The Talk Show

373: ‘This Guy Reads a Lot Better’, With Quinn Nelson


00:00:00   It's good to have you here, Quinn Nelson,

00:00:01   I feel like let's just start the show with me apologizing to you.

00:00:06   I believe several years ago, you and I,

00:00:08   when we first started interacting on the internet, we got off on the wrong foot.

00:00:12   Do you remember the details of that?

00:00:14   Oh yeah. I remember. This is the day John Gruber sent his minions after me. Just kidding.

00:00:19   No, I had published a video, I think, about why I didn't think that the iPhone XS was a

00:00:24   worthwhile upgrade or something. And I think you had quote, tweeted my video

00:00:29   saying, "100 bucks says this guy buys the iPhone." And well, I made it my mission for 12 months

00:00:36   to abstain from purchasing one so that I could prove you wrong.

00:00:40   So did I pay you? Did I owe you 100 bucks?

00:00:46   You did. I didn't bring it up. I think after a year you said, "Hey,

00:00:50   I think that I owe you 100 bucks." And I said, "Nah, just donate it to charity."

00:00:57   I think we chose one and both donated it. Anyway, it worked out great.

00:01:00   But I do. I owe you a sincere apology because…

00:01:04   No.

00:01:05   No, I do. But you know what? This guy was rude. And the backstory, as I recall it, and again,

00:01:12   at this point, my recollection might be a little fuzzy, but I saw the video. I sincerely thought

00:01:20   I disagreed with you that it wasn't worth a purchase and thought you'd cave and buy.

00:01:25   But I wasn't familiar with your work, so I didn't know your name.

00:01:29   And I looked at your YouTube channel, and that's Snazzy Labs. And what? It would have taken me,

00:01:34   what, 30 seconds to somehow find Quinn Nelson as the star of Snazzy Labs. But I didn't.

00:01:41   This guy reads a lot better.

00:01:44   Well, it worked out in the end, and I hope we can be pals. But you were right, and I was wrong.

00:01:53   You didn't buy it.

00:01:54   That's true. I didn't. And I moved on.

00:01:59   Let's start with that, though. Because I've become, in the years since, I am an enormous

00:02:05   fan of your work on YouTube. I think…

00:02:08   Oh, well, thank you.

00:02:09   I believe it's funny. I feel like everything is getting better as Twitter slowly breaks up,

00:02:24   right? To me, Twitter is sort of collapsing like the ice sheafs down in Antarctica. It's

00:02:30   not going all at once. It's going slowly. And I think that this new world of Mastodon and

00:02:38   more diverse forums for people to spend their Twitter-like time on places other than Twitter,

00:02:48   I feel like it's all for the good. But on the other hand, now that it's all sort of splintered,

00:02:54   I forget where I saw stuff.

00:02:55   Oh, me too. Totally.

00:02:58   That's my long way of saying I think it's on your Mastodon handle. I guess I could look it up right

00:03:04   now, but I try to be honest here on the podcast and go with what's in my head. But somewhere,

00:03:10   I think it's on your Mastodon profile. You link to your YouTube channel, and the description just

00:03:15   says "my life's work."

00:03:16   Oh yeah, that's on Mastodon.

00:03:20   That stuck out to me because—and again, I don't want to embarrass you here, but

00:03:25   it shows in your videos that that's how serious you take your videos as works of art.

00:03:33   Oh, well thank you, because that was a bit tongue-in-cheek, because often I think

00:03:38   producing YouTube videos or being a "YouTuber" is dismissed by a lot of traditional journalism,

00:03:45   and a lot of times for good reason. I mean, there's a lot of YouTubers out there that are

00:03:50   no good. But for everyone that does a terrible job, I think there's at least a few that do a

00:03:56   pretty good one. And I hope to think that I'm in the latter half of those individuals.

00:04:02   Well, it's a weird racket to be in, and it is hyper-competitive. And it is, I think, a sort of

00:04:15   generational divide. And I hope, I don't know, I hope I'm humble enough, but I can kind of see it

00:04:25   where—I just turned 50—I think that for people who are, if we roughly define a generation as

00:04:34   20 years, people who are around 30, YouTube is the primary indie media outlet, right? It's not

00:04:47   blogging anymore. And what's happened with YouTube is what I expected to happen with blogging 20

00:04:56   years ago. When I started Daring Fireball, I expected by this time, 20 years hence, that

00:05:04   almost—I just thought that the future of people who were talented at writing and had the draw to

00:05:12   write, the compulsion, which you kind of, in my opinion, you kind of need to have to do anything

00:05:16   in the media. Otherwise, you burn out. I just thought that almost everybody doing it would

00:05:23   be doing it on their own blogs under their own name by now. And it clearly did not turn out to

00:05:30   be the case. I think there are fewer people blogging like I do independently. Whereas with

00:05:37   video, to me, there's clearly far more people who are making a full-time career on YouTube as

00:05:47   independent media outlets like Snazzy Labs, MKBHD, iJustine. If I sit here and list them, I mean,

00:05:55   we'd use up the whole two hours of the show. But YouTube is the outlet for video that I thought

00:06:03   blogging would be. And I'm not quite sure why that didn't work out for writing because there's still

00:06:08   just as much writing going on. But it seems to me like people do it for outlets. They get a job

00:06:14   working for such and such website and they do it. Whereas YouTube, there's far more people doing

00:06:21   YouTube as a thriving career than there are people on traditional television.

00:06:27   - Sure, sure.

00:06:28   - When did you know that that's what you wanted to do?

00:06:31   - I kind of fell into it, I think. I started producing YouTube videos. I don't know that

00:06:37   you could call it producing. I started recording YouTube videos when I was 15. So I've been doing

00:06:42   this, I guess at the end of the year, I will have been making videos longer in my life than I haven't

00:06:48   been making videos, which is wild. So I'm almost 30. I turned 30 this week. And I think that--

00:06:57   - Oh, happy birthday.

00:06:57   - Oh, thank you. And I think that I am maybe biased a little bit into the older generation

00:07:04   slightly of blogging and that kind of tech publication style because that's what I grew

00:07:10   up with. I grew up reading Daring Fireball and listening to podcasts from a bunch of different

00:07:16   networks years and years and years and years ago. And that in many ways fostered my love and

00:07:22   interest in technology and eventually kind of compelled me to do stuff on my own. And when I

00:07:29   was 15, I had no idea that it was certainly, certainly no idea it was going to become my

00:07:35   career, but I didn't even think it was going to become a job. In fact, I don't think that I knew

00:07:39   you could monetize videos on YouTube when I started making them. It was totally something

00:07:44   that I wanted to do because I thought it was cool and fun and interesting. And I liked listening to

00:07:50   podcasts and reading tech articles, but didn't have an outlet to do that. I wasn't sophisticated

00:07:55   enough to set up my own CMS and publish my own site. There was no place where any sane place

00:08:02   where a 15-year-old was able to have the keyboard and write articles, right? So YouTube kind of

00:08:07   became that outlet and that's very luckily, I guess, grown with me over time. It provided a

00:08:13   good healthy job when I was in college. And then when I graduated, I decided to go full time and

00:08:18   that was five years ago. And it doesn't look like it's going away anytime soon, but it is a lot

00:08:24   different than kind of the self-publishing method that I wish in many ways was tenable for video,

00:08:32   because I think that being in control of your audience is really valuable. But I also think

00:08:38   that platforms like YouTube have permitted a much greater number of people to find success because

00:08:44   doing what you do, and I'm not trying to pat you on the back and say good job, but I think

00:08:49   doing what you do is a lot harder because not only do you have to provide engaging and interesting

00:08:55   content, but you've got to find that audience to begin with. And I don't really have to do that.

00:08:59   YouTube just provides it to me as long as I make interesting stuff.

00:09:02   Ted

00:09:15   Every once in a while, I just sort of wake up and I just have that fear. And it's weird

00:09:27   when you don't see your audience. I do my live once a year talk show with the audience and I

00:09:34   get nervous as hell for that. But if I start thinking about it, even right now during the

00:09:46   show, now all of a sudden I'm freaking myself out. I'm like, who are these people that are

00:09:50   opening up their web browser and typing D-A and it auto completes to Daring Fireball and they hit

00:09:56   return and start reading my site and they keep coming back. I know they're out there,

00:10:03   but you don't see them. But it is different. And I'm not sure that I would deal well with the stress

00:10:09   of doing it on YouTube because like you say, people don't start typing S-N-A to go to Snazzy Labs.

00:10:21   They type Y-O to go to YouTube. When you come out with a new video, I get suggested because

00:10:31   their algorithm is pretty good and they seem to know what I like. It doesn't seem like I miss

00:10:35   your videos, but you're at the mercy of the algorithm, right? Yeah, you absolutely are.

00:10:44   I guess you live and die by the sword, right? As long as you're doing what YouTube wants and

00:10:49   expects, then you receive reward and viewership. But it is spooky. I can look in my dashboard. I

00:10:55   don't know the number off the top of my head, but I think the percentage of returning viewers

00:11:00   I have is fewer than 40%. And I think the number that are actually subscribed that have gone and

00:11:07   hit the button that says, yeah, I would like to see this. I think it hovers around 25%.

00:11:11   So the vast majority of viewership that I receive are people that have A, not subscribed to me,

00:11:18   but B, don't even know who I am. They watch one video and they go, cool. And they leave.

00:11:24   And that's really spooky because as soon as YouTube decides, ah, he's not that interesting

00:11:31   or his metrics are no longer as strong as they used to be, then they just stop recommending the

00:11:36   channel. And it's happened to people time and time and time again. And I like to think that I've been

00:11:41   strategic enough to notice trends on YouTube and adapt my content to them, but I am at their mercy.

00:11:50   And that's something that has terrified me from day one. And it's something that I, in the last

00:11:55   couple of years have been more actively working towards avoiding. So that should YouTube go belly

00:12:02   up or should I become unfavorable in the eyes of YouTube? I might have to let go part of my staff,

00:12:08   but at least all, we still have some form of living. Yeah. I think that the fear YouTube

00:12:16   itself clearly isn't going to go away. I think, but I think that the possibility is that what

00:12:22   YouTube is morphs into something incompatible with the range of things that you can do and that you

00:12:33   want to do. Right. Because one thing that sticks out to me about the YouTube professionals like

00:12:39   you and MKBHD, I just seen that I like is that you're clearly not catering just to the algorithm.

00:12:49   Right. And you can see when you look over in the sidebar and it's like, I don't know who that is,

00:12:55   but it's like just pure YouTube bait for lack of a better word. Right. Yeah. Like I always say,

00:13:03   it's like one of my repeated mantras that it's not just like, what are your top three priorities?

00:13:10   The order of those priorities makes a profound difference. And obviously one of your priorities

00:13:16   is to be popular on YouTube because it's your career, but it's very clear to me that you have

00:13:22   a higher priority, which is that you only want to produce videos you're proud of. Well, I appreciate

00:13:28   it. I certainly hope that that's what people perceive. There's a lot of, I don't want to

00:13:35   bad mouth anyone. There's a lot of desire from other YouTubers to game or hack the system, to

00:13:42   produce content that is designed purely to be clicked on. And I don't want to say that that's

00:13:48   not hard because I actually think that it is, but it's just soul sucking. So I frequently try to

00:13:57   convince myself when a video doesn't perform to expectations or when we have a couple of months

00:14:03   that are slow, where I'm feeling down creatively that, Hey, you know what? You can look back and

00:14:09   still be proud of this this information and this content it's useful. There were people that learn

00:14:14   things. And I try to convince myself that if I was purely motivated by money and viewership,

00:14:20   that I would be a lot more successful on YouTube than I am. Yeah, but it's just not something that

00:14:27   I have any interest in making. So yeah, one thing you guys get, and I know from talking with Rene

00:14:33   Richie, who's now he's at YouTube, but I'm familiar enough with how it works, but you guys get explicit

00:14:42   details on which videos perform. I mean, absolutely. And that's one of those areas where

00:14:50   what you do is so different from what I do. I guess if I wanted to hook up analytics,

00:14:59   I could find out if a certain article gets shared more, but I don't look at that. It's like, I just

00:15:09   look every once or twice a month, I'll look at the overall number of hits coming to the website,

00:15:16   but it's like I've turned off Google Analytics a couple of years ago and I don't really get fine

00:15:20   grain details. And even when I did, I didn't really look at them and it never really showed

00:15:25   anything. I'm lucky that Daring Fireball's homepage is a destination. And that's the one thing I look

00:15:35   at is do people still go to my homepage? Because that's sort of in my mind how people read the

00:15:42   site. You guys though, you get like, oh, I thought this video was, this is like one of my favorite

00:15:50   videos I made this year. And it's like half the traffic of my average. And not only that,

00:15:57   but you can see how long people watched on average, where specifically in the video,

00:16:02   people decided to stop watching the demographics, where people are located, their age, their

00:16:08   interests, other videos that they've been interested in. I mean, the amount of granularity

00:16:13   is pretty insane. It's actually overwhelming. And there are, I think there's three stages.

00:16:19   There's people that are on YouTube purely to attain viewership and create wealth that totally

00:16:26   design their videos to perform. You have the middle section, which is people that are probably

00:16:32   smarter than I am that go, okay, we liked bits and pieces of this video at four minutes and 20

00:16:39   seconds. There was a drop. Let's analyze why this was, oh, we decided to do a little bit of a

00:16:44   montage and there was 15 minutes of silence. People don't like that. So let's, let's cut that out for

00:16:48   the, I don't really look at analytics at all. I will. And what I don't want to imply is that I

00:16:56   don't. Strategically create an and release content because I absolutely do because unfortunately I

00:17:03   can't as much as I would like to release a video willy nilly about one of my weird, unique interests

00:17:11   because it's just not going to perform on YouTube. So there's a lot of stuff that I just,

00:17:14   I can't make videos about because not only will people not watch that video,

00:17:19   but a video that doesn't perform well can impact future performance on the channel.

00:17:25   But I don't get so into the nitty gritty that I let my videos be dictated by past analytical

00:17:32   performance because I think once you start to do that, you lose the artistry and you lose the fun

00:17:38   and you lose the love of, of just making interesting stuff. And it becomes more of a game

00:17:42   of, of how do I beat the system? And, and there's a lot of people that like that, but I, I don't,

00:17:47   I think it's terrible. I, and I, I don't think it's sustainable. I don't either. I think the

00:17:53   people who play it that way tend to come and go and it's, it's always fresh faces and it just isn't

00:18:00   sustainable. And some people will hit it big. I mean, they'll, they'll come in and they'll,

00:18:06   they'll go like crazy for four or five years. They make millions of dollars in cash out.

00:18:10   My strategy is make just enough to keep going and do it for your whole life.

00:18:17   That's you see, I don't know who's smarter, but I think I'm certainly more passionate.

00:18:22   But that's now we've come full circle though. And now you're speaking my language, right? Where

00:18:27   it's like, I just got done doing taxes for the year and I've had the same account since I started

00:18:33   and was making no money from the website. And I had to tell him, Hey, I'm starting this thing

00:18:37   on the side. I guess hoping it'll become a business and here we are. And I've sustained

00:18:43   my family with it, but basically once it got to, Hey, this is a nice income for the family.

00:18:49   I was like, okay, I'm done with that part of it now. Just concentrate on the work and good enough.

00:18:55   All right, let me take a break here and thank our first sponsor. They are back and they are

00:19:00   literally one of my favorite companies in the world. I am so happy to have them back as a

00:19:04   sponsor. Backblaze. Backblaze offers unlimited computer backup for Macs, PCs, and businesses.

00:19:12   Starts at just seven bucks a month. You back up your documents, your music, your photos, your videos,

00:19:19   drawings, contracts, projects, all of your data, stuff that goes in Mac OS terms in your home

00:19:26   directory. All of that, all of it, no matter how big it is, even if you've got terabytes of data,

00:19:32   it all gets backed up to Backblaze for seven bucks a month. And you can access your backed up data

00:19:38   from anywhere in the world using, they've got apps for your phone. So if you just want to get to a

00:19:44   certain file, you could just go right into Backblaze app. They have a web app. So you can

00:19:48   just get on a web browser anywhere from any machine and access your backup. If catastrophe

00:19:54   strikes and your desktop machine goes belly up, bursts in the ceiling over your computer,

00:20:03   dumps water all over it, ruins the whole thing. You need the whole thing. You don't just need

00:20:08   a file. You need all of it. You can get restored by mail. They'll just put everything on a hard

00:20:13   drive and ship it to you overnight. And when you get a hard drive restore like this, you send the

00:20:19   drive back to them within 30 days, you get a full refund for the drive. So you're not even paying

00:20:24   for the drive that you don't need. They'll mail you the hard drive. You can restore all of your

00:20:28   data, send the drive back to them. You get all your money back. And for an extra two bucks a month,

00:20:34   you can increase your retention history to one year. So what does that mean? You pay two more

00:20:40   dollars a month, two measly bucks. But that means if you delete something and six months later,

00:20:46   you're like, ah, crap, I need that file back. They've got it. You could just go to Backblaze,

00:20:50   get it back. They have restored over 55 billion files for their customers. Go to where do you

00:20:57   go to find out more? You get a free full featured no credit card required trial at backblaze.com/daringfireball.

00:21:08   That's backblaze.com/daringfireball. Go there. Check it out. I have been a paying customer for

00:21:15   them for easily more than 10 years. Couldn't be happier. My thanks to Backblaze. So one of the,

00:21:22   I really wanted you on the show recently. I've been meaning to ask you for a while,

00:21:27   but your recent videos, it's like, bing, bing. Oh, I would love to talk about that on my podcast.

00:21:33   And then another video drops and I'm like, I want to talk about this.

00:21:37   Well, thank you. That's a good thing. I guess. Oh, no, definitely. Really is. One of your recent

00:21:43   videos was sort of a deep dive. Let's just start with this because WWDC is coming up in what,

00:21:50   six weeks, something like that. The rumored at this point, I would say it's more than

00:21:56   rumored Apple headset. Right. Can you summarize? This is a tough ask, but can you summarize your

00:22:04   video about the headset before, before we continue talking about it? Yeah, we mostly just talked

00:22:10   about the rumored specifications. There's been so many rumors from so many people over years,

00:22:16   this thing has been rumored. Right. And so we tried to take everything that was out there and

00:22:20   distill it into something that was intelligible, trackable. And then also I tried to explain what

00:22:28   some of those rumors may suggest or may mean, because there are several features of this

00:22:34   headset that if Apple can pull them off, would not just be a first for the industry, but, but

00:22:40   kind of game changer like features. Like, for example.

00:22:48   So one of the biggest kind of headlining features that they're expected to provide the,

00:22:53   one of the major holdups with ushering AR and VR into, I should say beyond gaming and very specific

00:23:04   industrial applications as pixel density. In VR, they use the term pixels per degree

00:23:10   rather than pixels per inch because the PPI is obviously the measure of the

00:23:16   pixels on a flat plane. Once you put lenses in that distort the shape of those, those displays,

00:23:24   you have to change the the metric by which that's kind of measured. The PPD that is

00:23:32   kind of been established, just like that term retina that Steve Jobs used on stage,

00:23:37   which I don't know how true that is, but the, the idea of once you hit this position,

00:23:43   you can no longer distinguish greater pixel density is about, I should look my numbers up

00:23:48   before I say them. I believe it was about 160 pixels per degree. Current VR headsets right now

00:23:54   are about a quarter of that. So we're still very much in the, in the phase of displays are getting

00:24:01   more dense. They're getting more impressive, but you still clearly can tell that it's not real life.

00:24:07   Right. I mean, you're, and if you focus on pixels, you can see them. The, the rumored Apple headset

00:24:14   is alleged to have 4,000 pixels in each direction per eye. So there are two square displays,

00:24:21   4,000 by 4,000 per eye, which would give you an effective if you're to kind of translate in that

00:24:27   into a 16 by nine, understandable resolution, it'd be an 8K display. Current headsets right now are a

00:24:34   fraction of that. There are a few really niche, really expensive headsets that can push closer

00:24:40   to what Apple's numbers are suggesting, but mass kind of consumer, VR and AR headsets are barely

00:24:46   pushing over 2000 per 2000 or 2000 by 2000 per eye. So quite literally double the pixel density

00:24:54   per eyes of four X, the number of pixels in a headset that's not running off of some insane

00:25:03   desktop gaming computer. It's something that's allegedly supposed to be self-contained.

00:25:07   And in order to make that even viable, they have to do a bunch of stuff that other manufacturers

00:25:15   have started doing that works really, really well. I mean, the PlayStation VR does what they

00:25:20   call eye tracking. I've used it. I'm not a gamer, but my son has a PS5 and I've used,

00:25:27   he's got the headset. So I've, I've used it and I know what you're talking about.

00:25:31   Yeah. It's wild because it's this, they call it foveated rendering, right? So

00:25:36   you can get away. You can still make it look realistic by rendering stuff that's further

00:25:42   away from where your eyeballs are focused less accurately. You save on your GPU and your compute

00:25:47   and to the wearer, you don't even notice because you're not looking at it.

00:25:51   Foveated rendering has been a thing in VR for a few years, but it's only worked typically in

00:25:56   the center because that's where your eyes tend to look. But if you shift your eyeballs in your

00:26:00   eye sockets, moving your head, that effect starts to diminish in quality. With the PlayStation VR,

00:26:06   they use infrared iris trackers to look where your pupils are focused and then to redirect the

00:26:13   foveated rendering circle to that area. And the effect is remarkably convincing when you have that

00:26:18   set on, you can't even tell, but when you're, I don't know if, if, if you looked at the display

00:26:24   when Jonah or someone else was using the the headset, but it's wild because you can tell

00:26:29   exactly where they're looking in the headset on the TV, because it's the only part that looks sharp

00:26:35   and everything else looks awful, but in the headset, you have no idea because you're not

00:26:39   focused on it. It's pretty cool. Yeah. It is. It's a fundamentally different way of approaching

00:26:47   displays. Right? So I'm talking to you right now in front of my studio display, which I love,

00:26:55   absolutely adore this, I guess now exactly. Well, no, it didn't get to me till June, but

00:27:01   year old studio display, but a traditional display, and it's a perfect example of it.

00:27:06   It's from corner to corner, the same resolution and it has to be right. And I know this sounds

00:27:13   like, duh, of course. And your TV is the same way. Like the far upper left corner of 32 by 32 pixels

00:27:22   up there in the corner is exactly the same brightness, pixel density, et cetera, as the

00:27:28   pixels right in the dead center of the display because the display has no idea where you're

00:27:33   looking. Right? Yep. Yep. And with VR, you could, at some point, if you had infinite

00:27:47   graphical computing, you could render the whole thing at full resolution and full brightness. And

00:27:52   that if you have the battery and have the graphics to do it, sure, why not? It wouldn't hurt to render

00:28:01   your peripheral vision at a higher resolution. But in the real world where this is pushing the

00:28:08   limits of graphic cards that you could conceivably fit in something you're supposed to put on your

00:28:14   head. And again, rumors, here we are spending a whole show talking about this thing that

00:28:21   we could wait six weeks and find the details. Where's the fun in that?

00:28:25   Right. But the rumors are that it gets only about two hours of battery life with sort of

00:28:32   something that Gurman has described as roughly the size of a phone itself or Apple's-

00:28:38   I think he said two iPhone 14 Pro Maxes stacked together. So pretty beefy.

00:28:43   Yeah, pretty beefy. Some kind of battery pack that you would put in your pocket or put on your belt.

00:28:48   I don't know what we're supposed to do with it. It seems a little awkward to me, but we'll see.

00:28:51   But the battery's got to go somewhere. But even with an external battery, let's just say the

00:28:56   rumor is true. You have to wear an iPhone-sized battery or two iPhone-sized batteries in your

00:29:02   pocket and have a cable going to the headset. And you still only get two hours of battery life

00:29:07   if that rumors are true. It would be a complete waste of that battery life and the graphics to

00:29:14   render the full field of these 4,000 by 4,000 displays at full resolution. And it turns out,

00:29:22   that's how our eyes work. I'm intimately familiar with it. I've had retinal detachments in both eyes.

00:29:28   I don't want to go into- But I've learned a lot about how our human vision works over the last

00:29:33   10 years. And it's exactly how human vision works. Your peripheral vision as a human being is so much

00:29:42   worse than your brain has convinced you that you think it is. And because our eyes have seemingly,

00:29:51   again, it's an illusion. Our eyes don't have zero latency. They have latency, but our brains

00:29:58   have completely convinced us that they don't. And so everywhere you think you see in your

00:30:02   peripheral vision, as soon as you shift your gaze over there, it's all just focused on the center of

00:30:10   your retina, which is called, I should know, the macula. And effectively, that's what VR is doing.

00:30:16   Your macula is in the center of your retina is really the only thing that sees anything

00:30:21   clearly. Everything else is just sketched out, really. It really is. That's how VR...

00:30:30   I think that that's what Apple is going to do with this headset. I think it's fascinating.

00:30:36   Yeah. I think it's the only way they can get away with using a display that's that high resolution

00:30:41   and make effective use of it. It's just to render a very small portion of it at one to one, and then

00:30:46   everything else make it blockier and crappier because you won't really pay attention. But you can

00:30:52   move your eyes and look in a new direction and it'll update and re-render stuff faster or as fast

00:30:59   as your eyes can track anyway that you won't even really believe it's happening. So that rumor,

00:31:05   I think, is really interesting and really exciting. Additionally, because Apple... Again,

00:31:10   this is all conjecture and rumorings, but Apple's rumored to have partnered with Sony to use Sony's

00:31:16   OLED micro displays. And there's a bit of marketing hubbub surrounding the term micro OLED,

00:31:25   because there's micro OLED, which is the idea that you put the pixels on the silicon substrate

00:31:34   directly, which allows you to achieve a much higher pixel density and a much smaller scale.

00:31:40   So that's micro OLED, and that'll be making its way into TVs in the future.

00:31:44   There's already prototypes of it, but Sony has what they call OLED micro displays.

00:31:50   And Sony's OLED micro displays are micro OLED, but they call them micro displays because they're

00:31:58   physically really, really small. I mean, their largest micro display they sell right now,

00:32:04   I think, is just under one square inch. So they're very, very tiny displays, but

00:32:10   they're really impressive because they have those pixels directly on the silicon.

00:32:15   And because they're OLED, they can make them pretty bright. They can make their pixel density

00:32:20   really high. Their refresh rate is incredibly impressive. And the only thing at Kossia is an

00:32:26   arm and a leg. And so there are rumors that Apple is working with Sony to create an OLED

00:32:33   micro display for this headset, but it would be a technical triumph because all that Sony has

00:32:40   been able to produce so far is about a one inch by one inch 1080p display. So if Apple is intending

00:32:47   to go 4K per eye, that's quite literally four times the number of pixels in a display that

00:32:53   physically will be larger than one square inch, I'm presuming, but not that much.

00:32:56   And so, yeah, it'll be unbelievable. That's why these rumors that they almost sound too good to

00:33:05   be true. But I also think that one of the reasons that Apple has held off for years and years and

00:33:11   years of allegedly having been developing this for almost a decade, that they needed to wait until it

00:33:19   was convincingly ready to rumble. And that may be that point in time, but I still think that it

00:33:25   may be too early. I don't know. Well, that leads into my next question about the displays. And I

00:33:30   wonder, so in hindsight, it's funny to me what we're looking at 2007 to 2023. So this will be

00:33:42   the 16th year of iPhones, that there were only three of them before the retina display, right?

00:33:49   There was just the iPhone, the iPhone 3G, and then the 3GS, and then it went retina with the iPhone 4.

00:33:56   And what I find so humorous about that is that when the iPhone came out, it was at 163 pixels

00:34:03   per inch. It was the highest, maybe not the highest density display in the world, but it

00:34:08   was the highest density display in a consumer product, right? Certainly on a handheld.

00:34:12   Right. It was a much nicer display. The Macs at the time were somewhere around like 100 to 120

00:34:21   pixels per inch, depending on which model or whether it's a laptop or a standalone display.

00:34:26   But you got enough more pixels per inch where it just seemed amazing. Like,

00:34:32   here's this thing in my pocket and it has a better display than my big ass computer. And then only

00:34:40   the fourth generation in, they were like double the pixels per square inch,

00:34:44   which is actually a quadrupling of the total pixels that the thing has to drive.

00:34:49   Sure.

00:34:50   And it raised and it was amazing. It was like, holy crap, I thought my iPhone 3GS.

00:34:57   And I just remember being at the hands-on area. The iPhone 4 was the last one that debuted at a

00:35:06   WWDC. Also the last one where Steve Jobs was there. But it was June 2010. And I just remember very

00:35:14   vividly that the hands-on area for the people in the press who were there was in the hallway

00:35:19   outside the big keynote hall and on the upstairs of Moscone West. And everybody was doing this same

00:35:27   thing. Everybody had their personal iPhone 3G or 3GS, whatever they had, and looking at it side by

00:35:34   side with their demo units and being like, "Huh, my phone is garbage." Everybody. It's like, it's

00:35:40   one thing to have Steve Jobs tell you on stage that it's four times the pixels in double

00:35:47   resolution and you can't see the individual pixels. That's what we mean by retina.

00:35:51   But when you were looking at it, it was like, holy cow.

00:35:54   And then pretty quickly they moved the Mac there. The Mac couldn't move to retina displays with the

00:36:02   snap of the finger like the iPhone could. And even still to this day, there are people out there,

00:36:07   I'm sure there are people listening to us who have non-retina external display. You can't buy

00:36:12   a MacBook without a retina display, but you can certainly hook up a 4K display that's technically

00:36:19   sub-retina. The Mac's a little different than the iPhone where the resolution is flexible.

00:36:24   But where I'm going though is that effectively once the iPhone went retina, we got spoiled and

00:36:30   everything had to be retina. And so what I'm curious about with the headset is, is there some

00:36:39   alternate world where they'd shipped the headset years ago and it was only 1080p and you could see

00:36:46   pixels and we just had to wait four years to go to retina? Or is there something about the VR

00:36:54   experience that demands retina display? That being able to see pixels takes you out of it

00:37:06   in a way that's inherent to the VR experience? Yeah, I think with early VR headsets, so

00:37:13   2016 you look at like the HTC Vive, one of the reasons why it was so pixelated or perceivably so

00:37:21   was that it was an OLED display using a pen tile sub-pixel arrangement. And so you didn't really

00:37:27   have a red, blue and green for every single pixel. And the spacing that they had in between the

00:37:33   pixels as a result of having to use Fresnel lenses and basically magnify into these displays was

00:37:39   something that they called the screen door effect. And it's quite a literal term where if you're

00:37:44   looking through a screen door that's supposed to stop bugs and mosquitoes from coming in your own,

00:37:49   you can still see out and through it, but there's kind of this like gray moiré kind of,

00:37:55   it's like you're looking through a screen door and that translated into VR. And very quickly,

00:38:02   in order to pursue higher refresh rates, which are important to decrease nausea, because when you

00:38:09   move your head, you want the display to refresh at the rate that your eyeballs would expect

00:38:14   the real world to, and to get rid of that screen door effect, most VR headsets move over to LCD.

00:38:20   And so the Valve Index and a couple of still the highest end headsets on the market are high

00:38:26   refresh LCD, but LCD comes with its own downsides, right? You can't get true blacks out of LCD. And

00:38:31   when you're strapped into a pair of goggles where there's no outside light coming in,

00:38:36   it's not very convincing to have your blacks be colored gray, because you do still have the

00:38:43   ability to look beyond the field of view of the headset. So if you really move your eyeballs,

00:38:49   you can see past the screen and it's just black because that's the end of the display. And so

00:38:53   when you have the true black of a non-display area, and then a very, very, very bright gray

00:38:59   that's trying to simulate black because of an LCD, it's just not a very convincing effect, but

00:39:03   it's better than having to deal with wanting to hurl because the display is too slow or making

00:39:10   it look like you're looking through a screen door. Well, I'll just say on that point that I think

00:39:15   that explains why Apple Watch has always been OLED. I don't think there was any chance possible that

00:39:21   they were ever going to launch Apple Watch with an LCD display, because especially in the first

00:39:27   couple generations, the way that the black bezel around the display is indistinguishable from the

00:39:34   black of most of the Apple Watch faces completely hides where the display is. And especially on the

00:39:42   like series one, two, or zero, one, two, and three, the screen was just a perfect rectangle

00:39:48   with a sharp corner and you never saw it though. It was completely, it created the illusion that

00:39:56   there was no display. And I kind of feel like you need that same effect with the goggles.

00:40:01   Yeah, I think so too. It's not completely necessary, but it certainly helps with immersion.

00:40:08   Where people I think get fixated, and this is where I'm really interested to see where Apple

00:40:12   goes with this, is convincing a greater number of your senses to a greater effect that it's real

00:40:20   life. The best VR experience I've ever had, and I've yet to go back and replicate it by any other

00:40:28   newer headset, was clear back in 2018. There was this company called The Void. They've since gone

00:40:34   under. But what they did, they were trying to work with amusement parks. They were in downtown

00:40:40   Disney for a while. And I know about them because they're a company that was based not too far from

00:40:44   where I'm at. And they would trick a greater quantity of your senses because they knew that

00:40:50   putting a pair of goggles on wasn't convincing enough. So they would allow you to track your body

00:40:56   in a warehouse. So rather than stand in this little five by five square, you would be in an enormous

00:41:04   space and it would be able to see wherever you were going and it would translate that into the

00:41:08   game that they had developed. And beyond that, they had trackable objects. So this was all in

00:41:14   a black room, but one of the most kind of impressive, convincing things about this was that

00:41:22   you put the goggles on and you were in this rain forest approaching the entrance to a cave. And as

00:41:28   you walk towards the cave, you saw a torch that was on the wall. And there was a little prompt

00:41:32   that said, "Grab the torch." I had gloves on and the gloves were tracked in VR. And as I went to

00:41:38   grab the torch, it was just a little piece of wood shaped into the shape of a cone. But as I grabbed

00:41:44   it, I saw my hand grab it in virtual reality. And not only was I able to feel the torch, but they

00:41:50   had a little bit of an infrared heater at the top of that piece of wood. And so there was heat

00:41:56   coming off of the torch. And there were a bunch of other tricks they did too, where you'd approach a

00:42:01   river and they had a fan that was turned on that was blowing steam at you or mist. And so it was

00:42:06   kind of this effect of, "Oh, I'm close to the water. There's water splashing on my face."

00:42:10   And it did a really good job at convincing you that this was real, even though it was a lot of

00:42:17   cheap gimmicks to convince you that you were in the real world because the headset was kind of

00:42:21   crappy. And so even if you have something that doesn't quite convincingly get you there, there

00:42:27   are a lot of other things that they can do to make it seem more real. The Valve Index a few years ago

00:42:34   added the Knuckles controllers. They use ultrasonic sensors and a couple of other,

00:42:38   they're capacitive buttons, right? So you can rest your finger on the button without pushing it.

00:42:43   And it shows that in the game. And it's just little stuff like that, where it can more

00:42:47   convincingly distract you from the fact that your vision isn't quite what you get in the real world.

00:42:54   And that's where I'm interested to see if Apple's hand tracking and some of the

00:42:57   contextual and kind of environmental stuff that they can do, sound is another big one. If they can

00:43:03   do a bunch of these small things to distract you from the idea that, yeah, even at 4k, this still

00:43:10   isn't quite as good as human vision, but it doesn't matter. And I think that they will be

00:43:14   able to pull it off if they can do even a remotely decent job. Because with most headsets nowadays,

00:43:20   I think that it's kind of like you mentioned, where you your eyes fool your brain into thinking

00:43:26   they're better than they are. It's the same thing with the headset. Once you've put a headset on for

00:43:31   15-20 minutes, you put it on at first, you're like, whoa, this is not really what real life

00:43:35   looks like. But after 20 minutes, your brain just remaps what your vision is inside of the goggles.

00:43:41   Yeah. And so it really does become pretty convincing pretty quickly.

00:43:45   I don't have tons of experience with VR, as I said, but one of the experiences I did have was

00:43:52   a couple years ago, it was 95% sure when the iMac Pro came out. And they wanted to, it was at Apple's

00:44:04   semi-secretive New York mansion that they don't want people posting pictures of, etc. But

00:44:12   I didn't have to go out to California, but it was in New York. And they had a bunch of

00:44:19   rooms with different stations showing how great the iMac Pro is. And the developer one was really

00:44:28   interesting just because it was like compiling an iPhone app, a big iPhone app with lots of

00:44:35   source code and also running like Parallels or something running an entire Windows VM.

00:44:42   And in the windows, they were compiling like a C++ app at the same time while exporting a 4K video.

00:44:50   And the demo for the press was come behind here and put your hand on it and feel how cool it is.

00:44:57   And it's not making noise. The iMac Pro, it was Intel, but it presaged where Apple wanted to go

00:45:05   with their own Silicon. We'll get to that later in the show. But they had a VR room and it was the

00:45:10   HTC Vive, but hooked up to, I think to the iMac Pros. And they had a couple of demos they let us

00:45:17   play. And like you said, I don't know, at least 20 minutes. When I took them off, I was so

00:45:22   disoriented. And it was so, but there were the, one of the weird parts of it was with the Vive.

00:45:29   And there was like sort of a guitar hero game that I was playing where it was like music and

00:45:35   things are coming at me and I'm like slashing at these things. Yeah. I think that might've

00:45:40   been it. But whatever it was, I didn't have legs. And it sounds funny. Like we're saying this,

00:45:46   and if anybody's out there and they've never really used a VR headset, it sounds funny to

00:45:50   complain about the lack of legs, but it's really weird. It's because you put it on and you're like,

00:45:59   okay, instantly you're like, this is weird. I'm looking in a goggle and blah, blah, blah. And

00:46:05   if it works within minutes, you're, you are immersed to some degree or another. And once

00:46:11   you're immersed, I don't have legs. It's so weird. And you do, but this is where I'm so interested

00:46:20   to see what, as I've written about at length, what the hell does Apple think we're going to do with

00:46:24   the headset? Right? Because there's weird things like everybody always goes to the Star Trek

00:46:29   Holodeck, which was a great gimmick for the show. A fantastic gimmick, right? Where, Oh my God,

00:46:36   we've got to do 20 episodes of Star Trek a year. Where are we going to come up with these stories?

00:46:41   Well, we could just send our beloved cast and crew to Victorian England for a

00:46:46   Sherlock Holmes style episode. Cause we're going to put them in the holiday,

00:46:48   but you could walk around the holiday. You actually, the gimmick, I mean, they always sort of

00:46:57   ignored the fact that eventually they'd walk into the walls, right? Cause it was like gymnasium size,

00:47:02   but there are walls, but it's weird. You put on VR headset and you might want to play a game or

00:47:10   something where you move, but you can't actually walk right. Cause you'd be like walking into your

00:47:16   desk or walking, walking into people or, or something. It's it's very, I guess for games,

00:47:27   it makes a lot more sense if it's a vehicle game where you're the pilot of a ship or driving a car,

00:47:32   because then it makes sense that you're not actually moving your real human legs.

00:47:36   Yeah. Although there are, there are newer, I mean, newer headsets can, can track a lot really well.

00:47:45   What was always weird about those early headsets is, is you actually were able to move around

00:47:50   in a space and you could play a game. You lay down on the ground and your, your vision is going to go

00:47:56   down to the floor in the game, but you look down and all you see is some weird floating hands that

00:48:01   are disembodied from the rest of your, and you're like, hold on. But more recent headsets,

00:48:06   particularly with the meta quest pro. Not only did they have hand tracking already that Apple

00:48:12   is alleged to be implementing and they actually even have the same engagement mechanism.

00:48:17   Gurman said that the, how Apple intends to have you interact with the UI is to take your thumb

00:48:23   and your index finger and pinch together. And when you pinch that basically acts as a click,

00:48:29   but Facebook has already had that exact implementation for a couple of years now.

00:48:32   And it works actually pretty well. And you can track your fingers remarkably well in this,

00:48:38   in the Facebook headsets. And they even have full body tracking now. So you can see your arms and

00:48:43   you can see your legs in VR and it doesn't have the same. It can't perfectly emulate the mobility

00:48:50   of your legs, but it does a convincing enough job that you're like, yeah, I'm there. And so that's

00:48:56   where I'm really interested to see what Apple has planned for this headset, because the hardware is

00:49:00   impressive as it sounds like they're going to be implementing. I think that the bar,

00:49:07   they're already there. They could release the same headset that Facebook has out. They could release

00:49:11   the same headset that valve has out and it would be sufficiently good to fool the senses where that

00:49:17   convincing ends is once you enter the, and you said it yourself, what am I supposed to do with

00:49:24   this? Because if you have a limited games catalog, or there's very few applications for where this

00:49:30   might work, or it's just a display for your Mac, but instead of looking at the display on your Mac,

00:49:35   now you're looking at a bigger display on your goggles. I don't know if that's a convincing

00:49:40   enough reason to want to get and utilize the headset. And I think that developers, as always

00:49:46   has been the case in Apple's kind of product lineup will come up with incredible ideas and

00:49:52   applications for this headset. But I also think that Apple has to sell people from day one,

00:49:58   because we've known this has been coming for years. And so they can't say, Hey, this is really

00:50:02   powerful. We don't really know what to do with it yet, but here you figure it out. They've got to

00:50:07   have something that, that has to blow the mind. And based on again, Gurman's latest rumors from

00:50:14   power on that, they have dozens, he said of experiences because they know that they can't

00:50:21   release it with the shallow to empty catalog. There's gotta be a reason to own one from day one.

00:50:26   Yeah. I kind of feel like that's the long story short of why did this product take so long to

00:50:34   come out. Right. It's been rumored longer than anything. Maybe if we make an exception for the

00:50:41   car, but the car, but the car project by all accounts has never really coalesced around a,

00:50:50   okay, this is it. Right. Whereas this headset keeps changing. Yeah. But there,

00:50:55   but there's a basic idea that you're going to, it's going to be expensive. You put it on it's,

00:51:00   it's not glasses. It's full on immersive VR. And then if you do see through to the real world for

00:51:07   an AR experience, it'll be cameras shooting out, projecting the real world into the goggles in

00:51:15   front of you. I think the biggest reason it's taken so long is building up the library of

00:51:22   experiences. Right. And I hope, yeah, I hope to, I hope I really not. Oh yeah. But I, I do think

00:51:31   it is sort of a, if you're looking for, and I guess maybe that that's the trap I've fallen into

00:51:40   is with my writing speculating, what would the use case I'm looking for like the heroic, this is the

00:51:47   one thing you're going to want to spend all this money to get this thing for. And maybe that's the

00:51:52   wrong way of thinking about it. Right. It's like, Hey, it does a dozen interesting things. And for

00:51:58   you, maybe it's numbers five, seven and nine out of the 12. And for me, it's two, four, and six.

00:52:05   And these are the things I really want to do. And I guess that's true of like most Apple products,

00:52:12   right? Everybody who uses a Mac does different things on it. Right. You Quinn Nelson are keenly

00:52:18   interested in the performance of exporting 4k or I don't know, do you shoot 8k? I mean, but high res,

00:52:26   but high res video. Right. And there's lots and lots of millions of Mac users out there who never

00:52:33   export a video in their life. Right. They might shoot video on their phone and all they do is

00:52:37   sync it to their photo. So I guess that's the sort of thing, but I really, I still don't know.

00:52:45   I don't know. It is interesting because it's, I think it's one of the

00:52:50   rare exceptions where we, I guess it's not a rare exception because it's often that we know what the

00:52:56   hardware is going to be before we really know what the software is going to be because supply chain

00:53:00   links are, are so much harder to kind of buckle down than, than internal to Apple. But it's really

00:53:06   the first time that we don't really know anything about the, the way that it will be navigated from

00:53:13   a user experience standpoint, how the UI is going to work, what API's will be available. And so

00:53:19   that makes it both really exciting and also really I don't want to say terrifying, but

00:53:26   I really hope they hit the mark. But and this is where maybe the Apple apologist in me will

00:53:33   come out. There's been the, the wave has passed for money in VR. So if Apple was focused on

00:53:40   market capitalization and getting something out that people were going to buy in mass,

00:53:45   they would have released a headset three, four years ago when the second generation of,

00:53:51   of kind of PC VR headsets were coming out, but they didn't. And right now is not the time to

00:53:58   release a VR headset. VR is dying pretty much everywhere. But the fact that Apple seems to be

00:54:06   ready to do it doesn't make me think that it's a sunk cost fallacy because look at the car.

00:54:11   They have no problem deferring stuff for years if it's not ready. So I think it is, but I just

00:54:17   don't know what ready is because we have no context for what it's supposed to be because

00:54:22   no one's done a good job with it yet. And that makes it really, really exciting to me anyway.

00:54:28   Right. There's a fundamental and like you said, there's it sounds like Apple fandom to say,

00:54:35   I just have faith that the people who have that decision-making authority, Jaws and Federighi and

00:54:44   even up to Tim Cook that there's, is this good enough? And if it's not, then don't release it.

00:54:53   Right. And their Apple's not a struggling company. Right. So they're not under desperate pressure

00:54:59   for that. But on the other hand, maybe, right. That's sort of the excitement is what if,

00:55:06   what if, what if they are too insular and they've convinced themselves that this is a thing

00:55:14   and they release it and it's not a thing. Right. Yeah. And by all accounts, it's not like the iPod

00:55:22   or the watch, which was like, Hey, for the first generation, take a flyer and buy this thing.

00:55:28   It's 400 bucks. Supposedly it's $3,000. Even if that's off by a factor of two. Right. And it's a

00:55:36   $1,500 headset, which would be impressive, an impressive win versus the rumors. But still,

00:55:43   that's a lot of money. A $1,500 headset is a ton of money. It is. And there's no way it's going to

00:55:49   be 1500 bucks, at least not if it's shipping with the specs that are rumored. I mean,

00:55:53   there's projections that even at the $3,000 expected sales price, it's going to be a loss

00:55:59   leader. They're not going to make it. Oh, well, they break. They're not even breaking even.

00:56:03   Right. Every headset loses money. So that really even further convinces me that Apple thinks it's

00:56:10   a big deal and they think it's the future and it might not be ready for the masses.

00:56:14   Right. At $3,000, it's not going to become the next iPhone, but if it can lay the foundation

00:56:20   for what will be in three or five or 10 years, then that's sweet. They've got to hit it out of

00:56:27   the park from day one. Otherwise everyone's going to go, yeah, well, I don't want a cheaper,

00:56:30   crappier version of that. It's not even good. Yeah. The 1984 Macintosh costs $2,500.

00:56:37   And so let me hear it. Let's do this. 2,500 inflation calculator. It's something,

00:56:44   I think I did this recently. It's like $7,000 in today's money, something like that.

00:56:50   Yeah, I can believe it.

00:56:51   Yeah. Let's see here. Well, it's something like $7,000. So imagine if Apple came out with a new

00:56:56   computer today and it was $7,000. That's the entry model. That's it. There's no way cheaper. People

00:57:03   would say, oh my God, you're out of your mind. No one's going to buy a $7,000 computer. But that's

00:57:08   what the Macintosh costs in 1984. And it took a long time for computers to be of interest to the

00:57:17   general population. And I'm not saying that this headset is going to take 10 years before it hits

00:57:23   critical mass. I think things move faster today. Right.

00:57:28   And it's only-

00:57:29   But if I take five.

00:57:30   Right.

00:57:31   Right.

00:57:32   I take three.

00:57:32   Yeah. Super exciting. All right. Let me take a break here and thank our next sponsor. It's

00:57:36   our good friends at Trade Coffee. Trade Coffee. If you love drinking coffee every morning, and I do,

00:57:42   you have to check out Trade Coffee. Trade makes it effortless to brew better coffee at home.

00:57:48   They empower coffee lovers to discover better coffee because they deliver fresh coffee right

00:57:54   to your door. If you've been getting your coffee from the grocery store and drinking the same

00:57:58   coffee every day, you really need to try something better because coffee that sits on the shelf,

00:58:03   it really is. I know it doesn't look like a produce, like fresh fruit, and it doesn't rot

00:58:10   like an apple that just sits there. But coffee goes bad. Roasted coffee really does not have a

00:58:16   long shelf life to really be the freshest it can be. And once you get used to freshly roasted coffee,

00:58:22   you instantly taste the difference. And it's very difficult to go back to this blah coffee that you

00:58:29   get from a shelf. Trade Coffee works with... It's a subscription service. And you pick how often

00:58:36   you want to get new coffees. After you get coffees, they come from local roasters all

00:58:41   over the country. Over 55 roasters right here in the US, independent small roasters,

00:58:48   offering over 450 different roasts. That's how many different types of coffee they have.

00:58:53   You get your coffee. Then a couple of days later, Trade sends you an email and it says, "Hey,

00:58:59   do you want to rate the coffee we just sent you last week?" And you could give it a thumbs up,

00:59:03   a thumbs like, "Ah, this isn't really for me." And then they use that information to dial in

00:59:07   the sort of coffee you're more likely to like. And I'm telling you, it works. I've been subscribed,

00:59:13   I think, for a full year at this point to Trade Coffee. And the coffee I get from...

00:59:17   I've always been happy with it, but it really is more the type of coffee John Gruber likes

00:59:24   at this point when I get the Trade Coffee. It is so super easy and convenient. If you go on vacation,

00:59:30   if you're going away, if you find out that whatever you picked for your frequency

00:59:34   is too much or too little, it is easy to adjust or pause your subscription at any time.

00:59:40   I can't say enough good things about it. I really like it. Upgrade your morning routine with Better

00:59:44   Coffee. Right now, Trade is offering our viewers, our listeners of this show, a free bag of coffee

00:59:50   with any subscription at www.drinktrade.com/thetalkshow. That's www.drinktrade.com/thetalkshow

01:00:00   for a free bag of coffee with any subscription purchase. www.drinktrade.com/thetalkshow.

01:00:07   You a coffee drinker, Quinn?

01:00:09   Pete Laskowski I'm not.

01:00:10   John Green Yeah, you don't strike me as a... You've got natural energy. Me, I need it. I need

01:00:14   the caffeinated boost. Another of your recent episodes that I really liked, and it felt...

01:00:22   It was a little sad. You tied it in with Gordon Moore's passing. It was a little serendipitous.

01:00:27   I get the feeling you were working on a video about Apple Silicon, and it just so happens that

01:00:33   Gordon Moore happened to die. It's not... He lived a wonderful life, died a billionaire,

01:00:40   at age 91 in Hawaii, surrounded by his family. We've all got to die at some point. That seems

01:00:46   like he went out on top.

01:00:48   Pete Laskowski A good way to go. Yeah.

01:00:48   John Green Right.

01:00:48   Pete Laskowski Yeah. No, that video... Not only did we start writing that video when Gordon

01:00:53   Moore was still alive, but that was a video that had been scrapped and then salvaged and then

01:00:58   scrapped again. I probably started that script eight months ago and just never got it in a spot

01:01:04   where I was happy with it. And so I'd come back to it and then try to rework it and finally got

01:01:09   it to a point where I thought it was worth releasing. So...

01:01:12   John Green Fascinating insight because I do feel,

01:01:15   going back to when I first started talking to you about the art of being a professional video maker

01:01:20   on YouTube is... It's probably too for writing too. I aim to write articles that go down easy.

01:01:28   My vision is you start reading something I wrote that's long and next thing you know,

01:01:33   you're at the end. You can't help yourself. And videos are sort of like that too, right?

01:01:37   Like there's... When you hit it, it looks effortless.

01:01:40   Right? And it's counterintuitive. The better your video is, the less likely someone who enjoys it

01:01:49   is to say, "Wow, you must have spent a ton of time on that." Because instead it feels like, "Oh,

01:01:53   you had some thoughts on Apple Silicon and read them in front of a camera."

01:01:58   Pete Laskowski Right. Right. Yeah.

01:02:00   John Green But I thought it was really good. I feel like one of the

01:02:07   ongoing themes of the current moment, this decade, is Apple's shift to their own silicon for the Mac.

01:02:18   Pete Laskowski Yeah.

01:02:19   John Green And I frequently... It's because I love The

01:02:25   Verge so much and Monica Chin is like their PC laptop reviewer. And I don't want to single her

01:02:32   out too often. But I do feel that for anybody who's trying to maintain cross-platform, not objectivity

01:02:44   per se, but objectivity, but also just the overall keep your feet or keep some of your fingers on all

01:02:53   sides of the industry and knowing the state of the art of PC hardware and Mac hardware, I feel like

01:03:00   it's broken people's brains how far ahead Apple Silicon is over the state of the art in the Intel

01:03:08   and AMD x86 world. Pete Laskowski

01:03:11   Yeah. And it's interesting because they're ahead in areas where I think people often don't realize

01:03:19   or don't understand, because the M series processors are objectively fast. I mean,

01:03:24   they're impressive pieces of silicon, but they're not the fastest chips you can buy.

01:03:30   If you have the money, you can get a much faster Intel chip for not even just a desktop,

01:03:36   but for a laptop. The difference is that they draw incredible amounts of power, they create

01:03:43   incredible amounts of heat. And there are areas where the Apple Silicon chips, for reasons that

01:03:50   we can get into just frankly, outperform chips that are designed for general purpose compute.

01:03:56   John Green The way the industry evolved up to this point,

01:04:00   no single company ever had a fork like this, where the performance metrics of the silicon just

01:04:09   are so totally different. It really is like two universes at this point. Because in the Intel

01:04:15   world, and I'm saying Intel just to mean x86, because x86 seems like more of a mouthful, but

01:04:22   it's like you said, you can buy a faster computer, but it has the trade offs that we spent 50 years

01:04:31   or longer, you know, whenever you want to go back to the beginning of the semiconductor industry

01:04:35   with Gordon Moore in the 1960s. Faster means more power, more power means if it's battery operated,

01:04:43   shorter battery life, and it means more heat, right? You go and if you want less heat and

01:04:50   longer battery life, then you get a slower computer. And these trade offs were very well

01:04:56   understood. And Apple Silicon really is the sort of you can have your cake and eat it too. And you

01:05:03   get very good performance, excellent performance. And they run incredibly cool and they last

01:05:11   laughably long. Like it's ridiculous how long my MacBook Pro lasts on battery. It makes me laugh.

01:05:20   I still vividly remember how cool it was to be able to watch video on a laptop while flying on

01:05:31   an airplane and not being at the liberty of the seat back, which may or may not even have an

01:05:35   entertainment system. It's like, I can watch my own movies. But like a flight from Philadelphia

01:05:40   to California used to, if you got like a half an hour before they let you take your laptop out,

01:05:48   and then you start watching and then you get close to landing and they're like, put everything under

01:05:51   the seat or whatever, the battery would be dead if you were watching movies on a cross country

01:05:57   flight. Now it's like your battery's fine. You could get off the plane and sit down and do work.

01:06:01   For people who aren't, and I know it's, again, it's decades long that there are some people who

01:06:10   just don't like Apple products. And for good reasons, perhaps that they just don't like the

01:06:15   way Mac OS works. They prefer Windows or a big reason for people who are enthusiasts is gaming.

01:06:25   The PC gaming industry literally does not include the Mac, right? We really do mean

01:06:30   Windows PCs when we talk about PC gaming. But it just feels like there's a sort of denial

01:06:42   about how far behind the Intel state of the art is silicon wise on these price per performance

01:06:48   metrics. And that's where I think it's most important to kind of highlight,

01:06:54   because it's so perfectly Apple. I mean, for years, take the 2016 MacBook Pro, there were years

01:07:04   where you and I, and pretty much every other person was saying, these computers are too hot.

01:07:10   They don't have sufficient cooling. It's so bad and they get so hot that it starts to destroy the

01:07:15   keyboard that's not very good. And there's all these problems associated with trying to get rid

01:07:21   of this heat. It's affecting the battery life, please, Apple just make thicker laptops. It's

01:07:26   not that big of a concession. It'll just make the experience better. Meanwhile, they were rapidly

01:07:32   working as fast as they could to say, No, no, no, that's not what you want. You just need a

01:07:38   processor that draws one fifth the amount of power of what your current one does. And then it can be

01:07:43   thin, and then it can be light. And you can still have all the battery and all the thermal headroom

01:07:47   and everything that you could ever want. And that's why they've been so impressive. And then

01:07:53   you consider the fact that Apple is, as we approach quite literally processes that are at an atomic

01:08:04   level, we can't really make chips that much more dense. This and that's why I talked about Gordon

01:08:10   Moore, this idea that every two years, the transistors doubled, that's not happening anymore,

01:08:14   because we're at three nanometers and rapidly shooting, you can't get smaller than an atom.

01:08:18   Unless we get to the point where we're not even relying on silicon. And there's some new black

01:08:26   Swan of a technology that comes out and says, yeah, everything you think you know about chip

01:08:30   design, we're gonna flip it on its head, but that doesn't seem to be happening. So

01:08:34   in the next few years, and it still might be 10 or 15 or 20 years, but in the next couple decades,

01:08:40   we're stuck. And so it has to get to the point where the software defines what the hardware is

01:08:49   going to be not the other way around, which is how it's been for decades where we can just say,

01:08:53   yeah, whatever the software does, we can run it on this hardware, we can throw power at it,

01:08:58   and we can throw our spy. And these general purpose cores are going to do that work. Now,

01:09:03   there was a time when that started to deviate, you look at GPUs that are now used for compute

01:09:09   purposes. And, and, but there's becoming more and more sub processes, hardware blocks and

01:09:17   co processors that are making their way into the server industry. You've got AI accelerators,

01:09:23   you've got FPGAs, you've got specialized ASIC hardware that is designed to do a task,

01:09:29   and it does it really, really, really well. Apple's done that with Apple silicon, they've

01:09:34   got the neural engine, they've got an AI accelerator, they've got a co processor to handle

01:09:41   image rasterization and sharpening. They've got, I'm blanking on all the stuff that they've got

01:09:46   hardware accelerators for video, they've got that pro res media engine, they've got an h.264 engine.

01:09:52   And so that's not going to cover everyone's use cases. But we showed in a video we did last year,

01:09:59   that even though in benchmarks, and entry level, a 1000 ish dollar PC will still outperform a $1,000

01:10:07   M one Mac Mini. Once you start doing something like exporting a video, the Mac Mini will crush

01:10:14   it even though from a benchmark standpoint, it should perform worse. And it's because that

01:10:20   hardware from within Apple silicon is utilizing specialized API APIs to run on specific hardware

01:10:29   in a particular way that's designed for a specific task. And I think that's where stuff is going to

01:10:34   continue to go. And why Apple silicon will continue to be king, at least in the mobile

01:10:40   space. Where I'm curious, is that this was supposed to scale to the Mac Pro, that once

01:10:49   we don't care about power consumption, watts, that doesn't matter how many watts we're drawing

01:10:55   from the wall, we just want balls to the wall, fastest PC, fastest Mac we can make.

01:10:59   We haven't gotten that. And it seems that they're kind of struggling at being able to pull that off.

01:11:05   So it'll be interesting to see what that is when it comes.

01:11:08   John Greenewald And that's exactly where I'm going with this,

01:11:11   because it's in this run up to WWDC. I mean, clearly, we all expect the headset. And if the

01:11:17   headset does not come, if WWDC's keynote comes and goes, and there's no mention of the headset,

01:11:22   all any of us are going to be talking about at 12 noon Pacific, as Tim Cook says, thank you and have

01:11:29   a great week at WWDC. All we're going to be talking about is where the hell was the headset? Where's

01:11:34   the headset? Right. So let's just assume the headset is coming, right. And it's obviously

01:11:39   going to be a flagship announcement, a huge chunk of the keynote, software story, presumably we'll

01:11:46   see Mike Rockwell, their head of VR, he was on my show, I think 2018, which was a long time ago.

01:11:53   Clearly all of the AR stuff they've been working on with iOS over the years is moving. It's all

01:11:59   setting the stage for a device that's AR first. It's not supposed to be what you do on a little

01:12:05   five inch phone. But I do think we're so head, again, we just spend an hour talking about the

01:12:09   headset here on the show. But I think the Mac Pro is coming too, right? Because if not, again,

01:12:16   if the WWDC in six weeks comes and goes, and there's no Mac Pro, where the hell is the Mac Pro?

01:12:22   Right. I mean, yeah. Well, it's already a year behind, right? Right. I mean, I saw an article

01:12:31   the other day, I think it was Mac Rumors that said it's been 530 days since John Turness said

01:12:37   the Mac Pro's for another day. Yeah. I can't believe it's that long. I guess so though.

01:12:42   Because it was, well, yeah, it was late 2021. Right. But he said it as they debuted the Mac

01:12:49   studio. And at this point, I would say the Mac studio is late, right? For an M2. And

01:12:56   Gurman's reporting is, and I'm not sure on this front, whether Gurman is sourced or he's sort of

01:13:06   put on his pundit hat, right? And I feel like that's where Gurman often falls short is where

01:13:12   he's drawing conclusions as opposed to just reporting what is incredibly well-placed sources,

01:13:20   right? I mean, unprecedented sources. But I'm curious your thoughts on, so the Gurman line

01:13:28   is something to the effect that there was a, I don't know what adjective they would have put

01:13:37   the way that the M1 Ultra is like four M1s put together. Right. There'd be one with like eight

01:13:44   or 16. I don't know. The Jade 4C, I think the internal name was. Yeah. And that got scrapped

01:13:52   or wasn't feasible, whatever, something, something happened and it's left them in a situation where

01:13:59   the most technically advanced Mac pro wouldn't be that much more technically capable than a M2

01:14:09   Mac studio. And so therefore the Mac studio might skip a generation to let the Mac pro have its

01:14:17   year in the sun for lack of a better analogy. That doesn't make sense to me.

01:14:22   No, I was going to say my question becomes why, because what's the point of the Mac pro if it

01:14:28   doesn't do anything that the studio can't? Right. It doesn't make sense to me that it even exists.

01:14:32   Right. If you can put it into an adorable little Mac studio sized case, why not? And I know the

01:14:41   John Siracusa in me, anybody who's sensitive to noise, the Mac studio when pressed makes noise

01:14:49   that other, other, you know, cause it's pushing the limits of Apple's Silicon. So one argument

01:14:57   would be, well, yeah, that the fact that it does make some audible noise, right. Our standard is

01:15:02   no noise at all. That's where we are with Apple Silicon. Right. So yeah. So why not make it a

01:15:08   little bigger, but to me, that just means make the Mac studio a little bigger light. And, and

01:15:13   it is in, I always say Cupertino ology is it's kind of my racket. This is what I do is sort of,

01:15:23   but it's, it's like, and when I was a kid and the cold war was going on, they called it Kremlin

01:15:28   ology, right. Where there were experts in the U S state department or governments all around the

01:15:33   world who read Pravda. And you, every single headline was technically a lie, but you could

01:15:40   read between the lines and figure out the truth. Right. So Apple doesn't lie, but they give clues.

01:15:45   John Ternus saying that we've got one more thing to come the Mac pro, but that's a story for another

01:15:51   day. Why would he say that that's so on Apple? Like, unless he knew it's coming. And even though

01:16:00   did he know at that time it was still over a year away or did something happen in the intern?

01:16:06   John Ternus I think it must've been the latter. So

01:16:09   what we do know is that fabbing and bending Silicon is extraordinarily hard, especially

01:16:16   at the scale that Apple is doing it. And the chip design is by design to try and reduce the

01:16:25   error rate that you have by making a crazy. Enormous chip, right? Cause you're going to have

01:16:31   failures. I mean, if you look at the, they call it Silicon binning, that's why Intel processors are

01:16:38   generally the same socket size and they have the same number of pins because an I five processor

01:16:45   was an I seven that didn't make the cut. Right. And then they just disable sectors of the CPU

01:16:49   that didn't meet the expectations to make it an I seven that effectively. Is what Apple has done

01:16:56   in the past. And it's what they're doing with the M one acts versus M one pro the M one itself is a

01:17:04   separate chip, but the, the max and pro those are just bin chips. And so it's possible that

01:17:08   the chiplet design is okay. Let's take four M one maxes or M two maxes or whatever it's going to be

01:17:14   at this point and glue them all together. And then we'll just make a mega chip. It's possible

01:17:19   that that didn't end up being as easy as they thought I was going to be, but it does seem

01:17:24   strange. The only way I can envision a Mac pro coming out without any additional hardware

01:17:30   features, it's just an M two max studio is if not only did they make it quieter, but they make it

01:17:36   silent. If they were able to, and the TDP would allow for it. They could make a larger tower

01:17:43   that is truly fanless zero noise. It doesn't make any noise because there's nothing spinning.

01:17:49   There's no moving parts at all. I could see that maybe being a pitch for, Oh, look at us,

01:17:55   use this in recording studios and in server environments where noise is, you know, we,

01:18:01   we care about that, but that also doesn't really seem like a pitch for a much more expensive,

01:18:06   larger computer that is effectively from a performance standpoint, the same as what we

01:18:10   already have. So I think what's. I think the rumors have to be wrong because it just does not

01:18:18   make sense. What I could see happening is that Apple wanted the M one extreme or whatever they

01:18:25   were going to call it. The Jade four C to happen. They couldn't make it happen. And they said, okay,

01:18:29   we've got to operate within the limitations of the Jade to see that we've got within the,

01:18:36   the M one ultra, but what else can we do to make this more performant? And I think there's two

01:18:41   options. One is support standard off the shelf. AMD GPUs, they're already doing it on the Intel

01:18:50   Mac pro and they'd have to write all of the driver firmware and work with AMD to make that happen.

01:18:56   But in theory, they could release a computer that fixes Apple Silicon's biggest limitation. And

01:19:03   that's graphical performance, right? Option number two, which I can see them doing is, and this would

01:19:08   be wild, but maybe I don't know, is they'll never say this on stage, but they basically say something

01:19:15   to the effect of, Hey, so we couldn't glue these all together and put it in a single chip, but

01:19:19   here you can buy the ultra and then you can buy accelerator. You can put in another ultra, you

01:19:24   can put in another M one max, and these are specialized sockets. And yeah, these, you can

01:19:28   only buy them for us, but it's because it's a, it's a, it's a unique kind of device. And, and

01:19:33   there will be limitations that come from doing that. One of the benefits and argument for Apple

01:19:39   Silicon, putting everything in the same package is that everything's super close to each other.

01:19:44   You don't have to deal with travel distances and memory sinking issues. It's just all right there.

01:19:50   Maybe they can detune a couple of chips and then say, yeah, well, it's not as good as putting it

01:19:54   under the same package, but if you need that extra headroom, You can sock it in a few extra

01:19:59   M series chips into the machine to give yourself more compute or more GPU. Those are the only two

01:20:04   scenarios in which I can see a Mac pro existing. That's different from what we would expect a Mac

01:20:10   pro to be, which is a larger, hotter, faster chip than what we've already seen. Cause otherwise,

01:20:16   why? Right. And that's where I am. I'm exactly aligned with you where I have no little birdies

01:20:24   telling me anything about this. I kind of feel like experience says that because the Mac pro

01:20:32   is such a many orders of magnitude, lower unit sale device. It's it is a niche. It's

01:20:42   by that Apple can therefore keep it secret and has in the past, right? When, when the current Mac

01:20:49   pro the one, the Intel one you can buy, nobody knew what it looked like before it came out.

01:20:54   It's and they can do that. Well, they announced it long before it released. Right. So maybe the

01:20:59   same scenario. Well, I think that might be true too. Right. Like, so if you know, like Gurman's

01:21:04   like, Hey, I don't even think they're going to talk about the Mac pro at WWDC. That might be

01:21:08   based on like, there's no supply chain ramp up right now to build it. But I think that

01:21:15   for the same reason that they announced it and I think like five, six months, like they said,

01:21:21   like later this year, which often for Apple means the very end of the year. Right. Yeah.

01:21:26   Get ready to do your review around December 4th. Right. But I could see that that's what I think,

01:21:32   but I think they have to show it right. If they've got a plan and I just,

01:21:37   something, something like that, where don't get, I think we shouldn't. And again, this isn't based

01:21:44   on sources, just as my own speculation, but it's the only way it makes sense is that there's a very

01:21:50   different Silicon story for the Mac pro compared to everything else, which is that everything isn't

01:21:57   on one SOC. Right. That's all the, the whole Apple Silicon story from that, when they started making

01:22:03   those chips for the phones 15 years ago has been, there's a system on a chip and that everything is

01:22:12   there. And in, before the M1 came out, integrated memory was a dirty word, right? The integrated

01:22:21   memory meant it's a low cost device or a low power device with poor graphical performance.

01:22:26   Whereas with Apple Silicon, the shared memory, the fact that the GPU and the CPU share the same

01:22:32   memory is a huge performance win. But it also means though you can't like, if you're, if you're

01:22:41   Mac pro use case is your aerospace engineer, there's a guy named Craig, I forget his last name,

01:22:47   but he often reviews the new high-end pro hardware. And he's the type of person who's

01:22:52   doing CAD design for the wing of an airplane and running these compute,

01:22:57   extremely computationally expensive simulations to test an airplane design.

01:23:02   That use case might be, I don't really need more CPU or GPU. What I need is as much RAM

01:23:10   as possible. I just want to stick. I just want to stick, right. I want to spend $25,000 on Ram to

01:23:17   stick in here. The, everything is on a system on a chip design doesn't scale to that because

01:23:23   you know where we are with the Mac studio, the highest performance Mac is the M1 ultra in the

01:23:32   Mac studio where you keep adding GPU and CPU and neural engines and Ram, even if you only need the

01:23:40   Ram or super common use case in today's world. Perhaps the common use case of high-end no budget,

01:23:49   just throw as much money as you'll take from us at this is GPU performance, right?

01:23:57   Again, I don't think Apple's going to do that and support AMD graphic cards just because

01:24:03   culturally I think Apple is, is against it. I don't think they like AMD. I think there have

01:24:12   been reports for, I don't know, close to 20 years now that they just do not get along with their

01:24:16   engineers. The driver support's always been a weird thing. I don't think they're going to do it,

01:24:21   but if they did, you're like, Hey, here's scenario one. It would be a crowd pleaser, right? Like the

01:24:28   developers in the, on the lawn out there and the live stream of the video on keynote day,

01:24:35   they're going to applaud for that because there's a lot of people who'd like to see that happen,

01:24:38   but I don't think it is. I think it's more likely that they've got this entirely

01:24:46   up until now secret project to have for pros, a way to modularly upgrade what you need,

01:25:00   whether it's graphics or Ram or graphics and Ram or whatever.

01:25:04   Yeah. I think and hope that's the case too, because if you look at who purchased the 2019

01:25:10   Mac pro who are the pros to Apple, the overwhelming majority of people that I think were purchasing

01:25:18   that machine were developers and the Mac studio mostly resolves that problem that most developers

01:25:26   had. So that, that narrows the already narrow market even further. Right. Right. One of the

01:25:30   other reasons that people were critical of the cost of the Mac pro when it came out, the 2019 one

01:25:36   was that it had eight full-size PCA slots. That's very unusual. Most PC motherboards will have

01:25:42   six, maybe seven, but only two or three of those are full-size Apple had eight. It was really

01:25:49   weird, but one of the reasons, and they never referenced this publicly, but one of the, one of

01:25:54   the major markets that uses a bunch of PCA add on cards is musicians and people in music because they

01:26:01   have accelerators and there's a bunch of cards that are utilized by specific audio engineering

01:26:08   software. That's designed to work with cars. Now, many of them by force and by necessity have moved

01:26:14   to Thunderbolt because Apple just didn't make a PCA based Mac for years, right? From 2013 to 2019,

01:26:22   they didn't have one. So a lot of stuff started moving over, but much of it didn't. And the other

01:26:28   kind of cascading effect of that is there's several DAWs audio engine, audio workstation

01:26:34   apps designed for audio engineering that just never, they kind of became abandoned where on

01:26:38   the Mac because there was nowhere to do that. And then the 2019 Mac pro came out and they

01:26:42   were re-revived. And now they're kind of focusing where possible on Apple Silicon.

01:26:47   And so maybe potentially if there's nothing special about this new computer, it could be,

01:26:53   okay, yeah, this is for people that need PCA expansion, not graphics, but other stuff. But

01:26:58   that's a really narrow market. And so then the last people that are kind of left over

01:27:04   are, yeah, the people that need all of that GPU compute and where this gets even more complicated

01:27:08   is I've talked in my research to a couple of people that are innately familiar with working

01:27:16   on a Mac. And there's someone that I've worked at, they're a 3D graphics engineer, and then there's

01:27:22   another developer downtown that does, they do game development and they're doing 3D model and asset

01:27:28   creation on Macs because they like a Mac. In both of those instances, one of them was still using

01:27:35   pre, was it Mac OS Catalina? Pre Catalina machines, because those were the last machines

01:27:41   that supported Nvidia graphics drivers. So actually it might've been High Sierra,

01:27:47   old, like four or five years old. And they were using old GPUs, but they're like, yeah, we just,

01:27:52   Nvidia cards work better on the software we're using. And we don't want to move over to AMD

01:27:57   cards. The other people had moved over to AMD cards on 2019 Mac pros. And then in some instances

01:28:05   on eGPUs, but they said that we want to move to Apple, Apple Silicon, but the applications that

01:28:10   we use are not even planning to move stuff over just because there's not the headroom

01:28:16   that they need to be able to do all of this stuff graphically. There's not enough compute.

01:28:20   And so they're like, we're in this awkward no man's land where even if a machine does come out

01:28:25   with this capability, it's going to take a couple of years probably to port these apps reliably over

01:28:30   at Apple Silicon. We can't wait that long. We're already at the last thread and we might have to

01:28:35   move. We might be forced to move to PCs until that can become a thing because Apple already took too

01:28:42   long to do what we wanted them to do. And so they're in this really tough spot. And I agree

01:28:47   that they can't just come out and say, here you go. It's what you've had, but bigger. There's got

01:28:53   to be something that we're not understanding because otherwise why do it at all? Yeah. So

01:28:59   my bet would be that we're going to get a new Mac studio and then they're going to say, and

01:29:05   something, something, John Turnus, something, something, the Mac studio has been a terrific hit.

01:29:10   Our developers love it. And here's, they'll have three different use cases and show these

01:29:15   professionals doing it. And then they'll say, but, and they'll act like it was an all new idea

01:29:20   to maybe have a Mac pro. Right. And they'll act like this is a genius idea. We're going to have

01:29:27   a Mac pro for people who the Mac studio isn't even as great as it is. They need more. Right.

01:29:33   And I think we're going to get it. And I think there will be some sort of expansion story. And

01:29:39   I know that here too for Mac Silicon or Apple Silicon hasn't had any expansion story at all,

01:29:45   or other than Thunderbolt, but I just, just to wrap a bow on it. I don't think that Apple's

01:29:53   late year Intel designs were of a different mindset than what they have now. Right. It's

01:30:04   a technical schism where it's an entirely different instruction set. The machines have

01:30:10   entirely different performance to what characteristics, but philosophically,

01:30:16   I don't think Apple shifted. I mentioned the Mac pro, iMac pro, right. Which was a weird one off

01:30:22   computer. There was only one iMac pro. Did you have one? It seemed like it might be something

01:30:27   that you would have. Yeah. You would have been right up your alley. But like I said,

01:30:32   they were so proud of the thermal characteristics of the iMac pro and that philosophy clearly

01:30:39   carries through to Apple Silicon. Right. Late the last five years of Intel Macs were so much about

01:30:49   modularity. They emphasized the word modular, modular, modular. So I really do think that

01:30:56   will be the key to the Mac pro with Apple Silicon is some sort of modular design. Now,

01:31:02   if the graphic story is you can expand the graphics, but they're Apple graphics,

01:31:09   that's going to be really interesting. Whether the industry supports it with their software,

01:31:16   like you said, with these, these pros, you know, who, who are literally sticking with years old

01:31:22   versions of the, the OS so that they can use Nvidia graphics because that's what the software

01:31:27   supports. So will the software industry embrace this? It's surely Apple's will right. Final cut

01:31:34   and logic are going to take advantage of these. And if I'm right, that you can expand the RAM

01:31:40   and the graphics without adding entire systems on a chip to the thing. It's an open question,

01:31:49   right? I mean, I don't know, but I, that's where I think they're going.

01:31:52   It will be interesting indeed. Although I, I, my prediction is that they do come out with a Mac pro

01:31:58   this year, but that they don't update the Mac studio. I think it'll become a every other

01:32:02   generation type thing. Cause the market's so small that having successive releases, I think just

01:32:08   probably doesn't make sense, especially from a binning standpoint. I think just the quantity

01:32:11   of chips that will be able to do what Apple needs them to be is not that high. And so they'll just,

01:32:17   yeah, yeah. And it wants a Mac studio two years and look how much faster. That's the other thing

01:32:23   they'll be able to do that they love to do is say it's 25% faster than the previous Mac studio.

01:32:28   Right. So I could, that would be my second guess would be, there is no new empty. There is no M2

01:32:35   series Mac studio, but they'll keep the Mac studio. I don't think the Mac studio is going

01:32:39   anywhere. No, that's not a one-off that's a, that's a computer here to stay, but they'll just,

01:32:44   but then they can breeze past it in the keynote and say, it's been a big hit. It's got these

01:32:49   great performance characteristics, but now here's the Mac pro and it's so much faster in every way.

01:32:53   Right. Knock on wood. I really, I really do think that that's what we're going to see. All right,

01:32:58   let me take one last break here and thank our third and final sponsor of this episode,

01:33:03   our good friends at Collide. That's K O L I D E. They have big news. If you're an Okta user,

01:33:11   they can get your entire fleet of devices to 100% compliance. How? If a device in your company,

01:33:18   somebody's laptop isn't compliant, they can't log into your cloud apps until they've fixed the

01:33:24   problem that has their machine out of compliance. It's that simple. They patch one of the major

01:33:30   holes in zero trust architecture. That's device compliance without Collide. IT struggles to solve

01:33:38   basic problems like keeping everyone's operating system and their browser up to date with the

01:33:42   latest software updates. Insecure devices are logging into your company's apps because there's

01:33:47   nothing there to stop them. Collide is the only device trust solution that enforces compliance

01:33:54   as part of authentication. And it's built to work seamlessly with Okta. The moment Collide's agent

01:34:01   detects a problem, it alerts the user, gives them simple instructions, how to fix it. And if they

01:34:06   don't fix it within a set time, they're blocked from logging in. It's that simple. Collide's

01:34:11   method means fewer support tickets, less frustration, and most importantly, 100%

01:34:16   fleet compliance. Visit collide.com/thetalkshow to learn more or book a demo. That's K O L I D E

01:34:26   collide.com/thetalkshow. If we want to go afield here and stop talking about Apple

01:34:36   for the last segment of the show, I wrote a little bit about Humain's demo of their,

01:34:40   to me, a slightly unusual demo that founder Imran Chaudhry did at TED over the weekend last week.

01:34:50   As far as I know, as you and I record, the TED video is still not available, even though there

01:34:56   was some speculation it was going to come out on Monday. It didn't. There's like Ray Wong at Inverse

01:35:06   collected as much information that came out on Twitter. So there there's enough to get a sense

01:35:10   of the demo, but not the product. I'm curious your thoughts. What did you think? Be honest.

01:35:18   I thought it was a great demo. Nothing that they showed made me think, wow,

01:35:24   I I'm going to ditch my smartphone for that. The idea of having a conversation with your shirt

01:35:32   is not appealing to me in any way whatsoever when you can just do it quietly on a phone. Now,

01:35:37   I do think that they're them tapping into AI and machine learning based stuff is, is pretty clever,

01:35:46   but I'm not confident that they're going to be the ones to pull it off. If that makes sense. I mean,

01:35:53   they can make the hardware, but ultimately they're going to be using presumably chat GPT or someone

01:35:59   else's engine to do all of the kind of natural language processing. And then at that point,

01:36:04   they're effectively a hardware device that, you know, and then some of the stuff like the

01:36:08   projector, like that's just gimmicky. It looks like a monochrome display. Someone sent me a message on

01:36:16   Mastodon that made me laugh that said, wow, who would have figured that a hand was a worse screen

01:36:21   than a screen. And it's just like, why? I mean, it's a very great demo, but it reminds me of like

01:36:28   early 2000 slash early 2010s, like magic leap S kind of like, this is the future before anyone

01:36:34   stops to think, but do we actually want that? I don't. There's the famous, I think he said it,

01:36:42   or he's attributed to him multiple times, Steve jobs saying that such and such is that's not a

01:36:48   product that's technology. I know supposedly he said that to the Dropbox founders at some point

01:36:54   in some alternate universe, maybe I, you know, it's what's Apple's standard PR line when they

01:37:03   acquire a company and usually they acquire companies and they don't even want anybody to know,

01:37:07   but if it does leak, they say Apple acquire smaller companies from time to time. And our policy

01:37:13   is generally not to talk about why. And that's not verbatim what they say, but whatever it is,

01:37:19   it's like a copy and paste. They have like a text expander snippet to send that out. There's some

01:37:25   universe where Apple bought Dropbox, but obviously they didn't in hindsight. And at the end of his

01:37:34   life, the last few keynotes, Steve jobs did, I think it's, I have always thought that he repeated

01:37:41   it, that sort of Apple exists at the intersection of the liberal arts and technology. And

01:37:49   not to be too morbid, but time has passed and it's the book came out, which is wonderful.

01:37:55   The literally wonderful make something wonderful. It's a little less sad to talk about, but I feel

01:38:00   like it was his parting message to the world. Right. And that's why he ended a couple of

01:38:04   keynotes with it, but it does come down to the same idea that technology is not enough.

01:38:10   You don't start with technology and then package it as a product. You have to start with a vision

01:38:15   for the product and then figure out, Oh, but we can't, this is our idea for how a phone would work,

01:38:22   but we don't have a screen that does touch with zero latency. Well, let's make it right.

01:38:28   We have this vision for a truly immersive headset, but if it's going to be immersive,

01:38:34   we need graphics to do this. We need screens that don't exist. We need integrated sound to do

01:38:41   spatial audio. There's a vision for this is what the experience is going to be like.

01:38:46   I kind of feel, and again, I'm fascinated by humane and I know that a lot of what I've written

01:38:51   about them is snarky. When I made fun of the video, they came out with a couple of months ago,

01:38:56   just because I don't want to see a video from you don't. And they had like a merch drop a week or

01:39:03   two ago where they're selling sweatshirts and it's like, I want to see the product. Right. And,

01:39:10   but I'm not down. I would love it if they blow me away. I, and, and to me, one of the,

01:39:15   it's a very strange thing that post iPhone, you, you re there's very few stories about

01:39:28   here's these people who left Apple and made a new company or a new product. Tony Fadal is the,

01:39:35   the biggest counter example I can think of where he founded nest and I've got nest thermostats here

01:39:40   in the house and I like them, but they're thermostats. Right. And I've talked to Tony

01:39:47   Fidel. He's a fascinating person. And I wouldn't be surprised if he's got more

01:39:53   products in him. Right. He seems like this, a serial creator and, and it has like an itch

01:40:02   to make things, but where are the companies that are have X Apple people who are making cool

01:40:08   things? I know there's some X Apple people at Airbnb. I know that there are X Apple people

01:40:14   at other companies, but again, nobody's made like, I don't know, like back in the, the 1.0 era of

01:40:21   Apple people who left Apple went on to found general magic. And again, general magic wasn't

01:40:26   a hit product, but it sort of presaged the handheld communicator idea. They just were ahead

01:40:33   of their time. Totally. And so humane story where the founders were X Apple and they've hired tons

01:40:41   of X Apple people. Like, I don't know how many people work at humane, but, and what percentage

01:40:46   of them formerly worked at Apple, but it's a lot. Right. And that to me says interesting, but then

01:40:53   I see this Ted demo and I'm like, yeah, it, I mean, yeah. And that's the problem too. I think

01:41:00   because of what Apple is and because of how Apple's culture has been so carefully developed

01:41:08   over decades. I think that. Not that they almost did themselves a disservice because I know people

01:41:14   there. And I think that at least the ones I'm aware of are very talented people, but you almost

01:41:20   set yourself up for failure by you're going to be the company of X Apple people. And then I was just

01:41:27   confused by the whole, I know part of the, the Ted talkie stuff that came out was like, kind of a

01:41:34   leak, but not really. And then they kind of publicly said, Oh yeah, look, and there's a Ted

01:41:38   talk. It just seems like the weirdest way to like a Ted talk to talk about a new product segment in

01:41:43   2023 is bizarre. Yeah. I mean, I, I think they, I made a joke. I said they should have talked to

01:41:50   Carl pay because at least he knows how to drive hype over nothing. I don't know. The whole rollout

01:41:56   strategy is bizarre. And so I I'm reserving judgment because I'm like, well, we don't really

01:42:00   know what this is yet, but based on what I've seen, I've been very unimpressed maybe. Yeah.

01:42:08   And it's just strange that there's no product name. He didn't take it out of his pocket.

01:42:15   It seems after watching it numerous times, you know, that it's a bigger device than you

01:42:21   might think. I think, you know, that there was custom tailoring on his jacket to hide most of

01:42:26   the device. You can see it. It looked like it was about the size of a knife on five. Yeah.

01:42:32   Big looking. Yeah. Or like one of those battery packs you can put on the back of an iPhone.

01:42:37   Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. The magic, what do they call them? The max safe. Yeah. Whatever the magnetic

01:42:43   one. And I've maybe I'm too hyper-focused on it, but it seems like they're the ones who were all in

01:42:53   on the, you don't need your phone anymore. And like I, I quote tweeted Imran's tweet where,

01:43:01   where he thought we deserve better when he had the comparison of the fans at the Lakers game,

01:43:07   where thousands of fans had their phones out in front of them so they could record the video.

01:43:12   I don't see how this device gets past that. So even if it has an always on camera,

01:43:16   which in itself is a problem. It's concerning. Right. Like I know we're a decade past Google

01:43:23   glass, but you know, it, it, people aren't comfortable with that and it's a battery issue

01:43:29   and it's a privacy issue. But if you've got this thing on your chest, like a Star Trek communicator

01:43:34   and you're at the Lakers game, you're not going to get a usable photo. Even if it,

01:43:41   hypothetically, if it's like, Hey, it's streams, it shoots video all day long and you've got your

01:43:47   whole life. And you can just say, Hey, what happened at 4.20 PM and go back and look at

01:43:52   the video. You're not going to get a good image from your chest perspective when you're at the,

01:43:57   if you want a photo from your seat at the Lakers game, you've got to hold a camera in front of you.

01:44:01   There's no way around it. Yep. Your, your hand is seemingly a bad display. Like it's just very

01:44:08   strange to me. And, and the demo he got, the AI voice said to him, you've got one new email and

01:44:15   Bethany sent you two photos. And I thought, well, that's a very strange message to demo.

01:44:21   She sent you two photos. Well, literally if you don't have a display, how can you see the photos?

01:44:27   Right. Like if you've got a voicemail from Bethany, well then you could say,

01:44:33   whoa, play the voicemail. Or even if it's a text message, you could say, read, you know, as our

01:44:38   internet communicators do now, they can read your text messages while you're out and about

01:44:42   a photo they can't really do much with what, what are they going to do?

01:44:46   And there was a bunch of stuff like that where you're like at, again, from 10,000 feet up,

01:44:51   you're like, well, that's kind of cool. But then you think about it and you go, why? I mean,

01:44:55   the example of him receiving a phone call from Bethany too is what it like, he holds his palm

01:45:00   up and it says, Oh, call from Bethany. But the entire time he's interacting with the device via

01:45:06   voice and it responds. And so why could it not just say, Hey, Bethany's calling. Why do you

01:45:10   need to hold your hand up and go, Oh yes, Bethany. And then I don't know how you act on that. The,

01:45:16   the demo they used of translation was one of those other ones where at first you're like,

01:45:21   that's pretty cool. And then you think about it and go, well, wait a minute. Because in the demo,

01:45:26   he, he pushes the button, he holds this button down on the device that it appears you need to

01:45:32   hold it down for it to record your audio, or at least for you to prompt it. So he holds down

01:45:36   this button and says a sentence and then let's go. And the thing speaks back in French. And he says,

01:45:41   that was my voice that has been stitched together, speaking fluent French. But you're like, well,

01:45:49   hold on. Because at no point did he say translate this translated to French. Right. Right. It's

01:45:54   clearly, I mean, I think Nilay Patel made the joke on the verge in the comment section saying,

01:46:00   this is one of the world's easiest demos to fake. It could just be an MP3 player,

01:46:04   right? Just kind of true where I understand the, the ideology of thinking that smartphones are

01:46:14   endemic to society and they're ruining the way we interact with people. And that may well be true,

01:46:18   but part of the reason that they are so prevalent is because they're so useful. And so if you're

01:46:24   planning on replacing it, you better bring something good. Yeah. And I just don't know if

01:46:31   anyone can pull that off much less what we've seen demonstrated, but you can't help be curious just

01:46:37   because of who's made it up. And that's the other thing too, is if it were any other company,

01:46:41   people would probably be like, oh, that's ridiculous. Right. Like if a Chinese company

01:46:44   came out with it, it wouldn't even get an article, but because it's a bunch of Apple people,

01:46:49   we're all talking about it. So, yeah. And I get the one, again, go up to the 10,000 foot view

01:46:56   overview. The idea of an AI first computing platform, it resonates with me that we're at

01:47:06   this moment where AI is becoming real and breakthroughs have happened in literally in

01:47:14   the last year. And we're doing it all on computers, computing devices, the cloud,

01:47:23   where this computation is happening to how we're consuming it and chatting and prompting the mid

01:47:29   journey and whatever else we're doing. We're doing it on these computers that were designed before

01:47:34   AI. Somebody is going to come up with an AI first computer. We don't know what it looks like.

01:47:40   All of these breakthroughs in history had nobody knows what are we going to do. The iPod was

01:47:47   effectively, the origin story was John Rubinstein was in Japan or somewhere in Asia and Toshiba had

01:47:56   these small hard drives. And they said, we've had like a breakthrough in how small we can make a

01:48:02   hard drive. We don't know what to do with it though because they're more expensive because

01:48:05   they're so small and laptop makers don't need them to be that small. And he comes back and says,

01:48:11   what can we do with this amazing technology? And they come up with it. The bitmap display was

01:48:16   where we got graphical user interface computing from. Nobody knew how that was going to look.

01:48:22   Somebody is going to come up with AI first devices, whether we call them computers or not,

01:48:27   I don't know. But I just don't see a badge on my chest being it. Right?

01:48:33   Yeah. Maybe this is the MP man from 1997 that proceeded the iPod. I don't know.

01:48:41   And you mentioned earlier too, that having voice be the primary interface to it is

01:48:47   more conspicuous, right? Like if you're out and if you're in your car by yourself, well then so what,

01:48:54   but like when you're at the grocery store or you're on the sidewalk or you're any of a

01:49:00   hundred at work anywhere, if you're always talking to it, it's weird, right? And you feel

01:49:07   self-conscious about it. And you might be doing things you don't want other people to overhear,

01:49:13   right? And if you have to speak it, I don't know. I'm just left scratching my head.

01:49:18   I am too. I do think that it has the potential to normalize itself. I mean, I remember,

01:49:23   remember how hard AirPods were to get when they first came out? I got them the week they released

01:49:29   and for months they just weren't available. And I remember wearing them around my university

01:49:35   campus thinking I look like an idiot and people would look over at me and they weren't like,

01:49:39   Oh, those are the cool new AirPods. They'd look at me like, what are those? And I saw one or two

01:49:44   other people on campus that had them too. And I said, they look truly stupid. And now we don't

01:49:49   give a second thought to it, right? Cause they're ubiquitous and they're great. And so maybe this

01:49:54   becomes that, but talking in public is a much greater barrier than something you might wear.

01:49:59   So I can see the idea of wearing a weird little futuristic gadget thing on your shirt,

01:50:04   but having conversations in public with it, you don't know about that.

01:50:09   Well, and the thing I don't get about it is not having it be another satellite to your phone.

01:50:14   And to me, a lot of the stuff they're talking about at Humane with their thing,

01:50:20   again, which is really weird that they demoed it and still didn't give it a name, but okay,

01:50:27   they're unnamed Humane device. To me, a lot of the stuff they're talking about are things that

01:50:31   we do with our Apple watches. Right. Yeah. And if Apple wanted to get more AI heavy on the watch,

01:50:40   they could. Right. Like you can, I do it. I I'll sign off from my phone and leave my phone

01:50:47   in the kitchen charging or something and sit down and watch TV with my wife. And,

01:50:52   but I've got my Apple watch on. So if I do get an important text message, I can glance at my wrist

01:50:56   and see it. It just seems like the watch solves the problem of having a small, less obtrusive,

01:51:02   you're not staring at your phone all day device, but it works in conjunction with your phone.

01:51:08   So I don't want to stare at your hand. Come on, John.

01:51:10   Anything else? I guess that's, we could call it a show. I will thank our sponsors,

01:51:16   our good friends. Let's see if I could do it off the top of my head. I suffer from podcast

01:51:21   amnesia. We had collide KOL IDE where you can get your fleet into compliance, trade coffee.

01:51:29   That's trade. Let's see. I don't remember the URL though. Trade coffee.com/believe

01:51:35   the talk show. That's where you can subscribe to get a coffee subscription. And last but not least

01:51:42   our good friends at Backblaze. Here I am cheating, looking at my notes. Online backup for your Mac or

01:51:49   PC for seven bucks a month. Go to back blaze.com/daringfireball.

01:51:56   And your channel Quinn is over at youtube.com/snazzy. Right?

01:52:04   Yep. That's correct.

01:52:05   That's your channel on YouTube with your excellent,

01:52:07   excellent videos that I'm a fan of. And people can find you on the Mastodon.

01:52:10   I just, I don't even give out my username. Just search for Quinn Nelson. Right?

01:52:15   Yeah. That's probably the easiest way to find me. I don't the whole at, at whatever. And the domain

01:52:21   is just too much. Yeah, but it works out. I always come. I remember it must be 15 years ago, Jason

01:52:28   freed at 37 signals observed that, Hey, we were going to buy, spend a fortune on a domain name.

01:52:36   I think it was like backpack was their product and they couldn't get backpack.com. And they were

01:52:41   like, Oh, we were going to. And he was like, you know what? Nobody even uses, they just Google for

01:52:46   backpack and know if it's backpack. I think it was like backpack.it.com was what they wound up with.

01:52:51   And it was like, yeah, it doesn't matter. People just search. So search for Quinn Nelson Quinn.

01:52:56   Thank you for your time. Really. I'm so happy to have had you on the show.

01:52:59   Well, thanks for having me. It was a pleasure.