190: The Robot Should Keep Its Mouth Shut


00:00:00   (upbeat music)

00:00:02   - From Relay FM, this is Connected, episode 189.

00:00:11   It is brought to you this week by our fine sponsors,

00:00:14   Smile Molecule and Slack.

00:00:17   My name is Steven Hackett

00:00:18   and I'm joined by my cohost, Myke Hurley.

00:00:21   - Sup homie?

00:00:22   - Hi man, Federico's on a special assignment this week.

00:00:27   Special assignment being vacation?

00:00:30   You know, something, I don't know what he's doing.

00:00:32   He's around doing things, not this year.

00:00:35   - Federico Vittucci is a man of the planet now.

00:00:38   - Mm, man of the planet.

00:00:40   - Yeah, he just moves around from place to place.

00:00:44   He's always there, he's been posting

00:00:45   on his Instagram stories, which is the thing

00:00:48   that he usually doesn't do. - Yeah, that blew his mind.

00:00:49   I have some breaking news from the chat room.

00:00:52   It's episode 190, not 189.

00:00:55   - That is good breaking news.

00:00:56   As far as breaking news goes, the correction of the episode number is pretty strong.

00:01:02   Thank you to Kate for making Steven better at his job.

00:01:06   Episode 190.

00:01:07   190.

00:01:08   Okay.

00:01:09   From Relay FM.

00:01:10   No, no, no.

00:01:11   No?

00:01:12   Okay.

00:01:13   We're just gonna go with it.

00:01:14   Okay.

00:01:15   In my regime, thanks to Ian.

00:01:19   We're gonna start with some follow-up.

00:01:21   I'm actually gonna start with follow-out because I had a really interesting conversation with

00:01:26   with Serenity Caldwell on this week's episode of query.

00:01:29   Remember we spoke last week or the week before

00:01:31   about her really cool iPad review

00:01:32   that she did this amazing movie all on the iPad,

00:01:37   like about the iPad?

00:01:38   It was really, really cool.

00:01:39   And I think all three of us were impressed with it.

00:01:41   A lot of people really enjoyed it.

00:01:42   And I got to speak to her about

00:01:44   the behind the scenes of that.

00:01:45   So like the decision making that went into it,

00:01:47   some of the tools she used,

00:01:48   what was the hardest thing about it,

00:01:50   what was easier than it looks.

00:01:52   It was really fascinating, really eye opening to me.

00:01:55   You know, I at least think about iOS productivity through the lens of how my friends use it,

00:02:01   which like you and Federico and Jason, like mostly word based stuff.

00:02:07   So like writing or preparing show notes or doing spreadsheets, not like sitting down

00:02:11   and making a movie, right?

00:02:12   It's not something that you do on a regular basis on your iPad.

00:02:14   So it's really interesting to hear that angle of creation on the iPad.

00:02:18   And I think you may enjoy that episode if you haven't heard it yet.

00:02:22   So there'll be a link over in the show notes.

00:02:24   There is a thing that has occurred over the history of the three of us recording shows

00:02:31   together and it is a curse. The prompt was cursed and connected is cursed in that we

00:02:37   have had a history of talking about things sometimes and mostly randomly before they

00:02:47   immediately get killed. These things go away. Even last week or the week before, I asked

00:02:55   what happened to Liam, the recycling robot? Well, Apple have a new robot. That robot is

00:03:02   called Daisy and Daisy disassembles iPhones to reclaim materials. It was announced as

00:03:08   part of Earth Day as like, you know, Apple showing more about the things that they do

00:03:13   to like, I don't know, show them how much more thoughtful they are about the world,

00:03:18   right? They do these press releases every now and then. This is a quote from that press

00:03:22   release. "Daisy is made from some of Liam's parts." What?

00:03:27   Oh no. Oh no! What kind of robot horror are we a part of

00:03:31   here? Why? So like I have a few different questions here. Like, one, why did they need

00:03:36   to do that? Like, why can't Liam just like be Liam or like be put away somewhere? Why

00:03:41   Why did they have to disassemble Liam and use his parts in Daisy?

00:03:45   Why does Daisy need Liam's parts?

00:03:47   Why can't she have her own parts?

00:03:48   I think you're making an assumption that maybe we shouldn't make.

00:03:52   The real question is, did Daisy kill Liam for his parts?

00:03:56   Right?

00:03:57   Oh no.

00:03:58   You're assuming a human came in and disassembled the poor guy, but maybe they built Daisy and

00:04:03   Daisy looked at her and said, "Hey, I don't think you like those little spring-loaded

00:04:06   clamps you have.

00:04:07   It would be a shame if something happened to them."

00:04:09   And then she went over there and took him.

00:04:11   - It's just people came in one day,

00:04:13   she's like, hi, I'm Daisy, Liam's gone.

00:04:15   - Yeah.

00:04:16   - And then she showed how good she was

00:04:19   at taking apart 200 iPhones an hour,

00:04:21   so she's way better than Liam.

00:04:23   But I don't like it because Liam has been murdered now,

00:04:28   and that makes me very uncomfortable.

00:04:31   I don't know why, or maybe, I don't know,

00:04:34   maybe Liam was, he had like a organ donor card,

00:04:39   and maybe he fell over or something.

00:04:41   And they just figured that they would,

00:04:45   his parts were used for Daisy, who knows?

00:04:48   We can't know, but all we know is Liam is dead,

00:04:51   long live Daisy.

00:04:53   - Yeah.

00:04:54   It's a rough world out there, Myke.

00:04:57   The world of recycling is not all puppies and rainbows.

00:04:59   - It's cutthroat.

00:05:01   It's cutthroat.

00:05:02   You think just because it helps the environment, no, no.

00:05:04   It is, if you're a robot in the recycling business,

00:05:08   That's not good for you.

00:05:09   Watch your back.

00:05:10   A better robot may come take your parts.

00:05:12   You know what it is?

00:05:14   If you're a robot in the recycling business,

00:05:16   you're one step away from being recycled.

00:05:18   That's what they did.

00:05:19   I've just realized it.

00:05:20   They recycled Liam into Daisy.

00:05:24   Whoa.

00:05:25   That's pretty dark, man.

00:05:27   That is dark.

00:05:28   Can we move on?

00:05:28   I feel sad.

00:05:30   I think we have to.

00:05:31   Let's move on to incredibly happy news.

00:05:34   The LTE Apple Watch is rolling out to a few more countries.

00:05:38   Woo!

00:05:39   Denmark, Sweden, and India will join Taiwan on May the 11th.

00:05:44   So it's slowly expanding.

00:05:47   Carriers are coming on board.

00:05:49   That's kind of all there is to say on it, but it is happening.

00:05:53   Should we travel to those countries, or should we fly their flags on those days?

00:05:59   I feel like we should mark the occasion somehow.

00:06:01   Feels like a lot of work, but yeah, if you want to go to Denmark, Sweden, and India,

00:06:06   Taiwan all on one day. I wish you the best of luck in that. It'll be a good vlog.

00:06:11   Yeah I think you have to go... I think if you start in India it could be possible

00:06:16   right? Probably not though, but you never know you could try. We should talk about

00:06:19   emoji because that's a thing that we have talked about sometimes. So

00:06:25   remember back in 2016 where Apple changed the pistol emoji to a water

00:06:31   pistol. Remember this? And unfortunately like the next day or something

00:06:37   Microsoft changed it from a ray gun to a hand pistol. It was the same day. So

00:06:42   Microsoft were unveiling their brand new emoji that they had worked very long and

00:06:46   hard on and on the day that Microsoft did that Apple were like oh hey we've

00:06:50   changed a gun. So they took all of the wind out of Microsoft sales and

00:06:54   And Microsoft, in that release, after like three to four years of using a ray gun, they

00:07:03   changed it to a pistol and then Apple changed their pistol to a water pistol.

00:07:09   And basically yesterday, Google announced that they are going to be changing the representation

00:07:15   of their pistol to a water pistol looking emoji sometime in the very near future.

00:07:22   that is something that they're going to be doing. Facebook also confirmed to EmojiPedia

00:07:27   they are going to also be joining these companies in making this change, changing their representation

00:07:32   of the pistol emoji to a water pistol. Microsoft, Samsung and Twitter who are kind of the other major

00:07:38   emoji platforms have not made any announcements at this time and have said that they have nothing to

00:07:43   say. You know looking back on this like Apple kind of strong-armed people here like I feel like

00:07:51   Google and Facebook they kind of have to do this because Apple did it and Apple did it

00:07:57   I mean we spoke about this at the time whilst they had good intentions. They did this poorly

00:08:03   You know for many reasons in that, you know

00:08:06   They they changed something that was an existing character rather going back into history any

00:08:11   representation of that gum will be replaced with a water pistol which could be incredibly distasteful or

00:08:16   troubling in some instances. Yes

00:08:20   It was basically, you know, the way I look at it, it was a move with good intentions,

00:08:25   but it was poorly implemented. And you can see now, like, I think Apple learned from this.

00:08:30   If you look at what they've been doing recently with their accessibility emoji,

00:08:34   they put through a proper proposal, as you're supposed to do if you're adding new emoji,

00:08:39   but they spoke about it way in advance. And my expectation now would be that they would

00:08:45   maybe give a little bit more time and maybe speak to people on the emoji like

00:08:52   the Unicode Consortium before making a change as significant as the as the

00:08:55   pistol one. So I think it's I think it's a change that is good and I totally

00:09:00   agree with you these other these other companies sort of have a you could say

00:09:04   Apple's held a water pistol to their head and making you change it. Let me say that, couldn't you?

00:09:08   And it wouldn't be so horrifying you know it's just either change it or your

00:09:12   hair's gonna get wet. The Google one in this article is really good. It's like a super

00:09:16   soaker, it has like a separate tank on top. They went serious, right? I want one of those.

00:09:21   Yeah, they're good, they're good. It's like, aha, we have a gun that can hold more water.

00:09:26   In 2019, Apple is gonna have a super soaker rifle instead of their pistol. You heard it

00:09:32   here first. Oh, it actually looks like there has been a, since I put this into our document,

00:09:37   Twitter seemed to have confirmed that they're gonna be changing theirs to also a water pistol

00:09:40   point in the near future. So that is more real-time follow-up. That leaves Facebook

00:09:44   and poor old Microsoft with a more conventional pistol, like a firearm in theirs.

00:09:52   Yeah, I feel like this, again, I'm pleased that companies are doing this. I just think

00:09:58   that sometimes it might be nicer if they all work together on stuff like this. You know,

00:10:01   considering there is literally a working group, right, where they are all on this board together,

00:10:07   the Unicode Consortium, they can have these conversations.

00:10:10   And I hope that everybody learned a lesson

00:10:13   from the way that everything went there,

00:10:15   because it took something that should have been

00:10:17   positive news and kind of made it a little bit negative,

00:10:19   which I think that nobody really wanted.

00:10:21   - Yeah, I agree with you, but at the same time,

00:10:23   maybe Apple wanted to make the statement by just doing it.

00:10:27   You know what I'm saying?

00:10:29   - But it's a bigger statement

00:10:30   if Google will do it at the same time.

00:10:32   - Yeah, maybe.

00:10:33   - Like, it is a way bigger statement to say,

00:10:37   Google, Microsoft, Facebook and Apple joined together today to make a statement and they

00:10:42   changed their pistol emoji to a water pistol and this is why and these are the statements.

00:10:46   That's a bigger, more impactful message rather than Apple feeling like they have to be the

00:10:52   lone crusader, which they definitely don't need to be and stuff like this.

00:10:57   These companies, they have shared values.

00:11:00   It isn't all about competing to show who's the best and who's the smartest.

00:11:03   Sure.

00:11:04   Yeah, I see what you're saying.

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00:13:18   So we saw this week the release of iOS 11.3.1. If you've been following the news a little

00:13:26   bit, there's been an issue with iPhone 8 and 8 Plus models if they have a third-party screen

00:13:33   repair.

00:13:35   I miss this. I had no idea that this was a problem at all. Like, I didn't see this reported

00:13:40   anywhere until I read this story today.

00:13:42   It was done a little bit, and there was some conversation by, like, the right to repair

00:13:46   people with, like, Apple's crippling third-party repairs. Not the case. It seems that this

00:13:51   was a bug because there's a bug release in the form of iOS 11.3.1 and so what was happening

00:13:57   if you had a third-party screen put on your phone or the repair done by a third party

00:14:04   you could end up with intermittent touch issues on the phone because these like non-genuine

00:14:12   replacement parts weren't being appropriately like I read something like the touch scan

00:14:19   or like the scan rate or something would come out of sync out and I read a couple of different

00:14:22   things theorizing what it could be, but in short they fixed it in 11.3.1 and there are

00:14:26   a couple of things about this update that I would like to talk about. Primarily, its

00:14:33   existence. Like why do I have to install this on my iPad Pro? Why do I have to install this

00:14:40   on my iPhone X if all that's in here is this update for iPhone?

00:14:45   It is at no, right? Like, they're just bad at release notes.

00:14:48   I mean, maybe. I was actually trying to find the official release notes, and I'm sure I'm

00:14:53   going to do that in the chat. I'm going to help you with the URL. If there's more in

00:14:56   there, say that there's more in there. I don't know, it's just like, the primary thing being

00:15:01   this, running into my iPad Pro is like, this seems weird to me.

00:15:06   It is, yeah. It is strange that, like, if there is other stuff, they didn't even mention

00:15:11   the fact that there was other stuff because it's like why would I need this?

00:15:17   Why would I need this on my iPad Pro?

00:15:19   I completely agree with you actually.

00:15:20   That doesn't make sense because I'm looking at the release notes on a KBase article about

00:15:26   iOS 11 updates it is called and it has a little you can like click to each one and it just

00:15:31   shows you the release notes and it well it says it improves the security of your iPhone

00:15:36   or iPad and addresses an issue so security improvements whatever that means.

00:15:41   I mean, it's hardly like the most exciting thing in the world.

00:15:44   And there was a security update for the Mac yesterday as well that involved what could

00:15:47   be some cross-platform stuff.

00:15:49   And so, yeah, that's good.

00:15:52   But even if this wasn't just an iPhone 8 update, I think it goes to the conversation we've

00:15:57   had before that Apple is seemingly unable to update only some devices or only like,

00:16:05   why can't we run an update in the App Store for mail when there's new mail stuff?

00:16:08   Why do we have to wait for an iOS update?

00:16:11   it's still a very monolithic release and they don't seem able to break it down into these

00:16:17   different components or even target individual devices if they need to.

00:16:23   But going back to the bug itself, it is not surprising to me that something like this

00:16:26   would come out of Cupertino because the issue is third-party repair companies fixing iPhone

00:16:33   screens. I mean, and like, what kind of test conditions would lead you to being able to

00:16:40   like logically come across that, you know? And like, and it's even like, it obviously

00:16:46   didn't, it wasn't widespread in any betas or anything like that, because they would

00:16:52   have seen this happening. They would have had people reporting it. And it's because

00:16:55   it's such a specific use case. One, you have to have an iPhone 8. Two, you have to have

00:16:59   broken the screen, and three, you have to have them taken it to a third-party repair

00:17:04   company. There are so many things that have to happen for this to become known on a wide

00:17:10   scale. Apparently, it was some kind of microchip that had a bug and it was disabling screen

00:17:15   input. I don't know why. I reckon it's some kind of tempering thing that they have anyway,

00:17:19   like just so they know and then maybe it was like, "Oh, it's all gone wrong." I mean, I

00:17:25   I don't know, I've never had to replace a screen.

00:17:28   I don't know how expensive they are,

00:17:30   but I'm naturally assuming it's always gonna be cheaper

00:17:33   if you go to a third party,

00:17:34   because that's what third parties do, right?

00:17:35   They would always price it cheaper than Apple.

00:17:38   - Yeah, Apple's prices are more competitive

00:17:40   than they used to be, unless you have an iPhone 10.

00:17:42   That's an expensive phone to repair.

00:17:43   But yeah, lots of people go to third parties.

00:17:45   I know there's several in town that you can go to.

00:17:48   One's very noticeably right across the street

00:17:52   from the Apple stores.

00:17:52   As you walk out of the Apple store dejected,

00:17:54   look up onto the horizon and there's a third-party service provider.

00:17:57   That's very clever.

00:17:58   Waiting for you.

00:17:59   There's a chain here called iSmash.

00:18:03   That's a really good name.

00:18:04   It's a good name, right?

00:18:05   They fix screens, they do all kinds of stuff, but they fix screens.

00:18:08   That's one of the things they do.

00:18:10   If phone unlocking was still a thing, they would do that, right?

00:18:14   It's like one of those types of places.

00:18:15   Yeah, no doubt.

00:18:17   I did want to talk a little bit about the second half of the release notes.

00:18:20   I just want to read this because I find it incredible.

00:18:25   "Non-genuine replacement displays may have compromised

00:18:28   "visual quality and may fail to work correctly.

00:18:32   "Apple-certified screen repairs are performed

00:18:34   "by trusted experts whose genuine Apple parts."

00:18:38   See support.apple.com for more information.

00:18:41   I don't think I've ever read a more passive-aggressive

00:18:44   chunk of text in release notes of all time.

00:18:47   Like, this is just dripping with this attitude from Apple, and it really, like, I think it's

00:18:54   kind of a bad look.

00:18:55   I don't know, did that rub you the wrong way?

00:18:59   I more like how much this bothers you.

00:19:02   Like I kind of don't, I'm fine with it.

00:19:04   I like how much it upsets you.

00:19:07   That makes me very happy.

00:19:08   Because I'm like, well yeah, sure.

00:19:10   Like I read that stuff and I agree with it.

00:19:13   probably correct that if you should and because I don't think it means you have

00:19:18   to go to the Apple store right like an Apple certified screen repair could be

00:19:24   done at a an Apple service provider yeah and I guess they they probably have more

00:19:30   flexibility on their pricing but there's only so low they can go I guess so I

00:19:35   mean I kind of like I read that and I'm like yeah you're probably right support

00:19:39   documentation, you know?

00:19:42   - Yeah.

00:19:43   - But I understand why it gets you.

00:19:44   - Just the way that it's worded,

00:19:46   compromise visual quality, performed by trusted experts,

00:19:50   like instead of just like the guy at the mall.

00:19:52   - It's like everybody else sucks, right?

00:19:54   Like the mall guy, he doesn't know what he's doing,

00:19:57   he's trying to put like a Galaxy S screen on there,

00:20:00   and like, you know, he has no idea.

00:20:02   He just gets a piece of glass and like just puts it on

00:20:05   and hopes that it will work, and he puts a little print out

00:20:07   an iPhone home screen behind the glass and then just gives you your phone and you leave.

00:20:11   So I don't know. Go update your friends I guess to 1131.

00:20:17   Hey Flickr's back. Is it? It's back in the news.

00:20:22   Hopefully. It's back in the news.

00:20:23   SmugMug have bought Flickr. What is a SmugMug? SmugMug.

00:20:29   It is a photo sharing and print service. Not unlike Flickr. They're actually kind of similar.

00:20:35   What I didn't know is that Smug-Mug is family owned, which is pretty cool.

00:20:39   There was this article at Broken USA Today, of all places, saying that Smug-Mug is purchasing

00:20:46   Flickr away from the smoldering carcass that is Yahoo.

00:20:51   Well, I think they actually bought it from Oath.

00:20:53   Yeah.

00:20:54   Well, I like to think of Oath as just a container around the smoldering carcass of Yahoo.

00:21:01   It's just like a sleeping bag full of death.

00:21:04   Yahoo and AOL together, right? That's Oath. Yeah, that's a real pair of acquisitions.

00:21:11   Owned by Verizon. It's a real, that is like just a whole mess of stuff going on over there.

00:21:17   It is. If you had told 2002, Steven, one day AOL and Yahoo and Flickr are going to be owned

00:21:23   by a company called Oath, hey I would laugh, oh but that's really just a shelf of Verizon

00:21:28   to be like, what has happened to the internet in 2018? But that's where we are. So, Smug

00:21:34   - So, Lungmug is saying that Flickr is gonna remain

00:21:36   a standalone community, that it is going to

00:21:40   pour resources into it.

00:21:44   We should say that, you know, Flickr was bought by Yahoo

00:21:48   years and years ago.

00:21:50   Yahoo sold for only 4.5 billion, which is,

00:21:53   I mean, it's a lot of money to me and you,

00:21:54   but it's not that much money in 2018 acquisitions,

00:21:58   if you think about how big Yahoo was at one point.

00:22:01   - Yeah, it's again, one of those things,

00:22:03   you go back far enough and say this is how much Verizon's going to buy Yahoo for and

00:22:07   you'd be like, nah, you're crazy.

00:22:09   Like Yahoo is the place, you know?

00:22:11   Yeah.

00:22:12   And the chat room is asking if we're killing Flickr by talking about it.

00:22:16   I hope not.

00:22:17   I would like to think that right now, I mean, it's probably got the best chance it's ever

00:22:22   had.

00:22:23   Maybe we kill Oath, you know, maybe that was the whole thing.

00:22:26   Yeah.

00:22:27   It can't be long for this world.

00:22:30   So there's a lot to talk about here, I think.

00:22:32   I don't know what your experience was, but for me, especially in college, so talking

00:22:37   2004, 2005, 2006, that time frame, sort of pre-iPhone time, Flickr was a really important

00:22:45   part of my internet life.

00:22:48   I had an account for a really long time.

00:22:52   I was a part of some really genuinely enjoyable communities on Flickr of Mac nerds and other

00:23:00   people in Memphis who are photographers and I learned a lot from those people and had

00:23:04   really like really honestly good conversations online in these communities. And I still have

00:23:10   an account I went through, maybe when Yahoo! bought them and sort of cleaned out my archive

00:23:15   and really trimmed what was there. I don't know the last time I uploaded Flickr wise,

00:23:18   it's been a really long time. And I used to do it daily in 2008 2009. I did a photo a

00:23:23   day project and I posted it on Flickr. So every single day I uploaded that I don't think

00:23:28   been the case for hardly anybody recently. There are still communities there. In fact,

00:23:33   you remember that video I did a couple months ago, maybe last month, about the

00:23:37   AlphaSmart, that keyboard computer thing? That whole enthusiast community exists in a Flickr

00:23:47   group. I stumbled across them in my research, and all these people hacking smart Alphas,

00:23:53   or AlphaSmarts and doing all this stuff.

00:23:54   And they're doing it all on Flickr.

00:23:56   It's this crazy thing.

00:23:58   But I can't imagine there's a lot of those communities left

00:24:02   on Flickr because so many things have come along

00:24:07   and have overtaken it.

00:24:09   I think Flickr's a really good example of a web 2.0 company

00:24:14   that totally missed the boat on mobile.

00:24:16   They did not have a mobile app for a really long time.

00:24:20   and when they did, it was really pretty bad.

00:24:23   And there were some third party apps.

00:24:25   The website wasn't responsive for a really long time.

00:24:28   They just, they could have been,

00:24:30   if they had been on their feet about it,

00:24:33   they could have been there in the app store on day one

00:24:35   and saying, hey, this is the default place

00:24:37   for you to share your photos

00:24:38   when you take them from an iPhone.

00:24:40   And they just weren't.

00:24:41   - They could have been Instagrams.

00:24:43   They could have been bought by Facebook

00:24:44   for like a billion dollars or whatever it was.

00:24:46   - Yeah, but they weren't.

00:24:47   and Instagram I think is that place now.

00:24:51   And that makes me a little sad because

00:24:53   Flickr had all this great organization to it

00:24:56   that you could build these really nice albums

00:24:59   and they had all the community stuff.

00:25:00   Whereas Instagram is really just a Twitter-like timeline

00:25:04   and it lacks a certain permanence that I think Flickr had

00:25:08   in a lot of people's lives for a long time.

00:25:10   So I mean, I don't know anything about SmugMug really.

00:25:14   I don't know anything about the family that owns it

00:25:17   or the CEO that's quoted in this article,

00:25:20   but I would love to see it flourish.

00:25:24   I just don't know if that's possible in 2018.

00:25:27   - I feel like they've missed the boat

00:25:31   on anything that would have been substantial for them

00:25:34   at this point, honestly.

00:25:36   I don't think that they could rise to prominence

00:25:42   to be either of the things

00:25:43   that they could or should have been,

00:25:45   and I don't really know what it could be right now.

00:25:49   I'm just gonna go out on a limb and say that

00:25:51   if SmugMug is like a family-owned business,

00:25:54   Flickr probably already has a community large enough

00:25:56   to fulfill what they want from it.

00:25:59   And as long as they keep that community happy

00:26:01   and maybe bring some more people in,

00:26:03   they're gonna be fine.

00:26:05   And considering what SmugMug's business is,

00:26:09   just being able to natively advertise

00:26:12   that you should print your photos, right,

00:26:14   and stuff like that whilst in Flickr,

00:26:17   all of that stuff's gonna be good for them.

00:26:19   Like it is a logical purchase for SmugMug's business,

00:26:23   but I cannot imagine it being Instagram.

00:26:27   I just can't see it because it's too late now, right?

00:26:34   Like Flickr's too old and too big to change enough, right?

00:26:39   Because you'd end up with Flickr stories.

00:26:43   Like, it's gonna have to do all of that, right?

00:26:46   Like to try and combat it, you know?

00:26:49   And I just don't imagine it happening.

00:26:52   The funny parallel for me here is, you know,

00:26:54   you were completely right in what you said about

00:26:57   Flickr in this situation because they missed mobile.

00:27:01   But one of the other big web 2.0 companies

00:27:04   that missed mobile was Facebook.

00:27:06   And it's kind of funny to see that like,

00:27:09   because Facebook didn't have a competitor,

00:27:12   they weathered the storm and got it together,

00:27:16   but Flickr had Instagram.

00:27:19   - Oh man, Path totally had it there for a second.

00:27:21   No, they didn't.

00:27:22   - But like, if something would have come along

00:27:24   like at that time, that was compelling,

00:27:27   it could have killed Facebook in theory, right?

00:27:31   I know it's on a much bigger scale,

00:27:33   but it's just funny when you look at it like that,

00:27:35   that comparison-wise, Flickr had a huge audience

00:27:39   for its place, Instagram came with zero

00:27:43   and was able to surpass it, grow,

00:27:46   and then got bought by Facebook and explode, right?

00:27:48   Like, you know, and it's funny that like,

00:27:51   Facebook were just lucky, they had enough money

00:27:54   that they could buy companies like Instagram

00:27:56   and WhatsApp and all these other types of companies

00:27:59   to keep them going whilst they got a lot

00:28:01   of their stuff in check until they became compelling

00:28:04   on mobile.

00:28:05   And it's just funny to me to think about that comparison

00:28:08   looking at how those two companies kind of weathered that storm and Flickr did not do

00:28:12   well and then they got bought as well as Instagram got bought but Yahoo treated Flickr badly and

00:28:20   Facebook has treated Instagram very well it seems. So it's just funny to look at all of

00:28:26   those companies like compared to each other from like a where are they now standpoint

00:28:31   that now Flickr is just being traded away as some way to inject cash into a new company

00:28:36   and it's kind of sad.

00:28:38   - It is.

00:28:39   Yeah, I think that's all sad.

00:28:44   - But it looks like that they're in the right place

00:28:45   for where they want to be right now.

00:28:47   I think that SmugMug will probably be

00:28:49   a really good home for Flickr,

00:28:51   and I bet that everybody that works there

00:28:53   will probably be a lot happier as well.

00:28:55   So I think this is a nice move,

00:28:58   and I hope they are able to do something with it

00:29:00   because Flickr is an institution,

00:29:02   and it would be really nice to see something

00:29:04   come of this that's positive.

00:29:06   Yeah, I think so. And, you know, maybe they can never return to those glory days, but

00:29:12   maybe they can grow it from where it is. Because I think Yahoo buying it was kind of the second

00:29:17   blow after missing mobile. Because like you said, Facebook did pull out of that. Flickr

00:29:23   didn't. And I think part of that was because Yahoo wasn't able to do it. Yahoo didn't have

00:29:27   the brand to pull that sort of thing off. Or the desire.

00:29:31   Or the desire. Because, you know, Yahoo was what it was.

00:29:33   Sunset remember the sunset slide I do

00:29:36   I'm on the Yahoo homepage right now. It's not good. I can't imagine it being good at this point

00:29:43   It hasn't been good for a long time. I can't imagine it being good now

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00:31:51   for their support of this show. So in Alphabet's Q1 earnings report, it became clear that the

00:31:59   company is spending a lot of money on Nest without probably the return that they would like to see

00:32:06   from it. So it takes some work to see exactly what these amounts are, and this stuff was all

00:32:12   brought from a Vurd report where they did the hard work so I didn't have to, and you can see that

00:32:17   Alphabet, what they've done is they've placed Nest into a section of their earnings

00:32:22   akin to how Apple reports the Apple Watch in like an other category. And this has been

00:32:28   changed because Alphabet rolled Nest back into Google, I think that was like within

00:32:34   the last year or so. So they made a bunch of adjustments to previously reported figures

00:32:39   which meant you could see the difference in the profit and loss. So like Nest were in

00:32:43   another part of the business where it was hidden away in a big bucket, right? Then it

00:32:49   got moved into another bucket and you could just see the impact of how those buckets changed

00:32:53   from time over time to be able to work out these amounts. So it's not as hidden as

00:32:57   maybe Google would like. So what this has shown from some calculation is that Nest made

00:33:03   around $726 million in revenue but lost $621 million last year. So, you know, it's not

00:33:12   in the red, but I don't think it's where you would want the company to be right now or this division.

00:33:19   So like this investment could be worth it ultimately because Google has a shot to

00:33:25   potentially further integrate Nest and Google Assistant together to try and maybe take on

00:33:31   Amazon, which is clearly what they're trying to do with all of their home products because

00:33:34   Amazon have the mind share and if you any statistics and figures show they also have

00:33:39   the significant market share in the smart connected home device space right now.

00:33:44   And also, if you look at the suite of tools and features available, it is probably more likely

00:33:52   that Google could become dominant in this area than they could in the phone area with the Pixel.

00:34:00   Pixel is a very good phone, considered to be the best Android phone, but it's very difficult for

00:34:06   for them to try and take down Samsung,

00:34:07   and it's very difficult for them to try

00:34:09   and take down Apple, right?

00:34:10   Like in the idea of units sold,

00:34:12   but it seems like you would maybe have a clearer path

00:34:15   as Google to produce products at a better quality

00:34:20   and with larger audiences than Amazon, right?

00:34:23   'Cause the market's way smaller,

00:34:25   Google has more resources in this area, right?

00:34:27   And this is what they do.

00:34:29   But it does seem that right now, even with this spending,

00:34:32   Amazon's still the leader,

00:34:34   Nest is not really churning out products at a speedy rate. I think it's going to be really

00:34:38   interesting to see what happens over the next 12 months because they just released a new

00:34:43   camera that has the Google system built in, right? That's something that they did recently,

00:34:47   I think. You know, when I look at this stuff, it's like, well, I can see why Google or Alphabet

00:34:55   is putting the money into this because Nest make great products when they make them and

00:35:04   if they're able to I guess pump up this stuff and make a bunch of really compelling home

00:35:12   products that also integrate and include in some instances the Google Assistant and Google

00:35:17   home stuff, they have a real kind of shot at competing and out competing Amazon, right?

00:35:27   You would think. But even today, like Amazon are releasing more products. Did you see this

00:35:32   today? The Echo Dot for kids?

00:35:34   Yeah, it's just colored funny, right?

00:35:36   It's colored, it comes in a colorful case and it has increased parental controls.

00:35:40   Okay.

00:35:41   So you can put it in the kids room or whatever and it's, you know, it's better for working

00:35:47   with the stuff that they're gonna ask.

00:35:49   Because Amazon will not stop releasing new Echo products.

00:35:53   - They can't.

00:35:53   - They cannot be stopped.

00:35:54   - Yeah, I think Google is in a great position

00:35:58   to take Amazon on here.

00:36:00   And maybe, if you read the reports,

00:36:03   Nest was like a real disaster,

00:36:05   and they got rid of some people,

00:36:07   and then it was like under Alphabet,

00:36:09   now it's under Google again.

00:36:11   It's been through, as a company, a lot of things.

00:36:15   and maybe they're getting close to sorting all that out

00:36:20   and we're on the edge of this great Nest Renaissance.

00:36:25   I'd love it, I have a lot of Nest products.

00:36:26   I've got several cameras I have there.

00:36:29   I always forget what it's called.

00:36:30   Like the security pad, the alarm system deal.

00:36:35   Nest Secure, I've got one of those in my office.

00:36:38   I've been happy with their stuff

00:36:40   and the app's pretty good.

00:36:41   They don't support HomeKit but you can live with that.

00:36:44   It's like they have so many good pieces

00:36:47   and they just need to keep pushing

00:36:49   because I think especially with Amazon

00:36:52   breathing down their necks with the Echo family of stuff,

00:36:56   you've gotta stay on top of this.

00:36:57   You've gotta remain competitive

00:36:59   'cause if you go, if Nest Go's another year, 18 months

00:37:01   with no real change in their products,

00:37:04   then that's a pretty big deal.

00:37:05   I think a bigger deal than it was last time around.

00:37:08   When they were quiet, 2015, 2016, 2017,

00:37:12   They didn't have a lot of real good competition, but now they do, and they need to stay on

00:37:18   the ball.

00:37:19   So some real-time follow-up from Pastor Boy in the chat room.

00:37:25   The Echo for Kids has a feature called Magic Word, where it encourages, with positive reinforcement,

00:37:34   if kids use the word "please" when asking the Echo to do things.

00:37:39   Which is really interesting because I was talking with some friends a couple of days

00:37:42   ago who were like having this issue, or like it was friends of friends that were having

00:37:47   this issue, where they're having to say please to their echo because they don't want their

00:37:53   kids to just really like think about that they have to bark orders at things all the

00:37:57   time.

00:37:58   Mm-hmm.

00:37:59   Which is kind of incredible, right?

00:38:00   And also something else, oh this is so cute, it's optimized for a waxer.

00:38:07   Oh, oh boy.

00:38:09   Isn't that incredible?

00:38:13   This specific version is optimized for common mispronunciations of the code words that kids

00:38:20   might do.

00:38:21   This is maybe the best thing Amazon have ever done.

00:38:23   I'm melting now.

00:38:24   This is so good.

00:38:25   I mean, it's nice, but it's a very Amazon way to do it, whereas you could just have

00:38:30   all those be settings for any Echo.

00:38:32   I'm not going to go by...

00:38:34   I think a lot of it is, though.

00:38:35   I agree with Echo.

00:38:36   in the parental control features.

00:38:41   Like the magic word stuff is all in the parental control

00:38:44   features so. - Good.

00:38:45   So there you go. - Some of it's

00:38:46   already in there.

00:38:47   - Amazon's doing a lot of stuff and that should do more.

00:38:50   - Speaking of Amazon doing a lot of stuff,

00:38:52   it feels like they've already decided to move on

00:38:55   to their next big bet, home robots.

00:38:58   This is a report from Mark Gurman and Brad Stone

00:39:01   over at Bloomberg that the team

00:39:05   that was responsible for the Amazon Echo, the Fire TV,

00:39:10   the Fire tablets and the Fire phone, may it rest in peace,

00:39:14   which is run by someone with the name Craig Zirr.

00:39:18   They have started a new secret project

00:39:21   to build what is being dubbed a domestic robot.

00:39:25   This report is very, very light on any substantial details.

00:39:30   The project is code named Vesta,

00:39:32   which is named after the Roman goddess

00:39:34   of the hearth, home, and family.

00:39:37   And Amazon are hiring a lot of people.

00:39:38   They have an ex-Apple engineer,

00:39:40   or ex-Apple executive, I should say,

00:39:42   who's running their kind of like,

00:39:44   some of the machine learning stuff around vision,

00:39:49   that this thing's gonna need to see stuff.

00:39:52   And basically a lot of it, honestly,

00:39:54   is Bloomberg speculating about what the robot might do,

00:39:57   which it's not great reporting.

00:39:59   They got this one little tidbit

00:40:00   and then just tried to turn it into an article, honestly.

00:40:03   Like one thing that they say,

00:40:04   oh, what if it's just an Amazon Echo device?

00:40:06   That is mobile, that's rubbish.

00:40:08   That is a rubbish, terrible speculation.

00:40:10   You may as well have not even bothered.

00:40:12   Like, because like what?

00:40:14   Like I can just put a dot in every room.

00:40:16   I don't need a robot to follow me around

00:40:18   so I can give Echo commands.

00:40:20   So I thought what might be more fun

00:40:23   is if we try and think of some things

00:40:25   that we would want an Amazon Echo home robot to do.

00:40:29   So, one thing that I want it to do is something I don't want it to be, which is humanoid.

00:40:38   I would not want a home robot to have a humanoid shape, because that would be too creepy. I

00:40:45   would like it to have a different shape, you know, like maybe just something more like

00:40:50   Eve from Wall-E, right? Like, I would prefer something in that kind of thing, like, you

00:40:55   know, like that would be more comfortable for me. Maybe to not even have a head,

00:40:59   right, just like the body and the arms, that would be way better. But here's some

00:41:03   things I was thinking of, Steven. Some basic cleaning stuff, like a Roomba, right?

00:41:08   Like, if this thing can move around, why not put like a vacuum on the bottom of

00:41:12   it and it can do some cleaning. I was thinking like maybe some restocking of

00:41:16   homeware items, so if it sees that I've like, I don't know, I don't know how much

00:41:20   this thing's gonna follow me around, but like let's just assume that it sees me

00:41:24   throw some olive oil, like an olive oil bottle into the recycling bin that it's like, "I'll

00:41:29   order some olive oil for you." And it just lets me know, like, "Oh hey, I've ordered

00:41:32   some olive oil." Um, also home security. You know, I can have this thing patrolling.

00:41:37   I like that.

00:41:38   Guard dog mode. You can just like walk around the house patrolling stuff.

00:41:41   It's like at the front window and it pulls back the curtain with his robotic arm, just

00:41:45   like, peek out the curtain and then puts it back.

00:41:46   Peeking out and it's like, and you can see, I can see what you're up to out there. And

00:41:50   Also, like, I figure, boombox mode, you know?

00:41:54   Like, you know, walk around and play--

00:41:57   DJ Roomba.

00:41:57   You invented DJ Roomba.

00:41:58   Yeah, I invented DJ Roomba.

00:42:01   So that's what I would like to see an Amazon home robot do.

00:42:06   I mean, obviously, it would have Echo functionality built

00:42:09   into it, right?

00:42:10   Because that's what powers everything.

00:42:12   But it's actually got to do stuff, right?

00:42:15   Like, all of this stuff is going to do stuff.

00:42:17   And I actually have another Amazon story

00:42:20   I want to talk to you about in a minute where it's, you know, it's all about trade-offs,

00:42:23   right? Like, I'm going to allow this thing if it's going to do stuff for me. And allowing

00:42:29   Amazon to put a robot into my home requires significant trade-off that they are willing

00:42:37   to give me in what it can do, right? Like, I want this thing to be fairly priced and

00:42:43   I get a ton of benefit from it because otherwise why am I letting Amazon walk around in my

00:42:50   house right?

00:42:51   I come up with a list of things that I don't want the robot to do.

00:42:56   Okay.

00:42:57   That's more interesting.

00:42:58   I would add to your list I would love for something to be able to, as someone who mowed

00:43:02   their grass this morning, do some yard work for me.

00:43:05   Rake some leaves.

00:43:06   Yeah.

00:43:07   But you know mow the grass.

00:43:08   But things I don't want taken over by robots.

00:43:11   I don't think I want them doing like food preparation.

00:43:14   Like my wife and I cook, we enjoy it.

00:43:17   Maybe some stuff like, I don't know,

00:43:19   like something about like a robot checking

00:43:21   how well done a steak is and like flinging knives

00:43:23   all over my kitchen seems like a weird.

00:43:25   - Oh man, so make me a sandwich.

00:43:28   Like isn't that the best thing?

00:43:29   Like I would love that.

00:43:30   Obviously like yes, I would draw the line,

00:43:33   but like you know, make me a cup of coffee

00:43:35   would be kind of great, I would enjoy that.

00:43:38   - Maybe.

00:43:39   - I think maybe that's version three though, right?

00:43:41   Yeah, that's an in-app purchase.

00:43:43   Yeah, I want to know that it's capable before I let it near the fire.

00:43:48   Yeah.

00:43:49   It just turns on a blender full of rocks.

00:43:51   Oh no, Liam!

00:43:51   Pull Liam.

00:43:52   Oh no.

00:43:53   I don't want it to--

00:43:58   I don't think I want it to take over work stuff.

00:44:01   My thought is a robot should not edit a podcast.

00:44:03   But my bigger thought is I don't want it to assume what task it can take over for me.

00:44:08   I want some sort of system.

00:44:11   "Okay, you can do this, this is how I show you

00:44:14   "how we do it, I don't want it to like,

00:44:16   "I just come home one day and one day it has just like

00:44:18   "rearranged all the furniture or has cleaned out my closet.

00:44:22   "I want it to be responsive and not going out on its own."

00:44:26   And like, "Oh, Steven always edits podcasts

00:44:28   "in the afternoons, I'll just do that one day when he's out.

00:44:30   "Like I don't want to come home and find that happening."

00:44:32   - Yeah, I actually agree with that a lot.

00:44:34   Like I wouldn't want to see that it's doing stuff like that.

00:44:40   Like there has to be an element of like machine learning in a product like this, but I don't

00:44:48   want it to take it upon itself to do things for me.

00:44:51   Even if it has the ability to do them, I want it to ask, right, before it goes ahead and

00:44:57   does stuff like that.

00:45:00   Like this does feel like, I mean, this will happen, right?

00:45:05   I really do believe that we will have robots in our homes one day purely because I feel

00:45:12   like all technology is influenced by science fiction.

00:45:16   And whatever was in science fiction when people were kids is what they eventually want to

00:45:20   make.

00:45:21   Right.

00:45:22   And that we just trend towards science fiction because all of these inventions require people's

00:45:27   imaginations and the best imaginations are the people that create these worlds and then

00:45:33   and that just informs our own imaginations, right?

00:45:36   And then I think a lot of times,

00:45:38   we end up just making what we saw in movies as kids.

00:45:41   And The Jetsons is formative for many of us,

00:45:45   and we gotta have a robot butler at home, I guess.

00:45:49   - Yeah, also, I don't want it to inject itself,

00:45:53   or interject itself, I should say, into relationships.

00:45:57   So I don't want it telling my kids yes or no

00:46:02   thinking watch TV after school or you know hey your wife was mad when she left

00:46:06   the house you didn't see it I'm just giving you a hand like I don't think I

00:46:10   want that in my life yeah I don't want I don't want to be in an argument and then

00:46:16   the robots like actually two days ago you said this right right where it's

00:46:22   like you're arguing about like who said what and then the robot jumps in and

00:46:26   it's like well Bob's right Mary's wrong yeah I don't I don't want that like the

00:46:32   robot should keep its mouth shut in my opinion. Dumb robot. Who does he think he is?

00:46:36   Also, I don't want it to murder anybody. And I say that jokingly, but you said like

00:46:41   a home security system. There's a real question here about ethics. Like, if someone breaks

00:46:46   into my house, does the Echo robot have the right to stop them with force?

00:46:51   I had an imagination feature here earlier today and decided not to put it in the document,

00:46:58   now I will use it because now you've brought that out in me. I was imagining like a net gun.

00:47:03   You come home, there's just a guy in a net in your kitchen like you tried breaking in so I stuck him

00:47:09   in a net. Yeah or if like your phone's not connected to the wi-fi so it doesn't know it's you and then

00:47:14   you get hit with a net. Oh yeah, the wi-fi was down so I thought you were a bad guy. I mean like

00:47:19   when you introduce things like this like these are the questions like you know we're being funny

00:47:24   about it, but hopefully someone's thinking about these things seriously.

00:47:28   It's the self-driving car problem, right? Do you kill ten pedestrians or two people

00:47:35   in the car? These are the things that eventually have to be coded or logic'd out in some way.

00:47:41   If my house is on fire, who does the robot help save?

00:47:45   Who does it go for first? Does it leave the dog? What does the robot do?

00:47:51   I would train mine to take the Drobo.

00:47:54   Get the data out.

00:47:56   Drobo first.

00:47:58   Don't second.

00:47:59   Just throw the Drobo out the window and then come back first.

00:48:02   No, no.

00:48:02   There's hard drives in there.

00:48:03   You've got to be gentle with the Drobo.

00:48:04   You've got to sit it down gently on the sidewalk.

00:48:07   This is when it ejects the balloon

00:48:09   that it ties to the Drobo and pushes it out.

00:48:12   I would take it, but I'm waiting for the Mac Mini

00:48:13   to eject it so I can unplug it safely.

00:48:15   Good robot.

00:48:16   Good robot.

00:48:17   You've learned very well.

00:48:18   Yeah.

00:48:19   I mean who knows, right, like if this is a pie in the sky thing, if this is a real thing.

00:48:24   I agree with you that science fiction to a degree shapes our future because we're, that's

00:48:28   what we grow up with as kids, that's what as adults we want to see happen.

00:48:31   Um, I don't know man, like I like the voices and stuff but this seems like a totally different

00:48:36   thing so I don't think it's anytime soon but it's something worth thinking about.

00:48:41   But it's weird.

00:48:42   It's weird to think about.

00:48:43   It is weird.

00:48:44   Today's episode is also brought to you by Slack, a collaboration hub that lets you organize

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00:50:40   things that I check in the evening. Because my Slack group, the Slack group that we run

00:50:45   now, it's so split so nicely. We have general channels and fun channels where people can

00:50:50   hang out but then we also have channels where all the work is being done and where messages

00:50:54   are being shared. It is really the hub of a lot of the stuff that I do in my life. It's

00:51:00   really an incredible tool. To learn more about Slack, head to slack.com, that is s-l-a-c-k.com.

00:51:07   Thanks to Slack for their support of Real AFM and for giving us an easy way to communicate

00:51:11   every day. Slack, where work happens.

00:51:14   So Amazon, talking about trade-offs. Would you like Amazon to have access to your car?

00:51:22   I like it more than having access to the front door of my house, I think.

00:51:27   This is similar to that front door system thing where you could set up a camera on a

00:51:31   lock Amazon Key I think it was called.

00:51:34   I think Amazon Key now includes this Amazon trunk delivery.

00:51:39   They have partnered with GM and Volvo to allow them to deliver packages to the trunks of

00:51:44   cars in 37 US cities.

00:51:47   This is currently restricted to Prime customers who have cars that are from the 2015 model

00:51:52   year or newer, and they also have to have an active OnStar or Volvo on-call accounts.

00:51:58   What are these things?

00:52:00   OnStar at least is, I think it does a bunch of stuff, but one thing it can do is it monitors

00:52:04   for an accident and then it basically calls you in the car, like not your phone, but it

00:52:09   calls the car.

00:52:10   It's like, "Are you okay?"

00:52:11   It can call 911, it can share your location.

00:52:14   I think OnStar also does like, "Hey, I'm looking for XYZ, can you help me find assistant

00:52:21   type stuff, I'm not really sure. I assume Volvo on Call is similar.

00:52:24   Yeah. One of the other things that they can do, Volvo on Call, and also some of the other GM

00:52:30   connected things, they can actually lock and unlock cars because that's how this is done.

00:52:37   So you use the Amazon Key app to describe the car and you register your

00:52:46   GPS and license plate with it as well. And basically, you can say I want it delivered

00:52:52   to the trunk of my car and as long as your car is parked within a safe radius of an address

00:52:58   already used for an Amazon delivery, so your home or your office or whatever, right, so it's in the

00:53:03   parking lot or it's in the driveway, Amazon will deliver to the trunk of the car. You get notified

00:53:08   every step of the process and it's possible for you to change your mind and block the delivery

00:53:12   at any point forcing the delivery to be sent to a physical location like a front door somewhere

00:53:17   your driver will be sent your license plate and GPS so you can find the vehicle and when they

00:53:22   arrive they make a request to the car's connected service right so like on star over one call

00:53:27   and the trunk is opened so why would you do this is i think a huge question because like

00:53:34   if it's close to your if if the car has to be near your home or your office why would you have

00:53:42   something delivered to the car. So Amazon posted a video because they've been doing

00:53:47   some like data tests of this in some cities and they spoke to some customers and there

00:53:52   were two I think kind of compelling reasons for doing this. One, speaking to a mother

00:54:00   who had diapers delivered to the car because they didn't want a doorbell to ring and wake

00:54:06   the baby?"

00:54:07   It's like, "Okay, makes sense."

00:54:09   Or another person who was saying that they had birthday presents for their child and

00:54:15   they didn't want them to be spotted, so they were put in the car, so then they could

00:54:20   be brought into the house at a safe time.

00:54:23   I could also see this being a better way to receive deliveries at your office.

00:54:27   Because the car's not going to move, and so one of the things that is a good idea about

00:54:34   the giving Amazon access to your front door thing is you don't have to be home, right?

00:54:39   That's the key part of these things is this means that Amazon can deliver without needing

00:54:45   to rearrange deliveries. And the thing about the car is the car is way less personal. They

00:54:51   only have access to their trunk and it's super hard from the trunk in a lot of cars to get

00:54:55   to the main part of the car, right? If you're an average size human being. It's kind of

00:54:59   out of the way, way less personal. They can't get access to you. They're not going to have

00:55:03   problems with pets, right, and all that kind of stuff. So it is a more compelling thing,

00:55:08   I think, than having something delivered directly into your home. But it's still got the weirdness

00:55:15   factor, right? Of like some rando is gonna put something into your car.

00:55:22   Yeah, I mean, I guess it feels a lot better than the house. Another situation that I thought

00:55:28   of when you were talking about I had a job years ago where it was actually very difficult

00:55:33   to have packages delivered to the building because the way the building was and the way

00:55:37   security was, it was a real hit or miss situation.

00:55:41   And oftentimes you would end up with something that was, you know, unable to deliver rescheduled

00:55:47   or go pick it up at the depot or something.

00:55:49   And that was frustrating.

00:55:51   And something like this could have, you know, alleviated that because the parking lot wasn't

00:55:56   necessarily all behind a security gate.

00:55:58   So if I knew something was coming today, I could leave my car in the front parking lot

00:56:01   outside of security and something could be delivered to it.

00:56:03   I don't have to deal with the front desk and all that stuff.

00:56:06   So there are reasons for it.

00:56:08   And I do think it feels a lot better than the home, partially because there's a third

00:56:14   party involved because they are requiring that step through OnStar.

00:56:19   You're not giving Amazon a key to your car.

00:56:22   You're giving Amazon the ability to speak to your car manufacturer system that you assumedly

00:56:30   trust and they have that middle step there.

00:56:34   That does feel better to me than having a lock with a code and a camera.

00:56:40   At least now there's some other entity who's aware of what's happening and that's involved.

00:56:46   To me it feels like it's another step of verification in a way.

00:56:51   If I want to cancel it, I just tell OnStar, "Hey, I'm not doing this anymore."

00:56:55   And so if you get any calls, don't let them do it.

00:56:56   Whereas with the house, you have to change your lock because you're going to take the

00:56:59   smart lock off or whatever.

00:57:00   So I think, you know, I don't know if it's particularly useful to me in the way my life

00:57:04   operates but I could see it being useful to people and I could see why you would do this

00:57:09   instead of delivering to your house when no one's home.

00:57:12   Alright, last thing today.

00:57:14   Spotify.

00:57:15   So we spoke a couple of weeks ago that Spotify was having an event this week and we were

00:57:22   thinking that there was this rumored car speaker device that we thought was going to appear.

00:57:29   That did not happen.

00:57:31   So who knows what was going on with that.

00:57:33   Maybe that's still something for the future.

00:57:35   But Spotify did in basically the event was to talk about their business model and some

00:57:40   changes that they're making to their free tier as a way to try and convince

00:57:44   people to subscribe to their service for money. Let me tell you some of these

00:57:49   features, Duman. So one of the things that they're adding to the free tier is

00:57:53   access to 15 select playlists of which you can play any song you want in any

00:57:59   order. Now that might sound a bit peculiar if you've never used Spotify

00:58:03   free tier but previously you've been forced to shuffle playlists and artists

00:58:08   And this is, you know, this is just a restriction that they're trying to put on you so it's frustrating, right?

00:58:14   Because they want you to get the money, but now they're gonna do a free 15 playlists

00:58:19   That you can choose and you can do whatever you want with but these playlists are create created and curated by Spotify

00:58:26   It includes stuff like discover weekly and stuff like that

00:58:29   Outside of this free 15, you're still gonna be forced to shuffle as you were before, right?

00:58:35   so you can't go to like, I don't know, Counting Crows.

00:58:37   I have no idea why they came into my head.

00:58:40   I was trying to think of like a band Steven would like.

00:58:44   And I don't think you like Counting Crows,

00:58:46   but they just came to my head.

00:58:49   I was going to say the Postal Service,

00:58:50   but I was like, that's too sad.

00:58:51   And then, you know what, I think I was trying to think

00:58:54   of Defqab the QT, but say Counting Crows instead.

00:58:56   - Yikes.

00:58:57   - There's the curse sounds, it's the curse sounds.

00:58:59   - Yeah, I mean they have that one song everybody likes,

00:59:01   but past that, eh.

00:59:03   - Mm-hmm.

00:59:04   Anyway, but Counting Crows, maybe it's something to do with like parking lots or something

00:59:09   because we were just talking about cars.

00:59:11   Who knows why they popped into my head, but let's say you wanted to listen to Counting

00:59:14   Crows, you're still going to have to have all that shuffled.

00:59:19   You're now going to be asked in the sign up process what your favorite artists are.

00:59:26   This is akin to like Beats Music and then Apple Music.

00:59:28   Yeah the Bubbles.

00:59:29   Yeah the Bubbles.

00:59:30   I wonder if they're going to do Bubbles too.

00:59:33   But this will allow Spotify to immediately tailor their experience to you.

00:59:36   Right, so they'll show you artists more quickly that you're used to without

00:59:41   having to wait for it to learn. They have a feature called

00:59:45   "assisted play listing" which is machine learning to help you build new playlists.

00:59:50   So when you're putting a playlist together

00:59:51   it will suggest songs to you based upon what works with the previous song that

00:59:55   you just added to that playlist. That's really cool. I think that's really

00:59:59   awesome. I like that feature a lot as like this is a way for you to build a cool playlist,

01:00:05   stuff that's going to work well together. I like the sound of that. And a data saving mode

01:00:10   to reduce data for people on smaller data plans. So all of this sounds really good and I guess that

01:00:18   what Spotify is trying to do is to show you how good the service can be if it's like completely

01:00:23   unrestricted to you, especially with the playlist stuff. But do you think that this is going to make

01:00:28   people that wanted the free tier pay for the paid tier like in big enough numbers for them

01:00:33   to actually do this?

01:00:34   Yeah, I don't know.

01:00:36   You know my brother uses Spotify uses the free tier and having music shuffled that I

01:00:41   can control would drive me bananas.

01:00:44   I'm an album front to back kind of guy.

01:00:45   So I get what you're saying.

01:00:48   But this feels like they're just adding more carrot and not any more stick to people who

01:00:51   want to they want to move up to a paid subscription.

01:00:55   So I don't know if it'll work or not.

01:00:57   Spotify is on the hook for making that transition happen more often though because now they

01:01:01   have shareholders and they need, like we spoke about a couple times ago, they need to work

01:01:08   on getting more people onto that paid service and I think you're right.

01:01:12   The playlists are the best things about Spotify and if they can give you a tease of that then

01:01:18   maybe that's enough carrot but I don't know if people will respond or not honestly.

01:01:23   I agree like that the playlists are the thing right like that everybody that loves Spotify talks about discover weekly a lot

01:01:30   Right, and I will say that Apple have those playlists

01:01:33   But I don't know where it's getting some of this information from so like, you know, it has they have like your favorites mix, right?

01:01:40   They consistently show me songs in my favorites mix that I know I only ever listened to twice

01:01:47   Because it was songs from albums from the inquisitive series

01:01:52   It's always got for me like a song from Pavement, which was Brad's band, which I don't like,

01:02:00   or a song from the Sweeney Todd album. And it's like, I know that I've only ever listened

01:02:06   to these like once or twice, like why are they in my favorites mix? And I guess maybe

01:02:10   it's trying to like, make sure it pulls, like doesn't try and have too much of the same

01:02:17   artist or whatever, but I think that there's something going weird in that algorithm where

01:02:22   it's thinking that I want to listen to those. Because I can tell you, I don't, right? Like,

01:02:30   I don't understand why it would show me that stuff. Like it's not giving me an impression

01:02:34   like it's learning what it thinks it knows about me. Like I'm looking at it right now.

01:02:39   And there's a lot of really good stuff in there. Some of my favorite songs, there's

01:02:42   stuff that I do really enjoy, but yeah, there's another Pavement song. Like why is that in

01:02:47   there like I don't like it and I've never listened to it more than once I

01:02:51   listened to it one time because I really didn't like that album and like I just

01:02:55   don't understand like where did that come from all like big girls don't cry

01:02:59   by Frankie Valli in the Four Seasons I know I've not listened to that song in

01:03:03   like four years like I don't understand where that's come from but all of the

01:03:11   other stuff is pretty good happens really good machine learning right I

01:03:15   - I guess so.

01:03:16   - We'll see, I mean I wish them luck,

01:03:18   because Spotify, like I said, they need to do this,

01:03:20   and I think with Apple Music,

01:03:23   it's still way behind Spotify in terms of subscriber count.

01:03:29   It's native, and that's a big leg up,

01:03:32   and Apple can run out the clock on Spotify, right?

01:03:34   Like Apple has, for all intents and purposes,

01:03:37   unlimited money, and Spotify, for all intents and purposes,

01:03:40   does not, so they need to do this.

01:03:44   I wish him luck because I think Spotify being good is good for Apple Music.

01:03:48   I think people who use Spotify, the free service, even if they stay on free, this makes Spotify

01:03:54   stickier and that's a good thing as well.

01:03:56   If you want to find show notes this week, you can do so in your podcast player or you

01:04:01   can head over to the website relay.fm/connected/190 is this week's episode, Today I Learned.

01:04:09   You can get in touch with us while you're there.

01:04:11   You can send us an email with your feedback and follow up.

01:04:14   You can do that on Twitter as well.

01:04:17   You can find Myke there as I-M-Y-K-E.

01:04:20   And Myke is the host of a bunch of shows here on Relay.

01:04:22   Go to relay.fm/shows.

01:04:25   If you like connected, I promise you,

01:04:26   you will find something else that you will love.

01:04:29   Just as much, not more than connected,

01:04:31   but the same amount, equal amounts of love.

01:04:33   If you wanna find me on Twitter,

01:04:35   you can do that as ismh and I write 512pixels.net.

01:04:39   He's not here this week, but we're usually joined by Federico Vittucci.

01:04:43   He is the editor-in-chief at MacStories.net.

01:04:45   If you want to tell him how much you missed him this week, please do that.

01:04:49   You can find him on Twitter @Vittucci.

01:04:54   We'd like to thank Smile, Molecule, and Slack for sponsoring the show this week.

01:04:57   Until next time, Myke, say goodbye.

01:05:00   Adios.