274: Not the Teddy Bear's Fault


00:00:00   Anyway, we should start the show while I'm not coughing, which is a very brief window of time.

00:00:04   - Fair enough. - Too late.

00:00:07   - There it is. Comedy, ladies and gentlemen, it's all about timing. All about timing.

00:00:15   Oh, man. All right, so while Marco is dying, let's cover the most important piece of follow-up right

00:00:26   up top. Is it Yanny or Laurel? Go ahead, Jon. Jon Moffett

00:00:32   I don't like that one as much as the dress, although I had a thought about both the dress

00:00:36   and that Yanny/Laurel thing. They both kind of—the sound one much more than the visual one,

00:00:45   but they both highlight the fact that even though we're all reading the same internet,

00:00:51   the output devices we're all using vary so incredibly widely. The visual one's less than

00:00:58   the auditory ones, but both vary a lot. We all think like, you know, "I looked at this picture

00:01:02   and I think X and I looked at the picture and I think Y like with the dress thing," right? But

00:01:06   we're not all looking at the same picture. This is setting aside for a moment the input device,

00:01:11   like ourselves, like that people vary from person to person, which is also more true of the auditory

00:01:15   one than the visual one, I think, just due to people getting old and their hearing going bad.

00:01:20   versus color sensing colors which probably changes the age but maybe not as much.

00:01:26   But anyway, setting aside the person, the device that we're looking at, monitors have different gamma,

00:01:32   you're looking at different lighting conditions, so on and so forth, but speakers, especially in the smartphone age, vary incredibly widely.

00:01:40   So for something like the anti-loral thing, where it changes based on how much, where the frequency cutoff is, right?

00:01:47   get rid of all the bass, it sounds like one thing, get rid of all the high frequencies,

00:01:50   it sounds like the other.

00:01:51   And I think that makes that one more boring to me, but it shows like the reason people

00:01:55   are so convinced is because they think we're all listening to the same sound and we're

00:01:58   not.

00:01:59   The sound you get out of your tinny, crappy phone speakers is very different than the

00:02:01   sound you get out of your desktop speakers or your laptop speakers or whatever.

00:02:06   And then of course the input device if you have cold or you have trouble hearing at certain

00:02:09   frequencies or whatever.

00:02:11   So anyway, I think it's dumb.

00:02:13   I think the stress one was also dumb but slightly less dumb because you could look at the same

00:02:20   picture and convince yourself one way or the other, but the audio one, if the frequencies

00:02:25   are not going through your ear, there's not much you can do to convince yourself it sounds

00:02:28   like the other one.

00:02:29   Where it's the same picture, you could go back and forth on it.

00:02:31   If you change the frequency cutoff so it's kind of in the middle, you can hear both of

00:02:34   them, but that's like altering the sound.

00:02:36   I have heard all of the different variations of hearing both of them, or well, I've heard

00:02:41   many of the variations and I can only hear one but but John you know you

00:02:45   know the New York Times one like they do if you do a hard frequency cut off of

00:02:48   all the low or all the high it's impossible to hear the other one of the

00:02:51   extremes so what did you that's why it's kind of what did you hear so anyway it

00:02:55   also shows how crappy people speakers are because I have no speakers that I

00:02:58   own they can make me hear though the one with all the low frequencies cut off I

00:03:03   guess all of my speakers including my crappy earpods and all of my iOS devices

00:03:08   have enough bass in them that I can't get it to sound like the one with just

00:03:12   high frequencies. Well part of that's also that all your speakers are ancient.

00:03:15   And so basically... Like your ears. Yeah like like new new speakers from a lot of different people,

00:03:22   especially speakers in smartphones as you mentioned, they do a lot of

00:03:25   processing to try to make up for the inherent crappiness of a speaker that's

00:03:29   that small and/or cheap. Like if you actually profile, if you like you know

00:03:33   play a test sound out of the iPhone speaker and profile it with some kind of

00:03:37   measurement thing, it's shocking how flat of a response curve it doesn't have. They

00:03:44   do a heck of a lot of processing with almost all modern phone speakers and anything with

00:03:51   anything like the home voice assistant cylinders and everything. There's so much processing

00:03:55   to try to make up for physics and economics that you want a very small device, but you

00:04:01   want it to sound great. Whereas older speakers, they didn't have the electronic resources

00:04:07   to do that kind of processing.

00:04:08   So they just rely on physics and quality and size.

00:04:12   So old speakers, you will never have the kind of processing,

00:04:19   unless something's really going wrong,

00:04:21   maybe with the crossovers,

00:04:22   you would never have the kind of processing

00:04:23   that would heavily alter that sound

00:04:25   to sound that different to people.

00:04:27   That being said, people's hearing is also very different,

00:04:30   as you mentioned, and it changes throughout your life as well.

00:04:34   We all know that young people can hear higher frequencies

00:04:39   than older people, but also your hearing

00:04:42   does not have a flat frequency response curve either.

00:04:45   You have peaks and valleys in certain frequencies

00:04:48   you hear more strongly than others

00:04:51   or have more distortion than others,

00:04:52   and that's just the realities of us

00:04:54   being these big bags of analog meat.

00:04:56   (laughing)

00:04:57   - Wait, but Jon, you never actually answered the question,

00:04:59   did you?

00:05:00   - It's pronounced Sir-ah-koo-sah.

00:05:01   - Like I said, in its normal form,

00:05:04   being played being like unmodified like you know not using one of those tools

00:05:08   that actually cuts off frequencies in the source sound but just playing it

00:05:11   through all my speakers playing it through my air pods playing it through

00:05:14   my phone speaker my iPad speakers my laptop speakers it's Laurel for me all

00:05:18   the time all the time and I have to really cut off a lot of low frequencies

00:05:21   before it switches to Yanni like at the source not and you know so I don't I

00:05:26   don't have any speakers that have so little bass or to Marcos point I don't

00:05:29   have any speakers that do not massively process the sound to make sure that

00:05:32   there is some bass to ever hear the Yanni one. And I am old, so obviously the high frequencies

00:05:38   are probably much less audible to me than they are to younger people. So maybe my speakers

00:05:42   are playing them and I just can't hear them.

00:05:44   Marko?

00:05:45   I know what you're talking about, but only just barely, and I didn't listen.

00:05:50   All right, well, at this very moment, you can drop in a clip for the listeners to hear

00:05:54   exactly what I'm talking about.

00:05:56   Yay. Yay.

00:05:58   "Yeah." But basically it's like the blue, what was it, blue and gold dress where you can either hear

00:06:04   one thing or hear another, although obviously the dress was seeing one thing or seeing another.

00:06:07   But, but, like, it would be like the dress one, but they'd say, "Oh, but if you can't see the

00:06:11   other color, apply this filter that turns everything blue. Don't you see it blue now?"

00:06:15   It's like, "Yeah, of course I see it blue now," because you changed the source, right? So the ones

00:06:18   that, if you can't hear it the other way, cut off all the low frequencies. "Oh, great. Well,

00:06:22   you're right. Now it sounds different. Good job. You changed the source."

00:06:26   Alright, hold on. Let me listen to it. The New York Times one is the best because it

00:06:30   has a slider for frequency cutoff, so if you leave it in the middle…

00:06:33   Alright, one sec. I'll listen to it, but I won't be able to hear you. One sec.

00:06:37   Okay, it's clearly Laurel. It's not even close.

00:06:41   Right, but that's just the speaker, so go to the ones that have the cutoff. And the

00:06:44   worst part is…

00:06:45   - Hold on, I need to do this too, so I'm gonna--

00:06:47   Laurel, Laurel, Laurel, Laurel, Yanny, Yanny, Yanny, Yanny,

00:06:52   Yanny, Yanny, Yanny, Yanny.

00:07:02   Oh, I can kind of, sort of hear Yanny, kind of,

00:07:10   when I crank it all the way over.

00:07:12   - Yeah, so listening in my regular headphones

00:07:14   through my decent setup, not even my good headphones,

00:07:16   just my regular headphones, I can only hear Yanni

00:07:20   on the New York Times one in the rightmost two notches,

00:07:23   like the far right and the one right before it.

00:07:25   And the one right before it is really kind of

00:07:27   a crossover point anyway, so you really gotta go

00:07:29   pretty far right.

00:07:30   - Yeah, and I think the middle is the like unmodified,

00:07:33   I forget what the unmodified is.

00:07:34   - Yeah, the middle is like not frequency modified.

00:07:37   - Hold on, let's bring it back to the show.

00:07:38   So we left the show on you going to listen to it

00:07:40   as far as I'm concerned.

00:07:41   - You don't know when we left the show.

00:07:42   Marco decides when we leave the show.

00:07:43   "Oh my god, just work with me here."

00:07:45   - It's power.

00:07:47   There's no question it's Laurel.

00:07:48   If you're not hearing Laurel,

00:07:49   you have seriously messed up speakers or ears.

00:07:53   And that's fine, I'm not gonna judge your speakers or ears,

00:07:54   but just so you know, they're not normal.

00:07:56   - Although I have something to add to what you hear.

00:07:59   The thing that really makes this sound also not great is,

00:08:04   when you hear Laurel,

00:08:06   it sounds like someone saying someone's name.

00:08:08   Or, you know, 'cause that's what it sounds like.

00:08:10   When you hear Yanny,

00:08:12   it does not really sound like a human anymore.

00:08:14   It sounds like an audio artifact

00:08:15   or a heavily processed person's voice

00:08:17   that's been pitch shifted

00:08:18   does not sound like a person saying that

00:08:20   because no one who is saying that word

00:08:22   would say it in such a weird way.

00:08:24   So I feel like at its root, this recording,

00:08:28   it's someone saying Laurel

00:08:29   with lots of high-frequency noise

00:08:30   that happens to sound like a word

00:08:31   in the same way that when you play stuff backwards,

00:08:34   sometimes it sounds like other words.

00:08:35   - So I had only ever heard Laurel

00:08:40   until you pointed out this New York Times thing.

00:08:42   And when I crank it all the way to the right-hand side,

00:08:44   which is Yanny or Yanny or whatever,

00:08:46   it's however you pronounce it,

00:08:47   I can sort of kind of hear it,

00:08:49   but it's still difficult for me to get it.

00:08:52   To me, the raw version is so unequivocally laurel

00:08:57   that it stupefies me

00:08:59   that anyone can hear anything different.

00:09:01   - So it's gotta be either we're all old enough

00:09:03   that our high-frequency hearing is shot.

00:09:05   And I think, I forget when your high-frequency hearing

00:09:06   really falls off a cliff,

00:09:07   but we might all be past that age.

00:09:09   - Or people are using speakers that really have just

00:09:12   no bass whatsoever and no processing.

00:09:14   And so all they get is the high frequencies

00:09:16   and then it sounds like some mutant alien saying, "Meh."

00:09:19   - I mean basically where you might,

00:09:21   where you'd probably hear it, I'm not gonna test it now,

00:09:22   but where you'd probably hear it is using the built-in

00:09:24   speaker on a phone because that's an area where like

00:09:26   you have a tiny little speaker that is,

00:09:29   it's pretty much impossible to get bass out of like

00:09:32   the built-in speaker on the, you know,

00:09:35   seven millimeter thick side of a phone.

00:09:37   Like that's, you're never gonna get bass out of that.

00:09:39   So it makes total sense that maybe out of phone speakers,

00:09:42   especially crappier ones, then you might hear that.

00:09:46   But any kind of headphone or regular-sized speaker,

00:09:50   I can't see how you could.

00:09:52   - Yeah, none on my phone.

00:09:52   So on my phone, it's 100% Loral to me.

00:09:55   - Keep in mind, also Apple speakers

00:09:57   have been really good recently.

00:09:58   In the last few years, the physical speakers

00:10:02   in Apple products have gotten significantly better

00:10:04   than not only where they were before,

00:10:06   but where the competition is.

00:10:08   So anybody on an iPhone, you're probably not hearing what other people are hearing

00:10:12   here if they're listening on their phones.

00:10:14   So the next time one of these things comes up, depending on what it is, is remember the

00:10:18   key – the thing that kills the source of fascination is the idea that we're all experiencing

00:10:24   the same thing and coming away with different impressions, and that's not true.

00:10:28   We're all experiencing different things.

00:10:30   And then on top of that, even if we were experiencing the same thing, we would have different impressions

00:10:35   of it.

00:10:36   Maybe the part that really kills all these is we're not looking at the same picture and

00:10:40   we're not hearing the same sound waves going through the air.

00:10:45   And after that there's even more crap.

00:10:47   But even before that, the whole premise of the fascination is killed.

00:10:52   Maybe if we have—if Apple ruled the world and everything was carefully color-corrected

00:10:56   at the factory for all of us, maybe it would be closer.

00:10:58   But it's like when you go see someone else's television set.

00:11:02   Output devices vary widely.

00:11:04   and input devices also.

00:11:05   (upbeat music)

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00:13:02   [Music]

00:13:06   We have plenty of Google follow-up to do, but before we get there, we have a little

00:13:10   bit of a Race to Listen follow-up. Ricky Bright writes in to say, "Race to Listen is a

00:13:15   BIG deal for China, as it's a pain to type. The default behavior makes sense there. Maybe

00:13:23   change the default based on the region." Cool.

00:13:25   All right, Bob Burrow, who I guess was the next Apple employee or something like that,

00:13:30   writes in—or wrote on Twitter, I shouldn't say writes in—wrote on Twitter that instead

00:13:35   of just crawling websites, Google was going to start crawling people.

00:13:39   That is deeply disturbing and also accurate.

00:13:41   That was in reference to Google having automated calls to businesses to find out what their

00:13:46   hours are on holidays or whatever.

00:13:49   And it really is, you know, the web crawler visits websites periodically and updates their

00:13:53   Google search index and stuff like that. And I guess their web caller would be crawling

00:13:57   websites and trying to pull, you know, hot hours and hours from the website so that Google

00:14:02   can surface that to people who are doing searches. But in cases where they can't get that information,

00:14:07   they will stop crawling the web. And I like this, you know, this of crawling people saying,

00:14:12   we are Google and our computers may contact you to extract information from you for the

00:14:16   purpose of serving that information to millions of people who search for things. And it sounds

00:14:21   Oh, it is creepy.

00:14:23   Well, you know, like I said about the creepiness, things that initially sound creepy you eventually

00:14:28   just come to get used to.

00:14:30   As a user of the service, I can see the value in having accurate information that would

00:14:35   otherwise be impossible to get without doing it by humans.

00:14:39   I guess the Amazon way to do it would be to hire a bunch of low-wage people whose life

00:14:44   is partially funded by government subsidies so you can pay them less than a living wage

00:14:49   and have them call all the businesses and find out the answers, and the Google way is

00:14:54   to pay a smaller number of people to write a program to do that same job.

00:14:58   That's a pretty accurate summary. Michael Love writes, "Another Google Assistant voice call issue,

00:15:04   isn't it recording the call? And so wouldn't it be running afoul of the law and two-party

00:15:09   consent states? What that means, and I am not a lawyer, what that means is you can only record

00:15:12   a conversation if both parties have agreed to the fact that it's going to be recorded.

00:15:17   If it's not recording a call, the call continues, Michael.

00:15:20   How can I check its work and make sure the appointment

00:15:22   was actually made as I requested?

00:15:24   - Although I will say that if you're wanting to listen

00:15:27   to the recordings of the call that were placed

00:15:29   on your behalf, then maybe you shouldn't be placing

00:15:31   these calls through a robot.

00:15:32   Like that kind of seems to ruin the point

00:15:34   of the convenience of this.

00:15:37   - Well, that's the accessibility angle.

00:15:38   Like I was saying before that I'd imagine in cases

00:15:40   where you need the computer to help you make a call

00:15:42   just as an assistive device.

00:15:44   - Right, yeah.

00:15:45   - You would want to participate,

00:15:47   not just listen to it afterwards, but like be there when it's happening. Again, so you can

00:15:51   nudge the conversation in a particular direction because you are trying to use it as an assistive

00:15:56   device. You are not delegating responsibility to do this, right? So, but anyway, as for the

00:16:01   recording thing, I assume it's not recording for the reasons they said. Like, it just doesn't seem

00:16:05   like a thing you can do because it's using regular phone lines and the laws having to do with regular

00:16:09   phone lines were from a bygone era when we made laws that tried to protect people's privacy,

00:16:14   and they're much stricter for what you can do over telephones than they are what you can do over the

00:16:17   internet. You can do whatever the hell you want to get you can get away with, but the the laws for

00:16:21   phones are very clear. So I imagine they're not recording it, which I think as I said last week,

00:16:27   if you're trusting this thing to be successful, like if I, you know, I've talked about how I

00:16:33   had trouble with phone trees when they first came out, but I think for something like this,

00:16:36   especially in the beginning, since it's going to fail so much of the time, say I used this thing

00:16:41   and said, you know, "Hey, Dingus, make me an appointment, make me a reservation at a

00:16:46   restaurant, blah, blah, blah."

00:16:48   I would spend the rest of the day wondering whether the confirmation that it has made

00:16:53   that reservation for me is true.

00:16:55   I'd be like, "But did you?"

00:16:58   And you'd wonder, and you'd get to the restaurant, and you'd be like, "God, my phone told me

00:17:01   it made a reservation, but the thing breaks all the time.

00:17:05   Did it actually make a reservation?"

00:17:06   And you would get there, and it'd be like, "We have no idea who you are, and we have

00:17:08   no idea what reservation you're talking to."

00:17:10   What are you going to say?

00:17:11   "I think I told my phone to call you."

00:17:13   Yeah, what evidence do you have of that?

00:17:16   Look at this message.

00:17:17   That just says, that's just a text message.

00:17:19   That didn't call us at all.

00:17:20   It's like, "No, but I told it this, and then it called you behind the scenes, and

00:17:24   then it told me I had a reservation."

00:17:25   And you'd be like, "Well, your phone lied to you."

00:17:29   I don't know.

00:17:30   I just wouldn't trust it.

00:17:31   And to trust something like that, kind of like the difference between Siri in the early

00:17:34   days and maybe still today and the Amazon Echo, is you learn to trust it after it's

00:17:39   successful a lot of times, right? Like you just realize, "Oh, the echo can hear me,"

00:17:45   and it does do what I asked. So the first couple of times you're a little bit shaky,

00:17:48   eventually you come to trust it. But like I said, I don't think people are going to

00:17:53   come to trust this because I think its reliability will be very, very low.

00:17:57   So to go back a half step with regard to recording, we don't know if they are being recorded

00:18:02   as far as I'm aware anyway. But a friend of the show, Matt Drance, wrote a couple of

00:18:07   tweets about this and so Matt writes, "So I have some questions about this section of

00:18:10   the duplex blog post." And he posts a screenshot and a link and the summary of the screenshot

00:18:17   is that Google is saying that duplex is capable of carrying out sophisticated conversations

00:18:23   and it completes the majority of its tasks fully and autonomously without human involvement.

00:18:28   The system has a self-monitoring capability which allows it to recognize the tasks it

00:18:31   cannot complete autonomously and in this case it signals to a human operator who can complete

00:18:36   the task. To train the system in a new domain, we use real-time supervised training. This

00:18:41   is comparable to the training practices of many disciplines, blah, blah, blah. But what

00:18:46   Matt points out is, and now I'm quoting from him, "So you throw a request over the fence

00:18:51   to assistant, which may or may not bring a total stranger into the call with my doctor,

00:18:56   my therapist, my lawyer. Please tell me I'm missing something." And that was a use case

00:19:04   or not really use case, but that was just a wrinkle that I had never even considered,

00:19:09   which I thought was really fascinating, is we're potentially exposing really, really

00:19:13   private information or data, I guess, about ourselves to potentially humans at Google

00:19:19   that we may not particularly want to have that information about.

00:19:22   But you don't have to worry about that because the user agreement they make you blindly click

00:19:27   through to get to it, signs over all your rights to every piece of privacy in your entire

00:19:31   life to Google and says that you agree that it's okay that Google knows everything about

00:19:34   So don't worry, Google won't get in trouble.

00:19:36   True.

00:19:37   But I don't know, it just seemed really, really weird to me.

00:19:40   And it's tough because I do appreciate, as we mentioned last episode, as you mentioned,

00:19:48   Jon, a minute ago, I do appreciate that there are people for whom this could be a just world-changing

00:19:54   product in that you either are incapable of using the phone or perhaps using the phone

00:20:01   is very, very difficult or something like that.

00:20:05   And so for an accessibility purpose,

00:20:07   this is really, really brilliant technology.

00:20:09   But I think the thing that we all keep coming back to,

00:20:11   and I don't remember if it was Marco

00:20:12   or maybe Jason or Mike on upgrade,

00:20:14   somebody said recently, you know,

00:20:16   the thing that I think we all find most creepy

00:20:19   is that it's not identifying itself as a computer,

00:20:22   which brings us to our next bit of follow-up.

00:20:24   Google says its human sounding robot

00:20:26   will identify itself on the phone calls.

00:20:28   So apparently Google noticed that the internet was not happy.

00:20:33   And they're saying that, you know, that in the future they will identify themselves as

00:20:38   non-human at some point during the call.

00:20:41   That really takes the wind out of their sails though, because most of the wow factor of

00:20:45   that demo was the fact that the computer sounded a lot like a person down to the pauses and

00:20:50   the ums and the whatever.

00:20:51   If you take out the ums and, you know, just leave the time gap pauses, it really highlights

00:20:57   It's the parts where you notice this thing on the other end of the line says the same

00:21:02   word exactly the same way every time, like it doesn't have much variety, right?

00:21:05   You can tell it's artificial, and the ums really sell it.

00:21:08   But if it identifies itself as an automation, but then it does um and stuff, it's like,

00:21:13   "Come on, come on, computer, I don't have time for you to play human.

00:21:18   You identified yourself as not human.

00:21:21   Don't keep trying to do things that humans do.

00:21:23   Be efficient.

00:21:24   Be a machine and get the job done.

00:21:26   the reservation, whatever.

00:21:27   Also, Hey You DVD just posted a link to Reddit in the chat, and I'm going to read this whole

00:21:34   thing. It's not very long, but it's fascinating. It's titled "Today I Realized I Live in the

00:21:38   Future," and it reads, "I got a call at work today. A woman called me claiming to be Google

00:21:42   Maps and she wanted to know our opening hours. We went through what hours we were open for,

00:21:46   weekdays, clarified the weekends, and said goodbye. She never told me her name and her

00:21:49   responses were a bit odd, but I put it down to a language or cultural barrier, though

00:21:53   she spoke very cleanly in English as her accent was Southeast Asian, I live in Australia.

00:21:58   It was otherwise unremarkable. I told the store manager, I'm an assistant manager, and

00:22:01   their first response was, "Was it a person?" I said, "Yeah, of course." He said, "Are you

00:22:07   sure?" Then it dawned on me, I checked Google and our hours were already updated, but one

00:22:11   day was slightly wrong. It's logistically impossible to have the manpower to call every

00:22:15   establishment and confirm their opening hours. I wasn't talking to someone from Google Maps,

00:22:18   I was talking to Google Maps. I was talking to a computer, and I had absolutely no idea.

00:22:24   Wow.

00:22:25   Yeah, the main thing these things have going for them in terms of making people think they're

00:22:30   humans is that humans have widely varying behavior on the phone, right? Especially with

00:22:36   the fidelity of phone lines, you can't hear the sort of audio artifacting and computeriness

00:22:42   of the actual speech synthesis, because it all just becomes mush over a pot system. And

00:22:50   then you're just left with, "Oh, this person just sounded weird, and maybe they weren't

00:22:53   a native speaker, but they didn't have an accent, but anyway, people are weird," whatever.

00:22:57   A couple of quick topics to start us off. First, I wanted to recognize that on Re/Code,

00:23:06   actually a couple weeks ago almost, there was a post which is entitled "Amazon employees

00:23:10   are outraged by their company's opposition to a plan to add more diversity to its board."

00:23:16   And my understanding of this entire story is that Amazon did the same thing Apple did,

00:23:22   which is they said, "No, no, no, we're not going to go out of our way to add diversity

00:23:24   to our board.

00:23:25   Our board is our board, and basically go screw yourselves."

00:23:28   But apparently a whole bunch of Amazon employees have been getting really angry about this,

00:23:34   And seemingly Amazon has said, "Okay, no, actually, we'll take this seriously and we'll

00:23:41   try to make our board a little more diverse."

00:23:43   And I just wanted to call attention to this because Apple has gone through this exact

00:23:47   same thing and they basically told us to pound sand.

00:23:51   And well, not us specifically, but they've told the people who brought this complaint

00:23:55   to pound sand and I just find that kind of gross.

00:23:59   And I just wanted to say that, "Hey, this is kind of cool that Amazon is doing something

00:24:02   that Apple refuses to, and that's neat.

00:24:05   I still think it's, like I said when we last discussed this, there's little actually to

00:24:10   do with the nature of the shareholder proposal, right?

00:24:15   Like it doesn't matter what it is, it could be like we should all wear blue hats on Wednesday,

00:24:18   and a lot to do with the fact that companies like Amazon and Apple and any big company

00:24:24   does not want to be told what to do by a section of shareholders, right?

00:24:29   They'll be told what to do by majority shareholders or very large percentage shareholders, but

00:24:34   small activist group of shareholders trying to tell the company what to do, not just like

00:24:40   broadly speaking, but specifically you must agree to this plan and it becomes a thing

00:24:44   that you have to do as a public company.

00:24:46   They don't want to be boss around and say, "You're not the boss of me," right?

00:24:48   And so it looks bad when the thing they're telling you to do is probably a thing that

00:24:50   you want to do.

00:24:51   Like Apple has tons of diversity initiatives and so on and so forth, but these things usually

00:24:55   come down to, "You must do exactly X, Y, and Z."

00:24:58   And Apple says, "All right, if we want to improve diversity on our board, we want to

00:25:03   do it our way.

00:25:04   We don't want the terms to be dictated to.

00:25:05   We don't want you, small group of shareholders, to convince a larger group to vote for this

00:25:10   thing and now we're beholden to your exact plan of an exact milestones and everything."

00:25:15   And so it's not a good look for any of the companies.

00:25:18   And Amazon seems like they're handling it much better.

00:25:20   But I bet the outcome is Amazon says, "We now have a new program to improve the diversity

00:25:24   of our board, but they won't be bound by it in the same way they would have been if

00:25:28   all the shareholders voted for this thing, you know what I mean? So that's why these

00:25:32   companies just reflexively recommend against any shareholder recommendation to do anything

00:25:36   ever because shareholders are not the boss of them until they are.

00:25:42   [Laughter]

00:25:43   Exactly. And so rounding out the Casey complaints about every public company episode, Twitter

00:25:50   is a bunch of jerks. And as much as I love Twitter, basically they can go f*** themselves

00:25:56   because they have announced today, as we record, that they are replacing the API they provide

00:26:06   that basically is behind any of the third-party Twitter clients that any of us may use. And

00:26:11   they're replacing it with their Twitter's Account Activity API, which is not nearly

00:26:17   as full featured as what it replaces and is hilariously expensive.

00:26:22   So Sean Heber of the Twitterific folks at IconFactory, he wrote, "The public pricing

00:26:30   that I'm seeing shows Twitter's account activity API pricing is $2,899 a month to get activity

00:26:35   updates for 250 users.

00:26:39   Needless to say, we have more than 250 users.

00:26:41   It's possible an enterprise deal could be made, but it seems likely to be affordable."

00:26:46   And so you can assume that the, you know, that, that Twitterific, that, that Tweetbot

00:26:50   has many, many thousands of users, if not tens of thousands of users.

00:26:55   And you can see how this quickly becomes unsustainable.

00:26:57   And in fact, friend of the show, Craig Hockenberry wrote, "The math works out to about $10, $10

00:27:02   per user per month to get push notifications."

00:27:05   And that means that they would have to, in order to, you know, stay afloat, they would

00:27:08   have to push that cost down to all of their users.

00:27:12   So Craig continues, "On a platform where people balk at spending 99 cents."

00:27:16   Don't forget about Apple's 30% cut.

00:27:18   Yeah, exactly.

00:27:20   So it's really like, what is it, $15, $16 or something like that per user per month?

00:27:23   It's just not tenable.

00:27:26   And so, you know, Gruber wrote earlier tonight, and I don't have the quote in front of me

00:27:30   at the moment, but he had a really good analogy and he said in so many words, "It's like breaking

00:27:34   up with somebody by just being a really, really big jerk until they go away."

00:27:38   kind of what Twitter is doing with third-party clients right now. And it just not only makes

00:27:45   me sad, but it makes me friggin angry. I don't know, maybe I'm going through the five stages,

00:27:48   right? But it just makes me angry because it seems unnecessary. Like they already have

00:27:53   something that is working, and it doesn't seem like they're doing a lot to update it.

00:27:58   I can't imagine that just keeping it working as is is that terribly expensive or difficult.

00:28:04   But they really want to tell all of the third-party developers to, as I said earlier, pound sand.

00:28:11   And it's just frustrating.

00:28:12   But they have—I saw the thread that Craig linked to, of like there was some part of

00:28:18   you from Twitter saying, "Oh, well, we have a new set of microservices that are implemented

00:28:22   in a more robust way, and we're transitioning to them."

00:28:25   And like that could be a reason, but the most frustrating thing to me from the outside of

00:28:30   of looking at this eternal struggle between third-party developers and Twitter is that

00:28:35   Twitter does things that affect third-party clients and explains them in a way that never

00:28:39   mentions third-party clients. They always explain them, like, "Oh, we're doing this

00:28:42   for this reason and for that," or whatever. It's like, "Yeah, but you see how it's doing

00:28:46   this bad thing. Hey, Twitter, how do you feel about this bad thing? Is it a side effect?"

00:28:51   You can't say you're not aware of it. You know it's happening. Last time, I remember

00:28:54   they were going to do this and said, "Oh, we have to think about it for a while. We'll

00:28:56   delay it." And I was like, "How does that help you? All you're doing is trying to wait

00:28:59   until the…"

00:29:00   weeks, yeah, waiting for the bad PR to die down and just do the same thing again. And

00:29:04   it's like, address it head on. I think I said this in the rectives episode where Merlin

00:29:09   and I were yelling about Twitter clients, like, "Decide what you want. Do you want

00:29:13   third-party clients or do you not? If you don't want them, get rid of them. If you

00:29:16   do want them, support them." But like, you know, address the issue head on instead of

00:29:20   just constantly saying other things other than, you know, people out there saying, "You're

00:29:25   killing us," and they're like, "We're really improving our API," and blah, blah, blah.

00:29:30   But you have to talk to those people. You have to say, "We're sorry, but that's just

00:29:35   the way it is. You should stop making third-party clients." So you have to say, "We're sorry,

00:29:38   and we won't do this." But instead of saying, "Well, actually, we're doing it for this reason.

00:29:41   I don't care what reason you're doing it for. These are the effects that it's having, and

00:29:45   you should address them head-on." And they don't seem capable of doing it.

00:29:48   I mean, I have a slightly different take on this. First of all, there was a great alternative

00:29:53   take on Connected this week, led I think mostly by Mike, where basically like basically saying

00:29:59   like this kind of doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things. Even if you use these apps,

00:30:04   this kind of this kind of this none of these things are like should be deal killers for

00:30:08   you as a user. Now whether they are for the apps is a different story. But you know, as

00:30:12   the user, this is not the end of the world probably.

00:30:14   Well, the DM one is kind of the end of the world. There's now you got to use a different

00:30:18   app for DMS.

00:30:19   - Yeah, that's a bigger problem, but it's easy for us

00:30:23   as fans and users, well, as users of Twitter,

00:30:27   it's easy for us who've been using third party

00:30:32   Twitter apps forever to look at this

00:30:35   and to look at the continued slow jerkiness of Twitter

00:30:38   towards third party apps since like 2012

00:30:42   and to ascribe all of their actions to this motive

00:30:47   of Gruber's excellent analogy of

00:30:49   like somebody who's just trying to break up with their significant other and just being

00:30:52   a jerk about it instead of just telling them. And that could be possible. That could be

00:30:56   what's happening here.

00:30:57   - That's what it's like. Not that that's their motivation, because again, if their motivation

00:31:01   was to get rid of third-party clients, they would just do it. It's like from the outside,

00:31:06   it seems like that's what's happening, but like neglect or like just not caring or apathy

00:31:12   or just equally reasonable explanations. But from the outside, it just seems to us that

00:31:18   They're just being a jerk and we're trying to figure out

00:31:20   why are you trying to be a jerk?

00:31:21   Either break up with us or don't.

00:31:22   - Right, but I think ultimately though,

00:31:24   I think it is a combination of ignorance and apathy

00:31:28   and just like, because look at the way Twitter runs

00:31:31   the rest of Twitter.

00:31:33   You think they can have a coherent vision and solid plan

00:31:36   that ran from 2012 until now about anything?

00:31:39   Twitter doesn't even understand Twitter themselves.

00:31:41   They don't even understand the basics of their own service.

00:31:43   They don't like, they can,

00:31:44   they're barely keeping that company running.

00:31:47   they're barely keeping the product usable.

00:31:49   They're actively fighting against the product

00:31:51   and its users all the time with tons of crazy mismanagement,

00:31:55   horrible directions they go in and then abandon.

00:31:58   Twitter sucks at running Twitter.

00:32:00   So I think it's very, very likely that the actual causes

00:32:05   of their behavior here are not some gradual plan

00:32:09   to kill third-party apps.

00:32:11   I think they just are doing things that they see

00:32:14   as reactionary to other forces, other API desires,

00:32:18   or other platform initiatives,

00:32:21   or God knows what else they call it,

00:32:23   that happen to hit third-party apps on the way,

00:32:26   but I don't think anybody influential inside Twitter

00:32:29   gives two seconds of thought to any third-party apps.

00:32:33   So I think all of this is just collateral damage

00:32:36   from things inside that have nothing to do with them at all.

00:32:40   - But last time they did delay the thing, though.

00:32:42   They were like, "Oh, people are angry.

00:32:44   they immediately had to reply and said,

00:32:45   "I see lots of people are angry.

00:32:46   "We'll, you know, we'll, sure,

00:32:48   "we'll give you 90 days notice."

00:32:49   And that was an immediate reaction.

00:32:51   So I think they are hearing it,

00:32:52   but they're like kind of, you know, spindler style.

00:32:55   You guys don't get that reference.

00:32:56   They're hiding under their desk when the people get angry.

00:32:58   And they're like, "We realize something we're doing

00:32:59   "is making some people angry and we don't really,

00:33:02   "I don't care about those people,

00:33:03   "but I don't like being yelled at.

00:33:04   "So if I just hide under my desk for a while,"

00:33:07   and they're like, "Wait, are they calmed down now?

00:33:09   "Okay, let's go back to what we were doing."

00:33:10   'Cause they don't care.

00:33:11   And you're right, there's no six-year sustained plan to do anything at Twitter.

00:33:14   But the frustrating thing, corporate communication-wise, is you should at least address the issue

00:33:19   people are mad at you about.

00:33:22   Every answer that I've seen from Twitter about the specific issue never says head-on anything

00:33:27   about the third-party clients or whatever.

00:33:31   And so, yeah, it's continued indecision.

00:33:34   And indecision eventually becomes a decision, and it becomes like, "Oh, in effect, you're

00:33:38   or being a jerk to us for six years

00:33:39   and eventually we'll go away.

00:33:41   But if that is a goal of yours

00:33:43   to get rid of third-party clients,

00:33:45   you would have done it already

00:33:47   because you were entirely empowered to do it.

00:33:48   So it's like, it's not a goal

00:33:51   and we don't like being yelled at,

00:33:53   but if we do it eventually as a side effect

00:33:57   of a bunch of other flailings that we're doing,

00:33:59   we're mostly okay with that,

00:34:01   but we'll never tell you any of this.

00:34:02   And every time you ask about it,

00:34:04   we'll just say something else

00:34:07   about why we're making these changes.

00:34:08   And I bet the reasons they're making the changes are true.

00:34:10   I bet they are changing to new API endpoints

00:34:12   that are better and have better performance.

00:34:14   And I bet they are phasing out the old API endpoints

00:34:16   'cause they were badly implemented and inefficient.

00:34:17   All of that is probably 100% true,

00:34:19   but that's not what people wanna hear.

00:34:21   They wanna, people wanna hear,

00:34:22   "Yeah, but by doing this, you're having this effect.

00:34:24   How do you feel about that?

00:34:26   We don't like it.

00:34:27   We're being hurt by it.

00:34:28   Can you help us out?"

00:34:29   And last time they said, "Whoa, whoa, whoa,

00:34:31   don't yell at us.

00:34:32   We'll take the time to think about this."

00:34:33   Now they're just like, "Okay, how about now?

00:34:36   Can we just do the same thing now?

00:34:38   It's just, it's incredibly frustrating.

00:34:40   Especially since, as many people pointed out,

00:34:43   like, oh, they don't want people to use third-party clients,

00:34:45   that, you know, or at least they don't care

00:34:47   about third-party clients.

00:34:49   First of all, most people don't use third-party clients,

00:34:51   so it's not like this is a big problem.

00:34:52   Oh, half our user base is using third-party clients,

00:34:54   we can't control their user experience.

00:34:56   No, it's not true, it's vanishing a small percentage.

00:34:58   And second of all, we want them

00:35:00   to use our first-party clients.

00:35:01   They can their first-party clients for the Mac,

00:35:03   so they just want people to use their website, I guess,

00:35:06   which is their first party client.

00:35:07   iOS, you know, they still have the client.

00:35:09   Anyway, they're just making a mess

00:35:11   and you know, it's disappointing

00:35:15   and I'm glad that a lot of the features

00:35:18   that they're canning or destroying

00:35:19   don't affect me that much

00:35:20   'cause I don't care about notifications.

00:35:21   I don't have any push stuff enabled.

00:35:23   But DMs would affect me

00:35:25   and if I lose the ability to use Twitter DMs,

00:35:27   I will just stop using Twitter DMs

00:35:28   and I'll just use something else for that,

00:35:30   use iMessage or whatever

00:35:32   'cause I'm not gonna use a DM API

00:35:34   it as like a three to six minute lag every time I send a message.

00:35:38   Just makes me sad. I mean, to be honest, it's probably for the best that I slowly wean myself

00:35:44   off Twitter because I spend too much damn time on it. But it just makes me sad. And

00:35:49   again, it's, I guess in a way the same problem I have with the Google Duplex thing. Like

00:35:54   just call a spade a spade. You know, "Hi, this is a computer calling you on behalf of

00:35:58   Casey List. I'd like to schedule an appointment, please. Hi, I'm Twitter and I want third party

00:36:02   clients to go away. So this is what we're doing.

00:36:05   But they don't. If they want them to go away, they could make them go away. They're

00:36:07   just sort of, it's benign, it's benign neglect.

00:36:10   Well I think the thing is they want them to go away, but they don't want to be the

00:36:13   one with the smoking gun after it's over.

00:36:16   If they want to not make people mad at them, the six-year strategy of making people constantly

00:36:20   mad at them is not like those same people. Like, those people aren't like, you know,

00:36:26   if you had to say this was a strategy, it would be a strategy of like barely appeasing

00:36:31   them. But as Marco pointed out, the idea that Twitter had any six-year strategy that was

00:36:36   consistent is ridiculous anyway. So it's not like they're consciously barely appeasing

00:36:40   them, but in effect, because they're so reactive when people yell at them, they are always

00:36:45   walking that line between just making people incredibly angry at them all the time and

00:36:48   then slightly appeasing and then angry and then appease them a little bit and then angry

00:36:52   and then it's just... And meanwhile, the state of third-party Twitter clients just gets worse

00:36:58   and worse over time.

00:36:59   - You know what we should do?

00:37:00   We should just have all the white Nazis

00:37:01   use third-party apps,

00:37:02   and then they will get priority support,

00:37:04   and Twitter will do everything they want.

00:37:06   - Oh, good thinking!

00:37:06   - And then all this stuff will get fixed.

00:37:09   - Brilliant idea.

00:37:10   - That reminds me of the hell-banning feature

00:37:12   that they just added.

00:37:13   Do you know about that Twitter ad, hell-banning?

00:37:15   Do you know what hell-banning is?

00:37:16   - Yeah, where it's like where you post,

00:37:17   and you don't realize no one's seeing your stuff,

00:37:20   but no one's seeing your stuff.

00:37:21   - Yep, so it's not actually quite that bad

00:37:24   as that no one sees it,

00:37:24   like basically certain people's tweets do not appear in a thread.

00:37:31   So if you're looking at a thread, if anybody's looking at a thread and they participated

00:37:35   in the thread, certain people's tweets don't appear.

00:37:38   You know, the bad people, bot accounts, Nazis, all that sort of stuff like that, right?

00:37:42   Which sounds like a good idea because it's like, it's well, it's been tried many times

00:37:48   in forums and everything and it's kind of good if you don't like getting yelled at because

00:37:51   what you're just hoping is that the people don't realize that they're hell-banned.

00:37:54   the whole idea. Eventually in forums people could realize, but in Twitter maybe they just

00:37:58   think people are ignoring them, and most of the time they're just like, "Create a new

00:38:02   account, spew a bunch of invective, get your account suspended, repeat," you know, loops

00:38:05   so they'll never care, right? They're hell-banned. But the key with all these things is, okay,

00:38:11   how does Twitter decide who gets hell-banned? And the first place I saw anything having

00:38:15   to do with hell-banning on Twitter was because some person's account was hell-banned because

00:38:20   they like told a Nazi to go screw themselves, right? That was the person who was hell-banned,

00:38:25   the person who told the Nazi to go screw themselves because they used like screw or something or said

00:38:28   like an insulting word. The whole point of online trolls is they figure out how your system works

00:38:36   and then they make 500 sock puppet accounts to report your account and get it hell-banned and

00:38:40   you don't notice. And so like the concept of hell-banning I'm not entirely against,

00:38:46   but the idea that Twitter would correctly identify the accounts to actually ban versus

00:38:51   having the system entirely gamed by the bad people to essentially hell-ban everyone else

00:38:56   who's against them.

00:38:58   It's just, there's so little that Twitter could do these days where I think the results

00:39:03   of it will be an improvement to the service, even when they ostensibly are doing more or

00:39:07   less the right thing.

00:39:08   So anyway, I'm assuming I'm hell-banned right now.

00:39:11   Sorry if you can't see my tweets.

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00:41:06   What else happened at Google I/O?

00:41:07   We talked a whole lot about the Google Duplex thing.

00:41:12   Was there anything else interesting that happened?

00:41:14   What else went on?

00:41:15   - Well, first of all, let's preface that by saying,

00:41:18   are any of us qualified to even know what's relevant,

00:41:21   let alone to have seen enough of it to talk about it,

00:41:23   let alone to talk about it well?

00:41:25   - I watched it.

00:41:26   I did my homework.

00:41:27   I assume you two didn't.

00:41:28   - No, of course not.

00:41:29   I already gave 14 minutes of my life for that,

00:41:32   and that was too many.

00:41:33   - Yeah, it was pretty long.

00:41:34   There's some downtime sections there,

00:41:36   But it's good to see the whole thing to see how Google is presenting its face to the world.

00:41:41   That middle section on duplex really was the important part, though.

00:41:44   But yeah, there's just a few odds and ends here.

00:41:46   One of them is about that Google is now on the bandwagon with their assistant where they

00:41:50   have a, what do they call it, continued conversation where you don't have to say, "Hey, dingus,"

00:41:55   in front of every single command.

00:41:56   You say, "Hey, dingus," and then a command, and then it's still listening to you for a

00:41:59   little period of time.

00:42:00   So I think we talked about that with Amazon a couple months ago.

00:42:05   And then now Google has got it.

00:42:06   I'm sure Apple will have it in like six to eight years, so it'll be fine.

00:42:11   Compound commands was something that they demoed.

00:42:14   And we talked about that as well, of being able to, you know, say play the song and turn

00:42:19   the volume up, which is something that HomePod can already do, at least in the domain of

00:42:23   music.

00:42:24   Google was showing off in particular how they handle interesting compounds.

00:42:29   This was a good demo where it seems like an easy problem because you just look for like

00:42:33   an "and" or something and then you know where to split the thing up, but they showed two

00:42:38   commands that if you just blindly split an "and" it would get the wrong answer, so it

00:42:42   has to understand the sentences and understand this is part one of the command and this is

00:42:46   the second command as opposed to a compound command that is applying to two things that

00:42:50   are "and"ed in it.

00:42:51   So I thought that was neat.

00:42:53   And like I said, that's an area where I think HomePod actually can do that in the limited

00:42:57   domain of music, although probably not as sophisticated as Google Assistant can do.

00:43:05   There was pretty please mode, which this is starting to get into Google's sort of lifestyle

00:43:10   part where they're trying to...

00:43:11   This is interesting.

00:43:12   Apple does this a little bit, but Nintendo does it a little bit too.

00:43:15   This is the first time I'd really seen Google leaning on this.

00:43:18   The idea that we make electronics and software and servers, and we recognize that sometimes

00:43:29   people use our products more than they want to.

00:43:33   I don't know how else to phrase that.

00:43:35   We make things and we give them to you and you can use them, but sometimes you feel bad

00:43:39   like you're using them too much.

00:43:41   I'm on my phone too much.

00:43:42   I spend too long browsing the web, right?

00:43:45   Whatever it may be.

00:43:46   I would imagine that like for the audio things, no one is like, "This is a great stereo system,

00:43:51   but we also have a feature just in case you feel guilty for listening to too much music."

00:43:56   Every once in a while, our stereo will come on and say, "You've been listening to music

00:43:59   for about an hour.

00:44:00   Are you sure you don't want to stop and go outside?"

00:44:02   That doesn't happen with stereo systems for the most part.

00:44:05   But for products like a lot of the products that Google and Apple and lots of other tech

00:44:10   companies make, that is a common feature.

00:44:13   Nintendo's consoles for a little while now have said, "You've been playing games for

00:44:15   two hours maybe you should get up and stretch or go outside because the perception is that

00:44:19   if you play games for two hours maybe you should take a break but no one wants a stereo

00:44:23   that says you've been listening to music for two hours maybe you should take a break anyway

00:44:27   google has a whole wing of their products now that's like you seem like you've been

00:44:32   using your phone a lot maybe you should do something else for a little while and they

00:44:38   call this digital well-being and there's another feature about that i'll get to in a second

00:44:42   But the pretty please mode is similar to that in that say you are someone who has a bunch

00:44:48   of cylinders in your house like all of us do and you have kids like all of us do and

00:44:52   the kids talk to the cylinders.

00:44:54   There is this – I'm not going to say alarmist parenting.

00:44:59   Parents are alarmed about many things.

00:45:01   Oh my goodness, what's happening to our children?

00:45:04   Something is different in my children's life than it was in my life.

00:45:06   Are we accidentally teaching our children something bad?

00:45:10   Are we losing our children?

00:45:11   The first one is, are we teaching our children to be rude by having them order around our

00:45:16   cylinders?

00:45:17   Like my child is mean when it talks to my cylinder and demands that the cylinder do

00:45:21   things, right?

00:45:22   I think that's a little silly because if your child is a jerk, it's not the fault of the

00:45:26   cylinder probably.

00:45:28   But you know, parents have concerns and want to deal with it.

00:45:31   And so pretty please mode is a mode in which your cylinder, I don't know if it requires,

00:45:35   but it really wants you to ask it to do something in a nice way.

00:45:40   And when you do ask it in a nice way by saying please or whatever, the cylinder acknowledges

00:45:45   that you've done that and say, "And thank you for asking so nicely."

00:45:48   Right?

00:45:49   I don't know if it's a jerk about it and says, "Ah, ah, ah, you didn't say Simon says."

00:45:53   But the idea is that our products are too efficient and little kids can use them and

00:45:59   maybe little kids are being bossy.

00:46:00   So let's change our product to make it worse but make it so the kids learn politeness.

00:46:06   Which as a parent I'm going to say if your cylinder could help my kid learn to be more

00:46:10   polite I'm not going to argue with that but I think adults would not particularly like

00:46:15   that.

00:46:16   I wonder if it only works for kids because Google cylinders can identify different voices.

00:46:20   The other digital wellbeing thing was like say it's night time and it seems like you're

00:46:24   on your phone a lot.

00:46:25   Digital wellbeing has a wind down feature that you can tell it to say if it's like 11

00:46:32   and I'm still on my phone, please try to encourage me to go to bed."

00:46:36   So the new version of Android will transition the entire UI to black and white to try to

00:46:42   make the phone less engaging to you, and it will remind you to go to bed.

00:46:45   And I love the idea of taking all the color out of your phone.

00:46:48   Like transitioning your phone to black, I'd be like, "Haha, you fool, I used a monochrome

00:46:52   Mac for many years.

00:46:53   This is not less appealing to me.

00:46:55   Do you know how many hours I spent staring at a monochrome screen?

00:46:59   Not even grayscale.

00:47:00   It's just black pixels and white pixels.

00:47:01   It wasn't less engaging, you couldn't get me off that thing.

00:47:04   But it's like, Google's literally,

00:47:07   it has a feature to make its products worse

00:47:09   to encourage you to stop using them.

00:47:12   And it sounds absurd, but this is a thing

00:47:15   I think people want because I think,

00:47:17   well, I talked about this on Directives, like self-hacks.

00:47:20   Sometimes the way you can accomplish a goal,

00:47:24   like I wish I used my phone less,

00:47:26   is not by remembering to use your phone less,

00:47:28   but by in your moments of clarity and rationality

00:47:32   where you realize you wanna use your phone list,

00:47:34   sabotage your own life in a way that will

00:47:37   either remind you to use your phone list

00:47:39   or force you to use your phone list.

00:47:40   Like self-hacks, I need to make this change in my life

00:47:43   because if I don't, willpower alone

00:47:45   won't cause me to do this.

00:47:46   Like I said on the show, not having ice cream in the house

00:47:49   if you're trying not to eat ice cream.

00:47:50   You could just not eat ice cream,

00:47:52   but it's much easier to not eat ice cream

00:47:53   when it's not in the house.

00:47:54   So when you're in the mindset, I really wanna do this.

00:47:56   when you're at the store, don't buy the ice cream because you know future you will thank

00:48:02   you for that because you're like, "You know what? If there was ice cream in the house,

00:48:04   I would eat it now." But thankfully, before, I had the presence of mind to hack myself.

00:48:08   So I suppose when the wind down feature comes on, you'd be like, "Oh, but I still want to

00:48:11   use my phone." But now it'll be like, "Oh, but my phone is getting annoying and I should

00:48:16   really go to bed anyway." Just giving you that little extra nudge. So I wouldn't be

00:48:20   surprised to see Apple introducing features like this because as absurd as they sound,

00:48:26   And I think they're features that people might actually like and use.

00:48:29   I don't know, would either of you ever configure one of your electronics to tell you to stop

00:48:35   using it?

00:48:36   No.

00:48:37   I think I would.

00:48:41   I don't do the best with putting my phone down or away in times when it shouldn't be

00:48:47   in my hand.

00:48:48   And so, like, I've done a lot of these self-hacks with varying degrees of success.

00:48:54   Lately, I've been leaving my phone on a different floor of the house.

00:48:58   So when I think, "Oh, I wonder, you know, if so-and-so was in such-and-such TV show."

00:49:04   Like, it doesn't matter.

00:49:05   I don't need to look that up.

00:49:06   You should ask your cylinder.

00:49:07   It knows.

00:49:08   Well, and actually, yeah, now I can ask the cylinder.

00:49:09   But I'm just trying to think of a stupid example.

00:49:11   And so I've been leaving the phone on the wrong floor, if you will.

00:49:14   Additionally, I've had Do Not Disturb come on by five in the evening.

00:49:18   I used to have it come on at ten, which is about when I go to bed, except on Wednesdays.

00:49:21   Hi, fellas.

00:49:22   And so I've moved it up to five in the evening,

00:49:26   such that basically once I'm home from work,

00:49:29   I really won't be bothered unless somebody

00:49:31   really wants to get ahold of me.

00:49:33   And so I've been doing little things like that.

00:49:36   So I think I would probably turn on these sorts of

00:49:40   warnings or reminders or what have you.

00:49:44   And like do not disturb while driving.

00:49:48   I think that's another good example.

00:49:49   I have that on.

00:49:50   And sometimes when I'm at a stoplight,

00:49:52   I tell it shut up and go away, but sometimes I see it and I'm like, you know what, I really

00:49:56   should not do the thing I'm trying to do right now.

00:49:59   So I would do it, but that's just me.

00:50:01   What do you think about the pretty please cylinder thing?

00:50:04   If you could put your cylinder into a mode that requires you to be nice to it.

00:50:08   So given that we have a three and a half year old in the house, and he, I like to think

00:50:12   of him as pretty polite.

00:50:14   You know, he's my perfect little precious angel.

00:50:16   He does no wrong.

00:50:17   I think anything we could do to encourage consistency on "please" and "thank you" would be helpful.

00:50:22   And I don't really actually care if he says "please" or "thank you" to Alexa, but

00:50:29   I do care that he says "please" and "thank you" to people, and I don't think it's useful to try to explain to him,

00:50:36   "No, no, no, that's not really a person, so you don't have to worry about them."

00:50:39   But when you're talking to mommy or daddy or other people, you do need to say "please" and "thank you."

00:50:44   And so I have been meaning to turn this on, but I haven't gotten around to doing it yet.

00:50:49   But I'm on board with it.

00:50:51   **Matt Stauffer** Marco, you're going to say please and thank

00:50:53   you to your cylinders?

00:50:54   **Marco Koppelman** No.

00:50:55   **Matt Stauffer** See, if I think about it from the kid angle,

00:50:57   again, parents will take anything they can get to help along with parenting. Like you said,

00:51:04   it was going to make my kid more polite. Great. But there is another aspect of parenting a child

00:51:09   in a house full of cylinders, you know, as preparing them for their future life,

00:51:13   and essentially making the distinction between something that's a person and something that's

00:51:18   not a person. And I get that like the habits that you build on the non-person can transfer

00:51:24   to the person, but on the other hand, efficiently navigating a world of computer agents and stuff

00:51:31   is a skill, and it's not particularly efficient to pretend the computer is a person, right?

00:51:39   Especially for very young kids, I guess it's a fun thing to do.

00:51:43   Kids believe lots of magical things, but at a certain point, the skill that you want your

00:51:47   kid to have transitions from "learn to be nice to inanimate objects" to "learn to efficiently

00:51:52   use computers to accomplish tasks," because that will be part of your life.

00:51:56   And even perhaps to the fact of "learn to identify when it's not a person on the other

00:52:02   end of the phone line," or whatever, so that you can switch modes essentially and switch

00:52:06   into, you know, you know, last week's show was playing the video game.

00:52:11   Playing it like a video game.

00:52:12   Yeah, playing it like a video game, because that's a skill you should have.

00:52:16   Like you should understand how these systems work, you should know that they exist, and

00:52:18   you should treat them.

00:52:21   It's not about being nice or not nice, but it's about, you know, having the appropriate

00:52:26   interactions with them.

00:52:27   Because the appropriate interactions, like what's next, like you're gonna put "please"

00:52:30   in your Google queries?

00:52:31   Of course you're not, because that's not efficient, and you know Google is not a person.

00:52:34   It's just that if you start making it sound a little bit like a person—I'm not saying

00:52:38   be abusive.

00:52:39   I think that was—when the hell did that come up?

00:52:41   I think that was IRL talk, if you should be mean to your robot butler.

00:52:45   Darrell Bock Oh, yeah, yeah, yep, yep, yep.

00:52:46   John "Slick" Baum: Right.

00:52:47   So there is a crossover point where you actually are training people to be terrible to humans,

00:52:51   but I think the voice is not quite at that crossover point.

00:52:53   I don't know.

00:52:54   I have to think about it some more.

00:52:55   I would like to try it just to see what the failure modes are and if it is really mean

00:52:58   to you and won't do what you said because you didn't say please.

00:53:01   Because people do like positive reinforcement, and if you say please and it's nice to you

00:53:05   back, that actually could make the product feel better to people.

00:53:09   Because they're like, "Oh, my cylinder was nice to me."

00:53:12   It's already kind of nice.

00:53:14   It sets my timers and tells me about stuff that I ask, and it's generally pleasant when

00:53:19   it doesn't.

00:53:20   But if it congratulated me on being polite, I think I would say, "Oh, I feel better about

00:53:24   that," even though I know you're just a computer program.

00:53:26   So that could actually be a user benefit, not so much changing my behavior as making

00:53:31   me feel better each time I use it.

00:53:33   I totally hear you about teaching the kids the difference between computers and not computers,

00:53:40   but at three and a half, I don't think that that's the battle I want to fight.

00:53:45   The battle I want to fight at three and a half is say please and thank you.

00:53:48   At, I don't know, five or seven, I don't know what the appropriate age is, I will absolutely

00:53:52   fight the battle—well, not fight the battle, but explain, you don't really need to say

00:53:56   please to a thing that doesn't exist or that's not, you know, a human, but you should

00:54:00   say please to other people. I do need to navigate that. I agree with you. I just don't think

00:54:06   that for my particular family at this particular stage in our lives, I don't think Declan

00:54:12   needs to be worrying about the distinction between the two. And maybe I'm wrong. I

00:54:16   don't know. But that's the way I look at it.

00:54:17   And also, like I said, it really depends on your kids.

00:54:21   We just had a sleepover party here

00:54:23   with a bunch of 10 and 11-year-old girls in the house,

00:54:26   and they love talking to cylinders

00:54:28   and asking them to play music.

00:54:30   And they're all talking at once,

00:54:31   and they're all yelling over each other,

00:54:33   and they're all excited about what they can do.

00:54:34   And I can say, I heard everything they said.

00:54:37   You couldn't help but hear them.

00:54:38   They're very loud.

00:54:40   It's a small house.

00:54:40   And they were never mean to the cylinders.

00:54:44   They were excited about the cylinders.

00:54:45   they laugh when the cylinder would make a mistake.

00:54:48   I did eventually convince them.

00:54:49   I had to force them.

00:54:50   I went into the room and nudged them,

00:54:51   because they were playing music on the Google Home Mini,

00:54:53   and the HomePod is like five feet away.

00:54:55   And I'm like, come on, people.

00:54:57   Come on.

00:54:58   They're cranking the volume on the Google Home Mini

00:55:00   is the size of a softball.

00:55:02   And the HomePod's sitting there going,

00:55:04   I have 20 speakers that fire in a million directions.

00:55:06   It can adjust to the room shape.

00:55:07   And they're like, oh, we'll play it.

00:55:09   So I got them to change and talk to the HomePod.

00:55:11   And they get confused about the trigger words

00:55:13   a lot, which is, you know, they don't care about these distinctions, they just want the

00:55:16   stuff to happen. Sometimes they'd both be playing at the same time, or slightly offset,

00:55:20   which was, you know, it was a little bit of a mess. Anyway, they were never mean. They

00:55:22   were never mean to the cylinders. They never got mad at them, they never, you know, were

00:55:27   bossy or whatever. And so I feel like if, it's kind of like if your kid was being bossy

00:55:32   to their teddy bear, it's not the teddy bear's fault. There's no alteration in the teddy

00:55:36   bear's demeanor or appearance that will change your child from yelling at it. The kid's being

00:55:40   bossy to the teddy bear is a sign that something else is wrong. Why is your kid angry? You

00:55:44   know, whatever the problem is, it's probably not the teddy bear. So if your kid is yelling

00:55:48   at their cylinder, changing the cylinder to ask them to be polite is addressing the symptom

00:55:53   and not the root problem, I would say.

00:55:56   All right. We have probably half an hour to an hour left of the show, so I think we still

00:56:02   have time possibly to bring up the next topic. Let's talk about keyboards, Marco. There's

00:56:08   There's a class action lawsuit, and apparently one of you wants to talk about it, and that

00:56:13   is not me.

00:56:14   - I didn't put it in here, so it must be John.

00:56:16   I was just hoping to say that, you know, Apple gets class action lawsuits filed against it

00:56:21   all the time.

00:56:23   They usually are BS, they go nowhere.

00:56:26   Class action lawsuits are generally scams, because the only people who tend to make any

00:56:32   real money out of them are the lawyers.

00:56:34   Usually they're not news.

00:56:35   I'm still not sure this one is news,

00:56:39   but it happens to be on a topic that I talk about a lot,

00:56:41   so I suppose that's why it's in here.

00:56:45   But yeah, there has been a class action lawsuit

00:56:47   filed in California that alleges that,

00:56:51   so it's regarding the keyboards in the 12 inch MacBook

00:56:54   and 2016 forward MacBook Pros that I love to bag on so much

00:56:58   because they are highly controversial in feel and attributes

00:57:03   and I fall on the "they suck" side of that controversy, but of course they're also fairly

00:57:08   unreliable compared to the previous ones. So anyway, this lawsuit alleges not only that

00:57:12   they are unreliable and that Apple is refusing to fix them under warranty the way they should,

00:57:16   but also that Apple knowingly put them in the MacBook Pros after knowing after the 2015

00:57:24   12-inch MacBook that basically it's alleging they knew they were defective and put them

00:57:30   in the other laptops and have been continuing to sell them anyway, even knowing that they

00:57:34   would fail at a high rate and be defective.

00:57:37   And that's honestly plausible.

00:57:41   If you look at the sequence of events, I've been saying this for a long time now.

00:57:47   Apple released the 12-inch MacBook, it had the butterfly keyboard for the first time,

00:57:51   and those failed at a very high rate, seemingly anecdotally.

00:57:54   And you can say this is all anecdotes and everything, but that's all we have.

00:57:59   isn't reveal these numbers so it's all we have is you can ask around, you can hear on

00:58:03   Twitter or stuff like that. And it did seem like right from the start there was a seemingly

00:58:09   unusually high failure rate on those keyboards, even the 12 inch, and this was a year and

00:58:15   a half before the MacBook Pros shipped with them. So anyway, this lawsuit is alleging

00:58:21   that Apple knew they were higher than usual failing rates and shipped them in all their

00:58:25   computers anyway and that does seem plausible.

00:58:29   Apple might have known.

00:58:30   We're probably never gonna know.

00:58:31   This is probably never gonna reach a court

00:58:33   and Apple's probably never gonna have any kind of testimony

00:58:35   put on the record.

00:58:36   Chances are it's either gonna fizzle out

00:58:38   or it's gonna settle for some thing that makes the lawyers

00:58:41   a lot of money and makes nothing for any of the people

00:58:43   who have these laptops.

00:58:45   So chances are this will go nowhere

00:58:48   but I think it is noteworthy that it has reached this point.

00:58:51   This is not the first time this has happened.

00:58:53   Apple has had class actions in the past

00:58:55   for various product flaws, some of them valid,

00:58:57   most of them not.

00:58:59   So again, it's hard to know how newsworthy this is

00:59:02   or how valid this is, or if this will actually

00:59:05   change anything at all.

00:59:06   But it is at least noteworthy that it does seem

00:59:10   to be an actual problem.

00:59:11   What they're alleging is both pretty horrible

00:59:14   on Apple's part and also kind of plausible.

00:59:17   So it's worth looking back on in a year

00:59:22   and seeing where it ended up.

00:59:23   But it's probably not going to have breaking news

00:59:26   all the time.

00:59:28   So the reason I put it in here-- and I should have actually put

00:59:31   the petition.

00:59:31   I think there was a petition, online petition,

00:59:34   change.org online petition, too.

00:59:35   I forgot what they were asking.

00:59:37   Probably something similar like extend warranty repairs

00:59:41   and fix your keyboards or whatever.

00:59:42   And class action lawsuit, because lots of people

00:59:44   send these to us.

00:59:45   Hey, did you hear about this class action lawsuit?

00:59:47   Did you sign this petition?

00:59:48   Can you amplify this?

00:59:50   Can you retweet it?

00:59:51   can you send it to all your people so they will sign the petition and so they will learn

00:59:56   about the class action lawsuit.

00:59:58   I wanted to put them in here to explain basically why I tend not to do that.

01:00:02   And I think Marco explained it well.

01:00:05   Class action lawsuits are not, you know, just because it's a class action lawsuit doesn't

01:00:09   mean anything.

01:00:10   You can sue anyone for anything, right?

01:00:11   It doesn't mean you're going to succeed or it doesn't mean that even if you get a big

01:00:14   settlement it doesn't mean that you were right.

01:00:16   It just means that lawyers smell money.

01:00:18   So yes, this particular problem, like so many problems before it, has raised to the level

01:00:23   where lawyers think and are probably right that they can extract money from Apple over

01:00:28   it, which says nothing about the validity of the issue.

01:00:32   We've discussed the validity of the issue at length, and my opinion of the validity

01:00:36   of the issue is not changed by the filing of the lawsuit.

01:00:39   Similarly, online petitions are an interesting signal to say, "Are people worked up enough

01:00:45   about this to click a couple buttons on a web page?"

01:00:48   That's a pretty low bar.

01:00:49   Like, I've seen online petitions with five to ten to a hundred times as many signatures

01:00:54   for a minor change in a video game.

01:00:56   So you know, like, just because people are willing to click on a webpage and sign a petition

01:01:03   doesn't really mean anything about the importance, severity, or correctness of an issue.

01:01:08   But it's another signal.

01:01:09   It shows that the bad publicity about this particular issue has reached a stage where

01:01:14   Someone decided to make a petition and a lot of people signed it.

01:01:17   And again, it doesn't mean that the issue is valid because lots of people have signed

01:01:24   lots of petitions about lots of things related to Apple over the years.

01:01:27   But it does mean that this particular issue, which we all think has some validity, is

01:01:32   getting traction among more people than just a slightly bigger circle than just Apple

01:01:39   podcasters, I suppose.

01:01:44   And all this signal, it's a signal to us

01:01:46   and to know how things are progressing,

01:01:48   but it's also a signal to Apple.

01:01:49   And I think Apple also has a similar opinion on this.

01:01:52   Class action lawsuits, we get sued all the time.

01:01:55   Some Apple lawyer should come on and say,

01:01:57   "How many times a year does Apple get sued?"

01:01:58   It's probably like seven times a second or something.

01:02:00   It's like how fast they sell iPhones.

01:02:02   People love to sue companies with a lot of money.

01:02:04   Those are the best people to sue

01:02:05   because that's where the money is, right?

01:02:08   It's just a small input into their system.

01:02:11   I think the class action lawsuit

01:02:13   is a slightly bigger signal to Apple

01:02:15   than the online petition, which Apple, I'm sure,

01:02:17   is used to entirely ignoring, but they're both signals.

01:02:21   And so if Apple wants to know how annoyed people are

01:02:24   about the keyboard, valid or invalid,

01:02:26   they can look at those signals and find out.

01:02:28   But yeah, it's not, class action lawsuits,

01:02:32   you know, it's hard for me to get worked up

01:02:34   about any of these things, but class action lawsuits

01:02:36   in particular bother me by their nature

01:02:38   for the reasons that Marco said,

01:02:40   that like it promises like justice but it feels bad to a lot of people that the justice

01:02:48   accrues in a very small measure to everyone in the class so great great you get a $12

01:02:54   check right but the three lawyers involved become multi-millionaires and like it just

01:03:01   it seems unfair it's like one of those things that people like you did so little work and

01:03:04   made so much money you shot on the movie for three days and you made $20 million that seems

01:03:08   so unfair. But at least movie stars, you understand like, well, people really want to see this

01:03:12   person. But no one knows or cares who the lawyers are in a class action lawsuit. And

01:03:16   the fact that they get so much money out of it disproportionately to the people who are

01:03:19   part of the class just doesn't leave a good taste in a lot of people's mouths. But anyway,

01:03:24   people just want to see Apple lose a lawsuit or they want to get their $12 check and feel

01:03:28   as just as involved. And finally on this topic, as I think Marco pointed out in a tweet and

01:03:32   many people have pointed out, like, we all kind of know how this is going to go down.

01:03:36   unless something dramatic happens, unless like some Apple employee comes out as

01:03:41   like a whistleblower and says "yes Apple knew they were defecting" you know unless

01:03:44   something very dramatic happens, it's gonna happen the way we always knew it

01:03:47   was gonna happen and that Apple will probably do something in their future

01:03:51   laptops to have a different keyboard. Hopefully it'll be better but you know

01:03:54   they'll do something different right? Just like they did something different

01:03:57   with the antennas on their phones eventually and like many other hardware

01:04:01   issues they've had they'll probably do a repair extension program for these

01:04:06   things and it may or may not be a good repair extension that may or may not leave a big

01:04:09   like gap in the poor suckers who bought them at the wrong time and will never be covered.

01:04:15   And they'll move on with, you know, they'll live and learn, right?

01:04:19   So I don't, you know, I don't think even if this class action lawsuit was wildly successful,

01:04:23   they're not going to say, "Refunds for everybody who bought a MacBook Pro with this keyboard,"

01:04:27   or "You can trade it in for a new computer," or whatever.

01:04:31   Like, we know how this is going to turn out with or without the class action lawsuit.

01:04:35   So we're all just kind of like waiting out

01:04:38   the reliability of issues of this keyboard

01:04:42   and hoping that the next one is better.

01:04:44   - Yeah, and the sad thing is, like,

01:04:47   I've wanted, for a while now, I've wanted to, like,

01:04:51   start a campaign to announce to people on a regular basis,

01:04:54   you know, here on Twitter, like,

01:04:56   all Apple knows about officially,

01:04:58   all that's hidden them, like, where it counts,

01:05:00   which is their data and their wallet,

01:05:02   is when they're brought in for warranty repair,

01:05:04   when Apple has to foot the bill

01:05:06   for replacing an entire top case for one dead key.

01:05:10   So I've been wanting for a while to encourage people,

01:05:13   if you have one that has a bad key,

01:05:16   bring it in and make them replace it.

01:05:18   You know, and so that way you are counted,

01:05:20   because there's a whole lot of people out there

01:05:22   who have brought them in,

01:05:23   who have been getting them replaced.

01:05:24   There's also a whole lot of people out there

01:05:26   who have flaky keys and just don't bring them in

01:05:29   because it's a huge pain.

01:05:31   And the reason I haven't encouraged people to do that,

01:05:35   and the reason I keep like convincing myself

01:05:37   to not announce this everywhere,

01:05:40   is because I know in reality, I wouldn't bring it in

01:05:44   if that was my only laptop or my main laptop,

01:05:46   because it is a pain.

01:05:47   It's so disruptive to bring in your computer to Apple,

01:05:52   give them a stupid account with a stupid password

01:05:56   so they can log in and do whatever they need

01:05:57   and look at all your data.

01:05:58   You should never, ever, ever have to give your password

01:06:01   anybody in this day and age, I don't know why they still

01:06:04   insist on that, but okay.

01:06:06   It's a pain to be without your computer.

01:06:10   The reason, like, if you're buying a $1500 plus laptop,

01:06:14   chances are you need it for something in your life,

01:06:19   and chances are you need it regularly.

01:06:22   And especially if it's your only computer,

01:06:25   it's quite an intrusion to go without it.

01:06:27   I mean, look at how long I tolerated my terrible image

01:06:30   on my last iMac because I didn't want to go

01:06:33   without my main computer for a week,

01:06:35   which is almost what it took when I finally did do it

01:06:38   in the last week of the warranty.

01:06:41   And this is another reason why when people say,

01:06:44   like when there is a flaw with an Apple product

01:06:47   and a lot of times the defenders of this product

01:06:50   will say, well just bring it in, get it serviced,

01:06:52   just bring it in, just bring it in.

01:06:53   It's like, that's not actually a good answer.

01:06:56   That's actually, 'cause most Apple products

01:06:59   that I have bought.

01:07:00   I have never needed to bring in for service.

01:07:02   Most products of any type that I have bought,

01:07:05   I have never needed to bring in for service.

01:07:07   Bringing things in for service is hugely invasive

01:07:11   and costly to a lot of people in various ways.

01:07:15   The fact that it can be fixed in service

01:07:17   is not a great excuse.

01:07:19   (laughs)

01:07:20   So anyway, I totally get why people would be hesitant

01:07:25   to bring in their computers for service,

01:07:27   Especially if the first time they bring them in,

01:07:29   they get the runaround from the genius on the other side

01:07:32   after the pain in the ass of making the appointment,

01:07:33   and then somebody eventually tells them,

01:07:35   well, this is user damage

01:07:36   'cause you caused the dust to go to that keycap.

01:07:38   Like what happened to Steven Hackett?

01:07:40   I get so much why nobody wants to bring in their laptops.

01:07:45   But honestly, if you can bring it in,

01:07:47   if it's not a big pain for you,

01:07:49   bring in any broken butterfly keyboard laptop that you have

01:07:54   and make them service under warranty.

01:07:56   because if you want this problem to actually be fixed,

01:08:00   we need to hit them where it counts.

01:08:01   They don't give two craps about 16,000 signatures

01:08:05   on a petition, they don't give two craps

01:08:07   about people like me complaining on Twitter.

01:08:10   They do give a number of craps about their spreadsheet.

01:08:13   And so, if you have one of these keyboards,

01:08:16   again, if this is affecting you,

01:08:18   if you can bring it in for service

01:08:19   while it's under warranty and make them replace it,

01:08:21   please do.

01:08:22   However, if that's a huge imposition on you,

01:08:25   I totally understand.

01:08:27   So I'm not saying you have to do it,

01:08:30   but if you can do it, do it.

01:08:34   - You can do the old people thing.

01:08:36   I'm thinking of the people who,

01:08:37   and this will start happening more and more, I assume,

01:08:40   who go in with a broken key

01:08:43   and their thing is out of warranty

01:08:46   and they find out to fix their broken key, it's $400,

01:08:48   now they have to pay out of pocket.

01:08:50   You may or may not be able to yell and scream

01:08:54   and make Apple give you a better deal or do it under warranty, assuming there's no warranty

01:08:58   extension program by now.

01:09:01   But one thing you can do, regardless of whether you choose to have the repair, is go back

01:09:05   home and write a long, sad letter to Apple to say, "Dear Tim, I've used your products

01:09:12   for years and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

01:09:14   Then I went in and one key broke and it's disappointing enough that the key broke.

01:09:17   But then when I learned to fix the keyboard, they have to replace the whole top of the

01:09:19   computer.

01:09:20   It's going to cost me $400.

01:09:21   only a year old or whatever, you know, like,

01:09:24   like one of those letters,

01:09:26   and I mean like an actual physical letter,

01:09:28   but even could be an email, taking the time,

01:09:30   and this is a good outlet for your anger too,

01:09:32   with like the company,

01:09:33   regardless of whether you actually paid it.

01:09:34   So you can say you didn't pay it,

01:09:36   or you can say you did pay it,

01:09:37   and it was a big hardship, and you're disappointed,

01:09:39   and you're never gonna buy all the products again

01:09:40   or whatever, but kind of like, you know,

01:09:43   say with, you know, political campaigns,

01:09:46   that a bunch of automated signatures is weighed less than,

01:09:49   A real signature is weighed less than a real handwritten letter, you know, like the sort

01:09:53   of hierarchy of how much time did the person who sent this to me spend on it and how does

01:09:59   that represent how passionately they feel about it and how many more people do I multiply

01:10:04   this by to know that for every one handwritten letter we get, there's 10 people behind the

01:10:08   scenes who couldn't be bothered to write a letter.

01:10:10   I remember my mother doing the same thing when I got my Mac SE30 and speaking of young

01:10:15   hearing, I think I've told this story before, the power supply made a high-pitched wine

01:10:19   that only I could hear because I was like, you know, 12 and had really good hearing.

01:10:24   And the adults at the repair center, this was before Apple source, the adults at the

01:10:27   repair center said, "This thing isn't making any noise."

01:10:31   And I felt like I was being gaslighted and I was like, "But it's making this terrible

01:10:34   high-pitched screaming noise.

01:10:35   How can you not hear it?"

01:10:37   And we went back and forth and the repair center said they did something and gave it

01:10:42   back and it was just as bad or worse.

01:10:45   And you know, and so it was like, it was all under warranty.

01:10:48   So we weren't paying any money for it, but it went back and forth to the authorized Apple

01:10:52   reseller as they were known in those days, and still are I assume, back and forth lots

01:10:57   of times.

01:10:58   And eventually my mother wrote a handwritten letter to Apple saying, "We've used your computers

01:11:01   for years.

01:11:02   My son is really into your computers.

01:11:04   We've been trying to get this repaired and we haven't had any success and they're kind

01:11:07   of giving us the runaround and blah, blah, blah."

01:11:09   Eventually we ended up finding a different repair center that did replace the power supply

01:11:14   with a new one that didn't make the noise.

01:11:15   But that type of letter I imagine goes a lot farther than a signature or participation

01:11:24   in a class action lawsuit or anything like that.

01:11:26   Obviously Marco's right, the thing that goes the farther is making Apple pay their own

01:11:28   money out of pocket for the repair because that really hits them where it hurts.

01:11:32   But if you can't do that, like for instance you're out of warranty and Apple's not going

01:11:35   to pay for it and neither are you because honestly I would have serious doubts about

01:11:39   paying $500 to repair a key on an out of warranty laptop that's probably going to have that

01:11:43   key go bad on the new keyboard because the new keyboard is the same as the old keyboard.

01:11:46   I really think twice about that. Write an angry long letter. You know, you can be polite.

01:11:52   You know, you could say, "I'm not mad. I'm just disappointed." However you want to do

01:11:55   it. I think they will weight that a lot more than you clicking on that online petition.

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01:13:29   List

01:13:40   of

01:13:52   and can somebody fill in as chief summarizer and chief?

01:13:55   - John?

01:13:56   - Did you even look at this, Marco?

01:13:58   - Yeah, I tweeted about it.

01:13:59   Everyone got mad at me.

01:14:00   - All right.

01:14:01   Anyway, what was your tweet?

01:14:03   Why did everyone get mad?

01:14:04   - I basically said, I was kinda snarkily saying

01:14:07   that Apple and Apple's defenders

01:14:10   have basically been advancing the argument seemingly,

01:14:13   either by words in the case of the outsiders

01:14:16   or by inaction in the case of Apple,

01:14:18   that the Mac is kind of done and complete

01:14:21   and there's nowhere else for the Mac to go,

01:14:23   might as well just, it's kind of in maintenance mode

01:14:24   and we can occasionally make good new hardware

01:14:27   to make more money, but you know,

01:14:29   we don't really need to advance the OS meaningfully

01:14:31   in any significant direction.

01:14:32   And then Microsoft comes into crazy stuff like this.

01:14:36   Like Microsoft has like, the entire Surface line

01:14:39   has been, you know, very ambitious hardware

01:14:42   and software directions, ambitious new takes

01:14:46   on what a computer can and should be, what it can do.

01:14:51   blurring the lines between computers and tablets

01:14:53   and things like that.

01:14:54   Microsoft is doing tons of crazy experimentation

01:14:58   and yeah, most of it is weird

01:14:59   and most of it doesn't go anywhere

01:15:01   and people also try to argue like,

01:15:03   "Well, look at their sales numbers,

01:15:04   "they don't sell very many."

01:15:05   Look, I don't give two craps about anyone's sales numbers

01:15:08   that when I'm discussing what's a good product

01:15:10   and what isn't.

01:15:11   So there's lots of resistance to me saying stuff like this

01:15:15   but basically, I applaud Microsoft

01:15:19   we're trying things like this because

01:15:22   there's this perception in our community that

01:15:26   the PC, and by that I also include the Mac

01:15:29   in the category of things that are PC and PC-like,

01:15:33   there's this perception that the PC is just dead,

01:15:35   or it's the past, or it's done, it's complete.

01:15:38   And that's just so short-sighted and ignorant.

01:15:42   We in technology always want things

01:15:44   that come along that are new to, quote,

01:15:47   kill the old things and the old things are dead.

01:15:50   And in reality, that hardly ever happens.

01:15:52   In reality, most technology that comes out

01:15:54   is additive to what came before it.

01:15:58   Like when phones came out,

01:16:00   we didn't all just move everything we did to phones.

01:16:02   We used phones a lot, but we also still use computers.

01:16:06   And when tablets came out, tablets didn't kill phones,

01:16:10   we just used tablets and phones and computers.

01:16:13   And now we have smartwatches and smart cylinders.

01:16:16   When the smartwatch was first kind of in its early rumblings,

01:16:18   everyone's like, "Oh, this is gonna kill the phone!

01:16:20   "Everything's gonna move to your wrist!"

01:16:22   Guess what, it hasn't,

01:16:24   and there's no sign of that happening anytime soon.

01:16:27   And so, guess what, we still use smartwatches,

01:16:30   and phones, and tablets, and computers, and cylinders.

01:16:34   Now we're talking about AR.

01:16:37   AR's gonna replace everything

01:16:39   with all this magic hardware that doesn't exist yet,

01:16:41   but it's gonna replace everything

01:16:43   with all these killer apps we can't think of.

01:16:45   it's gonna replace your phone,

01:16:46   and it's gonna replace your computer,

01:16:47   you're gonna be just standing there

01:16:48   sitting in front of a blank wall in your cubicle

01:16:51   and moving things through the air.

01:16:53   And that might happen, but what's more likely to happen

01:16:57   is that it's gonna come out and we're gonna buy AR glasses

01:17:01   and watches and cylinders and tablets and phones and PCs.

01:17:05   (laughs)

01:17:06   So anyway, all of this is a long way of saying

01:17:10   that I think that the world of PCs and Macs

01:17:14   has gone through a period over the last five to 10 years

01:17:20   of creative rethinking by Microsoft

01:17:23   and negligent underinvestment by Apple.

01:17:28   And that makes me sad because I don't want to use Windows,

01:17:32   I don't want to use PCs,

01:17:35   I still want to keep using Macs and Mac OS.

01:17:37   It does seem like maybe this is turning around on the hardware side recently.

01:17:43   Not so much on the software side, unfortunately, but maybe on the hardware side we're getting

01:17:47   some movement here.

01:17:48   You know, the iMac Pro is excellent, the Mac Pro is coming, but you know, the laptops are

01:17:53   kind of a mess.

01:17:54   The touch bars seem like they're one experiment in this area and it wasn't very good and it

01:17:59   hasn't gone anywhere since it launched two years ago.

01:18:01   So basically my position on the Surface whatever this is called, the Surface Smart Board, is

01:18:07   this is a thing I'm never going to see in real life,

01:18:09   it's a thing I'm never going to use,

01:18:10   it's a thing that very few people will ever see

01:18:12   or use in real life.

01:18:13   However, gotta give Microsoft credit,

01:18:16   they are trying to advance the PC

01:18:19   in a way that seemingly no one else is.

01:18:23   So even though it's crazy,

01:18:25   and even though it's probably not gonna go anywhere,

01:18:27   and even though their sales numbers

01:18:29   are nothing to pay attention to,

01:18:31   still, they are trying to move the PC forward.

01:18:34   And the reality is, most of us still use PCs

01:18:38   to do most of our work most of the time.

01:18:43   So it benefits all of society that someone

01:18:47   is trying to move these things forward.

01:18:49   And unfortunately, Apple's not really,

01:18:52   they're not doing enough.

01:18:54   Whatever they are trying, it isn't enough.

01:18:55   So I'm glad someone is, I wish everyone was,

01:18:59   but ultimately the PC and PC-like things

01:19:03   are a part of our life, they are still a part of our life,

01:19:07   they will be a part of our life for the foreseeable future,

01:19:10   and good job, Microsoft, for trying to advance them.

01:19:13   - Yeah, when I look at this, I knew what your take would be

01:19:16   and we've all talked about this before,

01:19:18   about how Microsoft's trying all sorts of interesting things

01:19:20   I think we talked about the, oh, goddamn Surface Book Pro,

01:19:23   Surface Studio, I cannot remember their damn names.

01:19:26   - The Studio is the iMac thing with the knob,

01:19:28   the Book Pro is the detachable laptop/tablet thing, I think.

01:19:31   Which one's the MacBook Air with the carpet keyboard?

01:19:33   I have no idea.

01:19:36   I see it in the picture here.

01:19:37   I just don't know what it's called.

01:19:38   That's just a Surface, isn't it?

01:19:40   I have no idea.

01:19:41   I don't know.

01:19:42   Is it the Surface Air, maybe?

01:19:43   I don't know.

01:19:44   Is that a thing?

01:19:46   But with all these things, to varying degrees, sometimes the one that looks like a big iMac,

01:19:52   it's like that's a thing that Apple—I would have liked to have seen from Apple—but

01:19:55   for this particular one, and for people who don't know what we're talking about, it's

01:19:57   called the—we'll put the link—it's called the—

01:20:00   - Surface Hub 2. - Surface Hub 2,

01:20:03   which means there was a Surface Hub 1

01:20:04   that I've probably already forgotten about

01:20:06   if I knew about it at all.

01:20:07   - Well, do you remember what the original Surface was?

01:20:09   - Yeah, the big table thing.

01:20:10   I don't know, I don't remember that.

01:20:12   So these things are very big,

01:20:13   like the size of a television set,

01:20:15   oriented vertically in most of the things I see,

01:20:18   although they do rotate.

01:20:19   Like a big TV, like a, I don't know, 40-something inch TV.

01:20:23   I don't know how big that is.

01:20:23   - Yeah, it looks like a 42-inch TV

01:20:24   rotated into portrait orientation.

01:20:26   - Right, and on it is running some variant of Windows,

01:20:30   like everything else that Microsoft does,

01:20:31   and it's a touchscreen, and it has a camera on it,

01:20:34   I assume that's what the thing is,

01:20:35   it looks like the old Apple iSight,

01:20:36   it's like a cylinder, it's like,

01:20:37   you couldn't build that into the display?

01:20:38   Anyway, and use it as a touchscreen,

01:20:42   and you can gang together multiple ones that have one,

01:20:44   or you can connect all four of them,

01:20:45   and show an image across all four,

01:20:46   and they always showed all sort of in the wall of an office

01:20:48   where you can project from your little laptop-y thing

01:20:51   onto the big screen, and people can walk up to the screen,

01:20:53   and scroll, and point to things,

01:20:54   and manipulate it on the screen with your two hands,

01:20:56   and it's really big, like it's not,

01:20:58   The resolution is only like a 4K TV, so it's not, if you get close to it I'm sure you can

01:21:02   see big chunky pixels and stuff, but it's more of like a large display type device.

01:21:06   And unlike the thing that looks like an iMac, when I see something like this, I think it's

01:21:11   not so much showing that they're trying new things in the PC space, it's more like they're

01:21:18   trying new things in the tablet space.

01:21:20   So if Apple was going to do something like this, like not just Apple, I think the appropriate

01:21:26   that software for this kind of hardware is more like iOS in that you want something like

01:21:32   this to behave like an appliance.

01:21:34   You want it to have the less complicated, more reliable, more sort of, you know, less

01:21:40   flexible but more appliance-like operating system.

01:21:43   And in Apple's ecosystem, that's iOS.

01:21:46   No one wants to see a big set of these displays with some weird Windows Update message popped

01:21:50   up in the corner, which I see all the time, or worse yet, a blue screen.

01:21:54   You know, just sort of the Windows desktop PC nags about things that you have to do, right?

01:22:00   And I suppose that dialogue can come up on iOS as well.

01:22:02   But like this should be a really big iPad.

01:22:06   I mean, we saw that with Panic Software, their great status board application

01:22:12   that they eventually gave up on after some struggles with Apple.

01:22:16   They had a big television set showing the output of an iOS device showing status board.

01:22:23   And this wasn't even a touch screen.

01:22:24   It wasn't for input.

01:22:25   It was purely an output device, just

01:22:27   to have a big screen in their office showing them

01:22:29   cool graphs of information that's relevant to the company

01:22:32   that they updated from an iOS app

01:22:33   that they wrote using a clever API.

01:22:37   That looks like a lot what this is without the touching.

01:22:39   This is adding the input aspect.

01:22:41   If I wanted to have a gigantic iPad that I could swipe around

01:22:44   on to show people things, you could gang together

01:22:46   multiple ones of them, that's this.

01:22:47   And I don't know if it's a great idea.

01:22:49   Maybe it's a terrible idea.

01:22:50   Maybe no one will buy them or whatever.

01:22:52   This is a case where Apple is actually better positioned than Microsoft to field a product

01:22:57   like this if it turns out that people want a product like this.

01:22:59   Now in this particular case, I'm going to guess that there's not a lot of market for

01:23:05   this.

01:23:06   Even if it is great at fulfilling its need and every company in the United States has

01:23:09   this, there are far fewer companies than there are people and so this would be sort of an

01:23:13   enterprise type sale, which is Microsoft's bread and butter these days.

01:23:17   So maybe it is a product that will work for them.

01:23:19   But you know, it's not just about, oh, Apple's not being daring enough by trying things with

01:23:25   the Mac.

01:23:26   Apple's not being daring enough by trying things with the iPad either.

01:23:28   I think they're probably being appropriately daring with the iPhone.

01:23:31   But for both the iPad and the Mac, the Mac seems not to be advancing just because they're

01:23:37   like, you know, it's less prioritized and too cautious.

01:23:40   But then the iPad, as many, many people have pointed out over many, many years, that's

01:23:43   not advancing either.

01:23:45   And that's supposed to be the platform Apple cares about, like the OS platform that Apple

01:23:49   cares about.

01:23:50   Obviously it's not the hardware form factor that Apple cares about as much, but it's the

01:23:53   same OS as the phone, and so it feels like a shame that Apple isn't making -- it took

01:23:58   them so long to make a bigger iPad, and I still think they should make an even bigger

01:24:01   one.

01:24:02   Here's a huge iPad!

01:24:03   And no, you don't carry a 40-inch iPad around, it's ridiculous, but it's mounted on the wall,

01:24:06   and it can run iOS, and you can do lots of cool things with it, and then Pang can bring

01:24:09   back Status Board, and everything would be good.

01:24:11   I don't know, man.

01:24:13   I simultaneously can't get too excited about this because, as one of you just said, I don't

01:24:19   think I'll ever see it in my entire life.

01:24:21   But I also respect, like Marco was saying, that at least Microsoft's throwing something

01:24:25   at the wall and seeing if it sticks, which is weird because I think the line that an

01:24:30   Apple fan should tow is, "Oh, they should just have an opinion and figure it out once

01:24:35   and for all and go with it and not throw a bunch of stuff against the wall."

01:24:38   But I think we're so thirsty for Apple to do anything.

01:24:43   The Touch Bar wasn't that long ago,

01:24:47   but it was not that exciting to most of us.

01:24:51   And I mean, sir, I don't even have one yet.

01:24:53   I've never owned a computer with a Touch Bar,

01:24:55   even what, two years on or whatever it is.

01:24:56   - You're not missing much.

01:24:58   - Yeah, well, I know.

01:24:59   And so I think we're all just thirsty

01:25:01   for something interesting.

01:25:03   And I think, Jon, you were right in saying

01:25:04   that they are doing interesting things on the phone.

01:25:07   I guess maybe they're doing interesting things on the iPad,

01:25:11   but again, that doesn't personally affect me.

01:25:14   - They're not.

01:25:15   Like on the iPad, they've been so cautious.

01:25:17   There have been so few features that are even iPad specific.

01:25:19   Forget about what the features do,

01:25:20   just how many features are unique to the iPad.

01:25:23   There are not that many of them as compared to the phone.

01:25:25   So it just gets like phone leftovers

01:25:26   plus a little bit of iPad stuff.

01:25:28   And what you could do,

01:25:30   I mean, what you can do with a much bigger,

01:25:32   more complicated iPad,

01:25:34   what you could do with multitasking

01:25:36   that was more capable and flexible and configurable

01:25:39   than the current split-screen stuff,

01:25:40   which itself is a huge leap over

01:25:42   like not having anything before

01:25:43   or like having a very primitive multitasking

01:25:46   to make these devices more capable.

01:25:49   And we used to talk about them becoming capable enough

01:25:51   to replace your Mac, but at this point I'm saying,

01:25:53   just forget about that as a goal for now

01:25:55   and just say, they're so powerful hardware-wise,

01:25:58   it's like that power is being squandered

01:26:01   to make a truly pro iPad and yeah,

01:26:04   maybe make something that you can stick on a wall,

01:26:05   Who knows, but they're not really,

01:26:08   change in the iPad world is slow.

01:26:11   How many years did it exist before we got the bigger ones?

01:26:14   And the bigger ones weren't that much bigger.

01:26:16   How many years did it exist

01:26:17   before we got an Apple-supported stylus?

01:26:19   And even then, it hasn't changed much since then.

01:26:21   So I think there's plenty of room

01:26:25   for hardware and software innovation in the iPad realm.

01:26:29   It's just happening very slowly.

01:26:31   - All right, so that actually kind of segues

01:26:34   relatively nicely to Ask ATP for this week.

01:26:38   So Ish Abaz writes,

01:26:40   "What would you say Apple's focus is at the moment?"

01:26:44   And naturally Apple's a big company

01:26:45   and it focuses on many, many, many different things.

01:26:48   And so I will even extend this to say,

01:26:52   what is their focus and/or what should their focus be?

01:26:57   And I will start us off by saying,

01:27:01   I think their focus is pretty heavily on iOS and specifically the iPhone.

01:27:06   I don't think that's a particularly revolutionary point of view to have.

01:27:09   And similarly, unrevolutionary, their focus really—I want their focus to be actually

01:27:16   possibly more than anything else on Siri.

01:27:19   Because now that I have a competing cylinder in the house and a competing, you know, person

01:27:24   in a tube in the house, it's becoming ever more obvious to me how much I really dislike

01:27:30   like Siri and don't trust it for anything.

01:27:32   And I kinda hope they're focusing on that,

01:27:35   and we'll see if they really are.

01:27:36   Marco, what's your thoughts?

01:27:38   - First of all, credit to Askar Ishchabaz,

01:27:42   he's a really cool indie iOS developer,

01:27:44   and you should look at his stuff.

01:27:46   Anyway. - Also true.

01:27:47   - In broad stories, I basically have two answers to this.

01:27:49   Number one, I think you should listen

01:27:51   to last week's episode of the talk show with Jon Gruber.

01:27:54   He and Ben Thompson got into a very interesting discussion

01:27:57   about basically where Apple's growth in their revenue is,

01:28:01   is really in services.

01:28:02   And if you look at how that services thing breaks down,

01:28:06   number one is the app store revenue,

01:28:08   like their 30% cut, and then number two is iCloud storage.

01:28:12   And so you look at things like, you know,

01:28:17   are they likely to lower the cut to app developers?

01:28:20   Nope.

01:28:21   Are they likely to make better deals on iCloud storage

01:28:24   or increase the free tier?

01:28:25   Nope.

01:28:26   And there was an interesting discussion about how

01:28:29   Apple in the past was all about selling you new hardware,

01:28:33   which the interest of what's best for Apple

01:28:37   aligned well with what's best for the customers.

01:28:40   But as they get into more services revenue,

01:28:42   those interests start to diverge.

01:28:45   And it's a very interesting problem to have,

01:28:48   probably not a good problem to have,

01:28:50   where in order to make more from services,

01:28:54   you have to start doing a little more user hostile stuff

01:28:56   or like taxing your users in more and more ways.

01:28:59   And I think that's gonna conflict

01:29:01   with what's best for the user more often than not.

01:29:06   But anyway, I think I can summarize this in part,

01:29:10   what their priority is versus what their priority should be.

01:29:15   I think Apple used to be a software company

01:29:20   that was funded by the sales of their hardware.

01:29:23   And I think today's Apple is a hardware company

01:29:27   that just uses software to provide basic support

01:29:30   for their hardware.

01:29:32   And I don't think Apple's leadership sees the difference

01:29:36   between those two things.

01:29:37   But there's a pretty big difference,

01:29:38   there's a huge difference between those two things.

01:29:41   To sell good products, good computing products,

01:29:45   the software is really what sells them.

01:29:47   For almost all these things,

01:29:49   the software is what matters here.

01:29:51   The hardware is nice, and it's great to have nice hardware,

01:29:55   and good for Apple for continuing to make nice hardware

01:29:59   most of the time, but it seems like the software

01:30:04   is really stretched thin.

01:30:05   Ultimately, it seems like Tim Cook's solution

01:30:08   to a lot of problems is just make a new hardware platform,

01:30:13   and then just throw some software on there

01:30:15   that you might maintain.

01:30:17   Maybe throw another App Store on there

01:30:20   to get more App Store revenue.

01:30:22   But how's Apple TV doing?

01:30:24   How's the HomePod doing?

01:30:25   How's the iPad software doing?

01:30:27   You just mentioned, they kinda can't

01:30:31   keep up with it very well.

01:30:33   How's the Watch doing?

01:30:34   How's WatchOS doing?

01:30:36   How's the iMessage store doing?

01:30:38   There's lots of app stores that keep being launched,

01:30:41   lots of new software platforms that have launched

01:30:43   over the last five years or so,

01:30:45   and it just seems like Apple has neither the resources

01:30:49   more seemingly the interest to maintain them

01:30:52   and to bring them forward and to maintain quality levels

01:30:55   on the software side.

01:30:57   All they wanna do is sell us more and more hardware.

01:30:59   Here, have a dongle factory laptop.

01:31:00   This laptop exists purely to sell dongles.

01:31:02   Like, your solution, here, have a HomePod.

01:31:06   Here's an expensive home speaker

01:31:09   that we're gonna put minimal effort on the software into

01:31:12   and make it barely function with the assistant.

01:31:15   I think that's a huge divide between philosophies

01:31:19   and ultimately I don't think Tim Cook

01:31:21   understands software at all,

01:31:23   and I question how much Johnny does.

01:31:26   And so the company's gonna keep being run this way

01:31:29   for a while.

01:31:30   Ultimately Steve was a software person

01:31:34   who used hardware to make that happen,

01:31:37   and I miss that.

01:31:39   - I hate any analysis of Apple that includes it

01:31:43   being described as either a software company

01:31:45   or a hardware company, so I will set aside that.

01:31:47   But setting aside that whole part

01:31:49   where Marco went into his usual downward spiral into being sad about Apple.

01:31:53   I agree with the short version of the answer, which is where is Apple's focus at this moment?

01:31:59   iPhone and services, that's where it is.

01:32:01   Where should Apple's focus be?

01:32:04   Probably iPhone and services, and in particular, the services that have to do with voice assistance,

01:32:10   as Casey pointed out.

01:32:11   So I think Apple's focus is more or less in the appropriate place, and there are some

01:32:15   tweaks here and there.

01:32:17   But clearly that's where it is.

01:32:19   And all that stuff that Marco listed, that is Apple's version of "let's see what's

01:32:25   stick, maybe people want to buy iMessage apps, let's try that" or whatever.

01:32:29   That's not where their focus is though.

01:32:31   They do that, that is a pattern that they've done, and it's disappointing to us who want

01:32:36   things to be there well supported or not to exist, but that's not where their focus is.

01:32:42   Like that's clearly not where their focus is.

01:32:44   If they were focusing there, they'd be constantly improving it or ditching it.

01:32:48   I mean, you know, I could just answer it with one word. What's their focus? Margins.

01:32:52   That's their entire focus. Margins. Talk about what does Tim Cook care about? Margins.

01:32:59   I don't think that actually is there. I don't think the focus is margins. To do the nicer

01:33:04   explanation of like, you know, Apple being a software company or hardware company, like

01:33:07   I think if you asked Apple, like in Apple's best version of itself, speaking as an institution

01:33:13   or any individual person who's supposed to be an avatar for the institution, they would

01:33:17   say that they're trying to sell you products. Like, it's the whole package. The whole point

01:33:21   of Apple is it's the whole package. Like, they make the whole thing and it's supposed

01:33:24   to solve a problem for you. It's supposed to provide an experience. And lots of their

01:33:28   products have been like that. The iPod is a great example. Portable music playing. Like,

01:33:33   is it a hardware product? Is it a software product? Like, at various times you could

01:33:36   say, "Oh, the software no one cares about. It was all about the hardware. Oh, maybe the

01:33:39   hardware doesn't matter. It's all about the software once you get to the iPhone or whatever."

01:33:42   Like, they're selling you products or solutions or, you know, there is a benefit that comes

01:33:50   as a unit and then we break it down into pieces and see how each part is being maintained

01:33:53   and what they're emphasizing and where they're able to innovate and how software affects

01:33:57   the quality of the product and, you know, with the keyboard, how hardware affects your

01:34:01   experience with the product and all that other stuff.

01:34:02   But I'm not particularly cynical or pessimistic about where Apple's heart is.

01:34:08   I think it comes down to implementation.

01:34:12   Are they achieving their stated and I believe real goal

01:34:15   to provide good products that people like?

01:34:17   Where can they improve that?

01:34:20   But focus is slightly different.

01:34:21   I think what this question is getting at

01:34:23   but a lot of people are talking about is like,

01:34:25   we often complain about areas

01:34:29   where Apple's focus doesn't exist

01:34:30   and we very frequently acknowledge

01:34:33   that Apple shouldn't be focused on the Mac

01:34:35   more than the iPhone.

01:34:36   That would be the wrong thing to do.

01:34:38   Like every aspect, not just how much money it makes

01:34:41   But in the end, how important the product is.

01:34:44   The iPhone is a more important product.

01:34:45   Not just a more important product to Apple, but a more important product, period, than

01:34:49   the Mac.

01:34:50   It just is, right?

01:34:51   And so if that's where the company's focus is, it's in the right place.

01:34:55   And as we always say, they're doing pretty good with the phones, for the most part, right?

01:34:59   So I think this question leads me to say that despite all of our complaining, Apple is focused

01:35:05   in the right place, more or less.

01:35:07   All right.

01:35:08   Owl City writes, "Yes, seriously.

01:35:11   Do you think the new Mac Pro will have only USB-C ports?

01:35:14   I'm not so sure.

01:35:16   I do think any new MacBook Pro absolutely

01:35:19   will have only USB-C ports,

01:35:20   no matter how much any of us, ahem, Marco, wish it didn't.

01:35:23   But the new Mac Pro,

01:35:25   given that the iMac Pro came with some old USB ports,

01:35:28   I think there's a pretty solid chance

01:35:30   there'll be at least one or two.

01:35:32   What is it, USB-A or B?

01:35:33   I always get it wrong, A?

01:35:35   - A. - A.

01:35:35   - It doesn't, yeah, it doesn't really matter anyway.

01:35:37   But USB-A ports, I think there'll be a couple on there,

01:35:39   but I think it will be very heavy on USB-C,

01:35:42   unless obviously they go ARM,

01:35:44   in which all bets are off,

01:35:45   but I don't think that's gonna happen.

01:35:46   John, what do you think?

01:35:48   - Can you clarify, did you ever get a clarification

01:35:51   of what this question actually means?

01:35:52   'Cause I think there'll be a power plug on it.

01:35:54   - Well. (laughs)

01:35:55   - I mean, like, what does this mean?

01:35:56   - Come on, man, come on.

01:35:57   - Well, we don't have them on the MacBook.

01:35:59   You'll just have power over USB PD.

01:36:02   - Yeah, but I'm saying the Mac Pro will have a power plug.

01:36:05   It won't be powered by USB-C.

01:36:06   I'm gonna come out on a limb and say that.

01:36:09   Yeah, they just mean, like, will it have any USB port that is not a C?

01:36:12   Is that your interpretation of this question?

01:36:14   Yes, correct.

01:36:15   You can plug in any of the six USB-C ports into the power adapter.

01:36:18   Yeah, I think there is a reasonable chance that it will have USB-A, and the iMac Pro

01:36:24   is the—like, that was my question.

01:36:27   I forget if I actually suggested it to somebody, maybe to Gruber before he did his interview

01:36:33   or whatever, but the question would have been, why does the iMac Pro have USB-A ports?

01:36:37   Like if you're going to get Phil Schiller, Craig Federighi, or whatever, or Johnny Ive,

01:36:41   or anybody involved with the creation of this product, since you have to be so careful about

01:36:46   how you ask things to Apple to get any reasonable answer, the simple question would be, why

01:36:49   does the iMac Pro have USB-A ports?

01:36:52   And it's a trap.

01:36:53   The question is a trap, because the idea is they'll give you some explanation, and the

01:36:56   follow-up is, how does that explanation not apply to insert product that you're angry

01:37:00   about not having USB-A ports on, right?

01:37:02   Like that's how that goes.

01:37:03   But the answer, I think, is why it has USB-A ports is because there's room for them and

01:37:08   some of our customers want them.

01:37:10   And so I'd say, "Okay, so is there not room for them on your laptops or do people not

01:37:14   want them on your laptops?"

01:37:15   Right?

01:37:16   Anyway, that's how that goes.

01:37:17   But I think that is the answer.

01:37:19   The answer is that there's room on the iMac Pro and some people want them.

01:37:22   And they're cheap, that's another thing, and so they put them there.

01:37:25   And I really hope on the iMac Pro there will be room for them because the iMac Pro should

01:37:29   not be the size of a softball.

01:37:30   On the Mac Pro you mean?

01:37:31   Yeah, the Mac Pro.

01:37:32   There'll be room for them because it'll be big.

01:37:35   I think people do want them.

01:37:36   It's convenient.

01:37:37   You got all this space in the back of this damn computer.

01:37:39   You can't throw some A ports.

01:37:40   It's just easier not to have to have an adapter.

01:37:43   And they're cheap.

01:37:44   So I would give it a 50/50 odds that the Mac Pro has USB-A ports on it.

01:37:49   Yeah, I would give it almost 100% odds because the iMac Pro has them.

01:37:54   By the way, and I agree with you, Casey, I think likelihood of MacBook Pros being released

01:38:00   that ever have USB-A ports are pretty much zero.

01:38:03   I think best we can hope for on new MacBook Pros

01:38:06   is maybe the return of the SD slot.

01:38:09   That's about, and that's the best we can hope for,

01:38:12   for like the return or addition of old ports.

01:38:14   So I would not be, you know,

01:38:16   I wouldn't be hoping for anything more than that.

01:38:17   You know, on the laptops, you can make a reasonable argument

01:38:20   that you really can't fit most of the legacy ports,

01:38:23   including USB-A, with the current thickness of those cases.

01:38:27   Like, it just doesn't fit.

01:38:29   The whole reason that we can have it on the desktop

01:38:31   so easily is because, you know, Apple has made this

01:38:35   very expensive decision to tie Thunderbolt 3 into USB-C

01:38:40   and to have all of their USB-C ports,

01:38:44   except the one on the 12-inch MacBook,

01:38:46   be Thunderbolt 3 ports.

01:38:48   So therefore, the number of USB-C ports

01:38:51   on any of their computers is limited

01:38:54   by the amount of Thunderbolt ports

01:38:56   that the chipset can support bandwidth-wise

01:38:58   controller wise.

01:38:59   So that's why you have four on most of the

01:39:03   high end products, you have two on the lower end ones,

01:39:05   and you have zero on the 12 inch MacBook

01:39:07   'cause that chip set doesn't actually support Thunderbolt.

01:39:10   So on the iMac Pro, they have these two wonderful

01:39:14   Thunderbolt 3 controllers that supply tons of bandwidth

01:39:15   to those USB-C ports, but that's kind of a waste

01:39:19   if you're using your USB ports mostly to plug in

01:39:22   like keyboards and mice and charging cables

01:39:24   and stuff like that.

01:39:25   I think it does totally make sense if you have

01:39:28   the physical space to include regular old USB-A ports

01:39:32   that are not Thunderbolt 3 ports.

01:39:34   Now, they could make USB-C ports

01:39:38   that aren't Thunderbolt 3 ports.

01:39:40   They do in the MacBook, but they could decide,

01:39:44   like, all right, the rightmost four of them have Thunderbolt

01:39:47   and the leftmost four of them are just USB over USB-C.

01:39:52   But I think they probably don't want

01:39:54   that kind of port confusion.

01:39:55   So that's why they restricted Thunderbolt 3 to,

01:39:59   or they restricted USB-C to only be Thunderbolt 3

01:40:02   on most of their products.

01:40:03   But again, I think that was a bad choice,

01:40:04   especially since most of the time on the laptops,

01:40:07   one of those is being used for power,

01:40:09   at least one of the other ones is probably being used

01:40:11   for some kind of low-speed USB device,

01:40:14   or charging a phone or something like that.

01:40:16   But anyway, on the desktops, they have the space.

01:40:19   They already have USB built into the chipset

01:40:21   that Intel supplies them, so all they have to do

01:40:24   put the ports on the outside and run a cable to the chipset and they have ports. So it's

01:40:29   kind of, you basically get them for free. So you might as well.

01:40:34   Adam Rourke writes, "With manual transmissions on the decline and fewer people eager to own

01:40:39   them, could you see the option flipping from its place in history as the starting point

01:40:43   for the cheap car to becoming a premium one for the upper-end niche market? How much would

01:40:48   you pay?" So to build on this a little bit, when we were growing up, even the youngins,

01:40:54   and myself of the show. It used to be that if you didn't want to pay a whole pile of money for a car,

01:40:59   you would get a manual transmission because it was between $500 and like $3,000 cheaper in order to

01:41:07   do so. But now it seems like nobody wants a stick and it's becoming kind of passé or just like just

01:41:17   just antiquated to have one.

01:41:19   So would you pay additional money for a three-pedal car?

01:41:23   I would, I absolutely would.

01:41:25   And I do think it is very quickly becoming

01:41:27   either extinct or as Adam said, a niche thing.

01:41:33   I would absolutely pay one to two to three to four

01:41:35   to maybe even more thousands of dollars for a car

01:41:38   that I wanted to have a three-pedal option.

01:41:42   But the more I think about it,

01:41:44   the more I think my very next car,

01:41:48   especially if I don't buy it soon,

01:41:50   which I do not intend to buy a car soon,

01:41:52   although we might talk about that in the after show,

01:41:54   my next car may not be a six-speed.

01:41:57   It very well may be my next one.

01:41:59   And that's in part because I've had terrible thoughts

01:42:02   about Alfa Romeos, but that's a different issue.

01:42:06   So yeah, I don't know.

01:42:08   I would pay many, many, many dollars

01:42:11   in order for this to be a possibility,

01:42:12   but unfortunately it's not quite so simple.

01:42:14   Marco, you, I presume, don't give a crap anymore.

01:42:17   - That's true, I don't give a crap anymore,

01:42:18   but I do think it's an interesting question.

01:42:19   And, you know, standard disclaimer applies here.

01:42:22   This is for the US.

01:42:23   Things are very different elsewhere,

01:42:25   where manual transmission cars elsewhere

01:42:27   have had a much longer and more widespread lifespan

01:42:31   than they have in the US.

01:42:33   But, yeah, basically in the US right now,

01:42:34   the only way you can get a manual is

01:42:36   on a few very low-end cars and sports cars.

01:42:40   And even the sports cars, it's getting increasingly rare.

01:42:43   The question is interesting because it's kind of happening

01:42:45   already. Like right now, if you want a manual transmission,

01:42:49   except for the very few cases where you can get them in lower

01:42:51   end cars, you kind of do have to pay extra in the sense that

01:42:55   you have to get it like a high-end sports car to even have

01:42:57   it as an option. I have paid extra to get a higher-end model

01:43:02   to get a transmission I like in the car I wanted. Now, I don't

01:43:05   have one anymore, but I'll tell you one thing for sure. I'm

01:43:08   not going to go back to automatic no matter what, like

01:43:10   that. That is an option I won't take. John,

01:43:13   You're so cheap you wouldn't pay any extra, would you?

01:43:16   - No, also the problem with this scenario is like,

01:43:20   could you see them flipping and stopping being

01:43:23   as part of a cheap car and becoming a premium?

01:43:25   The problem is that there is a very narrow window

01:43:29   between the time when it's not a cheap car thing anymore

01:43:34   and the time when it disappears completely, right?

01:43:37   There's the tiny sliver where like,

01:43:39   oh, we don't put this on the cheap cars,

01:43:41   they all get automatics.

01:43:42   Most people don't want it even on the high-end cars

01:43:45   but there is some small subset of people that are willing to pay a premium to get the stick and

01:43:50   That window we're currently in that window right now

01:43:53   And I don't even know if it's a premium. Maybe it's just like a same price or a no-cost option

01:43:57   I think it was at the m5. It was a no-cost option last time. Yeah, I've most BMWs. Yeah

01:44:02   This is it and it's gonna disappear. It's never gonna be the case where

01:44:08   it's available as a

01:44:11   $5,000 option to $10,000 option on a narrow range of high-end cars that will never be the case like

01:44:17   It can all of the high-end cars now are giving up their manuals as even options like that's what's happening first

01:44:23   They it became a no-cost option

01:44:25   And then they're just like how many cars can we remove the stick from?

01:44:28   There are very few holdouts and it's leaving more and more cars the new m5 no stick option, right?

01:44:33   We all knew that was gonna happen right a lot of Porsches are getting rid of the sticks

01:44:38   even though they're able to sell more than probably any other car maker just because

01:44:42   of their place in the market. So no, it's not going to be like, you know, there are

01:44:48   many things that will end up being premiums on high-end cars for a small number of people,

01:44:51   but the stick will have a very brief moment in that slot and then it will just disappear

01:44:55   entirely. That's my prediction. I agree, and it makes me sad.

01:44:58   The only place it will live on is in, and it's not like a premium, it will live on like

01:45:03   kit cars, people who have kit cars and you know sort of outside the mainstream of regular

01:45:07   cars where you're like I don't buy you know cars from dealers I build them myself or do

01:45:13   aftermarket modifications and stuff like that, that's where the sticks will live on because

01:45:17   forever people will want to, like the same reason people like build and drive replica

01:45:22   model T's like stick shift will never die in that realm it will always be a historical

01:45:26   thing that people are interested in.

01:45:28   Even people who are alive today like they never drove a real model T but they're interested

01:45:32   in it because they're interested in history and then the whole class of people who they're

01:45:35   interested in cars because they were the cool cars when they were kids that will never die and sticks

01:45:39   will always live there and those that entire realm is premium in that everything there costs a

01:45:43   bazillion dollars and it really has no reflection on like cars that regular people buy but setting

01:45:48   that aside just for you know when you go to your bmw dealer for a brief time you can get sticks

01:45:53   it's no cost option maybe there'll be a tiny window where you can pay extra for them and then

01:45:56   And then you just won't be able to get a stick on a BMW.

01:45:58   That's what'll happen.

01:45:59   Sigh.

01:46:00   I know you're right, but sigh.

01:46:04   Thanks for our sponsors this week.

01:46:06   Betterment, Squarespace, and Aftershocks, and we will talk to you next week.

01:46:10   Now the show is over, they didn't even mean to begin.

01:46:17   Cause it was accidental.

01:46:19   Oh it was accidental.

01:46:21   John didn't do any research.

01:46:24   If you do any research, Marco and Casey wouldn't let him

01:46:28   'Cause it was accidental (it was accidental)

01:46:31   It was accidental (accidental)

01:46:34   And you can find the show notes at ATP.fm

01:46:39   And if you're into Twitter, you can follow them

01:46:44   @C-A-S-E-Y-L-I-S-S

01:46:48   So that's Casey List M-A-R-C-O-A-R-M

01:46:52   ♪ Anti-Marco, Armin, S-I-R-A-C ♪

01:46:57   ♪ U-S-A-C, R-A-Q-S-A ♪

01:46:59   ♪ It's accidental ♪

01:47:01   ♪ Accidental ♪

01:47:02   ♪ They didn't mean to ♪

01:47:05   ♪ Accidental ♪

01:47:06   ♪ Accidental ♪

01:47:07   ♪ Tech podcast ♪

01:47:09   ♪ So long ♪

01:47:11   - Oh wait, John, you never answered,

01:47:14   how much would you pay?

01:47:16   - Oh, I would probably pay like, you know, a thousand or two.

01:47:20   I mean, proportion-wise, if I'm buying a $25,000 car,

01:47:23   obviously the absolute amounts are not that much.

01:47:25   But I would pay a premium for it.

01:47:27   It just-- I mean, this will get into what we're talking about

01:47:29   in a second.

01:47:30   But it just so totally changes the experience

01:47:33   of driving a car.

01:47:34   It's worse on low-end cars, because the automatics

01:47:37   and the god forbid CBT's are so much worse than the fancy car.

01:47:41   Transmissions of the same kind, so much more hunting for gears,

01:47:45   is so much more weird droning and just like

01:47:49   laggy reactions to everything you do.

01:47:52   I'm reminded of every time I have to drive around

01:47:54   in a rental accord, even if it's the same model as mine,

01:47:57   I'm like, oh God, this car, suddenly I hate this car.

01:47:59   This car that I like and use, you change the transmission

01:48:01   and it becomes something that I don't wanna be in.

01:48:03   - Yeah, that's what I'm saying.

01:48:05   It's a very, very big difference in having

01:48:08   the exact same car otherwise,

01:48:10   whether it's manual or automatic.

01:48:11   It's a totally different driving experience.

01:48:14   So Casey, so what's going on with your car stuff?

01:48:18   - Yeah, so let's start with Casey's car corner.

01:48:22   I got in my car, what was this?

01:48:25   Monday, I think it was, maybe it was Monday after work,

01:48:29   and it was something like 90 or 95 degrees out,

01:48:32   and I very much wanted to turn the air conditioning on.

01:48:35   So I did, and nothing happened.

01:48:38   The screen, the little HVAC controls,

01:48:40   or whatever you call them,

01:48:41   the air conditioning screen showed that the air conditioning was on maximum. It

01:48:46   showed the fans were blowing as hard as they could possibly blow and no air was

01:48:51   moving the fans were not on. And I drove home like that.

01:48:55   Luckily I had functioning windows. Luckily I don't live that far from the

01:49:00   office but it was a bit toasty. I mean you could almost take a running leap out

01:49:05   of your office door and land in your house. That is true but nevertheless it

01:49:09   It was a warm five minute drive.

01:49:12   And when I got home, I parked the car in the garage, turned it off, waited about 15 seconds,

01:49:16   turned it back on, everything worked great.

01:49:18   And so far it has continued to work great since that fateful Monday or whatever day

01:49:22   it was.

01:49:23   But yeah, just a new little thing for me to stress out about on my car.

01:49:27   Wonderful.

01:49:28   I remember when my air conditioning compressor went bad on my Civic and we weren't ready

01:49:32   to buy a new car yet, so I just drove it for like a year and a half with no AC.

01:49:36   No, absolutely not.

01:49:38   It was rough.

01:49:39   No. Now granted, you live in, you know, an arctic hellscape, so you could probably get away with it there, but down here we actually have summer.

01:49:46   Summer is very hot and humid up here as well.

01:49:49   Oh, no, no, no, no, no, no. You don't get to friggin' tell me that I don't have winter and then say, "Oh, but I have summer."

01:49:54   It is! It's not—here's the thing. It's not like you live in Arizona where it's 125. Your hot weather is just like our hot weather, there's just slightly more of it.

01:50:03   It's exactly the same with winter. You get slightly more winter.

01:50:05   No, most of your year is tepid. Most of your year is tepid and crappy. For the super hot

01:50:10   part, go look at the weather charts. Your average temperature may be a little bit higher,

01:50:14   but humidity, which you have too, that's what does it. When it's 93 and humid and you have

01:50:19   95 and humid, that's the same weather. It's not like you're 125.

01:50:24   I'm so angry at you right now.

01:50:25   Also, my drives back to and from work are much longer than yours.

01:50:29   Anyway, I just wanted to share that there are still continuing issues with my BMW and

01:50:34   needs to donate me a Giulia Quattrofolio, please and thank you. Here's the thing,

01:50:39   somebody could donate you exactly the price of it and you wouldn't buy it. You

01:50:43   still wouldn't buy it. Yeah, probably not. I don't know, man. And the AC might break on that after a year or two.

01:50:49   That's also true. I did see one in town and it was a blue one, which is what I

01:50:54   keep telling myself my next car will be blue. In this particular blue I did not

01:50:57   care for. I think if I were to get a Quattrofolio it would have to be the red

01:51:00   of the one that I tested, but that being said.

01:51:03   - How's it looking white?

01:51:04   - Mostly not good.

01:51:06   - We have some white ones tooling around here,

01:51:07   and I think it looks gross in any color.

01:51:09   - It's not gross in any color.

01:51:12   Your eyes are as broken as your ears, Mr. Syracuse.

01:51:15   - No, no, no, someone around here has an i8, by the way.

01:51:18   I see it all the time now.

01:51:19   Someone must have just gotten it.

01:51:20   I don't think it could, are they still selling i8s new?

01:51:22   I don't even know. - I think so.

01:51:23   - I think so, yeah.

01:51:24   - Anyway, that's an awful car, but it looks really cool.

01:51:27   Anyway, I've seen this Quadrifoglio around town

01:51:31   and I kinda want it, but it's okay.

01:51:34   - And speaking of cars you've seen around town,

01:51:37   today I saw my first Maserati SUV.

01:51:40   - They make an SUV?

01:51:41   - Of course they do, everyone has to.

01:51:43   - Is it as boring and expensive as their cars?

01:51:45   - I'm sure it'll be their best-selling model

01:51:46   if it isn't already.

01:51:47   - Yeah, probably.

01:51:48   So Casey, so you wanna buy the Quadrifoglio after all?

01:51:52   - Well done.

01:51:54   I do and I don't.

01:51:55   Like the problem is it's an $80,000 car

01:51:57   I absolutely, without a shadow of a doubt,

01:51:59   do not want to spend $80,000.

01:52:00   - So Casey, you want to lease the Quadrifolio after all?

01:52:04   - Well, but that's, I mean, that's equivalent money.

01:52:06   You just spread out, but--

01:52:07   - No, that's not how leases work.

01:52:09   - Oh, whatever, you know, it's, you know what I mean.

01:52:12   - I'm not sure I do.

01:52:13   - But, but what I'm, okay, so let me finish my thought.

01:52:16   What I'm driving at, though, is I've been thinking a lot

01:52:18   about getting, what would the price of a Quadrifolio be

01:52:23   after a lease, you know?

01:52:25   So this is a two or three year old car.

01:52:26   From my understanding, they're having a hard time

01:52:29   moving any of them, but I would assume

01:52:33   the Quadrifoglio would be even worse

01:52:34   since it's an $80,000 car.

01:52:36   And since it doesn't have a good transmission,

01:52:39   I don't have a clutch to worry about,

01:52:41   and tires are replaceable, and nobody wants

01:52:45   to buy it al for meo because they presumably can't run

01:52:47   for more than 10 minutes at a time.

01:52:49   So could I steal one for like 20 or 30 or 40 grand

01:52:54   after it comes off lease?

01:52:55   - First of all, no.

01:52:56   - Okay, so what do they run new, like 70, 80?

01:52:59   - Yeah.

01:53:00   - Alright, even a terrible car,

01:53:01   it's gonna have a lease residual of something like

01:53:05   50% or something like that.

01:53:06   So assume that the post-lease buyout price,

01:53:10   best case, might be 40%.

01:53:13   And that's best case, it's probably more than that.

01:53:17   So what's 40% of it?

01:53:18   Let's, you know, 40 grand or something like that,

01:53:20   35, 40 grand, and that's again--

01:53:22   - 40% of 80 is 32 grand.

01:53:25   And that's really best case, that's unlikely.

01:53:29   It's gonna be more like 50 to 60%.

01:53:31   And so you're looking at like, you know,

01:53:33   in like the 40 to 50 range.

01:53:36   Secondly, for God's sake, after buying a BMW

01:53:39   and having problems servicing it,

01:53:41   do not buy an Alfa, like a three year old Alfa

01:53:44   that someone else leased and drove really hard,

01:53:47   probably 'cause why else would you buy one.

01:53:49   Yeah, first of all, that's a terrible idea.

01:53:51   And then finally, if they're having trouble moving them,

01:53:56   you might be able to take advantage of the best deal

01:53:59   in buying cars, which is lease specials.

01:54:02   Lease specials are how auto manufacturers dump inventory

01:54:05   of models that they want to move,

01:54:07   or to temporarily boost sales for a certain quarterly margin

01:54:11   or something like that.

01:54:12   So if this is actually, if they're actually not moving,

01:54:16   which I wouldn't assume that the high-end sporty model

01:54:20   is not moving just because the rest of the line isn't.

01:54:22   - Right, right.

01:54:22   - But if that is indeed the case,

01:54:25   the deal to be had is gonna be on a lease special,

01:54:28   not on some kind of weird off-lease thing.

01:54:32   And that also totally avoids the issue

01:54:33   of your maintenance problem with buying

01:54:36   unreliable high-performance brand cars. (laughs)

01:54:39   - Yeah, yeah.

01:54:41   I don't know.

01:54:42   I shouldn't do it, I won't do it,

01:54:43   but it's tempting, it is tempting.

01:54:47   - Uno, shur, my name is T and the chat says,

01:54:49   at least wait until it gets to Beta Romeo.

01:54:51   (laughing)

01:54:53   - That is a truly terrible joke that I approve of.

01:54:56   The other thing I wanted to share in Casey's Car Corner

01:54:58   is I went on a test drive as a passenger

01:55:03   in a brand new Jeep Wrangler JL,

01:55:07   which is like the equivalent of saying,

01:55:09   you know, an F30, if you will.

01:55:11   And it was nice for a Jeep.

01:55:13   I mean, it has all of the problems that Jeeps have.

01:55:16   It's tall, it's slow, it's bumpy,

01:55:18   It's not extraordinarily cushy inside. This one actually had

01:55:21   manual windows. It was a brand new car, so in 2018 with manual windows. And the reason being, it actually makes sense, the reason being is

01:55:29   because if you are the kind of person that would take the doors off, which I would be,

01:55:34   and then it makes sense you would want as little weight in the doors as possible.

01:55:38   So taking them off would be easier. And having all the weight of, you know, a power window

01:55:44   actuator what-have-you and motor and all that that is not insignificant and

01:55:49   additionally it didn't have power door locks for the exact same reason and I

01:55:53   Laughed about that. I think if I were to buy one I would get powered power door locks. I would get power windows etc

01:56:00   But I I respect those who don't get them especially if it's because they want to take the doors off

01:56:05   This particular one had the most it was it wasn't a beater, but it was and it wasn't stripped

01:56:12   but it was certainly not a high-end model. It didn't have the very nice infotainment,

01:56:17   so the infotainment was kind of garbage. And the interior bits were fine. They were not great.

01:56:22   They were certainly not, you know, of European quality, but they were fine. This particular one

01:56:27   had the six-cylinder, and it was decent from the passenger seat. But you know what? It was,

01:56:33   it was not bad. The one thing that I noticed that really bothered me, though, is that when

01:56:38   Aaron's car comes to a stop her XC 90 when it comes to a stop and turns itself off to either your cars do this

01:56:43   John I forget

01:56:44   Stop start. No, thank God. I have avoided that so far

01:56:47   Well, it's actually you get used to it. It's not terrible. But when Aaron's car comes to it is terrible

01:56:53   You can't get used to it, but it is terrible. I would disable it

01:56:56   I would I would I would consider not buying a car if I couldn't disable it. Yeah fair. It's that

01:57:01   We don't I well

01:57:03   So here's the thing. In the Volvo, in the warm weather, because we actually have summer

01:57:08   here unlike in Boston, what happens is the car will turn off and the air conditioning

01:57:13   will still run for a solid couple of minutes, and then eventually when the car realizes,

01:57:18   "Oh, the air conditioning seems to be fading," it'll actually start itself back up, or perhaps

01:57:23   not even turn itself off in the first place, in order to get the cabin to stay cool.

01:57:28   Meanwhile, the Jeep—and this is one of those small touches that is just indicative of the

01:57:33   difference between American and European cars. The Jeep, you know, two seconds after starting

01:57:38   it, after it had been sitting out in the hot sun all day, you know, we came to the first

01:57:43   stoplight, it turned itself off, and the air conditioning conked out within like 10 seconds.

01:57:47   Now granted, there was a button right on the dash, a physical button, which was a nice

01:57:51   touch, right on the dash in order to turn it off, but it was annoying, to say the least,

01:57:55   that we got all of five seconds of air conditioning before it just gave up the ghost. And that

01:58:01   was too bad. Additionally, when we took off, the soft top was actually not latched properly,

01:58:05   which was kind of funny, because we were driving on a surface street, so we're doing like 20,

01:58:10   30 miles an hour. I'm like, "Man, this thing is loud!" And remember, my dad has a JK Wrangler,

01:58:15   he has had older Wranglers on and off my entire life, and so I know what a Wrangler's supposed

01:58:19   to sound like, even with the soft top, and I was like, "Damn, this is loud!" And then

01:58:22   I look up and realize, "Oh, there's a little bit of sun coming through right above the

01:58:26   windshield. That might be why." And so we had to pull over and latch it, and then it

01:58:30   was much, much, much better.

01:58:31   But it wasn't bad inside.

01:58:33   It really is a lot nicer than they have ever been before,

01:58:36   which I know is a low bar, but they're pretty nice inside.

01:58:39   I would definitely like to drive one.

01:58:41   - You're really not selling it very well.

01:58:42   Yeah, I took a ride in this Jeep the other day,

01:58:45   and the interior sucked, the controls sucked,

01:58:48   the air conditioning sucked, the auto start/stop sucked.

01:58:50   It wasn't very comfortable, it was slow, it was boxy,

01:58:53   it was bumpy, it was loud, the roof fell off,

01:58:55   the doors were gonna fall off, no power locks,

01:58:57   no power windows, it was great.

01:58:59   That is one interpretation of the story I just told.

01:59:02   That is not the way I intended it,

01:59:03   but that is one valid interpretation thereof.

01:59:06   (door slams)