273: Playing You Like a Video Game


00:00:00   Skype doesn't ring anymore on my computer. Maybe you should get a new computer. Yeah, your Mac Pro is probably broken. Hmm. I'm not gonna blame Skype.

00:00:07   Mmm, I think it's a Mac Pro.

00:00:09   We should do some quick follow-up with regard to what's the official name for it? Voice memos or voice messages? Whatever it is

00:00:16   that Marco and I were running into. Raised to listen. Yeah, well, that's the thing that we solved by raised to listen, maybe. I will answer that I

00:00:24   have not seen one of those

00:00:27   misfires with the, you know, speak a text message to somebody.

00:00:31   I've not seen one of those since you and I had the simultaneous epiphany and invention of

00:00:35   turning off raised to listen, raised to wake, whatever it is. How's that been for you?

00:00:39   Yeah, same thing. Raised to wake, I still use. Raised to listen is what we turned off in the messages preferences.

00:00:44   And yeah, I too have had no accidental doo-doo, you know, as I'm putting my phone in my pocket

00:00:50   and then I end up sending or half sending or trying to send a

00:00:54   very long audio message of my pocket, basically. Yeah, I've been very happy with that so far.

00:00:59   I wonder if they picked the wrong defaults on this one then because I understand the feature.

00:01:03   I think I even remember it being demoed and I understand the utility of it,

00:01:06   especially if you frequently need to like fire off a text message, but you don't have time to type it.

00:01:10   So you just want to like bring it to your face, talk, and put it down, right?

00:01:13   But,

00:01:15   like the unexpected consequences of enabling that feature

00:01:18   that were obscure enough that took you guys a while to figure it out and

00:01:24   like it makes the phone seem like it's broken. You want to bring Daisy in? She seems to have an opinion.

00:01:29   Yes, seriously.

00:01:30   She's got an opinion about people walking past our house.

00:01:32   What's been going on with her? I haven't heard an update on rec diffs in a while.

00:01:36   I mean, it's springtime, so the windows are open on the house and

00:01:40   there's more people walking by on the sidewalk all the time and there's more interesting smells out there

00:01:46   and there are birds and squirrels and so she's gone a little crazy.

00:01:50   We wanted to point out that Layers is,

00:01:54   the tickets for Layers are available. This is a three-day conference that's during WWDC. A lot of people

00:01:59   seem to have come to the opinion that Layers is strictly a designer conference and although design is a heavy part of Layers,

00:02:06   it is not at all a designer only conference. I went,

00:02:09   what was it, 2016 I believe and the only reason I'm not going this year is because it's

00:02:16   more appropriate for work anyway if I go to WWDC. But Layers is phenomenal.

00:02:21   The speakers are always great and diverse. The talks are always phenomenal.

00:02:26   They're oftentimes about stuff that I would never think I would find interesting and then I'm absolutely fascinated and riveted by them.

00:02:32   And so you should definitely, if you're going to be in the area of San Jose, if you like delicious snacks

00:02:40   and/or if you like, both in the food sense or in the brain sense,

00:02:45   if you want a snack for your brain, go to Layers. It's good stuff. Because Marco, you've been to at least one in the past, right?

00:02:50   Yeah, I've been to two actually. It's funny, the one you went to was the one I didn't go to.

00:02:55   I went to the one I did one year before that and then the year after that and they were great.

00:03:01   It's run by our friend Jess HR who does lots of wonderful things and Elaine Pao.

00:03:05   They're the partnership. They put on this great conference every year and it's great not only if you're a designer,

00:03:12   but if you are a single person and product person where you need to consider yourself for such things,

00:03:16   or if you just like cool stuff. And so not only do they have great talks,

00:03:21   they really are great on the diversity front, both of people and of ideas, which is really nice.

00:03:27   And usually they get really, really talented speakers as well.

00:03:32   And also, it is just such an incredibly fun conference because Jesse and Elaine, the organizers, are so...

00:03:39   Not only are they very fun people themselves, but they know what's fun.

00:03:44   And they know what people who go to conferences need and what you don't even realize you need,

00:03:49   but you really do need. And so you go there and the snacks are amazing. The coffee is amazing.

00:03:55   They throw the best parties and this wonderful after party. It's so much fun.

00:04:01   And they build in fun and socializing into the schedule as well so you're not just sitting in a chair all day.

00:04:07   It's just a great conference. It's really fun. And if you're going to be in San Jose, I highly suggest you check out Layers.

00:04:15   Yeah, it's really, really good. And if Marco says the coffee is amazing, you know that it's going to blow your frickin' mind.

00:04:20   It actually is amazing coffee. Like, you know I wouldn't say that lightly, but it actually is amazing coffee.

00:04:25   Indeed. And you know, the way that I knew that they really were not f***ing around was that the first,

00:04:34   or the only time I went, I should say, is that they had like a, I don't want to call it a snack table,

00:04:41   because it wasn't for snacks at the time. It was almost like a refreshments table, but they had like mints and aspirin,

00:04:48   for those of us who stay out too late drinking. They had Tylenol for hangovers. It was great.

00:04:54   And they also had these little, I don't know how to describe them, but like one-time-use, no-water-required

00:05:00   toothbrushes in case you needed to freshen up a little bit. Maybe you just rolled in from the bar directly to Layers.

00:05:06   So Layers is a truly great conference, and I don't recall how much tickets are off the top of my head,

00:05:13   but I remember it being very, very, very affordable, especially compared to WWDC.

00:05:17   So if you are at all interested, and you will be in San Jose, or could be in San Jose, I think it's the first three days of WWDC.

00:05:24   Yeah, I believe it's Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday usually. And yeah, it's great. And yeah, the tickets are,

00:05:28   it's like between an iPad Mini and an iPad Pro, somewhere in that range.

00:05:32   So anyway, the URL is layers.is. And again, I cannot recommend it enough. Don't let anyone scare you.

00:05:40   I mean, I could see how at a glance you could look at their website and say, "Oh, this is for designers."

00:05:45   But that's not at all what this website is trying to say. And I think that the initial, maybe it was the first year,

00:05:52   it was very design-heavy. But even if it's about design, in my experience, it's about the sort of design

00:05:57   that everyone cares about. It's not about specifically UI design for a specific mobile app or anything like that,

00:06:04   or usually, anyway. It's just about all sorts of interesting and cool stuff. And it seems like, not unlike

00:06:10   Singleton from years past, the marching orders for speakers are basically, "Hey, talk about something cool."

00:06:18   That's about it. Talk about something cool.

00:06:19   I have to point out, too, if you happen to be at WWDC in San Jose last year, if you happen to notice,

00:06:27   as you're walking out of the convention center, that next door was this outdoor patio full of people

00:06:32   who looked like they were having a lot more fun than you. That was layers. And that happened.

00:06:40   They would have these amazing snacks brought in and everyone's hanging out outside and having fun.

00:06:44   And then the developers are slacking out with their box lunches. It was the more fun-looking party next door.

00:06:53   I swear on everything I consider holy, I swear that one time I was walking to the conference

00:07:00   and I passed this outdoor area, just like you described, and I'm like, "Wow! People are having a lot of fun out there,

00:07:05   just like you described. What the hell is going on? Oh, it's layers. Okay, that makes sense."

00:07:09   Yeah, everybody who walked past that kind of wished they were there instead. So you can be there by going to layers.

00:07:17   Yeah, indeed. Anyway, so we'll let this go, but layers.is. Jesse and Elaine are wonderful, wonderful, wonderful people,

00:07:24   and they find wonderful, wonderful, wonderful people to speak at their conference, so it's really, really great.

00:07:30   So today, there was a very interesting piece in, I believe it's pronounced Hodinkee, or is it Hodinkee?

00:07:37   I'm genuinely asking. Hodinkee? Okay.

00:07:39   I can't believe this is like, my worlds are colliding.

00:07:42   Yeah, indeed. So, Hodinkee is, and jump in when you're ready, Marco, is a kind of online periodical website

00:07:49   that's about watches. I presume mostly high-end watches, or is that unfair?

00:07:55   Pretty much exclusively high-end watches. Yeah, so Hodinkee is like the daring fireball or tech crunch of the watch world.

00:08:02   And the person who wrote this, Ben Clymer, is either the founder or the head person now.

00:08:08   So anyway, so there was an article, I guess they do like a literal magazine, which is in print, question mark? Is that true?

00:08:15   This is volume two, like they literally just started doing this, but I guess this is also on the web?

00:08:21   I don't know, I don't get the print magazine. I just read their site in a feed reader.

00:08:24   Suffice to say, they ended up doing an interview with Jonny Ive, which is obviously relevant to all three of us,

00:08:31   even if the rest of the website is not. And so there was an interview with Jonny Ive,

00:08:36   mostly, of course, about wristwatches and kind of how did the Apple Watch come to be,

00:08:41   what does Jonny consider important? And I have several poll quotes that I'm happy to go through in a minute,

00:08:50   but perhaps we should give some overall impressions of the article.

00:08:53   I didn't think it was particularly well-written, but it did not strike me as egregiously poorly written.

00:08:59   I think I'm the only one that feels that way, because several people have spoken to not just you guys said it was very poorly written.

00:09:05   I thought it was fine. I do feel like this is a world I'm not used to, because, and I didn't call out examples of this,

00:09:13   but it was, there were very clear descriptions about very many expensive, tangible things that were not limited to wristwatches.

00:09:23   And I can't think of a specific example, but like clothes were described with excruciating detail.

00:09:28   It was like Sound and Vision magazine, where the magazine is funded by mentioning the latest movie on DVD or whatever,

00:09:36   so when they're reviewing a DVD player, they have to say, "I was watching Captain America,

00:09:41   and I could see the blue of Captain's shield and blah blah blah." It's a product placement, essentially,

00:09:46   and that's how they pay for the stuff. Only I think that's not what this was. It's just that this person couldn't help but saying,

00:09:52   "And the people came in and they were dressed in this and they were wearing these expensive boots by these brand."

00:09:56   And you could tell they weren't just regular PR people, they were Apple PR people. It was like, "Oh, someone killed me!"

00:10:00   Here we go, here we go. I was greeted by a team unlike any other in Silicon Valley.

00:10:03   They're veterans of places like GQ and Harper's Bazaar, and they've studied at the Sarban and served in the White House.

00:10:08   They're not dressed ostentatiously, but you know those understated boots must be Saint Lauren, or however you pronounce it,

00:10:14   or maybe Bottega Veneta, I'm sure I pronounce that wrong too. It's a subtle reminder that Apple isn't just a tech company,

00:10:18   it's potentially the greatest luxury brand in the world. Like that just seems so gross to me.

00:10:22   Maybe it's just that I'm not used to it, maybe it's a Casey problem, but it just made me feel gross.

00:10:27   No, you know what? It's not a Casey problem. Like, I read this site. I like watches. I like Apple.

00:10:33   I found this article insufferable. Like, it was just totally insufferable. And again, I read their site all the time.

00:10:43   But this was way... I mean, in every possible, horrible sense of the word, it was just like masturbatory.

00:10:53   It was just like... It was like a high school English student finally discovered the thesaurus feature, and it's...

00:11:02   Oh God, it was so bad.

00:11:04   You see, it wasn't the mechanics of the writing, it was the choice. It was the choice to say,

00:11:09   "What I'm going to write here is I'm going to write like several hundred words about every aspect of my personal..."

00:11:15   It's sort of like Gonzo journalism, but with less Gonzo. Like, every aspect of leading up to this interview

00:11:23   with my thoughts and feelings about how it was going and what I think about everything that I see.

00:11:28   And it's just like, look, people, you have an interview with Johnny Ive. All people want to see

00:11:35   is the interview with Johnny Ive. The 600 words of your personal experience leading up to that,

00:11:41   and all your opinions about everyone you see, and all the things they own, and how you feel about things you own,

00:11:45   and how you feel about things you might have owned, and how it's just like, oh my God, no one is reading for that.

00:11:50   And that's a choice. And I don't think... It wasn't badly written at the micro level.

00:11:55   The choice to take this very high profile interview with a person who doesn't give a...

00:12:01   I don't know how high profile they are compared to their watch people interview, but

00:12:05   Johnny Ive doesn't give a lot of interviews, period. He's not all over the news all the time.

00:12:09   He doesn't talk much in public. Get to the interview. So I totally disagree with that choice.

00:12:13   And then when you get to the interview, the little italic sort of thoughts put in between

00:12:19   the questions and the answers...

00:12:21   Oh, it was painful.

00:12:21   No, it was just killing me. Killing me.

00:12:25   Oh, God. Yeah, this whole thing. I think this makes nobody look good. I mean,

00:12:29   you know, I think a lot of it was padded and fluffed up because this is a, you know, a luxury site

00:12:35   that is trying to expand into this long form magazine format. And so obviously it was puffed up

00:12:41   for that. I think also it was fairly clear that he didn't have a lot of time with Johnny. It seemed

00:12:48   like, I'm guessing based on the amount of questions and answers actually in this versus the amount of

00:12:53   fluff in this, I'm guessing he had like 10 minutes with him. It seemed like it was a really, you know,

00:12:58   short interview.

00:12:59   It could have been 30 minutes. You know, Johnny gives good substantive answers in his way to

00:13:05   questions that could have been answered in an even more short manner. So I bet it was at least a half

00:13:10   an hour interview plus a half an hour photo shoot afterwards. Like, you know, this is a surprising

00:13:16   amount of interaction for a watch site. I wouldn't have guessed unless Johnny Iov is a fan of the

00:13:23   site and like Marco reads it as well or something.

00:13:25   Yeah, I don't know. I just, I think the whole thing, like no one looks good from this. I don't

00:13:31   know who they're trying to relate to. Half people at least who read this are going to be people who

00:13:36   have never heard of Hodinkee who are reading the Apple news, right? So to be bragging about how you

00:13:41   really wish the Apple watch was available in solid platinum with a solid platinum bracelet

00:13:47   and that you, which by the way, that would probably cost like $75,000. Or to, you know,

00:13:53   it's a shame that you missed out on your bid for Steve Jobs' old Seiko watch that he wore once in

00:13:58   a photo shoot and the winning bidder was $42,000. You were the second place bidder. Like, that is

00:14:04   just so incredibly alienating and it doesn't make anybody look good. It's just showing off,

00:14:10   it's just throwing out money numbers that like, I feel like in the luxury world,

00:14:16   a lot of luxury products like, you know, fancy cars, fancy jewelry, a lot of these things are

00:14:21   very expensive. It's just incredibly tasteless to just be talking about numbers out there like that,

00:14:26   to just kind of be bragging about how much you spent on things or how much you can or want to

00:14:30   spend on such things. That's just, it's not a good look. And even for a watch site that is read by

00:14:37   people, like, you know, the watches they cover on the site in the news probably have an average

00:14:44   price of about $10,000. So, you know, they don't cover cheap things. But even for their audience,

00:14:51   not to mention the audience that this piece was likely to receive because it's about a high

00:14:55   profile Apple person, it's just incredibly off-putting and alienating to be bragging so much

00:15:01   about incredibly needlessly expensive purchases or wishes. And that didn't add anything to the

00:15:07   article at all. And I think Johnny Ive didn't come out looking that great on this either. I don't

00:15:14   think he gained anything from this. I think, you know, he had his typical kind of like, you know,

00:15:19   Johnny in space kind of philosophy statements where it sounds kind of interesting until you

00:15:24   try to parse what he said and realize he didn't say much of anything. And then I thought the way

00:15:28   he referred to and talked about other watch brands was really condescending. And like,

00:15:37   it was a little subtle, but if you look at the way he worded things, it was incredibly condescending

00:15:42   and arrogant. And I don't think that came off as a good look either. I didn't personally get that

00:15:48   impression about what Johnny said, but the rest of what you said I agree with. This almost feels like,

00:15:54   and I don't know anything about Benjamin Clymer, but this feels like one of the rich kids of

00:16:00   Instagram grew up and actually sort of made a living for himself. But you can't change the fact

00:16:08   that he's one of those rich assholes from Instagram. You know what I mean? It's just,

00:16:13   I don't know, it just feels gross. Now that being said, and even though I completely agree with what

00:16:19   you were saying about how tacky it is to talk about, "Oh, well, I lost that bid and it was

00:16:23   won for $42,000," thus implying he was willing to spend $30,000+ in a watch. Do you feel like that's

00:16:29   maybe just the Americans in us? You know how like it's very taboo in America to talk about how much

00:16:35   you make where I've heard in other countries that's far less the case. Do you think that's what this

00:16:39   is or do you think it's just freaking gross or both? I mean, there's probably a little bit of

00:16:42   that in it, but I don't think that's all this is. I mean, I think this was just really overindulgent,

00:16:48   alienating writing. Yeah, I don't think it was the money. I think it was the format, the choice to,

00:16:53   you know, like if someone who's reading this article is not interested in what the person

00:16:58   who's writing the article, the every detail of their lead up to the interview, they just want

00:17:02   to get to the interview. And speaking of the interview, this is the person I came here with.

00:17:06   I've read probably every interview with Johnny Ive. I've read the recent Johnny Ive book by

00:17:11   Leander Caney, I think, which I thought was a pretty good book about Johnny Ive and gives

00:17:15   lots of insight into his character that I didn't have before. And my impression of him in this

00:17:20   interview was he was his normal, thoughtful, you know, slightly Johnny Ive in space kind of

00:17:28   person that we always expect him to be. And that he actually really admires and is into

00:17:35   non-Apple watches, but that he also really likes the Apple Watch surprise.

00:17:42   I didn't get anything that was making me think that he was looking down on other watches. If

00:17:49   anything, he revealed himself to be a bit of a, you know, watch fanboy, regular watch fanboy. And

00:17:58   I thought he kind of, that was the impression I'm getting of him because I didn't know how

00:18:02   into watches is Johnny Ive. And in this interview, I'm like, oh, he's actually more into watches than

00:18:05   I would have thought he was. And I didn't think he was crapping on other watches or he's not,

00:18:11   he's not a, he's certainly not a braggart. And I don't think he's particularly aggressively

00:18:18   arrogant. He, you know, like, so Casey pulled out a bunch of pull quotes here and I can see how you

00:18:26   might read one of these uncharitably and come away with the impression that he's crapping on other

00:18:31   watches, but this is on the Apple Watch versus mechanical watches. He said, "Sometimes you'll

00:18:36   wear an Apple Watch for outright utility and other times you'll wear something else for nostalgia and

00:18:40   affection." And it's like, oh, so if you want utility, you have to wear an Apple Watch, but the

00:18:45   only reason you'd wear some other watches, nostalgia and affection. That's, I don't read it

00:18:49   that way. I read it as he really likes mechanical watches and it's nostalgia for him because now he

00:18:54   wears the Apple Watch all the time because utility-wise it does a ton more stuff, even if

00:18:59   you could make the argument that telling time-wise it has less utility than a mechanical watch.

00:19:03   But affection, that he really does have an affection for mechanical watches and that he

00:19:11   understood what he was competing against because he himself is one of those rich people who buys

00:19:15   really expensive watches and cares about them. And his friends all design them and he's super into

00:19:19   them or whatever. I think that he was describing a reasonable way to deal with the dichotomy between

00:19:29   your computer watch and your non-computer watch. So I don't know. Like I said,

00:19:35   when we talked about this earlier in Slack, I came away from this article really disliking

00:19:39   the writer of the article and the choices he made and basically having the same opinion,

00:19:44   Johnny, as I've always had. I don't think he came off badly in this article at all.

00:19:48   - Here's, I think, my main point about the condescension of him towards the other watch

00:19:54   brands. So that quote you said, maybe you'd wear another watch for nostalgia or affection. That's

00:19:59   a big thing, right? And you covered that. Also, there was one where he says, "I have so much

00:20:05   respect for many of the other brands, dash Rolex, Omega, because there is remarkable longevity

00:20:10   combined with such an obvious and clear understanding of their own unique identity.

00:20:13   It's rare but inspiring when you see the humble self-assurance of a company that ignores short-term

00:20:18   market pressures to pursue their own path." That, to me, kind of, okay, so the combination of that,

00:20:24   along with the, like, maybe a mechanical for nostalgia or affection, the combination of those

00:20:29   things, to me, says, look at these quaint little companies making these quaint little watches.

00:20:35   They're not doing the correct thing. We're doing the correct thing that the market is saying they

00:20:39   want. They're humble, and they're pushing their own path because it's kind of based on an assumption

00:20:47   to not have an Apple Watch is inherently worse, and that the reasons that you would either choose

00:20:54   to not wear one or that you as a watchmaker would choose not to make a smartwatch are not out of

00:21:00   merit. They're not out of, like, whatever you are making as a non-smartwatch or wearing as a

00:21:06   non-smartwatch is just worse, and you're just doing it for irrational reasons, like tradition

00:21:12   or nostalgia or affection, totally ignoring the possibility that maybe, just maybe, there are ways

00:21:19   in which other watches are better than the Apple Watch. So I think you've got a chip on your watch

00:21:24   shoulder. I think that's the absolutely wrong read on that. Here's a chip on my wrist, John,

00:21:28   get it right. Come on, watch shoulder. Here's what I think the right read on that is. He is making a

00:21:34   favorable comparison, a backhanded favorable comparison between Apple and those watchmakers

00:21:41   that he admires. What he's basically saying is... By the way, he has the most boring taste in the

00:21:45   world. Like Apple, nudge, nudge, wink, wink, these other companies have a clear sense of identity

00:21:52   and think long-term and don't worry about... They do the right thing and they have an identity,

00:21:57   and they're all about longevity and the long-term and not about what I need to do next quarter and

00:22:01   not about chasing fads. And he didn't mention Apple, but I think that 100% was saying,

00:22:08   these companies I admire because these companies like us have this philosophy to be sort of

00:22:14   long-term, secure in their own identities, humble. He's always saying his design group is humble and

00:22:20   they came up there with the product humble. Basically everything he says, the nice thing

00:22:24   he says about these things, he's also saying about Apple. So I think he really does admire

00:22:28   those companies for exactly the reasons he says, because that's the reason he admires his company,

00:22:32   because he thinks he's doing all those same things. Well, I guess you and I interpreted

00:22:37   this article differently. I see what you're saying. We can ask him, but... Oh yeah, that's likely.

00:22:43   He went on this watch blog. Come on, we can get him. Yeah. All right. You get on that.

00:22:49   I'll grab him in the hallway at WWBC. He hangs out with those sessions, I think. Oh yeah, totally.

00:22:53   These are just some quotes I thought that were interesting. With regard to the Apple watch,

00:22:58   Johnny said, "I don't think there was a problem specifically. It was more of a matter of

00:23:03   optimization of opportunity." And that seems to implicitly confirm what we all kind of suspected,

00:23:09   that Apple said, "Hey, we could put something on the wrist." That'd be neat. Well, what would you

00:23:15   use it for? I don't know, but it'd be cool, right? And so it seems like Apple watch was one of the

00:23:23   less opinionated products that Apple's come out with in recent years, insofar as they didn't

00:23:28   really know what it was for. And if you, you know, obviously look back to the release and

00:23:32   in the announcement, it's pretty clear, but, and we've talked about that, the three of us and many

00:23:35   others as well. But I feel the way I read that anyway, was kind of a tacit confirmation that

00:23:40   that is exactly what happened. I think it like to give more context to this. I think the question

00:23:45   was like, what problem was the Apple watch solving? Which is a good question and expected

00:23:49   question to come from like a traditional watch site, right? Because they're like, look, what's

00:23:53   wrong with watches? Why did you have to come here and make a different watch? What's wrong with

00:23:57   watches, how they've always been made? Like what's wrong with all the things that we love? And Johnny

00:24:02   again, being a fan of those types of watches is not going to say, well, here's, what's wrong with

00:24:05   mechanical watches. They can't do this. They can't do that. The blah, blah, blah. Here's the,

00:24:08   here's the problem they were solving. You have a problem with your mechanical watch and we're here

00:24:12   to solve it. And he says, no, that wasn't it at all. It was, you know, in his typical obtuse way,

00:24:17   a matter of optimization of opportunity, which is like, we've learned at Apple that, and I think he

00:24:24   did this analogy, some player somewhere else in the article, that taking computers from being,

00:24:29   you know, he made the comparison with clocks, which I thought was very clever. Like clocks used

00:24:32   to be one big clock tower in the middle of the square of the town, right? A giant thing that,

00:24:36   you know, no one person owned, but it was like, Hey, everyone can look up in the town square and

00:24:39   see what time it is. And then eventually you get clocks in your house, but they're expensive. And

00:24:43   maybe you only have one clock for your entire house. Then eventually you got clocks in multiple

00:24:47   rooms that eventually the clock is small enough that it's on your wrist. And at each stage of

00:24:50   downsizing new opportunities, like it's an optimization of taking the clock tower and

00:24:55   putting it all on your wrist, it's enabled by technology and there's opportunities. Like what

00:24:59   does that enable? You know, how does it change your life? How does it change society? Right.

00:25:03   And similarly with computers going from mainframes to personal computers, to phones, down to all on

00:25:07   your wrist, that I thought was a good analogy and it made sense. And it tracked with me of like what

00:25:14   he was trying to say about, you know, we weren't trying to solve some sort of problem that we had,

00:25:19   like, Oh, how can I live my life when I only have one clock in my house? I'll never know what time

00:25:23   it is. Why do I need a clock on my wrist? It's so stupid, but it's an opportunity. It's a

00:25:27   technological opportunity. And I don't think they needed to say, well, what problem are you solving

00:25:32   in my daily life by putting this clock on my wrist or this clock in my pocket to go, you know,

00:25:36   pocket watches or whatever. It's like, well, you don't quite realize until you have that thing,

00:25:40   how it might change your life. And similarly for the Apple watch, how might it change your life to

00:25:44   have a little computer on your wrist? I already have a little computer in my pocket. Why do I need

00:25:48   my wrist? What can it do differently? And there are opportunities. And as Casey stated, maybe they

00:25:54   thought that the world of opportunities was slightly bigger than it actually turned out to be,

00:25:58   at least with current technology. But there were definitely opportunities and people do like their

00:26:01   Apple watches. And it turns out, you know, fitness and notifications ended up being the two big

00:26:05   opportunities that are sticky. But I think that was a fairly good answer to a fairly good question,

00:26:12   despite the terrible lead up to this interview. Not that we're bitter. With regard to just

00:26:18   designing new ideas, Johnny said things are exceptionally fragile as an idea entirely abstract.

00:26:23   But once there's an object between us, it's galvanizing. And to put a little more context

00:26:27   in this, he was saying, you know, once they build a prototype, and not necessarily like a

00:26:31   functional prototype, just like a, an object like think about when you're when you're designing a

00:26:35   car, and doing the like clay model or whatever it is, he was saying that, you know, you can just

00:26:40   kind of talk around and around about things prior to that, that model being in your hands, but the

00:26:47   moment you see it and touch it, it's, you know, that's when the conversation really starts. And

00:26:51   that's not surprising, but I just thought it was interesting. With regard to material science,

00:26:55   and this was the context here was talking about how there was the gold Apple Watch. Now there's

00:26:59   ceramic Apple Watch, etc. Johnny said, we have now worked with ceramic and with gold and our material

00:27:05   sciences team now understands these fundamental attributes and properties in a way they didn't

00:27:08   before. This will help shape future products and our understanding of what forms make sense.

00:27:13   I don't think that this is any particularly strong clue for any particular, any particular future

00:27:17   product, but I just thought it was interesting. And again, it's like, it's obvious, isn't it that,

00:27:21   oh, now they know how to work with gold, and maybe they'll do that again in the future. Oh,

00:27:24   now they know how to work with ceramic, and maybe they'll do that in the future. And certainly in

00:27:27   the lead up to I think was the iPhone 10 that we were going on and on about whether or not there

00:27:31   would be ceramic or some people were going on and on about whether or not it would be ceramic,

00:27:35   at least in part. And so I just thought it was interesting, you know, him directly addressing

00:27:39   the fact that this could be in our future somewhere. You never know.

00:27:43   Gold Mac Pro confirmed. Yeah, you heard it here first.

00:27:47   This, I thought was the perhaps the biggest stretch of any answer that he gave because I

00:27:52   understand, I understand what he was saying that, you know, it's good for a design group to learn

00:27:56   about new materials, but the utility of learning how to work with gold is very limited. Like,

00:28:01   it's great. So you know how to make solid gold watches. Tell me how in any way that's going to

00:28:06   apply to any other product in your lineup. I mean, maybe it'll apply to gold glasses frames in 2050.

00:28:10   I don't know. But it's just, it's not particularly. Ceramic maybe has more applicability. I did also

00:28:16   like the bit that he threw in, which I think was, you know, a brief glimpse into the difficulty of

00:28:22   being Johnny Ive, that it was fun to do a product that you didn't have to make in large quantities,

00:28:26   talking about the addition. Like, this is like, everything we make, we have to make like 10 million

00:28:30   of them. It's nice to be able to make this gold thing that we have to make like 20 of them because

00:28:34   nobody buys them, right? Obviously, he wouldn't give sales numbers. But that was, that was a nice

00:28:38   glimpse into like, so much less stressful. Like, I don't, everything I do, I don't have to think,

00:28:43   you know, will this take an extra half a second manufacturing, which multiplied out by the number

00:28:47   we're going to make as an extra six months on the schedule or something? Right. It's so true. I

00:28:53   noticed that as well. And then my final poll quote, which I think might have been my favorite,

00:28:57   I will call this Johnny discovers the internet. And he was saying to the writer,

00:29:04   he was saying to the Hodinkee writer, who, whose name I've already forgotten, Benjamin. He said,

00:29:11   with regard to Ben's review of one of the prior Apple watches, this is now Johnny talking. That

00:29:17   was the other thing that struck me about the feedback to your review, the vitriol from some

00:29:21   of the commenters. It's not surprising, but it is unnecessary. That's unnecessary. Thanks, dad.

00:29:30   It's unnecessary to criticize Apple. It's unnecessary to be a jerk about it. I mean,

00:29:34   but here's the thing I was most surprised about is that he, A, read the review and B, read the

00:29:38   comments. All right, fine. You read the review. Maybe you read, because again, maybe he reads

00:29:42   this website because it's apparently the website that people who like expensive watches read,

00:29:45   right? But then you read the comments. Don't read the comments, Johnny. Everyone knows that.

00:29:52   Apparently not him. I mean, he's just like, yeah. And the thing is, it's not surprising. So it's not

00:29:58   like he's shocked that people are mean on the internet. But his advice, it's unnecessary. Oh,

00:30:02   thanks. Now that they know it's unnecessary, I'm sure they'll stop.

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00:32:35   for keeping me comfortable and not stinking all summer. Google I/O is happening, or at least it's

00:32:45   happening as we record this, I watched bits and pieces of the general keynote and I only saw a

00:32:55   tiny bit of what I would call the State of the Union, which I forget what exactly what they

00:32:59   called it, but it's basically the nerd keynote that follows the general purpose keynote.

00:33:04   I don't know how you guys want to handle this. I guess I'll just go in the order of whatever,

00:33:09   I guess, was Jon put together in the show notes. I don't know.

00:33:11   No, don't. You should have read ahead. So did any of us watch the whole thing?

00:33:17   I watched the 14-minute Verge recut of it, which I consider fair.

00:33:22   Casey, did you watch it?

00:33:24   I watched most of the general public keynote, but not all of it,

00:33:29   and almost none of the other keynote.

00:33:31   So I watched as much of it as I could, which was maybe a quarter of it. But you laughed at

00:33:37   me watching the 14-minute cut and you couldn't even watch the whole thing?

00:33:39   No, for time constraints. It's not like I was bailing out for time constraints.

00:33:43   Yeah, I also had time constraints. I had a lot of napping to do today. It was more important than

00:33:47   that.

00:33:47   Oh my God.

00:33:48   Anyway, yeah, because I had a podcast last night, so I couldn't watch it last night,

00:33:52   and tonight I did as much as I could in between making dinner and coming here. Anyway,

00:33:56   so I put a bunch of comments in here from tweets and stuff when it was going on, but I think

00:34:01   clearly as far as everything that I've seen, and maybe Marco with the 14-minute supercut can tell

00:34:05   me if I'm missing something, there is one aspect of this keynote that I think is worth discussing

00:34:11   in isolation. And if we have more, next week after all of us have either seen more of Google

00:34:15   IO or decided that there was nothing else interesting, we can talk about it then. But

00:34:18   I think we should concentrate this discussion on one particular demo, and we all know the demo

00:34:24   we're talking about because I think it is the most interesting and it is emblematic of Google itself

00:34:29   and the whole rest of the thing and the other things that they announced similarly tie into it.

00:34:36   And I guess I'll let our chief summarizer and chief describe that demo since I'm sure he's seen it.

00:34:40   That is one of the things I saw, and my initial reaction—and I'll explain what it is momentarily—my

00:34:47   initial reaction was my chin hitting the floor and just like in Looney Tunes, my tongue rolling out

00:34:54   like a red carpet across the room. It's a gross carpet.

00:34:58   Yeah, right. I have since had some different thoughts about it, but my initial reaction was,

00:35:05   "Oh my God, I just witnessed the future and it happened today. So what am I talking about?"

00:35:10   I forget exactly how they set up the context, but what they were trying to say was, "Hey,

00:35:15   what if you really wanted to make a dinner reservation? You really wanted to make it

00:35:20   for four people at a particular restaurant and you knew you wanted it to be perhaps on a certain day,

00:35:25   or you just knew that it needed to fit in your schedule, in your calendar.

00:35:28   What if you didn't actually want to call that restaurant though? Maybe they're very

00:35:33   difficult to get a hold of. Maybe you just can't be bothered, whatever."

00:35:36   So Google—I guess it's the Google Assistant, which is their kind of Siri, if you will,

00:35:42   if I'm not mistaken—it will actually, or it is capable of placing a telephone call to that

00:35:49   restaurant on your behalf. Which in and of itself, okay, fine, you know, that's not entirely

00:35:55   surprising. I can just imagine, you know, "Hello, Ritzy restaurant in New York City. Hello,

00:36:01   this is Google," you know, or something like that. But they played a recording of this conversation

00:36:05   and it could not have been further from what I expected. It sounded unnervingly like a human.

00:36:15   And I'm not talking about Uncanny Valley unnervingly. I'm saying we started in,

00:36:20   you know, "Hello. Hello, fellow children." We started there, walked right through the

00:36:25   Uncanny Valley and went into, "Holy crap, that's real. That almost sounds like a recording of a

00:36:31   human being." And the most fascinating thing about it was, aside from the fact that it was

00:36:37   conversational, the most fascinating thing about it was it actually said like, "Um,

00:36:41   hmm." You know, like, where, you know, so the maitre d' or whomever on the other end of the line

00:36:48   says, "Oh, you know, we don't have any availability on the ninth with the tenth work." And then Google

00:36:53   said, "Hmm, yeah, that should be fine." You know, it inserted these synthetic pauses and stumbles

00:37:03   and umms and hmmms in a way that was mind-blowing. I could not believe what I was watching. And there

00:37:13   are implications, many implications of this, but if we could just for a moment focus on what we saw

00:37:19   and not really unpack the meaning of it, is that a fair characterization? Like, Marco, what did you

00:37:24   think when you saw the 14-minute demo or the recap? I, you know, I too am very impressed with the

00:37:32   technology behind this, but I think this is such a typical like Silicon Valley and in particular

00:37:40   Google thing to do where you have amazing technical smarts and you're applying them in a way that

00:37:48   probably has some unintended consequences or at least you don't care about the consequences,

00:37:54   whether you intend them or not, and is also kind of creepy and a little unsettling. You know, that's

00:37:59   it's so stereotypically Google. Great AI, great big data service, kind of creepy and not really

00:38:08   getting the human problems here. You know, there's lots of weirdness about this. So one big thing is

00:38:16   like, you know, some people pointed out like what they're basically doing is turning the workers at

00:38:23   restaurants and stuff into unpaid API endpoints. You know, so that's a little bit weird.

00:38:30   That's amazing.

00:38:32   The other thing is like, you know, like, you know, I like when I get pizza, my pizza guy, he has like

00:38:38   two iPads at the register that are both running like different apps for all these different like

00:38:44   menu ordering services and pickup services and everything like he has to run like his side of it.

00:38:48   And like you look in like any restaurant these days, like they're busy. They have to be dealing

00:38:52   with all these online ordering systems, all these apps and everything in addition to people actually

00:38:56   calling them on the phone and people coming into the place. The last thing they need is for robocalls

00:39:04   that pretend not to be robocalls, which is a big problem, to be calling them and making these like

00:39:10   kind of human-like but a little bit off requests via voice and kind of taking up their time on the

00:39:17   phone. Like it's just it's kind of weird on a number of levels. It does seem like Google is

00:39:24   taking advantage of the people on the other end, you know, and these are people who don't have time

00:39:28   to deal with BS from Google. Like you as the user of this couldn't be bothered to not pick up the

00:39:36   phone because you're probably already holding the phone but to tap a different spot on the phone

00:39:42   to make the phone call to actually just be a human for two seconds and talk to them.

00:39:46   Now I get we don't like making phone calls. I get that. I don't like making phone calls either,

00:39:52   but I would feel way worse about initiating one of these, you know, on the back end on my behalf

00:39:59   than than I would about actually placing that phone call. It's just it's dehumanizing to the

00:40:04   people on the other end. It's wasteful of their time and I think it's a little bit insulting

00:40:11   to try to hide the fact that you are a bot calling them. Like I think that what they should do,

00:40:17   if they're going to do this at all, and I'm not sure they should, but if they're going to do this

00:40:20   at all, they should begin the call with, you know, a quick way of basically saying what's going on.

00:40:26   To be basically saying, "Hi, this is the Google Assistant calling on behalf of John Syracuse. Do

00:40:31   you have a reservation for this date?" Like make it very clear and stop with the fake um's and m's.

00:40:37   All that is doing is trying to trick people and that is not in good faith. That is trying to take

00:40:44   advantage of people and try to trick them into playing into your API without being willing

00:40:49   participants of that. And that's just that's just kind of sleazy. I just I don't like that. And if

00:40:56   they did it the the robotic way, like where they actually just say what it is and they're upfront

00:41:01   about it, that at least is, you know, it's not trying to trick anybody. It is still wasteful of

00:41:07   people's time and I still would feel bad about initiating that call, but I at least wouldn't feel

00:41:11   like I was like, I don't know, just like yeah deceiving people. It's just it's just a weird

00:41:16   thing. And you know there's there's other feature that I think one of you wants to bring up about

00:41:21   calling about holiday hours where apparently like on holidays where hours might be different

00:41:28   they will call the the place like once in the morning to see what the hours are and then they'll

00:41:34   just cache those results so that allegedly it saves them from all these phone calls all day.

00:41:38   What if they miss that call? What if they misinterpret the results from that call?

00:41:45   When you think about the ramifications of before if the person on the other end of the phone

00:41:51   you know said the wrong thing once in the morning to one person it affected one potential customer.

00:41:57   Now if you slip up and say the wrong thing once in the morning it could affect all your customers

00:42:01   that day who would have come there from search. There are ramifications to these kinds of things

00:42:06   that really just seem not really that good for the local businesses that are on the other side of

00:42:13   this. And it's all all of this is to create minor conveniences for lazy tech dudes who can't not

00:42:21   just pick up the phone because the phone's already in their hand but can't literally push one button

00:42:25   on the phone to tap that phone number and call them instead. And I think that I think this is

00:42:30   a step too far especially when it involves deception of the person on the other end

00:42:35   and potentially wasting their time. So I want to talk about the technology behind this because I

00:42:40   think that's you know Casey's first impression was based on the the dazzling tech and that's

00:42:47   how I like to think about these things and think about how they could find themselves in a position

00:42:52   where they're using this technology in this particular way. But first you have to talk about

00:42:54   the tech. And the tech they're showing is obviously you know speech to text because the person on the

00:43:04   other end of the phone call says things and Google Assistant has to figure out what it is they're

00:43:08   saying so it's going to convert their speech into text. Then it has to have some understanding of

00:43:13   what it is that they said and then it also has to have some understanding of what its mission is.

00:43:18   I'm going to try to get a reservation for this time for this many people right and the parameters

00:43:24   of that mission you know all the different things like what if nothing's available what if they don't

00:43:30   have they have a particular call where they couldn't reserve a table for that many people like

00:43:35   you know so it has to have that mission and has to understand what the person says and then it has to

00:43:39   be able to engage in a conversation a back and forth of saying you said this now I say this and

00:43:44   keeping the state of it all in its mind you know sort of semantic analysis of when when you say

00:43:49   that that you when you make that sound thing on the other end of the phone it means these words

00:43:55   and these words mean this actual you know message or meaning and that applies to what we've said in

00:44:01   the past in this way that's the that's the tech that they're trying to show there and

00:44:06   researching and developing that tech I think is really important a really important area of

00:44:11   research because if you can do that better than we currently can by some appreciable degree

00:44:20   many interesting opportunities come up like if I told you that even if it's for a very narrow

00:44:26   domain like making an appointment or something like that whatever you know pick it pick the

00:44:29   narrow domain of your choosing if I told you I could get a computer to understand meaning

00:44:35   behind things that you say and to engage you in a conversation to to accomplish a goal if you've

00:44:41   been listening to me talk about cylinders in the show for a long time it's been my push in the past

00:44:47   several months worth of shows when we were talking about homepod and everything that I want to engage

00:44:51   my cylinder in a conversation and work towards a goal right it's the same exact tech only the

00:44:57   difference here is I'm initiating the conversation I know I'm talking to a cylinder because it's in

00:45:02   my own house and it's sitting right there there's no deception involved and I would find that

00:45:07   interaction better than having to initiate a series of commands or make a macro for myself

00:45:15   or no particular syntax or whatever and even just within the realm of the things that cylinders are

00:45:21   supposed to already do to to be able to have the extra smarts on display here to understand

00:45:26   nuances of speech and to to understand like the overall mission of what I'm trying to accomplish

00:45:32   and to help me refine it and narrow it and to be helpful that technology is incredibly important

00:45:37   and should be developed and so I applaud Google for doing that this of all the places where this

00:45:45   technology could be applied I would not have even predicted that this would be worthy because they

00:45:49   they have a thing called Google Assistant this is just like this they're a cylinder in my house with

00:45:53   Google Assistant on it they have phones like isn't that the first most obvious application of that

00:45:58   anyway but setting that aside second aspect related to the application that they that they

00:46:03   are showing here which is all we're going to make a phone call for you for you behind the scenes which

00:46:07   by the way you don't get to hear this phone call you just talk to the assistant and it says okay

00:46:11   I'll make that reservation for you and then you just wait and wait and wait and in the background

00:46:14   it's having a phone call that you don't get to hear and don't participate in any way right and

00:46:18   then it comes back to you and says yeah I totally made that reservation for you in that particular

00:46:24   application of this technology the pitch is that you know you don't have to be involved with this

00:46:32   don't worry about the details but Google Assistant will handle it and all the the things that Marco

00:46:37   was talking about you know how how deceptive it is and how disrespectful it is to the person at

00:46:42   the end and how it like how it isn't that hard to think of a much more respectful way to do this

00:46:47   like by pre-announcing yourself and so on and so forth but that's not what they chose to do that

00:46:51   they're really leaning on the fact that they can you know fake you out by pretending to be human

00:46:55   which by the way I think I think they're still are in the uncanny valley uh you can you can tell

00:47:00   these things are not quite human just like they're still in the uncanny valley it's not totally gonna

00:47:04   it's way better than it was before even even in the canned demo they did it like the way when when

00:47:10   they when it asked for noon and it said you know we don't have anything and like the way the way

00:47:15   that the assistant like re-asked yeah do you have anything between 10 a.m and 12 p.m like no one

00:47:21   talks like that like this is your demo this is your canned demo like it's obviously like almost

00:47:25   any response you get from a human being has a pretty high chance of not being of like being some

00:47:33   kind of like slightly exceptional condition or things that require more explanation that the

00:47:38   Google Assistant will respond in some way that makes it clear like either this is a really weird

00:47:42   person or this is not a person yeah it seems very unlike a person and that that leads me to my next

00:47:48   point about this tech it's the same point I made about self-driving cars in the past

00:47:52   and it also you know is related to the deception angle here this thing no matter how good it is no

00:48:03   matter how long it's in beta it's going to fall over a lot and when it does because it's a really

00:48:11   hard problem like it's you you can you will be trivially easy to be able to to stump this thing

00:48:18   and to have it start saying nonsensical computery things that are not related to what you say that

00:48:23   to the point where the person would hang up on it right because everyone sees this demo it's like

00:48:28   whole it's how 9000 we're there it's like you are not there like that last 10 just like self-driving

00:48:33   cars the level five automation right that last little bit is that's a mountain that's way bigger

00:48:38   than you think it is right and so even though it seems like we're right around the corner it's like

00:48:41   oh morris love will be there in two seconds it's way harder than you think and so if you start off

00:48:45   this conversation with the deception like if that's your goal it will be 100 times worse when

00:48:51   the thing falls on its face and it will fall on its face a lot and from from the business's

00:48:57   perspective obviously ideally they would all have actual apis and not humans but if they don't want

00:49:01   to do that from the business's perspective they want your business they want this reservation

00:49:07   if you pre-announced and said this is the google assistant i'm a computer acting on behalf of a

00:49:12   person blah blah blah after the first four or five calls of that type the person at the other end

00:49:17   would know how to most efficiently deal with the stupid computer thing to get the reservation

00:49:21   because they want the reservation they want the money right it's the whole reason people set up

00:49:25   like with all these apps and everything right and maybe it will motivate them to get on one of these

00:49:28   apps to not have to deal with these stupid computer phone calls but they'll you know it's

00:49:31   better than not getting a reservation at all right um but if the thing's gonna fall over like like

00:49:38   like phone trees like when we you know when you call the support thing we all know their phone

00:49:42   trees and we all know their their various failure modes by this point and we know how to navigate

00:49:46   them efficiently i would much rather have that than something that tries to fool me into thinking

00:49:50   it's human but then like goes berserk and now i have to go oh i i waste all this time talking to

00:49:55   you like a human when i should have just been playing you like a video game to get to the point

00:49:58   where we we make the reservation like let's just let me you know text adventure all over again

00:50:03   uh so you know i don't even if people see this and they think this is a great feature and it has

00:50:12   important applicability in my life is that that's another point on this that some of the comments i

00:50:16   pulled out here like there are places where this exact feature is actually really important for

00:50:20   people who literally can't make that reservation themselves and do want to appear as human as

00:50:24   possible right there's an accessibility angle to this um but even in those situations even in the

00:50:30   most optimistic scenario my advice to anyone watching this is do not expect this to work

00:50:36   even as well as it did in the demos all the time because it won't like it will it will work and you

00:50:43   know it's like it doesn't always work with humans sometimes it's difficult for human to make

00:50:47   reservations sometimes you can't hear anything in the restaurant sometimes people are ornery

00:50:50   sometimes they hang up and you sometimes you lose your cell signal right but the success rate of

00:50:54   this thing is going to be way lower than people think it does we are a long way off from me even

00:50:59   with limited limited domain we are a long way off from basically from passing the Turing test now it

00:51:05   doesn't mean your reservation is not going to be a success because once the other person on the other

00:51:09   end figures out that it's a computer they'll play the little game and they'll get the reservation

00:51:12   because they want the sale right but don't get starry-eyed about how you know amazing i mean it

00:51:18   it is an amazing leap from anything that we may have seen before but it is still so far from the

00:51:24   whatever the equivalent of level level five self-driving automation is for having a conversation

00:51:29   with a human even within a limited domain begins humans are inscrutable and is really difficult to

00:51:35   you just can't account for everything they're going to say and do you can't account for all

00:51:38   the nuances you just it's like the reason they work at all is because when the computer acts

00:51:43   like a like a pig-headed computer the person eventually best case reverts to thinking this

00:51:48   is just a pig-headed person who's not listening to what i say and like they're just they just have a

00:51:53   one-track mind and they just want to make this reservation and they they didn't understand what

00:51:57   i said back to them because they're just they're not paying attention or maybe they're driving or

00:52:01   something and then you just roll their eyes like that's the best case scenario um but yeah the if

00:52:07   and when they actually launch this i can't wait to see all of the uh the conversations that the

00:52:12   people manage to get this thing into where it just goes completely off the rails because it's a hard

00:52:16   problem and that's why we're also impressed by it's such a hard problem it's like i didn't even

00:52:19   know we were this far along we're surely we're within striking distance and i think that we are

00:52:23   not within striking distance oh and you can even just picture like you know what if the person on

00:52:28   the other end has follow-up questions okay you want a reservation where what part of the restaurant

00:52:33   is simply like that or like oh do you want do you want table outside or inside you know or like

00:52:37   you're ordering a pizza oh do you want a medium or a large the most misguided one was when he's

00:52:41   you know obviously it's forward-looking this was sundar pichai was the person doing the thing i

00:52:46   think i don't know uh anyway the presenter said you know we don't have a lot of time so maybe like

00:52:51   your your kid is sick and you need to make a doctor's resume a doctor's appointment for them

00:52:56   like have you ever made a doctor's appointment for a sick kid that conversation involves a lot

00:53:04   of questions about what's wrong with your kid and did you take their temperature and how are

00:53:08   they feeling and when's the last time they threw up and you know but like no computer is for i

00:53:13   hell i get on that call and i feel like i have to have like information ready like to be like

00:53:19   when's the last time they came in when's this but you'd be like there is no way i would let

00:53:23   a computer make that call i barely think i myself am competent to make that call right maybe i would

00:53:29   let them make the call to the school to tell them that they're not going to be in that day but really

00:53:32   the schools just have a website where you can click something because that's stupid but uh

00:53:35   i'm like yeah that was that was the wrong example ordering food making a reservation something with

00:53:40   the business transaction where the person on the other end is motivated to deal with my crap

00:53:44   computerized crap or otherwise because i'm sure those people deal with people crap all the time

00:53:48   too people being rude when they make reservations externally being inscrutable right they're

00:53:53   motivated at least to do that but like my doctor is not motivated to listen to my computer my doctor

00:53:58   like the whoever answers the the desk has a ton of questions about my kid very specific questions

00:54:04   determine whether you should even come in oh we don't take pink eye in the office you should do

00:54:08   this and that and what do you want to do and what pharmacy is near like no way a computer can handle

00:54:12   that um so i think they're they're uh i hesitate to say the heart is in the right place i actually

00:54:20   think it is i think the heart is in the right place in terms of doing this research and and

00:54:23   having the overall goal of trying to help people but the way they're going about it baffles me

00:54:29   because like i said they have they have a cylinder that they sell you that i would love to talk to in

00:54:33   this way they would not involve deception at all and if my cylinder could talk to me like this

00:54:37   within the limited domain of music or appointments or whatever it would be an amazing advance of how

00:54:42   i talked over how i talked to my cylinder today but they didn't demo that they demoed it making

00:54:46   phone calls for you which just boggles my mind i think this is to my eyes a very good example of

00:54:56   just because we can doesn't mean we should which is basically the summary of all of silicon valley

00:55:02   in my personal opinion like it it's it's so obvious like you know after i saw the technology

00:55:11   which again i cannot stress enough i think the technology is amazing and like you said which is

00:55:16   what i was going to bring up you know there is an accessibility angle wherein i think this is

00:55:19   more reasonable like if i am mute if i literally cannot talk on the phone yeah or if you have a

00:55:25   speech impediment or if you have say like maybe you have to call a place where you don't speak

00:55:30   their language very well or you have a thick accent that's sometimes misunderstood a lot

00:55:33   like there's lots of accessibility reasons for this kind of technology but sheer laziness is not

00:55:40   it but the application would be different there you'd be speaking through it you would like you

00:55:43   would you would want to be in on the conversation in other words you wouldn't want to go off and do

00:55:47   it completely on its own you would want to like in most situations where someone has a synthetic

00:55:52   voice speaking for them they don't want to leave the room when it's happening like they if they

00:55:55   can be there and see your face or hear you or hear the other end of the conversation or monitor it or

00:56:01   otherwise nudge it in the right direction like they want to be some kind of participant and not

00:56:05   just like you know set it sail and just let the computer do what it's going to do like and getting

00:56:11   to cases like just because you can doesn't mean you should like it's it's more subtle than that

00:56:15   because they can and should develop this technology but it's exactly it's exactly how you choose to

00:56:21   apply it and the subtle difference between what they demoed and talking to your cylinder which

00:56:26   seemed like it's not the same thing it's a human talking to a computer having this conversation

00:56:30   but the difference like the difference is subtle and it's telling that this is how they chose to

00:56:35   show this off maybe because it's seemingly the most impressive but it is the the most ill-conceived

00:56:41   and like and and i don't even think like i say it's ill-conceived just because of the world we

00:56:47   were living now it could be as many have pointed out that like you know once this genie's out of

00:56:51   the bottle we will deal with it the same way we deal with the stupid phone trees which we could

00:56:56   have had the same exact conversation about because they have a lot of the same problems

00:56:59   it's disrespectful for the caller sometimes you get tricked into thinking it's human but eventually

00:57:03   we just all get used to it we get used to the disrespect we all learn to very quickly pick up

00:57:08   on the cues of whether this is a pre-recorded human's voice or not right despite how they try

00:57:13   to fool us and they do try to fool you on those stupid phone trees sometimes we just all get used

00:57:17   to it and we accept it and i fully expect that this turns out to be popular this could totally

00:57:22   happen with that technology as well but i still maintain that if you have this technology and are

00:57:27   advancing it this is not the most bang for your buck there are better ways to apply this technology

00:57:33   that will be more useful and more helpful to more people than this specific detailed implementation

00:57:39   even for the accessibility angle most people would want to probably identify themselves as i'm

00:57:45   speaking through this thing right maybe they wouldn't maybe i'm wrong with that i don't know

00:57:48   but it seems like that when things fall apart you'd want there to be some kind of explanation

00:57:54   like if you see someone in person and they're using an assistive device to talk to you understand

00:57:57   what the deal is and you can accommodate that right but if you think you're just talking to

00:58:01   a regular person don't realize that someone who has to use this to communicate with you give you

00:58:06   know have some sort of allowance so that i think that would help as well so you know i don't i'm

00:58:11   not even going to go so far as to say that this is a way this technology should never be used

00:58:16   i'm willing to believe that this is a way this technology will be used that when we're all 80

00:58:21   it will be so boring that no one will even talk about it anymore but right here and now

00:58:25   i'm going to say like there are there are richer veins to be mined than this

00:58:30   can you imagine if it was siri making these calls it'd be like you know hi can i have an appointment

00:58:35   between 10 and noon and the other person's like sure i have one at 10 and sierra would be like

00:58:39   what do you want to convert 10 to all right thinking ask again later i found this on the

00:58:45   internet for you i don't know it's just it's so tough because again i can't stress enough my

00:58:53   my initial reaction was so overwhelmingly positive but then the moment i really started thinking about

00:58:57   this i was like oh this is this is kind of creepy and i don't know i i maybe it's just me but i feel

00:59:05   like this is just silicon valley in a nutshell like it's a bunch of it's a bunch of people

00:59:11   probably dudes probably entitled dudes just thinking you know what i really just don't want

00:59:16   to be bothered making a reservation like i'm i'm too good for that my time is too valuable so what

00:59:20   can i do i can use the whole of human technology to fake something that sounds like a human to make

00:59:27   that reservation for me it's just so i guess i could see where you'd come away with that on this

00:59:32   but i i really think that there is actually a little kernel of the 70s era silicon valley

00:59:37   idealism in this as well perhaps a naive idealism which is also part of it but and you know it was

00:59:43   phrased as saving you time and you can say okay it's got to save you time because you're so

00:59:46   important your time is so valuable because you're you know a rich tech nerd but first of all this

00:59:51   technology is not exclusively available to rich people um sure is is android is very democratizing

00:59:58   technology it's available on cheapo phones everywhere it have a lot of it happens on the

01:00:03   servers you don't need to have an expensive device and the way it was framed for the most part was

01:00:07   we're trying to help people with their lives people have challenges in their lives everybody

01:00:15   does and we want to help them solve the problems they have whether this is you know the biggest

01:00:21   problem or the way people would want it to be solved that was the stage of motivation and

01:00:25   andy and ocho had very optimistic take on this when he was tweeting it in real time and he kept

01:00:30   coming back to the the message that google was sending out throughout the presentation

01:00:35   not directly most of the time but more or less indirectly contrasting themselves with facebook

01:00:43   basically this is andy uh interpreting what they're saying it's like they mean google are trying to

01:00:47   say facebook uses its power to abuse your privacy and exploit you and undermine institutions we use

01:00:53   our power we mean google to help you and improve your life and that was the message use google

01:00:58   products because you have challenges in your lives and google products will help you overcome them

01:01:03   and again i see the elite angle on there but i think the the populist sort of techno optimism of

01:01:13   we take amazing technology make it available to everybody for free or cheap and it helps them with

01:01:19   their lives is a very sort of 70s silicon valley bicycle for the mind personal computer on every

01:01:25   desk utopian philosophy again perhaps naive but i think like i said the heart is in the right place

01:01:31   this type of thing um they you know there are other aspects of the presentation we'll probably

01:01:35   talk about next week like the digital well-being stuff um what was the other thing like the well

01:01:41   developing on chromebooks the whole chromebook angle too why they even do that they have a

01:01:45   cheapo computers like this i'm i mostly give google the benefit of the doubt on this front

01:01:50   especially because uh well i was gonna say especially because it's it's it is less clearly

01:01:57   tied to advertising it's still tied to commerce right but it's less clearly tied to this is a way

01:02:02   for us to show you more ads right i mean it's a way to gather more information about you so they

01:02:05   can show you more ads but anyway i really believe that people working on this project think that

01:02:09   the technology they're developing the ability of a computer to understand and negate in a conversation

01:02:14   a little problem limited problem domain can help humanity i believe it can help humanity

01:02:20   just i'm not sure they've figured out quite how yet we are sponsored this week by ero finally wi-fi

01:02:28   that works we all know that one wi-fi router does not cover most places very well because there's

01:02:35   things like walls that no matter how many antennas you put on your router there's going to be like

01:02:39   small dead zones or rooms where it doesn't reach or the very edge of your yard where you have a

01:02:44   smart bulb that you really want to reach but it just doesn't what you need is a distributed system

01:02:49   that broadcasts wi-fi from multiple physical points in a big mesh now this is what schools

01:02:54   and businesses and things have used for years but they have to use you know expensive and hard to

01:02:58   administer enterprise stuff ero brings enterprise grade hardware and features to consumers in an

01:03:05   incredibly easy to use package it's the easiest setup i've ever seen of any router let alone a

01:03:11   mesh system it's incredibly easy you launch the ero app it sets you through the whole thing you

01:03:15   start out with the ero base station you connect that the same way you can take any other router

01:03:19   you connect it to your internet connection then you plug in the ero beacons that you have the

01:03:24   additional ero beacons and these are going to communicate with that base station and broadcast

01:03:29   a nice mesh of wi-fi all around your house the app will help you place the beacons in effective

01:03:34   locations you can measure their speed to make sure you're putting them places where they're actually

01:03:37   going to work and not like stepping on each other's toes or anything and your experience is seamless

01:03:42   you walk around your house you're gonna you only see one network and it just covers everything it's

01:03:47   wonderful and again i can't stress how easy it is to use if you need any help they do have great

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01:04:20   our show so this past week was the uh 20th anniversary of the original iMac and lots of our

01:04:30   friends in the in the apple and writing world have given wonderful retrospectives and lots of our

01:04:37   podcasting friends have had lots of great talks about it when the iMac came out in 1998 right yeah

01:04:45   i was still a pc person i mostly ignored it like i ignored almost everything apple did back then

01:04:51   because i was a pc person but i do want to talk about one part of the iMac that did have a lot to

01:04:58   do with the pc world because we shared it with them i want to have retrospective instead on

01:05:03   it said about the iMac my retrospective is about USB and quite how much USB changed the world

01:05:10   back then like it was just it was like this new port and it was hyped and it was you know

01:05:15   everything that any new technology product got back then you know standard level of hype but

01:05:19   i didn't fully realize like until a few years in quite how how much USB changed things for one

01:05:27   it was a very inexpensive standard on all sides it was inexpensive to host in the computer side

01:05:34   it was inexpensive to make USB devices the logic on devices was very simplistic

01:05:39   it was just very cheap and simple to implement this is why it beat firewire at pretty much

01:05:44   everything this is why it beat thunderbolt at pretty much everything and still does

01:05:48   USB is really cheap to implement it also uses really cheap simple cables and connectors

01:05:54   USB cables were standardized a long time ago and so even as the user when you're buying USB stuff

01:06:00   it's generally not only does it cost less to to buy up front but also like you probably already

01:06:05   have a cable for it so for things that don't come with cables you don't usually have to buy one you

01:06:09   usually have them and you can keep USB cables around and use them with lots of different

01:06:13   devices over time so it was just very inexpensive on all sides and that benefits pretty much

01:06:19   everybody also compared to other things at the time you know when USB was introduced in the late 90s

01:06:25   the competitors on the PC side were basically serial ports parallel ports and SCSI and and

01:06:34   SCSI was very rare on PCs like it was you'd see it like on high-end workstations and servers

01:06:39   i know max used a little a little bit more but on PC most almost no PCs sold to consumers had

01:06:44   SCSI cards you could buy one but it was just they were expensive and SCSI was you know it was like

01:06:48   a big ribbon cable interface it was just a big parallel thing it was a big pain in the butt

01:06:53   you had to have like SCSI terminators on the end of the SCSI chain it was just a big pain USB came

01:06:59   and replaced all of that on the PC side with these small connectors with small thin cables the cables

01:07:07   could be way longer they could be up to 15 feet long they were widely available pretty much

01:07:13   everywhere you can get them in lots of different lengths different colors if you wanted USB also

01:07:18   introduced i think for the first time in the PC side bus powered devices keyboards had their own

01:07:23   power through the ps2 port but like other low power devices could get their power from the port

01:07:29   so they wouldn't need their own power supplies this is again like another massive innovation in USB

01:07:35   and and i mean the number of innovations in USB this is why i i was thinking about this on my dog

01:07:40   walk yesterday like i was just enumerating in my head like all the all the things that USB changed

01:07:45   for the first time it's a huge list so another another big thing just the sheer number of ports

01:07:51   you could have on a computer you know until recently USB ports were quite plentiful you know

01:07:56   like couldn't help it could you no of course not most PCs sold back then had two serial ports and

01:08:05   one parallel port and two ps2 ports those are keyboard and mouse but then almost all your

01:08:10   peripherals had to be a serial port which you only had two of or the parallel port which was

01:08:13   usually your printer and that's it otherwise if you wanted to add on more than that you usually

01:08:18   had to buy an expansion card and stick it to one of your card slots with USB you could have more

01:08:24   ports and usually you know the the very first USB controllers came with two ports and fairly soon in

01:08:31   PC history four became standard and now there's even way more than that and then also huge game

01:08:37   changer hubs to add more ports this was not possible with serial ports or parallel ports

01:08:45   and and SCSI could do like a chain up to a certain amount but it was a pain and anyway again that was

01:08:51   pretty much unheard of in consumer PCs there was never there's no such thing as a serial port hub

01:08:57   or a parallel port hub that could multiply your parallel port into more more parallel ports again

01:09:02   adding more ports meant adding expansion cards or just not having more ports so that was another

01:09:09   massive change then on top of that was the whole family of things that went into what was called

01:09:16   at the time breathlessly plug and play and we made fun of Microsoft relentlessly for how bad

01:09:23   plug and play was in windows 95 and everything but the fact is there's a number of things about USB

01:09:29   that changed everything about peripherals number one you could connect and disconnect things

01:09:34   without turning off the computer or having to reboot to get them to start working this was huge

01:09:40   like if you wanted to install a new you know device on one of your other ports a lot of times

01:09:46   you'd have to reboot or turn the computer physically off to do it either safely or in a

01:09:50   way that worked and you know obviously also if you're putting in cards then you have to turn the

01:09:54   computer all the way off and but leave it plugged in so it's grounded uh nobody ever did that but

01:09:58   anyway that was a huge huge pain right there solved by actually hot plugging and unplugging

01:10:04   things then the way devices would communicate to the computer before USB there really wasn't

01:10:12   a way for devices to self-identify with the computer the way the architecture worked would

01:10:18   be like you'd install a sound card and the sound card would have jumpers or dip switches on it

01:10:24   that would pre-configure it like it would hard configure it to be addressable by a certain

01:10:29   i/o address and certain interrupts certain irq's and dmas remember all this oh yeah when you would

01:10:34   set up your sound card in your game that you were playing or whatever you would have to tell the

01:10:39   game okay i have a sound blaster 16 it's at i/o address 220 irq 5 dma1 and you had to make sure

01:10:48   that was right according to the jumpers on the card because if it wasn't it just wouldn't work

01:10:52   right there was no way for your card to tell the computer i'm a sound blaster 16 i'm an audio

01:10:58   device here's how you talk to me here's where i am usb brought all of that in one standard in

01:11:05   addition to you know the nice cables and ports and hubs and everything it brought device

01:11:11   self-identification and auto-configuring of things like how to address it that changed so many things

01:11:18   it made so many things better and then combined with that the other massive change with usb

01:11:25   is that it introduced something called standard class compliant profiles so this includes we

01:11:31   still hear these terms sometimes today hid usb audio and usb mass storage profiles

01:11:37   so what this means is that you could for the first time i think you could make like a standard usb

01:11:45   sound card and you could plug it into a computer the computer would see it because of plug and play

01:11:50   it would know how to address it and you could make it so that it required no drivers at all because

01:11:55   it could it could it would just conform to the usb audio class compliance standard same thing you

01:12:02   could do the same thing with keyboards mice game pads joysticks and then eventually mass storage

01:12:08   hard drives sd card stuff like that like anything that like there was this whole class network cards

01:12:14   video capture devices all of these things could be driverless that people could sell a you know

01:12:21   a device or whatever that you didn't have to install their terrible driver on i can't tell you

01:12:26   how much hardware that i had to either give up using or that never worked right at all because of

01:12:32   random problems with their drivers in the pc world like or the or they wouldn't update their driver

01:12:37   for windows 98 or whatever like it was just it was always a pain and so the more you could do without

01:12:42   drivers better usb brought that world before usb you had to do pretty much everything with custom

01:12:48   drivers with usb you had standard class compliant profiles that also meant that max and linux pcs

01:12:57   were usually able to use them too and we still see those advantages today because when you when

01:13:03   you have usb standard class compliant things they also for instance work on ios devices through the

01:13:08   camera connection kit with no configuration no drivers nothing like that all of this was back

01:13:13   like in 1998 and a lot of what made the iMac possible and what made it great and what made it

01:13:20   work was really usb and you know we complain a lot about the current standards and everything but like

01:13:26   usb still has all these things and all of that started back then so all of our friends are

01:13:31   talking about how the iMac changed everything for apple and that's great i think they're right but i

01:13:35   wasn't there for that part i was in the pc world and what we saw was that usb changed everything

01:13:41   for us well i have a couple minor corrections for uh marco in the pc world based on old mac stuff

01:13:48   the most part i agree with what you said but uh scuzzy on the mac scuzzy was everywhere on the

01:13:54   early days of the mac it wasn't just like a a niche feature that was on just the high end max

01:13:58   it was everywhere yeah because max were expensive lol yeah that's true um uh usb uh was part of

01:14:06   uh a transition that started slightly before usb when the the io chips and and basically the price

01:14:14   of compute and uh uh went down to the point where there was a realization that you could get uh less

01:14:22   expensive and faster io by having uh by doing a very fast serial interface than a parallel one like

01:14:31   scuzzy was kind of the culmination of like look we need lots of data and we needed to go fast so

01:14:35   let's send it all at once in parallel down these gigantic cables and be really careful with that

01:14:39   electrical interference induced terminators and blah blah blah right uh because that was the way

01:14:43   you know it's kind of like you know oh we need we need more traffic on this road let's add more

01:14:47   lanes right uh and then the uh the analogy falls down here with the cars thing but like imagine

01:14:52   you say no instead of having a bunch of lanes with lots of cars in them let's just have one lane and

01:14:58   send the cars at the speed of light and have something that can somehow deal with with shoving

01:15:03   the cars quickly into this little tiny string straw so the price of compute went to the point

01:15:06   where they realized serial interfaces were the future not parallel interfaces we'd basically

01:15:11   taken parallel interface as far as they could go we realized how how problematic they were

01:15:16   uh they're just finicky and big i mean i had scuzzy cables that were like the thickness of like a

01:15:21   hot dog like they've huge huge non-bending cables just very very delicate very finicky

01:15:29   very capable and you could daisy chain them which was interesting but but serial interfaces were the

01:15:35   future and on that front what apple had for a long time before usb came along which had a lot

01:15:40   of the benefits that you cited was apple desktop bus adb was used to connect essentially the

01:15:45   keyboard and mouse and they had serial ports that had a similar looking connector for printers and

01:15:49   stuff that worked more like you would expect a pc serial port to do but a keyboard and mice

01:15:54   uh i don't think there were any ever any adb hubs that i suppose there could have been but

01:15:58   the keyboard had an adb port on one side that you would connect to the computer and you could

01:16:03   connect your mouse to a port on the other side of the keyboard which should look familiar to anybody

01:16:07   who has a usb keyboard with two uh usb ports on it where you connect your your wired mouse to the

01:16:12   keyboard if you still have a wired mouse back in the day right you could plug and unplug adb

01:16:17   peripherals while the computer was on and sparks did not fly and the computer understood what you

01:16:21   were doing and whatever you plugged in your computer would find it and figure it obviously

01:16:24   it's apple desktop bus it's proprietary it's not an interesting standard so of course apple could

01:16:28   do this because they understood where all the peripherals came from and they had their own

01:16:31   standards for how they identified themselves um and adb was a serial bus mostly because you know

01:16:38   it was for low bandwidth things and they didn't have to make it parallel right uh but those

01:16:43   benefits a lot of the benefits of this sort of the usability of usb and the convenience of it

01:16:49   apple had been enjoying since the mac se and the mac 2 or whenever adb was introduced that's i

01:16:53   think that's when they they both came out um when usb came along it seemed like uh the next logical

01:17:01   step because it's a serial interface because we can make serial instances fast and cheap

01:17:05   the cables are thin and not giant thick disgusting scuzzy things the connectors were despite all our

01:17:12   complaints about you know the the externally symmetrical and internally asymmetrical incredibly

01:17:17   infuriating uh usb-a connectors they definitely looked more modern than adb because adb had like

01:17:23   actual little pins inside it it was like it was from the old era of like you know pins going into

01:17:27   little holes and the back of your thing with like a metal sheath around it and apple did a pretty

01:17:32   good job trying to make it so you understood the orientation because the connector itself was round

01:17:37   but it only went in one way you had to line the pins up so they made the actual

01:17:40   casing of them flat on one side so you always knew like the flat side went up right and that's

01:17:46   how you could figure out how to plug them in but it was a little bit fidgety but anyway usb

01:17:49   was an upgrade in that regard and and uh you mentioned firewire before and how you know usb

01:17:55   was more popular than firewire firewire was another one of those uh you know interfaces

01:18:02   that came out of the idea that we can make really fast serial interfaces and give up on parallel

01:18:06   but it was the high-end one it was like how do we replace the highest of the high bandwidth stuff

01:18:11   uh to replace scuzzy with something that has way more bandwidth than usb and that has

01:18:16   guarantees about timing and that can be chained together without and that you can have high

01:18:21   bandwidth without involving the then anemic cpu on the computer which is how usb saved a lot of money

01:18:26   by having the computer cpu do a lot of the work and not having to put that put those smarts in

01:18:31   the interface chips which made the interface chips cheaper on both the host device and the actual

01:18:35   peripheral right so it's not as if firewire quote-unquote lost to usb it was clearly aimed

01:18:42   at a different segment at the less populous segment the high-end segment you know it ended

01:18:47   up being used for digital video uh on camcorders and stuff like that and you know it lasted a

01:18:52   pretty long time all things considered because it was very expensive but it was like there was never

01:18:56   going to be a firewire mouse let's put it that way it's nonsensical right um but but it's part

01:19:00   of the same family of serial over parallel um and so and finally on the imac front yeah like

01:19:07   as you know the imac the most important thing about the imac was not the fact that it uh you know

01:19:13   that it came with usb let's say like but lots of other podcasts have talked about the more

01:19:18   important aspects of it that's what i thought we were going to talk about here but now we're

01:19:21   out of time so i'm not going to uh dwell on it any longer uh but uh the fact that uh it you know

01:19:29   not that it had usb but as as jason snell pointed out as macrocom that it dropped all the other

01:19:35   ports that are on max that was the in terms of ports the the most shocking factor about it for

01:19:43   an apple user because we had peripherals we had adb peripherals and the benefits of usb over adb

01:19:50   especially like when usb is first coming on the scene it's like what does this do that my adb

01:19:57   stuff doesn't do i've already got an adb trackpad an adb extended keyboard an adb mouse like but

01:20:02   why do i need this new interface i can't use any peripherals what the hell happened to my

01:20:06   scuzzy port i have stacks and stacks of scuzzy hard drives here i have a scuzzy raid how do i

01:20:10   connect these to my imac this thing is useless right and then i can't connect my printer to it

01:20:15   my printer's not usb whoever heard of a usb printer i have a serial printer and it got plugged into the

01:20:19   serial port the same serial port's been on my mac since you know 1986 right i can't plug this in

01:20:24   anywhere how the hell do i print and then of course the no floppy drive thing or whatever um so

01:20:29   as a mac user as jason pointed out the imac was met with some hostility by people who had a bunch

01:20:36   of peripherals that they can't plug in unlike our current usb-c situation there was not any real

01:20:41   hope of dongles there was adb usb dongles which i think we were still using to use his uh his uh

01:20:46   apple extended 2 keyboard right but in general it's not as if you bought a dongle for your your

01:20:52   style writer and just used it for years and years after that it's like no everyone got usb printers

01:20:56   like what happened is usb slipped through the whole industry for the reasons margo stated

01:20:59   and we just all got new stuff and we said oh yeah this is better because instead of having

01:21:04   a scuzzy port and two serial ports and adb ports now i just have usb and then firewire for the for

01:21:10   the expensive high bandwidth stuff and that was better and that was the future and like i think

01:21:14   this is like a positive version of this of what this of the usb-c story where there's a lot of

01:21:21   parallels and they seem very similar but it's sure taking a lot longer than it did with usb

01:21:25   for the usb-c revolution to uh to come along and sweep us all away and we're still kind of

01:21:31   grumbling about dongles and kind of wishing we had some of our other ports back it also just it says

01:21:36   quite a lot about just how how groundbreaking and forward-looking usb was that now 20 years later

01:21:47   you can take a usb device that was released 20 years ago for usb 1.1 and plug it in to an imac

01:21:55   pro without a dongle and it'll probably like if it still works at all it will work on that computer

01:22:02   that's that's mine like nothing else in computing has lasted as long as usb has it's incredible

01:22:10   vga yeah well yeah that's that's not really used anymore though oh you wish you wish it wasn't used

01:22:16   well yeah i know projectors and stuff but yeah like most like most people in their house are

01:22:20   not using vga for anything that's it's all hdmi and dvi and stuff even dvi is gone i'm amazed at

01:22:25   the number of people take like their you know their retina max and plug them into a series

01:22:30   of dongles that culminate in a vga port so they can project it happens all the time at work and

01:22:35   i'm just like just that is not the you are not getting the maximum value for your money out of

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01:24:47   all right let's do some ask atp and let's begin by kite with kimer who asks how do you find your

01:24:56   configured do you view is icons or list or columns do you show tab path status bars range by name

01:25:02   date none icons in the toolbar or tags etc does it differ per folder one config system wide or do

01:25:08   you adjust it as you go i adjust as i go i also don't find this question terribly interesting but

01:25:16   i try to keep the uh i try to keep the path bar whatever it's called at the bottom on the status

01:25:22   bar at the bottom bottom on and other than that everything gets adjusted periodically

01:25:26   i have just learned what the path bar is as you said that wow that could be useful

01:25:32   you don't even read my reviews i use list view status bar on so i can see disk space

01:25:39   and uh i don't know that's about you know list view that's about it i uh i normally i'm sorting

01:25:45   by name but in open save dialogues when i'm viewing either the desktop or the downloads

01:25:51   folder i will sort those by date descending so that the new stuff always shows up on top

01:25:55   because usually what i'm dealing with is the newest stuff all right john you only have let's

01:26:00   let's cap you at 35 minutes if you don't know and i can't i can't go into all the details of this but

01:26:05   how i use the finder i continue to try to use the finder like i used to use the finder my first 16

01:26:11   years of mac use uh the the of course the current mac finder does not want to be used that way and

01:26:18   it fights me every step of the way but i continue to wage that battle mostly because it's you know

01:26:23   i'm i'm willing to forgive its forgetfulness and just you know repeat actions over and over again

01:26:29   just to get the experience i want so the experience i'm looking for for people to know how the finder

01:26:32   used to work is the two main views i use are icon view and list view uh icon view a couple of windows

01:26:39   i i try to keep the icons arranged and the windows size the way i want them like the applications

01:26:44   window and stuff like that sort of you know windows without a lot of stuff in them list view for

01:26:49   almost everything else for anything that has lots of stuff in it um and i'm very into the little you

01:26:53   know disclosure triangles of disclosing different hierarchies and changing the sort order and stuff

01:26:57   like that i never have the sidebar visible so i don't have the path bar anything like that i

01:27:02   always have the status bar visible because i always want to see the available disk space

01:27:05   so if you were to look at my finder desktop chances are good that you would probably see one icon

01:27:11   view window if any and just a bunch of this view windows with various parts disclosed all with the

01:27:17   little uh status bar visible on the top i'm surprised you closed the sidebar i actually like the sidebar

01:27:23   no i don't use it i don't use the finder as a browser is what i'm getting at i do not use it

01:27:27   as a browser i try to use it as the old finder which is very difficult because it did you know

01:27:32   every once in a while to give example the applications window which occasionally i find

01:27:35   myself in you know messing with applications or dragging something over disk image or whatever

01:27:39   right um every once in a while the application window which i have sized and arranged in a

01:27:45   particular way decides nope i'm going to be a different size in a different position i'm going

01:27:49   to have the sidebar now why does it decide that i don't know it just does and then i turn off the

01:27:55   sidebar on it and i put it back where i thought it was supposed to be and i readjust the view

01:27:59   settings for it and then i close it and hope it remembers again next time but you know at least

01:28:03   like once a month or something some window that i had previously positioned and and configured in

01:28:08   a particular way will decide now it wants to be this weird you know metal browser thing it's not

01:28:13   metal anymore anymore right now but no i don't i don't want to use it as a browser andreas ekigren

01:28:19   writes what are your thoughts on vulvo using android and google maps and google assistant

01:28:24   for their census system in the future i think it's a purse for car manufacturers so as chief

01:28:29   summarizer and chief what this is referring to is vulvo in the last few days has announced that

01:28:34   for their quote-unquote iDrive if you will they're going to be working with google to embed the voice

01:28:40   controlled google assistant google play store google maps and other google services into its

01:28:43   next generation census infotainment system which will be based on android as an owner of a almost

01:28:50   brand new vulvo i find this very interesting i am tentatively optimistic about this i would be very

01:28:59   perturbed if this meant as i presume it might that i couldn't use carplay anymore um i obviously this

01:29:06   is for the next generation so it's not going to affect aaron's car but in the future if it ends

01:29:10   up that you can only use android auto and not carplay that would really annoy me but that being

01:29:15   said it would be pretty sweet to have google maps as the actual onboard like first party sort of so

01:29:21   to speak mapping application um which i think would be super cool so like marco obviously this

01:29:26   isn't relevant to you because you don't own a vulvo but like how would you feel about hypothetically

01:29:30   tesla saying hey we're going to use google maps from now on or do they already and i don't realize

01:29:34   it they do use google maps for the map tiles and the map view they don't use it for navigation

01:29:40   oh interesting okay so does this do you think this would do anything for you then i guess it's sort

01:29:44   of already there for you huh it's well this is it's not using like you know android and google

01:29:49   assistant and everything else so uh yeah this this this would be a step forward or a step

01:29:54   significantly in that direction from where tesla is now uh ultimately i buy a car for its other

01:30:01   factors and i just deal with whatever entertainment system it has uh so i would just deal with

01:30:06   whatever they did i would like google assistant in my car because i think it does a really good

01:30:10   job of figuring out what the heck i want and doing it uh and my like my my hilarious infotainment

01:30:16   system on my accord like it lets you do voice calling uh which occasionally i use i know why

01:30:23   don't i just do talk to my phone i don't because i don't have hey dingus enabled and anyway it's a

01:30:28   whole bunch of reasons why i don't use the phone thing but my car itself has a way to do voice

01:30:33   calls and it is terrible it is it's a real it's like a difficult text adventure like it's really

01:30:40   hard i know exactly what to do and i still fail like 25 of the time but i use it because my hands

01:30:45   can be on the wheel uh and then i don't know anyway so i would love for my car or any future

01:30:50   car to have a google assistant and and google maps and google navigation because i think all

01:30:54   those things are really good and surely better than what any car manufacturer would come up on

01:30:59   their own and also better than what car manufacturers would you know buy from some

01:31:03   third party like tom tom or whatever whoever is selling infotainment systems now so i applaud

01:31:09   volvo for making a deal with the best in class assistant and maps for their car and i wish more

01:31:14   people would do it cool hudson hayward asks do you buy it was asked as playstation 4 but i'm

01:31:20   going to expand it do you buy video games console video games on disc slash cartridge or is digital

01:31:27   downloads i generally like having physical cartridges or discs but find the noise of the

01:31:31   spinning disc to be excessive sometimes i generally speaking prefer cartridges for the switch because

01:31:38   i can hand them to somebody else so they can play it for a minute so i don't have to worry about

01:31:43   like installing an sd card or anything in the switch which is not difficult for the record i

01:31:46   just don't you know i don't have an extra micro sd whatever it is lying around however i will say

01:31:52   that i deeply deeply regret not downloading mario kart because a game like mario kart is it's one

01:32:00   of the only games i'm ever going to play with friends on the switch and it would be super

01:32:04   convenient if i could have say the zelda cartridge in the switch but then just pop over and play

01:32:10   mario kart for a minute with my friends and then go back to zelda when i'm by myself it's not i

01:32:15   will it's not a big enough deal that i would buy mario kart again in order to do it but i do wish

01:32:22   i had for games like that where i know i'm going to be playing with friends kind of at a moment's

01:32:26   notice i i would recommend downloading otherwise i personally like the cartridges but teach their

01:32:30   own john how do you feel about this i searched to see if we had been asked this question before

01:32:35   because it sounds familiar but i couldn't find it but anyway um we are only one or two console

01:32:39   generations away from these things not having a physical media port on them i have never had a

01:32:44   plastic disc inside my ps4 at all i download all my games if i can possibly do it the only card i

01:32:49   have for my switch is zelda because i bought the special fancy edition and you had to get a cart

01:32:54   with that like they didn't have a digital one because it came with this big box with a bunch of

01:32:57   accessories and doohickeys and stuff like that uh digital downloads they are the way to go i

01:33:02   recommended for everybody do not buy physical media if you can at all help it it does mean

01:33:07   that you might have to expand the storage on your system it does mean you have to understand how

01:33:11   this affects your ability to transfer games and have save state and what happens when you're on

01:33:15   a roof and so on and so forth but we are in we are in transition period and i feel like we're at the

01:33:20   tail end of the transition period digital only is the future yep i'm with you i the very first thing

01:33:25   i did when i got the switch was buy a 200 gig micro sd card once i knew i could do that uh i

01:33:31   i bought zero cartridges the only i have one game for switch on a cartridge and it's the mario

01:33:37   rabbids game that i bought on black friday because it was on sale i have yet to play it but the

01:33:42   cartridges has been in my switch since black friday because you know we all of our games

01:33:49   are downloaded so what's great is you know it kind of avoids casey's mario kart problem

01:33:53   all of your games are always accessible to you you can just always play whatever you want you

01:33:58   don't have to worry oh i left that one at home or i don't have that one with me right now there is a

01:34:02   real downside as casey said that you can't just hand your copy of the game to someone else to

01:34:07   play or you or you know if you don't if if you want to like have multiple switches in your family

01:34:14   and you you can't easily like just transfer the games between them um so you know that's that's

01:34:18   kind of that's kind of annoying in certain cases you also can't resell downloads you know back to

01:34:24   gamestop or whatever for zero dollars they can resell it for way more than that um you know you

01:34:28   can't trade with friends like there are definite downsides to the way downloads are usually

01:34:33   implemented but as somebody who doesn't usually do all those things and who is instead very lazy

01:34:40   i love the fact that i can just pick up a switch or turn on the tv with the switch

01:34:44   and all the games that we have are just in a menu and you can just pick whatever you want to play

01:34:49   and it just starts and a lot of those limitations you mentioned are actually just policy ones

01:34:54   nintendo historically has not been the best in the policy but for example on playstation 4

01:34:58   there's many games that i bought one copy of that i can play on both of my ps4s in the house

01:35:03   my son can play on his account on his ps4 because it's like a sub account of mine or whatever like

01:35:07   they they have a way for a lot of games not all but a lot of games for you to buy one copy of it

01:35:13   and have two people playing it on different playstations on different accounts which is

01:35:16   a much better policy than the nintendo policy right so it really is up to and they could even

01:35:21   do reselling and stuff like that if they want so it really is up to the individual company that's

01:35:25   why i say become familiar with what the those the policies related to digital downloads on your

01:35:32   console and figure out if they're you know if they're an issue if you never resell them you

01:35:35   probably don't care about that but if you do want to buy one copy of a game and have multiple people

01:35:39   in the house playing it find out if that's possible and you might be pleasantly surprised

01:35:44   and by the way i know i said it myself earlier like you know i don't buy games on plastic discs

01:35:49   i prefer digital obviously the digital and plastic is too this is just like mechanical keyboards

01:35:54   another one of those nonsensical things it's like oh so you like digital games yeah i get my my my

01:36:00   games on vinyl they're all analog the graphics are way better that way much warmer it's more

01:36:05   about the ritual thanks to our sponsors this week mack weldon ero and casper and we'll see you next

01:36:11   week now the show is over they didn't even mean to begin because it was accidental accidental

01:36:22   it was accidental accidental john didn't do any research marco and casey wouldn't let him

01:36:29   because it was accidental it was accidental and you can find the show notes at atp.fm

01:36:40   and if you're into twitter you can follow them at c a s e y l i s s so that's casey list m a r c o

01:36:52   a r m anti-marco armen s i r a c u s a syracusa it's accidental

01:37:04   they didn't mean to accidental tech podcast so long

01:37:12   okay we just we just got another switch card in the house and i realized that i had had the zelda

01:37:18   switch cart in my cart slot so long that i forgot where the cart slot was on my switch

01:37:23   we got some dancing game for my daughter she's gonna use it at a birthday party i'm trying to

01:37:28   think how do we end up getting this and not downloading it but anyway we have a second

01:37:32   physical card in the house now which i'm already regretting because then i have to take out my

01:37:35   tiny little zelda thing and put it somewhere where i don't lose it i can't wait for them to do the uh

01:37:40   i don't know if you've been keeping up with this but the uh the nintendo online service that we're

01:37:44   all currently enjoying a free trial of or whatever is going to become commercial and as part of that

01:37:49   there's going to be cloud saves thank god so finally my all my zelda progress will be somewhat

01:37:53   safer than it is now i just i fear like that the kids are going to spill a drink on my switch and

01:37:58   i'm going to lose like 150 hours of zelda yeah i'm worried about that for all of our saves too yeah

01:38:03   when is that launching it's not not soon right uh forget uh september maybe i don't know google for

01:38:09   nintendo switch online you'll see i wasn't paying too much attention i just saw the feature set but

01:38:13   it it's before the end of the year and i think maybe the fall and apparently we're going to be

01:38:17   able to play mario 3 multiplayer over the internet oh it's just more nes games by the way you'll be

01:38:23   able to play more nes games surprise yeah we all kind of saw that coming out i think they're giving

01:38:29   you a bunch of good ones are free i think they're giving you like mario mario 3 i figured what they

01:38:32   were anyway just google for the story to see details but anyway it's cheap it's like 35

01:38:37   dollars for a seven person family per year uh and cloud saves that's all i need to hear i would you

01:38:42   know have no idea how much i would play for cloud saves i'm so paranoid about this switch