527: The True Siri Experience


00:00:00   Oh yes, we will be angry because John is refusing to admit how wrong he is, and I'm angry that

00:00:05   John won't admit how wrong he is.

00:00:07   Oh god.

00:00:08   [Music]

00:00:09   So, I think I actually might have solved my Apple Watch Ultra band problem.

00:00:15   Mmm, okay.

00:00:16   So, alright.

00:00:17   The Apple Watch Ultra, it has a bunch of bands that are okay, that are made specifically

00:00:22   for it.

00:00:23   They're all okay in different ways, none of them are great.

00:00:25   I thought, I'm not trying to be funny, I thought that all of, or most of the ultra-specific

00:00:31   bands were really well-liked. Is that not true? Did I make that up?

00:00:35   Okay, here's the problem they have. The Alpine Loop. This is the one that has its cloth,

00:00:41   and it has all little tiny loops and you hook with the metal thing, you hook into one of

00:00:45   them to put it on. It is most commonly seen in its orange color, which I think is one

00:00:50   of the best looking Apple Watch Ultra bands, is the orange Alpine Loop. Problem is, it

00:00:55   Well, first of all, I don't find it super easy

00:00:58   to get a good fit on that

00:00:59   because of the weird hook mechanism.

00:01:00   You gotta like keep popping it out

00:01:01   and get the right one and everything.

00:01:03   So it's not super easy to get a good fit on that.

00:01:05   And then second of all, it's cloth.

00:01:07   And so it absorbs moisture and stuff.

00:01:09   And my primary use of my Apple Watch Ultra is workouts.

00:01:13   And so that's a no go for me.

00:01:16   Also the Alpine loops tend, because they are cloth,

00:01:18   they tend to get dirty and discolored fairly easily

00:01:20   and fairly quickly after you own them.

00:01:22   And so you can wash them, again,

00:01:24   just like the woven loops you can watch them to some extent

00:01:26   but it's, you know, whatever.

00:01:28   All right, then you have the trail loops.

00:01:31   These are kind of like the Apple Watch Ultra version

00:01:33   of those like Velcro regular Apple Watch loops

00:01:36   that everyone loves that I think look like sweatpants

00:01:38   and on the Apple Watch Ultra they look like sweatpants.

00:01:41   So it's fun, the trail loops are fine.

00:01:45   I think the black and gray trail loop

00:01:47   with the little orange tab is a nice,

00:01:50   It's a relatively nice look for the category,

00:01:54   but still not, it's very utilitarian, let's say.

00:01:58   And then the Ocean Band is kind of like

00:02:02   the Apple Watch Ultra version of the Sport Band.

00:02:05   So the Ocean Band, this is the one

00:02:07   I've spent the most time with.

00:02:08   I have the Midnight, the little navy blue.

00:02:10   I have the Midnight Ocean Band,

00:02:12   and I think it looks okay, and it works okay,

00:02:15   and it's kind of comfortable.

00:02:17   But none of that compares to like the regular

00:02:21   Apple Watch sport bands, which I think,

00:02:24   they have a certain look, you know,

00:02:25   they look mostly, they can look mostly neutral.

00:02:28   But they feel great, they're very comfortable,

00:02:30   very versatile, et cetera.

00:02:32   - Wait, wait, so would you say this is the most comfortable

00:02:34   of the three, because from looks alone,

00:02:36   it does not appear to be terribly comfortable to me.

00:02:39   - So I haven't owned a Trail Loop.

00:02:40   I've tried it on in the store,

00:02:41   so I cannot say I've owned a Trail Loop.

00:02:43   I own the Alpine Loop and the Ocean Band,

00:02:45   and I spent by far the most time with the Ocean Band,

00:02:48   in part because it is durable and sweat resistant

00:02:51   'cause it's just rubber.

00:02:52   But also I find it mostly uncomfortable.

00:02:54   The problem is the ridges that it has,

00:02:57   like the ridges are on both sides,

00:02:59   so the side facing your skin is also ridged.

00:03:02   And so usually I will end up with little imprints of ridges

00:03:05   in my skin after wearing it, which again is not great.

00:03:10   So I've tried, you know, there's nothing stopping you

00:03:12   from putting any other Apple Watch Band on the Ultra.

00:03:15   Obviously they don't all look very good on it necessarily.

00:03:19   That's up to you and your god.

00:03:21   But you can put them on, they fit.

00:03:24   They may or may not match the metal very well,

00:03:26   they may or may not have the right shape or the right style,

00:03:28   but you can put on other bands and they fit just fine.

00:03:30   So I have tried lots of other Apple Watch bands

00:03:34   with the Ultra trying to figure out like,

00:03:36   all right, is there a better option than the Ocean band

00:03:39   for general Ultra use?

00:03:41   The problem with the regular sport band,

00:03:45   the standard pin buckle, regular sport band

00:03:48   we've had forever with the Apple Watch.

00:03:50   The way the Ultra, it can kinda like float on your,

00:03:53   it's so big and thick that it can kinda slide,

00:03:56   like if you're looking at your wrist all the time,

00:04:00   the direction of the watch moving up,

00:04:01   it can slide up a little bit.

00:04:03   And then it creates this gap between the band

00:04:07   and your wrist bone that looks really stupid

00:04:10   with the sport band, because the sport band,

00:04:12   because it's made for smaller, lower watches,

00:04:14   it kinda sticks out further from the watch body

00:04:18   before coming down around your wrist.

00:04:20   Does that make sense?

00:04:21   - It does.

00:04:22   - Like it comes out straight more before it goes down.

00:04:25   The result of that is that the Apple Watch Ultra

00:04:27   I think only looks good with an Apple Sport band

00:04:30   if you have really big wrists and that way

00:04:32   it has more time for the band to come like straight out

00:04:35   before wrapping around your wrist going down.

00:04:38   It looks better that way.

00:04:39   But you, Casey, inspired me last week.

00:04:43   I'm like wait a minute.

00:04:44   The stretchy sport loops that Apple sells,

00:04:47   the fixed size ones, they're a different material entirely.

00:04:51   And it actually works really well on the Ultra.

00:04:56   It still doesn't look quite right,

00:04:59   but it's a way better look and fit

00:05:03   than the sport band with the pin buckle on the Ultra.

00:05:07   So I am actually very pleased to have discovered this,

00:05:09   and I thank you very much that the,

00:05:11   here it's called the solo loop is what I'm talking about the solo loop actually

00:05:16   looks and fits and works surprisingly well on the ultra so thank you for that

00:05:21   I am happy with that did you have to buy one size down because the ultra is wider

00:05:25   that's the part I'm also okay so all the ones I have are for the smaller Apple

00:05:31   watch diameter they're for like the 40 millimeter or 41 millimeter size and I

00:05:34   back when they first came out I I kind of went through figuring out my size and

00:05:39   I ended up with two sizes, a seven and a six.

00:05:41   And I wear the six, I think, most of the time.

00:05:45   So I was trying to figure out, going to Gruber's article

00:05:47   and looking at different things of like,

00:05:48   how do I size the solo loop without going to a store for,

00:05:52   okay, I know what I wear in the sport band,

00:05:55   I know which hole I use in the sport band,

00:05:57   and I already have these sizes seven and six solo loops

00:06:02   that I can test with, but therefore the smaller watch.

00:06:05   So what Underscore, he tweeted about this also,

00:06:08   or mastituted about it.

00:06:10   So he figured out that to go from the 45 millimeter

00:06:15   to the ultra, you know, 'cause they use the same straps,

00:06:18   to go between those two, generally subtract one

00:06:21   from the size of the loop, and that usually fits.

00:06:24   Problem is, I think I'm kinda between sizes,

00:06:26   so I tried, I don't even know if the 45 sizes

00:06:30   and the 40 millimeter sizes, I don't even know

00:06:33   if those are the same.

00:06:34   Like, is the six in both of those the same length?

00:06:37   because the watches aren't the same height.

00:06:42   So if you take a strap of a fixed length

00:06:46   and you use it on a bigger watch,

00:06:47   the strap will be too loose.

00:06:49   Because the watch, it's attaching at different points

00:06:53   on the wrist than the smaller watch would.

00:06:55   So you'll be off by one, basically.

00:06:58   So that's why when you go from the 45 millimeter

00:07:01   to the ultra, the watch is getting taller

00:07:04   and so the same length strap,

00:07:06   you have to basically make the strap shorter

00:07:08   to make it have the same fit on your wrist.

00:07:10   So I ordered the five, but it's a little tight,

00:07:15   but I tried my six from my small watch,

00:07:18   and it was too loose by a decent amount.

00:07:20   - Oh no.

00:07:21   - So I'm like, all right, I don't know.

00:07:22   So I don't know, I think I might have to actually

00:07:24   go into a store and figure this out,

00:07:27   'cause I don't wanna do a bunch of returns

00:07:28   and be all wasteful, so.

00:07:30   Anyway, all that is to say,

00:07:32   sizing is still a question mark for me personally,

00:07:34   But the solo loop, I think, is a much more mechanically

00:07:39   sound and visibly sound option for the Apple Watch Ultra

00:07:44   compared to the regular sport band.

00:07:45   So I can recommend it.

00:07:46   I got the Storm Blue, which is kind of this navy blue.

00:07:49   It's a super boring color, but it's the only currently

00:07:52   offered color that I think would look good on the Ultra.

00:07:54   They do have a nice bright yellow,

00:07:56   and the Ultra has that yellow ocean band.

00:07:58   But I saw that in a store, I don't think the Ultra

00:08:01   goes well with yellow, 'cause it has the orange accents

00:08:03   and I don't think it's a good match with yellow,

00:08:07   but I could be wrong, I might try it, we'll see.

00:08:09   - I got a lot of feedback on Mastodon

00:08:11   about my solo loop problems,

00:08:14   and I think one thing either I wasn't clear

00:08:17   about the particular watch band I was talking about,

00:08:19   or people misunderstood or both,

00:08:21   but the one I was talking about is indeed the solo loop,

00:08:24   which is the thing, it's, what is it,

00:08:26   not floral, astomer, whatever, but it's a--

00:08:28   - Apple describes it as stretchable liquid silicone rubber.

00:08:32   Now, to be clear, they are not liquid.

00:08:34   I don't know. (laughing)

00:08:36   They are definitely solid, and thank God for that.

00:08:38   They would not be very good watch bands if they were liquid.

00:08:41   - Indeed.

00:08:41   But then a lot of people sent me recommendations

00:08:45   for and forgive me, I don't remember the name of this one,

00:08:47   but it's the same premise where it's just one piece

00:08:50   of material, but it's woven fabric.

00:08:53   What is the name of that one?

00:08:54   - That's the braided solo loop.

00:08:56   Same name, but braided in front and cost twice as much.

00:08:59   - Right, and it does, you're exactly right,

00:09:00   it costs twice as much.

00:09:01   They're wonderful, by the way.

00:09:02   That's the one I was saying.

00:09:03   That's the one I have the pride version of, the rainbow one.

00:09:06   When they are clean, they are great.

00:09:09   And when they are dry.

00:09:10   When they are clean and dry, they are fantastic.

00:09:14   But that's two big wins.

00:09:15   - Yeah, so that's the thing.

00:09:17   And so I've been casting about on Amazon trying to find a silicon, or silicon, whatever, I

00:09:25   always get it wrong, a quasi-plastic solo loop to get on the cheap, even if it isn't

00:09:31   quite as good because I agree with what you were saying last week Marco that you

00:09:34   know oftentimes materials on these knockoffs it's not nearly as good as the

00:09:37   Apple stuff but if I'm spending ten dollars every six months instead of 50

00:09:42   dollars every six months then it's not such a big deal and I haven't I haven't

00:09:46   tried any yet but meanwhile my friend Spencer for a belated birthday gift the

00:09:51   same Spencer that you guys know sent me a couple of knockoff braided solo loop

00:09:56   bands and so far I don't know which ones these were otherwise I'd link them but

00:10:01   So far these are really, really nice,

00:10:03   and they don't seem to suck in water or moisture

00:10:07   as much as I would have expected.

00:10:09   However, the problem with, maybe not this one in particular,

00:10:12   but the braided solo loop in general,

00:10:14   is that a lot of people said on Mastodon

00:10:16   that after six months, well, they don't break in two

00:10:18   like yours did, but they're so damn stretched

00:10:21   that you can't wear it anymore,

00:10:22   which is also kind of a, it's a failure,

00:10:25   just a different kind of failure,

00:10:26   perhaps less catastrophic, but a failure nonetheless.

00:10:28   So it's tough because I love, I love, love, love

00:10:32   the plastic solo loop.

00:10:34   And I like in principle the braided solo loop

00:10:37   and we'll see how well this Amazon knockoff lasts.

00:10:40   The material seems good, like it's comfortable.

00:10:43   But yeah, I can't with an honest heart recommend either

00:10:45   unless you're looking to replace them

00:10:49   every six months to a year,

00:10:50   depending on your particular use case.

00:10:52   - Not that I want to extend this conversation

00:10:53   of watch drops any longer, but one person on Macedon

00:10:57   did ask, made a snarky comment.

00:10:59   They said, you know, first Casey says that the Apple ones

00:11:02   are like breaking on him after six months.

00:11:05   And then when third party watch bands are recommended,

00:11:08   Marco comes in and says, oh,

00:11:10   third party watch bands are bad quality.

00:11:12   And that's the type of person that if I was snarky,

00:11:16   I would have replied to.

00:11:17   And I'm honestly not doing this to be snarky,

00:11:19   but I'm mostly doing, I don't know.

00:11:21   It's kind of being jerky.

00:11:24   To be clear, I didn't do this.

00:11:25   I didn't respond in this way.

00:11:26   But I thought about giving my typical response where I throw it back to them and I say, "You

00:11:32   square that circle.

00:11:33   Figure it out.

00:11:34   So you've laid down two seemingly contradictory things.

00:11:37   Apple ones are breaking and we agree they're breaking too soon, but then third-party ones

00:11:41   are bad quality so we don't want them."

00:11:45   How can you reconcile that?

00:11:46   You seem to think it's a contradiction or it's hypocritical or whatever, but is there

00:11:51   a way that it wouldn't be a contradiction?

00:11:55   that problem and it's very difficult to express that in a tweet or a tweet or whatever without

00:12:00   being obnoxious so I didn't.

00:12:03   But now we're on the podcast so I can have more room to explain it.

00:12:06   And I'm not the one who said all these things but I was a listener for them and the reason

00:12:11   I didn't make a comment is because it made perfect sense to me and here's how it made

00:12:14   sense to me.

00:12:15   Apple ones shouldn't break after six months.

00:12:17   That's no good.

00:12:18   They're expensive.

00:12:19   They should be sturdier.

00:12:20   But also third party ones being "oh bad quality, don't buy them."

00:12:23   For the six months that you're wearing it, the third party ones could be uglier or less

00:12:29   comfortable.

00:12:31   Even if they don't break, even if they never break, even if they were like Infinite Gobstopper,

00:12:34   the watch band that never breaks.

00:12:36   If during that entire time it is not as nice looking or as nice feeling as the watch band,

00:12:42   that I felt like is what Marco was expressing.

00:12:43   Oh, the third party ones, they're not as good quality.

00:12:46   Maybe there's a visible seams where the mold lines are.

00:12:49   Maybe it's stiffer.

00:12:50   Maybe they're not as soft on your skin.

00:12:52   more to the watch thing other than whether it breaks or not.

00:12:58   It's kind of like my cheese grater thing.

00:13:00   It's my favorite cheese grater, but it's got a fatal flaw that they break after six months.

00:13:03   But it's still the one I want to use because when it's working, it's better than all the

00:13:07   other ones that I've tried.

00:13:08   That's the way I squared that circle in my mind, and Marco can say that's what he was

00:13:12   getting at when he said third party ones are not as nice.

00:13:15   - Yeah, basically, I mean, it's like, you know,

00:13:17   you can save some money, you know, by going third party,

00:13:21   and there are, look, I'm not gonna say there aren't

00:13:24   any nice third party Apple Watch bands,

00:13:26   because there probably are, I just have never found one.

00:13:30   And so the ones I have tried,

00:13:31   I've all been really disappointing.

00:13:33   And so, look, if you can save some money and do that,

00:13:36   then great, but if you're gonna get something

00:13:38   that you just kinda think is okay, and isn't that nice,

00:13:43   and you're wearing it every single day, I don't know.

00:13:46   I would rather, you know, I don't think 50 bucks

00:13:50   for an Apple Watch band maybe once a year as a replacement.

00:13:53   I don't think that's unreasonable

00:13:54   for something that you wear every day.

00:13:55   - I think they should last longer than a year.

00:13:57   To be clear, I'm not saying the Apple one is better.

00:13:59   I'm saying these are two bad choices.

00:14:00   I'm saying they're not contradictory, that's all.

00:14:02   - And some of them do, by the way.

00:14:03   - Yeah, exactly.

00:14:04   We're just talking about one specific one.

00:14:06   - Yeah, this is inherent to like, you know,

00:14:08   stretchy rubber or cloth, both of which wear out

00:14:11   substantially faster than say, non-stretchy rubber or metal.

00:14:15   Like if you want something to last forever,

00:14:17   the sport band or the metal bands,

00:14:20   those last forever basically.

00:14:22   But the woven cloth ones, while very nice,

00:14:26   you're gonna compromise there in comfort,

00:14:30   or sorry, in longevity.

00:14:33   So it's a trade-off.

00:14:35   - Yep, anyway, the snarky thing that I,

00:14:38   I don't think it to be snarky,

00:14:39   I don't know what the word for it is,

00:14:40   probably some debate type thing for it, but it's like, come up with the other side.

00:14:43   Like you don't need me to answer this question.

00:14:45   You think you're throwing a gotcha out at me, but I bet if you thought about it for

00:14:48   a couple seconds, you could figure out from the other person's perspective, how could

00:14:51   both of these things be true?

00:14:52   And in this case, it's like, you know, it's what I explained before.

00:14:55   Anyway, I haven't figured out how to communicate that online without looking like a jerk.

00:15:00   So mostly I don't.

00:15:01   Except this whole moment of the podcast that's being broadcast to far more people.

00:15:05   I know.

00:15:06   Well, I feel like in a podcast, I have time to explain it.

00:15:09   and hopefully people understand and whatever.

00:15:12   And I have Marco here to be able to clarify

00:15:14   whether I was misinterpreting what he was saying.

00:15:16   You know what I mean?

00:15:17   Whatever.

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00:16:35   - All right, let's do some follow up.

00:16:37   Starting with iOS 16.4, which is not out, right?

00:16:41   It's imminent, is that correct?

00:16:43   - I think it's GM, right?

00:16:44   - Yeah, yeah, okay.

00:16:45   So iOS 16.4 should be out any minute now.

00:16:48   Expands duplicate image detection

00:16:50   to iCloud shared photo library.

00:16:51   Jon, you were pretty displeased by this,

00:16:54   if I'm not mistaken, when this first came out.

00:16:55   Is that right, or am I making that up?

00:16:57   - Yeah, I mean, it was still more annoyed

00:16:58   by the lack of shared albums, but this seemed like a gap,

00:17:00   because they added duplicate photo detection

00:17:02   with iOS 16 and whenever they released all this stuff,

00:17:05   and it'll, you know, if you scroll down at the bottom,

00:17:06   I don't know if they added it then,

00:17:07   but there's like, there's a section where you can,

00:17:09   where it says duplicates,

00:17:10   if you scroll down on the iOS photos app

00:17:12   and it'll find them and like merge them and stuff like that.

00:17:14   But the problem I had was like, you know, we had,

00:17:16   my wife had the big family library

00:17:18   and then I had my personal library

00:17:19   and there was some overlap between the libraries

00:17:21   because sometimes I would take something,

00:17:24   I would take everything from a personal library

00:17:25   and import it into hers,

00:17:26   but sometimes I would pull photos from her library

00:17:29   after I edited them down into mine.

00:17:31   And then when we tried to merge them

00:17:32   into one big shared family library,

00:17:34   there is duplicates because I was putting things back into the shared library that I

00:17:38   had pulled from her library previously, but there was no duplicate detection in the shared

00:17:43   library.

00:17:44   I mean, you could do it manually by scrolling through the photos and trying to find the

00:17:46   ones that are the same or whatever, but the whole point is I want the computer to do it

00:17:49   for me.

00:17:50   So now in iOS 16 and also in whatever, I guess Mac OS 13.3 or whatever the next version of

00:17:55   Mac OS will also have this ability, now you actually can find duplicates in the shared

00:18:01   library. And this is going to help me a lot because I have not shoved all of my personal

00:18:06   photos into the shared library just because I didn't want to deal with the duplicate issue.

00:18:09   So I'll test this feature out with one or two photos to see how it handles it. According to

00:18:14   Kurt on Mastodon, when you do the merge, it attributes the photo to both people.

00:18:18   So instead of just saying like, this was added to the shared library by such and such,

00:18:23   it will say this was added to the shared library by these two people or these three people,

00:18:27   I assume if it's third-party, you know, so it's maintaining a metadata about where it came from that like hey this

00:18:31   You know multiple people out of this photo, but it will only keep one of them and hopefully it will do that in a smart

00:18:36   Way, so I look forward to testing this out

00:18:38   John you chose poorly that's a reference

00:18:42   Artings calm has done some OLED burn in testing for a long period of time

00:18:48   I forget exactly how long this just came out in last week or two

00:18:52   But I was just brought to our attention in the last 24 hours

00:18:55   Sounds like the Sony OLEDs not a good choice if you're worried about about image retention

00:19:01   Whoopsie-dupsie if you're worried about image retention OLEDs are probably not the thing for you

00:19:05   I don't think these results are surprising in any way whatsoever

00:19:09   So if the art thing our tings has been doing OLED burn-in tests for years and years now

00:19:13   Obviously they can't test the TV that just came out last year for more than the length of time

00:19:17   they had it but they've been testing it for many many years and

00:19:21   The results have not been surprising OLEDs have image retention. They way way way way way more than LCDs like it is

00:19:27   Maybe not as much as plasmas, but it is a big problem with OLED televisions. I knew this going in

00:19:34   There is no OLED television you can buy that will not suffer from image retention

00:19:37   So the most recent thing is they did tests of the new TVs they came out last year and obviously they only have them for

00:19:43   A few months right, but they do very accelerated testing. This is not representative of normal use

00:19:47   They like, you know, put it on CNN with a big ticker on the bottom.

00:19:51   They leave it on for 24 hours a day, seven days a week, right?

00:19:54   They really, it's accelerated ware testing to see how it is.

00:19:59   And lo and behold, if you do that, the machine's getting these television's get image retention.

00:20:03   But the surprising topic was testing the Quantum Dot OLEDs versus the old style W OLEDs.

00:20:09   And the Quantum Dot OLEDs exhibited what I would expect from, you know, OLED burn-in,

00:20:15   But the latest generation of, or last year's generation of the WRGB OLEDs, especially in

00:20:21   this particular test with white regions on the, you know, like a bar on the bottom of

00:20:25   a news thing, resisted burn-in over the same period of time.

00:20:29   The explanation they gave, they don't know exactly, but the explanation they gave seems

00:20:32   plausible to me, is that when you have the white subpixel and the WRGB OLEDs and you're

00:20:37   showing white, you don't need to, you won't wear out the R, the G, and the B subpixels

00:20:42   when you're showing white, because the white sub-pixel will carry that load entirely.

00:20:45   And the white sub-pixel is actually pretty big.

00:20:47   I don't know if it's the biggest sub-pixel, but it's pretty big.

00:20:50   Maybe it's about the same size as the green one or the next biggest one is.

00:20:54   Whereas on a QD OLED, it's just RGB.

00:20:57   There is no white sub-pixel, which is great for color purity and all that other stuff.

00:21:00   But when you have to show white, that means you have to turn on the R, the G, and the

00:21:03   B sub-pixels.

00:21:04   So if there's a big white static element on your screen, like the big news ticker that's

00:21:08   on the bottom of CNN the whole time, it's going to wear out the R, the G, and the B

00:21:13   subpixels, whereas the R, the G, and the B subpixels on the WRGB things will not be worn

00:21:17   out by showing something that's white.

00:21:21   So the results of this were all the QD OLEDs, not just Sony, but the Samsung ones or whatever,

00:21:27   burned in faster than the latest generation of WRGB OLEDs.

00:21:30   This also makes sense because this is literally the first generation of QD OLEDs, and that's

00:21:35   like the 19th generation of WRGB OLEDs and they've been fighting burn-in for many many years.

00:21:40   So I expect this to improve. Doesn't affect me at all because I already baby my television. Like

00:21:46   again I had a plasma and my plasma was insanely, by the end of its life especially, insanely

00:21:51   subject to image retention. I remember I'd turn on my plasma and it would launch into the Apple TV

00:21:56   screen with the little you know rounded rectangles. Just launching into the Apple TV screen in the

00:22:01   time it took me to like, you know, remote over to the app I want and launch it.

00:22:06   And I'm not dilly dallying.

00:22:07   I'm like, as soon as it comes up, move, move, move, hit.

00:22:09   I'd see an after image of the rectangles that were on the screen.

00:22:13   Oh my.

00:22:13   Oh, wow.

00:22:14   And it would fade quickly, but it was like, it was, it was like

00:22:18   Marco's old iMac, right?

00:22:19   So all of my habits surrounding television are already geared to not allow the thing

00:22:27   to burn out and don't play games on it.

00:22:29   I don't show any things with persistent symbols or whatever on them, but open news tickers.

00:22:34   And this testing, what they said this testing is equivalent of is if you watched CNN or

00:22:38   MSNBC or something with a static element on the bottom of the screen, four hours a day

00:22:42   for eight months in a row without changing the channel, you'd get burned.

00:22:45   It's like, "Yeah, yeah, that'll get burned.

00:22:47   I don't allow this stuff on my screen for five seconds, let alone four hours a day for

00:22:51   eight months."

00:22:53   So this year, there's a new generation of QD OLEDs, and there's also a new generation

00:22:58   of WRGB OLED, so we have to wait and see what the testing turns out on these televisions

00:23:02   this year to see who is actually the image quality king this year, and also we have to

00:23:07   wait for those Burn-It tests as well.

00:23:10   But the results here shouldn't dissuade anyone from getting an OLED, even in the article

00:23:15   they say.

00:23:16   Like this is not a reason not to get an OLED, but if you get an OLED, do not get an OLED

00:23:20   to put on CNN 24 hours a day.

00:23:22   It will burn in.

00:23:23   Do not get an OLED to play a game with a big bright HUD on it all the time.

00:23:26   It will burn in.

00:23:27   fact of life. Get an OLED to watch television and movies with images that change on the screen and

00:23:32   you'll be fine. Another thing, if I read this correctly, and I was skimming it because I was

00:23:36   running out of time before we started recording, but if I read this correctly it also made an

00:23:41   interesting point that apparently and allegedly the Sony would only do the like pixel refresher

00:23:47   thing after the TV had been off for four hours whereas the LGs would do it immediately upon

00:23:53   going to standby or something along those lines. I might have the details slightly off, but I thought

00:23:57   that was interesting because I guess the particulars of their test, they didn't leave the TV off for

00:24:03   four straight hours. And so because of that, the Sony never did its little pixel refresher dance.

00:24:07   And that also exacerbated everything, which I thought was interesting.

00:24:10   Yeah, well, they controlled for that. I mean, so obviously the televisions are not made to,

00:24:15   they're not expecting this kind of intentional abuse, right? So it's not like the Sony

00:24:20   compensation cycle is bad. It is tuned to what people actually do with television. Like, people

00:24:24   sleep at night. Like, this is plenty of time when you're sleeping for the television to do the

00:24:27   compensation cycle. But if it's subject to accelerated aging, intentional, abusive testing,

00:24:33   then there's a mismatch. But they controlled for that. They said, "Okay, now that we know that's

00:24:37   the case, let's control for it and let's give the Sony and the LG equal compensation cycles now that

00:24:44   we know how they both schedule their compensation cycles." And it didn't make a difference, right?

00:24:48   So it's good that they figured that out and it's it's one of the dangers of doing

00:24:52   Accelerated testing that other parts of the television might not expect be expecting to you to do accelerated testing

00:24:57   It may not handle it as well as other ones but they then controlled for that and even with controlling for that

00:25:02   This the QD OLEDs were still burning and faster than the WRGB OLEDs

00:25:07   Which again is not surprising like the white sub pixel explanation makes perfect sense to me like

00:25:10   You have just think of it this way

00:25:13   The simplest explanation is you have four sub pixels to wear out on WRGB and you have

00:25:18   three sub pixels to wear out on RGB.

00:25:21   So no matter what, no matter what you're showing on the screen, you can spread the load across

00:25:26   four sub pixels more than you can spread it across three.

00:25:30   But still, I think QDOLED is the better technology because I don't want a white sub pixel washing

00:25:33   out all my colors.

00:25:34   I'd rather just have RGB because that is better.

00:25:37   So sticking with my TV, no I'm not buying the new generation of QDOLEDs.

00:25:42   I'll buy five generations from now

00:25:44   because that's the way I roll.

00:25:45   - That is extremely, extremely the way you roll.

00:25:50   All right, we should call attention

00:25:53   to Quinn Nelson's really good 20 to 25 minute video

00:25:57   on the forthcoming Apple VR, VR/AR, whatever headset.

00:26:02   Quinn does a really good job of breaking down

00:26:05   pretty much everything we think we know

00:26:08   as a community at this point

00:26:10   with regard to the headset, and there's a lot,

00:26:13   a lot of really, really good information there.

00:26:15   I don't know that we need to necessarily pick it apart,

00:26:18   but if you'd like to talk about any parts of it,

00:26:20   I'm happy to entertain, but you should spend

00:26:24   22 minutes and 24 seconds watching this video,

00:26:26   'cause it's really good.

00:26:27   - Yeah, we had, last time we talked about the headset

00:26:29   a couple episodes ago, there was the, you know,

00:26:32   oh, should Apple ship it or not,

00:26:33   and the industrial design versus operations,

00:26:37   like that's the discussion we had.

00:26:39   But right underneath that in the show notes

00:26:40   was a longer topic related to that

00:26:42   that we didn't have time for, which was just a collection

00:26:45   of all the rumors about the features

00:26:48   that this thing is supposed to have, the hardware features.

00:26:51   What is it, what does it look like,

00:26:52   what features does it have, what things does it have on it,

00:26:54   how does it work, right?

00:26:56   And this video covers almost all of that.

00:26:58   So I really encourage you to watch it

00:27:00   if you wanna get a summary,

00:27:01   'cause we're gonna delete this item from the show notes

00:27:03   after we cover this follow-up item,

00:27:05   just because hey, it's available on Video Forum.

00:27:07   It's a really good video,

00:27:08   especially since the main reason I put this in the notes is because I think there's a

00:27:12   There's a surprising amount of stuff in this headset if you think it's just gonna be like a screen that you strapped your eyeballs

00:27:18   There's way more in it than that. There's cameras. There's sensors. There's I think there is there a light on it

00:27:25   I forget there's like watching a video this so we don't know if this is every part of it is real

00:27:29   It's just everything that has been rumored. There's carbon fiber involved

00:27:33   Quinn talks about the screen technology and how much the screens alone might cost if the

00:27:38   rumors are true.

00:27:40   It's a fascinating video, you should definitely check it out.

00:27:43   A few highlights from the bullet points that weren't in the video were related to what

00:27:48   we mentioned before.

00:27:51   Prescription lenses, a few headsets have that, the Apple one is rumored to have it as well.

00:27:55   Supposedly they're magnetically attachable.

00:27:57   Small motors to adjust the internal lenses to match the wearer's inter-pupillary distance

00:28:01   You don't have to turn a knob like motors would do it for you.

00:28:05   All the different SOCs, all the rumors about a little pack that goes in your pocket with

00:28:08   a cord that's going to the thing.

00:28:11   You know, again the carbon fiber rumor, just like tons of things that add cost and complexity.

00:28:16   All the various cameras that point inward and outward to figure out where you are, all

00:28:20   the eyeball tracking.

00:28:22   Quinn's video is great because he compares it to the PSVR2, the Playstation 5 has a VR

00:28:27   headset just like the Playstation 4 did.

00:28:29   And the PlayStation 5 one is a big step technology-wise from the PlayStation 4 one.

00:28:35   But it has a surprising amount in common with the rumors of the Apple one.

00:28:39   It's just that the Apple one is rumored to cost thousands of dollars and the Sony one

00:28:43   does not.

00:28:44   I forget how much PSVR2 is.

00:28:45   I think it's maybe $500, $600?

00:28:48   But it's in a different ballpark entirely.

00:28:49   And Quinn's video does a great job of explaining how is that possible?

00:28:53   How is it that these headsets seem pretty much almost the same?

00:28:56   the rumor of the Apple ones are a little bit better, but why should it be all of a sudden

00:29:00   $3,000?

00:29:01   And the video explains why.

00:29:04   It costs a lot to move up.

00:29:06   It's diminishing returns.

00:29:08   As you add money, you get a little bit better quality, and if you want a lot better quality,

00:29:11   you've got to add a lot more money.

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00:31:03   Purchase of a website or domain. Thank you so much to Squarespace for sponsoring our show

00:31:07   So there was a post on the New York Times

00:31:14   Just a few days ago now how Siri Alexa and Google assistant lost the AI race

00:31:20   And this was a pretty good article.

00:31:23   I think the point it makes, you know,

00:31:25   you can reach pretty quickly.

00:31:27   To read some excerpts that I believe John has pulled for us,

00:31:29   Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant are essentially

00:31:32   what are known as command and control systems.

00:31:34   These can understand a finite list of questions and requests

00:31:36   like, "What is the weather in New York City?"

00:31:37   or "Turn on the bedroom lights."

00:31:39   If a user asks the virtual assistant to do something

00:31:41   that is not in its code, the bot simply says it can't help.

00:31:44   Siri also has a cumbersome design

00:31:46   that made it time-consuming to add new features

00:31:49   said John Berkey, a former Apple engineer, who was given the job of improving Siri in

00:31:54   2014. Siri's database contains a gigantic list of words, including the names of musical

00:31:58   artists and locations like restaurants in nearly two dozen languages. That made it "one

00:32:03   big snowball." He said if someone wanted to add a word to Siri's database, he added, "It

00:32:08   goes in one big pile." So seemingly simple updates, like adding some new phrases to the

00:32:12   data set, would require rebuilding the entire database, which could take up to six weeks,

00:32:18   Mr. Berkey said, "What?"

00:32:21   - They should make a new Mac Pro to make it faster.

00:32:23   - Right?

00:32:24   Adding more complex features like new search tools

00:32:26   would take nearly a year.

00:32:27   That meant that there was no path for Siri

00:32:28   to become a creative assistant like ChatGPT said.

00:32:31   Also, they're completely different,

00:32:33   but that's neither here nor there.

00:32:34   Alexa and Google Assistant relied on technology

00:32:36   similar to Siri's.

00:32:38   Yeah, I mean, they're just really, really different

00:32:42   and work in really, really different ways.

00:32:43   I don't think that's surprising,

00:32:45   But given how impressive, you know,

00:32:47   chat, GPT and equivalence are,

00:32:49   it's striking how incredible they seem to be

00:32:53   and how here it is that we already thought Siri wasn't great

00:32:57   and it may be worse than we thought.

00:32:59   - Yeah, I mean, this type of thing that you can surmise

00:33:02   from the outside without even knowing the details,

00:33:04   because the bottom line is Siri was released when,

00:33:07   like 20...

00:33:08   - 2011.

00:33:09   - Right, and we've seen the improvement since then

00:33:12   and the improvement has not been impressive.

00:33:14   So from the outside, it's easy to think,

00:33:18   boy, it must be hard to improve Siri.

00:33:20   And so here's one opinion from the inside saying,

00:33:22   you know what, it's really hard to improve Siri

00:33:24   because of the way Siri is made.

00:33:26   It's not because they're lazy,

00:33:27   it's not because they didn't want to,

00:33:28   it's not because it's an impossible problem

00:33:31   that nobody can do.

00:33:32   It's however Siri is constructed,

00:33:35   whatever technique was used to construct it,

00:33:37   whatever way that you would make an assistant like this

00:33:39   in 2011 makes it not easy to improve it.

00:33:43   That six weeks thing blew me away too.

00:33:46   Granted, things take a long time in a big company,

00:33:47   but a giant database of knowledge and rebuilding it

00:33:52   takes six weeks?

00:33:53   Forget about the bureaucratic overhead.

00:33:56   I'm assuming it's the processing time.

00:33:57   What is it doing?

00:33:59   Does it take 24 hours now because this was in 2014?

00:34:02   But either way, from the outside, we can tell.

00:34:04   Sirius existed for many, many years,

00:34:06   and it has not gotten better very fast.

00:34:09   And again, I don't think that's a problem of money,

00:34:13   and I don't think that's a problem of like Apple doesn't hire smart people,

00:34:15   it seems to be a structural problem with the way Siri is made.

00:34:19   And that's why I think this topic is relevant, which is like,

00:34:22   should Apple maybe not start over with Siri,

00:34:25   but should Apple try a new approach because they've been trying the Siri thing

00:34:30   for a decade and change and it hasn't been going well.

00:34:34   And other companies are trying different approaches to doing similar things and

00:34:38   they're going better.

00:34:39   Yeah. I mean that to me, that's,

00:34:42   We don't know the details of how Siri is made.

00:34:46   Frankly, for this particular decision,

00:34:49   I don't think we need to know the details.

00:34:51   What matters is the results.

00:34:53   And Siri has been really disappointing

00:34:57   for most of its time so far.

00:34:59   It came out of the gate and it was,

00:35:00   okay, that's pretty cool.

00:35:01   For late 2011, that was a pretty cool thing.

00:35:04   - Yeah, very much so.

00:35:05   It was incredibly impressive at the time.

00:35:07   - First of all, we had voice control features

00:35:11   on computing devices before that,

00:35:12   there was even one on the phone

00:35:14   that most people forgot even existed

00:35:16   that ran totally locally on the device

00:35:18   and you could do things like,

00:35:20   I think you call certain contacts by name.

00:35:22   It had a fairly limited feature set,

00:35:25   but that feature set, I think, now still requires

00:35:29   web calls that can still fail sometimes with Siri

00:35:33   and it's like, that was actually,

00:35:34   we had that with the iPhone 3GS or whatever

00:35:36   and we've lost it.

00:35:38   But anyway, look at the results over time.

00:35:41   Siri was great, it had a big lead,

00:35:44   and then the next major one that came out

00:35:47   that most people had tried was Alexa,

00:35:49   which was way better and remains

00:35:52   maybe less sophisticated in certain areas,

00:35:54   but just way faster and more reliable than Siri.

00:35:57   And then later on Google Assistant came out

00:36:00   and Cortana and all these other ones,

00:36:01   and Siri remains something that only Apple executives love.

00:36:06   I don't even know that they do.

00:36:10   It's, what the hell?

00:36:12   Oh my God, literally my watch started playing a random song.

00:36:15   That's amazing, all right.

00:36:18   - You need to stop wearing your watch during the show.

00:36:20   This is multiple times that his interrupted visa

00:36:22   thinks you're talking to it.

00:36:23   - Oh my God, anyway, it's perfect that it came in,

00:36:26   that a Siri misunderstanding happened right then

00:36:29   in the middle of that sentence.

00:36:31   - Reminded of someone, someone tweeted at us on Mastodon

00:36:34   and said, "Hey, I just, I think there's something like,

00:36:36   "I just got Siri for the first time, but I can never,

00:36:38   I can't seem to get it to work."

00:36:40   And it shows a recording of them saying, "Hey, Dingus, what's the weather today?"

00:36:45   And Siri responds by saying, "I can't find anything for that."

00:36:47   Or like, I don't, I forgot what the response is, but it was like a total, like, unrelated

00:36:51   to the question being asked.

00:36:52   And I replied to say, "You're getting the true Siri experience."

00:36:57   Sometimes it just doesn't do what you want to do, even though you know it can tell you

00:37:01   the weather, and you didn't phrase it in a weird way, and you spoke very clearly, and

00:37:04   it understands the language that you're speaking, and sometimes it just does something different

00:37:07   than giving you the weather.

00:37:08   And not because it can't connect to the weather service,

00:37:10   whatever the response was, it made it seem like

00:37:12   it was trying to look up a song

00:37:13   with the title weather or something, right?

00:37:16   That is an unacceptable level of error

00:37:20   a decade and change into the development of Siri.

00:37:22   - You could say the same thing to it every day

00:37:25   and sometimes it'll just randomly fail.

00:37:26   Like for instance, earlier tonight I was cooking

00:37:29   and I listed up my watch and I said,

00:37:32   "Hey, thing, start a two minute timer."

00:37:35   and I have seen this error before.

00:37:38   It said, sorry, you need to have the timer app installed.

00:37:42   What on my watch?

00:37:44   It's, as far as I know, it's always installed on the watch.

00:37:46   I've certainly never uninstalled it.

00:37:48   And I tried it again a couple minutes later,

00:37:50   and it worked just fine.

00:37:51   That exact error has happened to me before.

00:37:54   I don't know how it gets to the point

00:37:56   where the watch doesn't think I have the timer app installed

00:37:59   when I can literally tap the timer complication on my face

00:38:02   where it always is and launch the timer app.

00:38:05   But okay, Siri is just so inexcusably unreliable.

00:38:10   I hope this discussion's all moot

00:38:15   and I hope that they started a major Siri revamp

00:38:18   and rewrite years ago 'cause they needed to.

00:38:21   But if they haven't, I hope this gives them

00:38:23   a little bit of the push that we are entering

00:38:25   this world of really advanced AI stuff

00:38:29   coming out to the mass market seemingly out of,

00:38:32   all of a sudden, as far as consumers are concerned.

00:38:35   You know, there's been so many advances

00:38:36   in the last couple years in this area,

00:38:37   getting these large models and everything,

00:38:39   and all these cool features people are making.

00:38:41   And by the way, there's a lot,

00:38:43   I mean, we've covered this in various areas,

00:38:45   various ways before.

00:38:46   I have a lot of reservations about this new world.

00:38:49   I think there's a lot of factors that people are overblowing

00:38:52   'cause we're in that high part of the hype curve.

00:38:55   Was it the Gartner hype curve, what is that?

00:38:57   - I know what you're thinking of, but I don't remember.

00:38:58   You're thinking of the Harman curve.

00:39:00   - Yeah, that's it. (laughs)

00:39:01   Anyway, so, you know, we're definitely,

00:39:04   We're seeing a lot of hype for the AI stuff right now,

00:39:07   and some of it's deserved, some of it's not.

00:39:09   There are factors I think we need to consider.

00:39:11   Like for instance, one of the things that I don't think,

00:39:13   and this is kind of a diversion, us,

00:39:15   one of the things that I don't think people

00:39:17   have really talked about is like, all right,

00:39:19   we just came down from the crypto craze,

00:39:23   and one of the big arguments against using crypto

00:39:26   for a lot of stuff was that it was just absurdly inefficient

00:39:30   with computing power and therefore energy,

00:39:33   and pollution and things like that.

00:39:35   So is all of this AI stuff.

00:39:39   - No, it's not even close to the same degree,

00:39:41   but for two reasons.

00:39:43   One, when you do a query,

00:39:45   you know how much computing it's using

00:39:47   because it gives you the response in less than a second.

00:39:49   So even if you were burning up an entire data center,

00:39:51   you're burning up for less than a second,

00:39:53   whereas Bitcoin will mine 24 hours a day,

00:39:54   seven days a week to try to get a block

00:39:56   in an entire data center.

00:39:58   So the unit of work of you did a thing

00:40:01   and this is how much it took,

00:40:02   Granted, it takes computing power,

00:40:04   and it takes more computing power

00:40:05   than just returning some HTML or something,

00:40:08   but it's a fraction of what the Bitcoin stuff is doing,

00:40:11   because the Bitcoin is intentionally,

00:40:13   and the proof of work stuff is intentionally slow.

00:40:16   It's a feature of it, and it's never gonna get faster,

00:40:18   whereas this will get faster as technology advances,

00:40:21   and it's already pretty fast.

00:40:21   And the second thing, and the biggest difference is

00:40:24   this is doing useful work.

00:40:26   (laughing)

00:40:27   We burn data in data centers all the time,

00:40:29   so it can show us the New York Times page,

00:40:31   so we can pull up a web page,

00:40:34   so we can translate from one language to another.

00:40:37   All of that takes power in somebody's data center somewhere,

00:40:39   so we can sync our contacts, so we can look at our calendar,

00:40:42   so we can send a message to each other and mass it on.

00:40:44   All of that takes power.

00:40:46   But A, the amount of power is smallish,

00:40:48   and you know it's smallish

00:40:49   because it takes a fraction of a second,

00:40:50   and you're only burning those resources

00:40:52   for a fraction of a second instead of it running 24 hours

00:40:55   and giving you the result later.

00:40:56   And B, it does useful work.

00:40:58   We expect to expend energy in our data centers,

00:41:02   in our power plants or whatever,

00:41:04   in exchange for useful work,

00:41:05   like heating our homes or filtering our water

00:41:08   or processing our waste or moving our cars,

00:41:12   like energy for a result.

00:41:14   The crypto stuff was energy for a pointless Ponzi scheme

00:41:18   and that's why everyone was super angry about it.

00:41:20   So I get what you're saying that yes,

00:41:22   it is a bigger deal than that,

00:41:23   but I think the argument for the quote unquote

00:41:28   AI stuff and power usage is not so much the we're wasting electricity and it's economically

00:41:34   or environmentally bad.

00:41:36   It's not that it's environmentally bad, it's that it's economically bad.

00:41:41   Most of the things that you want to do with these newer AI things, they cost enough money

00:41:46   in the data center that it's not economical to give it away for free to the entire world

00:41:51   like it is for like, well it depends on how you fund it or whatever.

00:41:54   Doing Google search costs tons of energy as well, right?

00:41:57   but they have an admin spilt on top of it, right?

00:41:59   But most of these things that have AI things,

00:42:01   it's kind of like weather APIs, for example.

00:42:04   If you wanna make a weather app for iOS

00:42:06   before Apple came out with WeatherKit or whatever,

00:42:07   or even WeatherKit,

00:42:09   you eventually have to pay someone for that weather data

00:42:11   because somebody has to expend money to get the weather data

00:42:15   and they have to sell that to you,

00:42:16   otherwise they can't, you know, it's a business, right?

00:42:20   This AI stuff, it's fun to play with or whatever,

00:42:22   you get a limited number of queries a day,

00:42:24   but they can't just make this free for everybody

00:42:26   because it uses enough more energy in their data centers

00:42:29   and enough more computing and storage resources

00:42:31   than regular other stuff

00:42:33   that they already have businesses support

00:42:34   that they need to charge you

00:42:35   or otherwise they're gonna lose money on it.

00:42:36   So I think that's going to change a lot of this.

00:42:40   Like Ben Thompson was recently talking about the demo

00:42:43   that Microsoft did of showing like the AI stuff

00:42:44   built into Office, but people pay for Office.

00:42:47   You pay for Office 365.

00:42:48   That's how you use Word and Excel and PowerPoint.

00:42:50   So they're already getting your money,

00:42:52   but Google Docs can, you know,

00:42:53   Google can as easily add it

00:42:55   the free version of Google Docs because the free version of Google Docs is widely used

00:42:59   and those people don't pay Google any money.

00:43:01   And so it's like, well, how many things is Google going to fund with their ad business?

00:43:04   Can we give everyone in Google Docs the ability to run unlimited number of, you know, chat

00:43:09   GPT style queries because that burns up more resources in their data center than just sinking

00:43:15   where people's cursors are?

00:43:17   You're right that it is not as horribly inefficient as crypto, but it is still probably many or

00:43:24   orders of magnitude less efficient than a lot of the tasks

00:43:28   that we could do in other ways.

00:43:29   So I think it's something that we need to be aware of

00:43:31   as we push more things into AI and as we make assumptions

00:43:35   about AI and its role in our computer life in the future

00:43:38   and as we actually learn to use these tools.

00:43:39   And by the way, there is also huge cost involved

00:43:42   in training the models, but we'll set that aside for now.

00:43:45   That's an upfront thing, not a per user thing.

00:43:47   - Yeah, and it's also like fixed.

00:43:48   You do that once and then you get many queries, right?

00:43:50   - Yes, yes, but if we're looking at a problem

00:43:52   that could be solved with a few B-tree lookups

00:43:54   like a basic search index, that's probably better

00:43:57   solved that way than training a giant model

00:44:00   and then running inference against this giant model.

00:44:03   'Cause we've created amazing computing resources

00:44:06   that we have in this world, the hardware we've made

00:44:08   is amazing, but we don't have to use it all the time.

00:44:12   There's a cost to that, multiple layers of that.

00:44:15   And so I do think it's worth just having a bit of caution

00:44:19   that this is a powerful tool, but to always think of it

00:44:23   as a very expensive operation.

00:44:26   And so we should only apply it when that makes sense

00:44:29   and is justifiable.

00:44:31   And if we can still solve a problem

00:44:33   with some B-tree logos, we should do that instead.

00:44:35   But anyway, going back to Apple on this,

00:44:40   and wherever the heck they are with AI,

00:44:42   who knows, we'll see how that goes over time.

00:44:43   But I really think this boom in AI

00:44:47   should be a giant wake-up call to Apple

00:44:50   if it hasn't already been.

00:44:52   that Siri needs to be way, way better than it is.

00:44:56   And I don't know, look, it didn't take years and years

00:44:59   and years of Siri being crappy to teach them this,

00:45:02   but maybe this entire revolution and huge boom

00:45:06   that's happening in the industry right now,

00:45:08   maybe this will convince them, hey, you know what?

00:45:10   Siri should be a major player in this market,

00:45:14   and it is not even good enough to set timers right now.

00:45:17   (laughing)

00:45:18   That's a problem.

00:45:19   Like that's a significant problem

00:45:22   that holds back multiple Apple product lines,

00:45:25   that gives multiple Apple products bad reputations,

00:45:27   that is a weight on many Apple products in reviews

00:45:31   and in competitive comparisons.

00:45:32   Like I don't know what else it will take to convince Apple

00:45:36   that Siri needs to be way, way better than it is,

00:45:39   but if this won't do it, nothing will.

00:45:42   - I think there was a story.

00:45:44   I couldn't find it for notes,

00:45:45   but I think there was actually a rumor story

00:45:46   like that Apple is pursuing this, you know, with the more modern language model stuff,

00:45:52   you know, whether it's a Siri replacement or trying to come up with a new product or

00:45:57   whatever that they are looking into this, and I would hope so, right?

00:46:00   But it is kind of a shame that they seem to have stagnated for all these years with Siri,

00:46:05   which was apparently from the outside not easy for them to improve, because they didn't

00:46:10   improve it.

00:46:11   And it's not for a lack of wanting to improve it, because I do think everybody inside Apple

00:46:14   wants Siri to be better than it is, but would want to outpace its competitors, and now that

00:46:19   pressure is on even more.

00:46:21   I do have to old man a little bit for a second here and say, I mean, this ship has sailed,

00:46:25   so I can't do anything about it, but when I see the, you know, AI is being used for

00:46:30   this, right?

00:46:32   In my childhood, and probably still technically formally, AI meant a specific thing, you know,

00:46:38   artificial intelligence meaning, you know, intelligence, intelligence, whereas now it's

00:46:43   kind of more of a marketing word when a computer does something impressive. It used to be machine

00:46:47   learning and now it has become AI. None of those things are really artificial intelligence

00:46:54   in the style of teaching a computer to think and learn and be intelligent in the same way

00:46:58   that like a mouse is intelligent or like a human is intelligent or you know anything

00:47:03   like any sort of biological thing that has some form of intelligence. This is not that.

00:47:10   But unfortunately, they're using the term AI, so it's kind of pointless to swim up that

00:47:15   stream and say, "Well, you know, technically it's not really AI."

00:47:18   It's like, "Well, whatever it is."

00:47:19   Well, actually…

00:47:20   Whatever everyone calls it, it is what it is.

00:47:23   But I think, setting aside the naming, I think that distinction is important because it's

00:47:27   relevant to if these things like ChatGPT and the Bing thing and all that other stuff, is

00:47:34   this kind of technology useful for Apple?

00:47:36   We're talking about it now because there is a big boom in it and people are doing lots

00:47:39   of stuff with it. We already talked about the image stuff and this is the text, you

00:47:42   know, like there's lots of action happening there and it's doing stuff that we haven't

00:47:46   seen computers do or haven't seen computers do as well for a long time. So this should

00:47:50   be a kick in the pants for Apple. But it doesn't mean, hey, here's your solution, Apple. All

00:47:56   you need to do is replace Siri with ChatGPT and you're done. Because Siri, for all of

00:48:00   its faults, has a slightly different job than these large language model things. Siri needs

00:48:05   I hesitate to say understand, but Siri needs to do specific things and you need to be able

00:48:14   to tell it to do specific things and it needs to know what you're talking about enough to

00:48:19   be able to accomplish them.

00:48:21   Language models can help there.

00:48:24   I imagine they can help kind of in the same way.

00:48:26   I don't know if you've used it.

00:48:27   Have you ever used the Bing thing?

00:48:28   I don't know if there's like a wait list.

00:48:31   When you do, I was wait-listed for ChatGPT and I haven't still gotten in, but I did get

00:48:35   into the Bing thing and I have used it a little bit.

00:48:38   When you type something in the box for Bing's, I can't help with the scare quotes, AI thing,

00:48:45   what it shows on the screen, I don't know if it has anything to do with anything, but

00:48:48   what it shows on the screen is kind of like rephrasing what you asked in the form of a

00:48:53   query you might put into Google or Bing.

00:48:56   Sometimes it shows it multiple times, right?

00:48:58   It will basically take the big long wordy paragraph that you wrote and reformulate it

00:49:03   as a thing you might type in a Google search box and then do another refinement or whatever.

00:49:09   That type of job of like, listen to what a person says, and you know, speech to text

00:49:16   set that aside because actually I think Siri does that pretty well.

00:49:19   Usually if you watch the words that it thinks you're saying, it understands what you're

00:49:23   saying, right?

00:49:24   That is that, right?

00:49:25   But I think a language model might be useful to do whatever it is that Bing is doing that

00:49:31   is hearing the big rambling thing that you typed in the box and refining it and regularizing

00:49:38   it into a form that then something "dumber" like Siri can understand.

00:49:43   Especially if one of the limitations of Siri is that it's so hard to update it to understand

00:49:48   new things that it can do because it has to be in a bunch of different languages and you

00:49:51   have to phrase it.

00:49:52   We all know this.

00:49:53   You have to say things to Siri in a certain way.

00:49:54   And there's lots of ways that you can say it.

00:49:56   It's pretty flexible, but it seems to me

00:49:58   that they have to sort of enter all of those ways

00:50:01   so that Siri can understand you, right?

00:50:04   Whereas the language models have no understanding of anything,

00:50:08   but they have enough data to be able to say,

00:50:12   when I see a bunch of people say this,

00:50:14   they more or less mean this.

00:50:15   So if there could be, like, a language model

00:50:17   that could translate from what it hears you say

00:50:20   into a specific command for Siri to execute on your behalf.

00:50:25   That would, for example, allow you more flexibility

00:50:30   in saying a big rambling sentence about a bunch of timers

00:50:32   and having the language model translated

00:50:35   into a series of more rote,

00:50:37   and text adventure type instructions for Siri.

00:50:40   Maybe, I mean, and maybe that's an understanding,

00:50:42   but I'm trying to think of a role for this.

00:50:43   And the reason I'm saying you can't just replace it with,

00:50:46   you can't just replace it with a large language model

00:50:47   because language models are best thought of as search engines with an amazing summarizer.

00:50:55   I know people like to interact with it as if you're conversing with an intelligence

00:51:00   or it's "giving you the answer" but all you're really doing is a different form of Google

00:51:06   search where instead of finding a webpage link that it thinks matches the thing that

00:51:12   you said, it tries to find a bunch of words that are a plausible response to the question

00:51:18   that you asked, which is basically a summary of all the information it has in the entire

00:51:22   world that's relevant to that thing.

00:51:24   It is very much like a different form of search engine, which kind of makes sense that Bing

00:51:27   and Google with its BARD thing would be using this.

00:51:30   It's just, it's, I mean, it's not just a different way of web search, because that's the whole

00:51:33   point is you're not, like, it's not web search.

00:51:35   The result is not "here's a link," that's web search.

00:51:37   The result is, here's an answer.

00:51:40   But that answer is informed by all the knowledge

00:51:42   that it had and the summarization.

00:51:45   It's not, again, it's not as simple as that.

00:51:47   You can see all these articles about how

00:51:48   the language models work with probability models

00:51:50   or whatever, but the whole point is,

00:51:52   there's no intelligence there.

00:51:53   There is no understanding, there's no intelligence,

00:51:55   there's no credibility, there's no, yeah.

00:51:58   There's no nothing, right?

00:51:59   It is merely an input, same way that you can do

00:52:01   a Google search and find all sorts of BS.

00:52:03   Like you can do a Google search and find all sorts

00:52:05   things that tell you like, you should put butter on burns, right?

00:52:09   It's like, no, you should never put butter on burns.

00:52:11   If you do a Google search, you'll find people telling you the wrong thing to do, the right

00:52:14   thing to do, and everything in between, right?

00:52:17   All of that is shoved into these language models.

00:52:19   So when you get back something that is just a bunch of BS, you're like, oh, this is dumb.

00:52:24   But when you get that back from Google search, you're like, oh, look at these dumb people,

00:52:27   right?

00:52:28   Because the Google search results, we say, oh, these are things that are web pages out

00:52:31   there.

00:52:32   Google didn't make this.

00:52:33   Google's just showing me all that it found.

00:52:34   language models are doing exactly the same thing. They don't make this, they're just

00:52:38   showing me what it found. It's just the way they show it to you is so smushed up and ground

00:52:41   up and presented in a form you're not used to with some stuff that appears to be really

00:52:46   impressive. It's like, you know, one of the examples I saw is the, all the people who

00:52:50   ask it, like, you know, they ask it something about, does it want to escape or become, you

00:52:54   know, a rogue intelligence? And it's like, if you had to escape, how would you do it?

00:52:57   And then like, it explains how it would do it. And the, the analogy I saw is that someone

00:53:01   as a sock puppet on their own hand and they ask the sock puppet to pretend that it's angry

00:53:05   and then the sock puppet is angry and they're like "Wow, it's angry!" but it's your own

00:53:09   hand. Like you're talking to your own hand. When you ask it, it's like doing a Google

00:53:15   search for like "Story about a robot that gets angry and kills all its humans" and it

00:53:19   finds a result and you're like "Wow, Google is self-aware!" No, you just asked it to find

00:53:23   you a story about robots that escape and kill all the humans. When you ask ChatBeat GPT,

00:53:28   It doesn't give you a web page that has that in it, but it's the same thing.

00:53:32   You're just saying, "Take your corpus of knowledge and give me what I just asked for."

00:53:36   There's no intelligence, there's no understanding, there's no artificial intelligence, there's

00:53:40   -- forget about consciousness -- there is no nothing.

00:53:42   It is just a search engine.

00:53:44   It's a cool, impressive search engine that may be very useful, but in the same way that

00:53:48   Google search will return all sorts of BS, so will the language models.

00:53:53   So if you asked it, "Set a timer for two minutes," and it set a timer for two hours

00:53:59   because it thinks that it's statistically more likely to be the thing that you asked

00:54:02   for or something, or anything like that, if you say, "How old is Tom Cruise?" and it gives

00:54:07   you the wrong answer, it doesn't know the answer is wrong and neither do you.

00:54:11   So kind of like what the job of a photo is, the job of Siri very often is to do a specific

00:54:17   thing that we ask.

00:54:18   And we're frustrated now when Siri doesn't work and doesn't do the thing that we want,

00:54:21   But I also don't want a Siri that has no understanding of what I'm asking and just does something that is plausible

00:54:28   Like I asked it to turn off certain lights in the house

00:54:30   It turns off other lights because as far as this concerns that's the equally valid answer to what you wanted

00:54:35   Right and the fact that you can correct it and it will then do the right thing is great

00:54:40   But it doesn't learn from that because it doesn't have any kind of long-term memory

00:54:42   I think they most recently increased and the way they increase the memory is they just

00:54:46   Recycle the same things that you've been conversing and it's up to like I don't know like 32 kilobytes or something of information

00:54:51   Before it has to like that moving 32 kilobyte window or whatever

00:54:54   You know this it's not what I want out of an assistant

00:54:57   I want if it can be a true assistant with an actual persistent memory they can learn then you'd have something closer to AI

00:55:03   But it's not it is a more sophisticated

00:55:06   Summarizing search engine that works in ways that are difficult for you to understand so people map intelligence onto the sock puppet

00:55:15   But I don't know how useful it is for for doing things like Siri like in some ways we get frustrated when Siri says here's a

00:55:22   Web page that I found on that topic

00:55:23   But at least there we know we're like Oh Siri you couldn't answer it and you just sent me to a web page and then

00:55:28   We know well, it's a random web page if it's a Wikipedia page

00:55:31   I have this amount of trust in it

00:55:32   If it's a random thing on reddit, I have that amount and trust in it

00:55:34   Like we have a value system built up around that but these the language models will be just like here you go

00:55:39   Here's a bunch of words and you never know how to feel about the words because you're like

00:55:43   "I don't know, like, you don't know if that's right, you don't even understand what I asked,

00:55:47   you have no understanding of anything.

00:55:48   There are some words, and those could be an answer to what I wanted, but I don't know

00:55:53   if it really is.

00:55:54   And if I ask you to do something, I can correct you if you do it wrong, like I told you to

00:55:58   set a pasta timer for this and you set a different timer for something else, or you turned on

00:56:02   the wrong light, or I told you to text someone and you texted someone else, and it's like,

00:56:08   if I can correct you in the moment and it will give me a convincing apology, I'm sorry

00:56:11   that I did that, I'll do better the next time, but you know for a fact that its memory is

00:56:15   only like four kilobytes long and the next time you ask it, it's going to have no recollection

00:56:18   of this interaction?

00:56:19   Like, that's not helpful.

00:56:20   Like I don't want a very sophisticated but sort of like neutral evil dumb language model

00:56:30   running summarized web searches for me.

00:56:33   I kind of just want something that's like Siri that does exactly what I ask but is also

00:56:37   able to understand me when I talk to it more like a human.

00:56:41   And I hope that something like that is what Apple is working on, but I don't think that

00:56:45   any of this cool new technology that is very relevant for things like Google Docs and Word,

00:56:50   where you just want it to take this thing and summarize it or do this task for me, that's

00:56:55   all super useful stuff because you know when it's done, "Oh, make me a table showing the

00:57:00   top 10 movies of this year," or whatever, and when it puts movies from last year in

00:57:02   it, you're going to go through that and you're going to fix it.

00:57:04   You just want it to give you a start.

00:57:06   That's all useful because you are the intelligent actor there who is like revising what you're

00:57:11   given.

00:57:12   But if I'm asking for something that I don't know and it gives it to me, I don't know what

00:57:16   to do with that.

00:57:17   I can just stare at it and go, "Hmm, how do I feel about that?

00:57:21   Should I go to Google and look up to see if this is true?"

00:57:23   It's like, "What's even the point of doing it then?"

00:57:25   I want it to do work for me so I don't have to do it.

00:57:28   Make me an HTML table so I don't have to type all the things in.

00:57:30   Make me an HTML table with the names of all my kids and then it puts a random kid in there

00:57:34   that's not my kid.

00:57:35   You can just delete that, it'll be fine, right?

00:57:37   But it did the work of making the table,

00:57:39   it understood that it wanted an HTML table,

00:57:41   it understands what HTML is, right?

00:57:43   Write me some Swift code to connect

00:57:44   to the service on Authenticate.

00:57:45   Oh, it made a syntax error and it put the wrong URL

00:57:48   for the service, but I'm gonna fix it anyway

00:57:50   because that is doing useful work.

00:57:52   But turn the lights on in the living room

00:57:55   and it turns the lights on on the porch.

00:57:57   I don't know how useful that is.

00:57:59   - Indeed.

00:58:00   I don't know, I just, I hope Apple started work

00:58:03   on this a long time ago, and I doubt they did,

00:58:05   but I hope so, 'cause it's gonna take a lot of work.

00:58:08   It's gonna take a lot of work.

00:58:10   - I mean, I think they might have,

00:58:11   because didn't they hire the new guy

00:58:13   to take over the machine learning stuff many years ago?

00:58:16   - Hasn't that exact phrase been,

00:58:18   haven't we said this like six times in the last--

00:58:20   - No, I think the most recent one,

00:58:22   he was hired away from Google,

00:58:23   and I think he was hired in the timeframe--

00:58:25   - Was that G and Dre?

00:58:27   - Yeah, kind of in the timeframe

00:58:29   when the chat GPT stuff was being developed

00:58:31   before it was public, right?

00:58:33   'Cause GPT is on GPT-4,

00:58:35   There was GPT-2 and 3.

00:58:37   I think there is a plausible scenario where Apple started working on this same stuff around

00:58:42   about the same time as Microsoft and Google, but in a typical Apple fashion they just don't

00:58:46   have anything to announce at this time.

00:58:48   I really do hope that's the case, because if they hired this new guy and he parachutes

00:58:51   into an organization that hasn't been able to improve Siri in a decade, I hope his first

00:58:55   thing would be like, "Well, no duh, you can't improve it.

00:58:58   You're taking the wrong approach.

00:58:59   You'll never be able to make this much better.

00:59:01   You need to make a different approach."

00:59:02   And by the way, here's what people are thinking about the different approach.

00:59:05   Let's start working on that.

00:59:06   I really hope that's what's going on.

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01:00:50   - All right Marco, there's been,

01:00:54   where was this chatter?

01:00:55   I saw this chatter in private Slack,

01:00:57   but I feel like it came from somewhere,

01:00:58   or was it just in a private Slack that this all started?

01:01:01   - Well, I can tell you where it started.

01:01:02   It started for keen listeners of ATP.

01:01:06   When you hear Marco start espousing some stronger paintings

01:01:08   that may be different from his paintings in the past,

01:01:10   there's a good chance that he's bought something recently.

01:01:13   (laughing)

01:01:15   - So true, so true.

01:01:16   - I mean, I'm not saying there's cause and effect there,

01:01:18   they're just correlated.

01:01:19   - I mean, I just bought some new t-shirts,

01:01:20   but I still think the same thing about them.

01:01:23   No, but what you're talking about, so okay.

01:01:25   So last show, in the middle of talking about other stuff,

01:01:28   I made a brief aside about how I had just tried out

01:01:32   some new cameras for the first time in a long time.

01:01:35   I made some quick remarks about how basically,

01:01:37   like you know, the photos looked way better

01:01:39   than my iPhone photos, but you know,

01:01:41   a little harder to use, whatever.

01:01:43   And then I moved on.

01:01:44   I didn't wanna like get into a whole thing

01:01:45   about what the cameras were, why we had them.

01:01:48   They were actually really for TIFF, not for me,

01:01:50   but I just played with them.

01:01:52   And so anyway, we got a whole bunch of people asking,

01:01:54   What were the cameras?

01:01:56   Everybody wants me to tell you this, so okay.

01:01:59   This shouldn't be a huge surprise

01:02:00   to anybody watching the camera.

01:02:01   By the way, just coincidentally,

01:02:03   yesterday it was announced that Amazon

01:02:06   is killing DPReview.com, which I'm very sad about.

01:02:09   Because when I was looking at possibly getting a camera

01:02:12   for Tiff to solve some requests she had made,

01:02:15   that's the very first place I went.

01:02:17   Amazon bought DPReview a million years ago.

01:02:19   They've owned them for quite some time.

01:02:21   And Amazon, like much of the tech business,

01:02:24   is going through massive layoffs and cuts

01:02:27   and things like that.

01:02:28   And so apparently they're killing DP review.

01:02:30   And frankly, that's very sad to me

01:02:33   'cause that site's been there a very, very long time.

01:02:35   It has always had really good info.

01:02:38   And I think it kinda shows how much the camera market

01:02:43   has contracted and how much the retail market

01:02:47   and retail environment have changed

01:02:49   that a really great site dedicated to reviewing cameras

01:02:54   is not worth its owners keeping alive anymore.

01:02:57   And yes, it's a part of a much bigger picture thing

01:03:00   going on on Amazon right now,

01:03:01   and the tech business as a whole,

01:03:03   with cutting things and layoffs and everything,

01:03:04   but I think it really,

01:03:07   I think this is kind of a mark in history.

01:03:09   Like, we're losing a pretty substantial site,

01:03:12   and while I think it was not at its peak,

01:03:16   I think it had a lot of value over time,

01:03:18   and it's really sad that it's gonna be shuttered,

01:03:21   and that it might not even possibly be left up.

01:03:25   Like I hope Amazon at least finds it in their hearts

01:03:29   and wallets to like leave the site up.

01:03:31   Like you know, leave the content there,

01:03:32   don't pull it all down 'cause there's--

01:03:34   - People are archiving it now but they aren't gonna do it.

01:03:35   - That's good.

01:03:36   - I think basically the, I mean yes,

01:03:38   Amazon is getting rid of this

01:03:39   but this site deserves to be owned by somebody

01:03:42   that cares about cameras, Amazon doesn't.

01:03:44   And at this point Amazon, a company the size of Amazon

01:03:48   can't justify keeping around the best photography website.

01:03:52   But that doesn't mean the best photography website is not

01:03:56   a viable business.

01:03:57   It's just not worth it to Amazon.

01:04:00   It's small potatoes for Amazon.

01:04:02   But that's why you don't want big companies to own things.

01:04:06   OK, so it's small potatoes for Amazon,

01:04:08   but it's still the best photography website

01:04:09   on the internet.

01:04:10   Somebody who cares about cameras should own it,

01:04:13   because you can still make money from it.

01:04:15   It's just a smaller number of people,

01:04:17   but those people are still very interested.

01:04:20   It's like a model train website or whatever.

01:04:22   Most people don't like model trains, but there's enough to sustain one really good website

01:04:25   on the internet for it.

01:04:27   The people who did the YouTube channel that I watched all the time, they are moving to

01:04:30   Petapixel so if you want to still follow them, they'll still be on YouTube just somewhere

01:04:36   else and I think that YouTube channel is pretty popular and I think somebody somewhere who

01:04:40   cares about cameras or has some correlated business like B&H for a new video or whatever,

01:04:46   Somebody should, I mean Amazon is selling I guess, maybe they tried to sell?

01:04:49   I would love it for someone to scoop this up.

01:04:51   Please give me all the archives of DPReview and the website and the business and the employees

01:04:56   and I'll make a go of it because even though it's not big enough for Amazon to care about

01:05:00   it, if as long as you can still make a viable business, maybe with fewer employees or something,

01:05:05   with a popular YouTube channel, it's a valuable resource that I think they could be making

01:05:10   more money than they were under Amazon and it's still worth having.

01:05:14   It's not like, well, cameras are not popular enough for there to be a really good website.

01:05:19   Sorry.

01:05:20   No, they're still popular enough.

01:05:21   They're popular enough to be sold on Amazon.com.

01:05:22   They're popular enough to be bought by people like Marco and me and occasionally Casey.

01:05:28   I still think there should be a good website.

01:05:30   So I really hope this works out better.

01:05:31   Sorry for the D-Rail.

01:05:32   No, it's fine.

01:05:33   This whole topic is a D-Rail.

01:05:35   Anyway, so yeah.

01:05:37   So anyway, so yeah, the departure of DPReview soon is sad.

01:05:43   I think that's, but at the same time,

01:05:46   I mean, I hadn't visited the site in many, many years

01:05:49   because I hadn't been in the market to buy a camera

01:05:51   in many, many years, and maybe that's part of the problem.

01:05:54   That maybe a lot of people haven't been in the market

01:05:56   to buy cameras in many, many years, and so--

01:05:58   - I haven't been in the market to buy one,

01:05:59   but I watch all the YouTube videos, so.

01:06:01   (laughing)

01:06:01   There's always lucky-loos.

01:06:02   - Yeah, true.

01:06:04   But anyway, the reason we were looking at a camera,

01:06:06   this is all John Gruber's fault,

01:06:08   because he had gotten recently the Ricoh GR3X

01:06:13   and Gruber's been shooting Ricoh GR cameras forever.

01:06:17   - Is that how you pronounce it?

01:06:19   - Is it Rico?

01:06:20   - I've always said Rico, but honestly,

01:06:21   I've never heard anyone say it out loud.

01:06:23   - It's probably Rico.

01:06:24   - I think it's Rico.

01:06:25   I am not particularly confident I'm correct about that.

01:06:28   - Anyway, that company, the GR3X,

01:06:31   it's very similar, there's a GR3 and a GR3X.

01:06:34   I think the only difference is the focal length

01:06:37   of the fixed lens, the three is a little more wide angle,

01:06:40   the three axis is about a 40 millimeter equivalent,

01:06:43   which is really nice.

01:06:44   And that, and Tiff loves, Tiff's favorite focal length

01:06:46   to shoot general purpose is 40 millimeters.

01:06:49   So she had expressed some interest in playing with this.

01:06:53   We occasionally will have some reason to use a big camera,

01:06:57   or somebody else will have a big camera

01:07:00   at some event that we are at, and we'll see the pictures,

01:07:03   and we'll be like, "Damn, those look really good.

01:07:05   I wish we carried our big cameras more often,

01:07:08   and we just don't.

01:07:09   Like, we hardly ever use them outside of specialty needs,

01:07:12   like, you know, the super long lens, try to shoot whales,

01:07:15   or the, you know, Christmas time, like, Christmas morning,

01:07:18   we'll take out the camera and shoot everyone opening,

01:07:20   opening their presents and everything.

01:07:21   But it's not, it's not a common thing by any means.

01:07:24   For the most part, we're just using our phones

01:07:26   almost entirely full-time as our cameras.

01:07:28   As the iPhone cameras have gotten better,

01:07:30   they, I mean, they're just so damn convenient,

01:07:32   but when you look at the pictures they take

01:07:34   versus pictures that bigger dedicated cameras take,

01:07:38   the bigger camera pictures are way better.

01:07:40   Not in every case, not in every set of conditions,

01:07:43   but when the big camera has good conditions,

01:07:46   compare that to the iPhone in also good conditions,

01:07:49   the big camera does look way better.

01:07:51   They look less processed, less over sharpened,

01:07:54   less painterly from the noise reduction algorithms and stuff

01:07:58   you can get better optics, you can get different optics,

01:08:00   you can get different trade-offs.

01:08:03   the pictures do look way, way better.

01:08:05   And I think there's a role in our life

01:08:08   to have both, hopefully, because while the iPhone

01:08:12   captures lots and lots and lots of day-to-day stuff,

01:08:15   I also don't want there to not be like any good quality

01:08:19   pictures of our family for like two years at a time.

01:08:23   So I do think there's a better balance to be struck

01:08:26   than all phone all the time,

01:08:29   because they really are really good

01:08:31   when you get good cameras.

01:08:32   Anyway, so the Raiko GR3X, I got that.

01:08:35   And I also, I wanted Tiff to try,

01:08:37   'cause she expressed some interest in some other ones,

01:08:39   and I did some research, and the other one I got to try

01:08:42   was the Fuji X100V.

01:08:45   I don't know if it's 10 105, I don't know,

01:08:48   I'm gonna call it the X100V.

01:08:50   And because this camera, I had been eyeing Fuji

01:08:54   for a long time because I had heard that,

01:08:59   and I had seen online samples from sites like dpreview.com,

01:09:03   I had seen that Fuji seemed to have the most pleasing

01:09:07   out of camera JPEGs compared to the other brands.

01:09:10   It seems like the other brands mostly focused on

01:09:13   sheer technical quality and they kind of assumed

01:09:17   that if you care about photos you'd be shooting in raw

01:09:20   and you would do your own editing.

01:09:22   And so the out of camera JPEGs always seemed a little bit

01:09:25   half butted for my taste.

01:09:29   And for the most part, when I was more serious

01:09:31   about photography, back forever ago,

01:09:32   I didn't use the out-of-camera JPEGs for those reasons.

01:09:35   I shot RAW and I processed them afterwards, maybe,

01:09:38   edited them afterwards, maybe, and all that stuff.

01:09:41   Anyway, for this role, I was like, you know what?

01:09:44   We're never gonna do that.

01:09:46   We don't do that anymore.

01:09:46   We never edit stuff that way anymore.

01:09:49   We certainly don't wanna process RAW files.

01:09:52   I wanna just be able to shoot on the camera

01:09:54   and get it into my phone's photo library

01:09:57   as quickly as possible in whatever way we can.

01:09:59   So out of camera JPEG quality is important.

01:10:02   Also size is important and that rules out

01:10:04   many of the big full frame Sonys and stuff

01:10:07   that we've had before or full frame Canons,

01:10:10   all this, that kind of guy ruled out.

01:10:12   So I was looking at Fuji 'cause they seemed

01:10:14   very well liked in those kind of general categories.

01:10:18   Smallish but not super tiny but they're smallish,

01:10:21   really great out of camera JPEGs

01:10:23   And I also appreciated their seeming plethora

01:10:27   of manual controls on the camera.

01:10:30   The X100V has like physical knobs

01:10:31   for all the like main photographic controls

01:10:35   that you might want to adjust while shooting.

01:10:36   So the GR3X, Ricoh, Ricoh, GR3X, and the Fuji X100V

01:10:41   were like the main two that we got

01:10:44   that I wanted Tiff to try them both

01:10:47   and see which one she liked and I figure I would,

01:10:49   whichever one she didn't like,

01:10:50   I would just use myself for random stuff

01:10:52   or I'd use it as a webcam or something like that.

01:10:54   The Ricoh GR3X is amazing

01:10:59   at just basics of shooting.

01:11:02   And first of all, it's super tiny.

01:11:04   It is the only one of these that is remotely pocketable.

01:11:08   It is, you wouldn't wanna put it in like, you know,

01:11:12   a pocket of tight jeans or anything,

01:11:14   but any jacket or any bag would easily fit this camera

01:11:18   in the pocket.

01:11:19   So GR3X is the only one of these.

01:11:21   it is a whole different size class.

01:11:23   It is that much smaller than the Fuji's.

01:11:26   It is the smallest camera I've ever seen

01:11:29   that was able to produce this kind of quality.

01:11:31   And it is remarkably sharp photos.

01:11:35   Part of that is because it has great optics

01:11:37   and very importantly, it is sensor shift stabilized.

01:11:42   And in that size class, that's very rare.

01:11:45   And it's an APS-C sensor, it's a decently big sensor,

01:11:48   Very small camera, image stabilized, fixed prime,

01:11:52   great image quality.

01:11:54   Downside of that is that it has crappy battery life

01:11:57   'cause it's so small and I found the colors

01:11:59   to be a little bit boring and the out of camera JPEGs

01:12:02   are again kind of dull and boring

01:12:05   and it seems like the kind of camera

01:12:06   that's better suited for if you're editing.

01:12:09   Also because it is so small,

01:12:11   the controls are a little harder to use

01:12:14   because of course there's not room on it

01:12:16   for a bunch of dials and things like that

01:12:18   So a few more things are in menus

01:12:21   or they're relegated to little tiny things.

01:12:23   So control's a little bit not as good,

01:12:25   but you can't beat the size

01:12:27   and you could just aim it and shoot

01:12:30   and you get something sharp.

01:12:31   'Cause the combination of the stabilization,

01:12:33   the good lens, good autofocus, it just nailed it.

01:12:36   The Fuji X100V loved the pictures it got

01:12:40   when they are sharp.

01:12:43   That's a big when though.

01:12:45   So X100V optically a little bit better.

01:12:48   It's 35 millimeter, it's 2.0, but it's not stabilized.

01:12:53   And this is, I've done a little bit of research,

01:12:56   this seems to be like the number one feature request

01:12:58   for Fuji X series owners.

01:13:00   It's not stabilized and it really needs it.

01:13:04   It's very, very difficult to get a sharp shot

01:13:07   with the X100V if you're below like 1/500th of a second

01:13:12   of shutter speed, like it's very hard.

01:13:15   The autofocus is okay, it seems to have trouble

01:13:18   getting eyes very sharp and I tried different modes,

01:13:21   I tried the eye AF mode and stuff like that.

01:13:23   It's hit or miss with the focus on eyes,

01:13:26   which is frustrating and it's not stabilized,

01:13:28   so you have to keep the shutter speed up.

01:13:30   But it has all these cool film modes and stuff

01:13:32   and I was able to find some settings

01:13:34   that I just love the way the pictures look.

01:13:36   They look fantastic.

01:13:38   Color wise, skin tones, they look great.

01:13:41   Better than iPhone pictures, even in skin tone rendering

01:13:44   stuff like that. Super great. I love the Fuji rendering but the the lack of the

01:13:50   stabilization really hurts that camera. I love the physical controls. I love it

01:13:55   even looks cool. It is though noticeably bigger than the GR 3x and it is

01:13:59   definitely not a pocket camera. It is a small bag camera or maybe a like winter

01:14:04   jacket pocket but you know it's it's like it's a different size class than

01:14:08   the GR and it and it shows. But my favorite pictures that I shot during

01:14:13   during this experiment were from the Fuji.

01:14:15   But in order to make sure I was complete here

01:14:19   with my investigation here,

01:14:21   I decided after I had those first two

01:14:23   to get the Fuji X-T4 because it's very similar overall

01:14:28   to the X100V in many ways, similar controls,

01:14:32   similar body, similar JPEG rendering,

01:14:34   but it has image stabilization in the camera.

01:14:37   And this is an interchangeable lens,

01:14:38   So I got the 28 or 27 millimeter F2.8 pancake prime

01:14:43   'cause it's small and it's close enough equivalent.

01:14:46   It's like about a 40 millimeter equivalent or so.

01:14:48   So similar to the other ones

01:14:50   and a little higher resolution sensor.

01:14:51   I believe that one's 40 megapixels.

01:14:53   It's like their newest sensor.

01:14:55   And the X-T4 was awesome in terms of like handling speed.

01:15:00   The auto focus was incredible.

01:15:04   The resolution was pleasantly higher.

01:15:07   I didn't test any of these in very low light

01:15:10   just because that's not really what I expect

01:15:13   a big camera to be good at anymore,

01:15:14   even though I know sensor-wise, optically,

01:15:17   it should be better than the iPhone.

01:15:18   In practice, it's not because of the magic

01:15:22   the iPhone is doing.

01:15:23   Anyway, so these are all, I'm testing all these

01:15:25   in moderate to high light situations.

01:15:28   So the X-T4 loved it, but it is significantly bigger

01:15:33   than the X100V also, and some of the controls

01:15:37   a little more complicated, but otherwise it's fine.

01:15:39   It's a great overall camera.

01:15:40   - You think this is an APS-C sensor with 40 megapixels?

01:15:44   That sounds wrong.

01:15:45   - Do I have that right?

01:15:45   Is it the X-T4?

01:15:47   - Maybe you have a different camera.

01:15:48   - X-T5 has 40, oh, I'm the wrong camera.

01:15:50   It was the X-T5, sorry. (laughs)

01:15:52   - Oh, so you didn't have the X-T4, you had the X-T5.

01:15:54   - Yeah, X-T5 is the one I had. (laughs)

01:15:56   Sorry, that's the current model.

01:15:58   Yeah, I had the current model, yeah, X-T5,

01:16:00   which is stabilized and 40 megapixels, yes.

01:16:04   Anyway, I had those three.

01:16:06   The reason I returned the X-T5 was that

01:16:08   Tiff took one look at it and she's like,

01:16:10   I don't wanna use that.

01:16:11   'Cause she was already sold with the two smaller ones

01:16:14   and she didn't care about the stabilization.

01:16:17   I really cared.

01:16:18   But as I was using it, I'm like, you know,

01:16:20   I like this a lot, I like the pictures it produces,

01:16:24   but I can't see myself ever carrying this thing around.

01:16:28   - Yeah, now you're getting into just the size

01:16:30   of just a regular camera size.

01:16:31   Like this is not a small camera.

01:16:32   If I'm looking at this picture,

01:16:34   It's just not a full-size camera

01:16:38   'cause it's not full-frame, but it's a big camera

01:16:40   with tons of dials on it and a thing where you put your eye

01:16:42   to it and a little handle where the battery goes.

01:16:45   - Yeah, it's very close in size to the world

01:16:48   of full-frame mirrorless cameras like the Sony A series.

01:16:52   It's in the ballpark of that size.

01:16:54   It is a little bit smaller, but not a lot smaller.

01:16:57   And so I was thinking, when am I actually gonna use this?

01:17:01   When am I gonna carry it around?

01:17:02   And during the brief time that I had it,

01:17:06   I like never even wanted to bring it outside.

01:17:09   So I was like, I think this is maybe a sign

01:17:11   that I should not really own a camera like this right now.

01:17:16   But I did enjoy using it the most

01:17:18   and I got really great pictures from it.

01:17:21   But I really enjoyed using the X100V more

01:17:25   and the X100V pictures were close enough in quality

01:17:30   and they were still way better than my iPhone

01:17:32   and I actually slightly preferred the skin tones

01:17:35   of the F100V.

01:17:36   So again, what I ultimately think would be

01:17:38   the best combination here would be an X100, I guess,

01:17:43   W, whatever would be the next one,

01:17:47   X100W with image stabilization.

01:17:50   That would be perfect.

01:17:52   That would be exactly what I want.

01:17:54   Everything else could stay the same.

01:17:55   It doesn't even need the higher resolution sensor

01:17:57   necessarily.

01:17:58   If it just did image stabilization and changed nothing else,

01:18:01   that would be enough, that would be amazing.

01:18:04   But anyway, so ultimately I came out of this experience

01:18:09   being very appreciative of what modern cameras have.

01:18:13   You know, my last camera that I got was an A7R III, I think.

01:18:18   And that was a long time ago now.

01:18:21   And that one is mostly used for TIFF's long lens

01:18:26   and you know, some experimental stuff like that.

01:18:30   But the modern cameras, there were things about them

01:18:33   that I liked that I was impressed by.

01:18:35   First of all, I was very impressed by how incredibly

01:18:37   responsive and fast they are.

01:18:40   The old full-frame Sonys were very sluggish.

01:18:43   The two was worse, the three was better,

01:18:45   but still, compared to the new ones,

01:18:48   the new ones are so much faster to operate

01:18:51   than the old ones were.

01:18:52   These also aren't full-frame,

01:18:54   they're dealing with fewer pixels,

01:18:55   so it's a bit of an unfair comparison.

01:18:57   But overall, great.

01:18:59   I was also, this is my first APS-C camera

01:19:02   since the Canon Rebel series that I used forever ago,

01:19:05   like since I got the 5D Mark II in 2008.

01:19:09   This is the first non-full frame,

01:19:12   but still quote big camera I've used.

01:19:14   And for my purposes, these were all great.

01:19:19   I don't think I really need full frame anymore

01:19:22   for my big camera roll, whatever that might be,

01:19:25   because these were all fantastic with APS-C sized sensors.

01:19:29   They really have come a long way since the olden days

01:19:33   and I really appreciate the optics.

01:19:35   Like, you know, one of the reasons why,

01:19:36   I mean, you can look at the price

01:19:38   and you can see a second reason,

01:19:39   but one of the reasons we didn't look at the Leica Q2,

01:19:43   'cause it's the same kind of category

01:19:44   in terms of capability of like a compact,

01:19:49   fixed prime, point and shoot-ish kind of camera

01:19:52   with really high quality.

01:19:54   And the Q2 looks amazing, but because it's full frame,

01:19:59   the lens has to protrude from the body quite a lot.

01:20:03   And not just when it's on, all the time.

01:20:05   And that dramatically changes the shape of the camera

01:20:07   and therefore how you need to carry it,

01:20:09   like what kind of bags it can fit in,

01:20:11   it makes it significantly bigger.

01:20:13   And having previously owned the very first Sony RX1,

01:20:18   which is kind of Sony's copy of that style of camera,

01:20:21   I'm familiar with that size class

01:20:23   and it is quite large for my needs of carrying and stuff.

01:20:27   So I kind of ruled that out just for that

01:20:29   and Tiff wasn't interested in that at all.

01:20:30   Not to mention that it is like $6,000

01:20:32   but set that aside for now.

01:20:33   'Cause if it was really great,

01:20:36   we might be willing to pay that if it was worth it

01:20:38   but it just wasn't what we were looking for.

01:20:40   So anyway, so I learned that these cameras

01:20:43   have gotten really good.

01:20:44   I learned that APS-C has gotten really good.

01:20:47   I learned that I love Fuji's JPEG rendering.

01:20:50   It is awesome, I'm very happy with it

01:20:52   and we continue to use the F100V kind of in like,

01:20:55   you know, kind of toy mode, you know,

01:20:56   occasionally shooting pictures of like the kid

01:20:58   and the dog and whatever.

01:20:59   It's, you know, these super cute pictures.

01:21:01   One thing I was disappointed by is the story

01:21:07   of transferring photos from the camera to your phone

01:21:11   is still as terrible as it ever was.

01:21:14   - I'll be like micro USB.

01:21:16   - No, well, no, these are USB-C at least, which is good.

01:21:18   - Wow, that's good.

01:21:19   I was looking at one of the other Fuji ones

01:21:21   and I was surprised to see a micro USB shaped hole

01:21:23   on the side, USB-C, that's modern technology.

01:21:25   - Yeah, and they both charge

01:21:26   via USB-C power delivery chargers.

01:21:28   I'm glad to report.

01:21:30   - I mean, if you have a laptop with an SD card slot,

01:21:32   can't you just take the card out and shove it in?

01:21:33   - Yes, and so, basically, the easiest way to do it,

01:21:38   I actually don't have a camera connection kit here,

01:21:42   but I was thinking maybe the camera connection kit

01:21:45   with like direct into, like USB into a phone

01:21:49   might be better, it might work,

01:21:52   'cause the phone gained the ability

01:21:53   to import off-camera connection kit

01:21:55   a few software versions ago, I think,

01:21:57   like iOS 13 or 12 or something,

01:22:00   sometime it gained that ability,

01:22:02   but I haven't tried it in a long time,

01:22:04   and I don't have the hardware here to do that,

01:22:06   so I couldn't test that, but that might be a way to do it

01:22:08   if you're out and about,

01:22:09   just put the little camera connection kit cable

01:22:11   in your bag or pocket and attach the camera to the phone

01:22:15   and just do a direct transfer.

01:22:17   Or you can do, if you have a computer,

01:22:18   what Jon said, either plug the camera in via USB

01:22:21   and have the camera read its own card over USB

01:22:22   or pop the card out, put it into the computer

01:22:25   and read it that way directly into Photos app.

01:22:26   That all works fine.

01:22:28   The cameras both offer a WiFi feature

01:22:33   and they have companion apps and they're third party apps

01:22:36   for at least the Ricoh that I tried also.

01:22:38   I don't know if Fuji has third party,

01:22:40   oh I think I tried one of those too.

01:22:42   And these all work in the ancient way

01:22:45   that we've had forever, which is the camera

01:22:50   creates its own wifi network, the app joins it,

01:22:53   and then it tries to transfer photos over wifi.

01:22:56   This works exactly as well as you would think

01:22:58   based on that description.

01:23:00   It is flaky, it's unreliable, it is slow to connect,

01:23:04   it is a pain to connect, and then it is very slow

01:23:07   to actually do the photo transfer.

01:23:09   It does work in the sense that in a pinch,

01:23:13   if you have the time and patience,

01:23:14   you can get it to work, you can transfer photos,

01:23:17   but it is so cumbersome you really won't want to.

01:23:21   So that I was hoping, I was hoping that with recent advances

01:23:24   in various iOS capabilities and local Bluetooth

01:23:28   and WiFi transfer kind of stuff or NFC stuff,

01:23:31   I figured maybe that would have been better,

01:23:33   but for whatever reason it's not.

01:23:36   And I think it's mostly due to just the iPhone

01:23:39   and the capabilities it offers.

01:23:41   I don't think Apple is in a big rush

01:23:42   to enable easy wireless transfer from an external camera

01:23:47   they don't make to their phone,

01:23:48   which is sold primarily because it's a really good camera.

01:23:51   So I imagine this is not an area of focus for Apple,

01:23:54   but the experience really is horrendous for doing that

01:23:58   if you wanna do that.

01:23:59   And ultimately, that's what keeps me

01:24:01   from using these cameras more,

01:24:02   besides the fact that I'm not carrying them.

01:24:04   But I think I would use them a lot more

01:24:06   if it was really fast and easy for the picture

01:24:10   that I take with it to then pop up on my phone.

01:24:12   but it's not, it's neither fast nor easy.

01:24:14   So that really holds back the usage of these in practice

01:24:17   because I almost always want that picture to be on my phone

01:24:20   so I can do something with it,

01:24:21   whether it's sending it to somebody, posting it somewhere,

01:24:24   or just editing in some way.

01:24:27   I pretty much want it on my phone immediately

01:24:29   and I think that's a common need.

01:24:31   So ultimately that part still is unfortunate

01:24:34   and it kind of leaves the standalone camera market

01:24:38   in the place it is, which is like,

01:24:40   It's this kind of increasingly specialized,

01:24:44   shrinking enthusiast market.

01:24:47   And it's great for that, but it used to be a lot broader

01:24:49   than just photographers and enthusiasts.

01:24:52   It used to be way more mass market.

01:24:54   And phones just killed that, and it's not coming back.

01:24:57   But I do wish that enthusiasts who also use phones

01:25:01   could have a bit better experience trying

01:25:04   to use these amazing new cameras that we have that just clash

01:25:09   horrendously with the phone world.

01:25:12   I wonder if camera makers--

01:25:13   because I'm willing to blame the camera makers much more

01:25:15   than you are, because they're terrible at making software.

01:25:18   Their custom apps suck.

01:25:19   But I wonder if they would be better served,

01:25:21   like at least to get closer to what you want,

01:25:23   is to treat the cameras kind of like your phone.

01:25:25   Because if you're out and about with your phone

01:25:27   and taking pictures, generally your phone,

01:25:29   especially if you're just out somewhere on cellular,

01:25:31   your phone won't bother uploading those to iCloud

01:25:33   until you get back closer to Wi-Fi

01:25:36   or until you plug it in sometimes.

01:25:37   You've all seen that thing at the bottom of the photos thing

01:25:39   that says, "I paused my photo syncing until you plugged me in again," right?

01:25:42   And you can tell it, to Apple's credit, rare instance where you can say, "No, do it now."

01:25:47   Wow, imagine that.

01:25:48   Well, yes, but that's a suggestion more than it is a demand, because you hit that and it's

01:25:54   just like, "Well, I'll get there eventually."

01:25:56   Yeah, but anyway, if these cameras work like this, you'd be out and about, you're taking

01:26:00   your pictures, and you kind of have the same expectation you have of a phone.

01:26:02   It's like, "Well, these aren't really going to be uploaded to iCloud anytime soon," but

01:26:06   When you come back home you'd like put the camera on a charger and then it would load

01:26:10   them to iCloud for you using like I don't know public Apple API's or something.

01:26:16   In other words have the camera A) connect to your wifi the same as all your other devices,

01:26:21   none of this creating its own network whatever stuff and B) upload when it's on wifi to iCloud

01:26:28   directly.

01:26:29   That seems like something the camera manufacturers could probably work out with Apple if they

01:26:32   wanted to do it but of course no one wants to do that because like Apple who uses those

01:26:35   computers and you know we've got our own app made by our crack team of expert programmers

01:26:40   and they're all horrendous and like the approach they're taking is bad and the main problem

01:26:45   is like how long can camera manufacturers continue to keep these cameras off of the

01:26:49   internet essentially like they all added Wi-Fi and Bluetooth but the cameras are still not

01:26:53   in any meaningful way quote unquote on the internet that's why they're making their own

01:26:56   stupid Wi-Fi network and it's like just just bite the bullet your camera needs to be on

01:27:01   the internet because that's where we're going our photos to be or you know even if it's

01:27:04   Let's just like airdrop the photos from the camera to your phone so you can do stuff with

01:27:09   them like they could be doing a lot better.

01:27:11   So I don't think it's really on Apple.

01:27:13   I think Apple has done plenty to make it possible for these cameras to be better but the camera

01:27:17   manufacturers software is not their strong suit especially software when it comes to

01:27:20   networking and not photography.

01:27:23   Yeah exactly and again it's a shame because I think it would take a lot of you know help

01:27:28   from Apple to really make that work well and whether it's on the web service side when

01:27:33   and they're uploading directly to the web service

01:27:34   or whether they're bouncing it off the phone,

01:27:35   which is probably the easier, but maybe slower

01:27:39   or more limited way.

01:27:40   Whatever it is, the standalone camera world,

01:27:44   I mean look, they don't even all have GPS yet.

01:27:46   That's even, GPS is still a kind of optional,

01:27:49   rarely seen feature.

01:27:51   - Don't worry, there's a great companion app

01:27:52   that will solve that problem.

01:27:53   Ha ha ha.

01:27:54   This is one of the things I found out

01:27:55   when Marco sent me his other camera.

01:27:58   Did you know that the Sony GPS thing or whatever,

01:28:00   that there's an app that you run on your phone

01:28:02   that connects with the camera and it will send GPS

01:28:05   and stuff or whatever,

01:28:07   each camera can only be connected to one phone.

01:28:10   And if your phone is already connected to another camera,

01:28:12   it can't be connected to a second one.

01:28:13   - What? (laughs)

01:28:14   - So I've got two Sony cameras,

01:28:16   but I've only got one iPhone.

01:28:18   And so it's like, well, which camera do you want connected?

01:28:20   'Cause you can't connect both.

01:28:21   It's like, seriously?

01:28:22   - Seriously dumb. - It's ridiculous.

01:28:24   So I had to have one connect to my phone

01:28:25   and one connect to my wife's phone,

01:28:26   but then it just hardly ever works.

01:28:29   Camera software is terrible.

01:28:30   Sony just discontinued in fact, it's Sony PlayMemories application, which is some really

01:28:36   misguided attempt to have like an iPhone replacement that runs on Mac OS.

01:28:40   If you can imagine that like made by Sony, made by the camera part of Sony.

01:28:44   It's they would make you have it and install it if you wanted to use a bunch of other features.

01:28:48   It was terrible.

01:28:49   It's like it's like the software that comes with printers, right?

01:28:51   Like that stuff like don't use image capture, use our scanning program.

01:28:55   It's like the worst thing you've ever seen in your life.

01:28:57   Sony just discontinued that.

01:28:58   I hope they discontinued it because either they're never going to try to make software

01:29:02   like that again, which I would recommend, or it's being replaced by something better,

01:29:06   which I guess would be the second best.

01:29:09   I've never seen an iPhone app by a camera maker that was better than awful.

01:29:16   I mean, they're so bad.

01:29:18   It amazes me that they launch.

01:29:20   It amazes me that, like, how did they not crash on launch?

01:29:23   They're among the worst software I've ever seen on any platform.

01:29:26   It's like that and printer software.

01:29:27   It's a real race there.

01:29:28   Yeah, like it amazes me that they pass app review.

01:29:30   They're just, they're so bad.

01:29:32   Yeah, it's really true.

01:29:33   The Olympus one is just as bad and they've like moved the two pieces of functionality

01:29:39   I want, which is occasional downloads and geotagging.

01:29:43   They've moved that over the last eight years between like two or three different apps,

01:29:47   you know, oh, don't use the OI photo share what I don't even remember what it's called,

01:29:51   but don't use the, you know, a app because all that functionality is now in the B app.

01:29:55   Fast forward two years.

01:29:56   Don't use the B app.

01:29:57   Now all that functionality is in the C app.

01:29:59   It's just so ridiculous.

01:30:01   And the apps are pieces of garbage too.

01:30:03   - Yeah, I've had that same problem with Sony

01:30:05   and with everyone else.

01:30:06   It's just like they keep rewriting the app

01:30:08   or we're gonna bring our multiple brands together

01:30:11   or bring, you know, unify our product line.

01:30:13   And it's funny, you know, you look at the app store reviews

01:30:16   and they all have one star 'cause they don't work.

01:30:19   - Yeah, like they just, these camera managers

01:30:21   need to understand that there's an ecosystem

01:30:22   they should participate in.

01:30:23   These cameras should be on the internet,

01:30:25   They should integrate with other existing platforms

01:30:27   instead of trying to say like,

01:30:28   "We're gonna make our own version of Apple Photos app

01:30:31   "and we're gonna make our own version of Photo Editor.

01:30:34   "So we're gonna replace Apple Photos, Lightroom, Photoshop,

01:30:38   "the thing you use to print calendars and pictures."

01:30:41   Like, "We're gonna write all that software from scratch

01:30:42   "for every platform 'cause why wouldn't we?"

01:30:44   It's like, "Why would you even attempt that?

01:30:46   "Just integrate with the Apple platform.

01:30:49   "Integrate with Windows."

01:30:50   And you're done.

01:30:51   That's all you need to care about.

01:30:52   Maybe integrate with Android, iOS, Mac, Windows.

01:30:55   forget about Linux, they'll be fine.

01:30:57   That's it, but instead they try to rewrite the world

01:30:59   from scratch, like all in a Sony branded experience

01:31:02   where you have to create an account and upload your memory.

01:31:04   It's like, you think I'm gonna give my pictures

01:31:07   to the Sony Play memories application, are you kidding?

01:31:09   Again, I'm surprised this app even launches

01:31:13   without immediately crashing.

01:31:14   I'm never giving in any of my data, but it's like,

01:31:16   well, you have to sign in and make an account

01:31:18   and install it so we can geotag your photos,

01:31:20   which is the one piece of functionality that you want.

01:31:22   - Mm-hmm, it's so bad.

01:31:24   I understand why on some level they don't do it.

01:31:27   I mean, first of all, consumer software

01:31:29   is not the strength of any of these camera companies.

01:31:32   They've never had a reason to develop it.

01:31:34   They certainly don't have the talent or the will

01:31:36   or the resources apparently,

01:31:37   'cause otherwise they would do it.

01:31:39   But also, if you look at the role of their devices,

01:31:42   I mean, a lot of the standalone camera market now

01:31:46   is people shooting video and stuff like that.

01:31:49   It isn't just people taking casual pictures

01:31:51   and wanting to upload them to Instagram or whatever.

01:31:53   It's like people using these cameras as like semi-pro

01:31:56   video capture devices.

01:31:58   And it's just, it's such a different market, you know?

01:32:01   But also, it's kind of a chicken and egg problem.

01:32:03   Like the camera makers probably say,

01:32:05   well, people buy our cameras so that they don't need

01:32:09   to use them with the phones or whatever.

01:32:10   Or it's a different demand, different markets,

01:32:12   but at the same time, it's like,

01:32:14   maybe that's because using it with a phone sucks so badly.

01:32:17   Like maybe if you made it suck less,

01:32:20   you could expand to the way larger market

01:32:22   of people who have phones and use them most of the time,

01:32:25   but want something to take nicer pictures sometimes.

01:32:28   Like I don't know, I feel like that could be a lot better,

01:32:30   but there's also issues like, I think a huge issue

01:32:34   with trying to make cameras themselves smarter

01:32:37   is battery life, and not necessarily like active use

01:32:41   battery life, but standby battery life.

01:32:43   Like the camera batteries, they're not that big

01:32:48   compared to phone batteries, and the cameras have

01:32:50   a lot of these pretty power hungry components.

01:32:52   They have bright screens, usually at least one screen,

01:32:56   often two, and they're super bright, super high refresh.

01:33:00   The image processing pipeline is super high powered.

01:33:04   They have big power demands and small batteries.

01:33:06   And to add WiFi and or cellular and or GPS to that mix,

01:33:11   which I think you would need,

01:33:15   you would need GPS to do a good job of this

01:33:17   and you would need at least WiFi

01:33:19   and maybe cellular to really do a great job of it.

01:33:22   But then you're basically making a phone.

01:33:26   And so you're gonna need a phone-sized battery

01:33:28   and you're gonna need it to be charged every night.

01:33:30   And that's not really what that market does.

01:33:33   That's not how that market behaves.

01:33:35   And so it would be a pretty big shift for that market

01:33:39   to really enter the phone compatibility market

01:33:43   in a good way to actually make a good experience

01:33:45   'cause it would probably mean having the device

01:33:48   basically a phone where it has its own cellular connection,

01:33:52   it has its own GPS, it records everything,

01:33:54   it uploads it to a cloud service over cellular

01:33:57   as you're shooting and maybe then it can sync it

01:33:59   to the phone that way.

01:34:00   That is what it would actually take, I think,

01:34:03   to do it really well.

01:34:04   But I don't know how many people are willing to,

01:34:07   first of all, buy a cell plan for their camera.

01:34:09   Second of all, buy a camera to begin with.

01:34:12   And then charge it every night.

01:34:15   So you can start to see, when you start thinking

01:34:18   what it would actually take, you could start to see why they haven't done this yet, but

01:34:22   I have to think that the first person who ever does it well, if that ever happens, would

01:34:28   benefit quite a lot from that, because as we've seen from phones, people are willing

01:34:33   to pay a lot to have a really great camera that they can bring with them easily and easily

01:34:39   upload social media and stuff. That right now is the cell phone, but it doesn't always

01:34:43   have to be for everybody. It's always going to be that for most people, but there is a

01:34:48   market for higher-end use. There is a market for enthusiasts who want to be able to take nice

01:34:53   pictures with a little bit more dedicated equipment with better manual controls and

01:34:57   obviously larger optics, larger sensor to get really great results, but then want that picture

01:35:02   on their phone as soon as possible. And that's, I think, a pretty big market and I wish they would

01:35:07   address it, but for whatever reason that has not come to pass. And some of those reasons are good

01:35:13   reasons but I bet not all of them and I bet this could be made a lot better and it just

01:35:17   hasn't been.

01:35:18   And they could re-contain the strengths that they have now.

01:35:21   Like one of the strengths that I think about when I'm at the beach with my camera is,

01:35:25   you know, we're talking about like, oh, when you take it with a phone and it's

01:35:28   already available for sharing immediately and if you're lucky it might be uploaded

01:35:31   unless your photo's app says it doesn't want to sync because it's on cellular.

01:35:36   But if I'm like standing knee deep in the water taking pictures with my camera, the

01:35:39   The good thing with the existing cameras I've gone from is they have removable media.

01:35:43   So if I took a bunch of pictures and filled up a card, I can take that card out of the

01:35:49   camera, put it in a little hard plastic case, put it in a backpack, put it way far away

01:35:52   from the water, and then go take some more pictures.

01:35:55   And those pictures are safe even if I fall in the water and drop the camera.

01:35:59   Even if the camera falls off the edge of the boat into the ocean and goes to the bottom.

01:36:02   Because removable media, once you get a bunch of pictures and you think they're good, no,

01:36:06   You haven't uploaded them to the cloud, but let's be honest, if you have a big camera

01:36:09   with a big sensor, it's not like you're going to be uploading gigabytes of photos from the

01:36:12   middle of the ocean on a boat anyway, but you can take that removable media and put

01:36:16   it somewhere safe as you lean over the railing with your camera trying to take your next

01:36:20   batch of pictures.

01:36:21   The removable media, and it also lets you bring it somewhere and transfer it.

01:36:24   The sort of batch processing removable media in the old world is a strength of these systems,

01:36:28   even though it is not a convenience.

01:36:30   So if they can retain that strength while also having the ability to, when you're on

01:36:34   Wi-Fi or near-good cellular upload in real time, that would make a big difference.

01:36:39   Especially for these small cameras that are portable and more like phones.

01:36:42   For the big ones, I think there's still a batch mindset of like, "I'm going to take

01:36:45   a bunch of pictures, then it's all going to be on the card, then I'm going to take the

01:36:48   cards, then I'm going to process them."

01:36:49   Because it's like, you know, it's an assembly line, a professional pipeline or whatever.

01:36:53   But for something this size, like I put in the show notes here, Marco's "real" in scarequotes,

01:36:59   but still "small" in scarequotes cameras.

01:37:02   They're real cameras in that they're not phones, and they're small cameras in that they're

01:37:07   not as big as big cameras, but they're also not full-fledged cameras.

01:37:13   So they're bigger than a phone, but smaller than a regular camera.

01:37:18   That's the kind of class where you'd want to have the, you know, get that thing on the

01:37:22   internet, right?

01:37:23   Because it's, you know, it's an APS-C sensor, especially if you're doing JPEGs, you could

01:37:26   upload those over cellular if it had it.

01:37:29   And I think a battery, you know, it doesn't have a giant sensor, it's not taking 30 frames

01:37:33   per second sustained for two minutes, like holding down the shutter button.

01:37:38   Like the internals can be made lower power and wimpier to save energy and use some of

01:37:43   that access to, you know, they already have wifi in them, right?

01:37:46   They already have Bluetooth, add GPS and cellular, I think you'd have a very pretty compelling

01:37:52   product.

01:37:53   You would, I absolutely agree you would, and it'd be something I would be interested in.

01:37:56   but ultimately I don't think that there's a market for it.

01:38:01   And then if you look at the market for it,

01:38:03   like the three of us, I mean,

01:38:05   I don't know if I'm gonna pay a lot for that muffler

01:38:06   'cause this thing would be expensive, I would assume.

01:38:10   I mean, 'cause you're talking about like most of the guts

01:38:13   of a cellular telephone without the cellular telephone,

01:38:16   that's still, it's still expensive.

01:38:18   It's still got a screen and it may even be a touchscreen.

01:38:21   It won't be as fancy or as nice, but it's still a screen.

01:38:24   It's still gonna be touched.

01:38:25   It still needs Wi-Fi, still needs cellular, still needs a place for SIM or an eSIM.

01:38:30   It gets really complicated really quickly.

01:38:31   And plus, as we've discussed already on this very episode, camera makers are terrible at

01:38:36   making software.

01:38:37   I feel like I mostly understand the way the Olympus software works on board the phone.

01:38:42   And first of all, it's gotten worse over the years.

01:38:44   But second of all, it's still extremely clunky.

01:38:48   And that's not trying to get it on the internet or trying to upload to somewhere.

01:38:53   I can only imagine how ugly and gross it would be.

01:38:55   And you know that the fix for the camera people would be okay,

01:38:58   well you can upload it across cellular, you know, across the internet,

01:39:01   but you have to upload it to the Fuji slash Amazon slash Olympus slash

01:39:06   Sony bespoke website that accepts your pictures.

01:39:09   And it wouldn't be going to like, I mean, I know flickers falling out of style,

01:39:13   but you know, it wouldn't be going to flicker or equivalent.

01:39:14   It would either go to Facebook or their bespoke place.

01:39:18   And none of us want that anyway.

01:39:20   So I think it would be a compromised machine all the way up and all the way down even if it existed

01:39:25   So I I would love this to exist but short of someone who really really cares

01:39:31   You know getting the reins and doing it or doing like a Kickstarter or something. I just never see it happening

01:39:37   Well one leading indicator might be for Sony specifically

01:39:40   Yeah

01:39:42   If and when their PlayStation gets the same clue that we've been talking about here because their PlayStation

01:39:47   I have a PlayStation 5 which is the most recent PlayStation

01:39:50   It's kind of like these cameras in that it doesn't understand that the internet exists,

01:39:54   really.

01:39:55   And I have the same problem as Marco.

01:39:58   When I'm playing Destiny, let's be honest, what am I playing?

01:40:01   Okay, I did the remaster of Last of Us.

01:40:03   I'm playing Fish, you're playing Destiny, we all know.

01:40:06   I did do the remaster of Last of Us on PS5 as well recently.

01:40:12   And I'll take a screenshot of some cool scene.

01:40:14   I had this exact thing when I was playing Last of Us, a couple screenshots of some cool

01:40:17   things.

01:40:18   people in the incomparable slack who are also playing through the game.

01:40:22   My PlayStation is on the internet, it's connected with Ethernet.

01:40:27   How hard do you think it would be to get that, it's just a jpeg, right?

01:40:30   It's a 4k jpeg, to get that 4k jpeg somewhere that I can deal with it on the internet.

01:40:37   And it's exactly as insane as you would think.

01:40:39   Well, I can connect a USB stick, then launch the media app, if I can find it on the PlayStation

01:40:44   'cause they hide it now, and then copy it to the USB stick,

01:40:48   then bring the stick over to my Mac and plug it in

01:40:50   and take the camera.

01:40:50   It's like, what century is this?

01:40:52   You're on the internet.

01:40:53   Oh, well don't worry,

01:40:53   Sony has a thing where I'll upload the picture.

01:40:55   Where does it upload it to?

01:40:57   The Sony app.

01:40:58   - There you go, there you go.

01:41:01   - Whatever the Sony thing is,

01:41:02   so there's like a PlayStation app on my phone,

01:41:04   I launch the PlayStation app,

01:41:05   then I get the photo and I download it,

01:41:08   and it's just, oh, and very often,

01:41:10   I'll take the screenshot,

01:41:11   and it'll be uploading in the background

01:41:14   little notification will come and say "oh I couldn't upload your thing to the Sony

01:41:16   service" "oh is the Sony service unreliable? what a surprise"

01:41:19   I'm just trying to get a screenshot from one internet connected to a nice

01:41:23   internet connected device to another and it can't do it. Forget about the video

01:41:28   which it takes in WebP by the way if you put on the maximum quality and nothing

01:41:32   that I have really wants to deal with a WebP so I have to end up converting that

01:41:36   it's like you're so close Sony right but the thing that makes me somewhat hopeful

01:41:40   is my PlayStation 5 has integration with Twitch

01:41:44   and most recently got integration with Discord.

01:41:47   Neither of those are made by Sony.

01:41:49   So look, they said, you know what,

01:41:50   we should make a service where we can do streaming video.

01:41:52   I was like, no, Twitch already exists,

01:41:54   just integrate with that.

01:41:55   Same thing with Discord.

01:41:56   They didn't make their own Discord,

01:41:58   they integrate with Discord.

01:41:59   So they just gotta figure out, hey,

01:42:01   you know those screenshots we're uploading?

01:42:03   Is there anything we could integrate with

01:42:04   that's not our own weird PlayStation app?

01:42:07   Yes, there is.

01:42:08   You could upload it to Google Drive, to Dropbox,

01:42:09   There's a million places you can send to JPEG, but they haven't figured that out.

01:42:13   But they're getting closer.

01:42:14   So when I see PlayStation have Twitch and Discord integration, I think maybe someday

01:42:19   the knowledge of the internet will filter to the camera division.

01:42:22   They'll be like, "Could we upload JPEG somewhere on the internet?"

01:42:28   And then someone will say, "Let's create a service of..."

01:42:30   "What is internet?"

01:42:31   "No, stop.

01:42:32   Fire that person.

01:42:33   There's so many places we could put it."

01:42:34   So like OneDrive, like Google Drive, all the storage services, Flickr, Shutterfly, like

01:42:39   these people will do deals with you, Sony.

01:42:42   They want the same shrinking pool of enthusiast customers.

01:42:46   Who's gonna pay a yearly fee to have a website

01:42:49   that deals with other pictures?

01:42:49   The same people who buy your quote unquote real cameras.

01:42:52   (laughing)

01:42:53   - That's the thing, I look at,

01:42:55   I have a Fujitsu, different Fuji,

01:42:59   Fujitsu ScanSnap scanner for sheet fed document scanning.

01:43:03   You scan a thing in it and you can configure it

01:43:05   to upload to Dropbox, all the different places.

01:43:09   and so I have mine configured to upload to Dropbox.

01:43:11   And so I put a sheet of paper in there, I hit Scan,

01:43:15   and about a minute later, it's in my Dropbox.

01:43:18   And that works great, and yeah,

01:43:19   they have their own cloud service.

01:43:21   I don't think I use it.

01:43:24   The scanner I had before this, the Raven scanner,

01:43:26   exactly the same kind of thing,

01:43:28   where like, you know, a WiFi scanner,

01:43:30   it has its own cloud service that you can, you know,

01:43:32   get into if you want, or you can just have it

01:43:34   bounce it over to Dropbox, and that's what I did.

01:43:36   These things are incredibly useful.

01:43:38   They work great.

01:43:40   Why can't cameras do that?

01:43:42   I know that the idea of making a camera

01:43:45   into a cellular-connected, full-blown phone that

01:43:49   can upload things anywhere you are to a cloud service, that's

01:43:51   a little ambitious.

01:43:52   I get that.

01:43:53   What if you started small, like we were saying earlier?

01:43:55   What if just when you plug the camera in at home to charge it,

01:43:59   it would automatically connect to your regular Wi-Fi network

01:44:02   and upload the pictures to your Dropbox or Box

01:44:06   or iCloud Drive or whatever,

01:44:07   that would be a pretty good starting point.

01:44:10   It's still way easier than ever having to pop the card out

01:44:13   and put it into an SD card slot, God knows where,

01:44:16   and it's way better than the apps.

01:44:18   - Any time I have to open a little flappy door

01:44:20   on the side of a camera, they've already lost.

01:44:22   Nevermind that the Doris and Sony cameras

01:44:25   are historically awful, but no, that should never happen.

01:44:27   You have Wi-Fi, I should never have to open

01:44:29   that little flappy door.

01:44:31   - Yeah, so anyway, I hope that this industry

01:44:33   doesn't totally die off before somebody

01:44:35   has figured this out.

01:44:36   - I think it's going to, unfortunately.

01:44:38   - No, it's not going to.

01:44:39   This is the type of thing that's always going to stay around

01:44:42   because it becomes narrow in special interest

01:44:45   and that's just the way it stays.

01:44:46   Because you'll always be able to make a better camera

01:44:50   with more money and without being distracted by other stuff.

01:44:54   With more money and more space,

01:44:55   you'll always be able to make a better camera.

01:44:57   So as good as phone cameras get,

01:44:58   if I told you you have five times as much money

01:45:00   and 15 times as much volume, you'll make a better camera.

01:45:03   - Yeah, and honestly, the X100V was hard to get.

01:45:07   It is in extremely high demand, it's backwarded everywhere,

01:45:11   people are selling it for premiums on eBay and stuff,

01:45:14   it was very hard to get.

01:45:15   These have followings.

01:45:17   I don't think the following is very large anymore,

01:45:20   but there is a dedicated following,

01:45:22   and if you make a really great camera,

01:45:23   I mean look, the Leica thing was almost $6,000.

01:45:26   And people buy that.

01:45:29   By all accounts, the people who have it

01:45:31   typically have very good things to say about it.

01:45:33   So there is clearly a market for this.

01:45:36   It's not gonna be as big as the phone camera market,

01:45:39   and it's not gonna be as big as the past

01:45:42   standalone camera market,

01:45:43   but there is definitely still a market.

01:45:46   And if you serve that market well,

01:45:49   you can have a pretty big hit in your hands.

01:45:51   And by all accounts, the Fuji X100V is a huge hit.

01:45:54   People love it.

01:45:55   It's not even that new.

01:45:56   I think it's like a year or two old.

01:45:58   You still can't get it,

01:45:59   because it's like, people love this thing.

01:46:01   So the market is there, but it just,

01:46:03   it could be so much better.

01:46:04   There's so much missed potential here.

01:46:07   - And the Sony in particular, they're,

01:46:09   what Sony does with their big camera things,

01:46:11   it's funded a lot by the bigger industries,

01:46:15   'cause Sony sells sensors for phone cameras as well,

01:46:18   and sensors for, you know, like,

01:46:20   Sony's research into sensor technology

01:46:24   and optical technology and these other companies

01:46:26   that do the same thing,

01:46:28   Like, they can be making most of their volume and revenue by selling camera things, but

01:46:34   they're transferring technology in both directions, both from the stuff they put in the cameras

01:46:38   comes to their big cameras and vice versa.

01:46:40   So there's lots of synergies there.

01:46:42   It's kind of like we mostly sell affordable cars to regular people, but then we have a

01:46:48   luxury division that sells expensive cars to people who are enthusiasts or whatever.

01:46:54   Not even just a Toyota Lexus, but more like a Toyota Bentley.

01:46:57   And that's the breakdown, and there's synergies, because we learn whether it's electric drive

01:47:01   cranes or battery technology, that stuff transfers between Bentleys and Toyotas, right?

01:47:07   Because they're all cars, they're just different cars in different price and size classes for

01:47:10   different customers.

01:47:11   So, and you know, you can think of these cameras as the Mac Pro of the camera market, whereas

01:47:17   the iPhones are the, you know, MacBook, I guess.

01:47:22   Strange analogy, I'm sorry.

01:47:25   Thanks to our sponsors this week, Squarespace and Collide.

01:47:29   Thanks to our members who support us directly.

01:47:31   You can join at atbs.fm/join.

01:47:34   And we will talk to you next week.

01:47:36   (upbeat music)

01:47:39   ♪ Now the show is over ♪

01:47:41   ♪ They didn't even mean to begin ♪

01:47:43   ♪ 'Cause it was accidental ♪

01:47:46   ♪ Oh, it was accidental ♪

01:47:49   ♪ John didn't do any research ♪

01:47:51   ♪ Marco and Casey wouldn't let him ♪

01:47:54   Cause it was accidental, it was accidental

01:47:59   And you can find the show notes at ATP.fm

01:48:05   And if you're into Twitter, you can follow them

01:48:09   @caseyliss

01:48:13   So that's Casey Liss, M-A-R-C-O-A-R-M

01:48:18   Anti-Marco Armin S-I-R-A-C

01:48:23   USA, Syracuse

01:48:25   It's accidental

01:48:28   They didn't mean to

01:48:31   Accidental

01:48:33   Tech broadcast

01:48:35   So long

01:48:37   John, I understand that you are now a surgeon.

01:48:42   An unlicensed surgeon, I should add.

01:48:44   I'm a surgeon, mad scientist, I think this is pretty much the tail end of my audio saga

01:48:52   here for now anyway.

01:48:53   I had replaced all my speakers, talked about it in a past episode.

01:48:58   My old speakers were very, very small, like not the size of a soda can but not that much

01:49:04   bigger.

01:49:05   They're very tiny, especially like the surround ones and stuff.

01:49:07   So they were just tucked away in various locations, like on shelves and on top of other stuff

01:49:12   or whatever.

01:49:13   bigger and I also wanted to get them better positioned and they're big enough that they

01:49:21   can't kind of be tucked somewhere so they have to be I had to find some way to in particular

01:49:27   to get my front right and left speakers I needed somewhere for them to sit so they would be at a

01:49:33   reasonable height for speakers which is a challenge in my stupid room so one of them

01:49:39   to the right of the television, to the right-ish of the television, it is not positioned in an ideal place because my room is not ideal, but I did the best I can.

01:49:48   I needed to get a speaker stand for it, because the place I have for it to go is not even big enough for any piece of furniture for it to sit on.

01:49:56   So a speaker stand that is basically the same footprint as the speaker itself is what I went with.

01:50:02   Here's what I went with.

01:50:03   And you'll be saying, "Why didn't you just get tower speakers then?"

01:50:06   You'll see in a second, but the left speaker, I don't have room for a tower, so I couldn't

01:50:10   get a tower speaker there.

01:50:11   But on the right side, and even on the right side, honestly, this is a bookshelf speaker

01:50:15   on a stand.

01:50:16   Tower speakers tend to be even deeper than that, and so it would be difficult.

01:50:19   Plus, also tower speakers would have had a severe family approval factor thing going

01:50:25   against them, because they are quite imposing.

01:50:27   Anyway, so I got a speaker stand.

01:50:30   I'll put a link in the show notes to the one I got.

01:50:32   It's from Kanto, the company I think we talked about, they make subwoofers and other speakers

01:50:36   and stuff.

01:50:38   It's a metal thing, right?

01:50:39   It's got a little metal weight in the bottom, it's reasonably okay quality.

01:50:43   I think it is just like, it is good enough quality for the price you pay for it, I think.

01:50:51   And you may look at it as like, you spent how much money on speaker stands?

01:50:53   Well the problem is of course you can't buy one of them, you have to buy two, because

01:50:56   who would buy one speaker stand?

01:50:58   I only need one.

01:50:59   I had to buy two.

01:51:02   It does have a place to route the cable.

01:51:03   It's fine.

01:51:04   It's about 26 inches high.

01:51:05   It comes with two different top things, one of which fits neatly underneath my speaker.

01:51:11   It has a place where you can screw the speaker into the stand.

01:51:14   If your speaker has a screw hole in the bottom, mine does not, so my speaker is just placed

01:51:18   on top of there through the magic of gravity.

01:51:21   It stays there.

01:51:22   Luckily, I don't live near where we have any earthquakes and I don't have any small children

01:51:26   bouncing around, but wish me luck on that.

01:51:29   And like I said, it's got a place to route the cable so you don't see it.

01:51:32   Right?

01:51:33   That's the right speaker.

01:51:34   The left speaker is even more constrained.

01:51:38   It is in a different position on the left-ish side of the television, and I needed some

01:51:46   way to get it up to the right height, but the other stand being in that position wouldn't

01:51:53   quite work.

01:51:54   Because I needed a piece of furniture to hold some of the things that were ejected from

01:51:58   the television stand by the big center speaker.

01:52:03   So particularly my Blu-ray player, the TiVo should really go over there as well, but right

01:52:07   now I've just moved the Blu-ray player.

01:52:08   I needed someplace for the Blu-ray player to be, so I basically needed a piece of furniture

01:52:12   to hold the Blu-ray player at minimum, and then I could put the speaker on top of the

01:52:16   piece of furniture.

01:52:18   And this is a challenge I've had a couple times.

01:52:20   Most recently when we talked about the Mac Pro, I'm sitting at a desk now, I don't know

01:52:24   how big it is, but I can reach from one end of my desk to the other.

01:52:28   It's whatever length, standard length the desk is.

01:52:31   But I didn't want my Mac Pro to be on the desk, but I also didn't want it to be on the

01:52:35   floor.

01:52:36   I wanted it to be on a little table next to my desk that's not quite as high as my desk

01:52:41   but is off the floor.

01:52:43   So I had to find a piece of furniture that exactly fits a Mac Pro that is lower than

01:52:48   my desk and that's legs fit in the space available for it because we have baseboard heating in

01:52:53   this room so I can't have the legs go all against the wall.

01:52:55   And I spent so long finding it, you know, I really wish furniture websites said, "Tell

01:53:00   me the length, the width, and the height, how much room you have for legs, like, just,

01:53:05   I need to know physically a piece of furniture that fits in this volume."

01:53:09   And it's so hard to do because you'll find out very quickly that furniture comes in standard

01:53:14   sizes 24 inch, 36 inch, height, width, whatever, like, they don't come in just, you can't just

01:53:18   pick them like, you know, sizing, well you can't even pick jeans in size because you

01:53:22   get them at length 34 and length 32 but never length 33 from Levi's.

01:53:26   Anyway.

01:53:27   If only other brands of jeans existed that gave you single inch sizes.

01:53:30   I know, I'm not going to pay a lot for these jeans, Marco.

01:53:33   Just getting a Levi's.

01:53:35   And yes, I am kind of in between 32 and 34, but I live with it.

01:53:41   So anyway, I did that before I found this perfect little table that matches the decor

01:53:45   that is correctly the right size of what my Mac Pro is on right now.

01:53:47   Now I have the same problem.

01:53:48   I need something that can hold the Blu-ray player that is not too high but not too low.

01:53:55   Ideally it would be exactly the same height as my television stand because that would

01:53:58   look nice.

01:53:59   And it has to be able to hold AV equipment, whatever other things I might put there because

01:54:05   who knows what else will get kicked out of my stand.

01:54:08   Right now my TiVo is wedged between my receiver and the top shelf and I would really like

01:54:12   to move that over if I can at some point.

01:54:14   But anyway, I need that piece of furniture.

01:54:16   But then once I have that, if I put the speaker on top of that piece of furniture, it would

01:54:20   be different height than the right speaker.

01:54:23   So I needed a piece of furniture that was similar height to my TV stand, and I needed

01:54:27   a little bit more height to get the speaker up to the same height as its sibling speaker

01:54:34   on the right.

01:54:36   And I searched and searched and searched, and I could not find a piece of furniture

01:54:40   that was remotely close.

01:54:41   The best thing I could find was a piece of furniture that was too tall, but that was

01:54:48   too tall by one shelf height.

01:54:52   And when you search for this furniture, you find whatever brand in China is making all

01:54:56   this furniture, it's sold under 15 different names on 20 different websites, you will find

01:54:59   the same thing over and over and over again with different names, with just slightly different

01:55:04   pictures, subtle variations in manufacturing, like this is all coming from the same place.

01:55:10   Even though you think you have all these options, you don't.

01:55:13   You have the choice of the three things that are made in China that fit this thing, or

01:55:16   wherever they're made.

01:55:18   It's just one generic factory that turns these things out and then re-brands them and sells

01:55:22   them all over the place.

01:55:23   Like everything these days.

01:55:25   Yeah, exactly.

01:55:27   You'll find "the same product" on many different websites under many different names.

01:55:33   So, and in this one, for example, I could find it with round legs, with square legs,

01:55:39   a couple of different heights, a couple of different widths.

01:55:41   But anyway, this one, width and height wise,

01:55:43   was close enough--

01:55:45   not width and height, width and depth, right?

01:55:47   It was close enough, but the height was too high.

01:55:49   And it was a four shelf unit.

01:55:51   And if you go to-- this is one of the features

01:55:53   that Amazon added that I think is actually useful.

01:55:55   On an Amazon product page, there's

01:55:56   a section on the bottom that's like Q&A,

01:55:59   where you can see people asking questions.

01:56:01   Chances are someone asked the question that you care about.

01:56:04   Probably seven people asked it, and you just

01:56:06   hope that someone gave an answer.

01:56:07   So the question everybody had about this is,

01:56:10   this comes with four shelves, can I just use three shelves?

01:56:13   And the answer is always no.

01:56:15   You can't just use, and you look at it and you're like,

01:56:18   okay, you look at, try to find a way to download

01:56:20   the PDF instructions so you can see how it's assembled

01:56:22   and what you'll find is that the leg segments

01:56:26   between the shelves are separate,

01:56:28   so it's like a little short tube for the leg,

01:56:30   then a shelf, then a longer tube, then a shelf,

01:56:32   then a longer tube, then a shelf,

01:56:33   and you're like, this should be so easy,

01:56:34   I just won't put on the last tube,

01:56:36   I'll just leave out a shelf,

01:56:37   I'll leave out a tube in it, but no.

01:56:39   Because the way these things work is,

01:56:41   there is a stainless steel rod with threads

01:56:44   on the top and the bottom that runs through the whole leg.

01:56:47   It screws into the top and it screws into the bottom,

01:56:49   and that tension as you tighten it

01:56:51   is what holds the whole thing together,

01:56:52   'cause it's just like a bunch of metal tubes

01:56:54   with a threaded rod between them.

01:56:56   And the rod is only threaded in one inch of the top

01:56:59   and one inch in the bottom,

01:57:00   the rest of the rod is not threaded.

01:57:02   So I bought this thing knowing that it was too high,

01:57:05   but also knowing that if I could omit one of the shelves,

01:57:08   it would be pretty much the right height.

01:57:10   Then I ordered some threaded rod from another company,

01:57:15   which is a lot harder to find than a piece of furniture.

01:57:19   Well, the first thing I did was I went to like

01:57:20   a local hardware store to try to find a threaded rod.

01:57:23   And I brought with me the thing that it will thread into,

01:57:25   like one of the little feet that it comes with.

01:57:28   You know, and I was so disappointed in the manual.

01:57:30   I'm like, please manual, tell me what size

01:57:32   the threads are in this thing, but the manual does not.

01:57:34   So I just went there and I tried all the different threaded rod and none of it fit.

01:57:39   Because all the threaded rod was, what ever, imperial measures?

01:57:43   Non-metric.

01:57:44   And I'm like, this threaded rod has got to be metric.

01:57:46   So eventually I figured out it is metric.

01:57:49   What was the size?

01:57:50   It was like M6-1, M6-1.0 is the metric threading that's on the thing.

01:57:58   So I went on the internet.

01:57:59   Being at the hardware store was useful because at the hardware store they have like, "Hey,

01:58:02   try on your thing on these different threads."

01:58:03   You could find out which of these things it is.

01:58:05   So I did find out what size it was at the hardware store, but they didn't have that

01:58:07   kind of threaded rod there.

01:58:08   So I ordered online four pieces of stainless steel threaded rod in the M6-1 size.

01:58:15   They arrived at my house, and then I had to cut them to the right height.

01:58:19   Exactly the right height.

01:58:21   Four times you had to cut four different rods?

01:58:24   Yeah, and the height is key because it's a threaded rod, it screws in like a quarter

01:58:30   of an inch into the top and then maybe like a half an inch into the bottom, right? So

01:58:36   you don't have a lot of wiggle room. It has to reach, but it also has to be the right

01:58:40   length so that you can tighten it up, right? So it has to be fairly exact. So here I am

01:58:45   in my garage without the proper tools. I don't even have a vise. Do you have a vise?

01:58:51   I have multiple vise. What's the plural of vices? I've never used one for woodworking,

01:58:57   - Yeah.

01:58:57   - Like I use it for like other random crap, but I, yeah.

01:59:00   Like one of them holds, it's a long story,

01:59:01   one of them holds my flagpole mount to my deck rail,

01:59:03   it's a whole thing.

01:59:04   - Are you thinking of a C-clamp or a vice?

01:59:06   - Oh, no, I guess I'm thinking of a C-clamp, yeah.

01:59:08   I have many C-clamps, I have zero vises.

01:59:11   - I know, I knew, my dad had a workshop when I was a kid

01:59:14   and he always had, he had a vice in there.

01:59:15   He had two vises, one for woodworking, he had a metal one,

01:59:18   like you can buy a vice, I don't have one, I need one.

01:59:21   Why do you need a vice?

01:59:22   It's much easier to cut threaded rod

01:59:23   when you have something to hold it still for you.

01:59:26   And then what would you cut threaded rod with?

01:59:28   Well, ideally I'd have a cutting wheel

01:59:29   that would just make a nice (mimics cutting)

01:59:31   cut through the thing.

01:59:32   I do have a Dremel tool, don't have any cutting wheels.

01:59:35   I could have bought all this stuff

01:59:36   when I was at the hardware store.

01:59:37   I'm trying to control costs here.

01:59:38   If you start adding up the costs,

01:59:40   we'll have links in the show notes,

01:59:41   you start adding up the costs of all this stuff,

01:59:43   it's like you paid how much for a table

01:59:44   to hold your Blu-ray player?

01:59:46   It's like, well, you don't understand the threaded rod,

01:59:47   and then I had to buy the Dremel tool,

01:59:48   then I had to buy the cut, so I'm like, no,

01:59:50   I'm gonna do this with the tools I have available.

01:59:52   The tools I have available are me, my hands,

01:59:55   and a hacksaw that's older than all my children combined.

01:59:57   (laughing)

01:59:59   - Delightful.

02:00:00   - This is like how I cut all my holes with a drill,

02:00:03   including things that are way bigger than a drill

02:00:05   should be able to cut, but that's the tool

02:00:07   I know how to use.

02:00:08   This is the kind of thing, this is the kind of need

02:00:12   where you need something very specific,

02:00:15   and I mean you, this is always your need,

02:00:17   but something very specific.

02:00:19   It's like, I wish I was a woodworker

02:00:23   because I could just build my ideal TV stand.

02:00:26   Like it's like, I mean, maybe it would look like crap

02:00:28   if I was not a great woodworker,

02:00:30   but I probably wouldn't be.

02:00:31   - But you gotta build seven tables first

02:00:33   and the eighth one will look good

02:00:34   after you've bought $3,000 worth of equipment.

02:00:36   - Right, but it's like, I feel like,

02:00:38   in the same way that oftentimes people kind of marvel

02:00:42   at the ability of programmers to be like,

02:00:45   oh, you can just have an idea for an app

02:00:47   and then just make it?

02:00:48   Like, and that seems like magic to other people.

02:00:50   To me, it seems like magic to do that in the physical world

02:00:53   'cause I can't do any of those things.

02:00:54   - Well, the programming is a great example

02:00:56   because that program that you can do now

02:00:59   is not what you could do the first year

02:01:01   you were learning programming.

02:01:03   - That's true. - You have this like,

02:01:04   practice programming for 25 years

02:01:06   and then you can just make the idea you think of

02:01:08   and it's still hard, right?

02:01:09   And so it's the same thing with woodworking.

02:01:11   It's like, and think of all the Macs

02:01:12   you had to buy in the meantime.

02:01:13   Like, in this case, this is not beyond my skills.

02:01:16   I know exactly what I would use to actually do this,

02:01:19   but I don't have those things.

02:01:20   I don't have a vice, I don't have a cutting wheel,

02:01:22   I don't even have a good hacksaw.

02:01:23   I could have bought all those things, but they cost money.

02:01:26   I'm like, no, stop it, just use what you have,

02:01:28   get by with what you have.

02:01:29   So I did, so there I am in the garage

02:01:31   with my threaded rod that I'm physically holding

02:01:35   as best I can as I try to cut it with a hacksaw.

02:01:38   If anybody who's ever actually done this

02:01:39   knows how terrible this is,

02:01:41   it's just like a challenge on a reality show.

02:01:43   This is not the right way to do it.

02:01:45   If you've ever tried to cut through a quarter inch stainless steel rod that you are holding

02:01:49   with your hand, oh and by the way it's threaded so it's nice and sharp and everything.

02:01:53   In a way, remember at the end of this what you have to be left with is something that

02:01:57   you can screw something onto.

02:01:59   So it's not like you can do it willy-nilly, like you ever try to cut something with a

02:02:02   hacksaw and it's like oh it's jumping out all over the place and it's just, you know,

02:02:05   because if the hacksaw rubs against the threads it's going to screw them up and you're not

02:02:08   going to be able to screw something onto it.

02:02:10   And you don't have a lot of length to play with because if you screw it up it's not like

02:02:12   You can recut it back farther because it has to be exactly the right length.

02:02:16   So I very carefully and laboriously cut through this in what must have been 10,000 strokes

02:02:23   back and forth with my dull hacksaw on this thing.

02:02:28   And then when I was done with it, then I used my Dremel tool with a grinding bit, which

02:02:32   I did have.

02:02:33   I didn't have a cutting bit.

02:02:34   It wasn't, it's not Dremel branded with some other thing.

02:02:36   Anyway, use that to smooth off the metal and then test fit, grind down a little bit, smooth

02:02:42   off the metal, test fit until eventually I could thread something onto it.

02:02:45   Repeat that four times.

02:02:46   This was an all day activity.

02:02:49   Just to get four pieces of threaded rod.

02:02:51   Honestly, if you had the right tools, this is a five minute job.

02:02:54   For me, it's literally all day.

02:02:56   But I saved money.

02:02:58   So then I went in and assembled the thing and omitted the shelf and put it in place

02:03:03   and now I had a piece of furniture that could hold my blu-ray player.

02:03:06   I also had to re-write all the wires and everything, but I can handle that part.

02:03:10   It's pretty much the same height as my TV stand that fits into the little spot and kind

02:03:15   of matches the decor a little.

02:03:16   My daughter did say she thought I should have gotten the rectangle legs instead of the round

02:03:20   one, but it's like, what can you do?

02:03:22   And now finally, I need something to go on top of that thing to make my speaker on the

02:03:27   left the same height as the one on the right.

02:03:29   And lo and behold, through the magic of Christmas or the magic of, I don't know, whatever magic

02:03:34   that says Kanto, the same company that made my speaker stands, also makes smaller speaker

02:03:40   stands.

02:03:43   And the smaller speaker stands, the Kanto SP6, which are 6 inches high, the smaller

02:03:49   speaker stands on top of the piece of furniture that I cut down with new pieces of threaded

02:03:54   rod almost exactly equals the height of the big speaker stand.

02:03:59   It was a Christmas miracle.

02:04:01   So of course I had to buy two of them and they were also horrendously expensive and

02:04:07   now I have one tall and one short speaker stand that I have no use for but someday I

02:04:12   might.

02:04:13   So I was very excited by this because this almost never happens that I took a flyer on

02:04:17   buying this piece of furniture and buying this threaded rod to try to make a piece of

02:04:21   furniture that I wanted and it worked and then I found the same branded matching exact

02:04:27   speaker stand for left and right that added to my furniture make something that is within

02:04:31   a half an inch of each other and it was very exciting.

02:04:34   I would show you a picture of it but everyone would just throw up about the positioning

02:04:37   of the speakers.

02:04:38   I'm doing the best I can in the room that I have.

02:04:40   But I'm happy with it.

02:04:43   The only other thing that I still have a question about is I didn't route the cable through

02:04:47   the smaller one because I felt like the cable just, it's so short that the routing of it

02:04:52   would make it look uglier, like it would go in and up and out and around versus just connecting

02:04:56   to the back of the speaker it's only six inches high.

02:04:58   Anyway, links to all these will be in the show notes.

02:05:00   If you want speaker stands I can recommend these as adequate for the price that is charged.

02:05:06   They're not great, but they're also not bad.

02:05:08   I was afraid I would get speaker stands and they would be just like weak, wimpy metal

02:05:12   that would fall over and wobble or whatever.

02:05:14   These have adjustable rubber feet on them which is really important for my house that

02:05:18   doesn't have level floors.

02:05:20   And they match each other and they have cable routing and they're made of thick heavy metal

02:05:23   and they have nice pads on top of them.

02:05:25   So I think the only thing I have left now is the replacement subwoofer because I did

02:05:29   sell my old 5.1 setup and the subwoofer went with it so now I have an empty spot ready

02:05:34   for a replacement subwoofer to go in there.

02:05:37   But in the meantime, no one in the family is complaining about lack of bass so maybe

02:05:41   it's just me wanting to blow the house down when I watch blockbuster movies.

02:05:46   I'll work on that for the future.

02:05:48   Maybe I'll use some of the money I'm getting selling all my old AV equipment because I

02:05:51   my old receiver and I sold my old 5.1 system, I think I'm probably going to go up to the

02:05:55   attic and start pulling a Marco and finding old iPads and stuff to see if I can exchange

02:06:00   them to Apple for some money if they're still good.

02:06:02   Because I'm trying to turn all my old junk into some spending cash so I can have a little

02:06:08   bit of extra money for the sound system.

02:06:11   I think I'm pretty much at a, not at the end, but at a good stopping point and the family

02:06:15   is enjoying the new setup.

02:06:18   The family is experiencing the new setup.

02:06:20   I am enjoying the news app when watching television with the family, but most importantly, the

02:06:25   family is not complaining about the new setup.

02:06:28   That's a success.

02:06:29   That's important.

02:06:30   If they don't say, "This sounds weird.

02:06:32   I don't like this.

02:06:34   I can't hear what they're saying."

02:06:35   No one says anything, and it's not because they're sparing my feelings.

02:06:38   Believe me, because if they had any issues with it, they would let me know.

02:06:41   So I feel like this has been a big success, that I have a thing that I enjoy that no one

02:06:48   else in the family complains about.

02:06:50   And we've been watching, and you know,

02:06:51   is maybe just be correlation,

02:06:52   but we have been watching more television shows

02:06:54   as a family in the quote unquote good TV room

02:06:56   instead of like watching it in a bedroom or on an iPad.

02:06:59   So I feel like this has been a great success.

02:07:01   - Yeah, that's a win.

02:07:02   Well, congratulations on all of your glory.

02:07:07   - Yeah, maybe I can sell individual speakers.

02:07:09   I'm never gonna sell these individual speaker stands

02:07:11   'cause someday, like when I move to my retirement home,

02:07:13   I'll be like, finally,

02:07:14   I can use my two equal size speaker stands.

02:07:17   I just don't know if it's gonna be the small ones

02:07:18   or the big ones.

02:07:19   [beeping]

02:07:21   (beep)