542: Penguin Camel Monkey Shark


00:00:00   Marco, I have a question for you. When you live in paradise all year round-- On paradise.

00:00:06   What-- God bless, I walked right into it. Walked right into it! This must be just like living on paradise, you know that song?

00:00:12   I know, living on a prayer. When you live in, on, around, or near paradise all year round, what do you-- what does one do for summer vacation and/or Fourth of July?

00:00:23   Now, I did not go to a beach for the Fourth of July. I went to our little community pool that we joined last year that has been a really pivotal-- a positive change, but a pivotal change in the Listz family, I don't know, situation.

00:00:36   And I'd like to also know what John did for the Fourth of July, but Marco in particular, when you live on the beach, in the beach, near the beach, around the beach, beside the beach, what-- what-- how do you celebrate the Fourth of July, other than apparently calling the cops on people who are trying to light your house on fire?

00:00:50   It's weird, you know, there's lots of weird things about living in a vacation town, you know, 'cause it's a summer vacation town, it's a beach town, and so all winter long, it's-- there's very few people here, it's kind of a ghost town, and then all summer long, it is packed.

00:01:05   And it is most packed on, first of all, weekends, and then second of all, most, most packed on holiday weekends. And of the holiday weekends, the most, most, most packed one is the Fourth of July.

00:01:16   So, it-- this is the time when the town is the most crowded with drunk idiots, so there's-- there's a couple of side effects to that. Number one, you-- you tend to close up and keep the air conditioning on, not necessarily just for heat, although it does tend to be very hot, but also just because at night, there's drunk idiots walking down the streets and yelling at each other, and they're like, you know, 15 feet from your house.

00:01:39   So, if-- if you have your windows open, you'll just hear drunk idiots yelling all night long, you won't get any sleep. Number two is all of your favorite restaurants become effectively inaccessible because every place in town is packed full all the time.

00:01:53   Number three, even walking in the downtown area becomes challenging. It's like walking through Times Square. It's not a pleasant walk because there's so many people around, but on the other side, there are festivities. There's a Fourth of July parade, there's different things that some of the businesses do, there's like a little dock concert downtown, so like, you know, on one hand, it is annoying because you are trying to do your everyday stuff like go get your mail, and it's difficult.

00:02:21   But it's also like very festive and fun. It's nice seeing your town thriving and seeing the businesses that you like thriving. So it's kind of a mixed bag.

00:02:31   What I actually do on Fourth of July mostly is stay inside on the main weekend days, whatever the nearby weekend days are, and then go out for the surrounding weekdays when most of the crowds have subsided.

00:02:44   And, you know, go hang out at the restaurants and stuff then and, you know, go buy a t shirt or whatever like to support the businesses, but it's mostly like try to avoid the peak crowds.

00:02:53   And it's, it's kind of like, in general living in the beach town, you kind of feel like you your everyday life is everyone else's vacation.

00:03:03   And that's mostly a good thing. But the downside is that everyone else you see is in vacation mode. And so if you are not in vacation mode, if you are trying to get work done or whatever, it can be a little, a little much.

00:03:18   But for the most part, it's, you know, it's fun because the great thing about, you know, being on in vacation mode is that most people are not super angry or bitter or unfriendly like they're all happy, they're at the beach, they're having fun, they're on vacation.

00:03:32   So from that point of view, it's actually very nice. So anyway, all that is to say, it's fun, but it gets very, very crowded and I tend to stay in for the busiest days just because, you know, I don't like waiting for an hour to sit down at a restaurant.

00:03:45   That being said, I'm happy to report that the camera that is meant to deter people from peeing under my house actually seems to be doing that finally.

00:03:55   Oh, this is deep, deep, deep follow up. I'd forgotten all about this. Yes, yes. Because this is like the peak time of the year for that. And there have been some peers, but it's been, the camera more often, I moved it down to eye level.

00:04:08   And I have adjusted the landscaping in the most common path that people would use to get under my house to kind of funnel them into a narrow pathway where you have to walk directly past the camera at eye level right next to you.

00:04:20   Because look, the whole point of the camera is not to get video footage of, you know, college kids drunk and peeing on my house. The whole point of the camera was to deter them from doing it.

00:04:28   And so that has largely worked because now that the camera is at eye level in this one narrow path they're kind of forced to walk through, way more of them are actually seeing it.

00:04:38   And then like, dude, oh dude, bro, turn around. Then they go, then they go to probably pee at my neighbor's house.

00:04:43   They have those little yard signs that I see all the time, the little yellow yard sign. I don't know if they have them in your area, Casey, maybe. But like on people's lawns, they're yellow squares and they have a little like circle with a line through it showing a dog peeing.

00:04:55   And it says like, be respectful, don't pee here or whatever. And they put them like every four feet on their lawn. Of course, it doesn't stop the dogs. They pee there no matter what.

00:05:02   But if you could put, you can buy those same signs and put them on there. No peeing here, please. Be polite, don't pee here, be respectful. They come in varying levels of formality and humor.

00:05:11   So as a dog person, those signs kind of irritate me. Now I will try to generally drive my dog away from those yards because I'm just fine. If they care that much, fine. I don't care.

00:05:21   But it's weird to me that you care so much about dogs peeing on your lawn that you decorate your house with a bunch of signs of dogs peeing on your lawn. And that's like, I don't want that to be how my house looks.

00:05:33   I mean, it's kind of like the plastic on the furniture. Like you're protecting the furniture, so it'll always look nice, but your furniture never looks nice because it's always in plastic. So you want your lawn, and I kind of get it with lawns because you want the lawn to look nice.

00:05:44   But to do that, you put a bunch of yellow things on it. And you say, well, these yellow things don't make your lawn look nice. Well, you can take the yellow things out, whereas if they pee and kill the grass, those are dead spots and they're hard to deal with. So I kind of get it.

00:05:54   But especially if you're one of those people who puts it every four feet, you become the dog don't pee here house and not the house with the nice lawn. And I guess some lawns, dogs like to pee on them more than others, but I don't know if I could go in that direction.

00:06:10   And the other strategy people use, which this may be a legitimate may not and may have helped you with your house that Marco may not. I'm sure you've seen this Casey are the ones who put the similar yellow signs on their lawn, but you don't say please don't pee here. What they say is like our lawn has been treated with pesticides that are dangerous to pets. So don't put your pets here, right? Is that true? Who knows?

00:06:29   I mean, it might be true. It probably is true. In a lot of cases, a lot of cases, people probably do treat their lawns with chemicals that aren't good for pets. But I feel like that works better as a deterrent than a sign saying be respectful. Please don't pee here because people worry about their dog's health, but they don't care about your lawn.

00:06:44   I mean, I feel like, I mean, so first of all, the general idea of me putting signs that are legible, like it like so I have a sign I put up, I put up signs under the house that say something like, you know, there's like cameras, you know, so like it's alerts them to the presence of cameras.

00:07:00   No, but trust me, that's not enough. Because they don't see that. Maybe the text isn't big enough. Yeah, but like where where I don't have signs is facing the outside because I don't want to be that house because there are houses in town that are like under 24 hour surveillance. Like I don't want to I don't want my house to look like that. You know, as soon as you are in a spot you shouldn't be I'm fine having you see a sign like that. But I don't want that to be like what my house looks like to the outside. That's that's not my style. But I was thinking though, when you were saying like, you know, worrying about the health of their dogs.

00:07:29   I wonder like, given the caliber of people who who pee on my house, I think maybe if I can have a sign that somehow suggests that they might reduce their manhood in some way.

00:07:42   I think that's too sophisticated of a judgment for anyone who's drunk and being under your house to make. I don't think there's any threat to their health or masculinity that you can make that will register at that point because they just have to pee. And they're drunk.

00:07:54   Yeah. Jon, what did you do for the Fourth of July? Nothing. I think I watched a movie. Fun. Sat in the air conditioning. Yeah. Sprite. Did some programming stuff. No Sprite. Oh man. Chasing some bugs, you know, just the same old day. Living it up. Living it up. I see. Actual bugs? No, just the programming kind. Oh, I've been chasing actual bugs too. Oh, that's fun. Mixed mixed results there. We get a little bit of an influx of ladybugs in the house lately. I'm not sure what the deal with that is. I've chased a few of them around.

00:08:23   I've been trying to figure out mosquito trap situations or mosquito deterrents that are not just neurotoxins. Because, spoiler alert, any kind of mosquito thing that works is usually a neurotoxin. They have the CO2 emitters. Yes. There's lots of mosquitoes in those.

00:08:38   Yeah, well, so I tried one of those this spring. I don't think I ever talked about it on the show. Maybe I cut it out. But I tried the mosquito magnet this spring and I could not get the thing to stay lit. For whatever reason. Maybe it's too harsh of a wind sometimes. Maybe the propane that I get out here is not pure enough. They had all these troubleshooting steps. I tried them all. Nothing worked. I had to eventually return the thing.

00:08:58   And now I have those fan traps that are basically just a giant purple UV light and a big computer fan under it basically that sucks the bugs in. But that one catches moths too. I don't want to kill a bunch of moths. They're beneficial. I haven't solved this problem yet. And I don't want to gas my yard or my dog.

00:09:20   Yeah, I'm not sure there's much you're going to be able to do about insects living on the seashore. It's really a losing battle there.

00:09:25   [beeping]

00:09:28   Jon, you've been doing some statistical analysis and data gathering and whatnot. Would you like to tell us about this, please?

00:09:34   Yeah, after our most recent member special where we ranked every iPhone into a tier list, I figured we had done enough of these member specials over the many months that we've been doing them that it would be good to try to figure out if we're doing the right things.

00:09:50   So I decided to make a little survey to ask people whether they're a member or not. That's the first question in the surveys. Are you a member? What do you think of our member specials? If you're not a member, you've heard about them on the regular show. And if you are a member, presumably maybe you've listened to some of them.

00:10:04   So I wanted to know what people thought of them if we were on the right track or whatever. There weren't a lot of questions. It's a five-question, one-page survey. I think we have enough responses now that we don't actually need anybody who's listening to answer it. But if you do want to answer it, feel free. I'm kind of curious if the answers will change at all. The URL is atp.fm/survey. So it's easy to find.

00:10:27   And the reason I don't think they're going to change is, again, I never get around to looking up what this is called in statistics or whatever, but as the answers come in, it's like, oh, two people have answered, 10 people have answered, right?

00:10:41   And you look at whatever questions you have and whatever graphs you have related to them, and you see the shape of the graph of these different things. At a certain point, the shape of the graph doesn't change anymore.

00:10:50   And you would think, oh, that's going to happen after you've had thousands of responses, then probably it's not going to change anymore. But what I found is the shape of the graph after like 10 or 15 or 20 responses doesn't actually change that much, let alone after 100, 200.

00:11:03   At this point, when I want to update the graphs with new data, I have to double check to make sure, did it actually update? Literally nothing moves. Hundreds of new responses come in and literally nothing changes.

00:11:14   So I have a feeling that if people go there and fill it out, nothing is going to change. But there is a free text thing at the bottom for asking for suggestions. Obviously, you can put whatever you want in there. That's something that doesn't show up in the numbers.

00:11:24   But anyway, here's what I was asking, more or less. I was asking, you know, I'm asking if people are members and if they aren't members, if they were members in the past.

00:11:32   And then I wanted to know what they thought of the three different kinds of member specials we have done. We have done a single tier list, which just kind of throws it off because, you know, do you like our tier list?

00:11:41   Well, we've only done one, so whatever. But anyway, the ATP eats things where we eat stuff and ATP movie club where we watch a movie and talk about it.

00:11:49   And we've done multiple ATP eats and multiple ATP movie clubs in the one tier list thing. And so I wanted to know, like, rank them. What's your favorite, second favorite and third favorite?

00:11:58   Should they make a tier list?

00:12:13   How do you use Google Forms? Because I want people to be able to pick NA for all of them, because what if you never listen to an eats and you never listen to a movie club but you just listen to the tier list?

00:12:22   I still wanted you to be able to rank the ones you've listened to. Like, if you just listened to two kinds you could just don't. Anyway, there was no way in Google Forms to allow NA to be a choice but to also force people to pick one, two and three.

00:12:34   You could have ranked everything one, ranked everything two, ranked everything three, but don't do that. Follow the instructions. That's part of the test.

00:12:40   And then the final question before the freeform one was, what is your preferred mix of technology and non-technology topics in member specials?

00:12:47   And this is another one that was tricky to get because I wanted to have two text fields that they have to add up to 100 or something but Google Forms didn't let you do that so I just did a one through five.

00:12:56   So basically three, dead in the middle would be an exact 50/50 split between tech and non-tech. Five would mean all tech and one would mean all non-tech.

00:13:04   So here are the results. I'm pretty confident in the results. Feel free to follow the survey. I don't think the results are going to change.

00:13:11   The what kind of things we do eats movie club or tier list? Everyone likes them pretty much exactly the same.

00:13:18   I mean, it's not super helpful because everyone said we love, you know, ATB eats but we hate movie club. Like it would let us know for future directions we should do something different or bounce in differently.

00:13:28   But just across the board pretty much exactly even for all three of them. You know, within tiny percentages of each other.

00:13:36   So that's boring but you know good to know. For the desired percent tech and member specials all these graphs look, and I broke these down by people who are currently members, people who are not members, people who are formerly members.

00:13:48   But the breakdowns weren't particularly informative. So tech versus non-tech. These graphs look like pretty nice bell curves with a fat lump just left of center.

00:13:58   So what people want is the desired percent tech is around 44 to 45 percent. So that means people want, you know, mostly non-tech but 44, 44 percent, you know, 45 percent tech.

00:14:13   And that's not what we've been doing so we'll make an adjustment based on that because like movie club is non-tech, eats is non-tech, and tier list was tech. So we're way oversubscribed on non-tech so we'll try to rebalance that going forward based on requests.

00:14:25   And then the final question was what kind of other stuff would you like us to do on member specials? Again the survey is open to everybody whether you're a member or not.

00:14:32   We got lots of suggestions. A lot of the suggestions are things that we ourselves have talked about on past episodes that people said, "Yeah, that thing you said you should do that."

00:14:39   And then we made all sorts of wacky suggestions like that we should review roller coasters or go on a cross country road trip and all sorts of stuff like that.

00:14:46   That's probably not going to happen but it's fun to hear.

00:14:48   Whoa, whoa, whoa, slow down. I am here for the cross country road trip. My body is ready.

00:14:54   We're all like old men with kids. Like when are we going to have time to take like two weeks off?

00:14:59   When our kids are all in college or gone away or something and we're 60 years old we can take the world's longest road trip where we stop at every rest stop to...

00:15:06   John, if this is still a thing then first of all I'll be overjoyed and second of all I am ready. I am absolutely ready.

00:15:14   We can go whatever gigantic electric Luxo yacht Marco has at that time.

00:15:18   There you go.

00:15:20   We'll have a long 40 minute recharging breaks to recharge the 200 kilowatt hour battery in as a giant electric bus.

00:15:27   I would totally get that.

00:15:30   So anyway like I said if you want to fill it out atp.fm/survey but those are the results and that will probably influence what we do going forward.

00:15:37   Oh and the free form questions stuff as you would imagine it's a bunch of individual answers.

00:15:41   I thought about trying to categorize them but they're just everywhere.

00:15:45   So just to let you know what the world thinks of their random suggestions.

00:15:49   Whatever you want to see at a member specials there's someone who wants the exact opposite.

00:15:53   And they would often come in pairs right so there's really no consensus like just stay away from controversial topics and then someone will say you should talk about religion and you know every you know I hate it when you talk about tech I love it when you talk about tech you should always talk about tech you should never talk about again.

00:16:09   But the multiple choice answers show that on average it's a nice even bell curve distribution so we can't please everybody but it's good to know sort of what the what things people do agree on and what we can get from the aggregate of the data.

00:16:25   Indeed. Hey John if you weren't a member or forgot how to become a member and you were a member in the past.

00:16:30   How would you go about signing up and do you get all the past specials.

00:16:34   How does that work at the very top of the survey it tells you this and it has a link to ATP.FM/join which is where you go if you want to become a member and yes you can just I mean people have done this I've suggested it and people know to become a member for one month.

00:16:46   Listen to all the existing member specials unsubscribe.

00:16:50   And then you can wait again you know people like it's for some people they it's too costly and I understand that but you can like just do it once a year just to pay one month out of the year become a member listen to all the member specials since last year which is not going to be that many of them.

00:17:04   And then you know you'd be missing out obviously on the bootleg and the ad free feed and all that stuff but.

00:17:09   But yeah please sign up if you would like to become a member and like I said the survey is open to people who are members or are members doesn't matter.

00:17:17   Yep well thank you everyone who filled that out it is informative like John said we will try to balance as the as the masses would like us to we probably won't do a perfect job but we're trying and we've come up with a couple of pretty pretty solid ideas for future member specials I think no timing as yet as I've said many times we aim for about one a month that doesn't always work out but that's that's the goal.

00:17:41   We got a piece of astonishing feedback I don't know how this came in but it showed up in the show notes for the very first time in the last few days it reads from anonymous.

00:17:53   I just got confirmation confirmation that turn us actually received your shirt.

00:18:00   This is amazing I'm so overjoyed by this I'm assuming this came to John because I don't remember having seen this at all I had the venue in the notes but I figured it's better for opposite purposes it's best to hide the venue but this message came in on June 2nd and I just totally missed it so this is before WWDC.

00:18:16   Oh my word.

00:18:18   So it's nice to know it's nice to know the shirt arrived there if he just threw it immediately in the trash oh well but I'm glad that our little gag you know connected.

00:18:26   I'm happy to report that I also heard the same thing from a reliable source.

00:18:30   This genuinely makes me incredibly happy.

00:18:32   Well except for the fact that apparently you two have birdies everywhere and I got none but that's beside the point.

00:18:37   This makes me incredibly happy and I hope whether I just I hope it was received in the spirit in which we meant it and I hope he got a chuckle out of it even if he did immediately put it in the trash or donated it.

00:18:49   Yeah I mean when it was sent I was way more optimistic than after the Mac Pro was announced so it was definitely sent in good spirits.

00:18:56   I didn't send a revised note that said no not like that.

00:19:00   I would characterize the feedback from my source as having had a positive opinion of it.

00:19:06   Yeah either way like it's an optimistic shirt it is like you know thumbs up you know keep doing what you're doing from all accounts that I've heard Turnus is a backer of the Mac Pro so we need people like that.

00:19:18   Adam Eccles has expanded the ATP listener universe. Adam writes I did iOS development for a while and I'm currently a senior technical project manager at another big global computer company and I also used to be a chef.

00:19:30   I cooked dinner for David and Eman Bowie once. That's cool.

00:19:33   Wow this was in reference to previously when I was saying like we have people who did everything and I tried to come up with some ridiculous thing like imagine if we had someone who's an IOS developer and used to be and I came up with chef which is I think I said master chef which is not that obscure of a thing but still kind of obscure.

00:19:47   So yeah just he just wanted to write inside the other thing uses an example of something absurd. You've got one of those listeners to.

00:19:54   Didn't Hello Internet do this. We talked about this in the past right that I think Hello Internet did this at one point a long time ago.

00:20:00   Yeah they did they had like astronauts and stuff.

00:20:03   This makes me so happy that we have people listening to our plucky Apple podcast to kind of quote talk.

00:20:10   The angle we've got on it is like OK as you listen and you do have an interesting profession or whatever the whole idea is like not only do I listen and have an interesting profession profession but I'm also like I'm also you know an IOS developer or I do tech stuff or whatever.

00:20:22   So obviously you expect tons of people who do development listen to the show and maybe if you're a general interest show and you're popular you'd have people who have interesting hobbies but I like the combination of you know I have interesting hobby slash former profession and currently I'm a tech nerd.

00:20:37   And there's a lot of that. I mean people for people who are young and they're wondering like oh do I have to get a C.S. degree to be in tech or whatever especially in my generation of people tons the people in tech either don't have any college degree at all or their degree is in like physics music theory like something totally unrelated they went to business school or whatever and then they end up as a developer like I feel like computers has that effect on people is that you might have like you might not know that computers are going to get their hooks into you and you might have another life plan.

00:21:06   And then you might have another life plan for yourself like I'm going to be you know a lawyer or I'm going to go into business or I'm going to do this or I'm going to do that and then at some point a computer enters your life and it says nope change of plans.

00:21:17   You're going to be a developer and you really have no choice in the matter kind of like people who feel a calling to creative professions right that it's not like they make a choice to do that it just draws them to it and lots of people in computer field to like that.

00:21:30   So if you go to any big tech company but especially Apple and you talk to a bunch of people and you'd say you know what is your degree and what did you think you were going to do with your life you'll find people with all sorts of different backgrounds even people who just who like had a career as you know whatever you know a non tech related profession for like a decade and then said you know what I want to write iOS apps and that's their career going forward.

00:21:51   So it's a really interesting field in that way. You tend not to see that in like medicine where yeah I spent my first 10 years you know as iOS developer and then I became a doctor now we're going to get someone who's going to say that happened to them.

00:22:04   I can't think of any absurd.

00:22:06   I think people have gone the other direction.

00:22:08   Yeah I know of people that have gone the other direction from MD to development I don't know of any that went from MD to develop. Well what's it Arnold Kim is the guy is he the guy who started MacRumors he was an MD here in Richmond if I'm not mistaken.

00:22:21   Oh I didn't know that.

00:22:22   Went and started MacRumors.

00:22:23   Yeah I met him actually saw him at the airport the Richmond airport that is before 1WWDC years and years and years ago.

00:22:29   But yeah I'm pretty sure he was like a general practitioner or something like that here in Richmond and then started MacRumors as a side gig and then within a couple of years that became his whole gig as far as I'm aware.

00:22:40   Yeah I feel like that happens a lot with like doctors and lawyers because there's a lot of like societal pressure to be those high profile lucrative professions even if you don't really like it.

00:22:51   So a lot of people start off either going to law school or becoming a lawyer and then decide now this isn't for me even if they've already done it they've they passed the bar they are a lawyer they are a working lawyer and they say you know what I want to be something else whether it's you know not tech related or the other thing we should mention is the reverse of this is true for subsets of people that don't have the same experiences as the you know the straight white men who enter tech as women in tech historically and other people in tech enter tech because they love computers and they get there and they don't like the treatment they get.

00:23:20   And they don't like the treatment they receive and they end up leaving after a few years because they're like screw this I'm out of here and that is a problem in our industry and that is something that we need to fix.

00:23:29   But it is a thing that happens so if you're looking for people to go the other direction I was in tech and then I left to do something to save my sanity guess who that happens to.

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00:25:25   In the context of full library access, I believe this was in Ask ATP of last week.

00:25:31   It was.

00:25:32   And I have some experience with this, but off the top of my head I couldn't remember the particular details.

00:25:37   And the question was in short, does full library access give an iOS developer, an app developer, basically carte blanche to all of your info?

00:25:46   And I had said on the show, I'm pretty sure it does. And a bunch of people wrote in to say, "Oh yes, yes it does."

00:25:54   We got some particularly good feedback from Peter Gertsen Shibi. I apologize if I got that wrong.

00:26:00   But anyways, Peter wrote, "I'm an iOS developer for Framio, which is a Wi-Fi photo frame app.

00:26:05   Speaking from experience, the full library access gives you unlimited access to the user's photos and the photo metadata,

00:26:11   including photo GPS location, despite not having asked for location access.

00:26:15   I can verify that this is a security hole that has been there for years, if not since iPhone OS 2.0.

00:26:20   At WWDC 2023, I asked the Apple developers for PhotoKit why the security hole was still a thing and whether it had been fixed in iOS 17.

00:26:27   The answer was a bit muddy and unsatisfying.

00:26:30   What data to expose was decided a long time ago. The data is on the image itself and it's difficult to filter out.

00:26:36   There are two ways to access location data and photos. One is the EXIF data on the image file itself.

00:26:41   Extracting that is taxing on battery and network resources.

00:26:44   However, the second way is through a database like Query API, which offers a gold mine for data brokers.

00:26:49   I find this to be the scariest since it's fast and light on resources.

00:26:53   Why Apple hasn't fixed this yet is beyond me.

00:26:56   I knew about the, that was the end of Peter's stuff, I knew about the EXIF data thing.

00:27:02   I am not familiar with, not to say that Peter's wrong, I'm just not familiar with this database like Query API.

00:27:08   I'm sure it's a thing, but I didn't bump into this when I was developing Masquerade or Peekaview.

00:27:14   But yeah, this matches my expectation, which is certainly anything on the photo itself, have at it baby.

00:27:20   It's all yours for the taking.

00:27:22   Which, I can understand both sides of this, right?

00:27:26   Like, is it really a security hole? Well, kinda yeah, because you're giving location access.

00:27:31   But, it is part of the photo, so like, I don't know. I see this, I see both sides of this.

00:27:38   Well, I mean, I think the way I would look at this, first of all, I think Apple has it wrong.

00:27:42   I think Peter's right. The way I would look at this is, when people say, yes, I'm giving access to my photos,

00:27:50   do they fully understand that they're also giving access to the history of every location you have ever taken those photos in?

00:27:58   And I think the answer for most people is no, they wouldn't think of that.

00:28:02   And so, I think that should be a separate thing. I think that Apple should put in the work, they know how to do it, it's not that hard,

00:28:09   put in the work to not expose the GPS field and the exit data of those photos,

00:28:16   unless the app has also gotten some kind of special location access.

00:28:20   And I would even word it in a very scary way, like location history.

00:28:24   And maybe even show a map on the dialog. They already indexed this data.

00:28:30   Show a map of all the different dots that you're gonna get, have a different permission level that's like,

00:28:34   okay, you can read the photo data, but not the location data.

00:28:37   Because, again, this is an area where user expectations of what they're saying yes to,

00:28:42   I don't think line up well with what they're actually saying yes to.

00:28:46   And the fact that Apple has done it this way all this time, that's not an excuse to keep doing it this way.

00:28:51   They've tightened things down in OS releases all the time.

00:28:54   They frequently will take something that used to have no permission dialog or used to have a certain level of access,

00:28:59   and starting with iOS X plus one, no longer. Now you have to ask for that.

00:29:04   They have a large history of doing that for the user's benefit and for the sake of matching user expectations.

00:29:11   And so I think they need to do that here.

00:29:13   Desktop widgets on Sonoma.

00:29:16   Danny Lin on Mastodon has recorded a quite funny video of what happens if you have a metric crap ton of icons on your desktop,

00:29:27   which in and of itself gives me the hives. But nevertheless, if you have that and then start--

00:29:31   Never look at my computers.

00:29:33   I mean, mine is bad, and I have like 10 to 15 right now, which is like 8 to 12 more than I should as far as I'm concerned.

00:29:41   But nevertheless, this is a 14 second video, and it shows dragging a clock widget through this just sea of icons,

00:29:49   and them moving around in a truly absurd way. It is quite funny and quite delightful.

00:29:55   Oh, this is John's. Wait, you put this video up.

00:29:58   So Danny Lin posted this on Twitter, but as we know, Twitter is a trash fire.

00:30:03   Oh, okay.

00:30:04   I had no confidence that people would be able to see his video on the tweet, so I downloaded the tweet and put it up on YouTube on my channel.

00:30:11   It unlisted URL, just because I wanted people to see it.

00:30:14   His description of it as whimsical chaos is great.

00:30:17   So for people who don't know, since you can have widgets on a desktop in macOS Sonoma, you can move the widgets around.

00:30:23   The widgets are on your desktop, and so are your icons, though, so to prevent the situation where people with messy desktops have icons overlapping their widgets,

00:30:32   the icons flee from the widgets when you move them.

00:30:35   The icons are trying to get out of the way, but the way they do it is hilarious and worth watching.

00:30:41   I mean, it's a hard problem.

00:30:43   I understand what Apple is doing, which is, by the way, why Dashboard was great, because the icons came in from the outsides of the thing and then they left.

00:30:49   But anyway, now they're permanently on your desktop, but the icons have to stay away from them.

00:30:53   So when you place them or when you move them, the icons have to scatter like scared, very confused animals.

00:30:59   Please watch this video. It's hilarious.

00:31:01   It's 14 seconds.

00:31:02   I'm assuming they'll work on this a little bit for the release, but maybe not. I don't know.

00:31:06   Marco, what you need to do is have some sort of video or extremely brief chapter API for Overcast, so you can put 14 seconds of video as chapter art.

00:31:16   I did one time do that with the theme song. Remember with Jonathan Mann's keyboard song with the butterfly keyboard?

00:31:22   And I did a chapter every two or three seconds, and so it had like 90 chapters and it broke Pocketcast.

00:31:29   They were really mad at me.

00:31:30   Whoopsie-dipsies. I do remember that vaguely.

00:31:32   All right, and then with regard to Reddit, Lee Abraham writes, "Yes, some subreddits went dark, private, not safe for work, etc.

00:31:41   But the regular Reddit user base is overwhelmingly against it. Something like 5% of Reddit users use third-party apps. The rest don't care."

00:31:49   So yes, this was good for the mods, but the Reddit community as a whole? No, it's been pretty bad.

00:31:54   Posts supporting the mods are downvoted into oblivion.

00:31:57   I am, again, as I think I said last episode, I think I'm the heaviest Reddit user of the three of us, and I am at best a moderate Reddit user, and I think that's probably a bit of an exaggeration.

00:32:08   But I have no idea if this is factual or not, so I'm going to take Lee at their word and assume that this is true.

00:32:15   But that slightly bums me out. I mean, it's understandable, but it slightly bums me out.

00:32:19   I don't know. Jon, it seems like you have some thoughts on this.

00:32:22   Yeah, so this is the nature of any of these types of things, right?

00:32:26   So who brought, made the subreddits dark or private or labeled them as not safe for work?

00:32:31   Who was doing that? Like, it was the moderators, the people who maintain order on these subreddits.

00:32:37   Especially the very popular ones, there's lots of people reading them, lots of people posting to them.

00:32:40   These are communities, and there are people in charge of the community, in charge of maintaining order, so it doesn't just, you know, get spammed to death or just become off topic or whatever.

00:32:48   Those are the moderators. And the moderators also have the power to change the settings on the channel, to, you know, to, anyway, they're the ones who did this.

00:32:56   Moderators are a tiny, tiny, tiny fraction of the people who read Reddit. Millions and millions of people read Reddit.

00:33:01   Every subreddit has a handful of moderators. These are unpaid people, they're not Reddit employees, they do not get paid for what they do, they're doing it because they want to maintain the community, you know, whatever.

00:33:11   And they're the ones doing this, right? And so this person, Lee, is saying, "Well, you know, the people who read Reddit, we don't want these things to go private, we want to be able to read our things in r/funny or whatever, like, we're against it."

00:33:24   So just because the people who, you know, so many, so few people use third-party clients, setting aside whether it's actually 5% or whatever, and what percentage of traffic we are, whatever, but the people who read Reddit, we don't want these, you know, things to go dark, we don't want this stuff to happen.

00:33:37   So, you know, don't believe the hype, this is really a rebellion by a small number of people.

00:33:44   This is always how it is, though, with things like labor strikes or disagreements between management and labor.

00:33:50   Like, for example, imagine a transportation strike, people who drive the trains and drive the buses.

00:33:55   They have some disagreement with the government/their management/whatever, they go on strike, you know, we want more sick days, we want our hours to be reduced, whatever, you know, we don't have to work long hours, we want better overtime pay, whatever their demands are, right?

00:34:08   And they go on strike.

00:34:11   People who drive trains are a very small percentage of the population that uses trains, right?

00:34:16   And so you're just a commuter, you're one of the millions of people who takes the train to work, and you're pissed, I just want the trains to work.

00:34:21   Why? I don't care about your stupid labor dispute, why can't I just get on the train and go to work and now it's inhumane for me and I have to find a ride or I have to take an Uber or I have to take a bus or I have to do something else, or even if it's just reduced, I hate it, I'm mad.

00:34:33   In this case, the labor, albeit unpaid labor, are the mods.

00:34:38   And so, yeah, the quote-unquote "passengers", the people who are just reading Reddit or whatever, are annoyed the same way people who take the train are annoyed.

00:34:44   But that's what sort of management is hoping for in any kind of labor dispute.

00:34:49   The people going on strike saying "hey, we're going to cripple your city because now the trains won't run" and management saying "yeah, but we have more money than you and now you're not getting paid, so let's wait it out together and by the way, all the citizens hate you because they can't get to work."

00:35:01   And we're just going to tell them "oh, this strike is the fault of the greedy people who drive the trains."

00:35:06   This is just a dynamic of conflicts between labor and management.

00:35:10   In this case, it is voluntary labor, it's unpaid labor, and the third-party apps are a separate thing.

00:35:17   Them disappearing doesn't change things one way or the other about the subreddit shutting down, the people shutting down the subreddit and the mods.

00:35:23   So I just want to say this is always how it's going to be when there's any kind of conflict like this.

00:35:28   Most people just want to ride the train.

00:35:30   They don't care, they just want the train to show up, I want it to be on time, I want it to be clean, I want it to be nice, I want it to be safe, I don't care about the details.

00:35:38   That's the vast majority of the population for Reddit, for trains, for anything.

00:35:43   But that doesn't mean there's not legitimate conflicts between the people who run the train systems and the people who drive the trains.

00:35:49   Are they being asked to take 48-hour shifts and they're too tired to be safe?

00:35:54   Are they being asked to work in terrible conditions with no air conditioning? Is the infrastructure falling around them?

00:35:59   Are they like the actual train drivers with the Amtrak strike or whatever, not allowed to have a single sick day the entire year and they get their pay docked?

00:36:06   Those are legitimate issues and you as a rider of the train might not care about them but they're still real.

00:36:11   So it's always going to be a minority of people, a small group of people who are integral to the running of the thing as mods are integral to the running of subreddits.

00:36:21   That will be the ones who will strike.

00:36:23   So I totally believe this is true and I believe it is an unavoidable part of the phenomenon of most people being passengers and only the people who are involved in the maintenance and creation of that community/service.

00:36:34   To be the ones who have a conflict.

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00:38:33   There was a pretty funny and, well, sad, funny and pretty good article over at The Verge.

00:38:43   I believe this happened shortly before we recorded last week but we didn't have a chance to talk about it.

00:38:47   This is an article by Monica Chin which I could summarize as, "Hey, the Mac Pro is kind of bullshit, isn't it?"

00:38:53   But really the question it's asking and attempting to answer is, "Hey, what is the Mac Pro really for?"

00:39:01   And the official title is, "The Mac Pro's Biggest Problem is the MacBook."

00:39:05   John, I keep calling on you for this episode. I apologize but I feel like so much of this is irrelevant, or your opinions to so much of this are very relevant.

00:39:12   So, care to tell me who the Mac Pro is for, John?

00:39:16   I mean, this article, I feel like is, we skipped over it last week at least, and I would just as soon have skipped over it this week, but you two want to talk about it in case you want to of all things.

00:39:27   If you listen to the show, there's nothing in this article that's news to you.

00:39:31   And on top of that, I feel like what this article does is it's kind of more like a human interest story.

00:39:37   It's not trying to be hard reporting or trying to tell Apple they should do something.

00:39:41   It's just a fun human interest story because they just talk to a bunch of people and say, "Hey, what do you think of the Mac Pro?"

00:39:45   "Hey, what do you think of the Mac Pro?" But it's just a bunch of random people.

00:39:48   And they say the things you would think they would say.

00:39:51   It's good to see mainstream coverage of this computer being potentially disappointing to its target audience or people being confused about who the target audience is.

00:39:58   Like, I've watched tons of YouTube videos about the latest line of Macs because that's what I do on YouTube in addition to watching car rebuilding videos.

00:40:05   And everyone is aware of the exact thing that we talk about. "Hey, there's this giant expensive computer that costs $3,000 more than a computer that is exactly as fast, pretty much."

00:40:15   Like, tons of people on YouTube are testing it like, "But shouldn't this have lower temperatures?"

00:40:19   "Shouldn't it have better sustained speed than the Mac Studio with the M2 Ultra?"

00:40:23   "Shouldn't there be some advantage?" And the answer is, "Pretty much no."

00:40:27   Like, the Mac Studio is amazing. It's a tiny little computer.

00:40:30   They seem to be clocked the same. The temperatures are very similar. Neither one of them throttles.

00:40:35   Even when there are temperature differences, it's like, "Yeah, but they're still really cool."

00:40:39   And the Mac Studio is still very quiet.

00:40:41   And obviously, we talked about this before, there's a bunch of card slots in there and there's no card slots in the Mac Studio.

00:40:46   So there's a differentiation. But people still are struggling with the idea of like, "Okay, but if I can't put GPUs in there, what would I put in there?"

00:40:53   "And who wants to use it?" And the answers are what they are.

00:40:56   We've talked about it a million times in the show. There's no getting around it. It's a weird machine whose target market, or whose ideal customer is a narrower slice than it was before.

00:41:08   Because the previous Mac Pro that was in this case could do all the things this one can do and more.

00:41:14   And obviously, that one's old and slow now, but they waited many, many years to replace it.

00:41:17   And they replaced it with one that does less. So they're further narrowing the market for the Mac Pro.

00:41:22   And on top of that, the Mac Studio, which didn't exist when the 2019 Mac Pro came out, the Mac Studio exists.

00:41:27   And the exact same SOC, the exact same limits on RAM, CPU, all that other stuff.

00:41:33   And it's just... Yeah. And this article's like, "Oh, but most people just buy Macbooks." Yeah, of course they do.

00:41:38   We know. Most people don't buy Lamborghinis, right? We know.

00:41:42   And the problem is, as Mark was pointing out many, many times in the show, over many, many years, the laptops are so good now,

00:41:48   and Apple's chips are so good in laptops, that people who previously needed to get a desktop performance don't even need to do that anymore.

00:41:54   And in that environment, the Mac Pro has not moved upmarket to say, "But you know what? Now the Mac Pro's gonna be even more insane.

00:42:04   And it's gonna be so incredibly fast." Nope. Nope. It's not as fast as a Mac Studio. It's just for people who want cards a lot.

00:42:10   So, you know, I will probably... I mean, I feel like we'll probably end up reissuing some variant of the Mac Pro Believe shirt in four years,

00:42:16   when the next rumors of the replacement Mac Pro come around, because honestly, we need... I think we need a better Mac Pro than this.

00:42:26   In the meantime, I'm glad this one exists instead of none, but boy, we need something different so that we don't have to see YouTube videos and articles like this one that say,

00:42:35   "What's the deal with the Mac Pro? It seems kind of weird." And you know what? I agree. It is kind of weird. Not great.

00:42:40   Yeah, I think one way to look at this is, you know, first of all, the answer to who is the Mac Pro for, I don't think the Verge article really did a good job of answering it,

00:42:50   because what I've been told over and over again, especially from people who work in this area or from various Apple people, the answer is basically recording studios.

00:43:00   Like, this is a computer. It's a Mac Studio, ironically, for recording studios.

00:43:05   Or video people. As Apple obligated, if you want to capture 24 8K streams at the same time, this is the only Mac that can do it.

00:43:11   Right. And so it's for a very small percentage of people, but I think the way to look at it is, you know, in the same way that Apple has in recent years made a rack mount version of the Mac Pro.

00:43:24   Well, who is that for? The answer is very few people, but whoever it is for, they probably buy a bunch of them, and so it's worth making that configuration for them.

00:43:33   Like that person said last time, the guy who said he doesn't understand why they make the tower one, because as far as he's concerned, he's only interested in the rack mount one,

00:43:40   because the tower one is just inconvenient, because he's going to put it in a rack, and that's where all his other crap is for his audio thing.

00:43:46   And so he was like, why did they even bother making the tower? It's so dumb. Just give me the rack mount.

00:43:50   Right. And it's like, if you are using it in a recording studio, guess what they're full of? Racks.

00:43:53   Tons of recording studio equipment is rack mount, and, you know, for all the same reasons that we use racks in data centers,

00:43:59   because when you have a bunch of stuff, it works better, and it's more convenient, and offers a lot of advantages.

00:44:05   Anyway, so, in the same way that there has been this rack mount configuration of the Mac Pro,

00:44:10   that's got to be a super low volume product that almost no one, relatively speaking to the whole market, buys, but it's still worth them making it,

00:44:17   I think similarly now, we have to look at the Mac Pro itself maybe as the PCI slot version of the Mac Studio.

00:44:25   That is just a configuration of the Mac Studio that happens to add these fairly expensive components.

00:44:33   I know people were trying to justify the price a little bit by looking up the PCI bridge chip they're using in there.

00:44:39   I think it's like a $700 part. The power supply they're using in there is a massive, you know, it's like a 1400 watt power supply.

00:44:47   It's the same one from my Mac Pro. They didn't change it, because, you know, why, it's kind of like when they didn't change the power supply on the Mac Mini when it went to Apple Silicon.

00:44:54   They're just like, well, we've already got this one, and it's over provisioned by like 10x.

00:44:57   And the only reason the power supply is so over provisioned is if you assume that the cards can't use that power.

00:45:03   In my Mac Pro, you can use all that power. You can put in giant GPUs that suck the power up, but I think you might have trouble finding non-GPU PCI cards,

00:45:11   enough of them, if you fill every single slot, to use up that power supply, because I'm pretty sure it's exactly the same one in mine, and so it is more than enough.

00:45:19   And that's just cost saving. It's like, why bother making a different power supply? We've got one, it's more than enough, just keep shipping it.

00:45:25   Yeah, like they fitted the power supply to that that's like the most power you can draw out of a US 15 amp circuit.

00:45:30   And it's like, so they will never need a bigger one for most US uses, so they're like, alright, fine, we'll fit this and it'll be fine.

00:45:37   And yeah, and now, as John said, like I don't know how you'd even use all that power with the small number of cards that are going to be compatible with this thing, but it's there.

00:45:44   And so there are some reasons, just like for the Rackman version, there are some reasons for this to cost more than the Mac Studio,

00:45:51   but none of those reasons are relevant to almost any Mac buyers anymore.

00:45:56   That doesn't mean there aren't any for whom they're relevant, but as we've discussed, the market for that is getting smaller and smaller and smaller.

00:46:02   And I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing. You know, I don't want a giant tower if I don't need one, if it doesn't offer any benefits to my life,

00:46:11   and it doesn't, I don't even, as we were saying, I don't even run a desktop anymore. I have a laptop that is serving as a desktop,

00:46:19   and then when I go on trips I can bring it with me. It's amazing. And it's like most people will have their needs totally well solved without going to something like the Mac Pro.

00:46:28   And that's fine. I do think they still need to make it and keep that category healthy, though.

00:46:34   And that's what we were saying over the last few weeks about this. I don't think they're doing a good job of keeping that category healthy.

00:46:41   But that being said, they have more data than we do. They probably see way better than we do that it's a very dramatically shrinking category,

00:46:50   and they would be totally happy to just sell all their awesome laptops and a small number of mass-market desktops like the iMac 27.

00:46:59   They'd be totally happy to just sell those forever.

00:47:02   As we pointed out before, it's kind of a self-fulfilling prophecy, though. They keep making this computer area, but just in terms of fewer and fewer people, they sell fewer and fewer.

00:47:08   And by the way, from what I've seen in Apple's casual statements, the Mac Studio seems to be selling well.

00:47:13   They don't tell you sales numbers, but from what they've said in the press, they've bracketed the Mac Studio, saying that it's selling well,

00:47:21   or we're happy with how it's doing, or we were surprised at how well it's doing.

00:47:24   Because I think the Mac Studio, we haven't talked about this too much, but the Mac Studio fills an important need.

00:47:29   Because Apple had just basically been selling laptops, because that's what people want, right?

00:47:33   And then there was this huge jump to, "Oh, and if you want a desktop, the only one that we still sell is either the all-in-one iMac, which is kind of like a more consumer-y thing,

00:47:40   or this gigantic, increasingly expensive tower."

00:47:42   And the Mac Studio is perfect, because people are like, "I just want to put this on people's desks for them to use whatever the application is at work."

00:47:49   And I don't want it to be a giant tower. I don't need it to be a giant tower.

00:47:52   But laptops have a screen that people aren't going to use, a keyboard they're not going to use, a trackpad they're not going to use, because they're all using tablets or whatever.

00:47:58   Mac Studio is an important product for Apple. It is a taller, more powerful Mac Mini, and I think it is perfect for tons of use cases.

00:48:07   And it does take some pressure off of the Mac Pro. In my opinion, it should free up the Mac Pro to be even more insane and have the quad CPU in there or whatever.

00:48:16   And as we talked about when the 2019 Mac Pro came out, you don't design this case and get the manufacturing facilities for it and ship it on a single computer.

00:48:24   So pretty much no matter what they did, if the Mac Pro was not cancelled, the next one was going to be in this case.

00:48:29   And lo and behold it is, because that's not Apple's way to go with these tower cases. They don't make one of these towers.

00:48:34   They did way back in the day, like the G3, G4, Quicksilver, Mirror Drive Door, they kept revising that.

00:48:40   It was kind of the same case, but they did make lots of revisions. If you look, compare the blue and white G3 all the way up to whatever the last one was, which was, I think, the Mirror Drive Door one.

00:48:49   There are actually a lot of differences in the case, but generally the general shape was the same.

00:48:53   But this giant case, it's dumb to put an M2 Ultra in there. Like it's a waste of space. They have way more cooling than they need.

00:48:59   They did weird stuff like they moved the SSDs out of a place where they had air blowing over them to a place where they don't.

00:49:05   Probably because I guess they don't need it, but it is weird. Like the SSDs are now where the RAM used to be, but there's no air blowing on them.

00:49:12   Anyway, this case is massively overprovisioned and overpowered for what they put in it.

00:49:17   But what that means, since I'm not getting rid of this case, is if they keep making Mac Pros, they can't. They have a chance.

00:49:23   The next time they make a Mac Pro, put tons of stuff in there that can't fit in a Mac Studio. Put the quad in there.

00:49:29   So how are we going to cool that thing? That's what this case is for. It's huge. It's got three gigantic fans.

00:49:34   It's got so much room, so much space for so much cooling, so much power with that power supply, so much expense.

00:49:41   Because this is your top-priced product, and this one is cheaper than the previous one because the previous one you can make really well.

00:49:47   So this case is sitting there waiting for Apple to make a computer worthy of it. Not worthy of it, but that takes advantage of it.

00:49:54   And the M2 Ultra does not take advantage of it. The M2 Ultra is perfectly happy in the M2 Studio.

00:50:00   Again, I encourage people to take a look at some YouTube videos where they check the temperatures.

00:50:03   The M2 Ultra in the studio stays so cool and the fans stay idle and it never throttles.

00:50:09   Like in that tiny little cube. So of course it doesn't have any problems in this huge case.

00:50:14   Like la-di-da. Like again, two out of the three giant front fans are just blowing air through nothing out the back.

00:50:20   So I really hope that if you build it, the nerds will come. They built this case. It's sitting there waiting for something to come.

00:50:28   Even the PCI chip marker that you mentioned, the expensive PCI bridge thing, the M2 Ultra does not have the number of PCI lanes that the Xeon did even.

00:50:35   And so they have all those slots in it. The reason they're able to have those slots is they have multiple slots feeding into a single PCI switch inside.

00:50:43   Not a single switch, but there's a switching fabric inside the M2 Ultra. So you can't have all the 16x slots, you can't have all of them having 16x speeds at the same time because they're sharing bandwidth.

00:50:52   That wasn't the case with the Xeon because they had enough PCI express lanes for all those slots.

00:50:58   So it's not even like the M2 Ultra is able to correctly support the number of slots they put in this thing, but they did what they did.

00:51:06   They said, "Well I hope you're not using them all at the same time in maximum bandwidth. If you are, you're going to get bottlenecked a little bit."

00:51:11   So I really hope they eventually make another Mac Pro worthy of this case. Otherwise things are looking grim for this case.

00:51:19   And I think when you look at how many of us are just totally fine with laptops now who used to need desktops for our work, when you look at how the M1 Macs in the Pro laptops compares to the M1 Ultra in the Studio and Mac Pro, it's a 2x chip.

00:51:36   You can get twice the cores if you go to the desktop, Mac Studio or Mac Pro. Well, if the Mac Pro is able to offer the quad at some point, and you can get another jump of 2x the CPU and GPU power by going from the Studio to the Pro, that gives the Pro a lot more reason to exist.

00:51:54   And if you look, they had a disassembled new Mac Pro in the hands-on area in WWDC this year, and it took a couple of pictures, and there was no heatsink attached to the M1 Ultra chip in it.

00:52:08   So you can see how much space the M1 Ultra takes up in that case, and it takes up like a quarter of the motherboard. It's not a small chip, it's a huge chip.

00:52:17   But that's the whole computer. The rest of the motherboard is empty.

00:52:20   Yes, and so with some engineering, they probably couldn't put one in front of the PCI slots, because that would block the length of the slots, but in that kind of upper right area where the hard drive bracket goes that you have, they could move stuff around to fit two of these in some form.

00:52:39   However, they would interconnect, whether it be one giant quad or whether it be two of these side by side with some kind of interconnect between them, I don't know.

00:52:45   But there is room for it, but you can tell you actually do need a case of this caliber, of this size, to be able to fit two of those M1 Ultra dies and also have card slots.

00:52:59   So it would make sense for the case to be this big if that was the goal. It makes no sense for any other reason.

00:53:05   But again, maybe that's the future plan here. Maybe they couldn't get it together for this one, but maybe that is the future plan where you have the M1 Max offering 1x of this big performance.

00:53:15   You have the Max Studio offering 2x, and then you have the Mac Pro offering up to 4x. That would give this product a great reason to exist.

00:53:25   And until then, we patiently wait and hope it doesn't get killed.

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00:55:12   [Music]

00:55:17   Apparently, we are playing top four today because in the show notes it says, "Marco's Top 4 Vision Pro Challenges, and Price Ain't One of Them."

00:55:24   Yeah, I've been kind of waffling on this topic for a little while, kind of drafting it in my head, and I finally took some notes on it and wanted to actually bring it to the show.

00:55:31   So, I'm going to do this in the spirit of my other show, Top 4.

00:55:35   Start with honorable mentions.

00:55:37   Yes, so as Casey said, this is Top 4 Vision Pro Challenges.

00:55:42   This is like things I think will be challenges for the Vision Pro, and Price Ain't One of Them for this discussion.

00:55:47   It's not to say it won't be a challenge, but I think these are like the kind of bigger picture things that even if the price comes down, I think these are still going to be challenges.

00:55:56   So, first off, honorable mentions.

00:56:00   Scrolling.

00:56:02   Over the last few days I've been asking various friends who had the press demo, how comfortable is it and how easy is it to scroll a lot on Vision Pro?

00:56:13   Because when you look at the smartphone era, and of course it also applies to iPads, but especially on phones, scrolling, especially vertical scrolling through a feed or a list, is like the primary interaction of smartphones.

00:56:30   Whether you're browsing a social feed and you're kind of doom scrolling or scrolling forever, or whether you're scanning through a list of email or whatever, list views everywhere, scrolling is like the primary interaction method on phones.

00:56:44   The way Vision, I've been watching the Vision Pro demos, I have the simulator installed, and obviously it's nothing like using the real thing because you're using a mouse and in my case a PS5 controller, which works great by the way, thank you for that last week.

00:56:56   Scrolling though, for whatever it's worth, everyone I've asked this question to has said it's fine.

00:57:04   That scrolling is totally comfortable, but everyone only had like 30 minute PR demos.

00:57:10   And I think scrolling is going to be a little bit less comfortable and less awesome to do a large amount of with the interaction model, the physical interaction model of Vision Pro.

00:57:21   And I think that's going to dramatically change how apps have to be built, how they have to be laid out, and the sessions even back this up in terms of layout and design suggestions that Apple's making.

00:57:31   And also just what kind of apps will succeed on this platform.

00:57:36   And largely I think that might be a very good thing in the sense that I think the era of doom scrolling forever on our phones has overall not been positive for society I don't think.

00:57:46   But it's something interesting that we're having this major platform come out where one of the most common interaction patterns may not be comfortable or practical or nice to do a large amount of.

00:57:59   Can you describe the two mechanisms, I think there's two of them that I'm aware of, to scroll on Vision Pro?

00:58:04   Are there two? So the one I know of is, so obviously you look at what you want to select, you look at it, and you pinch your fingers together, and the way you scroll apparently is you just kind of like grab it with your fingers as you're looking at it and just pull your hand up.

00:58:22   Like kind of make a, as if you're picking up a piece of string off a table, like that kind of motion. And forgive me I could be wrong, I didn't get a demo, but I could be wrong.

00:58:34   But it seems like, so John, is there a second way to do it? What's the second way?

00:58:38   Yeah, so that's the one, and I'll tell you the second one in a second, but I was also thinking exactly the same thing when I saw the demos, I didn't mention it on the show, but I was like hmm, scrolling stuff might be weird, because if you think about it, so you mentioned the smartphone, obviously we sit there, most people scroll with their thumbs, right? It becomes an unconscious thing, we don't think about it.

00:58:55   On the personal computer front, in the laptop world, in the Mac world anyway, two fingers scrolling on a trackpad become second nature once you're used to it, and even before that for the entire world and desktop computers, we had the mouse wheel, where once you get used to having a wheel on your mouse and you're looking at a web page or something, you scroll without even thinking, your finger just finds the wheel, or if you have an Apple mouse you swipe across the surface.

00:59:19   Those are all actions that we do without thinking about it, it is an unconscious, total disappeared interface for all those different things, phone, laptop, desktop, we scroll without thinking.

00:59:31   This one, I can imagine getting to a similar place, but the difference it has with all those ones I just described is it's way larger motions, right? So yes, you look at the thing you want to scroll, you make the pinch, so far all those motions are tiny, but now once you've made the pinch, you have to move the finch.

00:59:48   You have to move the hand that you have pinched up or down to scroll up or down, and unlike all the other ones where we're just going to swipe, swipe, swipe, you know, with two fingers on a mouse wheel, on the actual screen, I think you would have to like release the pinch, go back down, pinch again, pull up, go back down, pinch again.

01:00:06   It's the most complicated and largest motion, which is why I think they added the second way to do it, which is, and again, I have not tried this, but I believe I've read about this, is that you can just take a finger and swipe like you're swiping a screen.

01:00:18   Now you don't have to reach your hand out and touch the virtual screen floating in front of you, just like the pinch, it doesn't matter where your hand is, you can leave your hand in your lap, but I believe there is a motion that is a lot like swiping at, let's say, the screen of an upright iPad that happens to be an inch away from your finger, and you can scroll like that.

01:00:35   And I think that, if that is real and I'm remembering correctly, will be way easier than the look, pinch, grab, unpinch, look, pinch, grab, or you know, forget about the looking, just pinch, grab, unpinch, it would be like moving a mouse on a very small mousepad where you have to constantly pick it up and reposition it.

01:00:49   That's how we used to scroll, we used to grab the little scroll thumb and we'd move it up and down, but that has the same problem as pinching, is that okay, well I ran out of mousepad and I gotta move up again, whereas spinning that wheel, you don't need to move the mouse at all, and you've got as many spins as you want and you never run out of mousepad.

01:01:03   And same thing with swiping, so I think swiping will be better than pinching, but both swiping and pinching I think will be more difficult to become second nature, just because these things work by cameras looking at your hands, which is a harder problem than a trackpad knowing you've spun it or swiped two fingers across it.

01:01:25   So if that whole flick thing you're talking about, if that works, that's great, I didn't know about that, so that would largely improve this.

01:01:33   Someone who had a demo, please write in and tell us if I'm imagining things, but I'm pretty sure that was a thing.

01:01:37   I think overall what you said earlier is important though, which is I think what we don't have a good idea of yet by not having used one is how much hand movement is actually required to trigger a lot of these gestures, because it's camera based, it's gotta be a little bit less precise with very small movements than a mouse or trackpad or a touchscreen.

01:02:00   And you're gonna run out of room no matter what, say they made it like "oh you don't need to move your hand a lot, if you move your hand an inch that's a huge amount of scrolling" it's like "well I don't want that because now I have no precision" it's like "okay but it's very precise" "oh but now I have to move my hand up and down two feet to scroll?"

01:02:14   That's the beauty of swipes on a screen or on a thing is you can just repeatedly do that gesture, you can do a long swipe, a bunch of little short ones, it is very flexible in terms of not requiring you to do any large motions, whereas no matter what choice they make for the pinch and move motion, they're gonna have some problem.

01:02:34   If they make it so you don't have to move a lot, now there's no sensitivity, if they make it sensitive, now you gotta move a lot, which is why I hope that swipe thing I'm not just imagining it.

01:02:41   So anyway that remains to be seen.

01:02:44   One other thing I'll mention before we move to the actual top four is people's physical spaces.

01:02:50   This is another thing where we don't really have a good idea yet of some of the details, like for instance we mentioned airplane seats, how like well there's lots of places in real life where if you're trying to get this AR mode, this blended view of reality and your windows and stuff,

01:03:06   many physical places where people do work are not set up to have this much space in front of the user.

01:03:13   I mean honestly most people's desks, like if you think, I figure most people's desks, my desk included, the wall, I mean the monitor in front of me is about an arm's length away.

01:03:24   The wall is about a foot behind that. Like I don't actually have enough space in my desk chair in front of me before I hit a wall to actually have the proper like roughly two meter focus distance to not cause VAC like we talked about the last two weeks.

01:03:42   And I think most, in general, if you have a desk against a wall or a cubicle wall, you're gonna have the same problem.

01:03:49   And most people's desks are against walls I think. So I think there's gonna be, and you can say look then you can turn on Mount Hood or whatever, you can have half Mount Hood in front of you and that's the whole point.

01:04:01   Well then you lose a significant value of the pass through. You lose orientation in your space, you lose some of your awareness of your surroundings.

01:04:10   There is a significant trade off to turning on those virtual environments that I think most people doing most of their work most of the time are not gonna want that. They're gonna want the pass through mostly and then put windows around their room.

01:04:22   But I think this is gonna be fundamentally physically inconvenient for a lot of people's actual workspaces. So that again remains to be seen.

01:04:32   Alright, to the actual top four. This is what the show is like too by the way. Did he just do two? No he didn't. Those don't count. Is it top six? Just go with it.

01:04:43   Number four, text input. This I think still largely remains to be seen. Now, if you look at text input on Macs and iPhones and iPads and hell on the watch.

01:04:57   You know the watch basically doesn't have it because it sucks and that's fair. The physical realities of that are pretty harsh. And so there's a reason why we're not typing long documents on our watches.

01:05:08   Vision Pro supports Siri dictation of course in a nice integrated convenient way with search fields and stuff like that. And that's fine. As we know, Siri is awesome and never gets anything wrong and it's super reliable and fast.

01:05:20   Correct. That's great. So we'll probably all be using Siri 100% of the time. But for the small percentage of the time where that may not work for us. Obviously you can do the thing where you connect a physical keyboard.

01:05:32   And I think that's gonna be what most people do in their workspaces. If you're actually gonna have a desk or a table set up where you're gonna be using the Vision Pro a lot.

01:05:42   I bet most people are gonna connect a keyboard if they're gonna actually be using it for productivity tasks. Now, if you're just using it to watch movies and stuff, who cares? It's fine.

01:05:50   But if you're actually using it for productivity tasks where you're gonna be typing in documents and emails and stuff. I think you're gonna probably want a physical keyboard connected.

01:05:58   But I think other than that, for situations where you don't have the Bluetooth keyboard connected, we've seen they have an in-air keyboard that you can poke at. I don't think that's going to provide any kind of level of speed.

01:06:12   I think it's gonna be a lot like, use your two index fingers and poke, poke, poke, poke. Alternating between your two index fingers. That's gonna be what that keyboard is like in all likelihood.

01:06:21   Now, again, we'll see when we get them. I could be wrong. It could be a lot better. And in fact, I give them credit. Usually their stuff is better than I think it will be before I've tried it.

01:06:30   So, give them credit. This might not be a big problem, but I think text input is gonna be very clumsy on it.

01:06:36   We also have issues like cursor movement, selection, things that go along with not having a keyboard or mouse.

01:06:43   Again, when we saw the iPhone and iPad come around, they had to deal with these things. They still have to deal with them on some level. They're still not perfect. They're still not convenient.

01:06:51   But doing a lot of text work is still way better on a physical keyboard and with a mouse or trackpad than it is on a touch device.

01:06:59   On these things on the keyboard, by the way, that's something that I believe nobody got a demo of.

01:07:04   Like, the demos did not include that keyboard that floated in the air, so nobody has tried it. I guess it just wasn't ready yet.

01:07:10   And related to cursor stuff, there were some Mastodon posts from Steve Droughton Smith. I'll try to get the links into the notes.

01:07:17   Where he figured out how to turn on mouse emulation in the simulator. I don't know if this is going to be a thing in Vision OS. No one has Vision OS. We just have the simulator.

01:07:24   But you can get a cursor in the simulator that looks a lot like the iPad cursor.

01:07:30   So if you had a physical keyboard, you could also, in theory at least with the simulator, have a physical mouse and move around the cursor.

01:07:36   The interesting thing he noted about the cursor is that you can't make it leave the app.

01:07:41   So the cursor is like, you can't drag the cursor from one floating window to like, you know, you're in Safari and you're moving this cursor around.

01:07:48   You can't move it over through 3D space to your music player window.

01:07:51   So it's like a captive cursor like in games?

01:07:53   Right, unless you look at music. So if you look at the next window, then all of a sudden your cursor is there.

01:07:59   And the cursor can move within, like you know they have these little floating ornaments, like the little side panels and stuff.

01:08:04   You can move the cursor to those, fine. But this is basically to prevent your cursor from being lost in the ether because the mouse is a 2D, you know, pointing device.

01:08:12   Right.

01:08:13   If you had the cursor suddenly be like in 3D space, how do I get to the window that's like back there?

01:08:18   You can't. You can't push the mouse in Z direct, you know what I mean?

01:08:21   So the way they do it is, it's a 2D cursor for your 2D window.

01:08:25   And if you want to be in a different 2D window, look at that window and now your cursor is over there.

01:08:29   But I have no idea if this is just a thing for the simulator or for a real thing.

01:08:33   But in those situations like you said where you're sitting at a desk and you have a physical keyboard, I think people would want a physical mouse.

01:08:38   And by the way, if they had that, it would solve the scrolling problem because they would just use the scroll wheel or the scroll surface on their mouse.

01:08:44   So this is another mystery. The mode is there. It seems like it would be useful. I hope it is enabled in the real device.

01:08:51   Yeah, me too.

01:08:52   Alright, number three. And this I think, I think I might have actually ranked this too low, but we'll see.

01:08:57   Number three. Digital personas. So this is a multi-faceted feature.

01:09:04   One part of it is the view of your eyes that is shown on the exterior screen to everyone around you.

01:09:10   And the other part of it that we've seen demoed so far is how you look to other people in FaceTime calls when you are using a Vision Pro.

01:09:19   Because they don't have actual full light and cameras to look at your eyes and face to see what you are actually looking like because you're in a dark headset inside.

01:09:28   So they read your facial expressions presumably with the IR sensors or whatever inside and then they have this computer generated simulated 3D rendering kind of deep fake version of you.

01:09:40   And the impressions that people reported from the press demo that had a little bit of this seemed to be all over the place.

01:09:49   Generally not good or at least neutral. I think the digital personas are going to have significant drawbacks.

01:09:58   The biggest problem is it doesn't really look like they are talking really to you.

01:10:04   It looks like a deep fake AI version of you and that is going to first of all cause a bit of a problem in the sense that if you're on a FaceTime call and you're the one person in a Vision Pro,

01:10:18   everyone else is going to look better to you because they're going to be the regular video heads.

01:10:23   They're going to look better to you than you are to them.

01:10:27   Will people feel comfortable talking to your digital persona and not to you?

01:10:33   Will you feel pressured or will there actually be policies to not use a Vision Pro when you're on a work call or maybe a call with your significant other when you're traveling or something like that?

01:10:42   The other option is you can use your Memoji which I feel like is better in some ways but way worse in others.

01:10:48   Can you imagine being on a call with your spouse with your Memoji? They'd be like "get this thing out of my face. I'd rather not see you."

01:10:54   And just imagine if you're talking about something serious like you got to talk about a parent has cancer and it's your Memoji talking about.

01:11:00   And you're a cartoon head.

01:11:01   Yeah, that's horrendous. I think the digital personas are going to not be well liked by the people you're talking to who are not on Vision Pros.

01:11:12   And I think that's going to cause significant ostracization. How ever can I say that?

01:11:20   You'll be ostracized.

01:11:21   Ostracization.

01:11:22   You will be ostracized for using a person.

01:11:25   And you might not want to use it for a lot of your calls which will then reduce the utility of it. And I think that will harm its spread.

01:11:32   We talked about this when it came out that the thing that Apple did not talk about at all that Facebook and I think maybe even Microsoft have talked about a lot is the idea of digital presence where you feel like you're in a room with people.

01:11:43   Your avatar is in the room and it's being controlled by you and their avatar is in the room and it's being controlled by them and you're both sitting at a virtual conference table and you're having a work meeting and it feels like you're both there sharing a physical space.

01:11:55   And Vision Pro and their demos and their presentation had literally none of that.

01:11:59   Even the thing where you're talking about the digital personas was explicitly not to feel like you're both in the same space.

01:12:06   What it feels like is you're sitting on your couch and there's a disembodied floating hologram head like you're being spoken to in Star Wars or Star Trek but they're not there.

01:12:13   They're clearly like, "This is a projection of my head and shoulders floating up in the air in your living room."

01:12:18   It is not, "Oh, this feeling of presence where we're both sitting at the same conference table."

01:12:22   Because for multiple people in VR headsets and especially in a work environment, the feeling that you are both on an even playing field and both sharing this fake digital space with each other is a...

01:12:33   For the people who have tried it have said it is much better than talking on a Zoom call.

01:12:40   Probably not as good as actually being in the same physical space but for people who can't physically be in the same space because they're in different offices on different coasts or whatever,

01:12:47   being in a virtual meeting room can feel better and higher bandwidth and more comfortable and more effective for communication than just looking at each other's head and shoulders in a Zoom call.

01:12:59   But Vision Pro does none of that and they could. Apple could have pitched it as like, "Hey, everybody in your organization gets Vision Pros and then you can have meetings around a virtual conference table."

01:13:07   It has a technology for it. There's no reason they can't do it but they didn't.

01:13:11   That's not a thing that they are pitching this device for and it's not a thing that, at least as far as we know, this device is capable of without some kind of third-party thing.

01:13:19   But for everything you're talking about, Marco, this presence thing is predicated on the idea that every other person who is "present" with you also has a headset on so you're on an even playing field.

01:13:28   But for family calls, nobody wants to do a FaceTime call with you where they can't see your face.

01:13:33   When you're calling with relatives, they want to see you. No matter how terrible your lighting is and how you can't hold the phone steady, they still want to see you.

01:13:40   They want to see the junk that's on your couch. They want to see you. They do not want to see the digital version of you at all.

01:13:47   They certainly don't want to see your Memoji.

01:13:50   In work contexts, it's less important and that's why they're pitching in work contexts. It's important for the other people to see your expressions.

01:13:58   So in that case, an Memoji may actually even be better than a digital avatar because the facial expressions are more exaggerated.

01:14:04   But honestly, I think the people at work would get more information out of your actual face as well.

01:14:08   And you know what? They can't see your actual face when you're wearing a mask over it.

01:14:12   I do wonder if people would take a FaceTime call with the headset on because then at least people can see Batman style, like the lower part of your mouth.

01:14:19   Like if you're George Clooney or Val Kilmer or whatever. Or Michael Keaton.

01:14:22   Because at least they can see some part of your face and the rest of you would look silly and dorky.

01:14:25   But I feel like you'd rather see that than your Mii from Nintendo or whatever. Although I do feel like Miis are a better system than Memojis.

01:14:35   Let me give you a hot take.

01:14:37   From everything I've seen, and granted I did not try the device, and certainly I agree with what Marco said that the opinions have been mixed on this.

01:14:47   I think it's more negative than positive. But based only on the keynote and whatever associated videos came out immediately thereafter from Apple, I didn't think it was that bad.

01:14:56   I thought it actually looked sufficient. I don't necessarily disagree with anything that you guys said.

01:15:02   Obviously it'd be better to see a real person, especially if you're discussing something that's really deep and personal.

01:15:06   But I don't think for everyday use it's that bad. I really, really don't. We'll see.

01:15:11   I have a feeling I'm going to eat these words when they come out or whenever I have a chance to actually try one, even if it's in a year and a half or two years.

01:15:18   But I was not as turned off by this as a lot of other people, especially Mike.

01:15:24   I was listening to Upgrade earlier today and Mike was briefly, I think it was Upgrade, maybe it was actually thoroughly considered.

01:15:31   It was apparently an all-Mike day here for me at the List household.

01:15:34   But anyway, I was listening to something that Mike was on and he was saying again how he was very, very turned off by the whole Persona thing.

01:15:42   And I trust his experience and certainly he has actual experience with it, but it really honestly did not seem that bad to me.

01:15:50   One of the things that Apple is leaving on the table with this whole digital version of yourself is Apple historically has not been super into it.

01:15:59   I'm not sure if you can see it, but I'm sure you can see it. The idea of having an avatar, having some kind of image that represents you in the world of the computer is ages old.

01:16:08   Even the term avatar, I forget how dated it is, but it's from many decades ago.

01:16:13   And historically on the internet, people have used the system of having avatars and usernames to the same extent as a way to present themselves differently than they present in the real world.

01:16:27   Because in the real world, you don't have much of a choice. You look like what you look like, you are what you are.

01:16:32   You can pick your clothes and everything, but in general, you have limited control over your appearance in the real world.

01:16:38   But in the virtual world, you could be anything you want. On the internet, nobody knows you're a dog, right?

01:16:42   You could present however you wanted. You could try to make yourself look better, taller, more sophisticated, cooler, you know, whatever thing you want to do.

01:16:50   You could present as a different gender, as a different race, as a different location.

01:16:54   You could pretend you could be an AOL chat room and you're a 13-year-old and you're pretending you're 23 and you're from a city and you're really from the country, right?

01:17:00   That whole phenomenon of being able to present a different you to the digital world, things like headsets and virtual avatars are perfect for that.

01:17:08   And I think part of what you're seeing about the virtual, what is it called again?

01:17:12   The digital personas?

01:17:14   Personas is that it is kind of an idealized representation of you. It's very symmetrical.

01:17:20   It's just kind of a scan of your face with kind of an idealized body behind it.

01:17:24   You know, you can look better in your persona than you do in your real life where your hair is not combed.

01:17:30   You know, like you just woke up and you're wearing an undershirt with stains on it or whatever.

01:17:34   But hey, your avatar looks the same as always.

01:17:37   Fresh and chipper and the exact amount of stubble that you want and your hair is the way you want it to be and you got to rescan your face five times.

01:17:44   And if Apple wanted to, they could say, you know what, you can change this a little bit.

01:17:48   Oh, do you wish your ears didn't stick out quite as much? Hey, just move this slider and push your ears down a little bit or whatever.

01:17:53   Memojis let you do that. You can present an emoji as a penguin. You could be a camel, right?

01:17:57   You can be whatever you want.

01:17:59   Maybe not the Memoji, like the, what are they called? The emoji ones?

01:18:02   They have some flexibility there to present differently, albeit within the limited world of cartoon stuff or whatever.

01:18:08   But in general, Apple wanted to go there. They give you the ability to look kind of silly and to be a penguin or a camel.

01:18:14   They give you the ability to make a cartoon version of yourself as long as your head shape is the one head shape they offer, which is the major weakness that Memojis have over Miis and Nintendo's Miis.

01:18:24   Because Nintendo's Miis, I can make one that looks like me because my head is long and skinny and I got a big nose.

01:18:28   You can't do that with Memoji. There's no long and skinny heads, right?

01:18:32   And you can try to make your nose big, but it just makes everyone have this little button nose and it just makes the button bigger.

01:18:36   It's not, you know, it doesn't look anything like me. It just looks like a generic doll with one doll mold, right?

01:18:42   So I do feel like Apple is kind of, you know, not leaving money on the table, but like not reaching for a thing that is within their grasp, which is, okay, the limitation is people can't see your real face.

01:18:54   That's a bummer and it excludes a lot of things where people will want to see your face.

01:18:58   But what about scenarios where not seeing your face is a feature, not a bug?

01:19:03   Where not seeing your face is good. Let people use this amazing technology you have to let people present themselves as something different than they are with higher fidelity than they've ever been able to before.

01:19:14   Not limited to just penguin, camel, monkey, shark, but just let them pick anything they want.

01:19:20   I guess this might be a third party opportunity or whatever, but that's another area that Apple didn't go into.

01:19:25   They didn't say this lets you present a different face to the world.

01:19:28   They didn't say this will let you be the tiger that you've always wanted to be and hang out with your other jungle pals in the giant jungle together where you have this amazing sense of presence.

01:19:37   They could have done that, but they didn't. Even for games, like tons of games let you build your character.

01:19:43   My destiny character looks nothing like me. It's a character that I built, I picked the fashion for, I pick all the shaders or whatever.

01:19:50   That's part of the game. Part of the game is doing that.

01:19:52   This would have a way to do that for yourself, for your entire body because they can't see your actual body.

01:19:58   So far Apple has not wanted to touch that.

01:20:00   Yeah. Alright, we'll see how that goes.

01:20:03   Digital personas honestly, I think it has a lot of potential to really hold back this product in some of its initial use cases.

01:20:12   Especially socially. FaceTime, other social things, but especially FaceTime.

01:20:17   Anyway, I would extend the digital persona challenge to also the display of the eyes on the outside.

01:20:24   Because that is based on, I believe, the same kind of thing.

01:20:26   That's got to look really good for that feature to justify existing.

01:20:31   If it doesn't look really good, people are going to think you're a weirdo wearing this thing for a while.

01:20:37   And I think it's going to increase the weirdo risk and increase the ostracization risk.

01:20:45   I've got to find a different word.

01:20:47   Keep reaching for that one.

01:20:49   If the eye display on the outside is not really, really good and doesn't look really creepy.

01:20:54   It's not going to look really good.

01:20:56   The reason is, you know, it's an lenticular display.

01:20:58   We know what lenticular displays look like.

01:21:00   You can put multiple images, each of which is viewable from a different angle.

01:21:04   But the number of angles is not unlimited.

01:21:06   The number of angles is very limited.

01:21:08   And the fact is that the image is several inches away from where your eyes are going to be.

01:21:11   So I don't think it's going to look good, but it does have a functional component that I think probably justifies its existence.

01:21:17   And the functional component is to let the people who are around you know whether you can see them or not.

01:21:22   That's the function of that.

01:21:23   And they could have put two cartoon eyes there.

01:21:25   In fact, they probably have an emoji version that did that, right?

01:21:27   That's the function.

01:21:28   If it's all wavy Siri dust or whatever, they know that you can't see them.

01:21:32   But if it's eyeballs, they can see you, right?

01:21:35   And the same thing with the breakthrough.

01:21:36   When you walk up to them and you break through, you will suddenly see their eyes and they'll be able to see you.

01:21:39   And by the way, since it's their actual eyes and they look at you, you'll be able to tell they're looking at you.

01:21:43   So I don't think it's going to look good, but I think the functional part of it is important enough that it's good for them to do as good a job as they can.

01:21:51   And in all the videos also, by the way, it's kind of like the thing that they would do in movies where the special effects aren't that good.

01:21:57   It's like, well, this scene will be in the dark.

01:21:59   So yeah, this puppet doesn't look great, but it's a dark scene. No one can tell.

01:22:04   And so the eyes on the mask, like all the images I've seen, all the PR images, it's very kind of like dark and smoky in there.

01:22:10   And that hides the fact that it's a lenticular display and it's kind of weird and the fidelity is not great.

01:22:15   And, you know, it's got to be essentially a like night vision view of your eyes because it's not like they're going to shine lights on your face inside the thing.

01:22:23   You know, speaking of movies, in every movie where someone's like a space helmet or they're underwater,

01:22:27   there's tons of lights inside the helmet shining on their face so you can see the actors acting. Right.

01:22:33   But in actual spacesuits, they don't have tons of light shining the astronauts eyes.

01:22:37   They would be blinded in there. But, you know, in real spacesuits, you know, it's different.

01:22:41   Anyway, there's no lights inside there shining on your eyeballs constantly. It would be blinding.

01:22:45   Like the screens are the light shining on your eyes, but the screens may be showing something that's dark at the moment.

01:22:49   So it's got to be kind of like an IR night vision type of thing, you know, images of your eye that they then, I guess, artificially colorize or enhance the color aspect of it.

01:23:00   Like that's why the fidelity of the eye images aren't great because it is an actual, I believe, actual live image of your eyes,

01:23:06   but it is massively processed to try to make them look better than they would because your actual eyes are currently in darkness with tiny screens pointing at them.

01:23:15   Yeah, if I had to guess, looking at this product and seeing like, you know, here, this is this ideal feature that's kind of,

01:23:25   has the potential to be a little bit off putting, a little bit weird in practice, kind of like when the Apple Watch launched, you know, it had all that digital touch stuff.

01:23:32   And it turned out that was kind of weird for most people and it went away quickly.

01:23:37   It would not surprise me if that eye display on the outside changes dramatically in like the next one or two iterations of the product

01:23:45   and possibly goes away completely in favor of some kind of simpler indicator because I think that will prove to be both maybe not worth its component cost,

01:23:54   and also maybe just a little too weird for people.

01:23:58   I can see it being cut for cost on a low-cost model maybe, but I think it's hard to give up the idea of showing real eyes.

01:24:04   It's not just that you can see the eyes, it's also where the eyes are pointing and the easiest way to do that is to show them the actual eyes.

01:24:10   I mean, again, you could do cartoon eyes, I suppose, but I feel like that would be even weirder.

01:24:14   Yeah. All right. That was number three. Number two, Vision Probe Big Challenge.

01:24:19   This is a big one. The software ecosystem.

01:24:24   This, I think, is going to – I haven't heard a lot of people talk about this, but I think this is going to be the big story about it after like a year.

01:24:32   When you look at the software ecosystem, the environment that Vision Probe is running in, we don't know much about like what's going to be allowed and stuff.

01:24:39   We don't know things like app review and stuff like that, but we can be pretty sure – now that we have the SDK especially,

01:24:44   we can be pretty sure generally what it's like and we can make some pretty good guesses that I think are going to end up being correct.

01:24:49   So, number one, this is an iOS-based system and it's going to be app store only in all likelihood.

01:24:56   So, when you're looking at this as a platform, I think where this is going to fit in in people's computing lives, it depends on who you ask and what their plans are.

01:25:06   I think for many people, it's going to be a very nice entertainment device.

01:25:10   That's going to – and that's fine. And if that's all it ever is, if it's kind of like an Apple TV in that like you use this for a small number of consumption, entertainment-based apps,

01:25:22   and you don't do a lot of work on it, that's still a big market and that's still a powerful product.

01:25:27   So, I think that's – I'm not trying to speak down about it in this way.

01:25:31   I think we don't know yet how this is going to end up, but I think it's going to end up either being like the Apple TV, the iPad, or the Mac.

01:25:39   And all three of those – and maybe somewhere in between for a lot of people.

01:25:44   But in all three of those cases, that creates some difficult software environments.

01:25:50   So, number one thing is if you're going to use this thing for productivity apps, you're going to have many or all of the same problems you have on iPads for productivity apps.

01:26:00   So, it's again, app store only. That's going to rule out a whole bunch of types of apps and a whole bunch of developers that don't want to deal with Apple or don't want to give them their cut.

01:26:08   And they just won't be there.

01:26:10   You're not going to have terminals and file system access.

01:26:14   You're not going to have third-party system utilities.

01:26:17   You're not going to have stuff like Rogamiba's audio utilities.

01:26:19   You're not going to have window management utilities.

01:26:21   You're not going to have cloud backup providers and stuff like that.

01:26:24   No. If it can't run on an iPad for policy or tech design reasons, it's probably not going to run on Vision Pro.

01:26:33   Complicating factor on that, especially though, is that the iPad launched to a fairly high volume market.

01:26:41   This is not that. This is going to be a very low volume market.

01:26:45   It's going to be pretty hard to make money there for a while.

01:26:48   And it's going to be pretty hard to have growth because it's just going to be a low volume market for a while.

01:26:52   Now, also compounding on that, as we're playing with the SDK more and seeing how our apps look and everything,

01:27:00   I think Vision Pro is going to end up kind of like the iPad in that you can run your iPad code fairly unmodified on it,

01:27:10   but it's not going to be good.

01:27:12   And if you actually want your app to be at all good and not look really crappy on this platform,

01:27:18   or not work really poorly on this platform, you're going to have to custom design for this platform.

01:27:23   You're going to have to make tweaks. You're going to have to maybe rewrite some parts of your interface,

01:27:26   or redesign whole parts of your interface.

01:27:28   It's not as easy as just porting over an iPad app with no changes.

01:27:32   Also what we're seeing so far, non-native components will look and work even worse in Vision OS than they do on iOS and the Mac.

01:27:43   In my recent rewrite of Overcast, up until a few days ago, I was using a custom toolbar on top of my new three-column layout that I'm writing.

01:27:53   And there were just certain behavioral and appearance details that I could just not get to be the same as their default toolbars in Vision OS.

01:28:03   And I just dumped my custom one and just started using the standard one because it was just easier,

01:28:09   and it ended up working better and looking better in Vision OS.

01:28:11   And I lost some little details in the iOS version, but not a lot, and it's easier to just use theirs for this purpose.

01:28:18   That pattern where you were doing something custom and it worked fine on iOS, but it doesn't look or work right on Vision OS,

01:28:26   that pattern will be seen a lot.

01:28:28   That extends to not only just little design choices you make in your iOS apps or little implementation details like,

01:28:34   "Well, I made this toolbar. It's not really using a UI toolbar because it has some limitations, so I made one that looks and works the same."

01:28:40   Well, on Vision OS, it doesn't.

01:28:42   And this extends even further to if you want to maybe say use something like Electron or some kind of cross-platform framework.

01:28:49   Those apps are going to be even worse on Vision OS than they are on iOS and Mac.

01:28:54   They're going to stand out like a sore thumb. They're not going to work right. They're not going to look right, even more so.

01:28:59   And so when you combine all of that, you have a low-volume platform, you need custom design for it,

01:29:06   you're going to have to deal with the app store and all the restrictions and all the fees therein.

01:29:10   What you're probably going to see is pretty low adoption, especially by big companies.

01:29:15   I seriously doubt that you're going to see Google, Microsoft, Adobe porting their big apps to this platform anytime soon.

01:29:25   Maybe they'll give lip service here and there to get in a keynote here and there or make some deal,

01:29:29   but Google and these big companies have enough trouble keeping up with the iPad as a platform.

01:29:35   They mostly do a pretty half-butted job of keeping up with the iPad.

01:29:39   Vision OS is going to be even worse because it is going to be a similar amount of custom work as keeping up with the iPad,

01:29:46   but with way less volume to make up for it.

01:29:50   So I think the software ecosystem is going to be very, very challenging.

01:29:55   Now, you can also look and say, "Well, look, you can run your iPad app in a window."

01:29:58   Well, are they going to let companies opt out like they did on M1 Macs?

01:30:03   Because I'll tell you one thing, I frequently will go look for an iPad app so I can run it on my M1 Mac,

01:30:10   and it's not there because the developer opted out all the time.

01:30:15   The bigger the company, the more likely they are to have opted out, but even a lot of small developers opt out.

01:30:21   There are so many iPad apps I would love to use on my Mac that I can't because they just uncheck that box that says, "Allow me to run on M1 Macs."

01:30:30   If there's a similar mechanism for iPad apps on Vision OS, you will see just as many developers opt out.

01:30:36   The software ecosystem of Vision OS is going to be the big challenge that we will talk about for years to come,

01:30:42   just like we've talked about it on the iPad.

01:30:44   Just as people are trying to use iPads for productivity work over the years,

01:30:49   and they've been oftentimes extremely hindered not just by the OS, which is a big part of it,

01:30:54   but by the software ecosystem of not having enough good productivity apps, putting enough effort in to either be there at all,

01:31:01   or to do a good job there, or to keep up with the features of the OS.

01:31:05   In 13 years, we'll have Final Cut Pro for the Vision Pro, though.

01:31:08   We only have to wait 13 years. We won't ever have an Instagram app, obviously, we know that.

01:31:12   But in 13 years, we'll get Final Cut Pro, assuming Apple still makes it.

01:31:16   Yeah, and so I think ultimately what we should expect from the Vision Pro software ecosystem is some things like the Mac and some things like the iPad.

01:31:27   You know, the Mac market has many of these same problems.

01:31:30   The Mac market requires custom development. It doesn't have anywhere near the volume of an iPhone, you know, in terms of customer volume.

01:31:36   But it's been around for much, much longer, and it has way more product volume than the Vision Pro is going to have anytime soon.

01:31:43   But at the same time, writing apps for the Mac is harder than writing.

01:31:48   Like, if you already have an iOS code base, and you want to have a Mac app or a Vision Pro app,

01:31:55   the Vision Pro app is going to be way easier to get than the Mac app.

01:31:59   Unless, you know, Catalyst makes things a little bit different, but not that different.

01:32:03   And the Mac, you know, people don't feel like learning AppKit because it seems like a dying platform relatively,

01:32:09   or at least an unmaintained platform, relatively speaking.

01:32:12   So, it's harder to justify working on a Mac app if you have an iOS, you know, a mostly iOS-based app.

01:32:18   But Vision Pro is going to have many similar problems.

01:32:21   It's going to have a lot of companies and developers looking at it and saying, "You know what? This is too much work. It's not worth it for us."

01:32:28   So, I think that it's going to be a very, very challenging software environment for years to come.

01:32:35   And I don't think there's much Apple can really do about that.

01:32:38   You know, this isn't really an action item per se. I think it's more like setting expectations for ourselves

01:32:45   that we're not going to be able to get all of our work done in the Vision Pro in all likelihood for a while.

01:32:50   And depending on what your work is and what apps you choose or need to use,

01:32:54   the amount of time on that will vary, and it could be forever for a lot of people's needs.

01:33:01   And that's okay. You know, you can still use your Mac.

01:33:04   And whatever features they use to bring Mac apps in, it seems like the initial launch is going to have a fairly rudimentary version of that,

01:33:13   where you can show a 4K screen on your Mac.

01:33:15   And so it's probably just doing like AirPlay into a window in Vision Pro.

01:33:21   You can imagine in the future maybe a better version of that feature,

01:33:25   where each individual Mac window might be able to be brought in as an individual window in Vision Pro,

01:33:32   and you can move them around separately and not just have like,

01:33:35   "Here's a rectangle that your Mac screen will be mirrored into."

01:33:38   You can imagine better versions of that feature that will probably come in future software updates.

01:33:43   But until then, if you want to get super good work done, you're probably going to be using Vision Pro native apps,

01:33:49   and that's going to be difficult for all these different reasons.

01:33:52   So that's number two. The software ecosystem, I think that's going to be the story for years and years to come.

01:33:57   All right. Number one, Vision Pro's biggest challenge.

01:34:00   And honestly, to top digital personas and the software system, I think this is a big one,

01:34:06   but I think this is the biggest challenge. Couples.

01:34:11   Vision Pro seems like a really cool thing if you live alone in a house with lots of space.

01:34:20   I don't know how this is going to go for couples.

01:34:24   This is going to be the first mainstream digital device in a long time, if ever,

01:34:32   that there is really no way to have a shared experience with someone else.

01:34:36   Like, if you are watching a movie on your iPad, you can stick it on a table or at the end of the bed or whatever,

01:34:42   and you can watch it with your spouse or partner.

01:34:45   You can watch it with your kids. You can watch it with your dog. Whatever it is, it's a shared experience.

01:34:50   It's easy to say when you're showing something on your phone, "Hey, look at this."

01:34:54   Or you can watch something together on your iMac on the corner of your apartment or whatever.

01:34:58   There are so many good ways to do that. With this product, there is no good way to make a shared experience.

01:35:06   Now, I have seen, like, my kid uses the Facebook Quest or whatever, you can mirror it to a computer screen

01:35:13   so other people in the room can watch on a computer screen whatever you are seeing in the headset.

01:35:18   In practice, not only does that not work very well, just technically speaking,

01:35:22   but it's very difficult to watch because you are watching someone's full head movement,

01:35:28   and it moves around a lot, and it makes sense for them to have it be that way,

01:35:34   but for you watching it, it's very difficult to really get that experience to both appreciate it

01:35:38   and to just deal with the reality of all the motion and weirdness that comes with that.

01:35:42   So, some kind of video mirroring solution here I don't think is going to do it.

01:35:46   So, the lack of shared experiences being easily possible and convenient here, again,

01:35:53   and this is setting aside the price issue, which is a really big issue,

01:35:56   because many people are not super keen to spend $3500, excuse me, to spend starting at $3500

01:36:03   for something that only one person can really use in the family.

01:36:07   That's going to be a huge limiting factor, not just by price, though, just by simply, like,

01:36:13   if you are in your Vision Pro, no matter how good your eyes look on the outside of that screen,

01:36:19   you are disconnected from your family or your relationship,

01:36:23   and that's going to be a huge limiting factor on who can actually use this and when.

01:36:31   And keep in mind also, you know, this kind of even ties into the software ecosystem,

01:36:37   the Vision Pro is such a, I think it's going to start out being such a limited use product

01:36:42   in the sense of, like, when and where you can conveniently use it.

01:36:46   Whatever you invest in software-wise in it, whatever habits or apps you invest in software-wise,

01:36:54   you're only going to really get to use in it during those times.

01:36:58   Like, you probably remember a few years back when I bought those Bose speaker sunglasses,

01:37:05   they were like sunglasses that had speakers in the sticks that would, like, fire sound into your ears.

01:37:10   They still exist, sort of, I think Bose discontinued their line, but other companies still make stuff like that.

01:37:14   And one of the problems that I have with my audio sunglasses is that sometimes I want to listen to audio

01:37:20   and I don't want to wear sunglasses. Like, if it's dark outside, if I'm going into a building.

01:37:26   Like, there were lots of situations where, like, wait, I want to keep listening to this,

01:37:29   but I don't want to be wearing sunglasses right now, so I just no longer have headphones right now.

01:37:33   Vision Pro, there's going to be situations where you want the computing environment of Vision Pro.

01:37:40   You want to use some app you have in there, you want to access some data you have in there,

01:37:43   but you'll be in a situation where you can't use it or you shouldn't use it.

01:37:48   And so, again, much of this is going to be caused by coupled dynamics or interpersonal dynamics.

01:37:55   Much of it is going to be just physical environmental requirements or it might come down to, like,

01:38:00   comfort or battery life issues, but all of that, I know that's kind of bleeding into my number two.

01:38:04   But number one, you know, the couples thing, I think it's going to be a massive challenge to this product.

01:38:11   Who's going to be able to get one of these? Well, if you're a tech company employee

01:38:15   and you're being overworked in your workaholic culture tech company and you don't have enough time

01:38:21   to have anything outside of work, this will be great. For the two seconds a day that you're allowed to use it,

01:38:26   this will be great. But for most people, they have other people in their lives.

01:38:31   And this is going to be significantly challenging. Now, you can even project forward and say,

01:38:37   "Well, once this thing is cheaper, maybe then, you know, both members of a couple or, like,

01:38:42   a couple and their children can all have their own Vision headsets."

01:38:48   That sounds like a terrifying L-scape to me. Like, I don't know, does that seem terrifying to anyone else?

01:38:55   Like, maybe I'm just being a Luddite a little bit here. Maybe I'm just, you know, now everyone has their own phones

01:39:00   and they're all buried in their phones all day, so maybe this is not a thing worth worrying about.

01:39:05   But that just seems really weird to me that everybody would be even more disconnected from their realities

01:39:13   and from the people around them once this thing actually does get mass market adoption.

01:39:18   And you do end up getting, you know, everyone in the house has their own one.

01:39:22   But until then, until you reach that weird apocalyptic L-scape, you have this issue of,

01:39:29   well, whoever has one, whoever's in their headset, they're just not here anymore.

01:39:34   They're physically checked out of this space. And yes, you can see through it, that helps a little bit,

01:39:38   but it's not going to look that way to the people around you. I think that's going to be a significant problem.

01:39:44   Yeah, the whole family were having it, then it would have the new problem of it should map the persona's face

01:39:50   on top of, like, say your whole family is sitting around the kitchen table and you've all got these things on,

01:39:55   or like sitting in the living room. Like Back to the Future? Yeah, you can all see each other because it's in AR mode, right?

01:40:01   But what you want to see when you look over at your spouse is not your spouse wearing a headset,

01:40:06   but your spouse's actual face, so they do digital face replacement for the persona of their face, you know?

01:40:11   I mean, obviously this is all, we assume, a stopgap until they can make actual see-through glasses that look like eyeglasses

01:40:19   that have the same resolution, that maybe use that thing we talked about last episode,

01:40:23   where things are different focal depths from you and everything, but then you can see the person's entire face,

01:40:29   because people wear glasses all the time and nobody feels like they're hidden or whatever.

01:40:32   And granted, their face would be, you know, maybe they're not paying attention to you because they're looking at the virtual screen inside their glasses,

01:40:37   but you can basically see their whole face. They can see you when they're not looking at the screen through the clear glasses that they're wearing,

01:40:43   and you can get their attention and blah, blah, blah, it'll be fine. We can't do that yet. We're not there yet.

01:40:48   And Apple has decided, we didn't talk about this too much with the whole display stuff last episode,

01:40:53   but Apple has apparently decided that the fidelity and quality of the display for the software is more important

01:41:01   than the fidelity and quality of people being able to see your face and you being able to see the world, right?

01:41:06   Because if you had actual glasses, the world is 100% fidelity. It's just there. You just look at it through the clear glasses, right?

01:41:13   And your face is completely visible except for your glasses frames. But right now, the best technology we have for the display

01:41:20   that shows into your eyeballs when you're wearing regular glasses is not anywhere close to being as good as, you know, Apple's display.

01:41:28   With those, you know, tiny little pixels and high brightness and contrast and OLED and blah, blah, blah, we don't have an equivalent of that.

01:41:36   And the other thing I guess is that you can't shut off the entire world as easily if you're wearing just plain old glasses

01:41:42   because plain old glasses don't cover your entire eye. You'll always be able to see, you know, stuff leaking out from the sides or whatever.

01:41:48   So you can't get the same. Watch a giant movie screen on top of Mount Hood. You can watch a giant movie screen,

01:41:55   but you're not going to be on top of Mount Hood. You're going to be sitting at your desk.

01:41:58   So, it'll be interesting to see where Apple goes with this, especially if this product doesn't take off.

01:42:03   I think they'll keep trying and keep plugging away because I don't think you get to the glasses without the experience

01:42:10   with the technology that's available. So I'm glad Apple is starting down this road,

01:42:14   but it's really going to constrain what they can do with this product based on the choices they've made.

01:42:19   And for the choices of using a piece of software or watching a movie, I think a completely face covering headset with a high fidelity screen is the right choice.

01:42:28   But there's whole categories of things that are way harder and possible.

01:42:32   And I think the couple problem falls into that category of like, OK, how do you deal with the fact that your spouse is going to hate it when you're in that stupid headset?

01:42:39   Unless they're asleep next to you in the bed, then fine, you're not disturbing them with flashing light, thumbs up on the headset.

01:42:45   But pretty much any other time, unless you're using it like sitting in front of your computer and it's like they do not disturb Marco because he's programming,

01:42:53   he's in his office doing his work, then fine, where's the headset? They don't care.

01:42:56   But if you come out into the living room for family time and you put that thing in your head, everyone's going to be like, "Eh, nope. I don't care that I can see your eyes."

01:43:04   And that is on top of the idea that, "Oh, but everyone sits around our couch and they're always looking at our phones."

01:43:10   You're way more accessible when everyone is zombie-like looking at their phones because you can say, "Hey," and nudge somebody and they can turn and face you.

01:43:16   And then, like you said, Marco, you can show them the funny TikTok on your phone and they can see it and you can laugh and you can see their face laughing.

01:43:23   And that is not going to happen when you take the time to put this giant thing in your face.

01:43:27   And by the way, what I thought you were going to say with the couple's problem is, so who gets to get it?

01:43:31   For people who are not Marco and aren't going to buy two of these, you get it fitted for one person's face, then I suppose you could buy more light shields for the other person.

01:43:41   But then you have to adjust the straps too and you've got to put it in the prescription lenses.

01:43:46   If you just think you're going to have one of them and share it amongst the couples, technically possible because all the parts that need to adjust can be snapped out and adjusted.

01:43:54   But practically, you're not going to want to go through all that. It's not like, "Oh, let me look."

01:43:58   It's way easier to show someone your phone, to hand someone your phone, to show someone something on the iPad than to say, "Let me get this apparatus off my head and take this thing out of my pocket, get the new light shield out, take out my prescription things, put in your prescription things and put it on.

01:44:13   Okay, let's adjust the straps. Okay, let's log in as you with your eyeball ID. Okay, yeah, no, this is what I was looking at. Oh, no, I'm sorry. You can't see it. You're in your environment. Never mind."

01:44:21   Right, that even assumes a multi-user software environment that doesn't exist. No, I think it does have it. I mean, that's what the iID thing does. We'll see how it happens.

01:44:30   But, I mean, there's not a multi-user environment in iPads either, but you can still show somebody something. Yes.

01:44:34   So it really does make this very focused on the applications that they showed. I think even the thing with the dad recording the birthday is a more realistic scenario than you wearing this in a family setting.

01:44:46   Because that's, as we discussed in the past, that's like the dad whipping out the giant VHS recorder with the giant backpack and thing or whatever. And yes, it's ridiculous and everyone rolls their eyes when dad does it, but it's a dad thing to do and find whatever.

01:44:58   Like, they'll excuse that. But if you're just, you know, sitting around chilling after dinner and you're like, "Okay, well, I'm going to put this giant thing in my face," everyone's just going to leave.

01:45:06   I don't know. I agree with everything you said, Marco, but when I, and I want to say fantasize, but it has connotations I don't want, when I imagine using a Vision Pro, I don't imagine myself in the living room, despite that unquestionably being what Apple seems to be imagining.

01:45:31   I imagine myself at a cubicle at work, which obviously isn't my life anymore, which by the way, I skipped over that anniversary, but it's been five years. Thank you to everyone at ATP.com/join.

01:45:42   But anyways, I imagine myself at a cubicle at work or, you know, today, well, not literally today, but you know, these days, maybe at a library. And again, as I've said many times, leaving aside the social, "Oh my God, look at this guy. Look, who does he think he is?"

01:45:58   Leaving that aside for a moment, like if I was impervious to that, which I'm not, but if I was impervious to that, you know, going to a coffee shop or a library or something like that, or working at a cubicle at work, like how quickly all three of us forget, John probably least of all,

01:46:14   how quickly we forget what it's like to try to properly sit there and crank on code when you're getting interrupted every 15 seconds from everything between like, "Hey, can you help me with this work related problem?" to "Hey, what are you doing this weekend, man?"

01:46:28   Like having that barrier between you and somebody else is actually kind of convenient in some of these settings. And again, like on an airplane, I was listening as well to Gruber and Panzareno on the talk show earlier today.

01:46:42   And they were talking about, and Gruber seems to be really fixated, and I agree with him, fixated on using this on the plane, again, social stigmas aside, these are all occasions where that barrier between you and the people around you is an advantage.

01:46:58   It's a feature, not a bug. I agree with you that at home on the couch, it is a bug, not a feature. But there are a lot of places I imagine where it's a feature, not a bug. And when I envision using the Vision Pro, wow, that was a lot of visions and very little space.

01:47:14   When I think about using the Vision Pro, again, I think about, well, I don't really have a need for it at home. I have a want in so far as like 3D movies or this supposed demo of like football or basketball or what have you.

01:47:30   But I don't think I have a need for it at home, and I don't have a need for it at the library or at the coffee shop or what have you or the airplane. But man, I have a strong want for it there. It would be great to, instead of using just my 14-inch laptop screen, or instead of using my 14-inch laptop screen and my 12-inch iPad or 11-inch iPad Pro, kind of sidecarring it, what if I could just have a 4K display right in front of my face and everything around me goes away?

01:47:59   And of course, that makes me ask myself, well, then why am I going to the damn library in the first place? And it can be any number of reasons.

01:48:07   And you just go to your basement.

01:48:08   Right, exactly. And so I think that that's a conversation we can have, but I don't know if it's really pertinent. But suffice it to say, sometimes I just like a change of scenery. And granted, that makes me think, well, I could go to Mount Hood. But you know what I mean.

01:48:22   I like the act occasionally. It's funny how you enjoy the act of driving somewhere deliberately and going to a different environment to get work done when you're no longer compelled to do it.

01:48:34   You can just say "getting away from your kids." It's fine.

01:48:36   Sometimes, yes. No, sometimes, yes, but not always. And I know you're being silly. And that is absolutely sometimes the case, but it is not always the case.

01:48:42   Sometimes I just want to leave the same 10x12 room that I'm in all the time, and I just want to be somewhere else.

01:48:53   And so, yeah, I think you're right, Marco, that the couples and families, that is a problem.

01:48:59   Especially if it ends up that the best audio and/or video fidelity experience you have for television or movies is the Vision Pro, which for a lot of us, that's probably the case for a lot of us.

01:49:12   I would say for almost everyone, probably. How many people have a better TV and audio setup than what you're going to be able to simulate in the Vision Pro? It's probably going to be by far the best one.

01:49:22   And Casey, you can put yours not over your fireplace then.

01:49:25   Oh my god, I walked right into that one too.

01:49:28   Your virtual screen can be the right height.

01:49:30   Or he could put it even higher, virtually. You can just have it on the ceiling.

01:49:34   Yeah, it's on the roof.

01:49:35   Yeah, just to make you mad. Just to make you mad.

01:49:37   But I think, honestly, Marco, both of us are exactly right. I think you are exactly right.

01:49:43   Yeah, this creates a real big problem for couples or families or what have you.

01:49:46   But it also is kind of a lifesaver, maybe that's a bit dramatic, but a lifesaver for when you want to be out of the house, but you don't want to be disturbed by randos or maybe you're even at work,

01:49:57   and you don't want to be disturbed by your well-meaning but ultimately constantly interrupting co-workers.

01:50:02   Or maybe you're on a plane and you just want to be somewhere else for the next six hours and you have three of the battery packs that you can swap between.

01:50:09   I can see those being very, very useful scenarios.

01:50:14   Yeah, and to be clear, the reason I'm kind of going over these now is not to crap all over this product.

01:50:21   I'm actually extremely optimistic about this product and I desperately want one and I want to use it and I'm already developing software for it even though I shouldn't really logically be spending my time doing that right now, but I'm doing it anyway.

01:50:32   It's that I want us to, as tech fans and commentators and enthusiasts of these kind of products,

01:50:42   I want us to go into it knowing that certain things are going to be a challenge and not be surprised by them and to maybe try to start addressing them as soon as we can.

01:50:52   These things, I think they're going to hit us immediately when we get this product.

01:50:57   We're going to instantly feel like, "Oh yeah, text input kind of sucks. Scrolling is different. Maybe it's fine, maybe it's not."

01:51:02   Digital personas are going to be very weird and many people are not going to want to see our digital persona on FaceTime calls.

01:51:10   This software thing is going to be a mess. It's going to be a wasteland for a while.

01:51:15   Yes, you will have a lot of stuff on day one from enthusiasts, like enthusiast developers like me and many other indies, but I think the big company support is going to be very, very small for a while and possibly for a long while.

01:51:29   These problems are all going to make us want more. We're going to be amazed by this platform and we're going to want to use it more and more, but these problems will limit when and how we can use it.

01:51:44   This will give us a good starting point to say, "Look," to push on Apple in many cases or to push on the ecosystem like, "Hey, there's value here to unlock, but you need to put some work in to unlock it," or there's going to be some downsides until you unlock it or whatever the case may be.

01:52:02   In the end, this might end up being like the Apple TV in the sense that it has a full-blown computing platform, but what most people use it for is just mostly content consumption.

01:52:15   And again, if that's all this is, "all this is," that's still a huge market and immensely valuable in many situations, many of which Casey was describing. Even if this ends up only being the best way to consume media on a plane, that's still a massive market.

01:52:33   You can't consume media, but it's a $3,500 monitor.

01:52:37   Yeah, even that alone. Look, it's cheaper than an XDR.

01:52:41   And way more portable. Way, way, way more portable.

01:52:45   Yeah. So even that, that alone is a category that is very valuable and that would be very successful for this product to fill.

01:52:55   But I want it to be more than that. I want it to be another great computing platform, not just a monitor, not just a content consumption device.

01:53:04   And for it to be that, it has some major challenges and there's no time in the present to start working on them.

01:53:12   Thanks to our sponsors this week, Trade Coffee, Notion, and Squarespace. And thanks to our members who support us directly. You can join us at atp.fm/join. We will talk to you next week.

01:53:26   Now the show is over. They didn't even mean to begin. Cause it was accidental. (Accidental) Oh, it was accidental. (Accidental)

01:53:38   John didn't do any research. Marco and Casey wouldn't let him. Cause it was accidental. (Accidental) Oh, it was accidental. (Accidental)

01:53:48   And you can find the show notes at atp.fm. And if you're into Twitter, you can follow them at C-A-S-E-Y-L-I-S-S. So that's Casey List M-A-R-C-O-A-R-M.

01:54:07   A-N-T-M-A-R-C-O-A-R-M-E-N-S-I-R-A-C-U-S-A-C-R-A-C-U-S-A. It's accidental. (Accidental) They didn't mean to. (Accidental)

01:54:22   Tech podcast so long.

01:54:27   You guys on threads yet?

01:54:29   Yeah, I logged in just to see what it was like.

01:54:31   Yeah, I logged in for a minute and it was fine for the literally 15 seconds I was using it.

01:54:37   So they're leveraging their Instagram social graph saying, "Hey, here's all the people you follow on Instagram. Do you want to follow them on threads? Even though they're not on threads, when they come on threads, you'll follow them."

01:54:46   Smart.

01:54:47   It is kind of funny for it to come full circle that what initially launched Instagram's success was largely the importing of people's Twitter social graphs through their API and now they're coming around and killing whatever the thing is that we're calling Twitter now. Whatever horrible shell of a thing that Twitter now is.

01:55:05   Half functional, constantly changing, constantly broken.

01:55:09   Part of the reason we never talk about Twitter is disinterest, but another part of it is it's not worth talking about because whatever we say by the time Marco publishes the episode less than 24 hours later might not even be true because things change every day with no rhyme or reason because it's run by somebody who has no idea what they're doing.

01:55:24   Yes.

01:55:25   Indeed.

01:55:26   Yeah, so anyway, I'm on threads now. I haven't posted anything yet, but I don't even -- and the whole thing with whether they should federate or whether the Fediverse should accept them federating, that's just -- I think it's a whole bunch of hammering over nothing.

01:55:43   It's working as designed. The whole point is people can make different decisions. There is no one decision about whether they will federate with Facebook. Every instance gets to decide that for themselves and instances get to make mistakes and change their mind about decisions or whatever, but it is not a central decision. It is a distributed decision.

01:55:59   So there you go. Although I don't actually know if -- this is one of the questions -- will Facebook's threads thing actually federate with anybody ever? We'll see.

01:56:08   I think they had stated somewhere that they plan to. They just haven't yet.

01:56:13   Yeah, kind of like Blue Sky.

01:56:15   Well, fair.

01:56:16   Blue Sky, the decentralized network that's not decentralized, but it will be. Trust us eventually.

01:56:20   Remember Blue Sky? I'm glad there is this much competition and this many options for people now. With Twitter dramatically changing and having initially been the place for so many people to go for so long and all the problems that it caused by having been this one company running this one product in this one way, it is nice to have a bunch of options now. It is nice to have competition.

01:56:49   There are some downsides. There are a lot of advantages to there being one big dominant thing where you know you can go there and quote everyone is there.

01:56:58   And Twitter, I think way more than many other social networks, really achieved that. You could go to Twitter and you could be sure almost any not real life person, but almost every celebrity or media personality or politician or company.

01:57:17   Almost all of them would find them on Twitter. They would have a Twitter account.

01:57:22   Even government stuff. Local government, city government, state government, federal government, the president.

01:57:27   Yeah, you could be pretty reasonably sure for people you knew in your family or friends, they'd probably be on Facebook or Instagram or both. But Twitter was like everyone else. All the other companies, media, etc. All that stuff, that would all be on Twitter.

01:57:42   Nowadays, there really isn't one place like that. And again, in many ways, it's better being decentralized and not having this be all in a private company's thing.

01:57:53   But we're in a very different place now. It's a lot better for some reasons. It's a lot worse for others. But whatever it is, I don't think we have much of a choice. This is the world that we're in now. We have a world of multiple social networks.

01:58:04   And for Facebook to come in here and leverage Instagram's massively successful social network, to leverage that into a new "Twitter killer" or at least Twitter alternative or Twitter clone, however you want to look at it, I think it's interesting.

01:58:20   And while I have no respect for Facebook as a company or its leaders as people or even basic human beings, this is a formidable competitor and it's going to bring a lot of people in. It already has. I launched the app. It came out like 20 minutes before I started recording.

01:58:35   So I only launched it once and peeked around a little bit and liked a couple of posts and found a couple of friends. And it was funny. The app was a mess. All these server errors being shown in the app.

01:58:46   And I granted it notification access. It sent me 46 notifications in one minute and I turned off notification access.

01:58:54   Cool.

01:58:56   So obviously there's going to be some first-day growing pains here. And we'll see how it goes. And we'll see, like, are they actually going to pull a bunch of people in from Instagram?

01:59:08   I think yes, because Facebook is really good at that. Facebook is really good at leveraging Instagram success to boost things in other areas. So right now it's a separate app. You think it always will be? Not a chance in hell.

01:59:24   You know this is going to be part of the Instagram app. You know they're going to start pulling in threads into the Instagram app to juice engagement with them and to get more people over there. Like that's what Facebook does. They're really good at it.

01:59:34   And to run more ads.

01:59:35   And of course, that's a good point, this platform is Facebook. So of course it's going to be full of tracking and full of ads and full of creepy behavior and full of unethical behavior.

01:59:49   That's what they do as a profession. Facebook is basically the devil. So you can, you know, don't be surprised when Facebook does what Facebook is going to do.

01:59:58   But ultimately, even all that said, I think this is actually still a benefit for, quote, the Fediverse. And for, like, the Mastodon-style networks and Mastodon itself.

02:00:12   Like, I think this is actually a benefit. Because the people who this is bringing over would never have come over on their own. Never in a million years. They were never going to sign up for Mastodon ever, ever, ever.

02:00:26   So if we can get some overlap between the rest of the massive world out there and, you know, the nerds like us who use Mastodon, that's fine.

02:00:37   Mastodon might have to put in more controls for, you know, moderation, blocking, muting, whatever. That's fine. And hopefully they should have been doing that anyway.

02:00:46   I see no other major downside. Yeah, Facebook is going to crawl of our crap and use it for creepy purposes. But everyone was already doing that. Like, our stuff on Mastodon is all publicly indexable on the Internet.

02:00:58   Like, there was no, like, whatever data we have in Mastodon is already publicly accessible by anybody to do anything they want with. So that angle of it is there's no change there. Facebook could have already been indexing it all for their own purposes.

02:01:10   You know, there's no change there. So it's just going to be more people who might at some point in the future when they someday federate might be exposed to other social networks out there.

02:01:21   And this might end up being the big kind of, I hate to use the word meta, but the big kind of meta network. Like, that would be the greatest success story of Activity Pub.

02:01:32   You know, and having one giant player in the space doesn't necessarily take over or ruin the space. You know, look at email. Gmail is by far the largest email service out there.

02:01:46   And yet the rest of us can still have email and most of the time it's not really a problem at all that we aren't Gmail users. We still interoperate with...

02:01:54   Gmail did ruin email a little bit in that you can't get deliverability if Gmail decides they don't like you. And so you have to use one of the big services where we talked about with when we talked about Mastodon originally.

02:02:05   Like, like email, even though it is completely interoperable, you end up with a few big players who dominate because in the case of email, you just can't deliver email if you're not sending from or receiving at one of the big players.

02:02:17   But there's not just one of them and it is an open protocol. So, you know, that's my hope for the threads thing is that it gets more people into Activity Pub, that Facebook doesn't outrun the Mastodon development, which I think they have, they could if they wanted to.

02:02:31   They don't outrun the Mastodon development to do the Brace Extend/Extinguish thing that Microsoft pioneered. That essentially interoperability with Activity Pub will continue to be the case.

02:02:41   And kind of like Google Reader where Google Reader didn't Brace Extend/Extinguish RSS. So Google Reader growing away didn't mean RSS had to go away.

02:02:51   Whereas if threads becomes massively popular and they're so popular, like we don't, I know we started an Activity Pub, but we don't actually need to federate with those loser services who have nobody on them.

02:03:02   We've got millions of people. And so, and by the way, we need some more features for ad tracking, so let's modify the Activity Pub protocol. So now, not only are we not federating, we couldn't federate because we're not interoperable with Mastodon anymore because Mastodon itself modified the Activity Pub protocol a little bit.

02:03:20   And we're modifying it too in incompatible ways. So sorry Mastodon, we're leaving you behind and now we're not part of the federal universe, we don't care because now we have basically our Twitter clone that we leveraged into with our social graph into the new dominant platform.

02:03:34   But even if they are interoperable, there's still a risk that they, that you know, that people start thinking that you have to be, kind of like people think, many people think that to use Twitter you had to use the official Twitter client.

02:03:46   And we were all here for, you know, 16 years not using the official Twitter client and thinking people were silly to use the official one, but they didn't know we existed, right?

02:03:55   So it could be threads becomes really popular and people have no idea that we're able to read everything that they're posting in the Mastodon client. They don't even know what Mastodon is, they have no idea.

02:04:03   And maybe when we reply to them and because they're federated our stuff shows up weird and you know, like we could we can end up being as the green bubbles because our messages don't show up the same inside the threads app, right?

02:04:15   There's lots of not great scenarios for this, but the good thing is at least it gives Mastodon and Activity Pub a fighting chance because if they keep fighting the good fight and keep trying to enforce interoperability, and that's why I basically if you ask me like should people federate with or whatever.

02:04:30   I think this is kind of an Apple China or like World China situation where in the end, despite the incredible distaste and the terrible things Facebook / China does engagement is better than isolating them because isolating them lets them get more virulent and powerful in isolation.

02:04:46   Whereas engagement at least forces them to deal with you. You can't change them to make them better, but constant engagement keeps them keeps you in a scenario where you need each other, right?

02:04:57   Like China needs us to buy all their stuff, right? And we need all their stuff. So them blowing us up. They've just killed all the people who, you know, buy their stuff from them. It's not great. China's not great. Facebook's not great.

02:05:08   Like I don't want to draw a direct comparison to a genocidal authoritarian China and Facebook a tech company that we don't like but in general, I think engagement with Facebook is and we will federate with you because we want to try to force you to be part of this open ecosystem.

02:05:25   However, we can like can you shame Facebook into doing things? Can you you'll get you know, if they start interoperating and then they break interoperability that's enough of a story that it will be in the tech press and maybe even in the regular press and so engaging with them as in federating with them.

02:05:41   I think is the move to because it's your only chance of trying to trying to foster the creation of an open ecosystem. And yes, the downside is they could become Gmail and no one can deliver mail as they sending to or from Gmail like I understand there's downsides to it, but they're doing this whether you engage with whether you federate with them or not.

02:06:00   So once they've decided to do this, I do feel like engagement, at least as the opening salvo is the best move because if you ignore them, that doesn't hurt them. I know it feels like the right thing to do like I'm going to preemptively ignore you forget it but like you're not in a position of power to do that.

02:06:16   They just have so much more money and so many more users that you're going to lose that fight. So I hope that you know that there is engagement. I hope I start seeing, you know, I hope my instance federates with them. I hope I start seeing thread stuff in my preferred activity pub client because Facebook's client is garbage.

02:06:33   Just like blue skies kind of client is garbage, but you know what the mastodon client ecosystem is filled with lots of cool clients and I'm using one that I mostly like so I hope that that continues to be and by the way, I read blue sky through my favorite mastodon client now to because someone wrote like an adapter layer or whatever.

02:06:49   And that's not even activity pub. So I hope this I hope that engagement happens. I hope Federation happens. The other alternative obviously the best case scenario is threads just absolutely fizzled and disappears because that would be ideal for all of us. But not because I don't want the normals coming over to activity pub. I do I would just prefer them to come over under the control of anybody but Facebook.

02:07:12   So but ultimately like I think Facebook for all of their faults. They're good at large scale operational things mastodon is largely challenged by that mastodon does not deal well with large scale like three people like yeah, and it's like you know, when we were going when we're all going over mastodon like, you know, last fall we were talking about this like mastodon does not scale well technically like it is significantly challenging to scale.

02:07:40   But you know, but the protocol and the servers and everything and also content moderation wise that's extremely difficult to keep up with content moderation for a social network.

02:07:48   Well, the Facebook solution is we just won't well, but I mean they do like, you know, they don't do a very good job of it. Although I would argue no one does. I mean, it's it's it's it might be impossible to do a very good job.

02:07:58   I mean, the problem with Facebook is Facebook has to do it at scale mastodon instances don't have to do it at scale mastodon instances just have to do with the scale of their instance and they're going to do varying levels of crappy jobs of it, but no one instance is ever going to face the challenge that Facebook is which is like hey moderate the world.

02:08:15   No, no mastodon instance will ever get that big. Right, but Facebook for all of their faults. They do have that infrastructure in place. And so we can quibble about how they you know, the choices they make but at least they have large infrastructure in place both technically and with moderation.

02:08:32   And if you're going to have it like if all of these people instead of having a Facebook app, by the way, and I know nowhere does this app say Facebook it they they're calling themselves meta fine, you know, I'm always going to think of them as Facebook the same way I don't call Google alphabet.

02:08:47   You know, it's I think it was Google and you know, but anyway, so and all over this app. They say it's an it's an Instagram app. It's an app made by Instagram. And that's a wonderful branding choice. They're making good for them. I'm glad I'm glad they're you're trying to distance the incredibly toxic hated Facebook brand from, you know, the incredibly toxic hated company that it is.

02:09:10   It's only hated by Tech nerds. Most people like Facebook. I don't think that's necessarily true. Anyway, so but this app like if all of these people instead of using a Facebook based app, if they all just came over to Mastodon this many people this many non technical people from this many different backgrounds.

02:09:28   I think Mastodon would have significant challenges both technically and with content moderation and Facebook again for all of their faults again. This is a company. I really strongly dislike and they are not good at content moderation in general. However, they at least have the infrastructure in place to deal with it at this scale and that Mastodon instances and Mastodon itself can never have that kind of scale.

02:09:53   But it doesn't need to though. Like the Mastodon the ideal I mean these these year the same threads become successful. Mastodon needs many more years to build up its society not not to build up its single instance not to build up its software but to build up the society.

02:10:07   It's had like, you know, before, you know, again, my account was created in 2017 like it's had many years to develop. So it was able to accept the people, you know, when Elon bought Twitter, we were able to go to Mastodon because it had been cooking for years.

02:10:21   The society of activity pub and Mastodon instances or whatever needs many many more years to get a healthy society of instances. Instances need to figure out how to fund themselves. They need to figure out how to govern themselves. They need to figure out how to moderate right and all the need to do that at a smaller scale than Facebook, but they haven't even figured out how to do it that well at a small scale and what I'm hoping for again optimistic scenario, you know, setting aside if just fails completely, which would be great.

02:10:45   But if it doesn't and it takes off and it has all these people on it. Those people are going to go through a honeymoon period threads is great. That's cool. Let's hang out. Let's have fun years of that and then eventually Facebook will start doing annoying stuff. The client will get annoying like all the same stuff that happens with Twitter will happen with with threads, right?

02:11:02   But when that happens because in theory they're built on activity pub if they have chosen to federate during those years, hopefully the society of activity pub instances that are compatible with threads will exist and be out here and when people get frustrated, it'll be like, hey, by the way, I know you're frustrated.

02:11:21   Did you know there's a place you can go and keep all your followers and keep your social grab and like, you know, you'll get a better client. In fact, you'll get your choice of clients and you'll get your choice of instances that I know it seems confusing to you. But guess what?

02:11:32   You don't like the instance you're on. That's not your only choice and that's not something you can say about Twitter or Instagram for that matter. Those were your only choices. If you want to leave rebuild a new world elsewhere, but you can't take your followers with you.

02:11:44   You can't take any of your data or anything like that with you. In Mastodon, in theory, you can take some of that stuff with you. Your identity is somewhat portable, not as portable as it is in Blue Sky, but still somewhat portable. You have a choice and then you're going to say, I have a choice, but what the hell is my choice?

02:11:58   And hopefully by then, five years from now, it'll be like, actually, there are a bunch of viable choices. Here's how instances fund themselves. Here's the models that you can go on. Do you want to be one of my volunteers? Do you want to be one that you have to pay for?

02:12:10   Do you want to be one where it's part of a co-op and you're a part owner? Do you want to be on a big one that's run by some centralized company? You know, that you have different choices that are there waiting for you when you become dissatisfied inevitably with with threads.

02:12:25   Because, I mean, we all it happened with Twitter. We all liked Twitter. It was great. And then we become dissatisfied and then we'd grudgingly stay and become dissatisfied and grudgingly stay. And eventually there was a breaking point with the Elon thing.

02:12:34   But, you know, we ran to app.net because we were so pissed off at Twitter at once and then we ended up going back, so on and so forth. So I hope that if they actually federate with ActivityPub stuff, that the world of ActivityPub will be ready in a few years to accept the migration in a way that we're not now.

02:12:52   Because, like you said, they can't all come to the one Macedon.social instance. It would be overwhelmed, right? And I don't want them to all come there. And that instance, frankly, hasn't figured out. No instances have figured this out. But instances are trying different things now.

02:13:03   Trying different ways of funding themselves. Hopefully the people who are on Macedon will also be trying different ways to fund the development of the software because there's very few people and very few dollars being attributed to that.

02:13:14   So that's all stuff that we have, I guess, maybe five to 10 years to figure out. And the thing I'm heartened by is the fact that we all checked out Macedon in 2017 and we're like, "Meh, anyway, back to Twitter."

02:13:28   But Macedon didn't die during that time. They just kept plugging away. And they got a little bit better and a little bit better. And so the next time we ran back, it was like, "Oh, remember Macedon? Hey, it's still there. And there's a few more instances. And the software's gotten better."

02:13:38   And we came back to it and we said, "This is pretty nice. But you know, you still need to fix x, y, and z. You still haven't figured out moderation. What about the quote tweets? Your search sucks or whatever."

02:13:47   I hope when we come back, or people come back in five to seven years, they'll be like, "Oh, you know what? Macedon's even better than it was before." That's the beauty of having something open that one company can't lose interest or shut down or whatever.

02:13:59   It's still out there. It is a protocol. It is, in theory, somewhat interoperable. The software is open source. It has the possibility of being improved.

02:14:07   I think ActivityPub is part of W3C, so it's an open standard. So fingers crossed that the dumb limited protocol that obviously can't scale will follow the other dumb limited protocol that obviously can't scale. I mentioned this before. HTTP.

02:14:21   HTTP 1.0 sucks. But we built an entire web on HTTP 1.1. HTTP 2.0 is here. And so I have some faith that open protocols that don't have a lot of features can eventually win.

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