220: Executive Box Lunch


00:00:00   Would any executive who had other options ever choose to eat a box lunch like well, it's like anything that's executive

00:00:07   It's always the name is always two levels of status up from the thing. Otherwise, it wouldn't be a marketing name, you know, so

00:00:12   Executives would never have an executive box lunch. 17 year olds. Don't read 17 magazine and on and on

00:00:17   Aspirational, I don't think executives have any form of lunch that comes in a box. They should call it executive sack lunch

00:00:29   Like there there's literally there is nothing they could put in that box that would make that name seem reasonable

00:00:34   Just filled with caviar sack lunch the famous movie from Seinfeld

00:00:39   To begin with follow-up today a friend of the show Daniel Jalkett has spent

00:00:45   What seemed to be a surprising amount of time doing research on Moscone lunches, and I'm glad that Daniel did it

00:00:50   So we don't have to

00:00:52   He has looked up some information about the Moscone box lunches. We will put a link in the show notes

00:00:58   There's a few highlights that I wanted to call everyone's attention to the quote executive box lunch quotes is

00:01:06   $39 and 25 cents in the year 2017 according to Daniel. I love so much that this is called the executive

00:01:15   Yes, the executive box lunch. I am NOT kidding

00:01:19   I mean in all fairness Craig Federighi was allegedly eating one of these things backstage before talk show live and he is an executive and

00:01:25   And so therefore, I guess that's aptly named,

00:01:29   but I'll tell you one thing,

00:01:31   when all of us are getting it in the big dining hall,

00:01:32   I sure don't feel like an executive.

00:01:34   - No. - It seems like,

00:01:35   well, it's not, keep going Casey,

00:01:37   because it's not, $39 does not include all the pricing

00:01:40   and options included in this special Porsche Lunch

00:01:43   if you want floor mats and all four wheels

00:01:46   and also a transmission, it costs more.

00:01:48   - Yes, so continuing on.

00:01:51   This is the description of the Executive Box lunch,

00:01:53   which Daniel notes, it's what he remembers from Dub-Dub, and it sounds the same to me.

00:01:56   So the description is as follows. "Four compartment includes compostable service,

00:02:01   because California, 25 guest minimum. Sandwich, wrapper, entree, salad includes a choice of side

00:02:07   salad, dessert, and fruit. To accompany your box lunches, we suggest adding assorted soft drinks

00:02:11   and bottled water." Okay, so let's talk about soft drinks and bottled water. "Soft drinks and water

00:02:15   are not included. A 22% service fee, as well as sales tax, which is almost 10%, are also added

00:02:21   it's the price. So that $39.25 box lunch comes out to around $52, and you haven't had anything

00:02:29   to drink yet. And this is Daniel writing, "Want to really lose your lunch? Each bottled

00:02:34   water is $5.25, coming to $7 after service and taxes." And this is, again, still Daniel.

00:02:41   And Marco's long-lost strawberry, sea-monstered, "Edwala," which is probably classified as

00:02:45   assorted juices, would set Apple back an additional $8 a bottle. Add it all up, and it's not hard

00:02:51   to imagine that meals and snacks are coming to $100 a day or $500 a week per person. Nearly

00:02:57   a third of the $1600 WWDC admission fee likely pays for food. Are you kidding me with this

00:03:08   garbage? Moving on, I don't know how the people who do it in San Jose, how their box lunches

00:03:15   compare, but the good news is the "gourmet" box lunch from the caterers in San Jose comes

00:03:21   in at only $22. Mineral waters, soft drinks, juices, and bottled water are a mere $4.50

00:03:27   each. So a considerable savings once they move to San Jose on lunches alone. How can you spend,

00:03:34   one, spend $500 a week on those lunches? Like, I was sitting here mostly defending them the last

00:03:40   couple episodes. Eh, they're not that bad. You know, they're passable. They work. Not at $500

00:03:45   for the week. Are you friggin' kidding me with this insanity? No. No. No. Hard pass. No.

00:03:49   So if they drop the price of the tickets by $500, like they gave that $500 back to the people,

00:03:56   and we all had to leave the building and find someplace else to eat and then come back,

00:04:00   I'm actually not sure that that would be better for the conference. You're like,

00:04:06   "Oh, just give me that 500 bucks. I could spend that in San Francisco." But then you

00:04:08   got to go find someplace to eat. And I'm not sure the eateries that you can get to and back

00:04:14   to the conference center in time to get the after lunch sessions can support

00:04:19   that many people or are any better so oh no they're better but they probably

00:04:24   can't support the people you're probably right about that but they are definitely

00:04:27   better I don't know I like it depends like you can go to the whatever the

00:04:32   little mall thingy that's over there and I mean yeah I mean the mall food court

00:04:35   is better than than the body is better but you gotta wait in these long lines

00:04:39   and then you get your thing you gotta find someplace to eat it you gotta get

00:04:42   back and that's like the closest possible choice, I'm wondering, I would actually mostly

00:04:48   be willing to pay for the convenience of not having to leave the conference center while

00:04:54   eating lunches that I don't really like.

00:04:57   Because that convenience is, I mean, and obviously the ideal choice would be to be able to get

00:05:01   food from someplace else, but as Daniel points out, that is in their rules, you can't get

00:05:04   food from anybody else in case it wasn't clear.

00:05:06   There is no choice.

00:05:07   Apple can't say, "Oh, we're just going to bring in someone else to cater."

00:05:11   not even an option. It's just insanity to me, like how they can get fleeced that badly.

00:05:19   It's not Apple's fault, it's just the way of the world. But oh my goodness, it is just

00:05:24   barbaric that that's the answer. Well, the way of the world in Apple, Apple world is

00:05:28   like if Apple, if this bothered Apple all that much, just buy Moscone. I saw a tweet

00:05:37   as I was catching up on my far behind on Twitter, someone saying that with its cash, Apple could

00:05:43   buy all of the Major League Baseball, NFL, and NHL teams and still have $100 billion

00:05:49   left over.

00:05:50   So crazy.

00:05:51   Now, and then somebody well-actually'd that person and was like, "Well, actually, that

00:05:56   doesn't account for taxes."

00:05:58   But still, the point stands.

00:05:59   Like, it's preposterous.

00:06:01   All right, let's talk about next iPhone rumors.

00:06:05   We talked in the past that there may be a Touch ID button on the back of the phone,

00:06:10   which some people think is the end of times.

00:06:14   A lot of people like myself think, "Eh, whatever."

00:06:17   But a couple people actually pointed out, "Well, what does this mean for the Home button

00:06:21   then?"

00:06:22   Because a Home button on the back does not seem good.

00:06:26   So how does that work?

00:06:28   And I don't know is the answer, but I would guess that there is some sort of Home button,

00:06:34   even a faux home button on the chin of the front of the phone.

00:06:39   I think that's what they've probably started down the path of, which with the immobile

00:06:43   or non-movable, whatever the word I'm looking for is, home button on the iPhone 7 and maybe

00:06:48   the whole thing becomes a home button.

00:06:50   I'm not really sure.

00:06:51   But it's certainly an interesting point I hadn't considered that today Touch ID and

00:06:55   home button are kind of co-located, but in the future maybe they won't be.

00:06:59   So Jon, what do you think about this?

00:07:01   Yeah, I think they they will be separate because it is more awkward to press a button on the back of the phone

00:07:08   Even a fake like non button. I mean they can have it there in addition. I suppose again, it doesn't move

00:07:13   It's not as if they they have to make room for some kind of mechanism and it's already going to be

00:07:17   this little cutout area, but I think they will continue to have a

00:07:20   Helm button on the front of the phone now whether that home button is virtual kind of like the touch bar where it's just a bottom

00:07:26   Section of the screen or something like that. There's lots of been lots of rumors in the past

00:07:30   I haven't heard any recently about how the touch bar technology of having this little

00:07:35   separate accessory screen controlled by the OS and, you know, accessible, perhaps accessible

00:07:41   to applications through an API, kind of like all, you know, the Android soft buttons and

00:07:45   stuff like that might be a thing that would appear on a phone, but even if that doesn't

00:07:50   exist at all, the idea of there being a, that you can squeeze the bottom part of your phone

00:07:56   to go home.

00:07:57   Like, whether you want to consider that a button, and especially if it's completely

00:08:01   embedded in the screen and there is no, it's just a flat featureless piece of glass with

00:08:04   no little cutout or circle or whatever, we're still going to call that the home button.

00:08:08   And I'm thinking that they're not going to get rid of that, no matter where the Touch

00:08:11   ID sensor goes.

00:08:12   So it's basically a divorce of home button and Touch ID, where the home button can stay

00:08:15   on the front, but because of the way it's done and the edge to the screen and everything,

00:08:21   the Touch ID sensor goes on the back and we just squeeze the bottom of our phones.

00:08:25   I think I would mostly be okay with that too.

00:08:27   Like, you know, I'll have to see,

00:08:28   have to try it for a while to see

00:08:30   if I missed the little indented circle.

00:08:32   A lot of listeners wrote in to express love

00:08:35   for the little indented circle as a way to feel

00:08:38   like which end of your phone is up

00:08:39   or like exactly where you have to squeeze.

00:08:41   But if you can squeeze anywhere

00:08:43   along the bottom edge of the phone,

00:08:44   I guess then your only problem is

00:08:45   if you have your thing upside down,

00:08:46   but I suppose you have the lightning port to check

00:08:49   whether that's the case.

00:08:51   Anyway, it's pretty weird that all of these rumors

00:08:55   about the next phone surround like actual important

00:09:00   physical changes to the exterior of the phone,

00:09:06   because all the past phones, including like this,

00:09:08   you know, six and seven generations,

00:09:10   where it's kind of the same on the outside,

00:09:11   have been about like, what does it look like

00:09:14   and what are the materials?

00:09:15   But the design of, it's a, you know,

00:09:19   rectangle with a circle button on the bottom that you press in to go home and

00:09:23   i guess the addition of touch id have been so constant this is the first phone

00:09:27   that's like that the story on this phone is it may

00:09:30   be differently shaped differently proportioned and functionality on it may

00:09:34   be moving around in ways that has never moved around before so that's

00:09:37   that's kind of exciting uh and you know kind of also risky and that like they

00:09:43   have a model that works here with this rectangle with the home button on the

00:09:46   bottom and they've iterated iterated and refined and iterated and

00:09:49   But the basic functions and stuff have been the same, aside from, you know, what Casey

00:09:52   mentioned in the last show, that the power button moved to the side, which is somewhat

00:09:57   explicable by the increasing size of the phone and the difficulty people would have reaching

00:10:00   all up to the top.

00:10:01   But other than that, the phone design of the phone has been pretty—oh yeah, and the headphone

00:10:06   jack moving from top to bottom.

00:10:07   But the physical design of the phone has been pretty constant, and I'm kind of excited to

00:10:10   see them, you know, say, "All bets are off.

00:10:13   We're moving things around, and we're going to try something new."

00:10:16   So I actually had a chance to play with the Galaxy S8

00:10:19   a couple days ago in a Best Buy.

00:10:21   With the exception of it feeling way too tall for its width

00:10:25   and it being hard to reach things as a result,

00:10:27   I actually really enjoyed the general look

00:10:31   of the edge-to-edge on the sides, the screen and everything.

00:10:34   And the way they did the home button,

00:10:36   I just kind of instinctively force touched the lower area

00:10:40   where the home button would be on an iPhone,

00:10:42   and it turns out that's exactly what they want you to do.

00:10:45   and it just clicked and it recognized any firm press

00:10:48   in that area as a home button click.

00:10:50   And so the very first thing I tried worked and was correct.

00:10:54   And then as I was playing with it over a few minutes,

00:10:56   I did that here and there a few more times,

00:10:57   and every time it just worked exactly as expected.

00:10:59   And even when there was something on screen there,

00:11:02   something from the foreground app that is in that spot,

00:11:05   that if it misinterprets it as a touch,

00:11:07   it would have activated that thing.

00:11:08   But every time it interpreted it correctly,

00:11:10   and it was great, it was totally fine.

00:11:12   So if Apple's gonna go in a direction like that

00:11:15   where part of the screen just becomes the home button.

00:11:18   I think they totally can.

00:11:20   We've seen with the iPhone 7 Force Touch button

00:11:22   that's a possibility, that's totally fine.

00:11:24   And now we see with the S8 that it actually really does work.

00:11:28   The only major question I would have for it is

00:11:32   how do they show this to people?

00:11:33   How is it handled in the UI?

00:11:36   Does the usable area of the screen for apps

00:11:40   actually extend that far like it does on the S8?

00:11:43   Or is there that little reserve

00:11:44   or like you were saying, John,

00:11:45   like maybe like a touch bar like API area down there

00:11:49   where apps would only actually take up

00:11:51   like the middle 80% of the height

00:11:54   and maybe not the very top and bottom

00:11:55   or something like that.

00:11:56   But anyway, having the just bottom area of the screen

00:12:00   accept a firm touch as a home button, that works just fine.

00:12:05   - I was gonna ask if there are any

00:12:06   accessibility implications for that,

00:12:08   but I would suppose with that,

00:12:10   I forget what you call it,

00:12:11   but we talked about it a lot like several months ago

00:12:13   where you have the little on-screen button

00:12:15   that lets you do the home button

00:12:16   and all sorts of other gestures.

00:12:19   What's the name of that thing?

00:12:20   You know what I'm thinking about?

00:12:21   - Assistive touch, I think?

00:12:22   - Yeah, assistive touch, something like that, thank you.

00:12:25   I was about to ask, is this an accessibility issue?

00:12:27   But I would suppose assistive touch

00:12:29   would fix any of those problems, I'm not sure.

00:12:32   But it's a change.

00:12:33   - Well, the issue would be

00:12:34   that you could no longer feel the button.

00:12:36   'Cause now you can feel that ring.

00:12:38   So like John was saying, you can more easily tell

00:12:41   which direction the phone is oriented

00:12:43   without a physical depression on the front surface

00:12:46   where the home button goes,

00:12:48   it's harder to tell which way is up by feel alone.

00:12:51   So that would be an issue for sure.

00:12:53   And I don't know how they would solve that.

00:12:54   Maybe you would just start getting used to feeling

00:12:56   for the camera bump or other features on the outside.

00:12:59   I don't know.

00:12:59   - If it is a dedicated area, they could do haptics

00:13:03   to make it do the tiniest little jiggle

00:13:06   when your finger is over the reserved bottom section

00:13:09   of the phone.

00:13:10   There's all sorts of things they can do.

00:13:11   - That's interesting.

00:13:12   playing playing switch games with its little uh...

00:13:15   has been a couple of articles recently about the

00:13:18   haptic engine in the nintendo switch which is looks like the same tech that

00:13:22   apples been using its phones but i feel where they're called linear something

00:13:25   or other whatever but it's

00:13:26   it's better than the old vibrators are more precise in their using in games

00:13:30   uh... to make it feel like things on screen have some kind of physical

00:13:33   presence

00:13:34   and it's

00:13:35   surprisingly easy to

00:13:37   for loss i mean just we just talked about the home but last time i could

00:13:40   doesn't feel like a button

00:13:41   but it feels like a thing that we rapidly get used to

00:13:44   and come to accept as the physical reality of the phone.

00:13:48   And I think the best thing would be like,

00:13:50   if you could turn off, I mean, I suppose you can,

00:13:52   isn't there some way to turn off vibration entirely?

00:13:54   Can you turn off the haptic engine entirely?

00:13:56   - I would assume so, but I don't know.

00:13:59   - Yeah, but anyway, if it did turn off,

00:14:01   our devices would feel broken in a different way,

00:14:03   because we'd be like, this is not how my glass rectangle

00:14:05   is supposed to move or feel.

00:14:06   So adding something like,

00:14:08   "Oh, when your finger physically touches the correct bottom part of the phone, it gives

00:14:14   the tiniest little jiggle, and that would be a physical way for you to feel with your

00:14:19   hands which side is the top or bottom of my phone."

00:14:21   It wouldn't activate anything yet because you haven't actually pressed, but basically

00:14:25   when you're feeling for that little circle, you want to know which side is up.

00:14:30   You need that information to be provided physically.

00:14:33   That little circle is about as subtle as the little jiggle could be.

00:14:36   And once you find which side is up, if the whole bottom of the phone functions as one

00:14:39   giant button, it's even easier to hit than that little circle.

00:14:41   So that problem is solved.

00:14:43   So real-time follow-up to turn off system haptics, which has a subtitle of "Play Haptics

00:14:49   for System Controls and Interactions."

00:14:51   That's in settings, sounds, and haptics.

00:14:53   And then there's options for vibrate on ring, vibrate on silent, sound and vibration patterns,

00:14:59   and all the way at the bottom is system haptics, which is a switch yes/no.

00:15:03   Does that turn off the home button?

00:15:05   switch them all and find out. No, the home button still does a haptic click. Yeah. I presume because

00:15:10   it would be really, really eerie if it didn't. It would feel broken. I mean, to us, if you're used

00:15:15   to it, it's like it's whatever you get used to, but it would feel like it doesn't, it's not the

00:15:18   same physical device anymore. Right. That's the thing about haptics, like, oh, it's faking a

00:15:23   physical, this gets another one of my pet peeves that my, you know, things being done in hardware

00:15:30   on video cards, which is like now an increasingly dated peeve from the 80s.

00:15:34   Mechanical keyboards, that phrase drives me nuts because, you know, like, please show

00:15:39   me the non-mechanical keyboards.

00:15:42   I can do that.

00:15:43   Do you remember when they used to have the ones that they would like shine?

00:15:47   It looked like laser, like a laser keyboard, but it wasn't actually lasers, I'm sure.

00:15:51   Yeah, and how did you use, and how did you use those keyboards, Casey?

00:15:56   You put your fingers on a surface.

00:15:58   take your finger and you move it you mean you take no you're missing the

00:16:02   point you're just shining light on a surface say like on a desktop no John

00:16:05   saying your fingers the machine I know what thing you're talking about but you

00:16:08   can't activate it with your mind you have to physically move your hands and

00:16:13   press them into certain areas you don't have to press but you have to place your

00:16:16   fingers into the zone where the keys are that is a physical action but the

00:16:21   keyboard itself is not moving John wait so like when when a conductor waves the

00:16:25   stick around in front of a band, is that considered a mechanical device?

00:16:29   You know, yeah. I would say, I don't know. It's difficult to say what you consider

00:16:34   mechanical because it's not like that light is just being emitted naturally from the desktop.

00:16:39   We need an episode of mechanical or not.

00:16:41   This is definitely a pretty broad definition of mechanical that you're using here, Joe.

00:16:46   Right. But when people talk about—really, in the context I'm saying when people talk

00:16:49   about mechanical keyboards, they're saying as compared to the keyboard that I'm sitting

00:16:52   in front of, which is the Apple aluminum extended, which is 100% mechanical. The keys move, you

00:16:59   know, making contact with a thing that causes a signal, but it's not a quote-unquote "mechanical

00:17:05   keyboard." It's a very strange interpretation.

00:17:07   Wait, can I nitpick your definition of 100% mechanical?

00:17:10   Yeah, what part of it is a mechanical?

00:17:12   I'm pretty sure there's like a USB controller in there and a bunch of...

00:17:16   No, I mean the keyboard part of it. I mean, it's the same thing with mechanical keyboards.

00:17:19   you're just activating a switch, it's so electronic. It's not like it's steam powered,

00:17:23   it's not like a typewriter where you're hitting a lever that's causing a big thing to whack into

00:17:26   a piece of paper that makes your key. >> [LAUGH]

00:17:29   Jason Snell, can you fix this for us so we don't have to do it?

00:17:32   >> I know what people mean when they say mechanical keyboards is just a silly phrase.

00:17:35   Like it is a term that has taken on this alternate meaning that doesn't really make sense if you

00:17:39   think about it, but it is accepted as a term of art, so we all just say it and don't think about

00:17:43   it. >> Help me, Jason Snell,

00:17:44   you're my only hope. >> But what I was getting at before

00:17:46   I derailed myself. I get that reference. Was the idea that haptics are a replacement for things

00:17:56   like the physical home button, right? When they're not, you know, they work by doing a physical thing.

00:18:05   Something in your phone is moving, causing you to feel that motion. It's just an entirely different

00:18:11   motion than the surface that you pressed moving downwards relative to the surface surrounding it.

00:18:16   But something is moving and you are feeling it as a physical sensation.

00:18:21   So it is an alternate physical action to replace other physical actions.

00:18:26   It is not the removal of physical buttons with non-physical buttons.

00:18:30   I would say the iPhone 7 button is still a physical button when haptics are turned on.

00:18:35   Because you press as a physical action and you tell that your press has been registered

00:18:40   or successful because you feel a response.

00:18:42   response is not your finger getting lower inside the thing, but it is a physical sensation.

00:18:48   And so this distinction between physical and non-physical controls, as haptics get better,

00:18:53   like maybe it'll be like mechanical keyboards, it's just that that's the way we'll describe

00:18:56   it and, you know, we won't bother thinking about whether it makes sense or not.

00:19:00   But it is a clever way to make a device more reliable while still doing the thing that

00:19:08   works best with humans.

00:19:09   We have hands and fingers that are sensitive to motion.

00:19:14   It's a good way to tell how things are happening

00:19:17   without looking at them.

00:19:18   So you can feel in your pocket just like a physical,

00:19:21   you know, physical buttons

00:19:22   as opposed to those non-physical ones.

00:19:23   I can feel where the volume controls are.

00:19:25   I can feel where the power button is.

00:19:26   I can feel where the home button is.

00:19:28   I can feel that it has been activated.

00:19:29   I can physically press it.

00:19:30   All that stuff plays to the strengths

00:19:33   of our hands and fingers, which is how we use our iPhones.

00:19:36   And so anything Apple does related to that is wise to leverage those abilities.

00:19:42   In the same way that the Touch Bar tries to do that, but because it has no haptics, you

00:19:47   are left with kind of a surface that you have to look at more than you would otherwise,

00:19:52   and you can press on it, but it's more like a touchscreen in that it doesn't do anything

00:19:57   when you press any of those things.

00:19:58   Which is another reason a lot of people have difficulties with the Touch Bar, is that it

00:20:01   is replacing buttons with something that is less button-like.

00:20:05   Whereas I feel like the iPhone 7 home button replaced the button with something that is,

00:20:08   it's like an alternate take on a button, but it is, you know, it's like they replaced the

00:20:13   function keys on the MacBook with the screen from the iPhone.

00:20:17   The screen is not the same kind of a button because they don't know where the buttons

00:20:20   are going to be, but on the touch bar it seems like you could know they were kind of, you

00:20:23   know.

00:20:24   Anyway, this is just my mild musings on haptics, but I think they are, long term I think there's

00:20:31   legs to this whole haptic thing.

00:20:33   I mean, as Apple has been so excited and proud to show its little, you know, how much better

00:20:39   the vibration is in each phone and this haptic engine that they brand with this haptic stuff,

00:20:46   I think they're actually onto something there.

00:20:49   I think we'll just see more and more of that from Apple and other companies because it

00:20:52   works with humans.

00:20:53   That could be Apple's slogan since they're not doing the computer with the rest of us

00:20:56   anymore.

00:20:57   The computer with the rest of us anymore.

00:20:58   It works with humans, TM.

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00:22:55   Let's talk about WikiTribune, of which I know basically nothing and I am failing at my job as chief summarizer and chief.

00:23:03   So Marco, I feel like I saw you tweeting about this when it first broke.

00:23:07   Do you want to kind of fill us in as to what WikiTribune is about?

00:23:10   Honestly, I barely know. I just signed up because I wanted to support this cause.

00:23:16   So,

00:23:17   John, can you give a better summary than I can?

00:23:20   This has been in the notes like three weeks people

00:23:22   But I think I think one place we can start is Marco with his lack of knowledge

00:23:26   Why did you decide to sign up for what did you do by saying up?

00:23:30   Did you did you like have to give money or pledge to give money like what?

00:23:32   It was the sign up thing that you did

00:23:34   It's some kind of like pre commitment type system like Kickstarter

00:23:38   But like I don't think they're gonna charge me until they hit their minimum or unless they hit their minimum

00:23:41   Something like that, but it is a money thing like yours. Yeah, supporting this effort with money, right? Yeah, I sign up to make a monthly

00:23:48   donation or whatever it is to...

00:23:49   - Alright, so what led you to do that?

00:23:52   - Well, basically there's a lot of things about journalism

00:23:57   these days that I think are really dysfunctional or broken.

00:24:02   And this seems like it could fix some of them.

00:24:06   Not all of them, you know, I don't think it's probably

00:24:09   possible to fix all of them, but this could fix

00:24:11   some of them in a fairly big way.

00:24:13   So if it works, that'll be great.

00:24:15   If not, you know, I lost a little bit of money

00:24:17   all in the way and then I'll stop losing it

00:24:19   when I cancel it, that's it.

00:24:21   It seems like a good cause.

00:24:23   I feel like all of the Wikipedia donation prompts

00:24:27   that I've ignored over the years

00:24:30   and closed over the years without giving,

00:24:33   I feel like maybe I owe something to Jimmy Wales' causes.

00:24:35   So here I'm gonna finally make that good, I guess.

00:24:39   - So to go back and give a vague summary

00:24:41   of what the heck this thing is,

00:24:42   it is from the Wikipedia guy.

00:24:45   You've seen his face at the top of Wikipedia asking for money.

00:24:47   Now you can see his face on a different website asking you for money for a different thing.

00:24:52   So it has the pedigree of Wikipedia, which is a tremendously successful community platform

00:24:58   for doing whatever people do on Wikipedia.

00:25:03   And this is about trying to make the news better.

00:25:05   Like Marco said, he's got some of the same complaints about news and the incentive structures

00:25:09   and how it doesn't lead to good information being disseminated and there's lots of anti-patterns

00:25:14   and with how it's funded and what gets published and how it's published and versus what people

00:25:21   want to read and you know what sells ads and so on and so forth.

00:25:24   So this is a sort of Wikipedia style approach to news where it's very open and transparent

00:25:30   so everyone who's reading can see what's going on.

00:25:32   There's no ads so you don't have to worry about the entire thing being made to you know

00:25:36   to drive ad views which is a problem in the web in general not just on you know news and

00:25:40   and everything like that.

00:25:41   And like Wikipedia, it is community oriented

00:25:45   where it's not just like these people produce the content

00:25:48   and the rest of the world reads it.

00:25:50   Everybody participates in, in theory,

00:25:52   making the things better.

00:25:54   Although there are professional journalists involved as well.

00:25:56   So it's not just like, "Hey, make up whatever you want

00:25:58   and publish whatever you want."

00:25:59   Because that's just called the web.

00:26:00   That's not anything.

00:26:02   (laughing)

00:26:04   And trying to, you know, be transparent to the people

00:26:09   who are giving money.

00:26:10   you know, how are they going to fund all this through people like Marco,

00:26:12   the same way Wikipedia is funded. How does Wikipedia exist?

00:26:15   Jimmy Wales head asks you for money every once in a while.

00:26:18   And there are I'm assuming they're investors or stuff like that.

00:26:21   And they have this kind of Venn diagram at the top where it shows, uh,

00:26:26   three circles. And the three circles are community facts and journalists.

00:26:31   And Wiki Wiki Tribune is the confusing diamond shaped

00:26:36   intersection of the three of those circles.

00:26:38   When I see the intersection between three circles, I don't get a diamond shape, but

00:26:42   it's a logo.

00:26:43   There's some creative license there.

00:26:44   It's fine.

00:26:45   Yeah, and so I think Marco's explanation of why he gave money is probably why a lot of

00:26:51   people gave money.

00:26:52   It's like, or you know, because it is like a Kickstarter.

00:26:55   It's like, you know, you pledge money, and if everything goes well, you will get charged

00:26:59   for your money or whatever.

00:27:00   And it probably will because this is very popular.

00:27:03   But it seems like a small amount, and just like a Kickstarter, you're like, "I don't

00:27:07   know if they'll ever ship this damn cooler. But it looks cool. So yeah, spoiler alert.

00:27:14   So like it's not a big deal. Like if they never go anywhere or if I fund it for a few

00:27:20   months and it's not that good, whatever. But I think there is an appetite for an attempt

00:27:26   to find a solution to the fix all of, you know, journalism finds itself in at this moment

00:27:33   in transition between the old world of newspapers and the way that they were funded and the

00:27:37   barriers to entry in this new world where it's much easier for more people to publish,

00:27:41   but it's much harder to find ways to fund content that isn't sort of lowest common denominator,

00:27:47   you know, because people go—what people want to read and what would be most beneficial to society

00:27:56   if people were to read are two very different things, and that is a—you know, the incentives

00:28:01   are not aligned. If the only way you can get money is by attracting people to read things,

00:28:06   you will inevitably end up giving people what they want, which is not always what they need,

00:28:11   which is a paternalistic view that people hate, like, "Oh, the people in the ivory tower are

00:28:14   going to determine what I need to see. Why can't people just pick what they need to see?"

00:28:17   There's a balance. Like, I mean, even in the bad old days of my childhood, when there was no

00:28:22   internet, there were things called tabloids that provided you same stuff that you can find on the

00:28:27   internet now. It's not like that stuff is like, "Oh, that didn't exist before the internet."

00:28:31   Of course it did. Like, you know, "Bat Boy found," "The National Enquirer," like, you know,

00:28:35   aliens are everywhere, right? That stuff has always and will always exist. And I'm not even

00:28:41   sure if it's any more prevalent than it is today. The difference today is that the sort of slow

00:28:46   motion decline of the ivory tower, we know what's best for you, we're going to apply a bunch of

00:28:52   reasoning and rules that you don't know about or agree with to try to provide what we think is,

00:29:02   you know, the news that's fit to print. And that has been in slow decline, mostly rightfully so,

00:29:07   because it's kind of a concentration of power that is not, you know, that is artificial,

00:29:13   you know, technological barriers to distribution information causing it to exist. But I would also

00:29:19   say that in this new world where it's easier to distribute information, a lot of people like Marco

00:29:23   and me, and I would imagine Casey, are less satisfied with how things are going. Not that

00:29:29   we want to go back to the old ways, because that was banned in a different set of ways, but the

00:29:32   that there are pathologies in the new structure of news that we wish we could get rid of.

00:29:40   It's like, you know, we all want to read really good, high quality journalism according to

00:29:46   the, you know, the system of journalism is something that most of us can agree upon,

00:29:50   kind of like the scientific method. It's just the question of, it is, you know, how is it

00:29:54   executed by fallible humans, and how do we provide the resources for it to be executed?

00:30:02   And that's what this thing is trying to provide.

00:30:04   Now my personal grudge against, disagreement with, indifference to Wikipedia as an institution,

00:30:13   depending on how you want to phrase it, gave—it caused me to have a little snarky chuckle

00:30:20   when I saw this Venn diagram here.

00:30:22   It's like community journalists and facts right underneath Jimmy Wales.

00:30:25   I was like, "Oh, oh, now you care about facts, Jimmy Wales.

00:30:28   I thought it was just all about verifiability."

00:30:30   Wait a second.

00:30:31   And maybe they don't mean facts.

00:30:32   Maybe they actually mean verifiability.

00:30:33   But that's the thing about journalism.

00:30:35   Journalism, you know, like they are pursuing the truth of what happened.

00:30:41   It's not enough for a journalist to say, you know, there's one, you know, one thing for

00:30:44   reporters to say, "Let me just tell you what somebody said."

00:30:47   But journalists try to uncover the truth.

00:30:48   they can find out what really happened by talking to more people and gathering evidence,

00:30:54   that's part of journalism too. And the journalist is not going to call it a day when they have

00:31:00   quotes from three prominent people about what happened. The journalist would like to know,

00:31:03   "Yeah, but what really happened?" Right? "I know these quotes are verifiable. I know you

00:31:07   said this at this time, and this other paper published this thing, but what really happened?

00:31:11   What are the facts?" And that is an important part of journalism that is not an important

00:31:17   part of Wikipedia because Wikipedia doesn't care what the hell the facts are because that's

00:31:19   not what it is. It's a tertiary source. I don't want to go off on all my rants about

00:31:23   Wikipedia again. So it's kind of exciting to see this taking a different slant on things.

00:31:29   But as I scroll down through their plan and see journalists and community cooperating,

00:31:34   all I can think about is this is like a battle arena for edit wars. It's like edit wars distilled.

00:31:40   Because if you think there are edit wars on the Wikipedia page for insert favorite controversial

00:31:45   political figure. Can you imagine what the Edit Wars will be like on literally any actual

00:31:50   current event news story in the current political climate? Like, there's almost nothing you

00:31:54   can put in there, you know, articles being, you know, fact checked and verified by journalists

00:31:59   and community members working side by side as equals. I just picture a giant arena with

00:32:06   like people with boards with nails sticking out of them. Like, I don't, I'm not sure how

00:32:11   it can work. And you can say, well, look at Wikipedia, it works.

00:32:13   - Yeah, I mean like, that's the biggest example.

00:32:16   Wikipedia has the same issue.

00:32:18   Any kind of political topic also has a Wikipedia page,

00:32:23   and they've built systems and policies and norms up

00:32:27   around controlling that problem there too.

00:32:30   I think if anybody has shown that they have the ability

00:32:35   to manage that part of this, it's the people

00:32:38   who made Wikipedia and who built that whole community up.

00:32:41   So that I think, I'm actually not concerned

00:32:43   about the whole edit war problem.

00:32:45   I also don't think--

00:32:46   - Well, don't you think Wikipedia is a counter example?

00:32:48   'Cause like-- - No.

00:32:49   - The fact that so many pages on Wikipedia

00:32:52   are incredibly locked down because of the edit wars,

00:32:56   almost to the point where they become frozen in time,

00:32:58   which is kind of okay for historical things,

00:33:01   but for pages that are ongoing,

00:33:03   they become the sole domain of a very small number

00:33:06   of people who have even the ability to edit page,

00:33:09   and everybody else is completely locked out,

00:33:11   And yet still they have edit wars and arguments

00:33:15   about what goes on.

00:33:16   Like, you can't do journalism in that environment.

00:33:19   I feel like the controversial pages on Wikipedia

00:33:22   are A, not the best source for information on their topics,

00:33:26   and B, do a terrible job of staying up to date,

00:33:29   and C, do not allow the input from the community

00:33:32   because they have to be walled off.

00:33:34   They have to be cemented, set in stone,

00:33:35   guarded night and day, incredibly protected.

00:33:39   They become ossified.

00:33:41   I think the best pages on Wikipedia are the pages that few people care about.

00:33:45   But you know, the classic example of being like lists of Pokemon and stuff, right?

00:33:48   Because a lot of people care.

00:33:49   Well, maybe there are edit wars in Pokemon, sorry if I'm picking.

00:33:53   But pages that are on more obscure topics, because the only people who edit and contribute

00:33:57   to them are the people who really are interested in the topic.

00:33:59   No one cares enough to vandalize it or edit them, and no one is there telling them what

00:34:03   they can and can't add, and especially if they don't have any kind of political or factional

00:34:07   angle.

00:34:08   Again, Pokemon may not be a great example.

00:34:10   end up being filled with all sorts of interesting and useful information.

00:34:13   Whereas the stories in any topic that has any controversial, any part of it that's controversial,

00:34:18   you're better off just scrolling to the bottom, looking at all the references and reading

00:34:20   all those than actually reading the Wikipedia page.

00:34:22   So I mean, I get what you're saying about they have systems in place, but I think the

00:34:25   systems negate the advantages they're trying to do, which is fine for Wikipedia because

00:34:29   every page on Wikipedia is not a super-duper controversial page.

00:34:32   In fact, very few of them are.

00:34:33   So the vast majority of Wikipedia is awesome when you just want to get a quick plot synopsis

00:34:38   of a particular episode of Dr. Hugh in a particular season.

00:34:41   That's on Wikipedia, and you'll find it quickly, and the webpage won't be gross or filled with

00:34:45   ads, and it's a reliable source for that, because no one cares enough about to screw

00:34:49   with it, or as reliable as any source could be.

00:34:51   But when you go do any page having to do with any controversial topic, I feel like, like,

00:34:56   when's the last time you read a Wikipedia page on a controversial topic?

00:34:58   Like, I don't even bother going to them anymore.

00:35:00   Like, I would, again, rather just scroll right down to the references and read the, you know,

00:35:05   primary and secondary sources than this tertiary summary

00:35:07   'cause it doesn't speak to me

00:35:09   as a great source of information.

00:35:12   - Well, I mean, keep in mind that these days,

00:35:15   every fact is a controversial topic,

00:35:17   even those basic things that you would think wouldn't be.

00:35:21   And also that WikiTribune is, I think, largely

00:35:25   probably not gonna have this problem

00:35:28   because it's probably not gonna be that big of a deal.

00:35:30   If it does become a big deal,

00:35:32   if it does actually start attracting large amounts

00:35:35   of traffic, then I think it will rise to the levels

00:35:39   of these kinds of challenges that Wikipedia has,

00:35:43   'cause Wikipedia's been such a massive traffic getter

00:35:47   for so long, so it's ranked so well everywhere.

00:35:49   But WikiTribune is starting from zero.

00:35:52   It's starting from no audience, basically.

00:35:54   So it might be a while before you've had enough people

00:35:57   to matter, and honestly, I disagree with you.

00:35:59   I think Wikipedia is as good as something like this could be

00:36:03   about dealing with controversial things like that.

00:36:06   It's a hard problem, but--

00:36:07   - But it depends on the controversy.

00:36:09   The main controversy having to do

00:36:10   with Wikipedia controversial pages is the idea

00:36:12   that the people who hold the keys to power

00:36:14   to the controversial pages themselves tend to be homogenous

00:36:18   and have various biases, let's say.

00:36:20   - Yeah, that's a problem.

00:36:21   - And that the system itself has no way to deal with that.

00:36:23   Like that it concentrates power.

00:36:26   I'm thinking of WikiTribune as perhaps an unintentional back door way to get people

00:36:32   to just straight up pay for news, which many people, the front door way has been like,

00:36:36   "Hey, sign up for the New York Times Digital.

00:36:38   Like, can we make money from people paying us to read our web pages?"

00:36:43   Everyone's been trying to do that.

00:36:44   It's really difficult, the whole paywall thing, right?

00:36:46   WikiTribune is like, "We're open and free to everybody, man.

00:36:49   Fast forward five years if they get super popular and they lock everything down."

00:36:52   And eventually it's like, "Wait a second.

00:36:54   This is just a newspaper.

00:36:55   where professional journalists do things and people pay them.

00:36:58   And it's not a giant community published thing.

00:37:00   It is like a bunch of articles that nobody can edit

00:37:03   because every single story about the president

00:37:05   is super duper controversial.

00:37:07   And every one of them is super locked down.

00:37:09   And the only people who get edited

00:37:10   are the professional journalists

00:37:11   who get money from the contributors

00:37:12   and the five people who all happen to be

00:37:15   the same type of person with the same type of background

00:37:17   who has the time and inclination

00:37:19   to spend all day on Wiki Tribune.

00:37:21   And now it is just a weirdly organized newspaper

00:37:23   that people pay for, which wouldn't be the end of the world

00:37:25   because again, that's things that people have been looking for.

00:37:27   Hey, can we get people to pay money to support news?

00:37:30   Like, as opposed to wanting everything for free

00:37:33   and wanting every article to be, you know,

00:37:36   a clickbaity tabloidy celebrity news kind of thing.

00:37:40   I guess if they do that, they're kind of a success,

00:37:42   but I have a hard time envisioning a future

00:37:46   where they are wildly successful

00:37:51   and yet still even open to the degree

00:37:53   that Wikipedia is open,

00:37:54   because unlike Wikipedia, pretty much everything

00:37:58   a news organization will report will attract factions.

00:38:02   Like you said, Marco, they could report on the weather

00:38:06   and people will leave nasty comments

00:38:10   about climate denial and stuff like that.

00:38:12   I can't think of a topic,

00:38:13   there's not even a human interest story.

00:38:15   You were trying to put something about dogs

00:38:16   and people won't like it.

00:38:17   Like nothing is safe in this climate.

00:38:18   So they have their work cut out for them.

00:38:20   But all this said, I don't feel like I'm slamming

00:38:23   could be on the potential what it could be. I didn't donate any money, but I wish them

00:38:29   well because I also, like Marco, want somebody to address this problem, and no one has tried

00:38:36   this approach, no one of this caliber has tried this approach, so we're not going to

00:38:40   find out if it works unless somebody does it. And so I'm like, "Alright, you know, go

00:38:44   for it." Certainly, the fact that facts with a little arrow is a big circle in the middle

00:38:49   makes me happy. By all means, go for that. The other aspect of this is, say they succeed

00:38:55   in producing what they say they're going to produce, and their system produces good content.

00:39:01   Do people read it?

00:39:03   I guess.

00:39:05   Like is that something people want to do? I want to go to WikitreeBoon because they

00:39:09   have, they got their facts straight?

00:39:11   I mean, everyone wants a non-partisan news source, right?

00:39:15   No, they don't. No, everyone wants to hear their own biases reflected to them and reinforce.

00:39:20   That's what people want.

00:39:21   Okay, fair, fair, fair.

00:39:22   That's what I'm saying. How do they get people to come and read this? It was easier

00:39:26   when you only had a few choices, and all those choices had systems in place that constrained

00:39:35   what could be talked about, which perpetuated tons of systems of power in terms of whose

00:39:41   stories got to get told with what angle on them. So it was terrible in many, many ways.

00:39:45   But the good aspects of it were in the areas where the system wasn't completely aligned

00:39:51   against hearing about things that we weren't supposed to hear about, there was an expectation

00:39:56   that, for example, the news department and advertising were separated from each other

00:40:01   in some way. Like that was part of the principles that they worked based on. And that only works

00:40:06   if the news department isn't responsible for bringing in more money year after year after

00:40:10   year and that ship has long sailed so now it's like gotta make more money got

00:40:13   to get more viewers how do we do that tell them what they want to hear and the

00:40:16   cycle just goes around the round that's what this is trying to resolve so say it

00:40:19   resolves it and they make real quality news but no one ever comes and reads it

00:40:22   are they still a success maybe I don't know I think I really think this could

00:40:29   be very popular because I think somebody like that the two of you guys and myself

00:40:36   somebody like us, who wants to be informed but wants a very level-headed

00:40:41   take as to what's going on, I think this is a potentially, well maybe not

00:40:46   perfect, but really great answer to that need. I agree with you that I shouldn't

00:40:52   have said everyone wants this because a lot of people probably don't want this,

00:40:55   but I also think there's a lot of people that do want this, that do want a level-

00:41:00   headed take on things. That's why, for example, in my RSS reader that I rarely

00:41:04   Look at it anymore. My source of news is the BBC because I have the BBC's US coverage and I feel like that is the least

00:41:12   politically

00:41:14   Motivated news source that I can find I don't need to hear of better ones

00:41:18   I don't really care if the BBC isn't perfect. That's I'm not trying to start a fight here. Well, they're just they're just

00:41:25   Reinforcing your biases. That's why you like them if it could be very well could be that's why that's the situation

00:41:31   I think we find ourselves in.

00:41:32   - Wait, wait, what if your biases are true and facts?

00:41:36   - Well, let's take me out.

00:41:37   (laughing)

00:41:38   The idea, here's the problem with polarized marketplace

00:41:42   is that things don't exist in isolation.

00:41:45   Say there was a news source that did a really good job

00:41:50   of executing journalism, classic journalism,

00:41:52   the rules of journalism, which, you know,

00:41:54   like the traditional rules of journalism

00:41:56   in terms of what you're supposed to do as a reporter

00:41:59   and what your job is and isn't, all separate from editorial and opinion, which is a whole

00:42:04   separate thing, but just like the plain straight up journalism reporting thing.

00:42:09   There's still an editorial function deciding what should and shouldn't you cover, how many

00:42:15   stories in topic A, how many stories in topic B, how many stories about this aspect of whatever.

00:42:22   It's impossible to ever pull yourself entirely away from that.

00:42:25   And it's also impossible to think about what your publication is doing in isolation.

00:42:30   You exist as a publication in an ecosystem with tons of other publications.

00:42:35   And a lot of the ecosystem is defined by how many people read or watch or whatever consume

00:42:42   these different publications.

00:42:43   And in that environment, that's why you see a lot of people on our side of the world,

00:42:49   liberals or whatever, being drawn to liberal-leaning publications.

00:42:54   Because they see it as the only possible way to counterbalance the things leaning in the

00:43:00   other direction.

00:43:01   Because we know those things that lean in the other direction exist.

00:43:04   We know, we all think they're terrible, and we know tons and tons of people use them as

00:43:09   their exclusive source of news.

00:43:11   And so by providing a neutral thing, it's like, well, that's all well and good if we

00:43:16   just want to know what's happening.

00:43:17   But if we want to balance the scales, we have to have a left-leaning publication.

00:43:23   eventually you're like, "I want to read the left-leaning thing," because all I hear all

00:43:26   day from people who I disagree with is them citing their super-duper right-leaning things.

00:43:32   And that's how you end up with polarization. Super-duper left-leaning, super-duper right-leaning.

00:43:36   And so I don't feel like I want that. I tried to find something that I think is in the middle,

00:43:42   but like Casey with the BBC, I'm sure what I think is in the middle is not actually in

00:43:46   middle and really what I'm seeking is some, you know, some—it's not in the execution of the

00:43:53   journalism, but in the choice of what they're reporting about, right? Or in the choice of like,

00:43:58   you know, what their editorials are about and how they apportion their coverage, because that in

00:44:03   itself is a political stance, right? So when I read the Washington Post, I feel like here's

00:44:08   good reporting, they're still executing journalism according to the old ways, but what the Washington

00:44:13   Post decides to cover is decidedly left-leaning in terms of the number of stories on topic A, B, C,

00:44:18   and D, right? And I'm okay with that, but I would still, you know, and I would still say

00:44:24   the Washington Post and even the New York Times are examples of good executions of classic

00:44:29   journalism, but I would also agree that both of them are quote-unquote "left-leaning" as compared

00:44:35   to the choices of things and headlines that the right-leaning publications choose to cover,

00:44:40   and they're a counterbalance, right? So if there was something that was really straight up the

00:44:46   middle, I'm not sure that would be doing much of a service, because especially if the polarized ends

00:44:52   continue to be what they are, unless everybody at the ends kind of agrees, like the Wikipedia,

00:45:00   the Wicket Tribune is like the tiebreaker, right? And as Marco pointed out before, and we'll keep

00:45:04   going back to, that is impossible in a world where we can't agree on the facts. There is no,

00:45:09   it's like, "Well, we have this left-leaning editorial selection, and we have this right-leaning

00:45:15   editorial selection, but we all agree that the facts are what are on WikiTribune, right?" And

00:45:18   be like, "No, no," the right will say. "We don't agree on facts at all." And so, what function is

00:45:23   WikiTribune even serving there? Unless it starts getting cited by other newspapers, which would be

00:45:28   funny, but we'll see. I mean, at this point, there are people actually arguing whether to let people

00:45:35   die in our country who were sick once because they don't have enough money and they should

00:45:39   therefore die. That is literally what we are arguing about.

00:45:43   I liked it better in the 80s when they had sophisticated ideological arguments, but they've

00:45:49   abandoned those now. It's just like, "Why should you get to live?" It's like, "Good

00:45:53   point there, evil person. Why should I get to live?" What right do I have to life or

00:45:59   with liberty or any kind of looking for happiness.

00:46:02   That sounds crazy to me.

00:46:04   - Yeah, well, I mean, it was your fault

00:46:05   that you got sick when you were a teenager or something.

00:46:10   So therefore, the penalty for that

00:46:12   should obviously be death, right?

00:46:14   - Why don't you try living right, Marco?

00:46:16   You ever think of that?

00:46:17   - Yeah, I mean, look, we all did it, right?

00:46:19   Why can't you?

00:46:21   Oh my God.

00:46:22   - Yeah, you know, the Jimmy Kimmel son,

00:46:23   did you guys watch that monologue

00:46:24   from a few days ago? - Oh, I couldn't.

00:46:26   I heard enough about it that I couldn't watch it.

00:46:28   No, it, I, so I saw it fly by. I've been doing a couch to 5k lately and, uh, and during one of the

00:46:35   walking parts I was like, you know, cruising through Twitter as I was power walking, probably

00:46:38   looking like a moron, but be that as it may, whatever day it was, this, this popped in the

00:46:43   morning onto my, you know, my world and I watched it, or listened to it, I should say. I didn't watch

00:46:49   any of it, but I listened to it as I was like going between walking and running and walking

00:46:52   and running and basically I was on the verge of bawling the entire time. But if you're one of

00:46:57   those monsters that thinks that a pre-existing condition is something that, you know, just—that's

00:47:03   enough to disqualify you. That's cool. You should read—you should listen to this story about Jimmy

00:47:08   Kimmel's son, who was born with a terrible heart defect, and were it not for some of the protections—

00:47:14   I—we shouldn't be getting this political, but here we are, without some of these protections that—

00:47:18   Steven: No, I mean, you know, it's important. You know, like, certain—you know, we—as we've

00:47:22   we've talked about, like certain times, politics or other world events do bleed into

00:47:27   relevance to all people. And I think this is one of those times. Like, this is a topic

00:47:32   that is, among many things, so politicized more than I think it probably should be. And

00:47:41   I think a lot of that is intentionally artificial to hide the things that the politicians really

00:47:47   want to get accomplished, which mostly have to do with money for themselves and, you know,

00:47:51   their class of people and their associates and lobbyists

00:47:53   and everything else.

00:47:55   So there's lots of that stuff going on

00:47:56   in the background here.

00:47:58   And we're arguing about whether people

00:48:01   who have not been as lucky as some of us

00:48:03   should go bankrupt and die because of that.

00:48:07   And that is unconscionable.

00:48:10   - Yeah, yeah, so anyway, so this Jimmy Kimmel thing,

00:48:13   it's a little under 15 minutes.

00:48:15   It's worth every second in my personal opinion.

00:48:17   And like I said, I was on the verge of bawling

00:48:19   the entire time I listened to it.

00:48:20   But the short, short version is his son had a terrible heart defect, he is now fine, and

00:48:28   if some of the changes to American healthcare that have been proposed pass, then his son

00:48:36   would never be able to have health insurance for the rest of his life because he was born

00:48:40   with a problem with his heart.

00:48:43   So yeah, I guess his son should have been living in the womb better and made better

00:48:47   choices in utero, and then he wouldn't have this problem, right?

00:48:50   That's how this works?

00:48:51   Yeah, maybe he listened to too much heavy metal music?

00:48:53   Who knows.

00:48:54   I mean, and the thing is, like, this isn't, it's not like this is a theoretical.

00:48:58   It's not like, you know, we think people will go bankrupt and die because of this.

00:49:02   We know because that's how it was before the ACA.

00:49:05   A lot of people went bankrupt and died.

00:49:09   This is not a small thing.

00:49:11   This is not an unknown.

00:49:12   It's very much known.

00:49:14   We were there.

00:49:15   It was horrible.

00:49:17   We tried to fix it as best as we could,

00:49:20   and it wasn't perfect, but the right fix

00:49:23   is not to go back to that.

00:49:24   We've seen it already.

00:49:26   We've tried that.

00:49:27   I don't know why this is even possibly

00:49:29   a point of contention.

00:49:31   Well, I do know why, really, but it's not a good reason.

00:49:33   - Yeah, and one of the things that was fascinating

00:49:35   by about having this tweet that I'd sent in January

00:49:40   about the Affordable Care Act,

00:49:43   which we'll link all this in the show notes,

00:49:45   but one of the fascinating things about having a tweet

00:49:47   gets retweeted 16,000 times is that everyone and their mother comes and tells you about

00:49:51   why you're right, why you're wrong. And in the tweet that I had tweeted read, "Opposition

00:49:56   I've heard to the Affordable Care Act. Number one, it costs me money. Number two, it's not

00:50:00   perfect. Support for the affordable if that I've heard for the Affordable Care Act. Number one,

00:50:05   I would have died without the coverage of guaranteed." Which is what we're talking about.

00:50:10   And man, so many people came out of the woodwork and like, "No, you don't get it. It's about this.

00:50:13   it's about that. One person had said, I forget how he phrased it, but it's something along the lines of,

00:50:20   "I shouldn't have to pay for people who eat McDonald's all the time to deal with their

00:50:25   diabetes." Okay, I live a healthy life, I shouldn't have to pay for all these unhealthy people.

00:50:31   Well, aren't you a winner? But anyway, after just hundreds of stories about the Affordable Care Act,

00:50:39   why it's great and why it's terrible. The only good, or in my estimation anyway, the only good

00:50:44   answer I heard about why the Affordable Care Act was bad was that some people said, well, I make

00:50:49   enough that I'm priced out of all the subsidy tiers, and I'm way oversimplifying here, but I

00:50:53   make enough money that I'm priced out of all the like super cheap tiers, but I don't really make

00:50:58   enough to afford like the, the whatever the opposite scenario was, I forget what it is. But

00:51:04   but basically they were in this like negative, this really terrible middle of the road.

00:51:08   Here's an example, this is somebody that tweeted, "I pay more than I can afford for insurance

00:51:13   with a deductible too high to matter."

00:51:15   That's pretty crummy, and that should get fixed.

00:51:18   But everything else was like just people who basically are looking for their fellow man to die

00:51:23   because they didn't want to pay for them to live.

00:51:25   And that's just, I don't understand how this is a question.

00:51:27   How is this a question right now? I don't get it.

00:51:30   get it. That's the thing is like like there's you know that that sentiment of

00:51:34   like why should I pay for the people who you know are unhealthy like that is such

00:51:38   a toxic way to think because like okay well let's follow that through if that's

00:51:44   what you think that you don't that you shouldn't have to pay for people who are

00:51:47   you know who do things that you don't like or whatever and that makes them

00:51:49   unhealthy even though a lot of times they can't help what has made them

00:51:53   unhealthy but anyway suppose you don't want to pay for it okay what should the

00:51:57   what would the penalty be for someone

00:51:59   who does this thing you don't like who can't afford it?

00:52:02   Is that punishable by death?

00:52:03   Is that an appropriate penalty?

00:52:06   Literally, is that your actual position?

00:52:10   Like if that's what you think.

00:52:11   - Don't ask questions you don't want the answers to,

00:52:13   because they would say, "Yes, of course,

00:52:14   "they're getting what they deserve."

00:52:15   That's exactly what they say.

00:52:16   - Right, I mean, if these people actually think that way,

00:52:18   I think they should own that.

00:52:20   I think they should come right out and say,

00:52:21   "Yes, I think all these people

00:52:22   "who can't afford their healthcare should die."

00:52:25   Like if that's what they think,

00:52:27   Let's bring that discussion, let's see how that discussion goes in the ocean.

00:52:30   - We have people in Congress owning that at this point.

00:52:32   - That's true.

00:52:33   - I don't think that's a position people are shrinking from.

00:52:35   - I know, I mean, but the thing is like,

00:52:37   you can apply that kind of thinking,

00:52:40   why should I have to pay for that,

00:52:41   to everything that government provides.

00:52:43   That's kind of the whole nature of government.

00:52:45   It provides a bunch of services with people's tax money,

00:52:49   most of which, any given person probably doesn't directly

00:52:54   use a lot of these services, but they also benefit

00:52:57   from lots of other ones, and it's a different pool

00:53:00   for each person, you know, and that's the role

00:53:02   of government, like, why should I pay for a giant military

00:53:06   that starts wars I don't want?

00:53:07   Well, that's just part of the government,

00:53:09   like it's part of our system, we vote for things,

00:53:13   and you know, this is what happens,

00:53:15   and sometimes our votes even are counted properly

00:53:17   and equally, and I just, this is so toxic,

00:53:22   And I wish I knew what it was that made people so hateful

00:53:27   of everybody else, really.

00:53:28   Like, maybe it's just 'cause everyone else listens

00:53:31   to way less fish than I do,

00:53:33   but I just cannot possibly understand what it is

00:53:38   that makes someone think to themselves,

00:53:41   oh, those people don't deserve to live.

00:53:44   Like, I don't get that at all.

00:53:46   And that makes me really sad

00:53:48   that that is such a prevalent attitude.

00:53:52   - That's why I was saying,

00:53:54   harking back to the days of the '80s

00:53:55   when it was commonly accepted

00:53:58   that the goal was to make people healthier,

00:54:01   and the only argument was about how best to do that.

00:54:04   The free market can do it.

00:54:05   No, the government can do it.

00:54:06   No, the government is inefficient and bloated,

00:54:07   and we will have a better system

00:54:09   if we allow competition, and blah, blah, blah.

00:54:10   Like, that was the level of the argument

00:54:12   that was going on, right?

00:54:13   And these days, that is not the level of the argument.

00:54:18   accepted premises of trying to get everybody as healthy as possible like

00:54:21   Can people barely on the right give you know barely make faints in that direction like that

00:54:28   They're not even interested in saying you don't understand this way people will actually be healthier fewer people will die like

00:54:36   Everyone will you know, that's they'll say that at the broad level

00:54:39   But they will not make they will not actually show how the numbers add up. They will not show their math

00:54:44   They'll not say look here's what we say even if it's just BS predictions BS sort of trickle-downy predictions

00:54:49   If we allow this to happen this competition happens here and there what's gonna happen?

00:54:53   You know, let me show you my BS model with BS predictions that are gonna do that

00:54:57   They're like we don't need to do that. We just wave our hands and

00:55:01   you know pit one person against the other and

00:55:05   Get what do what it takes to get this past

00:55:10   And then you know then we end up with what we end up with I

00:55:13   Miss I miss the the pretend intellectual debates is what I'm saying. I

00:55:17   Just I don't get it just makes me so sad like it's just it just I don't understand how any

00:55:25   Intelligent human being with three brain cells to rub together can think that the Affordable Care Act is bad

00:55:31   I just don't get it like oh, it's not perfect. Oh, it is bad

00:55:34   I mean it's but but it's you know, it's like what should we move to something worse?

00:55:38   I'm gonna say no.

00:55:39   I'm gonna say no, we shouldn't do that.

00:55:41   - Right, it's the whole perfect enemy of the good thing.

00:55:43   Healthcare is a hard problem.

00:55:46   It's really expensive to provide healthcare for people.

00:55:50   That has to be paid for somehow,

00:55:52   whether it's people paying themselves

00:55:55   or whether it's government single payer kind of things

00:55:57   or some kind of weird thing in between like what we have now.

00:56:00   It's a hard problem.

00:56:02   It's a really hard problem.

00:56:04   But the ACA took this really hard problem

00:56:08   that was really in a bad state before,

00:56:10   and made it less bad.

00:56:12   And yeah, the cost went up.

00:56:14   We're all paying more now for worse coverage.

00:56:17   But that was happening anyway.

00:56:19   Anybody who was actually paying for their coverage

00:56:21   before the ACA saw that trend already.

00:56:24   In fact, with the ACA, I'm still now paying less

00:56:29   than what I paid the year before the ACA went into effect.

00:56:31   And the coverage isn't as good,

00:56:33   but I'm actually still netting less per year

00:56:35   in expenditure for it.

00:56:37   And also, I'm way less worried about some crazy,

00:56:41   hitting some crazy limit, or you know,

00:56:43   like a lifetime limit, or pre-sitting conditions,

00:56:45   all of a sudden excluding everyone from everything.

00:56:47   Like, this is a better system, and it still sucks.

00:56:51   And that's why people are so mad,

00:56:52   because it is still really expensive,

00:56:54   and coverage still does really suck,

00:56:55   and we all have high deductibles now,

00:56:57   and we all have like, having to go through

00:56:59   crappy mail-order pharmacies for our prescriptions.

00:57:01   But that was happening before.

00:57:03   Whatever the Republicans get through,

00:57:06   whatever they do to this, I guarantee you,

00:57:09   your coverage is still gonna be really expensive

00:57:12   and you're still gonna have to deal with BS

00:57:14   from mail order pharmacies and having to fill

00:57:16   all these different referrals and everything.

00:57:18   That's all gonna still be there.

00:57:20   And your costs are gonna go up the year after that

00:57:22   and the year after that and every year after that.

00:57:24   Your costs are going to keep going up and up and up.

00:57:27   This, whatever they pass is not going to solve that.

00:57:31   It can't.

00:57:32   What they, all they're trying to do

00:57:34   is go back to the way it was before the ACA, which sucked.

00:57:39   And yeah, the ACA sucked, but that sucked way more before.

00:57:43   And that's what they wanna go back to.

00:57:45   It is really hard to talk about this

00:57:47   because literally thousands of additional people

00:57:50   will die every year because of this.

00:57:51   Like this is not a small thing.

00:57:54   This isn't just like,

00:57:55   oh, I'll have an extra 200 bucks a month.

00:57:57   It's just like, no, thousands of people will die.

00:58:00   And like, you know, you look at things

00:58:02   that change in our country,

00:58:03   policies, laws, liberties that change in our country

00:58:07   as a result of, say, September 11th.

00:58:10   Lots of things change because of that.

00:58:13   And then if you look at how many people are dying

00:58:16   unnecessarily because of not having proper healthcare,

00:58:19   it is such a massive problem and so many people

00:58:24   go bankrupt or die or both unnecessarily,

00:58:29   it is unconscionable to me that we still continue

00:58:33   to try to go back to the way it was,

00:58:36   because it was worse.

00:58:37   And again, I know why people are so mad at the ACA,

00:58:42   because they see those bills coming in every month

00:58:44   for the healthcare, and they, oh yeah,

00:58:46   my premium keeps going up, my coverage keeps getting worse.

00:58:48   Yeah, but that was happening before.

00:58:50   This made it a little bit less crappy for everybody.

00:58:54   And now we're gonna go back to that.

00:58:55   I just, it's awful.

00:58:58   - It's a cut off your nose to spite your face situation,

00:59:02   and after tomorrow you won't be able to get your nose put back on.

00:59:06   And then it'll be a pre-existing condition if you try to switch coverage.

00:59:09   So you're just screwed the whole way down.

00:59:11   But don't worry guys, at least the figurehead of the new system won't be a black guy.

00:59:15   So it's all good now.

00:59:16   Yeah. Or woman. Heaven forbid.

00:59:18   [music]

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01:01:03   Amazon releases the Echo Look.

01:01:05   Here again, I don't know a lot about it, except in this case it's because I really don't care.

01:01:10   But apparently it's an Echo with a camera that will tell you if you look good or not,

01:01:15   or something along those lines.

01:01:18   So what's going on here, and are we enthusiastic about it?

01:01:22   John, you get one?

01:01:24   - I don't think I'm gonna get one of these,

01:01:26   but I actually am, I'm not gonna say

01:01:28   I'm enthusiastic about it,

01:01:29   but I think what it is doing is a natural thing to do,

01:01:33   and I think we're going to see more of it, not less.

01:01:35   Like in the same way that I was strangely,

01:01:39   or at least not uniquely, but it was,

01:01:42   I think I had more enthusiasm for the Amazon Echo

01:01:44   when they first showed that little ad with the cylinder.

01:01:46   More optimism, let's say,

01:01:49   that this could potentially be a cool useful thing,

01:01:52   then most people who saw it,

01:01:53   because they were like, this looks dumb,

01:01:55   it's never gonna work.

01:01:55   And I had the same kind of this looks dumb

01:01:57   and it's not gonna work as well

01:01:58   as they show a working reaction to.

01:02:00   But I was also kind of like this class of device,

01:02:05   seems like it could be a thing.

01:02:06   And now I see this, which is like essentially a little camera

01:02:09   so imagine combining with an echo with a camera.

01:02:12   It's a camera that you can talk to,

01:02:14   that has some awareness of who and where you are,

01:02:16   and it has some specific functionality,

01:02:18   having to do with fashion and Amazon trying to sell you clothes and yada yada

01:02:21   like I don't think the details matter that much except that this is like

01:02:26   because it's Amazon and because they have the pedigree of the echo that this

01:02:29   product and because they're gonna push it like crazy on their website that this

01:02:32   product has as good a chance as any to be the first product to get any kind of

01:02:37   traction in this category and the category is simply a computer that you

01:02:43   can talk to that also can see you. Right. The Amazon Echo and the Dot and Google Home

01:02:50   and all those things are like a computer that you can talk to. A computer that you can talk

01:02:53   to that can also see you. Natural evolution. The number of things that you can do with

01:02:59   that ability with all of our, even just current technology for like facial recognition and

01:03:04   identifying things in scenes and, you know, connect to Xbox style, understanding gestures

01:03:11   and your position, the position of your body and stuff like that.

01:03:16   That is a rich vein of interaction with computing devices that we should begin to tap.

01:03:24   And if it has to be a weird fashion camera that spas on you and uploads pictures of you

01:03:27   to Amazon to sell you more clothes, I mean, the cylinder ended up being an Amazon thing

01:03:33   to let you buy paper towels by talking to it.

01:03:35   Things come in weird packages, right?

01:03:38   And I suppose it beats the old way, which is everything had to be attached to porn in

01:03:42   some way to get an interaction, although this potentially could be as well.

01:03:46   But I am enthusiastic about the future of devices that are computers that can hear and

01:03:53   see you.

01:03:54   And so I think there needs to be more of these things, and they need to get better, and they

01:03:59   will be cool and make our lives better, provided we can avoid all the pitfalls that – which

01:04:04   which is basically all people are talking about, all the privacy and security and just

01:04:10   general creepiness implications.

01:04:12   But I think the foundation is sound, so I wish them some success and I hope they learn

01:04:16   from it and branch out.

01:04:18   I'm just now watching the video quickly with no audio.

01:04:22   I'm just looking at the video as you're talking.

01:04:24   And I think I would have noticed, but certainly it was called out in one of the podcasts I

01:04:30   this week that there isn't a man in this video until like the last 10 seconds, which is actually

01:04:37   pretty cool that they're, you know, pitching this directly at women. And I think it stands

01:04:42   to reason that your average woman would be more enthusiastic about this than your average

01:04:46   man. Obviously, that's not a universal truth, but I think that's kind of cool. And I personally

01:04:53   am not in love, partially because I haven't really lived it. I'm not in love with the

01:04:57   with the idea of an Echo in general,

01:04:59   let alone an Echo with eyes, but again,

01:05:02   just because I'm not really gaga for it

01:05:04   doesn't mean it's not a good idea and not a good device.

01:05:06   It's just it's not something that I feel like

01:05:08   I need right now.

01:05:09   Marco.

01:05:10   - So first of all, there was a great discussion about this,

01:05:14   especially by Lisa Schmeiser, who knows a lot about retail,

01:05:17   on the first episode of the new Relay podcast

01:05:20   called Download.

01:05:22   This is kind of, this is like Jason Snell's

01:05:25   of new hosted show, almost like an expanded clockwise, but more broad and even more produced

01:05:31   and like even more wide audience. I'm guessing over time this might become the biggest show

01:05:37   on Relay and one of the biggest tech shows, period. So I would suggest getting on the

01:05:41   ground floor and going to subscribe to Download Now at relay.fm/download. Anyway, they didn't

01:05:47   pay me or even ask me to say that, but I think you should because it's really good. Anyway,

01:05:52   discussion on episode one by Alicia Smizer especially about this from the retail point

01:05:56   of view from a lot of good knowledge that we don't personally have but I greatly enjoyed.

01:06:02   Anyway, I'm with you. Obviously, this is being marketed heavily towards women and it's hard

01:06:07   for me to fully understand it as both a man and also a man who doesn't care at all about

01:06:12   his own personal fashion. And so it's…

01:06:15   Steven: Except on your wrist.

01:06:16   Tim Cynova Except on my wrist. I care very much about

01:06:18   that but I don't need a camera to tell me which watch to wear every day. I just put

01:06:21   on the one that I feel like wearing and I enjoy it. But you know, if there was one that

01:06:27   took a wrist shot for me every day and compared, you know, and gave me like a wrist book of

01:06:34   shots of how I looked over time, maybe that might do something interesting. I don't know.

01:06:42   Bottom line, this isn't for me and so I don't want to try to, I don't want to make large

01:06:46   proclamations about it either way because it's fundamentally a product, I don't understand

01:06:50   And this made very clear to me by the reactions on Twitter when this was announced.

01:06:56   It was extraordinarily polarized.

01:07:00   Tech dudes like us largely said, largely made fun of it and said, "Why would anybody want

01:07:05   to buy this?

01:07:06   Oh my God, Amazon is nuts."

01:07:09   And a lot of people who were not tech dudes, who, you know, I would venture to guess that

01:07:14   most of us, myself included, probably wear the basic, you know, t-shirt every day that

01:07:20   that we don't have to wear something for work.

01:07:22   T-shirt and jeans maybe, that's kind of the uniform

01:07:24   of tech, a hoodie if it's cool or if you live

01:07:26   in San Francisco.

01:07:27   That's kind of uniform of tech geeks.

01:07:30   So all of us looked at this and said, this is crazy,

01:07:33   why would we let Amazon put a camera in our bedroom

01:07:35   to do this thing we don't care about?

01:07:37   But people who were really into clothing and fashion

01:07:41   really enjoyed this.

01:07:43   The reaction from most of them, and this wasn't all women

01:07:47   I should say, I'm very carefully trying to dance around

01:07:52   the women angle here because I don't want to be sexist,

01:07:55   but it is very clear that this is how this is being targeted

01:07:57   and I did see very different reactions from most women

01:08:02   compared to most men in my timeline,

01:08:04   but I really don't want to say anything more than that

01:08:06   because I don't know what I'm talking about.

01:08:08   It is not at all for me,

01:08:10   but I think this will probably succeed.

01:08:14   When the original Echo Cylinder first came out,

01:08:17   we all made fun of it.

01:08:18   'Cause first of all, the way it was presented,

01:08:20   the video it was presented in was awful.

01:08:22   I mean, it was comically bad.

01:08:25   And it was pretty soon after the Fire phone,

01:08:27   and so we were pretty sure, like, yeah,

01:08:29   Amazon really is nuts with their hardware,

01:08:31   like they don't know what they're doing.

01:08:32   It did indeed sound crazy,

01:08:35   that you're gonna put a microphone in your house

01:08:37   that listens all the time and is owned by Amazon, really?

01:08:40   But then it only takes like one friend to get it,

01:08:43   and for you to be at their house for a little while,

01:08:45   and with them using it to kind of see like,

01:08:48   oh, actually, that's pretty cool.

01:08:51   And so it is the kind of thing where like,

01:08:53   it does sound kind of ridiculous up front,

01:08:57   but it might succeed anyway.

01:08:59   And I think all you need to know,

01:09:02   to know whether it will succeed or not,

01:09:03   is like, is there any group of people right now,

01:09:06   right up front who are saying,

01:09:07   oh my God, yes, give me that right now.

01:09:09   And the answer, from what I can see, is yes.

01:09:12   My wife wants one, I know a bunch of other people on Twitter

01:09:15   who said they wanted one.

01:09:16   Again, it isn't for everyone,

01:09:18   but it is probably definitely for some people.

01:09:21   And so even though it seems creepy to me as a nerd,

01:09:25   it's gonna be a thing.

01:09:26   And I think I would not discount Amazon in this.

01:09:31   I would not assume they're crazy.

01:09:33   I will occasionally make funny tweets about it,

01:09:36   but I do think they're probably going to sell this.

01:09:38   And it's probably gonna become part of a bigger thing.

01:09:41   And it's probably gonna have its own little weird oddities,

01:09:44   just like every Amazon product always does.

01:09:47   But I think it'll work long term.

01:09:49   - I don't think you need to have any weird speculation

01:09:51   and say like, oh, this will be for some people,

01:09:53   because like it is so right down the middle

01:09:55   of things that we know people already like to do

01:09:57   in massive numbers.

01:09:58   People like to take pictures of themselves.

01:10:00   The word selfie is known too far and wide

01:10:03   for a very good reason.

01:10:04   If you look at how people use social media

01:10:06   and how many times they're taking pictures of themselves

01:10:09   or what they're wearing, very often on a regular basis,

01:10:13   Right? This is merely an automation of that in the same way that the Amazon Echo is an automation of all the things you have other ways to do.

01:10:21   Like this is not speculative that people might want to take pictures of themselves or their outfits.

01:10:26   Right? This is just, you know, so there's so clearly a market need.

01:10:30   The only question is, does this product automate it in a way that actually makes it easier to do a thing that we know people want to do?

01:10:37   We know they want to do it. They do it like crazy now, manually, the hard way.

01:10:42   Having something that's, you know, this is, again,

01:10:45   as the first application of a computer

01:10:46   that can also see you, right?

01:10:48   Having something that can do that

01:10:50   with the smarts that we have developed

01:10:51   for cameras to find where the heck you are

01:10:54   and, you know, take good pictures of you,

01:10:56   it is easier for a computer to do that

01:10:58   than to you to try to do it yourself

01:11:00   with a mirror or holding out your phone

01:11:01   or doing other sorts of stuff like that,

01:11:03   especially if it becomes in the same way

01:11:05   that the Echo does, like, this becomes so easy,

01:11:08   it just becomes part of my routine, right?

01:11:10   the people who meticulously catalog their outfits each day

01:11:14   that they're proud of their outfits,

01:11:15   that is a big effort that most people don't go through.

01:11:18   But it's like Marco said,

01:11:19   if Marco didn't have to think about it,

01:11:20   but just went through his day and put on his watch,

01:11:22   and at some point,

01:11:23   at some point, 20 years in the future,

01:11:26   when his grandchildren are visiting

01:11:28   in his super duper fancy smart home,

01:11:30   he just wakes up in the morning,

01:11:31   picks out what watch he wants to wear, puts it on,

01:11:33   and then at the end of the month,

01:11:35   can view beautiful in-focus close-up shots

01:11:37   of every watch he wore on every day.

01:11:39   How did those pictures happen?

01:11:41   Because the cameras that are all over his house invisibly

01:11:44   can always find him and take these amazing photographs

01:11:47   in low light, perfect focus,

01:11:49   and he doesn't have to pose for them,

01:11:50   and he doesn't have to do anything.

01:11:51   In the same way that the magic checkout counter,

01:11:54   you know, barcode scanner,

01:11:56   just you bring the food by and you kind of twirl it

01:11:58   and spin it by the little scanner

01:12:01   and the little lasers will find it, right?

01:12:02   In that same type of technology,

01:12:05   if you had a bunch of smart cameras in your house

01:12:08   that eventually will be so cheap and so good

01:12:11   that they will be able to do this

01:12:12   without you having to stand in a certain place

01:12:14   or do a certain thing.

01:12:14   That is the future that is coming to.

01:12:17   The questions about it are all legit questions

01:12:19   in terms of who owns this data.

01:12:21   Is it okay for Amazon for us to upload it to Amazon

01:12:24   and for them to keep it forever?

01:12:25   And how is this funded if the hardware

01:12:28   isn't profitable itself is entirely funded about it

01:12:30   as a way to sell us clothes or whatever.

01:12:34   And what are the security implications

01:12:36   and how hackable are these?

01:12:37   All of these are gonna be,

01:12:38   there's gonna be terrible disasters in all these areas,

01:12:40   but there is no denying that the amount of computery things

01:12:44   in our house will only increase with time

01:12:46   and that it is kind of a ratcheting mechanism

01:12:49   and that this first one aiming, you know,

01:12:51   aiming to be a mechanization of a thing

01:12:54   that we know people already love to do is very smart

01:12:58   and builds on their echo stuff.

01:13:00   As for the things I talk about

01:13:02   in terms of technology and privacy,

01:13:03   I think Amazon is probably terrible in them.

01:13:05   I think their security is probably crap.

01:13:06   I think their privacy policy is probably terrible.

01:13:09   I think if they're hacked,

01:13:10   people are gonna get tons of data

01:13:11   and people will regret getting these things

01:13:13   if that ever happens.

01:13:14   If it doesn't, Amazon gets lucky.

01:13:15   If it does, we will all just regret it together

01:13:18   as people have a giant archive of photographs

01:13:21   and audio of you over many, many years

01:13:23   that use Amazon devices.

01:13:24   But even Marco, famously paranoid,

01:13:26   is willing to take that trade

01:13:27   because they do make his life better enough

01:13:29   that he's willing to take that risk.

01:13:32   And most people are not as paranoid as Marco

01:13:34   and won't think twice about this

01:13:36   it actually delivers on what it is intended to do.

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01:15:09   They've taken what basically all of us wanted from the new MacBook Air that we have yet

01:15:15   to receive and made a Surface laptop out of it.

01:15:20   I love that you assume that a new MacBook Air is something that is coming.

01:15:24   It just isn't here yet.

01:15:25   Ah, fair, fair.

01:15:27   But yeah, so the thing that we all wanted, which would effectively be a new Retina MacBook

01:15:32   Air with better internals and better ports and whatnot, Microsoft seems to have just

01:15:37   released it.

01:15:38   So I think they're pre-ordering soon if memory serves.

01:15:42   As we record, I don't believe it's available for purchase.

01:15:45   But the very little bit that I've looked into it,

01:15:49   it looked really nice.

01:15:50   - Yeah, I mean, I think it's really interesting,

01:15:52   first of all, that the Microsoft Surface branding

01:15:56   was originally for, well, first it was for the giant table.

01:15:59   And then it went away for a few years.

01:16:01   And then it came back as this consumer,

01:16:04   convertible laptop/tablet thing.

01:16:07   and then it slowly became closer to regular computers

01:16:11   and now they're just like, "Alright, screw it,

01:16:14   "here's just a laptop and we're gonna call it

01:16:15   "the Surface laptop." (laughs)

01:16:17   And it's like they did all these crazy things

01:16:20   and they could just kind of slowly work their way back

01:16:22   to what most people actually want in their computer,

01:16:24   which is a traditional style laptop.

01:16:27   And it does have a touch screen, so bonus points for that.

01:16:29   I do want to also point out, we Apple people,

01:16:32   we keep following the company line of like,

01:16:35   "No, we shouldn't have touch screens on computers,

01:16:36   Nobody wants that, but meanwhile, touch screens have become

01:16:40   very prevalent on PCs, and most people who use them

01:16:44   seem to kinda like them.

01:16:48   Like, people seem, you know, they might not use them

01:16:50   all the time, or they might not use them for a lot of things,

01:16:54   but people who use them seem to enjoy them, largely.

01:16:57   - Yep, completely agree.

01:16:58   - So I do think that is something that should not be

01:16:59   totally discounted as a thing, and maybe Apple's right,

01:17:03   but they're sure to seem like a lot of people

01:17:06   are using them.

01:17:08   Anyway, but I also think it's interesting that

01:17:11   when the original Surface, not the table,

01:17:13   but the very first weirdo, bizarre tablet laptop thing,

01:17:17   when that first came out, it really seemed like

01:17:19   this really niche, low volume, low selling device.

01:17:24   But over time, Microsoft has been persistent

01:17:26   and has just kept iterating and iterating,

01:17:29   and now, Surface's are actually pretty common.

01:17:31   I see them out all the time.

01:17:33   And I don't know if I just don't recognize

01:17:35   other PC hardware, so maybe I don't visually notice it or count it. And whenever people

01:17:40   on Twitter do coffee shop surveys, like Gruber likes to do sometimes, or I see some other

01:17:44   people doing it, where like, "All right, number of MacBooks in this coffee shop, 10,

01:17:49   and number of Surface, 3, number of iPads, 2," stuff like that. Surface tend to be represented

01:17:55   pretty well, just like anecdotally out in the world. There seem to be a lot of them

01:17:59   in coffee shops and in airports and on planes and on commuter trains, stuff like that. So

01:18:04   So I do think that it is worth, I hope Apple is noticing,

01:18:09   and they probably are, they're smart over there,

01:18:11   I hope they are noticing that these experiments

01:18:15   that Microsoft has been doing with the Surface over time

01:18:18   seemed outlandish at first.

01:18:20   Not only are they getting less outlandish over time,

01:18:23   as we all realize that some of those things are good ideas,

01:18:26   but also they're getting pretty popular.

01:18:28   And so I think that is something

01:18:29   that we should not be ruling out.

01:18:33   And some things are popular that are terrible.

01:18:36   I mean Dave Matthews Band, right?

01:18:37   But their popularity I think should not be overlooked.

01:18:42   And we should not assume that everything about the service

01:18:45   and its line of products is Microsoft being weird and wacky

01:18:48   'cause a lot of it's sticking.

01:18:49   So that is worth pointing out.

01:18:51   So this particular computer,

01:18:53   it looks pretty compelling for a lot of people.

01:18:56   I mean, in a lot of ways it's specs are lower end

01:19:00   than the MacBook Air.

01:19:01   It can be, although it is much newer,

01:19:04   the MacBook Air still has, I think like three generations

01:19:07   old now, parts, something like that.

01:19:09   And this, I believe the Microsoft Surface laptop

01:19:13   is Kaby Lake, so it's like really current.

01:19:15   If the MacBook Air had Skylake or Kaby Lake,

01:19:19   it would get way better battery life.

01:19:21   And it's already amazing, which means they could do

01:19:23   some pretty cool things, but they're not.

01:19:25   But they made the MacBook Pro instead,

01:19:28   and we'll talk about that in a minute, like the escape.

01:19:30   But this laptop looks really good because

01:19:33   when the MacBook Air first came out,

01:19:34   it was like the specialized thing,

01:19:36   but over a pretty short time,

01:19:38   it pretty quickly became like the mainstream laptop to have.

01:19:43   And now it's the low-end laptop to have,

01:19:46   but they still sell a ton of them

01:19:48   because the 13 inch MacBook Air especially,

01:19:50   like that form factor, like that combination,

01:19:52   as I talked about before in the show,

01:19:54   that's a really good sweet spot for a lot of people.

01:19:57   It's an incredibly compelling overall package.

01:19:59   there's a reason why everyone has MacBook Airs

01:20:03   and almost everyone who has them loves them.

01:20:05   It's no coincidence that when Apple introduced,

01:20:10   that's quite a mistake,

01:20:11   when Apple introduced the new MacBook Pros

01:20:14   and kind of made it clear that the MacBook Air

01:20:16   was on its way very slowly out

01:20:20   and that the new MacBook Air replacement

01:20:22   was this 13-inch MacBook escape that is more expensive

01:20:27   and in some ways more limited.

01:20:28   A lot of people were very upset about that.

01:20:30   It's like, no, you took this formula that we liked so much

01:20:33   and now you're telling us that it's over

01:20:34   and you're replacing it with something

01:20:36   that's more expensive and more limited?

01:20:37   So Microsoft comes along and says,

01:20:38   all right, well you know what, here,

01:20:39   this computer that you wanted, here, we just made it.

01:20:42   We made like a up-to-date, basically,

01:20:45   version of a retina MacBook Air shaped and sized computer.

01:20:50   And in most ways it looks a lot like the MacBook Air.

01:20:54   Again, if you match it spec for spec,

01:20:57   it's about the same price as the Air, although newer,

01:21:02   and it is a few hundred dollars cheaper

01:21:06   than the MacBook Escape for similar specs.

01:21:08   Again, I think they're going to sell a lot of these.

01:21:10   Now, they aren't the first PC maker

01:21:12   to make a MacBook Air clone.

01:21:14   PC makers have been making these for a while.

01:21:16   Largely, I think one of the reasons

01:21:18   why services have taken off so well

01:21:20   is that PC hardware is largely total crap.

01:21:24   Like, it is really bad.

01:21:26   Like the designs are crappy,

01:21:28   they're cheap plastic builds,

01:21:30   and just designs with very poor taste.

01:21:33   And Microsoft's designs have largely been pretty good,

01:21:36   like for the Surface hardware.

01:21:38   They've had a couple of weird little missteps here and there,

01:21:40   but so has Apple, no one's perfect.

01:21:42   So Microsoft's actually, I think, doing pretty well here.

01:21:45   And if I were buying a Windows PC for some reason,

01:21:49   it would almost certainly be a Surface product of some kind.

01:21:53   Or I'd build my own, if it was a desktop probably.

01:21:55   But let's say if I was buying a PC laptop for some reason,

01:21:59   I would almost certainly get one of these.

01:22:01   - I agree with you.

01:22:02   The thing is, obviously my career prior to my current job

01:22:07   was all in the Microsoft stack,

01:22:09   and so though I don't have any particular love for Microsoft

01:22:12   in a nostalgic sense, I have admired the way

01:22:15   they've really changed themselves,

01:22:18   and really kind of adjusted the way they operate

01:22:22   with Satya Nadella at the helm,

01:22:24   and I think they've been doing a really good job,

01:22:25   have been doing really fascinating stuff for the San Franciscans, they pivoted.

01:22:30   So anyway, the funny thing is though, you can't really make Microsoft lose all of its

01:22:37   old bits because as I'm trying to get the URL for the Surface laptop to put in the show

01:22:42   notes, I arrive at microsoftstore.com/store/msusa/enus/pdp/productid.5102691100.

01:22:51   as I load that page, the page itself has been dimmed and I have a modal. Don't miss out.

01:22:58   Sign up to receive special deals, new offers, and more." No. The answer is no. So you can

01:23:05   make Microsoft a lot better in general, but you can't ever really make Microsoft forget

01:23:09   that they're Microsoft, can you?

01:23:11   Well, but what's the actual name of the MacBook escape?

01:23:14   I – oh, the MacBook Pro.

01:23:17   I believe it's the late 2013 13-inch MacBook Pro without touch bar.

01:23:21   Fair point, fair point, fair point.

01:23:22   - With delete me in all caps at the end.

01:23:24   (laughing)

01:23:27   - So anyway, but no, other than that,

01:23:30   I think this looks really great.

01:23:33   I agree with you if I were to buy a PC,

01:23:36   it would either be a Lenovo or very, very likely

01:23:39   a Surface laptop or something like this.

01:23:41   I agree with you that everything I've heard

01:23:43   from people who have touchscreen laptops,

01:23:44   they swear by them.

01:23:45   I think that seems really kooky,

01:23:47   but it's probably one of those things

01:23:48   that I just haven't tried it and so I don't get it.

01:23:52   And certainly for iOS simulator,

01:23:54   that would be super helpful.

01:23:55   So in that sense, I do get it.

01:23:56   But I do like that there are different colors available.

01:24:01   I don't recall what colors there are,

01:24:03   but there's certainly several shades

01:24:04   that you can get them in,

01:24:05   which is really kind of stupid, but I like it.

01:24:08   And I think that's kind of neat.

01:24:10   - Apple, look, Apple just sells like, you know,

01:24:12   the pink, gold, and dark gray 12-inch MacBook.

01:24:15   That's fine.

01:24:16   Like there's nothing wrong with a little bit of color

01:24:18   in your life, tech people. It's fine. Color is nice.

01:24:21   Although here again, like the marketing copy is preposterous. If you look at the bullets

01:24:32   under Surface Laptop, luxurious Aucantra fabric-covered keyboard is bullet number two. Come on. I

01:24:39   mean, and Apple has their moments. Don't get me wrong. Apple is not innocent in this department,

01:24:43   but luxurious Aucantra fabric-covered keyboard, really, guys?

01:24:47   I'm glad you can't pronounce that word either, despite reading it in car magazines for the

01:24:50   past several decades.

01:24:51   I thought it was Alcantara.

01:24:52   I don't know.

01:24:53   You never have to say it out loud when it's in car magazines, and all of a sudden you're

01:24:56   faced with this word.

01:24:57   You got to do it a syllable at a time.

01:24:59   Alcantara.

01:25:00   There we go.

01:25:01   Yeah, it's like Bizelle.

01:25:02   In any case, Jon, what do you think about this?

01:25:04   So the narrative for this is, like Marco said, "Oh, Apple wouldn't make this laptop.

01:25:10   This is the retina MacBook Air that we have all wanted."

01:25:13   But as Marco already pointed out, it's not like there haven't been a million PCs that

01:25:17   that are similar, that are like small, thin, use the MacBook Air class of processor, but

01:25:22   are newer and have a retina screen and so on and so forth.

01:25:26   For this computer specifically though, this is not the retina MacBook Air that I would

01:25:31   want assuming it ran Mac OS, and not just because it's got a fuzzy top, which is kind

01:25:36   of weird and I think will get kind of gross.

01:25:40   If Apple made this computer, I would right now be complaining about the ports and the

01:25:44   RAM.

01:25:45   that you shouldn't even offer a computer with that much.

01:25:48   It's stupid, don't do that.

01:25:50   And the ports, one big USB,

01:25:52   one mini display port thingy,

01:25:55   headphone, like no USB-C.

01:25:59   That's not a modern computer.

01:26:00   Like I'm not saying you have to have all the ports

01:26:01   in the world, but especially if you're gonna be a PC,

01:26:05   like provide me utility.

01:26:06   The utility that Apple won't add would be, you know,

01:26:10   like what this thing has, except for USB-C

01:26:14   instead of playing USB, maybe throw in one regular USB.

01:26:16   It's not like there's not room.

01:26:17   Like this is not a MacBook size, super duper skinny thing.

01:26:20   It's big enough that you could fit some more ports on there.

01:26:22   And if I'm looking for anything in a PC,

01:26:24   it's to do the port stuff that Apple won't do.

01:26:26   So give me my ports, put some USB-C on there,

01:26:29   put one regular USB, put an SD card slot.

01:26:31   Don't give me one big USB and one mini display port

01:26:35   and that's it.

01:26:36   Like I feel like it is RAM starve and port slim

01:26:40   and form factor wise,

01:26:43   If I'm gonna buy into the Surface brand,

01:26:45   I know this is just like, this is a Surface laptop.

01:26:46   Like they do have a touchscreen on it,

01:26:48   but just like they do on the Surface Book and everything,

01:26:50   but those can sort of transform into tablity things

01:26:53   where all of a sudden the touchscreen is much more viable.

01:26:56   I'm not saying you don't wanna have a touchscreen

01:26:57   'cause they should leverage the advantage they have,

01:27:00   which is they have created an OS that is touch accessible.

01:27:04   Right, that's the whole thing that they've done.

01:27:05   They have one combined OS

01:27:07   that it is usable with your finger.

01:27:09   You're not, you know, in theory,

01:27:12   The interface that is on the screen has some chance of being used by your big, you know,

01:27:18   44-point in Apple parlance fingertip surface, right?

01:27:22   And that's what they're telling people to make.

01:27:24   Make an application that is usable in that way, or make controls and buttons and widgets

01:27:29   and things that are usable in that way.

01:27:31   Mac OS is not like that.

01:27:33   So one of the advantages that Microsoft has when it comes to directly competing against

01:27:37   the Mac, not iOS, but the Mac, is that they have an interface that is available for touch.

01:27:42   But touch on a plain old upright laptop screen like this,

01:27:45   you're right, the PC has been doing it forever.

01:27:47   And you're right that people do like it

01:27:48   because they can touch the screen.

01:27:49   But I think Apple's also right that it is a,

01:27:51   it is not a great experience.

01:27:54   So I don't say there's a reason

01:27:55   they shouldn't have put touch in here,

01:27:56   but I wouldn't chalk it up as much of an advantage.

01:27:58   It's more of a, well, we can do it anyway

01:28:00   and we got to do it,

01:28:01   but it makes me wish almost that

01:28:03   this was a straight up laptop,

01:28:05   but that the hinge went all the way around

01:28:06   and you could just bend it back on itself, right?

01:28:08   You know, like the convertibles

01:28:10   that they've made a million different varieties of.

01:28:12   If it's not gonna, I can get on board with them

01:28:14   not disconnecting it, but if it's gonna be a touchscreen,

01:28:17   what if there is some application

01:28:18   that I really wanna use a touchscreen with?

01:28:20   It is extremely awkward to use a very touch-centric interface

01:28:25   when it's in a laptop configuration.

01:28:28   So I put that down mostly as a neutral.

01:28:31   And then so then I'm just like left with a laptop

01:28:32   that is kind of middle of the road, kind of strange,

01:28:37   not a good complement of ports

01:28:38   and the low-end model has terrible specs.

01:28:39   So I'm not impressed with it as a laptop,

01:28:41   but I do agree that Microsoft has been trying everything

01:28:46   that you can conceivably try

01:28:47   and that they are putting in the work

01:28:49   to make an operating system that embodies their vision

01:28:52   for how computing, how a single operating system

01:28:55   can span multiple form factors

01:28:56   and all that other good stuff.

01:28:58   Styling-wise, the fur aside or the fuzzy fabric aside,

01:29:01   I still think Microsoft Surface and PCs in general

01:29:08   are sticking too closely to the Apple design formula.

01:29:13   Like they have their own twists, they have their own colors,

01:29:16   fabric and the weird hinge and all stuff like that.

01:29:18   But Apple has so dominated the aesthetic for laptops,

01:29:22   basically from the PowerBook days,

01:29:23   when they defined the current shape of laptop.

01:29:26   Keyboard goes there, pointing device goes here,

01:29:28   screen goes there.

01:29:29   It took a while for PC to get on board with that,

01:29:33   but that defined it in the same way

01:29:34   that the iPhone defined the smartphone form factor.

01:29:37   And when Apple came out with the modern MacBook lines

01:29:39   with the big flat square key caps

01:29:42   and this little perfect rectangle that Johnny Ive loves

01:29:44   and the big touch pad and like all the quote unquote

01:29:48   high-end PC laptops have been following along

01:29:51   with that aesthetic as if it is the one and only true way

01:29:54   to make laptops and I don't think it is.

01:29:56   There is variety out there and a lot of varieties ugly

01:29:59   and you could like, oh, I'm glad Microsoft is sticking

01:30:01   with the Apple design school because it looks good

01:30:03   and it does, but it also doesn't allow them to stand out.

01:30:06   very often speaking of coffee shop surveys,

01:30:08   I'm in a coffee shop and I have to squint

01:30:10   to make sure I can make out from the front.

01:30:12   Is that a MacBook Air or is it, you know,

01:30:15   it's easier from the back 'cause you can see

01:30:17   the little Windows logo, which is, you know,

01:30:20   better than the old Windows logo, but whatever.

01:30:21   Anyway, Apple says that you have to have your company logo

01:30:24   dead center in the back of your screen,

01:30:25   so that's what they do.

01:30:27   But from the front, it's like,

01:30:28   you could mistake it for a MacBook Air.

01:30:30   And I think that is leaving money on the table style-wise,

01:30:33   that I believe there can be a different aesthetic

01:30:35   that they could be pursuing instead of

01:30:37   what they're currently doing,

01:30:38   which is like Apple style, but with a twist.

01:30:41   So I'm not particularly impressed by this product.

01:30:43   I was much more impressed by the Surface Studio Pro.

01:30:46   But all of these products, all Microsoft hardware products,

01:30:50   and even to some degree, the software products,

01:30:53   reveal gaps in Apple's lineup.

01:30:57   I'm not gonna say they're necessarily weaknesses,

01:30:59   but they reveal gaps.

01:31:00   Like their operating system reveals the fact that there,

01:31:03   the things fall through the gaps between iOS and macOS,

01:31:06   whether 1.0 OS, 2.0 OS is the right strategy,

01:31:07   either way it shows gaps.

01:31:09   And all these variety of Surface Books

01:31:11   and Surface Studio Pro reveal gaps in Apple's lineup.

01:31:14   And that like, if you want a really big touchscreen

01:31:16   that runs Pro apps,

01:31:17   the biggest you can go on Apple is 12.5 inch.

01:31:20   And if you want an OS that's touch accessible, that's iOS.

01:31:23   You know, and like there's this big gap between

01:31:26   Pro hardware that in theory is coming to the Mac soon

01:31:29   and Touch OS and Apple has separated those two

01:31:32   from each other, whereas Microsoft has a combined OS

01:31:34   and a combined hardware strategy.

01:31:35   So I find that the most interesting thing

01:31:37   about the Surface efforts, and I suppose it's interesting

01:31:40   that they're extending the brain to a plain old laptop,

01:31:42   but this plain old laptop does not seem to be

01:31:45   a particularly compelling product beyond the fact

01:31:48   that it is a Surface branded laptop,

01:31:50   but I applaud Microsoft for taking the Surface hardware

01:31:53   and software brand and extending it outwards,

01:31:56   and hopefully they have some success.

01:31:58   We haven't even talked about Windows 10 S,

01:31:59   I don't know if we have time for it,

01:32:00   but that is a whole other aspect of this.

01:32:02   We'll get to that.

01:32:03   But also, and I think this ties into that too,

01:32:05   keep in mind, as you criticize this laptop's mediocrity

01:32:08   in certain areas, it's a low-end product.

01:32:11   This is a value product.

01:32:13   In the world of PCs, it's probably mid-range.

01:32:15   - It's a low-end Mac, it's a high-end PC.

01:32:17   A low-end PC laptop is 180 bucks.

01:32:20   - Yeah, that's true.

01:32:21   It's a mid-range PC laptop,

01:32:23   but it uses those kind of mid-range parts and everything,

01:32:27   and it's in a pretty small case and everything.

01:32:29   Anyway, this is a value product,

01:32:31   and it's competing against Apple's value products.

01:32:34   And it is interesting to see the two very different ways

01:32:37   that Microsoft and Apple are tackling this problem.

01:32:39   Apple is largely addressing the very old,

01:32:44   un-updated MacBook Air towards the same market.

01:32:46   I mean, some of the people we pushed up

01:32:49   into a new MacBook Pro, but I think a lot of people,

01:32:52   like this is aimed at things like schools,

01:32:55   businesses, college students, people who need

01:32:58   either a lot of computers at the lowest possible price,

01:33:00   like a school or people who are buying a computer

01:33:04   who need a lot of value and can't spend a lot more.

01:33:07   So things like college students, things like that.

01:33:09   And the MacBook Air is on a variable for these people,

01:33:12   but Apple is basically just telling them

01:33:17   to just keep buying really old hardware

01:33:20   and Microsoft is showing them a new option.

01:33:22   And I don't think Apple really has a direct answer to this.

01:33:27   I guess technically Apple's answer is spend more

01:33:30   one of our new computers or tolerate one of our old ones. But I really, I think the MacBook

01:33:35   Air is kind of an embarrassment right now because it's not like this is some like, you

01:33:40   know, narrow little product that they don't sell many of. They sell tons of them. And

01:33:45   so it makes me kind of sad for Apple that they are happy to sell so many of an ancient

01:33:55   product that they have refused to update out of what seems like a combination of laziness

01:34:00   and greed because they're making good money on it so why update it? That's a crappy reason,

01:34:06   but that seems to be the reason they're using. And the new MacBook Pro will eventually, I

01:34:12   assume, will eventually get lower in price and eventually the 12 inch and the escape

01:34:19   line will replace the MacBook Air. But it doesn't seem like that's happening soon. It

01:34:23   seems like that might be still maybe three years out or something like that. So for this

01:34:28   this time or they're just gonna keep selling

01:34:30   this ancient MacBook Air while things like this

01:34:34   are coming out from the PC industry

01:34:35   and kind of embarrassing it.

01:34:38   I don't think I like that strategy.

01:34:39   - Don't we have like five years before

01:34:41   they have a special meeting to talk about the MacBook Air

01:34:43   at Apple's campus that they invite us like,

01:34:45   you know, say, we know we haven't updated

01:34:47   the MacBook Air in four years,

01:34:49   and people are wondering if we're gonna discontinue it,

01:34:51   but we've just decided last week

01:34:53   that we're gonna make a new MacBook Air,

01:34:55   and it won't be out this year.

01:34:57   but we are going to rethink the MacBook.

01:34:59   We've heard you that you want the MacBook Air.

01:35:02   - Yeah, right.

01:35:02   - To specific Microsoft Surface thing,

01:35:05   like PC laptops have been embarrassing the Air

01:35:07   for a long time.

01:35:08   It's not just this one.

01:35:09   Like, oh, they finally made it like, like you said,

01:35:11   like there's been tons of PCs

01:35:12   that use the MacBook Air class of chip,

01:35:14   but they actually stay updated

01:35:15   of varying degrees of build quality and style.

01:35:17   So maybe the Microsoft one is notable

01:35:19   in that they have a good reputation

01:35:20   for hardware build quality.

01:35:21   And if you like the style, like that's fine.

01:35:24   But yeah, I mean, that's,

01:35:26   it's revealing gaps in Apple's lineup.

01:35:27   Like that Apple wanted the combination of the new MacBook

01:35:31   and the new MacBook Pros to span the same range

01:35:34   that the old combination of the Airs plus the Pros

01:35:37   plus the weird MacBook-y thing in the middle span.

01:35:40   And it does kind of span the same range

01:35:42   as with gaps in different places,

01:35:44   but because of the way they're priced

01:35:45   and the way their capabilities spread,

01:35:47   it ends up being less satisfying.

01:35:49   And the Air still is very popular.

01:35:52   I don't know if I mentioned this about my UK trip,

01:35:54   But I did a, because I was actually in a Starbucks,

01:35:57   I think for the first time in my entire life,

01:36:01   because my wife went in there to get a drink

01:36:04   and I came in with her.

01:36:06   And I did a laptop count just because I was,

01:36:10   I glanced around and I was stunned at what I saw.

01:36:12   What I saw was like, I think it was like eight MacBook Airs,

01:36:17   one HP laptop and one MacBook Pro.

01:36:20   - Yeah.

01:36:21   - And I was like, "Macbook Airs, like what's going on?"

01:36:23   I talked to some people in the UK and they said,

01:36:25   "Oh, schools buy them a lot.

01:36:26   "Like when you go to school, you get a laptop

01:36:28   "and they all buy MacBook Airs."

01:36:30   So like, are these people going to,

01:36:31   I mean, are these all old MacBook Airs?

01:36:33   They got as hand-me-downs?

01:36:34   Are people going to Apple stores

01:36:35   and continuing to buy MacBook Airs?

01:36:37   - Yes, they are.

01:36:38   - But yeah, I mean, I don't know.

01:36:40   I mean, if you look at the ASPs of the,

01:36:41   I was thinking of this when you say,

01:36:42   oh, the MacBook Pro prices will come down.

01:36:43   Like not at those ASPs they have

01:36:45   because the new MacBook Pros that are all super,

01:36:47   you know, more expensive than their old models,

01:36:49   tremendously increased revenues

01:36:51   and average selling price for Apple.

01:36:53   So because I get pent up demand, right, or whatever,

01:36:55   but I'm not so sure that they're gonna be

01:36:58   in a big darn hurry to lower the price.

01:36:59   And honestly, I'm okay with Apple jacking up the price

01:37:03   on its top end models,

01:37:04   as long as the top end models like justify that price,

01:37:06   not linearly, obviously, where it's like,

01:37:08   is this $500 better?

01:37:09   No, of course it's not gonna be $500 better.

01:37:10   But if anything, you're gonna fleece people on,

01:37:12   make it the super duper high end ones.

01:37:15   If they actually introduced a MacBook Air replacement,

01:37:19   sort of a worthy MacBook Air replacement

01:37:21   fills that same role, like has the same trade-offs of battery life, screen size, and ports and

01:37:26   capability as the old MacBook Air but has all updated internals and has retina.

01:37:30   If they ever made such a machine, that could lower their ASPs, but I think it would sell

01:37:33   like hotcakes.

01:37:34   And honestly, I feel like, I made the joke about the whole MacPro meeting, like, "Oh,

01:37:41   we've decided we're going to do this."

01:37:42   I feel like that decision is inevitable, because it seems like the range of capabilities in

01:37:48   and Apple's limited range from the super duper skinny

01:37:50   MacBook to the much more expensive Pros,

01:37:54   that doesn't seem to be the right distribution

01:37:55   of price points and capabilities to satisfy the market.

01:37:58   Whereas the Air has proven itself to be,

01:38:01   and not the first Air,

01:38:03   'cause the first Air was a crappy mix, right?

01:38:04   But like the 2011 and on Air,

01:38:07   that was a really great sweet spot

01:38:10   for capability, size and price.

01:38:12   And I think Apple has proven with their experiment

01:38:16   that the super duper skinny one,

01:38:17   like it's a little bit too far down the capability ladder.

01:38:22   Like it sacrifices too much capability for other stuff.

01:38:24   They just, by all means, keep it.

01:38:25   'Cause you should have a model

01:38:26   that's like the lightest possible thing you can have.

01:38:28   It's awesome for that, right?

01:38:29   But it doesn't, you know, whatever the curve looks like

01:38:32   of demand for laptop sizes and capabilities,

01:38:35   that one is also towards the edge.

01:38:37   So I think Apple will eventually come around

01:38:40   to making a machine that has the balance

01:38:44   of the MacBook Air.

01:38:45   It doesn't have to be the same exact size

01:38:46   and shape as the MacBook Air,

01:38:47   things change and USB-C is smaller and so on and so forth.

01:38:50   And whether that's because the MacBook evolves or they introduce a new model in the middle

01:38:55   or the 13-inch MacBook Pro, as Marco has talked about so many times, eventually shrinks down

01:38:59   to the point where it basically is a MacBook Air.

01:39:01   But that hasn't happened yet.

01:39:04   And so looking over at the PC side or the Windows side of things and seeing all these

01:39:08   MacBook Air equivalents and seeing how popular, you know, again, coffee shop surveys, a lot

01:39:14   of the PCs that I see are MacBook Airy-sized form factors.

01:39:17   I see less of the giant battleships

01:39:19   that you still see in corporate environments,

01:39:21   and I see more of the HP Lenovo MacBook Airy-sized machines.

01:39:26   So hopefully Apple will get on that

01:39:30   in T minus two and a half years.

01:39:32   - Yeah, 'cause that's the thing.

01:39:34   That's what I'm saying.

01:39:35   The strategy, what they seem to be doing now,

01:39:37   which is basically just never update the Air

01:39:39   and just keep selling it

01:39:40   until the other ones come down in price,

01:39:42   I don't think that necessarily works

01:39:44   unless there's other changes in mind

01:39:46   because like what you said, the 12 inch,

01:39:49   assume that comes down in price and becomes a new entry,

01:39:51   that's kinda not good enough to replace the MacBook Air.

01:39:54   It is so much of a compromise in so many more areas.

01:39:58   It has way fewer ports and things.

01:40:01   It is way slower than the MacBook Air in a lot of things.

01:40:05   It gets worse battery life by a good amount.

01:40:09   It will presumably improve over time.

01:40:12   Maybe the second generation 12 inch MacBook,

01:40:16   whenever that comes out,

01:40:17   maybe that one will be a better air replacement.

01:40:21   But the current one really isn't.

01:40:23   I mean, maybe the answer is that the 13 inch MacBook Escape

01:40:26   ends up going down in price eventually,

01:40:30   or it has a very low end configuration.

01:40:33   But the problem is, the base model is already

01:40:36   a pretty low end model for Apple standards.

01:40:39   Compared to the service book,

01:40:41   it's kinda mid-range to high-end.

01:40:43   So again, I'm not entirely sure that strategy makes sense,

01:40:46   but it seems like Apple is doing a pretty poor job

01:40:51   addressing what is probably by far

01:40:54   their most popular model of laptop.

01:40:58   That seems weird to me.

01:41:00   Although that being said, looking at the Surface laptop,

01:41:04   if you were buying one of these things,

01:41:06   which of these four colors would you get?

01:41:08   'Cause I saw the video, the colors looked okay in the video,

01:41:10   Now that I'm seeing this page, like, all four of these colors look hideous to me.

01:41:15   They all look like cubicle walls.

01:41:18   The texture is the problem, not the color.

01:41:20   I think either one of the two grays, the darker gray or the lighter gray, they're fine.

01:41:25   But I'm not on board with the texture thing, both because I think it'll get dirty and gross

01:41:31   and it'll be harder to clean, and also because the edge treatment, like when the fabric runs

01:41:35   to the edge and, you know, joins up with the metal, that's just asking for it to fray.

01:41:39   The last thing I want is a frayed laptop.

01:41:41   That's not an aesthetic I like.

01:41:42   I can imagine people finding it attractive, right?

01:41:45   But I'm not into that.

01:41:48   I don't know.

01:41:49   It's hard to say.

01:41:50   On the configurator, the colors in the image is just microscopic.

01:41:57   It's very hard to say.

01:41:58   I would probably take a look at the cobalt blue, but in all likelihood end up with the

01:42:03   boring platinum.

01:42:04   Yeah, the colors are red.

01:42:06   you're right that their website like that they I know you just made fun of their website

01:42:10   for a while before but like if you have beautiful hardware like they made a really cool intro

01:42:14   video I think Gruber linked to and I hope all the people did that shows like all you

01:42:18   know it looked like an Apple video showing how beautiful all the parts are even on the

01:42:21   inside and how they all assemble and fly together and we've seen stuff from like Apple like

01:42:25   but then if you go to their website Apple the entire page would you just be like incredibly

01:42:31   close up high resolution beautifully shot photographs slash renders of their hardware

01:42:35   right, whereas here we're squinting at these little blurry JPEGs.

01:42:39   We can't even, you know, I was trying to look for a picture to show me all the ports.

01:42:42   Apple would have a shot that's like, "Your ports fill your entire screen and they're

01:42:46   impossibly clean because they're probably computer renders," and here it's like, "I

01:42:50   can't even get a shot where I can make out what the ports are on the side."

01:42:53   The color picker changes the color on this one-inch by one-inch postage stamp.

01:42:57   Like, "Microsoft, you are not selling your hardware.

01:43:00   You got good-looking hardware.

01:43:02   You have to show it off.

01:43:03   We want to see it.

01:43:04   I want to see it up close.

01:43:06   Alas.

01:43:06   - That's Microsoft.

01:43:09   - I will say also, the MacBook escape,

01:43:11   the late 2016 13 inch MacBook Pro without touch bar,

01:43:15   two ports, that continues to impress me as a machine.

01:43:19   And when Phil Schiller got on stage and talked about it

01:43:24   during the introduction, he did say something on the lines

01:43:26   of this is kind of the new MacBook Air.

01:43:29   And even though it starts at $1500

01:43:32   and has few reports and things,

01:43:34   I think that is largely correct.

01:43:37   I hope in whatever the next version

01:43:40   of the MacBook escape is, presumably maybe this fall

01:43:43   or next spring, whenever new MacBook Pros come out,

01:43:46   I hope that they make a few changes

01:43:49   that will make that more correct,

01:43:50   that will make this more of a MacBook Air replacement.

01:43:53   I think for me, like having used this thing now,

01:43:57   I miss the SD card slot.

01:43:59   I will not accept any argument that that's the past

01:44:02   because it simply is not true.

01:44:03   You can argue with me all you want about legacy ports,

01:44:06   but the SD card is not a legacy port.

01:44:09   It is something else,

01:44:10   and it is still necessary for lots of people.

01:44:12   - Oh, I could not disagree with you more.

01:44:14   - Cool, so I would say bring back the SD card reader,

01:44:19   and I would also really like one more USB port.

01:44:24   I don't care whether it's C or A.

01:44:27   Most of the computers, like in this class before,

01:44:30   you've been able to have them plugged in

01:44:33   and you've been able to plug in two devices to them.

01:44:35   And you can't do that with this,

01:44:36   without using hubs and stuff.

01:44:38   And every USB-C hub that's out there in the world right now

01:44:40   is a total piece of garbage.

01:44:42   And the MacBook One has been out for, what, two years now?

01:44:45   - Something like that.

01:44:46   - And they're still all garbage.

01:44:47   This is similar, it's a similar problem

01:44:49   of a lot of hubs and things like hubs that eventually,

01:44:53   I mean, it took me something like three years

01:44:56   to find a decent USB 3 hub that didn't disconnect constantly

01:44:59   and cause problems, every USB-C hub out there

01:45:03   is a total piece of garbage.

01:45:05   And the fact is, what if I don't wanna buy a USB-C hub?

01:45:08   Or what if I don't wanna buy Apple's $75 thing

01:45:12   or whatever it is?

01:45:13   That's just more additional cost for people

01:45:16   who are buying this thing to do something fairly basic.

01:45:18   I really would love one additional USB port

01:45:21   and an SD card reader.

01:45:22   And if that happens to come with them,

01:45:25   Also maybe dropping the price by a couple hundred bucks

01:45:27   on the entry point so that it makes it more

01:45:30   MacBook Air range, I think that would help a lot.

01:45:32   - And then make it a little bit thinner

01:45:34   and you've got a random MacBook Air.

01:45:35   - No, it doesn't need to be thinner.

01:45:36   It's already thinner than the MacBook Air.

01:45:38   Like it is, it is like physically in so many ways,

01:45:42   it's great, like it really is really nice.

01:45:44   - It's not thinner than the MacBook Air in all dimensions.

01:45:47   Like it doesn't do the taper, which again,

01:45:48   I say it's a great idea for not doing the taper

01:45:50   'cause you can get tons more battery life.

01:45:52   But it doesn't change the fact of how it feels

01:45:54   in your hand and how it fits into your backpack or whatever.

01:45:57   The taper was there for a reason,

01:45:59   for a perception reason,

01:46:01   and that perception is a real thing.

01:46:03   - No, I'm telling you, I disagree very strongly

01:46:05   on the physical side.

01:46:06   To me, physically, this is a MacBook Air.

01:46:07   This is, it is exactly the right size

01:46:11   and feels exactly the right in the hand.

01:46:14   - You may feel like it's the right size,

01:46:15   but it feels chunkier than the Air.

01:46:17   - I disagree.

01:46:19   - I can just go get an Air and just,

01:46:20   it just does, 'cause it doesn't have the thin end.

01:46:22   That's the perception angle that I'm talking about.

01:46:24   Like I'm not saying the thin end is the right choice

01:46:26   'cause I think the right choice is for right now

01:46:28   for it to be thicker.

01:46:28   But you're saying like in the future eventually,

01:46:30   like I said, the question is,

01:46:32   does the fanless MacBook expand its capabilities

01:46:35   to fill in the role of the Air

01:46:38   or does the 13 inch MacBook Pro slim down essentially

01:46:43   to come to the MacBook and lower its price

01:46:46   to come to the MacBook Air from above?

01:46:48   And I agree that it's probably more likely

01:46:50   that eventually the 13 inch MacBook Pro,

01:46:52   if not in price, in all other ways, will fill that same role.

01:46:56   But I disagree that right now that form factor-wise,

01:46:59   that it feels the same.

01:47:00   Because it just doesn't.

01:47:01   We have them at work and we pick them up

01:47:03   and it's just not like that.

01:47:05   Actually, we don't have them at work.

01:47:06   The important people who have their own machines

01:47:08   at work have them at work.

01:47:09   Sorry. (laughing)

01:47:10   So excited.

01:47:11   Like, did work give that to you?

01:47:12   No, this is my personal machine.

01:47:13   Oh, nevermind.

01:47:14   - Do we want to, we are running long,

01:47:16   but do we want to talk about the Windows 10 S

01:47:20   or whatever it's called?

01:47:22   I mean, we can--

01:47:23   I think this is a quick one.

01:47:24   So Windows 10 S is the cut down in terms

01:47:27   of pricing version of Windows that you

01:47:29   can get with these laptops that wants

01:47:31   you to get all of the applications

01:47:32   from Microsoft's version of the App Store.

01:47:35   And it's a model we're all familiar with.

01:47:37   Microsoft has been pushing real hard on the App Store model.

01:47:39   Thus far, they have not been as successful as Apple,

01:47:41   but in theory, it brings all the same benefits

01:47:43   of a controlled selection of software

01:47:45   that's approved by Microsoft that conforms to--

01:47:48   presumably better conforms to the ideals

01:47:50   that Microsoft wants it to conform to

01:47:52   and that Microsoft gets control of how the money flows

01:47:56   and yada, yada, yada.

01:47:58   The interesting thing about Microsoft 10S

01:48:00   is that if you want to get applications

01:48:03   from someplace other than the Microsoft App Store,

01:48:06   or I don't know what they call it, I keep saying App Store,

01:48:08   you can pay them an additional 50 bucks

01:48:09   and now you can load programs from anywhere,

01:48:12   which is probably making longtime PC Windows people

01:48:16   freak out because this is like a lockdown PC

01:48:20   that I have to pay money to put stuff on, that's terrible.

01:48:23   Don't worry guys, you'll be able to hack it.

01:48:24   All that stuff is cracked.

01:48:25   Anyway, it's an interesting business model,

01:48:30   trying to have your cake and eat it too,

01:48:32   where it's like, we wanna give people the capability

01:48:35   of using it as a regular PC,

01:48:38   but we actually wanna discourage that.

01:48:39   So we can discourage it.

01:48:40   And by the way, we can make our cheap models cheaper

01:48:43   by, you know, presumably Microsoft is reducing

01:48:45   whatever its license fee is by saying,

01:48:47   If you use Windows 10 S, you PC manufacturer

01:48:51   won't have to pay us quite as much for the Windows license

01:48:54   because we hope we're gonna make some more

01:48:55   by selling apps through our store.

01:48:58   But as Gruber pointed out,

01:49:01   this is kind of a weird pitch for people

01:49:03   that like you have to pay money to,

01:49:07   are you paying money to make your thing better?

01:49:09   Or are you paying, or is it just there as a deterrent

01:49:12   to try to encourage people to use the App Store?

01:49:14   And the Microsoft App Store is pretty grim

01:49:16   and doesn't have the apps that you want in it,

01:49:17   so does everybody just have to pay that fee?

01:49:20   I don't know, like many things they do in the Microsoft,

01:49:22   the modern Microsoft service world,

01:49:23   it's like, I don't know, let's try this.

01:49:26   And they don't have too much to lose,

01:49:28   it's not like the Microsoft App Store

01:49:30   is setting the world ablaze, so.

01:49:33   If this is what it takes to encourage more people

01:49:35   to get into the Microsoft App Store,

01:49:37   to say, if they sell a lot of these,

01:49:39   and they can say, hey, look at all these customers,

01:49:40   the only place they can buy stores

01:49:42   is through the Microsoft Store,

01:49:43   that's why you, software developer,

01:49:44   should put your stuff in the Microsoft store,

01:49:46   but good luck getting the big names in there.

01:49:49   The same reason Apple couldn't get them in,

01:49:51   Microsoft's gonna have trouble getting them in the store,

01:49:53   and then it just ends up being as a weird free version

01:49:55   of Windows that you can pay $50 to unlock,

01:49:57   and presumably to remove all the weird ads

01:49:58   that are apparently in Windows these days.

01:50:01   - Yeah, this whole thing is kind of a weird

01:50:03   segmentation thing, I mean it is obviously

01:50:06   this effort to create a low-end Windows,

01:50:08   but Windows RT was kind of a more severe version of that,

01:50:12   and that didn't do so well.

01:50:14   I really don't see Microsoft customers

01:50:19   being a big fan of this.

01:50:21   - Yeah, it doesn't seem like the thing

01:50:22   that deserves a $50 charge.

01:50:24   It seems to me to be like the gatekeeper switch

01:50:27   in Mac OS where you just kind of say,

01:50:31   yes, I understand the risks, I'm good with it,

01:50:32   just let me side load whatever I want.

01:50:35   - Yeah, that was a groupish analogy too

01:50:37   and it's like, it doesn't feel good to,

01:50:39   it feels like a ransom.

01:50:40   It's like, unlock the full capability you perceive

01:50:42   but that's just from our perspective

01:50:44   because we're like, oh, we just expect to be able

01:50:45   to load any software we want on our PCs.

01:50:47   And of course, from our perspective

01:50:49   in the walled garden of Apple,

01:50:51   it's like we would gladly pay 50 bucks

01:50:53   to be able to sideload arbitrary applications

01:50:55   onto our iPhones, or at least that was,

01:50:57   I think all the geeks would have agreed

01:50:58   on that many years ago.

01:50:59   These days, people make less of a fuss about that.

01:51:01   But I think it still exists for all sorts of applications

01:51:04   that Apple doesn't allow on the App Store

01:51:05   that potentially be useful, so on and so forth.

01:51:07   But trying to bring that to the Windows world,

01:51:11   I don't know what kind of demand is there for that.

01:51:14   and I'm not sure how much power Microsoft has

01:51:17   even within its own ecosystem to make that happen.

01:51:20   Apple obviously took the easy way out and said,

01:51:23   "We're introducing a new platform.

01:51:24   This is how it is from day one."

01:51:25   Right, so then it's like, it is what it is.

01:51:27   And guess what?

01:51:28   That platform was wildly successful,

01:51:29   so they made it happen.

01:51:30   But trying to retroactively apply that

01:51:33   to a platform that was previously opened,

01:51:35   Apple and it's on its own little private world of the Mac

01:51:38   has had much difficulty doing that, you know,

01:51:41   with Mac App Store and sandboxing

01:51:43   and major applications that were either never in the store,

01:51:45   Mac App Store, or left the Mac App Store.

01:51:48   And I think Microsoft's gonna have an even harder time

01:51:50   but I think mainly, the main innovation here seems to me

01:51:54   as a way that Microsoft can allow even cheaper

01:51:59   Windows-based computers while still hopefully not losing

01:52:03   that much money on them, like giving Windows licenses,

01:52:07   lowering the price of Windows licenses

01:52:09   for computers that are incredibly cheap

01:52:11   and hoping they're gonna make it up

01:52:12   with App Store purchase.

01:52:13   I don't think the math will work out for them,

01:52:15   but it's an interesting strategy.

01:52:17   And from a user's perspective,

01:52:19   I think Windows users are just used to, by now,

01:52:22   the business model of Windows

01:52:24   and how many different versions there are

01:52:25   and how much they cost and what you really have to pay

01:52:27   and what they're capable of doing, being a confusing mess.

01:52:29   And so, you know, this is par for the course.

01:52:32   - Thanks a lot to our sponsors this week,

01:52:35   Casper, Betterment, and Indochino,

01:52:37   and we will see you next week.

01:52:39   (upbeat music)

01:52:42   Now the show is over, they didn't even mean to begin

01:52:46   'Cause it was accidental (accidental)

01:52:49   Oh, it was accidental (accidental)

01:52:52   John didn't do any research, Marco and Casey wouldn't let him

01:52:57   'Cause it was accidental (accidental)

01:53:00   Oh, it was accidental (accidental)

01:53:03   And you can find the show notes at ATP.fm

01:53:08   And if you're into Twitter, you can follow them

01:53:12   @C-A-S-E-Y-L-I-S-S

01:53:17   So that's Kasey Liss, M-A-R-C-O-A-R-M

01:53:21   Anti-Marco Arment

01:53:23   S-I-R-A-C

01:53:26   U-S-A-C-R-A-C-U-S-A

01:53:29   It's accidental

01:53:32   They didn't mean to

01:53:34   Accidental

01:53:37   Tech podcast so long

01:53:42   I have some thoughts about the Switch.

01:53:44   Oh?

01:53:45   It's okay, it'll be fairly quick.

01:53:47   This week, or really last week, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe came out.

01:53:52   This is the first Mario Kart that I have played since Mario Kart for the Wii.

01:53:56   And it came out on Friday, I got my copy on Friday.

01:54:01   On Monday, I had already arranged with a few coworkers at work who also have switches.

01:54:07   We were all going to bring our consoles in and our copies of Mario Kart in play over lunch.

01:54:13   And so there were six of us gathered around a kind of a bar, if you will, at work,

01:54:20   playing local multiplayer against each other and with each other on Mario Kart 8.

01:54:27   And it was unbelievably fun and cool and a miracle that HR didn't come down and yell at us for the language that we were all using as we were hollering at each other to effectively go die in a fire, but with much more colorful words than that.

01:54:45   It was unbelievably fun, just like Apple.

01:54:48   Well, not like Apple used to be, anyway.

01:54:50   It just worked, and it was great.

01:54:53   And I had just an unbelievable amount of fun

01:54:57   in a way that I haven't since I did, like,

01:55:00   LAN parties when I was in high school or college,

01:55:03   or no modem cable parties when I was a grade schooler.

01:55:07   And this is the first console that I am aware of

01:55:12   where that sort of thing can happen in person

01:55:14   really, really easily and without six associated TVs as well.

01:55:20   I just thought it was extremely cool.

01:55:21   Yes, well actually, yes, I'm aware that the original Game Boy had like four-player games

01:55:26   and things like that, but you know what I mean.

01:55:29   Where six people show up with no cables whatsoever and just start playing a game together.

01:55:34   It was awesome and tremendously fun.

01:55:37   And if you happen to know a couple of people, or even better, a handful of people who all

01:55:42   have switches and all have Mario Kart or maybe an equivalent game. I cannot recommend it

01:55:47   enough. It is so much fun. Have you done any of this yet, Jon?

01:55:50   I looked for you online at Mario Kart this weekend, but you weren't around. I've played

01:55:55   all these tracks and done all these things already, but I played it to just see the new

01:55:59   frame rate and the high-res graphics and the new features of the game.

01:56:03   What game was it again?

01:56:04   Mario Kart 8.

01:56:05   Oh. What was it again?

01:56:07   Are you trying to get me to say Mario over and over again so you can soundboard me?

01:56:13   Still Mario Kart 8.

01:56:14   Deluxe!

01:56:15   Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.

01:56:17   Indeed.

01:56:18   But yeah, and to try out the new, the few new features they added with the double item

01:56:22   boxes and the pink sparks and the dreaded auto steer thing which you must disable because

01:56:27   it's terrible.

01:56:28   Well, it's terrible for me, it is good for the people who it's intended for.

01:56:32   I would have loved to have, speaking of the auto drive thing, it's not auto drive, it's

01:56:37   It's preventing you from going off the edge of the map.

01:56:40   And I used to try to play Mario Kart with my kids, probably before they were quite old

01:56:44   enough to be able to do it, and it was very frustrating for them because they couldn't

01:56:47   stay on the course, right?

01:56:50   I think they would have had more fun with this version, which has auto-accelerate so

01:56:53   you don't have to hold down A, and also they can drive all over the course however they

01:56:57   want, they just can't go off the edge.

01:56:59   It's as if there are guardrails on the entire track, and that would have really helped them

01:57:04   be guided along.

01:57:05   But if you are an experienced Mario Kart player, you don't want this feature on because if

01:57:10   you barely get close to or touch the edge and you weren't going to go off the edge but

01:57:15   you just happen to touch it, it slows you down tremendously.

01:57:17   It's like sandpaper.

01:57:19   So I would encourage everyone to turn this feature off if you're going for good lap times

01:57:23   or trying to compete in 200cc or whatever.

01:57:26   You can't turn it off from the main interface, you have to actually start the race and then

01:57:29   once the race has started, go to the options screen and then you can turn it off and I'm

01:57:32   I'm pretty sure that setting persists between launches of the game once you have turned

01:57:36   it off.

01:57:37   Now, the thing though with this is that it's very different than playing online against

01:57:41   each other because, you know, when you're playing online against each other, you can't

01:57:45   unless you have like a phone line open, you can't really yell and scream at each other

01:57:48   like you can when you're face to face.

01:57:51   And you can't see, you know, the people who are steering their switches even though they're

01:57:55   not using tilt controls, they're steering their switches like steering wheels because

01:57:58   they can't help themselves.

01:58:01   You can't see the just delightfully taste, just delicious frustration when you nail the

01:58:08   person in first place with a blue shell.

01:58:10   You can't see all that online.

01:58:13   And so, although the online play is also very good and also generally just works, it is

01:58:18   just magnificent to have a big group all in person.

01:58:20   So if we do a podcast or Family New Year's again this year, I will pretty much demand

01:58:28   everyone bring their Switches and Mario Kart because it is extremely fun.

01:58:31   Also, I noticed very deep within Nintendo's Mario Kart site, and I will not put a link

01:58:36   in the show notes because I will forget and I'm too lazy to find it, you can actually

01:58:39   play 12-player local Mario Kart over Ethernet only, which I didn't even realize was the

01:58:46   thing.

01:58:47   So you would have to get—

01:58:48   >>Steve - It has an Ethernet port?

01:58:49   >>Paul - No, that's the thing.

01:58:50   You would have to get 12 USB to Ethernet adapters and a router and 12 TVs because you have to

01:58:55   be docked to do it, but you could play 12-player Mario Kart in a LAN party scenario.

01:59:00   That sounds like an incredibly ridiculous amount of setup, but that sounds awesome.

01:59:05   How fun would that be though?

01:59:07   That would be so much fun.

01:59:09   But to go back a sec, Jon, you were saying you were looking for me over the weekend and didn't see me.

01:59:14   What are the complaints I do have about the online setup with the Switch? And maybe it's user ignorance,

01:59:21   so maybe I'm dead wrong about this, but I don't see any way where you can like

01:59:26   notify somebody else, "I would like to play this game with you." You can say in Mario Kart that you're looking for a friend

01:59:33   that's online, and you can start a room that's intended, or I guess maybe the only two people that can

01:59:38   that can go into that room or say me and you, but

01:59:41   there is no mechanism that I'm aware of where you can like ping or notify a person.

01:59:48   So let's say I'm playing Mario Kart.

01:59:50   I'm actively playing Mario Kart, and John starts up his Switch and sees me online and says, "Oh, I'd like to play Casey."

01:59:56   I don't think I am ever notified that you are asking to play with me,

02:00:01   which is a real bummer, because then you have to like go to some other device to

02:00:05   orchestrate the thing and then back to the switch to actually play. And I feel like that's a real shortfall, which really bummed me out.

02:00:13   But other than that, it's worked really well. Now that being said,

02:00:16   yesterday we also did a group game, this time with seven players.

02:00:23   And I don't know if it was because it was over lunch and we were standing relatively close to

02:00:26   microwaves, which is the same story it was on Monday.

02:00:29   But either way, the local LAN was not working well at all, and the online

02:00:35   multiplayer actually worked pretty much flawlessly. So even though we were all sitting within at most, you know, ten feet of each other,

02:00:42   and even when we moved away from the microwaves, it still just didn't work for beans for some reason.

02:00:48   But once we all went online, it actually worked great.

02:00:52   So much fun to have it in person and one of the things that appealed to me about the switch which I think I've mentioned

02:00:56   You know last week or the week before

02:00:58   Was this was that intro video where they showed like all the switches all in a circle and they were all playing like basketball or maybe?

02:01:04   Splatoon or something like that against each other and I thought man that looks so much like so much fun

02:01:09   And you know what? Oh my goodness. It's so much fun

02:01:11   So John you really need to try that out or you know

02:01:15   If one of your kids if their friends all have switches and they they do a slumber party or something

02:01:20   You should just be that creepy old dad that invites himself to play along because it is super duper fun

02:01:25   Yeah

02:01:27   Ergonomic issues though with using the switch handheld which I have tried a few times with so many people raving about it

02:01:32   But that's just for me personally

02:01:33   It's I I always prefer to have a doctor and use a controller and sit on the couch and look at the big TV

02:01:37   And unlike with the Wii U where I actually thought I did a little bit better with you playing on the gamepad

02:01:44   Maybe because of lag or whatever like the Wii U gamepad is way better for me ergonomically

02:01:50   than the little tiny switch. It's just too small and too, you know, I do worse when I race with it in that way than I do on the TV.

02:01:57   So I've been playing Mario Kart mostly on the TV and if I had to do like a Land Party type thing,

02:02:02   it's nice that we could all be in person and do the things, but I

02:02:05   would prefer to be in a scenario where, the ridiculous scenario where there are 12 televisions and ethernet things because that's the way I prefer to

02:02:12   play the game.

02:02:13   I mean, I suppose you could still have fun playing it, playing it

02:02:16   not at peak level with me trying to play at the hand handheld thing and doing terribly badly, but

02:02:22   Yeah, and going back to it. I was surprised that I thought like oh, I haven't played America at eight and so long

02:02:28   I'm gonna fire this game up and I'm just gonna see how awful I am

02:02:31   but I still had it like I went directly to 200 CC which I had unlocked in the Wii U version already and

02:02:37   I just pulled up a bunch of courses and I was doing pretty well like plus or minus the insanity of

02:02:42   rubber banding and item

02:02:45   Embarnment that you get a 200cc with the incredible cheating computer players. I did okay

02:02:52   Except for a couple of the tracks that were in like I guess they were in the most recent

02:02:56   DLC that it only done a little bit and realize I just don't know those courses

02:02:58   But I tend not to like the SNES tracks anyway

02:03:00   Monster I mean like they were good in SNES, but I you know I

02:03:06   Prefer the other tracks that are more dynamic that are you know ports from like GameCube and the the maricade 8 ones

02:03:13   Directly, so I had fun

02:03:15   I don't know if I'm gonna go through and like three star everything like I did on the Wii U one because I find that incredibly

02:03:19   Frustrating at the upper levels because three starring at 200 CC will literally drive you mad

02:03:24   If you have if you do not have much better skills than I do because I can do it

02:03:29   But it takes me a long time and it's incredibly frustrating to have to three star because that doesn't mean just that you

02:03:35   Come in first at the end of the thing

02:03:36   That means you basically come in first in every race except for one like this

02:03:39   There's very little more or maybe it's all of them

02:03:41   There's very little margin of error and in 200cc in a world of Mario Kart

02:03:45   It seems to me that almost no amount of driving skill

02:03:49   Can protect you from an unfortunate series of events that leads you to after an entire Grand Prix

02:03:55   Getting blown up 10 feet from the finish line and watching one person zip by you and then oh, sorry, you didn't get three stars

02:04:01   It's a rough world out there America. I go I go I went back to Zelda to relax. I played a bunch of America

02:04:07   I'm like I need to wind down I need to relax

02:04:09   Zelda where I've already beaten the game

02:04:11   I'm just like

02:04:12   You know doing the fun side quests and furnishing my home and doing all sorts of exciting things and that was that was much better

02:04:19   you know, it's funny you bring up Zelda again because I

02:04:22   Found that since I've gotten a Mario Kart 8 deluxe

02:04:27   I am far less less likely to play Zelda not because I don't enjoy it just as much not because it's not

02:04:34   by pretty much any measure a better game, but because with Mario Kart I can pick it up for like a

02:04:39   3-minute or 10-minute, you know round and just kind of play for a few minutes put it back down

02:04:44   Whereas for me anyway with Zelda I have to be like

02:04:48   Concentrating and paying attention and thinking about things and and I understand that I'm a noob and maybe other people like you John that have

02:04:54   Played Zelda for forever in a day don't have to concentrate as much but for me

02:04:58   It's a much more deliberate act and so I found myself playing a lot more Mario Kart than Zelda since Friday

02:05:03   a even though in many ways I enjoy Zelda more and in many ways I do think it is more relaxing

02:05:10   or at least a slower pace if nothing else.

02:05:12   I think that Zelda is one of the games that is the easiest to pick up and do something,

02:05:17   one of the easiest Zelda's perhaps ever to have a tiny short gaming session because you'll

02:05:21   pick up and like there are so many things that you can choose to do within two or three

02:05:27   minutes you don't have to go and do a shrine or advance the story you can just pick a point

02:05:34   on the map and you know fast travel there or like pick a point close by and just go

02:05:39   to it and along the way you will find enemies to defeat new things especially if you haven't

02:05:44   opened up the entire map yet and you're just exploring interesting things to see just look

02:05:48   and say I wonder what's over there and go over there and when you get there you find

02:05:51   out what's over there it's an interesting thing and you're done like I've when I was

02:05:56   super-duper into playing Zelda, like when I was only like 10 or 20 hours in, it was,

02:06:01   you know, normally we just play games on weekends, but I was at the point where,

02:06:03   you know, after dinner on weekdays, I was like, "Let me just get in five or 10 minutes of Zelda,"

02:06:09   because there was always something to do. So you should, like, maybe if you're going into it and

02:06:15   saying, "I need to advance the story. I need to get closer to finishing the game," that there is

02:06:19   some sort of like, "Oh, where was I in my project, my project of finishing this game?"

02:06:22   - That's exactly what I run into is I lose my context

02:06:27   and then it takes me like 10 minutes

02:06:28   just to remember where I was.

02:06:30   And a lot of that is just because I have a terrible memory

02:06:33   and I forget, but I think you're right.

02:06:36   If I don't worry about what I was actively

02:06:40   in the midst of working on,

02:06:41   it probably would be a lot more approachable.

02:06:44   - Yeah, like save that for the longer sessions

02:06:45   and for the shorter ones,

02:06:46   like just gather up some food and cook it

02:06:49   or go beat up some bad guys and take their stuff,

02:06:53   or see what's over on the other side of that hill, right?

02:06:55   And then only if you're gonna have a longer gaming session,

02:06:58   say, okay, now how am I gonna progress?

02:07:00   What area of the map am I going to open up and conquer next?

02:07:04   What story thing am I gonna go on?

02:07:06   Am I going to pick a side quest for my adventure log

02:07:08   and do that one side quest?

02:07:09   That's for the longer sessions.

02:07:11   - Marco, you still haven't really played the Switch at all?

02:07:13   Are you still with us?

02:07:14   - Yeah, I bought Mario Kart,

02:07:16   I think yesterday, the day before,

02:07:19   but I haven't been able to play it yet on my Switch

02:07:21   because I was told by Tiff

02:07:23   that I couldn't play with her Switch.

02:07:24   And I suggested maybe I should bring it to WWDC.

02:07:29   - You absolutely should, but she'll kill you.

02:07:32   - And then we could all play on our Switches,

02:07:35   but then I was also informed,

02:07:36   what would she do that week without her Switch?

02:07:39   - And also, I would never bring mine.

02:07:42   - Why?

02:07:43   - Are you afraid of scratching the screen

02:07:44   that you'd never look at?

02:07:45   - No, it's not a portable device for me.

02:07:47   I'm not gonna bring it.

02:07:47   Do I need more?

02:07:48   bring it I don't even bring laptops anymore I just bring my iPad and travel

02:07:51   light I would it would take a lot for me to to bring the switch because then you

02:07:55   have to bring all the stuff you know at the very least the charging cable and I

02:07:59   would want to bring the pro controller and then it's like I would never play

02:08:01   yeah I don't bring all the stuff I just bring the switch and I use the cable for

02:08:04   my MacBook Pro to charge it if I need to right exactly and it's actually I'm glad

02:08:08   you brought all this up that brought all this back up because when you had said

02:08:12   you know you only want to play it against the TV and you don't like it in

02:08:14   handheld mode blah blah blah that's totally fair totally reasonable for what

02:08:18   it's worth, when we were set up at work, a handful of people did bring their pro controllers,

02:08:23   but what I did, for example, is I—because I didn't have a pro controller until about

02:08:27   four hours ago—I put it in kickstand, you know, I put the kickstand up and then popped

02:08:32   out the joycons, and in my case I slid them into the little sheath, I don't know what

02:08:36   the term is for that, the holster-y thing, so it was kind of like a poor man's pro controller.

02:08:42   But what a couple people did was just hold their joycons, they just held them, you know,

02:08:46   with their sides or whatever.

02:08:47   I tried playing like that too to see how it was and I think that was better than holding

02:08:51   the whole thing up, but then I had the problem of what to do with the screen. If you have a table,

02:08:55   then you can use a little kickstand, but if you're trying to do it on your lap, then you have some

02:08:59   problems. It's still not for me. And same thing with Zelda. I also tried playing Zelda and all

02:09:04   these arrangements, hand help with the joy cons on, hand help with the joy cons off on a table.

02:09:08   And it's just like TV wins for me. I have two pro controllers now. I'm committed to the pro

02:09:13   controller lifestyle. Fair enough. And I mean, again, I'm not at all trying to

02:09:17   argue. All I'm saying is that I think for a friendly and

02:09:23   lightly competitive match at WWDC, I really think you'd be fine with just

02:09:27   having the Joy-Cons in your hands, perhaps without the

02:09:30   holstery thing. And presumably we'd all be around a table or something like that

02:09:35   and just playing in that way. Although I will say,

02:09:38   that would be a pretty fun way to pass the time while we're waiting

02:09:42   both outside and inside whatever the convention center is called, Moscone for the sake of discussion.

02:09:47   That would be a pretty good way to deal with just sitting there for hours. Just saying.