266: Text Adventure Mode


00:00:00   It's going to be a long drive, but I bought walkie talkies so that we could beat you at

00:00:05   like Top Gear stuff.

00:00:06   Of course you did.

00:00:07   You're going to find out how crappy walkie talkies are compared to the modern digital

00:00:11   cell network.

00:00:12   Yep.

00:00:13   And just start calling each other.

00:00:14   Yeah, but they're really fast.

00:00:15   That's the thing, you just push a button and talk.

00:00:16   That's it.

00:00:17   There's no like, type type type, you know.

00:00:19   I got decent ones.

00:00:21   Wait, when I said the modern digital cell network, I meant the voice.

00:00:26   Do you know you can talk into your phone?

00:00:28   Oh, yeah.

00:00:29   What? No one does that. I'm just saying, you can call people on it. Try it. No, what are you saying?

00:00:35   Oh, how we miss the days of the Nextel push to talk.

00:00:38   Yeah, no, it's not push to talk. If you just leave the call connected all the time,

00:00:41   you don't even have to push. You just set up a WebEx in each car.

00:00:47   Oh, Jesus. Now I'm definitely going to bed.

00:00:49   Damien Shaw writes, "Google Home allows for both compound commands and context-sensitive commands.

00:00:55   I do this all the time.

00:00:56   Quote, play something and set volume to five.

00:01:00   It gets it every time.

00:01:01   And, quote, Google, what's the weather in San Diego?

00:01:04   Oh, I just said it.

00:01:05   Oh well, sorry people.

00:01:06   Hey cylinder, what's the weather in San Diego today?

00:01:09   A few seconds later, hey cylinder, what about tomorrow?

00:01:12   And that also always works for Damian Shaw.

00:01:16   - Yeah, I mean this was my bad,

00:01:17   'cause I said last episode that none of the cylinders

00:01:19   supported multiple commands in one sentence.

00:01:23   I'm not talking about follow-up, like afterwards.

00:01:25   I'm talking about like, play Weezer and set the volume

00:01:28   to five, or you know, make a pasta timer for five minutes

00:01:31   and a sauce timer for 20 minutes, like stuff like that.

00:01:33   That's, having all that be in one command,

00:01:36   and I don't even know, did anybody say if it can do

00:01:38   multiple name timers, I don't even know.

00:01:40   Anyway, it doesn't matter.

00:01:41   Apparently Google Home can do it with certain commands,

00:01:44   so, oh well, I made a mistake.

00:01:46   I wish Siri and the Amazon service would add this.

00:01:51   That's, and this was in the context of Amazon adding

00:01:53   their follow-up listening feature to the Echo of like,

00:01:56   it'll listen for a few seconds after you give,

00:01:59   after it does a command to see if you have

00:02:01   anything more to say.

00:02:02   Like, you know, that's a BS non-feature,

00:02:05   but multiple command support in one sentence

00:02:08   is a great feature and something that we desperately need.

00:02:11   I thought nobody had it, turns out Google has it, done.

00:02:13   - So the thing about these cylinders is,

00:02:17   like they don't really have a particularly

00:02:18   discoverable interface, that's one of the reasons

00:02:20   that Amazon emails you all the time

00:02:22   to tell you all the new things that you can do

00:02:24   with your cylinder, because otherwise, how would you know?

00:02:26   Like, it just sits there, you know?

00:02:27   It doesn't, it has no apparent way to communicate to you

00:02:30   that it now has a new capability.

00:02:33   On this topic, are you sure, Marco,

00:02:35   that your Amazon cylinder can't do compound commands?

00:02:38   Like, when's the last time you tried?

00:02:39   - That's a reasonable question.

00:02:41   I don't, I guess I'm not sure.

00:02:43   The last time I tried was probably months ago,

00:02:45   and they could have added it last week.

00:02:47   I don't actually read those emails.

00:02:48   - I think I might have done multiple timers in one sentence,

00:02:51   but I don't know, I treat my Google cylinders

00:02:54   like every time I talk to them,

00:02:57   I'm daring them not to understand me.

00:02:59   I say things in an informal way, in a more complicated way

00:03:05   than, you know, not in a more complicated way,

00:03:08   but that I don't simplify them, I don't dumb it down

00:03:10   to say, "Okay, cylinder, I know you won't understand me,

00:03:14   "so let me explain to you very clearly and slowly

00:03:16   "what I want," I just say it.

00:03:17   And I'm just daring it to, like, "Go ahead, screw up."

00:03:21   and most of the time it succeeds.

00:03:23   And that's that little weird game that I play with it.

00:03:26   It's part of my satisfaction with the product.

00:03:28   Part of the satisfaction is the challenge

00:03:29   and seeing the challenge be met

00:03:31   by this little thing in my house, right?

00:03:34   But on the discoverability front,

00:03:38   I think actually one of the pieces of feedback that we got

00:03:41   that may not have made it into notes is that,

00:03:43   what the heck is it called?

00:03:46   HomePod also can do compound things

00:03:48   at least play music or other audio and issue a volume level at the same time.

00:03:55   And that goes back to what I was saying.

00:03:57   It's not always clear what these cylinders can do for us.

00:04:01   And the only way to really find out is to try.

00:04:03   And the problem with trying is if it falls on its face, you're like, "Oh, my stupid cylinder

00:04:07   can't do that thing."

00:04:09   Two months later, maybe it can do that thing and you have no idea.

00:04:12   So I guess the moral is...

00:04:14   I mean, I don't know what the solution is here because Amazon has an email as one approach.

00:04:18   keep spamming people so they realize you can ask it facts about dogs, right? But I don't

00:04:22   think that's a great solution either. You certainly don't want these cylinders, like,

00:04:27   when you wake up and tell the turn on the lights to throw in a sentence or two about

00:04:31   his new capabilities. Although, I can imagine, like, in sci-fi movies and in bad infomercials

00:04:37   made by people who don't know how actual people act, cylinders would always be telling you

00:04:41   about the stuff they can do, and you'd be delighted. Like, you know, the sci-fi actor

00:04:45   Wakes up in his futuristic apartment and all his devices tell him, "I just wanted you

00:04:51   to know that last night I had new capabilities and blah blah blah."

00:04:53   And he's like, "Oh, thank you, cylinder, blah blah."

00:04:56   But in real life, you'd smash the thing with a hamburger.

00:04:58   So I was talking to you in the morning like that.

00:05:01   And in advertisements, people are so happy to hear the new capabilities that the refrigerator

00:05:05   has.

00:05:06   No, they're not happy.

00:05:07   They don't want to know.

00:05:08   So I don't know what the solution is.

00:05:10   when you wake up, your five-year-old doesn't say, "Father, I can now understand compound

00:05:16   commands." They just grow and get better, and we expect them to grow and get better.

00:05:22   But appliances, especially appliances that we don't see doing software update, or appliances

00:05:25   that get enhanced by changes on the server that really are invisible to us, it doesn't

00:05:29   affect our -- it's tricky. Maybe they should have little tiny brain icons that grow as

00:05:35   they get smarter, and if you wake up this morning and say, "Oh, cylinder! I see your

00:05:38   brain is a little bit bigger, that's great. Not an actual solution, just kidding.

00:05:43   Also I feel like, you know, like supporting compound commands is not a binary like yes

00:05:49   it does now, no it doesn't thing, like people said the HomePod can do like you know play

00:05:53   a playlist at music level but can it do like set a timer for 10 minutes and turn on the

00:05:59   office lights and can Google Home do that? I don't know. Like one of the biggest use

00:06:03   cases I think for multiple commands would be turning on or off multiple smart home things

00:06:08   at once that don't already have a pre-existing group.

00:06:10   So you could say like, hey, cylinder,

00:06:12   turn on lights in office, bedroom, and kitchen.

00:06:15   That might be three commands by,

00:06:17   normally three separate commands, that's pretty tedious.

00:06:19   But where you can say like, hey, cylinder,

00:06:22   turn off outside lights and lamps in living room.

00:06:24   Like, can you do that?

00:06:25   Can you say, turn on kitchen lights

00:06:27   and start a pasta timer for five minutes?

00:06:29   Like, can you combine domains in one sentence?

00:06:32   Like, it's one of those things, again,

00:06:34   this is the kind of thing that humans expect to work

00:06:37   at some point, and I wish the cylinders were smarter,

00:06:41   but the good thing is that these assistants

00:06:43   are getting smarter, at some of them

00:06:47   faster paces than others.

00:06:48   Let's be honest here, Apple is lagging behind here

00:06:53   pretty badly in rate of improvement,

00:06:55   but the Amazon and Google services are doing great.

00:06:59   They're really improving very quickly,

00:07:00   and so that's promising.

00:07:03   It wouldn't surprise me if they get there fairly soon.

00:07:06   One other little nitpick while we're on the cylinder thing,

00:07:09   and this is something that bothers me about Siri,

00:07:13   that the Amazon service will interpret things you say

00:07:17   literally if you give like an unusual phrasing.

00:07:21   So for instance, if I say, if I want a timer for,

00:07:26   like if I'm starting, this is happening the night,

00:07:28   I was starting something in some rice or pasta

00:07:31   or something in a pot, and I also had some,

00:07:33   I was gonna put some french fries in the oven.

00:07:36   So I asked the Amazon Cylinder,

00:07:38   you know, start a timer for, you know,

00:07:40   Rice for 25 minutes, and I said,

00:07:42   "Start a start french fries timer for 10 minutes."

00:07:46   And so what I wanted was in 10 minutes

00:07:49   for it to say, "Start the french fries."

00:07:52   So it's weird, you have to say,

00:07:53   "Start a start french fries timer."

00:07:55   The Amazon service gets that right every single time.

00:07:59   It always knows what I mean by that.

00:08:00   It's like treating it as a string literal.

00:08:02   It's like, this is the name of the timer

00:08:04   you are creating here and it gets it right every time.

00:08:07   It's one of those things, like Jon said,

00:08:09   you know, like, where like you're almost trying

00:08:11   to trip it up, like by trying this kind of thing.

00:08:14   - Well, that's the opposite of what I said,

00:08:15   because you're playing it like it's X-Adventure.

00:08:17   You're doing the Ulta Vista thing of like,

00:08:19   you want a thing that works like a programmer

00:08:20   and you're a programmer and you're like,

00:08:22   you see the placeholders in your head

00:08:24   and you're filling them in

00:08:25   because you know how it'll be interpreted,

00:08:26   but I would argue that no human speaks

00:08:28   to another intelligent thing like that.

00:08:30   You're playing the game that is your cylinder,

00:08:32   which is fine, I think it's a useful feature

00:08:34   for people who want to play that game,

00:08:35   but it would be better, like,

00:08:38   if you were talking to another human,

00:08:39   you probably would have said,

00:08:41   "Don't let me forget to start the french fries in 10 minutes."

00:08:44   Or like something like that.

00:08:45   - Or, "Remind me in 10 minutes to start the french fries."

00:08:47   - But I was avoiding remind me

00:08:49   because that sounds more like the reminder.

00:08:50   - That's create a reminder, right.

00:08:52   - Oh, reminders and timers or whatever,

00:08:53   you just want it to know what you mean.

00:08:55   - Or, "Tell me in 10 minutes," you know,

00:08:56   like whatever it is, but that's what timers are.

00:08:59   Named timers are basically telling you this thing

00:09:03   in this time, and it's great.

00:09:04   It's a very, very useful function,

00:09:06   and it's awesome to hear the people go off and say,

00:09:09   your start french fries timer is done.

00:09:11   It's great, because it reminds you what to do

00:09:13   and staggering things out.

00:09:15   - That's awkward too, when it says,

00:09:17   your start french fries timer,

00:09:18   I don't want it to say, I want it to say,

00:09:20   it's time to start the french fries,

00:09:21   but it doesn't understand the name of the timer.

00:09:25   So I think the problem is in this weird area

00:09:29   where you can say it in a vague way,

00:09:32   but it doesn't understand what you meant and it tries to be smart.

00:09:35   Lots of people are complaining about Siri trying to get it to play--

00:09:39   or HomePod trying to get it to play songs that have weird titles that

00:09:43   themselves might be interpretable as commands,

00:09:45   and they just literally can't get it to play those songs or those albums.

00:09:49   Because there's no way to get it to--

00:09:51   to your point-- to get it to understand that it's a string literal,

00:09:55   that it's a placeholder, to get it to parse as initiation command,

00:09:59   placeholder for song name and then verb, right? And it just stubbornly refuses to do that.

00:10:06   And it's trying to be flexible so it can interpret meaning or whatever, but if there's any ambiguity,

00:10:11   it falls over, whereas the Alexa one is very cut and dried and there are certain forms

00:10:15   that you can put it in in certain places where it expects the placeholder. And if you play

00:10:18   that text adventure game with your cylinder, it has predictable functionality. Like it

00:10:22   doesn't vary. Like with the songs, with HomePod, some songs you can say it a million different

00:10:27   ways, because there's no way that song title is potentially misinterpreted. But other songs,

00:10:31   it screws up. Whereas with the placeholder format, anything you put in there. Like, I

00:10:35   bet you would get your cylinder to say, "Start a timer for a starter timer for 10 minutes

00:10:43   for 10 minutes." Like, I bet you could, you know, I bet you could nest it and it would

00:10:46   still, like, figure it out, because it's probably just doing a very naive text-to-speech and

00:10:52   then parsing that. And speaking of naive text-to-speech, on the thing you were getting at before about

00:10:56   doing compound things. Even Google is not above punting on this. They have a feature

00:11:01   of the HomePod where you essentially set up macros. You're like, "Look, if there's a

00:11:05   series of commands that you could issue, but you don't want to say all those words because

00:11:08   it's weird and awkward, just tell us what you're going to say. And when you say that,

00:11:12   we will do all these other things."

00:11:13   That's really cool.

00:11:15   And it's not. It's like the most brain dead thing ever.

00:11:17   No, but it's useful.

00:11:18   It's like someone posted a tweet of ones where they had just put ATP so they can say, "Hey,

00:11:21   so under ATP," and it says, "Play the latest episode of Accidental Death Podcast." It's

00:11:25   a shorter way to say that, but literally any list of commands you can do. It's just macro

00:11:29   expansion, very simple macro expansion. If it was truly intelligent, you wouldn't have

00:11:33   to do that. You would be able to converse with it and shorten what you say, and based

00:11:37   on how often you ask for things that's similar to this blah blah blah. We're not there yet,

00:11:40   right? But I'm just showing that Google eventually says the utility of letting programming people

00:11:47   essentially make macros of their own design, and then they'll just dumbly use speech to

00:11:54   text and then map it onto one of these macros and if it matches one of them, we'll do that

00:11:58   thing. It provides utility while they work on providing the actual intelligence at some

00:12:04   point in the future.

00:12:05   - No, I mean, and that's useful. And I would also posit that, you know, I bet Google Home

00:12:11   customers are more programmers than average. But also, like, you know, so going back to

00:12:18   my, you know, start a start French fries timer, like, that sounds, you know, contrived in

00:12:23   in an edge case, but I really get tripped up

00:12:27   by places where Siri does, 'cause Siri seems

00:12:31   to make no effort to understand that kind of syntax,

00:12:35   but that can also trip up legitimate,

00:12:37   you know, quote, legitimate use cases.

00:12:38   So for instance, the other day I said,

00:12:41   I asked Siri to remind me in things

00:12:44   to add the 12 volt battery to my Tesla repair.

00:12:48   Now, it's, the word add, Siri interprets that

00:12:53   as to add to the to-do list.

00:12:56   So even though I said remind me to add this blah, blah, blah,

00:13:00   it ignored the fact that there was already another word

00:13:03   in the sentence that said,

00:13:05   remind me to remind me, basically.

00:13:07   Like it didn't figure that out.

00:13:09   So when I said remind me to add 12 volt battery

00:13:12   to my Tesla repair, I got some, you know,

00:13:15   some task and things that said something along the lines of

00:13:17   like, you know, 12 volt battery to my test pair.

00:13:20   (laughing)

00:13:22   And it's, so it didn't parse a sentence correctly at all.

00:13:25   And I also have inconsistencies there where

00:13:28   when you're asking to remind you about something,

00:13:32   you will usually put some kind of word between

00:13:34   remind me like to, so,

00:13:37   remind me to take the trash out.

00:13:39   Most of the time, Siri parses that as

00:13:43   add a reminder with the text, take the trash out.

00:13:46   Sometimes, it parses it as

00:13:48   add a reminder with the text, to take the trash out.

00:13:51   So we'll have a reminder that says to take the trash out.

00:13:54   And it's like literally the same thing.

00:13:56   Sometimes we'll do that, sometimes we won't.

00:13:59   It's just like, this is one of those things like

00:14:01   whatever algorithms and machine learning Siri is doing

00:14:06   to parse sentence structure seems like it's significantly

00:14:10   behind the others and also inconsistent

00:14:13   like so much of Siri.

00:14:15   And it just kind of, I don't know, it's frustrating

00:14:17   like that 'cause that, this seems like easy stuff.

00:14:20   like basics of adding reminders and setting timers

00:14:24   and stuff like that, like this is what Siri was demoed with

00:14:27   in 2011, like this should be easier and better by now.

00:14:31   And we know from the other assistants that it can be better

00:14:36   'cause theirs are better.

00:14:38   And so this is like, it's just yet one more thing

00:14:39   that just like, it's a little like paper cut

00:14:41   every time I use Siri that like one of these dumb things

00:14:43   happens and the other ones it doesn't.

00:14:46   - I think that was that reminders thing of where it thinks

00:14:48   trying to add something to a list was like one of my original Siri complaints, maybe

00:14:52   on this program, maybe on an earlier podcast.

00:14:54   I had the exact same problem.

00:14:56   The thing I wanted to remind me about, it stubbornly insisted on interpreting as an

00:15:00   attempt to either create or add to some unknown list that didn't exist because I was trying

00:15:06   to maintain the list and remind myself to put things on the list that was kind of like

00:15:09   you were doing and it just could not handle it.

00:15:12   Even today when I do reminders, sometimes I'll do multiple tries and I'll have to go

00:15:18   into text adventure mode where I'm just like look I'm gonna I'm gonna give a

00:15:22   name of this reminder I'm not gonna have like normal syntax I'm gonna be like

00:15:26   remind me and then a phrase that is unambiguously interpreted as text that

00:15:30   has to appear there but it's not the way I would want to phrase it like just

00:15:34   enough so that I will beat the text adventure but also not so much that when

00:15:40   I go look at the reminder I won't understand what I was doing and and this

00:15:44   is like here's another speaking of inconsistency I've always loved the

00:15:47   feature of Siri, I'm assuming it's a feature of Siri, where I would say I would create

00:15:54   a reminder or something involving one of a family member's name.

00:15:59   And I assume it would look in contacts for the spelling, right?

00:16:02   Like my daughter is Kate, but she spells it with a C. And it would transcribe it as like

00:16:07   a K, but then it would like do some processing and change it to a C, because it, I'm assuming,

00:16:14   knows that I have that listed as a nickname for my daughter and my contacts. And I appreciated

00:16:19   that feature. It's like, I'm constantly talking about this Kate person. It's never with a

00:16:23   K. And I'll correct it if it transcribes it with a K. And I like the fact that it seemed

00:16:28   like it had figured out, oh, at some point along the line, it's like, all right, there's

00:16:32   no Kate with a K in your contacts, which would be bad if there was. I think it should figure

00:16:35   it anyway. But there's no Kate with a K. I'll change it to a C. And every time I saw that

00:16:38   little K change to a C, I'm like, oh, that's nice. Let's hear you being smart. Again, kind

00:16:41   like the Google thing where you get like a good feeling from using a product that you

00:16:45   gave it something challenging and it used its smarts. But lately, it's decided to go

00:16:48   back to K. And I'm kind of annoyed at it. I'm like, "Come on, change to a C." And it

00:16:53   just never does. And it stays there. So I go and edit it and I change it to a C myself.

00:16:58   And why? I don't know. I don't know, man. Just stop working.

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00:19:23   (upbeat music)

00:19:26   - Moving on to annoyances and language,

00:19:30   but written language, Scott Little writes,

00:19:32   I'm almost sure that the "you shut down" dialogue, as in "you shut down your computer," only

00:19:38   happens after the user is force-powered off the machine, for example, and the whole system

00:19:42   hangs, not after a kernel panic.

00:19:44   So in reality, the text is accurate.

00:19:46   I could have sworn I tried to make this point on the show, and either I didn't, or maybe

00:19:51   it hit the editing room floor one way or the other, but that's what I thought, too, and

00:19:56   I thought we concluded I was crazy.

00:19:58   you are crazy, but maybe not for this reason.

00:20:01   (laughing)

00:20:03   - So am I.

00:20:04   - Yeah, so I was talking about how this dialogue

00:20:07   of you shut down your computer because of a problem

00:20:09   infuriated me because that often happens

00:20:12   when I don't feel that I'm at fault for the problem.

00:20:15   So I think this is correct, that it does only come up

00:20:18   with an improper shutdown, maybe not a kernel panic.

00:20:21   The problem is there are certain situations

00:20:24   where you have to force shut down the computer

00:20:28   because of a bug in Mac OS.

00:20:30   You know, like it won't wake from sleep

00:20:31   or something like that.

00:20:32   Like this happens all the time, well not all the time,

00:20:34   this happens to every Mac person at some point,

00:20:37   especially if you're a laptop person.

00:20:39   This happens a lot, especially regarding waking from sleep.

00:20:43   So there are some times where you have to hold down

00:20:47   the power button for five seconds

00:20:49   to get the computer to turn off or to turn on.

00:20:52   And then it says, "You shut down your computer

00:20:55   "because of a problem."

00:20:56   So it's kind of like, it's kind of like slapping you

00:20:59   in the face, it's like, well, it was your problem,

00:21:02   like you're throwing this back on me,

00:21:04   but I didn't write the bug that caused my computer

00:21:07   to need to be power cycled.

00:21:09   So I think this is correct, I think it does only come up

00:21:12   when it's been improperly shut down,

00:21:15   but I still think that it's a bad,

00:21:17   it's bad like language design to throw the action

00:21:22   on the user to say you shut down the computer.

00:21:25   Like, you can just say, "The computer was shut down

00:21:27   "improperly," or, "The computer didn't shut down correctly,"

00:21:30   or something like, you can say, you can reword that

00:21:32   in so many ways that don't like ascribe the purpose

00:21:36   of this to the user, 'cause like, the user at that point

00:21:40   is probably not very happy with the computer,

00:21:42   because the computer just did something wrong.

00:21:44   Like, the computer just like malfunctioned.

00:21:46   And then the computer says, "You didn't do this right."

00:21:49   (laughs)

00:21:50   So it's not a good time to do that.

00:21:53   I think the wording actually is reasonably fair for the thing where it was user initiated

00:21:58   and we got a lot of feedback from people saying that's when they see this dialogue, but we

00:22:01   also got feedback from people saying, "I did not turn this thing off.

00:22:06   I didn't unplug it.

00:22:07   I didn't hold down the power key and yet I saw this dialogue."

00:22:10   And like I said, it can't know whether you are the one that caused whatever cleanup things

00:22:16   not to have been cleaned up so that on bootup it finds this uncleaned up file, whatever

00:22:20   flag thing at you, whatever heuristic it uses to determine that it didn't get the shutdown

00:22:25   properly last time, there are a number of things that can cause that to happen, only

00:22:29   a couple of which are the human doing something and it has no idea what you did.

00:22:32   So I think this dialogue still does show up in cases where there actually was no user

00:22:36   action.

00:22:37   Like if you have some kind of catastrophic crash that throws you back to the login window,

00:22:42   it might not have the time to clean up the things or the processes that died or crashed

00:22:48   couldn't have cleaned up the little thing so that when you log back in it throws us

00:22:51   out because again this is asking you do you want to open the applications that are open

00:22:54   when you shut down right like telling you if you want to resource state just in case

00:22:59   one of those applications is one of the things that caused the crash or something right so

00:23:01   it's a good dialogue box something like this should be there but I don't think it can know

00:23:06   that you shut down your computer I think it does guess right a lot of the time and I think

00:23:11   it's not actually telling you that the problem was yours or that you shouldn't have shut

00:23:15   down the computer, but it is a little bit more accusatory than it probably should be,

00:23:20   because it just can't be sure that you shut down your computer. Somebody did. It might

00:23:24   have been you. What if a different person turned on the computer, and the person who

00:23:27   actually shut it down left? Now you're being yelled at for shutting down the computer,

00:23:30   but you didn't shut it down. The guy who was here two seconds ago did. So probably not

00:23:34   the best wording, but it is at least a little bit potentially more accurate than we thought

00:23:39   it was.

00:23:40   Yeah, what if you have the world's worst office mates or roommates? They come to come by and

00:23:44   hold down power for five seconds at the computer sometimes.

00:23:47   - I remember holding down power doesn't reboot.

00:23:49   Holding down power just turns the thing off.

00:23:50   So you could, someone in your family, let's say,

00:23:54   could be annoyed at the computer

00:23:56   or something hung or crashed or whatever,

00:23:58   and they hold down the power button for five seconds

00:24:00   and the thing turns off.

00:24:01   I think that's what it does, right?

00:24:02   It just turns off when you do that, right?

00:24:04   - Yeah.

00:24:05   - And then they leave and go to sleep.

00:24:06   Next morning, the whole family wakes up,

00:24:07   someone else goes to the computer,

00:24:09   hits the space bar, it doesn't wake up and go, huh?

00:24:13   And hopefully they find the power switch,

00:24:15   which used to be on the keyboard,

00:24:16   which was super convenient.

00:24:17   And the thing starts up and it says,

00:24:19   "You shut down the computer because of the problem."

00:24:20   You're like, "What do you mean?

00:24:21   "I just woke up, I didn't shut down the computer

00:24:22   "because of a problem."

00:24:23   So again, the dialog box can't know,

00:24:26   probably should err on the side of being,

00:24:29   on assuming your innocence.

00:24:32   (laughing)

00:24:34   - I love how much time we've given this dialog box

00:24:36   'cause it drives me nuts every time.

00:24:37   And maybe-- - At least it doesn't

00:24:38   have a typo like this utility.

00:24:40   - Yeah, right.

00:24:41   Like maybe in like, you know, peak Sierra

00:24:43   or whatever the hell comes next,

00:24:44   I don't know anything about California,

00:24:46   maybe somebody will reword this dialogue

00:24:48   in the English localization

00:24:49   to not do this stupid blame thing.

00:24:52   - Okay, we need to move on.

00:24:54   So, let's talk about GDPR,

00:24:56   which I already forgot the acronym,

00:24:59   but it's basically the You Are In Control of Your Data law

00:25:02   that we discussed last week.

00:25:04   Aaron Power writes in,

00:25:06   "With regard to the cookie law in GDPR,

00:25:08   "I think that the problem is that companies,

00:25:10   especially American companies, don't understand what the law covers and put warnings when

00:25:13   there is no need or don't put warnings in when they're required.

00:25:16   So to talk about the cookie law, then that doesn't apply only to cookies, according to

00:25:23   Aaron.

00:25:24   It applies to any form of persistent storage, like local storage.

00:25:27   It also doesn't apply to first-party cookies, so like a cookie to keep you logged in.

00:25:32   It only applies when there are cookies from a third party, like Google Analytics.

00:25:36   Now according to Aaron, the cookie law was weak, however GDPR is a much stricter and more

00:25:39   consequential law and there's bigger penalties if you don't follow it. So

00:25:44   there's a lot of bullets here. I'm assuming because one of you put this in

00:25:49   the show notes I am supposed to be reading them so I will do so. You're supposed to learn

00:25:52   how to summarize them. The challenge is so... You are the chief. You're not just a

00:25:56   summarizer, Casey. You're the chief summarizer in chief. I'm pulling at my

00:26:00   tie. I'm pulling at my tie right now. I'm adjusting my neck and whatnot. Okay, so

00:26:05   basically any of the personal information that you give to a company

00:26:08   it is qualified under GDPR. The company can't hold on to it unless there's a reasonable reason to do

00:26:14   so. They need to absolutely get your consent to hold on to it, and with kids it requires their

00:26:21   parents permission, which apparently must be verifiable. Then once you say, "No, I don't want

00:26:28   you to have my data anymore," then the data must be at least slightly anonymized such that a single

00:26:34   piece of data isn't enough to identify you, and then you can also ask at any time for

00:26:39   what personal data the company has for you.

00:26:42   And also you can get them to erase your data and inform third parties that they need to

00:26:47   erase their data.

00:26:48   Now the real kicker, though, is that if they don't do this, the fines can be up to 20 million

00:26:53   euros or 4% of the company's worldwide turnover, whatever that means, but I'm assuming that's

00:27:00   a lot.

00:27:01   And it's not whichever is lower, it's whichever is higher.

00:27:04   Turnover is one of those, I'm assuming it's a Britishism, but they just mean revenue.

00:27:08   4% of the company's revenue in Americanese.

00:27:11   Thank you.

00:27:12   So basically, this could amount to a whole crap load of money.

00:27:17   And that's why everyone, especially in Europe, who's actually paying attention to this, is

00:27:22   freaking out.

00:27:23   And not to say that Americans shouldn't be freaking out, because we will be held to this

00:27:26   as well, but it seems that the Europeans are way ahead of this.

00:27:29   And I believe this comes online,

00:27:31   that's a poor choice of words,

00:27:32   but I believe this becomes law and it can be enforced

00:27:36   sometime in the next few months, if I'm not mistaken.

00:27:39   - This is like, you know, last episode,

00:27:41   I had read some about it, I was a little familiar with it.

00:27:45   I should have been a lot more familiar with it.

00:27:47   This is like the kind of thing like,

00:27:48   I don't know why I'm only hearing about this

00:27:51   like a month or two before it goes live,

00:27:54   but I'm glad I heard about it,

00:27:55   at least a month or two before it goes live, because--

00:27:57   - You can make your onboarding screen, right?

00:27:59   - Well, I'm not, well I already,

00:28:01   I mean I have a login screen already.

00:28:04   And I'm not really, like Overcast has already complied

00:28:08   with a lot of this already,

00:28:10   just by having fairly reasonable practices,

00:28:13   not collecting that much data in the first place,

00:28:15   having reasonable security practices,

00:28:17   and having like a very clear privacy policy.

00:28:21   Like I was kind of already inadvertently implementing

00:28:24   about two thirds of the stuff I needed to do.

00:28:26   So it's not a huge deal for me.

00:28:29   but this is a huge deal for pretty much anybody

00:28:33   who runs any kind of web service or app that collects data.

00:28:37   And it's not, 'cause it isn't just, you know,

00:28:40   Casey, you said like data that people enter.

00:28:43   That's not necessarily the limit,

00:28:45   it's just data that you collect and store about people.

00:28:49   Or analyze about people, like if you don't store,

00:28:52   like I think if you analyze it.

00:28:53   Anyway, it's complicated.

00:28:55   I suggest anybody who runs a web service

00:28:59   or an app that is responsible for it.

00:29:02   I strongly suggest you look into GDPR now,

00:29:05   like very, very, very quickly

00:29:08   because there are a lot of ramifications.

00:29:10   It's pretty cool, it's pretty big.

00:29:12   It does not just apply to European companies

00:29:14   'cause it applies to any company worldwide

00:29:17   that stores data about European users or European citizens,

00:29:22   which is pretty much every web service

00:29:24   unless you block Europe for some dumb reason.

00:29:26   but it's gonna apply to pretty much everybody.

00:29:29   And so this is like, it's way more,

00:29:32   it's way stronger than that cookie law,

00:29:34   'cause the cookie law I think only basically applied,

00:29:36   or at least was ever enforced for European countries

00:29:39   if it was enforced anywhere ever.

00:29:41   But only European websites would display

00:29:44   those cookie warnings, but this is way bigger than that.

00:29:46   And this will affect tech stuff worldwide.

00:29:50   And in the context of a lot of the stuff going on recently

00:29:53   with tech stuff, especially like this horrible Facebook,

00:29:57   Cambridge Analytics, you know, horrible scandal BS.

00:30:00   I mean, look, Facebook's a horrible company.

00:30:02   I don't-- - Who knew?

00:30:04   - Yeah, it's like, not a lot of this is new

00:30:06   or shocking to me, it's just really horrible

00:30:09   and sad and just disgusting.

00:30:11   But anyway, this law will have a pretty big impact

00:30:16   on a lot of the worst stuff about the web.

00:30:21   and it's probably gonna be a pretty good positive impact.

00:30:24   It's probably, well, not good for them,

00:30:26   but screw them. (laughs)

00:30:28   It's probably gonna have a really good impact

00:30:30   for people who respect their users

00:30:33   and those users who want to be respected.

00:30:36   So it's gonna be a good thing.

00:30:39   I wish there were more resources online so far

00:30:42   about how to comply without having to hire

00:30:46   a GDPR compliance specialist for a lot of money

00:30:50   that you probably can't get in late April

00:30:52   to help you out, but it's going to change a lot of things

00:30:56   if it's enforced.

00:30:59   And the EU is usually pretty good at,

00:31:01   like when they pass consumer protection regulations,

00:31:04   they tend to enforce them.

00:31:06   So this should be interesting.

00:31:08   It's probably gonna be a really big deal,

00:31:11   and it's gonna be a slight pain in the butt

00:31:15   to just get some of the boilerplate stuff,

00:31:17   But it's all, like from what I've seen so far,

00:31:19   most of it's pretty common sense stuff.

00:31:21   It's gonna be a pain for bigger companies, I think.

00:31:24   But for small companies, it seems like it's actually

00:31:27   not that big of a deal.

00:31:29   - Cool.

00:31:30   I mean, it's intense, but it's for the best.

00:31:33   Nick Tumpellis writes in, to give you an example

00:31:36   of the teeth of this law, this is still the GDPR,

00:31:41   for the Cambridge Analytica breach,

00:31:43   Facebook would be fined up to $813 million

00:31:46   just for not notifying its users.

00:31:50   So, like we were saying, oh boy, this is the real deal.

00:31:54   - Yeah, 'cause there's also provisions about,

00:31:57   first of all, security measures that you,

00:31:59   security level responsibility that you have to maintain

00:32:02   to protect the user data, you have to keep logs

00:32:05   of who accesses the user data in your company,

00:32:08   so you can't say, oh, we didn't know

00:32:10   some intern was copying all the files.

00:32:12   You have to keep logs and keep audits,

00:32:14   there's stuff about that, there's stuff about

00:32:16   if you have a data breach, how you have to notify people,

00:32:20   stuff like that, what you have to do.

00:32:22   So it's very wide reaching.

00:32:25   It's a very, very big policy change

00:32:29   that is seemingly mostly or entirely

00:32:34   pretty good common sense stuff.

00:32:36   If you think like, how should things be

00:32:38   with regard to safekeeping and collecting personal data?

00:32:42   most of it's pretty common sense stuff.

00:32:44   So again, I think this is gonna be

00:32:47   potentially a very big thing.

00:32:48   - Yeah, agreed.

00:32:50   Continuing on, AWACS writes,

00:32:52   a key part of GDPR is that the company

00:32:54   collecting the personal data is directly responsible

00:32:56   for any leak or misuse.

00:32:58   It can't shift the blame to a contractor,

00:33:00   partner, or third party.

00:33:01   And we see that a lot in the US,

00:33:03   where, oh, there was this big leak,

00:33:05   actually Apple just recently,

00:33:07   it was a month or two ago, had,

00:33:09   what was it, it was like the bootloader

00:33:10   for an old version of iOS or something like that.

00:33:13   I'm sure I have the details slightly wrong.

00:33:14   - Yeah, it was the source code to, yeah,

00:33:16   the source code to like iBoot, whatever that,

00:33:18   I guess as the bootloader,

00:33:19   I don't actually know that much about iOS internals.

00:33:21   But yeah, the source code to iBoot,

00:33:23   like an old version of it from a few years back leaked

00:33:26   and they said that it was apparently like an intern

00:33:28   had copied the entire source tree and taken it.

00:33:31   - Right, so AWACS's point here is that

00:33:34   you can't just pass the buck and be like,

00:33:35   oh, Joe Schmo's consulting firm

00:33:37   is the reason that this all leaked, go talk to them.

00:33:40   it's still your problem if you're--

00:33:42   - Well, that's an interesting theory.

00:33:43   I'm not sure how well that law works

00:33:46   in the American legal system, though,

00:33:48   because you know that any company the size of Apple,

00:33:51   if they contract any other company,

00:33:53   that basically says, oh, and by the way,

00:33:55   if the work you do for us causes us to get sued,

00:33:57   you agree to pay all damages.

00:33:58   Now, you can't get blood from a stone,

00:34:00   but at the very least,

00:34:01   Apple can't shift the blame to the third party,

00:34:05   but it can shift all of the penalties to the third party

00:34:08   until the third party disappears,

00:34:09   basically until they get run out of money, which may happen pretty quickly. But that's

00:34:14   generally how big companies protect themselves is that if there's some law that makes Apple

00:34:18   liable, they shift as much of that liability as possible to the small contractor company,

00:34:23   and then they just get whatever's left over on top of them.

00:34:27   Righto. Finally, Michael Saji writes, "GDPR is also incredibly technology-agnostic in

00:34:32   that it applies to everything everywhere and is conceived of as a regulation that nobody

00:34:35   will ever be able to comply with. I can't state whether or not that's true or false,

00:34:39   but that was their particular opinion.

00:34:41   So, that's another view of like a sort of wide-reaching regulation, that it starts to

00:34:48   seem like, "Well, this is so big. How could you ever comply with it?" Because it's

00:34:52   so vague and so far-reaching that like a motivated enforcer could find literally any company

00:35:00   in compliance of some portion of it, right? Because it tries to not fall into the trap

00:35:06   of the cookie law or fall into the trap of the interpretation of the cookie law anyway,

00:35:11   where it seems narrowly defined and you get all the negatives, the annoyance, and you

00:35:15   don't actually get any of the benefits because everything else, you can skirt around it as

00:35:19   technology evolves. And this tries to be so broad and so far-reaching and apply to everything

00:35:23   you say and do, and it's so hard to comply with. It's just like, "How can I ever comply

00:35:27   with. There's just too many regulations. But there are industries that are like that already

00:35:35   that, even in the U.S., that we manage to survive. So healthcare is one where there's

00:35:39   a bunch of laws related to healthcare and protection of information, you know, like

00:35:43   finance. You've got PCI for finance for basic credit card processing stuff. You've got HIPAA

00:35:49   for health information and other personally identifiable information and stuff like that.

00:35:55   And those are similarly weirdly acronymed fairly wide reaching regulations that I think

00:36:03   you could find any company out of compliance with.

00:36:07   Like HIPAA is very very broad and even a very diligent company trying to follow all the

00:36:15   rules inevitably there's some place where there's some kind of a breach.

00:36:21   The purpose of these laws is not to say everyone is going to be 100% in compliance, otherwise

00:36:27   the law is useless.

00:36:28   If people are even 50% in compliance, it's so much better than the status quo, and that

00:36:35   the law has to be sort of enforced responsibly, where, I mean it's kind of like, I think this

00:36:40   is a terrible analogy for lots of reasons, but it's something that people will be familiar

00:36:43   with.

00:36:44   Speed limits on American roads anyway.

00:36:46   is breaking the speed limit all the time, but through selective enforcement, the speed

00:36:51   limit allows the police to pull over someone who is really driving dangerously at a very

00:36:57   high speed that's not safe for conditions, while letting all the people who are five

00:37:01   miles an hour over the limit on the highway sail by. In some ways that is like giving

00:37:06   too much power to the enforcers, that basically everyone is not in compliance all the time

00:37:10   so you can arrest anybody.

00:37:13   But the reason it's a bad analogy is because I think we would agree that some data protection

00:37:19   is good for, you know, we want our data to be protected in some way, we don't want companies

00:37:25   to be able to do whatever they want with it.

00:37:27   So we will take any amount of improvement over the status quo, even if it means that

00:37:33   a ill-motivated enforcer of this law could punitively enforce pretty much any enforce

00:37:40   these guidelines on any company and say, "Oh, you've missed compliance in this one little

00:37:44   corner or whatever." So I don't think it's ideal, but I think, again, with HIPAA,

00:37:49   healthcare companies are not going out of business because there's zealous HIPAA enforcement by a

00:37:54   giant fleet of, you know, government officers wandering over all the businesses in the world.

00:38:00   That's just not how it works.

00:38:02   They're outnumbered, for one thing.

00:38:04   There's more companies than there are people going around to check for HIPAA compliance,

00:38:06   right?

00:38:07   It's more like when your company is already doing enough terrible things to get the attention

00:38:12   of law enforcement, that's when this stuff comes back to bite you.

00:38:18   And I'm not going to say that's a good thing, because again, I think it's open for abuse,

00:38:24   but it's better than the status quo where you can do whatever you want and keep it secret

00:38:27   and nothing ever happens to you.

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00:40:16   - All right, so we have good news for Marco.

00:40:23   We have a solution for your keyboard woes.

00:40:27   You can quit whining and complaining, Marco,

00:40:31   because Apple has patented a screen-based

00:40:34   MacBook keyboard that will feel like it's real.

00:40:41   Check that out.

00:40:43   How excited are you, my friend?

00:40:45   Try to contain your excitement

00:40:46   and keep it professional, if you please.

00:40:48   - This is my excitement.

00:40:49   You know what Apple also thinks they've released?

00:40:52   Is a keyboard that works and is good.

00:40:55   See, they think this will feel real.

00:40:58   Just like they think the MacBook Pro from 2016 is awesome.

00:41:01   - Well, I mean, this definitely reads to me

00:41:05   as one of those patents.

00:41:07   We were talking before, you patent every idea you have.

00:41:09   - Yeah, exactly.

00:41:10   - Whether you've gotten it to work or not,

00:41:12   because our patent system is dumb,

00:41:14   and this is what you're forced to do

00:41:15   with our dumb patent system.

00:41:17   And so, when I look at patents,

00:41:19   I'm putting them into the bins of,

00:41:22   that's a thing that could conceivably ship,

00:41:25   I think they could have actually figured out a way to make that. And the other bin is that's an idea

00:41:30   that someone had some time that they probably never got to work but that they patented anyway

00:41:36   because you have to patent everything because patents are dumb. And this definitely falls into

00:41:39   the second bin where I, you know, as we've discussed before, Apple has on-screen keyboards

00:41:45   and considering future on-screen keyboards is an obvious thing to do, right? Especially for

00:41:52   for devices like iPads where you want the keyboard to be small and imagine if when you're

00:41:55   not using a keyboard you'd repurpose that as a second screen, it's an obvious thing

00:41:59   that they should be investigating.

00:42:01   And of course there's downsides to on-screen keyboards so you think they would investigate

00:42:05   how can we make on-screen keyboards less crappy.

00:42:08   And here's a patent describing a couple of ways and I was amazed, like since patents,

00:42:12   since you don't actually have to have like a working version of anything or understand

00:42:15   how you're going to manufacture this, it's mostly just an idea which is why patents are

00:42:20   dumb.

00:42:21   I was surprised by how unappealing I found the ideas in this patent.

00:42:27   Because normally you make the ideas like, "Imagine if there was a keyboard that did

00:42:30   this and that and the other thing."

00:42:31   You're like, "Wow, that would be cool.

00:42:32   Too bad.

00:42:33   We have no idea how to do that.

00:42:34   Ha."

00:42:35   Anyway, all the ideas in this one sounded awful to me.

00:42:37   Like, even if you could execute all of them.

00:42:39   So the idea is, it's a picture of a keyboard, but we all know typing on a picture of a keyboard

00:42:43   isn't great because you can't feel the keys and you can't rest your fingers on the keys

00:42:46   like you can on a keyboard.

00:42:47   We all know what the disadvantage is.

00:42:48   We all have on-screen keyboards, especially on iPads.

00:42:51   There are disadvantages to them.

00:42:52   So how do we overcome those disadvantages?

00:42:54   And this patent has a couple of ways.

00:42:58   One way is that the screen would actually smush in

00:43:01   when you press it to let you know when you've hit something

00:43:03   and then it would give you feedback.

00:43:04   That feels like a button, doesn't it?

00:43:05   I cannot imagine a screen that I can smush in with my finger

00:43:10   and it pushes back on me a little bit feeling like a button.

00:43:12   It would feel like a screen that smushes in a little bit.

00:43:14   - Well, to be fair, I mean,

00:43:15   that's what the trackpad buttons do.

00:43:18   but it doesn't deform underneath your fingertip.

00:43:20   It deforms across the entire axis.

00:43:22   Like if you look at the pictures,

00:43:23   this is the idea of like you are pressing,

00:43:26   you don't have to imagine how this would be

00:43:28   because just think back to your palm devices

00:43:29   that you all had because they're all old like me.

00:43:32   They did not have capacitive touchscreens.

00:43:34   They had pressure sensitive touchscreens,

00:43:36   which meant that you would have to squish the screen in

00:43:39   with your finger or your fingernail or a stylus

00:43:42   to cause it to register any kind of input.

00:43:45   So the screen would smush in just at the point of contact.

00:43:49   So if you press with the plastic stylus,

00:43:50   it would make a little dimple there.

00:43:51   If you press with your finger, it would make a little,

00:43:53   you know, it felt nothing like a button.

00:43:55   It didn't squish in very much.

00:43:56   This seems like an exaggerated version of that.

00:43:59   And this all, in theory, this would also solve the problem

00:44:01   of, oh, I can't rest my fingers on the home keys.

00:44:03   Because if you rest your fingers,

00:44:04   all of a sudden you're typing.

00:44:05   It's like, well, now you're not typing on this keyboard.

00:44:07   You're only typing when you smush.

00:44:08   Which, talk about an unsatisfying,

00:44:10   like if you don't like the low travel buttons

00:44:14   on the current Apple laptop keyboards,

00:44:17   imagining having some kind of squishy membrane

00:44:19   that you dig your little grubby fingertips into.

00:44:22   I don't know how that would really hold up.

00:44:24   And the second one is,

00:44:25   you can't feel the edges of the keys when everything's flat.

00:44:28   One way to get around that is to have the screen bulge out

00:44:31   around the key cap.

00:44:32   So it's like this lumpy island of Mentos or something.

00:44:35   Like you just have these lumpy little squishy,

00:44:40   I was gonna say pustules, but I don't,

00:44:42   do we not wanna go that far?

00:44:43   - No, we really don't.

00:44:45   - Stress bumps, let's go with that.

00:44:46   We're gonna go with the, is that, I don't even know.

00:44:50   Stress bumps is that. - Doesn't matter, move on.

00:44:51   - Back to work probably, anyway.

00:44:53   One of the Merlin Manchos.

00:44:56   That wouldn't feel too good either.

00:44:57   Another strategy they have is use,

00:44:59   I think they say electrostatic or something.

00:45:01   Use some kind of electrostatic charge

00:45:04   to make you be able to feel the edges

00:45:07   because there's a different sensation in your fingers

00:45:09   as you glide across the keys.

00:45:12   And that, I don't want any kind of tingly electrostatic anything telling me where the

00:45:18   edges of anything are on a screen.

00:45:21   So I think this is a patent full of bad ideas that I hope they never make.

00:45:26   And honestly, if you gave me like, you know, ILM and a movie and said make any kind of

00:45:34   futuristic looking keyboard input that you want for a movie thing.

00:45:41   The only thing that occurs to me that would be acceptable would be that the screen is

00:45:45   made up of little nano-machines that rearrange themselves to become essentially a mechanical

00:45:50   keyboard when you want to use a mechanical keyboard, and then when you don't want to

00:45:52   use it, the little nano-machines rearrange themselves to become a screen.

00:45:55   Because if you're going too stupidly, confine yourself to keyboard input as your futuristic

00:46:01   way of getting text into a computer, pressing a button with your fingers is a really good

00:46:07   solution.

00:46:08   And so I would have to have the screen change into an actual button, like a thing that moves

00:46:13   up and down and has edges, and then have it change back into a screen.

00:46:17   That's it.

00:46:18   I don't have any better ideas on unlimited technology.

00:46:21   Obviously the better idea is not to type, right?

00:46:23   Not to do anything like that.

00:46:24   It cracks me up about an anime series that neither one of you has heard of but that I

00:46:28   enjoy.

00:46:29   Ghost in the Shell was a movie and then there's a television series and other spin-offs from it.

00:46:33   And one of the signature visual flares is they have these, you know, sort of cyborg people or

00:46:39   robot people sitting in front of computer terminals. And because they're not regular people,

00:46:43   like, you know, their hands are all robotic hands. It looks like normal hands, but then they put their

00:46:48   hands over the keyboard. But now, since they're robots, their hands kind of like open up and fold

00:46:52   out and explode, and these huge tentacles come out of them where their fingers were.

00:46:56   and those tentacles fly over the key surfaces, typing faster than any human can type across

00:47:01   this giant keypad, right? Like that's their, you know, superpowers. Like a human can only type this

00:47:06   fast with their little meat fingers, but look at these Ghost in the Shell Cyborg machines. They

00:47:10   can type much faster because they have all these metal tendrils that go out all over the keyboard.

00:47:13   It's like, if you're a cyborg, just plug into the RS-232 port for crying out loud. It's gonna be

00:47:18   faster than typing keys on the keyboard. Like this is a control room designed for these robot cyborg

00:47:24   thingies, they can just connect with a serial cable. They don't need to press buttons. Anyway,

00:47:29   I'm digressing. But yeah, so this patent does not describe a product I would like to use,

00:47:34   and it does not describe a product I think anyone would like to use, but it does show

00:47:38   that Apple continues to investigate ways to make, to be able to have screen when you want

00:47:43   a screen and keyboard when you want a keyboard.

00:47:46   There is one good idea in this patent. They fixed the arrow keys. Oh, God. They have the

00:47:53   the correct arrow key layout in the patent illustration.

00:47:57   - Yeah, but if you get that layout,

00:47:58   you have to stand up out of your seat and say McDonald's.

00:48:00   Something sucks.

00:48:01   (laughing)

00:48:02   - I get the reference.

00:48:03   No, I mean, this is like,

00:48:05   this is potentially cool down the road,

00:48:08   but like, I think a concern that I have here,

00:48:12   again, this is not gonna be a half hour rant,

00:48:14   a concern I have here is like,

00:48:16   what if Apple looks at the current problems

00:48:19   of the keyboards and the laptops,

00:48:21   And instead of saying, wow, we need to make

00:48:24   more reliable key switches, what if they're like,

00:48:26   you know, there's a problem.

00:48:28   Laptop keyboards are unreliable.

00:48:30   How do we get rid of the laptop keyboards?

00:48:32   'Cause this is a really, really complicated solution

00:48:37   to a problem that doesn't need to exist.

00:48:41   And we already have way simpler, cheaper,

00:48:44   more robust solutions already existing in the world

00:48:47   for quite some time.

00:48:49   They're called buttons and they're fine.

00:48:51   Like a keyboard with key switches

00:48:54   has existed for quite some time and they're wonderful.

00:48:57   They're proven, they're durable,

00:48:59   they're affordable, they're repairable.

00:49:02   It's wonderful.

00:49:04   It's cool that somebody is filing patents

00:49:06   and doing research in these crazy directions.

00:49:09   I just really hope that that's just for like,

00:49:11   you know, file as many patents as possible purposes,

00:49:13   not actual future product directions.

00:49:16   Because the problem they're solving

00:49:18   entirely self-created and optional.

00:49:21   - It's not cool that they're following patents.

00:49:23   Patents suck.

00:49:24   But we just saw a patent for a key switches last show.

00:49:28   So they are investigating that.

00:49:29   But I think it actually is important to investigate

00:49:33   ways to make onscreen keyboards better.

00:49:35   Because like, yes it's bad if they think

00:49:38   this is a replacement for keyboards,

00:49:40   but we already have onscreen keyboards.

00:49:43   I would like those onscreen keyboards to be better.

00:49:45   And I also think replacing those flat, smart keyboard things on iPads with thinner, lighter

00:49:54   things that can double a second screen when they're not a keyboard would give everybody

00:49:59   the multi-pad lifestyle.

00:50:01   And I think that's worth pursuing.

00:50:04   If you can figure out a way to make a combo keyboard screen that is an okay screen and

00:50:12   a passable keyboard, that's worth investigating. Not as a replacement for your laptops, unless

00:50:17   it is really fantastic, but just as a potential accessory. Now, that said, this particular

00:50:23   patent doesn't contain anything that I find compelling. Like, even if they could build

00:50:29   everything that's exactly the way they said, I don't think it would be a satisfying keyboard.

00:50:34   In fact, I think it might even be less satisfying than just a picture of a keyboard on a screen

00:50:37   that we have now. But I do think Apple should be investigating this, because they do have

00:50:42   lot of devices to the screens, they already have on-screen keyboards, so yes, of course

00:50:44   they should be investigating ways to make them better. And every way they investigate,

00:50:48   whether it turns out to be a turkey or not, they're going to patent it.

00:50:52   By the way, let's appreciate all the ways that patent diagrams are ridiculous. There's

00:50:56   of course the classic patent hands, where anytime you see a hand in a patent it looks

00:50:59   inhuman and weird. They do pretty good. These fingers look kind of like fingers, so I'm

00:51:03   proud of them there. But then the keyboard? Control isn't next to the spacebar, what the

00:51:07   hell? Like, you have a keyboard right in front of you probably when you're making this diagram.

00:51:11   look down control isn't next to the keyboard and they didn't label all the

00:51:13   modifiers anyway they just labeled some of them I'm gonna label control and you

00:51:17   know what controls next to the spacebar right on a Mac okay let's do that nope

00:51:20   Oh John oh my word speaking of Apple making things apparently they're making

00:51:27   their own displays so we got word over the last few days that Apple is trying

00:51:34   to do micro LED, which is I guess a also organic but different than OLED display

00:51:42   technology. And apparently somewhere in California and in cahoots with somewhere

00:51:47   in Taiwan, if I recall correctly, they are trying to in-house develop a brand new

00:51:53   display technology. And the theory goes that they will figure out how to create

00:51:57   it, figure out how to manufacture it, and then throw it over the wall to some

00:52:01   other company like Samsung or something, or perhaps Foxconn, to actually build these in

00:52:06   volumes. So they're not getting into the manufacturing business, but they are getting deeper into

00:52:11   the creation of hardware, specifically displayist business, in a move that surprises pretty

00:52:17   much nobody. I think this is a good idea. I like the sound of this. I don't personally

00:52:23   have too much more to say about it, but I'm assuming one of you do. So Marco, thoughts?

00:52:28   - I think it's a good idea for them to be looking into this.

00:52:31   The screen is such a critical part of all of their products

00:52:36   really, I guess except the HomePod and the iPod Shuffle.

00:52:39   They don't make those anymore.

00:52:41   The screen is so important.

00:52:43   And especially with modern high-end OLED screens,

00:52:47   that's every Apple Watch and the iPhone X

00:52:50   and every touch bar and presumably more products

00:52:54   as time goes on 'cause OLED is pretty awesome.

00:52:56   The problem is that there aren't that many OLED manufacturers.

00:52:59   It's pretty much like Samsung and LG.

00:53:02   And LG seems to do really well in TV OLEDs,

00:53:05   but seems to do pretty poorly in computer and phone displays.

00:53:11   Now, Apple has been tied to basically LG and Samsung

00:53:16   for LCD displays for years.

00:53:18   Like, I remember my 2012 Retina Mepo Pro,

00:53:22   when I had my image retention issue

00:53:24   and I made that waffle page.

00:53:26   I had the LG panel, and the LG panel was the one

00:53:29   that had all the image retention,

00:53:30   and the Samsung panel didn't.

00:53:31   It was that kind of thing.

00:53:33   They've had this two-supplier thing for a while.

00:53:37   With OLED for the phone,

00:53:38   it's an incredibly important component.

00:53:41   That OLED panel is the iPhone X.

00:53:44   It's such an important component.

00:53:45   It probably is a pretty large price component,

00:53:49   compared to the other components in it.

00:53:50   It might be the most expensive part of the whole phone.

00:53:53   So I can't imagine Apple is that happy

00:53:56   to rely on just one company.

00:53:59   Like those are only made by Samsung.

00:54:01   They can currently only be made by Samsung.

00:54:04   That probably doesn't make Apple feel good

00:54:06   from like a just reliance perspective.

00:54:09   Not to mention the fact that that company is Samsung,

00:54:11   which I'm sure they don't love.

00:54:13   And yeah, they buy like a lot of flash

00:54:15   from Samsung and stuff, but you can also get flash

00:54:17   from other people if you need to.

00:54:19   No one else can make that OLED screen.

00:54:20   That's in the iPhone X.

00:54:22   in addition to the fact that they're giving tons of money

00:54:24   to Samsung, so it does seem like an obvious thing

00:54:28   for Apple to try to take display technology in-house

00:54:32   the same way they've taken other critical parts

00:54:35   like the A series system on a chip and stuff like that.

00:54:39   That does make total sense.

00:54:41   Whether they can do it or not, I have no idea.

00:54:42   I don't know anything about this business.

00:54:44   It seems really ambitious.

00:54:46   There's probably a really good reason so far

00:54:48   why only Samsung can make these good enough OLED screens.

00:54:52   So, you know, Apple, you know, going into micro-led,

00:54:55   which I've never even heard of until this rumor came,

00:54:57   I didn't even know what was next.

00:54:58   - Yeah, same.

00:55:00   - Maybe that's easier, maybe that's, you know,

00:55:02   a thing they can do, maybe they've made some acquisitions

00:55:04   towards that, I have no idea.

00:55:07   But it's a totally like defensible and sensible thing

00:55:11   for them to be doing.

00:55:12   Whether it ever amounts to anything, who knows,

00:55:15   but it would be kinda cool if it did,

00:55:16   because I can't imagine that they love,

00:55:19   depending on Samsung, especially just Samsung,

00:55:22   instead of just having a balance.

00:55:24   And also, other things they have taken in-house

00:55:28   tend to be pretty awesome.

00:55:29   Like the Apple version of it that comes out later

00:55:32   tends to be better than the off-the-shelf stuff at the time.

00:55:35   Look at what they've done with the A-series CPUs,

00:55:37   what they're doing with the GPUs now,

00:55:39   what they're doing with the SSD controller and the Mac Pro,

00:55:43   like the T-thing, the wireless Bluetooth W chips.

00:55:46   Like there's so many different things now

00:55:48   they're doing in-house that used to be third party manufacturer components, and the Apple

00:55:53   versions, because of the integration and the tie-ins and the optimizations they can do,

00:55:57   are just better.

00:55:58   So if they can do that same thing to displays, cool.

00:56:01   So this strategy, I don't know if vertically integrated is the right word, because I've

00:56:05   never went to business school, but this strategy of aggressively, in the whatever Tim Cook

00:56:11   quoted as owning and controlling the major technologies that make up their products,

00:56:14   is actually more ambitious and more aggressive than the Apple of old, even the Apple of Apple's

00:56:26   heyday, which is a topic we will continue not to get to in this program.

00:56:32   Because it used to be that—and maybe not just Apple, but across the entire industry—for

00:56:39   Computer makers, they were people who made computers, and they were people who made parts

00:56:45   that go into computers.

00:56:46   And there were a lot of parts suppliers for almost every component.

00:56:52   Every once in a while there would be a parts supplier that has something novel, right?

00:57:00   You know, so Sony with 3.5 inch floppy disk was a change from the other floppy disks.

00:57:06   a very Sony type change.

00:57:07   Like we're going to improve on this thing,

00:57:09   we have a new idea of how floppy disks could work,

00:57:11   check this out.

00:57:12   I'm not sure if Sony was the maker of that thing,

00:57:13   but the Sony 3.5 inch floppy drive,

00:57:16   just to give an example.

00:57:17   And Sony, Apple would either know that they made it

00:57:21   or Sony would pitch them on making it.

00:57:22   I think there's a good story about the Macintosh engineers

00:57:25   hiding a Sony engineer in a closet,

00:57:27   not to let some higher up know that they were looking

00:57:29   into getting 3.5 inch floppy drive

00:57:30   because they were still insisting

00:57:32   that it had to use a five and a quarter,

00:57:33   which would have been so gross.

00:57:35   Good job closet hiding people.

00:57:38   We'll put a link to that in the show notes.

00:57:39   And the synergy between, hey, I'm a part supplier

00:57:43   and we have this cool idea for the thing,

00:57:45   and hey, I'm a person who uses parts to make products,

00:57:48   maybe we can make a novel or interesting product

00:57:50   or line of products out of this

00:57:51   and it's a good deal for you

00:57:52   because you get to make a cool product

00:57:53   and it's a good deal for us

00:57:54   'cause we came up with this novel product

00:57:55   and eventually everyone can make 3.5 inch floppies

00:57:58   because they somehow skirted

00:58:00   the super stupid world of patents enough

00:58:02   to be able to have the part manufactured across the industry.

00:58:06   The iPod is another example.

00:58:08   Whatever that hard drive maker was, was it Hitachi or whoever came up with those really

00:58:10   teeny tiny hard drives?

00:58:11   Well, the light bulb goes off like, "What could we do with a little hard drive like

00:58:14   that?

00:58:15   It's really cool."

00:58:16   And you get something like the iPod, right?

00:58:18   But eventually, all sorts of little hard drives are available or Flash replaces the hard drives.

00:58:23   So like there's no sort of monopoly on one kind of thing.

00:58:27   And so Apple, in the days when that was the way the industry worked, was more or less

00:58:32   content to say, "We're going to source our parts from the best parts available.

00:58:37   Who has the best screens?

00:58:38   Who has the best RAM or the best combination of you can manufacture a lot of them, it has

00:58:42   a good price, they have good performance, they have good quality control, they would

00:58:45   shop around from the parts suppliers."

00:58:47   And from product to product and year to year, they'd pick different screens or different

00:58:51   RAM or different hard drives or different video cards back when they weren't really

00:58:54   super mad at Nvidia.

00:58:57   And that's how they built their computers.

00:59:00   There's a bunch of companies making parts, and we will pick among them, and maybe we'll

00:59:04   try to influence their roadmaps, and maybe once in a while someone has a great thing

00:59:07   we will assemble them into a product.

00:59:09   The more aggressive strategy is to say, "I see the world of parts manufacturers out there."

00:59:13   And they make all sorts of interesting things, and sometimes every once in a while someone

00:59:16   has a really cool one that sparks interest and we can make a cool product out of it.

00:59:21   But that's not good enough.

00:59:22   We know exactly what we want.

00:59:25   We want to push the envelope in a specific direction.

00:59:28   We have an idea of how this could be done better in service of a kind of product or

00:59:34   even a specific product that we have in mind.

00:59:36   And we're not going to try to coerce or cajole some other parts maker into making it, and

00:59:41   we're not going to wait around for someone else to make it.

00:59:44   And we're not going to buy anyone else's off-the-shelf parts and try to cobble together stuff off

00:59:48   the shelf.

00:59:49   We're going to design our own CPUs for our phones, but their own GPUs in them, and our

00:59:54   own weird, you know, step counting, neural network, fingerprint sensing, secure enclave,

00:59:59   whatever. Like, if the first version has to be assembled partially out of parts that come

01:00:03   in the industry, that's fine. But eventually we'd like to bring that in house because we

01:00:07   feel like we can do it better. We know exactly what we want for the watch. We know exactly

01:00:10   what we want for our phones. I don't want to have to convince some other company to

01:00:14   make this product for me. And in fact, we have some better ideas about how it might

01:00:17   be done because we hired all the best people in this industry because we have too much

01:00:19   money, right? And that is way more aggressive than just shopping among like, "Oh, we're

01:00:25   going to use the Sony panel on this display," or, "We're going to use Trinitron because

01:00:28   they're the best CRTs," and, you know, like, it's way more aggressive to say, "We're

01:00:32   going to do it ourselves because it's a competitive advantage not to have to wait

01:00:37   for the rest of the industry to do anything." And in the case of these screens, even if

01:00:41   you're in a situation where one company makes the best screens and Apple wants the

01:00:45   best screens and they feel bad getting one supplier, I think Apple's view on it, aside

01:00:49   from that we just don't like giving money to Samsung as a single supplier to say, "We

01:00:53   think we can do that better because we know exactly what we want."

01:00:55   And it's a pain to have to tell Samsung exactly what we want and get them to build the thing

01:00:58   that we want and go through all that thing.

01:01:00   We know what we want.

01:01:02   Why don't we just do it ourselves?

01:01:04   And that's what they've been doing with lots of components.

01:01:08   If they have any problems with any kind of supplier like Qualcomm being annoying about

01:01:12   charging them lots of money or them not having lots of alternatives and trying to get Intel

01:01:16   to build radio chips and stuff and eventually say, "You know what? I'm tired of this. We

01:01:20   have good engineers. We know how to build things. Why don't we build the radio chips?"

01:01:23   And not build so much as design and have manufactured for us. The last bastion of that is manufacturing,

01:01:30   where thus far Apple has been happy to say, "Manufacturers, compete amongst yourselves

01:01:36   and we will give you CPU fab, our design that you will fab for us. And we will give you

01:01:42   manufacturing thing, our case design that you will machine out of aluminum for us.

01:01:46   And we will help you buy the machines for it, and we'll help you work on the techniques

01:01:49   to use those machines, and we'll do all the stuff.

01:01:51   But in the end, Apple doesn't own the factories.

01:01:54   Apple does not own a silicon CPU fab.

01:01:57   It still allows other companies to do that for it.

01:01:59   So it hasn't gotten to the point where we say, "You know what?

01:02:01   I'm tired of waiting for a Taiwan semiconductor to come up with a new fab.

01:02:05   Let's make our own fab," because that starts to get a couple billion here, a couple billion

01:02:08   there, so you're talking real money.

01:02:10   So far, they've been avoiding that.

01:02:11   But the modern Apple, I think, is more aggressive than any other Apple has been in their drive

01:02:18   to get a real competitive edge in the market by saying, "We'll do it ourselves," and having

01:02:27   the confidence that they'll be able to do it better than anyone else, which is exciting

01:02:30   from a technology perspective to see, you know, that's what we always want Apple to

01:02:35   do.

01:02:36   Although it may seem exciting when Apple is able to synthesize from the parts that are

01:02:40   available to almost anybody or most people, plus or minus one or two parts, to make a

01:02:44   great product out of it.

01:02:45   It's even more exciting, I guess in the iPhone age, to see them make phones that are just

01:02:51   leaps and bounds better in certain areas than other phones for reasons that are directly

01:02:57   traceable to Apple's strategy to say, bring the system on a chip in-house.

01:03:02   That's why their system on chips is so much better than everybody else's.

01:03:04   If they were still sitting around and they were using the same chips as Android phones,

01:03:09   I think the phone landscape would look very different.

01:03:11   Apple wouldn't be able to do half the things that it does,

01:03:14   because it would be working with CPUs that are not--

01:03:16   not going to say that are worse or slower,

01:03:17   which in many cases they are, but that simply are not

01:03:20   tailored to the set of features that Apple wants.

01:03:22   It picks the exact number of cores,

01:03:23   the exact number of amount of cache, the exact layout,

01:03:28   so they can put all their different--

01:03:29   they know exactly what they want for the iPhone

01:03:31   tend to do face ID.

01:03:33   And if they had to adapt some weird Snapdragon processor that

01:03:36   has way more cores than they want, but not enough

01:03:38   something else that they want, we'd still be waiting for Face ID.

01:03:42   So I don't know where I'm going with this except to say that I think that this aspect

01:03:47   of Apple, the technological aggression, is actually I think one of the most interesting

01:03:53   aspects of the company today and probably underappreciated by anybody who doesn't follow

01:03:58   Apple really closely and doesn't really care what's in their products.

01:04:01   But I find it exciting.

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01:05:43   - Alright, let's move on to Ask ATP.

01:05:46   Simon Edgsing says, "Hey, what's the deal with the bits

01:05:51   "that were once used as an important spec

01:05:53   "for gaming consoles?

01:05:54   "How many bits does a modern console have

01:05:56   "and why is it no longer used in marketing?"

01:05:57   And so, as soon as I read this,

01:05:59   I thought back to the days of the Nintendo 64, which everyone knew was 64-bit because

01:06:04   it was right there in the name.

01:06:05   And oh, man, was that thing way cooler than any other modern console or so I thought when

01:06:10   I was 10 or whatever.

01:06:13   So Jon, as the chief gamer of the three of us, can you explain to me what's the deal

01:06:17   with these bits?

01:06:18   Jon Moffitt And why are they no longer used in marketing?

01:06:20   Well, marketing has moved entirely onto blast processing as a different shooting factor.

01:06:24   All right.

01:06:25   So the bits thing, like, first I read this question,

01:06:29   I'm like, is that a thing that people really wonder about?

01:06:32   Like, are consoles still marketed with bits?

01:06:34   And I think the person who's asking this

01:06:36   must have lived through the error when that was true.

01:06:38   These days, I haven't seen like the PS3 or PS4,

01:06:42   or even the PS2 for that matter, marketing with bits.

01:06:44   Like it's a thing that has passed us by for good reasons.

01:06:49   But back when it was used as a marketing turn,

01:06:53   Ascribing a number of bits to a CPU, like, oh, this is a 16-bit CPU, this is a 32-bit

01:06:59   CPU, this is a 64-bit CPU.

01:07:01   There's no hard and fast rules, as with most things in marketing, when you can say something

01:07:06   like that.

01:07:07   But in general, the number of bits tended to be applicable because certain things have

01:07:14   the same number of bits.

01:07:15   So the integer registers, the place where you store a number, would have 16 bits, and

01:07:23   And the address bus would be 16 bits wide, which controlled how much RAM you could address.

01:07:29   And you'd call that processor a 16-bit processor.

01:07:31   It didn't have to be the case.

01:07:33   For example, there are many "32-bit processors" that shipped with, hardware-wise physically

01:07:42   speaking, a 24-bit memory bus.

01:07:44   I'm thinking of the original Macintosh and many after that.

01:07:47   You'd still call it a 32-bit processor, though, because the integer registers were 32 bits

01:07:50   wide.

01:07:51   a "32-bit processor," the floating point registers might have been 64 bits wide.

01:07:56   Why is that not a 64-bit processor?

01:07:58   And what if the memory bus is wider than the integers, and what if the integer is wider

01:08:01   than the memory bus?

01:08:02   So there is no hard and fast rule, but in general, because usually either the memory

01:08:06   bus or the integer register, where they're both, were on this number, and because there

01:08:10   was a progression, because it's more expensive, especially in the early days, to make wider

01:08:15   buses to make larger registers, right, that each leap, like now we can make the registers

01:08:22   32 bits. Each leap was met with a marketing push to say, you know, the 386 is a 32-bit

01:08:27   processor. And importantly, in terms of representable numbers for integers, 64-bit integers end

01:08:34   way before you want them to, like 65,535, right? 32-bit integers ended a pretty high

01:08:41   number that you feel like, "I can do a lot more with 4 billion. There's a lot more

01:08:44   things I can count with precision, with the 4 billion items that I can count on.

01:08:52   Whereas 65,000, I can think of lots of scenarios where I might need a break, and I'm very good

01:08:57   at that.

01:08:58   So once we cross 32 bits, and same thing for memory addressing, although in the beginning

01:09:03   there was no personal computer that could fill up all the 32 bits of that memory bus,

01:09:07   so eventually we got there.

01:09:09   Once you cross 32, you have a lot more headroom.

01:09:11   So 8-bit and 16-bit, it's like, "Eh, lots of problems where this is annoying."

01:09:16   And floating point doesn't help you entirely because of precision and all that stuff.

01:09:19   32-bits, you're like, "Ah, I can run this for a while."

01:09:21   And we did.

01:09:22   We ran on "32-bit processors" for a long time, until we eventually got to the point where

01:09:27   you could fill a PC with more RAM than could be addressed with 32-bits, and then we needed

01:09:30   to go to 64.

01:09:31   But that took a really long time.

01:09:32   Now our phones are friggin' 64-bit, which is amazing if you live through the era where

01:09:36   you had to progress your 16 and 32 and so on and so forth.

01:09:38   Game consoles, same deal.

01:09:39   computers, they have memory buses.

01:09:42   Usually they use cheaper stuff because they cost less money than a PC.

01:09:45   So when PCs were using 32-bit processors, game consoles maybe had 8- or 16-bit processors

01:09:50   just because they had to cost so much less money and it cost less money to make smaller

01:09:55   chips in surface area.

01:09:57   And the more lanes you have for your address buses everywhere and the wider your interest

01:10:01   registers and all that other stuff, the bigger they are.

01:10:05   So once consoles, like so 16-bit was TurboGrafx-16, SNES, Genesis, second Master System was 8-bit,

01:10:15   right?

01:10:16   Anyway, you can look on Wikipedia what the bits were, but so there was 8-bit gaming consoles,

01:10:21   16-bit.

01:10:22   Once we got to 32, around the era, surprisingly, of the Nintendo 64, we got to 32.

01:10:28   PlayStation was 32.

01:10:30   Nintendo 64 was arguably not as 64y as they made it out to be.

01:10:35   Okay, why do you say that?

01:10:38   I don't think every, like, it didn't, I have to look up Wikipedia, but I don't think the

01:10:43   memory bus in Nintendo 64, for example, was 64 bits wide.

01:10:45   Yeah, I think you're right, that there were, like, parts of it that were 64 bit, but not,

01:10:48   like, it was arguable.

01:10:49   Because, like, because why would you make the memory bus 64 bits wide?

01:10:52   I have no idea, I'm just pulling this off the top of my head, but seriously, there's

01:10:55   no way in hell, physically speaking, they have a 64-bit memory bus on something that

01:10:59   that had like two megabytes of RAM.

01:11:01   Like it doesn't make any sense.

01:11:02   Right, because you need four gigs

01:11:04   to exceed the addressability of 32 bits.

01:11:06   And if they did, it must have only been

01:11:08   because they were reusing an existing part,

01:11:10   but it just doesn't seem like they would do.

01:11:11   It's the same reason they had 24-bit memory bus

01:11:13   on the Macintosh, because first of all,

01:11:15   you're never gonna address like four gigabytes of RAM.

01:11:20   Gigabytes?

01:11:21   You can't have four gigabytes.

01:11:23   You know, the Macintosh had 128 kilobytes of RAM.

01:11:25   - Oh yeah.

01:11:26   - So even a 24-bit memory bus was over.

01:11:27   So you save money because you have less room on the chip,

01:11:32   less traces on your board, blah, blah, blah.

01:11:34   So I'm assuming that it wasn't,

01:11:35   but if any part of it is 64-bit, you can call it 64-bit.

01:11:39   - Okay, so a little bit of digging as you were talking.

01:11:42   The R4200 has a 32-entry translation

01:11:46   local side buffer, yada, yada, yada, blah.

01:11:47   The system bus is 64 bits wide

01:11:49   and operates at half the internal clock frequency.

01:11:51   However, the R4300i, which is what I believe was in the N64,

01:11:56   a derivative of that, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, and a cut-down 32-bit system bus for

01:12:00   reduced cost.

01:12:01   David ELLIS-COPP- Yeah. But in marketing, for marketing, and by the way, like I said,

01:12:06   lots of times in 32-bit processors, the, like, you know, with x86 and x86 have an 80-bit-wide

01:12:13   floating-point register or something like that. I don't remember. Something else--

01:12:15   Steven

01:12:16   I just had to learn how to decode that format.

01:12:17   David ELLIS-COPP- Yeah. But no one ever said it's an 80-bit processor. Just because of

01:12:22   convention they just kind of say, "Oh, the memory bus and the integer registers, that's

01:12:26   kind of what we call the processor," right? That's why they're marketing terms, because 16-bit and

01:12:31   32-bit, you might think it means something, but unless you know exactly what it means,

01:12:37   never mind that the width of the memory bus and the size of integer registers really says nothing

01:12:43   about how fast the thing processes stuff. Anyway, gating speed is hard, but there was a clear

01:12:49   with number of bits up to about the 32-bit point

01:12:53   where we hung out for a long time,

01:12:54   and now that we've gone to 64-bit,

01:12:56   where we really are 64-bit,

01:12:58   you know, even 64 memory loss,

01:13:00   I don't think we're at full 64.

01:13:01   What does the Xeons have?

01:13:03   They probably have 48-bit.

01:13:05   - Yeah, 'cause there was that PAE thing for a while

01:13:08   where to address more than, I think, 16 gigs,

01:13:11   or something like that, where even the Intel,

01:13:14   even when Intel went 64-bit,

01:13:16   you couldn't address 64-bits worth of memory

01:13:18   without certain tricks here and there.

01:13:20   And I think that has since been lifted

01:13:23   to a pretty high level, but--

01:13:24   - But probably not a full 64.

01:13:26   I know that you can buy servers

01:13:30   with like 256 gigs of RAM in them, right?

01:13:32   But you can't buy servers with however much RAM

01:13:36   fits in 64 bits, which is some astronomical amount.

01:13:38   - Right, yeah.

01:13:39   - Zeta bytes or whatever the hell it is.

01:13:42   So we're still saving money in that regard,

01:13:44   but 64-bit integer registers

01:13:47   are going to run us a good long while.

01:13:49   And I don't really see anything going to,

01:13:52   first of all, there's no need for a 128-bit memory bus

01:13:55   because we can't even physically put 64 bits of memory

01:13:57   like to fill that whole address space.

01:13:59   And 128-bit integers aren't really getting you

01:14:02   that much more of problems that you can deal with

01:14:06   in 64-bit registers.

01:14:07   Floating point registers are even wider

01:14:09   than they've ever been now too.

01:14:10   And on GPUs and in sort of the media streaming

01:14:14   SIMD instruction sets,

01:14:16   Those could actually stand to go a little bit wider just to be able to process more

01:14:20   values at once because a lot of times they're using like what they call half precision values

01:14:24   for games and stuff where you don't need—so they'll still use 16-bit stuff just to pack

01:14:28   more in to process more at once.

01:14:29   So there's probably headroom for those to all crank up to 32 and 64-bit or to use floating

01:14:35   point everywhere for everything.

01:14:36   So there's some headroom there.

01:14:37   But no one brags about GPUs in terms of number of bits either because it doesn't make any

01:14:40   sense and that's just not how they're marketed.

01:14:43   So this is a very long-winded explanation that gets into more technical detail than

01:14:48   you probably cared about, but I think that's part of the thing.

01:14:51   This was entirely a marketing thing that latched onto a real thing that happened in the progression

01:14:56   of the width of certain aspects of CPU design in the '70s, '80s, and '90s that has leveled

01:15:03   off because there's no longer any obvious benefit to widening these things at an accelerated

01:15:09   rate.

01:15:10   Again, setting aside GPUs, which there is some benefit

01:15:12   to continuing to widen stuff there,

01:15:14   and they will continue to be widened,

01:15:15   but GPUs aren't marketed in that way.

01:15:16   So, marketing's weird.

01:15:18   - I would also say, like, you know,

01:15:20   back in, you know, like we grew up in the,

01:15:22   well, Casey and I grew up in these days,

01:15:24   John was already 50, but you know,

01:15:26   (laughing)

01:15:27   we grew up in the time where, like, you know,

01:15:29   like we both really saw, like, the eight bit

01:15:32   to 16 bit to 32 bit generations.

01:15:35   And, you know, eight bit systems,

01:15:37   like they didn't market themselves as eight bit,

01:15:38   it was the NES versus the Sega Master System,

01:15:42   vast majority dominated by the NES.

01:15:44   And then the Sega Genesis was very heavily marketed

01:15:47   when it came out as 16-bit,

01:15:49   'cause it was like, this is twice as good.

01:15:50   That was really like when the marketing, I think,

01:15:52   was like, oh my god, this is 16-bit.

01:15:55   And then the Super Nintendo came out,

01:15:56   and that was well-marketed to be 16-bit as well,

01:15:59   not as heavily as the Genesis, though.

01:16:01   And then we went 32-bit with the PlayStation 1,

01:16:05   the Sega Saturn.

01:16:07   And then the generations kinda started being staggered.

01:16:10   Like the N64 came out, there was a gap

01:16:13   between the 32-bit generation and the N64.

01:16:15   So it started becoming like, oh look,

01:16:17   since there's a gap, and the N64 was in many ways

01:16:20   significantly better than the Saturn and PlayStation 1,

01:16:22   then it was like, this is, they were kinda trying to say

01:16:25   this is the next generation, even though it was kind of like

01:16:29   a half-generational step.

01:16:31   Like the generations were no longer in sync.

01:16:33   And then that continued.

01:16:34   in the future generations, like Sega went kind of

01:16:38   middle of generation with the Dreamcast,

01:16:40   then the PS2 came out really early,

01:16:43   and then the Xbox happened like a little bit later,

01:16:45   so like the generation started to become more staggered,

01:16:49   and it wasn't all like, okay,

01:16:51   these are the two systems for this one,

01:16:52   then these are the two systems for this one.

01:16:54   And then of course this corresponded with,

01:16:56   that's what John was saying,

01:16:57   how like the bits kind of stop growing and stop mattering.

01:16:59   The number of bits has so little bearing

01:17:01   on modern performance.

01:17:03   Like computers back then, especially the kind of computers

01:17:06   that were in game consoles, were really simple.

01:17:10   I think once we got to the era of having many different

01:17:14   processors being involved and having them all be

01:17:17   pretty complex and then having things like

01:17:19   vector instructions which take the,

01:17:22   you mentioned SIMD and then you have GPUs coming

01:17:25   and you have the GPU revolution that's happened

01:17:27   over the last decade or so where GPUs have gotten

01:17:30   is so incredible and so much of computing

01:17:33   is moving to the GPU and that's where so much

01:17:36   of the action is happening and there the bits

01:17:39   are completely different than the CPU bits.

01:17:43   A lot of things don't work the same way

01:17:44   or don't matter the same ways.

01:17:46   So I think most of the reason we've moved past

01:17:49   the bits thing is that, like Simon asked,

01:17:54   how many bits does a modern console have?

01:17:56   You kinda can't say 'cause like well,

01:17:58   how many bits in what part?

01:18:00   Do the integer registers of the CPU or the address bus

01:18:04   even matter to modern performance?

01:18:06   Or is it, like, for a gaming console,

01:18:08   you're probably looking more at the GPU than anything else.

01:18:11   How many bits wide is the GPU, you know,

01:18:14   in various, like, buses and things like that?

01:18:15   Like, that might matter, but even that's hard to compare

01:18:19   between different architectures and different generations

01:18:21   and everything else, like, it's just,

01:18:23   everything is so much more advanced now

01:18:25   that it's way more complicated.

01:18:27   There really is no single number you can say,

01:18:29   "Alright, this is a 128-bit system."

01:18:32   You really can't say that anymore,

01:18:33   and it's not really a relevant question to even ask.

01:18:35   - They do have the numbers that they say, though.

01:18:38   Like, to that end, manufacturers do throw numbers at you,

01:18:41   but the numbers are no longer about width.

01:18:44   In most cases, although, like I said,

01:18:45   I think they probably will go back to width

01:18:47   once they start, once the GPU precision starts going up

01:18:51   and that starts mattering more in games,

01:18:52   but for now, they don't say that.

01:18:53   But what they do tell you is,

01:18:56   They tell you FLOPS, floating point operations per second, of the GPU, because that's kind

01:19:01   of how they just do the sort of, you know, my GPU is bigger than your GPU.

01:19:06   Like the architecture is so complicated that no one can comprehend it, right?

01:19:08   No regular people can comprehend it, and it's very regular and repeated, and maybe they'll

01:19:12   tell you the number of execution units or something, the number of engines or the number

01:19:16   of building blocks, but really what you want to know is floating point operations per second.

01:19:19   That's just some big aggregate number that doesn't really have any bearing because you're

01:19:23   never actually maxing it out.

01:19:24   maybe if you're a really good game developer you might be maxing out for some period of

01:19:27   time.

01:19:28   They'll tell you memory bandwidth, which is important for how you can shuffle information

01:19:33   to and from your big pool of RAM and to and from the CPU and the GPU.

01:19:39   And those numbers I think have way more bearing on performance than any kind of width, because

01:19:43   at least they tell you like, "I can process this many things in this amount of times,

01:19:46   and I can ship this many things from A to B."

01:19:49   And these days that's what people are measuring consoles are.

01:19:53   And then maybe clock speeds they'll throw in there, but really it's not that much.

01:19:56   They don't even do that much CPU measuring.

01:19:57   There's lots of ways you could measure CPU, but they don't even really compare those because

01:20:00   they know that for the most part, especially as we've gone to HD and now 4K, the GPU is

01:20:06   very often the limiting factor.

01:20:08   So they throw that stuff around.

01:20:10   So there's always some number that come up with a marketing team to let people measure

01:20:16   their consoles against other people's consoles.

01:20:20   But it hasn't been bits for a while.

01:20:22   And speaking on the bits thing, I don't know if this was clear, but the reason it mattered

01:20:27   so much back when we were going to 8 to 16 and 16 to 32 is not just the accountability

01:20:34   of things, of saying, "Oh, 65K is not quite enough."

01:20:37   I think the thing that brings it home as a link that I couldn't find, I just tried to

01:20:41   Google for it, maybe he'll be more successful, is to think about what it would be like to

01:20:47   build a game on a device that had eight-bit integer registers and no floating point.

01:20:55   So you get zero to 255, and you have to make a game.

01:21:01   That's all you have.

01:21:02   You can add, subtract, divide.

01:21:03   You can do whatever you want with those numbers, right?

01:21:06   But there's no floating point, and you can never have a number bigger than 255, and you

01:21:10   can have a number smaller than zero.

01:21:11   And if you want to do negatives, you can reserve a bit for sign and halve your range, right?

01:21:16   that's, if my memory serves me correctly, that is not just the hypothetical exercise,

01:21:20   that's the original Game Boy. And if you think of the sum of the games that are arranged

01:21:23   in the middle of Game Boy, like say you're making a side-scroller, how do you keep track

01:21:27   of where they are on the thing? Or say you're doing a top-view Legend of Zelda, where are

01:21:30   they on the map? How many inventory items do they have? Like, try making a game where

01:21:35   you can only count from 0 to 255. It's really hard. You have to be very clever. And never

01:21:39   mind the "Oh, by the way, that's also the thing that's figuring out how to draw the

01:21:42   screen and what palettes to go from and how to define sprites and do stuff like that.

01:21:47   That's why the bits mattered so much because when you went from 8-bit to 16-bit, suddenly

01:21:52   you had enough numbers for counting that you could define bigger color lookup tables and

01:21:59   you could make bigger sprites and ship them around and count to higher numbers to make

01:22:03   bigger maps.

01:22:04   And yes, of course, audio processing is, you know, higher bitrate for audio and stuff like

01:22:08   that.

01:22:09   You would see the result of those bits on the screen.

01:22:13   The clock speed, you don't even care what that was.

01:22:15   You're just like, now I can count to higher numbers.

01:22:17   Now I can keep track of more colors and more things on the screen because I have, you know,

01:22:22   there's literally, you can count to higher numbers.

01:22:24   It makes a big difference, especially when you don't have floating point to approximate

01:22:27   those things.

01:22:30   And so the leap from 816 to 32 were huge partially because of the bitness, just because you were

01:22:38   so starved for the ability to just count and do basic math and keep track of things in

01:22:45   the limited architecture. But once you can count to 4 billion, you're probably okay with

01:22:50   the counting thing. You're probably okay with the number of colors. You've got all that

01:22:54   stuff covered. And by the way, you have floating point. Some of the point along the line floating

01:22:57   point comes in, so if you really need to do something, you can do floating point. And

01:23:02   so that's why you don't have bits anymore. But I think bits were actually super important,

01:23:06   Like Margot said, 16-bit was a change you could see.

01:23:09   So much more than you could see the difference between PS3 and PS4.

01:23:13   8-bit to 16-bit was just like, it was bigger than Retina.

01:23:17   It was, no one is confused about it.

01:23:19   Is this an NES game or SNES game?

01:23:21   Nobody is confused.

01:23:22   It was such a big difference.

01:23:23   That's kids these days.

01:23:25   The closest thing they have is appreciating how much faster new iPhones are than previous

01:23:29   ones because they're still getting faster pretty fast.

01:23:31   But there is no technological equivalent to 8, 16, 32-bit console progression for people

01:23:39   growing up today, so far.

01:23:40   And maybe when we get into the holographic things or biological modification, we'll

01:23:43   have even bigger changes.

01:23:44   But for now, you just have to listen to stories from old people.

01:23:47   Well, I would say, too, I think one of the biggest reasons why we stopped talking about

01:23:52   bits is that even the whole concept of having these console-measuring contests just fell

01:23:59   out of relevance because consoles are all so powerful now.

01:24:04   I don't know anybody who, I mean, maybe except Jon,

01:24:07   who would make a console buying decision

01:24:10   based on hardware specs.

01:24:12   - Oh, you're just not in the right forums.

01:24:16   Console wars still exist.

01:24:17   - Oh, and I'm sure those people will always talk about it,

01:24:20   but I think it's definitely not in the mass market,

01:24:24   if it ever was even.

01:24:25   Like, you don't buy a new console today

01:24:28   because of how many mega flops or teraflops

01:24:31   or whatever the unit is today.

01:24:32   Like, you don't buy a console today based on that.

01:24:35   Like, if you're deciding between the Xbox of the day

01:24:39   and the PlayStation of the day and the Switch of the day,

01:24:42   that decision is going to be made based on things like games,

01:24:46   like titles that are available for the systems.

01:24:48   It's gonna be based on things like media features,

01:24:52   heart, like output features, like does it support 4K or not,

01:24:55   VR potential, add-on potential,

01:24:57   that's gonna be the kind of thing

01:25:00   that most people buy their consoles based on these days.

01:25:03   The hardware is so good now.

01:25:05   The gains that are occurring in the hardware

01:25:09   are oftentimes not very relevant in numeric terms

01:25:13   compared to other attributes of the system

01:25:17   that aren't necessarily its raw performance.

01:25:20   - So my dad, as I've mentioned in the past on this show,

01:25:23   worked for IBM for almost my entire life.

01:25:26   And I remember that he was so excited

01:25:30   about the cell processor in the PlayStation 3

01:25:32   and was talking to me constantly about it.

01:25:35   I don't know how much of that was just

01:25:36   because he was an IBMer and it was an IBM processor,

01:25:39   or at least in part anyway.

01:25:41   I don't know how much of that was like

01:25:43   regular people marketing or how much of that

01:25:45   was just IBM patting themselves on the back.

01:25:47   But, and John, I'm kind of looking at you to clarify,

01:25:49   but I heard about this cell processor constantly about,

01:25:52   "Oh, Casey, did you hear what they're doing with the cell now?

01:25:54   Oh, and they're doing this for scientific computing.

01:25:57   Oh, they're doing this for some other thing.

01:25:58   It's not just about the PlayStation.

01:25:59   This is gonna revolutionize the way computers are built."

01:26:01   Which sorta kinda was, sorta kinda wasn't.

01:26:05   But anyway, did that marketing ever really happen,

01:26:07   or was that just being the child of an IBMer?

01:26:10   - It did, and like I said,

01:26:11   part of the reason you don't see as much of that these days

01:26:15   is just because the consoles became so similar,

01:26:17   because the ability to create the stuff

01:26:21   that goes into consoles started to go so far outside the realm of console developers' ability.

01:26:26   They couldn't even outsource it and say, "We want you to build you a CPU like this," just

01:26:30   because it costs so much money.

01:26:32   And so they started to have to pool their resources, and it would be like, "NVidia says,

01:26:38   'Well, we've got a lot of GPUs, and we can customize one of our GPUs for your thing,

01:26:43   but we're not going to build you a fresh GPU from scratch just for your thing.

01:26:47   we can cobble together something out of leftover bits of the last generation of our desktop

01:26:51   parts. And there's no way you, Nintendo or Microsoft or Sony, are going to design your

01:26:57   own CPU from scratch. Like, forget it. So how about everybody just uses PowerPC CPUs

01:27:03   of a couple of different variants and AMD ATI GPUs. And so we had a whole generation

01:27:07   of consoles with PowerPC GPUs cobbled together from cores that were used in Macs, slightly

01:27:12   modified and ATI at that time GPUs.

01:27:18   And in this generation you've got x86 CPUs from AMD, they're in the PlayStation and the

01:27:22   Xbox that use that, and GPUs from AMD also.

01:27:28   Very similar, very off the shelf parts.

01:27:31   So what are you going to brag about, right?

01:27:32   And so the cell was different.

01:27:35   The cell was probably the last gasp of, we want a radically different thing that is not

01:27:45   just a bunch of PowerPC or x86 CPU cores thrown in, although there were PowerPC cores in there,

01:27:49   because you can't do everything from scratch.

01:27:53   But it's going to be really weird and really different and really exotic and have lots

01:27:56   of interesting ideas in it.

01:27:59   And to make that happen, they had to convince IBM, or IBM had to convince itself, that your

01:28:05   dad said, "It's not just about the PlayStation, there's going to be lots of applications for

01:28:09   the cell, and we can use it for this, and we can use it for that, to justify the massive

01:28:11   investment they put in partnership with all these other people to make this thing."

01:28:15   And they did reuse PowerPC cores for certain, for like, I forget what they call it, the

01:28:19   PPEs, right?

01:28:20   But for the SPUs, they made these other little cores, and they made this ring bus and everything,

01:28:26   and it was a really cool, really interesting CPU architecture.

01:28:30   Like, go read the articles about the cell.

01:28:33   It is novel and interesting and has lots of ideas from like supercomputing and other things

01:28:38   in a small package.

01:28:40   Totally a technological feat.

01:28:41   So your dad was right to be excited about it.

01:28:44   But to Marco's point, you know, people don't care about that.

01:28:51   They just care about the games.

01:28:52   And to your point, Casey, Sony did market the exoticness of the cell as much as they

01:28:56   could.

01:28:57   They were all about the cell is different than other people's things.

01:29:00   And it was different.

01:29:02   pitch was it's different in a way that will make you have amazing things. In reality,

01:29:06   it was different in a way that will make it very difficult to write dev tools that work

01:29:09   to it because it doesn't work like any other game console, and it was very difficult to

01:29:14   write a program that efficiently used all those resources because it was honestly not

01:29:18   quite a good balance in resources. You really had to figure out how to orchestrate them

01:29:22   just so you were using them all to their maximum extent and not leaving any idle, and it was

01:29:26   just—it took years and years for the best developers, game developers in the world,

01:29:30   to figure out how to wring all the performance out of the cell. By the time The Last of Us

01:29:33   came out, it's like, "Wow, PS3 is pretty powerful. It's going to do some pretty amazing stuff."

01:29:38   But it's still kind of unbalanced, and the whole system is kind of RAM-starved, and I

01:29:41   wish it had more of this and a little bit of that. And it's the, you know, Casey must

01:29:46   love this, because the current generation of consoles, and you know, for a while now,

01:29:51   it's been the American approach of "There's no substitute for cubic inches." You know

01:29:53   you can solve this problem? Give it a ton of RAM, give it a big powerful x86 CPU and

01:30:00   like a cut down desktop GPU. Done and done. No exotic architecture needed. Solve the problem

01:30:06   by throwing displacement. That's what they're throwing at, right? And it's easy to develop

01:30:10   for it because it's kind of the same, you know, PC, game console, whatever. You get

01:30:16   an x86 CPU, a GPU that you're familiar with, 3D APIs that you're familiar with, a mature

01:30:22   toolchain and everything that's what people want and that's what they have so

01:30:25   the cell approach was technologically really cool and interesting and they did

01:30:29   market the really cool interesting part of it but it ended up making a console

01:30:34   that didn't produce the results in terms of cool fun novel games that Sony wanted

01:30:40   it to and so everybody learned the lesson of that including Sony and the

01:30:43   ps4 was like a giant apology about the ps3 the ps4 fixed everything that was

01:30:47   wrong with the ps3 was so conventional so straightforward had so much friggin

01:30:51   RAM was so simple to develop for and that's why the PS4 did so much better than the PS3.

01:30:58   That went on longer than I expected but that was awesome. So thank you John for telling

01:31:03   us about it.

01:31:04   Everybody loves game consoles. They're great.

01:31:06   I want to argue with you but I've been really liking my Switch lately as I keep bringing

01:31:10   up over and over again.

01:31:11   That uses an off the shelf Nvidia Tegra X1 because Nintendo can't even afford to have

01:31:16   people make mildly custom things for them anymore.

01:31:19   - I love the Switch.

01:31:20   I'm so, it is the system I,

01:31:22   and you know, it is the system that I've been happiest with

01:31:26   basically since my Genesis.

01:31:28   Like that's, I have not had a game system since my Genesis

01:31:31   that I was this happy with.

01:31:33   And it has almost nothing to do with the processor

01:31:36   or the GPU, I have no idea what it has in it.

01:31:38   I didn't look at that when getting it.

01:31:41   I haven't thought to look at that since.

01:31:43   I have no idea how it compares to the Xbox 17

01:31:47   whatever the hell Xbox is the current Xbox.

01:31:49   - Way less powerful, that's how it compares.

01:31:51   - Yeah, probably, but it doesn't matter at all.

01:31:54   Like, it just doesn't, because what matters is the games,

01:31:56   and the games are awesome.

01:31:57   Like, that's, that to me is so much more important

01:32:00   than any of the specs, and like,

01:32:03   I'm just, I'm incredibly happy with my game console,

01:32:06   and I have no idea what's in it.

01:32:08   - So it does matter in that if it was really difficult

01:32:11   to develop for the Switch, it would take longer

01:32:14   to make games that are up to the standards

01:32:17   currently playing them, right? And there will be fewer games because not as many developers

01:32:22   would be able to, you know, so like there are aspects of technology that impact, like,

01:32:27   how do we end up with good games? You need to have a minimum baseline of like, "Oh, I can develop

01:32:32   games to this and it's not too weird. And I can develop them efficiently with skills I already

01:32:36   have without encountering too many bugs, without having to learn an entirely new custom dev

01:32:42   environment and 3D API and toolchain and everything.

01:32:46   Like, that's a part of the technology selection that does

01:32:48   impact the part that you care about.

01:32:50   I would also argue that the power of the system

01:32:53   also influences what you care about,

01:32:54   but it's clear that the Switch is

01:32:56   a compromise between a plugged into the wall TV connected

01:33:01   console and a portable one.

01:33:02   So they have to make compromises in power,

01:33:05   and it is less powerful.

01:33:06   And I think that decrease in power

01:33:09   gives you the huge benefits of portability,

01:33:11   which according to Nintendo's surveys that they're running, tons of people use this in

01:33:14   portable mode, so they made the right choice there.

01:33:16   But the downside is that games that are possible on the PS4 and Xbox One X, especially the

01:33:24   Xbox One X, but also the Xbox One, may not be possible on the Switch.

01:33:30   And so they won't even get ports, or if they do get ports, they'll be cut down ports, which

01:33:32   means that most people will want to play them on their consoles, right?

01:33:35   So power is still a thing that Apple needs to—Apple.

01:33:38   Nintendo needs to give up with.

01:33:40   There are rumors that Nintendo actually is going to come out with a sort of a Switch

01:33:43   Pro with a more powerful, probably, Nvidia Tegra X2 maybe chip inside it.

01:33:48   Again, probably off the shelf.

01:33:51   Because that's the thing they're doing these days is making spec-bumped versions of existing

01:33:55   consoles that nevertheless play all the old games, sort of like a generation and a half

01:33:58   type thing.

01:33:59   And the reason they do that is, like, Nintendo also knows if we make this more powerful,

01:34:05   it expands the realm of the kind of games we can make.

01:34:08   The Breath of the Wild's follow-up,

01:34:09   if there ever is one for the Switch,

01:34:11   but whatever platform it's on,

01:34:12   we'll be able to have a more detailed,

01:34:15   more expansive world than this one is.

01:34:17   In the same way that you could never do Breath of the Wild

01:34:19   on a Wii U or a Wii,

01:34:21   like that better game that we all love,

01:34:24   it's just care about the games,

01:34:25   you can't do that game on less powerful consoles

01:34:28   because the world is too big,

01:34:29   the draw distances are too large,

01:34:30   doesn't have the hardware or software

01:34:33   all too set for all the level of detail stuff,

01:34:35   doesn't have the RAM, so on and so forth.

01:34:36   So technology does enable good games and has to be pursued, but absolute spec numbers are

01:34:43   not the end all be all.

01:34:44   Because if you add up all the theoretical floating point operations that the cell could

01:34:47   do, it looks like it's this amazing monster CPU, when in the end people couldn't even

01:34:50   figure out how to use half of it and half of the launch games were leaving huge swaths

01:34:55   of the surface area, the silicon surface area of the chip, idle because they just couldn't

01:34:58   figure out how to even use all those cores and their engine only knew how to use like

01:35:01   one or two.

01:35:02   use one or two and leave half the hardware idle like the launch games, that's not a good

01:35:07   situation.

01:35:08   Yeah, and just to put a period on this four-hour Ask ATP, I really love having the ability

01:35:15   to pop the Switch out of the dock and just walk around with it.

01:35:19   And I might be the only one.

01:35:20   I mean, obviously what you said, Jon, is that it sounds like Nintendo is seeing a lot of

01:35:24   that, but—

01:35:25   Yeah, they released some numbers like we surveyed our users, like something that Apple never

01:35:29   does and say, "How often do you use your Switch docked portable and both?" And the

01:35:34   number of people who are like me and Marco who only use it docked was very small. It

01:35:38   was like 20 percent or something, and 80 percent of people are using it portable at least some

01:35:42   of the time.

01:35:43   Yeah, yeah. And I use it probably half and half, to be honest, which I know is probably

01:35:48   barbaric to you, but, you know, it is what it is. All right, so we'll try to do an abridged

01:35:53   couple of AskATPs to round this out. Johnny O. would like to know, "Hey, what's the deal

01:35:58   with sports. He writes, "Please explain to the nerd crowd the concept of being a

01:36:02   sports team fan. I don't understand why people refer to my team, etc., unless

01:36:06   they've actually played for that team." Well, you've written into the right

01:36:09   podcast, Jonny. We are sports experts here. No, we can cover this quickly. So, sports

01:36:15   is about more than just, as with anything in life, is about more than just looking

01:36:19   at the the quote-unquote ones and zeros of it and looking kind of a little bit

01:36:23   deeper. And so, let's talk about my team. So, I went to school at Virginia Tech in

01:36:28   in Blacksburg, Virginia, and Virginia Tech had, at the time,

01:36:31   this was in the very early 2000s,

01:36:33   had a exceptionally great football team

01:36:36   that was quarterbacked by Michael Vick,

01:36:38   who ended up being a not-so-exceptionally great human being.

01:36:41   - Wait, is this the Dukies, HomePods, whatever they are?

01:36:46   - Hokies.

01:36:47   - There we go, yep.

01:36:47   - There you go.

01:36:48   So the reason one would be enthusiastic about that

01:36:53   is because in the case of college sports,

01:36:55   that's your peers.

01:36:56   were also students of the same university that are playing in this, you know, national

01:37:02   arena. And so why is it my team? Because I was also a student at Virginia Tech, just

01:37:09   like…

01:37:10   Because you went to school in the same school that they did.

01:37:15   Right.

01:37:16   So you were there.

01:37:17   Right.

01:37:18   And they were there.

01:37:19   Right.

01:37:20   So doesn't it make it our time, Casey?

01:37:21   You don't get that reference. Stop laughing, Margot.

01:37:24   - No, I'm laughing at the ridiculousness of the situation.

01:37:26   You're right, I don't get the reference,

01:37:28   but when I was in high school,

01:37:30   I was in the marching band for the football team, right?

01:37:33   So I was literally at every football game,

01:37:37   sitting 30 feet from the football players,

01:37:40   watching the whole game,

01:37:41   participating in this weird way of playing music

01:37:44   to encourage them and celebrate victories in the game.

01:37:47   And I still wouldn't say we won.

01:37:49   (laughs)

01:37:50   I would never call my team, our team,

01:37:52   It was literally like I was right there.

01:37:54   I was somewhat involved.

01:37:56   I never thought that way.

01:37:58   This is my team.

01:37:59   I couldn't give less of a crap how they did.

01:38:03   - But anyway, I think Casey is explaining,

01:38:05   is an accurate explanation of why people feel

01:38:07   it's their team.

01:38:08   I just think, my comment was being snarky and I'm silly,

01:38:11   but I think people who go to the school

01:38:12   do feel it's their team because they go to the same school.

01:38:15   Despite the fact that I feel like most college athletes,

01:38:17   especially at the highest level,

01:38:18   are really going to a different school than you are.

01:38:20   - Oh, absolutely. - The experience of school

01:38:21   so different than your experience of school. But it is still your school, and you are going

01:38:26   to it, and so are they.

01:38:28   Yeah, and this is also applicable for professional sports, except it's a much more nebulous

01:38:35   association.

01:38:36   Except the school is your state and/or region.

01:38:37   Exactly.

01:38:38   And/or country for the Toronto Blue Team.

01:38:41   Right. So if you look at a professional sports team, it's often that it's the team that

01:38:45   either your family has been rooting for. So as an example, I'm a fan of the New York

01:38:49   Giants, and my grandfather, my mother's father, has been a Giants fan pretty much since the

01:38:55   franchise started. And so I just grew up watching the Giants. That's just what we did. And at

01:39:00   the time we lived in the New York area. And so it made sense for that to be our team because

01:39:05   of geographic proximity. Where this really falls apart is all the completely, all the

01:39:12   people who are woefully uninformed and think that the Dallas Cowboys or the Pittsburgh

01:39:16   Steelers are good football teams with the notable exception of the 10 fans from each team that actually live in Dallas or Pittsburgh

01:39:23   Because if you ever notice an NFL fan

01:39:26   Generally speaking they either like the Cowboys or the Steelers and generally speaking they have no association with either Pittsburgh or Dallas

01:39:32   Not that I'm bitter about this. That's old football fans who remember when the Cowboys and the Steelers would win Super Bowls, right?

01:39:38   Steelers? They win Super Bowls? Isn't it now about like Cowboys versus the Cheaters?

01:39:43   Yeah, it's really how the Cowboys versus anybody yeah, then the cheaters are John's team actually I don't have a team

01:39:50   Well, cuz your team is cheaters. Yes. I wouldn't want to claim them either. I wasn't rooting for the Patriots in the Super Bowl

01:39:56   I'm just gonna say that so anyway, so the idea is that

01:39:58   Take something that you either participated in as a kid. So as an example, I played a little bit of basketball as a kid and

01:40:05   Imagine watching something that you can do. All right, but watching some watching somebody who is a professional

01:40:12   at that thing and it's just it's it's almost poetic watching how good they are at that particular skill in that particular sport

01:40:20   That's what's that's what's fun about it

01:40:22   And then when you add in that kind of ownership either by way of a school affiliation or geographic affiliation

01:40:29   It just becomes fun. And you know, why would you watch somebody play a video game, right? It's the same thing

01:40:35   Now, maybe you wouldn't claim that that's your team within the video game, but video games have teams now too though

01:40:40   That's their point. E-sports actually do have teams and the teams are regional and they're so they're trying to adopt that model

01:40:46   Yeah, but you get the idea is that?

01:40:48   Imagine something that you do

01:40:50   But it's some other people that do it a hell of a lot better than you will ever do it and it's just cool to

01:40:55   Watch and and plus, you know games are fun games are fun to watch games are fun to play

01:40:59   And so it's just a confluence of all of that and I have a feeling that Johnny Oh

01:41:03   You're gonna listen to this and be like, yeah that didn't convince me at all and that's okay

01:41:06   sports aren't for everyone. And I'm not a crazy sports person that watches ESPN all day every day

01:41:12   and lives for SportsCenter or anything like that. I just enjoy football and occasionally a couple

01:41:17   other sports too. Well, the question wasn't about why do I enjoy sports, it was about why being a

01:41:22   sports team fan of having my team. I think you did address that, but I don't think the question

01:41:26   was like, "Why are sports enjoyable?" Period. Like, just to see achievement, human achievement,

01:41:30   or whatever. It's about the fandom and my team type of thing. To that end, if I was to give my

01:41:36   short version of the answer to this would be that sports are a socially acceptable outlet

01:41:40   for xenophobia.

01:41:41   Well, that too. That too. Not that I was making fun of Pittsburgh Steelers or Dallas Cowboys

01:41:46   fans at all just moments ago. All right, TT On Air writes, "Hey, I know you're not a big

01:41:51   fan of Facebook and what they do with their data. How do you guys feel about this whole

01:41:56   Instagram thing since Instagram is owned by Facebook?" And I don't have a good answer

01:42:01   for this. I'll be the first to tell you. I do not have a good answer for this. And my

01:42:05   My answer is, I freaking love Instagram, and I'm going to steal Marco's thunder and steal

01:42:10   Marco's line and say, "It's my happy place."

01:42:12   And because it's my happy place, despite the fact that they're insistent on trying to ruin

01:42:16   it, I'm going to keep using it until I have an even more compelling reason not to use

01:42:21   it.

01:42:22   I will—I do have a Facebook account, I occasionally look at it.

01:42:25   I would happily get rid of my Facebook account long before I would get rid of my Instagram

01:42:30   account.

01:42:31   And that's just a choice I'm making.

01:42:32   I'm not saying it's a good choice, I'm not saying it's reasonable, I'm not saying it's

01:42:34   It's not hypocritical or backwards or whatever,

01:42:37   but it's just my choice.

01:42:38   Marco.

01:42:39   - Yeah, I mean this, it's a really,

01:42:41   like I was talking a little bit on Twitter

01:42:42   about this earlier, like it's hard because,

01:42:45   you know, the tech giants are so big,

01:42:48   like Facebook owns so much stuff.

01:42:51   If you're trying to, for instance,

01:42:52   get off all Facebook services,

01:42:54   what if you're in one of the many parts of the world

01:42:57   where WhatsApp is like the default messaging platform?

01:43:01   That applies to a lot of places, to a lot of people.

01:43:05   There's a reason why Facebook bought it for,

01:43:06   what was it, like 19 billion dollars or something like that.

01:43:09   It's everywhere in certain places.

01:43:12   I know it's kind of an oxymoron,

01:43:13   but it's, 'cause WhatsApp is not very big in the US,

01:43:17   so US residents might not realize how big of a deal it is,

01:43:20   but everywhere else in the world, WhatsApp is huge

01:43:23   and really is, it's bigger than SMS,

01:43:25   it's bigger than messaging, it's bigger than iMessage,

01:43:27   it's bigger than everything in certain parts of the world.

01:43:30   To tell somebody, oh well Facebook happens to own that

01:43:33   and Facebook is a terrible company

01:43:34   and so you should quit everything of theirs

01:43:36   including WhatsApp, that could really have

01:43:39   a pretty significant negative impact on someone's life

01:43:42   if they're in an area where WhatsApp is big for them.

01:43:46   And it's hard, I love the idea of dropping a tech giant

01:43:51   that is being horrible to people or to its company

01:43:56   or to data or whatever else.

01:43:59   In some cases, it's easier than others.

01:44:02   Like when Uber is being terrible,

01:44:04   which happens all the time.

01:44:05   Like a lot of us move to Lyft, like I did.

01:44:07   I haven't used Uber since all that crap,

01:44:09   whatever it was like a year ago.

01:44:10   - Same. - I've been using Lyft.

01:44:11   And it's, you know what, it's totally fine,

01:44:13   because everywhere I've been,

01:44:15   like I don't use ride sharing that often.

01:44:17   Usually it's only like when I'm traveling somewhere.

01:44:19   But every time I've used, I've hired a Lyft,

01:44:23   it's been totally fine.

01:44:25   But there are certain regions where Lyft

01:44:27   just doesn't really serve,

01:44:28   or doesn't serve anywhere near well enough to be useful.

01:44:31   And so people there have to suck it up and use Uber.

01:44:35   And I'm not gonna tell them,

01:44:36   don't use any of these services.

01:44:38   Sometimes that's your best option.

01:44:40   Sometimes that's your only option.

01:44:42   So with Facebook, they own so much.

01:44:46   And a lot of what they own,

01:44:48   both things like WhatsApp and Instagram,

01:44:51   Instagram's a bit of a special case,

01:44:53   which I'll get to in a second,

01:44:54   but stuff they own like WhatsApp

01:44:56   and the core Facebook service itself,

01:44:58   for a lot of people, they can just drop this stuff

01:45:01   and it's no big deal, and that's great,

01:45:03   I encourage you to.

01:45:04   But for a lot of people, if they aren't on Facebook,

01:45:09   they can no longer see the pictures of their grandchildren,

01:45:13   'cause that's the only place where people post them.

01:45:17   I have never been a really active Facebook user,

01:45:20   I've never posted stuff to Facebook or anything else,

01:45:23   but I do regularly check two communities on Facebook

01:45:28   because that's the only place that these communities exist.

01:45:31   One of them is for our summer place

01:45:33   and one of them is for the local school.

01:45:36   There's a group of parents for the local school on Facebook

01:45:40   and a lot of times that is the first, the best,

01:45:44   or sometimes the only place that certain

01:45:47   very relevant news or info is posted.

01:45:50   And this applies, lots of people,

01:45:52   they're kinda stuck using Facebook for this reason

01:45:54   because there's some kind of community or something

01:45:57   that only posts incredibly important to them information

01:46:01   on Facebook.

01:46:02   So it's really hard to tell people like that

01:46:05   you should stop using Facebook because the impact of them

01:46:09   not using Facebook, like the cost to Facebook

01:46:12   of one less account, is probably virtually nothing

01:46:17   compared to the cost in that person's life

01:46:20   of not having access to these communities

01:46:22   or this information that is posted there.

01:46:24   So it's hard to make that argument

01:46:26   that people who were in a situation like that should do it.

01:46:29   And I made the analogy earlier on Twitter,

01:46:31   it's kinda like when people get mad

01:46:33   because they have a bad experience with a flight

01:46:35   and they try to swear off an airline forever.

01:46:38   And there's like five airlines

01:46:40   and they don't all go to all the same places.

01:46:43   So if you live in, say, a hub for United

01:46:48   and you have a bad experience on United,

01:46:51   which is common, 'cause you know, it's terrible.

01:46:54   Like, what are you gonna do, swear off United?

01:46:56   Well, it's like, if you live somewhere

01:46:57   that's one of their hubs and all the flights

01:46:59   going in and out are United, you're gonna have

01:47:01   a really hard time flying anywhere after that.

01:47:03   And there's not that many airlines.

01:47:04   So if you swear one off when you have a bad experience

01:47:08   and you say you're never gonna fly with them again,

01:47:11   that starts to impact your life pretty significantly

01:47:15   without too much time.

01:47:17   And so I feel like the tech giants

01:47:20   in a similar situation where they own so much

01:47:23   and so much of, so many of these big tech services

01:47:28   are so critical to people's lives

01:47:31   and many of them don't have direct alternatives

01:47:35   or direct, or they have such lock-in to certain communities

01:47:38   that it's very, it's kind of unrealistic

01:47:39   to expect people to move en masse

01:47:42   that it's really hard to just tell people

01:47:45   you shouldn't use everything.

01:47:47   Instagram is a bit of a special case

01:47:50   because to a lot of people, Instagram is not critical.

01:47:54   It's not like, it isn't often part of your job or anything,

01:47:57   but for me, if I quit Instagram,

01:48:00   I would lose access to a lot of my friends

01:48:03   and my family's photos

01:48:05   because that's where they all post them.

01:48:07   And they don't have blogs, they don't have websites,

01:48:09   we don't have photo shares elsewhere.

01:48:12   And maybe we could try to set some up,

01:48:13   but that becomes a much harder problem

01:48:15   for me to be taking a political stance

01:48:17   and say I don't want to use Facebook stuff anymore,

01:48:19   to then try to convince all my friends and family

01:48:22   and people I don't know very well

01:48:23   who I just enjoy their photos,

01:48:25   like, hey, can you instead start posting these over here?

01:48:29   Or in addition, start posting these over here?

01:48:31   It becomes a much harder proposition.

01:48:34   And I would be fine without Facebook.

01:48:37   I would just lose access to these communities

01:48:40   that are occasionally useful to me.

01:48:44   And I'd be fine without Instagram.

01:48:45   how to be less happy.

01:48:48   There are certain, like, just inertia in that.

01:48:51   Like, I've been on Instagram since, I think, 2010.

01:48:55   My entire, you know, like the entire life I have here

01:48:59   in the suburbs that includes the house, my dog,

01:49:02   the entire life of my son,

01:49:05   has all been cataloged routinely on Instagram.

01:49:08   Every year, Tiff makes a photo book of Instagram photos

01:49:13   for our family, and that's kind of like our family's,

01:49:15   like our family photo albums, or like these Instagram books.

01:49:19   It would disrupt a lot of that stuff.

01:49:22   And so, it's hard for me to overstate

01:49:25   how much I dislike and disrespect Facebook,

01:49:31   the people who run Facebook, the idea of Facebook,

01:49:36   and just the horrible amoral, morally bankrupt people there,

01:49:40   right at the top, right up to Zuckerberg

01:49:43   and Sheryl Sandberg, right at the top.

01:49:45   They are morally bankrupt, horrible people

01:49:47   doing horrible things, and that's also not very new.

01:49:50   It's not like this just started happening

01:49:52   in the 2016 election, this is not new at all.

01:49:55   They always have been, horrible people

01:49:56   doing horrible things, they're spineless turds and cowards.

01:49:59   I really, really do not like them.

01:50:01   But I also can't totally avoid their services

01:50:05   and retain access to certain information

01:50:08   that I need and want, and the joy

01:50:13   and family and friends connections I get through Instagram.

01:50:17   So it's hard to avoid, it's not a simple thing.

01:50:23   It isn't so simple to say like,

01:50:25   "Are you being hypocritical by still using it

01:50:28   "or why haven't you quit yet?"

01:50:31   To a lot of people it's more complicated than that

01:50:33   and it's a bigger calculus than just like,

01:50:36   "Do you like these people or not?"

01:50:39   'Cause I hate those people but I still,

01:50:42   I've decided that the statement I would make by leaving

01:50:46   is too small for the cost it would be to me in my life.

01:50:51   - You call those services too big to bail, I guess?

01:50:54   - Wow.

01:50:57   - I see what you did there.

01:50:58   - That's where you put the cricket.

01:50:59   - Oh yeah, definitely.

01:51:00   - Sound effect in there.

01:51:01   I think that was quality.

01:51:02   Now, that's basically what you're saying, too big to bail.

01:51:04   You would like to get out of them,

01:51:05   but they're just too big,

01:51:06   'cause you can't convince everybody.

01:51:07   So, two things.

01:51:09   I'm going to

01:51:11   Remind the world and the recording that I'm speaking into to take credit for the airline

01:51:16   Analogy that you just make is I'm pretty sure I made that exact same one a couple years ago

01:51:20   Although you probably don't remember also. I'm pretty sure John rhetoric made it before you

01:51:24   Yeah, no, it's it's turtles all the way down

01:51:27   No, I mean like in real life not on a podcast sometimes I say things that aren't recorded on a podcast

01:51:37   Did you really say them then? Yeah, I know

01:51:40   Who's to say if this is not recording who can tell?

01:51:43   And two I'm going to predict that

01:51:47   three weeks from now or so

01:51:50   There will be a podcast featuring me where I talk about this very same issue at length

01:51:56   And so I'm not going to talk about it length here. So if you're interested in hearing that discussion

01:52:00   That will probably happen sometime in the next three weeks. You can check out reconcilable differences on relay.fm

01:52:07   I look forward to hearing that in six to eight weeks.

01:52:09   - Rectifs is by the way, one of my favorite podcasts

01:52:13   in the entire world.

01:52:14   I love that show so much.

01:52:15   - Yeah, it's quite good.

01:52:16   - You really should be, you the listeners

01:52:18   should really be listening to that if you're not already.

01:52:20   And not unlike this show,

01:52:22   the shows do tend to run a little long,

01:52:24   but they are worth every damn minute.

01:52:25   So you should be checking that out.

01:52:27   - Thanks to our sponsors this week,

01:52:28   Betterment, Squarespace and Instabug.

01:52:31   And we'll see you next week.

01:52:32   (upbeat music)

01:52:35   Now the show is over, they didn't even mean to begin

01:52:39   'Cause it was accidental, oh it was accidental

01:52:45   John didn't do any research, Marco and Casey wouldn't let him

01:52:50   'Cause it was accidental, oh it was accidental

01:52:56   And you can find the show notes at ATP.fm

01:53:01   If you're into Twitter, you can follow them @C-A-S-E-Y-L-I-S-S

01:53:09   So that's Casey Liss M-A-R-C-O-A-R-M

01:53:14   N-T-M-A-R-C-O-R-M-N S-I-R-A-C-U-S-A-C-R-A-C-U-S-A

01:53:21   It's accidental (it's accidental)

01:53:25   They didn't mean to accidental (accidental)

01:53:29   Tech Podcast So Long

01:53:34   Hey, a lot of people have been reaching out and saying, "Hey Casey, have you thought about

01:53:39   the Kia Stinger GT?

01:53:42   Think about it.

01:53:43   It's a nice car."

01:53:44   It's not that nice.

01:53:45   A, it's not that nice.

01:53:46   B, I've sat in it.

01:53:47   C, I didn't like the interior.

01:53:49   And D, two pedals.

01:53:50   But otherwise, if you, you know, other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you enjoy the

01:53:54   play?

01:53:55   Otherwise, it sounds nice.

01:53:56   It did tie the BMW 340i in a comparison test, which shows just how far BMW has fallen.

01:54:01   I think I mentioned that in a past show.

01:54:03   BMWs.

01:54:04   It actually occurred to me just the other day,

01:54:06   I was saying this to somebody, shoot,

01:54:07   I don't remember who it was,

01:54:08   but it wasn't on a podcast, so I guess I never said it.

01:54:11   I was walking back up the driveway from getting the mail,

01:54:16   and I looked at the garage, and I looked at Aaron's car,

01:54:18   and I looked at my car.

01:54:20   I looked at my car for a while,

01:54:22   and it occurred to me just a few years ago,

01:54:27   like especially in 2013, for example,

01:54:30   when Marco and me and Underscore went to the driving school,

01:54:34   Just a few years ago, I would have said I was pretty much equally into Apple and BMW.

01:54:40   That was during the heyday of my BMW love, speaking of heydays.

01:54:44   And I loved both of those brands more than almost anything.

01:54:48   And I don't really give a crap about BMW anymore.

01:54:52   I feel like I've been so let down by this one experience.

01:54:56   And I know I shouldn't judge all BMWs forever more based on one somewhat crummy almost lemon,

01:55:03   but I just, I can't find myself,

01:55:05   I can't find myself getting excited by BMW anymore.

01:55:09   - Yeah, I'm also, I think I'm in a very similar boat,

01:55:13   but maybe even more extreme.

01:55:15   BMW just isn't relevant to me anymore.

01:55:18   When I moved to Tesla, I didn't realize

01:55:21   quite how different it would be

01:55:24   and quite how much it would make all other cars

01:55:28   just seem like the past by comparison,

01:55:30   and in multiple ways, not just the drivetrain,

01:55:32   but the big touchscreen, having some of the more smart,

01:55:37   useful little features, the app features,

01:55:41   some of the practicalities of just the giant hatchback

01:55:45   and how much space, how much cargo space there is in it,

01:55:48   it's super nice.

01:55:49   Like yesterday, I had a flat tire on my bike,

01:55:54   I had to get a new inner tube,

01:55:56   and I don't know how to do that,

01:55:57   so I brought my bike to the store in town

01:55:59   to have them do it, and I fit this giant,

01:56:03   27.5 plus semi-fat bike in the back of my car.

01:56:07   As I was, I opened the trunk,

01:56:10   it doesn't fit with a lot of leeway, but it does fit,

01:56:12   and I opened the trunk when I got there,

01:56:15   parked on the street, and I pulled this giant bike out,

01:56:18   and there was this person inside with it like,

01:56:20   wow, you just pulled that out of that car?

01:56:22   They couldn't believe that it fit, it's so nice.

01:56:25   Anyway, yeah, I kinda have a similar feeling

01:56:29   of like, I have no interest in going to test drive

01:56:32   with the new M5 or anything like that.

01:56:34   And it's one of the reasons why it was so hard

01:56:36   for me to answer that question a few weeks ago

01:56:38   of like, what car would you have if you couldn't have

01:56:41   this, the Tesla?

01:56:43   I really have no idea.

01:56:45   I'm not interested in any other cars at all.

01:56:48   And again, maybe that will change in the future

01:56:51   when there's more electric options for everybody.

01:56:53   But honestly, I don't anticipate that changing

01:56:56   in the near future.

01:56:57   I think that's probably gonna be a far future thing.

01:56:59   But anyway, I'm totally with you.

01:57:02   What BMW, the direction they've gone in

01:57:05   has seemingly been significantly more mass luxury market,

01:57:10   like obviously going after a lot of

01:57:12   probably formerly Lexus customers.

01:57:14   And a lot of that came at the cost of the enthusiasts.

01:57:20   - BMW's not gonna get any Lexus customers.

01:57:22   Lexus customers need reliability.

01:57:24   They're going after Mercedes customers.

01:57:25   (laughing)

01:57:26   - You're accustomed to a little bit of unreliability

01:57:28   but want a softer car.

01:57:29   - Yeah, that's fair.

01:57:30   Yeah, but it is kind of funny that like,

01:57:32   kind of like the decline of BMW's appeal to us

01:57:36   has corresponded somewhat to the decline

01:57:40   of Apple's appeal to us.

01:57:41   It's kind of sad really.

01:57:43   - You took my moment,

01:57:45   'cause I was about to say the same thing.

01:57:46   - Oh, come on, that was obvious.

01:57:47   You can't blame me for that.

01:57:48   - Oh, but still.

01:57:49   But no, but you're right. - All right, you can have it.

01:57:51   - But I mean, I shouldn't have cut you off,

01:57:53   but here I am, so since I have.

01:57:54   I feel very similarly, but way, way, way less so about Apple.

01:57:59   That there are things that are annoying me about Apple

01:58:04   that never used to annoy me.

01:58:07   And I'll beat up on Siri just briefly

01:58:08   because that's the most obvious example.

01:58:11   Anytime I go to use Siri, I just die a little inside.

01:58:14   Not literally, of course, that's a bit,

01:58:17   what's the word I'm looking for, hyperbolic?

01:58:18   I don't know, whatever.

01:58:19   Anyway, it's a bit extreme.

01:58:20   But nevertheless, it's like it annoys me every time

01:58:24   in a way that Apple stuff used to delight me

01:58:26   every time consistently that I touched it.

01:58:29   And I feel like this vector is the same direction

01:58:34   but a far smaller magnitude that I'm getting,

01:58:40   I'm finding myself not as emotionally excited

01:58:45   by Apple stuff as I was in the past.

01:58:48   Now there are exceptions.

01:58:49   Like just the other day, I looked down at my iPhone X

01:58:51   and I was like, you know what?

01:58:52   This is a really awesome phone.

01:58:54   And having that swipe gesture has made everything better.

01:58:58   And in the lack of a home button,

01:59:00   like Face ID still does drive me nuts in a few ways,

01:59:03   but by and large, it's so cool.

01:59:05   And so I'm not trying to say that I've like lost hope

01:59:07   in Apple by any means,

01:59:08   but, and certainly the alternatives

01:59:10   as we've gone around and around

01:59:11   and about numerous times on the show,

01:59:13   the alternatives are not really alternatives.

01:59:15   But nevertheless, I find myself getting similarly

01:59:20   disappointed, I'm not mad, I'm disappointed in you, Apple.

01:59:25   And that's a bummer, 'cause it's, I mean,

01:59:27   it's just a company, right?

01:59:29   Like, here again, to come back to the Ask ATP about sports,

01:59:32   like, Apple was kind of my team,

01:59:34   and Marco, I'm definitely taking a page out of your playbook

01:59:36   on that one, 'cause you've made this point for years,

01:59:38   that Apple was kind of your team,

01:59:40   and I feel like my team is not a slump, that's dramatic,

01:59:44   but my team is not winning championships left and right

01:59:47   like they used to be, and that's a little bit of a bummer.

01:59:51   - Yeah, and I think it's especially,

01:59:53   it's a little depressing when you don't have something else

01:59:58   to replace that source of excitement for you.

02:00:01   When I fell out of love with BMW, that was easy for me,

02:00:05   because now I'm a big fan of Tesla,

02:00:08   and so it just kinda got replaced.

02:00:11   The reason the Apple stuff bugs me so much

02:00:13   is that I haven't replaced that yet in my life

02:00:15   and I don't really know what will replace it.

02:00:17   - You replaced it with video games.

02:00:19   (laughing)

02:00:21   You love video games now more than you have in a long time.

02:00:23   That's replacing your Apple love.

02:00:25   - I mean, yeah, I love a few video games.

02:00:27   (laughing)

02:00:29   I would hardly call it a category.

02:00:30   - You just said that the Switch is the best gaming thing

02:00:33   you've had since your childhood Sega.

02:00:36   So I think that's pretty high praise

02:00:38   in the grand scheme of things that you've loved

02:00:40   in your life and video games may fade

02:00:42   the next Nintendo thing is like that doesn't appeal to you or doesn't have good games and

02:00:46   then you'll be all excited about your new Jaguar I-Pace.

02:00:51   I would probably, like no matter how good or appealing it was, I don't think I would

02:00:55   ever actually buy a car from that brand because I just never want to have to say it to people.

02:01:00   You don't have to say Jaguar, you can just say Jaguar. You can say Jaguar like Steve

02:01:04   Jobs. Oh god, no I mean, but the problem is like no matter, first of all, it's kind of

02:01:08   of like a dick brand, right?

02:01:10   And it's-- - No!

02:01:12   - You're thinking of BMW.

02:01:13   - No! - No, it's way worse.

02:01:16   I mean, they both are to some degree, but--

02:01:18   - I don't think it is.

02:01:19   It is snootier sounding, but I think if you had to picture

02:01:23   the kind of person who drives a Jaguar

02:01:25   and the kind of person who drives a BMW

02:01:26   and you're gonna sign, you're gonna put a dick label

02:01:28   underneath one of them, it's definitely going

02:01:30   underneath a BMW person.

02:01:32   - Either brand, if somebody asks you out loud

02:01:37   in a room full of other people who are being kind of quiet.

02:01:39   Hey, what brand is your car?

02:01:41   Like, if you have a BMW,

02:01:43   you wanna say that a little bit quietly.

02:01:45   If I had a Jag, I'd be, I'd like,

02:01:47   I would just be like, I don't have a car.

02:01:48   Like, I would just not wanna say.

02:01:52   - I think that the Jaguar product managers,

02:01:56   you know, marketing managers would love to hear you say that

02:01:58   'cause that's the image they want.

02:01:59   They want it to be like Snooty and High Flutin,

02:02:01   but realistically speaking, these days, I don't think it is.

02:02:04   I think Jag would just love to be included

02:02:06   in the same buying decision as Lexus,

02:02:07   let alone BMW and Mercedes.

02:02:09   - Oh yeah, they're totally irrelevant,

02:02:10   but the other factor is like,

02:02:12   I just don't wanna hear everyone tell me how to pronounce it.

02:02:16   Well then, never get a Porsche either.

02:02:17   - I was about to say the same thing.

02:02:18   - Honestly, I was thinking the same thing as I said,

02:02:20   I'm like, you know, yeah, that would also apply

02:02:22   to that brand, which I'm also not even gonna try to say here

02:02:24   because I'm not gonna say it right, now I don't care.

02:02:26   - So anyway, I don't want a stinger.

02:02:30   But yeah, I think you hit the nail on the head, Marco,

02:02:32   about part of the reason why I'm bummed about BMW

02:02:35   really revving my engine anymore is that I haven't figured out what's replaced

02:02:41   replacing it. Like there's a part of me that's enthusiastic about getting a

02:02:45   Wrangler and I'm not trying to open that can of worms but I I don't know that

02:02:49   that's really gonna replace that love because there was a stretch of time that

02:02:52   every time I got in my car I was just thrilled and excited to be sitting in

02:02:57   that chair and now it's it's not an appliance but it's closer to an

02:03:04   appliance than something that gives me pleasure, and that's really unfortunate. And I don't

02:03:11   think I would view a Jeep in quite the same way as I did the BMW circa 2013. And that

02:03:18   just bums me out. I wish I had something to replace that kind of joy in my life. And maybe

02:03:25   I will, but not today.

02:03:26   Maybe it'll be your family. Nah.

02:03:28   No, come on, don't be ridiculous.

02:03:32   can replace this joy says the person who just had a new child. You know what I mean, dammit,

02:03:37   come on. Why you gotta make me sound like such a jerk? Speaking of which, back in Build

02:03:42   and Analyze, I forget like when in the series it was, but sometime during Build and Analyze,

02:03:47   I was talking back then about like, you know, possibly, that was when I was like waffling

02:03:51   over like what car to get and like after the first BMW and I was thinking about something

02:03:56   driving fast and Dan was talking about how he used to care

02:04:01   about fast cars and now he just got minivans

02:04:05   and he was totally fine and he just kinda stopped caring

02:04:08   about driving fast.

02:04:09   - That's a lie because he eventually got an Audi.

02:04:12   - Yeah, his next car was an Audi.

02:04:14   But that sounded to me like that would never happen to me.

02:04:18   I could not fathom that ever happening to me.

02:04:21   I would always care as much as I did then.

02:04:24   And I did care for a while.

02:04:26   I went through some nice fast cars,

02:04:28   and my current car is fast,

02:04:30   but I really do feel myself caring a lot less over time.

02:04:35   And I'm not really taking a little turn

02:04:40   that's down at the bottom of my street

02:04:41   where I can kick it out a little bit

02:04:43   when there's leaves down.

02:04:44   I don't do that anymore.

02:04:45   There's certain highway ramps

02:04:48   that I could go super fast before,

02:04:49   and I just kinda don't do that anymore either.

02:04:52   Even just over the last year,

02:04:53   where I felt myself really chilling out a lot in that way,

02:04:57   where even the other day I was thinking,

02:05:00   maybe on the next one I won't mind so much

02:05:02   that I'm now forced to get the smart air suspension,

02:05:05   which softens the ride.

02:05:06   That sounds kind of nice.

02:05:08   And I realized after I was thinking that,

02:05:09   I'm like, oh my god, who am I?

02:05:11   But like-- - You're Mercedes,

02:05:12   here we come. (laughing)

02:05:15   - Yeah, but I started realizing,

02:05:17   my priorities have changed too.

02:05:19   If I was buying a new car today,

02:05:20   I would still get a Tesla,

02:05:22   I would still get a fast model,

02:05:24   but it's because I would want the biggest range,

02:05:29   which is not the fastest model,

02:05:32   which is the decision I made with this one,

02:05:34   and I would make the exact same decision again.

02:05:36   The speed of it is way less important to me

02:05:38   than the range of it.

02:05:39   I like that it's fast.

02:05:40   I have fun with the speed sometimes,

02:05:43   but it's way less often that that's relevant to me

02:05:46   than it used to be.

02:05:47   And for you, Casey, as we've mentioned in the past,

02:05:50   being a car enthusiast is so much a part of your identity.

02:05:54   And it need not be, that's an option that you have.

02:05:57   - Oh, I understand, yeah, yeah.

02:05:59   - But you still, you have a lot of that love,

02:06:02   and to some degree you probably always will.

02:06:06   But it's okay if it comes to this,

02:06:10   if you realize this in introspection,

02:06:13   it's okay for your priorities to change,

02:06:16   or for the significance that you apply to certain factors

02:06:21   to be rearranged or to shift around.

02:06:26   And so you said you used to be really thrilled

02:06:30   getting in your car and now it's more of a function,

02:06:34   and part of that is because you've had this car for a while

02:06:37   so it's no longer as novel.

02:06:38   Part of that is because you kind of hate this car

02:06:40   because of how much it costs you.

02:06:42   - Also true.

02:06:43   But part of that's also like you are growing up.

02:06:46   You're what, six, seven years older now than when you got it?

02:06:51   - He's growing up, he's in his mid-30s, he's getting old.

02:06:53   You stop growing up.

02:06:55   - We're always growing up.

02:06:57   - You start getting old at a certain point,

02:06:59   and I think you, guess what, you're getting old now.

02:07:01   - We are continuing to get old,

02:07:02   some of us older than others.

02:07:03   - Get busy living or get busy dying.

02:07:05   Finally, something you'll both get.

02:07:07   Reference acknowledged.

02:07:08   - Whatever it is, it's okay to change over time

02:07:12   and to recognize that that's what's happening.

02:07:13   - And I agree with you.

02:07:16   The thing is, I don't feel like I'm that different.

02:07:19   I agree that I am slightly different,

02:07:21   and the joy I get from Aaron's car is indication to me

02:07:26   that I am feeling differently,

02:07:27   because Aaron's car feels to me anyway very cushy.

02:07:31   It has a lot of those techno bits that your car has,

02:07:34   not exactly the same, but there's an app

02:07:37   where I can start it remotely,

02:07:38   and I know you're like, "Aha, what's an engine?"

02:07:40   you get what I'm driving at. And I get a lot of pleasure from Aaron's car, despite the

02:07:46   fact that it's big, it's slow, according to John, tips over if you steer more than, you

02:07:52   know, five degrees laterally. But in every way it's wrong from the list of things that

02:08:00   Casey enjoys. But I do like it. And I think the thing that the crisis I'm having is that

02:08:06   I don't feel like I'm that different.

02:08:09   Like all I really want in the world is somebody that is not BMW to make me either a 340 sedan

02:08:17   or an M3.

02:08:19   And I don't think that really exists.

02:08:22   And there was a report, I'm not going to be able to find the link, but a friend of mine,

02:08:26   Brad, sent me a report, some rumors that the 3 Series is going to lose the stick in the

02:08:32   next generation, which isn't particularly surprising, but is kind of devastating. And

02:08:37   I know I need to just wake up and smell reality that the three-pedal cars are not long for

02:08:41   this world. But I feel like I'm being—this is a lot of words to say—I feel like I'm

02:08:45   being abandoned. And BMW is supposed to help me, and it sounds like they're abandoning

02:08:51   me. And either way, I'm grumpy about the fact that this car has cost me a bazillion dollars.

02:08:56   So I just, I feel like I'm a Ronin, right? Like I'm a man without a master now. And that

02:09:01   bums me out because I want to be able to find a car that gives me that joy again.

02:09:06   And you know, the Giulia did give me a lot of that joy, and maybe I would feel slightly

02:09:12   differently about it if there was literally no other options. Like if there were no three

02:09:16   pedal cars. But you know what I mean? Like, I feel like I've been left wanting, and that

02:09:23   kind of bums me out because I feel like I'm the same as I've always been. Older and maybe

02:09:29   wiser and certainly slower, but I...

02:09:32   At least older.

02:09:33   Yeah, at least older.

02:09:35   But you know what I mean?

02:09:36   I feel like nothing is filling that void, even though I'm ready for something to fill

02:09:40   that void.

02:09:40   [door closes]

02:09:42   [BLANK_AUDIO]