52: Necessary But Not Sufficient


00:00:00   I'm drinking tea tonight. I feel like dignity.

00:00:02   What?

00:00:04   It is. That's like,

00:00:06   it's not, I know it's not actually the 90s, but that's like the 90s equivalent of an internet world. Dignity.

00:00:11   Yeah.

00:00:14   Yeah, so do you guys really, I mean Casey, you really honestly don't know what dignity is or was?

00:00:18   I've heard of it, but I never paid attention to it. Did you use a computer in 2006? Yes.

00:00:26   Have we not already completely established that both of us, myself especially, have no

00:00:32   knowledge of anything that either of you considers worthwhile?

00:00:34   Yeah, I guess, but I mean, you're at least a nice guy.

00:00:37   I thought we established it was like me and then you two in another camp over there.

00:00:43   Yeah.

00:00:44   Dignation was a podcast.

00:00:45   So anyway, let's talk about Facebook Paper.

00:00:49   Yeah, I talked about it last week.

00:00:51   There was the startup movie and the crash and all those bad things, and we talked more

00:00:54   about the app itself.

00:00:56   But I hadn't really used it for more than a couple seconds, so after the podcast or

00:01:01   sometime in the past week I tried to use it some more, and I'm flipping around and doing

00:01:05   stuff.

00:01:07   And it keeps interrupting me with video and audio instructions to tell me what I should

00:01:13   do on any given screen.

00:01:15   It's bad enough when you get the coach marks, like the iPhoto-style thing or whatever, or

00:01:19   sometimes on startup and sometimes at the hit of a button where they'll show sort of

00:01:22   magic marker, kind of drawings with arrows. Like someone wrote on your screen like it's

00:01:27   a whiteboard and Comic Sans text telling you like click over here and tap over there and

00:01:32   this is worse because it's audio. It's like you're sitting there trying to use your thing

00:01:35   and someone starts talking to you and this little animation comes on the screen, swipe

00:01:38   to the right to get to the next thing. It's like, okay, all right, whatever. You don't

00:01:43   know what to do to make it go away because there's no X or maybe there is, I didn't see

00:01:46   it. It's like, do I have to do what it's telling me? But eventually it goes away. I'm like,

00:01:50   "Hey, yeah, I'll start using this."

00:01:51   I go to the next screen and it says,

00:01:52   "You can move this up for like, no, stop talking to me.

00:01:55   Stop."

00:01:56   It's, I know it's trying to be helpful,

00:01:58   but now I think it's over the line of like,

00:02:01   maybe someone would find a startup animation or movie

00:02:04   interesting or charming for the very first time

00:02:06   you launch the app and never see it again.

00:02:08   But if it's like, there's like a pause,

00:02:10   it's like, now you get to use the app

00:02:12   and you start using it.

00:02:13   And then it says, "By the way, I'm still here,

00:02:14   this disembodied voice and these animations."

00:02:16   And then it goes away again and you keep using the app

00:02:19   and then you're on another new screen and another thing pops up, that really, really

00:02:22   bothered me.

00:02:23   I think that is trying to be helpful, but it's failing.

00:02:27   It's the worst kind of help.

00:02:29   If I had asked for that, if I had asked for a guided tour, sure.

00:02:32   But if I think I've passed through the front door of the splash screen and now I'm really

00:02:37   using the app and it keeps interrupting me, no good.

00:02:40   So I give that a big thumbs down.

00:02:44   It seems like these, I mean, you know, we're in this era now of these very highly progressive,

00:02:50   experimental, gesture-based interfaces on so many apps. Really mostly on iOS, let's

00:02:55   be honest, but so many iOS apps. And I kind of feel like, you know, gestural interfaces

00:03:02   are really appealing to designers because they can look amazing, they can be really

00:03:08   cool. Users who get used to them can love them, but it's really, really hard to have

00:03:15   any kind of affordances that also look good and that are discoverable. And so you end

00:03:21   up needing things like this on any--like, you know, people--universally, I've heard

00:03:28   people love paper. Well, this paper. They love the other one, kind of, and the last

00:03:34   one they never heard of, but they love this one, the Facebook one, and a lot of that is

00:03:41   because it has this new experimental progressive gestural interface, but if you have to tell

00:03:47   people how to use it with these things, to me that's just so annoying. It's such

00:03:52   a failure of design, really. And I wonder, there are periods in software fashion where

00:04:02   you can point to really tacky things that were iconic of that era, like the Flash intro

00:04:08   page on websites, or Clippy in Microsoft Office. And I wonder if this is that thing for our

00:04:18   current era, is that the stupid overlay that you have to show, or little tutorial videos,

00:04:23   or little intro that you have to show on gesture-based iOS apps because nobody could figure out if

00:04:29   looking at them what to do. And I wonder if we're ever going to move past that. I mean,

00:04:34   this is a big problem in all gesture-based interfaces because -- and it's just like keyboard

00:04:39   shortcuts. Gestures are just as discoverable as keyboard shortcuts for the most part, although

00:04:44   actually in some ways they're a little bit less, but -- because there's no list. At least

00:04:49   keyboard shortcuts you can like open the menus and you can eventually some people figure

00:04:53   out that those little things next to the commands tell you the keyboard shortcuts. Anyway, so

00:04:58   I wonder if we're going to move past this, really.

00:05:02   And how long will it be until we look at an app like this

00:05:06   that is so, like, too cleverly designed for its own

00:05:10   good almost. It's so different from what we've

00:05:14   had before that it has to have all these overlays and these help dialogues, which we've seen

00:05:18   you know, paper's not the first thing to do, as we've seen this a lot in the last few years, but

00:05:22   it just seems like a really bad hack. It seems like a really terrible

00:05:26   design flaw to have to require these things.

00:05:29   I think paper's the first one to interrupt me.

00:05:31   Like, I'm used to either having it be something you go through on initial launch, or having

00:05:36   it be something you ask for on demand.

00:05:37   I'm not used to thinking I'm through with that part of the first launch experience,

00:05:42   proceeding to use the app and then having it come back unprompted and say, "I've

00:05:47   got to tell you something else now," and then having it go away again, and then having

00:05:50   it come back.

00:05:51   Like, that—it's not even so much the audio and the video that is great.

00:05:54   It's the idea that you are never free of it.

00:05:57   Like, I don't know how long it goes on.

00:05:58   Does it keep reminding you?

00:05:59   When does it decide that I know that you swipe up

00:06:02   to do this thing or swipe left and right to do that thing?

00:06:04   That's terrible.

00:06:06   But for the gestural UIs, I think one of the problems--

00:06:10   I don't think paper really solves this-- is you really

00:06:13   need to have some kind of model.

00:06:16   It doesn't necessarily have to be physical model,

00:06:18   but it has to be a model that matches up

00:06:20   with most of your users mentally,

00:06:22   where the motions mean something

00:06:26   or can have some sort of connection.

00:06:29   And it's really difficult to do that.

00:06:30   I mean, you can see it in Flipboard or in Paper,

00:06:32   any of the other apps.

00:06:34   So Paper, like left and right,

00:06:36   is how you go through things.

00:06:37   And that's like, all right,

00:06:38   so they're lined up left to right,

00:06:39   and you go from side to side.

00:06:40   That in itself is already a little weird,

00:06:42   because most of us are used to vertical scrolling,

00:06:44   but okay, I can handle that.

00:06:45   But then they have the thing where it folds over itself

00:06:47   when you push upwards to see,

00:06:48   Like if you want to see more on this flip-o,

00:06:50   like this little panel folds down,

00:06:52   and there's no sort of analog in real life,

00:06:55   certainly not in the physical world,

00:06:56   and not in any computer UIs that would indicate to you

00:06:58   that that is a memorable motion for like,

00:07:00   oh, push up, push down with my thumb, that does that.

00:07:03   You really need to have some kind of connection

00:07:06   to hang on to.

00:07:07   The only way you can get away with not doing that

00:07:09   is if it's an app people use obsessively and constantly,

00:07:12   and they'll just learn them because you use it all the time.

00:07:14   And maybe Facebook has that going for it,

00:07:16   that people are gonna use it all the time,

00:07:17   and eventually those motions

00:07:18   just become second nature. Kind of like in your favorite Twitter app, everybody knows

00:07:22   which way slide to see the conversation is and which way slide to reply is. And it's

00:07:26   different in different Twitter apps. And whichever one you use all the time, you eventually just

00:07:29   get used to it. But it really helps to have a physical model, kind of like the webOS cards

00:07:34   metaphor or the iOS 7 task switcher, where you can kind of envision them as individual

00:07:41   entities that you can throw off the screen or something like that. Some kind of thing

00:07:45   to hang your hat on, because otherwise, imagine if every app was like paper. I think eventually

00:07:50   you'd get confused and your thumb would be like, "Oh, I thought it was slide left, but

00:07:53   it's slide right." You don't want to have to think about it on a conscious level and

00:07:56   you're like, "What is slide up in this app? Does that show more detail or does that get

00:07:59   rid of this item? And how do I get back to where I was? Is that slide to the left or

00:08:02   do I pull down?" You only have a few axes to work with, and especially these whole screen

00:08:07   or kind of grab the whole thing gestures. It's everybody fighting over up, left, right,

00:08:13   down. No one has had the guts to really do 45 degree angles, or not 45 because it's a rectangle,

00:08:17   but anyway, no one has had the guts to do specific angles, but I mean, eventually maybe that's going

00:08:21   to come and it's going to be a revolutionary new thing. Not only can you fold it up and make some

00:08:25   new panel come out and fold it down and make it flip over and fold it left and right to make it

00:08:28   twist and slide, but at 45s it folds up into a little swan and flies away and, you know,

00:08:32   it's really difficult. And I will confess that since I use enough different Twitter apps and

00:08:39   and app.net apps and everything, that occasionally I

00:08:41   do flick the wrong direction.

00:08:42   Oh, I wanted reply, but I got show conversation.

00:08:45   Because it's different in different apps.

00:08:46   And there's nothing particularly right or lefty

00:08:49   about show conversation and reply, physically speaking.

00:08:52   Yeah.

00:08:54   All right.

00:08:55   What's this root metrics thing that one of you added?

00:08:58   I glanced at this earlier, and it actually

00:08:59   looked very interesting.

00:09:01   And do you remember on the last show,

00:09:03   I think I mentioned about Google,

00:09:05   a project Google could do with all its Android phones

00:09:07   it could measure the signal strength and the data throughput of various ISPs and then report

00:09:13   that back to Google.

00:09:14   So you'd have an idea of like, if I live in this exact spot in this house and I work in

00:09:21   this building right here, what service has the best throughput and the best reliability

00:09:26   and that type of information?

00:09:28   That's the only information you can get if you have tons and tons of people all over

00:09:32   the country in various locations, because you can't just have one person in each city.

00:09:36   you really want to know specific data.

00:09:38   After mentioning that show, someone whose name I lost,

00:09:41   sorry, sent me the URL of this place called RootMetrics,

00:09:45   and this is apparently a company, and that's what they do.

00:09:47   They send people around to test the connectivity

00:09:50   at various different ISPs from different places

00:09:53   all over the United States, and I guess also the UK,

00:09:57   and they said they've driven over 132,000 miles

00:10:00   and done 3.5 million tests.

00:10:03   You can look at their website, it's rootmetrics.com.

00:10:06   They're not a sponsor.

00:10:07   I read through their methodology and their claims,

00:10:10   and it seems like they're doing it right.

00:10:12   They're not affiliated with any network, as far as I can tell.

00:10:14   Or if they are, they're hiding it very well.

00:10:16   And they try to be objective and make

00:10:18   sure they have enough samples to be statistically sound.

00:10:22   So this apparently is a good idea,

00:10:24   and someone's already doing it.

00:10:25   So if you want to find out, I guess you go to this website.

00:10:28   And I didn't even explore the website enough to know,

00:10:29   is this an app I download?

00:10:30   Is this a service I sign up for?

00:10:32   Whatever it is, it seems like.

00:10:34   They have an app.

00:10:35   So it says that they have driven actually 540,000 miles.

00:10:41   They've tested 137 markets.

00:10:43   Well, I'm assuming that means they have done that.

00:10:46   But additionally, you can download their app and do

00:10:48   a test.

00:10:49   And I'm assuming that's how they aggregate

00:10:51   all of the consumer information like you were describing,

00:10:55   is that the idea is I'll download this app.

00:10:57   I'll test.

00:10:58   I'll report in that I'm on AT&T.

00:11:01   And they will add that to their database O info.

00:11:04   And they point out another thing, they don't do user surveys, so they're not asking people

00:11:08   how they think the connectivity is, because that would be terrible.

00:11:10   And they emphasize that they have people looking at the statistics and making sure that they've

00:11:15   achieved the proper level of significance and all that good stuff.

00:11:19   From the five minutes I spent on the website, it looked interesting.

00:11:22   I'm glad someone is doing that.

00:11:24   Cool.

00:11:25   All right, next up, I had this iPad Pro thing.

00:11:30   or Mike Z. wrote in asking, you know, we were talking about the iPad Pro and moving towards

00:11:36   the needs of regular people and everything always has to get better. And Mike Z said,

00:11:40   "Are we sure that usability is infinitely improvable? What if computers, including mobile

00:11:45   platforms, just aren't for everyone?" And I thought this was worth considering because

00:11:52   we kind of faced a similar issue with programming languages and programming in general, where

00:11:58   for a while, especially like late 90s, even before that really, but for a while there

00:12:02   were these efforts to bring programming to every computer user. Everyone can be a programmer.

00:12:08   And there were these efforts to make simpler and simpler languages that did more and more

00:12:12   stuff for you, or had experimental types of syntaxes and commands, and were very simple

00:12:19   and really made for "everyone." And the reason why everyone isn't a programmer today is not

00:12:27   because the languages aren't simple enough, it's because programming, just conceptually,

00:12:33   programming is complicated. And even if you don't have to do that much to tell the computer

00:12:39   what you are trying to do, you still have to deal with the reality of things like the

00:12:43   computer is not going to be able to really reliably guess if you don't tell it very well,

00:12:48   or if you're ambiguous, you know, it doesn't really deal with that very well, or if you

00:12:52   don't really necessarily know what you want, or you tell it what you want, but that's

00:12:56   actually not what you want because you didn't tell it correctly. It's all these problems

00:13:00   that make programming hard even for those of us who know how to do it.

00:13:06   And so I think the reality that the conclusion of those kinds of efforts is that you can

00:13:12   make programming easier up to a point, but after a certain point just the inherent nature

00:13:18   of programming, the inherent complexity of doing a programming type task does keep a

00:13:23   lot of people out of it, because they just can't think that way. They can't—

00:13:28   I like how you think this was a '90s phenomenon. You should go to the 4GL Wikipedia page and

00:13:33   do some reading. Because back from when I was first reading about programming, this

00:13:36   was—I guess it goes in cycles like anything else, but yeah, 4GLs were the new big thing,

00:13:41   and they were going to make it so you didn't have to do all that nasty programming.

00:13:44   Yeah, so this is not a new thing, really. But it seems like it's kind of died down

00:13:51   in recent years, as everyone's kind of realized that, you know, yeah, sure, our programming

00:13:55   languages are not perfect these days, and there's always going to be room to improve

00:13:59   programming languages, but, you know, inherently programming is complicated, and there are

00:14:04   these concepts and realities involved with it that no matter how easy you make the language,

00:14:10   it still has this built-in degree of complexity that you can never fully get rid of.

00:14:14   So, you know, back to Mike Z's question, you know, does usability fall into this category,

00:14:19   know, as he asks, what if computers just aren't for everyone? And I think that's a really

00:14:26   interesting point because we see, you know, I've been banging this drum for a while now

00:14:31   on the show, we see issues that Apple's run into with iOS where the realities of being

00:14:37   a computing device get in the way of their pretty abstractions. Things like, you know,

00:14:40   we talked about storage space being an issue and managing photos and backups and stuff

00:14:44   like that and how you kind of slam into walls with that with iOS because they try to make

00:14:49   it simpler and better for everyone, but then reality kicks in at some point and has a problem

00:14:54   with that. And computers inherently, they are kind of complex, you know, and it doesn't

00:15:02   really matter, you know, even the Chromebook, which uses just web services for everything,

00:15:06   even that has complexity because you're talking about complexity of data and having data,

00:15:14   having accounts that you log into or data that you manage, the concept of documents

00:15:21   and files and where do you put them, where are they when you want to look for them, how

00:15:25   do you copy stuff, move stuff, how do you manage things, where is the stuff backed up,

00:15:30   where, you know, if it's backed up. All of these things I think are just inherent

00:15:35   complexities of computers. And even if you have fantastic backup services, cloud services,

00:15:42   interfaces, great interface design. I think the reality is you're still dealing with this

00:15:47   is a computer. It does exactly what you tell it to and no more for the most part. And,

00:15:53   you know, if you tell it save this thing I just typed and name it this, it'll have that.

00:15:58   And if you can't remember anything in it or the name, you're going to have a hard time

00:16:01   finding it unless you browse. But there might be a million things to browse through because

00:16:04   you've been doing this every single day for the last ten years. Like, it's--there's just

00:16:08   inherent complexity in just having data in a computing system and managing it in some

00:16:13   way no matter how good that system is. So I think while there is tons of room for improvement,

00:16:18   I think there is a ceiling. And we are hitting that already. And I think we can kind of get,

00:16:25   you know, logarithmically closer to it, but I think we're never going to, or asymptotically

00:16:29   closer, whatever, you know, the asymptotes in math. We're going to get closer to it,

00:16:33   but I don't think we're ever going to really be able to break through the ceiling of, you

00:16:38   You know, there's this inherent complexity with these things.

00:16:40   I think this is a bogus question, though, because he starts off, "Are we sure that

00:16:43   usability is infinitely improvable?"

00:16:45   Did any of us ever say it was infinitely improvable?

00:16:47   I don't think anyone said or implied that.

00:16:49   I mean, that's a crazy thing.

00:16:50   If it was infinitely improvable, it would result in the technological destruction of

00:16:53   the world, because every single person on the planet would be able to do everything

00:16:56   that every computer is capable of without, you know, without any real effort.

00:17:00   You know, if they could think they could make it happen, and even just given current technology,

00:17:05   would just destroy the earth because they would immediately hack into nuclear missile

00:17:09   silos because they know that it's something that they want to do. And computers are infinitely

00:17:12   usable. No, it's not infinitely usable, but whatever the heck that means, obviously.

00:17:19   And if there's some sort of inherent complexity with current technology, like given the hardware

00:17:24   that we have and the limitations of that hardware, how usable can you make it? I believe, yes,

00:17:29   there is a limit there as well. I don't think we're anywhere near that limit even for the

00:17:33   given hardware, and hardware is getting better over time.

00:17:38   So I think that we will always be chasing that, and we can always make them more usable.

00:17:42   But more to the point of the iPad Pro thing, we've already seen that maybe computers aren't

00:17:46   for everyone.

00:17:47   Computers are totally for everyone.

00:17:48   Have we not learned that computers are for everyone?

00:17:50   Even before smartphones, PC has proved that computers are pretty much for everyone in

00:17:54   the same way that anything can be for everyone.

00:17:56   Yes, you have to live in a first world country where you can afford to have a computer and

00:17:59   all that stuff.

00:18:00   We've basically proven that, you know, given the resources, if you give a computer to everybody,

00:18:06   they can find something useful to do with it.

00:18:07   And yes, they're crappy and annoying and they have problems, but so do cars, so do houses,

00:18:12   so do clothing, so does everything else that regular people can have.

00:18:14   Smartphones, forget it.

00:18:15   They are computers.

00:18:16   They are for everyone.

00:18:17   So yes, computing is definitely for everyone.

00:18:20   Computers can get easier on the current hardware.

00:18:23   And on the iPad Pro thing, are iOS devices more usable than personal computers?

00:18:28   I think they are.

00:18:30   So I don't see—I kind of see what he's getting at here, but I think it's kind of

00:18:33   a straw man and doesn't really shed any light on the question we were asking, because

00:18:37   I think we do all agree that iOS devices are easier than personal computers.

00:18:41   How much easier, whatever.

00:18:42   I think we also all agree that computers are for everyone, even if they may be annoying.

00:18:48   It's proven by the existence of—everyone has one now.

00:18:52   Almost everyone has one.

00:18:53   So I didn't find this question as enlightening as Marco did.

00:18:57   All right.

00:18:58   Do you want to tell us about something that's pretty cool, Marco?

00:19:01   I would love to.

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00:21:18   And so anyway, back to why you want this thing.

00:21:22   I'm kind of all over the place with this one.

00:21:24   'Cause there's so much to talk about at Transporter,

00:21:26   they can do so many things,

00:21:27   you really should check this thing out.

00:21:28   So when you compare this pricing,

00:21:31   and there's no monthly fees,

00:21:32   you just buy it upfront, that's it.

00:21:33   You compare this pricing to if you wanted

00:21:36   to store stuff on Dropbox or any of the cloud services.

00:21:39   It's nowhere near this cheap.

00:21:41   And there's privacy concerns with a lot of stuff, too.

00:21:45   And Transporter has all these new features.

00:21:47   So they're actually having-- they're in the advanced beta

00:21:50   here for their desktop software.

00:21:51   They're a little client that accesses this stuff

00:21:53   and helps you with sync and everything like that.

00:21:55   They're in an advanced beta.

00:21:56   It should be out probably by the end of the month.

00:21:58   The beta's public.

00:21:59   You can go download it now if you want to.

00:22:00   And it will sync your desktop, your documents folder,

00:22:05   downloads folder, movies, music, and pictures optionally.

00:22:08   They're all optional.

00:22:09   you can have it automatically sync those folders

00:22:11   with your transporter and then with any other Macs

00:22:14   that you wanna log in with.

00:22:15   And so you can kinda have your Mac special folders,

00:22:18   desktop photos, all that stuff.

00:22:20   You can have those things synced automatically

00:22:22   without having to like explicitly store them

00:22:25   on your transporter yourself.

00:22:26   So it's even better than Dropbox in a way

00:22:28   because you don't have to like change your habit of,

00:22:31   oh, I wanna start storing these files in the Dropbox folder

00:22:34   rather than just keeping them on the desktop

00:22:35   or keeping them in the photos folder or whatever.

00:22:37   They automatically sync all those things

00:22:39   with this new beta software, do that by the end of the month,

00:22:41   and I believe available now for anyone who wants to try it.

00:22:44   They also have this great iOS app,

00:22:46   where you can access through the little cloud reflector

00:22:48   service, you can access your files right from the iOS app.

00:22:52   Anything stored in the transporter,

00:22:54   you can access right there from anywhere.

00:22:56   So really great service here.

00:22:57   So check out File Transporter, there's so much to say here.

00:23:02   I've been talking for a while now,

00:23:04   so there's just so many possibilities.

00:23:07   You can sync folders, you can collaborate

00:23:09   with multiple people, you can have a transporter at home

00:23:11   and a transporter at work and have them sync

00:23:13   do an automatic off-site backup.

00:23:15   So many great options here.

00:23:17   Go to filetransporterstore.com

00:23:20   and then that's where you can find out more

00:23:22   about the transporter, you can find out about

00:23:23   the great prices they have for us,

00:23:25   and if you use code ATPSHARE before the end of February,

00:23:29   you can get the transporter sync for just $75.

00:23:33   Otherwise, for any other transporter model,

00:23:36   You can save 10% by using the coupon code ATP.

00:23:40   So once again, go to filetransporterstore.com

00:23:43   and check these things out.

00:23:45   Use coupon code ATP share.

00:23:47   You can even give these things,

00:23:48   oh, that's once again the purpose of the share.

00:23:50   You can give one of these as a gift.

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00:23:55   my special someone, I got you a transporter sink.

00:23:58   They really, you know, they're really pushing this.

00:23:59   They want you to share these things with everybody.

00:24:01   Just 75 bucks, you can't go wrong.

00:24:04   So once again, thank you to Transporter for sponsoring our show.

00:24:09   Thanks guys.

00:24:11   Okay, so somebody has added "Flappy Bird Saga?" to the show notes.

00:24:19   Which one of you is non-committal about talking about Flappy Bird?

00:24:24   Oh, I added it. I'm committal. The question mark was just to allow you guys to reject the topic.

00:24:30   I don't know that there's much to say, which means take a look at the timestamp now

00:24:35   and we'll come back and say, "Well, that was good," in an hour.

00:24:38   But I mean, it seems to me like a guy, a kid, do we know how old the developer is?

00:24:44   28 or 29, one of those.

00:24:46   Well, I'm barely older, so I can say kid.

00:24:49   So, with a kid that wrote this, tried to do something that people say may or may not be good,

00:24:56   but certainly was popular and didn't like the aftermath, which to some degree,

00:25:00   to a very small degree, I think the three of us can sympathize with. Well,

00:25:04   not John, because everyone loves John, but you and I can sympathize with that, Marco.

00:25:08   And John doesn't have anything in the App Store either.

00:25:10   Also true. So yeah, so he put something in the App Store, everyone, you know, went

00:25:14   berserk about it, both good and bad, and then he pulled it because he wanted to

00:25:18   go back to an easy and normal world, and everyone got mad about that. Like, I feel

00:25:23   bad for the guy, I guess is what I'm trying to say. It just seems like a really crummy

00:25:27   situation that didn't have to be.

00:25:29   Yeah, that's kind of why it's a topic. I mean, the game itself was basically a meme.

00:25:35   Like it wasn't, like no one actually really loved it as like, "Oh my god, this is the

00:25:40   most amazing game ever." They, but it is like a funny, addictive game. And I think

00:25:48   it wasn't really, like I'm sure when this guy made this game, I'm sure he did not

00:25:53   expect to be number one in the app store. And I checked, I made a little post about

00:25:57   this earlier, and I checked using our friends at AppFigures, because I have an account there,

00:26:02   you can look up the rankings for any app in the store, so I checked to make sure, and

00:26:06   it was still number one. It was number one for many days straight beforehand, and it

00:26:10   was number one at the moment he took it off the store. I mean, has this ever happened

00:26:15   before where somebody who had this extremely high profile iOS app in the middle of its

00:26:22   massive wave of popularity, pulls it off the store for, you know, it wasn't a legal reason

00:26:26   as far as we know, it wasn't, you know, it wasn't like any compelling reason except that

00:26:30   he just couldn't take the barrage of hate and flames that he was getting and the attention

00:26:38   he was getting as a result of being in that top position.

00:26:41   Why was he getting the hate and flames?

00:26:45   So people were looking like he was getting hundreds and hundreds or possibly thousands

00:26:50   of Twitter messages, like, because once people figured out, you know, his Twitter username,

00:26:54   he was getting tons of messages saying, like, you know, "Damn you for getting me to do this

00:27:00   game. I've lost my life because of this game. Like, I've lost hours to this."

00:27:04   But those are, like, supposed to be funny. Like, those aren't real.

00:27:07   Well, but a lot, you know a lot of people online are not funny in their criticism.

00:27:13   I saw when he said he was going to pull it, then he started to get the actual crazy threats

00:27:18   because he said it was going to pull it. Oh, yeah, it got worse.

00:27:19   And that's only because people don't understand what pulling from the App Store means I had I have to imagine that they don't understand because

00:27:26   Obviously if they care at all about flabby birds

00:27:28   They've already got it him pulling it from the store doesn't take it away from them, but people don't understand that but I

00:27:32   It's it's a shame that people are so terrible, but they are and anytime you are high profile in any way

00:27:40   you get more exposure to the good and the bad and

00:27:46   Like he this is just some guy presumably and he didn't like it and wasn't prepared for it, and he pulled out of it I

00:27:54   don't think it's I

00:27:56   Mean it's terrible, but I see like I mean we all see terrible stuff like that all the time doesn't make it better or anything

00:28:01   but like I think the I think the story is the phenomenon of the game and the person's reaction to it is

00:28:08   Kind of like the reaction lots of people have lots of people will do something online that gets a little tiny bit of notoriety

00:28:14   and they get lots of negative feedback about it.

00:28:17   And how they react to it depends on, are they used to that?

00:28:20   Are they used to getting lots of negative feedback

00:28:22   from strangers?

00:28:23   Do they have the ability to not look at it and not worry

00:28:25   about it?

00:28:27   We talked about this before, about how you deal with

00:28:29   negative feedback from people.

00:28:30   And there's a scale to all of this.

00:28:32   Obviously, his scale was massively bigger

00:28:33   than someone who just writes a blog post

00:28:35   that a few people read and complain about.

00:28:36   But everyone has different tolerances.

00:28:38   So the individual personal story of how

00:28:40   handled crazy internet criticism. I'm not as interested in that as I am in the

00:28:47   story of how a random game rocketed to the top of the charts on the App Store

00:28:53   and, you know, why that happened. And truthfully, as a gamer, I'm interested in

00:28:58   debating the merits of the game itself. But it seems like the human interest

00:29:02   story is dominating the news these days. Like, when you put down the Floppy

00:29:05   "Happy Birds Saga," I think people understand that phrase to mean, you know, "Let's talk

00:29:11   about this guy's feelings and the terrible things that have been said to him over the

00:29:14   internet," versus "Let's talk about the game," because I think people are over the game part.

00:29:19   Well, I think there's two stories here. There's an article on Forbes where they interviewed

00:29:24   him and they claim, apparently in the article he said that he took it down because it was

00:29:31   an addictive product and that's a problem so it's best to get rid of it.

00:29:36   And I've read a few things, I didn't have a whole lot of time, I read a few things today

00:29:40   talking about the differences in cultures here.

00:29:43   This is a guy in Vietnam and the culture over there around video game addiction is very

00:29:50   different than it is here apparently because video game addiction is actually a pretty

00:29:54   serious problem for a lot of Asian countries. And so it's looked upon almost the way alcohol

00:30:02   addiction is here. Video game addiction is serious. And so to make something where everyone

00:30:07   is telling you they're addicted to it is a more serious thing. Here it's just a fun,

00:30:12   lighthearted thing. There it's more serious. So that's kind of bad.

00:30:17   So I think one story here is the story of basically harassing this guy and I mean it

00:30:22   was, it wasn't just people saying it was addictive, it was like all sorts of stories going up

00:30:29   on major websites saying like, "This is the worst game ever made and it's popular."

00:30:33   Just trashing the game.

00:30:35   And it's a real, it was a real, I mean I have it on my phone, I actually downloaded it after

00:30:40   he said he was going to pull it.

00:30:41   So I'm like, well, I might as well get it so I at least know what I'm talking about.

00:30:47   But so, you know, one problem is the flames that went into forcing this guy to take this

00:30:54   down basically.

00:30:55   And that's a pretty serious cultural problem, but I don't think it's one we can really deal

00:30:59   with easily, unfortunately.

00:31:02   The other interesting story about this is why did this game get so popular?

00:31:08   And the reactions that other iOS developers and other game developers have had as a result.

00:31:14   And I think that's potentially even more interesting because, like, to me, I wrote this in my post

00:31:18   today, to me, it's very obvious why it got popular.

00:31:22   It's because it was, like, cute and charming and kind of crappy.

00:31:27   In fact, really crappy.

00:31:30   But it was exactly what succeeds in the app store.

00:31:34   It was quick, it was simple, there was no learning curve, you could play it for six

00:31:37   seconds and be done or you can play it longer than that if you want to. And you just launch

00:31:42   it and for the most part you just launch it and it goes. There's not a million different

00:31:46   splash screens, there's not a huge menu system like console games, stupid things. There's

00:31:52   no in-app purchases and it's free, it just has an iAd at the top. It's hardly ever even

00:31:56   populated because iAd has apparently a terrible fill rate at this scale. It was exactly what

00:32:03   succeeds in the App Store. It was kind of retro, kind of new, I mean it was... of course

00:32:09   it succeeded. And the game developers are all so upset because they put so much more

00:32:16   time and money into their games that most of them don't do this well. But I think what

00:32:21   this really is is kind of a wake up call to the game industry saying like, "Look, this

00:32:27   is the kind of thing that does well. This is the kind of thing people actually play

00:32:31   and download on the app store. And so all you guys out there, you know, trying to make

00:32:37   like really, really high-budget productions and these really deep games trying to sell

00:32:41   into this particular market, or people who are trying to, you know, gum everything up

00:32:46   within app purchases and try to, you know, psychologically screw people that way, you're

00:32:55   trying to do all that in a market where this is really the kind of thing that succeeds.

00:33:00   And that's very frustrating to hear, I imagine.

00:33:02   Don't you think there's tens of thousands of other games that have all those criteria?

00:33:07   Like I would say— Well, there are now.

00:33:09   No, no, before that.

00:33:10   Like, what I'm saying is that may be necessary for massive app store success, but it is not

00:33:15   sufficient.

00:33:16   Far from it.

00:33:17   And the interesting question that I think is, why did this particular terrible addictive

00:33:21   application that has nothing to it succeed when the tons of other pre-existing applications

00:33:29   that fulfill all those same criteria didn't. There's so many thousands and thousands of apps,

00:33:34   something made this particular one snowball, right? And it may be just happenstance, like it

00:33:42   was some random fluctuation of things that caused this to snowball out of control. But I don't think

00:33:49   it's anything about the application itself other than having those qualities you described, which

00:33:54   which I do not think are uncommon.

00:33:56   I think there are tons of terrible, short, simple, fast to play, free, ad supported games

00:34:02   with addictive mechanics on the App Store.

00:34:05   But this particular one happened to Snowball.

00:34:08   And I'm not talking about the clones that came after, I'm talking about for years before.

00:34:12   Like the App Store has so many apps, tons of apps that fill these criteria.

00:34:15   And so the devious story is like, oh, there's some sort of conspiracy going on here, or

00:34:20   you hacked the App Store, or you have paid reviews or whatever.

00:34:23   And the more banal story is we don't know exactly why it snowballed like this.

00:34:28   It could have been any other app, but it happened to be this one.

00:34:31   If someone could track that down to show the download tree of the individual people and

00:34:36   how did this spiral up to be this thing.

00:34:39   I think you got it right first when you said this is a meme.

00:34:43   How do memes become popular?

00:34:44   There are tons of funny things written on the internet all the time, but every once

00:34:47   in a while, a few of them catch hold.

00:34:49   Are they funnier or more culturally relevant, or do they have qualities about them that

00:34:53   other memes don't? Usually not. Usually they're pretty much all one big giant meme stew. And

00:34:58   any of them, if you looked at them in isolation, you could say, are equally dumb, equally funny,

00:35:03   appeal to the same sort of base instincts of people. Why is one massively popular and

00:35:08   the other one not? And it's just, it's like, you know, chaos theory. It's like some butterfly

00:35:12   flaps its wings somewhere and this guy's game in Vietnam goes. And that's why it's kind

00:35:16   of, you know, a tragedy that he gets all this negative feedback because it really, I don't

00:35:20   think he did, I haven't seen any evidence that he did anything nefarious to get his

00:35:24   rankings. So he was, he's like a victim of a tornado or a lightning strike in the bad

00:35:29   way, in that he should have, he could not have had any expectation that his game would

00:35:33   go like this, because if he had looked on the App Store before publishing this game,

00:35:36   he would have found tons of games with all the same qualities that went nowhere. And

00:35:40   yet his game didn't go nowhere, it went all the way to the top. And it's, I would like

00:35:44   to understand that phenomenon, but I think that I'm more in favor of the butterfly flapping

00:35:49   its wings theory of how this became successful.

00:35:52   See, I would actually say that it is very obvious when you sit down and look. This game,

00:36:01   with the exception of the iAd, occasionally interfering the top part of your view, which

00:36:05   doesn't even mess with the game at all, and I don't know how he's making that much money

00:36:08   on ads because I don't know how anybody would ever tap on that ad, but with the exception

00:36:13   of the of IAD the game was actually like impeccably implemented. Oh I disagree. Wait wait wait

00:36:23   it was impeccably implemented to the essence of what makes App Store games addictive and

00:36:30   what people actually want. No. And I think that's what is driving everyone crazy. I totally

00:36:35   disagree. What's driving everyone crazy is that they don't want to believe that this

00:36:39   This is what the market is, but this is what the market is.

00:36:43   The market is not...

00:36:44   This game is not...

00:36:45   I understand what you're getting at, but you could tap into those same bad instincts in

00:36:50   people more efficiently than this game with a better game.

00:36:53   This is not...

00:36:54   It's not a terrible game.

00:36:55   It's not like a piece of garbage game.

00:36:57   He doesn't deserve to have people telling him he made a bad game or anything like that.

00:37:01   It's just that obviously it's so successful people want to tear it down.

00:37:04   But where I draw the line is people trying to say that this game succeeded because it

00:37:07   was good.

00:37:08   implementation wise in this game there are many complaints you could have on it from a game design perspective and even from a

00:37:14   Let's let's plug into the worst instincts and people and exploit them

00:37:18   I would say that terrible ripoff

00:37:20   You know clone things like candy crush are more efficient and better at plugging those buttons because I well candy crush is too complicated

00:37:27   This was so simple or whatever again

00:37:29   I I think you could go to the App Store and find many games with similar mechanics that are

00:37:35   I mean very similar. Maybe you're not going through pipes or whatever. Maybe you're trying to jump over something

00:37:40   But kind of not very well implemented difficult for bad reasons

00:37:44   Very quick the reason this game became popular is because everyone was playing it now. That's you know no one goes there anymore

00:37:51   It's too crowded that type of statement makes no sense

00:37:54   But seriously the phenomenon here is that it snowballed

00:37:57   That it becomes relevant as larger groups of people did it if you were the only person on the planet and you had access to

00:38:02   the entire app store and you downloaded this game you would throw it away and not play it a lot.

00:38:07   It's only interesting because you know this is the game that everybody's talking about and because

00:38:11   you can compare your score with everybody else and comparing your score with everybody else only

00:38:14   happens because everyone else is playing it. You're not, people aren't playing it because it's awesome.

00:38:18   Like it's a self-fulfilling prophecy. So the quality of this game is not what caused it to

00:38:22   be the phenomenon. Again, necessary but not sufficient. So it had barely the necessary

00:38:28   qualities to be a mega hit, but that is not sufficient to be a mega hit.

00:38:33   I mean, if you look at this individual game, and if you go back in time and substitute Flappy Birds with any of the other games,

00:38:38   perhaps some of the better games that fulfill all those same criteria, we'd be having the same conversation about them.

00:38:44   I don't think it has anything to do with game quality.

00:38:46   And that's why I would advise people not to copy the attributes of this game in

00:38:49   terms of the implementation. For example, people are like, "Oh, the collision detection. It's brutal, but fair."

00:38:54   It's...

00:38:56   It may be fair technically speaking but to give just one game design tip that anyone would pick when you die from hitting something

00:39:03   Good games will show you what where you hit. Did you hit too high? Did you hit too low?

00:39:08   They'll they'll sort of pause the animation long enough you to realize the error of your ways

00:39:12   This one doesn't even do that and that doesn't add to the game that makes the game worse

00:39:16   But you know like that that's not enough to derail it because everyone's playing this game

00:39:21   No one's gonna say well

00:39:22   I was playing Fly Who Birds, but I played the Fly Who Birds clone that does a competent

00:39:26   job of showing you where you hit something. No, no one cares about that. It's just an

00:39:29   unimportant detail. But that does not make this a good game.

00:39:32   I really think that you're wrong. I think you're right that what carried it and what

00:39:38   gave it this massive later boost and what pushed it into number one was the social effect.

00:39:44   You're totally right about that. I completely agree. And also, you know, the fact that it

00:39:47   had social game center leaderboards. And because it was so hard, you can try to beat your friend's

00:39:56   high score of six.

00:40:00   If you want to talk about hard games, have you played Super Hexagon?

00:40:03   Yes. Well, hold on. Before we go to that, all of that worked with this game. It was

00:40:09   incredibly, like, sticky with people. It got people engaged into this stupid game. And

00:40:18   I think this, see this is where I think that you're not giving it enough credit. You're

00:40:22   totally right, the social aspect carried it and boosted it up to number one and kept it

00:40:26   there, but what got it the initial traction at all is because it is a really, like, fun,

00:40:34   cute game, even though it's terrible. It's like, it has the little 8-bit Mario-like graphics,

00:40:41   it has the cute name Flappy Bird, like, you know, it's... and it is execute for what it

00:40:47   is. You know, like it's very similar to the old helicopter flash game that everyone's

00:40:50   seen a million times, right? And the helicopter flash game was also a terrible game, but we

00:40:55   all played it. Like, what this is, he did the, he nailed the formula exactly. Whether

00:41:02   Whether he knew he was doing it, and he probably didn't realize he was doing it, whether he

00:41:06   knew or not, he nailed what people like in iOS and current trends with the 8-bit graphics

00:41:13   and the name and everything.

00:41:15   He didn't nail them, though.

00:41:17   He barely crossed the bar for them.

00:41:19   That's what he did.

00:41:20   He did not nail them.

00:41:21   He barely limped across the bar of the few criteria that matter.

00:41:25   Necessary, but not sufficient.

00:41:26   How many times do I have to say that?

00:41:27   You're still not getting it.

00:41:28   You're like, "Yeah, but he met all those criteria."

00:41:29   Yes, he did.

00:41:30   But meeting those criteria is not sufficient for you to be the game.

00:41:34   It's everything else that makes it the game.

00:41:36   And he just barely made it.

00:41:38   It's like, it's barely competent, right?

00:41:40   It has no progression.

00:41:44   The collision detection and the animations are barely sufficient to get the job done.

00:41:50   When the game center banner comes down over the screen, it does stutter on my iPod Touch,

00:41:54   so it's not like it's even smooth 60 frames per second performance the whole time.

00:41:57   No one's using iPod Touch, though.

00:42:00   It is barely sufficient.

00:42:02   Super Hexagon is my best example of a very difficult game that is a good game, but did

00:42:08   not cross the bars, the sufficient bars for it to be massively popular, because it is

00:42:12   too complicated and too abstract and does not have a cute name, right?

00:42:15   Yeah, it's not cute.

00:42:17   It's not like... it doesn't draw people in.

00:42:20   No, it's too complicated.

00:42:21   Yeah, I mean, what I'm saying here is not that he did everything perfectly, but that

00:42:27   But all of the elements to having a hit, he got them all.

00:42:31   Like, yeah, there's thousands of other games in the store that have many of these, but

00:42:36   very few...

00:42:37   No, they have all of them!

00:42:39   They have all of them!

00:42:40   Very few have all.

00:42:41   And that's what he got here.

00:42:43   No, they have all of them, and they do them better.

00:42:46   I really, I strongly disagree.

00:42:48   I've downloaded so many games.

00:42:50   The title of this episode needs to be necessary but not sufficient.

00:42:53   Holy cow.

00:42:54   [laughter]

00:42:56   So many games have, like, most of these elements, and then they really blow one.

00:43:01   They give it a terrible name, or a terrible icon, or a terrible art style,

00:43:04   or, like, it's just a little bit too much friction to get into it, or it's a little too long, or a little too, like, it...

00:43:10   So many games, you know, are, are like 90% there, and then they blow the last 10% in some way,

00:43:16   and that keeps them from becoming a megahit.

00:43:19   And I really think that he had all the elements here.

00:43:22   He nailed it. Well, he if you had a time if you had a time machine

00:43:25   I would send you back in time before flappy birds was created

00:43:29   I would give you a week to make this exact game and then I would laugh as nobody downloaded it

00:43:33   I couldn't make it. I mean now I could now that I have something to copy you could make it

00:43:37   Yes, I'm saying go back in time make make a clone of flappy birds before a flappy bird exists

00:43:42   I'll give you a month to develop it. You'll put it out

00:43:44   you'll probably do a better job with the animations than this did and

00:43:47   No one will download it and will not become a phenomenon because that's not what made it successful

00:43:51   It would just sit there languishing with the rest of the crappy free games that have similar

00:43:55   qualities to them.

00:43:58   I still disagree, but I think we should move on.

00:44:01   Well, what would you like to talk about?

00:44:04   Should we talk more about games?

00:44:05   Hold on.

00:44:06   Before we do, we have more sponsors that I want to get through before we're three hours

00:44:10   into talking about Flappy Birds.

00:44:12   This was going to be a quick topic.

00:44:15   I told you.

00:44:16   We could keep going.

00:44:17   I told you.

00:44:18   How about you tell me about something cool?

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00:47:06   Speaking of games, I had seen via a friend of the show, Ben Thompson, a really interesting

00:47:11   post about how in-app purchases... did you know they're ruining the game industry?

00:47:18   I was not aware of this, and by not aware of this, I mean I've been witnessing it.

00:47:22   So anyway, there's this post where they have two links to two videos.

00:47:28   One of them is a review of the original Dungeon Keeper from 1997, although I guess it's been

00:47:35   updated slightly to run on modern hardware.

00:47:38   Well, anyways, it's this video review of Dungeon Keeper

00:47:41   and it's quite long, but you get the idea

00:47:43   after about five or 10 minutes about what the game is about.

00:47:47   And then further down on the same post,

00:47:50   you see a review from the same individual

00:47:53   of Dungeon Keeper for iPad and Android from this year.

00:47:56   And that review is about eight minutes

00:47:58   and is filled with profanity,

00:48:01   which immediately I enjoyed it because of that,

00:48:04   But it shows how unbelievably woefully bad the company that put this game out ruined

00:48:12   the game.

00:48:13   And in short, you kind of dig out stuff, I've never played it, but I guess you dig things

00:48:18   out in a dungeon, go figure, and in the original game, the game cost, you know, five or ten

00:48:23   bucks or something like that, and you could just play it.

00:48:25   Well, in the modern version of the game, it costs, I don't remember if it costs money

00:48:30   or not, but anyway, whether or not it costs money to even get the game, when you dig the

00:48:34   things out, which is the whole point of the game, it's on an artificial time lag.

00:48:38   So you have to wait a day or whatever it is in order to dig out another square of,

00:48:43   of dungeon and guess what you can pay to make this quicker.

00:48:48   And even as someone who doesn't play very many games, with the exception of threes,

00:48:52   which I'm addicted to, even as someone who doesn't play very many games, be it

00:48:56   console or computer or iOS, I even, I could tell that this was unbelievable.

00:49:03   and to me the most egregious example of just ruining a game for the purpose of in-app purchases.

00:49:10   So I don't know, did either of you guys see this?

00:49:12   Oh yeah, of course, it was everywhere. John, what do you think about this?

00:49:16   Yeah, that's something you and I will actually agree on more, Marco. And the analogy I was

00:49:21   thinking of, well, before I get to the analogy, I think the explanation for this is the same as the

00:49:26   analogy I'm going to make, is that the App Store and all that stuff has reduced the barrier to

00:49:30   to entry for people making games.

00:49:33   And I know we all like to think of the big bad App Store,

00:49:37   Apple is the gatekeeper, and we can't sideload apps

00:49:40   and they decide what comes on and everything.

00:49:42   But compared to what it used to be like to make games,

00:49:47   Apple's gate is way more open than other gates were.

00:49:51   For the most part, Apple doesn't control for quality,

00:49:55   as we see from-- just look at any app on the App Store,

00:49:58   do a search.

00:49:59   I mean, they control for malware and a few things like porn and stuff like that.

00:50:04   But for the most part, if your game compiles and complies with their rules, even if it

00:50:08   is the worst thing ever, they'll put it on the store.

00:50:13   And the analogy that always comes to mind is network television.

00:50:15   It used to be there was this limit to access to television.

00:50:19   It was limited because there was no cable, so it was limited to the spectrum, and the

00:50:24   spectrum was not particularly wide for old television technology.

00:50:27   So you had a sort of, not an artificial limit, but a sort of hard limit due to technology

00:50:33   on how many television networks there could be in the United States.

00:50:36   And the power to broadcast things in television was in the hands of relatively few people

00:50:43   who controlled like the major networks, only a couple channels, and some very powerful

00:50:47   people who controlled all of that.

00:50:50   And those few people, however we may think of them, relatively speaking, they were some

00:50:57   high-minded individuals in some respects, in that because there was only four or five

00:51:02   or six of them, old, bold white men somewhere deciding what gets to go on television, they

00:51:07   could afford to have principles about things that they all sort of agreed on. So, network

00:51:17   TV news was sort of, not a loss leader, but like, they felt it was important to inform

00:51:22   the public and it was probably, actually might have been part of some FCC mandate and stuff

00:51:25   like that, where they would make news programming that by modern standards is boring, but they

00:51:30   would tell us the things that we thought we needed to know. Kind of a paternalistic, we

00:51:34   know best, we control access to the airwaves, we have high-minded ideals about what's important

00:51:40   for you to know and what is rubbish and you shouldn't see. And yeah, we'll run soap operas

00:51:43   during the day and I Love Lucy and all that other stuff, but the network news is where

00:51:48   we're going to really concentrate on this.

00:51:50   Compare that to today, where there's tons of channels. Cable has eliminated the fight

00:51:55   for Spectrum and it opens it up to many more networks, starting with like CNN doing news

00:51:59   and all the other things.

00:52:00   And now this 24-hour news just made it...

00:52:04   There's so much more room for news.

00:52:06   And increased competition, lower barrier to entry, more news to be made has caused them

00:52:12   to compete with each other to figure out what it is that people want.

00:52:15   And what they want to see is OJ riding around in a white Bronco and coverage of celebrities

00:52:20   and all those other things that we all say are just terrible that we shouldn't be watching.

00:52:24   But letting more news and television flow out has caused this to happen. It is freeing us from

00:52:34   the totalitarian—well, it's not totalitarian, but the rule of those few bald white men controlling

00:52:41   what we have on. And you can no longer afford to have these high-minded ideals, because if you

00:52:44   want ratings, you have to show the stuff that people want. And it's not like, "Oh, I blame

00:52:48   those people for making the content, or I blame the people who want the content for

00:52:52   wanting it.

00:52:53   It's simply the reduction in friction.

00:52:56   And the App Store has so massively reduced friction in the market of gaming compared

00:53:00   to how hard it was to get a game on a console or how hard it was to get a computer game

00:53:04   published or whatever.

00:53:05   The friction is so low now that inevitably you see the exact same thing even worse, more

00:53:10   accelerated just figuring out what it is that people want.

00:53:14   the equivalent of the trashy 24-hour news channels that just show things like Nancy

00:53:19   Grace and stuff like that, as opposed to the nightly use with Ted Koppel, you could afford

00:53:24   to be more sophisticated.

00:53:27   And so the question is, is free ruining the game industry?

00:53:30   Free is ruining the game industry in the same way that cable has ruined news, in the same

00:53:35   way that to pick an industry that the technological barriers went away sooner, like McDonald's

00:53:41   has ruined the food industry.

00:53:43   When you remove all the friction and you let everybody compete, you will necessarily get

00:53:47   a redistribution of quality.

00:53:48   Whereas if you artificially limit it and put some people in charge of it, they have the

00:53:53   power to make the average better, but the number much smaller.

00:53:58   When you reduce the friction, the number becomes massive, the average goes way down, but I

00:54:02   still think there is more good stuff.

00:54:04   So overall, I think free has not ruined the game industry.

00:54:07   I think net-net there are more good games now than there were before.

00:54:11   It's just that there are so many more games and so many more games that appeal to the worst in us

00:54:16   That that's what we see because most people are going to be playing the crappy games that appeal to the worst of them

00:54:21   It's just a law of numbers

00:54:22   But I think there are more better games now than there were before so I don't think free is ruining the game industry

00:54:28   It just seems that way

00:54:30   Wow, I I don't even know how to

00:54:33   I agree

00:54:36   All right, well moving on

00:54:40   So apparently business happens after hours or gets quietly leaked after hours

00:54:45   Late breaking Marco shared something with us moments ago

00:54:50   Apparently Comcast is buying Time Warner

00:54:53   Because that sounds wonderful doesn't everyone hate Time Warner doesn't everyone hate Comcast well not more

00:55:00   I think people hate Time Warner more not possible. I don't know I think people hate Comcast see

00:55:05   I've never actually had I've never lived in a Comcast area

00:55:07   I have lived in two time Warner areas and they've been fine. You know not not great, but fine

00:55:13   It's a great merger when we're debating which company is more hated

00:55:16   Again, well these are American ISPs. They're all awful. Well. We don't we don't we don't hate

00:55:22   I think those of us who are files customers

00:55:24   We may not like Verizon wireless for various reasons

00:55:27   But I think we're all more or less happy with like we're all glad that we have files because the pricing is

00:55:32   Kind of around the same as what we hear from cable companies

00:55:36   And we're happy with the service in terms of reliability and speeds the only one I hear better things about is

00:55:40   And I don't know if this is just because this is one of the few places

00:55:43   I visit every year

00:55:44   But uh the what used to be cable vision on Long Island Optima online always comes out really high and the rankings of bandwidth and

00:55:51   People seem to like it

00:55:52   I don't like it that much for like the house that we rent there that has it

00:55:54   It looks kind of crappy to me, but that gets highly rated, but I hear Comcast

00:55:59   Yes, lots of people hate because it's why but I hear lots of complaints from the people I know in

00:56:02   in the New York City area about Time Warner.

00:56:05   - Oh yeah, well, and I've actually,

00:56:06   I've had Cablevision/Optimum Online,

00:56:09   'cause that's, they serve Westchester,

00:56:11   so I've had that in two different places,

00:56:13   and it was fine, it was great.

00:56:15   Like, it was actually better.

00:56:16   Time Warner I had in Brooklyn,

00:56:18   and it was very clearly oversold where I was,

00:56:23   and Time Warner in Manhattan,

00:56:25   I've had it in the Tumblr office,

00:56:27   we had that briefly, and it was pretty bad.

00:56:30   'Cause Manhattan has a problem where pretty much anything

00:56:34   that's not like a thousands of dollars a month dedicated

00:56:39   leased line to your office, like anything less than that

00:56:42   where you're just getting like files or business cable,

00:56:45   they're all terrible 'cause it's for the same reason

00:56:47   everything else in Manhattan, it's traffic.

00:56:49   It's like you have way too many people crammed into

00:56:52   way too small of an area and there's even traffic

00:56:54   on the internet.

00:56:55   Like there's too much traffic even for that

00:56:58   so that everyone's backhauled and pipes and everything

00:57:00   overloaded in Manhattan too. And the buildings are all old, so a lot of times you only have

00:57:03   like one choice of what the buildings even would permit in or already have hookups for.

00:57:08   It's a bad scene there. But I don't know. What scares me about this deal, assuming that it's real,

00:57:17   and I would assume that this is subject to regulatory approval, although the way things

00:57:23   have gone in the US with the FCC and regulatory approval for things like giant internet companies

00:57:29   merging, I don't imagine they're going to have problems with that. I think they should,

00:57:34   but they won't. And so I just think it's sad. I mean, the last thing that we need in the

00:57:40   U.S. is less broadband competition.

00:57:43   >> Yeah.

00:57:44   >> Yeah. All the people in other countries have been telling us since last week or whenever

00:57:47   we talked about net neutrality that I don't even remember which countries they were. But

00:57:50   some places apparently have laws that if you own the wires, you can't run an ISP. And that

00:57:55   would be an easy way to—because one of the things is like the common carrier things where

00:57:59   where it's like, well, if you own the wires, you have to rent access, you're required by

00:58:02   law to rent them out to other people. And then you're like, grumble, grumble, all right,

00:58:06   fine, we'll rent them out, but we'll do a crappy job of it. The law where it has to

00:58:10   be split, where one company can't own both of them, seems much better to me, because

00:58:13   then the interests are aligned. Like the company that owns the wires is in the business of

00:58:16   renting them out. And it's not like you have the company that owns the wires and an ISP

00:58:21   also is forced by the government to rent them out, but always does a crappy job and rents

00:58:25   out the crappy quality of service to other people.

00:58:29   Many systems are better than what we have now, and I think preventing the merger, I

00:58:32   agree that they probably shouldn't be allowed to go forward, but the bottom line is, Time

00:58:35   Warner will probably get better as a result of this, and it will give Comcast more power

00:58:40   to raise prices and screw everybody.

00:58:42   So it's like, not allowing this merger doesn't really make things better, it just stops things

00:58:47   from getting worse in one respect and possibly better in another.

00:58:50   So yeah, we need sane laws on tech and we won't get it because we're in America.

00:58:54   Well, there is one thing to point out that the chat and Twitter are both very happily

00:58:59   pointing out right now, that competition in this instance is weird because the way US

00:59:05   cable companies work, you almost never, I've never heard of a place where you could choose

00:59:10   between two different cable companies in like four-year house or office.

00:59:13   Like usually—

00:59:14   In Massachusetts, we had three up here.

00:59:16   Really?

00:59:17   I think that's still the case.

00:59:21   I had Comcast and Fios in the same place, and RCN cables were running to my house when

00:59:26   I can.

00:59:27   They all did internet.

00:59:28   They all did internet, phone, television, everything.

00:59:30   Oh, sure.

00:59:31   Yeah.

00:59:32   Well, but yeah, usually you'll have one phone company and one cable company, and you can

00:59:37   get things through both.

00:59:39   And if the phone company is Verizon Fios, then you can get TV through that too.

00:59:43   Or even AT&T's U-verse, isn't that?

00:59:46   Anyway, I don't know what these things are.

00:59:48   But yes, I'm a rarity, but I have three choices.

00:59:50   I could have picked any three of those and fulfilled all my needs.

00:59:53   I could have picked all three of them and picked the internet from one, phone from the

00:59:55   other and television from the other if I wanted to.

00:59:57   Obviously they make that economically unfeasible, but that is a rarity.

01:00:00   Mostly from what I hear, it's like all I can get at my house is Comcast or something like

01:00:03   that.

01:00:04   Right.

01:00:05   Usually you can choose one phone company with DSL or, if you're lucky, fiber, and one cable

01:00:09   company and that's it.

01:00:10   And so Time Warner and Comcast are not so direct competitors where they have to really

01:00:16   compete on price because they're usually not competing for the same customers.

01:00:20   I think this is bad is in consolidation of, you know, now we're going to have even fewer

01:00:27   major national ISPs. And Comcast, which is already, I think it was the biggest ISP in

01:00:32   the country already, Comcast, which already has way too much power over things like net

01:00:38   neutrality in the U.S., you know, like if net neutrality starts going badly for us,

01:00:44   Comcast is going to be the first company to start screwing people over. Like, they're

01:00:48   going to jump right on that. They have a terrible track record with this. They are just horrible

01:00:56   people in that company.

01:01:00   It isn't necessarily the problem of you'd have less competition for pricing in your

01:01:04   area for cable. It's the problem of now one company is going to be in charge of even more

01:01:10   of the US's connected broadband. The number of companies that are representing the entire

01:01:16   connected US is shrinking and the and these are like two of the biggest ones

01:01:20   that are now going to be become one and that's that's pretty bad well and I it

01:01:25   would be just terrible of me not to say that I have had Comcast on at least a

01:01:31   couple of occasions and it is without a shadow of a doubt I believe my most

01:01:38   hated company other than perhaps Airlines it was terrible it was my only

01:01:44   only reasonable option and I hated it.

01:01:48   I hated it at least 100 times more

01:01:50   than the Mac Pro discussion.

01:01:52   I hated Comcast.

01:01:54   The customer service was awful.

01:01:57   It was, I would wait for an hour to talk to someone

01:02:00   who had no idea what they were doing

01:02:02   and no matter what fancy thing I said to them

01:02:04   to indicate that I'm not an idiot,

01:02:06   I would still have to unplug my router

01:02:08   and then I would have to do this

01:02:09   and then I would have to do that

01:02:11   and it was just a freaking nightmare.

01:02:13   The service was never terribly good.

01:02:15   Rates went up constantly without any, any notice.

01:02:19   And without any real reason.

01:02:20   Whenever I went to the local office to like return a piece of broken

01:02:25   equipment or exchange something, whatever the case may be, it was a 50 50 shot

01:02:28   that that would actually show up on my bill and then I would have to call

01:02:31   the customer service to see, Oh, okay.

01:02:33   Well, I returned this in person to your office.

01:02:36   I didn't even put it through the mail two weeks ago.

01:02:38   And yet you're still charging me for this thing that I haven't had for two weeks.

01:02:42   I cannot even begin to tell you how terrible Comcast is.

01:02:45   Whereas by comparison, and I know I've talked about how wonderful Fios is and I know no

01:02:49   one wants to hear it, but just a few weeks ago when I had an issue with, I forget which

01:02:55   piece that was in the house, but it wasn't the router, it was something upstream from

01:02:59   the router, but it was something in the house.

01:03:00   It was like the ONT or something like that.

01:03:02   Well anyways, I said to the person on the phone, "Well, you know, I've looked at the

01:03:07   router but I've got this and this and this problem and I'm looking at the ONT and it's

01:03:12   got this, this and the other thing going on and that completely bypassed me through all

01:03:16   the stupid drivel and I think the guy even said, "Oh, you know what you're talking about.

01:03:20   All right, let's try this just to be safe."

01:03:22   And I think I talked about this on the show.

01:03:23   Like he had me unplug something, replug something just to confirm that the outlet itself wasn't

01:03:28   an issue which was a perfectly reasonable course of action and then the next day that

01:03:32   That morning, they said, "What went from an all-day, you have to be home all day because

01:03:39   we're not going to tell you when we're coming."

01:03:41   It ended up that I actually almost got woken up by their phone call to say, "Hey, we'd

01:03:45   like to fix your problem as soon as possible."

01:03:47   Whereas Comcast was, I believe they missed an installation appointment or two at one

01:03:51   point.

01:03:52   I'll stop because I could go on forever, but I cannot tell you how bad Comcast is.

01:03:57   And the fact that they're buying another major cable corporation petrifies me because

01:04:01   Who's a competitor anymore? Fios is the Apple TV of the Verizon conglomerate. Youverse is the

01:04:09   Apple TV of the AT&T conglomerate. My parents have it. It's very good, but it's like a pet project,

01:04:17   as far as I'm concerned. My parents used to have Charter Communications. I don't know if that's

01:04:20   even still a thing anymore. I mean, what are the big companies other than Comcast? I think you're

01:04:26   right, Marco, that's basically Comcast and then a bunch of little guys. And that's scary. That's

01:04:31   not good for anyone. And Verizon and Comcast entered this shady agreement a few years ago

01:04:37   that basically Verizon agreed to stop expanding Fios. Right. That can't be legal. The good thing

01:04:43   about the little guys, though, like I don't know who owns Cablevision or Optima Online or whoever,

01:04:48   maybe they're already owned by Comcast, but like the little guys have some reasonable chance of

01:04:53   like they're not going to be swallowed up by the other ones unless they buy them because

01:04:57   they own, you know, they own their regional areas and Comcast is not going to come and

01:05:02   pay to string new wires there and if those companies don't have to rent their wires out

01:05:06   to them, they're not going to, what Comcast will do instead I guess is buy them if it's

01:05:09   worthwhile to them, which is what they're doing with Time Warner. And hopefully eventually,

01:05:14   even our crappy laws will step in and say, you know, when Comcast tries to buy Verizon

01:05:17   or vice versa, they'll say, "Okay, you can't do that." But no, it's not a great situation.

01:05:22   And I think we would all be happier if the service itself would improve.

01:05:29   Like instead of just, "Oh, your profits are improving or you're merging and doing stuff

01:05:33   like this," like, would you care how bad the customer service was if you just got good

01:05:36   speeds all the time?

01:05:37   Like I have had Fios for, I don't know, for as long as I could possibly have had it, many,

01:05:41   many years now.

01:05:42   And I've never called their customer service.

01:05:44   It could be terrible as far as I know, but it just always works.

01:05:47   It doesn't go down.

01:05:48   I never have to call them.

01:05:49   It doesn't break.

01:05:50   All the equipment is still going eventually.

01:05:51   assume it will break or I'll need to get it upgraded or something, but so far so good.

01:05:54   So if Comcast put as much energy into improving its service as it does into buying up other

01:05:58   companies and trying to figure out how to make money, maybe it'd be like, "Well, the

01:06:02   customer service is terrible, but boy, the speeds are great." And I bet Fios, I bet

01:06:06   Verizon, if you had a bad customer service experience, it would annoy you, but you'd

01:06:09   be like, "Well, I still enjoy the speeds and the connection, and for the most part,

01:06:12   it's been reliable."

01:06:13   But what's compelling them to do that?

01:06:16   Yeah, nothing. Yeah, that's why they're not doing it. Nothing.

01:06:19   And that's the problem.

01:06:20   And the competition is what makes everyone get better.

01:06:24   It's the same reason why, although I don't prefer Android, I want Android to be incredible

01:06:28   because that makes iOS that much better.

01:06:31   And I just seen a tweet or an article or something like that a day or two ago saying that suddenly

01:06:36   Comcast had just ratcheted up their speeds in the areas around Google Fiber.

01:06:41   Or maybe it was in Chattanooga where I know that they have municipal or their power company

01:06:46   or something like that.

01:06:47   weirdo set up that I've talked with Bradley Chambers about, wherein they get just absurd

01:06:52   speeds from a source that you wouldn't expect, either the municipality or like the power

01:06:57   company or something.

01:06:58   Well anyways, in those areas, Comcast will actually be okay, from what I gather, because

01:07:03   they're compelled to, because otherwise no one will subscribe to them.

01:07:07   And I don't know, I guess for regular human beings, Fios isn't compelling enough, but

01:07:10   I agree, Jon.

01:07:11   I've had to call customer service twice maybe,

01:07:15   and it was because of random one-off things

01:07:18   that are kind of expected to happen

01:07:20   over the course of several years.

01:07:21   And otherwise, I've never, ever, ever, ever

01:07:25   had an issue with it, ever, ever.

01:07:27   And I use the ActionTech router, not for WiFi,

01:07:30   but I use it as a router.

01:07:31   And I know that's Marco's favorite thing in the world.

01:07:34   And I've actually not even had problems with that.

01:07:36   So I can't stress enough how wonderful Fios is

01:07:40   how god-awful terrible Comcast is.

01:07:44   Thank god that we are sponsored by somebody better than Comcast.

01:07:49   Our third sponsor this week, our friends at Hover.

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01:08:20   So what is Hover?

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01:08:43   sister company Ting, part of the Two Cows family of companies, they have this awesome

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01:09:07   like long hold times and the person who picks up is actually able to help you.

01:09:11   They don't have to transfer you 17 times to have you explain everything, all this

01:09:14   crazy stuff. It's fantastic phone support. So in addition to all that, see Hubber's

01:09:19   really focused on, you know, they want people who have ideas, who want to

01:09:25   start a new website, buy a new domain for your email address, whatever the

01:09:30   case may be, they want people who have ideas to be able to just find a great

01:09:34   name, get it set up, and then get back to making your idea work. They know that domain

01:09:39   registration is not like the place you go to hang out all day. You know, they know that

01:09:43   this is like, this is something that you need to do something else. So they want to make

01:09:47   it as easy as possible for you to get in, get out, and just get what you need. They

01:09:51   can have that. To pull it down. So, and they have, I mean, you guys have probably heard

01:09:58   all these crazy new TLDs that are being released. You can get like dot laundry or something.

01:10:05   They have so many really stupid ones being released honestly. Like I don't know what,

01:10:12   you know, it seems like, is it ICANN that makes the final decisions on these or the

01:10:17   IANA, Iama on Reddit?

01:10:19   I know what you're saying, I never can keep them straight.

01:10:22   like the creation of new TLDs, whoever makes those decisions is just comically misguided

01:10:29   about how things are named on the internet. Like, the TLD is not usually used for, you

01:10:38   know, important purposes. Usually it's like you pick the one that either like completes

01:10:43   the spelling of a domain hack for you, so you can get like, you know, thing.gs, so it

01:10:48   it says things!" and stuff like that. Or you get one that's kind of accidentally related.

01:10:55   Like we have ATP.fm even though we are not in the Federated Islands of Micronesia. It

01:11:02   just happens that that's kind of sound related. And just like TV, is it Tuvalu or Tuvalu?

01:11:07   No one who has a .tv domain name is actually in Tuvalu. But people use it. "Hey, it's

01:11:14   .tv!" It's just like .me I think is another country too. It's like, you know, that just

01:11:17   happens to mean something in English, you know, so that got popular. .co is Columbia,

01:11:25   but it's close enough to .com that everyone's like, "Oh, well, that'll work. We'll just

01:11:28   start using that." So that all works. And then the new domains are all these crazy things

01:11:34   like .lighting and, like, .photography. And, like, you know, this is not AOL keywords.

01:11:44   I know this is a sponsor, Reed, but I'm making this a topic temporarily.

01:11:51   I'm so annoyed by the list of these new domains because they're so useless, they're so cheesy.

01:11:57   Who is going to name their business "supplies.photography"?

01:12:01   What they did was sort of how Mac OS X made movie computers real.

01:12:06   Because it used to be before Mac OS X, movie computers did these crazy animations that didn't exist on real computers.

01:12:11   real computers and things would go bloop bloop and you're like oh that's not what real computers

01:12:14   are like it's so stupid and then Mac OS X came out it's like oh it's a real computer it does

01:12:18   that genie thing it's actually a real thing well this makes what your parents would say for domain

01:12:22   names or what like late night comics would say I need to go to uh you know doggy dot woof woof

01:12:30   and we'd be like dot woof woof isn't a real tld don't you know it like they wouldn't know that

01:12:34   it was like tom orgnet or whatever they would just say like you know paper bags dot lunchtime

01:12:39   right? And they say backslash after that, right? But now those things are real TLCs and it's like,

01:12:46   no, you're making all the worst bad things about people who didn't know technology come true.

01:12:50   Exactly. By the way, why do all movie and TV computers make noises every time you touch

01:12:57   anything? Text appearing on the screen. I can't stand it. A window appears.

01:13:02   Everything makes noise. Drives me nuts. All right, different topic. Finish the ad.

01:13:08   [laughter]

01:13:10   Anyway, so if you want to get a sensible TLD, like the ones we've had forever, you can get pretty much all of them in hover. They keep adding new ones all the time.

01:13:19   And they have almost everyone I've ever looked for. However, if you want to get one of the new stupid ones, you can now do that as well.

01:13:26   So you can get I just look they now have today or yeah today a new batch became available

01:13:34   including dot equipment dot camera dot estate

01:13:38   Dot gallery and dot lighting so now you can you know you can have your new like you know

01:13:45   ATP dot lighting in case we want to start a lighting related company

01:13:48   I'm sure there's enough of those to justify an entire top-level domain on the internet

01:13:53   So they have all sorts of these new crazy domains,

01:13:56   and there's like this two year long schedule

01:13:59   where they're gonna roll out a whole bunch of them

01:14:00   at ICANN level, and so all the registrars are joining in,

01:14:04   or at least all the good ones,

01:14:06   but if I was gonna register any of these,

01:14:07   I'd do it at Hover because they have their panels

01:14:12   nice and easy to use, they have great support.

01:14:14   They have this new, this, oh no, this is not new,

01:14:16   this old but awesome service called Valley Transfer

01:14:20   where if you wanna transfer some names to Hover

01:14:22   and you don't want to have to deal with the process,

01:14:24   they will do the transfer for you

01:14:26   if you just give them the credentials

01:14:28   to log into your old registrar.

01:14:29   They will transfer everything over for you.

01:14:31   It's really great.

01:14:32   So they have all sorts of stuff.

01:14:33   They have email, Google Apps for your domain,

01:14:37   they support that.

01:14:39   And their attitude is very honest.

01:14:41   They don't try to aggressively upsell you

01:14:43   or cross-sell you to crazy stuff.

01:14:44   They didn't tell me to say this,

01:14:47   but we all know that the implication here,

01:14:50   or rather the alternative here,

01:14:51   is if you ever did a checkout at GoDaddy, oh my god.

01:14:55   It's like, it's worse than the App Store.

01:14:58   It's like, the amount of crap they present to you

01:15:01   is so, it's unbelievable.

01:15:05   And it's like, they use, you know,

01:15:07   there's like all these shady things like,

01:15:09   oh well do you not want us to not give your

01:15:12   disclosed information to people who are

01:15:15   possibly affiliated with us and you can pay

01:15:17   an extra $12 a month to have privacy

01:15:20   so that we won't spam you and all.

01:15:22   It's like, it's so weird with other registrars.

01:15:25   Hover has sensible defaults.

01:15:27   They don't badger you.

01:15:29   Things like domain privacy,

01:15:30   they give you for no additional cost.

01:15:31   It's great.

01:15:32   So let me get back to, back to reality here.

01:15:35   Thanks a lot to Hover for sponsoring the show.

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01:15:52   Yes, that's right.

01:15:53   I also should point out that moon dot lighting is already taken, and I'm very sad about that.

01:15:57   Oh, that's too bad.

01:15:58   I know.

01:15:59   Not surprising, but unfortunate nevertheless.

01:16:01   These TLDs are really the worst.

01:16:03   I mean, it's...

01:16:04   Like, we've had stupid TLDs in addition to these for a while, like dot museum.

01:16:10   Like, when was the last time you saw it?

01:16:11   Like, even museums don't use dot museum.

01:16:14   If they don't use it, who else is going to use it?

01:16:16   Yeah, I don't get it.

01:16:18   It makes no sense to me, but whatever.

01:16:21   Do we want, let me do something brief about iBeacons

01:16:25   and Bluetooth LE and then we can maybe talk

01:16:28   about Copeland 2010 for six hours.

01:16:30   - Oh, not on this show.

01:16:32   That one is, put a line in the notes, next show.

01:16:35   - All right, well, let me talk briefly about iBeacons

01:16:38   and then maybe we can wrap.

01:16:40   So I've had a little bit of time between projects at work

01:16:43   over the last week and a half, and I've been fiddling

01:16:46   with iBeacons and Bluetooth Low Energy.

01:16:49   And in case you live on--

01:16:50   - Translation, I've been slacking off at work.

01:16:52   - No, no, no, no, no, I've been between projects,

01:16:54   it's true. - Sure, yeah.

01:16:55   - Don't, you know, don't be a jerk.

01:16:57   But anyway.

01:16:58   - I have my share of slacking off at work, don't worry.

01:17:01   - No, they're slacking off at work

01:17:03   and then there's doing things

01:17:04   that are professional development

01:17:06   when you're in between client projects.

01:17:07   - Right, it's your 90% time.

01:17:09   - Right, well, so. (laughs)

01:17:12   All right, I'm gonna try to be serious here, darn it.

01:17:14   And so I was piddling with iBeacons and Bluetooth Low Energy.

01:17:17   And so in case you don't know what that is, in iOS 7, Apple came up with a standard that

01:17:21   they said they would make a standard, which just like FaceTime, they haven't, wherein

01:17:26   you can have over Bluetooth Low Energy a small data packet that's broadcast that includes

01:17:31   a GUID or UUID or GUID, depending on how you want to pronounce it.

01:17:36   Did you say GUID like squid?

01:17:37   Yeah.

01:17:38   That's awesome.

01:17:39   That's how I've always pronounced it.

01:17:40   I don't know.

01:17:41   So strictly speaking, it's a UUID in the Apple platforms.

01:17:45   But you can broadcast a UUID, a major integer, a minor integer, and I believe a little bit

01:17:52   of text as well.

01:17:53   I forget off the top of my head.

01:17:55   And the idea is you can set up an iPad, for example, like let's say a cash register iPad.

01:18:01   And you can set it up to beam over Bluetooth Low Energy this, "Hi, I'm here and I'm waiting

01:18:06   for someone to talk to me."

01:18:07   And on an iPhone, if you have, let's say this is the Apple Store, because the Apple

01:18:13   Store is doing this, if you have the Apple Store app on your iPhone, not the App Store

01:18:18   mind you, but the Retail Store app, as you walk into an Apple Retail Store, it will actually

01:18:25   say, "We see you're at the Apple Store.

01:18:28   Is there anything we can do for you?"

01:18:30   And they took this even further at WWDC and they said, "Hey, if you think about it,

01:18:35   You could use the major and minor integers to do something like specify the major integer

01:18:40   is what store number you're in, and the minor integer is where you are within the store.

01:18:46   So you could say if it's Macy's or something like that, a department store, you're in the

01:18:51   men's section.

01:18:52   And perhaps when you walk in there with your iPhone, the Macy's app, if you have it installed,

01:18:57   could pop up and say, "Hey, we see you're in the men's section.

01:19:00   Did you know that ties are on sale?"

01:19:02   And so on and so forth.

01:19:03   It's both extremely cool and it could be extremely creepy.

01:19:07   You could think of less creepy uses like at a museum, we were talking about .museum earlier,

01:19:12   where as you go between exhibits, there could be eye beacons all over the place saying,

01:19:16   "Hey, we think you're at such and such exhibit.

01:19:18   Let me show you a screen about that," rather than you having to go and search for information

01:19:23   about that exhibit.

01:19:24   Well, anyway, so I've been playing with this over the last week and a half.

01:19:28   And really the whole point in me bringing this up was to say that Bluetooth Low Energy

01:19:34   apparently has a hell of a lot more energy in it than I thought it did.

01:19:38   And I say that because I had my RetinaPad Mini sitting on my desk at work and then I

01:19:44   walked across the office, which I know doesn't mean anything to anyone, but suffice to say

01:19:49   it was a solid, I don't know, 10 to 20 meters or 10 yards if you're an American.

01:19:57   So polite.

01:19:58   And so it was through and it was through a few walls and I could still very faintly of

01:20:03   course but I could still pick up from my iPhone 5s my retina pad minis beacon being transmitted

01:20:11   via Bluetooth low energy a solid like 10 or 20 meters away which I just thought was remarkable

01:20:15   because the way it was pitched it sounded to me like it was going to work in the span

01:20:21   of you know a couple of meters at most and that doesn't seem to be the case at all.

01:20:26   And I just thought it was very interesting and I will also say that it was actually fairly

01:20:32   straightforward to get it to work and the code really isn't that bad.

01:20:36   And I also ordered from Red Bear, which is some company out of I believe Hong Kong, I

01:20:42   ordered a Beacon B1.

01:20:43   Actually I ordered three of them for the company, which are basically these standalone eye beacons.

01:20:50   And so what you can do is you can connect to them using an app that they have and program

01:20:54   them with your GUID/UUID and program them with what major and minor number you want.

01:20:58   And you can use them as a physical iBeacon.

01:21:02   And the reason you can do that is because the "standard" that Apple came up with for

01:21:07   iBeacons really isn't that complex.

01:21:09   And so people reverse engineered it pretty quickly and they've come out with the physical

01:21:15   hardware devices that you can use in order to be an iBeacon.

01:21:20   And I just thought this was all fascinating.

01:21:22   I don't really know where this is going in the future, but the thought of having what

01:21:27   is basically geolocation within a building where GPS isn't probably going to work very

01:21:32   well and additionally isn't accurate enough, I just think that whole thing is fascinating.

01:21:36   But maybe that's me.

01:21:37   I don't know.

01:21:38   Do you guys have anything to say about that?

01:21:40   That's like the fantasy of every computer, every business person told about computers

01:21:47   for the past 50, 70 years has been hammering on the—and when they're right near the

01:21:52   cafe we'll tell them we're having a sale on coffee like people are obsessed with giving you just-in-time advertising information every

01:21:58   Both utopian and dystopian sci-fi movie would have some scene where the character not used to the future

01:22:04   Wanders by some sign that notices he's there and tells them that something is available for his purchase

01:22:09   That's related to his interests or changes to talk to him or whatever

01:22:12   and yeah, but mostly for me, that's kind of dystopian, but I

01:22:20   I like the idea of using the similar type of technology

01:22:24   where it's like, it's not,

01:22:26   it's longer range than Near Field,

01:22:29   it's not as long range as Wi-Fi,

01:22:31   but it's almost as low power as,

01:22:34   you know, it's not gonna be as low power

01:22:35   as Near Field obviously, but it's much lower power,

01:22:38   like making it more feasible.

01:22:39   To do something like, like pipe in GPS for example,

01:22:44   like to do the equivalent of positioning within a building

01:22:46   without having to use GPS,

01:22:47   but have it be similarly accurate by using all the in,

01:22:51   all the in-store beacons as sort of a proxy

01:22:53   for an actual GPS beacon that's somewhere else

01:22:56   and because the beacons know where they are.

01:22:58   I don't know how this would work,

01:22:58   but position within a building is good

01:23:00   because even if it's just for like,

01:23:03   you're in the mall and you wanna find out

01:23:05   where the heck the, you know, children's,

01:23:08   the jamboree is 'cause you wanna buy clothes

01:23:10   and you haven't been in this mall before,

01:23:12   it would be nice and the mall would consider it a feature

01:23:15   if you could just look on your phone

01:23:17   and like type in G Y M and tap on the first thing and it would tell you how to get to the Jim Bury.

01:23:21   Like wayfinding within buildings to find, you know.

01:23:24   If that was so common that it was boring, you wouldn't have that thing that we have now.

01:23:28   Like it used to be when you wanted to go on a long car trip,

01:23:30   you'd like look up the maps in your little Atlas thing

01:23:33   or get one of those AAA booklets that tells you all the different turns and stuff like that.

01:23:36   Now we just take for granted that if you want to go somewhere and you know the address,

01:23:39   you can just hop right in your car type in the address and drive there.

01:23:42   But we still do the thing when you get into a building where you got to go to the front desk

01:23:45   and find out what floor this place is on and what number it is, and you look up on the

01:23:49   little sign by the elevators to show where you have to go.

01:23:53   That's the equivalent of bringing the Hagstrom into your car and looking stuff up or getting

01:23:56   a little AAA manual.

01:23:57   So if this stuff does become pervasive, there's boring, very benign uses of it that would

01:24:03   eliminate yet another one of those things that we can tell our kids that we used to

01:24:06   have to look things up.

01:24:07   It would be like telling people you have to go through a Rolodex to find someone's phone

01:24:10   number, if they still know what phone numbers are by the time we're telling them these stories.

01:24:14   So I mostly give this tech a thumbs up, but I think people will try the dystopian things

01:24:19   first, and I think those won't fly as well as something more utilitarian and boring.

01:24:23   Yeah, I would agree with that.

01:24:25   I should also mention that the iBeacon API within core location on the iPhone, or iPad

01:24:32   actually, it does tell you a basic idea of whether or not you're close to any of the

01:24:39   beacons you can see.

01:24:40   So it gives you a vague proximity of basically you're on top of it, you're near it, you're

01:24:45   far away from it, or I can barely tell.

01:24:49   And the other very interesting thing about iBeacon specifically is that you can actually

01:24:53   have it, have iOS start or provide a notification that you are within that region even if your

01:25:02   app isn't running.

01:25:04   And so for the nerds, CLBeaconRegion is the class in question and there's a property,

01:25:08   entry state on display and it says when set to yes the location manager sends beacon notifications

01:25:14   when the user turns on the display and the device is already inside the region these notifications

01:25:19   are sent even if your app is not running in that situation the system launches your app into the

01:25:23   background so it can handle the notifications which is actually extremely interesting to me

01:25:27   because i can't think of a way in which i i guess you could with push notifications but are there

01:25:33   any other ways marco that you could just have your app started arbitrarily in the background

01:25:38   background refreshes and stuff, but like for a particular,

01:25:42   like when you stumble into a spot,

01:25:44   I guess, I mean you can do geofence tricks,

01:25:47   you could do like all the various location-based APIs

01:25:50   exist now, like the major updates and regular updates

01:25:54   and geofence and stuff like that, but otherwise,

01:25:57   I don't think any of them are really reliable enough.

01:25:59   If you wanted to simulate this behavior with anything else,

01:26:02   you couldn't really do it very well.

01:26:04   - Right, and that's the thing.

01:26:05   And I just thought this was all very interesting,

01:26:07   And something a little bit different that, to my knowledge, not a lot of people have

01:26:12   really been exploring.

01:26:13   And I don't know how to explore that in a non-retail sense because you need these physical

01:26:18   devices beaming these Bluetooth packets in order to do anything with iBeacons.

01:26:25   But I could see it being just really cool and really interesting things coming from

01:26:29   it.

01:26:30   And I agree, Jon, that there's a dystopian version which is, "Hey, ties are on sale.

01:26:34   Hey, unmentionables are on sale.

01:26:35   Hey, pots and pans are on sale."

01:26:37   Or there's the cool version of, "Hey, let me tell you where we see that you're in

01:26:42   such and such a location in the museum.

01:26:43   If you'd like to look at the gallery of M cars in the BMW Welt, well, you need to go

01:26:48   upstairs and to the left," or whatever the case may be.

01:26:51   And I just think that would be really cool.

01:26:52   I don't know.

01:26:53   I think with a lot of this stuff, reality kind of gets in the way for me.

01:26:58   Like I tend to adopt this stuff very slowly and very late compared to everyone else because

01:27:03   – like I still use paper boarding passes at the airport.

01:27:05   I still don't use the thing on your phone, the Passbook thing, because usually there's

01:27:14   some level of complexity and fumbling and delay with technology that like, you know,

01:27:20   if there's like a quick paper way to do something, I'll usually do it that way.

01:27:24   Or if there's like some simple way, like, I'd be much more likely to look around the

01:27:29   floor of the museum I'm at for a directory or for a map than I am to like take out my

01:27:35   my phone and try that. Because so often this stuff doesn't work right or it's not worth

01:27:40   the effort to take your phone out of your pocket, unlock it, find the app, find the

01:27:43   thing and wait for it to connect, drain your battery. There's all these little tiny costs

01:27:50   that add up to make it kind of clunky in so many cases that I'm usually very skeptical

01:27:56   of stuff like this and usually I avoid it for years after everyone else tries it. And

01:28:04   And usually it dies out and it's not a problem and I save myself the time of ever having

01:28:08   tried it.

01:28:10   The museum thing, I have a friend who works in a museum and he had been, for years, taking

01:28:14   a bunch of old school like iPods, I think even the ones with wheels and stuff, and charging

01:28:19   a bunch of them up and filling them with audio programs that people would, you know, go use

01:28:23   the little click wheel to scroll through.

01:28:25   Like they were manually making their own tour.

01:28:27   As a sort of manually guided audio tour, you'd go to a certain section of the museum, rotate

01:28:32   a little wheel and hear a little story about something.

01:28:35   And if people were willing to tolerate that, especially museum patrons, which are like,

01:28:39   you know, senior citizens and rich people, and I don't know who goes to museums, but

01:28:42   like, this would be a vast improvement if you could use these beacons and give a bunch

01:28:49   of people iPod touches, because the whole problem was trying to make something that

01:28:51   was guided so that people didn't have to manipulate the device.

01:28:54   And if you just walk up to something and the little thing in your hand starts playing it,

01:28:59   that's an improvement.

01:29:00   So I think there's definitely small areas where this will become influential.

01:29:05   It only becomes really something that regular people encounter if those beacons are everywhere.

01:29:11   Like that's where the big value—like beacons in a few places and beacons in a few stores

01:29:14   has some value, but if you just assume that when you went into a mall the thing would

01:29:18   be filled with beacons, then now you've got sort of a platform on which people can do

01:29:23   both more interesting and more terrible things.

01:29:26   And now you can launch that platform at .domains or .holdings or .systems.

01:29:34   Is that one?

01:29:35   I don't think it is.

01:29:36   .academy.

01:29:37   Oh, I got it.

01:29:39   Beacon.plumbing.

01:29:40   That's your new site right there.

01:29:42   And we're done.

01:29:43   Museum.solutions.

01:29:44   Thanks a lot to our three sponsors this week, Squarespace, Transporter, and Hover.

01:29:49   And we will see you next week.

01:29:54   Now the show is over, they didn't even mean to begin

01:29:58   'Cause it was accidental (accidental)

01:30:01   Oh, it was accidental (accidental)

01:30:04   John didn't do any research, Margo and Casey wouldn't let him

01:30:09   'Cause it was accidental (accidental)

01:30:12   It was accidental (accidental)

01:30:15   And you can find the show notes at ATP.fm

01:30:20   And if you're into Twitter, you can follow them

01:30:24   @C-A-S-E-Y-L-I-S-S

01:30:29   So that's Kasey Liss, M-A-R-C-O-A-R-M

01:30:33   Auntie Marco Arment

01:30:36   S-I-R-A-C-U-S-A-C-R-A-C-U-S-A

01:30:41   It's accidental

01:30:44   They didn't mean to

01:30:46   Accidental

01:30:49   Tech podcast so long

01:30:53   I was gonna say that a new life awaited you in the off-world colonies but I

01:30:58   realized neither one of you would get that so never mind. Nope. You got to listen

01:31:02   to the Bionic a couple episodes ago where they were going through these domains

01:31:04   it's freaking hilarious. The soft match. I was just thinking the same thing. It's just like I

01:31:11   was listening to that episode I was walking my dog and so I couldn't like go

01:31:15   check out the list myself immediately and I kept listening through it I'm like

01:31:18   this can't be real half of these have to be made up this has to be a joke and

01:31:22   And then I get home and I look and they're all real.

01:31:25   Like every one of these stupid domains, they're all real.

01:31:28   (laughs)

01:31:29   - Do we ever find out if Mike got Mike.sexy?

01:31:32   Is .sexy available?

01:31:34   - I don't, no, I don't think it's available yet.

01:31:35   I think it's in, like there's all these--

01:31:37   - It's in the hopper.

01:31:38   - Is it just me or is this, is the whole TLD thing,

01:31:42   you think, a scam by ICANN to get whatever little

01:31:45   percentage of the registrations that they get

01:31:47   from all the trademark owners who gotta go register

01:31:50   all their trademarks, all these different TLDs.

01:31:52   I don't-- I'm interested to see how it goes.

01:31:56   Because the cache and the technological advantages

01:32:02   of dot com back in the days when address bars used to-- I mean,

01:32:05   I guess maybe it was on the Mac platform.

01:32:07   But remember when address bars used to stick on dot com

01:32:09   for you instead of doing a search if you just

01:32:12   typed in a word by itself?

01:32:13   Yep.

01:32:13   That right away was a huge advantage.

01:32:15   You didn't want the dot net or the dot org

01:32:17   because you knew if they typed foo and hit return

01:32:20   in the address bar, which people used to do back in the day, use the address bar, they

01:32:23   would go to foo.com and then it would try www.foo.com and do all those heuristics.

01:32:29   And now that's gone, but I still think there's a cachet to having the .com for most people.

01:32:34   And I wonder if there'll be a stigma associated with having clownpenis.fart, as the joke goes,

01:32:42   or any other TLD that looks like you're kind of like fly by night or couldn't you get the

01:32:50   the dot com, like the social aspect of TLDs, not the technical aspect and not whether there's

01:32:55   a TLD that's perfectly suited for you. Kind of like, we were here first and we got the

01:33:00   dot com and everyone else has dot com and you look weird because you have this other

01:33:05   thing. The only place I can see where this would work out well, and I don't know if they

01:33:08   allowed triple X or whatever, but all the porn sites I assume will rush to get triple

01:33:12   X, dot sex or whatever, because people are probably typing those into their browsers.

01:33:15   They're typing.

01:33:16   We haven't. We've had .xxx for I think a couple years now.

01:33:20   Have we? I thought they didn't want to let... Do we have .sex? I don't know.

01:33:24   I'm sure that's one of the proposed ones. I mean, the thing is

01:33:28   these are released under... And by the way, before we leave this topic,

01:33:32   we've had .biz and .info for a long time now.

01:33:36   And no one uses them. Yeah, and .name. We've had .name.

01:33:40   I've got a .name. Yeah, and .name is not

01:33:44   too abused, but Biz and Info, those are your spam. The only things on there are spam. It's

01:33:54   100% spam. It's affiliate marketing spam and just crap.

01:33:57   **Ezra Klein-Fung:** This colloquy.info is the only .info site that I know of that I

01:34:01   would visit legitimately. And I guess they couldn't get the .com. That's my first

01:34:04   assumption. Like, why would you get colloquy.info?

01:34:06   Right, exactly. So, you know, but you know all these domains, like, they, it's like

01:34:14   the people who made the yellow pages designed this domain name system. It's like, like,

01:34:18   they think that anyone is going to want to have like, oh, like for instance, there's

01:34:23   a dot diamonds. And if you're like, do you think major diamond companies are going to

01:34:29   move their sites or create new sites as like, you know, company name dot diamonds? Or is

01:34:33   Or is that going to be really cheesy looking immediately?

01:34:37   It's a bonanza for domain squatters.

01:34:39   I think if you're going to think, who is this going to hurt the most?

01:34:42   It seems like it's going to hurt the domain squatters the most, because you know they're

01:34:44   just going to have parking pages and-- well, maybe not hurt them, but all those accidental

01:34:49   results you get on Google that are just someone squatting to redirect you, you know they're

01:34:54   going to be all over .diamond.

01:34:55   Because God forbid someone accidentally types something that looks like that or get a Google

01:34:58   result that goes that.

01:35:00   many new places that look legitimate to someone at a glance that they can drive you through

01:35:04   to probably take you to a porn site or something.

01:35:07   Right. And I just think the tax this is going to place on trademark holders, to try to like,

01:35:13   "Okay, well, to what degree do you have to buy them?"

01:35:17   I don't think so. Is Coca-Cola going to get coca-cola.plumbing? I don't think they are.

01:35:21   They're going to let that one go. They don't care. It would be an easy way to get money

01:35:28   out of them, but I think they're gonna look at that list and say, "If the list was five

01:35:32   more, every corporation would buy the extra five." But the list is too long now. They're

01:35:35   gonna be like, "Okay, well now you've pushed me to this and I'm going to say, 'No, I'm

01:35:39   not gonna get Coca-Cola dot all of these. I'm just gonna keep...'" Who knows if Coca-Cola

01:35:44   even has Coca-Cola dot info or Coca-Cola dot biz? I bet they don't even have them. So I

01:35:48   think they're gonna stick with the dot com and I don't know what's gonna happen with

01:35:51   all these top-level domains, but...

01:35:53   Dot Florist. Yeah. It's just, I mean, infinite numbers of podcast episodes could be recorded

01:36:01   about these domains. I know the technical reasons why, like, why do we have the top

01:36:05   low domains at all? Like, I understand how DNS works and everything, but if you were

01:36:08   to remove the technical limitations and just say, "What if the entire name was up for

01:36:14   grabs and when you got a domain, you just picked the name and you just got Coca-Cola

01:36:17   and there was no dot com, right?

01:36:21   Then you could put dots in your names if you wanted,

01:36:23   and people can make up any sort of something dot something

01:36:26   dot something if they wanted to.

01:36:28   In some ways, it would be cleaner

01:36:30   in that you're just fighting over ASCII characters that

01:36:34   make-- or the Unicode with that crazy escaping system

01:36:36   they have in domain names-- just a bunch of characters.

01:36:39   And it's just this weird artifact

01:36:41   that there's this certain last segment of it

01:36:43   because of the way DNS works and the top level domain holders

01:36:46   that that's limited. But everything in front of that you can get, you know, I don't even know if

01:36:50   there's length restrictions anymore, there probably is somewhere out in the distance, but

01:36:53   you can just put any crazy garbage you want to try to fish people or whatever, and it just has to end

01:36:57   in one of these other crazy things. And the list of crazy things is getting bigger, so I'm kind of

01:37:01   okay with that. Like, it's moving us more towards, you just register a name, and here's some length

01:37:06   limits, and here's the character encoding has to be, and you just pick the name and we map it to

01:37:09   your IP address somehow. So yeah, maybe that's the end game. Top level domains. It's not a fixed

01:37:16   list. You just pick what you want the last part of your thing to be.

01:37:18   Well, wasn't that a proposal like a year and a half or two years ago? Didn't, didn't

01:37:22   I can propose that they'll just allow dot anything and, and allow people to register

01:37:26   any TLD they wanted? But I, I think that didn't go anywhere, which, that might be for the

01:37:31   best. I don't know. Like, it seems like all of, I mean, the value of a domain is so much

01:37:36   smaller now because everyone just searches. And like, you know, Google ranking is so much

01:37:41   more important. Now, one thing that might be relevant here is how much weight is Google

01:37:47   going to put on these keywords, these new TLDs? Is this going to count favorably towards

01:37:53   your rank on Google for these searches?

01:37:56   No, I think Google has long since learned to disregard. If anything, it's going to

01:38:01   be a negative. It probably is for that info. Their weighting is not based on philosophy.

01:38:06   It's based on practical results.

01:38:09   Their battle with spam or whatever is like, practically speaking, if more .biz domains

01:38:14   are crappy and have spam, they're going to get downranked.

01:38:16   There's not someone saying, "Well, that seems more specific because it says .museum."

01:38:20   I don't think that's anywhere in their algorithm.

01:38:23   Dot choose.

01:38:24   All I want to know is, are you going to get overcast.weather?

01:38:30   Is .weather one of them?

01:38:31   I don't even know.

01:38:32   I don't even know.

01:38:33   They probably have .podcast.

01:38:34   They might have .podcast client.

01:38:36   That's the funny thing, they don't.

01:38:37   And there is one proposed .app, which I would love to get overcast .app, and that's one

01:38:41   that would be interesting.

01:38:43   Oh, .app would just drive people crazy.

01:38:46   Like, imagine trying to discuss, like...

01:38:49   Well, it would drive Mac heads crazy.

01:38:52   Yeah, like, what is the website for your app?

01:38:55   It's whatever, .app, and I use terminal.app to use mail.app to go to that.

01:39:01   I mean, someone would get terminal.app and mail.app and make something out of it. Ugh.

01:39:06   Filename extensions. They ruin everything.

01:39:09   And that's what these are, really. They're like keyword spam domain extensions. Ugh.

01:39:16   It's just so tacky. Seriously, who are these people who come up with this and say, "That's

01:39:22   a good idea"?

01:39:23   People submitted them, wasn't it? Wasn't it like a semi-pseudo-democratic process?

01:39:27   I bet the people submitting them were all the people who make those parked, spammy phishing

01:39:31   sites.

01:39:32   [laughs]

01:39:33   Yeah. Yeah, I mean, it's just, like, it seems like they're trying to make one for, like,

01:39:37   every major industry, basically. And a bunch of weirdly minor ones. It's just an odd list.

01:39:44   But like, this is clearly, everything about this is designed by committee. Like, it's

01:39:51   obvious that there is no guiding authority here whatsoever. It's just all like, "Well,

01:39:57   I guess we'll invite all these different stakeholders to the table and we'll come

01:40:00   up with something with this task force that everyone can agree on."

01:40:04   And there's no authority here saying, "Yeah, but this is all kind of a bad idea."

01:40:09   Anyway.

01:40:10   >> Anything else going on?

01:40:12   >> No.

01:40:13   >> I gotta get up early, so I'm...

01:40:17   >> Do you want to talk about this Patreon thing?

01:40:20   >> The what?

01:40:21   So Patreon is this site that basically lets you, you as a creative person, get money from your fans every time you release something.

01:40:31   So you can say like, you know, every podcast episode I release, or every three blog posts I make, or every five songs I write,

01:40:40   you, the audience, can pledge ten bucks or five bucks or whatever for every X that I do.

01:40:46   Oh, is this what Jonathan Mann is doing?

01:40:48   Yeah, yeah, exactly.

01:40:49   Okay.

01:40:50   So the idea of it's pretty good,

01:40:53   there's good people behind it.

01:40:54   Anyway, they emailed us inviting us

01:40:57   to put our podcast on there,

01:40:59   and I don't feel good about that.

01:41:03   'Cause like, you know, it's different.

01:41:05   Like with Jonathan Mann,

01:41:05   he doesn't like fill his stuff up with ads,

01:41:08   and he doesn't really like,

01:41:11   if you don't have a lot of great options

01:41:13   to make money with your stuff directly,

01:41:15   then that's fine.

01:41:16   But we make money through ads,

01:41:17   and we make good money through ads.

01:41:19   And we make, I think, more through ads than we would ever make through direct payments.

01:41:23   Yeah, I think if this is your only way, if you decide the way you're making money is

01:41:27   people are going to buy the thing, the consumers of the thing are going to buy it, then something

01:41:31   like Patreon is great.

01:41:32   But if you're ad-supported, it almost feels like all you're trying to do is to get a little

01:41:36   bit extra by soaking your 200 best fans for money.

01:41:40   And I would much rather see, if you're going to soak your 200 best fans for money, I would

01:41:43   much rather see them get something out of it like a t-shirt or something.

01:41:46   Yeah, exactly.

01:41:47   then they're getting something, like then they have something that expresses their super

01:41:50   fandom, like, whereas with Patreon, like, they would have got the shows anyway, and

01:41:55   I would rather sell somebody swag than do the studying. But if you're trying to do a

01:42:00   non-ed supported podcast, I would totally do something like this, because you're looking

01:42:03   for some way to efficiently get money from people who want to give it to you for the

01:42:07   thing that you make.

01:42:08   I agree on all counts.

01:42:10   But we should do t-shirts or something.

01:42:11   Yeah, oh, definitely.

01:42:12   But we need a better logo before we do t-shirts.

01:42:15   Yeah.

01:42:16   Probably something without the f***ing Mac Pro on it.

01:42:19   I still don't have mine yet!

01:42:21   Don't care.

01:42:22   Terrible.

01:42:23   You should take the "new" off of it.

01:42:25   Well, I guess this has ATP now.

01:42:26   You should put "soon" or "delayed."

01:42:31   That is kind of funny.

01:42:32   Put "2013" in quotes.

01:42:33   Yeah.

01:42:34   Oh, good.

01:42:35   Will anybody, I mean, like, yeah, people are getting them now, but it's like, now I think

01:42:39   shipping estimates have slipped to April.

01:42:41   Yeah, Rich Siegel still doesn't have his.

01:42:44   And slipping to April, I would love to know if that's, like, is there a problem or is

01:42:50   that demand?

01:42:51   And, like, it's almost hard to believe that it could be demand.

01:42:54   You're like, "Seriously?

01:42:55   That many people on Mac Pro?"

01:42:56   It's like, "Okay, I can imagine some delay because, like, they weren't ready to start

01:42:59   manufacturing and couldn't build up an inventory."

01:43:01   But surely by this point, like, it's almost like there's some part shortage or some other

01:43:05   thing that's preventing…

01:43:07   Well, I think, as far as I can tell, the bottleneck might be Intel.

01:43:12   Because if you try to buy these CPUs, not all of them, but if you try to buy, like,

01:43:17   especially the 8-core, you can't buy one.

01:43:20   Like everywhere they're out of stock.

01:43:22   They should swap in some i7s.

01:43:25   Keep the prices saying, "Don't tell anybody, 'Hey, this has better single-threaded performance.'

01:43:28   I don't know what's good."

01:43:29   I guess they can't do that because of the PCI Express.

01:43:30   Yeah, they definitely can't do that.

01:43:32   I know, I know.

01:43:33   But yeah, so I think the problem might be Intel, but it also might just be, like, you

01:43:38   this is a brand new factory in a brand new place with a brand new staff making a brand new product

01:43:44   that they probably didn't think was going to sell in massive volumes.

01:43:48   But it's a metal tube. Is it more complicated to manufacture than an iPhone? I don't know.

01:43:53   No, but it's inexperienced. This is like a new thing. It's this new plant in Austin doing this

01:44:00   cool... Or is it in Austin? Somewhere. It's this new plant doing this crazy thing and with all these...

01:44:07   Just say it, it's lazy Americans.

01:44:09   - I don't know, I don't know if it's lazy,

01:44:10   but it is Americans, as opposed to these places in Asia

01:44:13   who have been manufacturing things like this

01:44:15   for a long, long time, and at massive volumes.

01:44:19   Whereas here, we have a lot less

01:44:21   of the infrastructure set up for that here.

01:44:22   - I like the part shortage theory,

01:44:24   and secondarily, distant second, the demand theory.

01:44:28   But presumably, if it's demand, we'll hear about it,

01:44:30   and either Apple will tout it and say,

01:44:32   "Wow, we sold, put the new Mac Pro on sale,

01:44:34   "and the sales were way more than we thought they would be."

01:44:36   they'll announce some number, but I doubt they'll never mention the number. And the

01:44:39   other way to tell would be like on the earnings call, like margins on Macs went up, if Horace

01:44:43   or somebody can calculate that and say like, "Well, what could possibly be driving margins

01:44:48   up in the Mac market? Maybe the new bajillion dollar Mac Pro is selling huge numbers." But

01:44:52   part sure sounds like the most likely culprit.

01:44:55   Yeah, if I had to take my best guess, I'd say it's Intel. Yeah, the more I think about

01:45:02   this and look at what's coming and my current setup.

01:45:06   The more I think that I should use this Mac Pro

01:45:10   whenever it comes in, and honestly,

01:45:12   if it doesn't come in in the next month,

01:45:13   I might just even cancel it.

01:45:14   I mean, just wait 'til the next one at this point.

01:45:17   - Don't cancel it, you have to get it.

01:45:18   It's your job.

01:45:19   - I already got the Apple carrier.

01:45:20   They've already invoiced me.

01:45:22   - You have the thing where it starts, yeah.

01:45:25   - And now, yeah, now I'm gonna have to call

01:45:27   and make them move the data up from whenever,

01:45:29   like I got the Apple carrier delivered like a month ago.

01:45:31   (laughing)

01:45:33   And so, but yeah, so now I'm definitely thinking

01:45:35   with this one, like this is,

01:45:37   whatever the next Mac Pro comes out

01:45:39   with the Haswell EP chips, that will be like,

01:45:43   you know, 10, 15% faster single threaded stuff.

01:45:46   I'll probably upgrade to that for myself

01:45:49   and then give this one as, to Tiff for her upgrade.

01:45:52   - Yeah, there you go, this is the hand me down thing.

01:45:54   - Which will make my office much quieter.

01:45:56   - People in the chat room just cannot accept

01:45:58   that I don't want a gaming PC.

01:45:59   Somehow it's like a form of arrogance that I don't want a gaming PC.

01:46:04   I just don't want one.

01:46:05   I want different things than you.

01:46:07   You can have a gaming PC.

01:46:08   I don't want one.

01:46:09   It's not, I don't think it's anything to get upset about.

01:46:14   What is it?

01:46:15   Just make a damn gaming rig and get over yourself.

01:46:17   I'm not getting over, I don't think I'm too good for a game.

01:46:19   I just don't want one.

01:46:20   There's a thing I don't want.

01:46:22   You can want it and you can get it, but I don't want it.

01:46:24   And it doesn't make either one of us a better person than the other person.

01:46:29   If I had a house where I could have a second computer set up, then I would be much more

01:46:34   interested in a gaming PC, because I would say, "Well, I've got the gaming PC over there

01:46:36   and my Mac over here," and I would decide which place I wanted to put which one.

01:46:39   But I don't have that.

01:46:40   And I don't want a KVM.

01:46:41   "Why don't you want to get a KVM?

01:46:43   Get over yourself!"

01:46:44   I don't want it.

01:46:45   I just don't.

01:46:46   I don't want an extra complexity.

01:46:47   I don't want one computer that does everything.

01:46:48   I love that we just trolled Casey into another Mac Pro discussion.

01:46:51   Yeah, well.

01:46:52   He's trying to go to bed.

01:46:54   Just wait until yours arrives.

01:46:56   Then his day of reckoning will come.

01:46:58   He just hung up!

01:47:00   [laughs]

01:47:02   He just lopped it.

01:47:04   [laughs]

01:47:06   Did you see that picture from Underscore where he had

01:47:08   his Backblaze mug on top of his Mac Pro?

01:47:10   I'm assuming that was his Mac Pro.

01:47:12   Uh, no.

01:47:14   That was actually a Backblaze blog post.

01:47:16   Oh, oh well.

01:47:18   I was like, "I didn't know Underscore had a Mac Pro."

01:47:20   Anyway, you could find out if that warms your coffee.

01:47:22   And then accidentally spill it in G.R.

01:47:24   $7,000 computer.

01:47:26   $7,000 computer.

01:47:28   - Mine was not that.

01:47:29   It would have been $7,000

01:47:30   if I kept the original configuration,

01:47:32   but I felt too bad about that.

01:47:33   And I'm like, "No, I can't do this."

01:47:34   - Yeah, well, here, that's the one advantage

01:47:37   that the Mac Pro probably doesn't have

01:47:38   those little water detector things inside it.

01:47:40   - Yeah, that's true, actually.

01:47:42   - You're like, "What coffee?

01:47:43   "Why does it smell like coffee in there?

01:47:44   "I don't know, you must be crazy."

01:47:45   - For some reason, it smells like really good coffee

01:47:47   inside this computer.

01:47:48   - Does it smell Kenyan?

01:47:49   'Cause I don't have Kenyan.

01:47:51   No, it doesn't smell Kenyan at all.

01:47:53   [