157: As Many People in the Sandbox as Possible


00:00:00   The following is the complete list of sane states in these United States of America that require only a

00:00:07   rear license plate

00:00:09   Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma

00:00:15   Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, and West Virginia. You'll notice that very nearby states North Carolina, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, all

00:00:22   No front license plate. Friggin' Virginia.

00:00:26   Now out of curiosity, can you think of any other criterion for which those would be listed as the sane states?

00:00:33   Not off the top of my head

00:00:36   So we should do some follow-up and

00:00:39   You do I Scott I can't believe I just did that I swore I'd never do that on a podcast

00:00:45   I just just baited me into it. I hate everything. All right, I quit anyway

00:00:49   So we had some feedback about my iPad tale of woe

00:00:54   We had a lot of private feedback from Mike Hurley, the once iPad hater, now king iPad

00:00:59   evangelizer.

00:01:00   I would never say, I would never classify him as a hater.

00:01:03   He was more of an iPad indifferent here, if that's a word that I just made up.

00:01:08   I don't know, maybe.

00:01:09   He was fairly anti-iPad for a while there.

00:01:12   But anyways, he gave me some feedback that basically said I didn't know what I was doing

00:01:17   and that's the problem, which I believe I admitted a lot of people basically said the

00:01:21   same thing and the point you know I was trying to make was hey you know all this

00:01:24   stuff comes right out of the box on OS X and it is not on the iPad except a lot

00:01:30   of people wrote in to say that you can in fact do a signature on a PDF on an

00:01:38   iOS device and apparently there's a toolbox which to me looked like a

00:01:42   briefcase icon and within there is the annotations and markup and whatnot and

00:01:48   And within there, you can do a signature.

00:01:50   I have not had the chance to try this myself,

00:01:52   but I had plenty of people tell me about this,

00:01:55   so I'm taking it as fact that that is the case.

00:01:58   So that is just a little bit of follow-up.

00:01:59   You can indeed do the signature on an iOS device.

00:02:03   - Did you mistake the briefcase icon

00:02:05   for the Windows 95 My Briefcase?

00:02:08   - You say that jokingly,

00:02:09   but I was a heavy briefcase user way back in the day,

00:02:12   because that was about the best way in the Windows world

00:02:15   to do kind of like a poor man's R sync

00:02:17   between your laptop and your desktop,

00:02:19   which is what I was doing toward the end of college.

00:02:21   - Yeah, that was kind of like the,

00:02:22   it was like the floppy disk stage of evolution

00:02:25   towards a Dropbox, right?

00:02:27   - That was also kind of the hangover

00:02:28   of the desktop metaphor.

00:02:31   The drunken orgy that was the desktop metaphor,

00:02:35   like, oh, folders, they're just like folders

00:02:37   that go in file cabinets, and there's a little trash can,

00:02:40   and so on and so forth,

00:02:41   and people would latch onto that idea.

00:02:43   That's why the Macintosh is easier to use,

00:02:46   because it has all these analogies to the real world.

00:02:48   And so people are like, what else is in an office?

00:02:51   It's like carpeting.

00:02:52   And it's like, it's like this windows,

00:02:54   but we already got those.

00:02:55   - My carpeting.

00:02:56   - Exactly, you know, and the recycler, recycle bin,

00:03:00   because it's not like trash,

00:03:01   'cause we're trendy than that.

00:03:02   And I guess there's like a blotter maybe.

00:03:04   I mean, magic cap on whole hog.

00:03:06   They have like living rooms and dens and stuff.

00:03:07   But eventually it's like briefcase, briefcase,

00:03:08   I know briefcase.

00:03:09   And so you've got briefcase and windows.

00:03:11   - But what about Bob?

00:03:14   Bob is after you go nuts and is the visions you see in your head.

00:03:19   Bob was like the jumping over the shark and nuking the fridge of that metaphor.

00:03:24   It was magic cap.

00:03:25   You should look at what magic cap looked like.

00:03:26   It was very similar in terms of like making rooms of a house.

00:03:29   It became like Maniac Mansion.

00:03:30   It was like a Sierra adventure where you're going from room to room and you have these

00:03:34   little... anyway.

00:03:35   Briefcase was one of the... and Apple itself did the same type of thing where they got

00:03:40   distracted for a bit and thought that what made computers easy to use was specifically

00:03:45   the connections with real world things and not all the other stuff that goes along with

00:03:48   it. Now we have everything flat. Never would have

00:03:52   happened if Scott Forstall was still alive. Ain't that the truth.

00:03:55   We still don't have a good alternative save icon so.

00:03:57   Yeah, actually can I tell you guys a big secret? I've been holding this in all these years.

00:04:02   My computer at the time was not good enough to run it but there was one, because I basically

00:04:06   in my PC growing up era, I spent a lot more time

00:04:10   than everybody else did on Windows 3.1.

00:04:12   I did not go to 95.

00:04:13   I was using 3.1 until 1998, and I went straight to 98.

00:04:17   There was a brief time where I went to a friend's house,

00:04:20   and I saw Microsoft Bob on their Pentium computer,

00:04:22   'cause it wouldn't run on mine,

00:04:24   and I thought it was the coolest thing I'd ever seen.

00:04:28   - That is a bold, bold confession.

00:04:30   - Yeah.

00:04:31   - I don't really remember it.

00:04:32   I mean, I was around, I was all over Windows

00:04:34   during this time, but I don't really remember Bob

00:04:36   very well at all.

00:04:37   I don't know if I ever saw it

00:04:38   or maybe I just blocked it from my memory,

00:04:40   but I don't remember it.

00:04:43   - I mean, it was just like a shell

00:04:45   that you would launch from Windows.

00:04:47   It didn't replace the shell.

00:04:48   It was just like a giant app

00:04:50   and you would do things inside of Bob

00:04:52   and it was so incredibly slow.

00:04:54   And this was during the super dark era of computing

00:04:59   where the hard drives were all super slow

00:05:01   and grinding constantly

00:05:02   because there was not enough RAM to do anything.

00:05:04   And so this was like the dark, like mid to late 90s

00:05:09   in computing where just everything,

00:05:11   just the entire sound of computing for that entire era

00:05:14   was hard drive grinding noises.

00:05:16   - You guys both missed the floppy disk grinding era

00:05:18   of computers where you could tell what your computer

00:05:20   was doing by the particular tones your floppy drive made.

00:05:23   - Oh, you say that, but I was definitely rocking

00:05:26   both the actual floppy floppy, what is that,

00:05:29   five and a quarter, I always get this backwards.

00:05:31   - Yeah, five and a quarter.

00:05:32   - Five and a quarter, three and a half.

00:05:33   So yeah, so I had a five and a quarter floppy drive

00:05:37   in an 8088 that my dad had used years prior

00:05:42   that I'd set up in my room,

00:05:43   and I remember I thought I was awesome

00:05:45   'cause it had a 10 meg hard drive in it.

00:05:47   And at the time, that was effectively infinite space.

00:05:50   Like, you couldn't fill it if you wanted to.

00:05:52   But yeah, I've definitely heard that

00:05:55   (imitates machine gun firing)

00:05:57   constantly.

00:05:58   - Oh now, all these kids these days,

00:06:00   with their Windows PCs, they have the drive letters

00:06:02   that start with C and they have no idea

00:06:03   why they don't have an A and B drive.

00:06:05   - But they should really be as weeping over the fact

00:06:07   that they still have drive letters.

00:06:09   - There's that. - Which is hilarious.

00:06:10   - You gotta grade on a curve with Windows.

00:06:13   - That's also true.

00:06:14   I believe this same 10 meg hard drive 8088

00:06:17   had the A drive I believe was the five and a quarter,

00:06:20   almost got that wrong, five and a quarter inch drive.

00:06:22   And I believe the B drive was a three and a half inch

00:06:26   low density floppy, so that was what,

00:06:27   like 750K or something like that?

00:06:29   - Something like that, yeah.

00:06:30   - And that was external, I should add,

00:06:31   which was really cool, probably Scuzzy.

00:06:34   But anyway, the only other thing I wanted

00:06:37   to bring this back around to say about the iPad

00:06:39   is a lot of people wrote to say,

00:06:41   "Hey, you idiot, the iPad has a camera,

00:06:43   "and yes, that's weird, but why didn't you just use

00:06:45   "the camera to take a picture of the documents

00:06:47   "and use any one of these 350 different apps

00:06:49   "that people recommended in order to scan,"

00:06:52   and I'm doing mega air quotes here, "scan the PDF?"

00:06:55   And that is a perfectly valid answer,

00:06:58   and I have one of those apps on my phone and on my iPad,

00:07:00   And it does work surprisingly well, but why on earth would I do that?

00:07:04   When I had a full-on, probably multi-thousand dollar scanning machine, you know, one of

00:07:10   those multi-function printers, in the office right there, ready and waiting.

00:07:14   The fidelity of that scan was going to be far superior to any, you know, software flattened

00:07:19   picture of a piece of paper.

00:07:20   Plus, there was quite a bit that I was scanning and I didn't want to spend all that time doing

00:07:23   all that.

00:07:24   Instead, I spent all that time trying to get it all into Dropbox, but that's neither here

00:07:27   nor there.

00:07:28   That's better.

00:07:29   Yeah, that's totally better. So anyway, so I just wanted to follow up on that. The other thing I wanted to note is we were talking last week about

00:07:36   Bluetooth headphones and

00:07:39   Bluetooth latency and some other miscellaneous things and by accident today

00:07:44   I noticed something completely striking and to back up just a half step

00:07:48   You've talked Marco and we've talked and I've talked in the past about how I don't really understand why everyone gets their

00:07:57   all up in arms about Bluetooth latency, especially when watching video, because I never see this.

00:08:02   And as we discussed last episode, I use these like fairly, well, really cheap and fairly crappy Bluetooth headphones

00:08:10   that I love, don't get me wrong, but they're unremarkable in every measurable way.

00:08:14   And I never get this video latency that everyone else seems to get.

00:08:18   Well, today, Jon tweeted a link to a video with one of the dudes from The Wire.

00:08:24   Bunk Wendell Pierce, so he tweeted a link John had tweeted a link that where it was Wendell Pierce

00:08:29   I believe you're right Marco talking about it was actually very interesting talking about being stopped in real life by a police officer and

00:08:35   I was on my work computer and I had clicked the link and on my work computer because we're all in on Google Apps

00:08:43   Chrome is my default browser, and this is the first time that's ever been the case

00:08:46   And so I started watching this video on Chrome, and I was like oh my goodness this latency is ridiculous

00:08:54   It's terrible.

00:08:55   Wait a second.

00:08:56   That's never, ever happened to me before, ever.

00:09:01   So I copied the link, dropped it in Safari.

00:09:04   Perfect.

00:09:05   No problems whatsoever.

00:09:07   This is a YouTube video.

00:09:09   I don't know what it is, but Miles M. wrote in when I tweeted about this and said, "Safari

00:09:15   uses system APIs to play video, but Chrome reimplements everything itself down to the

00:09:19   media decoders."

00:09:20   I have no idea if that's true or not, but I can tell you that anecdotally, based on

00:09:24   one video I watched during the day today, it certainly seemed like that very well may

00:09:29   be the case.

00:09:30   And I was stunned by, A, the fact that it happened, and B, how bad it was.

00:09:34   And so I wonder if all these people that are whining and moaning about this Bluetooth latency

00:09:38   are just Chrome users, and because of that, they see this terrible latency, and so they're

00:09:44   all thinking, "Man, I'm crazy.

00:09:45   How could I not see this?"

00:09:47   at the same time I'm thinking, man, they are crazy,

00:09:49   why are they seeing this?

00:09:50   And it turns out it's just another reason

00:09:52   why you shouldn't be using Chrome.

00:09:53   - Turns out everybody's crazy.

00:09:54   No, I mean, so you're exactly right that basically,

00:09:58   that there is Bluetooth latency on any Bluetooth device,

00:10:02   there is latency, not as bad as AirPlay.

00:10:03   AirPlay is fixed at two seconds regardless,

00:10:05   and that seems like forever

00:10:06   when you're trying to get something to happen.

00:10:07   Bluetooth is way shorter than that,

00:10:09   it can be substantially less than a second,

00:10:10   but there is still noticeable latency,

00:10:12   and humans can detect latency in video

00:10:15   where the audio isn't synced up properly

00:10:17   to like watching people's mouths move when they talk,

00:10:19   we can detect very, very small amounts of latency

00:10:21   and it just looks wrong to us.

00:10:23   So it has to be perfect,

00:10:24   like when you're watching people speak,

00:10:26   there can't be any weird latency

00:10:28   between the audio and the video.

00:10:29   Apple knows this, so they're in their system frameworks

00:10:32   for iOS and OS X, most Bluetooth headphones,

00:10:35   they have some way, and I don't know the details

00:10:37   of how it works, but they have some way

00:10:39   of establishing with the headset what the latency is

00:10:42   and then compensating for it.

00:10:43   The downside of this, first of all, you just found one,

00:10:46   which is that it only works in things

00:10:47   that use the AV frameworks.

00:10:49   The other downside is that not every headphone supports this

00:10:51   and so I've tested probably five or six sets

00:10:54   of Bluetooth headphones now and only I think two of them

00:10:58   actually properly didn't have any latency

00:11:01   and the rest all had unacceptable latency

00:11:03   even when using the system video player,

00:11:06   even on iOS where you would think

00:11:07   that would be most commonly tested.

00:11:09   And the other problem is games.

00:11:13   You know, video can account for this.

00:11:15   Games almost always can't and don't.

00:11:18   And so it works fine if you are using your headphones

00:11:22   to watch a video in the built-in system API player

00:11:26   in something.

00:11:27   That works fine.

00:11:27   That's probably all you've ever done, right?

00:11:29   - Yeah, I mean, I think so.

00:11:31   I can't imagine a time other than when I was in Chrome

00:11:34   that I wasn't using just the system frameworks.

00:11:36   - Right.

00:11:37   But it's especially a problem if you're trying

00:11:39   to play games with Bluetooth headphones.

00:11:42   It's basically impossible.

00:11:43   basically can't unless you are just not listening to the game audio and only listening to music

00:11:46   or something.

00:11:47   Yeah, I just thought it was crazy.

00:11:48   I don't know.

00:11:49   Jon, do you have any thoughts on this?

00:11:50   I just think that I hope that in the future they will keep improving these wireless audio

00:11:56   APIs to eliminate these problems because it's kind of a shame that it requires the deep

00:12:01   integration of the system APIs with all this compensation and getting everything.

00:12:05   Chrome should be able to do it correctly.

00:12:06   In other words, it shouldn't be such a problem.

00:12:10   So I don't know what the limitations are

00:12:13   that are requiring this,

00:12:13   but I know Bluetooth continues to evolve,

00:12:15   and I think it needs to continue to evolve

00:12:17   because it's obviously not quite good enough yet.

00:12:20   - Well, and there's, to some degree,

00:12:22   there's always going to be some latency inherent

00:12:25   in a digital signal being transmitted,

00:12:28   being accepted over wireless network,

00:12:30   being decoded from digital to analog

00:12:32   in certain chunks of blocks.

00:12:34   And there's always, with audio latency,

00:12:37   you're always having this trade-off.

00:12:39   if you make the latency really short,

00:12:40   that means you have really short buffers on all the sides,

00:12:43   which means that it becomes extremely sensitive

00:12:45   to cutting out with any kind of reception drop

00:12:48   or flaky signal or anything.

00:12:50   So if you have very, very low latency, it is very fragile.

00:12:54   Or if you increase the latency,

00:12:56   then you have more tolerance for weirdness in the signal.

00:12:59   You can back off a little bit

00:13:00   and then burst the data that you missed

00:13:02   before the latency has caught up,

00:13:03   just like the old anti-skip things in Discman,

00:13:07   if you ever had one of those.

00:13:09   Same thing, there's all these trade-offs

00:13:11   and it just might not be worth it

00:13:13   if most people are fine most of the time.

00:13:15   Or if, which often happens in the case

00:13:19   with technological progress,

00:13:21   if the new way of doing things

00:13:23   does have shortcomings and downsides

00:13:25   that people are just okay with

00:13:27   because the upsides make it worth it.

00:13:29   Like everyone might just decide, you know what,

00:13:30   I'm fine with just not having synced up audio

00:13:34   when I'm playing games while wearing headphones.

00:13:36   Like people might just decide that

00:13:37   because it's worth it to have all the other benefits

00:13:38   wireless headphones. So I wouldn't necessarily consider this problem something that will

00:13:42   be solved and will be solved anytime soon.

00:13:45   Yeah, don't have to worry because Apple's hard real-time operating system they're

00:13:49   working on for the car will solve all these problems because then you won't have any

00:13:51   underflow problems on your buffers because you've got time slice guarantees and that'll

00:13:55   solve all these problems. I'm saying this as a joke by the way, but people do talk a

00:14:00   lot about the theoretical, the real-time requirements of any sort of software that Apple might be

00:14:08   doing in the car. And I have a hard time believing that any software part of the car system,

00:14:16   like in other words I imagine that Apple's going to do the part of the car that you would, you know,

00:14:22   the software that you see on the screens in the car that you interact with, but I always imagine

00:14:25   that the internal things that deal with like engine control computers will have absolutely no

00:14:31   lineage or connection to any existing Apple software code base. Like that it'll just be

00:14:35   be an embedded system, that it won't be related to iOS, that none of that stuff will come

00:14:40   to iOS, and none of the stuff from iOS will go to it. There'll be an iOS-like thing for

00:14:44   a front end, assuming they ever make a car, you know, the thing that runs all the dashboard

00:14:47   and all that other stuff, but the part that runs the engine computer and any other stuff?

00:14:51   I can't imagine that having any connection with the existing, basically with Darwin,

00:14:57   with the existing codebase.

00:14:58   Well, and we've heard very early and very unreliable, but still rumblings that indicate

00:15:06   that that's exactly what they're doing. That they are working on a new kernel and

00:15:10   a new OS that might possibly use Swift for everything because that's kind of one of

00:15:16   the reasons why Swift is so safe and everything.

00:15:18   But that could still be for the dashboard control. Like I'm saying for the things

00:15:23   that have to be real-time.

00:15:24   Oh, yeah.

00:15:25   Because they don't, you know, the Darwin kernel is not a real-time kernel where you can guarantee,

00:15:29   I mean, they have the stuff for trying to guarantee time slices for audio and video

00:15:33   or whatever, but it's not like hard real-time, like things you put on like spacecraft that

00:15:37   go to Mars where this absolutely positively has to happen.

00:15:40   It's just, it's a very tightly constrained, you know, embedded operating system environment.

00:15:44   What is that, the one really popular one, Wind River Systems or something?

00:15:47   I don't know, the one that's on all the spacecrafts and satellites and other stuff like that.

00:15:51   That is a different problem domain.

00:15:52   And I see no reason that Apple would need to make a single OS that spans up, because

00:15:56   you never see the real-time operating system, it just runs the machinery under the covers,

00:15:59   and then Apple is free to make a Swift from top to bottom cool UI thing for all of the,

00:16:05   you know, climate control, dashboard applications, audio system, all that other stuff.

00:16:09   Which could still also be entirely new codebase, but I still feel like that doesn't even need

00:16:14   to be real-time, because it just controls these sort of inessential functions.

00:16:17   If it's self-driving, then I don't really know what the hell's going on.

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00:18:11   - So Backblaze has been in the news lately,

00:18:13   and not just because they sponsor this awesome program,

00:18:16   but because they had a run-in with Adobe.

00:18:19   Yes, this is…

00:18:21   We all had a run-in with Adobe.

00:18:23   Sometimes that happens.

00:18:25   Whoops.

00:18:26   So I do not have Creative Cloud, so does one of you want to fill me and fill everyone in

00:18:31   on what happened?

00:18:33   This didn't happen to me either, thankfully, but I do have…

00:18:35   Well, here's the thing.

00:18:37   I have Photoshop CS6, which is the last pre-Creative Cloud version, but for reasons…

00:18:44   Oh, I know why.

00:18:45   I was saying, why does this not own my systems?

00:18:47   Anyway, even though I have CS6, I still

00:18:49   have the Creative Cloud icon in the menu bar,

00:18:52   because I think I downloaded a trial of Illustrator.

00:18:54   I might have paid for Illustrator for a month,

00:18:56   like Illustrator CC, like the first version.

00:18:58   Anyway, once Adobe gets on your system,

00:19:00   it has this Creative Cloud menu thing, which

00:19:02   tries to update your applications for you

00:19:04   and do other crap like that.

00:19:05   It's the worst.

00:19:06   Yeah, and it launches on login, and you try to get rid of it,

00:19:09   and it comes back, and you just want to quit it.

00:19:11   Like Steam.

00:19:12   Yeah, but Steam does it through the system login items.

00:19:15   you turn off it stays off creative cloud just keeps coming back like an undead zombie anyway

00:19:19   adobe has a history of having let's say challenges related to software installation

00:19:27   and management of installations on the mac there are i have at various times

00:19:32   search for solutions to seemingly intractable adobe application installation problems and

00:19:36   found instructions on adobe's own website not in the forums but like literal official

00:19:40   Adobe instructions that contain terrifying sets of steps that you have to follow to get

00:19:46   yourself out of a situation in which your legitimately purchased Adobe application won't

00:19:50   update or something and they have you running commands from the shell prompt, you know,

00:19:54   sudo rm blah blah blah and it's like, seriously?

00:19:57   This is, anyway.

00:19:59   They have serious challenges.

00:20:00   And this is another one of their challenges.

00:20:03   Apparently they released some software and this is all kind of experimentally determined

00:20:06   by Backplace, and you'll understand why Backplace is involved at all in this in a moment.

00:20:12   Some piece of software that would effectively list the folders, the directories at the top

00:20:17   level of your volume, and sort them, I'm assuming, asciiabetically, as in like capital letters

00:20:23   first or whatever, but at any rate, periods and spaces and stuff first, pick the first

00:20:27   one and delete its contents.

00:20:30   And it was hoping that first one would be like a dot adobe something, but depending

00:20:35   Depending on whether you had a previous installation, it could be something other than .adobe or

00:20:40   space adobe or whatever the hell it was.

00:20:42   It could in fact be something called .bzvol, which is a backblaze hidden directory where

00:20:47   it stores a bunch of crap that has to do with the operation of backblaze.

00:20:49   So people were messing with this adobe creative cloud update, which I'm sure they were all

00:20:54   prompted to install by the little menu item that always runs on people's systems, and

00:20:57   they would install it, and that installer would delete the contents of backblaze's little

00:21:02   directory where it stores information about your backups.

00:21:05   And that's pretty antisocial behavior.

00:21:08   When an application not made by you goes and deletes all your crap out from under it.

00:21:14   Now, to backplace this credit, they figured out this problem pretty quickly.

00:21:18   They posted a thing on their site that explains how to solve the situation.

00:21:21   They reported it to Adobe, and then to Adobe's credit, Adobe fixed it and pulled the update

00:21:24   and did all that other stuff.

00:21:27   And we'll link to a blog post in the show notes from Backplace explaining the situation.

00:21:32   And again, we don't have the particular details.

00:21:34   Backblaze just has like experimentally,

00:21:36   we experimentally determined this, that and the other thing.

00:21:38   What people were doing in the meantime before these updates

00:21:40   was they would make a bunch of,

00:21:41   a series of sacrificial folders

00:21:42   at the top level of their directory,

00:21:44   like called .aaaa

00:21:45   to make the Adobe thing nuke that one

00:21:48   and not the BZ vol one.

00:21:50   But as Backblaze points out,

00:21:52   even if you had this thing happen to you

00:21:54   at no time were your actual backups in jeopardy

00:21:58   because the backups are all server-side at Backblaze,

00:22:00   this was merely setting back the client-side installation

00:22:03   of your backup thing by deleting all of the information

00:22:06   needs to keep track of stuff.

00:22:07   So backblaze would automatically recreate it

00:22:09   and I'm assuming it would have to grind your disc

00:22:10   for a while to figure out what the hell is what

00:22:12   and recreate that directory.

00:22:14   But it's good to know that despite another application

00:22:16   coming and recursively deleting the contents

00:22:18   of one of its directories, your actual backups,

00:22:21   meaning like the data that is stored in backblaze's server,

00:22:23   were always safe during this time.

00:22:26   - We give Apple a hard time for software quality issues

00:22:29   that we think they have, but we had a couple of people

00:22:32   write in to say, why don't you complain about Adobe

00:22:34   just as much?

00:22:36   And the truth is that Adobe software is typically

00:22:39   far worse than Apple software,

00:22:40   especially the non-core things.

00:22:42   So if you think about like Photoshop, Illustrator,

00:22:45   these are like the core Adobe apps.

00:22:46   Like their core apps, as much as they can be weird

00:22:50   and flaky and as much as people can love and hate them

00:22:52   so much at the same time, they don't usually have

00:22:56   stability issues or data loss issues.

00:22:58   They have many other issues, but those are not

00:23:01   usually among them, so it's not like,

00:23:03   you know, like the main core apps tend to work

00:23:05   decently well most of the time.

00:23:07   Although I can say the same thing about Apple,

00:23:09   but the problem that Adobe has is all the other

00:23:12   like supporting crap around them.

00:23:14   Also anything related to Acrobat,

00:23:16   but you know, all the supporting crap around them,

00:23:18   like the installers, the cloud services that they use,

00:23:22   like the Behance plugins and all this crazy stuff,

00:23:25   those things tend to work very poorly

00:23:28   and be very inconsistent.

00:23:29   And the reason why we don't usually criticize Adobe

00:23:32   on this show is simply because Adobe has been making

00:23:35   mediocre software for so long that we have no expectations

00:23:37   of quality from Adobe, as sad as that is.

00:23:40   And I say this as a long time Adobe customer and user

00:23:44   of multiple products by them, but the fact is that

00:23:47   Adobe just has a really, really bad reputation

00:23:49   for this stuff and has for years.

00:23:51   So yeah, we just don't expect much from them.

00:23:53   And when things like this happen,

00:23:55   it's barely even worth mentioning because it's just,

00:23:58   it happened, like crap with Adobe happens all the time.

00:24:00   Usually not this bad, but like it's just, you know,

00:24:03   it's just one more day of using Adobe stuff

00:24:05   where the software's doing weird stuff

00:24:06   and not quite installing right,

00:24:08   or Creative Cloud is doing weird things in the menu bar.

00:24:10   That's just typical Adobe behavior.

00:24:13   - And as big as Adobe is obviously,

00:24:14   like most people don't use Adobe software.

00:24:16   Like especially now that, you know, OS X PDF rendering

00:24:19   built in everything, people no longer have a reason

00:24:22   to download Acrobat just to look at PDFs.

00:24:24   If you're not a designer or not using one of, you know,

00:24:27   you don't use Adobe products that much,

00:24:29   whereas everybody's using the operating system

00:24:31   and a lot of the built-in apps that ship with Apple things.

00:24:33   So it's just a much bigger surface area for people

00:24:37   to encounter problems with Apple stuff.

00:24:40   The reason I wanted to talk about this, aside

00:24:42   from the backblaze angle-- and it's just coincidence

00:24:44   that we happen to have backblaze sponsoring this episode--

00:24:47   is the sandboxing angle.

00:24:49   Because a lot of the discussion I saw about this issue was,

00:24:52   see, this is why Apple wants Mac applications to be sandboxed.

00:24:57   and quick sandboxing refresher.

00:25:00   Sandboxing is basically a way to limit the ability

00:25:04   of applications to do things.

00:25:06   So a typical general purpose PC or Mac,

00:25:09   when you're running an application,

00:25:10   that application can do anything that you could do

00:25:13   as a user, as in you could delete all the files

00:25:16   in your home directory and soak in any program that you run.

00:25:19   You could rename things, remove things,

00:25:23   like just transmit data over the network,

00:25:27   pull data down from somewhere, anything that basically you

00:25:30   could do as a user or in a program that you wrote,

00:25:32   any program that you run can do.

00:25:34   And what sandboxing does is it says

00:25:36   that each individual application has

00:25:38   to declare what kinds of things it wants to do.

00:25:41   So an application might say, I need to access the network.

00:25:45   Or maybe I need to access the network

00:25:47   and just go to certain sites.

00:25:48   I need to access the camera or the microphone.

00:25:51   I need access to the file system.

00:25:52   I need access to just these two folders in the file system.

00:25:56   You know, like, and you can have these sort of permissions

00:25:59   all the way up to the level of like,

00:26:00   hey, I need access to the complete file system.

00:26:03   And historically, Apple has been trying to

00:26:05   slowly close that door to say, you know what?

00:26:07   No application should really have access

00:26:09   to the entire file system.

00:26:10   And if you do, there should be a good reason.

00:26:13   And that's the whole negotiation with the Mac App Store

00:26:15   and sandboxing Mac applications to try to,

00:26:18   this negotiation backwards between Apple

00:26:19   and the applications of what, they call them title ones.

00:26:22   What entitlements does your application actually need

00:26:24   to do its job versus which ones do you just want to have.

00:26:26   So why is your application that you use for email

00:26:30   accessing the camera?

00:26:32   And maybe you have a good reason for that.

00:26:33   Oh, if you don't have an avatar,

00:26:34   we will take a picture of you

00:26:36   and then use that as your avatar.

00:26:38   Okay, well that's an okay reason.

00:26:39   Why is your email application you need to access

00:26:41   the entire file system?

00:26:42   Well, we don't really know where we're gonna edit files,

00:26:45   so we just want access to the whole file system.

00:26:46   No, sorry, we really want you to pick

00:26:48   where you're gonna put the files.

00:26:49   You can put a dialog box up and the user can pick

00:26:51   and then you get permission for that directory

00:26:52   or that directory tree,

00:26:53   but you don't have access everywhere.

00:26:56   And as we just discussed with Adobe stuff,

00:26:58   as you might imagine, Adobe is not in the Mac App Store.

00:27:01   Adobe sells its own software,

00:27:03   has its own subscription service to create a cloud thing

00:27:05   where you can sort of rent your software

00:27:07   and they'll give you updates for a certain amount of time.

00:27:09   And they're not in the Mac App Store,

00:27:11   not just because they don't want to share 30%

00:27:13   of their money with Apple,

00:27:14   but also because none of their applications would function

00:27:16   if sandboxed.

00:27:17   And so that's why sandboxing is related to this

00:27:21   because if their application was sandboxed,

00:27:23   Surely their updater wouldn't have the entitlement

00:27:26   that allows, that gives it access to the entire file system.

00:27:29   The updater would instead like maybe prompt you

00:27:30   to find your application or something

00:27:32   and then the user would give a permission to update.

00:27:34   All right, you know, if it was in the Mac App Store,

00:27:35   updates would work entirely differently anyway,

00:27:37   'cause it would just be able to update the individual apps

00:27:38   and their bundles.

00:27:39   But the real issue is, all right,

00:27:42   so sandboxing would have saved this, but it's not sandboxed.

00:27:45   So what is sandboxing actually buying us?

00:27:47   Because if you can have non-sandboxed,

00:27:51   non-Mac App Store applications, doesn't that defeat the purpose of sandboxing? In other

00:27:56   words, if you can't get everybody to be sandboxed, it doesn't matter how great sandboxing is,

00:27:59   because it just takes one un-sandboxed application to ruin your day. So what do you guys think

00:28:03   about the sandboxing yay or nay angle on this whole disaster?

00:28:09   I think it's a reasonable angle, but part of the reason that the Mac is so great, and

00:28:15   part of the reason I've been talking the last couple of episodes about things that bother

00:28:19   me about iOS is that you can take things into your own hands in a way that you can't with

00:28:24   iOS.

00:28:26   And that's very freeing.

00:28:27   And so I wouldn't, I would be very upset if all software had to go through the Mac App

00:28:33   Store or somehow in another way all software was sandboxed.

00:28:39   I don't see that as feasible.

00:28:41   I do think though that software developers

00:28:45   should be better systems of the ecosystem

00:28:49   and allow their software to be sandboxed wherever possible.

00:28:54   Now, I'm not clear, can you sandbox

00:28:56   without being in the App Store?

00:28:58   So like could Creative Cloud still be a third party,

00:29:01   or not a third party, an outside of the App Store thing

00:29:05   and also be sandboxed?

00:29:06   - Yep, definitely, you can do that.

00:29:07   And some people do do that.

00:29:08   That was one of the discussions.

00:29:09   like why would anyone voluntarily subject their application to the sandbox if you're

00:29:14   not in the Mac App Store? Say you're selling an application directly, why would you go

00:29:18   through the trouble of sandboxing? And part of the reason is to protect yourself from

00:29:22   your own bugs. Say you have some sort of silly bug or not so silly bug. I see this. This

00:29:27   was an iTunes bug way back in the day. This is a very common bug for the mindset of the

00:29:33   people that tend to write things like installers and uninstallers. This mindset is the assumption

00:29:38   that no Mac user, no really old school Mac user would ever make, but that basically everyone

00:29:42   else in the entire computing universe except old school Mac user makes. And that assumption

00:29:45   is, for example, file names do not contain spaces. Because who would put a space in their

00:29:50   file name? That's madness. You can't have spaces in file names. The iTunes bug was if

00:29:56   you had a space in your file name, there was like a shell script that was just blindly

00:29:59   taking a string, building a path out of that string, and then running a command on it without

00:30:03   quoting the string. Because hey, what if there's a quote in the string? Who would put a quote

00:30:06   in their file names?" Mac users would. That's who, right? Okay, well, I'll use single quotes.

00:30:11   Who would put a single quote in their file names? Mac users. That's who. You know, Mac

00:30:14   users were trained for a decade and a half that the file name is the user's domain. You

00:30:20   can type whatever the hell you want there.

00:30:21   Well, except what is it, a colon or a comma? Which one was the one that you can't use?

00:30:24   You can get a colon in, too. You can get something that appears as a colon.

00:30:28   Oh, okay, yeah.

00:30:29   Or, you know, a colon, a slash. There are limitations. So basically, if I can type it,

00:30:33   Like you're prevented from typing those things essentially, or you're prevented from really

00:30:37   getting those into the file name.

00:30:38   But the bottom line is, you would never think that because I put a space in my file name,

00:30:41   this would mean, like the iTunes one I think was, if you had a volume called "foo bar"

00:30:46   and you had a volume called "foo" and then you had a volume called "foo bar", the thing

00:30:52   would try to delete "foo bar", but after the first space, the "rm" command would say "oh,

00:30:57   you want me to delete volumes foo?

00:30:58   Okay, I'll go that, I'll delete that.

00:31:00   Okay, and you also wanted me to delete "bar?

00:31:02   no such file. And you were sad because it just nuked your entire directory. Anyway, dealing with

00:31:07   paths as strings and dealing with paths as strings in a sloppy way is an epidemic in the computing

00:31:14   world. So it's actually very difficult to get that part of the system right. And so you sandbox

00:31:22   yourself to say, what if I make one of those mistakes? What if I'm deep in Objective-C code

00:31:26   and I'm building... Anytime you're shelling out or doing something that you think like,

00:31:31   like, oh, I've built a string, and this is some NSString that

00:31:33   has a file path.

00:31:34   And then instead of feeding it to an Objective-C framework

00:31:37   that would presumably do the right thing,

00:31:39   instead you say, I'm just going to run this external command.

00:31:42   Even if it's like, oh, I'm just going

00:31:43   to run this external command that converts Markdown

00:31:44   into HTML.

00:31:45   And I'll just feed it this path, and everything will be fine.

00:31:47   In that case, you're probably not going to nuke the world.

00:31:49   It'll probably just break when someone

00:31:50   puts a space or an exclamation point or a single quote

00:31:54   or a double quote, depending on how silly you're

00:31:56   being about going through the shell

00:31:57   to do these type of things.

00:31:59   I can tell you, as someone who writes in a language that's actually very close to shell scripting,

00:32:04   even in languages like that, where, you know, isn't it the whole purpose of the language just to make it easy to run shell commands, right?

00:32:12   To run things that you would type in the terminal? Don't those languages have facilities for doing all this?

00:32:16   Even in those languages, people just ignore the facilities that allow you to essentially pass a list,

00:32:20   so it'll be passed directly to the exec cvpe function or whatever, where you bypass the shell entirely.

00:32:26   you know what the components of the command are.

00:32:28   You know this is the command, you know this is the path,

00:32:30   you know this is the whatever.

00:32:31   Never go through the shell and let it try to figure out

00:32:33   where the boundaries are because you will just,

00:32:35   it'll be sad and it will end in tears.

00:32:37   So if you can sandbox your application and say,

00:32:39   I'm only gonna ever edit,

00:32:40   my application will only ever modify files

00:32:43   in these two directories plus ones

00:32:44   that the user picks themselves

00:32:45   with the open save dialog box.

00:32:47   Then when you have this bug,

00:32:48   your application won't function directly,

00:32:50   but you will not accidentally recursively delete

00:32:52   their home directory, their volume,

00:32:54   their entire documents folder or whatever else.

00:32:56   So yeah, Marco would sandbox his own application

00:32:59   and I think I would too.

00:33:00   Even though it'd probably be a giant pain

00:33:02   because I think there are a lot of entitlements

00:33:04   that just don't exist anymore

00:33:05   because they think nobody in the Mac App Store

00:33:06   should have them, therefore people on the outside

00:33:08   shouldn't either.

00:33:09   - Right, I mean that's the main problem with sandboxing

00:33:11   is really not the concept.

00:33:13   There's two main problems with sandboxing on the Mac.

00:33:15   Number one is that it wasn't always there.

00:33:17   So we have this entire ecosystem of software

00:33:20   that's been built up over decades

00:33:21   that it was originally built without the concept

00:33:24   of sandboxing and then now it has to be bolted on

00:33:26   and for a lot of apps that is either impossible

00:33:29   or very difficult.

00:33:30   And then secondly, the other problem is that Apple

00:33:33   just hasn't really been a very good steward

00:33:35   of taking sandboxing and moving it forward

00:33:38   and adding entitlements for things that really

00:33:40   are necessary in the real world.

00:33:41   And as a result, the kind of policy by action

00:33:46   at least that Apple's been doing so far is,

00:33:48   well, if you don't wanna fit into what we want

00:33:50   for the Mac App Store, we don't want you there at all.

00:33:53   Like we don't even want you to use any of this technology.

00:33:55   And I'm sure that's not what Craig Federighi

00:33:58   wants to be the case, but that's what's happening so far.

00:34:01   So hopefully they remember that the Mac exists

00:34:03   just long enough to update sandboxing

00:34:05   and make it more useful, because I,

00:34:08   as both a developer and a user,

00:34:09   I mean I'm not a Mac developer, at least not yet,

00:34:11   but as a user, I would love for more

00:34:14   of my apps to be sandboxed.

00:34:16   If Apple wants to advance this system

00:34:19   in this practice of being, of sandbox apps,

00:34:21   which I think they should, they need to make more apps

00:34:23   able to be sandboxed in a reasonable way.

00:34:26   And so I hope there's enough people at Apple

00:34:28   who agree with that, that that gets done at some point.

00:34:31   But as a developer, as you know, not only for protecting

00:34:35   all of your data from my accidental bugs and stuff

00:34:38   that go into it, I would, if I was making,

00:34:41   let's suppose I was making a Mac version of Overcast.

00:34:43   I'm not, but suppose I was.

00:34:45   Please don't get excited, I'm not.

00:34:46   - You should. - Sorry Casey, I know.

00:34:47   - You should.

00:34:48   I had like forever ago, I had like a branch

00:34:51   that I could compile like the data layer to Mac,

00:34:53   but not in UI or anything.

00:34:55   That's the kind of app that doesn't really need

00:34:58   deep system access to really anything.

00:35:01   I mean, I would need access to play audio,

00:35:04   and download stuff from the network.

00:35:06   Like that's about it.

00:35:08   So I would totally accept sandboxing.

00:35:11   I wouldn't want the responsibility

00:35:13   of messing with your system

00:35:14   or messing with other apps accidentally,

00:35:16   or having my app be able to be hacked

00:35:18   and have some kind of remote injection if you view a web page,

00:35:20   you know, weird stuff like that.

00:35:21   Like, I know we're beyond most of that

00:35:23   with web stuff these days, but still, you know,

00:35:26   it would be nice to just like eliminate sources of bugs.

00:35:29   To me, it's like, as a developer,

00:35:31   would I opt into memory protection?

00:35:33   Of course I would.

00:35:34   Like, it's one of those things where,

00:35:36   if what you're doing can fit within those restrictions,

00:35:40   you should adopt them, just because it will help you

00:35:42   not only make better software,

00:35:44   but ensure more secure software as time goes on,

00:35:47   as people try to hack it or as you make mistakes.

00:35:50   So of course I would opt into that.

00:35:52   And on iOS, I'm very glad it's there

00:35:53   because there's these whole classes of things

00:35:56   where if I get a support thing that says,

00:35:59   oh, whenever I launch Overcast, Facebook crashes.

00:36:03   That's not my problem.

00:36:04   I can't do anything about that.

00:36:05   And in a way, that's kind of frustrating for me

00:36:07   to have to tell people, sorry, I can't really help.

00:36:10   But also I can say, well, sorry, it's out of my control

00:36:14   and it's probably not anything I'm doing.

00:36:16   So there are lots of advantages to sandboxing

00:36:18   for developers and users.

00:36:20   As long as the system, either in the case of iOS

00:36:23   that it's always been there, or in the case of the Mac,

00:36:25   hopefully it gets better enough that more apps can adopt it.

00:36:30   - So that leads me to question,

00:36:31   like this whole sandboxing and Adobe bug thing,

00:36:35   of Apple's responsibility as the platform,

00:36:37   or not responsibility, Apple's goals as the platform owner,

00:36:41   is to, I think it should be,

00:36:44   to try to get as many people into the sandbox on the Mac as possible.

00:36:49   And they've been trying to do that.

00:36:50   Like they did, the important first step was they themselves sandboxed a ton of the background

00:36:54   demons that run on your Mac so that like the thing that does like name lookups and stuff

00:36:58   doesn't have complete access to the file system.

00:37:00   Just to make them less of a vector for exploitation in terms of if malware can do a buffer overflow

00:37:05   in like the name lookup system.

00:37:08   It can't write an arbitrary file to anywhere in the file system because that thing is still

00:37:12   in a sandbox.

00:37:13   a lot of their own things, they sandboxed a lot of the OS, they tried to sandbox some

00:37:17   of their applications, and of course they eventually restricted the Mac App Store to

00:37:21   it, which hurt a lot of applications, but at this point, the other area of trying to

00:37:26   get more things in the sandbox is saying, "Are you an important popular application

00:37:30   that a lot of people use, and you're not using the sandbox?" And they're like, "That should

00:37:35   be the focus of all their efforts now. Why are you not using the sandbox? What can we

00:37:39   do to help you get in the sandbox?" Yes, even for companies like Adobe, they will probably

00:37:42   never be in the Mac App Store for financial reasons in terms of profit sharing with Apple,

00:37:47   they should still be saying, "Adobe, we understand you're never going to give us 30%. We understand

00:37:50   you have your own subscription service and your own weird thing going on there. That's

00:37:53   fine. But we would still like all of your applications, including your installers and

00:37:58   everything, to be in the sandbox. What do we have to do to get you into the sandbox

00:38:03   today?" Like, car dealership, you know, they need to be out there trying to get butts in

00:38:10   the seats, I'm just mixing my analogies now, on the sandbox. And if that means making variants

00:38:16   of the sandbox that are entirely different than would ever be allowed in the Mac App

00:38:20   Store, that would still be a benefit to both Apple and users, right? So that, you know,

00:38:24   trying to be ideologically pure and say, if you can't fit within the sandbox as we define

00:38:30   it, like ideally for these isolated applications like they are on iOS, then tough luck, you

00:38:34   can't use it at all, you know. Or if we say, you know, Adobe could be, maybe Apple's telling

00:38:38   "You could be in the sandbox now, but you're not."

00:38:40   And nobody's like, "Yeah, we see kind of what the upside

00:38:43   might be for you, Apple, and for users,

00:38:45   but it just seems like a lot of work.

00:38:47   And even there's no real technical limitations.

00:38:48   We could do it today.

00:38:50   We don't want to."

00:38:51   And that's kind of what Apple's job is,

00:38:53   to try to convince Adobe to essentially spend money,

00:38:57   time, and effort to get into the sandbox.

00:39:00   So if I was Apple, A, I would have had these efforts ongoing.

00:39:04   And B, when this bug hit, I would be like,

00:39:06   trying to nicely say to Adobe, you know, depending on what the current situation is, I don't

00:39:10   know. It could be that Adobe can't get in the sandbox right now at all, but if they

00:39:14   can begin, they just refuse to because it takes too much effort, I would be gently pressing

00:39:18   them to say, "See, if you had sandboxed your applications, you could have avoided this

00:39:23   bug that was embarrassing for you and bad for our users. What can we do to help? Can

00:39:27   we send engineers out there? Can we help you?" And not everyone gets this treatment, but

00:39:31   Adobe, even though a lot of people don't use it, enough people use it. And if Apple still

00:39:34   thinks creative professionals are an important market for them.

00:39:37   You know, anyway, that's my hope for the future for sandboxing, that it actually becomes more

00:39:42   broadly useful because it's unrealistic, like Casey pointed out, and counterproductive to

00:39:48   try to get every single application into the narrow sandbox as defined in the Mac App Store,

00:39:52   but it is good for everybody involved if the sandbox can expand and get more participants

00:39:58   in it.

00:39:59   Just as I become an older and older developer and person,

00:40:04   I feel like I've learned more and more,

00:40:08   usually the hard way, to protect against myself.

00:40:11   And this is the same thing you guys were saying earlier.

00:40:12   And so as you get older, you go even further

00:40:17   than you think necessary to prevent yourself

00:40:20   from being an idiot, or at least that's the way I am.

00:40:24   And I just, it seems the responsible thing to do

00:40:29   App Store or not to sandbox your app if at all possible.

00:40:32   And yeah, sometimes it's a friggin' nightmare,

00:40:35   I am quite sure, but it's a responsible thing to do.

00:40:37   And it's really unfortunate that Adobe didn't

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00:42:32   - All right, so there was a very interesting episode

00:42:35   of the talk show this past week.

00:42:38   Eddie Q. and Craig Federighi were on the talk show.

00:42:41   And this is the third incarnation of an Apple executive

00:42:46   on the talk show, is that correct?

00:42:47   - Yeah, Federighi's second appearance.

00:42:48   He's already had, the group's already getting

00:42:50   multiple appearances of Apple execs on the shows.

00:42:53   - You see the new molds?

00:42:54   You never know.

00:42:55   when he can't get anybody else, he calls CFED an EQ to come down.

00:42:58   Yeah, yeah, that's easy.

00:43:01   Totally.

00:43:02   So anyway, so they got on the talk show.

00:43:06   It was a great episode, which is unsurprising.

00:43:09   Why?

00:43:10   Why do it?

00:43:11   Yeah, that's my first question, is why are-- because, you know,

00:43:15   as we made a joke that Gru calls them off and brings them on,

00:43:18   sometimes that happens.

00:43:18   Like, I don't-- you know, I'm not privy to any inside information

00:43:21   about who calls who.

00:43:22   But the question is, regardless of who asks who to be on when, why do Apple executives

00:43:30   agree to come on a podcast at this particular time?

00:43:35   When Craig Federighi came on, on an episode that I was actually on, the sort of commentary

00:43:40   portion afterwards, clearly he was there to talk about Swift open source projects, because

00:43:44   that's what he came on the show to do, that's what he talked about that had just happened,

00:43:48   right?

00:43:49   When Swift went open source, we talked about it on this show, they talked about it on the

00:43:51   talk show.

00:43:52   And so that was clear.

00:43:53   And in this case, there's no—as far as I'm aware, there's not really any big Apple announcement.

00:43:58   I mean, I guess there's a 9.3 beta, but that is not particularly fresh news.

00:44:03   And so my assumption going in when I saw that these were the guests was that they were going

00:44:07   to talk about the Walt Mossberg article, because that's, I guess, big news.

00:44:12   But I mean, that's the real question.

00:44:15   Not why is Apple having executives talk to websites as they did about the Swift open

00:44:20   source thing or go on podcasts and stuff like that because that's all about the whole new

00:44:23   open Apple thing.

00:44:24   But it still seems like there has to be a reason.

00:44:26   And having listened to the show, it's still not entirely clear to me what they were there

00:44:34   to do.

00:44:35   Like when a celebrity's on a television talk show, they're there to promote the movie that's

00:44:39   opening this weekend that they're in, right, or whatever.

00:44:42   And the same thing with the Swiss open source.

00:44:43   Like if you're there to promote something your company's doing, and then at the same

00:44:46   time a good host will of course ask them other questions as well.

00:44:48   but I'm assuming, even after listening to the episode,

00:44:52   that probably the reason they were there

00:44:53   was to talk about the Walt Marsberg article,

00:44:55   but I'm not entirely sure.

00:44:57   What was your sense from listening to the episode?

00:45:00   - Basically that same thing.

00:45:01   I mean, it was, you know, I also assumed

00:45:04   that there would be more kind of like

00:45:05   direct addressing of that, but you know,

00:45:08   you have like, I mean, as we know,

00:45:10   you have three people talking,

00:45:12   and you know, it's only a 45 minute interview.

00:45:15   You know, once you rule out the formalities,

00:45:17   like there's not a whole lot of time

00:45:18   for actual in-depth discussion when you have three people

00:45:21   who wanna talk, as we know, 'cause that's why our show

00:45:22   is never 45 minutes long.

00:45:24   (laughing)

00:45:25   We're lucky to have one segment be 45 minutes long

00:45:27   on one topic.

00:45:28   - That's our show's logo, is it never 45 minutes?

00:45:30   - Yeah, so let's get started.

00:45:32   (laughing)

00:45:33   So, you know, I think a lot of it was just time,

00:45:36   but I also think, you know, this is Apple PR

00:45:38   we're talking about, and even though these are executives

00:45:40   coming on a talk show with our friend John,

00:45:42   and in a more casual environment,

00:45:45   this is still high-power executives

00:45:47   from the biggest technology company in the universe,

00:45:50   et cetera, with very strong PR strategy and PR control.

00:45:55   You know, these aren't people who are gonna go off,

00:45:58   just go off the deep end and have a couple drinks

00:46:00   on the show and then tell us all the secrets.

00:46:01   Like, that isn't what this is, you know.

00:46:03   This is, in part, it's probably to help humanize

00:46:07   that there are people at this company,

00:46:08   not just robots and a brick wall,

00:46:10   like it's actually humans doing the best they can.

00:46:12   It's to humanize them and also,

00:46:14   I think it was really about this discussion of software and service quality. It was very

00:46:21   obvious that they were prepared with stats and various authorized figures they were able

00:46:28   to give out about how well they're doing, how well their quality is going, the crash

00:46:32   rates, the number of Apple Music subscribers, how well the websites and the web services

00:46:37   hold up under all these loads. They were very clearly prepared with PR-approved stats they

00:46:44   they could share to demonstrate that we don't really have these big quality problems/we

00:46:50   have good reasons to have quality problems. It was kind of like this slightly defensive

00:46:55   but not in a really aggressive way. It read to me or it listened to me. It listened a

00:47:07   little defensive.

00:47:08   - The blue is red, look it up, it's an altered definition.

00:47:10   - I know, I know.

00:47:11   But yeah, it seemed slightly defensive,

00:47:14   but mostly just like, almost in denial

00:47:19   that there are any real downward slopes going on here.

00:47:24   And that might be true from a lot of things

00:47:26   they talked about.

00:47:27   I mean, their web services are at ridiculous scale,

00:47:30   and they are mostly working most of the time.

00:47:34   And they do have tons of people using it,

00:47:36   But the only nitpicks I had with it really,

00:47:39   besides that I wish it could be longer,

00:47:41   but I understand why it probably couldn't be,

00:47:43   'cause I don't think you can get

00:47:44   two high-power Apple executives

00:47:46   to give you like three hours on a podcast

00:47:50   as much as we would like them to.

00:47:51   But my main nitpicks with it were basically

00:47:55   that there really wasn't enough time

00:47:58   to kind of fight back a little bit

00:48:01   or to ask, a lot of the things,

00:48:03   a lot of their defenses were using excuses

00:48:06   that are totally within Apple's control to change.

00:48:09   So for instance, the biggest one stuck out to me

00:48:11   was when Craig Federighi was,

00:48:15   and overall I thought both Craig and Andy

00:48:18   came off very well.

00:48:19   But Craig, during one part he was saying

00:48:22   how people liked Snow Leopard back in the day,

00:48:25   but nobody ever really installed Snow Leopard 10.6.0,

00:48:29   and most of the time people were spending

00:48:31   on like 10.6.4, 10.6.5, et cetera.

00:48:34   And so he was basically saying like, you know,

00:48:37   back then they had way fewer total users

00:48:39   and also people would wait longer before

00:48:41   upgrading to the newest stuff.

00:48:43   Well, very heavily promoted, very heavily pushed,

00:48:47   often automatic software updates

00:48:49   are within Apple's control.

00:48:50   Apple has themselves very aggressively pushed OS updates

00:48:55   every release since then.

00:48:56   And they used to even be paid.

00:48:58   That was I think the first one that was,

00:49:00   was that 30 bucks?

00:49:01   - Something like that.

00:49:02   - And they might have been free after that.

00:49:03   But like, so back then they were paid

00:49:05   and they were a bigger deal.

00:49:06   And also, most critically, they didn't come out every year.

00:49:10   You know, back then the release cycle

00:49:12   was more like every two years.

00:49:13   I don't know, John, you probably know the exact average

00:49:15   'cause you had to write reviews of all of them.

00:49:17   But you know, back then we had these longer cycles.

00:49:22   And of course, you know, the products were simpler

00:49:24   because they were doing less.

00:49:25   And there is a valid point to be made

00:49:27   that we now live in a way more complicated

00:49:30   the computing environment because we have so many more devices that are doing so many

00:49:32   more things, interacting with so many more services. But the argument that Apple is somehow

00:49:39   or rather the argument that you can excuse more flaws today because everyone upgrades

00:49:44   really fast to the latest OS today I don't think is a valid defense because Apple is

00:49:50   the one pushing the updates that frequently and also Apple is the one who nowadays the

00:49:55   OS's never even get to like a .5 or .6 release anymore.

00:49:59   Like the OS's now, they're changed every year

00:50:02   with major releases and a major release

00:50:04   has kind of allowed to be a little bit less stable.

00:50:07   And so now it feels like we are not reaching the states

00:50:10   that we used to reach for half the release cycle

00:50:12   where things were pretty stable and you could update

00:50:15   from like, you know, Leopard to 10.6.4

00:50:18   and be relatively assured that,

00:50:20   oh, they worked it all out by now.

00:50:21   Now it seems like they don't have time

00:50:23   to work it all out anymore.

00:50:25   And that is entirely an Apple-created construct.

00:50:28   Apple has created these conditions.

00:50:30   Apple is the one pushing these conditions.

00:50:31   It's totally within Apple's control

00:50:33   to not heavily push the updates when it's still at a .0,

00:50:37   to not do updates every year if they don't want to

00:50:40   for something like the Mac, which is not even high profile.

00:50:44   This is totally within Apple's control to fix

00:50:47   or to make better, to improve.

00:50:50   And so that is not a valid defense.

00:50:52   - Before, I wanna pick at some of the things

00:50:54   said as well and the format, but I also want to hear—I'm going somewhere with this

00:50:58   "why were they on the show" thing, and I want to hear if Casey has the same impression

00:51:02   that they were on to talk about software quality, or if you thought they were on for some other

00:51:05   reason or if they were on for no reason.

00:51:07   I think most simply it was about software quality, but I agree that it was a more meandering,

00:51:15   less focused appearance than I would have expected if they were doing damage control.

00:51:22   And I'm not sure if that's deliberate, if this meandering and this kind of casual conversation

00:51:27   was to lead us to believe that it wasn't damage control, that it was just because, and they

00:51:34   just felt like talking to Gruber.

00:51:36   But I would say that were it not for Walt's article, and clearly this podcast, I don't

00:51:42   think that, I don't see why they would have felt the need to go on Jon's show.

00:51:46   And I don't mean that as a slight to Gruber at all.

00:51:49   I just, it's not a normal thing for one, let alone two executives to just decide to go on a podcast.

00:51:57   So I think it was about damage control, but I think whether or not it was deliberate,

00:52:03   it was loose enough so that you couldn't say it was explicitly about damage control.

00:52:09   **Matt Stauffer:** And I am leading up to Marco's points here, so bear with me. But my

00:52:13   related question to this is

00:52:15   What is the job of insert whatever Craig's title is her insert?

00:52:20   Whatever Eddie's title is like senior vice president software or whatever like what is their job?

00:52:24   What if you were to look at their job description if they were hiring a new one if you know?

00:52:27   Craig retires and they want to hire a replacement and they don't want to permit from within whatever like what?

00:52:32   What is the job description of those executives and I can tell you in the Steve Jobs era?

00:52:37   The job description for all those super important guys, you know head of all of os10

00:52:42   you know Bertrand Cerlet or whatever or like gonna spearhead of the iOS team or whatever,

00:52:47   that nowhere in that job description was be the mouthpiece for Apple. Talk to the public

00:52:55   in a way that moves public opinion in the direction that Apple wants to move. It was just

00:53:01   absolutely not in any of their job descriptions because they never talked to the press. They

00:53:05   weren't allowed to talk to the press. They barely talked to developers. Like, that there was not,

00:53:10   and it's different than many other companies. Lots of other companies you could say, "Oh, well,

00:53:14   once you reach a certain level on the executive ladder, part of your job is to talk to the public

00:53:19   in some way." Right? Now, mediated by the PR department, so on and so forth, but you become

00:53:24   a public figure that occasionally says things with the blessing of the corporation in an effort to

00:53:31   change public opinion or to get your message out there or whatever. There's not a lot of those

00:53:38   people. It's not like everybody in the company is the voice of the company. But now, in the

00:53:42   post-jobs era and the more open Apple, which we all like, clearly some of these people

00:53:47   at a high enough level are now tasked with essentially, or tasking themselves with it.

00:53:53   We don't know how it's motivating or whatever, but they are being allowed. The company, Apple

00:53:57   as a company, has decided, we're going to send Craig Federighi to 17 different websites

00:54:03   and the talk show to tell them about the Swift open source project. We're not just going

00:54:07   have a press release, we're not just going to have someone say something in a keynote,

00:54:10   we're not just going to issue official statements through PR channels, we're going to send this

00:54:15   person, whose job up to this point did not really involve a lot of public statements about things,

00:54:21   he's going to go out there and promote the Swift open source project and try to hit the points that

00:54:26   we've all agreed that are the bullet points. And like Mark was saying, the little sheet of whatever

00:54:30   stats you want to say, whatever facts you want to get out there, like basically doing the job of PR,

00:54:34   but now there's a human doing it. And so now you have these two guys, Eddie and Craig, coming on

00:54:40   a very casual type of situation where they are talking unfiltered. It's not real time,

00:54:46   it's not live, but it's very, you know, it's just kind of like, we're going to talk and we're going

00:54:50   to discuss things. And the reason I ask about this is, as in what their job is, is like,

00:54:58   that skill, being able to go somewhere in an atmosphere like that and hit the points that you

00:55:05   want to hit and not sound defensive and move public opinion and not make any missteps, that's

00:55:14   not an easy thing to do. Not that I'm saying either one of them are bad at it, they're much

00:55:17   better than I would ever be. They're very skilled at their jobs, but their job historically has not

00:55:21   included this. And when I listen to that episode, I'm thinking some of these things, as Marco

00:55:26   were clearly written down.

00:55:28   Like that these are the points that we're going to hit

00:55:30   about reliability and blah, blah, blah.

00:55:32   You might think that Apple is like,

00:55:35   oh, Apple knows all and controls all.

00:55:36   So every single thing that was said in that program

00:55:38   was clearly planned ahead of time.

00:55:39   When EdiQ said that there's going to be a new version

00:55:42   of the Apple TV remote app for the iPhone

00:55:44   that includes all the functionality of the remote

00:55:46   and you'll be able to play games with that.

00:55:47   Either that information was already out there

00:55:49   and Gruber just didn't happen to know about it,

00:55:51   or it was intentionally broken on the talk show

00:55:53   that they said, "You're allowed to discuss this."

00:55:55   But I think there's also a possibility

00:55:57   that EdiQ had just forgotten which things were public

00:56:00   and which things were not,

00:56:02   and had accidentally officially confirmed

00:56:05   the updated version of the Apple remote application

00:56:07   that maybe every developer knew.

00:56:08   I mean, I don't keep up with this,

00:56:09   who cares, it's not a story or whatever.

00:56:11   - That was public, by the way.

00:56:12   - All right, well anyway, that type of thing.

00:56:14   Where are all Apple executives so well trained at PR,

00:56:20   despite having never done it

00:56:22   as part of their job description,

00:56:24   that it is impossible for them to make a mistake.

00:56:26   And I think it is possible for them to make a mistake.

00:56:29   And I think every time that Apple executives

00:56:31   go into an atmosphere like this,

00:56:33   it is a risk from the old world perspective of Apple of like,

00:56:36   but what if they accidentally say something

00:56:38   they're not supposed to say?

00:56:39   I mean, again, a PR person is probably involved,

00:56:41   the show could be edited, it's not live, so on and so forth,

00:56:43   it's not that big of a risk.

00:56:44   But it is entirely different.

00:56:47   Like if I was in these jobs, I'd be like,

00:56:49   I've been working here for X number of years

00:56:50   and I never had to do this as part of my job.

00:56:52   But now it's like a high pressure situation where you are supposed to speak for the company,

00:56:58   don't make any mistakes, and by the way, this is part of your job now, and anytime something

00:57:01   goes wrong, we send you out to do it.

00:57:03   And even if they technically don't say anything they're not supposed to say or whatever, as

00:57:08   Marco pointed out, it doesn't mean that they're going to be able to present the information

00:57:12   in a way that moves public opinion in the direction that they want.

00:57:15   So for example, if they sound very defensive and don't give convincing reasons, that may

00:57:20   make things worse instead of better, reinforcing our worst notions or whatever about what's

00:57:25   going on inside Apple. Or if they pointedly don't address particular points. Say it

00:57:31   had been an aggressive interview and they were being pressed they could have looked

00:57:33   bad. There's so many dangers and it's weird for me to think about this ever being part

00:57:40   of the job of someone who started their career as a programmer and who was a very technical

00:57:44   person and is now asked to do this thing.

00:57:46   - Yeah, I mean, and I think part of the risk evaluation here

00:57:51   is that they aren't sending pretty much anybody ever,

00:57:55   and if they do send somebody, it's like Tim Cook,

00:57:58   to general purpose interviewers out in the regular media.

00:58:03   They're sending these people to John Gruber.

00:58:05   They know that he's a respectable guy

00:58:08   who gets Apple very well,

00:58:10   and who has a good relationship with Apple.

00:58:12   That's not an accident that they're giving him this access

00:58:16   that nobody else really gets or that very few people get

00:58:19   because they know that he's not gonna be all sensational

00:58:22   on them and be super aggressive or just spend

00:58:25   the whole 45 minutes asking them about future iPhones,

00:58:27   which they will never talk about.

00:58:30   Certainly, it is still a risk to go,

00:58:33   at least mostly unscripted.

00:58:34   I mean, even when he had Phil at WBC live,

00:58:36   that was even more of a risk 'cause that was live.

00:58:38   That was live in front of a few hundred people

00:58:40   and broadcast the internet to a few thousand more at least.

00:58:44   - I feel like Phil is actually good at that.

00:58:45   I feel like that's always, he's been in marketing,

00:58:47   so I feel like that has been part of his job description.

00:58:49   Even if he's not speaking for the company,

00:58:51   he essentially was telling people what to say

00:58:53   on behalf of the company as part of his role

00:58:55   as the chief of marketing.

00:58:57   So yeah, you're right, it's much harder

00:58:59   like in front of a live audience

00:59:01   where you can't take back anything

00:59:02   and there's no editing or anything like that.

00:59:04   But Phil, I feel like is an old hand at this

00:59:07   and has no problem.

00:59:07   Whereas particularly Craig always strikes me

00:59:10   as a technical person who has had this role

00:59:13   thrust upon him.

00:59:14   He's been thrust onto the stage at Keynotes,

00:59:16   and he's gotten really good at that.

00:59:17   And now he's just going off the cuff.

00:59:19   And kind of the same thing with Eddie,

00:59:21   where you didn't see a lot of him on stage

00:59:23   until recent years, right?

00:59:25   And maybe that's just part of his ascent in the organization.

00:59:28   But having that be part of your job,

00:59:29   and I'm saying that not as if I think it's a bad thing,

00:59:33   that like, oh, well, this is a danger,

00:59:36   and Apple should cut it out.

00:59:37   Merely that this new open Apple that we all like,

00:59:41   this is part of what comes with it.

00:59:42   Part of what comes with it is understanding

00:59:44   on both sides of the fence that being more open means that human beings are going to

00:59:47   come out and be open. And if they say things wrong or whatever, you can't hold them to

00:59:52   the same standards as we held the carefully controlled manicured PR presence of the old

00:59:58   Apple. Because you can't have it both ways. We're like, we want you to be more open, but

01:00:02   we want every single thing out of every person's mouth to be perfect all the time. Right? You

01:00:05   have to, the more you're open, the more we all in this sort of dialogue is, you know,

01:00:10   and company have to become comfortable with the idea that in an open dialogue, it's

01:00:17   not as clean and shiny and perfect.

01:00:18   And so if they sound a little bit defensive, it's because they're human beings and

01:00:21   they're being asked questions that they might feel defensive about, and you can't

01:00:25   excoriate them for being the humans that we always wish they were.

01:00:28   So I want to be clear that what I'm trying to do is I want to encourage more of this.

01:00:33   And I'm almost kind of sad that they didn't make any big blunders, because I think if

01:00:37   they did, I think it would be fine.

01:00:39   Well, but I think you're right that it would be fine

01:00:42   However, Apple wouldn't think it would be fine

01:00:44   And so if they if they had made any big blunders

01:00:47   It would greatly reduce the chances of us getting more access to them in the future like this what I'm trying to say to encourage Apple

01:00:53   basically say

01:00:55   At least I am and I think we all should be just more forgiving so that they can they can feel safe

01:01:00   Doing this because we want a more open dialogue and I think

01:01:05   If anyone in sort of the Apple tech press decides to jump on these type, it's just gonna scare them back into their hole

01:01:10   So let's let's let's be nice

01:01:12   Yeah, but but you know we can be nice and we can be civil and we can still disagree with things

01:01:18   They say or we can criticize, you know things they say in normal civil ways, you know

01:01:22   And so I don't think I'm not saying like and I don't think you're saying that we should take it easy on them necessarily

01:01:28   just that we should you know be civil and reasonable and not not like

01:01:33   You know kind of give them the benefit of the doubt if they like misspeak slightly or something is that is roughly what you're saying

01:01:39   Yeah, and as for like your specific points about I mean you're right

01:01:43   It was a short interview there wasn't a lot of time to get into things and as I said when Craig was on

01:01:47   They're not going to go into the level of detail that we go into about these things. That's not the forum for it

01:01:52   It's not as if like that's part of all you know

01:01:55   What is their job and also what is the purpose of a podcast like this when you have these executives there?

01:02:00   that is not the time to

01:02:03   harangue them about whatever your pet problem is.

01:02:07   You are not going to affect the, you know,

01:02:10   the design, Apple's Macintosh application design philosophy

01:02:14   that leaves a big empty tool bar, right?

01:02:15   You are not going to change that philosophy

01:02:17   by arguing with Greg Federighi about it on a podcast, right?

01:02:21   - Right, and you're not gonna get him to say,

01:02:22   "Yeah, you're right, it sucks."

01:02:23   Like, you aren't gonna get ADQ to say,

01:02:26   "Yeah, iTunes is horrible,

01:02:27   "and the iTunes store infrastructure is just the worst."

01:02:30   - Eh, but hold on.

01:02:31   I mean, he did admit that iTunes has challenges or whatever,

01:02:33   but the whole point is you're not going to--

01:02:36   there's a time and place for that in the writ small

01:02:39   that I think we're all at this point familiar with,

01:02:41   is that if you go to WWDC and you find the one guy who

01:02:44   writes the obscure framework that your application is using,

01:02:47   you could possibly convince him one on one

01:02:50   to change this parameter in this API

01:02:52   to do this thing in the next major version.

01:02:53   That can actually happen, right?

01:02:56   That is the level of individuals' ability

01:02:59   to talk to other individuals as humans.

01:03:02   But it's not in public.

01:03:04   That person who you convince will never

01:03:05   admit that they talked to you.

01:03:06   And it's like a parameter on an API call, right?

01:03:09   It's very different than trying to convince-- flying out

01:03:15   to Cupertino and sitting down at a giant table

01:03:17   with the entire executive team at Apple

01:03:20   and say, in this 10-minute presentation,

01:03:22   I'm going to convince you that you need to redesign photos

01:03:25   in this particular way.

01:03:26   And then they will dismiss you.

01:03:27   And then they will realize they've

01:03:29   working on a new version of photos for like three years, a new version of iTunes for 12

01:03:32   years, or a new file system for X number of years.

01:03:34   And you don't have enough information, put it another way, you don't have enough information

01:03:38   to be compelling to them.

01:03:39   So I think all we can do as the sort of the public out here is merely explain things from

01:03:45   our perspective.

01:03:48   Because we just simply don't have enough information to convince Apple to do anything.

01:03:53   Because you have no idea, we still have no idea what they're actually doing.

01:03:56   What we can do is say, "Here's how we feel as users," and hope that gets through to them.

01:04:00   And if we feel like there's a communication barrier, then that's what them coming on podcast

01:04:05   is about, is saying, "We hear you.

01:04:06   We understand your concerns, and you can go back and forth on them and try to clarify

01:04:10   them or whatever."

01:04:11   And when it feels like there's a gap, like in this case where Marco was saying, "Well,

01:04:15   you don't understand.

01:04:16   Here's all the things we have to deal with," where you start sounding defensive and you

01:04:20   could come back with snappy answers like, "Well, Google has to deal with this kind of

01:04:22   volume too," and they do it better.

01:04:24   So what's the deal there?

01:04:25   "Well, iTunes has been big and bloated for years and everybody agrees on this, so where's

01:04:27   the new version?"

01:04:28   And you say you agree, but where is it?

01:04:30   They're not going to tell you, "Oh, well, the new version, we've been working on that

01:04:33   for a while now.

01:04:34   It's going to come out and it's going to be split into this number of applications and

01:04:35   blah blah blah, and it didn't make this really..."

01:04:37   They're not going to tell you that.

01:04:38   So all they can do is give their perspective in a sanitized way.

01:04:42   So it's a little bit like boys and girls at the dance at opposite sides of the gym and

01:04:47   no one going into the middle to dance.

01:04:50   And it has to be that way because at the very least, Apple is not going to reveal itself

01:04:57   in the public forum.

01:04:59   We have the advantage of being able to reveal all of our frustrations and put them out there

01:05:02   and then have Apple hear them in whatever way they want to hear them.

01:05:05   But Apple is not going to be that forthcoming.

01:05:07   So it is still a strange relationship, but I like the fact that there is any kind of

01:05:12   communication going in both directions these days.

01:05:14   Yeah, I've been really impressed by Apple's willingness to communicate, and I agree with

01:05:20   you, I would really hate to see that stopped.

01:05:23   I've really enjoyed these episodes of the talk show, and if they ever decided to branch

01:05:28   out into other podcasts, I'm sure that it could be accommodated.

01:05:33   With that said, I was reflecting on my memory of the episode, and I listened to it pretty

01:05:38   much immediately once it was out, so this was almost a week ago now.

01:05:41   But there was a bit of a theme.

01:05:44   You keep saying, Jon, being defensive, and I think that's a fair characterization.

01:05:49   But reflecting on it, the pieces that struck me the most was a little bit of playing the

01:05:55   victim.

01:05:56   iTunes is really old, and we have to support devices that go back to the beginning of time.

01:06:02   You know, what do you expect us to do?

01:06:04   We have a lot of users, guys.

01:06:07   You don't get it.

01:06:08   We have a lot of users.

01:06:09   Jon Streeter Let me tell you all the things we do well.

01:06:10   look at all these transactions we process. You know, EdiQ is ready with big numbers for

01:06:15   presentations. We do a lot of these things. And you have to acknowledge, yes, they do do those

01:06:20   things. But the communication barrier is like, we understand what you're doing is difficult.

01:06:24   It's like playing the victim is one way to say it. But the other way is like,

01:06:27   it's like being in operations or whatever you want to call it at any big company where you're

01:06:33   the one responsible for servers and stuff working. Nobody cares about your job when everything goes

01:06:37   well. They only care about it when something breaks. You get no credit, practically, for

01:06:43   "Hey, did you guys realize that for the past X number of hours or days or whatever,

01:06:47   this service was perfectly fine?" No. They just expected it. It's like the power company

01:06:51   that Marco was just talking about. Nobody cares about the power company when the power

01:06:53   is on. You only care about the power company in the one day a year it's off, and then

01:06:57   you're super pissed off at them. So in some ways, it's a thankless job. But that is

01:07:01   the job. If you work at the power company, you understand that's the job. When the

01:07:04   power goes out because of something, you don't say, "Look, you don't understand how many

01:07:08   miles of lines we have, and there's ice all over them, and tree branches leaning on them,

01:07:13   and birds pecking at them, and we don't have enough tax money to fund it."

01:07:16   The power company can make all those same exact complaints, and they should to the parties

01:07:19   that can change things.

01:07:20   But when your power goes out, you don't want to hear it.

01:07:22   Yeah, exactly.

01:07:23   And this victim sort of card got played a couple more times.

01:07:28   "Oh, yes, we have a lot of users, and yes, we are decent at serving a lot of users,"

01:07:33   say with iMessage, but you have to understand that we scale exponentially, which all of

01:07:39   these things, to be clear, are fair observations. But still, it's, "Oh, you guys don't get it.

01:07:45   You don't get it."

01:07:46   But the one that we haven't talked about that I thought was most fascinating was a pretty

01:07:50   clear—I'm going to use the word "admission," but that's not really what I'm looking for—but

01:07:55   acknowledgement maybe? A pretty clear acknowledgement from Craig that radar is kind of fundamentally

01:08:01   broken for serving the public.

01:08:06   That's like acknowledging that it's dark at night.

01:08:08   I mean, there's some things you just can't, like, yeah.

01:08:12   Some things are undeniable.

01:08:13   Even Eddie admitted iTunes was bloated, but radar, yeah.

01:08:16   No one is going to be—I don't think it's possible to send anyone from Apple to come

01:08:19   out to defend RadarWeb.

01:08:22   And I think you're right, but nevertheless, I thought it was an important step for it

01:08:27   to be said in public that, "Hey, this is broken."

01:08:30   And there was a little bit of victim playing here too.

01:08:32   Well, you don't understand.

01:08:33   That's super important for us internally.

01:08:35   This serves a really, really big purpose for us.

01:08:38   We can't just throw out the baby with the bathwater.

01:08:41   We really need it internally, but we probably have some room to grow externally.

01:08:48   And I thought that victim playing, all of which to some degree was fair, was interesting.

01:08:54   It was very subtle.

01:08:56   But most of all, I just thought it was fascinating to see some admissions of infallibility coming

01:09:02   from the two of them.

01:09:03   Yeah, I think someone with more PR training, more formal PR training, would know that those

01:09:07   are not winning angles.

01:09:08   As Marco pointed out in the episode that we almost titled "E for Effort," like, that

01:09:13   if you work really hard on something, you can't come to the public with that.

01:09:16   Like that's what you tell yourself internally, right?

01:09:18   You can have these discussions internally about, here's why it's really hard to do

01:09:22   whatever, to deal with iTunes because it's really popular, to deal with updates.

01:09:27   Everything they're saying is true.

01:09:28   But when you go to the public, part of PR training is to know what can we say to the

01:09:32   public that is going to move their opinion in the way that we want to move it.

01:09:37   That's the problem with having engineers talk to anybody.

01:09:39   They will just tell you the truth, and they will explain the real situations.

01:09:43   And if your job is PR, it's not to simply tell the truth about the situation, and not

01:09:49   even to tell a limited version of the truth. It's to figure out what can I say that will

01:09:53   make people change their mind slightly about issue X or Y or... It doesn't mean you have

01:09:58   to lie or be manipulative or whatever, but it is a skill. There's a reason that PR is

01:10:03   a profession and not like, "Oh, the engineers want us to do PR on the side." It is an actual

01:10:07   real skill, and it takes a while. Same thing with presenting on stage. It takes a while

01:10:12   to get good at, and there is training involved and everything like that. I think both of

01:10:16   guys on the show showed a slight lack of PR training in terms of there are things that

01:10:24   they said that they either shouldn't have said or should have said in a different way

01:10:27   to move the needle in the direction it seemed to me that they wanted to move it.

01:10:32   And you know, I like them more for it, like in terms of it seems more human, and I do

01:10:36   want to hear the inside scoop and I do want to hear what they're thinking about these

01:10:39   things, but PR-wise, it may not have been effective as another angle on the same information.

01:10:45   I think if they were more strictly PR trained

01:10:50   or were adhering more strictly to PR styles

01:10:52   of speaking and responding,

01:10:55   I think it would have been far less interesting.

01:10:57   - So here's my perfect example of the opposite of that.

01:11:00   Steve Jobs was, as far as I know, not PR trained,

01:11:04   super interesting, but he knew what to say

01:11:06   to move things in the direction he wanted to move them.

01:11:08   - Oh sure, yeah, but I would say,

01:11:10   when Tim Cook gave these interviews

01:11:14   to like 60 Minutes or whatever,

01:11:15   I've stopped even watching them.

01:11:16   - Yeah, those are boring.

01:11:18   - He's so controlled and so trained

01:11:20   and just his personality is,

01:11:22   he keeps things so close to the vest,

01:11:24   like I get nothing out of them.

01:11:26   - Also, he's like a genuinely nice guy, it seems like.

01:11:29   So it's like, oh, you mean he's nice,

01:11:31   whereas Steve Jobs always had an edge.

01:11:33   - Right, like Steve Jobs, you knew if Steve Jobs

01:11:35   was gonna give some dig at AT&T,

01:11:37   you knew he'd do it in public.

01:11:39   Stuff like that.

01:11:40   I feel like Tim Cook speaks the way

01:11:43   I would expect most CEOs to speak.

01:11:45   I mean, he's better than the average, certainly,

01:11:47   but it's not in the way that it's a major event

01:11:50   when he talks to a network news show for 20 minutes

01:11:54   about what they're doing.

01:11:55   It's not--

01:11:56   - I mean, we're taking Tim Cook for granted, though,

01:11:57   because I feel like when Tim Cook talks about

01:12:00   the environment or labor practices or human rights

01:12:04   and stuff, I genuinely believe that Tim Cook

01:12:06   really believes those things.

01:12:07   It's not some smarmy kind of,

01:12:10   I'm saying this to make our company.

01:12:12   He seems genuine.

01:12:14   And he seems like a genuine, friendly person

01:12:17   who cares about the world and wants to make it better

01:12:19   and so on and so forth.

01:12:20   And that can be boring when you're looking for blood

01:12:23   in the water or something like that.

01:12:25   Steve Jobs is the example of like,

01:12:28   I think he was just instinctive.

01:12:30   He was a natural at knowing how to talk,

01:12:33   eventually was a natural.

01:12:34   When he was young, he wasn't great at it.

01:12:35   But the latter day Steve Jobs,

01:12:38   knowing how to talk to the press,

01:12:41   to move the discussion or the issue or public opinion or whatever in the direction he wanted

01:12:46   to use, wanted to go in, while still sounding entirely genuine, human, and interesting.

01:12:53   Because he was willing to say the thing that, you know, take a dig at some other vendor

01:13:00   or say something is crap or something is great or whatever, or make blanket denials that

01:13:06   he goes back on later or whatever.

01:13:07   He was able to do that just instinctively, and that is, I think, a rare skill that, again,

01:13:12   even Steve Jobs didn't have in his early days when he was young and would say terrible things

01:13:15   to the press and regret them later.

01:13:18   And I don't think Craig and Eddie quite have that yet.

01:13:23   But what I'm saying is I think you can be, if not PR trained, better at moving the discussion

01:13:30   while still being both seeming and being entirely human.

01:13:34   I think that the Swift open source thing was a better example of that because there was

01:13:37   wasn't a real like, it wasn't like defensive or trying to change public opinion. It was

01:13:43   merely promoting something that Craig really believed in that actually was a really good

01:13:46   thing. And so he could be very detailed and human and funny and interesting and also promote

01:13:51   the idea that Swift is awesome, that open source is awesome, that Apple is awesome for

01:13:54   doing Swift open source and all that other stuff. All of which he agreed with and was

01:13:58   able to promote in a way that was interesting and engaging. And in this situation, it seems

01:14:04   kind of like these two were thrown to the wolves.

01:14:07   And again, I don't, you know, this is based on no information.

01:14:10   I don't know, did they volunteer for this?

01:14:11   Were they told they should do this?

01:14:13   Did Jon ask them to be on?

01:14:15   You know, who knows what the situation was, but it almost seemed like they found themselves

01:14:19   in a situation where, you know, it's up to you to try to move the needle on this issue

01:14:27   of public opinion about this Walt Bosberg thing.

01:14:29   So here you go.

01:14:31   Good luck, guys.

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01:16:30   - All right, what else are you talking about tonight, John?

01:16:31   - This item's been in the notes for a little bit.

01:16:33   I think I've seen some links to it

01:16:35   'cause it went around the web a couple weeks ago.

01:16:37   I thought it was worth keeping because, well, anyway,

01:16:40   have you seen the thing I'm about to link to here,

01:16:42   the thing about vector networks from this company Figma?

01:16:45   - No.

01:16:46   - I saw it, but I don't understand it,

01:16:49   but it sounds cool because as somebody,

01:16:52   so the idea of this is a new way

01:16:54   to draw vector art, basically,

01:16:55   and basically a new data structure for vector art.

01:16:58   And I have always been baffled by the few attempts I've made doing vector art, like

01:17:06   as, you know, from my very, very light and very occasional needs to do it. These programs

01:17:11   have always been very hard for me to understand, and it's been very hard for me to achieve

01:17:16   the result I want that seems very obvious, like, "Oh, I just want this line to go from

01:17:19   here to here and be perfectly smooth." And, like, it's so hard to do some of those things

01:17:23   if you aren't familiar with, like, the tools of Bezier curves, basically, and weird stuff

01:17:28   like that.

01:17:29   So do I understand correctly that this is kind of like an alternative to that whole

01:17:32   system that makes more sense?

01:17:33   >> Yeah, so since this, as far as I can tell, is not a piece of software you can download

01:17:37   to try at this point, I'm just going by the various animations and then the description

01:17:42   on their website.

01:17:45   And I don't know if it'll be any good or will do what they say it will do, but I'm most

01:17:49   interested in it because very often I see in discussions about software for any platform,

01:17:55   iOS or the Mac or whatever.

01:17:57   A lot of people, myself included, fall into the fatalistic notion sometimes that there's

01:18:05   no point in making an application that does X because that's a solved problem and you

01:18:10   don't need another one and the market's all tied up and you don't want to go red ocean,

01:18:14   you want to go blue ocean.

01:18:15   Go where nobody else is and find a market that is unserved and serve that one.

01:18:20   Aren't most oceans blue?

01:18:21   It's just an analogy.

01:18:23   It's the Nintendo Wii thing.

01:18:24   You know about this, right?

01:18:25   Just seems like a poor color choice.

01:18:27   Red ocean is because there's blood in the water from the competitors eating each other.

01:18:32   But doesn't blue ocean mean there's no customers because it's just empty?

01:18:34   Yes, that's right.

01:18:35   You want to go where no one is serving the customers.

01:18:38   There are no competitors.

01:18:39   Like the other competitors are the things that are changing the color of the water.

01:18:42   No competitors are there eating each other.

01:18:44   You'll just be the only one there and no one is eating you so there's no blood in the ocean.

01:18:47   But you have no better to eat either because there's no customers.

01:18:49   The water is your customers.

01:18:50   It's not a perfect analogy.

01:18:51   I didn't make it up.

01:18:52   It's Japanese, I think.

01:18:53   think. Anyway, I first started it for the Wii. Go reference old hyper-creative episodes,

01:18:58   as always. The answer key is there. It's like the Rosetta Stone. Just go back.

01:19:01   We should totally review business books on this show.

01:19:03   Oh, God. You thought you were escaped, Casey.

01:19:06   Yeah, seriously. Yeah. So anyway, with the vector drawing apps, I had the same experience.

01:19:10   Like, I used Illustrator 88 and learned how to use vector tools in the various applications.

01:19:15   It seemed to be more variety back then with, like, MacDraw and all the other applications

01:19:18   you guys have never heard of or used. But these days, it has settled down, and most

01:19:22   vector drawing applications, now that Illustrator has wiped them all from the face of the planet,

01:19:27   Freehand isn't even around the name or whatever, follow a similar theme in terms of the controls.

01:19:33   A lot of it is just because of, historically speaking, that once you establish the sort

01:19:36   of keyboard modifiers that everyone is used to and everything, that it's like, "Oh, well,

01:19:41   drawing vectors in this particular way."

01:19:42   And at this point, if you're not someone who uses a vector drawing app all the time, you

01:19:47   will find it weird, and you, like Marco, will not be able to do what you wanted to do, because

01:19:51   it will seem like I just want to connect this line to that line to that line and why doesn't

01:19:54   it let me connect here and oh this is actually connected to that line it's actually disconnected

01:19:58   and there's a little end cap sticking out and why can't this curve go the way I want and

01:20:02   you know what is the winding number and why when I try to fill this region does it leak out because

01:20:06   it looks like it's an entirely closed circle and all this other crap and at the same time

01:20:10   a software developer would say well I'm not going to do a vector drawing application that

01:20:15   market is sewn up like there are so many strong competitors in there there's great applications

01:20:18   What, who am I even serving with like,

01:20:22   say I make a vector-adurring application

01:20:24   that's really good.

01:20:25   I say it's just, you know, just as good

01:20:27   as one of the strong market leaders.

01:20:29   So what, who's gonna buy mine?

01:20:31   There's already an application that does that

01:20:32   by a vendor that's been around longer,

01:20:34   that has more support, that has, you know,

01:20:35   they have such a head start on me, it's no point.

01:20:38   And I like the idea of this vector networks thing of,

01:20:41   I think in every application domain,

01:20:43   there is the possibility of saying, yeah,

01:20:46   If there's a market that is heavily saturated

01:20:49   with lots of very strong competitors,

01:20:51   that's probably hard to break into.

01:20:53   But if you look at the market and say,

01:20:54   but you know what, they all suck in this one particular way

01:20:57   and their users either don't realize it sucks in that way

01:21:00   or don't care because they've learned the old system.

01:21:02   And there could be people out there

01:21:03   who are not buying vector drawing applications

01:21:05   because these existing ones,

01:21:06   they can't figure out how to use them.

01:21:07   So if I can make a better way to draw vectors,

01:21:10   I can A, get customers that don't buy

01:21:12   these other applications or aren't satisfied with them,

01:21:14   and B, possibly become the new great vector application,

01:21:18   because maybe even designers want to do it this way

01:21:20   and not deal with those frustrations or whatever.

01:21:23   Or you could just fail miserably and realize

01:21:25   that there's no competing with Illustrator and too bad.

01:21:28   But I'm heartened by efforts like this

01:21:32   because it reminds me that there is no problem

01:21:35   that is so well solved that it can't be solved better

01:21:38   by someone else with a better idea.

01:21:40   And so I am looking forward to trying this application,

01:21:43   And if it doesn't work out or is actually worse than the old one, oh well.

01:21:47   But I really like seeing stories like this.

01:21:49   And I really want people to do more things like this.

01:21:51   Because as you can imagine, there is not a single application I use every day that I

01:21:54   don't think could be better in some fundamental way.

01:21:56   Nothing is so perfect.

01:21:58   That's right.

01:21:59   Hey, you did listen to that show.

01:22:00   Good job.

01:22:01   Once or twice.

01:22:02   Yeah, yeah, yeah.

01:22:03   That is, just glancing at these graphics, yeah, I haven't read the article.

01:22:06   Looks very cool.

01:22:08   My only foray into vector drawing was the world's best app icon with feet.

01:22:16   And so I am not the one to talk about this.

01:22:18   But it looks neat for sure.

01:22:20   I miss what I miss.

01:22:21   Because I'm not good at using the current crop of vector tools.

01:22:24   But what I miss a lot is briefly, I believe, in college.

01:22:29   God, it's so long ago that I can't remember what it was.

01:22:30   I'm pretty sure it was AutoCAD.

01:22:32   Everyone will email and tell me what application it was.

01:22:35   But it's the one where you can draw things with the command line in addition to using

01:22:38   the mouse and stuff, it's probably AutoCAD. And for a brief moment, I got pretty good at doing that,

01:22:44   and I could do things with that command line in what I think was AutoCAD that I still can't do

01:22:50   with Illustrator in terms of connect this line to there perpendicular to that, intersect that with

01:22:55   this. Like, I always have such difficulty of like, I just want this point to be on that line, and I

01:23:00   want the angle between the two to be this, and I don't care if it's not on a grid line, and I don't

01:23:04   care like just I can describe to you what I want like in you know in this command line parlance

01:23:09   why stupid pen tool will you refuse to do that why do I have to click option click shift click no

01:23:14   don't start making a curve no don't connect to that line no no you know in AutoCAD I could

01:23:19   always get what I wanted and in form z the only other thing that comes close to that form z is an

01:23:24   old 3d program maybe it's still out there whatever I remember the same thing remember eventually

01:23:29   being able to do pretty much everything that I wanted in that program despite it being incredibly

01:23:33   complicated and yet to this day vector drawing tools defeat me because they

01:23:37   follow a set of rules that I guess I just disagree with and that's all and

01:23:41   refuse to internalize. Fair enough.

01:23:44   All right thanks a lot to our three sponsors this week

01:23:46   Backblaze, Hover, and Harry's and we will see you next week.

01:23:52   Now the show is over they didn't even mean to begin because it was accidental

01:24:00   Oh it was accidental.

01:24:04   John didn't do any research.

01:24:06   Marco and Casey wouldn't let him.

01:24:08   Cause it was accidental.

01:24:10   Oh it was accidental.

01:24:14   And you can find the show notes at ATP.fm.

01:24:20   And if you're into Twitter, you can follow them at C-A-S-E-Y-L-I-S-S.

01:24:28   So that's Casey Liss, M-A-R-C-O-A-R-M,

01:24:33   Auntie Marco Armin, S-I-R-A-C,

01:24:38   USA, Syracuse, it's accidental.

01:24:43   They didn't mean to, accidental.

01:24:48   Tech podcast, so long.

01:24:54   So my sandbox title here, I'm thinking

01:24:56   of jumping the possible over. As many people as possible in the sandbox, or as many people

01:25:01   in the sandbox as possible?

01:25:02   Leave it as is.

01:25:03   Leave it as is.

01:25:04   It's already in Squarespace. It's done.

01:25:05   But I don't know if the title is an accurate representation of what we said. I'm just saying,

01:25:09   which one sounds better?

01:25:11   I'm pretty sure that was the accurate representation of what you said, and I think it sounds better

01:25:15   as is.

01:25:16   Yeah, agreed.

01:25:17   I think it's—if I was writing it, I would put the possible first.

01:25:19   But this is a podcast, and that's how people speak.

01:25:22   I know. I'm just looking at it and thinking about it. It's a long title. It's got things

01:25:25   you move around. Nothing that is so perfect. No. You mangled that too, good job. Yeah,

01:25:34   oh yeah. It's another meta troll. Yeah, whatever. Nothing that is so imperfect. Whatever.

01:25:39   You get the idea. Whee! How am I this tired? Is that even that late? We've discovered

01:25:44   a new trolling method, slightly misquoting Jon back to himself. That's not new. I do

01:25:49   - I do it to myself, what are you talking about?

01:25:51   (laughing)

01:25:54   Every time I listen to myself on a podcast, it happens.

01:25:57   - Wait, can you explain that?

01:25:59   - When I listen to myself, I hear all the things I say wrong

01:26:02   and I'm effectively trolling myself.

01:26:03   - Oh, okay, so but it's not like,

01:26:06   you're not like saying as you listen along,

01:26:10   saying in your head what you said differently,

01:26:13   you're just, you're mad that you said something

01:26:15   that was not what you think then is accurate.

01:26:17   I can always hear it.

01:26:18   When I'm the listener, I hear all my mistakes.

01:26:21   - Oh, you should try editing the show.

01:26:23   It's rough, it's brutal.

01:26:24   - Well, at least you get to fix them.

01:26:25   I have no control.

01:26:26   - Well, I can fix some of them.

01:26:28   I mean, like-- - Yeah, but you fixed yours

01:26:29   way better than you fixed mine.

01:26:30   - Yeah, well, 'cause I'm more critical of myself.

01:26:33   - Would you say you're hypercritical?

01:26:35   - If you edited the show, we would never publish a show.

01:26:38   - That's true. - Oh, you don't know that.

01:26:39   - I've never edited anything.

01:26:41   I have no idea what kind of editor I would be.

01:26:42   - A critical one.

01:26:43   - I would probably do the same thing.

01:26:44   I would fix everything that I said

01:26:45   and leave everyone else's sound down.

01:26:47   (laughing)

01:26:49   - No, for me, your part of the show is the easiest to edit

01:26:54   because you talk for long spans, mostly uninterrupted,

01:26:58   and they very rarely require any alterations.

01:27:01   So, most of what you say, I just skip over.

01:27:04   Like, I just skim it for like wider than usual gaps

01:27:07   and shrink those, but for the most part,

01:27:09   I don't even listen to what you say on the edit

01:27:12   'cause I heard it during the show and I know it was fine.

01:27:13   - All right, well, I listen to it

01:27:14   make mistakes anyway it's fine part of the process you getting you getting the

01:27:20   real John and the edit the raw raw uncut Syracuse sorry Syracuse

01:27:25   oh man you're fine you managed to be fine and now you're just getting inside

01:27:30   your own head about rated a Q sir I don't know Syracuse sir you're fine yeah

01:27:37   it's fine I know you're talking about refer back to the hypercritical episode

01:27:43   where I discuss the primary purpose of speech or writing is to communicate an idea, and

01:27:49   basically if I know you're talking about you've successfully communicated that idea.

01:27:52   See ya.

01:27:53   [BEEP]