193: This is Stephen Hackett’s Fault


00:00:00   [Music]

00:00:08   From Relay FM, this is Upgrade, episode 193. Today's show is brought to you by Fresh Books,

00:00:14   Pingdom, and Simple Contacts. My name is Myke Hurley, I'm joined by Jason Snell. Hola, Jason Snell!

00:00:19   Hello, mate!

00:00:21   Hello!

00:00:21   You're changing the intro up, that's very strange, but nobody wants to talk about that,

00:00:27   so you know we should probably move on.

00:00:28   beginning to this episode today.

00:00:31   - Oh, it's gonna be a good one.

00:00:32   - It's gonna be a good one.

00:00:34   So yeah, we have a Snell Talk question as we always do.

00:00:37   This one comes from, listen, Upgradient Ryan.

00:00:41   Upgradient Ryan wants to know, Jason,

00:00:43   do you schedule time for reading books during the day?

00:00:46   Do you turn everything off to avoid distractions

00:00:49   and really focus on what you're reading?

00:00:51   - Nope.

00:00:53   - But you do read a lot of books though, right?

00:00:57   Like that is a thing.

00:00:58   I do read a lot of books. A lot of it's driven by the incomparable these days, too, right?

00:01:04   Because we've got--I'm in the award reading period. We do episode or episodes about all

00:01:11   the novels that are nominated for the Hugo and Nebula awards, which are like the big

00:01:14   science fiction and fantasy awards every year. And it's a good way for me to find good books

00:01:18   and get an idea of sort of like what people think are the best books of the year. I don't

00:01:23   always agree. There's usually some ones in there that I don't like, and there's some

00:01:26   great surprises there. I tend to read some on the weekend and I tend to read at night

00:01:34   before I go to sleep. Like I will read, I'll go to bed and I'll read there and I don't

00:01:40   turn everything off to avoid distractions because I use a Kindle. Kindle has no distractions

00:01:47   and that's the trick. A paper book would also have no push notifications by the way, but

00:01:51   I use a Kindle. I don't read on an iPhone or iPad or something like that and that's

00:01:55   That's one of the reasons is that when I'm reading on my Kindle, that's all I'm doing

00:01:59   is reading. And that's where I do almost all of my reading. Every now and then I'll get

00:02:03   stuck somewhere in a waiting room or something, and I'll have my phone and I will call up

00:02:09   the Kindle app and read the book on there briefly, but, you know, 99%, more than 99%

00:02:16   of the time it's on a Kindle. And that'll be around the house on the weekend or something

00:02:22   like that or occasionally I'll get in the book--this happened not too long ago, I was

00:02:27   really into a book and I knew I was almost at the end and it was the middle of the day

00:02:31   and I took a break and I read the book for like half an hour or an hour or something

00:02:35   and then went back to work, finished my lunch or whatever and went back to work. But usually

00:02:39   it's in the evening before I go to sleep and on the weekends. That's one of the reasons

00:02:47   I love the Kindle, no distractions.

00:02:49   It's just about text on a page and that works for me.

00:02:53   - Which Kindle are you using right now?

00:02:56   - I have the Oasis 2, which I can't really recommend.

00:03:01   What I like about it is that it's solidly built

00:03:05   and it's got buttons to turn the pages.

00:03:08   It's nice, but it's also overpriced.

00:03:10   - Right.

00:03:11   - Most people should just get a Paperwhite,

00:03:13   which just has the touch screen.

00:03:15   It doesn't have buttons, physical buttons, which they really should make.

00:03:20   But apparently physical buttons are a premium feature now, so the Paperwhite is what most

00:03:25   people should look at.

00:03:26   It's a pretty good deal.

00:03:27   And I like a dedicated book reader.

00:03:30   But I'm using the Oasis too.

00:03:33   Thank you to Ryan for sending in that Snell Talk question.

00:03:35   You can send in a question of any kind to start the show just by sending out a tweet

00:03:40   with the hashtag #SnellTalk and it could be picked for a future episode.

00:03:43   I have a piece of follow up that comes in from Upgrading and friend of the show Todd.

00:03:48   Todd wanted to just correct us about Arrested Development Season 4.

00:03:51   So we were talking about that in Upstream last week about the fact that there is the

00:03:55   remixed version and it seemed like that the regular season had just disappeared.

00:04:00   But it turns out that it is on, there's like a tab in Netflix in some players and apps

00:04:08   called Trailers and More and the original season is buried in there.

00:04:13   So you can still get it, but they're trying to hide it,

00:04:15   which is really interesting.

00:04:17   - And so this came up on the TV Talk Machine podcast

00:04:19   where Tim Goodman and I were talking about

00:04:21   how we were baffled about why Netflix,

00:04:25   when it brings a show back for like a second season,

00:04:27   that first episode doesn't start with a lengthy,

00:04:29   like here's what you need to remember

00:04:31   from season one trailer,

00:04:33   which I still think they should do.

00:04:35   But it turns out for their originals, they do make those.

00:04:38   They're in the trailers and more section.

00:04:40   - Oh, interesting.

00:04:41   - And if you watch on,

00:04:42   My understanding is, because this is how I use Netflix,

00:04:44   if you watch on Apple TV, you can't see that section.

00:04:47   So that's great.

00:04:49   - Right.

00:04:50   (laughing)

00:04:51   - Why can't you see that? - This is not in the app at all?

00:04:53   - I don't, as far as I can tell, last time I checked,

00:04:56   there's like, you can see the seasons,

00:04:57   but I couldn't find the trailers and more.

00:04:59   Please correct us if we're wrong about it,

00:05:02   but I had a hard time finding it.

00:05:03   On the web, I can find it.

00:05:04   So anyway, yes, that is where season four is.

00:05:07   And also, again, this is like a good tip.

00:05:10   If you wanna watch a little recap of season one

00:05:13   of "Stranger Things" before going on to season two,

00:05:15   look in the trailers and more section for "Stranger Things"

00:05:18   and you may find that Netflix

00:05:20   actually did make a recap for you.

00:05:22   I don't know why they don't put those at the front

00:05:24   of the new season with a skip button.

00:05:28   - 'Cause they're so good at those skip buttons anyway,

00:05:30   right, like they're all over the place.

00:05:33   - And they know that if somebody binges it,

00:05:35   you know, a show that's released weekly,

00:05:38   There's like, the traditional TV in America, certainly,

00:05:41   is the show's finale airs in May,

00:05:44   and then it premieres in September.

00:05:46   So you've got a few months where you have to remember

00:05:47   where you left off.

00:05:49   But when a show is a binge show,

00:05:51   even if it releases every year,

00:05:53   if you watch it in a weekend,

00:05:55   you watched it in a weekend and then a year passed.

00:05:57   Like, you're not gonna remember what happened.

00:06:00   And I know Netflix may just want you to watch it again.

00:06:03   Okay, fine, if you've got the time, you could do that.

00:06:05   But like putting that trailer up front to just get you back what you need to know would be really nice.

00:06:11   But it does live in many cases in the trailers and more section.

00:06:14   So I have to give a very important update on our live show at WWDC.

00:06:22   This is incredibly important if you've bought a ticket.

00:06:25   If you bought a ticket to our live show at WWDC, you really, really need to listen to this.

00:06:29   Because unfortunately, due to circumstances outside of our control,

00:06:34   we have had to relocate the event and sell new tickets.

00:06:38   So if you bought a ticket to our event at AUGQ conf on Wednesday the 6th,

00:06:42   that ticket has been refunded. AUGQ conf have refunded them.

00:06:45   And unfortunately we've had to cancel the tickets. Uh, we did some stuff happened,

00:06:50   and we needed to get a new venue. Um,

00:06:52   so we have a new venue and it is an incredible venue that we're really excited

00:06:55   about called the Hammer Theater,

00:06:57   which is so beautiful and it has like tiered seating. It's incredible,

00:07:00   but we have to sell new tickets for it.

00:07:03   So if you bought a ticket to the original event,

00:07:06   you will have gotten an email last week,

00:07:08   I think it was on Friday,

00:07:10   that link, so there is a link in that email

00:07:14   that you will need to go and buy tickets.

00:07:17   So check your email, if you bought a ticket,

00:07:19   you're gonna need to buy a new ticket,

00:07:21   the link is in there.

00:07:22   The tickets are about $7, unfortunately there were some fees

00:07:25   that we had to kind of swallow up,

00:07:27   and so these are just like $1.50 more,

00:07:30   $2 more than the previous tickets. We may share this link publicly at some point, but

00:07:36   we want to make sure everybody who bought an original ticket has a chance to get one

00:07:41   before we do that. So please, if you bought a ticket, make sure you check your email,

00:07:46   you're looking for an email from Ault Conf about the venue relocation and it has all

00:07:50   of the information that you need in there to get yourself a new ticket to our show at

00:07:54   the Hammer Theatre. We should give a bit of information about the show, which we haven't

00:07:57   really shared yet, but we're looking to do a double bill.

00:08:00   It's going to the show is going to be split into two parts.

00:08:03   The first part will be your friend of mine, Jason Snell, Stephen Hackett and

00:08:08   Serenity Caldwell breaking down all of the news from the conference because we're

00:08:12   recording midweek and giving their insight.

00:08:15   And this is what I find interesting about this kind of discussion after being

00:08:18   surrounded by the developer community for a few days.

00:08:20   So like, you know, the keynote was on Monday, but what is everybody talking about

00:08:24   by Wednesday? What other little bits and details have we found out?

00:08:27   So it's going to be like a mini episode of Download that's going to open the show.

00:08:31   And then the second part of the show is going to be myself and Federico Vittucci and Steven

00:08:35   have connected and we're going to be doing what we do, expect hijinks is basically all

00:08:40   I'll say about that at the moment.

00:08:44   We don't know what we're going to do yet, but there's going to be, we have some ideas.

00:08:48   It's going to be themed around the event, but we have been known to get a little bit

00:08:52   kooky when we record live shows, which is one of the reasons that we love doing live

00:08:56   shows because it's very different. So yeah, we're going to have a fantastic show. I think

00:09:02   it's going to be our best one yet. So please make sure you don't miss it. Check your email

00:09:07   if you bought a ticket and make sure that you get a new one. And we're going to give

00:09:11   it maybe another week and if there's any tickets left, we're going to put those out publicly.

00:09:16   This venue is incredible. I'm really excited about it. And talking about the venue, we

00:09:20   really pushed for time on this, obviously, because we're getting so close to the event.

00:09:25   We couldn't have done this without the help of Jessie Cha.

00:09:28   She's one of the organizers of the Layers Conference, which is an amazing conference

00:09:32   organized by two women, Elaine and Jessie.

00:09:35   They really care about every little detail.

00:09:37   I've been to Layers before.

00:09:38   I'm going to be hanging out at Layers this year as well, because they have a great lineup

00:09:42   of diverse speakers, including the incredible lettering designer, Jessica Heesch, and one

00:09:46   of the original Apple emoji designers, Angela Guzman.

00:09:50   I want to promote the conference because we would not have a live show if it was not for

00:09:54   Jesse this year. She really, really helped us out with finding a venue and getting everything

00:09:59   negotiated. So you can find out more about Layers and you should attend Layers if you're

00:10:03   going to be in town. It's at layers.is and they've given us a promo code for Relay FM

00:10:08   listeners. Use the code relay and you'll get $50 off your ticket to Layers. So a bunch

00:10:13   of information there. Please, please, please check your email if you bought a ticket and

00:10:18   make sure you get another ticket. I really don't want anyone to miss out. And again,

00:10:22   I apologize that we've had to do this.

00:10:24   Uh, we didn't want to have to do this, but unfortunately we were

00:10:27   put in a bit of a, a bit of a bind, but, um, we're going to have an amazing show.

00:10:31   Um, and that show, uh, by the way, that's going to be in the

00:10:34   connected feed for the week.

00:10:35   So me and Jason will be recording on Monday, straight after the

00:10:38   keynote as we always do, um, where of course all of the focus is about

00:10:43   who won the draft because there's going to be a draft, uh, that's obviously

00:10:46   going to be coming in a couple of weeks to draft, right, like two weeks away.

00:10:50   Yeah.

00:10:51   Two weeks away.

00:10:51   So that's going to be on the 28th.

00:10:53   Yikes.

00:10:53   We'll be at the draft, which I can't wait for.

00:10:55   So excited about the draft.

00:10:56   And then our episode on the 4th will

00:10:58   be about all the news from the keynote.

00:11:00   And then the live show is going to be on the 6th,

00:11:02   and that will go out in the connected feed.

00:11:04   So you'll be able to check it out there.

00:11:06   So much going on.

00:11:07   It's really going to be a summer of fun.

00:11:10   Summer of fun.

00:11:11   That's also happening.

00:11:12   Summer of fun is happening.

00:11:13   We're so excited.

00:11:14   We're getting so much prepared for that.

00:11:17   Yeah, love it.

00:11:18   All right, so talking about weird and wonderful things

00:11:20   we come up with.

00:11:21   Let's do some upstream news.

00:11:22   I want to start off today, Jason, by talking about Jon Favreau's Star Wars series.

00:11:27   Because Solo is premiering, Jon Favreau has been doing a little bit of press too,

00:11:32   as part of the whole Star Wars family.

00:11:34   Um, and he's given some information about the upcoming series that he's going to be

00:11:38   doing as part of Disney's upcoming streaming service.

00:11:41   Uh, the show is still expected to debut in fall 2019.

00:11:45   It's going to be set.

00:11:46   It's planned to be set three years after Return of the Jedi.

00:11:50   so obviously significantly before The Force Awakens.

00:11:53   It's going to feature all new characters and something I found very interesting, at least

00:11:58   from a budgetary perspective, they're going to be using the motion capture techniques

00:12:02   that were seen in the Jungle Book, so the live action Jungle Book movie.

00:12:06   So looks like they're probably pouring quite a lot of money into this series.

00:12:09   Yeah, I'm not surprised given that it's Star Wars and that Disney is wanting to launch

00:12:13   this streaming service and get people to sign up.

00:12:16   This is going to be one of the reasons people sign up for this service.

00:12:19   There'll probably be some Marvel shows too, is my guess.

00:12:23   And they'll make it a must-buy kind of situation for people who are fans of these franchises

00:12:28   because they want your money.

00:12:30   So yeah, a little more detail.

00:12:31   I'm sure they'll trickle out details for the next year.

00:12:34   And Fall 2019, has Disney said if they're launching this service this year or next year?

00:12:40   I thought it might have been maybe this Fall, but there is more coming with Disney.

00:12:46   They are going to launch the service.

00:12:47   They could be launching one of the three total services this year than the other one the year after well

00:12:53   They launched ESPN plus that's out there

00:12:56   So the question is just like when does this when is this one one happen and we don't really know yet

00:13:03   We know some details

00:13:05   New Marvel show all the MCU movies a bunch of other stuff

00:13:09   so we you know, this is just a question of what it's called and and

00:13:11   When they release it, but it's gonna happen. So oh

00:13:15   - Oh, we should talk about cancellations briefly.

00:13:19   And there is an angle here that is upstream related.

00:13:22   I'd say not upstream related at all

00:13:25   is just mentioning the Brooklyn Nine-Nine cancellation

00:13:29   and then renewal, only to say that,

00:13:31   I think it's interesting from a business perspective

00:13:33   and something that people, when they talk about,

00:13:35   look, we all love our TV shows and movies and stuff,

00:13:37   and you wanna see decisions made based on,

00:13:41   tied into your love of something.

00:13:44   You want to feel like your love is the thing that drives this thing when it's not true.

00:13:49   It's a business.

00:13:50   And these are often just cold business decisions that go into this.

00:13:55   In fact, most of the time they are because we're talking about millions and millions

00:13:57   of dollars for any TV show.

00:13:59   So I want to mention this though because it is tied in with the way that all of these

00:14:03   different companies are kind of jousting with each other and trying to figure out streaming

00:14:06   and how their business models are going to work going forward.

00:14:08   So Fox cancels the sitcom Brooklyn Nine-Nine after five years.

00:14:14   It's a really good show, if you haven't watched it, you should check it out.

00:14:17   It's from Michael Schurr, who did Parks and Recreation and does The Good Place on NBC.

00:14:22   Now that's actually relevant.

00:14:25   He's got a deal with Universal, which is Comcast, NBC, Universal, that's all the same thing,

00:14:30   right?

00:14:31   That's where his production deal is.

00:14:33   And Brooklyn Nine-Nine is produced by NBC Universal.

00:14:37   So it's a situation where Fox doesn't make the show, it only airs the show.

00:14:44   And this vertical integration, this like, we make the show, we air the show, that's

00:14:48   like, those are the things, that kind of integration is what is the norm in Hollywood now.

00:14:55   And the idea there is, your company invests in this thing, and you get the short-term

00:15:00   benefit of putting it on TV, and the long-term benefit of reaping the rewards for video sales

00:15:06   and syndication and all of those other things.

00:15:08   But sometimes, they make these deals where they're going across, that somebody who's

00:15:13   a competitor, but also their studio is providing you with a show. And the reality is that these

00:15:20   networks are much less inclined to keep those shows around because they don't own them,

00:15:26   basically. And so there's less of a business interest to keep them going. And so in this

00:15:30   case, and we see this all the time, the network picks the shows that it owns and not the shows

00:15:36   that it doesn't own. So Brooklyn Nine-Nine drops. They shop it around. They go to Hulu

00:15:40   and Netflix apparently who both turned them down for it, like were not interested. I was

00:15:44   a little surprised that Hulu wasn't interested, but they weren't. And what's funny is that

00:15:48   wasn't the end of it. Obviously they were looking for a better deal from someone else

00:15:52   to see if somebody else wanted to jump on and revive this for a sixth season, but when

00:15:56   they didn't make those deals with Hulu and Netflix to their satisfaction, they just put

00:16:02   it on NBC. So NBC renewed it, and NBC's going to air it, which, I guess, they own it, right?

00:16:08   It's almost like that was their last resort.

00:16:11   Well, if we can't get somebody else to pay for this,

00:16:12   we'll just pay for it ourselves.

00:16:14   - And then, you know, NBC gets the positive rub

00:16:16   because like this became a big social media thing, right?

00:16:19   Over the 12 hours that the show was canceled

00:16:21   and then everyone's like,

00:16:22   "Thank you, NBC, for saving our show."

00:16:25   - Right, and the social media, my daughter loves this show

00:16:28   and she was like, "Oh, we did it."

00:16:29   And I said, "No, you didn't."

00:16:30   Like, this deal was gonna get made regardless of the fans.

00:16:34   - Jason, keep the dreams alive, my man.

00:16:36   Keep the dream alive.

00:16:37   No, no, no. You gotta be realistic. But it was good promotion for the show and it's good

00:16:44   promotion for NBC having picked it up. But they're the owner and operator of that show

00:16:50   now. So there's that, plus they've got the ongoing deal with Myke Schur for The Good

00:16:54   Place. So this is kind of like, it's another show. They could run them together, they could

00:16:58   run one of them and then follow with the other one because they're both short run. They're

00:17:02   gonna bring it back for 13 episodes. So anyway, so just think about who owns it, who airs

00:17:08   it and who owns it and it matters. And it matters, so I'm gonna pivot to another cancellation

00:17:13   which is The Expanse, which is on the Syfy Channel in the US. And this has a little more

00:17:18   upstream tie-in because, first off, who runs the Syfy Channel? NBC Universal. So now NBC's

00:17:25   on the other side of it. They canceled this show. But they don't own it. They renewed

00:17:30   The Magicians, which is a similar show, and also a very good show, but they own that show.

00:17:36   That's an NBC Universal show. This show, The Expanse, is owned by a company called Alcon,

00:17:41   which sounds like they're a James Bond villain, but they might not be. They might be, I don't

00:17:46   know. And so what's interesting, so first off, not owned, right? So much less inclined

00:17:53   to keep it around, because you don't own a piece of it. And the report that broke the

00:17:58   cancellation, which is at Deadline.com, says, and this is where it gets to Upstream, "The

00:18:05   cancellation decision by SyFy is said to be linked to the nature of its agreement for

00:18:09   the series, which only gives the cable network first-run linear rights in the U.S." Linear

00:18:13   meaning on a TV channel that runs, you know, that plays part of the show in an ad and then

00:18:20   traditional TV. It goes on to say, "That puts an extraordinary amount of emphasis on live

00:18:24   linear viewing which is inherently challenging for sci-fi genre series that tend to draw

00:18:29   the lion's share of their audiences from digital and streaming. It sounds to me, I don't know

00:18:32   all the details here, but it sounds to me like I think maybe they only get a small cutter

00:18:37   or whatever of the iTunes sales and they have limits to when they can stream it on their

00:18:42   own website. So it's funny, they didn't buy the right rights for this show, probably because

00:18:49   they didn't want to spend the money or because the producer wanted to hold those back and

00:18:53   use it to help recoup their investment. There's obviously a deal made there and again, we're

00:18:57   just, again, it's a fun show that I really like, but when you talk about making it, it's

00:19:02   about money. So a bad deal in terms of streaming rights, that might have seemed like a better

00:19:09   deal three or four years ago, but is very apparently now not, is apparently one of the

00:19:13   reasons why this thing got cancelled at SyFy. It's even worse because if you're outside

00:19:20   of North America, you may know that The Expanse is one of these shows that, like so many American

00:19:24   shows, is picked up for the rest of the world by Netflix. The difference is, again, something

00:19:29   in this deal is really bad because most Netflix shows that are like U.S. shows that are showed

00:19:35   on Netflix elsewhere, and this is true with streaming like Star Trek Discovery, it's also

00:19:40   true with a lot of network TV shows, they go on Netflix the next day in the rest of

00:19:44   the world. So they're shown Sunday night, let's say, in the U.S., and on Monday it drops

00:19:49   in the rest of the world. That's sort of how these things work. The Expanse, they have

00:19:54   to run the entire season weekly in the US, and then there's some, I don't even understand,

00:19:59   waiting period that happens after that, and only then does it get dropped on Netflix worldwide.

00:20:03   Which means, of course, the show gets pirated, because people who don't want to get spoiled,

00:20:08   and people who want to watch the show now and not wait three months, four months, five

00:20:12   months to see it, are just going to pirate the show. So, that's weird too. So obviously

00:20:17   this is a show that they made this deal which allowed this great show to happen for three

00:20:20   years but it clearly is a terrible deal in terms of modern television technology that

00:20:27   nobody is happy with. So that deal's over, sci-fi has cancelled the show, and the next

00:20:32   question is will that show get picked up somewhere else? I'm actually really optimistic about

00:20:36   it only because I feel like this is something where a streaming service comes in and says

00:20:40   "oh this is going to be way better once we can clear up this stupid deal that was set

00:20:45   in at the beginning so I'm not sure I would I might actually say it's more

00:20:49   likely than not that Netflix will just pick the show up worldwide not because

00:20:53   it's rescuing a canceled show but because it's already a Netflix show in

00:20:57   most of the world and if if they could just pick it up then they could drop it

00:21:02   in a binge everywhere like they like to do instead of this weird delayed thing

00:21:07   outside the US then again we don't know the deals contractually we don't know

00:21:10   whether this all con group is charging too much money we don't know if when

00:21:14   they made their streaming deal in the US with Amazon for the reruns, if that contract now

00:21:19   makes it impossible for them to make a new deal with Netflix in the US, we don't know

00:21:23   any of those details, but it's kind of funny, my hope is that streaming killed the show

00:21:28   and streaming will also save it. If it doesn't, I still really want to see the post-mortem

00:21:34   of like, where did this go wrong? Because it sounds to me like this is a show that probably

00:21:38   should still be on the air somewhere, but the deal that they made three years ago or

00:21:43   four years ago to make this show has broken it. Anyway, we'll see. And it's a good show.

00:21:49   People should watch it. I hope it doesn't get cancelled, ultimately.

00:21:54   And lastly today, a Bloomberg report has indicated that Apple are currently looking at attempting

00:22:01   to take on Amazon by offering subscriptions to video services directly through their TV

00:22:07   app. This is something that Amazon offers through Prime Video right now.

00:22:11   - Right, Amazon channels, they call it.

00:22:13   - So this would be basically Apple taking a step

00:22:17   but going further to making the TV app

00:22:19   the one-stop shop for video content

00:22:21   because they will be able to allow you to sign up

00:22:24   for channels like HBO, Showtime, and a bunch of others

00:22:29   just right within the TV app

00:22:31   and watch the content in the TV app.

00:22:34   My expectation here is that this is some kind of like,

00:22:39   you know, this is them doing some kind of in-app purchase type thing,

00:22:42   which makes me wonder, like, do we really think that they're going to be doing a 70/30 split

00:22:47   with these companies? I doubt it.

00:22:48   Because Apple need this more than they do, because like, I'm sure like HBO has already

00:22:53   has their own app and service that you just download. So yeah, I don't, I don't really

00:22:59   know how much this helps. But this just feels like something that you can say, oh, and now,

00:23:05   you know, when you're giving your update about the fact that we have the streaming service coming,

00:23:08   "Oh, and now you can also watch HBO content even easier in the TV app because you can

00:23:13   buy a subscription right there," or something, I don't know.

00:23:16   There's a question about the mechanism behind this. This is a Bloomberg report, so it's

00:23:20   kind of unclear about what... You have to parse their words carefully and try to figure

00:23:24   out what's going on here. It does seem like a repudiation of the "future of TV is apps"

00:23:32   strategy, because it sounds a lot more like the future of TV is the TV app.

00:23:37   Yeah.

00:23:38   Um, but, uh, I, you could argue that maybe what it's about is app store discoverability

00:23:44   and that all this really is, is putting those channels and those offerings front and center

00:23:49   inside the TV app so that, um, so that you don't have to like download the HBO now app

00:23:58   and then sign up for HBO.

00:23:59   Now you can just, you can just say, Oh, HBO sounds good in the TV app and click it and

00:24:04   say, yes, I want that.

00:24:05   then it just works and it plays it in the app or it downloads the HBO app in

00:24:10   the background and then just opens it when you navigate to it. There's lots of

00:24:13   different ways that they could do it and that's the implementation

00:24:16   question here is like do you never see the HBO app at that point? Because that's

00:24:19   what happens with Amazon is when you get Prime Video and you subscribe to CBS All

00:24:24   Access inside Prime Video you just watch inside Prime Video. You don't go to their

00:24:28   app. You use Amazon's app. Maybe that would be that would happen here. We also

00:24:32   have to ask the question how does this tie into the Apple Video service? Because

00:24:35   because that's also probably part of the strategy here,

00:24:38   is that you're in the TV app, you can get HBO Now,

00:24:42   you can get the Disney streaming service when it comes out,

00:24:44   and you can get the Apple streaming service

00:24:45   when it comes out.

00:24:46   Presumably, that's where it will be.

00:24:49   So putting other services in there too kinda makes sense.

00:24:52   This is also, I think it's smart.

00:24:54   I think it's actually really smart

00:24:55   because I like Amazon's approach here,

00:24:58   which is, Prime Video is not just a service,

00:25:02   It's a catch-all for all sorts of other services, too.

00:25:07   And you can program your own set of streaming,

00:25:09   which you do anyway, but you can do it all within their house.

00:25:12   And Apple's building a different kind of house here, right?

00:25:17   Because you're in an Apple TV.

00:25:20   So you're already in Apple's domain at that point.

00:25:23   But this is a way for that stuff to get front and center

00:25:28   and to go through Apple's stuff.

00:25:29   And Apple takes a cut, I'm sure.

00:25:31   I doubt it is going to be the traditional cut.

00:25:34   This is probably a different kind of deal

00:25:36   that they would make.

00:25:38   But I like it.

00:25:39   I actually think the reason that I like it the most

00:25:41   is that I think it's just better for people,

00:25:43   better for the customers,

00:25:44   better for the people who are using these apps.

00:25:47   For Apple to be like, you know what?

00:25:49   Most of the time, just stay on the TV app.

00:25:51   Tell us what you want.

00:25:52   If you want a channel,

00:25:53   if you want a show that's on a channel you don't get,

00:25:55   you can just buy that channel,

00:25:57   subscribe to that channel right there,

00:25:58   and then just watch your show,

00:26:00   and don't worry about it.

00:26:01   and you'll get one bill that's from Apple that says,

00:26:04   here you are, you know, you paid for these four services

00:26:07   and just don't worry about it.

00:26:08   And that, I think there's a lot to be said

00:26:10   for that approach, just the simplicity of it.

00:26:13   - All right, today's show is brought to you in part

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00:27:47   - Yeah, I mean, I always got frustrated.

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00:28:09   at the same time, it gets frustrating,

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00:29:02   So last week was BB Edit's 25th anniversary, which means the app is 26 years old.

00:29:09   Yup, who's counting?

00:29:10   I've learned this from working with you for a while, the difference between anniversaries

00:29:16   and age of something.

00:29:19   Well, it's the 25th anniversary of the release of the commercial version of BBEdit, but there

00:29:26   was a free version the year before.

00:29:28   I gotta think that, because when they celebrated the 15th anniversary or the 20th anniversary,

00:29:34   I think it was the 20th anniversary, that was six years ago, they celebrated the 20th

00:29:39   anniversary of its release, I gotta think that maybe they just forgot last year and

00:29:44   and then realized like, oh, oh,

00:29:46   but we can make it the anniversary

00:29:47   of the commercial release this time.

00:29:50   We can do that.

00:29:52   And so that's what they did.

00:29:53   But it has been, 'cause at 20,

00:29:56   it was posted to Usenet, to the Mac binaries

00:30:01   on that date 20 years before.

00:30:04   And this time it was released as a commercial product

00:30:07   25 years before.

00:30:08   So it was six years ago that I wrote

00:30:09   the 20th anniversary post.

00:30:10   But still, I was, for reasons

00:30:14   that we'll get into in a minute.

00:30:15   I was looking through my box of kind of old software

00:30:17   this week and, or last week.

00:30:20   And I found this thing that I knew I kept,

00:30:24   which is the BB Edit Anthology,

00:30:26   which I wish more developers would do stuff like this.

00:30:29   It's hilarious.

00:30:30   It's a CD-ROM with every version of BB Edit on it,

00:30:33   every sort of like major version of BB Edit on it.

00:30:35   And it was meant to celebrate the 10th anniversary

00:30:39   of BB Edit because 10 years is an awful long time

00:30:42   to have software.

00:30:44   And it had the first versions from, you know,

00:30:46   from back in the early 90s,

00:30:48   all the way up to the present day in 2002.

00:30:51   And I laughed when I saw this 'cause it's like,

00:30:54   oh yeah, this was the 10th anniversary.

00:30:57   It was 15 years ago, 15 years ago.

00:31:00   In fact, now it's 16 years ago because who's counting.

00:31:04   But it is amazing when you think about it.

00:31:08   And they put out a press release and I'm quoted in there.

00:31:11   And so is John Syracuse.

00:31:12   and we both said the same thing, which is pretty funny,

00:31:14   which is it went from OS 9 to OS 10.

00:31:18   It went from 68,000 Motorola to PowerPC to Intel.

00:31:23   Like that is one of the remarkable things about this product

00:31:28   is that it just keeps on going.

00:31:29   And there are other products that keep on going.

00:31:32   Microsoft Word is a good example, right?

00:31:33   And Microsoft Excel, those all were on the 68,000

00:31:35   and they still exist.

00:31:37   But BB Edit is the work of a very small group of people,

00:31:41   primarily Rich Siegel, who wrote it originally

00:31:44   and still is basically the person who does it.

00:31:47   He's had other people here and there throughout history.

00:31:50   "Bare Bones" used to be a little bit bigger.

00:31:51   I think it's a little bit smaller now,

00:31:52   but I think it's remarkable that,

00:31:56   in view from a certain angle,

00:31:59   this is a person's life's work, essentially,

00:32:03   and that he has been,

00:32:05   we know, like our friend James Thompson

00:32:06   is a little bit like this too,

00:32:07   where he's been an independent developer

00:32:09   for a very long time,

00:32:10   And he's got, in James's case, he had DragThing and Peacock.

00:32:14   But like, there is a career to be made.

00:32:17   And I think it needs to be really recognized as remarkable.

00:32:21   Like, they're sticking with these apps

00:32:23   and the need for the app,

00:32:24   as long as the need for the app continues, the app continues.

00:32:27   But what people needed from a text editor in 1993,

00:32:30   and what they need from one now,

00:32:32   and what they needed 10 years ago, and 15 years ago,

00:32:34   and 20 years ago, all totally different, right?

00:32:37   So you've got to navigate everybody's needs,

00:32:40   what the competition is,

00:32:42   you gotta navigate the changes in the platform

00:32:44   where Apple introduces PowerTalk

00:32:46   and you're like, great, we're gonna do PowerTalk.

00:32:48   And then they're like, okay, PowerTalk is dead.

00:32:49   And you're like, okay, we'll move on to the next thing.

00:32:53   And they just keep on doing that.

00:32:56   That's what's remarkable

00:32:57   because it's not just that this app has survived,

00:33:01   it's that the people who make it have stuck with it

00:33:05   and that the people who use it

00:33:06   have stuck with it all that time.

00:33:08   - Well, there is one place that BBEdit never went to, right?

00:33:12   Which is iOS.

00:33:13   - Yeah, yeah, and I think about that all the time.

00:33:16   And I know, like, again, I think,

00:33:19   watching something like Scrivener,

00:33:21   which is a tool that I really like for the Mac,

00:33:23   and it's on iOS now, and Keith,

00:33:25   the main person who does Scrivener, again,

00:33:28   kind of like it's his baby, that app,

00:33:32   they tried to bring it to iOS for years,

00:33:34   and they had all of these failures.

00:33:37   - They were talking about it

00:33:37   when the iPad originally came out,

00:33:39   and it only came out like last year.

00:33:41   - Yeah, well, and they went through developers,

00:33:43   and I think Keith ended up saying,

00:33:44   I have to write it myself.

00:33:45   He was trying to get like some other,

00:33:47   an iOS developer to come in and do the iOS version,

00:33:49   and they had, I don't know all the gory details there,

00:33:52   but like in the end they got it out,

00:33:55   and it's very similar to the one on the Mac,

00:33:57   and they sync and stuff, and it's great,

00:33:59   but it took them a long time.

00:34:01   And I think that suggests perhaps why Rich said,

00:34:06   we're not gonna do that.

00:34:08   But I think about it all the time.

00:34:09   And the reason I think about it all the time

00:34:11   is that I have yet to find an app on iOS

00:34:14   that really does what BBEdit does on the Mac.

00:34:17   I've used all sorts of different text editors on iOS

00:34:21   and they all have things going for them.

00:34:23   And yet none of them have resonated with me

00:34:28   like BBEdit has on the Mac for all this time.

00:34:31   And so I'm kind of still looking on iOS.

00:34:34   I'm still able to be convinced and converted

00:34:38   and turned into a loyal user of something

00:34:40   that does everything that I want it to do.

00:34:43   Which is not to say that one writer isn't fine,

00:34:45   that's what I used to write most of my stuff

00:34:47   on iOS these days, but it's not BB Edit.

00:34:50   So, you know, it's fine, but there are lots of things

00:34:55   that it doesn't do and editorial was the same way

00:34:58   and Ulysses is the same way and Scrivener is the same way.

00:35:01   So I get why BB edit's not on iOS,

00:35:06   but it kills me that BB edit's not on iOS,

00:35:10   nor is there something that is very clearly

00:35:12   the BB edit of iOS that is like,

00:35:15   well, if you use BB edit on the Mac,

00:35:16   you ought to use this on iOS, just haven't found it yet.

00:35:19   Maybe someday.

00:35:21   So I should say the good thing about BB edit is

00:35:23   it's a text editor, it uses text files.

00:35:25   So I don't need app interoperability in the same way

00:35:29   that you do for a lot of apps between Mac and iOS.

00:35:31   I have all my stories that I write sync

00:35:34   in a Dropbox folder called Stories.

00:35:37   And all of my text editors on iOS are integrated

00:35:41   with Dropbox and look at that folder.

00:35:44   And it's text, it's markdown text for the most part.

00:35:48   So that's the good thing is that I don't need BB edit

00:35:52   for iOS because it's all just text files.

00:35:54   So that part's good, but I do want like all the features

00:35:57   I use on it and I generally don't find them.

00:36:01   So you mentioned that you were digging through some old software.

00:36:10   I was.

00:36:11   And when we were talking about putting this episode together, you let me in on a little

00:36:16   secret that we decided we have to talk about today, which is that you're buying old computers.

00:36:24   I bought an old...

00:36:26   I went, I drove to the East Bay last Tuesday

00:36:29   to somebody's house to pick up,

00:36:34   the first time I've done an eBay local pickup,

00:36:36   usually local pickups on eBay, you're like,

00:36:38   oh wow, this G4 Cube is really reasonable.

00:36:40   I wonder where, oh, you've gotta be in Kansas to pick it up.

00:36:42   Otherwise they won't ship it to you.

00:36:44   This was a local pickup in the Bay Area.

00:36:46   And it was for a very reasonable sum of money.

00:36:50   I got a Power Mac G4 with a cinema display.

00:36:56   It's adorable.

00:36:57   It's taken me back to the 90s.

00:36:59   - This was the tower after the iMac, right?

00:37:03   So it's like blue and plastic and all that stuff.

00:37:06   - Yeah, this is, yeah, it's a,

00:37:08   the one with the door that comes down on the side.

00:37:10   Yeah, and this is actually, I had one,

00:37:13   this is a later model than the one that I had,

00:37:15   which makes me a little sad,

00:37:16   but the price could not be beat.

00:37:18   And yeah, so I have that.

00:37:21   And also actually, this is Stephen Hackett's fault.

00:37:23   Let's just say it, it's Stephen Hackett's fault,

00:37:25   'cause we were in Austin and I was talking to him

00:37:29   and we were talking about,

00:37:31   he brought some disk images of virtual machines of macOS

00:37:36   because you can run older macOS's,

00:37:41   what is it, from, you can run Leopard Server,

00:37:45   Snow Leopard Server, and then after that,

00:37:48   the client versions of OS X legally in an emulator.

00:37:52   So you can, so he had, I had a couple of the server versions

00:37:55   and he had a couple of the client versions.

00:37:57   And we have images basically of all those versions.

00:38:01   So if I wanna go back and look at like what 10.7 looks like.

00:38:04   - These are the wild things that everybody does

00:38:07   during my bachelor party.

00:38:08   - Bachelor party, yeah.

00:38:10   - They exchange disk images.

00:38:12   - You record podcasts, you do charts about Apple results

00:38:17   and you exchange macOS 10 virtualization disk images.

00:38:22   These are the things you do.

00:38:23   So he and I are talking about it.

00:38:28   And I think to myself, you know,

00:38:29   this is one of the challenges is this loss of history

00:38:32   and there come, and he has noticed this

00:38:35   and I've noticed it too.

00:38:36   Like there comes a point where you're like,

00:38:38   what did that look like in 10.4?

00:38:42   And the answer is, who knows?

00:38:43   Like I just kept upgrading my computer

00:38:46   and I don't remember what Mac OS 10.4 was like, or 10.6.

00:38:50   or sometimes people will ask us even on Ask Upgrade,

00:38:52   like, you know, when did Apple do this?

00:38:55   And it's like, let's do some searches.

00:38:58   Maybe we can find it.

00:38:58   I lived through it, but I don't know if I know it.

00:39:02   And I thought, I don't have a project here.

00:39:05   I can imagine some things that I might write about

00:39:09   about some of this stuff,

00:39:10   the older Macs and Apple history stuff

00:39:14   that I might wanna do at some point.

00:39:16   And what set me off on this is that Steven said,

00:39:19   I was saying, well, what Macs are versatile

00:39:22   in terms of version numbers,

00:39:23   that you run a lot of different versions of macOS?

00:39:26   And he said, you know, the 2009s,

00:39:28   the 2009 like iMac is really good

00:39:31   'cause it runs from Leopard all the way to El Capitan.

00:39:36   So it's a really big spread.

00:39:38   And I thought, I have a 2009 iMac in the back of my car

00:39:42   at the airport parking lot

00:39:43   that's supposed to go to the computer recycling center.

00:39:48   So I came home and I pulled the iMac out of the car,

00:39:50   put it back in my office,

00:39:52   and it's now four feet away from me.

00:39:54   And it has on separate partitions,

00:39:57   freshly updated installs of all the versions of OS 10

00:40:03   from Leopard through El Capitan.

00:40:08   When you do the startup disk system preference,

00:40:13   it is amazing.

00:40:14   It's like, take your pick.

00:40:16   You gotta scroll to the left and right.

00:40:19   They don't all fit in the window.

00:40:21   It's amazing.

00:40:22   So I've got that.

00:40:23   And then I bought this Power Mac G4 with a monitor.

00:40:27   Because it's a Quicksilver, it doesn't run 10.0,

00:40:29   which makes me sad, 'cause I had the,

00:40:32   I may still, I may yet buy an older Power Mac G4,

00:40:36   but this one runs 10.1 through 10.5.

00:40:39   So it gives me a pretty good cross-section

00:40:42   of the early history.

00:40:43   Not a lot of emulation options for Power PC.

00:40:46   which makes it bad for... there's like that chunk of Mac history that's kind of

00:40:52   lost if you don't have an old computer because it's very hard to emulate. You

00:40:55   can emulate OS 9 and OS 8 and even back to System 6 really easily, but the

00:41:00   early days of OS X are a lot harder to do an emulation so there's kind of a

00:41:04   no-man's land there. So I bought a, you know, $150 computer and got it

00:41:10   running and let me tell you not only is it a nostalgia trip because I remember

00:41:14   writing reviews of 10.1 and 10.2 and all of that. So to see them again, it's like,

00:41:19   wow, how much OS X has changed between then and now? And what hasn't changed?

00:41:23   The fact that I can be running 10.1 and connect to my file server? Like, just

00:41:28   Command-K, put in the address, log in, and there's my file server? That made me laugh.

00:41:34   Like, that's strange. I didn't expect that level of compatibility. But the other

00:41:39   thing I noticed, and this is true on my 2009 iMac as well as this 2002 Power Mac

00:41:44   iMac G4 is turns out when you run the original software that came on those machines, instead

00:41:49   of spending several years upgrading them, they're fast. It's logical, right? Because

00:41:56   you don't buy a brand new computer. In the 2000s, we didn't buy a brand new computer

00:41:59   and it was slow, it was fast. But then you update it over time and they build it for

00:42:05   the newer hardware and the older hardware runs it but not as well. So it was really

00:42:09   refreshing to take this iMac that I consider ancient and slow and install Leopard on it.

00:42:18   It's really fast with Leopard. It came with Leopard to begin with. It's really fast on

00:42:21   Leopard.

00:42:22   They're not slow because they get old. They're slow because the software outdates the performance

00:42:29   capabilities.

00:42:30   Exactly right. Now, OS X 10.0 and X1 to a certain extent, but X0 especially, is just

00:42:37   It was slow everywhere.

00:42:38   But in that era, the computers didn't come with OS X, 10.0.

00:42:42   They came with OS 9.

00:42:44   And that was the one you ran, and it was fast.

00:42:47   And 10.0 was new and experimental and all of that.

00:42:49   But generally, once they got the bugs worked out, you get a computer and it's fast.

00:42:53   And then they add a whole bunch of new features that take advantage of the new hardware that's

00:42:56   coming out.

00:42:57   And the old hardware doesn't do as good a job.

00:42:59   And they don't-- it's like when we talk about how Apple should test older iPhones when they

00:43:03   they do iOS releases because they have brutal performance issues on some iOS releases on

00:43:08   older hardware. And the truth of the matter is that you generally don't worry about the

00:43:13   older hardware. You're building this for the newer hardware.

00:43:15   Because it's not the priority. It's not business priority.

00:43:17   But what it made me think is the next time I hand down a machine, we all want the latest

00:43:22   and greatest features, but I'm going to, next time I hand down a machine to one of my kids,

00:43:26   say. I'm gonna really think hard about going back to the original OS version

00:43:34   because they run way better under their original. Like my son is using, I think

00:43:41   he's got, he might have Sierra on his MacBook Air and like if that was

00:43:48   running Yosemite instead, I bet you it would run better or whatever version. In

00:43:55   In fact, it might even be, it's probably an earlier version than that, that it's, that

00:43:59   it is its earliest version that it runs.

00:44:00   It would probably run way better.

00:44:01   It wouldn't do all sorts of the wizzy stuff like this.

00:44:04   Power Mac G4 can't basically can't browse the web because the web browser is built for

00:44:08   it or can't do SSL, modern SSL stuff.

00:44:11   And so they're just like, I can't even open the Apple hot news page that was the default

00:44:16   on some of those versions.

00:44:17   It just doesn't work.

00:44:18   And the older versions, like you can't even download a version of iCab, which is usually

00:44:22   your go-to for like a browser that's still being built for old versions, but not that

00:44:26   old. So, you know, there's a bunch of stuff that just falls out entirely, but at the same

00:44:31   time like, you know what, if you've got a 2009 iMac and you put, you know, an older

00:44:37   version of Microsoft Word on it or BB Edit for that matter, it's fine. Like, it's fine

00:44:43   for a whole lot of uses. It's just not the modern uses that we have. So, it's something

00:44:47   to keep in mind if you've got an old computer around and you know somebody who wants to

00:44:51   use it. The problem is that like the web technologies especially, that's the challenge in security

00:44:57   issues, right? Those drive you forward in software versions, and then as you drive forward,

00:45:03   the computer becomes less usable, unfortunately, but that's true. And you know, this is why

00:45:11   people like, there are people out there who still use Windows XP because they're super

00:45:14   comfortable with it and it runs great on their old hardware, but it's a, you know, it's a

00:45:18   a garbage fire of security issues.

00:45:20   So I don't know.

00:45:22   Anyway, I've got old computers around me now.

00:45:25   - Are you gonna start a YouTube channel talking about

00:45:32   all of your old Macs?

00:45:34   - Six Colors already has a YouTube channel

00:45:35   that people should subscribe to

00:45:36   because every now and then I do it.

00:45:38   I am trying, I was talking to Steven about this too.

00:45:41   I wanna do videos.

00:45:43   He does two videos a month, I think.

00:45:45   I think that's probably a pace

00:45:46   that is beyond my capability,

00:45:47   But yeah, I do wanna do some more stuff with video

00:45:50   and this gives me some more options.

00:45:52   I tend not to do,

00:45:55   other than last week when I did that, I'm at 20 story

00:45:58   because I had to, right?

00:46:01   I don't generally spend a lot of time

00:46:03   writing about old Apple stuff.

00:46:06   It's funny 'cause I lived through it

00:46:08   and yet Steven Hackett who didn't

00:46:09   is the one who writes about it

00:46:11   because he has a wife and family

00:46:15   who support his purchase of lots and lots and lots

00:46:18   of old computers in a way that I do not,

00:46:21   which is fine.

00:46:23   But I'm thinking about it.

00:46:25   I'm thinking about it.

00:46:26   'Cause I got my old Mac world magazines

00:46:29   out of a box last week too,

00:46:31   because I was looking up a bunch of stuff about the iMac.

00:46:34   And yeah, it's kind of fun that I have my work

00:46:36   for 20 years printed out on pieces of paper.

00:46:40   It's kind of cool.

00:46:43   It's old fashioned and yet also has a permanence

00:46:45   that things I write on the web do not.

00:46:48   But anyway, so I'm thinking about it.

00:46:51   I don't wanna just go full on nostalgia,

00:46:53   but I think there may be some interesting things

00:46:55   to write about and make videos about.

00:46:57   So I at least wanted to have them,

00:47:00   having that stuff inaccessible

00:47:02   where I like literally can't talk about early OS 10 days,

00:47:06   'cause I have no examples of it that I can run anywhere.

00:47:09   That was kind of frustrating.

00:47:10   So even if this Power Mac G4

00:47:12   just kind of goes in the corner and doesn't do anything most of the time.

00:47:15   Um, I'm, I kind of want to have it for reference reasons and it looks kind of

00:47:20   cool.

00:47:20   The monitor actually is the beautiful part of the cinema display.

00:47:23   It's this teeny tiny monitor, but it's like the translucent plastic all around

00:47:27   it.

00:47:28   Um, and it's a single connector to the G4 because this was the Apple.

00:47:32   Apple built their own connector.

00:47:34   Of course they did the Apple display connector, but it's got power and USB in

00:47:38   it as well as the video signal.

00:47:39   And that's why they did it is it's a single cable.

00:47:42   from the video card and the G4 to the cinema display. And then you can, it's got USB hubs

00:47:48   on the back. It's like before there was a Thunderbolt display, this is how they had to do

00:47:52   it. They had to engineer their own cable in order to do all of that. But as a result, the computer

00:47:59   itself is a monstrosity. And this one in particular has these incredibly loud fans. It is the wind

00:48:03   tunnel G4. But the actual computing experience of having this little screen and your little keyboard

00:48:11   and mouse, oh the eBay person gave me a round iMac mouse with it. I was like thanks and

00:48:17   then immediately disconnected it. Just threw it out of the car window on the way home.

00:48:21   I'd like to say I stomped on it but it's around somewhere. It's so bad, it's so bad. Anyway,

00:48:26   so the little cinema display and all that, it's kind of adorable. It's definitely the

00:48:30   pro version of the iMac design that they were trying to get across. Yeah. Okay, today's

00:48:36   Today's show is also brought to you by our friends at FreshBooks.

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00:50:44   Alright let's talk about Google Duplex.

00:50:46   We gotta do it.

00:50:47   We gotta do it.

00:50:48   We gotta do it.

00:50:49   I was hesitant of it but we're gonna do it.

00:50:50   Alright Google Duplex, in case you haven't been following, was announced at Google I/O

00:50:54   last week. And in a nutshell, Google Duplex is like the next evolution of Google's AI

00:51:01   and machine learning. It's kind of Google Assistant some steroids, right? Like it's

00:51:07   taking everything that they have learned and they're applying this technology in different

00:51:11   ways to accomplish different things. The only thing that they have shown so far is that

00:51:17   Google Duplex can make telephone calls for you on your behalf to restaurants and businesses,

00:51:23   etc. I'm assuming that if you listen to this show, you have probably heard this news.

00:51:28   Probably. Both me and Jason have shared, I think, our feelings about it in some detail on episode

00:51:34   54 download and episode 192 of connected. But just I want to get it out of the way real quickly

00:51:41   that both me and Jason, we feel very similarly about this. I think immediately both of us were

00:51:47   in the "I don't like this" I was never impressed by what I saw in the way that I know a lot

00:51:53   of people are and I understand why people are impressed by it but it kind of it made

00:51:58   me go a little bit cold inside because it freaked me out when I first saw the video

00:52:02   because I find it creepy I find it a little bit disingenuous because it's basically designed

00:52:09   to trick humans and it's kind of like a little inhumane in the way that it's I don't know

00:52:16   not human, which kind of felt like a juxtaposition.

00:52:20   - It's the very definition of inhumane.

00:52:23   - But no, I mean, it's not that they're doing

00:52:25   like an evil, inhumane, disgusting thing,

00:52:27   but it's just removing humanity from the process, right?

00:52:32   Like, inhumane is one of those words

00:52:34   that has like a vast spectrum of what it can be attributed.

00:52:39   - Flammable means inflammable?

00:52:41   - Exactly. - What a country.

00:52:43   So, I didn't like how they were positioning this,

00:52:48   especially when they were talking about digital well-being

00:52:51   and being good online and being good users of technology.

00:52:55   Later on, I didn't like the whole,

00:52:57   these two things didn't meet up for me.

00:52:59   - No.

00:53:00   - I've seen a lot of people believe that this criticism

00:53:03   is being levered at Google because Apple fanboys,

00:53:06   I understand why people may feel that way.

00:53:10   I 100% would feel this way if Apple did it,

00:53:13   And I know this because I don't have that general fear

00:53:17   of Google that a lot of people in the Apple world do.

00:53:19   - Sure.

00:53:20   - I am totally happy and I use many Google services

00:53:24   and I give them all my data gladly

00:53:26   because I like the exchange of information

00:53:29   for productivity that I get with Google.

00:53:31   I'm happy with that.

00:53:32   - Me too, I'm in the Apple ecosystem,

00:53:34   the Google ecosystem and the Amazon ecosystem.

00:53:36   I am not a one ecosystem person.

00:53:40   I have so much of Google stuff that I use.

00:53:43   So I agree, it's not that,

00:53:46   although I do have to laugh at the idea like,

00:53:48   well, what if Apple did this?

00:53:49   Yeah, like, right?

00:53:51   Like Apple would have AI this good.

00:53:53   - As if they could do it.

00:53:53   As if they could do it.

00:53:55   - But I will say it also plays into our preconceptions

00:53:59   about Google.

00:54:00   Like I think what someone downloaded is,

00:54:01   this is like the stereotype of Google,

00:54:03   which is incredible technology

00:54:06   that you cannot believe somebody built

00:54:08   and that you also cannot believe

00:54:09   that there was nobody at any point that said,

00:54:12   should we really do it this way?

00:54:15   To the point where it got all the way

00:54:16   to the very beginning of the Google IO keynote,

00:54:20   which is like, at no point did somebody think,

00:54:23   we're investing time in building an assistant

00:54:26   that pretends to be human, so it can fool humans,

00:54:29   that maybe we shouldn't go down that path

00:54:32   and we should disclose who we are

00:54:34   instead of trying to trick people.

00:54:36   And nobody, like again,

00:54:38   And this is the stereotype of Google that ironically,

00:54:41   Sundar Pichai was trying to get away from

00:54:44   when he was talking about caring about their users

00:54:46   and doing things to get them to be away from their devices

00:54:50   and all of that.

00:54:51   But this is that stereotype, which is they're brilliant

00:54:54   and they have no concept of like ethics or morality

00:54:59   or humanity or anything like that.

00:55:02   And like this plays right into that whole narrative,

00:55:05   which is why if Apple did it, it would be weird.

00:55:08   and we'd be like, wait a second,

00:55:09   that's so strange that you did that.

00:55:11   Whereas with Google, we're like,

00:55:13   of course this is Google saying this.

00:55:15   And that's maybe not fair, but they've kind of earned it,

00:55:18   I feel like that this is not the first time

00:55:22   something like this has been done by Google.

00:55:24   - And I understand how it got to that keynote.

00:55:26   I can see how that happened, right?

00:55:28   Like everyone was so excited. - It's a great demo.

00:55:30   It's amazing, what an amazing demo.

00:55:32   People are gonna go nuts about this thing, absolutely.

00:55:36   building technology that good is something to be proud of, but your application of it

00:55:42   was lacking.

00:55:43   Sure. It's also the steps in the process. This is actually the thing that, after having

00:55:47   a week to think about this, the thing that I keep thinking about is somebody somewhere

00:55:53   said, "We need to fool people." Like, literally, that was the charter.

00:55:58   This is what I don't like about it either. I think this is the nugget of what made me

00:56:03   and you so uncomfortable.

00:56:05   Right, by inserting all those um's and uh's and up talk and kind of stalling expressions,

00:56:11   things that normal human beings use, right?

00:56:13   And it was an amazing demo of that, like, "Oh my god, this assistant sounds way more

00:56:17   like a human being than the ones that we talk to all the time."

00:56:20   That was brilliant.

00:56:21   It's arguable, right, and I've seen some people make this argument, like, just as a point,

00:56:26   that like, "Duplex basically passed the Turing test?"

00:56:30   Because the human beings on the other end of the line had no idea.

00:56:35   At least in the two samples that we saw, right?

00:56:36   At least in the two samples that they showed.

00:56:38   There was many more that failed, right?

00:56:40   Like, obviously.

00:56:41   I have lots of questions too about a sidebar.

00:56:43   I have a lot of questions about how they trained this thing.

00:56:46   Did they have people at Google posing as service workers or did they just crank call service

00:56:51   workers throughout the Bay Area as part of their machine learning and training for this?

00:56:55   I don't think they've disclosed sort of like how did they train this and who did they train

00:56:58   it on and then presumably they took the people that they're talking to here agreed after

00:57:03   the fact to be used on stage or they weren't really business owners and they were people

00:57:08   at Google pretending to be. I'm not quite sure what's going on there but I had a lot

00:57:14   of questions about that. But the root of it, and this is what you and I I think do agree

00:57:18   on is that technology is amazing but at no point did anybody say, "Wait a second, is

00:57:25   Is our goal here to lie to people on the phone? Is our goal here to fool them? Because you

00:57:32   don't build in the umms and the uhs and the question marks, I think, the up talks, without

00:57:38   having intent to deceive. I don't, because this is not a product, at least the way that

00:57:43   the product is pitched, is it's not a product where you know it's a robot but they sound

00:57:48   like a human. This is pitched as a product that you don't know it's a robot. You think

00:57:53   it's a human and you're doing your work to talk to the human. And for me, that's

00:57:57   where I say, "Why did nobody say it's unethical to build software designed to hack

00:58:05   a human being and fool them into thinking that we're something we're not? That is

00:58:10   a bad look. That is not something we should be doing. What are our best practices here?"

00:58:15   And I know people who are tired of pundits bellyaching about this thing, which you probably

00:58:19   are. But the point that I think is really important here is these are the moments where

00:58:26   we as members of a society push back on the creators of this stuff and say, "This is

00:58:33   too far." You need to have, you need to think about how you interact with human beings because

00:58:39   as a society, as a culture, we've decided these are the rules about how computers talk

00:58:45   to people. Just like as a culture we decide that it's not legal to secretly record a phone

00:58:50   call, right? It's not that different from that sort of idea, like, say you're a computer

00:58:57   and move on, but we need to talk about that now. And I think it's very clear that the

00:59:03   people who are programming this stuff are not only not capable, but are not even thinking

00:59:10   of the social ramifications of this stuff. Because that's what made me angry. They

00:59:16   don't seem to care.

00:59:18   I can see an innocent, to a point, way that people decided to build in the Ams and As.

00:59:25   Where it was kind of just like, "Wow, this thing is so good. How much better could we

00:59:30   make it?" But not thinking on the other side of it, where there should be someone

00:59:35   who's saying to them, "No, you should not do that." I can imagine how it may have

00:59:43   been built without the intent to deceive, but someone should have spotted it, made that

00:59:49   clear, which I'm sure many people did inside of Google, because I've been inside of

00:59:53   big companies. You can have a very vocal minority that don't believe in a thing and

01:00:02   it still goes out.

01:00:03   this, right, is that it's not necessarily that nobody at Google saw this and argued

01:00:07   about it, it's that they lost.

01:00:08   Yeah, or nobody high enough believed that it was wrong.

01:00:13   Exactly, exactly right. I should also say, I mean, I do think this technology is impressive.

01:00:17   I share, they had a good discussion on ATP last week about this, I share John Siracusa's

01:00:21   skepticism about this. We can take it as read, we can take it on face that this works. My

01:00:27   first thought, honestly, after saying, "Oh wow, look what they did there, that's amazing

01:00:31   technology. My second thought was not the ethics. My second thought was, I don't believe

01:00:37   this is real. My second thought was literally, I cannot believe that they could get this

01:00:42   accurately enough that they could turn it loose on the world at scale, which is what

01:00:46   Google does, and have it be functional. I just don't believe it. It would be, I just,

01:00:51   I don't think the tech is actually good enough. It felt to me like some, one of these things

01:00:56   that Google promises and then never quite delivers because I think it's an overreach.

01:01:00   And if they prove me wrong, then so be it. But as somebody who's observed this tech stuff

01:01:05   for a while now, I looked at it and thought, "Ah, this seems like it's a stretch, technology-wise."

01:01:11   But if you could get it to work like this, I mean, great, but I think it's better served

01:01:16   in answering the phone than making the calls, right? Like, better—and I'm okay with the

01:01:23   idea that some small business somewhere has a Google service that answers their phone

01:01:27   for them and is a call screener and makes appointments and drops them on a Google calendar

01:01:32   and transfers them to a voicemail if they need to leave a message for a human being.

01:01:36   Like we already see versions of that now. It's sort of a sophisticated answering machine.

01:01:42   But that's not what this does. This is in a computer is bugging a person and more than

01:01:47   that, it's also on a larger scale Google getting frustrated that they're still corners of the

01:01:53   world that it can't map and control. And like the paper appointment book in a small business

01:02:01   like a hair salon or a restaurant that's not on one of these restaurant scheduling services,

01:02:08   there are people at Google who hate that, right? Why won't they get with the Times?

01:02:14   Why can't we consume their information? Why can't we make them part of the scheduling

01:02:19   API that everybody else in the world is following now. And it looks to me like this is the solution

01:02:27   for that problem. This is why it was designed. It's literally designed to make a robot that

01:02:31   calls people because they want Google to have control over that scheduling book in a way

01:02:37   that they can't now. And that bugs me because it's like this is Google's priority, and they'll

01:02:44   do anything they can to reach that. And I think that's a mistake. There are lots of

01:02:49   positive places this could be used. If you're in a place where you don't speak

01:02:53   the language very well, it could speak for you. Again, disclosure is the key

01:02:58   there. If you have disabilities or you have other issues in your life that make

01:03:05   you either unable to speak clearly or deeply reluctant to talk on the phone, I

01:03:12   could see this as an agent that lets you do that or lets you get things done that

01:03:17   would otherwise be things you couldn't do.

01:03:19   I think that's all good.

01:03:20   But again, disclosure would probably not kill that.

01:03:23   The fooling people part just really bugs me.

01:03:25   And I have to say, I'm not mad, Google.

01:03:30   I'm disappointed.

01:03:31   Because I thought Google,

01:03:33   and I think Google is getting better about this stuff,

01:03:35   but this shows you how entrenched

01:03:38   this way of thinking is at Google,

01:03:40   that they're still doing stuff like this.

01:03:42   And I think they're making progress.

01:03:44   I would like to think they're getting better at this.

01:03:47   This is an unfortunate backslide to the worst,

01:03:52   the best and worst of Google,

01:03:54   which is brilliant technology

01:03:56   and there's nobody asking a question

01:03:58   about whether they should do it or not.

01:04:00   - Google released a statement.

01:04:01   They published a blog post and released a statement

01:04:04   to various outlets.

01:04:05   I'll read the statement that they gave to The Verge.

01:04:08   We're designing this feature with disclosure built in

01:04:10   and we'll make sure the system is appropriately identified.

01:04:13   What we showed at IO was an early technology demo

01:04:16   and we look forward to incorporating feedback as we develop this into a product.

01:04:19   So there's two things here.

01:04:21   I'm very pleased that they can consider adding transparency into this and disclosure.

01:04:25   I do not for one second believe that that was the plan when they went into I/O.

01:04:29   Yep.

01:04:31   Because they I'm sure it's written on a whiteboard somewhere.

01:04:34   All right. I'm sure someone was thinking about it.

01:04:36   I'm sure they had a team looking at it,

01:04:37   but they didn't think it was important enough to mention this I/O.

01:04:40   But they thought it was important enough

01:04:44   to make sure everybody knew about it after the internet was lit on fire for a couple

01:04:47   of days, right? So I'm very pleased that they have listened. I think this is a sign of that

01:04:53   changing Google, as you mentioned, right? They have listened and responded correctly

01:04:57   by being like, "Yeah, no, we're going to do this," but I think they're kind of covering

01:05:00   their tracks up a little bit. It's my opinion. I'll never know, but that's my opinion.

01:05:04   And for the argument, there's an argument to be made that like, "Oh, but we don't want

01:05:09   to restrain Google's innovation here. It's like I kind of disagree because I feel like

01:05:15   you could channel Google's innovation. Like if somebody early on had said to the people

01:05:20   who worked very hard making this very impressive tech demo that their fundamental approach

01:05:26   of lacking disclosure and their rationale for building this technology of trying to

01:05:31   get to a human being who controls a paper address book that you can't book over the

01:05:36   the web with a web form, that that was not going to fly, and that that was antithetical

01:05:45   to their corporate values, and that they—let's talk about, like, what could we do? What problem

01:05:52   are we trying to solve here? Is this a problem that Google should solve? How should we solve

01:05:56   it? What are the best practices about identifying that you're an intelligent agent when you're

01:06:00   talking to a human being when you receive a call, when you send a call, when you start

01:06:04   that call? Are those different? Like, there's a whole conversation that could be had upfront

01:06:10   before this technology got too far along that steered the building of this technology in

01:06:16   a way that would get an impressive tech demo, but also a product that people wouldn't object

01:06:21   to. And that didn't happen. So that for me is the part that makes me stumble here, is

01:06:30   Like I get clever people wanting to build clever things to solve problems and that at one level you want to have them keep being clever and doing those things.

01:06:38   But at some point along the way, ideally before it goes too far, you instill in your culture that asking questions of like, "Should we do this?"

01:06:47   Because it's super wasteful to build something, a big project that you demo on stage, and only after that's all done, everybody goes, "Oh, this is a terrible idea, and now what do we do?"

01:06:59   get out in front of it, like ask these questions yourself.

01:07:03   What are your values?

01:07:05   And for all of the changes at Google,

01:07:09   it always has been an engineer first culture

01:07:11   and it still is, this demo shows it, it still is.

01:07:15   And the problem with that is that the people

01:07:18   who build the technology are not usually focused

01:07:21   on how people will use it or the rights and wrongs of it.

01:07:23   They just wanna build something cool.

01:07:25   And I realized that as a gross generalization,

01:07:27   but we're talking in massive terms in a giant company

01:07:31   and the corporate culture that goes along with it.

01:07:34   And that's what we got out here.

01:07:37   Very clearly, this is still part of what Google is.

01:07:39   And I think they would be better served

01:07:42   having more of a, you know, more of a super ego

01:07:46   looking down and saying, "Maybe not do that,"

01:07:50   in that way.

01:07:51   - I mean, there are a bunch of things that I would like

01:07:57   to see this technology do.

01:08:00   Like, in my mind, I would love to see

01:08:03   this technology turned upon itself in that,

01:08:06   you know, say me and you are trying to arrange a time

01:08:08   to record the show, and we just let our Google assistants

01:08:12   just talk to each other and deal with it.

01:08:13   - But there's like APIs for that now.

01:08:15   Like, you don't need a talking assistant for that.

01:08:17   I don't need my robot to call your remote robot,

01:08:20   'cause we're both connected.

01:08:21   - Well, okay, yes and no.

01:08:23   So, I mean, I've used a bunch of these services,

01:08:25   and the problem that I always have is

01:08:27   They just look for what's the next available slot and just book it in.

01:08:30   But I want an AI that understands my personal preferences.

01:08:35   Like, if I have nothing on my calendar before upgrade,

01:08:38   I don't want a meeting before upgrade.

01:08:40   Right, but you're asking for better calendar app

01:08:43   and better calendar scheduling protocols.

01:08:45   That's the thing here is that a spoken word agent

01:08:49   is not the solution to your problem.

01:08:52   It's a solution to a very narrow domain of things

01:08:55   that involve talking to human beings

01:08:59   who have information that the computer needs to get.

01:09:03   That's the challenge.

01:09:04   I could see it with like, if you have a friend who,

01:09:07   this is the challenge, you have a friend

01:09:09   who doesn't have a schedule that's shared with you

01:09:12   and you need to coordinate with them

01:09:13   and they don't have a computer schedule.

01:09:15   Then you're frustrated, right?

01:09:16   Like, how do we make this work?

01:09:18   But you could talk to your friend and schedule it

01:09:20   instead of having a computer do it.

01:09:22   - Yeah, this is very basic, right?

01:09:24   I don't have the mind to come up with these ideas.

01:09:26   But the point that I was just trying to make is,

01:09:29   there is a nugget of interesting technology

01:09:30   that exists within this thing,

01:09:32   but it was implemented badly.

01:09:34   This demo could have gone very differently for Google.

01:09:37   - I think they could have solved almost the entire problem

01:09:42   by having, instead of it saying,

01:09:44   I need to make a haircut appointment for my client, Jane,

01:09:48   they could have said,

01:09:50   hi, this is the Google Assistant calling for Jane.

01:09:53   She wants to make an appointment.

01:09:55   Can we set that up?

01:09:56   And you know what?

01:09:57   If people realize the Google Assistant means

01:10:01   that it's a robot, fine.

01:10:03   And if they don't, I'm kind of okay with it.

01:10:04   It's like, we disclosed it.

01:10:07   People are gonna learn that this is the robot.

01:10:08   They can ignore it.

01:10:10   I think it needs to, if you ask, are you a computer?

01:10:12   It needs to say yes, right?

01:10:15   It also needs to admit that it's a computer.

01:10:17   But I think it needs to disclose it upfront.

01:10:18   But we can have those ethical debates about it.

01:10:20   I think if they had done that,

01:10:21   this whole conversation goes away.

01:10:23   But they didn't do it because they thought

01:10:25   it would be funnier and more entertaining

01:10:27   and more buzzworthy if they did a video on stage

01:10:31   that fooled people, which is why it had

01:10:33   that crank call aspect to it,

01:10:36   which made the people who answered the phone

01:10:37   the butts of the jokes.

01:10:38   And that is a clear example of punching down, right?

01:10:43   It's like Google, one of the most powerful companies

01:10:45   in the world is at their developers conference

01:10:48   making people laugh at the humans

01:10:50   on the other end of the phone

01:10:51   who don't know they're talking to a computer. It's not good.

01:10:53   Yeah, I in this instance, whilst I'm disappointed about it,

01:10:58   I am willing to give Google a pass because

01:11:01   they have they've responded and they've given me what I want.

01:11:05   And because really, I feel like a lot of this, this AI stuff, we're new in this,

01:11:11   you know, like trying to understand how we interact

01:11:16   with convincing artificial intelligence.

01:11:20   That is a new thing for us as humans and people who use technology.

01:11:24   They screwed up.

01:11:25   I don't expect them to make this kind of mistake again.

01:11:29   And as long as like if I you know, if I see them doing this kind of stuff in the

01:11:33   future and they seem to do it in a what I consider to be more kind of

01:11:37   humane and ethical way, like less tricking and more more disclosure, like

01:11:42   then I'm willing to forget that this happened.

01:11:45   Right. Because this isn't something that I can do to someone today.

01:11:48   It was just like a little demo that they were showing.

01:11:50   It was in poor taste and they've kind of apologized.

01:11:54   They've made clear what they're going to do.

01:11:56   As long as they stick on that path, I'm cool with it, because as I say, this is

01:12:00   this is new, this is new for us, like how, yeah, how, how

01:12:04   artificial intelligence is and robots and humans interact with each other.

01:12:08   Like we've had it in fantasy for many years, but it's only now

01:12:13   getting to the point where it can be a trick.

01:12:17   Well, right. This is this is an ethical question that is new in terms of it being real. And I'm not going to cut Google quite as much slack as you because I think the problem is that I thought they were further along and in changing kind of their culture about this stuff.

01:12:33   and this feels very much like classic old Google

01:12:36   of not really thinking through the ramifications

01:12:38   of what they're doing.

01:12:39   I do think that having it happen this way

01:12:43   is going to lend more power to the people inside Google

01:12:47   saying we need to be much more aware of this stuff.

01:12:50   - There were a bunch of I told you so's

01:12:51   on like Thursday morning, you know.

01:12:54   - Yeah, I think so, I hope so.

01:12:56   And there better be 'cause everybody thought it was great

01:12:59   and nobody even questioned it.

01:13:01   to be honest, you talk about the evolving culture

01:13:03   and how we deal with this stuff.

01:13:04   That was the thing that made me most relieved

01:13:07   is that I went through that day of the keynote thinking,

01:13:10   "Boy, that Google thing is not good."

01:13:12   Like the more I thought about it,

01:13:13   the more uncomfortable it made me.

01:13:16   And the next morning I was looking at stories about it

01:13:19   and I was very happy to find that almost universally

01:13:23   people who wrote about it had the same issues I had

01:13:27   because that suggests to me that this is not

01:13:31   an esoteric question that everybody,

01:13:36   or at least many people involved immediately said,

01:13:39   "You should not have done that that way,"

01:13:40   and brought up a lot of the same issues.

01:13:42   And I'm encouraged by that

01:13:43   because that is how you set these boundaries,

01:13:47   is by having a lot of people react negatively

01:13:49   and say, "You crossed a boundary,"

01:13:50   and having the company, whether it's Google or Amazon

01:13:52   or Microsoft or Apple, say, "Hmm, you're right.

01:13:55   "Okay, we didn't know that boundary was there.

01:13:57   You're right, it's there.

01:13:58   We're not gonna cross that boundary again."

01:13:59   And that's how we set boundaries, is by doing it this way.

01:14:03   So I was happy that the reaction was what it was,

01:14:06   because the world could have just said,

01:14:08   "No, it's fine, we don't care."

01:14:09   And I would have been like, "But this is super creepy."

01:14:11   And everybody would have been like,

01:14:12   "Eh, you're just too sensitive.

01:14:14   It's fine, we don't care about this.

01:14:15   Robots calling people, whatever."

01:14:17   And that's not what happened.

01:14:18   I mean, there are people who responded that way,

01:14:20   but a lot of people didn't,

01:14:21   and I find that encouraging too.

01:14:23   And I mean, again, let's wrap this up by saying,

01:14:25   Apple is, we've talked about many times,

01:14:29   so behind in a lot of this stuff,

01:14:30   the feeling that like Apple is struggling to,

01:14:33   with Siri and struggling to do this stuff.

01:14:35   And they hired, you know,

01:14:37   machine learning people from Google

01:14:38   and they're working on it and they say

01:14:39   they're gonna get better and all of those things, right?

01:14:43   This demo was amazing in showing

01:14:46   Google's technological prowess.

01:14:49   And I gotta be honest, like, that's why they did the demo.

01:14:53   they're bragging, they're showing off,

01:14:54   and they're showing how far they are ahead

01:14:56   of the competition.

01:14:57   And while it showed that Google has some real problems

01:15:01   with the ethics of the use of their technology,

01:15:04   it also did show how far ahead they are of everyone else,

01:15:06   so far as we can tell.

01:15:07   And they are, like, there's no doubt about that part of it.

01:15:12   This is an amazing bit of technology.

01:15:14   And even though I'm skeptical about whether it would work

01:15:16   in the long run, the fact that they would even show it

01:15:18   on stage is like, you know, this is the kind of stuff

01:15:21   that Google is thinking of doing.

01:15:23   And that's the future.

01:15:25   Everybody's gonna get there.

01:15:26   It's gonna happen over time.

01:15:28   But I think they're right to not take a victory lap,

01:15:32   but just brag a little bit about where they are.

01:15:35   - The point that we're at now,

01:15:37   I almost feel like just saying,

01:15:39   like, just sit this one out, Apple.

01:15:41   - I don't think they can, but I think that if,

01:15:45   again, I don't wanna say it this way.

01:15:47   I was gonna say, if I were at Apple,

01:15:48   I wonder if what is happening at Apple

01:15:53   or maybe what would be best for Apple at this point

01:15:56   is basically to tear Siri down and build a new Siri.

01:16:00   And maybe they've tried that,

01:16:03   and maybe they are trying that,

01:16:04   maybe they did do that and it's still a problem.

01:16:07   But it feels like Apple was ahead to start,

01:16:12   but now has struggled over time.

01:16:13   I don't know what the solution is.

01:16:15   I don't know whether tearing it down is the solution

01:16:17   or more rapid iterations for Siri.

01:16:20   We don't know why,

01:16:23   but I feel like it's important enough

01:16:26   that they need to keep doing it.

01:16:29   But, you know, I don't know.

01:16:32   They've got to think that this is a key part

01:16:33   of their future.

01:16:34   And yet it, you know,

01:16:37   let's say maybe the best thing the HomePod will do

01:16:41   is make it clear to Apple

01:16:44   just how important Siri being better is to their future.

01:16:49   I don't know, because you're right, you're right.

01:16:52   It is, in many places, Apple is ahead,

01:16:57   or you could say Apple and Google are doing similar things,

01:17:00   but they are serving different audiences

01:17:03   and have different philosophies.

01:17:05   It's hard for me to look at this category

01:17:08   and not say that Apple is way behind Google and Amazon.

01:17:13   Yeah, like.

01:17:15   Siri is still misunderstanding.

01:17:19   Who like what?

01:17:21   Like, so we have a thing in our house that just started happening the last two days

01:17:25   where Idina is saying, oh, hi, telephone, and it's picking up her iPhone

01:17:28   instead of the HomePod.

01:17:31   Like, well, that's not supposed to happen, though, right?

01:17:33   Like, so now it's like now what's going on? So.

01:17:36   And then I see something like this and I'm like, oh, man, like, wow.

01:17:42   Like, this is very different, isn't it?

01:17:45   And I just, I don't really know, I don't really, I just can't, I just can't imagine what the

01:17:50   path is for them.

01:17:51   I really don't.

01:17:52   I don't see.

01:17:54   But hopefully we'll see something in a couple of weeks.

01:17:57   Maybe they're working behind the scenes and they're going to reveal all.

01:18:01   Let's cross our fingers on that one.

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01:19:28   Alright so should we do some #askupgrade questions? That's a great idea. First one comes from

01:19:33   Jeff says, "If the new iPhone lineup that released this year is what's rumored, which

01:19:38   is three phones that kind of look like the iPhone X in some way, do we think that Apple

01:19:43   would continue to sell a phone that looks like or is the iPhone 8?"

01:19:48   What do you think?

01:19:50   Yes, I think so, because I think Apple is going to want those different tiers.

01:19:58   So you'll have a new iPhone X and X Plus.

01:20:01   you'll have an iPhone 9 and 9 Plus maybe?

01:20:05   And then you'll have the 8 because they'll want

01:20:10   the previous, even cheaper previous generation.

01:20:13   That's how they have done it up to now.

01:20:14   'Cause I believe now they're selling the 10,

01:20:18   the 8 and the 7.

01:20:21   Are they still selling the 6S too?

01:20:23   - Apple.com/iPhone. - /iPhone.

01:20:27   - They are selling the 10, the 8, the 7,

01:20:29   the 6S and the SE.

01:20:31   - Yeah, so there you go, they're going back.

01:20:33   So they've got the two current models

01:20:34   and then they've got last year's model

01:20:36   and the year before's model.

01:20:38   So I think, yes, I think if they come out

01:20:41   with an iPhone 10, new iPhone 10 line

01:20:44   and an iPhone 9 line, let's call it,

01:20:47   then yeah, the 8 and probably the 7

01:20:50   will still be in the product line

01:20:52   because Apple discounts those

01:20:54   and keeps them on sale for, you know, four years.

01:20:59   It's a couple of years back every time.

01:21:01   So there you go.

01:21:02   I think the answer is yes.

01:21:03   - Wesley asked, what are you stylish nerds

01:21:08   wear on your feet?

01:21:09   I like this question.

01:21:12   For me, it's mostly Nike.

01:21:14   I mostly wear Nike sneakers or trainers

01:21:18   as they would be called here in the UK.

01:21:21   I'm a big fan of the Flyknit Air Max range.

01:21:25   Like there's a bunch of Air Max that are made of Flyknit

01:21:27   which is this super soft woven material.

01:21:31   But whilst doing preparation for this question,

01:21:35   I stumbled upon a pair of shoes from Adidas

01:21:40   that I am very, very keen on purchasing,

01:21:46   which I really, really like the look of there,

01:21:49   this Adidas and Pharrell collaboration.

01:21:53   And it's called Prime Knit,

01:21:54   which is very much like Fly Knit.

01:21:56   it's like this knit, this woven knit material, which is really soft. So yeah, I tend to wear

01:22:01   those kinds of those kinds of shoes.

01:22:04   Yeah, I first off, I'm going to just question this premise, not a nerd. Yes, stylish. No.

01:22:11   And it's worse. My podiatrist told me to buy motion control featured shoes. So like they're

01:22:18   very specific kinds that have got support that are going to keep my feet not bad. And

01:22:23   And so I've got a pair of New Balance running shoes, and I think my, I think my, I bought

01:22:29   a pair of walking shoes.

01:22:30   I always used to be a one pair of shoes guy.

01:22:33   I literally would only have one pair of shoes and I'd wear them all the time and then they

01:22:36   die and I'd get another pair.

01:22:37   But I actually have two, I have these super light New Balance running shoes that are,

01:22:42   you know, like fabric all over it so like the air gets in and if you spill water on

01:22:46   your shoe, your sock is immediately wet, that kind of thing.

01:22:48   This is like the material I'm talking about too.

01:22:51   Exactly right, exactly right.

01:22:52   And I also have a pair of leather black walking shoes that are, I think, New Balance as well,

01:23:00   although they might be Brooks, but I think they're New Balance.

01:23:03   And those are, you know, honestly, during, once the weather turns, I never wear those

01:23:08   because I'm not going to be wearing the big black leather shoes with shorts, because that's

01:23:12   not, see, that's how stylish I am.

01:23:16   But in the winter, they're great because they keep my feet warmer because they don't, you

01:23:20   know, their leather, they're keeping the heat in instead of letting it escape. So I've got

01:23:24   a couple pairs. Nothing exciting. Sorry.

01:23:27   This question from Jay is a little bit more up your street, Jason.

01:23:30   I think so.

01:23:31   Jay says, "Jason, what is your beer style of choice and can I buy you one at WWDC this

01:23:36   year?"

01:23:38   I already replied to Jay on Twitter and I'll give that same answer here, which is, "Jay,

01:23:42   Stouts and Porters and yes."

01:23:45   Somebody wants to buy me a beer, especially of my choice, at WWDC? Yep, find me someplace

01:23:52   where beer is sold and buy me a beer at WWDC. That's great. I'm there Sunday night, Monday

01:23:58   night, Tuesday night. Find me and buy me a beer. Go ahead.

01:24:02   I will also extend this by saying I like IPAs. That's my favorite.

01:24:06   Okay.

01:24:07   So, yeah, I will also take those beers. John has asked, "Is there a smart speaker on the

01:24:13   market that would allow me to use the word computer as the prompt like on the enterprise?

01:24:19   Most definitely. The Amazon Echo does this exact thing.

01:24:22   The Amazon Echo, yeah, and I don't have that feature turned on because I use the word computer

01:24:25   all the time because I write about computers. But yes, you can absolutely do that with the

01:24:32   Amazon Echo.

01:24:33   That seems like a terrible word to me, but if that's what you want to go with, go with

01:24:39   it.

01:24:47   Louis wants to know if I still use a popsocket on my iPhone X.

01:24:53   The answer is yes.

01:24:54   Popsockets are like this little disc that you can put on the back of a phone and you

01:25:05   you can pull it out from the back and put your hand into it to hold it. I use my popsocket

01:25:11   every day to hold my phone in some way or to stand my phone up. You can put it in landscape

01:25:16   and watch video on it if you want to. There are a bunch of different ways you can hold

01:25:19   your phone with a popsocket. The reason I originally did it was because I was having

01:25:24   some RSI pains around the time that I bought my iPhone but I actually don't think, in hindsight

01:25:30   I don't think it was the iPhone X that was causing it, but I do find it way easier to

01:25:34   hold my phone with the popsocket on at times and I stick it on the back of the case and

01:25:40   it just sits there. Also, it is an incredible fidget toy. I get to just play with this thing

01:25:47   and I will say that I converted a couple of people when we were together last week to

01:25:54   get popsockets. I understand that they are not for everyone, I understand that they are

01:25:58   not for most people, but it works really great for me and if you buy me that beer at WWDC

01:26:03   I can show you why I think a popsicle is a great thing.

01:26:06   - Way to tie it all together.

01:26:08   Yeah, I saw you with your weird thing

01:26:10   on the back of your iPhone, and I did not like it.

01:26:13   - No, and I get it.

01:26:14   I understand why people wouldn't like it,

01:26:17   but a lot of people are like,

01:26:18   oh, does it get stuck in your pocket?

01:26:19   Never get stuck on my pocket,

01:26:20   because I put my phone into my pocket covering that.

01:26:24   My hand kind of guides my phone into my pocket anyway,

01:26:27   so it never gets stuck.

01:26:28   I like it, but I understand why a lot of people

01:26:31   wouldn't like it but it works really really well for me and I find it very

01:26:35   comfortable and I mean I already have this huge orange case on my phone

01:26:40   anyway like I don't think I would stick one of these to the back of an iPhone it

01:26:45   has that kind of glue that is like readhesive like it's really strong but

01:26:48   like you can get it off and put it back it doesn't leave marks but I mean I

01:26:52   would put this on the outside of the case but not directly onto a phone and

01:26:57   And our last question today comes from Dan and Dan says, "If you're only working on an

01:27:03   iPad with no Mac or computer from which to make backups, is iCloud backup and a cloud

01:27:09   storage service enough to secure your data?"

01:27:12   It's like a cloud storage service like Dropbox.

01:27:14   I assume it's not as good as a backup service like with versioning and stuff like that and

01:27:18   file restoring, but is it enough?

01:27:20   This is a really interesting question that I don't feel like I have a really good answer

01:27:25   for, but it is totally something that needs to be thought about, I think.

01:27:30   I think it's great that Apple has iCloud backup, right? Because then we wouldn't have iCloud

01:27:35   backup. It would be nice if other services could backup your iPhone, although again,

01:27:42   then there's issues of security. You're letting apps access all of your iPhone's data in order

01:27:47   to back it up, and there would be a lot of security effort in making that possible. The

01:27:53   The good news is, yeah, iCloud backup is there.

01:27:56   And then there's, you could use a cloud service.

01:28:00   And I think the answer to this question is yes, it's enough.

01:28:05   But if you have, if you're worried about versioning,

01:28:08   I would say use a sync service that supports versioning

01:28:12   and Dropbox is a good example of that,

01:28:14   where you get, I think 30 days covered.

01:28:16   And then you can also buy the packrat version

01:28:18   where you get unlimited versioning,

01:28:21   or there may be an interim step

01:28:22   where you get a years versioning.

01:28:23   There are things like that.

01:28:25   And if you're worried about versioning,

01:28:28   use apps and a service that let you,

01:28:30   that auto version your backups.

01:28:32   And that will save you a lot.

01:28:35   And then for everything else, there's iCloud,

01:28:37   like for your entire image.

01:28:39   But if you're worried about details of documents

01:28:41   and you can sync them to a cloud service,

01:28:43   that's the way to go.

01:28:45   - Yeah, and I think it definitely sounds like

01:28:48   that is the situation that Dan is in, right?

01:28:51   I'm assuming they're using Dropbox for the files, right?

01:28:55   And this is what I do.

01:28:56   I mean, I have the added thing of,

01:28:58   because I use a Mac which has backplays attached to it,

01:29:02   those files are also backed up with backplays, right?

01:29:05   'Cause I actually have backplays look at my Dropbox folder

01:29:08   and make a backup of it, which works great for me.

01:29:11   And it means that all those files,

01:29:12   as well as being kind of backed up

01:29:15   in whatever way Dropbox will do it,

01:29:18   it's also backed up in backplays.

01:29:20   as well as on a time machine.

01:29:22   I mean, that's kind of my setup.

01:29:23   I think that's pretty good.

01:29:24   But if I was running the iOS only lifestyle,

01:29:27   this like completely only iOS,

01:29:29   that's probably what I would do is all files and data

01:29:32   gets stored in applications that can talk to Dropbox,

01:29:35   because it at least has some kind of

01:29:38   pretty good file recovery, right?

01:29:41   Like I've found the file recovery to work pretty well.

01:29:45   And then as you say, you also have for everything else,

01:29:47   you have the iOS backups,

01:29:49   which you can get some versions of,

01:29:50   although it seems to be a bit random,

01:29:52   which versions you end up getting access to.

01:29:55   It is a problem, but it is solvable in some ways.

01:30:00   Like it's possible to do it in some ways.

01:30:02   And there are like, you can buy these little USB

01:30:07   lightning-y things, right, which you can plug in

01:30:10   and you can back up onto, but like I don't know

01:30:12   how great that's gonna be, like for local backup.

01:30:15   But yeah, it's a good question.

01:30:18   I would love it if it was possible to have a more robust solution at some point, but

01:30:23   I don't see it coming anytime soon if ever.

01:30:25   Alright, if you want to find out show notes for this week, you can go over to relay.fm/upgrades/193.

01:30:32   If you'd like to send in a question for us at the end of the show for us to answer and

01:30:36   give the best answers we possibly can on whether it's about shoes or backup services or pop

01:30:42   sockets, you can send in questions with the hashtag #askupgrade and we will pick some

01:30:47   of those out every episode as we always do. I want to thank Pingdom, Freshbooks and Simple

01:30:53   Contacts for their support of this show. We'll be back next week if you want to find Jason

01:30:57   online he's @jsnell on twitter JSNELL and he writes at 6colors.com. I am @imike, I M

01:31:04   Y K E. Once again if you bought a ticket to our WWDC live show and you have yet to purchase

01:31:11   a ticket at the new venue please check your email for a message from AUGTCOMP from last

01:31:16   week and buy a ticket and we hope to see you there. Again I'm sorry for the

01:31:20   inconvenience that this has caused but I really hope that you come along to the

01:31:24   new show because it's gonna be amazing. But until next time say goodbye

01:31:29   Just In Snow. Goodbye everybody!

01:31:33   [ Music ]