235: Notch-Savvy


00:00:00   I didn't see you out there swimming in the waves. In fact, I've never seen you swimming in them.

00:00:06   There's a reason for that.

00:00:07   That's the next level of your beach education, learning how to swim in the ocean.

00:00:10   Yeah, that's unlikely. Because the ocean is full of things that eat you and stuff.

00:00:14   They're not going to eat you, it's fine. Don't you see all the people playing? They live, they go back to their homes, it's fine.

00:00:20   Most of them.

00:00:21   Yeah, every day, every day. The jellyfish are just taking people.

00:00:28   So we haven't spoken to each other in like a week and a half, two weeks, something like that.

00:00:32   But we are back together again, back on the normal schedule.

00:00:35   We'll be back on the normal schedule, as far as we know, for at least a little while.

00:00:38   Probably until the holidays start picking up.

00:00:40   And, you know, if things are gonna go back to normal, we have to do what we always do.

00:00:44   And that is your favorite segment, and mine, and especially Jon's.

00:00:48   -Ask ATP? -Yeah, that's it.

00:00:51   No, it's follow-up.

00:00:52   So, we are starting with the streaming music iPod shuffle-like thing, which is apparently

00:00:59   something that Spotify—I don't know if it's—is it First Party?

00:01:04   I don't know.

00:01:05   Anyway, it's a thing that's for Spotify that's called Mighty, which is a peculiar name, that

00:01:10   is basically an iPod shuffle, but for Spotify, from what I've gathered.

00:01:13   So John, can you tell me a little more about this?

00:01:15   Everybody sent us links to this thing, and eventually The Verge picked it up, too, so

00:01:20   That's what we'll link in the show notes because we're talking about placing the market for

00:01:26   something like an iPod shuffle.

00:01:28   But this doesn't really qualify because first of all it's not 50 bucks, it's 85.

00:01:33   Second it does not have cell data access, it only has Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

00:01:38   So you know we're saying last show, was it last show?

00:01:41   Maybe the show before.

00:01:43   Eventually you'll be able to make one of these for 50 bucks that can just stream music.

00:01:46   We're not there yet, but this one definitely looks like

00:01:49   Doesn't look like an iPod shuffle. It looks like a

00:01:52   Fisher Price version

00:01:55   It's probably better

00:01:56   This is the thing I was annoying about the shuffles that it's so minimal and you needed to like

00:02:01   Feel your hand on it to do like a volume up or down or next previous track, right?

00:02:06   You could find the middle button pretty well

00:02:07   But because it was a circle trying to make sure that you're hitting up on the circle instead of right or left

00:02:15   Which could be very bad if you're in the middle of a podcast especially before they got the software updated or if your track got

00:02:20   Rude wasn't marked as a podcast and iTunes and it was just a song and you hit the button and just lose your place entirely

00:02:25   You couldn't feel with your finger. What is up and what is down?

00:02:29   This was a little bit better because the center thing is a square so you could feel the flat edge anyway

00:02:33   It's just another coincidence of a product that is kind of like what we're talking about but not really like it

00:02:41   So we'll come back in ten years

00:02:43   (laughing)

00:02:45   - All right, Marco, tell me about audio bit depth,

00:02:48   because apparently we got that ever so slightly wrong.

00:02:51   - Well, I wouldn't say that.

00:02:52   (laughing)

00:02:53   - Oh, here we go.

00:02:55   - So last year we had some discussion about

00:02:57   whether Apple should or ever will sell

00:03:00   higher resolution music, you know,

00:03:02   so like the audiophile world loves high bit rate,

00:03:05   high sample rate music like 24, 192, and stuff like that.

00:03:08   So Amaya Matra writes in to say,

00:03:11   "Well, I understand high resolution audio

00:03:12   "and for everybody, I was disappointed that you guys

00:03:14   "get the basic terminology wrong.

00:03:15   "Given the technical bias of your show and audience,

00:03:17   "a follow-up item addressing the difference

00:03:18   "between bit depth and bit rate would be appreciated."

00:03:22   So bit rate is how many bits an encoding scheme

00:03:29   is using usually per second to encode the total music.

00:03:32   So in a lossy scheme, this basically, like MP3,

00:03:35   there would be like 128 kilobits per second.

00:03:38   And that is just like the quality level

00:03:40   of the music that you're getting.

00:03:41   it's how many bits it will allocate to representing it,

00:03:44   and usually the more bits you allocate to it,

00:03:46   the higher quality you can achieve

00:03:47   and the less you have to throw away.

00:03:49   Bit depth is basically talking about

00:03:52   how precise the samples are.

00:03:54   You know, everybody can kind of picture

00:03:56   what a wave looks like, you know,

00:03:58   that's how sound waves come in

00:03:59   and are represented in the uncompressed form.

00:04:01   This actually doesn't apply to things like MP3

00:04:04   quite the same way because the way

00:04:06   the sound is represented is different,

00:04:08   but basically when you're looking at just a pure waveform,

00:04:11   and the way that's represented in like a lossless file

00:04:14   or a wave or AIFF.

00:04:17   Every sample of audio, so you have a sample rate

00:04:20   of like 44,100 samples per second

00:04:22   or whatever else represented as hertz,

00:04:24   every one of those samples, it's representing

00:04:26   the amplitude of that wave as a number.

00:04:30   And the bit depth is the precision of those numbers.

00:04:33   So if it's 16-bit like CDs, then that is represented

00:04:36   by a 16-bit signed integer.

00:04:38   If it's 24-bit, you have more bits.

00:04:40   if it's usually, I think a 24, or I think beyond 24,

00:04:44   I think it's always float,

00:04:45   and you have floating point representations.

00:04:48   And the reason these matter is that

00:04:51   as you're encoding the music to these samples,

00:04:54   you have to fit a number, the value that you're getting

00:04:58   from the analog or whatever,

00:05:00   you have to fit the value of that into this many bits

00:05:03   of a number per sample.

00:05:05   And so there's a certain degree of rounding that happens,

00:05:08   and a certain degree of error that's introduced

00:05:10   as part of that rounding.

00:05:12   If you only have 16 bits, then that kinda limits

00:05:15   your resolution of how precise of a number

00:05:18   you can represent there.

00:05:20   And so there's all sorts of complicated things

00:05:21   that go on in DAX and ADCs about basically

00:05:25   how you round the numbers in such a way

00:05:28   to minimize the error or to hide the error

00:05:31   in different noise patterns and everything else.

00:05:34   As you increase the error rate,

00:05:37   you increase the noise floor.

00:05:39   So you reduce the signal to noise ratio,

00:05:42   that's the difference between the loudest sound you can hear

00:05:44   and the quietest sound that can be represented,

00:05:46   but you know, below the noise floor.

00:05:47   So you basically increase like the hiss level

00:05:49   at the very bottom of the track.

00:05:51   The reason why audio files freak out about this

00:05:54   is because when you go from 16 bit to 24 bit,

00:05:57   which is where they usually go,

00:05:59   the noise floor does drop considerably.

00:06:01   There's a great Wikipedia article titled

00:06:02   Audio Bit Depth, you should check it out.

00:06:05   Basically the noise floor at 24 bits for bit depth

00:06:10   is 144 decibels, and at 16 bits, the regular CD standard,

00:06:14   it's only 96.

00:06:15   So that's a pretty big difference.

00:06:18   However, the reason this doesn't really matter

00:06:21   for the most part is that 96 decibels

00:06:24   of signal to noise ratio covers the human audible

00:06:27   hearing range pretty well.

00:06:29   The actual human audible hearing range

00:06:30   is something like 120 decibels.

00:06:32   It varies per person a little bit,

00:06:33   but it's around 120 decibels.

00:06:35   So it actually isn't representing

00:06:36   the entire human audible hearing range,

00:06:40   but it's like you don't want to turn your speakers up

00:06:43   so loud that you're actually damaging your eardrums.

00:06:47   Like the human hearing range can go much higher in volume

00:06:51   than what you actually should ever be listening to

00:06:53   on a sustained basis.

00:06:54   Like that's like a rock concert

00:06:56   or a jet airplane flying overhead or things like that.

00:06:59   If you listen at any reasonable length

00:07:02   to something that loud, you're gonna damage your hearing

00:07:04   pretty quickly, permanently.

00:07:06   So, 96 decibels of signal to noise ratio,

00:07:09   which is what you get from CD quality 16-bit audio,

00:07:13   is good enough upon listening.

00:07:15   Where it matters is if you are editing,

00:07:19   if you're recording, like I record my end of the show

00:07:22   as 24-bit, I record audio as 24-bit whenever I can,

00:07:25   or as float even, whenever I can,

00:07:26   which is 32-bit usually, because when you're editing,

00:07:29   you're changing the numbers, you're processing the audio.

00:07:31   And so if you have rounding error, over time that could add

00:07:34   up after you apply a certain number of like filters

00:07:37   or adjustments or anything like that.

00:07:39   And then that 96 decibels of noise floor that was in the

00:07:41   original signal, once you process it a few times

00:07:44   and you're rounding off the numbers a few more times,

00:07:46   you might actually have more error in the signal than that.

00:07:49   And the noise floor might start to become audible.

00:07:52   So where higher bit rate audio makes sense is in mastering

00:07:56   and editing and recording.

00:07:58   But the final shift version that you release to the public

00:08:01   or the version that you, the listener, are listening to

00:08:04   doesn't need to be more than 16-bit

00:08:06   for almost any reason whatsoever.

00:08:08   - All right.

00:08:10   - Sorry. - Well, that solves that.

00:08:11   (laughing)

00:08:13   It's as though, Marco, that you really care about audio.

00:08:17   I don't understand where this comes from.

00:08:18   - If you want, also, there's a wonderful video

00:08:21   that explains a lot of this.

00:08:23   There's a guy, Monty, I think his full name

00:08:24   is Chris Montgomery.

00:08:25   He is either the guy or one of the people

00:08:28   who invented the Ogg Vorbis audio codec.

00:08:30   and he has a lot of great explainers out there

00:08:34   about basically like why you don't need

00:08:36   higher than CD quality audio as a listener.

00:08:39   And explains a lot of that stuff.

00:08:40   I learned a lot from that and some other research,

00:08:42   but we'll put both these links in the show notes,

00:08:44   both that video and the Wikipedia article

00:08:46   on audio bit depth.

00:08:48   - Excellent.

00:08:49   So we had a couple of thoughts,

00:08:51   or listeners had a couple of thoughts

00:08:53   about the iPhone Pro Notch.

00:08:56   And I'm embarrassed to admit that there's one thought

00:08:59   that I didn't consider. So I'm in the camp that I think, not having seen anything of course,

00:09:05   that it makes the most sense to kind of hide the notch. So hypothetically, the area adjacent to the

00:09:12   notch would be all black, so it would all kind of blend together and it would just look like

00:09:15   empty screen in the center, and it would look not too dissimilar from the way a phone looks today.

00:09:20   But somebody, maybe it was one of you guys, thought, "Well, okay smart guy, what happens

00:09:25   when you go landscape?

00:09:27   And I don't have a good answer for that.

00:09:29   So I'm really ashamed of myself

00:09:33   that I didn't even think about this

00:09:34   until I saw this in the show notes.

00:09:35   So Marco, what do you think about what happens

00:09:38   when you put this supposed phone in landscape?

00:09:42   - So obviously it depends on like

00:09:43   how they handle the notch in the UI.

00:09:45   If the notch is basically hidden

00:09:47   and you just have like status bar black on left and right

00:09:50   and then you have like a square window below it

00:09:52   that takes up the rest of the screen,

00:09:54   which as I mentioned previously,

00:09:55   that's what I kinda hope they do.

00:09:57   If that's what they do, then I think it's pretty easy.

00:10:00   In landscape, you just leave those little strips black

00:10:04   and you don't use them at all.

00:10:07   That's probably not what they will do.

00:10:08   I have a feeling what they actually will do is

00:10:11   shove translucent UI under those

00:10:13   and have ways to actually use it

00:10:16   in a way that might be kind of awkward.

00:10:18   Now in landscape, the only reason I think anybody

00:10:21   used their phones in landscape,

00:10:23   I think probably the big ones are watching video,

00:10:26   although even that, a lot of people watch it

00:10:28   in portrait anyway, just because that's how they are used

00:10:31   to holding their phones.

00:10:32   Also, certain games play in landscape,

00:10:35   although again, I think the most successful ones

00:10:36   play in portrait on the phone.

00:10:38   And then the other thing is, I guess,

00:10:40   when you're taking video or shooting with the camera,

00:10:42   you might rotate it.

00:10:43   So all those things could, they could make ways

00:10:46   to use the notch in a few clever ways,

00:10:50   like maybe a game could show some controls in there,

00:10:53   maybe the camera can shove some controls in there.

00:10:55   But I have a feeling most of what we're gonna see

00:10:57   is basically going to be in landscape,

00:10:59   the notch just becomes black and you don't see it at all.

00:11:03   - Yeah, I think you can't do anything

00:11:05   with the notch in landscape

00:11:08   because anything that you would think of doing

00:11:10   would represent data loss to the content.

00:11:13   In portrait, the status bar is not your content,

00:11:16   it's part of the UI.

00:11:17   So you can do whatever dance you wanna do

00:11:19   with the status bar, whether it hides in there

00:11:21   or the status bar is below or whatever, but if you're in landscape and you're doing video

00:11:27   or something, even if the OS lets you go edge to edge and use the notches, what if you want

00:11:32   to see what's under the camera things?

00:11:34   It's like, oh, something's in my way.

00:11:35   I can't see what the camera's shooting there.

00:11:38   Maybe that's not important.

00:11:39   What was it?

00:11:40   There was something that I was angry about.

00:11:42   Oh, I think it was like QuickTime Player many years ago, maybe still now.

00:11:47   I don't know.

00:11:48   I still use QuickTime Player 7.

00:11:49   At one point, Apple, I believe Apple, released a video player, I think it was the QuickTime

00:11:55   player, that would show video in a window with rounded corners.

00:12:01   And it was like, "Don't chop off the corners, there's video in those corners."

00:12:05   Well, not that there's a lot of video, but there is video there.

00:12:08   And you're just like, "No, you don't need to see that, because it's more important for

00:12:11   this window to have rounded corners than for you to see the video that's in that corner."

00:12:16   And I know it's a small thing, but just on the principle, it's like, if you do that,

00:12:21   I don't even have the option to see what's under the notch, right?

00:12:26   So I think you have to just when you go into landscape, I feel like the OS should just

00:12:32   enforce entirely.

00:12:33   Maybe games can come up with something clever to do, like little men climb on the notch,

00:12:36   right?

00:12:37   Or the notch is like a little gun turd or something.

00:12:38   But beyond that, that'd be awesome.

00:12:40   I mean, yeah, because you can incorporate it and be fun, but it would only work in this

00:12:44   one model of phone.

00:12:45   It's just so much safer to say when it goes in landscape.

00:12:47   Forget about the notch.

00:12:48   We don't light up the pixels on either side of it.

00:12:50   The thing is just, you know, it's just a straight line

00:12:53   down the edge.

00:12:54   I also saw, by the way, another mock-up image a while ago

00:12:59   showing screen real estate-wise, what do you

00:13:02   get with the edge-to-edge phone.

00:13:03   And I know this can't be true because this one's

00:13:05   got to be wider than the iPhone 7 II,

00:13:06   but it was like basically trying to say you don't really

00:13:10   get any new space because all the new pixels on the bottom

00:13:13   are taken up essentially with the home button area

00:13:15   and whatever they're gonna do there.

00:13:17   And this thing was assuming that like the UI nav bar

00:13:20   wasn't gonna throw stuff there.

00:13:21   And at the top, you've got the notch

00:13:23   and then you got a little sliver of space

00:13:27   and then you've got the normal iPhone size screen

00:13:29   in between those two things.

00:13:30   And a little sliver of space was like,

00:13:33   look like a little status bar.

00:13:34   So the idea was that,

00:13:36   I guess if you had a non optimized

00:13:38   for iPhone pro application,

00:13:42   it would show its status bar below the notch

00:13:44   in the traditional way,

00:13:45   because between the bottom of the notch

00:13:47   and the top of the software home button area

00:13:50   would be a screen that is the same resolution

00:13:52   as some existing iPhone.

00:13:54   Anyway, that's the impression I got from this image.

00:13:56   But the more I think about it,

00:13:57   the more I think that can't possibly be the case

00:13:59   because at the very least it should be wider

00:14:00   than the other stuff.

00:14:01   But it would be weird if there was like

00:14:04   a backward compatibility mode for unmodified apps

00:14:08   that were not like notch savvy.

00:14:11   You know what I mean?

00:14:12   Like, they could, they,

00:14:13   'cause they, you know, and he was like,

00:14:15   Apple wouldn't do that, it's inelegant.

00:14:16   They took, they, you know, phone apps run at 2X

00:14:18   on your iPad to this day, and it looks terrible.

00:14:20   And they zoom things that have not been updated

00:14:23   for the iPhone 5 form, but like,

00:14:26   in the past they've done that,

00:14:28   and it's been a good choice, because like,

00:14:29   look, if people don't update their apps,

00:14:31   we'll make them run as close as possible

00:14:32   to the way they used to run.

00:14:34   So the app has no idea that it's running

00:14:35   on a totally new, weird phone.

00:14:37   It just looks a little bit strange,

00:14:39   but it's completely compatible,

00:14:40   because we don't do anything weird.

00:14:41   And I can imagine that happening with this new phone,

00:14:45   which will be bad, but I guess it'll motivate people

00:14:49   to incorporate the notch into their applications.

00:14:52   - Fair enough.

00:14:55   Now why bother having the notch in the first place?

00:14:57   - Again, this is one of my thoughts.

00:15:00   Why are we doing this?

00:15:03   We have a notch, like the edge to edge screen.

00:15:06   All right, yeah, we want to have an edge to edge screen,

00:15:07   but why do we have to have a notch to that?

00:15:09   You can go all the way to the left edge,

00:15:11   all the way to the right edge,

00:15:12   and all the way to the bottom edge.

00:15:14   All you had to do is not go all the way to the top edge.

00:15:16   Instead of having a notch,

00:15:18   you have a presumably very thin little forehead.

00:15:22   It would still be a quote unquote edge to edge screen

00:15:25   as compared to all iPhones previously

00:15:28   which had very large chins and foreheads, right?

00:15:31   The notch is asymmetrical

00:15:33   and so would the skinny little forehead version.

00:15:37   but it's less asymmetrical, John, the notch, I mean.

00:15:41   - Well, but the whole point is there's something on top

00:15:45   that's not on the bottom,

00:15:46   whether it's a skinny thing that's on top, anyway.

00:15:49   And it would just eliminate an entire class

00:15:52   of weird solver problems.

00:15:53   So presumably Apple has done a lot of work in the OS

00:15:56   and in the frameworks, figuring out the answers

00:15:58   to all these questions that we're just guessing at now.

00:16:00   They've figured out answers to all of these.

00:16:02   They've decided what they're gonna do

00:16:03   in all these different cases, tested applications,

00:16:06   test the new API so you can be notch savvy

00:16:08   and do all this stuff, right?

00:16:10   All of that work would go away

00:16:11   if they just made the notch go from edge to edge,

00:16:14   but I guess the phone wouldn't look as cool.

00:16:16   And then, you know, I don't know,

00:16:18   like does anyone else have a notch?

00:16:19   Is Apple gonna be the first notch?

00:16:21   I know there are phones out there

00:16:22   that already look like edge to edge screen,

00:16:24   but with a little skinny forehead.

00:16:25   So maybe Apple just didn't wanna look like that.

00:16:26   - Can't innovate anymore, my ass.

00:16:29   - This would be one of those things where

00:16:31   if Apple was like other companies

00:16:35   And like, you could, they have like interviews

00:16:38   with the designers, like you get the whole team

00:16:40   that designed the new iPhone and they'd have to do

00:16:42   a big article and like wired or something and be like,

00:16:44   tell me about your motivation for designing that.

00:16:46   And they would like explain why they went with the notch.

00:16:49   Right? But we never get those reasons.

00:16:50   Just like, this is the phone, here it is.

00:16:52   Maybe there's a sentence and a keynote about it,

00:16:55   which Apple will never ever elaborate on.

00:16:57   And like, so we just, we just have to wait 20 years

00:17:01   for the tell all books, but it's a bit of a head scratcher

00:17:04   for me because I think it looks cool with the notch.

00:17:07   I think there's gonna be some interesting possibilities

00:17:09   there, but it is a heck of a lot of work.

00:17:11   And it seems like a stop gap.

00:17:14   Like are we gonna have notches forever?

00:17:16   Presumably whatever tech issues necessitate the notch

00:17:20   will diminish over time.

00:17:22   Either you're able to embed those sensors someplace else,

00:17:24   or you'll be able to make such a skinny forehead

00:17:26   that it won't even be a forehead,

00:17:27   and it'll just be like the thing goes to edge to edge.

00:17:29   I don't know, this is not the permanent state of all,

00:17:32   Like will all future iPhones have notches

00:17:35   for the next seven years?

00:17:36   There's just gonna be notches from here to there,

00:17:37   but they're doing all this work with the OS and everything.

00:17:40   It would seem like a waste if it's just like,

00:17:43   remember that time we rejiggered all the frameworks

00:17:46   in the OS for this one phone,

00:17:47   and it was the only one that ended up having a notch?

00:17:49   I don't know.

00:17:51   We'll find out in the fall, I guess.

00:17:53   - Yeah, this is why what I want to happen,

00:17:56   although I don't think this is what will happen again,

00:17:58   but what I want to happen here is

00:18:01   I want the notch to basically be invisible in the software.

00:18:05   Like, I want it to just have a status bar on left and right.

00:18:08   Then you get the extra 20 point height

00:18:11   that the status bar would have taken up in the main screen.

00:18:13   You can shove that up into this little side area

00:18:16   where there is no center, but you can rearrange status bar,

00:18:19   and the application frame is just everything below that.

00:18:22   I would love that that was the solution.

00:18:24   I don't want, as a user and as a programmer of apps

00:18:27   for this thing, and as a designer of the app,

00:18:29   I do not want to have to deal with the notch.

00:18:31   I think it will be clunky and weird

00:18:34   and I think it will look weird as a user.

00:18:35   I'm not looking forward to that at all

00:18:36   and I do think it looks like an inelegant hack

00:18:40   and if Samsung would have released that notch

00:18:43   and Apple didn't, we'd make fun of them for it.

00:18:45   That's exactly the kind of thing where we'd be like,

00:18:47   oh, you guys are bad at design, look at this stupid notch.

00:18:49   Just like the flat tire Moto 360 watch.

00:18:52   We made fun of that relentlessly.

00:18:54   Everyone in Apple World did

00:18:56   because that was like a bad design hack

00:18:59   to get around a physical shortcoming.

00:19:01   I don't see how the notch is any different.

00:19:03   That looks like a bad design hack

00:19:04   to get around a physical shortcoming to me.

00:19:06   Again, we'll see what happens

00:19:07   when we see the final software,

00:19:09   but I really do not want the UI in any way

00:19:13   to wrap around that except the status bar

00:19:16   in a way that you barely even notice.

00:19:18   But because of that leaked image from the HomeBot firmware

00:19:21   showing that notch as like the recognizable iconic shape

00:19:25   of this phone, that's the reason I'm concerned

00:19:28   that they're not doing it that way.

00:19:29   - That would just be the lock screen, like you said.

00:19:31   - It may, yeah, maybe just the lock screen.

00:19:32   That wouldn't be too bad.

00:19:34   But if it's any other parts of the UI,

00:19:36   like if they scroll translucent bars under there

00:19:38   or anything like that, I really,

00:19:40   I don't think I'm going to like that.

00:19:42   Again, that seems like a bad design hack, not good design.

00:19:47   - So people in the chat room are posting pictures

00:19:49   of, of course, Android phones

00:19:51   that have their own little notches.

00:19:53   The one they're showing here is a very tiny notch

00:19:55   It just wraps around one little front-facing camera because obviously the, you know, why

00:19:59   does the new phone supposedly have a notch instead of just this little tiny button-like

00:20:04   cutout?

00:20:05   Because it's got to have more than just a camera there.

00:20:07   Maybe it'll have two front-facing cameras.

00:20:08   Certainly it's got the IR sensor for depth of the face stuff.

00:20:10   Like who knows what's in that notch.

00:20:12   But it can't be as small as this.

00:20:13   But anyway, as in all things, Android phones have done it first.

00:20:19   So I think actually Simpsons did it first, Jon.

00:20:21   Then Opera.

00:20:22   Then Opera.

00:20:23   That's right.

00:20:24   "Did it" is the line. "Opera did it first" is that joke, so I think Opera wins this one.

00:20:30   Thank you. Did you really just well actually me?

00:20:33   You sure did. The sad part is he's right.

00:20:37   We are sponsored this week by Eero. Go to Eero.com and use code ATP for free overnight

00:20:43   shipping. Wi-Fi, when you only have one router, just doesn't cover houses very well. Because

00:20:48   Wi-Fi waves don't go through walls as well as they go through open spaces and you get

00:20:52   these dead zones and everything else.

00:20:54   Eero is designed to solve that problem.

00:20:56   Because businesses and schools and campuses

00:20:59   have done this for a long time,

00:21:01   they use multiple access points.

00:21:02   And if you did this for your home,

00:21:04   it was very, very complicated before Eero.

00:21:06   Eero makes it incredibly easy to have

00:21:09   a distributed Wi-Fi system, enterprise-grade Wi-Fi,

00:21:13   in your home with the easiest setup

00:21:15   of any system I've ever seen.

00:21:17   All you do, you plug it in, you use their app

00:21:19   on your iPhone or your Android phone,

00:21:21   and it sets it up and you have to do literally almost nothing.

00:21:24   So you get the one main unit.

00:21:26   And they've actually just updated their hardware.

00:21:28   The old ones are great too, but they just

00:21:30   did the Generation 2 system.

00:21:32   So this has the main unit, which is now tri-band and twice

00:21:36   as fast as the first one.

00:21:37   Has a whole other radio.

00:21:39   You have now these secondary units.

00:21:41   They used to be the same as the main unit.

00:21:43   Now they have these little ones called beacons.

00:21:45   And they are even smaller, even simpler.

00:21:47   They look like kind of just slightly larger

00:21:49   than a nightlight.

00:21:50   and you just plug it in and it sits flush in your outlet.

00:21:52   It looks amazing, it's tiny, it's unobtrusive.

00:21:54   They even actually have night lights

00:21:56   in the bottom of the beacons, which is pretty cool.

00:21:59   So if you put it like in a hallway or anything.

00:22:00   And it makes it so easy to place anywhere.

00:22:02   And that covers the whole house.

00:22:04   And they don't have to be wired to each other.

00:22:06   Only the first one has to be wired

00:22:08   to your home's internet connection.

00:22:09   And the other ones, they distribute the wifi

00:22:13   with a mesh network between themselves.

00:22:15   So you don't have to worry about running ethernet wires

00:22:17   to your access points or anything else.

00:22:19   It's super, super easy.

00:22:21   With the new second generation and the Eero Beacon,

00:22:23   performance is even better, the looks are even nicer,

00:22:26   and it's even smaller.

00:22:27   What you need is this kind of system.

00:22:29   Single routers are not good enough anymore.

00:22:31   They don't cover houses, we all know that.

00:22:33   We've all done that for years.

00:22:34   No matter how many antennas you put on one,

00:22:36   it doesn't cover everything.

00:22:37   And Eero is by far the easiest way to do this

00:22:39   I've ever seen.

00:22:40   So check it out, they have great support if you need it.

00:22:42   They have great pricing.

00:22:43   Go to Eero.com and use promo code ATP

00:22:47   to get free overnight shipping.

00:22:49   Thanks to Eero for sponsoring our show.

00:22:51   (upbeat music)

00:22:54   - Anyway, Rustam Karimov of 1Password,

00:22:58   I believe a co-founder if I'm not mistaken,

00:23:00   has written a blog post to say among other things,

00:23:02   1Password 7th Windows will be getting support

00:23:04   for standalone vaults,

00:23:05   which is the thing that started the big kerfuffle

00:23:07   a few weeks ago.

00:23:09   Also WLAN sync and different license related information.

00:23:14   John, any other thoughts you wanna add on this?

00:23:17   No, just that this is another in the pattern we've seen for a couple of years now, like

00:23:23   a company will change some part of its product, either the features or the business model

00:23:28   or both, and then a bunch of people get angry about it, and then there's always the follow-up

00:23:33   where they've incorporated the feedback from their customers.

00:23:36   They were taken by surprise by how angry people were about a particular thing, and they were

00:23:42   like, "All right, well, we can change that."

00:23:43   reassure people that like we're not gonna you know the description thing is

00:23:46   not going to take away your ability to have all your stuff locally you don't

00:23:49   have to use the cloud so on and so forth so looks like they are doing the right

00:23:53   things yeah I saw a lot of feedback about this a lot of people talked about

00:24:00   well if if everything goes subscription then I'm not gonna have any money for

00:24:06   anything anymore and I don't know I feel like we should address that perhaps

00:24:11   again. I don't know, did we talk about this before? I think Marco covered it the last time we talked

00:24:16   about it. I agree. It's fresh in my memory because I listened to those shows just recently to catch

00:24:22   up on them. But yeah, like, I mean, it's kind of a slippery slope argument, but so far it hasn't

00:24:26   happened. And there's a natural counterbalance, which is, well, if people don't like it, they

00:24:31   won't buy it. And if they don't buy it, people won't do it. Like, so it's, you know, there's,

00:24:34   there aren't many forces in the mix here that are going to cause this dystopia to

00:24:41   happen despite the fact that users don't want it. Like it's possible for there to

00:24:46   be countervailing forces for example if Apple said hey guess what the only way

00:24:50   you could sell applications in the app course is subscription but that that's

00:24:53   not the way things are so it's not not time to be worried about it now. Don't

00:24:58   like it don't buy it. Exactly exactly what I was gonna say if something if

00:25:02   If something that you like but don't love suddenly becomes subscription, then guess

00:25:06   what?

00:25:07   You have an option, which is not to get a subscription.

00:25:10   That's okay.

00:25:11   The one thing I will say, though, is that if an app goes from not subscription to subscription,

00:25:17   there's no way around that that's going to happen from time to time.

00:25:21   And that is tough, right?

00:25:22   Because here it is, you thought you paid for something in some cases that you would have

00:25:26   for a while, although you should not have expected that you have it forever.

00:25:29   And then the cost changes.

00:25:31   And that's a bummer like I don't mean to be sarcastic at all about that that really is a bummer

00:25:36   But there's different trade-offs to like that one person who said like what if I lose my job

00:25:40   I don't want to also lose all my programs because I can't afford to pay their monthly bills anymore

00:25:44   Well, you know that's the smile I wait for lose my job

00:25:47   I don't want to lose cable TV because I can't afford the bill anymore

00:25:49   Well, you know I was like well

00:25:50   I need the software to do my job like there presumably every single application in an entire category won't be subscription

00:25:57   Right, or even if it is maybe they'll have varying subscriptions and right now the subscriptions are like three bucks a month

00:26:03   So I feel like if you can't script either three dollars a month

00:26:05   You have much bigger problems than not being able to use your graphics program to produce spec work

00:26:10   Which you shouldn't be doing anyway to get your next job. So anyway

00:26:13   You know

00:26:15   In times of hardship many things are difficult

00:26:18   From paying your rent to your food your health insurance

00:26:21   Your software licenses are just another one of those potential things that could be a problem

00:26:27   But, you know, if there's a need for this, and if this is a real problem, someone will

00:26:31   fill it by selling a program for a fixed price and, you know, selling upgrades in the traditional

00:26:37   way or going out of business because they can't sustain their one application.

00:26:41   But hey, you've got it until it stops working.

00:26:43   I mean, there's always options, too.

00:26:44   Like, you know, look at what, like, high school kids and college kids and people in developing

00:26:49   countries, like, there's a lot of markets of people who can't afford a bunch of software

00:26:53   licenses or subscriptions, and they find other options.

00:26:57   Piracy maybe is not the best option,

00:26:59   but it's certainly a widespread one.

00:27:01   A much better option is free software alternatives.

00:27:04   Almost every kind of task you can do in a computer today

00:27:07   has some kind of free software alternative

00:27:09   to the big name one.

00:27:10   Photoshop, Illustrator, audio processing stuff,

00:27:14   almost all these big creative apps or productivity apps,

00:27:18   they almost all have freeware alternatives,

00:27:20   free open source, if not just free alternatives.

00:27:24   And not to mention, all the stuff built into the OS

00:27:27   these days or doing things on iOS and Android where the apps cost very, very little money

00:27:33   usually and usually you buy it once if anything and it's free and you can do a lot of free

00:27:39   stuff there or do a lot of inexpensive stuff there with tools that are really good these

00:27:43   days. There's lots of options now. I think the "I can't afford all my software subscriptions"

00:27:51   is mostly a complaint from people who very much

00:27:55   can afford them and are just looking for a reason

00:27:58   to be upset about a pricing change.

00:28:00   Because when you change the business model,

00:28:02   that's when people get upset.

00:28:04   It matters a lot less what you change it to

00:28:06   than the fact that you changed it and people feel

00:28:09   maybe surprised or caught off guard by that

00:28:12   or feel like they're being taken advantage of

00:28:14   like after the fact you're changing the deal,

00:28:16   you know, after the fact, you know, I know,

00:28:17   pray you don't answer it further, et cetera.

00:28:20   Again, I don't think this is a real issue.

00:28:22   I don't think this is something that anybody

00:28:24   is actually facing hardship over in any real numbers.

00:28:28   This is people complaining who very much can't afford it

00:28:31   and are just mad.

00:28:33   And for the people who truly can't afford it,

00:28:34   there's lots of great options out there

00:28:36   that are either inexpensive or free.

00:28:39   And many of them are built into the OS you already have

00:28:42   and whatever isn't, you can get in your app store of choice

00:28:45   or your online repository of software of choice

00:28:49   for very little money or nothing usually.

00:28:51   Because this is not like, people have used computers

00:28:54   without paying for things on them for a very long time.

00:28:57   And this is a solved problem in so many ways.

00:29:01   - All right, Giaro wants to know,

00:29:03   is there any reason not to use

00:29:04   the built-in calibration tools on the Apple TV?

00:29:07   You can get to that from the Apple TV settings,

00:29:09   audio and video calibrate.

00:29:11   - You can use them, but they're terrible.

00:29:13   I mean, like they're,

00:29:14   (laughing)

00:29:15   - Of course you can. - They're not terrible,

00:29:16   they're limited.

00:29:17   I think that all it does is like screen bounds and maybe like one other thing.

00:29:23   Like it doesn't do all the color, white balance, grayscale, brightness, contrast, you know,

00:29:30   it doesn't do all that stuff.

00:29:31   If they want to improve that in the future versions of UEOS it would be great, but the

00:29:35   current one and I believe the one in the betas is still just very limited.

00:29:40   It's better than nothing so by all means do it and so you can see if you're in a casey

00:29:43   like situation where you're missing half the pixels on your screen because not half,

00:29:47   but some portion of the pixels on your screen because you have your thing in overscan mode.

00:29:50   And that may make you sad to know that, but beyond that you still need a calibration app.

00:29:55   Fine, fine.

00:29:57   All right, apparently Samir Mizrahi listens to our show, or at least that's what I'm going

00:30:02   to claim, because mere weeks, maybe even a few days after we had discussed how frustrating

00:30:10   it is to hear the first song in your library every time you reconnect via Bluetooth, this

00:30:16   individual has released a single on iTunes called A A A A A Very Good Song. And it is

00:30:25   a little less than 10 minutes of silence because apparently any more than 10 minutes and iTunes

00:30:29   charges you for a whole album. And the idea is because it's a space, a space, a space,

00:30:34   a space, a space, very good song, it is very likely to be the very first song in your library.

00:30:40   So every time you plug in your phone

00:30:43   or start Bluetooth or what have you,

00:30:45   you don't hear the same, in my case,

00:30:48   track by Aliyah every single time.

00:30:50   So this is an absolutely brilliant solution

00:30:53   to a problem that none of us should really have.

00:30:56   - My favorite thing about this is

00:30:57   how far up the charts it was climbing.

00:31:00   Like, we saw some articles about it here and there.

00:31:03   I don't have anything handy, unfortunately,

00:31:05   'cause I'm a slacker on vacation.

00:31:06   But it was noticeably ranking

00:31:10   the iTunes top singles chart somewhere.

00:31:12   Why do you not allowed to start with like a space or you know a punctuation character

00:31:19   or a number all the other things that would have sorted before the A's because I feel

00:31:23   like now now this is now you've started a war now for who can be the earliest right

00:31:27   no don't get that AA track you need my track which is one one one oh don't get mine it's

00:31:32   it's space space space exclamation point anyway um well I feel like that's kind of like a

00:31:37   like a million dollar homepage problem.

00:31:40   Like anybody else who tries the same thing is not going to get anywhere.

00:31:44   Yeah, I'm just saying for sorting purposes, not for like actually selling the thing.

00:31:50   But you know, everyone sent us this obviously, but it doesn't solve the problem at all.

00:31:53   In fact, I think it makes it worse.

00:31:55   The fact that it's silent makes it worse because if I had this track, I would be like waiting

00:32:02   and thinking, "Am I hearing the silent track or is it just taking a long time to start

00:32:06   playing?

00:32:07   overcast in the background. And like, you know, the problem is not I keep hearing the first,

00:32:13   you know, few notes of a song, because the alphabetically first song in my playlist I like,

00:32:18   it's a good song, and I'm not sick of it because I never listened to the whole thing. I'm frustrated

00:32:22   by the fact that it has picked the wrong source. And by the way, after I said like, "Oh, most of

00:32:27   the time it does the right thing, maybe 15% of the time I get the wrong thing," this thing has taken

00:32:31   revenge on me in my last like 50 trips in the car. 100% of the time it has started playing

00:32:37   music even if I was just playing. I don't know if it's the overcast beta is crashing or I don't know

00:32:42   what the hell's going on but anyway it's really bad for me. Wait there is no current beta you

00:32:46   should be using the app store version. Well maybe that's the problem do I have a little dot next to

00:32:50   overcast on my phone? Let me see. That's a bug dot right now. I do have a dot next to it. Oh get rid

00:32:55   of that. All right anyway maybe that's my problem but either way this this track would not solve my

00:33:01   problem and I mean what it should really be is a voice that says it happened again.

00:33:07   You thought different audio would be playing but instead it's playing the song from your

00:33:10   playlist.

00:33:11   Pull over safely and then fiddle with your phone.

00:33:14   Don't try to do it while you're driving because you'll run somebody over or you'll die.

00:33:18   But then you'd be sick of hearing that.

00:33:20   Bottom line is there is no safe track to put there and I don't think the silent one solves

00:33:22   the problem.

00:33:23   I think it makes it worse.

00:33:24   But more power to this person for selling people the sounds of silence.

00:33:28   All right, A, I don't know how to sell music on iTunes, but can we cut that out and actually

00:33:31   try this?

00:33:32   And then B, the way to solve this, I know we have some listeners inside of Apple.

00:33:38   I don't know how high up they go, but the way to solve this is to somehow get a hold

00:33:43   of Johnny Ives or Tim Cook's iPhone and sync a single track to it that is a renamed version

00:33:50   of some very annoying song that is renamed to be like A-A-A-A-A.

00:33:55   I don't know the the the possibilities are endless of what's on this could be

00:33:59   [MUSIC PLAYING]

00:34:28   You know, something that would really drive the most.

00:34:31   This problem will get solved in the next version of iOS.

00:34:35   - Phil's car will just be,

00:34:35   "Can't innovate more of my ass on a loop."

00:34:37   (laughing)

00:34:40   - Oh, my word.

00:34:42   So we actually did get some feedback about this,

00:34:44   and this individual wrote to say,

00:34:47   "Bluetooth has two major ways to start playback in a car.

00:34:50   "The good old simple play command

00:34:51   "and a newer set of advanced browsing commands

00:34:53   "that allows the car to control the apps

00:34:55   "and navigate the media library on the phone.

00:34:57   With a play command, the active media player is chosen by the phone, and that from time

00:35:02   to time gets a little buggy.

00:35:05   According to this person, it is quite likely that this whole little subsystem was written

00:35:08   by one person who may have then been moved somewhere else within Apple, and who even

00:35:13   knows.

00:35:14   But with the new browsing stuff, then the car can decide how it wants to select, you

00:35:19   know, like the active media player and a playlist and an album and blah blah blah.

00:35:23   And so now you're letting the car make choices that it probably shouldn't be making.

00:35:29   And so that makes everything a little bit dodgy.

00:35:32   So this is surely in part Apple's fault, but it is not by necessity entirely Apple's fault,

00:35:39   depending on the car, depending on how it's connecting, etc. etc. etc.

00:35:45   We're sponsored this week by Aftershokz Bone Conduction Headphones.

00:35:48   Go to ATP.Aftershokz.com to learn more.

00:35:53   Aftershocks headphones work by bone conduction.

00:35:55   So these small transducers rest in front of your ears,

00:35:58   not inside or around them like most headphones,

00:36:00   and they send mini vibrations through your cheekbones

00:36:03   directly to your inner ear.

00:36:05   It totally bypasses your ears and your eardrums.

00:36:08   So unlike every other kind of headphone,

00:36:10   bone conduction leaves your ears completely open

00:36:13   with nothing in them.

00:36:14   So for a lot of people like me,

00:36:16   we can't wear earbuds or in-ear monitors

00:36:18   'cause they get physically uncomfortable in our ear canals.

00:36:21   Aftershocks don't have this problem because nothing is sitting in your ear and because they don't cover your ear

00:36:27   I find them far less sweaty than regular headphones in the summertime

00:36:31   And they're even IP IP 55 certified for water-resistant

00:36:34   So you can you can run with them in the rain or you can just sweat all over them all gross and it's totally fine

00:36:39   I have found that I use these more than any other headphones in the summertime

00:36:44   In fact, I'm on vacation right now for a few weeks and I brought only these headphones for walking

00:36:50   All other portable headphones I've left at home because I will I only want to use these here because I'm walking a lot

00:36:55   I'm using these multiple hours a day. I'm sweating a lot

00:36:58   I'm sometimes using them in the rain and it's totally fine

00:37:00   And the great thing about it is that because nothing blocks your ears at all

00:37:04   You hear the whole world around you so you can be walking or you know

00:37:08   Maybe cycling or running where you really want to hear the world around you for safety reasons or just to enjoy it and you need

00:37:15   Something that doesn't block your ear and that's what bone conduction is great at

00:37:18   It's also great if you want to listen around the house, you know

00:37:21   If you want to like take a phone call because you know

00:37:23   These are obviously bluetooth they can do phone calls if you want to take a phone call with them

00:37:26   And maybe you want to hear if anything happens in your house in the process you can do that, too

00:37:30   And so if I'm honest the downsides here are they're not the best for sound quality and they don't get very loud if you're in

00:37:35   A very loud environment because they're so open to the world if you're in like a lot like a subway station

00:37:41   These wouldn't be the pick for you

00:37:42   But they're amazing for walking around outside, for any kind of exercise use, for around the house,

00:37:48   and anywhere, anything you want, you want to hear the world around you. That's where the

00:37:52   Aftershocks are great. And again, they're so awesome for minimizing sweatiness too.

00:37:56   So the Aftershocks Trex titanium that I use here retails for 130 bucks. Listeners can get

00:38:01   a pair for yourself for just $100, 99.95 by visiting ATP.aftershocks.com. That is

00:38:07   atp.aftershocks.com. Thanks to Aftershocks for sponsoring our show.

00:38:14   Apparently Ask ATP is really a thing. John, I think you said you wanted it to be a thing

00:38:21   and Marco you might have said the same. Apparently it's a thing.

00:38:24   Well the question is where does it go? Does it go after follow up or does it go after

00:38:27   topics? Or does it go in the after show? Where does it go?

00:38:29   No, I think it goes after follow up. Yeah, that sounds good.

00:38:32   I think that was right. Don't you feel like it's going to... you always

00:38:36   don't want to keep us away from our topics if we have long ask ATP we're even less likely

00:38:40   to get to topics.

00:38:41   You know what we could do, Jon? Now stick with me here, I know this is wild, but we

00:38:45   could have a little bit less follow-up.

00:38:48   We just did. We just did do that.

00:38:51   Are you sure? We've been recording 45 minutes.

00:38:54   I didn't add an item about talking about bit depth for 20 minutes. That was Margot.

00:38:58   That wasn't 20 minutes. Anyway, Cain asks, "How do you guys sync your home directories

00:39:02   between your Macs, and I will go first, I don't.

00:39:05   I use Dropbox for a handful of things, but generally speaking, it's all in the cloud,

00:39:10   man, so who cares.

00:39:11   Same.

00:39:12   Yeah, I don't sync my home directories, that's not a thing.

00:39:16   I doubt many people do that.

00:39:18   I think there used to be a way to...

00:39:19   No, I'm thinking of the server thing, never mind.

00:39:22   Anyway, what people do is they just use cloud stuff, whether it's iCloud Drive or Dropbox,

00:39:27   and that's the stuff that syncs, but they don't sync their entire home directories,

00:39:30   And it probably wouldn't be a good idea to sync your entire home directories, because

00:39:33   probably in the library directory and your home directory, there's crap that is machine-specific,

00:39:37   somewhere lurking in there, so you probably don't want to do a naive full sync of your

00:39:40   entire home directory.

00:39:42   And in general, sync is really hard to get right, and don't try to set up something yourself

00:39:45   to do it, because you'll just end up hosing yourself and you'll be sad.

00:39:50   Fair enough.

00:39:51   This is a truly great question, which, outside of the obvious, I don't have a really good

00:39:56   answer to.

00:39:57   is from, let me get a full name if I can, Peter Cam. Peter Cam asks, "What's one piece of old tech

00:40:05   that is still in use, not hidden in an attic, and I think he's really talking to you, Jon,

00:40:11   due to superior qualities or retro joy? So for example, CRT TV, old video game consoles, iPods,

00:40:19   etc. I will start again. The obvious answer to this is that I have a turntable that I still use

00:40:25   almost daily. However, I just received that turntable as a Christmas present and it was

00:40:30   brand new at the time. So it is old technology, however it is a new device. In terms of old

00:40:37   technology that's still in use, I can't think of anything offhand. I'm sure there's something. I'm

00:40:43   not debating that I have something barbaric and old that I still use, but darn if I can think of

00:40:48   what it would be. So Marco went first last time. John, anything old that's outside of your attic?

00:40:54   Was gonna say my plasma TV, but it's not superior quality anymore. It's not retro joy

00:40:59   So I guess that's probably just the example of something old my consoles are probably it. I have a bunch of old consoles hooked up

00:41:05   Journey on ps4 helps me not have to use my ps3 for that

00:41:09   But if I want to play ego or shadow of the Colossus, I still have to use the ps3

00:41:12   So it is still connected to my TV

00:41:14   There's gonna be a ps4 port of shadow of the Colossus leaving only ego like my ps3 is hanging on

00:41:22   Same thing with my Wii which is basically used to play GameCube games most of the time

00:41:26   Almost all my old consoles are still hooked up

00:41:29   It's kind of gonna be a shame when I eventually get a 4k TV because I doubt the 4k TV will have

00:41:34   component video input to which I can connect my GameCube so I have to buy some kind of adapter and then I'd probably go and

00:41:40   Don't even bother right same thing with the Wii. I have we is got component video going into my TV

00:41:46   I would have to buy an adapter for that as well

00:41:49   But for now, yeah, I got a lot of old consoles hooked up.

00:41:53   - You know, I should point out that Marco

00:41:55   is probably going to say the same thing I forgot about,

00:41:58   which is I do have a mechanical watch

00:41:59   that is also not terribly old,

00:42:01   but I do like using it when I'm dressing up

00:42:04   for something special.

00:42:05   So now that I've stolen your thunder, Marco, what about you?

00:42:08   - Honestly, that was what I was thinking of

00:42:11   as the best thing I could say here.

00:42:14   Most of the things that I use are,

00:42:18   The things that I use that are actually quote old

00:42:20   in tech terms are not old enough to be interesting.

00:42:23   So I'll have an old speaker ramp for my desk or something,

00:42:28   but that's an old desktop computer speaker ramp

00:42:33   being like six years old.

00:42:35   Or for a while I was using my first Fujitsu

00:42:39   ScanSnap scanner, which I got about nine years ago,

00:42:44   but I actually replaced that about last year

00:42:46   because I was tired of replacing the rollers

00:42:48   and the new ones were super fast

00:42:49   and so I just got a new one.

00:42:51   Yeah, for me, I think the best answer here

00:42:53   is mechanical watches.

00:42:56   It's not a very interesting answer

00:42:58   and it's not a new answer

00:42:59   for people who have heard me talk ever.

00:43:01   So that's why I kinda wanted,

00:43:03   I wanted to go with something better

00:43:05   but I was not able to.

00:43:06   I do have mechanical watches that are somewhat old.

00:43:11   My oldest one is from 1968, so that's fairly old.

00:43:14   So I guess that counts.

00:43:15   Awesome. And that's the end of Ask ATP for this week. So let's move on to some topics.

00:43:21   Johnny, are you really going to let me get away with this?

00:43:24   So fast. It's a really quick one. It's a really quick one. That's another question.

00:43:28   How many questions did we do? I just did three because that's how many I could put before I ran out of time before the show.

00:43:32   So Chris Johnson, thank you Chris, writes in blah blah destiny two blah blah blah.

00:43:39   Try again.

00:43:40   Which destiny two class and subclass will you start with?

00:43:43   with. Marco, you want to take that? How about NSObject and Subclass would be...

00:43:53   How about NSMutableSet? I like that one a lot. You need to get on with the Swift Foundation classes here.

00:44:00   Yeah, they dropped the NS prefix a while ago, man. Come on. So I'm going to do... I was a

00:44:06   Warlock main in Destiny 1. I barely... I had a Titan that my son played and a

00:44:11   Hunter that I barely played. I did level the Titan and Hunter up so they will be ported

00:44:16   over to Destiny 2 along with my Warlock, but I'm going to be Warlock main in Destiny

00:44:19   2 and I'm probably going to start with Dawnblade because it's the new one.

00:44:23   Was any of that English? Because it didn't sound like it.

00:44:26   People know. First episode of Ask ATP, a rousing success.

00:44:34   No one else remembered about the thing and I had to rush to get the things in there in

00:44:38   between trying to get my kids and my dog settled down before the show. Feel free to—I'm

00:44:42   pulling from that same sheet—feel free to pull your own questions in there and throw

00:44:46   them in the little section.

00:44:47   You know, the right answer—which will never work—but the rightest answer is for each

00:44:52   of us to pull our favorite question each week. But I guarantee Marco will forget and/or not

00:44:56   care. And I give myself one chance in three of actually remembering.

00:45:00   No, in the absence of anybody else, I will pull questions and throw them in there. But,

00:45:04   You know, we wouldn't have the section at all if I hadn't remembered it, so.

00:45:09   It's true.

00:45:10   Oh, where would we be without you, Jon?

00:45:12   And speaking of, Jon, tell us about this kerfuffle with Google and this diversity memo, which

00:45:18   I'm not sure is even the right way to describe it.

00:45:20   Yeah, this is old, kind of old news by now, but we haven't recorded it in a long time.

00:45:25   And there, in the world of politics and discrimination, there is newer news, but it is not really

00:45:34   tech related but this certainly is tech related it's a story that everybody probably knows by now

00:45:39   the google employee wrote i don't know why they call it a memo i guess the old parlance wrote a

00:45:45   big thing sort of talking to google internally saying we're all googlers here here's what i

00:45:52   think about what the company's doing and here's my opinion on it so on and so forth and it caused a

00:45:56   big stink we will put a link to the document in the show notes on the off chance that you haven't

00:46:02   already read it it's not that long if you like oh it's 10 pages and the grand

00:46:06   scheme of things it's not that long because we don't have pages in the web

00:46:08   you just scroll and also what we'll have in the show notes are what I think are

00:46:15   some of the best responses to the Google thing so anyway the game back to the

00:46:22   story here being a chief summarized in chief and in the case of doing this the

00:46:29   The upshot is that the person who wrote this was fired because it contained, I forget what

00:46:35   the phrasing was, but it contained a bunch of ideas and opinions that are counter to

00:46:41   the way Google operates and then people are angry that the person got fired and people

00:46:45   argued on the internet about it and so on and so forth.

00:46:48   Again, this is a well-covered story and I feel like if you don't know what we're talking

00:46:52   about or don't or have only read one or two things about it, just read the five links

00:46:57   that we put in there, I feel like you will have covered

00:46:59   the range of how people are reacting to it.

00:47:01   But on this show, what I wanted to talk about,

00:47:04   you guys can feel free to take whatever angle

00:47:06   you want on this thing, is the idea that people dismissed

00:47:11   the memo, that people like read it and just didn't address

00:47:21   it at all, didn't take it seriously,

00:47:26   They just dismissed it out of hand.

00:47:27   And a lot of people were angry about that, that like,

00:47:31   why won't you engage with this?

00:47:33   Why won't you talk about the idea?

00:47:35   There's lots of yelling about like,

00:47:37   someone said something bad about it,

00:47:38   but you didn't even talk about any of the points

00:47:40   that are in the memo.

00:47:42   Like, why are you being so dismissive?

00:47:44   And I understand where people are coming from with that,

00:47:47   but I think there is an explanation,

00:47:49   and it's a frustrating explanation,

00:47:51   but it's something you encounter again and again.

00:47:54   When I read that memo, nothing in it was new because I'd seen every idea put forward in

00:48:01   the memo many, many times before because there weren't a lot of new ideas, there weren't

00:48:06   any new ideas in there.

00:48:08   Everything in there is something that someone else has said in a very similar form many,

00:48:12   many, many, many, many times in the past.

00:48:16   And if you enter any field, whatever it is, whether it's woodworking, programming, diversity,

00:48:25   whatever it is, and you lay out all your opinions, but you are not an expert in the field, chance,

00:48:34   especially if you say something controversial or you're addressing some point that is a

00:48:36   point of contention, chances are very good that the people who have been arguing about

00:48:41   this same topic and who have studied this topic and are just like are well versed in

00:48:46   this topic, chances are very good that they've heard everything you're going to say before

00:48:51   and they've argued about it amongst themselves for years and years and years.

00:48:55   And so when you come out with this thing and they roll their eyes and dismiss you, it's

00:49:01   because to them it's like the 900th time someone is saying these exact same things and they've

00:49:07   already been discussed.

00:49:08   it from the outside. It's like, why are you not addressing my points? I feel like I have

00:49:12   important things to say here, and how can you just dismiss me? It's not a valid argument,

00:49:18   obviously. Maybe I'm right and you're just afraid to address my blah blah blah. This

00:49:23   is going to happen no matter what the topic is. And in some ways you have to recognize

00:49:32   where you are in the range of knowledge about this topic. Do I have a PhD in this topic?

00:49:37   I study this topic for 50 years and well versed in all the literature and like or am I just somebody who thought about this

00:49:43   for the past year or two and has some ideas like

00:49:45   You're never you know

00:49:47   And maybe you say they shouldn't dismiss me and what they should do is if someone is a novice and says something that's been said

00:49:53   Before then, please tell me point by laborious point

00:49:57   Bring me up to speed on the state of the art in this area of study

00:50:01   That's not a reasonable request because then it's like everybody who stumbles into a math forum and says I just think I

00:50:07   I've you know, what about this and have you guys ever thought of that?

00:50:11   They got to teach you all the math you need to know to get to the point

00:50:14   You realize the thing that you're saying has been discussed many times before and like either proven or disproven or here the different, you know

00:50:19   like it's

00:50:21   That's not a valid position

00:50:22   I know a little bit about something and I have an opinion and here's this thing and they're like, oh well

00:50:28   we've seen people say that thing a

00:50:30   Million times we've already discussed it amongst ourselves and we already know what everyone else in the field thinks about this

00:50:34   We don't have time to bring you up to speed on this entire field of study and that feels like you're being dismissed

00:50:41   And so I understand why people are angry the guy who wrote it's angry about being dismissed people who?

00:50:45   Sympathize with what is in the thing are angry that that this thing is dismissed. They feel like you know, you know, whatever

00:50:52   It's being silenced. No one's taking him seriously, whatever now first of all, that's like that's an initial reaction

00:50:58   But second all these links in the show notes show that that's not true that some

00:51:01   some poor people

00:51:04   went there and just went point by laborious point and tried mightily to explain, and these

00:51:10   aren't even experts in the field for the most part.

00:51:12   These are just people who happen to know a little bit more or have a little bit clearer,

00:51:16   you know, train of thinking about this.

00:51:19   Or really just even if they have no expertise in the field but have been around the block

00:51:23   a few times and have argued on the internet a few times, they can say, "Listen, I don't

00:51:26   even know anything about this subject, but I can tell you, Memo writer, that you have

00:51:30   no idea what you're doing."

00:51:32   You know, that even without knowing anything about this topic, I can see that your points

00:51:37   don't connect and you're doing a bad job arguing this.

00:51:40   And again, if you argued on Usenet in the 90s, if you argued in person in college campuses

00:51:46   in the 80s and 70s and 60s, you know the person who wrote this memo.

00:51:51   You know their thinking, you know what they're saying, you recognize their enthusiasm and

00:51:59   And fervor and like it just, this is the thing about getting old.

00:52:03   Like everything slows down and your hearing goes bad and your eyes get worse and just

00:52:08   all sorts of bad things happen.

00:52:09   But there's something to that wisdom thing.

00:52:11   I mean, not wisdom, maybe it's just experience.

00:52:13   Like that's why in all sorts of sci-fi things when there's some really old creature, like

00:52:17   they're always just like, "Ugh."

00:52:18   It's like you've seen it all, right?

00:52:21   And I know that's like the worst thing.

00:52:23   It's like, you know, that itself is a logical fallacy.

00:52:26   Like you know, appeal to authority.

00:52:28   You should trust me because I know a lot about this topic, but it's not what it is.

00:52:31   It's more like just exhaustion.

00:52:34   If pressed, if the fate of the universe depended on it, experts in the field could take this

00:52:39   person into a room and over the course of the next 20 years educate them to the point

00:52:42   where they understand what is wrong with this memo, right?

00:52:46   And I feel like that should be the goal of a lot of, you know, if you trust that this

00:52:50   is the case, and I'm not just like blowing smoke beer, but that the goal should be like,

00:52:56   If you read this memo and you think that there are some good, solid points in there, your

00:53:01   goal should be to learn more about it until you get on the same page with everyone else

00:53:08   who sees this for what it is.

00:53:11   Or learn so much about it that you actually reveal the real truth of it that nobody knows.

00:53:16   But I can tell you this memo is not the real truth of it that nobody knows because this

00:53:20   memo are the same tired ideas that have been discussed again and again and again by people

00:53:24   and every single field related to this, right?

00:53:26   And that, like, again, this is the meta point

00:53:32   and people like, they don't wanna hear it

00:53:34   and there's no way to convince them of it.

00:53:35   And I'm not really here to convince people

00:53:37   that this is the case, but like,

00:53:38   that's why people get angry about it.

00:53:40   That's why it feels frustrating.

00:53:42   And I want, I'm trying to stay away from the topic itself

00:53:44   because I want people to understand this is gonna be true

00:53:47   when you come in and tell people

00:53:48   about a particular kind of glue

00:53:50   we're putting together remote control boats.

00:53:52   And the remote control boat builders

00:53:54   had discussions about this kind of glue 50 years ago,

00:53:57   and they just roll their eyes and be like,

00:53:59   "Look, I know it seems like that kind of glue

00:54:01   is the kind of glue you wanna use.

00:54:02   I know you have a lot of information

00:54:03   that you think supports your idea

00:54:05   that that kind of glue is the, trust me.

00:54:06   We've been debating this glue for 50 years,

00:54:09   and 25 years ago, we all came to this conclusion,

00:54:11   and we revisit this topic from time to time

00:54:13   to see if things have changed, but they haven't,

00:54:15   and you're wrong, and we don't have time

00:54:16   to explain to you laborious."

00:54:18   And again, glue for model boats

00:54:20   is much simpler than this topic, right?

00:54:23   So that's my reaction as a tired old person who is beaten down by even worse things happening in the world, right?

00:54:29   That I see this, I see the young person who is writing it, I know where that person is coming from,

00:54:36   I know that person and I've seen, you know, these exact arguments on these exact specific topics and it is depressing

00:54:44   to have to have this argument again. It's depressing that these tired ideas get any kind of traction and yet

00:54:51   people go out of their way to do the hard work to explain to this person and to anybody who reads

00:54:58   this and you know like to explain to the world like you know isn't that your job to educate me

00:55:03   about blup not really but we're gonna do it anyway because we know it's you know it's it's

00:55:07   we have to do something we can't just let it stand as it is so many many people did you know

00:55:12   tried to explain what's wrong with this and i'm not going to try to explain it here because i feel

00:55:16   like the problem with this topic a lot of times on the show is and any kind of haggis like this is

00:55:21   I think what I described in the hypercritical days as having a slow-motion argument with the internet,

00:55:25   a one-sided slow-motion argument with the internet where you'll say a bunch of stuff,

00:55:28   but there's no one on the show who actually is there to disagree with you, so you can't

00:55:31   actually have a debate. So you have to debate the hypothetical person who's out there, and then you

00:55:36   put the podcast out into the world, and then you wait a week, and a bunch of people reply and say,

00:55:40   "That's not what I think at all. Actually, I think X, Y, and Z." And then you

00:55:42   debate those people's feedback, but then what about people who don't care about that topic

00:55:47   anymore, it's just impossible to have a slow-motion debate with a hypothetical person.

00:55:51   So that's why I'm trying to take this meta.

00:55:54   And also because, like I said, I think there's some really good articles about this.

00:55:57   And to be clear, this manifesto is totally bogus.

00:56:02   The ideas embodied in it are not the right ideas.

00:56:06   They are just, you know, explicable by all of the sort of—they're explicable by the

00:56:16   experiences and the biases that the person who wrote it is bound to have had. And so I think this

00:56:21   is a learning opportunity for everybody involved. Why did he get fired? Do you think you should have

00:56:24   been fired? That's the, I guess the controversy thing. Yeah, I don't see how you can't fire him,

00:56:29   because how can you have an employee in your company who thinks women on average are genetically

00:56:33   less capable than men to do the job? Like, how can you have that person doing performance reviews or

00:56:39   leading a team of people? Like, how can you have that? Like, if that's in people's secret hearts,

00:56:42   and you don't know about it, fine.

00:56:44   But if someone comes out and says,

00:56:45   this is what I believe, you can't have that person

00:56:47   doing performance reviews for women,

00:56:48   what are you gonna do, have a segregated company

00:56:50   and then segregate by everybody's biases?

00:56:52   And nevermind that these are all at will employees,

00:56:54   they can be fired for pretty much any reason,

00:56:57   and misogyny is not a protected class, it's an idea.

00:57:00   (laughing)

00:57:01   It's not like he's being fired

00:57:02   because he's a pregnant woman, right?

00:57:05   Yeah, guess what?

00:57:06   If you call your boss a jerk every day

00:57:10   and give him the finger, you're also gonna get fired.

00:57:12   because people who call their boss a jerk

00:57:14   and give him the finger are not a protected class.

00:57:16   Like there are so many things you can do to get fired.

00:57:19   This of all the things that Lisa's like pretty high minded

00:57:22   in terms of things you're getting fired for, believe me,

00:57:24   you can get fired for way stupider stuff

00:57:27   because that's the way employment works.

00:57:29   And so, but yeah, like there's, yeah, you have to fire it.

00:57:32   And in fact, it probably should have been fired faster

00:57:35   but I'm sure you gotta go through all the legal things

00:57:36   or whatever.

00:57:39   So anyway, I think I'm starting to get into the realm

00:57:42   of where I'm gonna start having a slow motion argument

00:57:44   with the internet, and I don't wanna do that.

00:57:47   What do you two have to say about this?

00:57:49   - I have very little to add,

00:57:50   because you just did a really good job of covering it,

00:57:52   and I also don't wanna get into the slow motion argument

00:57:54   with the internet.

00:57:56   The common people's grasp on what free speech

00:58:01   protects them from is about as good as their grasp

00:58:05   on fair use and copyright, which is not that good.

00:58:09   - No copy intended?

00:58:10   - No copyright intended, Marco.

00:58:11   (laughing)

00:58:12   - So, yeah, I would, before making an argument

00:58:16   about free speech, I would investigate

00:58:19   with some basic research what free speech actually gets you

00:58:23   and what is actually an assurance of what it actually means

00:58:27   and what it doesn't mean.

00:58:28   And yeah, Jon, I think he coded very well.

00:58:30   I have to admit, I did not fully read James's memo

00:58:37   or whatever it was, manifesto, whatever it was.

00:58:39   You know, life is short, and I could tell pretty soon

00:58:42   into it that this was not going to be worth the time

00:58:45   that I was going to spend reading it, so I didn't.

00:58:47   I decided to do anything else with my time,

00:58:48   just had to read this, honestly, rear-end openings memo

00:58:53   on what he thinks about people.

00:58:56   So I decided not to.

00:58:58   - Yep, same here.

00:58:59   - He provided a summary at the top,

00:59:01   although he called it a TLDR because he's an millennial.

00:59:04   But yeah, the summary at the top,

00:59:05   like you don't have to read the 10 pages.

00:59:06   read the five, six point summary or whatever.

00:59:09   It is a, I mean he wrote the summary himself.

00:59:11   It is a fair encapsulation of the points made in the thing.

00:59:15   You can look at only the summary and see,

00:59:17   yep, no, I've seen this idiot before.

00:59:19   Yep, I understand where he's coming from.

00:59:21   - Yeah, no, I got about that far and then I was like,

00:59:23   yeah, this is, and then once, I thought that was the memo.

00:59:27   And then once I saw that was simply the summary,

00:59:29   I was like, oh my God, close tab.

00:59:31   That's it, I'm done.

00:59:32   (laughing)

00:59:33   And I would also say that I think it's worth,

00:59:37   it's worth Google doing some introspection here

00:59:40   about their own culture and about what is it

00:59:43   about Google's culture that would hire somebody

00:59:48   who holds these ideas, that would foster

00:59:51   someone's intellectual development who would hold

00:59:52   these ideas, and that would make somebody think

00:59:55   that it would be a good idea and would not get them fired

00:59:59   to actually write this and circulate this

01:00:01   within the company.

01:00:02   That reveals, I think, cultural problems in that company.

01:00:06   Which should be a surprise to nobody, but.

01:00:08   - It should reveal some good aspects of culture too,

01:00:11   because the fact that he felt like he could say this

01:00:14   shows that they have a culture where people feel like

01:00:16   they can express themselves.

01:00:18   Now, again, a culture where you can express yourselves

01:00:21   doesn't mean you could say, you know what?

01:00:24   I think we should eat babies and be surprised

01:00:26   by people like gasp, right?

01:00:28   You're gonna have to give them back to the baby eating.

01:00:30   It's good to have an open culture,

01:00:32   but you also have to be aware of, you know,

01:00:36   what people might think of what you say, right?

01:00:38   And a lot of companies, people would be afraid to say

01:00:43   anything remotely about, controversial about,

01:00:46   like any HR policy, like even the HR policy is like,

01:00:48   for example, imagine Apple getting the Apple Park thing,

01:00:50   like, oh, people aren't gonna have as many offices, right?

01:00:53   If Apple had a culture where everybody was terrified

01:00:56   to make any kind of complaint about,

01:00:58   hey, I kind of wish we still had offices,

01:00:59   I don't wanna be in open office space, right?

01:01:01   that would be a bad company culture.

01:01:03   You want to have a company culture

01:01:04   where if people are super pissed about not having an office,

01:01:06   they feel like they can say,

01:01:08   hey, I don't want to lose my office, Apple.

01:01:11   I don't like the new Apple Park and complain, right?

01:01:13   'Cause that, and just being a general adult in the world,

01:01:17   you could understand if you do it in a constructive way,

01:01:20   this is a reasonable avenue of feedback within the company.

01:01:23   And a good company culture encourages people to do that.

01:01:26   'Cause you don't want them to be secretly hating you

01:01:28   and then quitting like you want.

01:01:29   You want to hear what the employees have to say.

01:01:31   But if their complaint is,

01:01:32   I don't want to work next to a woman,

01:01:35   you should at least be aware enough to know,

01:01:37   if you say that, they're gonna get rid of you,

01:01:39   because you can't have an employee like that.

01:01:42   It's like, how is it any different from offices?

01:01:44   If you can't see the difference, like start there.

01:01:47   What's different about saying,

01:01:48   I prefer offices to cubicles versus,

01:01:51   I can't be next to a woman when I work?

01:01:53   Like figure it out, like work on it.

01:01:54   Like I feel, you know,

01:01:55   those are my first and only comments about this,

01:01:59   which is snarky granted,

01:02:00   you know, I'm allowed some snark on Twitter, was like the irony of someone at Google writing this memo,

01:02:07   who so clearly has not even done the most cursory Google search on the topic. It's like, "No, he's done

01:02:11   Google searches, look at all these things he's citing." Like, no, I mean actually, you know,

01:02:16   actually learning about the topic. Like, because Google is right there. You can Google yourself

01:02:20   every one of these points and find, you know, everything about them and why they're BS, like

01:02:26   everywhere. Instead, the only thing he googled for was cherry-picked things that he thinks

01:02:31   supports his ideas and that he can string together into this completely broken chain

01:02:36   of logic. Anyway, I don't want to go there. You can read the links to one of our other

01:02:40   stuff. But it's right there. No time has it been easier for you to educate yourself about

01:02:44   this topic without having to be led by the nose by people more versed in the field. Everything's

01:02:49   right there. The person works for Google. That just blew my mind.

01:02:55   The incuriosity and being content, as the economist's response that one of the links

01:03:01   will put in there, the motivated reasoning, that no amount of access to the world's

01:03:05   information can avoid that.

01:03:06   Yeah, the thing that struck me about this was the little bit of feedback we got about

01:03:12   it, which was a couple of people saying, "Please don't talk about this, but here's some

01:03:18   anonymous feedback about why I think this guy was on the money."

01:03:22   This was amazing to me.

01:03:24   We actually got multiple pieces of feedback

01:03:27   from people who were basically yelling at us

01:03:30   in support of this James hole

01:03:33   before we ever talked about it.

01:03:34   - Right, right, it just happened,

01:03:35   and they knew in the future

01:03:37   there would be an episode of ATP recorded,

01:03:38   and people said, "I know you're gonna wanna talk about this,

01:03:40   "but don't."

01:03:41   Well, we did, sorry.

01:03:43   (laughing)

01:03:44   - You don't talk about this, but here's what I think,

01:03:48   and if anyone thinks otherwise,

01:03:51   that's them silencing us, yada, yada, yada, blah, blah.

01:03:54   It was more than, well, the thing was, if it was just one individual, okay, fine.

01:04:01   But this happened two or three times and it was the same thing both times.

01:04:07   Please guys, don't talk about this.

01:04:09   But if you do, you should consider the following.

01:04:13   And by the way, to be clear, my example of like a difference between I like offices instead

01:04:17   of cubes versus I can't work next to a woman.

01:04:19   Neither one of those things in the memo.

01:04:21   I'm giving hypothetical examples to understand different classes of things that you might

01:04:24   want feedback.

01:04:25   Yeah.

01:04:26   But actually getting back to Marco's point, I think the fact that this person felt free

01:04:30   to say this is a good reflection on Google's culture of letting people feel like they are

01:04:35   free to give feedback.

01:04:37   The fact that this particular, to have open discussions, the content of this shows, it

01:04:43   doesn't reflect poorly on Google other than their hiring practices or not being aware

01:04:47   that this is happening.

01:04:50   This is on the person who wrote the thing, not so much on Google.

01:04:52   If you want to place blame on it, it's not the culture that let him post the memo, because

01:04:57   that is more of just sort of like lack of self-awareness, not understanding that other

01:05:03   people exist in the world and how they might react to what you have to say, right?

01:05:08   But this is true of a lot of tech companies.

01:05:10   If the interview was all coding on a whiteboard and solving brain teasers and making sure

01:05:19   you had a good education and making sure you are reasonably personable and polite and then most critically

01:05:23   Making sure that the people who you interview with say oh, yeah, I could work with this person. Yeah, it seems like a person because

01:05:30   You'll people will say oh I could work this person. He's just like me. Yeah, I'm

01:05:35   I'm a dude who is a CS major who likes video games and blah blah

01:05:40   yeah, not like if that's all the reason your interview is technical stuff and and

01:05:45   Brain teasers and education and work history and do you feel like you could work with this person?

01:05:51   It's very easy to get into you know, speaking of echo chamber, which is one of the complaints thing

01:05:55   It's very easy to get into a situation where people hire other people that they're comfortable with

01:05:58   And so you may never dig deeper to say oh and by the way again, this is not in the memo

01:06:04   This is my silly example that's supposed to make you you know realize anyway

01:06:07   Would you have a for any problem working on a team with a woman? I

01:06:11   Maybe you can't ask that legally. I don't even know like there's all sorts of weird things about hiring

01:06:15   you can and can't ask. But figuring that out, like if the person says, "Oh, I would never

01:06:21   work on a team with a woman," don't hire that person, right? Don't hire that person.

01:06:26   And if you never figure out that that's, again, that's not what this person said. I'm trying to

01:06:32   give an extreme example. I know people get confused by that. Like there's a hypothetical extreme

01:06:36   example, right? If you're not figuring that out, if you don't have an interview process that weeds

01:06:40   that out, you'll never have a chance of weeding out the much more subtle things, which is like,

01:06:44   like maybe this person has some slightly less well-examined ideas about gender and diversity.

01:06:52   And again, like, I don't think this person is super terrible. I heard they were vaguely

01:06:56   involved in Gamergate, but who knows, I haven't been following this. But anyway, I think the

01:07:01   ideas in this memo are ideas that a lot of smart white dudes, basically, who have never

01:07:09   faced any sort of oppression based on their gender or race end up having. Not because

01:07:17   they're bad people or they're evil or whatever, but it's like, again, there's a reason all

01:07:21   these ideas have come up before. It's not a logical conclusion, but it's like you find

01:07:27   yourself going down these alleys, you find yourself having these thoughts, you find yourself

01:07:30   coming to these conclusions. And especially if you have a slightly rebellious bent, there

01:07:36   is something for you to rebel against, which is all these diversity ideas. There's a reason

01:07:42   it's common. I don't think this person is an aberration or a terrible person. It's just

01:07:48   they have some things to learn. They have some living to do. They have some experience to gain.

01:07:55   And you are able to get that experience and live that life and learn and change. Because most

01:08:00   people who are on the other side of this started out somewhere more like this memo writer and

01:08:07   changed and learned things like that. They're not born like, "Oh, I'm a perfect angel from

01:08:11   the beginning and I know everything and I don't have any prejudices and biases." No,

01:08:14   especially if they have similar backgrounds to this person. They had to walk that same

01:08:18   road and figure things out and stick their foot in the mouth and do stupid stuff and

01:08:24   learn things the hard way, right? No, we're not super enlightened, wonderful, we know

01:08:27   everything in the beginning, like my hope for this person is that he grows and evolves and,

01:08:34   you know, comes, you know, that the people have to mean to say that he grows up, but like that's part

01:08:40   it's not he's already an adult, but you know, just you don't stop growing up when you become

01:08:44   quote unquote an adult. You keep growing up throughout your whole life, hopefully.

01:08:48   And that's that's my hope for this person.

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01:10:54   (upbeat music)

01:10:56   Apple apparently has said they're budgeting a billion dollars,

01:11:01   that's B, one billion, for original TV shows and movies

01:11:05   because apparently that's a thing we need.

01:11:09   So I'm not sure what to make of this.

01:11:12   Like in and of itself, I have no issues with Apple

01:11:15   trying to get into the content business, excuse me.

01:11:18   But so far they have not shown us

01:11:23   that they're terribly good at doing this sort of thing.

01:11:26   So, I don't know.

01:11:27   Marco, what do you think about this?

01:11:32   - So, with the actual budget and how it compares

01:11:36   to other services and everything,

01:11:38   people have commentary on whether this is enough money,

01:11:40   whether it's a lot, whether it's little.

01:11:42   I don't know enough about the business

01:11:44   of TV and movie production to even know what this buys you.

01:11:47   All I do know is that so far,

01:11:49   Apple's original content for video,

01:11:52   which for some reason appears on Apple Music,

01:11:54   is bizarre at best and mostly pretty bad.

01:11:58   Whatever has caused them to produce

01:12:01   what they've produced so far,

01:12:04   I think is the same thing that caused them to do

01:12:06   the whole like, you know, U2 finger touch thing

01:12:09   and then shoving Songs of Innocence

01:12:10   into everyone's libraries and, you know,

01:12:12   it's like they seem to have this like,

01:12:15   most of what they make is pretty cool

01:12:19   and is pretty well considered

01:12:21   And then there's like the certain like blind spot

01:12:23   that they get around certain types of content

01:12:26   or celebrity things, which everything they make

01:12:29   seems to be profoundly uncool and just fall on its face.

01:12:32   A lot of the various like you know,

01:12:34   celebrity tie-ins they've done,

01:12:36   much of the efforts they've tried to do around Apple Music,

01:12:39   sometimes like the weird intro videos to the conferences,

01:12:42   stuff like that, like a lot of the stuff

01:12:45   just seems profoundly uncool and just flops.

01:12:48   Certainly I think Planet of the Apps qualifies big time

01:12:52   for that list, and I suspect the Carpool Karaoke version

01:12:55   they're doing, while I haven't seen it,

01:12:58   the early impressions of it are similarly not very positive.

01:13:02   So whatever is causing these things to be greenlit

01:13:07   and to then be terrible, I hope they figure this out

01:13:11   and fix that.

01:13:12   For Apple to become a company that represents bad content,

01:13:16   I think that hurts the whole brand.

01:13:18   So it's a big risk they're taking here,

01:13:20   and so far it seems like it's not paying off at all.

01:13:23   So far it seems like it's actually harming them.

01:13:26   If they do it right, it could be great.

01:13:28   They could be, they could produce things

01:13:30   as good as what Netflix and Amazon and HBO are making.

01:13:33   Like they could make great original content,

01:13:35   but they've made such bad original content so far

01:13:37   that it's just kind of hard to see

01:13:40   how they get from here to there.

01:13:42   - I think the last time we talked about this,

01:13:44   I made the same point because I found it occurring

01:13:46   to me again, I'm like, oh, I think I talked about that

01:13:47   But like if you if you fund content

01:13:50   You shouldn't like other than some vague sort of overarching

01:13:56   Theme like Disney in general makes kind of family-friendly stuff

01:14:01   You shouldn't be influencing the things that you make so everything that Apple makes doesn't have to be an applet thing obviously

01:14:08   Planet of the Apps is super aptly

01:14:10   Carpool karaoke not really aptly so that's that's an okay one

01:14:14   But you know HBO makes all sorts of shows make Western sci-fi fantasy drama like just comedies

01:14:21   stand-up comedy specials documentaries like

01:14:23   You know insofar as there is an HBO brand the brand is

01:14:28   Good television for adults right Disney is like family-friendly stuff Marvel is you know?

01:14:35   Yeah, superhero movies like start the Star Wars like just like there are overarching brands for things, but in general you don't want

01:14:43   Apple to make like Apple stuff and that that is something they have to get out from under because almost everything Apple does is an Apple

01:14:50   thing and if you're making content you have to

01:14:52   Basically just be the money people. Here's a big bucket of money then get a bunch of people who know how to

01:14:59   Find talent and you know develop the shows and that's what they're doing

01:15:04   They hired a bunch of people who had previously

01:15:06   Done this same job for for other people like they hired the guy from Sony

01:15:10   television or something that has had a bunch of things under his belt and they hurt somebody

01:15:14   else like it's a different kind of business and it's not an easy business because it's

01:15:19   like how you know how do I know what's the next Breaking Bad and what's the next planet

01:15:25   of the apps like can I tell the difference between those two when they're being pitched

01:15:28   to me right if I get a pitch for the next Breaking Bad can I actually develop it give

01:15:33   them the right amount of money and get the right talent involved like you know this was

01:15:37   said about the phone business. Apple's not just going to walk in. The entertainment business

01:15:41   is a similarly difficult problem, but it's much farther from Apple's wheelhouse. And

01:15:47   Apple can't use all its old tricks of, "We're going to build every show like we do an Apple

01:15:51   product." Nope, nope. The shows can't be an Apple product. Some shows have to be the opposite

01:15:56   of an Apple product. They have to be intense and involve sex and violence, or they have

01:16:02   have to be goofy comedies, you know, or like things that just don't fit in the Apple way.

01:16:10   And again, you can have a brand, you can be, you know, like Disney or like Pixar and have

01:16:16   a brand and put everything under that umbrella, but its competitors brands are in general

01:16:22   content that wouldn't air network television, expensive television made for adults.

01:16:28   So that's kind of what Amazon and Netflix and HBO have been doing.

01:16:34   They're all spending more money on it than Apple still, which is fine.

01:16:36   Apple's just getting started.

01:16:38   Netflix's budget is $7 billion compared to Apple's budget of $1 billion.

01:16:41   I think that's fine.

01:16:43   Apple should not be putting $7 billion towards something it doesn't know how to do yet.

01:16:45   So you're going to figure out how to do it.

01:16:48   Amazon's $4.5 billion.

01:16:49   These are mostly estimates from this article we'll link in the show notes.

01:16:52   And HBO is $2 billion.

01:16:54   HBO's got a lot of bang for its buck because they apparently really know how to do it.

01:16:58   develop shows. They don't make a lot of shows, but the ones they make have a pretty good

01:17:02   hit ratio and their hits are really big hits.

01:17:04   I mean, they've been doing it for quite some time. They developed the skill over a very

01:17:07   long time.

01:17:08   Yeah. And it's people. It sets different people who know different people who know how to

01:17:15   get things developed, know what to buy, what not to buy, know how to make sure that the

01:17:19   things produced in the same way that Apple knows how to like, "Oh, I have an idea for

01:17:24   a product, but how do I make that product? What people do I need to make that product

01:17:27   a reality so that it actually works and what partners do I have to do it like

01:17:31   it's a difficult business um getting back to the the broader issue of this

01:17:35   thing like the reason apple is doing this as we've discussed in the past is

01:17:39   if apple wants to be in this business of selling you video over the internet

01:17:44   everybody else is doing it uh it is an important differentiator

01:17:47   like eventually if everybody else has original content like this is why i get

01:17:51   hulu this is why i get netflix like because

01:17:54   of these specific shows and Apple doesn't have any of those, it has no more differentiator.

01:18:00   Like other than, oh, I bought a bunch of movies on iTunes and unless I go and remove the D

01:18:06   around them, I need an Apple TV to view them.

01:18:11   Very quickly, these streaming services have stopped being differentiated by the fact that,

01:18:16   wow, I can watch a video over the internet because they can all do that.

01:18:19   And they all have clients, this is another thing, they all have clients everywhere.

01:18:21   This is a question someone had on Twitter. I think maybe directed us or maybe someone else

01:18:25   It's like am I gonna need an Apple TV to watch this original TV content or will I be able to watch it?

01:18:30   Not on an Apple TV. Could I watch it in a web browser?

01:18:33   Could I you know could I watch it?

01:18:36   Is it built into my television and the answer so far as albums Apple's been like well

01:18:40   No, you can watch on your iPad your iPhone and your Apple TV

01:18:42   No place else. Can you watch it's not built into your TV. You can't watch from a web browser

01:18:46   You can't watch it in Windows and it's like

01:18:48   What nobody else is doing that if you want to watch Netflix you can watch it everywhere you go

01:18:53   I can it flex on your on your wristwatch on you know, it's it's everywhere. Nothing doesn't have Netflix on it

01:18:58   That's the strategy and you do if you want to compete so

01:19:00   That's the other thing I'm looking for is will Apple go iPod on this and say yes, we're gonna make the iPod for Windows

01:19:07   Yes, we're gonna let you watch

01:19:08   Whatever they're gonna and I have to divorce her from Apple music obviously too because it's silly to continue with that charade, right?

01:19:15   If they really want to play with their big competitors, Netflix, Amazon, HBO, Hulu, everybody

01:19:22   else who's got some kind of -- is funding some kind of original content, table stakes

01:19:26   is, I can view it anywhere I want, and the original content is actually worth getting

01:19:30   the service for, and they've got a long way to go to get there.

01:19:33   Someone pointed out that maybe you can watch it on iTunes and Windows.

01:19:37   Probably true, but iTunes and Windows is probably not the ideal viewing experience, and we're

01:19:41   all rooting for iTunes to die anyway, right?

01:19:44   I feel like this is one of those things too,

01:19:45   like for this to succeed,

01:19:49   you have to really go all in on it.

01:19:51   You have to, like you were saying,

01:19:53   right now it seems like these original content efforts

01:19:57   are just these kind of like side projects

01:20:00   that are a little bit promoted, a little bit funded,

01:20:04   a little bit prioritized, and they're kind of these things

01:20:07   that are made to try to boost Apple Music,

01:20:10   Buzz, and subscriptions, which is totally wrong.

01:20:12   Like that's not how you compete in the music space.

01:20:15   You don't compete there with video services

01:20:16   that with two or three original content lines.

01:20:20   Like that's not at all how that works.

01:20:22   But I feel like if Apple really wants to do this,

01:20:24   really do it.

01:20:25   Like really go all in, make it a big thing,

01:20:28   maybe buy somebody like Netflix or HBO or something.

01:20:31   Like really go all out and really do it.

01:20:34   I just, I don't see the value in kind of half butting it

01:20:38   like they've been doing seemingly so far.

01:20:40   Like why do a little bit of this kind of buried in this product that no one's looking for video in?

01:20:45   Either don't do it or do it, right?

01:20:47   Maybe like a slow start like I don't know what the budget was before

01:20:51   But again 1 billion is a smaller budget like there

01:20:53   They're obviously getting serious about it and hot trying to hire more of the right people, but it's a slow start

01:20:57   Like they're not they're not coming in on day one and said we got we're gonna put 10 billion dollars because they just blow it

01:21:03   They blow that 10 billion. They have no idea what to do with that money

01:21:05   Like it's not so I mean the slow start would be better if the few little things they made were actually good

01:21:10   Even if they're weird appended just Apple music, but I mean the Apple music thing

01:21:15   I think it's a learning experience. Who knows maybe the carpool karaoke is gonna be insanely popular

01:21:19   Just because we don't watch it. Like I know what carpool karaoke is people seem to like it

01:21:23   It's you know, even if it's not my particular thing

01:21:26   sometimes they're amusing right and the reality show was a flop but like

01:21:30   You know reality some reality shows are hit some aren't it wasn't it wasn't a crazy idea

01:21:35   They just blew it. They didn't make something that people really want to watch.

01:21:38   Probably, again, because I feel like they want to have some kind of Apple. "We're Apple. What

01:21:43   kind of synergy do we have?" Like, no, no. You don't need any synergy. Breaking Bad has no

01:21:47   synergy with the people who fund it. It's just a good show. You just need to make stuff that people

01:21:54   want to watch. And it's really, really hard. And I can't help you with it. I don't know how to do

01:21:57   it either. But hiring people who have done it in the past is a good start. That's the difficulty

01:22:02   about a lot of these things like again with Apple, very small teams, small numbers of people.

01:22:07   The one or two or three people you have in charge of this with the most power are going to have

01:22:12   a big influence and if you end up hiring the wrong people, you know, then that's bad. Like you get a

01:22:21   paper message situation or even if you just get like a four stall can't get along with Ive and

01:22:27   you have to can one of them, it's you know, these are big companies with a lot of money at stake

01:22:32   but in the end it comes down to just a small number of people.

01:22:35   So Marco, you blogged for the first time in forever recently. I'm very proud of you.

01:22:40   This is very exciting.

01:22:42   Does it really count?

01:22:43   Yeah, it counts. It turns out that Marco.org is still a thing.

01:22:48   It hadn't been a thing for almost three months, but it is still a thing.

01:22:53   However, Marco giveth and Marco taketh away.

01:22:56   What happened to Send to Watch and Overcast?

01:22:59   Basically I had to pull it.

01:23:01   I've already covered this pretty well

01:23:02   both in the blog post and in Under the Radar

01:23:05   about two weeks ago, so I don't wanna cover it

01:23:07   too much here, but basically I was using a crazy hack

01:23:12   that would allow me to use good audio APIs

01:23:15   on the Apple Watch.

01:23:16   In watchOS 4 that doesn't work anymore.

01:23:19   So now the only way to write this feature

01:23:20   is to stop using the good audio APIs

01:23:23   that allow my process to keep running

01:23:25   and monitoring with AV audio player.

01:23:28   And the only way to make this happen now

01:23:29   is to use the old WK Audio File Player Watch Playback API,

01:23:34   which basically is used in practice

01:23:40   by I think almost nothing.

01:23:41   Apple doesn't seem to use it for anything,

01:23:44   which is probably why it's so incomplete and buggy.

01:23:47   And it's a much larger, more complex pile of hacks

01:23:52   because it involves transferring control

01:23:54   of the playback to the system

01:23:56   and your app stops running in the background.

01:23:58   And then the system will wake you up occasionally, maybe,

01:24:02   if you are lucky when things happen like the queue runs out

01:24:06   or the track is over or something else,

01:24:07   but that's about it.

01:24:08   It forces a certain type of interaction

01:24:10   with the now playing glance

01:24:12   that does not work at all for podcasts.

01:24:14   It makes a very bad experience for podcasts.

01:24:16   So things like if you hit the seek forward button,

01:24:20   it immediately stops playing the current podcast

01:24:23   and either moves to the next one if there is one

01:24:25   or just stops.

01:24:26   Instead of like skipping forward 15 seconds

01:24:29   or whatever you actually want.

01:24:31   Things like that, there's all sorts

01:24:32   of little shortcomings like that.

01:24:34   This API was designed for music.

01:24:37   It was clearly designed so that somebody,

01:24:40   you know, somebody like a Spotify or something

01:24:42   could make a sync to Apple Watch feature

01:24:44   and have the Apple Watch play a playlist of music.

01:24:47   When you apply the same API to podcasts,

01:24:49   there are so many shortcomings and bugs

01:24:51   and weird behaviors with the system

01:24:52   that are just not at all what podcast listeners

01:24:54   want or need, that it makes for a very bad experience.

01:24:57   So early on when I was developing the send to watch feature,

01:25:01   I was basing it on this API,

01:25:03   'cause this seemed to be the only way to do it.

01:25:05   And I actually decided to not ship it.

01:25:08   Like I spent months on it.

01:25:10   And after fighting with this API over and over again,

01:25:13   I decided it was so bad I can't ship this feature.

01:25:16   So I didn't.

01:25:17   I filed a bunch of bugs.

01:25:18   I talked to people in Apple to make sure

01:25:20   they knew about them and everything.

01:25:21   And how many apps are using this?

01:25:23   of all the needs that watchOS has.

01:25:26   This might satisfy like 10 apps maybe,

01:25:29   like almost nobody needs this feature.

01:25:31   So I can understand why this doesn't seem to be a priority

01:25:33   for them to really improve audio playback APIs on the watch.

01:25:37   Especially because this one probably works okay enough

01:25:40   for music syncing, so it's really only podcasts

01:25:43   and audiobook and other long form audio syncing

01:25:45   that would actually need this.

01:25:47   My hack that allowed me to use AV audio player

01:25:51   allowed me to ship a version of this feature

01:25:53   that was minimally acceptable.

01:25:57   It still wasn't good.

01:25:59   There's still lots of other problems with the feature,

01:26:00   like how long it takes to transfer data,

01:26:03   how I as the, basically as the programmer

01:26:07   and that therefore you as the user

01:26:10   don't have any indication of whether a transfer

01:26:12   is in progress or how long it's going to take.

01:26:15   Like the reason that's not exposed in the UI

01:26:17   is that I don't have that information.

01:26:18   The API doesn't provide that information.

01:26:21   So there's all sorts of shortcomings in the APIs

01:26:24   and the technical limitations of these platforms.

01:26:28   Most of which are very understandable

01:26:29   because most of which are like, yeah, you know what,

01:26:31   the watch is a low power device.

01:26:33   It needs to squeeze every bit of power it can

01:26:35   out of the tiny little parts and batteries that it has.

01:26:39   Most of these are very understandable things.

01:26:41   But the reality is it was barely possible

01:26:45   to make a barely acceptable version of this feature.

01:26:48   And now that the audio API has changed

01:26:49   and has forced me to go back to the old one

01:26:52   that I deemed unshippable probably nine months ago

01:26:55   when I first tried to do this,

01:26:57   that has now made this feature unshippable again.

01:27:01   Unfortunately, I've already shipped it.

01:27:03   So I had to remove this feature, and that's never easy.

01:27:07   That's never an easy decision to make.

01:27:09   It's not a very popular thing to do.

01:27:13   I'm getting a good number of one-star reviews from it,

01:27:15   which I expected.

01:27:16   That was part of the calculus to do it.

01:27:18   I had to weigh that, but I removed the feature now,

01:27:21   and if I can bring it back in the future,

01:27:25   as the APIs and the hardware mature,

01:27:28   I would love to do that, 'cause I already wrote

01:27:30   most of the hard stuff to do this.

01:27:32   But there is simply no good way to play podcasts

01:27:37   in the background on the Apple Watch in watchOS 4.

01:27:40   And hopefully that'll change over time.

01:27:42   - Do you have any hopes of them changing it?

01:27:46   Maybe if Apple ads offline and watch playback of podcasts

01:27:49   to their podcast app, do you know, do you have any info

01:27:53   like, oh, you know, not this release,

01:27:54   this release you're stuck, but next year

01:27:58   they'll be updating all these APIs to be podcast savvy

01:28:00   because podcasts are not, you know, not obscure.

01:28:03   Like it seems not, they're obviously not as important

01:28:04   as music, right?

01:28:05   But in this release, they did the thing that lets you

01:28:08   mess with the music during your workout in an easier way.

01:28:10   So they understand that people are controlling

01:28:13   audio playback on their watches.

01:28:14   So do you think next year, you know,

01:28:17   do you have expectations at WWBC,

01:28:19   but like, oh, new APIs that make it possible

01:28:21   to do this again, or are you just like,

01:28:23   have no real hope of them addressing this

01:28:25   because it doesn't seem like a thing they care about?

01:28:28   - Well, there's still a lot of technical limitations.

01:28:30   So with the new like music syncing,

01:28:33   there's been, in watchOS 4, they demoed during the keynote

01:28:35   that there's this kind of like new automatic

01:28:37   music syncing kind of thing,

01:28:39   where it just kind of automatically can like sync a playlist

01:28:43   based on what you like, based on what you've sliced it,

01:28:45   or whatever else.

01:28:46   And so, I think the way this seems to work

01:28:51   is overnight, while it's charging on the charger,

01:28:54   it's doing these data transfers that can be large

01:28:56   and time consuming.

01:28:57   So that way it doesn't have to worry about speed being low

01:29:00   or about using too much power.

01:29:02   For a podcast-like feature to work,

01:29:06   that's probably how it really has to be.

01:29:07   Because problem number one, which I never solved,

01:29:10   was it's too slow to transfer data to the watch.

01:29:13   And I did all sorts of crazy hacks,

01:29:14   like I wrote a whole transcoding engine

01:29:17   that would transcode to a lower bit rate and then send it,

01:29:19   because that was actually faster

01:29:21   than just sending it to begin with,

01:29:23   at its original size.

01:29:24   So solving that speed problem, that's a huge problem,

01:29:28   and it's going to take, I think,

01:29:30   multiple generations probably of the hardware

01:29:33   being improved before that's no longer a big problem.

01:29:36   So as long as data transfer to the watch is still slow,

01:29:40   syncing podcasts to it is always going to be awkward

01:29:43   or clunky because podcasts don't work the same way as music.

01:29:46   With music, you can sync a playlist overnight

01:29:48   and that's it, you're done.

01:29:50   You're probably not going to want to change that

01:29:54   in the middle of the day by sending all of a sudden

01:29:57   60 megs of new information to it

01:29:59   that you really want to be available

01:30:00   right this second right now.

01:30:02   Whereas with podcasts, that happens.

01:30:04   An episode comes, if this works the same way

01:30:07   that it worked in the iPod days,

01:30:08   back when podcasts first came out a decade ago,

01:30:11   the idea of an episode coming out

01:30:13   and then you having to wait till you got home

01:30:15   to sync it to your iPod and listen to it maybe the next day,

01:30:19   that was how we did things back then.

01:30:21   But now things are better.

01:30:22   Now we don't live in the stone age anymore.

01:30:25   Now, when a new episode comes out,

01:30:27   you expect to be able to hit play immediately

01:30:29   and start playing it.

01:30:31   And so to have that kind of experience

01:30:33   with the watch with podcasts,

01:30:37   You can't wait for it to sync overnight.

01:30:39   You can't wait for like, oh, next time I plug in the watch,

01:30:41   I'll have some kind of system to automatically sync stuff

01:30:43   over while charging overnight.

01:30:44   Like that's not a good enough experience.

01:30:46   What you need is something that you can say,

01:30:47   I wanna listen to this right now, go,

01:30:49   and have it be not a significant amount of time

01:30:52   before you can do that.

01:30:53   I think long term, the way this is solved is

01:30:56   the watch becomes a full-blown client of the app

01:30:59   with its own downloads and its own sync to the servers

01:31:02   and is no longer tethered to the phone app

01:31:05   as much as it is now.

01:31:07   Long term, that is probably the right solution.

01:31:09   But that requires large advances in the hardware

01:31:13   and software before that's possible.

01:31:14   That would require, first of all,

01:31:16   the rumored cellular watch,

01:31:18   or at least more frequent WiFi connectivity,

01:31:20   or whatever, that would require things

01:31:22   that we don't have today, really,

01:31:23   to do that very well.

01:31:25   The other thing is, on the software side,

01:31:27   I don't know the fine details of this,

01:31:29   in fact, I bet Steve Trouton Smith

01:31:31   probably knows a lot more about this than I do.

01:31:33   When you write apps for the iPhone,

01:31:36   most of the APIs you're using

01:31:38   are the exact same APIs that Apple uses.

01:31:41   The incentive is pretty strong

01:31:43   for Apple to keep those things up to date

01:31:45   because they use them too.

01:31:46   So if there's like a bug in UIKit,

01:31:49   it's probably gonna affect Apple also

01:31:51   in their own apps and their own development.

01:31:53   So they have a pretty strong incentive to fix that.

01:31:55   Whereas on the watch,

01:31:57   developers have only had access to WatchKit.

01:32:01   We don't have straight UIKit.

01:32:03   It seems, I think, I'm not positive on this,

01:32:06   but I think Apple is using lower level APIs.

01:32:09   Apple seems to be using something like UIKit

01:32:11   to make their apps on the watch.

01:32:13   But we developers are using this kind of subset

01:32:16   that we're kind of being forced to use,

01:32:18   and we can't use like the real APIs on the watch.

01:32:21   And so what we are using, Apple doesn't seem to have

01:32:25   a very strong incentive to fix what we use,

01:32:29   because I don't think they're using it.

01:32:32   And especially like the audio playback APIs,

01:32:36   what I have seen so far with the limitations

01:32:41   and bugs that they have,

01:32:43   I don't think Apple uses any of them

01:32:45   on the watch that we use.

01:32:47   I honestly don't, like Apple is probably using

01:32:50   AV Foundation directly on the watch,

01:32:53   but we don't have access to that in any kind of way

01:32:55   that we can actually background on the watch.

01:32:57   We only have foreground access to some of those things

01:33:00   and background access to this awful WK audio file player

01:33:03   thing that has all the bugs.

01:33:05   So until that changes, like until Apple's using

01:33:09   the same things we are using on the watch,

01:33:11   I don't think it's ever gonna be an amazing

01:33:14   development platform to make advanced type of apps

01:33:17   like a podcast player.

01:33:18   I hope that changes, I really do.

01:33:21   But so far, it seems like we are using these kind of

01:33:26   baby APIs, these training wheel APIs on the watch,

01:33:29   that existed at first because it was just so limited

01:33:32   and so low powered and the first watch kit

01:33:34   was this huge hack that were the thing around the phone

01:33:36   and was kind of beamed over.

01:33:37   So it made sense then a little bit,

01:33:40   but now I want real API access on the watch.

01:33:43   I want low level UI frameworks

01:33:47   and full blown audio frameworks

01:33:49   and exactly what we have on the phone

01:33:51   in regards to what I mentioned earlier about how,

01:33:56   When the watch crazy API, if a user hits next track

01:33:59   or forward, it just stops a podcast if it's playing

01:34:02   in the background and like the podcast player on the watch

01:34:06   can't do what we've done on iOS for ages,

01:34:08   which is interpret the remote control event manually.

01:34:11   Interpret the event that is sent from a headphone clicker

01:34:14   or the lock screen or your car Bluetooth or whatever

01:34:17   that says next track and instead of doing next track

01:34:20   on iOS, we can say oh, we'll just move it forward

01:34:22   15 seconds or we can respond however we want to that.

01:34:25   on the watch, none of those APIs are there.

01:34:27   We have no way to interact with the remote controls.

01:34:30   We have no way to set what appears

01:34:32   on the now playing screen besides a very, very limited thing

01:34:36   with this crazy audio player API.

01:34:39   You can kind of set it, but then it's kind of unreliable.

01:34:42   Even basic stuff I found, like, if you hit pause,

01:34:46   it doesn't pause.

01:34:47   Like, it's half the time, like,

01:34:49   two seconds after you hit play or pause,

01:34:51   the button flips over back the other way.

01:34:53   It's like crazy stuff that just doesn't work.

01:34:56   Every time I've worked against those APIs,

01:34:58   I have felt like I'm the first person

01:35:00   to ever have used them.

01:35:01   So to answer the actual question

01:35:04   you asked me 25 minutes ago,

01:35:06   I think it will eventually, hopefully become possible

01:35:08   to write a good standalone podcast player on the watch,

01:35:13   but I don't think that's coming soon,

01:35:15   because too much has to mature.

01:35:17   We need hardware advancements for battery

01:35:20   and power and data transfer speeds,

01:35:23   we need all those things to improve,

01:35:24   we need the ability for apps to actually stay running

01:35:27   in the background as they're playing audio,

01:35:29   not just do what watchOS tries to do now

01:35:32   and kill us in the background

01:35:34   and leave this weird standalone file player

01:35:36   that's run by the system.

01:35:37   No, we need what we have on the phone, basically.

01:35:39   The phone had this a very long time ago,

01:35:41   so maybe we weren't that far off, who knows?

01:35:43   But whatever it is, we need API parity

01:35:48   in a lot of these areas between the watch and the phone.

01:35:50   And not only do we not have that,

01:35:52   but it almost feels like Apple doesn't want

01:35:54   to do that on the watch.

01:35:55   It seems like they think that this is all the audio exposure

01:35:59   we need right now, and I don't know

01:36:01   if that's an ideological thing,

01:36:02   or if that's reacting to limitations of the current hardware.

01:36:05   Either way, that has to change, and that's a big change,

01:36:09   so I don't expect for it to be soon.

01:36:11   - So if you got, I'm trying to think of the minimal stuff

01:36:16   that you would need for this,

01:36:17   because it's gonna be a while before you get like full access to the

01:36:20   APIs that OWL has, if ever. If you just got cell data and the ability to run in

01:36:28   the background, at the very least you could make a very simple streaming only

01:36:35   player that communicates with, that pulls the data from wherever the

01:36:40   podcast is and that communicates with your server in a lightweight way to keep

01:36:44   sort of the timestamp updated, right? Because that's not heavy background work. You're like,

01:36:49   you know, pulling data for this podcast, you know, you have plenty of time to slurp it up when your

01:36:54   connection is good and then just sleep for a while, you know, whatever. So the input of the

01:36:58   audio data is fine and you kind of communicate with your server a little bit every, you know,

01:37:02   you can do it every minute, who knows? Like just say, oh, update the play position, update the play

01:37:06   position or whatever. And then I guess minimal interface to the controls to understand what you,

01:37:12   you know, how to have control over when you hit the next and previous to do something different than

01:37:16   doing something ridiculous. And that, I think, you know, I know this is, this entire section is

01:37:21   about offline watch playback, but this I think would fulfill all the needs. Like, I don't need

01:37:26   to bring my phone with me, I can just wear my watch and I can listen to my podcast. And,

01:37:30   but what I was mostly getting at with that, with the question about do you have any expectations,

01:37:34   A, if you had any inside information about it, but presumably Apple will eventually,

01:37:40   on its list of things that we want to add to the watch get to the point where people like yeah

01:37:43   people do like to listen to music on their watch they also would like to probably listen to podcasts

01:37:47   on their watch they know how many people listen to podcasts they have their stats for the podcast app

01:37:51   that comes bundled with your phone podcasts are a thing again not as big as music eventually i think

01:37:57   apple will get around to the idea of like oh it's silly that you can't listen to podcasts on your

01:38:01   watch without your phone with you especially now that we have the second generation of this watch

01:38:05   with cell date access right so they will get to it eventually so i feel like there's hope for you

01:38:09   You're not just like swinging in the wind where like they're just never going to get

01:38:12   to me.

01:38:13   But I don't know what the timeline looks like on that.

01:38:14   It's very difficult to tell how much Apple cares about podcasts sometimes.

01:38:19   Well, it's also, this is the kind of feature that, believe me, I've run into lots of these.

01:38:25   If you ask people if they want this feature, a certain number of them will say, "Yes, of

01:38:31   course I want that feature."

01:38:32   Or a certain number of them will email you without you even asking, saying, "Please,

01:38:35   I want this feature."

01:38:36   But then if you actually give it to them,

01:38:39   the number of people who actually use it

01:38:41   is usually, or not usually, often,

01:38:44   for some of these features, way, way lower

01:38:46   than what they thought before they had it.

01:38:49   - It's also the usability.

01:38:51   I remember when I tried to send it to the watch,

01:38:53   it's not easy to just figure out even how to do it.

01:38:55   And then when you do figure out how to do it,

01:38:57   the fact that it doesn't work that well

01:38:59   will discourage people from using it.

01:39:01   - Sure, and I think a lot of people

01:39:02   had that same experience with playing music on the watch

01:39:05   through Apple's apps.

01:39:07   The reason they had to do this kind of overnight

01:39:09   automatic syncing thing with watchOS 4

01:39:12   is because before that when you had to kind of manually

01:39:14   pick stuff to sync over and then wait forever for transfer,

01:39:17   that was terrible.

01:39:18   It was so bad most people didn't do it.

01:39:20   Even now on the watch I find the playback experience,

01:39:23   even if you can get the data there,

01:39:26   the playback and control experience on the watch

01:39:29   is really rough compared to what you have on the phone.

01:39:32   Again, this goes back to my thing of never bet

01:39:33   against the smartphone.

01:39:34   The smartphone is really good at this stuff.

01:39:37   It is very rare that I do something on my watch

01:39:42   to interact with a podcast that is at all non-trivial

01:39:45   that I don't regret not just taking out my phone

01:39:48   and doing it there.

01:39:49   If you're doing something like,

01:39:51   skip to the next chapter, fine.

01:39:53   Take out the watch app, do it there, it's fast.

01:39:55   If you're walking with me, that's fine.

01:39:58   But for anything non-trivial,

01:40:01   I find it very hard to do anything on the watch.

01:40:04   not even just with audio in general.

01:40:06   And so, and there have been lots of other overcast features

01:40:08   where people have asked for it or wanted it.

01:40:12   Some of the things I haven't even released

01:40:13   because, for example, the Sonos integration.

01:40:17   Right now there's, as I mentioned,

01:40:20   I think somewhere on Twitter or something,

01:40:22   there's an API limitation that basically makes it,

01:40:23   in my opinion, not good enough to ship.

01:40:25   Sound familiar?

01:40:26   So I'm not shipping it.

01:40:28   But I found in my testing of the Sonos integration,

01:40:33   it was not a very good experience.

01:40:35   And I mostly just preferred to have podcasts playing

01:40:40   through my phone speaker sitting on the counter,

01:40:42   or eventually upgraded to an iPad Pro

01:40:44   with big speakers in it, so that's the way,

01:40:46   and so an iPad Pro on the counter is by far

01:40:49   the best way to play podcasts out in the open at home,

01:40:52   by a long shot.

01:40:53   It's way better than Sonos, way better than Echo,

01:40:55   it's just a way better experience.

01:40:57   Because you don't listen to podcasts

01:40:59   the same way you listen to music.

01:41:01   There's a lot more interaction involved,

01:41:03   and you have different, like you wanna look at,

01:41:06   if somebody mentions a link,

01:41:07   you wanna look at the show notes.

01:41:08   If, you know, you might wanna seek around a little bit,

01:41:10   or look at a chap list, or skip ahead,

01:41:12   or skip commercials, or whatever else,

01:41:14   like there's much more interaction with podcasts

01:41:16   than when you have with music.

01:41:17   So like, these systems that are designed for music playback,

01:41:21   when you try to play a podcast with them,

01:41:22   it sounds like a good idea,

01:41:23   and it sounds like it'd be awesome,

01:41:25   but trust me, when you actually get it,

01:41:27   it's not nearly as good as just using your phone,

01:41:29   or using an iPad that's, you know, sitting up on a counter.

01:41:32   So there's a lot of these features,

01:41:34   and I think watch playback is just one of these things

01:41:37   that the nature of interacting with the watch,

01:41:40   it's so limited, the software is so limited,

01:41:42   the hardware, the ergonomics, they're so limited

01:41:45   because it's such a tiny little device.

01:41:47   I don't think it's ever gonna be a great experience

01:41:50   to play and manage podcasts on the watch.

01:41:53   It's gonna be something that people will ask for forever,

01:41:56   and some people will use it, no question.

01:41:59   I'm not saying nobody will use it,

01:42:01   But I'm saying very few people will,

01:42:03   even if it's done well,

01:42:04   like even if I do everything right,

01:42:07   and even if the hardware gets a little bit better,

01:42:08   and things get a little bit faster,

01:42:10   I still don't think it's going to be a very good experience

01:42:13   compared to just taking out your phone and doing it there.

01:42:16   - You know, you said something earlier, Marco,

01:42:18   about the potential for an LTE-equipped watch.

01:42:22   And I was on Clockwise earlier today,

01:42:25   and that was actually the question I brought up,

01:42:26   is hey, would you be interested in an LTE-equipped watch?

01:42:30   and why or why not.

01:42:31   And not to rehash that too much,

01:42:34   but what I was saying was,

01:42:37   I've been running a few times a week lately

01:42:38   and we'll see how long that sticks,

01:42:40   but it's been sticking for a while now,

01:42:42   it's been a couple of months.

01:42:43   And it occurred to me recently that

01:42:46   part of the reason I bring my phone when I run

01:42:49   is because if I were to somehow really injure myself,

01:42:53   I'd really wanna be able to call like Aaron

01:42:56   or an ambulance if it really was that bad.

01:42:59   And if I had a watch that had the mechanism by which I could do that,

01:43:04   you know, presumably, you know, with LTE,

01:43:06   although I saw some rumblings earlier today saying that maybe it would be data only and not permit phone calls,

01:43:12   but either way, if I had a watch that could call for help some way somehow,

01:43:18   then maybe I wouldn't need to bring my phone with me,

01:43:20   which would be nice that I wouldn't have to, you know, because currently I carry it.

01:43:23   I don't have one of those peculiar armbands or anything.

01:43:26   And it occurred to me, wow, you know,

01:43:28   it would be really great to be able to listen to my podcasts on my--oh, crap.

01:43:32   So I definitely am not one that had used the "send to watch" feature in Overcast while

01:43:39   it was there, but I am on a Series 0 watch, and I think I'll probably upgrade this year.

01:43:45   And yeah, it would be pretty cool if that came back.

01:43:47   So Count Me In is one of those people that's looking forward to somehow figuring out a

01:43:51   way to make this work again, presumably with API changes.

01:43:55   By the way, Steve Trout and Smith actually gave us the name of the thing that Apple's

01:44:02   apps use on the watch in the tradition of weird internal Apple names.

01:44:06   I mean, Springboard's kind of weird too.

01:44:09   The weird code names like what is the watch, like the code name Gizmo or something.

01:44:12   Anyway, WatchKit runs on top of Pepper UI Core, like, you know, Black Pepper.

01:44:19   And Pepper UI Core runs on top of UIKit.

01:44:21   How do you know it isn't about bell peppers?

01:44:24   I don't know what it's about.

01:44:26   Maybe Chris Pepper.

01:44:27   Yeah, could be. It corrects your typos for you.

01:44:30   [laughs]

01:44:32   Joke with an audience of seven people. Yay!

01:44:35   Thanks for our sponsors this week.

01:44:37   Fracture, Eero, and Aftershocks.

01:44:39   And we will see you next week.

01:44:41   [music]

01:44:43   Now the show is over, they didn't even mean to begin

01:44:48   'Cause it was accidental, oh it was accidental

01:44:53   John didn't do any research, Margo and Casey wouldn't let him

01:44:58   'Cause it was accidental, oh it was accidental

01:45:04   And you can find the show notes at ATP.fm

01:45:09   And if you're into Twitter, you can follow them

01:45:14   @C-A-S-E-Y-L-I-S-S

01:45:18   So that's Casey Liss M-A-R-C-O-A-R-M

01:45:23   Auntie Marco Arment S-I-R-A-C

01:45:28   USA, Syracuse, it's accidental

01:45:33   They didn't mean to, accidental

01:45:38   ♪ I've had no tech broadcast so long ♪

01:45:43   - I have some bike follow-up.

01:45:46   - Ah, excellent.

01:45:47   Let's talk about bikes.

01:45:48   - I saw your bike, or Tif's bike,

01:45:51   and I couldn't figure out if that was your,

01:45:53   I'm gonna buy the bike and if I don't like it,

01:45:54   I'm gonna give it to Tif,

01:45:55   or if it was an entirely separate dedicated Tif bike.

01:46:00   - So, well, it was the bike that I was buying

01:46:02   for probably Tif, but I was gonna see if I liked it.

01:46:05   And so that's kinda why I bought it first.

01:46:08   I was going to use my opinion of that

01:46:09   to inform what I was going to get for myself.

01:46:12   And that bike was the Priority Coast.

01:46:16   Priority, they seem to be a pretty good bike company.

01:46:18   They're a New York based company,

01:46:20   they started on Kickstarter,

01:46:22   and they do all belt drive bikes.

01:46:25   I mentioned last show that I like the belt drive

01:46:28   for the lack of maintenance and better everything.

01:46:32   So I like the belt drive, and that's what I wanted.

01:46:37   The Priority Coast is their beach cruiser model.

01:46:41   I got it kind of thinking,

01:46:43   I don't think I wanted beach cruiser.

01:46:44   I think I wanted like a little bit more

01:46:46   like a forward position.

01:46:47   Like I've, I always enjoyed mountain bikes

01:46:50   more than most other thing,

01:46:51   most other bike shapes, I guess.

01:46:54   And you know, that kind of like,

01:46:55   the kind of forward position with the straight bars

01:46:57   and the hand brakes and everything like that.

01:46:58   I just like that better, I think.

01:47:00   But you know, this is a beach town

01:47:03   and every, literally every other bike in town,

01:47:06   except for the cop bikes are beach cruisers.

01:47:09   Even one of the cops has a beach cruiser.

01:47:11   The rest have mountain bikes, but anyway.

01:47:13   So, I thought that I should probably try that.

01:47:16   So we did, and it is a little bit big for me,

01:47:19   which I kind of expected going into it,

01:47:21   so it's a little bit big,

01:47:22   and I really don't like the coaster brake.

01:47:26   It seems like a beach cruiser thing

01:47:27   that all beach cruisers have,

01:47:29   where you pedal backwards to brake, the coaster brakes.

01:47:32   I just, I was not, I've taken that bike out a few times,

01:47:36   and I just could not get into the coaster brake.

01:47:38   It also, it has, the coaster brake seemingly has

01:47:41   like the main brake, and then it also has

01:47:43   a front only hand brake.

01:47:46   And that to me was very confusing.

01:47:48   I think if this was gonna be my bike,

01:47:50   I would actually remove the front hand brake.

01:47:53   Because to have like half of one method of braking,

01:47:57   but the main method of braking be the other thing,

01:47:59   like it was just very confusing.

01:48:00   Like I wanted--

01:48:01   - They have that on there because coaster brakes suck,

01:48:03   and if you need to stop at an emergency,

01:48:05   I don't want you to die because the coaster brakes

01:48:07   can't stop you, you know?

01:48:08   - Right.

01:48:09   - I mean, really it's just friction.

01:48:10   Even if the coaster brakes could lock up the back wheel,

01:48:13   you will stop faster if you could also do something

01:48:15   to stop the front wheel.

01:48:16   So that would be a bad idea to get a bike

01:48:18   with coaster brakes and remove.

01:48:20   I've actually seen bikes with hand brakes

01:48:22   that only have the back hand brake.

01:48:23   Like you need, you want something pinching

01:48:25   both the front and the back wheels

01:48:26   because you need both contact patches

01:48:28   to stop you in an emergency.

01:48:29   So don't do that.

01:48:30   - All right, well, and you know,

01:48:31   my needs here are lower because again,

01:48:33   because they're all like sidewalks full of people

01:48:35   that you're riding on, like there's no roads,

01:48:37   there's like these broad sidewalks

01:48:39   and they're all full of people and wagons and stuff.

01:48:40   So like you actually can't go that fast most of the time.

01:48:43   - You're gonna hit a deer.

01:48:45   - Yeah, that actually is a concern, or a fox, or--

01:48:48   - Or a deer's gonna hit you.

01:48:49   - Yeah, that's more like it.

01:48:51   Anyway, so that was fine.

01:48:54   I then, after lots of research and waffling,

01:48:56   as you know I'm prone to do, I decided to finally--

01:49:00   - You? - Yeah, right?

01:49:01   So I am now driving a CVT, just for Jon.

01:49:04   - Oh my God, oh my God, what happened?

01:49:06   - So what brand is this?

01:49:08   - It is another, it's also a priority.

01:49:10   It's their Continuum Onyx model.

01:49:13   It's basically their high-end road bike.

01:49:16   I have some issues with it.

01:49:18   - It's not a road bike, like a road bike, it's like a--

01:49:20   - It's a commuter bike, so it's not like a racing,

01:49:24   like the handlebars don't have those dip-down U shapes.

01:49:27   - Road bike is a term of art.

01:49:28   - Sorry.

01:49:29   It's like a 10-speed type thing,

01:49:31   but not the ones with the really skinny tires.

01:49:33   - Yeah, it's a commuter bike.

01:49:35   I have some issues with it.

01:49:37   Their fenders are pretty low quality on both of the bikes,

01:49:40   and they rattle a little bit,

01:49:41   and even when they're tightened and everything.

01:49:44   The fenders are also slightly asymmetrical,

01:49:46   which is, I can't tell if it's intentional or not.

01:49:49   Like, they look just kind of crooked.

01:49:50   So I'm probably actually gonna remove the fenders,

01:49:52   'cause they just kind of are annoying me,

01:49:53   and I think in retrospect,

01:49:56   this was a bad choice for a beach town,

01:49:59   because it has these really skinny high pressure tires.

01:50:02   And while that might be great on a well-paved road

01:50:06   when you're commuting to work,

01:50:08   I guess there's a reason why every other bike

01:50:10   that I pass in the beach town

01:50:12   has these two inch wide cruiser tires.

01:50:15   There's a reason for that.

01:50:17   (laughs)

01:50:18   And so when you're riding along these walks

01:50:20   that are all old concrete,

01:50:22   it's like riding on an old sidewalk.

01:50:23   So you're going,

01:50:24   (imitates bike engine)

01:50:25   as you go, you just hit your feeling every bump

01:50:28   and on these tires you feel it a lot.

01:50:30   So I'm actually, I think I might go to the bike guy in town

01:50:34   and see if he can like, see if he has any larger tires

01:50:36   that would still fit these rims

01:50:38   to not make it too big of a project, but.

01:50:41   And the seat is like sitting on a rock.

01:50:44   Like, they call it the priority comfort seat,

01:50:47   or saddle I think they call them.

01:50:48   Bike people call them saddles for some reason.

01:50:50   I don't know what part of this is comfortable exactly,

01:50:53   but it's certainly not the part that my butt is sitting on.

01:50:56   So I have to fix that as well.

01:50:58   Fortunately, that's an easy fix.

01:50:59   There's lots of--

01:51:00   - Make sure you get a prostate friendly one.

01:51:03   - I was not aware there was a difference.

01:51:04   - The one you have is like,

01:51:06   you're distinguishing by like there being a big split

01:51:09   in the middle, you're like,

01:51:10   why is this seat split in half?

01:51:12   - Yeah, yeah, it has like a little hole in the middle.

01:51:14   - Right, so sometimes they just give a suggestion

01:51:17   of a crease there, which I feel like doesn't help.

01:51:19   And sometimes there's actually an air gap there.

01:51:22   But anyway, you want something like that.

01:51:24   - Okay, good, noted.

01:51:25   So I have that.

01:51:27   - You probably want for your sensitive tushy

01:51:28   like a gel seat or some other thing that's squishy.

01:51:31   - Yeah, like the old rusted out mountain bike

01:51:34   I thought I was riding here beforehand

01:51:35   that only technically has like three gears left if it's 21.

01:51:39   That one has like an aftermarket gel seat on it

01:51:41   and that was always fine for me.

01:51:42   So I ordered someone on Amazon that was well reviewed.

01:51:46   We'll see how it goes when it gets here in three years

01:51:49   because getting things here from Amazon is tricky.

01:51:51   Anyway, so replacing the seat, otherwise it's very nice.

01:51:55   I really love disc brakes.

01:51:57   This is my first time I've ever ridden a bike

01:51:59   that has disc brakes.

01:52:00   It's such a massive difference over the regular

01:52:02   like V style calipers that go on the rim.

01:52:05   It stops like on a dime, it's amazing.

01:52:08   So big fan of that.

01:52:09   Big fan of generally the handling of the shape of the bike,

01:52:14   although again the tires are way too skinny

01:52:15   so I'm gonna work on that too.

01:52:17   And the CVT is amazing.

01:52:20   Like it shouldn't be as good as it is,

01:52:23   but it's just really, really nice.

01:52:26   You know, one of the advances,

01:52:28   and there are gear hubs that do this too,

01:52:31   you can shift at, you know, even when you're at a stop,

01:52:33   you can still shift.

01:52:34   So if you like, are going in a high gear,

01:52:37   have to stop really fast, and don't have time to like,

01:52:39   you know, shift all the way back down,

01:52:41   doesn't matter, just twist the handle here

01:52:42   in the low gear, you just go.

01:52:44   Because it's a CVT, and because you can just kinda twist

01:52:46   as often as you like on that gear,

01:52:48   in any interval you like, I find myself shifting way more

01:52:52   than I would on a derailleur style bike.

01:52:55   I wouldn't say it's necessary,

01:52:56   like I'd be fine with a geared setup

01:52:58   or even with a fixed gear for most of the time I ride here.

01:53:01   But it's really nice to have this,

01:53:02   that way you can like,

01:53:03   if I'm slowing down for a turn or something,

01:53:06   I just kind of, I've automatically kind of started

01:53:09   going into the lower gears and then moving back out

01:53:11   as I go, as I pedal, going back up, it's really cool.

01:53:15   - Make sure you do rev matching.

01:53:16   - Yeah.

01:53:17   (laughing)

01:53:19   - Downshifting for the corner.

01:53:20   - Flip the pedal, literally.

01:53:22   - Yeah, so anyway.

01:53:23   It was probably not the best bike to get for the beach

01:53:27   because of its incredibly hard ride

01:53:29   that's obviously designed for smooth roads and not sidewalks.

01:53:32   - No shocks on this one, right?

01:53:33   - Yeah, no shocks.

01:53:34   It seems like shocks are passe in fancy bikes.

01:53:37   It seems like nobody wants to build shocks anymore.

01:53:39   - Well, for mountain bikes you need them,

01:53:40   or anything that's on uneven terrain you need it.

01:53:43   Not just for comfort, but also for control.

01:53:46   - I also, it's been, so since we recorded it,

01:53:49   I also got curious about sand bikes or fat bikes,

01:53:52   as bike people seem to call them.

01:53:54   The ones that have like five inch wide giant sand tires.

01:53:58   Those, you occasionally see those around here,

01:54:00   and I thought, that could be interesting.

01:54:03   Then I could ride past the crazy point of woods fence,

01:54:06   and I could expand my horizons in the direction

01:54:09   so I could like, I could get more distance

01:54:10   if I can ride on the sand.

01:54:12   So I spent, since we last recorded about two weeks ago,

01:54:16   I spent this time researching fat bikes

01:54:19   and looking around for places that I could maybe rent one

01:54:23   or try one and it wasn't until about two days ago

01:54:27   that I learned that my neighbor has one

01:54:29   and he let me borrow it and showed me how to use it

01:54:32   on the sand.

01:54:33   Have you ever ridden on sand?

01:54:35   - I've run on sand, you ever run on sand?

01:54:38   - Yeah, that's not fun either.

01:54:40   - I knew it would be challenging.

01:54:42   I did not realize to what degree it would be challenging.

01:54:45   So I get out there and this is like, it's a perfect setup.

01:54:48   Like it's pretty low tide.

01:54:50   He's showing me exactly where on the sand to ride.

01:54:52   Like so it's like optionally packed down,

01:54:55   slightly damp but not like super wet sand, you know.

01:54:58   So you're, and the bike has like these large

01:55:01   five inch low pressure tires.

01:55:03   So you know, so it's the ideal setup really.

01:55:06   Like it would be hard to find a better setup

01:55:08   than the setup I had.

01:55:09   And so I first started going

01:55:12   and for about the first 30 feet or so,

01:55:15   I'm like, this is easy.

01:55:17   What was I so concerned about?

01:55:18   This is nothing.

01:55:20   And then after, as you keep going,

01:55:24   you're like, wait a minute,

01:55:25   I have to maintain this level of resistance indefinitely.

01:55:30   It's not like a quick hill where you go up the hill

01:55:33   and then you're flat for a while,

01:55:34   then you can coast for a while,

01:55:35   you have low resistance.

01:55:36   No, it's like, to keep moving,

01:55:39   it's like you're going up a pretty sizable hill

01:55:42   all the time.

01:55:43   (laughing)

01:55:45   So I lasted something like two or 300 feet

01:55:49   before I was like, all right, I'm done.

01:55:50   Like I can't do any more of these.

01:55:52   (laughing)

01:55:54   Turned around, went back to heaven,

01:55:55   I'm like, all right, thanks.

01:55:57   I'm like, this ride is either gonna save me

01:56:00   a $50 rental fee from the place in town

01:56:03   or it's gonna cost me $1,000 to buy one of these bikes.

01:56:06   For the first time ever, I didn't buy the thing.

01:56:09   (laughing)

01:56:10   - Oh, now you're researching e-sand bikes though.

01:56:13   - Of course I researched e-sand bikes,

01:56:15   'cause those were only about 1,500, but I--

01:56:18   - Only.

01:56:20   - Honestly, compared to the price of e-bikes

01:56:23   and the price of sand bikes,

01:56:24   that actually is a really good price.

01:56:26   But anyway, my issue with those is like,

01:56:29   what's the point then?

01:56:30   The whole reason I'm riding is for exercise

01:56:33   and getting myself, and the challenge of it.

01:56:37   The e-bike thing I think makes more sense

01:56:41   if you're doing commuting or if there's some other reasons

01:56:46   why you're doing this besides just the exercise value.

01:56:49   If you were a delivery person using a bike

01:56:52   or if you had to ride between these towns

01:56:55   and you had to go on the beach to ride

01:56:56   between certain ones for your job or something,

01:57:00   that'd be a different story.

01:57:01   Then that would make more sense.

01:57:02   But for my purposes as this is mainly for exercise,

01:57:05   An e-bike is, it kinda misses the point, I think.

01:57:08   - Well, what about exploring?

01:57:09   Is it this point that you wanted to explore

01:57:10   beyond a certain point that you hadn't gone beyond before?

01:57:13   You wanna find new places to get Lyme disease?

01:57:15   You should, you know, you could use the e-bike for that,

01:57:18   to let you go exploring in areas where previously

01:57:20   you would've been too tired to get to.

01:57:23   - I think a more responsible thing to do

01:57:25   is to just keep biking until I'm strong enough

01:57:29   to do the sand bike thing.

01:57:30   Like, that is what I should do.

01:57:33   It probably isn't what I will do,

01:57:34   But that is what I should do.

01:57:37   - You can just walk, you can just walk on the beach,

01:57:39   you can just walk on the sand, feet work really well.

01:57:41   - No, that's, what are you, crazy?

01:57:43   No.

01:57:44   - So somehow we go up and down beaches on Long Island

01:57:48   and we have no bikes, just our feet.

01:57:50   Make sure you bring shoes, sand is hot.

01:57:53   - It is pretty frustrating though,

01:57:54   like when you will occasionally see somebody

01:57:57   with an e-sand bike drive by as you're on the beach,

01:57:59   you're like, "Damn it."

01:58:02   - Yeah, so anyway, what I ideally still want is,

01:58:07   basically what I mentioned last time is my high-end option,

01:58:09   the Budnits bicycle, the Model 3 or Number 3,

01:58:13   I keep getting their names confused with Tesla's names,

01:58:16   'cause they have some that begin with Model

01:58:17   and some that begin with Number.

01:58:19   Anyway, I want the Budnits Number 3,

01:58:21   and I will probably end up ordering one of those for home,

01:58:26   and then maybe next summer I'll get one for the beach,

01:58:28   but we'll see, 'cause this summer's almost over,

01:58:30   and you can't get 'em, like they're made,

01:58:32   They're made to order, so it takes a few weeks to get them,

01:58:35   so it's too late for the summer anyway.

01:58:37   But I think that's what I want here,

01:58:40   is basically a high spec bike that also has wide tires,

01:58:45   but not quite sand tire wide.

01:58:48   - Where are you gonna ride it at home, on streets,

01:58:50   or are there paths you can go on?

01:58:52   - Mostly streets, but there also is,

01:58:55   I live near the old Croton Aqueduct Trail.

01:58:58   I would probably ride on that, lots of people do.

01:59:00   There's also nearby bike trails,

01:59:02   then I have to become the person who puts their bike

01:59:04   on their car and brings it places.

01:59:06   I might get there sometime, I don't know,

01:59:09   but I don't know anything about that world yet,

01:59:11   and so I'm a little resistant to that.

01:59:13   But one thing I think I might get into this is that

01:59:18   this is actually, I've only told you about two

01:59:21   of the three bikes that I've bought since we last talked.

01:59:24   The third one was the tiny version,

01:59:27   which I bought for my son,

01:59:28   'cause they also sell, Priority also sells

01:59:31   the Priority Start, which is a tiny belt drive

01:59:35   fancy bike made by hipsters in New York.

01:59:37   - I'm sure he appreciates all the nuances

01:59:42   of this very expensive fancy bike.

01:59:44   - First of all, compared to other well-rated kids' bikes,

01:59:48   it was surprisingly inexpensive.

01:59:50   The bike that everyone else told us to get,

01:59:53   which was the Isla or Isla bike, or Isla bike,

01:59:56   however you pronounce that, that's like 400 bucks.

01:59:59   This was 250.

02:00:01   So compared to those, that's actually not that bad.

02:00:03   I could also get this quickly.

02:00:05   - That's pretty cheap for a kid bike.

02:00:07   Although this is real, I mean the problem

02:00:08   with these kids bikes is a throwaway bike.

02:00:10   He's gonna grow three inches in the next two weeks

02:00:12   and it's like, oh, now he's too big for that bike

02:00:14   'cause it's like kids clothes.

02:00:15   - Yeah, well fortunately we got the 16 inch size

02:00:18   and he is like, he's barely tall enough to make it now

02:00:20   so that way he has the most time to actually use it

02:00:23   before he gets too tall for it.

02:00:25   And it's a pretty well specced bike.

02:00:27   Like it has dual hand brakes, like real V-brakes

02:00:31   on both wheels, not a coaster brake.

02:00:33   And it has the carbon belt instead of the chain,

02:00:35   'cause once he saw Tiff's and then mine,

02:00:38   and he asked about why those were there,

02:00:40   and I explained why it's superior,

02:00:42   and so of course he wanted one.

02:00:44   So now we have three people riding priority bikes.

02:00:48   He hasn't quite gotten it yet,

02:00:50   but I bet within the next few days

02:00:52   he'll be pretty good on it.

02:00:54   - Do you have the training wheels on or off?

02:00:55   - Off.

02:00:56   - Yeah, he'll be doing it in two minutes.

02:00:59   Another thing you can periscope.

02:01:01   I don't know how to ride.

02:01:02   Just run behind him and hold the seat

02:01:04   and then you let go, that's how you do it.

02:01:05   - Yeah, me and Tiff were doing that today earlier.

02:01:08   It was the very first time we tried it,

02:01:10   so we got slightly far, but we didn't quite get far enough

02:01:14   today to fully let go for more than a second or two.

02:01:17   So I think we'll practice over the next few days

02:01:19   and probably by next week, he should be riding a bike.

02:01:23   - Actually, I was mostly joking.

02:01:24   That's not how you should have your head do it.

02:01:26   way my father did it to me but that's like the worst way to do it. The way it should

02:01:29   be done is the way you're already doing it. You give him the scoot bike so he learns how

02:01:32   to balance and he'll do it on his own. Yeah, so he's, I think he's basically all set. He

02:01:36   just uses this like a scoot bike but then picks both his feet up and puts them on the

02:01:40   pedals instead of just holding them up in the air, then starts pedaling, he's off to

02:01:43   the races. Yeah, we're getting there. This Bud Knits bike is weird. Which one, the number

02:01:49   three? Yeah, the frame is weird. Well, they're actually known for their like cool artistic

02:01:55   frame.

02:01:56   Yeah, I don't need my friend to be artistic.

02:01:59   And it's not, no CVT, you're going to be spoiled by the CVT and then you're going to come to

02:02:02   this and it's like 11 gears?

02:02:04   That's not enough.

02:02:05   Actually I already asked them and they actually would do a CVT if I wanted it, but yeah.

02:02:09   No, I mean it's because it seems like it, what I actually want is a road version of

02:02:16   a mountain bike.

02:02:17   Yeah, that's what this looks like except for the roofy frame.

02:02:22   And so this gives me high-end parts,

02:02:26   like it has good brakes, good gearing options,

02:02:29   the carbon belt, nice stuff,

02:02:32   and a slightly mountain bikey, slightly roady

02:02:37   kind of hybrid riding position, and wide tire support.

02:02:41   And it looks cool.

02:02:43   Oh, and it also has the other things I like,

02:02:44   like minimal branding.

02:02:45   Like so many of these bikes have just giant names

02:02:49   all over the place and it's just ugly as hell.

02:02:52   So, you know, stuff like that.

02:02:53   Like, they do some pretty good work.

02:02:55   - So the way you feel about sand bike tires

02:02:57   is the way I feel about tires

02:02:58   that are the width of this thing.

02:02:59   Like, I feel like it's just huge amounts

02:03:02   of unnecessary friction.

02:03:03   As soon as I stop pedaling, it's like,

02:03:05   oh, these tires are slowing me down.

02:03:07   Like, regenerative braking.

02:03:08   (laughing)

02:03:09   - They actually had, the Model E actually is

02:03:12   one of the more interesting e-bikes I've ever seen, too.

02:03:15   It's all in the rear hub.

02:03:17   Like, there's no battery on the frame or anything.

02:03:20   Like it's just all, it's just a rear hub

02:03:22   that happens to include like a radial battery

02:03:25   around the center.

02:03:26   - There are things, do you see the thing

02:03:27   that you can add to just any bike

02:03:29   and just slap it on the wheel?

02:03:30   There's lots of clever--

02:03:31   - Yeah, the Helvetica one, what was that called?

02:03:34   - I think it was a bunch of them.

02:03:35   - C something wheel.

02:03:36   Anyway, honestly, I thought that was hideous,

02:03:38   the thing you could just add to any of them.

02:03:40   - Yeah, well.

02:03:41   - But, no, again, like, if I get an e-bike,

02:03:44   it would definitely be for home, not for here,

02:03:46   because that's the place where like,

02:03:47   there are giant hills in my neighborhood.

02:03:49   and one of the reasons I have not gotten a bike yet at home

02:03:53   is that I assumed there's no way to reasonably ride a bike

02:03:57   in my neighborhood because there's so many hills.

02:03:59   - There is, come on.

02:04:00   I should show you, I don't think any hill

02:04:02   in your neighborhood is as big as the hills near

02:04:05   where I was growing up and I went up them in a bike

02:04:06   with no gears.

02:04:07   Couldn't change gears down to first gear

02:04:09   to get up the hill.

02:04:10   You had one gear in the Mongoose and that was it

02:04:12   and I powered my way up those hills all the time

02:04:14   'cause that's how you got to your friend's house.

02:04:15   - One gear, both ways.

02:04:17   - Yeah, that's how you got to your friend's house.

02:04:18   the worst part, there's more dangers going down the hills.

02:04:22   I wish I could have topology in Google Maps.

02:04:25   - Sometimes it's weird.

02:04:27   - Let's see if I could find.

02:04:29   - The other thing is like, as my kid gets into biking,

02:04:33   I suspect that a good thing to do will be

02:04:35   for me to go with him biking, even at home, year round.

02:04:38   So like to have something at home

02:04:40   that could do that pretty well is probably a good idea.

02:04:43   - No, no topology, why don't you go 3D?

02:04:46   - 3D, that's not very 3D.

02:04:48   What the hell?

02:04:49   It's like I look like this road is flat,

02:04:50   this road is not flat.

02:04:52   - Every time I see a mongoose around town,

02:04:54   I think of you, John.

02:04:55   - No, it's a different company now.

02:04:57   - And they actually have what seems like

02:04:59   a really popular fat tire bike too.

02:05:02   I'm not talking about the button sized tire,

02:05:04   I'm talking about the sand bike sized tires.

02:05:07   I see there's a lot of the sand bikes around town

02:05:09   or the ones that are kind of,

02:05:11   there seems to be a class of bike around here that,

02:05:14   They're not quite wide enough or not knobby enough

02:05:17   to be sand tires, but they're just ridiculous.

02:05:19   They're like three and a half inch wide,

02:05:22   but just like flat rubber tires on bikes

02:05:25   that look like they might've cost $2

02:05:27   out of the Walmart discount bin.

02:05:29   It's very, very strange, but I kinda wanna ride one.

02:05:32   'Cause it looks like it's probably a lot of fun.

02:05:34   (laughs)

02:05:35   - Oh my God, I'm looking at these roads on Google Maps

02:05:38   and I see what these terrible people did

02:05:42   to my childhood home.

02:05:44   'cause I could see it from the air,

02:05:45   they cut down all the trees,

02:05:46   they put this hideous swimming pool,

02:05:48   like taking up the entire backyard,

02:05:49   just giant hideous swimming pool,

02:05:51   like literally the whole backyard is paved over

02:05:53   with this terrible swimming pool in it.

02:05:55   Hate these people.

02:05:56   (laughing)

02:05:58   - You know, that should be your retirement plan.

02:06:00   Buy back your old house and fix it.

02:06:03   - It's not that great of a house.

02:06:05   And I can't replace all the trees.

02:06:07   They cut down so many trees, so many big full grown trees.

02:06:10   At least they still have them in the back,

02:06:11   but just they cut down so many trees.

02:06:13   - Oh, you can.

02:06:14   I mean, if you save enough money,

02:06:15   you totally can buy full-grown trees.

02:06:18   I know because there's the guy Shaw,

02:06:21   there's some guy named Shaw

02:06:23   who invented the hedge fund or something,

02:06:25   and he's building a large house down,

02:06:29   basically at the edge of my neighborhood.

02:06:31   They've actually trucked in full-sized trees.

02:06:34   Have you ever seen a tree on a flatbed truck?

02:06:36   - Yeah, 'cause that's what Apple did

02:06:38   for the Apple Park thing.

02:06:39   - Yeah, yeah, exactly.

02:06:41   I would love to know how much it costs

02:06:44   to get a full-size tree shipped to your house and planted.

02:06:47   I'm guessing it has to be like 100 grand or something.

02:06:49   Like there's-- - Nah.

02:06:51   Maybe $5,000 a pop.

02:06:53   No, all right, maybe 10K a pop.

02:06:55   - 'Cause this is, it's not on one like regular flatbed,

02:06:57   it's on like the oversized load trucks they bring houses on.

02:07:01   - Yeah, they got the big spade thing

02:07:03   that's containing the root ball and all the dirt, yeah.

02:07:05   - Yeah, it's a giant root ball.

02:07:08   Like I can't like, I can't even imagine.

02:07:10   - You don't see them take it out?

02:07:12   It's like a thing from like a portal, not portal,

02:07:16   Half Life 2 with like City 17,

02:07:18   these giant metal things go in,

02:07:19   chink, chink, chink, and they all go underneath the thing

02:07:21   and they all go down and meet in the middle

02:07:23   and it tears up the tree.

02:07:24   It's cool.

02:07:25   - Yeah.

02:07:26   (laughs)

02:07:27   I didn't see that part,

02:07:28   but even just seeing the truck go down

02:07:31   like the main thoroughfare in our town

02:07:33   and park next to this giant construction project

02:07:35   with this giant tree lying down on the back of it,

02:07:38   Like, that's, wow.

02:07:42   So anyway, you totally can replace this trace,

02:07:44   but maybe plan for like 100 grand each

02:07:46   as the possible cost. (laughs)

02:07:50   - Well, it's just such a shame.

02:07:52   I mean, I don't understand why people,

02:07:54   you don't wanna have a backyard,

02:07:55   you want your entire backyard to be brick in a swimming pool.

02:07:58   It's just, it's awkwardly shaped.

02:08:01   It's not the right place.

02:08:03   It's a house on the corner, and their swimming pool is,

02:08:06   Like instead of being tucked away from where people are,

02:08:09   it's like right up against the driveway and the road.

02:08:12   Like you want some privacy in your swimming pool.

02:08:14   It's just, I don't know what they're thinking.

02:08:16   - Telling you, this is what you gotta do.

02:08:18   - Who knows what the inside of the house looks like now.

02:08:19   I mean, maybe they didn't change that that much.

02:08:21   I don't know.

02:08:22   If they sell it and they ever have an open house,

02:08:24   I should go down there

02:08:25   and look at what the heck they're doing.

02:08:26   Oh, totally.

02:08:27   - No, God, it will drive you insane

02:08:30   knowing the things that they've done.

02:08:33   The only way that ends well for you

02:08:34   If you don't have any idea. They haven't changed the outside of the house

02:08:38   They've kept all the gross 80s deck and like the little abbreviated deck that my dad

02:08:42   But maybe they maybe they fixed the walk when I did the driveway

02:08:45   Just just terrible don't like it

02:08:49   [BEEPING]

02:08:52   [