59: The Little Puck That Could


00:00:00   I saw the Ashton Kutcher Jobs movie finally because it was free on Netflix.

00:00:04   Ah, I did as well. And it was actually, I, well, you go ahead. You go ahead.

00:00:08   It sounded like you're about to give it a semi-decent review. I think

00:00:12   one of the most frustrating things about it is that even if you ignore some of the

00:00:17   little inaccuracies in it, and it seemed overall to get the big stuff right,

00:00:24   even if you ignore all that, it's not even a good movie, because it takes like two hours.

00:00:31   And right towards the end, in like the last like fifteen minutes, they have this eight

00:00:38   second montage that covers the entire time span from when he was fired from Apple to

00:00:45   when Apple bought Next.

00:00:49   And so not only does this gloss over a pretty significant part of Steve Jobs' life and

00:00:54   career. But it was also like, here's the big gloom and doom, Apple is failing. It shoved

00:01:01   all of that into eight seconds into a montage. So it appears chronologically, as you're watching

00:01:07   the movie, it's like, here's Apple, here's the big villain, Apple, firing Steve Jobs

00:01:12   because they think they know better. And then eight seconds later, Apple's on the floor

00:01:19   dying and they need him and they beg him to come back somehow and he somehow saves them

00:01:23   them, you know, like they it's not even good storytelling because they just kind of like

00:01:29   Oh snap their fingers and oh all of a sudden everything's fine again.

00:01:33   It clearly was dumbed down which is as you would expect but given that everyone panned

00:01:39   it and said it was like the worst thing committed to film ever. I didn't think it was nearly

00:01:44   that bad as someone who has a reasonable amount of Apple history in my head. I thought it

00:01:50   was mildly enjoyable. And the one thing I will say that was extremely positive was I feel like Ashton

00:01:56   Kutcher just nailed Jobs' walk. And I didn't even know that Jobs had a unique walk until I'm watching

00:02:02   Ashton Kutcher, you know, pace around the stage and whatnot. And I don't know why, but it just

00:02:07   really reminded me of the one WWDC I saw where Jobs was there. And he just has this weird,

00:02:13   like, gait to him that I'd never noticed before.

00:02:17   Yeah, I mean, I give them credit. I agree that the movie was not as bad as I thought it would be,

00:02:22   based on what people were saying about it back when it came out.

00:02:25   But to be clear, it was not good, but it was not terrible.

00:02:29   It seemed like they worked so hard to get overall details right, and then just blew some of the

00:02:33   really easy ones that they could have gotten right, you know, with no additional cost or anything.

00:02:38   Like, they could have gotten these things right and they just didn't. But, you know, moreover,

00:02:42   I was just kind of annoyed that it was just weird, so weirdly paced. And that, you know,

00:02:48   they, if they wanted to tell the story in detail, they could have, you know, glossed

00:02:52   over certain parts a little bit faster or, you know, added 10 minutes to the movie to,

00:02:58   you know, to get it, to get a little more detail into the story as to how these things

00:03:02   happened, you know, that whole middle era, you know, maybe do a 45 second montage instead

00:03:06   of an 8 second montage. Like, it's just something, like, it just seemed like there was a lot

00:03:11   low-hanging fruit that they could have grabbed to make it a better movie and for whatever

00:03:15   reason they didn't.

00:03:16   Now, Jon, did you see this movie yet?

00:03:18   No, nor do I plan to.

00:03:21   We've just got the Sorkin one left to endure and then we'll probably be clear of this

00:03:25   for a little while.

00:03:26   This is true.

00:03:27   And as KJ Healey points out, Tom Bombadil isn't even in the Steam Jobs movie.

00:03:30   We're just totally unacceptable.

00:03:31   Who is that?

00:03:32   I don't even know.

00:03:33   Who?

00:03:34   Yeah.

00:03:35   We're just gonna keep going.

00:03:36   We gotta have one of those every show, guys, and that may have been the one for this show.

00:03:38   Good job.

00:03:39   All right.

00:03:40   So do we want to do any follow-up?

00:03:44   - We do.

00:03:45   - We always do.

00:03:46   - We always do.

00:03:47   John, would you like to do some follow-up?

00:03:50   - Sure.

00:03:51   First bit of follow-up is from Mike the iRoller

00:03:52   from last week's follow-up.

00:03:55   He sent an email with some clarification.

00:03:57   Here's a bit from the email.

00:03:59   Here's the thing.

00:04:00   You mentioned the bar is set too high

00:04:02   to know everything about gender issues

00:04:03   or anything else you guys talk about

00:04:04   that aren't core expertise,

00:04:06   but that's exactly what I was trying

00:04:07   to get out of my feedback.

00:04:08   If too high is any sort of knowledge about gender issues beyond what is observable in

00:04:11   our lives, then yes, I set the bar too high.

00:04:14   I don't think any of the three of you would accept that in any sort of technical field.

00:04:18   Women in the workplace is probably one of the most studied sociological topics of our

00:04:21   generation, and one can learn about it on Wikipedia just like they can learn about CPU

00:04:26   design.

00:04:27   I think we very much agree on this topic.

00:04:28   I was just trying to point out that this doesn't need to be some sort of nebulous idea that

00:04:31   can only be solved by talking through it.

00:04:33   There's data-supported answers out there.

00:04:36   So basically, I thought his first email about the eye rolling when we started to talk about

00:04:41   this topic was that he thought we hadn't met whatever bar he was setting.

00:04:45   It's like, oh boy, here go these guys go, starting to talk about this thing they don't

00:04:48   know anything about.

00:04:49   I'm not going to speak for YouTube, but I've certainly passed the bar of having any sort

00:04:53   of knowledge.

00:04:54   I've read tons about this all over the place, like just blogs, articles, flame wars for

00:04:59   years and years.

00:05:00   I feel like I have read a lot about this.

00:05:03   But that's all informal.

00:05:04   like, you know, just on the internet. But I've definitely crossed that bar if that's

00:05:08   what he's setting it to. And as for the whole idea that we don't need to just talk about

00:05:14   it as sort of this vague concept, like there's data out there and there's things you can

00:05:18   learn and stuff like that, during the whole conversation of sexism in the past two shows,

00:05:22   I've been intentionally avoiding vocabulary that I know is sort of—that are sort of,

00:05:26   you know, terms that are common within this topic right now for two reasons. One, for

00:05:31   people who are familiar with those terms, I didn't want to use them because using them

00:05:35   sort of slots into people's brains in certain areas. If I say certain words, they immediately

00:05:40   think they know that we're on the same page, we may be talking about different things.

00:05:43   So by entirely avoiding those words, I was forced to explain myself, you know, in sort

00:05:46   of plain language or from first principles without relying on jargon that we may or may

00:05:51   not agree on the meaning of. And two was if I use those words as shorthand jargon, then

00:05:56   I'm not communicating with the people who don't know any of those words. So that was

00:06:00   I had to stop myself many times from saying the words that all the people listening to

00:06:03   the conversation probably expected to hear.

00:06:07   Maybe some people heard that and interpreted it as, "These guys don't know what they're

00:06:10   talking about.

00:06:11   They don't even know the vocabulary."

00:06:12   I definitely did know the vocabulary, but I was consciously avoiding it.

00:06:14   I don't know if that was a good move or a bad move, but it's what I chose to do.

00:06:18   I think it's for the best, because in a topic like that where there's less expectation that

00:06:23   our listeners have the same background—we can use terms about CPUs and Apple jargon

00:06:28   because presumably people know more about that. But this topic was far enough afield that I wanted

00:06:32   to just talk about it using, you know, just regular vocabulary to describe things.

00:06:37   Tom: To be honest, I'm not even familiar with what vocabulary you were dodging,

00:06:41   but I would hazard a guess that it is probably for the best that you did indeed force yourself

00:06:48   to explain yourself the entire time.

00:06:50   Adam; You do. You know a lot about vocabulary. I mean, I didn't say the word ally. I didn't use

00:06:54   the word privilege. You know those. It's funny. I'm not going to get into all sorts of even

00:06:58   fancier terms, but when you say any of those things, people click into whatever little

00:07:05   slot they have in their brain for those terms, and then sometimes you can get out of whack,

00:07:08   and I think it was better just to explain things.

00:07:11   The second bit of follow-up is that after talking about Oculus and Facebook buyout,

00:07:17   Michael Abrash, who we also mentioned on the past show, is now working for Oculus instead

00:07:20   a Valve, which is kind of a bummer for Valve because they were working on VR stuff as well,

00:07:24   but hey, what can you do? So now it's Carmack and Abraj back together again, trying to change

00:07:30   the future. Of course, people get excited about that, but it's like, "Oh, those guys,

00:07:34   they did so much together earlier in their careers." Now it's like two old men doing

00:07:37   it. And it's kind of like, wouldn't you expect to see the next revolution run by two young

00:07:42   men? Now that I'm begrudging the old men as being an old man myself, like, you know, "Hey,

00:07:46   We can still do stuff.

00:07:47   We still have stuff in us, but it's kind of weird

00:07:49   that these people who brought us the revolution of 3D,

00:07:54   first person hardware accelerated 3D games,

00:07:57   are now trying to bring us the next revolution as well,

00:08:00   instead of it being the next generation.

00:08:01   You know what I mean?

00:08:02   So I think it's a testament to these two guys.

00:08:05   And it's a little bit weird.

00:08:06   You usually don't expect that.

00:08:08   What was the whole thing with scientists and everything?

00:08:11   Like, oh, you've done all your best work

00:08:12   by the time you're 20 or 30.

00:08:14   You never have a second big breakthrough,

00:08:15   or whatever the cliche is.

00:08:17   I don't know if that's true in technical fields.

00:08:19   - Hope not.

00:08:19   - Steve Jobs certainly had two very big acts in his life,

00:08:22   one very early and one much later.

00:08:24   So maybe this is the new normal.

00:08:26   - I think it actually could be really nice

00:08:28   to have people with a lot of experience and wisdom

00:08:31   and who are real experts in their field,

00:08:32   which these two guys by all measures are,

00:08:35   to be tackling the VR prop.

00:08:37   Because VR has been tried so many times in the past

00:08:41   and it has failed so many times in the past

00:08:43   that they were around for all those failures in the 90s

00:08:47   and beyond.

00:08:49   They saw all of those things.

00:08:50   They might have tried some of those things

00:08:51   or started developing for some of those things.

00:08:53   And they've seen all of these failed attempts.

00:08:56   And so having that wisdom in people

00:08:59   who are working on the new thing

00:09:01   rather than just some 20-year-old

00:09:03   who's gonna recreate all of those same mistakes

00:09:04   over and over again like Unix and Lisp,

00:09:06   that will benefit the effort, I think, tremendously.

00:09:12   It's kind of like a lot of the guys responsible for C doing Go, like they have the experience.

00:09:17   I think my favorite thing both about Go and about the Oculus stuff is that these guys,

00:09:22   Abraash and Carmack, they're not like the CEOs or like they're not building like a team.

00:09:27   Carmack's in there writing code.

00:09:29   He's doing the same thing.

00:09:30   I mean, obviously on a slightly higher level, but more or less doing the same thing.

00:09:33   He's writing code.

00:09:34   He hasn't just traveled up the, like, "Now I'm big, powerful, and I run the company.

00:09:38   I'm a venture capitalist, and I'm a master of the universe."

00:09:41   He's there at a keyboard, typing code, right?

00:09:44   And that's refreshing.

00:09:45   Like, and Mike Eberosh is going to be doing, like, they're going to be writing code.

00:09:48   It's so refreshing to see that you don't have to, like, the only path is, like, yeah, in

00:09:52   the beginning you write code, but then you move on and you do, you become, like, the

00:09:56   CEO or the CTO.

00:09:57   I mean, I think their titles probably are something like that, but I guarantee you,

00:10:00   John Kramack is going to be writing code.

00:10:02   That's why he's a hero to so many programmers, that, you know, even now as an old man, he's

00:10:06   still getting it done.

00:10:09   And then what else about Oculus and Kickstarter?

00:10:13   One more bit of feedback from another person named Michael.

00:10:16   Apparently we only get feedback from people named Mike or Michael now, which is fine,

00:10:20   you know, if that's the way it's got to be.

00:10:22   He says, when we were talking about the Oculus and Facebook, he says, "You guys almost

00:10:28   exclusively characterized the outcry as being from jilted Kickstarter backers.

00:10:33   Maybe I'm an edge case, but many of my friends who don't share my extreme privacy concerns

00:10:37   were also not backers and were nevertheless saddened by the Facebook news as well.

00:10:41   So what he's getting at is he didn't think we talked enough about people who don't care

00:10:44   one way or the other about Kickstarter or backers or feeling like they've been betrayed,

00:10:48   but just basically people who are creeped out by Facebook and are worried that now—I

00:10:55   don't know.

00:10:56   I guess they're worried about Facebook ads being in their face or I'm not going to buy

00:10:59   any product that's associated in any way with Facebook because Facebook is not careful with

00:11:04   my personal information.

00:11:05   I feel like they're invading my privacy.

00:11:06   Maybe Marco can address this, since he's afraid that Google is constantly invading

00:11:10   its privacy.

00:11:11   Well, I mean, what is there really to address?

00:11:15   I mean, Facebook now owns a company that has a lot of potential privacy invading stuff

00:11:19   in the future.

00:11:20   What else is new?

00:11:21   I mean, the fact is, you know, it's going to get increasingly more difficult.

00:11:27   It already is very difficult now to try to live life online and use modern technology

00:11:33   without having your stuff be in some giant creepy company's database. That's just the

00:11:39   reality of how we live. You can go, as I previously referred to as the full stallman route, which

00:11:44   is increasingly like, "Oh, I'm going to go live in the woods and be off the grid." It's

00:11:49   becoming increasingly more disconnected from the rest of the world of technology if you

00:11:55   want to go that route. And so, you know, if you want to try to avoid Facebook stuff, Google

00:12:04   stuff, Apple stuff, you know, there's Amazon stuff, there's only so far you can run, really.

00:12:10   And so, you know, my philosophy with these things has always just been, as I said on

00:12:14   a previous show, just to keep a healthy distance. Like, not to be totally off these things,

00:12:18   not to be totally invisible, not to try to conceal my identity from these companies,

00:12:22   because that's mostly a waste of time.

00:12:23   They probably know more than you think.

00:12:25   Or they can infer what you don't tell them

00:12:28   based on your other behavior.

00:12:29   But I think it's important for people

00:12:34   to be healthily skeptical of these companies

00:12:39   and critical of these companies.

00:12:40   And to point out things like, hey, you know what?

00:12:43   X or Y is gonna really give them

00:12:45   a lot of information about you.

00:12:46   Or they're gonna use the information they have on you

00:12:48   to do X, Y, Z and those are all kind of weird.

00:12:51   and creepy and maybe we don't want that.

00:12:53   That's fine.

00:12:54   But I think we have to admit and realize

00:12:57   that's just the world we live in

00:12:58   and that stuff's gonna happen

00:12:59   and we just have to keep tolerating it

00:13:01   and making a stink where we can,

00:13:04   but we're not gonna always win.

00:13:06   - In the case of Oculus though,

00:13:07   it seems weird to me because,

00:13:10   just because Facebook does,

00:13:11   its main product that we all know about

00:13:13   is not good with privacy and everything,

00:13:15   it doesn't mean that that's the only way

00:13:17   they know how to do anything.

00:13:19   Any product they get,

00:13:20   they're going to immediately suck into the Borg and make it, you know, show Facebook

00:13:23   ads and play Facebook games and steal your personal information.

00:13:26   And Oculus is so far removed from Facebook, the product, the website that you go to where

00:13:31   you see pictures of your friends and stuff, that there's not even a line you can draw

00:13:35   dotted or otherwise that says, "And therefore Facebook wall and VR?"

00:13:40   Like, obviously, at least especially in the short term, Oculus is going to make a thing

00:13:44   you put on your face to play first-person games.

00:13:46   And I can't imagine it having any connection for years to anything having to do with getting

00:13:51   any personal information to any degree greater than, say, what Steam does now or anything

00:13:56   else.

00:13:57   Like, it just doesn't seem connected.

00:13:59   And so, like, to immediately say, "Facebook, bot, and therefore I'm never going to have

00:14:02   anything to do with Oculus," that seems way premature to me.

00:14:05   Like, sure, don't use it if they're doing something you don't like, or if they could

00:14:09   potentially be doing something you don't like and you're not sure, but it just seems like

00:14:14   they're not connected at this point.

00:14:15   Like, I mean, I don't use Facebook. I have a Facebook account, but I don't use it for

00:14:19   anything and I'm just not into it, but it doesn't mean that I automatically assume that

00:14:23   every company Facebook acquires will suddenly be pulled into exactly the same sort of privacy-destroying

00:14:30   vortex that their main, their flagship product is.

00:14:34   We've got a new sponsor this week. It's called 2Checkout, the number 2 and the word "checkout,"

00:14:41   with no spaces in the middle, and the C is capitalized. I don't know how many of those

00:14:44   things are important but just know it's the number two followed by the word

00:14:47   checkout. To check out is one of the largest global brands and online

00:14:51   payments. For example they compete with the likes of PayPal, Braintree

00:14:55   and Stripe. You probably heard of all of them. To check out simplifies selling

00:14:59   across the globe with a localized checkout experience. They really focus on

00:15:03   this worldwide thing so they adapt to local languages currencies and payment

00:15:07   methods specializing in 15 languages and cultures and available in 196

00:15:12   countries. Over a hundred of the most relevant shopping carts and many of the

00:15:17   largest e-commerce platforms have chosen to integrate with 2Checkout, even some

00:15:21   that advertise here. 2Checkout has launched a new payment API that allows

00:15:26   you to control the checkout experience. You can you can put your brand all over

00:15:30   it if you want to. With one integration just integrate with 2Checkout and by

00:15:34   doing that you will get accepting 26 currencies, you get top payment methods,

00:15:39   you get a state of the art fraud system with over 300 heuristics that they've come up with

00:15:44   in the industry and new ones added frequently. And enhanced recurring billing features, so

00:15:48   if you want to have a subscription priced good or service, they have nice recurring

00:15:52   billing features. Now all of this is available through their payment API. API libraries are

00:15:57   available in PHP, Python, Ruby, .NET, Java, Node, and even simple REST requests that you

00:16:03   you can try out with curl on the command line.

00:16:05   Visit tocheckout.com/casey.

00:16:09   Now this, you guys, you gotta see this page.

00:16:12   Yeah, seriously.

00:16:14   - Just don't take it any further.

00:16:15   It is an exercise for the listeners.

00:16:17   It is hysterical.

00:16:18   You should really check it out.

00:16:19   It'll be worth your 30 seconds to look at this page

00:16:23   and look at the animation.

00:16:24   - Yeah, so go to two, the number two and the word checkout,

00:16:26   tocheckout.com/casey to sign up for a free developer

00:16:31   sandbox account and see for yourself how great this is.

00:16:34   Once again, 2checkout.com/casey.

00:16:36   Thank you very much.

00:16:37   - Boy, I wish these services existed

00:16:39   when I was writing e-commerce sites.

00:16:41   - Yeah.

00:16:42   - We had modems that would dial the credit card companies

00:16:46   like over phone lines and we had to have multiple ones.

00:16:48   If you think wrangling, like you're talking about VPSs

00:16:50   and stuff in your blog post, Margot,

00:16:52   imagine wrangling analog modems in a rack

00:16:55   in a data center, not fun.

00:16:57   - Man, you're old.

00:16:58   - Yeah, I mean, even just a few years ago,

00:17:00   Like when I built the Instapaper subscription thing,

00:17:04   that was probably in, I don't know, 2010,

00:17:07   something like that.

00:17:08   Even then these things weren't,

00:17:09   you couldn't do subscription building like this.

00:17:11   So I had to use PayPal, which I hated.

00:17:13   It was awful in every possible way.

00:17:15   And I would never recommend using PayPal

00:17:17   for anything to anybody, especially subscriptions,

00:17:20   which it's especially bad at.

00:17:21   And that's saying a lot

00:17:22   'cause PayPal is pretty bad at a lot of things,

00:17:24   but it's especially bad at subscriptions.

00:17:28   Alright, so Amazon decided to get into the console-y TV sort of game today, and they

00:17:37   released the Amazon Fire TV, which apparently involves neither termination of employment

00:17:45   nor flames.

00:17:47   We call these television pucks.

00:17:50   Is that a good name for this category?

00:17:53   I don't know if it's ever been used before, but I dig it, so let's go with it.

00:17:57   I don't know.

00:17:58   seems round. It's like a slice of a cylinder would be a puck. How would you describe this

00:18:02   shape?

00:18:03   Well, this is not puck-like, but the Roku and the Apple TV are, and they kind of define

00:18:07   the segment. So now, I think that's why Amazon thing looks like it does well. Two reasons.

00:18:12   One, because it's cheaper to build that way, and Amazon loves things to be cheap. And two,

00:18:16   it's visually distinct from the two other big market leaders, Apple TV and Roku.

00:18:21   Fair enough.

00:18:22   It is a rectangular solid.

00:18:27   Actually, is it square?

00:18:28   I don't know.

00:18:29   From the top, is it square?

00:18:30   It looks like it's, yeah.

00:18:31   Or either way, I think you're right.

00:18:33   It looks like all the edges are hard angles.

00:18:36   It is just a box.

00:18:38   Think of an Apple TV, but not rounded in anything.

00:18:41   Just flat sides.

00:18:42   Six flat sides.

00:18:43   Not a rounded rack.

00:18:44   Although, like the Roku and the Chromecast, because it's remote, does not need line of

00:18:49   of sight, you don't have to put it anywhere you can see it.

00:18:52   - That is nice.

00:18:53   - Yeah, so what are the attributes of this thing?

00:18:55   You already went over them on Twitter, Marco.

00:18:58   How is it distinguished from the Apple TV?

00:19:00   - Basically, it's not as distinguished as you might think.

00:19:05   It has a lot of the same apps,

00:19:06   a lot of the same capabilities.

00:19:08   It's the same price.

00:19:10   It's the same category of device.

00:19:13   Many of the same channel kind of things.

00:19:15   The biggest difference, they put in beefier hardware into it

00:19:19   so it can play games.

00:19:20   So that's one thing.

00:19:21   So it has more RAM, bigger CPU, blah, blah, blah.

00:19:24   And it also has this remote that if it works

00:19:26   the way they advertise could be pretty cool

00:19:28   because it is a Bluetooth remote.

00:19:31   So it doesn't need line of sight and it has voice input

00:19:34   and you can apparently search by voice

00:19:37   for what you're looking for, which will be really nice.

00:19:40   So, you know, all that to me,

00:19:44   oh, and they're selling an external game controller for it,

00:19:48   which Jon, I'm sure you'll have a lot to say about maybe,

00:19:50   but to me, the games part of it

00:19:53   is probably not that important because I just,

00:19:57   I don't know, I think I could be totally wrong about this.

00:20:02   I think we'll end up seeing what happens,

00:20:04   especially if Apple also makes like an upgraded Apple TV

00:20:07   that can play games.

00:20:08   We'll see like how that market pans out

00:20:10   of like the super cheap game box on TV

00:20:12   that happens to be for other purposes,

00:20:14   kind of like the opposite of the Xbox approach

00:20:17   The Xbox is like the big beefy gaming machine that happens to have media functionality also,

00:20:23   that's kind of a side effect of it.

00:20:24   This is coming from the opposite direction.

00:20:26   This is like a media box that happens to be able to play some games on it.

00:20:30   So we'll see if that takes off.

00:20:32   Assuming that's irrelevant to you or it doesn't take off, looking at just the media side of

00:20:35   this, I think, you know, you can look at this landscape and none of them offer everything.

00:20:42   Oh, that's so true.

00:20:43   If you want to buy anything from iTunes, you can only play it on the Apple TV.

00:20:48   If you want to watch things on Amazon streaming video, you can't do that on the Apple TV.

00:20:53   And almost everything else can do it, but the Apple TV can't.

00:20:56   And so that's the main disconnect.

00:20:58   So if you want both Amazon video and iTunes compatibility, you have to buy two devices.

00:21:05   But don't forget HBO Go, which is not on the Amazon thing, as you pointed out on Twitter.

00:21:10   Right.

00:21:11   Right. I mean, I don't care because I don't have that, but a lot of people like it. So,

00:21:14   yeah, that's in there. So, I think, you know, right now, there is no one device that covers

00:21:20   everything. Well, is that true, though? I agree with you, but doesn't by virtue of the Apple TV

00:21:27   being able to receive AirPlay, doesn't that to some degree make it an omnivore? Now, yes,

00:21:33   it's no longer a standalone thing. I'm not arguing that at all. But, for example, to me,

00:21:38   I oftentimes find a use for AirPlay, and I use it a lot.

00:21:44   And so even though there's other boxes that I think I'd like, like the Roku and even this

00:21:49   Amazon Firebox, I keep coming back to, no matter what, I'm going to want to have an

00:21:55   Apple TV connected to my TV so I can do AirPlay either streaming or mirroring.

00:21:59   Well, if I've already got this Apple TV connected to my TV, I can play Amazon Instant Video,

00:22:05   I'm assuming, through their iPad app or iPhone app.

00:22:08   I can use Plex and throw Plex to the Apple TV.

00:22:11   And in the grand scheme of things, I would kill to have native Plex support within the

00:22:18   Apple TV, but I can get pretty close by using my iPad.

00:22:23   So it's not standalone, which I wish it was, but it's still sort of an omnivore.

00:22:28   Yeah, and that's going to be a popular option, I think.

00:22:31   And a lot of people, like our friend Jason Snell in the chat, says that he does Amazon

00:22:35   instant video using AirPlay to the Apple TV and he says, "It's not ideal, but it works."

00:22:41   And I think you're right. No question. I think you can do that. You can do AirPlay. I think

00:22:47   any robust home TV solution, if you have anything in the Apple ecosystem, you are very well

00:22:54   served by having an Apple TV. And I think if you want complete coverage, I would say

00:22:59   the Apple TV and the Amazon Fire TV are probably going to be the combo that I think is going

00:23:06   to, like for people who are going to have multiple boxes, I think that's going to be

00:23:09   the combo that sets in. Because with Roku, it seems like, I've never used a Roku, so

00:23:15   maybe I'm missing the appeal, but it seems like the Amazon Fire TV pretty much encompasses

00:23:21   all the benefits you get from a Roku, and I know that Roku has cheaper models and Amazon

00:23:26   right now is not going cheaper than 100 bucks, which is surprising, but that's where they

00:23:31   chose to go. So if you ignore the price difference between the cheaper Roku's and this, I would

00:23:38   say you cover basically everything with an Apple TV plus the Amazon Fire TV. And so I

00:23:45   think that's going to be where people go who want to cover everything with the hardware.

00:23:50   I don't have a Roku either, but everyone I know who has one says that it has tons of

00:23:55   content and that they like it better than their Apple TVs in terms of the interface.

00:24:00   That's exactly what I was going to say.

00:24:01   And the other really neat thing about some, if not all, of the modern Roku's is that they

00:24:05   have a headphone jack on the remote.

00:24:08   And having never used a Roku, but I'm at least familiar enough to know that you can actually

00:24:11   sit in bed, for example, maybe your wife or husband or whatever is passed out next to

00:24:16   you, but you're still watching TV and keeping it quiet because you've plugged your earbuds

00:24:21   or headphones into the remote, which is within a foot of where you're sitting.

00:24:25   And that's really cool.

00:24:26   Yeah, I'll give you that.

00:24:28   Yeah, so in all these things, I think the real barrier, maybe the only barrier that

00:24:33   Apple's put up is the whole ecosystem buy anything, because in the Amazon videos, what

00:24:36   they want to show you is like, "And look, you can have a second screen experience with

00:24:40   X-ray, which is really cool.

00:24:41   Their X-ray stuff is actually cool, but your second screen experience, like the show you're

00:24:45   using, your Kindle Fire, and you can take the video with you and watch it on your Fire,

00:24:50   and then resume it and watch it on your big TV."

00:24:51   And it's like, "Yeah, but what if I want to have an iPad?"

00:24:55   And I'm assuming Amazon will eventually come out with apps for the iPad that do all these

00:24:59   things, but Apple TV's big advantage is, hey, you buy stuff on the iTunes store and you've

00:25:03   got it on your iPad, and you've got it on your phone, and you've got all Apple's cloud

00:25:07   stuff saying, "Yeah, you can only buy stuff from the iTunes store on Apple TV, but once

00:25:11   you buy it there, you can use it on all your devices as long as all your devices are Apple."

00:25:16   And Amazon wants to say the same thing, "Oh, you can buy your stuff and you can use it

00:25:20   on all your devices, and they're not going to force you to buy a Kindle Fire.

00:25:22   They're going to try to be everywhere, but maybe you don't want to have a Kindle Fire.

00:25:27   Like it's like, well, I'd rather have an iPad.

00:25:29   It's kind of like Amazon can't, Amazon doesn't have the top to bottom ecosystem where they've

00:25:33   got a phone, a tablet, a computer, and a TV thing.

00:25:37   They just have a small portion of that.

00:25:38   They're getting pretty close.

00:25:39   Well, they tried to be everywhere, but it's kind of like it spreads them thinner, whereas

00:25:43   Apple's just like, look, we're going to make sure it's the best experience on your Apple

00:25:47   TV, and we're going to make that available on your Mac and on your phone and on your

00:25:50   tablets and on whatever else we come out with.

00:25:53   And that's tough to compete with that big ecosystem, because I still want an iPad instead

00:25:58   of a Kindle Fire.

00:25:59   So there's no advantage for me to getting this, "Oh, well, it has integration with Kindle

00:26:03   Fire."

00:26:04   Well, I don't care about that.

00:26:05   I don't care that my Apple TV doesn't have Kindle Fire integration and is not going to

00:26:09   make me buy this to get...

00:26:11   So I feel bad when they try to show that integration because it's not a selling point.

00:26:15   But there's a couple of other differences between this thing and the Apple TV that I

00:26:19   I think are worth pointing out, both good and bad. One is that this does have a wall

00:26:22   warrant apparently, and the power supply is not internal, so you have to have another

00:26:26   one of those big plugs shoving into the big power strip that's behind your entertainment

00:26:31   center, which is kind of annoying, and kind of a shame, since it does look like it's actually

00:26:33   a little bigger than Apple TV.

00:26:35   Well, knowing Amazon, we're just lucky they even include the AC adapter in the box.

00:26:39   Yeah. The RF remote is great, and it's embarrassing that Apple's stupid remote doesn't have that.

00:26:46   I think it has no fan inside it.

00:26:48   Someone's posted a link to an exploded view

00:26:50   from the presentation.

00:26:51   It looks like there's no place for a fan in there.

00:26:54   And it makes sense if it's using cell phone caliber parts

00:26:56   that it wouldn't need a fan.

00:26:57   The box is plenty big to have passive cooling

00:27:00   for the insides there.

00:27:03   But I think the whole reason this box and the Roku exist,

00:27:06   it's Apple's fault for not making Apple TV

00:27:08   better fast enough.

00:27:09   The whole thing with Apple's like,

00:27:10   "Oh, they keep improving their products incrementally."

00:27:12   And before you know it,

00:27:13   they're so far from where they've gone.

00:27:14   and just look at how much more amazing the iPhone 5 is than the original iPhone.

00:27:18   Sure, that's for the products they care about, but for these hobby products and stuff,

00:27:21   Apple TV has stagnated like crazy.

00:27:23   Like, it's ancient hardware and the software features, like, this is worse than, like, iOS 1.0 on there.

00:27:29   Oh, you got a big grid of icons that you have limited control over,

00:27:32   and we keep adding new icons to it, kind of, sort of.

00:27:34   But, like, think of how much better it could be.

00:27:36   We should have search across all services, the voice support,

00:27:39   all these things that we see on all of Apple's other devices.

00:27:42   And I'm not asking for a thumbprint centered on a remote,

00:27:44   but give us something like there's nothing

00:27:46   that Amazon or Roku has done

00:27:47   that Apple couldn't have done years ago.

00:27:49   They just didn't.

00:27:50   And I don't know, they're just not prioritizing it

00:27:52   or if they have some other grand plan

00:27:53   that has yet to be revealed

00:27:54   and it will make sense that they've been,

00:27:56   you know, like they're going for such a huge jump

00:27:58   over what's come before it,

00:27:59   but they have not incrementally made Apple TV better

00:28:02   at a rate that is, I mean,

00:28:03   they've let competitors catch up to them

00:28:05   and pass them in so many areas for no good reason

00:28:08   other than just not putting the resources towards it.

00:28:11   No good reason that we know of yet.

00:28:12   Again, if they come up with something like,

00:28:13   and here's our grand plan for TV,

00:28:15   and it's like leaps and bounds beyond,

00:28:17   and it's like, okay, well it took them a while,

00:28:18   and that's where they were concentrating all their effort.

00:28:20   But right now, it just looks like

00:28:21   they're letting people catch up with them,

00:28:22   and letting people do things

00:28:23   that they should have done a long time ago.

00:28:26   Whether or not I buy one of these devices,

00:28:27   it's making me less satisfied with my Apple TV to know,

00:28:30   it's like, come on, Apple, everyone else is doing this.

00:28:32   You've got your stupid IR remote,

00:28:35   no voice command, terrible interface,

00:28:37   and occasionally, as Merlin will point out,

00:28:39   occasionally I see the stupid little spinner,

00:28:40   and it gives me an obscure error message,

00:28:42   and I have to go unplug my Apple TV and it annoys me and it makes me sad.

00:28:47   So you love your Apple TV is what you're saying.

00:28:50   It's still my favorite Netflix client. I still go to it for Netflix because it has no fan

00:28:53   in it and because it's better than a Netflix client built into my television, which has

00:28:56   to be on. So that's its competition. The TV's got to be on anyway, so I could use its Netflix

00:29:00   client and it's second place because it has no fan.

00:29:04   So what do you think about this controller?

00:29:06   The game controller. I mean, again, you can't tell without holding it, but it does not look

00:29:10   good and the history of non-gaming companies making game controllers is not good.

00:29:14   So I'm assuming the game controller will not be all that wonderful.

00:29:18   Their gaming ambitions, it kind of reminds me of the Ouya, remember that thing, the kickstarted

00:29:22   Android-based console?

00:29:23   Yeah, I've used one.

00:29:25   That thing also apparently had a terrible controller, but it's tough to break into the

00:29:29   game business, especially if you just want to go casual, like "Oh, and by the way, it

00:29:32   plays games."

00:29:35   It's like being a Mac gamer.

00:29:37   Maybe if you're lucky, you'll get the most popular three games from a couple years ago

00:29:40   on other platforms that all real gamers have already played, and maybe it'll be okay for

00:29:44   your kids to play them.

00:29:46   And I know Amazon hired a bunch of gaming people to write games for their platform or

00:29:49   whatever, but I think Ouya did something similar, and it's really difficult to get critical

00:29:54   mass in gaming.

00:29:55   You really need to be dedicated to it.

00:29:57   If you want to be in AAA, top-of-the-line gaming, if you just want to be into casual

00:30:01   games, then you're competing with the iOS ecosystem or cell phone games and stuff.

00:30:06   That's difficult to do too. And the controllers are 40 bucks each, so if you buy two controllers, you're almost doubling the cost of the entire thing.

00:30:13   And they appear not to be very good controllers from looking at how they're shaped.

00:30:17   And I can't imagine shape aside that Amazon's first controller is up to the standards of a good controller from Microsoft, Sony, or Nintendo.

00:30:27   But we'll see. I mean, it's the type of thing where it's like, if they didn't do it, it's just like Apple.

00:30:32   I mean, the Amazon way is like,

00:30:34   "Look, we've got the hardware there, it can play games,

00:30:36   "we can still sell it for 99 bucks, why not?"

00:30:38   I think it's a good move to add it, I think it's smart,

00:30:40   and if it takes off, fine, if it doesn't,

00:30:42   then it's just another little thing that your TV can do.

00:30:44   Like, there's so many things that our devices

00:30:46   hooked up to our TV can do.

00:30:47   Like, my TV can do the TV, not anything else,

00:30:50   but just the television itself can do like,

00:30:51   Amazon, Netflix, I can stream from my Synology,

00:30:55   I can pull things from my Mac,

00:30:57   like, it just, just the television does that.

00:30:59   Like, everything, everything has Netflix built in,

00:31:01   Everything's gonna have Amazon Video built in.

00:31:03   Everything has support for DLNA servers.

00:31:05   It's just a question of which box do you want to use.

00:31:08   And it's just, you know, who has the exclusives?

00:31:12   Well, iTunes stuff is only from Apple.

00:31:14   And Amazon seems to be pretty promiscuous,

00:31:17   but some things like HBO Go are only on certain platforms.

00:31:21   And it's just like, it's enough already.

00:31:23   Like they're not, I'm glad there's a little bit

00:31:25   of competition here to try to keep Apple honest

00:31:28   and try to make their puck better

00:31:29   because really it needs to be improved sometime soon,

00:31:32   but having more little pucks to connect to my TV

00:31:35   is not really solving my problem.

00:31:38   - Yeah, and that's the frustrating part is,

00:31:40   you know, because, honestly, this is a lot like cable TV.

00:31:43   It's a lot like the entire TV business

00:31:45   always has been and still is.

00:31:48   You know, we ask these tech companies,

00:31:49   oh, please come in and save us from bad TV companies,

00:31:52   but they're just doing the exact same thing,

00:31:54   which is company A has exclusive content,

00:31:58   X, company B has exclusive platform Y,

00:32:00   and all these things make it so that there is no

00:32:03   one good solution for everything.

00:32:05   It's just, it's annoying because these problems

00:32:10   are pretty much doomed to happen

00:32:14   because of these business models,

00:32:15   because of just what happens with publishing content,

00:32:19   owning content, making ecosystems, owning ecosystems.

00:32:22   It will never be in any of these companies' best interests

00:32:25   to make something that is actually good for us.

00:32:28   Because somebody will have less control

00:32:30   or make less money as a result of that.

00:32:32   - Well, at least cable companies,

00:32:34   no matter who you got your cable from,

00:32:35   first of all, you had a few choices,

00:32:36   but everybody offered you HBO.

00:32:38   Maybe they have prices very slightly,

00:32:39   but you can get HBO everywhere.

00:32:40   You get ESPN everywhere.

00:32:42   There's no place you lived where if you could get cable TV,

00:32:44   you couldn't get HBO Showtime, ESPN, MTV.

00:32:47   You could always get those things.

00:32:49   The exclusives remind me more of the game console space

00:32:51   where if you want Halo, you get a Microsoft console.

00:32:54   It's never going to be anybody else.

00:32:56   Microsoft owns them, right?

00:32:57   Or pick whatever for your Mario and Nintendo and Sony games.

00:33:03   There was exclusives to try to bring to that platform.

00:33:06   And it would annoy--

00:33:08   real hardcore gamers would have to buy multiple consoles just

00:33:10   for the three or four games that were exclusives,

00:33:12   because they were good.

00:33:14   But there's the constant battle to see

00:33:16   how many big players in the game console space can be sustained.

00:33:20   You can't have 50 of them.

00:33:21   That's just not enough.

00:33:22   People aren't going to buy 50 consoles.

00:33:23   So the number seems to be around two or three.

00:33:26   And in the TV-connected puck market, we've had Apple and Roku, basically, and a couple

00:33:31   other people coming here and there.

00:33:33   So maybe it's going to be Amazon, Apple, and Roku.

00:33:36   I think you could probably sustain them with them jockeying for exclusive content.

00:33:39   But then you've got companies like Netflix that want to be everywhere that also are trying

00:33:43   to get exclusive content, but then they're selling House of Cards to Comcast for on-demand.

00:33:48   And it's a weird situation that is hopefully going to resolve itself sometime in the next

00:33:55   decade or two.

00:33:56   But right now, just everyone is jockeying for position.

00:33:58   I think people better jockey for position as hard as they can, because if you don't

00:34:01   and you're slow like Google, if Google doesn't have a puck, they've got Chromecast and they've

00:34:05   got their fiber TV thing, but they don't seem to be in the puck market at all.

00:34:11   And it could be that by the time the dust settles, they're just fenced out by whoever

00:34:14   the two or three big people who won that race are?

00:34:17   Oh yeah, I don't see Google being present in this race at all because it's always been

00:34:22   like, well not always, obviously this is, everything in tech is pretty young, but it's

00:34:27   been pretty obvious for a while that the online media market of video content mainly is really

00:34:36   a two horse race. It's Apple versus Amazon. You know, Microsoft has their own deals with

00:34:40   like Xbox Live they used to have, I don't know if they still do, they probably do, and

00:34:44   Google has a couple of things in the Play Store and stuff.

00:34:46   Well, Google's got YouTube, though. And you would think, like, oh, YouTube's not the same

00:34:50   thing. YouTube is just a bunch of videos. It's not TV shows. But the amount of, like,

00:34:56   video that my daughter now watches that's YouTube, I think it's long since it eclipsed

00:35:00   television. She watches YouTube instead of watching television. I don't know if that's

00:35:03   a transient thing and it will go away, but YouTube can't be discounted. And I mean, Amazon,

00:35:09   basically, I mean, Amazon—not Amazon. Google was trying to do Google Video. Remember that?

00:35:13   before they bought YouTube. Well, they made the removal, they said, "Yeah, never mind,

00:35:16   we're going to buy YouTube." And YouTube is everywhere. YouTube is available on my TV,

00:35:22   it's available on my Apple TV, I'm assuming it's available on Amazon's thing. So Google kind of has

00:35:26   a horse in this race, but not a hardware thing. They don't have a puck. Well, and it's probably

00:35:30   not in Google's best interest to ever withhold YouTube from a platform. Yeah, and they had

00:35:37   Google TV. They were the only people to actually try to do my omnivorous box thing, and they did

00:35:42   did a bad job of it and nobody liked it and it was never gonna work because everybody

00:35:45   in the entire industry hates the idea of such a thing, even if it worked well, which it

00:35:49   didn't, so that kind of went away. I don't know if they'll make another run at it, but

00:35:53   they were early, and they were early with like a big giant platypus awkward thing and

00:35:58   it didn't work out for them, so maybe they're gun-shy now.

00:36:00   I don't know, I feel like all of this is really about licensing, and I say that because the

00:36:07   Amazon Fire TV isn't available outside the US, right?

00:36:12   I don't know, but Amazon is historically very bad at non-US media availability.

00:36:16   Precisely. And so if this isn't available anywhere else, and additionally I think you're

00:36:22   right, Jon, in saying that we're just kind of running in circles around just getting

00:36:27   streaming things to our TV in different ways. But the only way I think there's going to

00:36:32   be a monumental shift in how TV works is if licensing deals change. So, for example, I

00:36:40   can go online and order a season pass for getting the New York Giants on my Apple TV,

00:36:48   and maybe I'll have to pay for that and that's fine, but I don't need to worry about whether

00:36:51   or not they're playing the Redskins or what blackout situation there is. It's just, I get

00:36:55   to see the Giants always. Or perhaps, you know, you could buy a season pass for How I Met Your

00:37:01   Mother, which obviously just ended, but just for the sake of discussion, you know, How I Met Your

00:37:04   your mother, and you can get those episodes either as they are live or moments after.

00:37:09   And I think without probably sports, and if not sports, more widespread streamable traditional

00:37:17   TV, or look at Game of Thrones is another great example.

00:37:19   I've not seen it, but I understand it's wildly popular and you can't get it anywhere

00:37:22   but the US.

00:37:24   So without fixing that, I don't really feel like any of these pucks are really going to

00:37:29   make a tremendous difference in our worlds.

00:37:31   But fixing that, as you said, Jon, is just a total bag of hurt.

00:37:35   Well, the pucks are important because the pucks give you something that can get better

00:37:40   at a faster rate than your television.

00:37:43   And that is extremely important.

00:37:44   That's what I'm digging Apple for, is they have that advantage and they're not taking

00:37:47   advantage of it.

00:37:48   They have three generations of the puck, or maybe only two generations of the little black

00:37:52   puck before they went from the big giant crazy thing of iOS-based Apple TVs.

00:37:57   And they haven't made it better at the same rate.

00:38:00   like the slowest movie like iPod touch I complain about because it's been like 500 days since

00:38:04   an update but like Apple TV, they the 1080p update wasn't that long ago, but it was like

00:38:09   a nothing update and they keep you in channels but like how far is iOS itself or the iPhone

00:38:14   come in that same distance this obvious features that their competitors are getting. I mean,

00:38:18   an R remote voice search a nicer UI game support anything like all these things were there

00:38:24   for the taking and not taking it like and so I'm glad to see the pucks out there trying

00:38:28   Like Roku has improved its hardware and software by leaps and bounds over the same period that

00:38:32   Apple has not.

00:38:34   And this is Amazon's first go, but these little pucks give the market an opportunity to churn.

00:38:40   It's cheap.

00:38:41   They're $99 each.

00:38:42   You can buy a new one of these every two years and not feel bad about it.

00:38:44   And you're not going to buy a new TV every two years unless, apparently, you're me.

00:38:50   It lets them chase each other, make the tech better, make it faster.

00:38:54   Maybe these morph into game consoles, maybe they don't.

00:38:56   Maybe these things get embedded in the TV when they reach a certain point, but getting

00:38:59   embedded into a television is the worst thing that could happen at this point, because you

00:39:02   want these guys to compete and iterate and iterate to get through this awkward beginning

00:39:06   period just to settle down into the feature set.

00:39:10   If they end up being gaming devices, they can never settle down, because games, we always

00:39:14   need more power for.

00:39:15   You'll never say, "Well, this game console is good enough.

00:39:17   I'll use this for the next 20 years."

00:39:18   You will not.

00:39:19   It will not be good enough for 20 years.

00:39:21   You'll want the newest thing eventually.

00:39:23   I'm glad these pucks exist as an external thing, but there's going to be some consolidation

00:39:31   coming and I think it's going to be a long way off.

00:39:33   You mentioned sports with the local blackout.

00:39:36   That's probably not going to go away in our lifetime just because of the huge amount of

00:39:38   money in local television.

00:39:40   That's going to take forever to get rid of.

00:39:42   And so there's so many barriers to actually...

00:39:44   If you could just wipe the slate clean and say, "We have the internet.

00:39:48   Pretend there's no pre-existing video.

00:39:50   Let's make a system built on it."

00:39:51   You could build something that's nice and even and gives consumers choice and has competition

00:39:55   and everyone can get every content they want for a reasonable price.

00:39:59   But we don't live in that world.

00:40:00   We've got to transition from what we have now and that's going to take a long time.

00:40:03   Yeah, I completely agree.

00:40:05   But is there someone, is there a sport that's like T-Mobile where they're just seriously

00:40:10   desperate to get viewers?

00:40:13   And like, I think the MLB has done this and also NHL to some degree.

00:40:18   I guess from what I'm told, I'm not a baseball nor hockey fan, but from what I gather, their

00:40:25   streaming apps and plans and so on and so forth are actually fairly good.

00:40:32   And I think there's still blackouts for sure, but they're relatively future looking.

00:40:38   And I'm wondering, obviously the NFL will never get to this point, but well, unless

00:40:42   all this stuff about concussions actually people pay attention to it.

00:40:46   Uh, maybe the MLB, for the sake of conversation, gets so desperate that they're like, "You

00:40:51   know what?

00:40:52   Screw the local channels.

00:40:53   Let's just do this right."

00:40:54   I think MLB's gonna be the last one to do this probably.

00:40:56   Okay, maybe that was a poor choice, but you know what I'm driving at, right?

00:40:59   Is there any sport like that?

00:41:00   Yeah, well, there's WWE, which I read an article about recently.

00:41:03   Ah, good point.

00:41:04   That's a sport-ish.

00:41:05   Well, you know, like, it's entertainment, anyway.

00:41:10   And they've embraced the internet as a way to get their content to their viewers, because

00:41:15   Because they couldn't get a channel, they kept trying to get a WWE channel or a wrestling

00:41:18   channel on cable and they kept getting rebuffed so they've gone to the internet.

00:41:21   There's also eSports, which is watching people play video games for people who don't know

00:41:26   the terminology.

00:41:27   At least I think I'm getting it right, that's what they call it nowadays, eSports.

00:41:30   Anyway, it's wildly popular in other countries, it's somewhat popular here, that's a natural

00:41:35   medium for the internet, Twitch TV and all that stuff, incredibly popular among a certain

00:41:39   set of people.

00:41:40   Yeah, there's an opportunity for sports markets that aren't, or any way to send video to people

00:41:48   that don't have a precedent in regular television and aren't entangled in these crazy relationships.

00:41:54   For things like baseball and football and the rest of the world, I don't know, the rest

00:42:00   of the world is like for soccer and everything, but I suppose if you wait for the current

00:42:05   generation of people to all die, maybe two generations for people to die, then

00:42:12   people won't care about watching things on local television anymore and they'll

00:42:16   just be so incensed that they can't watch their local team on their iPad

00:42:19   that it will just have to change. But certainly for the people who are alive

00:42:23   today you've got to wait for pretty much all, everyone who was an adult when the

00:42:26   internet came into being, to die before we can get like local television out

00:42:30   from the local television markets for things like baseball. Because it's like how

00:42:34   How much money do the Yankees make from selling exclusive rights to local television broadcasts

00:42:38   at their games?

00:42:39   It's just enormous.

00:42:40   Yeah, I know you're right.

00:42:42   I kind of hope for some sport that's the sporting equivalent of T-Mobile to be so desperate

00:42:47   to just shake things up, to just say, "You know what?

00:42:50   Screw TV."

00:42:51   And I think WWE was actually a very good example.

00:42:56   You just say, "Screw TV.

00:42:57   Let's do it our way and see what happens."

00:42:59   And I don't think there's going to be anyone that people care enough about, kind of like

00:43:03   T-Mobile to really get a groundswell to push the NFL or MLB or whatever into being more

00:43:12   progressive.

00:43:13   Let's wait and see what happens with T-Mobile first before we decide that strategy needs

00:43:16   to be employed elsewhere.

00:43:17   Ah, fair point, fair point.

00:43:18   Yeah, because T-Mobile keeps doing things that at launch sound like, "Oh my god, this

00:43:23   is really going to be a big deal," and then it ends up just not really being a big deal.

00:43:27   Because their barrier is infrastructure. It's like, you know, they would never do that if

00:43:31   if they had the cell towers that Verizon has.

00:43:33   But if they had the cell towers that Verizon has,

00:43:35   they wouldn't need to do that.

00:43:36   And it's just a chicken egg thing.

00:43:38   So I think it's good that you have competitors who need

00:43:41   to do more radical things.

00:43:42   But it doesn't solve their sort of structural weakness.

00:43:46   Like suddenly, your signal doesn't get better,

00:43:49   depending on where you live.

00:43:50   There's no getting around physical infrastructure.

00:43:52   The wires to people's houses are cell towers.

00:43:55   And speaking of cell towers, I put pcell somewhere way down

00:43:57   on our topics if we happen to get to it.

00:43:59   We are sponsored this week also, once again, by our friends at Pixelmator, also known as

00:44:05   Pixelmator, a full featured image editing app for the Mac.

00:44:09   Now, yes, I know Photoshop exists.

00:44:13   Most people don't need Photoshop and Pixelmator does a lot of things, not only the same, but

00:44:18   actually better and it costs a lot less and it does a lot of cool stuff and it's really

00:44:23   very Mac-like.

00:44:24   So, they just made a brand new 3.0 FX update.

00:44:29   It's a major upgrade featuring new powerful tools to play with.

00:44:33   They have non-destructive layer styles, which is a really big deal for anybody doing this

00:44:38   stuff.

00:44:39   They have liquify tools.

00:44:40   You can liquify the image and play with it and warp it and everything.

00:44:42   Really powerful stuff here.

00:44:44   Their new image editing engine almost doubles their performance.

00:44:48   And this is, you know, one of the criticisms of other major apps in the field is that they're

00:44:55   not very Mac-like, or they don't really integrate fully with the OS, or they don't play nice

00:44:59   when Apple releases new APIs or they don't optimize.

00:45:02   Pixelmator is basically the opposite.

00:45:05   Pixelmator is -- it has full Maverick support,

00:45:08   and it had full Maverick support, as far as I remember,

00:45:10   like, from day one of Mavericks being out.

00:45:12   It supports file tags. It supports multiple displays.

00:45:15   It's very optimized for AppNap

00:45:19   and the power management stuff in Maverick.

00:45:21   So if you're running this on a laptop, which most people will be,

00:45:23   it's very, very power efficient.

00:45:25   You can always see -- you can go to the battery shame meter,

00:45:28   as John says, and you can see what programs are being shamed into using too much, or because

00:45:33   they're using too much power. You can compare competing products to Pixelmator, and you

00:45:37   can see Pixelmator really is very heavily optimized for power saving and for all the

00:45:42   new stuff. They also optimized it very heavily for the new Mac Pro. So if you have a new

00:45:47   Mac Pro, new Pixelmator 3.0 FX has dual GPU support with OpenCL, it supports 16-bit images,

00:45:55   It has special Xeon E5 optimizations.

00:45:59   It'll have special optimizations for the PCI Express SSD

00:46:02   and for all the ridiculous memory bandwidth

00:46:04   we get on the Mac Pro.

00:46:05   Really great system here.

00:46:07   So Pixelmator 3.0 FX was a free upgrade

00:46:11   to all existing Pixelmator customers.

00:46:13   If you are not yet a Pixelmator customer, go check it out.

00:46:17   It is full featured image editing app for the Mac.

00:46:20   Go to pixelmator.com, P-I-X-E-L-M-A-T-O-R,

00:46:24   pixelmator.com to learn more. Thanks a lot to Pixelmator for sponsoring our show once

00:46:28   again.

00:46:29   So, the USB Consortium people have decided they too would like a Lightning connector.

00:46:38   Yeah, and we actually talked about this back before they had any idea what it would look

00:46:42   like. Back when they announced, the USB IF announced that they would be looking into

00:46:48   this and creating a new kind of connector that would be small, reversible, and you know,

00:46:53   non-sucky because everyone agreed that the USB 3.0 plugs suck,

00:46:57   especially the mini ones, which are ridiculous. So

00:47:01   they went off and they said, "Alright, we're going to design one of these. It's going to come out soon."

00:47:05   So this, what's new now is that we now have a rendering

00:47:09   of what it might look like from the USB-if.

00:47:13   So, I'm not sure if this is

00:47:17   actually news or not. [laughs]

00:47:21   if it's accurate. Yeah. Like if the rendering is not just fantasy

00:47:25   but just like this is what we plan to build and we haven't built it yet but it's gonna look like

00:47:29   this when we build it. That's my impression of what this rendering is.

00:47:33   Yeah, pretty much. And the rendering basically looks like the

00:47:37   halfway point between lightning and mini USB

00:47:41   or micro USB too. Well when we first talked about it I think I said

00:47:45   that it has to look like the lightning connector because what else can you do in anything that small?

00:47:49   has to be like the lightning connector because it's so darn small.

00:47:51   Certainly you can't make it like a shrunken version of the regular USB connector won't

00:47:56   work at those sizes, which is why lightning looks like it does.

00:47:59   But then other people said, and I think you guys as well, that lightning is expensive

00:48:03   to make and it can't be as precious and beautiful as a lightning connector because it has to

00:48:07   be cheap for everybody to make.

00:48:09   I just didn't think they could come up with a connector that was that small and also not

00:48:13   pretty much exactly like the lightning connector, like a solid piece of metal with contacts

00:48:16   on either side.

00:48:17   looks like from these drawings that they've somehow decided that they're going to make

00:48:22   it the size and shape of a lightning connector, but still have it be hollow.

00:48:26   So that in the connector slot is a little, must be a microscopic, extremely thin little

00:48:31   thing with contacts on it that goes into the hole in the connector.

00:48:35   Now granted, it fits both ways and it should be pretty easy to line that up, but boy, I'm

00:48:38   worried about that in terms of durability.

00:48:40   Like once you get down to that size, the lightning connector makes so much sense, it's like it's

00:48:45   going to be so small anyway.

00:48:46   better make it solid and put the conics on the outside. I can't, like, I don't know.

00:48:52   I mean, we'll have to see the real—I guess it's conceivable that it could be done,

00:48:55   but I'm super worried about having to shove a little tiny thing inside a little tiny microscopic

00:49:00   hole, even if it fits both ways.

00:49:02   Yeah, and think about, too, that the jack side of it is going to be on phones, which

00:49:07   means it's going to be in people's pockets and get filled up with lint. And to have the

00:49:11   tolerances be so small like you know we saw some of this with the old 30 pin dot connector

00:49:17   which had a similar kind of design but it was larger of course.

00:49:21   Oh it was way bigger way bigger than this looks like.

00:49:23   Yeah but but you know you could see like okay if you have a really really thin you know you know

00:49:28   flat card type you know connector on one side and then like a you know a jack on on the other side

00:49:34   like you know okay well dust is going to get in there it's going to have weird contact it's going

00:49:38   going to have weird pressure issues, it might snap it or bend it or whatever. And that was

00:49:42   at that thickness for the docked connector, that that actually happened. It didn't happen

00:49:46   a lot but it did occasionally happen. At this, this is an even smaller connector by a lot,

00:49:52   it's narrower so there's less area to bend. So it just seems, that looks like if they

00:49:59   can pull this off it's going to be great. It's going to be not as nice as Lightning

00:50:03   because of that more complicated physical design inside the connector. But if they actually

00:50:09   pull this off, great, good for them. I just have doubts that they will be able to, or

00:50:14   that if they do, I have doubts that it will be very durable. That's the big thing.

00:50:18   I feel like you could go around to everyone's laptop or smartphone with one of these connectors

00:50:21   on it, stick my fingernail in there and go, "Snap! Oh, now your connector's broken."

00:50:25   You know what I mean? You could just reach in there with your fingernail and snap every

00:50:30   one of those. Because once that little printed circuit board snaps down, it's such a small

00:50:34   opening. And like I said, with dust and everything, this opening's small enough anyway that I

00:50:38   think dust might even be a problem for people who keep their iPhones in their pocket now.

00:50:42   I don't know what gets shoved into the Lightning connector. But at least you've got the full

00:50:45   width and height of that connector. This, you're less than halving it. Something less

00:50:50   than half the width of that connector can get jammed in there because it's jammed between

00:50:53   the internal tongue and the top or bottom. That's a small margin there. And what could

00:50:59   that tongue be made out of such that it's stiff enough to go into the little hole and line up

00:51:03   correctly, but not so stiff that I could break it off with my finger now. Right, and USB also,

00:51:09   you know, as we discussed previously, one of the reasons why USB connectors were always so, like,

00:51:14   plain and bland and crappy is because one of their design goals has always been to be very,

00:51:19   very cheap. And that's one of the reasons why USB has become universal, why it lived to its name,

00:51:24   because it was really cheap to implement, and the hardware was all really cheap, and the connectors

00:51:28   were all really cheap and the tolerances were pretty big in some of these things. You could

00:51:33   make a pretty whacked out connector or cable and it would still work. And obviously as

00:51:37   things get better, faster, more advanced, the tolerances are going to have to shrink

00:51:41   and get tighter. But this, I'm afraid to see how this will be implemented badly, because

00:51:48   it will be. Everything USB standard, every USB standard becomes implemented badly among

00:51:54   a lot of the devices that are out there.

00:51:56   You're gonna buy a $10 card reader

00:51:59   or a $15 external drive enclosure or something.

00:52:02   Those are gonna have not the best quality connectors

00:52:05   on them and if this becomes the new standard,

00:52:08   which if it doesn't, it's kind of pointless.

00:52:11   You kind of want it to become the new standard.

00:52:13   All those super cheap USB devices out there

00:52:16   that are part of what makes USB so great,

00:52:18   those are gonna have some really dodgy connectors, I think.

00:52:23   - I think about this.

00:52:24   about this is depressing me. Apple's devices, which I think we would all agree have extremely

00:52:30   precise cutouts for the connectors on them, like the laser cut things, they usually line up pretty

00:52:35   darn well. But Apple also has a tendency to design its things without regard to connectors. So for

00:52:41   example, on the back of a 27-inch Thunderbolt display or any of those curved displays,

00:52:46   they have USB ports on the back, but the back is curved, but the ports obviously have to be...

00:52:51   you have to plug the plugs in perpendicular to the connector.

00:52:54   And these are like big, chunky, full-size USB, you know, the A-type connector, like, you know,

00:53:01   regular USB connectors. Very often, I find it difficult to plug in the connectors because

00:53:07   you're not sure what angle it's supposed to go at. And I've seen Apple displays where people have

00:53:11   done that struggle, like trying to get the thing plugged in enough that they've subtly bent the

00:53:16   little plastic thingy that's inside the USB connectors to make it even more difficult to

00:53:21   plug it in because now it's kind of like bent in the wrong direction and you have to kind

00:53:23   of get past that little threshold to go in. And these are the big, humongous, chunky USB

00:53:28   connectors. They haven't broken, but they're annoying to plug in because you have to line

00:53:33   something up, and by people struggling with it, they've made it worse by bending something

00:53:38   in the wrong direction. This is going to be that same problem on Apple's devices anyway,

00:53:43   multiplied many times over.

00:53:44   By the way, I know this is a ridiculous thing to complain about, but try having a cylindrical

00:53:49   It's actually substantially worse.

00:53:51   Oh yeah, because you have to guess what angle it has to go in.

00:53:54   You deserve it.

00:53:56   I do, you're right.

00:53:57   If you're having trouble with that cylindrical computer, you can send it my way by the way.

00:54:01   Take it off your hands.

00:54:02   But the beauty of the lightning connector is that if you can find the hole, just start shoving and it will align itself.

00:54:09   There's nothing you have to line up within the hole.

00:54:11   You just have to get the metal thing into the slot and just press and it will line itself up.

00:54:15   line itself up, which is not true of USB.

00:54:17   Firewire 800 is even worse.

00:54:19   Like, Firewire 800 connector needs to be burned with fire, I guess.

00:54:24   So hard to plug those things in because they have so many little details that have to be

00:54:27   lined up.

00:54:28   Try plugging one of those in the back of an Apple Thunderbolt display.

00:54:31   Most of that is Apple's fault, but I'm just saying, like, a connector that can tolerate

00:54:35   that type of environment is best, and I'm not sure about this one.

00:54:41   We are also sponsored this week, once again by our friends at Warby Parker.

00:54:45   Warby Parker believes that prescription eyeglasses simply should not cost $300 or more.

00:54:50   They should even be affordable enough for people to accessorize and have multiple pairs

00:54:53   if they want to.

00:54:55   Warby Parker bypasses the traditional channels.

00:54:57   They sell higher quality, better looking prescription eyewear online at a fraction of the price,

00:55:02   starting at just $95.

00:55:04   Go to warbyparker.com/atp.

00:55:07   You know, I actually, when we did the sponsor last week, some people in the chat were pointing

00:55:11   that I didn't realize this, like almost every eyeglass store

00:55:15   and almost every eyeglass company is owned by like one big company.

00:55:19   Like Luxottica I think it's, anyway, I didn't realize quite how much

00:55:23   consolidation there is in this business. But Warby Parker is independent and this is why they're

00:55:27   able to bypass this tremendous distribution system by this conglomerate.

00:55:31   They didn't tell me to say that, in fact I hope I don't get in trouble for saying that, but

00:55:35   that's why they're able to do this. Because there's this huge monopoly power

00:55:39   and they're just bypassing it completely

00:55:42   and passing the savings along to you.

00:55:43   So they have these great vintage inspired designs

00:55:47   with a contemporary twist.

00:55:48   Every pair is custom fit and it comes with anti-reflective,

00:55:51   anti-glare polycarbonate prescription lenses.

00:55:54   And every pair comes with a hard case and a cleaning cloth.

00:55:57   There's no like weird add on.

00:55:58   They don't start jacking up the price.

00:56:00   If you start adding up the things you actually need,

00:56:02   there's no like, well, you can get this base price model,

00:56:05   which sucks, or you can get the one that you actually want

00:56:07   won't fall apart in two days for 600 bucks.

00:56:10   Nothing like that.

00:56:11   Buying glasses online sounds like it would be risky.

00:56:14   So how would you know whether they'll fit

00:56:15   or how they'll look on you?

00:56:17   Well, they have you covered with these two

00:56:19   pretty impressive things.

00:56:20   So number one, they have these tools on their site

00:56:22   where you can use your webcam,

00:56:24   you can take a picture of yourself,

00:56:25   it can overlay and it can show you

00:56:27   exactly how the glasses will look on you

00:56:29   right from the webcam.

00:56:30   And then they have this even better thing,

00:56:32   which is the home try-on program.

00:56:34   So here's how this works.

00:56:36   you go to their site, you pick out up to five pairs.

00:56:38   If you don't pick out all five,

00:56:39   they'll send you five anyway, they'll pick stuff for you.

00:56:41   You pick out five pairs, and they will send you the frames,

00:56:45   you can try on for free, right in your home,

00:56:48   keep them for a couple of days, whatever you need,

00:56:50   decide at home, ask your significant other,

00:56:52   walk around, ask your people at work,

00:56:53   whatever you wanna do,

00:56:55   decide on whatever of these frames you want,

00:56:57   and if you don't like any of them,

00:56:58   that's a valid decision too,

00:56:59   but I bet you'll like one of them, at least.

00:57:02   So pick out the one you want, send back the box,

00:57:05   and then you can place an order to have that

00:57:06   with your prescription in it.

00:57:08   All that is free.

00:57:09   There is no charge for the home try-on program.

00:57:11   They pay to ship it to you, they pay to ship it back.

00:57:14   All that very, very simple, very good.

00:57:17   And you can do a couple of these if you want to.

00:57:19   If you don't find what you want the first time,

00:57:21   get another batch,

00:57:22   but I bet you're gonna find what you want.

00:57:23   They have a great selection.

00:57:25   They also have prescription and non-prescription

00:57:27   polarized sunglasses, which I love personally.

00:57:30   If you only ever had a non-polarized sunglasses,

00:57:33   Trust me, you don't know what you're missing.

00:57:35   So go to warbyparker.com, W-A-R-B-Y-P-A-R-K-E-R.com/ATP.

00:57:40   Check out their great selection

00:57:43   of premium quality, affordable eyewear.

00:57:46   And get your home try-on kit risk-free.

00:57:48   Thanks a lot to Warby Parker

00:57:49   for sponsoring our show once again.

00:57:51   - So we should probably at some point

00:57:55   talk about this employee poaching thing

00:58:00   that seems to have started in the valley

00:58:03   but spread quite a long ways away from there.

00:58:06   So what this is about is,

00:58:08   Apple and Google especially seem to be pointed at the most,

00:58:12   but many companies,

00:58:13   I think the number was like 20 or 30 companies,

00:58:15   something like that,

00:58:17   were accused of and from all accounts seem to have

00:58:21   tried to avoid hiring from each other

00:58:26   and made agreements that they would try to keep wages

00:58:28   the same, not hire from each other.

00:58:31   it really is extremely crummy.

00:58:34   And so this is all, it's in trial now, is that correct?

00:58:39   Do either of you guys happen to know?

00:58:42   - I don't know, I don't know enough about this.

00:58:44   Do we know for sure, the articles I've read,

00:58:47   which admittedly have not been enough,

00:58:49   I keep seeing it being referred to as a wage fixing cartel,

00:58:53   but I haven't actually seen anything about wage fixing.

00:58:56   I've seen anti-poaching agreements,

00:58:58   which might have the effect of keeping wages down.

00:59:00   But is there actual-- were they actually

00:59:04   agreeing to keep salary levels at a certain range?

00:59:07   It's the same thing.

00:59:08   They're just labeling it with a secondary effect.

00:59:10   But it's all the same thing.

00:59:12   You can't agree with a bunch of companies

00:59:13   all can't agree with each other.

00:59:14   I won't hire from you, and you won't hire from me.

00:59:16   And that way, we won't have to pay our people more.

00:59:18   That's the implied secondary effect.

00:59:20   It's actually even worse than that

00:59:21   if you saw some of the emails.

00:59:22   I think it's got to be in trial now,

00:59:23   because I don't know why I'd be seeing these emails.

00:59:25   But one situation that was detailed in these--

00:59:28   it was either in a deposition or email or both--

00:59:30   was like a bunch of people left Apple

00:59:34   and went to work for Google.

00:59:35   So Google didn't poach them.

00:59:36   They left Apple of their own accord

00:59:38   and went to work for Google.

00:59:40   And Google wanted to set them up,

00:59:42   I forgot these people, it was a group of people,

00:59:43   Google wanted to set them up doing something

00:59:45   in an office somewhere.

00:59:47   And before they did that,

00:59:48   they were in touch with Steve Jobs and say,

00:59:51   hey, we've got some people here

00:59:52   and they used to work for you

00:59:53   and we wanna set them up in an office here.

00:59:55   Is that okay with you, Steve?

00:59:57   I know you were close with these people, whatever,

00:59:59   just wanted to make sure.

01:00:00   And they're like, well, they were talking amongst themselves,

01:00:03   like, as long as they're not working on any phone stuff

01:00:05   or whatever, I bet it will be OK with Steve.

01:00:07   So first of all, the whole premise that you

01:00:09   would have to call the CEO of your competitor

01:00:11   to make sure that you are allowed to hire his employees

01:00:14   who left their own accord is crazy.

01:00:15   And then saying, well, we can hire them.

01:00:17   Make sure they're not working on anything

01:00:18   that would make Steve angry.

01:00:19   So we can't have them work on a mobile phone

01:00:21   or anything like that.

01:00:22   But surely, if we agree they're not

01:00:23   going to be working on mobile phone stuff,

01:00:24   Steve will be OK with it or whatever.

01:00:25   And in the end, Steve Jobs essentially

01:00:27   said, I'd prefer you don't hire these people.

01:00:29   And so they didn't.

01:00:31   They didn't put them to work in that office

01:00:33   they were going to set up for them.

01:00:34   That's crazy.

01:00:36   That is super illegal and terrible and anti-competitive.

01:00:40   And just like, what's going through these people's heads

01:00:43   at these companies that think this is the way things should

01:00:45   be done, that you would get the OK to what your employees are

01:00:52   going to do or whether you're going to hire people

01:00:54   from your fiercest competitor.

01:00:56   Obviously, this was maybe before Google and Apple

01:00:58   at each other's throat, but it just makes you sick to your stomach to think about that

01:01:04   these people's lives and careers are altered by the whim of a person who runs the company

01:01:09   that they don't work for anymore.

01:01:10   Right, and the other thing I saw was that apparently Facebook basically said, "Screw

01:01:16   that, tough nuggies."

01:01:18   And because of that, apparently Google decided, "Oh, well, a lot of our people are going

01:01:24   Facebook and since we can't get Facebook to agree not to poach our people, hmm, what

01:01:29   can we do?

01:01:30   We should probably try to convince our people to stay.

01:01:33   Oh!

01:01:34   We could pay them more!

01:01:36   That's what we could do!

01:01:37   And so they just, they gave everyone, I think in the entire company, a thousand dollar spot

01:01:43   bonus and raised salaries 10%.

01:01:45   I'm almost sure that's right.

01:01:47   It was in one of the links we'll put in the show notes.

01:01:49   But yeah, because they weren't poaching, well I'm sorry, because they were poaching,

01:01:54   Facebook was poaching Google people, Google suddenly realized, "Well, we should probably

01:01:58   pay our people more."

01:02:00   So Marco, to your point earlier, even though it may not, and John was saying this, even

01:02:05   though it may not on the surface sound like wage fixing, the net effect was wage fixing.

01:02:10   And this is totally, I mean, this is not just an Apple problem as many companies involve

01:02:14   Google and many others, like Apple and Google get it because they're the most famous and

01:02:17   and they're in the headlines, right?

01:02:18   But like, regardless of all the other companies involved,

01:02:21   this is 100% a Steve Jobs thing to do.

01:02:23   Because in his mind, like he's like,

01:02:25   "Look, I'm trying to do great things here

01:02:27   "and I need great people to do great things

01:02:28   "and you stealing my people pisses me off

01:02:30   "and it makes it harder for me to do great things.

01:02:31   "So why don't we all captains of industry get together

01:02:33   "and just agree not to steal each other's people

01:02:35   "'cause it'll make everybody's life easier

01:02:37   "and we all hate it and now finally we can get back to work."

01:02:39   Which is basically putting Steve Jobs' desires

01:02:42   and his desire to change the world with Apple

01:02:43   above the lives of all the employees

01:02:45   of all these companies.

01:02:46   we don't care if you can make more money or you can move to a different city and get an equal

01:02:51   tech job or a different country or whatever. Because I don't care about your mobility in

01:02:56   your life. I just care about doing great things. And so my demands as CEO trump all of these

01:03:02   employees. And this is the way it should be. And someone in the chat room asked, "Why on earth would

01:03:06   Google ask Apple if it was okay? If they're legally unclear, why don't they just hire the

01:03:10   person?" That's the whole point. Google didn't want Apple stealing its people. Apple didn't

01:03:13   more Google stealing its people, because that churn and turnover was a problem for both

01:03:16   companies. They would have to raise all their payrolls to keep the people that they wanted.

01:03:21   And they're just like, "Look, it's easier for both of us if we just agree, let's not

01:03:23   steal each other's people." And Facebook didn't agree to that, mostly, people think, because

01:03:27   most people wanted to go to work for Facebook, because I guess maybe at that point they had

01:03:30   like pre-IPO shares, or there was more upside to Facebook. Like Facebook was stealing people

01:03:36   because they were offering more stuff, and Facebook's like, "We're not going to agree

01:03:39   to this, because we're stealing all of your people. You're not stealing our people." And

01:03:42   And the reason I think Facebook was stealing all their people is because they offered them

01:03:45   more.

01:03:46   You have the potential to be richer if you come to work for Facebook.

01:03:48   Like we're a younger company, maybe you'll get some pre-IPO shares, maybe you'll get

01:03:51   some shares with a much bigger upside than these more mature companies.

01:03:55   We'll pay you more, it's more exciting, maybe you're bored at Apple or Google or whatever.

01:04:00   Facebook was hiring people the old-fashioned way and stealing people from everybody.

01:04:03   And of course Facebook's not going to agree because their whole strategy is we're going

01:04:05   to steal all your employees by offering them better stuff.

01:04:08   Which like Casey pointed out, made Google say, "Well, I guess the only tool we have

01:04:12   retention against Facebook is to pay our employees more. And in a competitive market where people

01:04:16   with these skills are in high demand, they're supposed to get paid more. The companies aren't

01:04:19   supposed to collude to make sure that these people can't be mobile in their careers.

01:04:23   This whole story is infuriating. And I totally see it as like the worst. It's kind of like that

01:04:30   good side of Steve Jobs where he just wants to get the job done, but the worst side of Steve Jobs is

01:04:33   he doesn't care what kind of damage he leaves in his wake to get what he wants. And neither do any

01:04:39   these other companies as well.

01:04:40   It's not just Steve Jobs,

01:04:41   all the other people who agreed to this.

01:04:42   It's a terrible attitude.

01:04:45   It makes me sick reading this whole story.

01:04:47   - John Gruber's been doing some great commentary on this

01:04:51   because it really does show,

01:04:52   this is the kind of thing that,

01:04:54   Apple is not worse off in every way with Tim Cook.

01:04:59   There's a few ways that they're better off with Tim Cook

01:05:02   and I think this is one of them where,

01:05:04   a lot of people are saying this,

01:05:06   I really don't think this would have happened

01:05:07   with Tim Cook at the helm.

01:05:09   because he's—it's not really his style. He's very careful. He's very pragmatic.

01:05:15   He's very kind of unemotional about these things, he seems.

01:05:20   He's also very cutthroat, so I'm not sure about this because he is very demanding and

01:05:26   cutthroat thus far. It's a good bet. Like, from the outside, the image that Tim Cook

01:05:31   portrays, we all have trouble seeing him doing stuff like this where we don't have trouble

01:05:34   seeing Steve Jobs do it, but I think the jury's still out.

01:05:38   it's not quite accurate to make this all about money and wages, at least for all the companies involved.

01:05:44   I don't think Steve Jobs gave a crap about what he was paying his engineers and whether this would keep their wages down.

01:05:50   I don't think that has anything to do with his end of it at all. I think his end of it was all about vengeance and control, and loyalty.

01:05:59   Right, like he didn't want to lose his people to like to this evil company Google that was stealing his products from him

01:06:04   like that's it was

01:06:06   Probably it was almost certainly like this emotional and controlling thing from Steve Jobs

01:06:10   Not at all about salaries and salaries were simply a side effect of it that he probably didn't even think or care about

01:06:16   Well, but that's the thing. He thinks you should stay there because you want to like he's like

01:06:20   I shouldn't have to pay you more

01:06:21   You should stay here because working for Apple is you you get to work for the best company in the world and it's insulting

01:06:26   To me that you expect me to pay you more money to stay here

01:06:28   But at the same time he also didn't want to lose those people so he's like well

01:06:31   It's like he's of two minds he thinks like you you shouldn't be should be staying here because you love it so much

01:06:36   But I'm gonna make sure that even if you wanted to leave you couldn't because you wouldn't get anything better anyplace else you might as

01:06:41   Well just stay so we can crap on you like if you really wanted people to stay you just pay them more money

01:06:45   Well, no see no, that's the problem. That's the other flaw in this argument is that

01:06:50   Engineers especially people who are out on the west coast who can choose between many very well-known tech companies to work for

01:06:57   without really uprooting their life too much.

01:07:01   It's like these companies get employees, they get talent

01:07:05   because of what they're doing and what they're, you know, what's interesting

01:07:09   about them.

01:07:10   Engineers are famously not as motivated by money as you would think and generally

01:07:14   speaking if somebody's thinking about leaving Apple for Google say,

01:07:17   giving them ten thousand dollars more at Apple is not going to really change

01:07:20   that decision for that long or at all.

01:07:23   It's really, it's not a very effective way to keep people.

01:07:26   If you have people looking around

01:07:29   'cause they're bored or unhappy at their job,

01:07:31   money is a terrible way to fix that

01:07:33   because it just doesn't work that well.

01:07:35   - And the individual level, maybe not,

01:07:36   but on the grand scheme of things, it does.

01:07:38   That's why Facebook was able to grab these people.

01:07:40   Apple is a more exciting place to work than Facebook.

01:07:42   You're gonna be working on more interesting things

01:07:44   that are more appealing to the average engineer

01:07:46   than you would at Facebook.

01:07:48   That's not even--

01:07:49   - That depends on what kind of engineer you are

01:07:50   and what team you're assigned to.

01:07:52   - I mean, even if you get to be on the glory team

01:07:55   you get to make the new cool paper app and everything like that.

01:07:58   There's equal glory positions at Apple, and probably if you really care about your thing

01:08:03   being used in the long term by a lot of people, you have to put your money on Apple.

01:08:06   You design the next version of iOS, it's probably going to have more longevity and impact than

01:08:10   designing even the very tippy-top flagship cool new UI thing like paper or the Facebook

01:08:16   phone or whatever.

01:08:18   Apple has the projects to offer people.

01:08:22   should never be able to steal people from Apple, except on the server side, which obviously,

01:08:26   that's a whole different story. And again, retention there is probably not just money.

01:08:31   But I've heard, I know so little about what goes on in Apple, but everyone I know who

01:08:39   has worked there, like we see people come and go. And like they go not because they

01:08:43   don't like Apple anymore, but just like because you burn out on it. Like it's tough to work

01:08:48   within Apple. It's a hard job. It's hard work. There are crunch times, kind of almost like a game

01:08:52   developer. There's crunch times that everyone accepts are going to exist, and you just do what

01:08:58   you have to do, and that can really burn you out after a while. Sometimes you just want to relax,

01:09:02   and also you want to just do your own thing. Within Google, I think there used to be more

01:09:05   latitude to do your own thing and less of a crunch time. There's a lot of factors that contribute

01:09:12   towards deciding whether you want to stay or leave and come

01:09:16   back.

01:09:17   But this type of agreement that doesn't allow you the mobility

01:09:21   shuts out all of those.

01:09:22   Because if they all agree not to hire anyone else,

01:09:24   then you don't have to worry about making your employees

01:09:27   happier in any way, whether giving them more money

01:09:29   or giving them more flexibility to do interesting projects

01:09:32   on their own or not subjecting everyone

01:09:35   to these massive crunch times.

01:09:37   All those tools, it's like, oh, we

01:09:38   don't have to worry about that anymore,

01:09:39   because where the heck are they going to go?

01:09:41   We have this agreement with all the companies in the area.

01:09:43   Yeah, and to go back a step, this

01:09:46   was all happening in 2008, all these emails

01:09:50   that are coming out.

01:09:51   And the Facebook IPO was in 2012.

01:09:54   So Facebook being able to poach all these people

01:09:58   may have been financially related.

01:10:00   And additionally, from the Pando Daily article

01:10:04   that we'll put in the show notes,

01:10:05   the combined workforce of just these 11 companies--

01:10:08   I'll read them real quick in a second totaled over seven hundred and seventy five thousand people in 2008 those companies are Apple Comcast

01:10:14   DoubleClick, Genentech, IBM

01:10:18   Illuminata, excuse me, Illumita

01:10:21   Intel, Intuit, Microsoft, Oglivi, WPP and Google. So

01:10:26   that was nearly a million people in 2008 that were all at least in some capacity being

01:10:34   shrouded beneath this "do not poach agreement" thing. That's a lot of people.

01:10:40   Yeah, I mean, there's nothing about this that's good or encouraging about these companies

01:10:47   at all. It's, like John said, it's just kind of a gross story. It's just kind of

01:10:56   sad. And it shows a lot of arrogance on all sides that, like, this is, I mean, obviously

01:11:01   this is illegal. Like, all this collusion is obviously a problem, and I'm very surprised

01:11:08   that any of these companies were stupid enough to do it, especially by email, for God's

01:11:13   sake.

01:11:14   Yeah, to that end, I was just going to read this. So this is a quote from an email from

01:11:18   Eric Schmidt, who is CEO of Google. "I would prefer that Omid do it verbally, since I don't

01:11:24   want to create a paper trail over which we can be sued later, question mark? Not sure

01:11:29   about this. Two periods. Thanks, Eric." Of course he's a two-period guy. He means a literal paper

01:11:35   trail. I guess, but I mean, do you not realize as the CEO of Google? Yes, it is delicious irony that

01:11:43   the person who doesn't care about anyone else is like, "I don't know." This is the same guy who

01:11:49   is like, "Oh, privacy doesn't really matter. It's not a thing. Nobody will really have privacy

01:11:52   anymore? Oh, God, it's so ridiculously arrogant. Yeah, and the whole fact that, like, in the

01:11:59   thing I was talking about where they're trying to talk about, "Did Steve give the OK? Can

01:12:03   we hire these people?" and it looked like it was going to be OK, but then Steve Jobs

01:12:05   sends back one of his terse emails, "I prefer you don't hire these people," and they all

01:12:08   scramble and say, "Oh, we can't. We can't do it then." That's all happening over email,

01:12:12   too. It's almost as if, not the ignorance of the law is a defense, but it's like, you

01:12:17   read this, and you're like, "Do you guys not know that what you're doing is both illegal

01:12:21   and immoral?

01:12:22   Like, wouldn't you be embarrassed?

01:12:23   Like, if you're going to rob a bank, don't email your fellow bank robbers back and forth

01:12:26   about it for the months leading up to it.

01:12:28   Like, that doesn't seem like a good idea.

01:12:29   But like, so we're going to rob a bank, right?

01:12:31   Okay, I'll send you an email, or I'll send you a text, or I'll like, you know, like,

01:12:35   seriously, it's just, they, they're so casual about it, and they, like, they communicate

01:12:39   to each other emails so casually about this, like, it's almost as if looking from the outside,

01:12:43   you're like, they must not know it's illegal, because if you did, no, no idiot would email.

01:12:47   It's just so incredibly incriminating.

01:12:48   It's not like they were secretly taped or anything.

01:12:51   They're emailing each other about it.

01:12:53   And they didn't delete the emails.

01:12:54   Like, ugh, it's just mind boggling.

01:12:57   Yeah, it really is ridiculous.

01:12:59   The moral of the story is don't work for any of these dicks.

01:13:03   As you all know, this was in 2008.

01:13:05   And I imagine that even this collusion was in effect once the big falling out between

01:13:09   Apple and Google, like, you know, post-iPhone, like, those agreements were off.

01:13:14   Like once Steve Jobs is saying to everybody, you know, we're going to bury Google and they

01:13:18   they betrayed us and they backstabbed us or whatever.

01:13:20   I imagine he also said, and forget it,

01:13:22   we're poaching all their people.

01:13:24   It's too late, you already broke the law.

01:13:26   And if there's a paper trail in electronic form,

01:13:28   you're gonna get screwed for it anyway.

01:13:30   It's kind of a shame that Tim Cook is left holding the bag

01:13:33   in this type of deal.

01:13:34   If he knew about it and it was part of it,

01:13:37   then maybe it's fitting, but if he didn't know about it

01:13:41   or wasn't a part of it or disapproved of it,

01:13:43   now he's the guy holding the bag on this.

01:13:45   And so whatever, I mean, I'm assuming there'll be

01:13:47   wrist slap because it's always a wrist slap at these big rich companies but it's a shame.

01:13:51   Yeah, I don't know. I'm guessing, it says, I think I've read somewhere that apparently

01:13:56   a lot of the companies involved have already settled. I'm really surprised that Apple didn't,

01:14:02   like it seems like that would be the pragmatic approach here. Just settle this. Just take

01:14:07   whatever it costs, settle it quickly and quietly, as quietly as you can at least, and just get

01:14:11   it past you because yeah, this is obviously like, this is obviously a thing of the past

01:14:16   for most of these companies because of their relationships that have changed. And especially,

01:14:21   I really can't see Tim Cook wanting to be a part of this because he's too smart for

01:14:26   that, I think. So it's, I don't know, the whole thing's just gross.

01:14:30   The revenue Apple generated while we were discussing this would be enough to pay for

01:14:33   the settlement. So they're all set.

01:14:35   All right. Anything else? Are we good? Want to have a short one this week?

01:14:41   All right, well, thanks a lot to our three sponsors this week, 2Checkout, Pixelmator,

01:14:46   and Warby Parker, and we will see you next week.

01:14:49   [music]

01:14:50   Now the show is over, they didn't even mean to begin, 'cause it was accidental (accidental)

01:15:00   Oh, it was accidental (accidental) John didn't do any research, Marco and Casey wouldn't

01:15:07   'Cause it was accidental (it was accidental)

01:15:13   And you can find the show notes at ATP.fm

01:15:18   And if you're into Twitter, you can follow them

01:15:23   @C-A-S-E-Y-L-I-S-S

01:15:27   So that's Casey Liss M-A-R-C-O-A-R-M

01:15:32   ♪ Anti-Marco, Armin, S-I-R-A-C ♪

01:15:37   ♪ USA, Syracuse, it's accidental ♪

01:15:41   ♪ Accidental ♪

01:15:43   ♪ They didn't mean to ♪

01:15:45   ♪ Accidental ♪

01:15:46   ♪ Accidental ♪

01:15:48   ♪ Tech, podcast, so long ♪

01:15:52   - Actually, what we should talk about is WVDC theories,

01:15:55   'cause that should be pretty quick for now.

01:15:57   - Okay, so I have an insane theory.

01:16:00   So, if you go to the Moscone schedule—let me find a link and stall for a moment while

01:16:07   I'm doing that. There's a meeting in June, that's the American Diabetes Association,

01:16:11   I believe. That goes on from the Friday that everyone expects—

01:16:17   E: Are you talking 7th through 10th, or 14th through—

01:16:20   JK 13 through 17.

01:16:22   E. I've heard it's the previous week. June 2nd through 6th.

01:16:26   JK Okay, that corroborates my theory.

01:16:28   your thing that has the Friday included, does that involve Moscone West? Because there's three

01:16:32   Moscone. Now that's the thing. So here, you've hit the nail on the head. So I see that—actually,

01:16:38   I saw a few weeks ago—that the American Diabetes Association 74th Scientific Sessions,

01:16:46   that is in Moscone North, South, and West from the 13th of June, which is that Friday,

01:16:52   through the 17th, which is the following Tuesday. So there you go, it's the previous week.

01:16:56   So, well, but no, it's not quite so simple because what it—I know that WWDC ends on

01:17:02   Fridays and it ends around midday.

01:17:05   And so let's assume, for the sake of conversation, for just a moment, that maybe they could flip

01:17:12   it or perhaps maybe the rest of the time the ADA needs West, but they made some agreement

01:17:18   with Moscone where they don't need it Friday.

01:17:21   So I go digging around to look at what is the American Diabetes Association 74th Scientific

01:17:28   Sessions.

01:17:30   And I'm trying to figure out, okay, is there or is there not anything going on in Moscone

01:17:35   West?

01:17:36   And I'm looking at all sorts of things.

01:17:38   I'm looking at vendor maps, and I don't think that was West.

01:17:41   I'm looking at schedules, and they say, "Well, on Saturday, there's absolutely something

01:17:44   in Moscone West, but there's no real talk about Friday in Moscone West."

01:17:49   until I find what I just put in the chat.

01:17:52   Special opportunities, World Cup viewing room.

01:17:56   Since scientific sessions will once again

01:17:57   fall over FIFA World Cup matches,

01:17:59   we'll set aside a viewing area in Moscone West

01:18:01   so that attendees can catch up on the latest action

01:18:03   without leaving the convention center.

01:18:07   So with that in mind, when does the World Cup start?

01:18:10   And I didn't verify this myself,

01:18:12   but I was talking with Underscore earlier today

01:18:14   and he said it starts on like the 12th

01:18:16   or something like that, or the 11th.

01:18:17   I forget exactly what day.

01:18:19   It doesn't really matter in the grand scheme of things, but the point is it starts before

01:18:22   the 13th.

01:18:23   So, if you put all of this together, that says to me that Moscone West is going to be

01:18:29   clogged up on Friday the 13th of June.

01:18:34   So that eliminates the week of 9 through 13.

01:18:39   The following week is still covered by the same ADA meeting, so we've got 9 through

01:18:47   all booked up, which leaves 23 through 27, which has already been booked for Google I/O,

01:18:54   which means by process of elimination, it's the second through the sixth.

01:18:57   Yeah, or it's in August.

01:18:59   If it's in June and if it's still at Moscone.

01:19:01   And I think that's, I mean, that's, I think being at Moscone is a pretty safe bet, just

01:19:06   because of, there's, you know, where else are they going to do it? There's, we've talked

01:19:08   about this before, so that it's, it's almost certainly still at Moscone. It doesn't necessarily

01:19:14   have to be in June. It's just very likely it will be because that's how they've done

01:19:18   it and it works out in a number of ways. I suspect it'll just be that first week, June

01:19:23   2nd through 6th.

01:19:24   But it doesn't really matter where the dates are because don't we all assume they're going

01:19:26   to pre-announce the dates and the ticket sale and everything? It's not going to be a surprise

01:19:31   anymore. It's like, it's just the only question now is like, is it going to be like last year,

01:19:34   is there going to be a lottery or whatever? But I really doubt they would ever go back

01:19:39   to the thing where it's like, "Oh, here it is and go buy it." Like, it's always going

01:19:42   to be preannounced. So we just sit around and wait for them to preannounce, and they'll

01:19:45   say tickets will be on sale at X date, and here's the system we're going to use, and

01:19:48   then we just all deal with it.

01:19:50   Yeah, but it's nice to try to figure out what the schedule is. For example, I was thinking

01:19:55   of flying Aaron out to meet me late in the week, and then we would spend some of the

01:19:59   following week out there together, but—

01:20:01   Yeah, I looked at plane tickets at a hotel fair a little while ago, and the prices looked

01:20:06   crazy and bad.

01:20:07   Well, the prices are terrible the 9th through the 13th. They're almost livable the 2nd through the 6th as per underscore earlier today

01:20:14   yeah, I saw the the the park 55 hotel is

01:20:18   Almost exactly the same price now as it was last year

01:20:21   Well that's gone down since I looked at the last was last I was looking it was like a hundred bucks more per night

01:20:25   It was like it was like in the high hundreds like a hundred and ninety two hundred ish like in that. Oh, that's really good

01:20:32   No, that's yeah. Yeah, I mean we'll see ya for the second to six that it was substantially

01:20:36   I was talking to underscore earlier too, and he suggested too, maybe they'll do a lottery

01:20:41   this year. And I think honestly, the more I think about it, the more I think that's

01:20:45   really the only good option at this point. Anything that involves just everyone rushing

01:20:50   in at this particular time, that's going to always be problematic. It'd be one thing

01:20:56   if it was like, "All right, we're going to open at this time, first come, first serve,

01:21:00   go," and it sells out in 10 minutes. So everyone has 10 minutes. A lot of people can

01:21:05   get in in 10 minutes. But if it sells out in like 45 seconds again, like it did last

01:21:10   year before everything started breaking and failing, that's tough. What you want is for

01:21:19   all the people who really, really want to get in to be able to get tickets. But there's

01:21:23   not enough tickets for that anymore. There's too many people who qualify for that, people

01:21:28   who really want to go. There's just too many of those. And any system you make is only

01:21:33   going to have a random subset of them effectively. So you might as well do it in a way that feels

01:21:39   fair and make it a lottery.

01:21:42   It's not truly random anyway. I like the idea of people being rewarded for their enthusiasm

01:21:47   for buying tickets. If Apple could just make a web application that doesn't die, then you

01:21:52   could, in theory, give people tickets on a first-come, first-serve basis. And then the

01:21:57   people who are sitting there hovering over the button as the seconds tick down on their

01:22:01   synchronized clock, they would be rewarded for their crazy enthusiasm for getting tickets,

01:22:06   and they would be more likely to get tickets than the people who stroll in 30 seconds later.

01:22:11   I know it's a small window and it's crazy, but if you could eliminate the error, a lottery

01:22:15   is truly random. The people who are just like, "Meh, I guess I'll put my hat in the ring

01:22:18   for WWC tickets," and they do that like three days after they were announced, they have

01:22:22   an equal chance with you, who was there the second. I like seeing some weight given to

01:22:28   to people who are more enthusiastic about going.

01:22:31   And there's no way to express that enthusiasm

01:22:32   if there's a four-day window for you

01:22:34   to put your hat in the ring for a lottery for a ticket.

01:22:37   I completely agree.

01:22:38   So I would prefer it if they could just merely make

01:22:40   a web application that worked correctly

01:22:42   and have it sell out in 10 seconds is fine with me.

01:22:44   10 seconds is more than enough for everyone

01:22:45   to sit there, click, click, click, click,

01:22:47   all the people who are there trying to get it

01:22:49   in that 10-second window.

01:22:52   Maybe it sells out in five seconds, in three seconds.

01:22:55   If they can just get an application that wouldn't break,

01:22:58   you could reserve people's spots in that amount of time and say your spot is reserved, you

01:23:01   have five minutes to check out and then the application won't fail.

01:23:06   Somebody has this technology, perhaps not Apple.

01:23:09   Yeah, that's the problem.

01:23:11   You're asking Apple for a really complicated web app that's going to be super reliable

01:23:15   and fair.

01:23:16   Right.

01:23:17   Yeah, right.

01:23:18   I mean, come on.

01:23:19   Right, the whole thing.

01:23:20   It doesn't seem like...how many people could there possibly be?

01:23:23   Let's say there's a million people who want to go to WDC.

01:23:25   I think that's way too big.

01:23:27   I feel like with Apple's budget, it is possible to set up a bunch of servers that serve text

01:23:32   only, no images, just a button and click this button to reserve your ticket.

01:23:38   I feel like I could write this thing for a million people.

01:23:40   It would be ugly, but it would work.

01:23:42   Give me Apple's budget and a couple months to do this, and I can make a fair system for

01:23:49   reserving your spot for WWDC that gives you a token and it sends you off to the real checkout

01:23:54   process during which we check in, you know, like, it's not rocket science. It doesn't

01:23:58   have to be a big fancy, you know, the store checkout process or whatever that's not used

01:24:03   to this kind of onslaught, but...

01:24:04   Well, I mean, I think the reason why it broke so badly last year is that Apple really didn't

01:24:10   seem to do a lot of custom work for it. They basically just tried to wedge it into their

01:24:14   regular checkout process and it just was not designed. Whatever system, whatever back-end

01:24:21   stuff was involved with those tickets in particular, just, they didn't put enough effort into it.

01:24:27   In short, they half-assed it, right? And Apple half-assing a web service, especially one

01:24:32   meant for developers, is nothing new at all. And there's no signs ever from Apple, there's

01:24:38   no signs that their priorities have changed in such a way that making a really amazing

01:24:44   web service for developers is suddenly a really important thing. So I don't see that happening

01:24:48   at all. And that's why I think if you assume that it's going to be no better than last

01:24:54   year, if there's a big rush point, like if they say, "Alright, show up at this time,

01:24:58   first come, first serve," just like last year, I don't have any reason to believe

01:25:03   that, reasonably speaking, it'll be any better than last year. And last year was pretty bad.

01:25:08   Last year was terrible. And I say that because I'm still grumbly about the fact that I

01:25:13   had major ticket acquisition issues, but it was really rough.

01:25:17   But that being said, how come we don't have the same problems with the last one or two

01:25:24   iPhone and iPad preorders?

01:25:27   If I recall correctly, the 5S did not have an online preorder.

01:25:30   Is that right?

01:25:31   Well, there's way more capacity, though.

01:25:34   I don't think you have the emphasized rush because people know that there's not 5,000

01:25:38   iPads available.

01:25:39   5,000 iPads available, and people knew there were 5,000 iPads available, it would be the

01:25:43   same disaster. But there's, you know, there's millions of iPads available.

01:25:47   Sure.

01:25:47   And it's spread out over, you know, like even the people are like waiting up till 3am or

01:25:51   whatever, everyone's getting through, and maybe your shipment date moves out if you're

01:25:54   in the first five minutes or two, but it's not, like there's so much more capacity. There's such

01:25:58   a limited number of tickets for this. Right, but what I'm saying is, let's say there's 50,000

01:26:02   people that really want to go, and obviously I made that up out of thin air. Don't you think

01:26:06   there'd be a lot more than 50,000 people trying to pre-order a new iPhone or iPad on the moment

01:26:11   at 3 a.m. that it's available?

01:26:13   Well, but they have to make that work really well. John, I think you're right that, yes,

01:26:19   the demand probably is a little more spread out in that it isn't as urgent that everyone

01:26:24   who wants one get there at second zero. But I also think that Apple puts a lot more resources

01:26:32   into that and into testing and deploying that because it's way more important to them. Think

01:26:37   about how much of their revenue is directly from that process on those couple days or

01:26:43   even that night. That's a lot of money. That's a huge, very important thing. If it fails

01:26:48   also it's a major PR blunder that they will be right over the coals for and all the tech

01:26:53   sites and everything saying how they're doomed because they can't keep a store up for their

01:26:56   most important product. Meanwhile, if developers get a couple of AirPages and everyone's cart

01:27:02   time out and there's all these errors buying tickets to the developer conference. The Wall

01:27:06   Street Journal doesn't give a crap about that.

01:27:08   No, but I guess what I'm saying is if they clearly have conquered this for iDevices,

01:27:17   couldn't you use some of the same either servers or tech or something for WWDC and also consider

01:27:24   that from everything we can tell from the outside, it seems like it was a pretty labor-intensive

01:27:31   aftermath last year when everyone got half cooked on their orders. And then people from Apple had to

01:27:37   either email or call everyone. In fact, I thought they called a lot of people saying, "Hey, we see

01:27:42   you got halfway through this order. Do you want to finish it?" And that is not something I would

01:27:48   assume they expected to need to do. And if that's a ton of people, even if it's a few thousand,

01:27:53   I mean, a few thousand if it's only two interns doing all the calls for the sake of conversation,

01:27:58   That takes some time. And I remember hearing about these calls happening,

01:28:02   I would say at least a couple weeks, if not a month, after the tickets went on sale.

01:28:05   Well, all of this argues in favor of Apple doing the lottery, because if you think about it from

01:28:09   Apple's perspective, a lottery is the best for them. It makes them not be embarrassed

01:28:14   about having a crappy thing that falls down. It avoids all this work that you just described,

01:28:18   Casey. And the third advantage that it gives to Apple is that it lets them cherry pick.

01:28:24   Like they can, you know, oh yeah, it's random, quote unquote, but behind the scenes, Apple has

01:28:28   the ability to go, that one, that one, and that one, and that one. Okay. And then you can do the

01:28:33   rest of them random. Right. And they do that anyway.

01:28:36   Right. They were doing that with the people who had problems and whatever, but like

01:28:39   a lottery is by far the best from Apple's perspective because it solves all of Apple's

01:28:43   problems. It does not solve all of the customer's problems. And I don't think it's more fair

01:28:47   than the system I described, but if you just go by like what's best for Apple,

01:28:52   a lottery is it. So if you want to take the easy bet, it's like, "Hmm, will Apple do the thing

01:28:56   that's best for Apple, or will they care about how developers feel? Hmm, I don't know." We'll see.

01:29:02   With the added caveat that the thing that's best for Apple requires them to do a little bit more

01:29:06   work on the service side, which makes it a lot less likely. Well, the thing that's best for

01:29:12   Apple doesn't require them to do anymore, so it's really easy to get a little sign-up form and just

01:29:16   collect the names and then send out the emails and say, "Oh, congratulations, you've been selected,

01:29:21   and check out at your leisure with the special token code that, you know, like, it's so much

01:29:25   easier for them. Well, but didn't they do that? The last iPhone pre-order I did, which I did the

01:29:30   5S in line, but I believe for the 4S, or maybe it was the—it doesn't matter—for something,

01:29:36   I got a kind of sort of token. It basically said, "Okay, we see that you want an iPhone,

01:29:43   and we know that we can't handle it right now, but we have reserved one for you. We will email

01:29:50   you a link and let you finish the process later when we think we're good and ready."

01:29:54   Do you remember that, Marco?

01:29:55   I don't, although Underscore said earlier that he thinks that's how tech talks were done.

01:30:01   That tech talks were done by a lottery where you just like, you enter your email and then it says,

01:30:05   "All right, we'll let you know if you can come."

01:30:07   Yeah, they have to have a system for this. I mean, even if the system is simply,

01:30:11   "We'll take provisional orders and we'll just like cancel the ones that we don't pick."

01:30:14   Like, there's so many ways within the bounds of like, because there's no time, you know,

01:30:18   It's like, sure, everyone get your tickets in over the course of the next week. No rush,

01:30:22   because it doesn't matter when you do it. They have no problem supporting this, using whatever

01:30:25   system they decide to use, and it definitely makes their lives easier. And I think the extra

01:30:31   control of them being able to cherry pick the people who they want and who they don't want

01:30:35   there, they must be like, "Yeah, that's great. Why don't we just do that?" And so I fear that's what

01:30:41   will happen this year. But like Margo said, the realistic alternative is the repeat of last year,

01:30:46   because none of us believe that they can make a server.

01:30:49   Or they would have the guts to make a simple text only,

01:30:53   no JavaScript, really tiny one button,

01:30:55   click this thing to reserve your ticket.

01:30:58   They would never do that because it wouldn't be the Apple way,

01:31:01   and it wouldn't look all pretty and have shiny buttons.

01:31:04   Well, that isn't even the problem.

01:31:06   I mean, the layout you can solve with CDNs.

01:31:08   I mean, that's not their problem.

01:31:10   Can you?

01:31:10   Apparently Apple can't because the CSS wouldn't load.

01:31:13   And half the pages during my checkout last year

01:31:15   had no CSS in them, I just blindly plowed on.

01:31:18   (laughing)

01:31:19   - That's exactly right.

01:31:20   - I just, I can't, you know, as a developer of systems

01:31:23   that handle these kinds of traffic in the past,

01:31:24   I can't imagine, like, the kind of, like, weird, ancient,

01:31:29   limited infrastructure they must have put on this task

01:31:33   last year that caused this problem,

01:31:34   unless there were, like, millions of people

01:31:37   hitting it at once, but there weren't, 'cause, I mean--

01:31:39   - Yeah, well, the total demand has to be under a million,

01:31:41   it has to be.

01:31:42   - Yeah, total demand, you know, they have 5,000 tickets,

01:31:44   They sell it very quickly.

01:31:45   How many people do you think are actually trying to get those tickets?

01:31:48   10,000?

01:31:49   20,000?

01:31:50   50,000 maybe at most?

01:31:51   Like how many could there really be?

01:31:54   How long ago was the first sellout?

01:31:57   Wasn't that like 2010, 2011, something like that?

01:32:00   I think it was earlier.

01:32:01   I think it was like '09, but it was like a month and a half after the tickets went on

01:32:06   sale.

01:32:07   Right, so you look at, you know, I think it was 2012 was the first one that happened really

01:32:11   fast and that was like 10 minutes, something like that?

01:32:14   And so I can't imagine we went from 2009, let's call it, where it took a month to

01:32:21   sell out, to 2010 where it was quick.

01:32:24   Can I refuse to call it 2009?

01:32:26   Yeah, well, this is accidental.

01:32:29   That's the way it is.

01:32:30   Anyway, the point is, in 2009, it took a month to sell out.

01:32:34   And then in 2012, it was really uncomfortably quick.

01:32:37   And then 2013, it was just unbearably quick.

01:32:40   I can't imagine that means there's more than 50,000 people,

01:32:44   and even that I feel like is pretty aggressive,

01:32:46   that are looking for tickets.

01:32:48   - What do you think this year,

01:32:51   knowing what happened last year,

01:32:53   knowing what people did last year,

01:32:55   will you be going if you don't get a ticket?

01:32:58   - I probably won't because the videos are so much,

01:33:03   the real-time videos that we didn't know were coming last year

01:33:05   that Apple surprised us with,

01:33:07   assuming they're gonna do them again,

01:33:09   that's probably enough for me to like, I don't, I don't, I'm not sure if I need to be there

01:33:12   for, I mean, I guess it depends on what gets announced and like, if there are things that

01:33:16   I would want to talk to people, you know, sort of behind the scenes about or in person

01:33:21   or whatever the, that, that experience I can't get with the videos, but depending on what's

01:33:26   announced, that experience may be less important.

01:33:28   Yeah, I mean, it's, it's not always about the sessions though. Like, like if I don't

01:33:33   get a ticket, I think what I'll be most disappointed about missing, whether I'm there or not, is

01:33:39   is the socialization that happens in the common areas

01:33:42   in Moscone during the day between the sessions.

01:33:44   I see so many people there, I talk to so many people,

01:33:47   I've made deals there, that's a very important thing to me

01:33:51   is that community engagement, being around people

01:33:56   of our industry and meeting new people,

01:34:01   being in the building to be there for all this.

01:34:03   If you just go and go for the social elements

01:34:06   and drinking at the bar with your friends afterwards

01:34:08   stuff. You get some of that, but it's not nearly as much.

01:34:12   Right, and that's the thing, is that I feel like I'd want to go for at least maybe two-thirds

01:34:19   of the week, even if I didn't have a ticket, but oh my goodness, selling work. Even if

01:34:24   I told work, "Hey, I'll fund it from a financial perspective, but can I not work

01:34:30   for a week and not have to take vacation?" That's going to be a tough sell. I don't

01:34:35   know if I'm...

01:34:36   for me, I'm justifying the large expense of the trip and everything as part of work on

01:34:41   OS X review. So it's like a business trip. I have to take off from work for my real job,

01:34:47   that just is vacation from that. But it's like, am I going to spend a week of vacation

01:34:52   and also spend all this money to do this thing? It has to be in service or something. So it

01:34:57   can't just be like, "Oh, I just want to hang out with my friends." If money was no object

01:35:02   and I didn't have any other responsibilities, you'd just go there to have a fun week, right?

01:35:05   But even if I didn't have it taken, which some people did last year, but I don't think

01:35:09   I have that luxury.

01:35:10   Yeah, I don't know.

01:35:12   I'm 50/50.

01:35:14   Knowing me, I'll cave and go.

01:35:16   But I don't know.

01:35:17   That's a tough sell.

01:35:19   But it sounds like, Marco, you'd almost certainly do it.

01:35:22   I would definitely go, but I would probably end up being really bored during most of the

01:35:30   days.

01:35:31   So suppose they-- because last year they released the videos, what was it, like,

01:35:34   like the evening, or like the next morning there were the videos from the previous day?

01:35:37   It was, it was like,

01:35:38   it wasn't real time, was it, but it was pretty soon afterwards.

01:35:42   I think you're right. I think it was within twelve hours. Yeah, something like that.

01:35:46   So you could like, you know, you could, on any given day you could watch like the

01:35:49   previous day's videos.

01:35:50   So yeah, maybe I could do that, but

01:35:53   where am I going to do that? In what context? Like, am I going to sit around in a hotel

01:35:57   room alone watching videos all day? Like, that's going to suck.

01:36:00   on crummy wifi? Right. Well, you'd go meet people for lunch and meet people for dinner,

01:36:04   but you know, but yeah, the rest of the time you'd be sitting in a hotel room or in some

01:36:07   coffee shop or something trying to stream videos. Right, and that sounds like a pretty

01:36:12   miserable week, honestly, so if that's the alternative, that's pretty bad. If there's

01:36:19   a lot of people who are in this situation, who all end up going, then maybe you could

01:36:24   try to organize something a little more reasonable than that for the day times. And for the night,

01:36:29   doesn't matter. No one's in Moscow after 4 p.m. anyway, but what do you do from 9 a.m.

01:36:35   to 4 p.m.? That's the big question. And if you don't watch the videos, when do you watch

01:36:42   the videos? One of the great things about being there is that your job during that week

01:36:49   is to go to the sessions. So you will go to the sessions. Maybe not all of them, maybe

01:36:53   not every slot, but you will go to the sessions. You have nothing else to do that week but

01:36:57   do that. Whereas if you wait until after that week, if you're like, "Oh, well, I'll watch

01:37:03   the sessions when I get home, you know, I'll watch sessions later in the year," you'll

01:37:06   just probably never do it, because there's never a time where it's your job to watch

01:37:09   that session.

01:37:10   Right, and there was Alt-WWDC last year, which from everything I've heard was actually very,

01:37:16   very good. So you could presumably go to that and spend your time there during the day,

01:37:23   but I agree. And the other thing to consider is that despite San Francisco being this hot

01:37:27   bed of internet everything, the hotel Wi-Fi in any hotel I've ever stayed in is just

01:37:31   as crummy as every other hotel anywhere in the country.

01:37:34   Oh, it's miserable.

01:37:36   Right. So what do you do to get the videos, even if you could get them? I mean, you'd

01:37:40   have to go to—Marco, would you go to Starbucks to get the videos?

01:37:44   Honestly, I would probably just ask, like, Macworld or, you know, an office that's

01:37:48   nearby that we're friends with, I would just ask them if I could go to their office

01:37:51   and use their internet connection to download all these things. And honestly, that, you

01:37:55   know, and that might be the answer, right? The answer might be, you know, small groups

01:37:59   of people who know someone in San Francisco get together at various people's offices or

01:38:03   apartments and have little parties or gatherings or, you know, Wi-Fi download sessions there.

01:38:08   I mean, it's, but the problem is, like, that's not really, that's not really, like, a big

01:38:13   community event. It breaks up into smaller communities, and it also makes it much harder

01:38:18   for people who don't know anyone yet, you know, who are new to the community, who don't

01:38:23   know anyone in San Francisco or don't know anyone of these big companies, it makes it

01:38:26   much harder of a sell for them to be any part of this, really. And that's a shame.

01:38:32   And so, you know, it's one thing, like, you know, we can go out there and, yeah, Jason

01:38:37   Snell already said we could use their office. So we know if we went out there, we'd have

01:38:42   somewhere to go. But that's not going to apply to everyone. And that's--

01:38:45   Right.

01:38:46   It's just kind of-- it's an unfortunate situation that it has to be limited like this, but,

01:38:51   know, unfortunately it does. There are no bigger venues. Even if they could find a bigger venue,

01:39:00   like do you really want a conference with 20,000 people? We've been to those. Southwest is giant

01:39:05   and it's terrible. Well, it doesn't spread out over all of Austin. I've never been, but

01:39:10   my understanding was it's like a gazillion different locations all around Austin.

01:39:14   Is that correct? Yeah, they pretty much started spreading out to like,

01:39:18   Now you have to take buses across the river to go to some weird hotel for session one.

01:39:23   It's so weird. That's the problem. It's like forums. Discussion forums have

01:39:32   certain sizes above which they just do not scale very well.

01:39:34   Once the community gets beyond that size, there's no turning back. There's no rescuing it.

01:39:42   It just gets out of control.

01:39:45   conferences are a similar thing. There's certain natural sizes after which

01:39:49   it's just really really hard to make it good and to make it work. And

01:39:53   I think they definitely have reached that point with W2C.

01:39:57   With, you know, we see how it's very hard to

01:40:01   get into a lot of the sessions because there's lines out the door, you can't even

01:40:05   get into so many of them. Like, it's so, it's already

01:40:09   bursting at the seams. Like, they can't really make it bigger and have it be

01:40:13   the same kind of thing.

01:40:15   And there's lots of, you know,

01:40:16   they could try to split it up in various ways,

01:40:18   but then that kind of ruins other aspects of it as well,

01:40:21   including some of that community aspect.

01:40:23   So it's one of those things

01:40:25   that there's just no good option here.

01:40:27   We just have to pick between bad options.

01:40:29   - And on that bombshell.

01:40:32   - Speaking of picking between bad options,

01:40:36   what about those M3 cars?

01:40:38   - Oh God, they're so bad.

01:40:40   They're so bad.