plane, thus solving this problem entirely?

01:01:11   I'm not saying I recommend it, but I am saying that it will eliminate this problem.

01:01:16   And that's probably easier than an Apple making a touch Mac.

01:01:20   You know, I think the problem is, it appears to me that Apple is working towards an aspirational future, and Microsoft is doing what they can to embrace reality today, and that is, the reality of today is that we don't have Xcode on the iPad.

01:01:39   And not to say that that's the only thing that requires you to bring a computer, but I think it's safe to say, and correct me if I'm wrong, that that's a big reason you brought your computer, is so that if you decide to work on Overcast or any other sort of coding exercise, then you need a computer to do it.

01:01:54   You can't really do that on the iPad.

01:01:56   And so, I think Apple is working towards this aspirational future where, of course, you would have two devices, Marco, why wouldn't you?

01:02:03   You would just use the device that's best suited for the particular thing you're trying to accomplish, whereas by comparison, Microsoft is just saying, "Hey, look, there are times that you're going to want a tablet-y thing, there are times you're going to want a computer-y thing, and we will try our best to embrace all of those times with one device."

01:02:22   And I think, as you had alluded to earlier, there's a lot of compromises there, but certainly I think all three of us can understand the appeal.

01:02:32   And what I wonder is, let's suppose in this completely fantasy future that you had a completely workable, even if it looks very different than today, but a completely workable version of Xcode that you could use on the iPad.

01:02:46   Like, if you could have coded Overcast things on the iPad, would that have been sufficient?

01:02:53   And again, assuming that you wouldn't have to give up on all the things that we all know you would have to give up on in this fantasy world, would that have been enough?

01:03:01   Probably, yeah. I mean, there are certain things I still like the Mac better for, things like the file management and the hacks like YouTube DL and everything that actually run at full speed, and things like that.

01:03:11   Even just the ergonomics of it, part of what we did on the plane was I set up my laptop between the two seats, like leaning on the armrest, and we watched Seinfeld together with a headphone splitter cable with our two Bluetooth-expensive headphones.

01:03:29   Because as far as I know, there's no way for two people with Bluetooth headphones to split a signal and listen to the same thing at the same time, wirelessly. Correct me if I'm wrong.

01:03:38   Anyway, so we had to go back to the 100-year-old technology of the headphone splitter cable.

01:03:45   And as I was doing that, I'm like, first of all, this is wonderful because we can plug this into a headphone jack, which was nice.

01:03:53   And second of all, we could adjust the screen to any angle, which you can do with a laptop and you can't do with an iPad.

01:04:00   I realized this is actually the better device for what I'm doing right now, but I still missed some of the things about the iPad.

01:04:08   I think this is just going to be a really annoying, unresolved conflict that we have had for a while now and that we're just going to have for the foreseeable future. Some people can use just laptops, some people can use just iPads, but probably more people fall somewhere in the middle, where neither device solves all of their ideal scenarios and needs.

01:04:34   And they either have to have both, which is cumbersome and very expensive, or just pick one or the other, which in that case, usually the laptop would win, and then miss out on all the stuff that the other thing could have gotten them.

01:04:46   Whereas people in Windows Land don't seem like they have this problem. They have other problems, but they don't seem like they have this one.

01:04:52   Well, that's the thing, right? Is that there are compromises across the board. I would argue, and maybe not everyone would, but I would argue that Windows is a compromise.

01:05:03   Well, fair. For us, having two different devices is a compromise, but there's compromises everywhere. And I hope that sometime sooner rather than later, we reach this utopia wherein there are fewer compromises and maybe just an iPad would be enough.

01:05:22   And I feel like we're channeling our inner Steve Trout and Smith in talking about this, because he's been banging this drum a long time, that really this artificial separation between these two platforms is entirely that.

01:05:36   It's artificial, and there's no reason that we can't or shouldn't have a touch version of macOS. And yes, I can rattle off a thousand reasons why not, but if you just take the theory for a second, there's no reason we can't have a touch version of macOS,

01:05:51   and we can't do iOS-y things on the Mac or vice versa. And I understand now more than ever what you're saying, Marco, and what Steve has been saying for a long time.

01:06:04   So one of the first articles I wrote for Macworld magazine back when they were actually a paper magazine, I think it was after WWDC, and it was mostly sad that there weren't more Mac announcements. This was around the time of Lion, I think, 10.7.

01:06:22   The two things I asked for in the space-constrained old world of paper, like I didn't have enough room to be my normal verbose self, one was the modern file system, and I got that one. Hey, one for me. It only took eight years.

01:06:36   And the other one was, the heading title at least, is a touchscreen Mac. And what I described there was my attempt back in 2010 to rationalize the state of affairs with Apple's OSes with exactly what Marco described, the need to do those two kinds of things, but not to have two devices.

01:06:58   And the point of affairs was this, iOS, which is a touch thing, and the iPad was a thing, right? And you've got the Mac being the Mac. And what I describe is a product that I think I say at the end that Apple's obviously never going to make this, but I'm trying to address a problem.

01:07:13   Can you make the Mac operating system touch savvy? Yeah, eventually, but right now it isn't. So your solution can't be, oh, just make a Mac, but then have it have a touchscreen, because that doesn't solve anything. And it also doesn't solve the thing, like, what about when I want to use it as a tablet?

01:07:29   What I describe is basically a laptop that can fold back on itself. And the weird thing I'm proposing as a way to take the pieces that were available at the time and make something somewhat rational is that when you use it like a Mac laptop, it works like a Mac laptop.

01:07:46   When it folds it back onto itself into tablet mode, it works like an iPad, as in it runs iOS, right? So it's a single machine that basically is Marco's laptop with a real hinge and everything running Mac OS, and also is his iPad with iOS, right?

01:08:04   So that's, you know, obviously Apple's not going to make something like that, this weird Frankenstein two operating systems at once, but what I was getting at with the description of this product is that at the time, 2010, it's still mostly true today, what they've got are two operating systems that work well in two different contexts.

01:08:21   And I think both of them work better in their context than a hybrid solution of sort of smooshing them together does, because iOS is great for touch, better than Mac OS ever would be, but it's never going to match the functionality of the Mac if they stay in their separate camps.

01:08:35   And eight years later, they're still kind of in their own separate lanes. So we're not really any closer to a solution. They're, in theory, coming towards each other with marzipan, they're crossing over the bridge, but it's more like they're across a canyon throwing boulders at each other, but they're not really coming together.

01:08:50   Right? And so one solution, okay, if you can't come together, then fine, I will literally have Marco's single device where you're an iPad, you're a laptop, you're an iPad, you're a laptop.

01:09:00   And yeah, they're totally different. It's like, well, what, it's like a totally different device. When I fold it over, I don't even see my Mac stuff. I just see my, yeah, because that's what Apple's got now. They've got an operating system that works great for touch and one that works great on laptops and none that works great on both.

01:09:13   So yeah, again, this was one of the stranger articles I wrote because I described this thing and say this is not something Apple can or should or would ever make.

01:09:22   But if I had more words and more time, I would have said, what I'm doing is highlighting the problem that Apple faces. This is the thing people want to do.

01:09:30   They don't want to do it with the compromise that is Windows, right? And certainly Mac users don't. But they do want to use a tablet and use a laptop and have each one be good at what they do.

01:09:41   So I think the other thing is, I think, is that Apple is only a little bit closer. Depends on who you are. Again, that's why I mentioned Vititi. Some people have gone all in on the iPad and they use it for all their work and they're very happy people and they're much less grouchy than we are.

01:09:52   Although they're still grouchy about the slow progress of the iPad, but I don't see them slinging their laptop and an iPad back and forth on a single flight to do what Marko was doing.

01:10:03   We are, because we have old habits or because we have needs that are just not met, you know, again Xcode, that's just a need that's just not met, period, regardless of how well I have it.

01:10:11   We are not served by what Apple offers quite yet. And I don't want to turn this into another Mars bank conversation, but for all our discussions of that, I feel like that is one of the biggest steps Apple has taken in the direction of crossing this divide.

01:10:28   They're hurling much larger, spikier boulders across the divide and maybe they'll end up forming some kind of land bridge from the dead bodies that accumulate, the dead bodies of Mars event apps that accumulate and maybe someday people will be able to walk across and populate North America.

01:10:42   God, this analogy got away from me.

01:10:44   Oh man. Yeah, it's an interesting point, Marko, and I hadn't really thought of it that way until you brought it up. But yeah, you pretty much did witness a Microsoft commercial.

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01:12:26   [Music]

01:12:29   Starting off Ask ATP, Matt Christensen writes, "I just watched a video about endianness, which I'll explain momentarily, and my mind is still reeling that all systems aren't the same.

01:12:40   When I was grappling with it, I thought, I bet Syracuse has interesting, entertaining, or strong opinions on this.

01:12:45   So, John, would you like to explain endianness or would you like me to fumble through an explanation and then I would like to hear your opinions about this?"

01:12:52   I would like you to explain it because I always, I can never remember which is which.

01:12:57   So I hope you do and/or are referencing something that will tell you which is which.

01:13:01   Let's see how I do. So if you have a series of, if you have a number stored in binary, so it's nothing but ones and zeros,

01:13:09   you have to choose if the position that indicates a whole lot is at the front or the back.

01:13:16   So if you think about binary, it's one, then two, then four, then eight, then sixteen, thirty-two, etc.

01:13:20   So I just did little endian. I said one, two, four, eight, sixteen.

01:13:25   Big endian is the reverse. The very first digit would be sixteen, then eight, then four, then two, then one.

01:13:33   And the key is that either one of these is pretty much equally acceptable, but you have to agree on which one you're going to use.

01:13:40   And within an individual system that's not very difficult, generally speaking, but if you're communicating to other systems,

01:13:47   those systems need to agree that we are going to go all in on either big endian, eight, four, two, one, or little endian, one, two, four, eight.

01:13:56   So assuming that description was mostly okay, John, what are your thoughts on this?

01:14:02   I think the one piece from that explanation that's missing and why we have to pick an order like this at all has to do,

01:14:07   and we'll link the Wikipedia page, which will do a better job than we will explain this hopefully,

01:14:12   but what we're talking about is storing numbers in memory.

01:14:15   And memory is addressable, but it's not addressable at the bit level. It's addressable in chunks, usually at the byte level.

01:14:23   So if you have a number that is bigger than a byte, a byte is only eight bits, it only goes up to 255, right?

01:14:30   So you have to put it somewhere in memory, and memory addresses are by bytes.

01:14:35   You can't pick an address and say, "Oh, it's going to go in address two."

01:14:38   It's like, well, it can't fit there. The address two is just a byte long, and you've got this number 5,000 that's too big. It doesn't fit in a byte.

01:14:44   So how are you going to take that number 5,000 and break it up into pieces?

01:14:48   And like Casey said, okay, well, you can take the number into two pieces and put the first piece in one address,

01:14:54   but then where do you put the second piece? Do you put the second piece in the address that is one more than that address?

01:14:59   Or the address that is one less?

01:15:01   So Matt asks if I have a strong opinion on this.

01:15:05   The interesting thing about endianness is if you have a computer science background or end up working on hardware or anything,

01:15:13   where you have to be aware of the endianness, like if you work in assembler or you do anything sort of low level like that,

01:15:21   both arrangements make sense depending on your point of view and depending on what you consider.

01:15:27   Like it's not like GIF or GIF where there's one obvious answer.

01:15:30   It's GIF.

01:15:32   Yeah, exactly. But for endianness, depending on how you look at it, you can make strong arguments for both arrangements.

01:15:38   And depending on what you're doing, say you're writing assembly, one arrangement may seem so much more natural than the other.

01:15:45   But then when you're writing C, the other arrangement will seem so much more natural.

01:15:48   And then when you're making your own CPU out of gates in some logic program,

01:15:53   then the other arrangement seems like there is no strong right answer,

01:15:57   which is why we have chips going in multiple different directions.

01:16:00   And in fact, PowerPC could switch endianness, which is really cool.

01:16:03   PowerPC was a great architecture, thwarted by some bad business arrangements.

01:16:07   But anyway, yeah, so no one is more right than the other.

01:16:11   The choice is mostly arbitrary.

01:16:14   If you always comment it from a particular perspective,

01:16:17   I can see having a strong opinion that one way is the obvious right way.

01:16:21   But I have, at various times in my life, been convinced that either big endian or little endian is the obvious right way,

01:16:28   and now I recognize that it really just depends on your perspective, and it's mostly arbitrary.

01:16:32   Marco, any other thoughts on this?

01:16:34   From a hardware point of view, I can see the argument of, well, it doesn't matter, they both have pluses and minuses.

01:16:41   Once you're above that, though, in regular languages, and you're dealing with bytes,

01:16:45   and especially if you need to do any bitwise operations on numbers and everything,

01:16:50   anything other than big endian is a pain in the butt.

01:16:53   Big endian is how people would assume things would be arranged in memory.

01:16:57   When humans have numbers, and you move on to multiple digits,

01:17:02   the largest digit goes on the left, and the smaller digits go on the right.

01:17:07   Conceptually, big endian is the computer version of that.

01:17:13   That's how you would expect things to work.

01:17:17   If you have to do any operations on binary data, that's how you expect it to work by default.

01:17:23   In fact, I think computing history has proven out that big endian is the better or proper way to do it.

01:17:31   Little endian has pretty much only been used by Intel in the mass market, in recent modern computer history.

01:17:40   There's a reason why nothing else uses it by default, because it isn't the best way to do it.

01:17:46   Despite what John said, trying to defend them both, I fall hard on the big endian side.

01:17:51   There's a reason why every modern architecture either only is big endian, or is big endian by default,

01:17:58   and there's a reason why almost every binary file format specifies that it must be written in big endian.

01:18:04   If you're working at a lower level, and obviously you're coming at a higher level,

01:18:08   and as time goes on, more and more people are working at a higher level,

01:18:11   but if you work at a lower level, sometimes little endian makes the most sense,

01:18:15   because you're not dealing with numbers, you're dealing with values and addresses,

01:18:21   and having the addresses go up as you go farther, you go bigger in the number,

01:18:29   the smallest part is in the first address, then you get bigger and bigger and bigger,

01:18:32   and the bigger the number you get, the more that value extends into memory starting from the address that you specified.

01:18:38   It can make more sense in that context, but that's what I'm saying at various times in life, both have made sense.

01:18:44   I suppose the trend towards higher levels of abstraction means that maybe big endian starts to dominate and make the most sense,

01:18:51   but there's more complications in terms of how the numbers are actually stored,

01:18:57   whether they're stored in two's complement or whatever in binary.

01:19:00   You're at such a high level that it seems to make more sense, basically,

01:19:04   where you can find the address of the number and how it's arrayed,

01:19:07   but if you get down to the actual values stored in memory,

01:19:12   you're not getting what you're seeing in your high level language either.

01:19:14   I feel like at the point where you're not really connected to what's going on,

01:19:17   you don't care what the abstraction is, you just want to dump out your values in your symbolic debugger

01:19:22   and see the numbers get printed.

01:19:24   For bitwise operations and stuff, the library is just taking care of that for you anyway.

01:19:28   David Beck writes, "I often hear you guys talk about how much better a real camera is than an iPhone,

01:19:34   but I can't get my 10-year-old DSLR to take anything as good as my iPhone.

01:19:38   Do I need a newer camera?

01:19:41   I can start to learn to use a real camera properly."

01:19:43   I kind of wonder about this, especially when it comes to low-light photography,

01:19:48   because I don't have one of those super fancy-pants Sony cameras like Marco and Steven Hackett do,

01:19:53   but for my eyes, I don't think that even the fake bokeh of portrait mode has come anywhere close to as good as a real camera with real glass.

01:20:07   My camera is a... I actually just upgraded my body to the more recent version of the one I already had.

01:20:12   I have an Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III, which is a Micro Four Thirds camera,

01:20:16   which means it's not physically that terribly large, but it has interchangeable lenses, so on and so forth.

01:20:21   The camera body I just paid $500 for, and I'm using four-year-old lenses that are like...

01:20:27   Each of them was between $500 and $1,000.

01:20:30   So this is not a small sum of money by any stretch of the imagination,

01:20:34   but you could spend around $1,000 and get a really, really good picture from this camera without too much effort.

01:20:43   I don't remember if it was Marco or maybe Tiff, actually, or Sean Blanc who recommended this whole setup to me initially,

01:20:50   but one of you guys said, "Shoot in aperture priority."

01:20:53   So that's where you tell the camera how wide open you want the aperture to be, and then it takes care of the rest.

01:21:01   The speed, the ISO, and all the other paraphernalia that needs to be decided.

01:21:05   That's still, to this day, four years on, mostly what I do.

01:21:08   Granted, I'm not a great photographer, but I can take some pretty darn good pictures.

01:21:12   To my eye, they are clearly better than my iPhone.

01:21:16   That is my short-shore version of, "Yes, I do think big cameras are better, and here's how you do it."

01:21:23   I would like to save Marco for last because I think you have probably the most thoughts and most useful help.

01:21:30   What do you think about this?

01:21:31   Practically speaking, if you don't look too close to the pictures, and you're not going for something that the iPhone can't do,

01:21:38   it is possible that the iPhone is taking sort of bitter, just random snapshots of things because of all the computational photography stuff that it's doing,

01:21:46   where it's just processing your picture to get something that overall looks nice to you.

01:21:51   But there are so many things that a phone camera just can't do because the sensor is too small and the glass is too small.

01:21:59   All those effects that are being simulated on the phone, you can get for real on your camera.

01:22:03   Maybe if you don't notice a difference, it doesn't mean it's not there, but maybe that just means you don't care about that difference.

01:22:09   You should be able to get, with a real camera, with a big sensor, photos with real blur, a shallower depth of field.

01:22:18   They should be sharper in the detail area, and there should be less noise.

01:22:22   And they should also be able to shoot in lower light.

01:22:25   The Pixel thing is with that night sight thing where it's super amazingly used for computational photography to take pictures that you can practically see at night.

01:22:32   To do that, if you zoom in on those pictures, the computational photography isn't perfect.

01:22:38   It's noisy, it's strange, there are some artifacts here and there.

01:22:41   If you're far enough away from the picture, you don't care, it just looks amazing.

01:22:44   But again, as in the case with the simulated depth of field stuff, a real camera with a big sensor and big glass can do that for real,

01:22:53   and it is so much better than the simulated thing.

01:22:59   In the same way that actually having a big sensor that gathers tons of light because it's really big takes better low-light photographs than a tiny sensor plus a really complicated CPU to salvage the same amount of light from the photo.

01:23:16   Especially if something is moving, for example, because there's only so much the phone camera with this tiny sensor can do computationally if something is fast-moving in dim lighting.

01:23:24   So I'm not sure exactly what camera this person has, but there are things you can do with a real camera that you just can't do with an iPhone just for physics reasons.

01:23:36   If you don't care about that as anything, ditch the thing and just take it with the phone.

01:23:40   But if you do care, you will definitely be able to take better pictures with your real camera.

01:23:45   All right, Marco, teach us.

01:23:47   Honestly, you guys covered it pretty well already. There's a lot of advantages to iPhone photography and to modern smartphone photography that real cameras, quote, "real cameras" either can't catch up with, haven't caught up with, or probably will never catch up with.

01:24:02   And it's mostly in just the sheer processing power, like the smartness of them.

01:24:09   And also there's lots of convenience reasons behind them, like the fact that you can take a picture and immediately send it to somebody or post it to a social thing or whatever.

01:24:16   That's a level of convenience that you just can't get with regular cameras, no matter how many weird little Wi-Fi features that you tack into them.

01:24:23   And so there's a lot of convenience attributes. But even just from a photo quality perspective, using the algorithms and using the smarts of modern phone technology and machine learning and everything else, things that other cameras probably won't get,

01:24:38   or at least won't be able to catch up with or keep up with, allows you to, if you have good input conditions, and if what you want is fairly mainstream needs.

01:24:51   So your iPhone only has two lenses at most, so if you need a different focal length, a different perspective, more reach, you're kind of out of luck, unless you go into weird attachments and everything, but you're pretty much out of luck there.

01:25:07   But if what you need is mainstream, and if you're somewhere that has pretty good light and has pretty good conditions, and your subject isn't moving too fast, and you don't need to print it at some massive size, then your iPhone is going to be just fine.

01:25:24   Where other cameras can really excel is if those conditions aren't met, if you don't have a ton of light, if you don't want the exact same one to two perspectives that the phone can offer you, if you need different optical characteristics, just different composition styles, different creativity styles, if you need high resolution, if you need really good performance and low light.

01:25:49   All those things are things that the phone cameras can attempt to use some of their smarts to overcome their limitations, but tend to not do very well, or at least it tends to just not be the same.

01:26:03   And so there's always going to be room for dedicated cameras to use both physics and to use their versatility and customizability to their advantage in areas that smartphones just can't.

01:26:27   And if one of it costs another $3,000, it's kind of crazy. But there are just certain things with physics and economics and practicality that the phones just can't do. No matter how good they get, they just can't do.

01:26:42   What they do is increasingly good enough for increasingly more and more situations, but there are still going to be things they can't do. Now, if you're not getting good results on your big camera, and you are getting good results on your phone, that could be, you know, I mean, if you go old enough, you know, he's at a 10-year-old DSLR, if you go old enough, then yeah, you are going to start to see things like noise and things have gotten better.

01:27:11   But there's a lot of attributes of successful photo taking that don't have to do with the hardware necessarily or at least directly. A lot of times it's just about, like, settings, it's about technique, it's about, you know, just technical aspects like was the picture properly focused?

01:27:30   Were you focused on what you want it to be or were you focused on, like, someone's ear instead of their eye or whatever? Or was the subject moving fast enough such that your, you know, 1/200 shutter speed wasn't actually fast enough to capture their motion very well or got a little bit blurry?

01:27:45   Or focused on where they were, then they moved and you took the picture and, you know, like, they moved between when it focused and when the shutter fired or whatever. Or, you know, are you cranking up an old sensor to a noise level that it's not very good at in order to, you know, use the light you have with the speed you need?

01:28:06   There's all sorts of, like, technical considerations here and this is why, like, one of the reasons why I love my Sony and I went through this whole thing when I briefly went to the Canon and then came back to the Sony and I went through this whole thing here about, like, the Sony allows me a really high hit rate.

01:28:22   And it's because of a few technical factors. It's because it has a really good autofocus engine. It has in-body stabilization, so basically it's always stabilized so I can take slower shots. Or with faster motion, I can crank up the ISO so that it takes really, really fast speeds even in low light and then I can freeze motion better and keep that in focus.

01:28:42   There's technical attributes of it that make these shots better or worse or increase your hit rate more or less. Whereas the iPhone, your hit rate can be way higher even though it's much more limited because the iPhone is way smarter about things like focus and cranking up the ISO to whatever the heck it needs to be to get you the shot even if your resulting picture ends up being, like, a real watercolor blurry mess.

01:29:09   So to give some examples, like, so you don't have to get that esoteric where phone cameras are just not good and I see it all the time. If you have kids in school, sometimes your kid's in assembly, sometimes they're playing in the band, sometimes they're on a sporting field.

01:29:26   In those situations where I'm surrounded by a bunch of other parents, you see them all take out their phones, you see them all hold up their phones and try to get the shot, whether they're taking video or still images, the shot of their kid up on the stage, the shot of their kid playing in the soccer game or whatever, and you get nothing.

01:29:42   You can't take a picture of your kid on the soccer field with your phone, even in 2X mode. They just look like a speck, right? You can't get a decent picture of your kid up there playing their musical instrument unless you're in the front row. Otherwise you just get the whole stage and you have to circle their tiny little blurry head because it's dim and everything is noisy.

01:30:02   Everyone is there holding their phone up, hoping against hope that they're going to get a picture. Even something as simple as your kid's walking down the aisle for graduation, right? Graduation from elementary school, all the parents have their phones out there.

01:30:12   They're within touching distance of their kid. Their kid is walking by them, walking down the aisle. Surely this is ideal for your phone to get a good picture, but because the lights were dim because the slideshow was on and because the kids are walking sometimes a little bit too quickly, everybody's blurry and noisy.

01:30:28   Even the Pixel Night Vision thing is not going to save you from that. These are not strange scenarios you won't find yourself in. If you have kids in school, you will want to take pictures of them at assemblies, graduating, and sporting events.

01:30:39   You basically need a camera to get pictures that anyone is going to see and go, "Oh, that's a good picture," or even be able to recognize or find your child because they're just zoomed out too far and the sensors are just too small.

01:30:52   It pains me to see everybody holding up their phones trying to get pictures because I know none of those pictures are coming out. I do it myself sometimes. I don't have my big camera because it's a pass that I carry around with you. All I have is my phone and I give it a try.

01:31:03   That's why we get excited about things like the XS with all its HDR stuff or get excited about the Google's Night Vision thing because it lets people get something salvageable from situations where previously you got nothing.

01:31:17   But still, there's a huge gap, especially when your kids are far away. Big cameras are a pain in the butt, but they definitely have their uses.

01:31:25   Finally, Brent Trout writes, "What are the highest value food items measured in quality versus effort? For instance, you mentioned canned cranberries for Thanksgiving, or the tubes of Toll House cookies aren't the greatest, but they're so easy to make.

01:31:41   I will amend this slightly, which will not satisfy Mr. Syracuse, but I will say something that you get at a restaurant doesn't count.

01:31:48   Going to a restaurant is obviously the easiest way to get a really great tasting dish for sometimes not a lot of money.

01:31:56   Leaving aside restaurants, something that you can do at home. John, do you need any other clarifications or are you capable of answering this question?

01:32:04   What is your interpretation of highest value food item measured in quality versus effort?

01:32:12   The effort we're talking about is the effort that it would require for you to prepare it because we're eliminating restaurants.

01:32:17   You have to prepare this. The ideal one would be it has no preparation or very little preparation and it's really, really good.

01:32:28   So that's what we're looking for, right?

01:32:31   Cranberries, I'm not personally a fan of this, but you just open the can, you let it drop onto the plate, and you have arguably a delicious cranberry thing that you've taken virtually no time to prepare.

01:32:43   Does nutrition count here? Because like, ice cream would be an obvious one, right? Like you open up the tub and you eat ice cream and it's really good.

01:32:50   You don't even need a bowl, you just need a spoon.

01:32:52   That actually is a very good answer and I would say that nutrition does not count.

01:32:58   I was having trouble coming up with some of these, although I was the one who put this in the show notes.

01:33:02   There were two answers that some endear to my heart, but I don't want to name him or her unless they get all the crap that I usually get.

01:33:12   But anyways, Aaron said the latkes from Trader Joe's, which I think are delicious, and it's Hanukkah time, and so Aaron made latkes and matzo ball soup on Monday, which was delicious.

01:33:26   Trader Joe's has frozen latkes that I think are excellent and they have the advantage of not making your house smell like fried potato after having cooked them if you cook them from scratch.

01:33:35   That's not an advantage, that's a disadvantage. I love that smell.

01:33:39   Oh, but it never leaves. The problem is it never leaves.

01:33:42   I don't like when the smell of cooking lasts longer than the meal does.

01:33:47   Thank you.

01:33:48   I don't want to be going to bed at 11 o'clock at night still smelling what I cooked four hours ago.

01:33:53   Notable exception, bacon. But otherwise I agree with you.

01:33:56   And then I will read what Aaron said verbatim. Well, we've talked about this, right? Do you pronounce it manakati or manugat?

01:34:05   I avoid saying it so I avoid the issue because no one in my family can agree on what the correct pronunciation is and I don't want to embarrass myself.

01:34:12   See, also the cheese and lasagna that begins with an R.

01:34:16   Yeah, yeah, yeah. Aaron said the manakati from Costco, although then she adds, "though maybe you don't want to say that one with John listening."

01:34:24   Which I think was very astute of her.

01:34:26   I was going to say based on your Thanksgiving dinner, your family's, the effort required to prepare all your family's favorites seems very low.

01:34:33   That is true. Ooh, stove top, actually stove top. I know you're going to chew me out for this, but that's a good one as well.

01:34:40   And finally, I think it's also Trader Joe's makes some really good bean burritos that you just pop in the microwave from the freezer that I also think are quite, quite tasty.

01:34:48   So those are my admittedly terrible answers.

01:34:51   John, I would like to save you for last. Marco, other than ice cream, which I think was a great answer, any thoughts here?

01:34:57   Beer and nuts.

01:35:00   Ah, nuts, I don't know. I feel like if I'm going to let ice cream be okay, nuts should be okay as well. I guess, yeah, especially if they're roasted. Alright, alright, I've convinced myself that's allowable.

01:35:11   Which nuts though? Nuts is a big category.

01:35:14   Well, let's see, if we're doing low effort, see, normally I would have put pistachios pretty high, but you do have to bust them out of the shells.

01:35:22   Oh, but that's part of the fun though.

01:35:25   I would say cashews slightly pass them. So cashews are my number one nut. Roasted and salted, but not too salted.

01:35:32   So my favorite cashew vendor, which is nuts.com, they have a 50% less salt cashew option, and that's my favorite one.

01:35:39   How do you feel about Macadamias before we move on from nuts?

01:35:42   They're good. They're not like my favorites, but I like them. They're fine.

01:35:47   I can't even picture them. I've heard of them a million times. I'm sure I've had them in the past.

01:35:52   It's the nut that's always in the white chocolate cookies at fast food places.

01:35:55   Here's how you can tell macadamia nuts. When you buy a mixed nut thing, it's the nut that you cannot find because there's three of them in the whole container.

01:36:02   So we almost never buy a mixed nut thing. We typically buy pistachios for sure, and occasionally just peanuts. Fair enough.

01:36:12   I'm looking at the Wikipedia page. I'm sure I've had these in the past, but I don't remember what they taste like.

01:36:15   You've never had a white chocolate macadamia nut cookie at Subway or anything?

01:36:18   Again, I'm sure I have.

01:36:21   If you've ever had a white chocolate chip cookie from a fast food thing, it most likely had macadamia nuts in there too.

01:36:27   They're good. I find their texture more interesting than their flavor.

01:36:32   When you buy them, they kind of fall apart in a shale kind of feel. It's really weird, but it's a very pleasant crunch that they have.

01:36:41   All right, Jon. Best quality versus effort?

01:36:45   Marco's ice cream thing was a good pick because that is a very high quality item.

01:36:51   I was thinking more in terms of... I don't know. This is going to sound pretentious and obnoxious. I'll go with my slightly less pretentious and I'll go to the more pretentious one after.

01:37:02   My initial instinct was Parmesan cheese. Parmigiano-Reggiano.

01:37:08   I wouldn't do anything except for grate it, and it is amazing. I feel like it has the highest value for lowest.

01:37:17   It has very high value, really elevates anything that it's in. It's so much better than the weird imitation versions that most people have in America.

01:37:28   And price is not a factor, so I don't have to worry about that.

01:37:30   But even more, you could say this is not a processed food. Cheese is a processed food.

01:37:37   I would go into not processing ice cream to that degree also.

01:37:40   Really high value. This is situational, right?

01:37:44   In the middle of summer, whenever strawberries are in season, just a strawberry by itself. A really good strawberry. Tremendous value.

01:37:53   No effort. You just put it in your mouth and eat it. That's what I'm thinking of.

01:37:59   So it's either Parmesan cheese or a really, really good strawberry.

01:38:03   That was pretentious?

01:38:06   No, just a strawberry by itself.

01:38:08   You get a British accent. I mean, relative to our meals, I had beer, nuts, and ice cream, and you had a microwave burrito.

01:38:15   Yeah. I feel like, Hazy, you were thinking of what's a thing I can buy in a store that is a finished meal that I can eat that's pretty good.

01:38:22   And I was thinking, what is a food product or even what you would consider an ingredient that just by itself, without you doing anything to it, don't cut it, don't slice it.

01:38:32   It's just amazing. Parmesan gets in there because it is a processed thing and you do have to somehow grate it or take pieces off of it and put it into your thing, but it is really one of my favorite foods.

01:38:40   I think out of our three picks here, I would wager that most people would be happiest having mine.

01:38:46   Yeah, I would agree. Absolutely.

01:38:48   You're putting alcohol to get them dazed so they can deal with a bunch of low-quality nuts.

01:38:54   I get really good nuts.

01:38:58   Ice cream everyone would probably be happiest with, but I think people would be unwise to pass up my idealized strawberry because an amazing strawberry, not just a random strawberry.

01:39:08   Random strawberry is like, meh, whatever. But an amazing strawberry is a thing to behold and you can get those other things anytime.

01:39:16   If you have a choice of beer, nuts, a bunch of things wrapped in plastic that Casey likes, or ice cream, or the amazing perfect in-season strawberry, you should go for the strawberry.

01:39:28   Because other things will still be there when you're done, but when are you going to get a chance for this perfect strawberry?

01:39:32   I'd take the handful of cashews every time.

01:39:34   Let me give you another answer. I think that one could find a reasonable interpretation of your pie of choice.

01:39:45   Now, I know that I am deeply of the belief that Aaron makes a tremendous apple pie. I know that Marco, you believe that Tiff makes a tremendous apple pie.

01:39:53   I'm not here to argue who does better or what. So obviously we agree that homemade is better. I'm not trying to argue that.

01:39:58   But I feel like you can get a reasonable interpretation of an apple pie from a store, which involves zero effort, as opposed to the entire effort of creating an apple pie, which even if you're buying a crust is not insignificant.

01:40:12   Maybe apple isn't your particular pie of choice, but I think pie is also pretty good on this list.

01:40:17   Store-bought apple pie is good, but it is not as good as pretty much any homemade apple pie.

01:40:22   Yeah, agreed.

01:40:24   Store-bought baked goods are, I don't think, very high on this list at all.

01:40:27   They can still be good. Apple pie has the best chance of being good because it's harder to screw up.

01:40:32   You don't eat it. You're never confused that you're eating a homemade pie. You can do a blind taste test of homemade versus store-bought pie. You get it by smell.

01:40:41   The other ones, they feel like they're made of wax.

01:40:43   Yeah. Speaking of places that I love to get food from on Long Island, Brier Mere Pies out east on Long Island, that's technically a store-bought pie, but they're all basically homemade pies.

01:40:55   I feel like it's a different category. Brier Mere Pies are my favorite pies in the entire world.

01:41:01   I don't think I could, obviously I could pick out a Brier Mere pie. It doesn't taste exactly like a homemade pie. In many cases it's better. I've never had a homemade blueberry pie that's as good as Brier Mere "store-bought," but they're both very different than Entenmann's or something in the supermarket.

01:41:15   What are you saying? Is it Brier Mere?

01:41:18   Brier Mere, yeah.

01:41:20   Okay. Those letters all ran together in my ears, and I could not make heads or tails what you're saying.

01:41:24   B-R-I-E-R-M-E-R-E.

01:41:27   I gotcha now.

01:41:30   I got you a Brier Mere pie.

01:41:32   I got you a Brier Mere pie.

01:41:34   I got you a Brier Mere pie.

01:41:36   I got you a Brier Mere pie.

01:41:38   I got you a Brier Mere pie.

01:41:40   I got you a Brier Mere pie.

01:41:42   I got you a Brier Mere pie.

01:41:44   I got you a Brier Mere pie.

01:41:46   I got you a Brier Mere pie.

01:41:48   I got you a Brier Mere pie.

01:41:50   I got you a Brier Mere pie.

01:41:52   I got you a Brier Mere pie.

01:41:54   I got you a Brier Mere pie.

01:41:56   I got you a Brier Mere pie.

01:41:59   I got you a Brier Mere pie.

01:42:00   I got you a Brier Mere pie.

01:42:02   I got you a Brier Mere pie.

01:42:04   I got you a Brier Mere pie.

01:42:06   I got you a Brier Mere pie.

01:42:08   I got you a Brier Mere pie.

01:42:10   I got you a Brier Mere pie.

01:42:12   I got you a Brier Mere pie.

01:42:14   I got you a Brier Mere pie.

01:42:16   I got you a Brier Mere pie.

01:42:18   I got you a Brier Mere pie.

01:42:20   I got you a Brier Mere pie.

01:42:22   I got you a Brier Mere pie.

01:42:24   I got you a Brier Mere pie.

01:42:26   I got you a Brier Mere pie.

01:42:28   I got you a Brier Mere pie.

01:42:29   I got you a Brier Mere pie.

01:42:31   I got you a Brier Mere pie.

01:42:33   I got you a Brier Mere pie.

01:42:35   I got you a Brier Mere pie.

01:42:37   I got you a Brier Mere pie.

01:42:39   I got you a Brier Mere pie.

01:42:41   I got you a Brier Mere pie.

01:42:43   I got you a Brier Mere pie.

01:42:45   I got you a Brier Mere pie.

01:42:47   I got you a Brier Mere pie.

01:42:49   I got you a Brier Mere pie.

01:42:51   I got you a Brier Mere pie.

01:42:53   I got you a Brier Mere pie.

01:42:55   I got you a Brier Mere pie.

01:42:57   They didn't mean to.

01:42:59   Accidental.

01:43:01   Tech broadcast.

01:43:03   So long.

01:43:06   Alright Marco, you went on a bit of a tear on Twitter a couple of days ago.

01:43:13   And there's many layers to this pie, cake, whatever.

01:43:18   But it appears to me that maybe leasing, which you so strenuously encouraged me to do before I purchased a car,

01:43:26   maybe leasing wasn't the right choice for you, my friend?

01:43:29   So let's start, if you don't mind.

01:43:33   How old is the Tesla that is in your garage right now?

01:43:38   About three months.

01:43:40   You've had this new car for three months and you didn't tell either of us?

01:43:44   I swear I didn't know this.

01:43:46   I thought it would be funny to see how long it lasted before you even asked about it.

01:43:49   You told us your lease was going up.

01:43:52   Yeah, but I couldn't remember when.

01:43:55   It still had a while. It was going up next spring.

01:43:57   So you did this early?

01:44:00   Yeah, so I was just holding it back to troll you because I figured it would be really funny to at some point have you mention a car and ask me if I'm ruining my lease and say, "Oh yeah, I did it like six months ago."

01:44:10   And I would have held out except that I had to at least attempt to use the power of Twitter to fix a problem I'm having, which by the way hasn't been fixed.

01:44:19   But we'll see if that changes at all.

01:44:23   Before we get to that, did you just get another red Model S?

01:44:25   Yeah, it's exactly the same.

01:44:27   Is it the newer one?

01:44:29   Yes, it's the newer model. Mine was right before the Series 2 autopilot hardware, whatever it is. My one was early 2016 I think.

01:44:40   It's a non-ball gag model. You're off the ball gag.

01:44:45   It's a mustache. Anyway, I have what is the currently sold ones. There was a story that floated around the car electric blogs in early September that Tesla, in order to juice their September quarter numbers, was offering people to renew their leases early that were near the end of their lease for models S and X.

01:45:12   I keep thinking X. I did ask when I was in the sales floor. I asked if anybody ever asked for the Model 10, and I got a totally blank stare.

01:45:22   Just a flat out no. That joke failed.

01:45:27   Anyway, I got this email in September saying, "Hey, if you want, you can renew your lease now."

01:45:35   There's lots of reasons to do this. Basically, we still had the full federal tax credit this year, and it was a few weeks before they were going to end the unlimited supercharging for all new vehicles.

01:45:45   That seems like a no-brainer. I was going to renew in the spring anyway, and then I'll lock in the tax credit and the supercharging. No-brainer, right?

01:45:54   Right. This is on the surface so far so good.

01:45:57   Exactly. And because they were running a special, they actually discounted the price by $3,000 or $4,000. The only downside is that I had to act quickly, but I could do that. That's fine.

01:46:07   And that I had to only pick from vehicles that were within local inventory. There was not enough time to have them manufacture one totally custom.

01:46:17   I searched the region and see what they had. I'm like, "You know what? It's a good deal. It's even discounted." And Tesla never discounts their cars for other reasons.

01:46:27   To have a discount, it was special right there. And to also have all the side benefits for something I was going to do anyway in seven or eight months, okay, fine. That's great.

01:46:38   So there's been a major change at Tesla since I bought my first one. The Model 3 came out, and this has dramatically changed the company and the way it operates.

01:46:50   First of all, I've been going to this dealership about once or twice a year for three years. The dealership, when I picked up this car, which was in mid-September, was by far more crowded than I've ever seen it.

01:47:06   The parking lot was packed full. People were double-parked across the whole parking lot. It was the first time I'd ever had to wait to talk to somebody when I walked in.

01:47:15   And I asked about this. I mentioned it to some of the staff when I was talking to them. They said at that time they were doing about 50 new car deliveries a day.

01:47:26   Wow. They started a second location for this dealership down the street by a few blocks where they were shuttling people back and forth to do the new car walk-throughs because there wasn't room in the parking lot to do them here.

01:47:39   It was crazy. I've never seen it busier, and that has continued as far as I know since then because they're just doing a ridiculous amount of Model 3 deliveries every day. Mostly Model 3s.

01:47:53   I get the new car, and I have some opinions on the new car as well. I'll get to those. Actually, let's do those first, and then I'll get to the lease issue.

01:48:02   So I'll start with the bad. This is the new Model S compared to the three-year-old outgoing model. As I mentioned, it is more expensive. I have a defect in it. I actually had two.

01:48:16   One is a pretty big rattle behind the rearview center mirror, which they fixed by shoving some felt in the windshield. The other is that the main center screen has this brownish-orange ring around the perimeter.

01:48:30   It was there since day one, and I emailed the salesperson right when I got home like, "Hey, is this normal? Can I get this fixed, please?" Never heard a response.

01:48:40   I went in to get my snow tires put on about a month ago, and I asked them, and they're like, "Oh, yep, it's the yellow ring of death or something." Like, "Yeah, this happens all the time with recent S deliveries. It's a defect. We have to replace the screen. We'll order the part, and we'll call you." Of course, they never did.

01:48:55   The software in general on it, and I'm not talking about the V9 software that just came out, which I hate, but the basic operations of the software are buggier than my last car. When I get in, I almost always see the push-break when this message clears message, which is like, "I'm not ready yet."

01:49:16   It's almost like when Siri says, "I'll tap you when I'm ready." It's like you get in your car, you used to be able to just go, and you can't do that anymore. There's a few seconds delay about every fourth or fifth time now.

01:49:29   When I asked the serviceperson about that, their entire explanation for this was, "Well, these new ones run on Intel systems. It's a different platform." The old ones ran on, I think, an NVIDIA thing.

01:49:42   I'm like, "Uh-huh. Okay. Thanks."

01:49:46   There's a little bit less space in the trunk than before because there's this giant box on the right side behind the wheel that wasn't there before in the old model. I have yet to find what that box is for. I tried doing some research.

01:50:03   Nobody knows why that giant box is now taking up trunk space in the new model S that wasn't there in the old model. I'd love to know just what it is. There's a little bit less trunk space, but not to a degree that would matter too much.

01:50:14   Anyway, some things that are neutral or work out in the wash. The new one has the air suspension. My old one did not because I wanted more road feel.

01:50:25   The air suspension is noticeably more disconnected from the road, noticeably more cushy. It feels like a more luxurious ride, but less a car enthusiast ride.

01:50:35   I actually do like it a lot because it has the cool feature where you can raise and lower the air suspension from the car while driving. There's a few areas that I used to bottom out all the time.

01:50:47   There are certain speed bumps that I know are in certain spots or certain roads that I bottom out at the bottom of where I just set on those roads now, I set the location to say, "All right, always raise the suspension in this location."

01:50:58   That has prevented me from bottoming out in those places where I bottomed out every time before. That was really nice actually. I think even though it's a very different driving feel, I like the convenience of it.

01:51:09   It's very cold and soft. There is still no good place to put sunglasses anywhere in this car. I tried a visor clip, but it hangs down too far into my view.

01:51:21   Finally, the bad parts of the software that I complained about in the last car, like the lack of CarPlay, the weird limited Bluetooth stack, those are all exactly the same. Those I don't change at all.

01:51:33   Now, the good. The touchscreen is way, way faster. It is still not as responsive as an iPad would be. If you expect a touchscreen to be like an Apple touchscreen, you'll be disappointed in this one.

01:51:47   It's a big improvement over what it was before. The new center console, which I didn't have before, I had a weird aftermarket one. Center console is really nice actually.

01:51:58   When I was trying to finally get more cup holders that are not the awkward elbow poking ones in the armrest and that it's cool to have the configurable cup holder thing in the middle, it allowed me to very easily route a USB cable through the console.

01:52:10   They had these dedicated channels you can route cables through, which is really nice. I routed up to my phone dock so I can run Waze. The fact that this built-in OEM center console was designed for me to run a third-party cable through is pretty awesome.

01:52:27   Rear cup holders now, rear USB ports, these are all very, very nice. These are things like almost three years with the old car, I really wanted those at many points and now we have them.

01:52:36   The backup camera is way, way higher resolution, way nicer, way more contrast, so it's just better overall. The headlights, they got redesigned, they're now noticeably brighter.

01:52:45   The whole car looks like the general design of it just kind of looks like a little bit nicer and sharper, pointier, more angular at some points.

01:52:54   There's a few regressions, but there's more improvements than regressions. It's mostly the same as what I had before, but improved.

01:53:01   So it's like if what I had before was the 2.0, this feels like the 2.5 release. It's not a totally different car, but it's improved.

01:53:09   So just as I was very, very happy with the old one so far, I've been very happy with this one.

01:53:15   If I can ever buy a Tesla again, I will probably keep buying them, but let me tell you some issues that have come up besides the defective screen and the rattle.

01:53:26   The main problem is that this all began with them saying, "You can end your lease early. We will waive all the remaining payments if you get into a new car now."

01:53:36   And that was in mid-September. They didn't cancel the old lease.

01:53:43   I'm not kidding. I'm not. I wish I was. They didn't cancel it.

01:53:47   I noticed this about a month later when I saw that I was being billed for it, like auto-debited for my account. I'm like, "Wait a minute. I don't think I was supposed to pay that."

01:53:55   And also, I shouldn't have gotten some paperwork in the mail by now about having turned in the car.

01:53:59   So I listened to it, and the lease, which is run by a different company, it's serviced by US Bank, so like not Tesla.

01:54:09   And so I called them like, "Hey, what's up with this?" And they're like, "Oh, Tesla hasn't told us you ended your lease. We have no record of your vehicle even being turned in."

01:54:16   I was like, "Hmm, cool. That's interesting."

01:54:19   When I turned the car in mid-September, paid the October payment, paid the November payment.

01:54:25   They did after... I've been calling them basically about once a week since about mid-October, trying to straighten this out, calling Tesla, calling US Bank.

01:54:36   And they keep not straightening it out. They finally agree. I had to send proof to US Bank that I had turned the car in.

01:54:44   I sent them the odometer statement and everything that you get when you turn in a lease.

01:54:48   It's like, "Look, when this is dated..." Obviously.

01:54:51   Whenever I call the Tesla dealership to try to get them to do something that they have to do, because apparently my delivery center, which is the dealership, they have to do a bunch of stuff in this process.

01:55:03   Literally, you call them up and you push whatever number it is for new delivery department.

01:55:08   The phone rings five or six times and you get a voicemail that's like, "HPN053-NewDeliveryCenter is unavailable."

01:55:16   It isn't even a real voicemail greeting. It's the default voicemail greeting for their phone system.

01:55:21   And no one ever picks up or returns calls.

01:55:25   I have called this dealership probably 15 times for this issue, trying to talk to the same department. Zero returned calls. Zero times they've picked up the phone.

01:55:35   Even if I call, I'll call a different department, like sales. You know they're always going to pick up.

01:55:40   And for some reason, the people in the new vehicle department are never around. They're always on the phone or out on a test drive.

01:55:49   And so they always take messages. Zero calls back in two months or whatever it's been.

01:55:55   So the dealership is useless. The company is useless. The national numbers are useless.

01:56:02   US Bank at least gives me info. They're barely involved here.

01:56:08   So basically, I dropped off the car in mid-September. US Bank finally got the notification from Tesla that the vehicle was turned in.

01:56:18   Two months later, in mid-November.

01:56:20   And the other day, I got my final bill from US Bank, my final statement, where they have billed me for about $8,000.

01:56:30   Because they are billing me for all the remaining payments as if I just terminated the lease early and just gave the car in and didn't get approval for this or anything.

01:56:42   That's when I went to Twitter. I'm like, "You know what? I'm done. I've been trying to do this the right way for two months or whatever and I've been getting nowhere. I've been getting absolutely nowhere."

01:56:51   Every time I talk to somebody from Tesla, if I ever do, not locally of course, it's always national, every time it's like, "Oh wow, I'm so sorry. I can't believe this happened. I'm going to get this fixed for you right away."

01:57:02   Then I try to get it fixed. And then nothing happens, right?

01:57:06   Every time, "Oh, we'll call you back in the next 48 hours. We're going to really get this fixed. I'll put this in today." Every time, nothing.

01:57:13   The way that company is being run, even the guy who made the initial offer to me, who emailed me with the early lease termination offer, the people in the national headquarters couldn't find him for two months.

01:57:29   Oh, neat.

01:57:32   I've structured them yesterday for the first time since this all started. They were like, "Oh, he hasn't been to work in a while. That's weird."

01:57:38   I'm like, "Okay, can anybody else help me?" "Oh, I'll just leave him a message." "Oh my God."

01:57:42   I'm telling you, I've leased a lot of cars now.

01:57:48   Granted, this is the first time I've done something out of the regular routine for the lease where the car company had to coordinate something extra with the bank. The car company here can't be trusted to do anything.

01:58:04   When I tweeted about this yesterday, I got so many responses from people saying very similar things, including a handful of people who also got the same early renewal offer in September, did the same thing, and had the same problem.

01:58:19   I haven't heard from anybody yet who said they got paid. Right now, Tesla owes me over $8,000 in payments that I've had to make to a U.S. bank that I wasn't supposed to have to make.

01:58:30   I'm paying a U.S. bank because I'm not going to not pay a bank. That's going to mess up my credit if I mess with that. I'll pay the bank, and then I'll get the money out of Tesla somehow.

01:58:38   The fact is, this is putting a severe damper on my appreciation for this company because I still love their car. I really love this car.

01:58:48   It's real hard for me to get past this when they are jerking me around for over $8,000 because of their own incompetence at doing very basic things.

01:58:59   I honestly, for freaking Fire Elon Musk, I am tired of the way he runs this company. Looking at this company, looking at the way it's run, looking at all the problems they've had with operations and things, he should not be in charge of something this big.

01:59:17   It's a shame that the product is so good and that he is such a horrendously awful manager of anything. If this company had an adult running it, first of all, I think it's time for that. You can have the crazy founder early on at the beginning and they can make some really visionary stuff and it's cool.

01:59:34   The reason for Tesla is behind them, where that was really necessary. Now they need an adult to run the show, and Elon Musk is not that at all. Their operations are such a mess. They're burning customer loyalty left and right. Look at my responses, you'll see.

01:59:49   They might lose me over this, and I really love them, and I don't know what else I would drive, but I'm just so mad at how they have handled this. When I started hearing that I wasn't the only one, it makes it even worse.

02:00:02   My plan is, I have an amazing car, but the company has basically stolen $8,000 from me based on their own stupid incompetence, and that's really hard to get past.

02:00:11   That is intense.

02:00:13   I'd be more concerned about the two defects of your brand new car off the lot. That doesn't sound good.

02:00:19   Well first of all, it's a lease, so I know that long term, this won't be my problem even if they never fix it. It annoys me. I demand that they fix it.

02:00:43   Yes they are. The fact that the main interface to the car has a giant visual defect that I spotted when I was in the lot before even driving it off the lot, and it's clearly like, okay, that's a defect, but they delivered it anyway.

02:00:58   They're a mess.

02:01:01   As far as I'm concerned, their big quarterly numbers that they got by boosting the sales like this are illegitimate fraud, because they didn't do it in a proper way.

02:01:13   To me, it's almost like they cheated on their numbers, because if they cut all these corners to hit these numbers, they are defrauding investors into thinking they can sustain this, and they absolutely can't.

02:01:23   And they're defrauding their customers into thinking they're getting proper new cars.

02:01:27   Yeah, well, you've got this for another three years at least, right? In other electric car news, I know you don't like SUVs, but it's kind of hilarious to me how the SUVs, they're so dominant.

02:01:40   And non-car cars are so dominant in America, mostly trucks, yes, but in second place, the SUV type things.

02:01:49   It's like, take a typical SUV shape and just keep squishing it like a giant is stepping on it, to the point where it's like, it's not a wagon yet, but can we just squish that even more?

02:01:59   Anyway, the Jaguar I-PACE and the Audi e-tron, both are squished SUVs that are not wagons but are also not cars.

02:02:07   I don't know if I could buy something called an e-tron.

02:02:11   I know, the names are not great. But both of them are getting reasonably good reviews as probably less space than a Model S, probably a little bit slower, but also both cheaper, and from actual real car companies that have only the usual complement of annoying dealer issues, and not these extra super special can never get them to return a call and forget to cancel your lease problems.

02:02:35   Yeah, I feel like, looking at the rest of the market, I still don't see anything else that I would want instead of a Model S. I love the Model S so much, but I really have concerns about having a complex financial arrangement with Tesla.

02:02:55   Because a lease, they have to administer, the dealers have to do their part, and I'm hearing stories all over the place from people on Twitter in response to my stuff saying that the dealers messed up their registration paperwork and they can't get their car registered properly or they're registered as a motorcycle.

02:03:11   Crazy stuff, like basic competence issues, because the company is just such a mess the way it's run, they can't do the basics at all. And so that's very concerning when you have a situation like a lease, where you need the dealer to report to the bank when the car is turned, even if it's turned in on time, you still need the dealer to report to the bank that it's been turned in.

02:03:36   And then the bank sends you the final statement or whatever, they bring it somewhere, they do an inspection, they send you a statement. I shouldn't need to pester somebody for two months that's still charging me money and then have to seek that money afterwards.

02:03:47   It's crazy the way they run this company. And so if I want to lease again after this, first of all, I'm never trusting a damn thing they tell me about any kind of early deal, anything, never again.

02:04:02   But at this point, I doubt even whether I would trust them to handle a regular lease, because again, you still need them to report things like that's been turned in. I don't think I would lease from them again after this one ends, unless this one ends perfectly, which even that I now have severe doubts about.

02:04:19   I think I would lease from them again, because I don't trust them to do basic operations. And so I think I would only get another Tesla if I was going to buy it outright. But I don't like the idea of buying it outright for all the other reasons that I've been saying that I like leasing.

02:04:38   I've been in touch with everyone else and it's been fine. So I know leasing isn't the problem here. Tesla leasing is the problem. And so I think anything you can do to, if you're buying Tesla, if you want a Tesla, anything you can do to make that arrangement really simple on them is beneficial.

02:04:55   But a lease is not that. A lease involves maintenance and service and them doing their part on their end. And so I would be very, very hesitant to lease from them again. And ultimately, that might cost them my business, because I really like leasing my cars.

02:05:13   I'm going to have to grapple with that in three years when the decision time comes. But for now, I love their cars, but their company is just a wreck. It is embarrassing, it is destructive, and it is stealing my money.

02:05:30   At this point, I'm wondering about, with all the horror stories of the manufacturing, mostly of the Model 3 and everything, but I'm wondering that if you get a car from them, if some really important bolt is missing from an important suspension member and your wheels are going to fall off like Casey's Saturn.

02:05:48   Yeah, I'm worried. Just basic competence in assembling cars, because everything is just sort of slapdash, get it done, get it done. I don't want people in a hurry to assemble my car. I don't want that at all, especially my super expensive car.

02:06:03   I don't want some persnickety German to sign his name to my engine block like they do on the M series or whatever. And granted, the engine is probably still going to blow up, but I have some faith that every bolt that is supposed to be in the car is in the car. And spray paint didn't get over on some area that's not supposed to be, because it was spray painted outdoors on top of blocks in the wind or whatever.

02:06:24   Whatever was causing the rattle in your dashboard that they jammed some felt down under, this is not reassuring in terms of the advantages that these cars are so much simpler in terms of exactly how many parts they have than an internal combustion car.

02:06:36   But then that's why I'm thinking about not the battery and stuff like that, but suspension members and things like that. I think about MKBHD when he got his P100D, it was taking it around turns and all of a sudden the power steering wheel had cut off and he couldn't turn the wheel anymore.

02:06:52   It's a safety issue. I'm a little bit worried about that. Because nobody buys cars anymore, we're losing our manual transmissions and we're sad about that, we should start getting pre-sad about the fact that no one buys cars anymore.

02:07:11   That's fine, he's got his little non-car thing over there. But you and I are still buying cars and they don't really make them anymore. That's why all the new electrics that I keep telling you about are squished SUVs and not cars.

02:07:22   I'm assuming in three years maybe you'll have some actual car options or maybe the SUVs will be so squished that they're basically just weird wagon things.

02:07:31   But I do like the fact that most of the reviews they're getting is competency-wise in terms of "it feels like a nice car and it's got Tesla-type range and the performance is good and it's smooth."

02:07:42   Especially since they're made with less zazz than the Tesla, maybe this is a downside for you. But it looks like a nice Audi interior, but it just happens to be electric.

02:07:54   Hopefully in three years you'll have more options to shop around for. At the very least you should test drive these just to see how the other half is living.

02:08:02   You don't have to worry about that for three years!

02:08:06   I don't want some Audi e-tron. It's a bad name. I find it unattractive. I just want the car I already have to have the company behind it have their basic stuff together.

02:08:26   I think it's a good thing to buy it easily. To be able to turn it in easily. To be able to get it serviced easily. And to not have issues that never get resolved because no one can possibly reach the department that resolves them.

02:08:37   It God forbid something breaks on that thing and you have to deal with repairs during the three-year lease thing. Just getting it repaired, getting the parts, dealing with that whole hassle.

02:08:46   I've been lucky that in my first one the repairs were fairly straightforward. I've heard stories from people who have S's and that the services take forever.

02:09:02   They're waiting for parts for months that their car literally just can't be fixed for months. I've heard it's very very bad. Right now I'm putting up with some of this BS. Not all of it. I'm very much not putting up with the money part of it.

02:09:22   Some of the stuff like the yellow ring screen. I'll put up with this temporarily because I love the rest of the car so much. But they're just setting customers on fire here.

02:09:32   I do not foresee positive things for their future if they don't replace Elon Musk now. He literally needs to go. He needs to go yesterday. He cannot run this company the way he's running it and have it be sustainable at all.

02:09:49   It's interesting to me because I feel like for a long time, this is going to sound more angsty than I mean it. For a long time you've been tolerating foibles with the Model S.

02:10:05   I don't think you've been as grumpy about a lack of carplay as a lot of other Tesla owners have been, but that's an example.

02:10:11   No, it doesn't affect me that much.

02:10:14   There's ways I think that you've been putting up with the Model S and now I feel like from my point of view you own this car despite yourself.

02:10:27   Despite the fact that you really don't want to own this car, you own this car. I know that's probably not the case because you just told me how much you love it.

02:10:34   But man, this is getting to the point where it's like I don't think I'd recommend it for you anymore.

02:10:41   I'm incredibly happy with the way the car works and drives and how it feels, how it looks, what it can hold, how practical it is as a family car.

02:10:51   I'm very happy with all those things. But I don't need imminent service right this second.

02:10:58   If we can work out the lease thing, like if Tesla sends me a check for $8,585 tomorrow, then this problem mostly goes away. I'll deal with the yellow ring on the screen until they can fix it sometime next year probably. That's fine. That isn't a big deal.

02:11:17   If this car were, I was going to say something that I thought exercise that I often use with how happy I am with a car is if my car was stolen tomorrow, what would I replace it with?

02:11:29   I was about to say that there, but then I was like, "Oh crap. Imagine how long it would take Tesla's leasing office."

02:11:37   You'd have to keep paying that lease.

02:11:39   They would never straighten that out. Oh God, it would be a mess. Never mind.

02:11:46   They'd be like, "We don't have any record of you turning the car in, sir." I was like, "No, it was stolen. Well, we can't cancel your lease unless your car has been turned in. The system won't let us do it."

02:11:55   Even then, we can't cancel it.

02:11:59   The way I used to judge how happy I was was, would I get the same car again if it just disappeared and I had to make that same choice tomorrow? Right now, the answer would be yes. I would get the Model S again. I love the Model S. I absolutely love it.

02:12:19   I would get the lease because it's awesome. I love it. I said, "Yes, I want this car for another three years." It's the first time I've done that since I've owned cars.

02:12:29   Oh, you did it with Tiff's car because you couldn't decide.

02:12:31   That wasn't my car. That was Tiff's car.

02:12:33   Yeah, same.

02:12:34   By the way, her next car, which is due next year, not going to be a Tesla.

02:12:37   I3 is ugly. Don't do it.

02:12:39   We are thinking about the I3.

02:12:41   the i3.