70: The Endgame Is Omnipotence


00:00:00   Alright, so the showbot is up again so far.

00:00:03   We'll see how long that lasts.

00:00:05   Are you still centering the titles?

00:00:07   Come on, Casey.

00:00:08   Come on.

00:00:09   What's wrong with that?

00:00:10   What's wrong with that?

00:00:11   Yeah.

00:00:12   Besides that it's like daggers in your eyes, it's impossible to read?

00:00:18   Besides that.

00:00:19   Oh, other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the play?

00:00:22   It forms crazy shapes that mean nothing.

00:00:24   It turns the entire thing into a giant raw shock test.

00:00:27   Oh, that's a man with a hat looking at me.

00:00:31   Is this person's name actually Jason Discount?

00:00:34   Not only is this person's name Jason Discount, but I knew this person when I was a kid.

00:00:38   So you know this is actually his real name?

00:00:39   Yes, it is his real name.

00:00:41   I think he lives in Australia now, but he used to live, like, you know, the town over

00:00:46   for me.

00:00:47   So his name is Jason Discount and he's emailing us about upgrade pricing discounts.

00:00:50   Yeah, it's finally a legitimate reason for him to have that name.

00:00:55   been waiting his whole life for this moment when a podcast had something wrong about discount

00:01:00   pricing."

00:01:01   It's not wrong, it's just that I don't think any of us brought up this specific scenario

00:01:04   when complaining about the confusing bundle pricing as a way to do upgrades. And he gives

00:01:10   the example of, let's say you release an application and it's $6, and then you work on your second

00:01:14   version of the application, and you want to sell that for $6 too, but you only want people

00:01:20   to be able to upgrade from version 1 for $2. So his strategy for this is, if you reduce

00:01:24   the first version to $4 and make the bundle price with both of them together $6. If someone

00:01:29   accidentally buys the old app, it still only costs them a total of $6 to buy the new app.

00:01:34   And of course anybody who already has the new app can buy the bundle and complete this

00:01:38   bundle to get it for $2. I don't think this entirely solves it because what if somebody

00:01:43   has the old app and accidentally buys the new app for $6? Then they're out $4.

00:01:48   Oh, that's a whole other angle, you're right. Yeah, because there's nothing stopping

00:01:54   them from individually buying the apps at full price in theory, right? Unless the store

00:01:58   would like detect that they bought one and only offer them to complete their bundle.

00:02:01   Right, but this idea of lowering the price of the old one that you have to keep on the

00:02:06   store so that if anyone accidentally buys it, they're, you know, they're not, they've

00:02:12   paid the same price anyway. If they accidentally buy it, they'd be like, "Oh, just buy the

00:02:15   bundle," then you can get the new one for the same price you would have paid for it

00:02:18   if you bought it individually. But there's still the full price new one out there lurking

00:02:22   is a problem. Anyway, this whole thing is roundabout and trying to explain it is confusing,

00:02:26   and that's why it's a bad idea. But I still think people are going to try it. We'll

00:02:30   see.

00:02:31   I still maintain that it's a terrible idea and that nobody should do it because at best

00:02:37   it's fairly confusing for your customers. At worst, if you do things wrong, it could

00:02:41   cost them extra money and then you—extra money that you can't easily refund them

00:02:45   and that they will be angry about and leave you one-star reviews about. Like, the thing

00:02:49   with the one star reviews, it only takes something angering a very small percentage of your user

00:02:54   base in order for them to suddenly become the dominant voice in your reviews. Because

00:02:58   very few people review things, even if you show them one of those annoying pop-ups. There's

00:03:04   still a very small percentage of people who actually review your apps. And so it doesn't

00:03:07   take much. If you cause an issue that really, really angers a tiny little fraction of your

00:03:13   user base, that will become disproportionately influential in your ratings and your reviews

00:03:17   and all the discussion about your app online, and that's really not good.

00:03:20   Yeah, people are much more motivated to actually sit down and figure out how you go about leaving

00:03:26   a review when they're mad about something. Whereas if they love your app, they may briefly

00:03:31   think, "You know, the person who made this app is nice, and I wonder if I could do something

00:03:35   to help them or I could help it," but that thought goes away quickly and they go back

00:03:38   to their life.

00:03:39   So, as a quick side note, one of my favorite things to do, which I admittedly don't do

00:03:43   very often is if I, for some reason, have to call, like, say Verizon or something because

00:03:48   there's an issue, which almost never happens, or if I have really, a really, really great

00:03:52   server at a restaurant, occasionally I like to ask for their manager just to say something

00:03:57   really nice because I feel like it puts some good karma in the world, and maybe that karma

00:04:01   will come back one day.

00:04:02   So you ask to talk to their manager, and don't they feel like, "Oh, what did I do?"

00:04:06   Yeah, that's the best part is to kind of—

00:04:07   No, that's not the best part.

00:04:08   You're just torturing these people.

00:04:10   No, but then usually I'm extremely effusive about how wonderful they are.

00:04:14   Oh, that's like calling a kid down to the principal's office randomly and freaking him out

00:04:19   and just saying, "I just wanted to say hi to you. How's your day going?"

00:04:21   Well, oftentimes I'll say, "This was really awesome. Can I tell a manager?"

00:04:26   But sometimes I don't. Sometimes I like to mess around.

00:04:29   You're mad with power, Casey.

00:04:30   Casey, we need to talk.

00:04:33   Fine. I'm just going to be quiet from now on.

00:04:39   You trying to say something nice about if you had a good server restaurant, that's

00:04:44   a good—your motivation is good. The thing you're trying to do is good. The way you're

00:04:48   doing it is not great.

00:04:49   Which sounds a lot like the showbot, actually.

00:04:52   Well, you'll get that. Practice makes perfect.

00:04:55   All right. Are games movies? Are there going to be spoilers? Do I need to go away again?

00:05:01   Because I genuinely, honestly did not listen to that part of the show.

00:05:04   It's not going to be spoilers. It's not about Journey. It's about the whole, "Is

00:05:08   set to disrupt Microsoft and Sony and that whole conversation we had, and lots of people

00:05:12   tweeted about that.

00:05:13   I know there was a whole podcast about it that is in my cube that I haven't yet listened

00:05:17   to that features Ben Thompson, who wrote that article, and a bunch of other people.

00:05:22   I haven't listened to that yet, but the thought that occurred to me after we finished the

00:05:25   show -- because of course I wanted to talk even more about the topic that we talked about

00:05:28   forever.

00:05:29   Anyway, because I like talking about games -- was, are video games more like apps or

00:05:35   more like movies?

00:05:36   this in one specific respect that I don't think we touched on. Although we didn't bring this up

00:05:44   in the show specifically, the whole personal computers are like trucks metaphor that has

00:05:51   been discussed that I think Steve Jobs wrote up many years ago, and that people don't need a Mac

00:05:57   Pro to post to Facebook and read websites and check their email and stuff, despite the fact

00:06:03   that, you know, the Mac Pro does all these amazing things, they're probably not going to use them.

00:06:07   Like, the amount of technology we have and the features available far exceed what any person

00:06:12   is ever going to want to do with it. And that's when I say, is it like apps? Like, where—I

00:06:17   guess I should have said it more—is it like a computer, where we know personal computer

00:06:22   technology is available now that is far beyond the needs of what regular people

00:06:28   want to do with computers. And I'm comparing that to movies, where movies, the technology

00:06:36   available to make movies has gotten better by leaps and bounds. If you compare a blockbuster

00:06:40   movie, if you could take even the crappiest blockbuster movie, like Transformers or some

00:06:44   crap like that, back in time 50 years and show it to somebody, on first viewing they

00:06:52   would not have been able to compute how terrible the movie was, because they would just be

00:06:56   amazed at the visuals because they would be like, "This is magic. I don't understand where

00:06:59   this came from. This must be like an alien artifact," because they wouldn't understand

00:07:02   how we put all those visuals on the screen. And I think, in movies anyway, the mass-market

00:07:09   appetite for increasingly amazing things is not satisfied. It's not like, "Well, once

00:07:14   we can do reasonable practical effects like Raiders of the Lost Ark, that's all we'll

00:07:18   ever need. There's no upside to making it better." People don't need the Mac Pro of

00:07:22   movies. They get by perfectly fine with the iMac, so we'll just stick with the feature

00:07:25   set that's available on Raiders of the Lost Ark, no need for Jurassic Park, no need for,

00:07:30   you know, the advances in CGI we have today, no need for like all the CGI that's used in

00:07:34   television shows to do backdrops and stuff. Sets are fine, we've pretty much got this

00:07:38   set. I don't think that's the case, and it's not like the only people who care about just

00:07:43   more features, more technology, more amazing stuff are the people who are super into movies

00:07:48   and the casual moviegoers who are like, "Yeah, I don't need CGI, practical effects are fine

00:07:53   with me. I think the appetite is essentially unlimited for amazing visuals in movies.

00:07:58   Again, setting aside the stupidity of scripts and all the other stuff that have always been

00:08:02   the same, it's not as if movies got good enough and people are like, "No, you don't need to improve

00:08:06   them anymore." And they keep trying to improve them. It doesn't mean everything they do to

00:08:08   improve them is better. 3D is an attempt to improve it and may or may not be better. Maybe

00:08:12   people don't like that. Higher frame rate, same deal. High-definition television, I think that's

00:08:16   an improvement that people do say, "Yes, we like that better." I say, "Yeah, standard F's good

00:08:19   enough, I'm not a power user of television, I don't need high-definition television, standard

00:08:24   television, no. As soon as you see high-definition, you're like, well, screw that old thing, we

00:08:27   want the new thing. And the question about video games, what are they more like? Are

00:08:30   they more like the PC, where increasing power is like, nah, I don't really need that? Or

00:08:35   is it more like movies, where there is a seemingly infinite appetite of the mass market for making

00:08:40   them better in ways that involve technology and money? And I think for video games so

00:08:46   far, I don't know if this will always be true, but for video games so far they seem a lot

00:08:50   more like movies to me, in that, any time, like people are saying, "What about when a

00:08:54   $99 puck gets as powerful as the PlayStation 4?" Then we're all set, right? No, because

00:08:58   people will still want the power that the PlayStation 5 or 6 offers. Like, why will

00:09:03   they want that? Well, because they always want that, because their appetite for better

00:09:06   games and better graphics and things that, you know, more power can do is unlimited,

00:09:10   and it's not like a computer where it's like, "You don't need all that technology and that

00:09:13   Mac Pro, you just want to check your email. Games are different. If you could have a vast,

00:09:18   fully realized, realistic-looking city with amazing draw distances and amazing physics

00:09:22   and everything, people want that. They don't know or care how it works. They're playing

00:09:24   the game. It's much different than using the computer to do something. So that is a factor

00:09:30   that I didn't articulate in the last time we discussed this that I think is definitely

00:09:35   in play here with games. And that I don't know if the appetite is inexhaustible, but

00:09:41   But I know we haven't exhausted it yet.

00:09:43   And that's why I think a lot of people who are saying, "Oh, you think that now, but what

00:09:46   about when the $99 puck is as powerful as the PlayStation 4?"

00:09:49   Then there will be no more market for a $400 gaming device.

00:09:53   I think the reason people keep buying $400 gaming things is because their appetite for

00:09:58   better visuals and better gameplay and better physics and just better games, period, is

00:10:04   insatiable.

00:10:05   It is not satisfied.

00:10:07   We never get to the point where games are good enough and then it just stops and stays

00:10:09   that way.

00:10:11   There's always something more you can do.

00:10:12   Even just for stupid 2D genres and stuff like that, you can always do something more with

00:10:16   more technology, with more memory, with more sensors, with more, you know, who knows what.

00:10:21   So that, more than anything, I think is going to keep the $400 boxes alive for much longer

00:10:27   than I think people think.

00:10:28   I see.

00:10:29   I'm not so sure.

00:10:30   Like, as an example, so we have a 40-inch TV at home, and it does support 1080, but

00:10:37   difference to me between 720 and 1080 is I can't tell. I can tell the difference between 480,

00:10:45   whatever standard def is, and 720 or 480 and 1080, but I can't tell the difference between

00:10:50   720 and 1080. And I know with games it's a bit different because it's not a film. It's something

00:10:55   that's been created. And so I do think you're right that it will always, we will always seek

00:10:59   for more clarity, better, better, better, more polygons, etc. But I don't, I don't know of

00:11:04   anyone that buys games that needs the latest and greatest systems specifically for the

00:11:11   best graphics except people who generally self-describe as gamers. So for me, I don't

00:11:18   really care about games very much. And if a new system comes out with better graphics,

00:11:21   cool.

00:11:22   But it's not just better graphics. That's the whole problem. First of all, I would say

00:11:25   that yeah, maybe only the self-described gamers care about this and purchase on it, but there's

00:11:28   enough of them to sustain the market. We already established this generation, previous generation.

00:11:32   enough of them to sustain the market, right? But for everything else, as the technology

00:11:39   increases, new types of games become possible. It's kind of like you couldn't do live-action

00:11:43   Lord of the Rings without computer effects. You just couldn't film that. Like you could

00:11:46   do it with puppets maybe, or people in costumes, but it would just not have the kind of appeal.

00:11:51   And you don't need to know or care anything about the technology involved in making that

00:11:54   to appreciate Lord of the Rings, right? And so it's not to get hung up on the high-def

00:11:59   versus standard F, but it's like, it's what's on the screen. You can do different kinds

00:12:03   of things. If you were to take any current game developer and say, "What if I gave you

00:12:07   100,000 times the memory, the bandwidth, the whatever, what could you do?" They wouldn't

00:12:13   just make their existing games with more polygons and higher-res textures. They'd be like, "Oh,

00:12:17   well with that, I can make a different kind of game. I can make a hiking simulator that

00:12:22   people will love." I mean, at a certain point, you get to the holodeck, right? It's different

00:12:25   categories of games, especially with physics and materials, because a lot of things you

00:12:28   do in games, it's like everything feels like a set where it's just sort of a rigid polygon

00:12:32   or with some sort of predefined destructive things. Once technology gets to the point

00:12:36   where you can do like real arbitrary destructibility, whole new... people who aren't so interested

00:12:42   in games before will suddenly be interested if they can realistically take a baseball

00:12:45   bat through like a showroom of supercars and it doesn't just feel like you're triggering

00:12:50   a bunch of destruction animations.

00:12:51   I'll have to rethink cities.

00:12:53   No, like, there's different categories of games that you can have. I mean, the hiking

00:12:57   The hiking simulator thing is a joke I had from when I was a kid, but I bet there probably

00:13:00   is a hiking simulator now.

00:13:01   We've gotten to the point where the visuals in games are enough that people who are only

00:13:06   interested in visuals would never have been interested in 16-bit games, in NES games,

00:13:11   in Pong or anything like that.

00:13:12   But suddenly when games start to pass some threshold of realism, whole new categories

00:13:16   of people become interested.

00:13:17   Even if it's only the deer hunter simulator type things.

00:13:20   Those people were not interested in playing Super Mario Brothers.

00:13:23   But once you can simulate deer hunting in a way that they find appealing, suddenly you

00:13:26   you open up an entire new market.

00:13:28   So I think the insatiable appetite

00:13:31   for better technology for games isn't because people know

00:13:34   or care or understand the technology,

00:13:35   it's the same as the insatiable appetite

00:13:36   for increasingly ridiculous visuals.

00:13:38   This again, transformed it,

00:13:40   despite the fact that the rest of the movie is terrible.

00:13:42   People go see these movies because the visuals are amazing.

00:13:45   And you'd say, "Oh, well, they're amazing now,

00:13:47   "but they can't get any more amazing.

00:13:49   "Surely 10 years from now,

00:13:50   "the visuals will be exactly the same

00:13:51   "and no person will ever go into a movie and be wowed."

00:13:54   I don't think that's the case.

00:13:55   I think people will always want to see something amazing,

00:13:58   and I think people always want to play something amazing,

00:14:00   and I think increases in technology will only open

00:14:03   the market because you'll be able to do different things,

00:14:06   not just the same things we're doing now, but fancier.

00:14:09   - Yeah, I think the big risk, though,

00:14:10   is typical disruption where,

00:14:13   the big risk is not that people will stop caring

00:14:16   about things being more and more advanced

00:14:18   as we get new technological capabilities.

00:14:21   The big risk is that other factors come into play

00:14:25   that the kind of thing where somebody gets to think,

00:14:29   okay, well, I could buy this new game system for $400,

00:14:33   but instead I can have this other thing where,

00:14:38   maybe it's an iPhone, maybe it's an iPad,

00:14:39   maybe it's a Nintendo DS7, whatever the case may be,

00:14:42   you have these other devices that come in

00:14:44   where somebody can say,

00:14:46   I don't care about the graphics because X,

00:14:48   or I don't care about the technological inferiority

00:14:51   because X, where X can be some kind of

00:14:54   really compelling reason, whether it's an extremely different price point, a completely

00:14:58   different portability class, or it's always with you, or it's built into something else

00:15:02   and you already have it so it's kind of free, things like that. That's what causes

00:15:05   the big problems. And so it's not that the market for super powerful game boxes is going

00:15:10   to disappear, but I certainly think there's a lot to suggest that's going to be marginalized

00:15:16   and continue to be marginalized over time. And you can look at—movies are actually

00:15:20   a pretty good example of this, where box office sales are actually kind of crappy relative

00:15:27   to what people expected for this time period because there's a lot more to do besides

00:15:34   go see a movie these days. And so it's not that people stopped caring about movies getting

00:15:40   better and better, it's that now they have a lot of other stuff they can do during times

00:15:44   which in the 90s they might have gone to see a movie. And so I think that's the big risk

00:15:50   is kind of a splitting of attention

00:15:52   and an increase in disruptive factors

00:15:55   that are different from the things these boxes do best,

00:15:58   not that people will stop caring about what they do best.

00:16:00   - Well, you just put placeholders in

00:16:02   for the things that's going to cause it,

00:16:03   but I don't think you can name it

00:16:05   because all the things you named already exist

00:16:07   and still haven't killed off the market.

00:16:08   I mean, spreading attention is one thing.

00:16:10   Like, no one can help that.

00:16:11   If suddenly just there's too many other things going on

00:16:13   and, you know, if people just get spread too thin,

00:16:18   like, that could happen, right?

00:16:19   That can happen to anything.

00:16:20   It can happen to TV, movies, anything like that.

00:16:22   But the one thing video games has going for it is, as a concept, conceptually, if not

00:16:27   in the specifics of a box that you buy that you connect to your TV, but conceptually,

00:16:32   games are camped out in the end zone waiting—like, I don't know if this is the wrong analogy,

00:16:37   it's not a good sports analogy—but games are basically at the end of the line, tapping

00:16:40   the front and patiently saying, "You guys can do whatever you want.

00:16:44   movies, live theater, music, all that other stuff. But we'll be here in the end when you're all gone,

00:16:50   because our logical conclusion is the holodeck, which will sort of end humanity, because once

00:16:54   you can realistically simulate anything and have you not distinguish it from real life,

00:16:58   we'll all just be dead in our little virtual reality sensor tubes within ten years, right?

00:17:03   That's the endgame. The endgame is, you know, omnipotence, the illusion of omnipotence. Know

00:17:11   everything, do everything, indistinguishable from reality, that's going to come out of gaming. It's

00:17:15   not going to come out of television. It's not going to come out of live theater. It's not going

00:17:18   to come out of music. Gaming is trying to get there. And so it's not going to get there in our

00:17:22   lifetime, obviously, but way out thousands of years in the future, games are the only form of

00:17:27   anything and eventually destroy the entire human race. So I don't think that gaming has that one

00:17:32   good thing going for it in that it's not going to go away. And if we do get spread too thin because

00:17:38   of other factors it'll come back because it's it's uh the end zone is the wrong thing it's it's at the

00:17:43   end of the line waiting for all of us wow our first sponsor this week i don't even know how to follow

00:17:50   that so our first sponsor this week is a new sponsor and a close friend of the show uh if

00:17:56   you ever listen to bionic you know the other half of it uh the fake british guy who used to be

00:18:01   British but now is American. Matthew Percival Edwardius Alexander. He started

00:18:09   a company and that company is called Need. It's at Need with an N not the K

00:18:14   version of it. It's Needlifestyle.com so go to Needlifestyle.com check this out.

00:18:19   So Need is a refined retailer and lifestyle magazine for men. So each month

00:18:25   they get this nice curated collection of something like you know nine ten items

00:18:30   and it's all from the world's top men's brands and they offer it to you at a

00:18:36   special price in the special collection and they're presented in the form of

00:18:39   this monthly editorial that's built around a theme and they always you know

00:18:44   they support local photographers and have you know local photographers

00:18:47   photograph all these things local models beyond clothing they also have coffee

00:18:51   literature furniture it's it's like a men's kind of you know cool fashion

00:18:58   magazine. It's for people who are not, you know, it's for people like me,

00:19:01   basically. People who are not that good at making these decisions on our own. You

00:19:06   can go to need and you can see what is cool because I certainly can't

00:19:10   tell you. But this stuff is pretty cool. I've gotten some of this stuff and it's

00:19:13   really, really good stuff. You know, Matt has a really good eye for this.

00:19:18   They also plan to localize to different cities around the

00:19:22   world. The first of which will be London, of course, because he's almost British.

00:19:26   So take a look, go to needlifestyle.com. They just released volume 7 today, which is built

00:19:33   around the theme this month is "Summertime Commutes, Events, and Weekends with Friends."

00:19:38   So they're going to do a special deal for our listeners, because Matt likes us, and

00:19:42   he's a cool guy, even though he's half British. Anyone who places an order with

00:19:45   need and was sent from us, send them an email at hello@needlifestyle.com with the subject

00:19:51   line world's greatest podcast. If you do this, if you email hello@needlifestyle.com

00:19:59   with the subject line world's greatest podcast after you've placed an order with them,

00:20:02   they will throw in a bunch of free extras with those orders. Things like magazines,

00:20:05   field nose notebooks, socks, scarves, you know, the kind of extras that a cool hit men's

00:20:09   magazine has lying around. They will also, if you do this, you will also then get 25%

00:20:15   off your next order. This is pretty cool. I know this is kind of like haphazard last

00:20:19   minute because neither of us knew how to write an ad for this and it was very it

00:20:22   was kind of a last-minute booking that kind of saved our butts here so need is

00:20:25   great mad is great it's really a fantastic company run by fantastic

00:20:29   people that's all I can really say take a look need lifestyle calm for all of

00:20:34   your cool stuff needs need lifestyle calm thanks a lot to need once again

00:20:39   what I say once again this is the first time they're sponsoring thanks a lot to

00:20:43   need for sponsoring our show I just love that they're having us now be associated

00:20:48   with the world's greatest podcast.

00:20:50   - In my defense, Matt wrote that line, I didn't.

00:20:53   - We would have, but we didn't.

00:20:56   - Yes, so it is Matt to blame if you do not think

00:21:00   that we are the world's greatest podcast.

00:21:01   Either way, you should order from his company

00:21:02   just so you can then email him, get this cool discount,

00:21:04   get the free socks and scarves and stuff,

00:21:06   and then tell him why we're not the world's greatest podcast.

00:21:08   - Do you wanna talk about a few more things

00:21:11   on the WWDC hit list, or do you wanna jump straight

00:21:13   to the Fire phone?

00:21:15   - The Fire phone happened today, so that's,

00:21:17   This is the best thing we do, is when an event happens the day

00:21:19   we record, and we know nothing about it.

00:21:21   Hey, let's talk about it.

00:21:22   Why not?

00:21:23   Yeah, before anyone has reviews or even

00:21:24   has this thing in their hands.

00:21:26   I read Twitter when the press conference was going on.

00:21:28   Does that count?

00:21:29   That's about all I did.

00:21:30   Yeah, me too.

00:21:32   And I reacted to things I wrote on Twitter.

00:21:34   That's about it.

00:21:35   So all right, so what this thing is,

00:21:38   it's basically what you'd expect from Amazon making a phone

00:21:40   based on what they've done with the Kindle Fire tablet line.

00:21:45   It's a phone that runs Android.

00:21:48   It has pretty decent specs, two gigs of RAM, some kind of CPU

00:21:50   I'm not familiar with.

00:21:51   I don't know.

00:21:52   I'm sure Android people know it.

00:21:55   Most of the innovation in it comes from software tweaks,

00:21:57   I think.

00:21:58   But I think what's most interesting,

00:21:59   if you would have asked people, including us, a few months ago,

00:22:03   like, hey, Amazon's going to make a phone,

00:22:05   what do you think they're going to do?

00:22:06   I think almost all of us would have guessed

00:22:08   that they were going to do something disruptive

00:22:10   or creative or different around pricing.

00:22:13   because everyone was thinking, oh, Amazon's all into getting

00:22:16   things really cheap, and maybe they

00:22:18   could revolutionize the phone business by giving you

00:22:22   a phone for free, or included--

00:22:24   for free supported by ads, or included with Amazon Prime,

00:22:28   or something like that.

00:22:29   Somehow subsidized the phone to make it very, very cheap or free.

00:22:32   And what they gave us instead was a phone

00:22:35   that's priced almost exactly like the iPhone

00:22:38   and other high-end smartphones.

00:22:40   It's interesting.

00:22:41   So, you know, it's 200 bucks on contract, 650 without.

00:22:44   There's a few things that make it a little better value.

00:22:46   There's like the 32 gigs of storage

00:22:48   is the base storage instead of 16.

00:22:50   You get a year of Amazon Prime if you buy the phone.

00:22:54   And if you already have it,

00:22:55   you get your membership extended for a year for free.

00:22:58   So there's a couple of things that value there,

00:22:59   but for the most part,

00:23:01   it's still a $600 unsubsidized phone

00:23:03   or a $200 on a two-year contract phone.

00:23:06   It runs only on AT&T so far, only in the US.

00:23:09   So it's, honestly, it's kind of boring.

00:23:12   I mean, there's a couple of things we'll talk about

00:23:15   with what they've done with some of the software

00:23:16   and hardware, but I don't think we're even gonna be

00:23:19   talking about this in like two weeks.

00:23:22   - Yeah, probably not.

00:23:24   Some of the things that were very interesting,

00:23:25   the most interesting thing to me,

00:23:27   which has gotten less interesting

00:23:29   as more information came out,

00:23:30   was one of the slides they showed during their keynote

00:23:34   or announcement or whatever you call it,

00:23:36   was unlimited photo uploads to Amazon Cloud Drive.

00:23:40   And so there wasn't a lot of information

00:23:42   that I could glean on it.

00:23:43   But John Gruber has said that there's only unlimited photo

00:23:50   storage for photos taken with the phone itself.

00:23:53   So notably, that completely eliminates

00:23:56   videos, which are the things that take up the most space.

00:23:59   And additionally, anything else is apparently

00:24:02   subject to a 5 gig cap.

00:24:04   And I'm not sure the mechanism by which they're determining this.

00:24:08   I don't know if they're just reaching into Exif data or what have you.

00:24:11   But yeah, that's a somewhat noteworthy difference.

00:24:16   Although to be fair, the two cameras that we have in the house are two iPhone 5Ss.

00:24:22   So in a parallel universe where Aaron and I both have Amazon, what are we calling this?

00:24:27   A FirePhone.

00:24:28   When we both have Firephones, that could be fine for us because that is all our photos.

00:24:34   because that's the only cameras we use, but I know amongst this crowd we're probably quite the anomaly.

00:24:38   Well, you know, so if you look at, look at when Amazon originally launched the Kindle Fire,

00:24:43   the first, their first Android tablet, one of its biggest selling points by far was it was really

00:24:50   cheap compared to other Android tablets, and it was, it was like the best $200 Android tablet you

00:24:56   could get for a little while, and, which is pretty terrible because it was, it was pretty bad, and

00:25:02   And the newer Fire's from what I hear are better.

00:25:04   I haven't actually used them,

00:25:05   but the newer ones are supposedly better.

00:25:06   But anyway, the big reason people bought it was

00:25:10   'cause it was so damn cheap.

00:25:12   And the Fire phone doesn't have that.

00:25:14   So my question is, what are the major things this offers

00:25:19   above and beyond something like a high-end Samsung

00:25:22   or HTC phone?

00:25:23   Like if you're, obviously it's the same price

00:25:26   and everything has an iPhone.

00:25:27   Like, you know, you get a little bit less with the iPhone

00:25:28   for the same price, but most people are not gonna care.

00:25:31   it's close enough.

00:25:32   So you're looking at 200 bucks either way,

00:25:36   200 bucks on contract for this phone.

00:25:37   So it's not cheaper than an iPhone.

00:25:40   It's probably not gonna have much, if any,

00:25:42   presence in phone retail stores,

00:25:44   which is going to really hurt its sales.

00:25:46   And you know, why?

00:25:49   It's gonna be limited in certain ways.

00:25:51   Like all the Google services it doesn't get.

00:25:54   It is not, as far as I know, correct me if I'm wrong,

00:25:57   anybody, but all of Amazon's Android stuff so far,

00:26:00   Like it doesn't get the Google seal of approval,

00:26:02   it doesn't have the Google Play Store as far as I know,

00:26:05   it doesn't have Google Maps, Google Now,

00:26:07   all that cool integration you get

00:26:09   on officially blessed Android phones.

00:26:12   So there's a lot of downsides to this.

00:26:15   The upsides are it has some Amazon integration

00:26:18   with some of their stuff, it has some store integration

00:26:21   where you can point it at some things and scan stuff,

00:26:23   we'll talk about that in a minute,

00:26:24   but I'm kind of wondering why people are really gonna buy

00:26:29   this in any significant numbers.

00:26:30   'Cause I don't see the appeal.

00:26:32   If it was really cheap, maybe.

00:26:34   If it had the full Android experience plus Amazon stuff,

00:26:37   maybe, but I don't see, I see Android people wanting to get

00:26:41   an officially licensed Google blessed phone,

00:26:44   and I see iPhone owners sticking with their iPhones.

00:26:45   So I'm kinda missing the point of this.

00:26:48   - Amazon's kind of like the new Microsoft,

00:26:50   but only with hardware.

00:26:51   You just have to assume now whenever Amazon enters a market

00:26:55   with a hardware product, just wait until their third try.

00:26:59   Right?

00:26:59   I mean, you mentioned with the Kindle Fire tablets

00:27:03   or whatever, just forget about the first one, second one.

00:27:06   You know, like it's gonna take them a while to get it right.

00:27:08   So there's a learning curve there.

00:27:10   And I just had a thought while you were describing the phone

00:27:14   is that phones are kind of like PCs now, used to be,

00:27:17   and that it's no longer a novelty that any company

00:27:22   with reasonable pockets can make one.

00:27:24   Like back in the day, if you were a technology company

00:27:27   and you had a lot of money, you could make a PC.

00:27:30   Like you buy the CPUs from Intel, you buy a motherboard,

00:27:33   a chipset possibly from Intel, possibly from someone else.

00:27:35   You buy a hard drive from someone, you make a plastic case,

00:27:38   you put a power supply in it, you put a screen on it,

00:27:40   you make a PC.

00:27:41   Lots of people did it.

00:27:42   There was tons of PC companies back before consolidation

00:27:45   and it all fell apart.

00:27:46   These days, it doesn't seem like a big deal for anybody

00:27:49   to basically build your own iPhone-like smartphone.

00:27:53   Amazon went to all the vendors,

00:27:55   people are making all these parts,

00:27:56   and the phone they made looks,

00:27:58   I mean, if this phone had come out before the iPhone,

00:28:01   we'd be falling all over ourselves to say how amazing it is,

00:28:03   but now it's, you know, seven years later,

00:28:05   it's not so amazing.

00:28:06   Now it is just a fairly straightforward thing to say,

00:28:11   yeah, we can make a phone that looks like a smartphone,

00:28:14   that has a good CPU, that has memory,

00:28:16   that has, well, I assume it has a reasonable battery life,

00:28:18   that has a couple other little features.

00:28:19   That's no longer a big deal.

00:28:22   And obviously it's not quite as easy to make something

00:28:24   as good as the iPhone on your first try.

00:28:26   So we're gonna give Amazon three tries

00:28:28   to do this or whatever.

00:28:30   But I guess it's interesting that phones used to be

00:28:35   this amazing thing and only amazing Apple

00:28:39   could make a smartphone like this.

00:28:40   And now they're basically like PCs.

00:28:41   If you wanna make one, you can make one.

00:28:44   And so Amazon is making one.

00:28:45   I don't know if this is a good move or not,

00:28:46   but Marco also mentioned disruption at the beginning.

00:28:48   Like, oh, I hope they would do something with pricing

00:28:50   to try to disrupt the phone market.

00:28:54   I think Amazon, it's a problem with the word disruption.

00:28:57   Like when they did that with the tablets,

00:28:59   they sold them sort of at cost or possibly at a loss,

00:29:02   certainly not making big profits, and undercut everybody.

00:29:05   Like Amazon would give you a nicer screen

00:29:07   and more storage for less money than Apple would.

00:29:11   But I don't think you can,

00:29:13   it's kind of weird to call something disruption

00:29:15   before it has disrupted anything.

00:29:18   You could say an attempted disruption,

00:29:20   but everyone just says, oh, Amazon disrupts the tablet space

00:29:22   by selling their product at or below cost.

00:29:25   As far as we all know,

00:29:26   because Amazon doesn't sell you sales figures,

00:29:28   but as far as we all know from sort of just like

00:29:30   walking around and how much Amazon is touting these things,

00:29:34   they haven't disrupted the tablet space that much, right?

00:29:38   I mean, it's not like because they priced them so low,

00:29:41   all the incumbents who make a profit on their tablets

00:29:44   were put on their heels and said, whoa,

00:29:47   we can't handle this, soon our market share is shrinking,

00:29:49   Amazon is stealing all our customers.

00:29:51   My impression is that that has not happened.

00:29:53   So their attempt at disruption with that pricing strategy

00:29:56   with tablets didn't work.

00:29:57   I guess they could have gone more and say,

00:29:59   the real problem is we didn't,

00:30:00   we weren't radical enough with the pricing.

00:30:02   We'll pay you to take one of these phones, right?

00:30:05   But instead they went in the other direction and said,

00:30:07   all right, obviously that strategy did not buy our way

00:30:10   into the tablet space.

00:30:11   Let's try the more conventional strategy of making money

00:30:14   by selling things at a profit with subsidies.

00:30:18   And so that's what it seems like they're doing

00:30:19   with the phone.

00:30:20   I don't think there's any particular reason

00:30:23   to favor this phone over the best Android phone

00:30:26   you can find or an iPhone,

00:30:27   and there's many reasons not to,

00:30:29   but to Amazon's credit,

00:30:30   they did at least try to differentiate it.

00:30:32   I mean, again, if it was a version one product,

00:30:34   I assume this is gonna be a stinker

00:30:35   just like the version one Kindle Fire was,

00:30:38   but it has interesting things in it.

00:30:40   You know, the multi-camera thing

00:30:42   and that silly depth perception and the parallax

00:30:44   and the, you know, the thing for scanning things

00:30:47   to buy them on Amazon in the Amazon brand.

00:30:49   I mean, Marco listed all the stuff.

00:30:51   That's way more differentiation

00:30:52   than the average crappy Samsung phone has,

00:30:55   and Samsung sells like crazy.

00:30:57   So it could be again like the PC space

00:31:00   that all you really need is to pass a minimum threshold

00:31:03   of like, yep, we got a CPU, we got a hard drive,

00:31:05   we got memory, we got a case that looks kind of nice,

00:31:07   and we have a couple of differentiators or a reputation

00:31:09   or a connection with a brand that you like

00:31:11   or a franchise that you like or whatever,

00:31:12   and again, in movie parlance,

00:31:14   and that's enough to become a player in the space.

00:31:17   I think that's sort of what Amazon's game plan is,

00:31:20   not to rock the market,

00:31:22   but just to try to be part of the conversation

00:31:25   the same way all those PC makers were like,

00:31:27   "Hey, we're a part of the PC market.

00:31:29   We sell PCs.

00:31:30   We'll put cow stripes on them.

00:31:31   We'll call ourselves Gateway, put 2000 in our name

00:31:34   'cause we'll never actually reach that year, right guys?"

00:31:36   - That was my first computer

00:31:37   and it came in the cow box and it was awesome.

00:31:38   - Yeah, maybe some day we'll have retail stores.

00:31:41   Anyway, that's how I see Amazon's entry here.

00:31:44   And so I'm not for it or against it.

00:31:47   I like more competition in the phone market.

00:31:49   I don't know what their long-term odds are,

00:31:52   but it wakes me up when they're on their third phone.

00:31:54   (laughing)

00:31:55   - I'm guessing a big part of it might be,

00:31:58   I mean, as weird as this sounds,

00:31:59   I mean, they probably didn't spend much money on this.

00:32:01   Like, I'm sure they contrasted out

00:32:04   the even hardware design to somebody else.

00:32:07   They definitely contrasted out the manufacturing.

00:32:09   - I think HTC made it for them, right?

00:32:11   - Yeah, so, you know, they didn't,

00:32:13   I bet they didn't invest very heavily in it.

00:32:16   I'm guessing the main purpose of this is,

00:32:19   just like all the other hardware,

00:32:20   it's just to juice Amazon sales.

00:32:22   And one of the things this will do,

00:32:25   if they can get a big enough presence

00:32:27   in the phone and tablet market,

00:32:29   they're already probably there with tablets, maybe,

00:32:31   but if they can get enough of a market presence,

00:32:36   everybody who develops an Android app

00:32:39   will be forced to put their app in Amazon's Android app store

00:32:43   And because this, as far as I know,

00:32:45   this only works with the App Store

00:32:46   unless you go download APKs and enable that crazy setting.

00:32:49   But I think for the most part,

00:32:51   you have to have things in the Amazon App Store

00:32:52   'cause there's no Google Play Store on this.

00:32:54   Please correct me if I'm wrong in chat.

00:32:55   But so if they get even 10% of the market,

00:33:00   then it would be pretty unwise for Android developers

00:33:03   to not develop, to not put their stuff

00:33:05   in the Amazon App Store.

00:33:06   And then Amazon gets to take a nice cut

00:33:08   of any kind of money flowing through Android apps.

00:33:12   Not that there's historically been a whole lot,

00:33:13   but you know, there's enough people that that adds up.

00:33:16   Now, and you know, there's also the other factors.

00:33:18   There's, for all of the reasons that Google

00:33:22   wanted to make Android and kind of had to make Android,

00:33:25   the main reasons why were that Google was threatened

00:33:28   by the possibility of somebody like Apple or Microsoft

00:33:33   dominating the phone space in a way that then they could

00:33:38   like lock out Google services from working on their phones.

00:33:42   So Google kind of defensively had to make Android

00:33:45   to give themselves a place for their services

00:33:47   to live and thrive so they couldn't ever be locked out

00:33:50   of a dominant phone platform.

00:33:51   - Or so they tell themselves anyway.

00:33:52   - Yeah, it's true, good point.

00:33:55   So and I think Amazon has a similar goal here

00:33:58   in that Amazon wants to make sure

00:34:00   that none of their digital services get locked out.

00:34:02   Their physical services are probably fine.

00:34:04   Everyone's going to keep buying, you know,

00:34:07   their shampoo from Amazon, it's no big deal.

00:34:09   I don't think Apple cares to interfere with that.

00:34:11   But it certainly is a risk that, you know,

00:34:15   maybe Amazon's bookstore or video store or music store

00:34:19   or those kinds of services could easily get locked out

00:34:23   of future iOS and Google blessed Android.

00:34:28   And so I think they kind of strategically thought

00:34:32   this was a good idea and I'm sure they'll make enough

00:34:37   on it to justify the probably minimal investment

00:34:39   they put into it, maybe, but it doesn't need

00:34:43   to set the rod on fire to succeed at their goal.

00:34:47   Oh, sorry, yeah.

00:34:48   It doesn't need to sell extremely well.

00:34:51   It would be nice if it did.

00:34:52   I'm sure they would appreciate having the extra margin

00:34:55   to play with because they don't have a lot of margin

00:34:57   on most of their other stuff, but the reality is

00:35:00   I don't think this really is that important

00:35:02   for this to sell well, and I don't think it will sell well.

00:35:04   And I mentioned it in passing earlier,

00:35:06   but it's definitely worth reiterating,

00:35:08   this is also US only.

00:35:10   Mostly because most of Amazon's services are still US only,

00:35:13   or at least very limited outside of the US.

00:35:15   And so as long as this is US only,

00:35:17   that's going to extremely limit its market share,

00:35:20   especially since it is the exact same price in the US

00:35:24   as a lot of much better phones.

00:35:25   - I think it is a good idea, I mean, don't you?

00:35:27   You said, you know, whether this is a good idea,

00:35:28   I think it is a good idea.

00:35:29   It is a good idea for, it was a good idea

00:35:31   for Amazon to make tablets.

00:35:33   It's a good idea for them to make a phone.

00:35:34   I mean, despite the fact that, like I said,

00:35:36   I don't think the tablets are really tearing up the charts.

00:35:39   Again, we don't know for sure,

00:35:40   'cause Amazon doesn't like to release numbers.

00:35:42   But I think it's a good idea for them to make a phone,

00:35:45   because it is like PCs now.

00:35:46   Like, why shouldn't they have a phone?

00:35:47   Why shouldn't they have a tablet?

00:35:49   It's part of their ecosystem.

00:35:50   They sell you things you can consume on that tablet,

00:35:53   so it's good to have a tablet.

00:35:55   They also sell you things that you can consume on the phone,

00:35:57   and you can use both of those devices

00:35:59   to buy things from their physical store.

00:36:01   They have a cohesive story around these things,

00:36:03   and I think it was a good idea for them to develop it,

00:36:06   because, and I think this was more or less the right time,

00:36:08   where they can just put it together

00:36:10   out of off-the-shelf parts, add some innovation.

00:36:13   I think they probably did invest in it,

00:36:14   because I think they, you know,

00:36:16   it makes sense for them to have these pieces of the package

00:36:19   and to not rely on other people for these,

00:36:20   because it makes sense for their business.

00:36:21   It's not totally out there like they've decided to make,

00:36:24   you know, self-driving cars or something.

00:36:26   - Yeah, but I still think, like,

00:36:29   it was a good idea for them to make this, no question.

00:36:31   And since they were already making tablets

00:36:33   and already maintaining this OS,

00:36:35   I'm sure there's a lot of shared development resources there anyway. I'm sure they almost

00:36:39   definitely spent way more on software development than on hardware development, and they can

00:36:42   probably use most of that in their tablet effort.

00:36:45   The difference here is phones and tablets are very different markets, as a lot of people

00:36:49   have found over the last few years, especially most of the early attempts at Android tablets

00:36:53   found this out. It's a very, very different—these two are very different markets, and what works

00:36:59   in phones doesn't necessarily work in tablets and vice versa. Amazon was able to break into

00:37:03   of the tablet market by being extremely aggressive on price.

00:37:07   Nobody was buying the Kindle fires, and still today,

00:37:10   nobody's buying the Kindle fires because they're

00:37:12   the best tablets, because they're not.

00:37:15   They're certainly better than they used to be,

00:37:16   but they're still not the best tablets.

00:37:17   People buy them because they're cheap

00:37:19   and they see them promoted like crazy on Amazon.

00:37:21   This phone is gonna be promoted like crazy on Amazon fine,

00:37:24   but it's not cheap.

00:37:26   - It's cheap-er though, I mean, especially for,

00:37:30   it's not gonna pull people away from the iPhone, right?

00:37:32   But when people are shopping for Android,

00:37:33   phones and anyone who's willing to pay $200 for a phone shops this $200 phone against

00:37:39   any competitive $200 phone, assume they're not going to buy an iPhone because they're

00:37:42   not in that market at all.

00:37:45   Spec-wise and feature-wise, this compares favorably with another $200 Android phone.

00:37:52   And so I think that's the conversation they're trying to win.

00:37:54   They're like, "We're not going to compete with people who are shopping for an iPhone

00:37:57   because this ecosystem, the cache, the apps, we're not there.

00:38:01   Forget it."

00:38:02   Right.

00:38:03   phones did. I mean, you look around, mostly what I see is people with iPhones or people with

00:38:07   a huge menagerie of crazy looking Android phones. That's the jungle where this phone is

00:38:14   stalking, and it's got a nice screen. It's got a lot of RAM, it's got a fast CPU, it's got crazy-ass

00:38:20   cameras that are going to impress people in a demo somewhere once they see someone who has one. The

00:38:24   camera is pretty good, right? Like, it's got all sorts of stuff, and the crazy things are the tilt

00:38:28   scrolling and the parallax that reminds you of the stupid crazy features like in the Galaxy S5 that

00:38:33   no one's ever going to use to track your eyes and when you close your eyes the video stops and

00:38:37   you don't have to touch the screen and like that people go for that crap and so this is in that

00:38:42   crap show and even though it's not super cheap it i think it compares like it compares favorite to

00:38:48   the iphone let's put it that way in terms of pricing and specs uh and i think they're going

00:38:53   after the people who care about gwiz features and also the people who care about stupid number specs

00:38:58   not against the iPhone where no one cares about the specs when they buy an iPhone.

00:39:02   They're buying an iPhone to have an iPhone and to buy into that whole system.

00:39:05   You know, what if you are living not near family members and you really want a smartphone

00:39:12   and your family members that live nearby that are really good with computers—I'm sorry,

00:39:18   your family members that are really good with computers don't live nearby and you feel

00:39:22   kind of all in your own little island and you want something that you know you can get

00:39:26   help with it. And maybe you don't live near an Apple store. This Mayday thing, I'm fairly

00:39:32   surprised that the Mayday and the tablets hasn't made more waves. And I could very much

00:39:39   see, like say my grandmother, for example, who is fairly computer savvy, especially for

00:39:45   a woman that is not terribly young, but she lives near no one in terms of her family members

00:39:51   that are good with computers. And so I could absolutely see her wanting this, if nothing

00:39:55   else for the Mayday feature, so she knows within 15 seconds she can have help. And I

00:40:01   can see that as being very powerful.

00:40:03   That's a clever use of Amazon's strengths, because their strength is like physical logistics.

00:40:08   Having a human being on the other end of a phone is a physical matter. It's not a matter

00:40:12   of software or servers or whatever. And Amazon does that all the time. They're all about

00:40:16   people and physical things and managing things at ridiculous scales. So they were wise to

00:40:21   bring to bear the skills they have from their retail business on the phone.

00:40:25   in the same way that Google is wise to bring to bear all of its great assets like, you

00:40:29   know, it's really, you know, good maps and driving directions and their server capacity

00:40:33   and all their web apps. Like, everyone is bringing their best stuff to the table. So

00:40:37   that, you know, I think this does make sense. And I don't think this will necessarily, like,

00:40:41   if your grandmother was to buy this phone, I mean, maybe she has nothing to compare it

00:40:45   to, it wouldn't matter, but I don't think the experience would be that great because

00:40:47   this is version one. And Amazon, in my mind, I tried to tweet this, but I couldn't figure

00:40:51   had a way to tweet it in a way that would express myself, so I'll try just by rambling here.

00:40:56   Unfortunately, my perception of Amazon now, whenever I think of them and I think of Jeff

00:41:03   Bezos or Bezos, like, Glenn, you've got to tell me how to pronounce that name, I don't know,

00:41:06   up on the stage is Amazon has really good demos and everything they show is much crappier in real

00:41:13   life. Like, I don't know if that's just me getting that impression, but like, after several of these

00:41:17   demos, because like, and sometimes they're okay in real life, like, you know, the Kindle Paperwhite

00:41:21   really was more or less like what they showed. But like all of their Fire tablets and now

00:41:25   the phone and a lot of the Kindles they've demoed, they do really good keynotes. And

00:41:29   you look at them and you're like, "Wow, I can't even believe Amazon pulled this off.

00:41:32   They've got the features, they've got the specs, they've got the design, everything

00:41:35   is amazing." Then you see the actual product and it's like, "Oh." You feel like they pulled

00:41:40   the wool over your eyes. And that's the reputation they're getting in my mind, so much so that

00:41:44   I'm kind of tuning out what are very good presentations and fairly polished and not,

00:41:49   Not, I'm not going to say in the Steve Jobs style, but obviously, you know, in the post-Steve

00:41:53   Jobs presentation world, adding their own twist, but now I'm just kind of starting to

00:41:57   write the—that's a tech person type thing.

00:41:59   But anyway, my, you know, grandma doesn't know what their presentations are like.

00:42:02   But I feel like real people, once they get them, will be like, the same way they when

00:42:06   they get the Galaxy S5, like, you play with the little whizzy features that you're never

00:42:09   going to use again, and in the end you have kind of a crappy, ugly phone that you get

00:42:13   rid of after two years.

00:42:14   See, but what makes you think that anyone would find it to be crappy and ugly?

00:42:20   Because on the surface, especially if you don't have something as well-designed as perhaps

00:42:24   modern Android or certainly an iPhone, like you said, if you don't have anything to compare

00:42:30   to, then how would you conclude that it's that crappy?

00:42:33   The Samsung, I was saying, is crappy and ugly.

00:42:35   I think Amazon's industrial design is better.

00:42:39   As ridiculous as the original Kindle Fire was in terms of size and weight and everything,

00:42:43   The industrial design, it's not bad.

00:42:45   Like it was, you know, pleasingly shaped.

00:42:47   I mean, all right, so the power buttons

00:42:49   are in the wrong place.

00:42:49   We all know that.

00:42:50   But like they have rubber grippy parts in the right spot.

00:42:53   Amazon has been, had really great screens.

00:42:55   Their problems of course are in software and ecosystem

00:42:57   and kind of using the device is not as wonderful

00:43:00   and magical as you would expect it to do.

00:43:02   They miss on a lot of the details.

00:43:03   It's like, well, you can have an amazing screen

00:43:05   and a quad core GPU and twice the RAM of any iOS Apple

00:43:09   device, please Apple, fix this please.

00:43:12   But it doesn't matter if when you flick the scroll, it's jumpy.

00:43:15   Like, how can it be jumpy?

00:43:16   We got twice as many cores.

00:43:17   We got twice as much RAM.

00:43:19   It's like, it takes a lot of effort and coordination

00:43:21   between hardware and software to make all that come together.

00:43:24   How can Apple get away with having half as many cores

00:43:27   as the top-end Android phones, and yet it still feels faster

00:43:30   and does things quicker?

00:43:32   That's where those guys can't compete.

00:43:34   And that's what I mean by, again, if they don't have anything

00:43:36   to compare it to, fine.

00:43:37   But what if they go into an Apple store

00:43:39   and start flicking around on an iPad or an iPhone,

00:43:42   I think even a normal person can be like,

00:43:44   oh, my thing doesn't feel like this.

00:43:46   - Well, and going back a sec to Mayday,

00:43:49   I do think that that's probably Amazon's best feature.

00:43:52   If it even works half as well as it demos,

00:43:56   that's an amazing feature.

00:43:57   And that will win over a lot of people,

00:44:00   especially people like us who are possibly

00:44:03   in the position of buying a phone for someone else

00:44:05   that we don't wanna have to tech support.

00:44:08   You know, that I can see the benefit of.

00:44:11   But there's also the other side of that,

00:44:14   which is Mayday can only help you with problems

00:44:17   that involve the phone being able to boot

00:44:19   and show the screen contents.

00:44:21   - Yeah, I was gonna say, like, the comparison is,

00:44:24   I like to tell people to get Apple stuff

00:44:25   because then if they have any problems,

00:44:27   I say, just go to the Apple Store.

00:44:29   - Exactly, and that's the thing.

00:44:30   Like, you know, Mayday, well, Mayday is great

00:44:33   as long as the phone can boot, the screen works,

00:44:36   and it can connect to a data network.

00:44:38   or Wi-Fi. All of those things have to be true, and that will solve a lot of problems, no

00:44:42   question. But there's also a whole class of other problems that people routinely hit

00:44:47   with their phones that Mayday won't be able to solve, or they won't be able to access

00:44:51   it. And there is immense value in Apple having this giant network of retail stores, and in

00:44:58   being able to walk into an AT&T store with your Samsung phone that you bought there,

00:45:03   and get some help there. There's massive, massive value in being able to go to a physical

00:45:10   place and get service. In the case of Apple, the phone network stores aren't that great

00:45:15   about this, but in the case of an Apple store, you could walk out of there with a replacement.

00:45:20   Your phone could break in the morning, you could go to the Apple store at lunch, and

00:45:25   if there's not too big of a line, you can walk out of there with a replacement in a

00:45:29   a half hour. And that's something that Amazon can approach that. They can have you be able

00:45:35   to call them up and then they can overnight you a new phone maybe, maybe we'll see about

00:45:39   that. But that's still a very different degree. It's a very different kind of experience.

00:45:42   You have to talk on the phone to somebody who talked them through the problem and then

00:45:47   Amazon has to decide whether to send you a phone, then send you a phone, then it arrives

00:45:50   the next day or by drone later that day, who knows. But it's still a different problem.

00:45:56   And there's just such immense value in having those retail stores there.

00:46:00   Now, granted, there's also a whole class of problems where you might just live with

00:46:05   it.

00:46:06   Like if you're somebody who doesn't know the technology very well and you're like,

00:46:08   "Oh, well, for whatever reason, my mail is all blue and I don't know why, but it's

00:46:14   not really worth going all the way to the Apple store for that."

00:46:15   Well, maybe on a Kindle thing, maybe you would hit the May Day button and say, "Hey, why

00:46:20   is this all blue?

00:46:21   Can you help me change this back?"

00:46:23   you would be able to get better help with a lot of small problems like that using Mayday,

00:46:28   but phones, and phones are even more so than tablets, phones get carried around with people,

00:46:33   so phones have a lot of hazards happen to them and a lot of things that are weird that

00:46:35   break and so I see that being a problem for Amazon.

00:46:39   Steve McLaughlin See, but what you're not considering is that

00:46:42   both of you are taking a completely myopic northeastern view of the world because the

00:46:48   nearest Apple Store to like half of Virginia is either in another state or

00:46:54   easily two hours away. I mean I'm lucky in that there happens to be an Apple

00:46:58   Store in Richmond but outside of Richmond like let's take Charlottesville

00:47:03   for example which is an hour west of where I am you can either come here to

00:47:07   Richmond or go two hours north to DC and Charlottesville is a not small city I

00:47:13   I mean, Virginia classifies it as a city.

00:47:16   - Well.

00:47:17   - Okay, you can be all smug and mightier than me

00:47:19   because you live in the Northeast.

00:47:20   - I'm just saying that you just look up

00:47:21   the population of Charlottesville

00:47:23   and see if it's larger than the population

00:47:25   of where I went to high school.

00:47:27   - And perhaps it's not, but I think you're way,

00:47:31   way overselling the utility of Apple stores

00:47:34   because if you're lucky enough to live near one,

00:47:36   yes, you're absolutely right.

00:47:38   But most of the country doesn't,

00:47:40   And beyond that, most of the world doesn't.

00:47:43   So that's wonderful that you guys have 44 Apple stores

00:47:46   within a 10 minute drive, but I've got only one option.

00:47:49   And if I lived an hour away, it would be an hour drive

00:47:53   to get to the nearest Apple store.

00:47:54   An hour drive, maybe in my busted ass car,

00:47:57   that can barely get up the highway.

00:47:59   I mean, I'm being a little dramatic,

00:48:01   but my point is that Apple's retail footprint

00:48:03   is really inconsequential.

00:48:05   Now this is where you would say,

00:48:06   well, there's AT&T's footprint,

00:48:08   and yes, you're right about that.

00:48:09   AT&T has a lot more stores, but you're not gonna get

00:48:11   the same level of service and repair at an AT&T store

00:48:14   that you would at an Apple store.

00:48:15   So I think you're grossly overselling.

00:48:17   - I like you self-rebutting there,

00:48:18   'cause that's exactly what I was gonna say.

00:48:19   Apple store is the best case scenario,

00:48:21   but leave Apple store aside,

00:48:23   normal people get their phones

00:48:25   at the quote-unquote phone stores,

00:48:26   and they're everywhere, in every strip mall,

00:48:28   probably even in Charlottesville.

00:48:30   And those are not a great place to bring your phone back to,

00:48:32   but it's still a place to bring your phone back to.

00:48:35   Because once grandma gets that phone from Amazon,

00:48:38   She doesn't know where to take that when it doesn't work.

00:48:40   And then it involves essentially tech support,

00:48:42   calling someone on the phone and trying,

00:48:44   I mean, Amazon is generally good at that.

00:48:45   Maybe that's also playing to Amazon's strengths,

00:48:47   but Amazon for all their physical logistics

00:48:50   is not in the retail,

00:48:52   the physical brick and mortar retail store business

00:48:54   for what I think are obvious reasons.

00:48:56   That's sort of the opposite of what Amazon is.

00:48:58   So if they're gonna sell you physical products,

00:49:00   it's all about them trying to make the experience

00:49:01   really good of like, I can do text chat,

00:49:04   I can do email, or I can call someone on a phone

00:49:07   to arrange for me to return this thing to them in a package.

00:49:11   Either I ship it myself or they send me a box

00:49:13   and I ship it back and all that other stuff.

00:49:16   And that has to compete with going to the phone store

00:49:19   at the strip mall that's five minutes away,

00:49:20   going to the Apple store that's nearby me

00:49:22   if I live near a big city.

00:49:23   If you don't live near anything,

00:49:27   then maybe Amazon is the way to go.

00:49:29   But I don't know, it's,

00:49:32   the May Day feature I think is a good selling point

00:49:36   And Amazon was smart to put it in there, but it's competing against those other possibilities

00:49:43   for getting help.

00:49:44   And as someone said in the chat room, my mom can get tech support in 15 seconds too, but

00:49:47   it's a FaceTime call to me.

00:49:50   Or calling you on the phone.

00:49:51   And that's what we're weighing as the technically savvy people with relatives.

00:49:55   We're weighing like, what do I tell my relative or my non-tech savvy friend to get so that

00:50:00   they don't call me in the middle of the night because they're having a problem?

00:50:03   Or when they do call me, I don't have to debug it.

00:50:05   I can tell them, just take your phone back to the store.

00:50:08   Just go to the Apple store.

00:50:10   Or just go to this web page on Amazon and decide whether you want to call them, email

00:50:14   them or text chat them.

00:50:16   And they'll arrange for you to return the thing.

00:50:18   Because that's really what we want is to not be bothered with other people's...

00:50:21   We want them to get a solution and we're not going to try to debug it remotely.

00:50:24   Maybe we can go over their house and try to figure it out or whatever.

00:50:27   But once that's happened, it's all that.

00:50:28   So I think maybe in the cases where everything is working, it's great just to have another

00:50:33   human there to talk to who's getting paid to help you with your thing, and that will

00:50:38   help you not send a FaceTime request to your child.

00:50:43   It's also very smart of Amazon to do this because it's the kind of thing that their

00:50:48   competitors really can't. Microsoft probably could, but Apple really can't because it would

00:50:55   just be way too big of an operation because way too many people have iPhones. It would

00:51:00   be a nightmare to support and scale that at the iPhone sales volume. And Google kind of

00:51:07   can't because, well, first of all, they hate people and don't understand them. And

00:51:11   second of all, how would Google even pay for that? The way Android's whole model is set

00:51:18   up, they'd have a hard time supporting that, really. And even if they were in the business

00:51:24   of applying lots of human power to things, which they are definitely not, Microsoft could

00:51:29   maybe do it for the same reason Amazon can do it which is they don't sell that many

00:51:33   phones.

00:51:34   Like Amazon is actually lucky in a lot of these things that like for example one of

00:51:38   the reasons why they were able to use like certain screens and some of the Kindle Fire

00:51:43   HDX's and stuff like that is because they're at small scale.

00:51:46   They can use components that don't have very good yields that aren't being produced

00:51:51   in very high volume because they can't be yet.

00:51:54   Things that like for Apple to put something on an iPhone they're going to need a hundred

00:51:57   million of them in a month, like they can't do that.

00:52:01   And so this is a very smart move from Amazon

00:52:03   of doing something that they can do

00:52:08   and that kind of only they can do.

00:52:10   So anyway, let's move on to our second sponsor

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00:54:57   - So I'm looking at the,

00:55:00   I'm still a little frustrated with you two.

00:55:01   I'm looking at the Boston metro area,

00:55:03   and there are, by my count, one, two, three, four, five,

00:55:06   six, maybe seven Apple stores within, what is this,

00:55:11   128 that runs around Boston?

00:55:12   - Well, one thing I'd like to know,

00:55:14   based on your rage here, so yes, by geographic area,

00:55:18   Apple stores don't serve a lot of people,

00:55:20   but what percentage of the US population

00:55:23   is within driving distance of an Apple store,

00:55:25   and then also, what percentage of the population

00:55:28   most likely to buy an iPhone

00:55:30   is within driving distance of an Apple store?

00:55:32   - Well, the first one I'll give you,

00:55:33   the second one I won't,

00:55:34   and let me finish my thought real quick,

00:55:36   which is to say that the Boston metro area

00:55:38   has six Apple stores.

00:55:39   The entire state of Ohio has six Apple stores.

00:55:44   - It also has less people

00:55:45   than the Boston metro area, probably.

00:55:46   - It probably does,

00:55:48   But if you don't live on I-71, is this,

00:55:50   that runs from southwest Ohio to northeast Ohio,

00:55:53   then kindly piss off because there is no Apple store

00:55:55   near you.

00:55:56   So anyway, so the point is, there's a lot of 'em here.

00:56:00   Like the entire, what is this, Nebraska, South Dakota,

00:56:04   North Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, like none of them

00:56:08   have an Apple store, if they do, I missed it.

00:56:10   - Yeah, but those are all green states.

00:56:12   - In any case, and your point about population density

00:56:16   is fair, but I also wonder, like, what if an Apple store popped up in a larger city

00:56:22   in Wyoming, assuming such a thing exists, which I'm sure it does, but I can't think

00:56:26   of any. But anyway.

00:56:27   Let me cap off the geography thing that I just bothered to look up while you guys were

00:56:31   discussing where stores are in the United States. The population of Charlottesville

00:56:36   is apparently about 44,000 people.

00:56:39   Is that really it?

00:56:40   The population of Smithtown, New York, where I went to high school, is 117,000 people.

00:56:45   15,000 people. So, just saying.

00:56:47   God, I'm surprised. I mean, hey, it's a fair point. I'm surprised that we're all

00:56:50   that small. Funny how that is. Well, I mean, look at Richmond, the Richmond metro area.

00:56:54   Not Richmond itself, but the Richmond metro area. I think it's a couple million, and

00:56:57   we have an Apple store.

00:56:58   I think you have an Apple store. Anyway, sorry.

00:57:01   Yes.

00:57:02   Yes. Getting back to something Marco said a while back about taking advantage of the

00:57:08   fact that they're not going to sell a lot of them. Like, they can afford to have the

00:57:11   fancy screens because their volumes are low, and they can afford to do May Bay, presumably

00:57:14   because they're not gonna sell a lot of these,

00:57:16   or at the very least they're starting from zero,

00:57:17   so there'll be a growth curve.

00:57:18   It's not like Apple where on day one,

00:57:20   you're gonna sell 10 million of these things,

00:57:22   or whatever they sell,

00:57:23   and then you've got a big problem with May Day, right?

00:57:25   'Cause you just can't handle that capacity

00:57:27   without working up to it.

00:57:29   And this gets me to the problems

00:57:31   with the concept of unlimited

00:57:33   that a lot of people were tweeting about

00:57:34   when they were tweeting about the unlimited photo storage,

00:57:36   and Casey already noted what Gruber had tweeted about it,

00:57:38   not really being unlimited.

00:57:39   It's like, oh, well, it's only unlimited

00:57:40   if you take them on the phone,

00:57:42   if you have any existing library pictures,

00:57:44   then you know, it's subject to a five gigabyte cap,

00:57:48   maybe they'll charge you above that.

00:57:49   And it gets us back into the same discussion

00:57:50   we always have where it's like,

00:57:52   I just want someone to take care of my crap.

00:57:54   And then you hear about it, you're like,

00:57:56   well, that will take care of my crap,

00:57:57   but then you learn the details

00:57:58   and there's always weird rules

00:57:59   and you gotta remember this and you gotta remember that

00:58:01   and this is free and this is for pay

00:58:03   and this is for that and the other thing.

00:58:04   And a lot of people on Twitter were saying,

00:58:07   this is the problem with unlimited.

00:58:08   It's like, it's pointless,

00:58:09   it's never really gonna be unlimited.

00:58:11   If you ever see the word unlimited,

00:58:12   run in the other direction, it's just for people who use too many resources, and it's

00:58:18   not like the way anything should be.

00:58:20   And I think that's too extreme of a reaction, because I think the thing that we all want

00:58:24   someone to take care of our pictures for us can be done and will be done eventually.

00:58:30   It's not the unlimited part that's bad, it's the complexities of like someone who wants

00:58:34   to put unlimited on a slide but doesn't want to commit to that, right?

00:58:36   And it's not like, "Oh, you're going to get something from nothing."

00:58:39   And a great example is our frequent sponsor, Backblaze, where it's unlimited, but they

00:58:43   charge you.

00:58:44   There's a monthly—it's a low monthly fee, and they figured out how to—presumably,

00:58:48   they figured out how to run a business where we charge people a low monthly fee, we give

00:58:51   them unlimited—it really is unlimited—and the way it works out is that most people don't

00:58:55   have a lot of data, and the average works out so that we're able to make money.

00:58:58   We are also sponsored this week by Backblaze.

00:59:00   Wow, serendipitous.

00:59:01   Really, actually.

00:59:02   I might as well do this now.

00:59:04   (laughing)

00:59:06   Backblaze is $5 a month, unlimited, unthrottled,

00:59:10   uncomplicated online backup.

00:59:12   You can try it for free with no credit card required.

00:59:16   Literally it's five bucks a month, unlimited online backup.

00:59:18   It's very, very simple.

00:59:20   They have a Mac native client.

00:59:21   This is actually founded by ex-Apple engineers.

00:59:24   So they know the Mac sensibilities,

00:59:26   their software is really nice.

00:59:27   And you can actually access your files from anywhere.

00:59:31   They have this cool iOS app where you can access

00:59:34   any files backed up on Backblaze from anywhere you are.

00:59:36   So if you're like, you know, on vacation somewhere

00:59:38   and you wanna access a file that's on your home computer,

00:59:40   as long as you're back onto Backblaze,

00:59:42   that file's there and you can do it,

00:59:43   you can get to it right there.

00:59:45   You can also get email alert notifications

00:59:47   for peace of mind to know that you're being backed up

00:59:50   and to know if, for example,

00:59:51   if something's not being backed up

00:59:53   for a certain amount of time,

00:59:53   they can email you and tell you that,

00:59:55   which is very nice to know.

00:59:57   Backblaze is by far the simplest online backup to use.

01:00:00   You just install it and it does the rest.

01:00:02   And really, I have a lot of data in Backblaze,

01:00:06   and I've had trouble with other services

01:00:08   not accepting it fast enough,

01:00:10   'cause I have a pretty nice upstream here

01:00:11   with finally getting Fios.

01:00:13   I waited my whole life to live somewhere that has Fios,

01:00:15   and I finally do, and it's glorious.

01:00:18   And I've come with other services.

01:00:21   They wouldn't accept the uploads quickly enough.

01:00:22   With Backblaze, I don't have that problem.

01:00:25   Backblaze accepts the uploads as quickly as I set it to.

01:00:27   And you can set it to be kind to your connection,

01:00:30   or you can set it to just decide for itself

01:00:32   how much it should use.

01:00:33   And I've never had a problem, I've left it at that,

01:00:35   I've never had a problem and it uploads quickly

01:00:37   and I have, between me and my wife and my mom,

01:00:41   we probably have a total of about four and a half terabytes

01:00:44   worth of stuff there and it's fantastic.

01:00:47   Five bucks a month per computer, unlimited space,

01:00:49   simple as that.

01:00:50   Go to backblaze.com/atp and you can get a free trial,

01:00:55   no credit card required.

01:00:58   Thanks a lot to Backblaze.

01:00:59   you really need online backup.

01:01:00   If you are not backing up online

01:01:02   and you have the upstream capacity

01:01:03   and the bandwidth to do it,

01:01:04   you really, really, really need to do it.

01:01:06   I know some places you don't have good upstream

01:01:09   or you have low bandwidth caps, that's fine.

01:01:10   You are kindly excused,

01:01:12   but everybody else, you should really be doing this.

01:01:15   There's so many backup problems

01:01:17   that this can be a nice safety net for.

01:01:19   Things that are gonna happen to your house.

01:01:22   If you have just your computer

01:01:23   and a time machine drive plugged into it,

01:01:24   then electrical problems, fires, floods, theft,

01:01:28   all sorts of crazy stuff, water flooding from the apartment above you, like all sorts of

01:01:31   crazy stuff can happen that can take out all of your copies of your data if it's only in

01:01:35   your house. So really you want an offsite backup, and Backblaze, in my opinion, is the

01:01:38   best one. Go to backblaze.com/atp. Thank you very much.

01:01:42   And the thing that Backblaze has going for it is they get to use the word "unlimited,"

01:01:48   which takes away the stress from anybody, really, but certainly from high-capacity,

01:01:54   high demand users, you don't want to know, is there a limit? Am I going to hit the limit?

01:01:59   Do I have to worry about the limit? And even casual users who, if there is a limit, they

01:02:02   may not have any sort of conception of how much data they have. Like, so they're like,

01:02:06   do I have that much data? How much is a gigabyte? Will I have that much data in five years?

01:02:10   Like, it doesn't matter if they're totally never going to reach the cap. If they don't

01:02:12   understand that, it could cause them hesitance. So unlimited gets rid of that anxiety of like,

01:02:17   I don't have to worry about how much stuff I have. And then the only job you have to

01:02:21   to do after that is make the financial arrangement

01:02:25   both attractive and easy to understand.

01:02:27   And this Amazon arrangement is not easy to understand.

01:02:29   I would never have guessed that only the photos

01:02:31   I take on my phone count towards that unlimited

01:02:33   but it's a five gigabyte cap

01:02:34   but maybe I can buy stuff other than that

01:02:35   and can I import my existing photo collection and blah blah.

01:02:37   It's already too complicated.

01:02:39   Backblaze is we charge a fee per month,

01:02:42   it is a small fee, people are willing to pay it.

01:02:44   The average data stored by our customers

01:02:47   is enough that we make money at that price.

01:02:49   It's easy to understand.

01:02:50   $5 a month unlimited.

01:02:52   Something like that for photos.

01:02:54   It doesn't have to be,

01:02:55   we'll store all your photos for free.

01:02:56   Unlimited doesn't mean free and unlimited.

01:02:58   It just means no more anxiety about,

01:03:01   but what about these photos?

01:03:02   But what about those photos?

01:03:02   What about photos I take here?

01:03:04   But what about my existing stuff?

01:03:05   But will you keep the raws at full resolution?

01:03:07   Will you down sample them?

01:03:08   Is there a 30 day window?

01:03:10   Is there like, all that crap and anxiety needs to go away

01:03:13   and then the company just needs to find some way

01:03:15   to pay for that.

01:03:16   Whether by charging a reasonable monthly fee

01:03:18   or incorporating it into some other service

01:03:20   subsidized or whatever. And so we were all briefly excited about this Amazon thing. Now

01:03:25   we're all unexcited about it. It's just another solution that is too complicated and too weird

01:03:29   and is going to leave people in situations where they're not sure their stuff is safe

01:03:32   and where in reality probably won't be safe.

01:03:35   All right. So I actually, if we have the time, if you guys will permit me, I would actually

01:03:41   like to talk now about continuity. I think it plays into some of the stuff we were just

01:03:45   talking about. So continuity is a feature during the keynote that they demoed where

01:03:49   between Yosemite and iOS 9 and or 8 yeah iOS 8 and now apparently possibly even the Apple

01:03:59   TV they have features where you can for example start doing something in an app on one of

01:04:03   these devices and then go to another one of your devices and pick up where you left off

01:04:08   or do crazy things like take a phone call on your Mac and stuff like that or transfer

01:04:14   an email as you're writing it between your phone and your computer. All these different

01:04:17   things that involve basically passing off tasks from one computer or device to another

01:04:23   one seamlessly.

01:04:26   And one of the reasons I think this is smart, you know, this one of the themes where Apple

01:04:32   tends to not do so well, and this doesn't actually apply just to Apple, but where Apple

01:04:38   tends to not do so well is trying to go past what they're good at, trying to do a really

01:04:45   big new project in an area that they are really, really not good at. And so one of the best

01:04:50   examples of this obviously is Maps, where Maps is the kind of area where Google is really

01:04:55   good at the kind of big data integration, massive scale data collection, and resolving

01:05:02   conflicts between different sources of data, and ranking things, and finding relevance.

01:05:09   Google is really, really good at that kind of problem. And so when Google tackles that

01:05:12   kind of problem, they can generally do it very well,

01:05:14   and very few others can.

01:05:15   Apple tried to tackle that problem with Maps and iOS 6,

01:05:19   five, six?

01:05:20   - I think it was six.

01:05:22   - And famously did not do very well at it.

01:05:25   And it's certainly better than it was,

01:05:26   but it's still not to Google level of quality,

01:05:28   and honestly probably never will be.

01:05:30   And so you can look at things like that,

01:05:33   you can see these are kind of areas where Apple's weak.

01:05:37   And I mentioned right before the break,

01:05:39   or right before this last topic,

01:05:41   how I thought it was very good of Amazon to recognize one of their strengths and do something

01:05:47   in May Day, do something that the other people kind of can't do in the business, can't

01:05:53   or won't do.

01:05:55   And so what Apple has done with continuity, I think, is the same kind of strategic thing

01:06:01   where continuity is the kind of thing that Apple actually can do very well. Yes, it uses

01:06:08   iCloud, but I think it mostly actually uses local networking. I think it uses Bluetooth

01:06:11   LE to do some of the initial handshaking and probably doesn't go over the network or

01:06:16   over the WAN unless it has to.

01:06:19   So I think, to jump in, my recollection of the video I watched was it negotiates over

01:06:25   Bluetooth LE and then the amount of data you can send back and forth is like the state

01:06:32   of the world is almost none. So it establishes proximity using Bluetooth LE and then you have

01:06:38   to use some other mechanism of your choice including a stream that I believe they can

01:06:45   open between devices. Actually that might be over Bluetooth as well. But anyways by some other

01:06:49   mechanism you have to establish like what the crap it is you're working on and what you're doing.

01:06:53   But the proximity awareness bit is Bluetooth LE and this is freaking terrible for me because

01:07:00   both of my Macs are late 2011 Macs and they don't have Bluetooth low energy and I'm very sad.

01:07:05   Don't worry, they'll eventually be replaced and you'll be able to use all this cool stuff.

01:07:08   But I'm sad now!

01:07:10   Just talk to any Mac Pro owners in the last few years who ever had to use AirDrop and realize

01:07:15   they can't do it because the Mac Pro is so old. Anyway, so this is the kind of thing,

01:07:21   this involves local networking with high-end, brand new controlled hardware and passing around

01:07:28   the internet very small bits of information in very large volume. That's

01:07:33   what push notifications are, that's what iMessage is, that's the kind of stuff

01:07:37   Apple is already doing this stuff at scale and doing it very well most of the

01:07:41   time. And so like this is the kind of... and it requires very deep you know top to

01:07:48   bottom integration of the hardware and the software and the services. It

01:07:51   requires people who buy multiple devices from the same manufacturer and who

01:07:56   you actually keep them somewhat up to date, Casey.

01:07:58   And I'll just give you a hard time.

01:08:00   (laughing)

01:08:01   Eventually you'll have it, it'll be cool.

01:08:03   And so this is the kind of thing where

01:08:07   not only is Apple really good at this sort of thing,

01:08:10   but only Apple can really do that.

01:08:13   If you look at Google, and Gruber wrote a big thing

01:08:15   about only Apple is really good,

01:08:17   and I was kind of hoping it'd be more about this

01:08:20   when I saw the title.

01:08:22   He touches on this, but I'd like to go a little more

01:08:23   into it.

01:08:26   Microsoft can't do this because they don't sell any phones really.

01:08:31   And even their computer sales are not doing that great.

01:08:34   And they can't, you know, they have this massive bevy of hardware to contend with and

01:08:38   what percentage of Windows computers have Bluetooth low energy and what version and

01:08:43   all this crazy stuff that they would have to contend with that Apple doesn't.

01:08:46   Google can't do this because nobody's buying Google computers and even their tablets are

01:08:52   pretty weak.

01:08:54   And there's also, again, similar issues with hardware diversity.

01:08:56   Well, Microsoft and Google can't do it now.

01:08:58   They'll be able to do it eventually.

01:09:00   Apple can do it first.

01:09:01   So it's the only Apple can do this now.

01:09:03   It's an important qualifier because eventually everyone will be able to do this, and they

01:09:07   will.

01:09:08   Well, the directions that these various companies, markets, and products, and strengths are going,

01:09:14   I don't see a future where anybody else can do this, really.

01:09:17   Well, I mean, if it's a useful thing to do that catches on, all the other players will

01:09:22   will develop some kind of open standard for doing it, and eventually all their hardware

01:09:25   will catch up in many years. It's the same thing with everything else. Only Apple could

01:09:29   make the iPhone 1, but today Amazon can slap together a phone that essentially looks and

01:09:34   behaves to a regular person's perspective like the iPhone 1. Hopefully maybe a little

01:09:38   bit better performing, but maybe not. We'll see. But you know what I mean? There's a big

01:09:43   lead time. Apple has an advantage, but it's mostly a temporal advantage, not a qualitative

01:09:49   advantage. Everyone will eventually be able to do this. So yes, this is the kind of thing

01:09:52   Apple should be doing. Doing the things that they can do before anyone else can do them

01:09:55   because they have more control than everyone else. And even Apple is kind of in the uncomfortable

01:09:58   situation. It was like, poor Casey, you know, you gotta have a new-ish Mac because the chipset

01:10:02   needs to be whatever and you gotta have a device with lightning connector, sorry iPad

01:10:06   3 users like me, and you know all this. There are other, even with Apple's world and how

01:10:12   fast they get everyone upgraded and everything, there is a slight constraint. So Apple is

01:10:15   doing it essentially as soon as they possibly can. And we'll see if this feature is like

01:10:20   a killer fee. Like that's what you need. If this is a feature that people really want,

01:10:23   then everyone else will eventually copy it. If it turns out to be something that's kind

01:10:26   of okay, but maybe not important enough for the other guys to go through the effort to

01:10:30   copy, then oh well. But Apple will have the advantage of the first mover advantages that

01:10:34   they like to have.

01:10:35   Yeah, but I think really ultimately this is the kind of thing that Apple is going to be

01:10:41   the only game in town that really does it in any effective, widespread way for the foreseeable

01:10:47   future. I really don't see that changing anyway.

01:10:49   Well, I also worry a little bit when networking is thrown into the mix.

01:10:52   Because I agree with devices and hardware and software just on those devices.

01:10:57   That's at an Apple's wheelhouse.

01:10:59   But once you get anything involving the network, I have bad flashbacks.

01:11:02   I mean, like messages, which I've been using much more lately, because sort of WWDC, everyone

01:11:07   was using messages.

01:11:08   And I guess last year I was doing it too, maybe.

01:11:11   But this year I use messages way more, and I'm still using it.

01:11:14   I've been using it more since basically since my wife got maybe the iPhone 5s, she had the

01:11:19   4s, but anyway, I find myself using messages on the Mac, I find myself using it on my iPod,

01:11:24   my kids have iMessage accounts so I use them to talk to them on their various iPods, and

01:11:29   I find the program maddening, like it doesn't fulfill the basic function of providing a

01:11:33   text box that I can type into and hit send and having a message show up somewhere else.

01:11:37   Some absurd percentage of the time it says "not delivered" and the only thing I get to

01:11:41   do is tap the exclamation point and say try again and it says not delivered. Why is it

01:11:45   not delivered? Will it ever work? Sometimes I just have to delete that message and send

01:11:49   the same message again and then that one will work. I have no idea but it's failing on a

01:11:52   basic level. So I really hope continuity doesn't actually involve the internet or any of Apple

01:11:57   servers. I hope it does ad hoc Wi-Fi like AirDrop and I don't have to involve any internet

01:12:01   stuff because every time Apple does internet stuff it screws up. I mean just today I saw

01:12:04   a tweet in my timeline and someone said on one device I added a phone number, on another

01:12:08   the device had deleted the phone number.

01:12:09   Now neither device has either phone number.

01:12:12   Thanks iCloud, that was like stuff like that.

01:12:16   I know sync is hard or whatever.

01:12:18   I'm just saying like that is outside Apple,

01:12:19   still is outside Apple's wheelhouse.

01:12:21   So I really hope continuity only involves like the airspace

01:12:26   and hardware and software that's within my arm's reach

01:12:29   and does not involve any servers anywhere.

01:12:30   I know push notifications is better, but I don't know.

01:12:34   I haven't tried it yet.

01:12:36   So we're all just hoping it will be good.

01:12:38   There is a potential, you're right,

01:12:39   that potentially this is something

01:12:40   that is right in Apple's wheelhouse.

01:12:42   If it's outside, it is not very far outside,

01:12:44   it's just, you know, I get nervous.

01:12:46   - Yeah, I mean, that's certainly fair,

01:12:49   but I really think that people give them a hard time

01:12:53   with stuff like iMessage weirdness,

01:12:54   but if you look at things like iCloud Key Value Store,

01:12:58   push notifications, and really most use of iMessages,

01:13:03   iMessage, whatever, most use of iMessage,

01:13:06   I think everything works great.

01:13:07   And there are these, there are like, you know,

01:13:09   the fringes where things fall apart, but.

01:13:12   - See, I think the bar is low on iMessage though.

01:13:14   Like it's just text, like I'm not asking for the world.

01:13:17   I'm not sending GIFs like Casey is.

01:13:19   Like I'm just, it's just text.

01:13:21   And like, here's my fallback.

01:13:24   Like in these times when I'm frustrated

01:13:26   and I can't send a message and it's frustrating,

01:13:27   I launched the Gmail app and I send that message as an email

01:13:31   and you know what, that sends every freaking time.

01:13:33   Every freaking time I send the email in Gmail,

01:13:35   If I have an internet connection, it sends the email.

01:13:37   Every single time.

01:13:38   It has never said could not send.

01:13:41   It has never failed if I have a network connection.

01:13:44   And that, it's tough to compete with that.

01:13:46   Like when I find myself going to the Gmail app,

01:13:48   or maybe even Apple's own mail app.

01:13:50   Like I could have, if I used Apple's mail app,

01:13:52   I would have gone to that.

01:13:53   iMessage still angers me greatly.

01:13:56   - So yeah, it's funny because I actually don't have

01:13:58   any normal issues with iMessage.

01:14:01   I occasionally get like a message failed to send.

01:14:03   I occasionally get like either a time shifted message

01:14:08   or something like that, but 99% of the time,

01:14:12   I have no issues with iMessage.

01:14:14   And so it's so weird to me to hear

01:14:17   that you have a ton of problems and you're not the only one.

01:14:19   - But you've had the failed to send.

01:14:20   What does that mean?

01:14:21   What does it mean failed to send?

01:14:22   I don't understand what it's,

01:14:24   like I would like an error message.

01:14:25   - I'm thinking it means that the thing

01:14:26   that it tried to send didn't send.

01:14:28   - I don't know what that means.

01:14:31   Like why?

01:14:31   you haven't entered into the server and not respond.

01:14:34   Not that I'm saying I need the details,

01:14:36   but intellectual curiosity, I wonder what it is

01:14:39   that is not connecting.

01:14:40   Here's what I would want out of the thing.

01:14:42   Okay, so you can't connect the dots for whatever reason.

01:14:45   Or maybe that's a legitimate reason.

01:14:46   Sometimes I think maybe the phone,

01:14:48   if their phone is rebooting, can I not send this message?

01:14:51   Is there some sort of,

01:14:52   they wanna show me the delivered message,

01:14:54   and if, say, the phone was in the middle of rebooting,

01:14:56   it can't possibly be delivered

01:14:57   because there's nothing to receive it,

01:14:59   maybe that's what it is.

01:15:00   But even if that's the case, which I think is ridiculous, by the way, it should never be the case, it should be stored and forward, like most other IAM systems are, like Google Talk or whatever.

01:15:08   Even if that was the case, it should be the job of the software to just say, "I'll just keep trying, don't worry about it. I won't say it was delivered, I'm not going to lie to you, but you don't have to keep hitting the exclamation point and hit try again. I'll eventually get it sent."

01:15:20   And what it should really be is storing forward like email or like apparently every other

01:15:24   I am message like when on AIM or Google Talk or whatever.

01:15:27   If someone is not online, if all their computers are turned off, I can still send them a message

01:15:30   and the next time they sign onto the service or turn on one of their devices they'll

01:15:33   see my message, right?

01:15:34   Like that's all I'm asking for.

01:15:35   It's not, it's just text, man.

01:15:38   Thanks a lot to our three sponsors this week.

01:15:41   Need at needlifestyle.com, Hover, and Backblaze.

01:15:45   And we will see you next week.

01:15:49   Now the show is over, they didn't even mean to begin

01:15:54   'Cause it was accidental (accidental)

01:15:57   Oh, it was accidental (accidental)

01:16:00   John didn't do any research, Marco and Casey wouldn't let him

01:16:05   'Cause it was accidental (accidental)

01:16:07   Oh, it was accidental (accidental)

01:16:10   And you can find the show notes at ATP.fm

01:16:16   And if you're into Twitter, you can follow them @C-A-S-E-Y-L-I-S-S

01:16:24   So that's Kasey Liss, M-A-R-C-O-A-R-M

01:16:29   Auntie Marco Arment, S-I-R-A-C

01:16:34   USA, Syracuse, it's accidental

01:16:39   They didn't mean to, accidental

01:16:44   Tech podcast so long.

01:16:49   Want to do titles?

01:16:50   Did your bot survive?

01:16:52   I saw you yelling at the people in the chat room.

01:16:53   Nope.

01:16:54   Bot's dead.

01:16:56   Right now, I want to be bitter and angry

01:16:58   and say I'm just not bringing it back, but that's immature.

01:17:02   What was the problem this time?

01:17:03   So the problem this time was somebody decided to-- so I

01:17:07   guess WebSockets may have been a poor choice.

01:17:11   It's actually a technically sound choice,

01:17:13   But the problem is it's not very obfuscated.

01:17:16   Well, I guess I could base64 encode everything.

01:17:20   Don't worry about obfuscation.

01:17:21   What was the problem?

01:17:22   So the problem was that somebody decided

01:17:24   to run a loop of voting for every possible ID.

01:17:28   And IDs are integers, because why wouldn't they be?

01:17:31   Because why do you need a GUID or something

01:17:33   super complex for an ID?

01:17:34   Yeah, you need throttling.

01:17:37   It's a defense against denial of service.

01:17:39   Yeah, you don't have any--

01:17:41   I guess the problem is, because--

01:17:43   You don't have state to be a counter for--

01:17:45   Well, no, you can keep it in memory.

01:17:46   I mean, whenever I've done a rate limiter in the application

01:17:50   layer, I always do memcache, because it's quick, it's easy,

01:17:52   it's lightweight, I know it's fast.

01:17:54   And if you hit the application, it

01:17:57   consists only of launching your-- getting your stack up

01:18:00   to the controller level and you firing off a memcache read,

01:18:04   or a memcache increment, rather.

01:18:05   He doesn't need memcache, he's single process, though.

01:18:07   Oh, yeah, he could just keep it in an array.

01:18:09   Well, that's the thing though is that, well, there's two problems.

01:18:12   One, I mean, I'd have to do this all by hand because this is a raw socket to the server

01:18:18   by definition.

01:18:19   That's what a web socket is.

01:18:21   And shoot, what was the other one was I realized that double vote prevention was totally borked

01:18:27   and it took me a few minutes to realize that all of the vote submissions were coming from

01:18:34   10.x addresses, which can't be.

01:18:38   Because you didn't get the X forwarded for, Heather.

01:18:40   You're just trusting the--

01:18:42   Exactly.

01:18:42   This is like a mini web boot camp for you.

01:18:45   It's like a little microcosm of how to make a web app.

01:18:47   It's funny, because I've been so far abstracted from all

01:18:50   of these things that you guys, I guess, have somehow or another

01:18:53   had to worry about.

01:18:54   But--

01:18:55   Somehow or another by writing web apps, yes.

01:18:57   No.

01:18:59   It's just experience.

01:19:00   It's just the same way you learned all the stuff

01:19:02   you learned writing fast text that you didn't know before

01:19:04   about how to write an iOS app.

01:19:05   Well, there's a different set of things

01:19:07   you need to know for web apps.

01:19:08   They're just more fun when you're doing them publicly

01:19:10   and there's antagonists in the chat room.

01:19:12   - Right, see this can be a whole series,

01:19:13   a graduate school for KCA and web apps.

01:19:15   Just every week you'll try it, you'll try to put it up.

01:19:18   And every week the chat room will educate you

01:19:20   on something that you didn't account for

01:19:22   or didn't do correctly.

01:19:24   And then the next week you can fix that

01:19:26   and you can get a new problem.

01:19:28   - Well, and the thing is, like I write web apps for a living

01:19:30   which at this point probably sounds like

01:19:32   I make a terrible living.

01:19:33   But the thing is, so much of it is abstracted

01:19:35   so far away from me that I never have to worry about.

01:19:37   - And it's also for intranets, right?

01:19:39   - Not exclusively, but generally, yes.

01:19:42   I've done some public-facing stuff.

01:19:44   - But things that aren't a target,

01:19:46   basically you survive because there's not people,

01:19:49   now we have a podcast and it's a fun little game

01:19:51   to target your thing.

01:19:52   - It's fun for them.

01:19:53   - Just think of how incredible your thing will be

01:19:57   when forged in the crucible of people in the chat room.

01:20:00   By the end of it, it'll just be completely hardened shell,

01:20:02   unlike so many other crappy things

01:20:04   where someone writes a little web app

01:20:05   and puts it up on GitHub and says, "Here you go,"

01:20:07   and then some poor sucker runs that

01:20:09   and uses it for something really popular

01:20:11   and then it falls under the load.

01:20:13   Yours will be battle tested.

01:20:15   - I guess. - Or dead.

01:20:16   One of the other two, battle tested or dead.

01:20:17   - Well, we're sitting here, standing here now, actually.

01:20:19   I feel like just murdering it forever more,

01:20:22   but that's very immature of me, so I will lick my wounds.

01:20:26   I will put bandages on them,

01:20:28   and I will take another stab sometime, maybe next week.

01:20:32   I had to eliminate myself from the chat room for like half an hour though because not only

01:20:36   was it distracting, but I wanted to murder all of them.

01:20:39   You just need to, like for all these things, write like failing test cases for all of them.

01:20:43   Write a little test for denial of service to test your throttling.

01:20:46   Write a little test for duplicate voting to handle, you know, like do everything that

01:20:49   is done to you, turn into a test case.

01:20:51   And so that you'll know that your future changes don't regress and you know, blah blah blah.

01:20:56   You're right.

01:20:57   The thing that's frustrating about it is this is a bot to record votes for the chat room

01:21:03   and suggestions and votes for the chat room to suggest titles.

01:21:07   Why am I having to go through all this?

01:21:11   Why can't we all just act like adults and behave?

01:21:15   But oh no, not this crowd.

01:21:16   I'm wondering what the heck could 20 people in a chat room do to bring down Node.js?

01:21:24   I've seen the code.

01:21:25   It's not that complicated.

01:21:27   They're not bringing it down.

01:21:28   They're just writing an infinite loop,

01:21:29   and he's got no throttling, and it's denial of service, right?

01:21:32   Well, I think what happens is at some point--

01:21:34   actually, it might be when ints wrap around,

01:21:37   like Brent was talking about way back when.

01:21:39   But anyway--

01:21:40   There is no way they're making enough requests

01:21:42   to make a 53-bit integer wrap around in 20 minutes.

01:21:46   Well, today, the issue was they were just incrementing the ID

01:21:49   and trying to place a vote for every successive ID number.

01:21:54   And eventually that did piss it off and make it fall down.

01:21:59   - Do you know the, what the hell is the acronym?

01:22:02   You know this acronym, is it OWASP?

01:22:04   Yeah, it's the, they do,

01:22:05   Open Web Application Security Project.

01:22:07   OWASP has like a list of common vulnerabilities

01:22:12   and web apps and they update the list every year.

01:22:13   And you have hit several of them already.

01:22:16   One of them is exposing your internal IDs

01:22:18   to the outside world.

01:22:19   I forget what it's called,

01:22:19   but there's some snappy name for it.

01:22:21   And that's the one where they let people

01:22:23   increment a number to try to guess your IDs.

01:22:26   - Well, that's the thing, but I mean, here again,

01:22:28   like I conceptually know that many of these things

01:22:32   could and probably would be problems,

01:22:35   but I was perhaps obtuse or maybe just stubborn,

01:22:39   but I didn't think that I would need to write

01:22:42   like 10,000 lines of node to prevent the chat room

01:22:46   from being a bunch of (mumbles)

01:22:47   and as it turns out, I'm going to need to do that

01:22:50   or just give up on it and we'll rely on Brad Schoetz,

01:22:52   well, the Gray Winter/Brad Schoet setup.

01:22:55   - There isn't a package in Node

01:22:57   that's like a simple rate limiter and stuff like that?

01:23:00   - Well, there is, but again,

01:23:01   because I'm using WebSockets, it's not so simple.

01:23:03   - Well, it's probably like a WebSockets wrapper library

01:23:05   that has a rate limiting parameter that you can,

01:23:08   when you set up the receiving end of your socket,

01:23:10   you're not gonna do it on the sending end,

01:23:11   it's all gonna be in the receiving end.

01:23:13   - And that's the thing,

01:23:14   is I'm gonna have to write my own rate limiting.

01:23:15   I did a quick cursory search to see if there was anything,

01:23:19   And I didn't see anything, but I did a 30-second search.

01:23:23   So tomorrow or at some point when

01:23:24   I'm less bitter about it all, then I'll

01:23:26   have a proper think on it.

01:23:27   Not that it matters for show bots or whatever,

01:23:29   but realistically speaking, for the people who

01:23:31   are actually web developers and are listening to this,

01:23:35   this type of thing where a bunch of people

01:23:36   are just intentionally attacking this app, you're like,

01:23:40   oh, well, I'm glad the app that I'm doing

01:23:42   doesn't have that problem.

01:23:45   I mean, you may luck out there, but really what you're saying

01:23:48   is my app is going to develop and add features

01:23:50   and become important and essential to the people who

01:23:52   are using it.

01:23:53   And then some person is going to stumble across it and break it.

01:23:57   Because it doesn't mean your application is not

01:23:59   vulnerable to these or will never experience these.

01:24:01   It just means that if it's not going to happen now,

01:24:06   it's going to happen later.

01:24:07   And later, it's going to be worse.

01:24:08   Because you want this stuff-- if this stuff is ever

01:24:11   going to happen in the lifetime of the app,

01:24:12   you want it to happen early.

01:24:13   Because if not, it happens when the app has been deployed

01:24:16   for six months and the entire business relies on it and then some piece of

01:24:19   malware or bot or whatever stumbles across your thing and wipes off the face

01:24:22   of the earth and that's much bigger problem when your whole company now

01:24:25   relies on this app or you have millions of customers or whatever you have then

01:24:28   it would have been if during the early development of this app it had a bunch

01:24:33   of jerks attacking it and and made you harden it again not really relevant to a

01:24:36   show bot but I'm like it is relevant to people building a real app it's like

01:24:41   don't stick your head in the sand because everybody gets hit by one of

01:24:44   eventually. And if you don't, then you're either lucky or you never got popular enough

01:24:48   to be noticed. But even if you're not popular, just this malware that scans and just, you know,

01:24:53   fuzzes its way into everything. And so eventually every web app will be a victim.

01:24:57   Yeah. And that's the thing is that I had thought, since this is a controlled audience,

01:25:02   which I had assumed were all well behaved, I didn't think I needed to do a lot of the things

01:25:07   that I would have otherwise done in my real world, in my job world.

01:25:12   And I just took a lot of shortcuts because I thought, "Eh, well, we're all friends here.

01:25:17   It'll be okay." Apparently not.

01:25:18   And by the way, I owe an apology to, I think it's Adam Kearney, who has already,

01:25:23   actually quite a while ago, put up a pull request on GitHub because

01:25:28   Accidental Bot is on there, put up a pull request to fix an unrelated

01:25:33   small issue that we discovered during the show about not refusing titles that are too long.

01:25:39   And that is the appropriate way to behave. Not if you're gonna break it, that's fine,

01:25:42   but throw me a pull request, man.

01:25:44   - Did he submit the source code change as a very long title?

01:25:47   - No, but that would be funny.

01:25:49   - That would be the best way to do it. But there's no persistence, so you would never see it.

01:25:53   - And that's on the list is I'll probably have to set up like some

01:25:58   like NoSQL database or something just to stuff this in there.

01:26:02   - It's pronounced nos-key-well Casey.

01:26:03   - Whatever, just because, well actually in a perfect world

01:26:07   I would never need it because the darn thing

01:26:09   will never crash, but oh well, that's right.

01:26:12   - I'm still, how did this take down a Node instance?

01:26:17   This is either the worst ad in the world

01:26:20   for Heroku small instances, or the worst ad

01:26:23   in the world for Node.

01:26:24   - Or my code, but to be honest, like you said,

01:26:27   this code is pretty straightforward.

01:26:29   I mean, I don't know.

01:26:31   I really don't because I've, I've survived a couple of, uh, a couple of

01:26:35   links from your site, which, which through.

01:26:37   As far as I could tell some pretty serious traffic.

01:26:40   We talked about that in the past and, and Heroku, like I said, in the past

01:26:43   reached out to me and said, oh yeah, that was nothing like you, your, your

01:26:46   Dino was good to go cruising at.

01:26:48   Like, I think what they said, it was like under a third CPU usage, bandwidth

01:26:52   usage or throughput, et cetera.

01:26:54   So I, I don't know if it's my code, if it's the fact that it's web sockets,

01:26:59   Something is weird.

01:27:00   - Is it maybe, is there like a connection limit

01:27:02   on the WebSockets layer somewhere?

01:27:04   - I mean, it could be, I'm not aware of one,

01:27:06   but it certainly could be.

01:27:06   I mean, there's only so many port numbers,

01:27:09   but I can't imagine that's the issue.

01:27:11   - Well, it could be, you should guard against that.

01:27:13   (laughs)

01:27:14   - Yeah, whatever, so yeah, so.

01:27:17   - Let's look at titles in the show about that works.

01:27:19   (laughs)

01:27:20   - Man, you guys have been mean today.