Unofficial Accidental Tech Podcast transcripts (generated by computer, so expect errors).

12: Accidental Server Hardware

Tick-tock in iOS, PHP framework theory, passwordless logins, the Mac Mini’s accidental success, the word “podcast”, and Apple providing a sync platform for developers.

Episode Description:
  • FU on Apple's tick-tock pattern.
  • Marco's PHP framework and sponsor-tracking web app, and why both exist.
  • Usability and security implications of passwordless login systems.
  • The Mac Mini's seemingly accidental success.
  • Podcasters who hate the word "podcast", its quality connotation, efforts to invent alternative names, and barriers to entry.
  • Brent Simmons' 30 Minutes To Sync proposal.
  • Building web services on Apple's infrastructure.

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  • Mac Mini Vault: Colocate or rent your own Mac Mini. Use promo code ATP50 for 50% off your first three months.
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Transcribed using Whisper large_v2 (transcription) + WAV2VEC2_ASR_LARGE_LV60K_960H (alignment) + Pyannote (speaker diaritization).

Transcript start

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Do you have opinions on kit lenses by chance? After last

⏹️ ▶️ Casey show where the three of us were talking about, uh, Apple’s TikTok strategy with

⏹️ ▶️ Casey iOS, uh, somebody tweeted at us, Pablo Bendersky, which I probably pronounced wrong. I’m

⏹️ ▶️ Casey sorry. Sorry, Pablo. And he wrote a blog post that was actually fairly short. So hopefully we’ll remember

⏹️ ▶️ Casey to put this in the show notes and you can take a look, but he made an interesting point. And the premise of it was,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey you know, what’s interesting is that the, and I’m to actually read this here, the TIC versions of iOS came with

⏹️ ▶️ Casey the S versions of the devices, iOS 3 with iPhone 3GS and iOS 5 with the iPhone

⏹️ ▶️ Casey 4S. On the other hand, big hardware releases such as the iPhone 4 and

⏹️ ▶️ Casey iPhone 5 launched alongside the TOC releases of iOS, iPhone 4 with

⏹️ ▶️ Casey iOS 4 and iPhone 5 with iOS 6. So now not

⏹️ ▶️ Casey reading anymore, the general premise he drives at is, hey, even if you consider

⏹️ ▶️ Casey the software on a TikTok, and if you consider the hardware on a TikTok, what’s interesting

⏹️ ▶️ Casey is they’re offset. It’s like a 180-degree offset sine wave. So there’s

⏹️ ▶️ Casey always going to be a tick and always going to be a tock. And that’s kind of an interesting place to be in. And I thought that was an interesting

⏹️ ▶️ Casey point. So I just wanted to point that out.

⏹️ ▶️ John Weren’t we having trouble last show thinking about which iOS release was big or small,

⏹️ ▶️ John and we were trying to list off the major features? I don’t know if I buy that

⏹️ ▶️ John theory because it just doesn’t seem to me that there has been

⏹️ ▶️ John that kind of cadence to iOS. But it could be that I’m just not paying enough attention. But the fact that we were trying to think about, was

⏹️ ▶️ John that a big release? What was in that one? Either we’re just old and have bad memories and can’t remember what was in them, but they’ve

⏹️ ▶️ John all seemed pretty even to me at this point. Certainly none of them were like a snow leopard. Yeah,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that’s the kind of thing, I think I’m with you on that. I can’t really point to any iOS release and say, oh, that one was the one that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco fixed most of problems and added a bunch of new APIs, but didn’t change much to the user. I mean,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco maybe six, but I wouldn’t say that’s enough to really establish a pattern. At least OS X

⏹️ ▶️ Marco has had now two ticks and two talks. It went Leopard, Snow Leopard, Lion, Mountain Lion.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And those four releases, I think, have very clearly followed that. But even before that, they

⏹️ ▶️ Marco didn’t really. Well, John, you’re the expert. Did they?

⏹️ ▶️ John No, not really. But I mean, it was just more. That’s why I think we’re still in that early period of iOS where

⏹️ ▶️ John it’s really simple, not a lot of features, a bunch of stuff doesn’t work. And then the ones that you

⏹️ ▶️ John have to get out to shore up the API for public use. And then

⏹️ ▶️ John some major features. It pretty much follows closely along with the 10.0, 10.1.

⏹️ ▶️ John And it was different because it was SDK. What was SDK? It was 2.0? Yeah, I think. Yeah.

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco And

⏹️ ▶️ John then 3, 4, and 5, roughly matching with Panther, Tiger, and

⏹️ ▶️ John Leopard. And 6 should

⏹️ ▶️ John have been its Snow Leopard, but it wasn’t because 6 brought even more features and more new stuff. It was definitely

⏹️ ▶️ John not a Snow Leopard type release. So I still think we’re in the

⏹️ ▶️ John early part of iOS’s release cycle. Maybe 7 will be the first,

⏹️ ▶️ John or maybe 7 will be the right after 7. Maybe 8 will be something that’s

⏹️ ▶️ John more tame or whatever. But it seems like with all the rumors of 7 that it’s not going to be a tame release.

⏹️ ▶️ John Even if it’s just visual stuff, I think that will still stand out in our mind as, oh, that’s when they rejiggered the UI and

⏹️ ▶️ John rearranged the apps and all that business. But we’ll see. But

⏹️ ▶️ John I would say there’s definitely no snow leopard. We haven’t had a snow leopard in iOS yet.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Now, and the other interesting thing that somebody on Twitter pointed out, and I don’t have this at reply handy, so I apologize to whoever you

⏹️ ▶️ Casey are, but they pointed out that none of us thought about Siri when we were trying think of kind

⏹️ ▶️ Casey of marquee features on different iOS versions and the three of us didn’t even think about Siri and I don’t know

⏹️ ▶️ Casey what that says but it’s an interesting observation that obviously didn’t cross my mind when

⏹️ ▶️ Casey we were talking

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John about

⏹️ ▶️ John Siri. I just didn’t say anything because it’s like well you know

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco Siri.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Because it was tied to the 4S as a device mostly for marketing

⏹️ ▶️ Marco type reasons you know because it was tied to this device and that was the release. It was more like a feature

⏹️ ▶️ Marco of that phone and all devices from that point forward. It was less of like a, okay, starting with iOS 5,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco everybody gets this cool thing.

⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, that’s something they haven’t done on the Mac. It’s not like they roll out Time Machine and say, and if you want to use Time Machine, you got to have

⏹️ ▶️ John a Mac that you bought this year. That would not fly as much. They pulled it off with the

⏹️ ▶️ John 4S as a differentiator, but it’s why we don’t associate it with, oh, that

⏹️ ▶️ John was the OS that had Siri. It’s more like that was the phone that had Siri.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yep, fair point. Anything else on FU? Follow-up? Whatever we’re calling it?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I don’t think so.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Alright, so one of the things I wanted to talk about today was, Marco, you

⏹️ ▶️ Casey finished, or well, maybe not finished, but at least got to a stopping point for now on your PHP

⏹️ ▶️ Casey framework, and I didn’t know if you had anything to share about that. And if not, I’m going to ask another

⏹️ ▶️ Casey probing question. But how did that go?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I can’t wait for the probing. Title. Yeah. Now

⏹️ ▶️ Marco we have a kind of fake, kind of real show bot in the chat now. So

⏹️ ▶️ Marco with the PHP thing, so I’ve had this PHP framework that I built. I

⏹️ ▶️ Marco mean, a long time ago, we built Tumblr with it. And before Tumblr, we built, David and I,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco David Karp and I built some client applications back when we were consultants before David decided

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to start Tumblr. So we had this PHP framework, and it’s a basic

⏹️ ▶️ Marco MVC framework. And the reasons we wrote our own back then were that we had tried Rails,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and we had tried Cake for PHP, and back then, this was in like 2006,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco we didn’t, at least I didn’t, and I convinced David, I didn’t

⏹️ ▶️ Marco like all the behind-the-scenes magic that frameworks did unexpectedly.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Like some magic is good and some magic is helpful. My theory was more

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that I wanted the framework to be more like libraries and less like

⏹️ ▶️ Marco at the time what was trendy for quote frameworks, which is they would do so much

⏹️ ▶️ Marco for you and so it was hard to tell like if you were seeing like a certain

⏹️ ▶️ Marco header being set or certain behavior or certain filtering or certain bugs, it was hard to find

⏹️ ▶️ Marco where the heck that was coming from in the code. And this was especially a problem in Rails because of Ruby’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco mix-ins and that becoming especially trendy in 2006, so everyone

⏹️ ▶️ Marco was kind of overusing them. And so it was very, very, much like categories in

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Cocoa, it was very, very hard to find the code you were looking for, to

⏹️ ▶️ Marco manage what was going on, because there was so much magic happening all the time with everything. So

⏹️ ▶️ Marco my theory was I wanted something that could provide helpful features like a library,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco but where I knew everything that was going to happen and what was not going

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to happen. So it was very clear to me, okay, me as the person writing this action or this model,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco what is my responsibility, what will happen and what won’t? And so we wrote

⏹️ ▶️ Marco our own very basic framework with some lessons from Rails, some lessons from ourselves, some lessons

⏹️ ▶️ Marco from Cake, and we basically matured that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco into Tumblr, and as Tumblr went on, and it is BSD licensed, but

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it’s not distributed anywhere. So our clients from before Tumblr, they all have a copy.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco A few programmers here and there have a copy. I have a copy, Instapaper is running on a copy, and the magazine

⏹️ ▶️ Marco is running on a copy. So it’s this not really open sourced framework, but it would be open sourced

⏹️ ▶️ Marco if it ever actually got out, you know, legally. So what I did, when I left Tumblr,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I forked it. And so Tumblr continued doing their own thing with it. And Tumblr

⏹️ ▶️ Marco did tons of changes to it, because they had to, because they grew like crazy, and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco they had to build in like automatic sharding support and stuff like that. All sorts of stuff I’ve never seen. And

⏹️ ▶️ Marco with Instapaper, I didn’t really have to do anything to it. So it mostly just sat there. And I changed

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a few things here and there, but I didn’t really like pull anything out so it still had a whole bunch of stuff from

⏹️ ▶️ Marco like halfway through tumblr scaling that I had put in there and it was also based

⏹️ ▶️ Marco on PHP 5.1 and 5.2 even though we’ve ran it mostly in 5.3 the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco late static binding support in 5.3 that was added which makes static classes work in a useful way for

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the first time in PHP it’s yeah like I don’t know why they didn’t have that at the beginning anyway

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that’s that’s a little too specialized for the show, but I was able to modernize the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco framework if I wanted to, but Instapaper’s codebase at that point was big enough

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that it was kind of unwieldy to do that and it wasn’t really ever worth my time to do that. Having

⏹️ ▶️ Marco just sold Instapaper, though, I wanted to start

⏹️ ▶️ Marco more web stuff in the future, and I wanted to have a really solid foundation

⏹️ ▶️ Marco for doing that. And I thought about using other language, but as I’ve discussed in this show before,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to many people’s irritation. I don’t think Ruby or Python

⏹️ ▶️ Marco really provide enough of a benefit over PHP that if you’re already an expert in PHP that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you really need to become an expert in one of those. I think you can pick any of those three, become an expert in one

⏹️ ▶️ Marco of them, and you’re pretty well set. You don’t really need the other ones, unless you really want to learn

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a lot more languages for other reasons like personal development or market value or whatever else. But if you’re

⏹️ ▶️ Marco short on time and if you don’t really want to be learning tons of languages and you’d rather take one and master that one,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I don’t think you need to master more than one of those three. And I think the alternatives,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco things like Node, I would be looking at those in probably the future, but I think they’re a little bit early

⏹️ ▶️ Marco right now. So I’d rather not go that way right now. So I figure, you know what, PHP is great for me.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I know a lot of people hate it, but PHP is very good for me. I know it extremely well.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And I know how to scale it. I know how to run it very cheaply and very easily with very little

⏹️ ▶️ Marco effort and very few 3 a.m. wakeups for the system admin, which is usually me.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And so I decided, you know what, there’s nothing really inherently wrong with PHP that overcomes

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the barrier for me to master something else to this degree when

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I don’t really want to be writing big web services as the only thing I do. You know, if that was the only thing

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I was going to do, that would be fine. I would be very, very happy with it.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I would learn lots of different languages and pick the best one and really dive deeply into that one. But

⏹️ ▶️ Marco for me, the web service, and actually there’s a great blog post by Brent Simmons that while I’m rambling

⏹️ ▶️ Marco on, you guys should read this and I’ll talk about it in a little bit. I pasted a link in the chat.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco For me, making web services is really a supporting role to what I really want to do, which

⏹️ ▶️ Marco is kind of making whole products that are mostly apps.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco For me, Instapaper pretty much was that. The Instapaper web service was very

⏹️ ▶️ Marco low needs and I devoted very little to it, for good and bad. Because what I really

⏹️ ▶️ Marco wanted to be doing was working on the app. The app was the premier experience. Whatever

⏹️ ▶️ Marco else I do in the future is probably going to be that same way. I mentioned in the past I have a few prototypes of things

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I’m trying to figure out what I want to do next with. They all have web components.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco But all the web components are relatively unimportant compared to the app.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And so I don’t ‑‑ for me it’s not worth like learning entire new web languages and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco mastering those platforms and learning the hard way how to scale them all and spend all

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that time and stress on that when I’d rather be putting that effort into the apps and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco just the website, you know, I don’t need the website to be my experimental playground.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco So anyway, so I decided this

⏹️ ▶️ Marco was a great time to modernize my framework because I had only the magazine

⏹️ ▶️ Marco using it and the magazine’s code base is very, very small. So I thought this is a great time to modernize

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it. What I really need, though, is a test app. And that way I can kind of write the test app as I

⏹️ ▶️ Marco modernize it so I know what I’m breaking, I know how I’m breaking it, I know what it needs to be. And I can kind of play with the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco APIs as I’m making them and as I’m changing them to see like okay what

⏹️ ▶️ Marco works what doesn’t what ends up being more or less elegant than I expected etc

⏹️ ▶️ Marco so and my goal here is also to open source this framework now to finally make it

⏹️ ▶️ Marco so incredibly different from what tumblr is running that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I mean legally I could have done it already but like you know I was always a little afraid

⏹️ ▶️ Marco like to release the framework that runs tumblr what if somebody finds some security problem and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco exploits it against tumblr like I would really not feel good about that. So I was always very

⏹️ ▶️ Marco afraid about that. I’m less afraid when it’s my own thing. I at least know that,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco okay, I’m willing to do that to myself. I’m not, you know, I’m less less happy about doing that to somebody

⏹️ ▶️ Marco else, especially somebody as big as Tumblr. So I thought I would love to open source this,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and I would love to modernize it, and I would love to also write the sponsor tracking system

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that I’ve been meaning to do for for months because the way I track my sponsors

⏹️ ▶️ Marco for is this giant spreadsheet that sucks and it’s just it’s so

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it’s so human-based and error-prone and it’s always it always freaks me out like what if I booked

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the wrong you know what if I publish something from the wrong day or the wrong week what if I

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I think a sponsor hasn’t paid but they have or vice versa like you know what if I type a number wrong

⏹️ ▶️ Marco if I you know just a typo and something is really messed up. So that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco we I needed something better than a spreadsheet to manage that. I also

⏹️ ▶️ Marco once we started this show and we started having sponsorships for this show then I had to manage okay

⏹️ ▶️ Marco well we sell sponsorships for this that’s another property to sell sponsorships for so initially it started out as just another table

⏹️ ▶️ Marco in my spreadsheet that was very similar to the first table. But then we have to build on things like

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know we all we all split the money that comes in so I had to build in how to pay

⏹️ ▶️ Marco how to you know I take the money in and I have to pay you guys out your your portions of it so I have

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to you know that that’s another layer on top of this that is error prone and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco could be messed up and starts really pushing the boundaries of what spreadsheets can do gracefully I mean they can

⏹️ ▶️ Marco do it in many non graceful ways but what they can do gracefully is is you know this is

⏹️ ▶️ Marco this is kind of a bad thing for them. And then what really killed it is

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I wanted all three of us to be able to log in and look at sponsors

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and sell sponsorships. And so we needed multi-user access. And then you can go Google Docs,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco but then it’s just there’s the more layers you add to this spreadsheet the crappier that solution

⏹️ ▶️ Marco becomes and the more likely it is like exponentially more likely it is that that something will

⏹️ ▶️ Marco go wrong at some point and that’s really bad. So I decided

⏹️ ▶️ Marco let’s build this system and that’s a perfect test case app

⏹️ ▶️ Marco for my new framework or my new version of this framework which is almost completely

⏹️ ▶️ Marco rewritten, turns out, and it’s way smaller than the old framework. And

⏹️ ▶️ Marco my goal is to open source both the framework and this example project of my invoicing

⏹️ ▶️ Marco system, fairly soon. So, do you guys

⏹️ ▶️ Marco have anything to say after that massive tirade? We’re like 23 minutes in now.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Well, I do, but I’ll give John a chance because I have a comparatively much shorter monologue

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John that I’m queuing

⏹️ ▶️ Casey up.

⏹️ ▶️ John Well, I’m looking at your notes, so I know what you’re going to ask him, and it’s exactly the same thing that I’m going to talk to him

⏹️ ▶️ John about. Oh

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco yeah,

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey the notes. I should open that up.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John Go ahead and steal my thunder.

⏹️ ▶️ John So go for it. Yeah, the notes that apparently Casey and I use, but Marco shuns.

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco Oh,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John I got it. Sorry. It

⏹️ ▶️ Marco was in my Chrome ghetto.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah, that’s where mine is. So since I’m talking, I will go ahead and ask by telling a very brief story.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey So a few days back, Marco sends John and I an email saying, hey, this is up. Here’s

⏹️ ▶️ Casey where you can go. And I load the URL, and all I see

⏹️ ▶️ Casey is a text form and a button. And the text form says, give me your email address,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey and then log in. And I think to myself, well, this is weird. I haven’t created

⏹️ ▶️ Casey a user account, or knowingly, anyway. I haven’t given him a password of any

⏹️ ▶️ Casey sort. What’s going on? So I enter my email address, I hit the button, and

⏹️ ▶️ Casey next thing I know, Marco’s Fancy sponsorship tracker says, okay, look at your email, you’ll

⏹️ ▶️ Casey get a login URL there. And so sure enough, instantly I look at my

⏹️ ▶️ Casey email and there’s an email from Marco’s Fancy app thing,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey and it says, here, click this link and you can get logged in. And that’s exactly what happened. And so it was

⏹️ ▶️ Casey a very different and interesting way to handle user authentication

⏹️ ▶️ Casey and authorization — I always get the A’s wrong — but handle logging in without me ever giving him a

⏹️ ▶️ Casey password. So in summary, my question to you, Marco, and John, feel free to jump in, is why do you

⏹️ ▶️ Casey hate passwords so much?

⏹️ ▶️ John Well, he does the same thing on the magazine site, which I’m assuming was

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey the first place he did this. Yeah.

⏹️ ▶️ John I have the, you know, when I saw it, I immediately knew that you’re doing the same thing as the magazine site or it seemed like it. Yeah.

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco Most of the same

⏹️ ▶️ Marco code too.

⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah. And I didn’t like it either. I complained to my wife that he’s doing this thing with no passwords

⏹️ ▶️ John again. One of my first things, first interactions I had with you

⏹️ ▶️ John and your products online was when I first signed up for Instapaper. And back then you didn’t need a password for Instapaper,

⏹️ ▶️ John which was awesome and I love it. And not like this, you just like literally didn’t need a password. So for the first whatever

⏹️ ▶️ John it was, year or two years or however long you let us not have passwords, anybody could have seen

⏹️ ▶️ John my Instapaper links. I didn’t care. I wasn’t putting anything secret there. I just love not having another password to remember. I

⏹️ ▶️ John just had to remember my username and there was my Instapaper. And I didn’t care. That was totally insecure.

⏹️ ▶️ John Fine. Go ahead. Yeah, I mean, I guess someone could have used that to start adding stuff to my Instapaper. And then, you know, you had the

⏹️ ▶️ John option to add a password. So if someone found it and started abusing it and erased all my Instapaper links, I’d

⏹️ ▶️ John like, all right, fine. I’ll add a password. So I’m all thumbs up for not having a password, but thumbs down

⏹️ ▶️ John for every time I log in, sending me an email with the link. Because first of all, when you first did

⏹️ ▶️ John this in the magazine, there was mail backlog. And nothing is more frustrating than wanting to get into something

⏹️ ▶️ John and not being able to because your mail hasn’t arrived.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Oh, yeah. That was a one-time

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John issue.

⏹️ ▶️ John Even when it’s not your fault. Say it’s on the receiving end. It’s email is storing forward. It could be

⏹️ ▶️ John not in your control that I’m

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco sitting here banging on my

⏹️ ▶️ John refresh button, trying to wait for my thing to come. And the second thing is, this is really mostly iOS’s fault, but

⏹️ ▶️ John this is the environment you’re in. I use the Gmail app on iOS, and when the

⏹️ ▶️ John email comes with a link on it, I can’t tap that link, because then that will open in the Gmail app’s

⏹️ ▶️ John built-in browser, and I’ll be logged in there in some sort of right-hand side navigation pane

⏹️ ▶️ John to the Gmail app. But I’m not logged in in Mobile Safari, and that link is now dead, because I think

⏹️ ▶️ John you kill them off after they get used, because I don’t think an hour had passed, right? And so now I have to go back

⏹️ ▶️ John to the site, make an email me another link. Remember to hold tap and hold on it and copy, copy the URL,

⏹️ ▶️ John then go to mobile Safari, then paste that into a thing and then use it. And then I’m logged in over there. So

⏹️ ▶️ John I do not find the user experience of this password list thing. agreeable.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Well, it’s funny, because I actually don’t have any problem with with the password

⏹️ ▶️ Casey list idea in principle. But I too was like, wait, I have to wait for darn

⏹️ ▶️ Casey email to come in. And in retrospect, thinking about it more, I actually think by and large, this isn’t a bad

⏹️ ▶️ Casey setup. And it strikes me as a, and I’m not a security minded, tinfoil wearing

⏹️ ▶️ Casey nut job, but it strikes me as though it’s a pretty good setup.

⏹️ ▶️ John It’s the same as using a password, because if you have access to my email account, passwords don’t matter. And if you have access

⏹️ ▶️ John to my email account for this thing, passwords don’t matter. It’s not a security thing where it’s any lesser or more secure

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco than the other

⏹️ ▶️ Marco thing. Well, it is in one way, and that is that you can’t guess somebody’s password, because they don’t

⏹️ ▶️ Marco have one. The only way to log in is by having access to their

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John email account.

⏹️ ▶️ John like the password for their email address. I mean, you’re just moving the password

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco that

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey they have to

⏹️ ▶️ John know from your site to their email provider.

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco That’s true, but that is

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a little bit better, though.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey Especially since so many

⏹️ ▶️ Marco emails have two-factor

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey now.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Exactly. It took the words right out of my mouth.

⏹️ ▶️ John You should have, if you support Google Login, and I can use my existing two-factor to get into

⏹️ ▶️ John your site, then there you go.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, well, oh well.

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco Yeah, no, it doesn’t matter.

⏹️ ▶️ John Because it’s a sponsorship web shop. Obviously, here it’s a bit up there. I’ve been thinking about it, because everyone always wants to solve the problem

⏹️ ▶️ John of identity on the web, because it’s such a pain in the butt no matter what you do. And there’s just no

⏹️ ▶️ John good solution. Everything has trade-offs. And the trade-offs for this one are just a different set of trade-offs. Right.

⏹️ ▶️ John But I find it particularly, especially for the magazine. I’m subscribed to the magazine. I get it in

⏹️ ▶️ John the iOS app. Occasionally, I want to read it on the web thing. And inevitably, I somehow find that I’m using a browser

⏹️ ▶️ John on a machine that doesn’t have the right cookie. And I got to go through the email thing. That tiny delay

⏹️ ▶️ John makes me unhappy. I’d rather have it like, you know, auto-fill my password or just remember what my password is

⏹️ ▶️ John or use some other means that I can get myself logged in to read the magazine articles because, you know,

⏹️ ▶️ John it’s perpetually telling me, sign up for the magazine, subscribe, you should do it. Like, no, I do, just show me the

⏹️ ▶️ John article. It

⏹️ ▶️ Marco keeps you logged in

⏹️ ▶️ John for like a year. I know, but I don’t know, somehow,

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco I mean, oh, at work,

⏹️ ▶️ John at work, I’m always hosing my cookies, right, because you’re doing web development and I have seven browsers and I’m constantly

⏹️ ▶️ John wiping cookies and doing private browsing. And I don’t know. Maybe I just have to spread. Maybe it’s like two-factor,

⏹️ ▶️ John where I have to have some sort of ramp-up period, where I spread the little authentication

⏹️ ▶️ John tokens to all of my browsers and all of my cookie jars, as we called them back in the day.

⏹️ ▶️ John But it hasn’t happened yet.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco OK, Casey?

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I mean, to be honest, I don’t have a whole lot to add. I don’t mind it nearly as much as John does, but I’m not

⏹️ ▶️ Casey nearly as much of a curmudgeon, apparently. I mean, I think it’s interesting

⏹️ ▶️ Casey because we all hate passwords, we all want them to go away, but obviously nobody’s really cracked

⏹️ ▶️ Casey that nut on what the right answer is. And for me, since this is a site that I’m not going to look at every single

⏹️ ▶️ Casey day, I don’t find it as egregious a pain in the butt. But with that

⏹️ ▶️ Casey said, if it was something that I used frequently, I think I would find it just as annoying as

⏹️ ▶️ Casey John does. So.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, I think it’s a very hard problem. The magazine was, I never did this on Instapaper, the magazine

⏹️ ▶️ Marco was the first place I did this publicly. And yeah, I mean, and the way it works in case, in case

⏹️ ▶️ Marco someone is still behind on this, it basically treats every login like a password reset

⏹️ ▶️ Marco where you say you want to log in, type in your email address, and it emails you a link with a single use hash

⏹️ ▶️ Marco on it, and that then the app trades that hash for a login token, and you’re logged in.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And, but you know, it’s like a password reset where you don’t even set the new password, you’re just logged in.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And it’s It’s interesting, it solves, very

⏹️ ▶️ Marco similar to Instapaper’s original no password accounts at all,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it solves some problems but it creates other problems. And

⏹️ ▶️ Marco so I’m not sure if it’s a net win in general. I think you can look

⏹️ ▶️ Marco at, you know, where I’ve used it here which is kind of like an admin panel, I think admin panels, any

⏹️ ▶️ Marco kind of intranet type thing where security is needed, anything like that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco where like it’s not the general public having to log in and you don’t have

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a ton of people using the gmail app on their phone and not only how to copy links and stuff like that like situations

⏹️ ▶️ Marco like that I think it’s a great solution I think it’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I will probably do this for every admin panel that I ever do again because

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it’s it’s so much more secure than just having some kind of admin password up there and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it’s it’s just great for that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John and I was

⏹️ ▶️ John It’s what makes you think it’s more secure? Because I can see I think and see how it’s better from your perspective as the

⏹️ ▶️ John person running the service because you don’t have To store passwords and if you don’t have to store passwords That means the pressure is off of

⏹️ ▶️ John you to keep those passwords secured and you know all that business or whatever but

⏹️ ▶️ John Like I don’t know if that’s better for the people who are using the product because as far as they’re concerned

⏹️ ▶️ John It’s

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco your

⏹️ ▶️ John responsibility to make sure the password stone the encrypted versions the passwords don’t get out and make sure you

⏹️ ▶️ John you know use bcrypt on the slowest setting or whatever the hell crazy stuff you’re supposed to do like

⏹️ ▶️ John I think this makes definitely makes it better for you writing the service but as a user of the service I don’t see any

⏹️ ▶️ John security advantages from my perspective I just see the slowdowns

⏹️ ▶️ Marco well I think the security advantage is that my service now becomes

⏹️ ▶️ Marco as secure as your email which is probably more safe which you know given that most people use

⏹️ ▶️ Marco webmail for their own email addresses like not for work but most people use webmail and and most webmail

⏹️ ▶️ Marco services are really locking down their security really well. I think that’s…

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I don’t think it’s that bad of a thing to rely on, because as you said, most things are only as

⏹️ ▶️ Marco secure as your email at most anyway, because you can always do a password reset. So,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know, if I were to do any kind of… set your own password for this,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco even if I would add two-factor or something, if I have some way to to use your email

⏹️ ▶️ Marco address as a reset mechanism, for the most part, unless I have my own two-factor

⏹️ ▶️ Marco thing, which is possible, but I think that would be even more overkill. If you don’t

⏹️ ▶️ Marco like having to wait for an email and click a link, you’re going to hate two-factor.

⏹️ ▶️ John But if you’re going to delegate authentication to someone else, like you’re delegating to our email provider, why not

⏹️ ▶️ John literally delegate authentication to someone else and do what those sites do? Either you pick one that you decide to be blessed,

⏹️ ▶️ John which is fine for an admitted site, you have three buttons to say log in with your Facebook ID, log in with your Google ID, log in

⏹️ ▶️ John with your OpenID. In all those cases you’re delegating the authentication to an external service but then you

⏹️ ▶️ John don’t have to deal with it at all except for writing the implementation of those things. And for an admin page you would say okay well you can’t

⏹️ ▶️ John log in with Facebook and you can’t log in

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco with OpenID but you can

⏹️ ▶️ John log in with Google you know like because you can you can limit your options there.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco First of all this is simpler and easier for everybody because see the big the big problem with

⏹️ ▶️ Marco those log in with Facebook or Twitter or whatever with those things and with OpenID which is itself

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a massive train wreck of normal person usability. Even for geek usability OpenID is a mess.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco But I mean look at Stack Overflow. They were OpenID only for the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco first few years of their life and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John Jeff Atwood really believed

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it. Well but the problem was even with that extremely nerdy audience it was still a major problem.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John It caused tons of support. I think

⏹️ ▶️ John the environment has gotten a lot better. Like the TeeSpring

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco site.

⏹️ ▶️ John Doesn’t the TeeSpring site use OpenID?

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco It offers it

⏹️ ▶️ Marco as an option but I just created my own account. See here’s the major problem with those kind of things where you can

⏹️ ▶️ Marco say log in with OpenID or with Facebook or with Twitter. The main problem is that every time you go back

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to that site you have to remember which one you logged in with the first time.

⏹️ ▶️ John Well that’s what I was saying just offer one like for an admin site you just pick

⏹️ ▶️ Marco one. Well that’s what I do. It’s your email address.

⏹️ ▶️ John I

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco don’t see how it’s

⏹️ ▶️ John different. When I go to the TeeSpring site I click the button that says log in with Google and I don’t have to do anything further

⏹️ ▶️ John because I’ve already done the thing once. When I go to your site every time I have to click and go get the email you’re like well

⏹️ ▶️ John it should still have your cookie but I don’t.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco But when you go back to the Teespring site in a year and you haven’t used it in that entire year

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and you go back here and it’s oh what did I log in with which one was it you know it’s it’s a problem

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and that creates support emails like crazy you would not believe how much support that generates when you have that kind of

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John option.

⏹️ ▶️ John But again for an admin site it’s not a support it’s not

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco Well true,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco but for I would also argue that for an admin site Like there’s really

⏹️ ▶️ Marco no benefit to doing that your way instead of my way for an admin site because

⏹️ ▶️ Marco either way you’re like You’re likely to hit a small delay Sometimes

⏹️ ▶️ Marco either way you know if you’re saying logging with my Google account Yeah It might be one click or

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you might have you might have to re log into your Google account because it might have been too Long since you’ve last logged in or it might

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John want to re-authenticate you Well, but the Google thing has some

⏹️ ▶️ John sort of timeout. Like, if you’re making your cookies last for a year or whatever, that means anyone who finds them, it doesn’t matter.

⏹️ ▶️ John But if I log in, I have to remember that if I log in on a strange machine, I have to make sure that I get rid of that

⏹️ ▶️ John so that that person can’t perpetually log in as me because now they’ve got the cookie. You know what I mean?

⏹️ ▶️ John Whereas when you’re delegating entirely to an external service, all the management of revoking access

⏹️ ▶️ John and timing out and whatever is on the external service, right?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, but also, the extra level of complexity of dealing with someone else’s service

⏹️ ▶️ Marco for this, it adds almost as many annoyances and flaws

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and support headaches as doing it the way I’m doing it with emails.

⏹️ ▶️ John But

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco that’s what I’m saying.

⏹️ ▶️ John So what has it been like for the magazine? Because this is, MnSite is a bad example because there’s three people using it. Right. Whatever.

⏹️ ▶️ John But for the magazine, there’s many, many more people using it. I guess you don’t don’t have anything

⏹️ ▶️ John to compare it to because you haven’t implemented like you know login with your Google account as well but

⏹️ ▶️ John right is that what has that been like for as you mentioned you mentioned the copying and pasting from the gmail app or whatever is that just because

⏹️ ▶️ John I mentioned it or do you actually

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco know just that’s the first

⏹️ ▶️ Marco part of it actually I should probably use gmail at some point in my life but

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey well

⏹️ ▶️ Marco no with the magazine it’s it’s been interesting this is what

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I’m not sure I would use it again for like a big consumer-facing thing, at

⏹️ ▶️ Marco least not yet, because the main problem is that when you have a username and password,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you can enter those no matter where you are, no matter what app or context you’re in,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you can enter those immediately, as you say, you can enter those and not have any kind of delay and just be logged in,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco as long as you know the password. And yeah, there’s people like us who use one password and generate long strings of garbage, so for us it’s a little bit more complicated,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco but most people don’t do that, unfortunately. So the big problem is,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco first of all, you’re tying something to email delivery, which, similar to tying something to someone else’s account,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco there are opportunities for that to go wrong or to be delayed. And email delivery

⏹️ ▶️ Marco can be somewhat assumed to occur. You can generally assume that an email will

⏹️ ▶️ Marco usually get there. There are, of course, complications there, but usually you can say an email will get there. What you can’t

⏹️ ▶️ Marco guarantee is that an email will get there quickly, because there’s things like graylisting

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and all sorts of weird anti-spam measures and server configurations

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and everything that will frequently delay a message by like a half hour or three hours

⏹️ ▶️ Marco from you know the first time it’s hearing from you or something so that becomes harder when you say

⏹️ ▶️ Marco all right log in and click here and you’ll get an email in two seconds well that’s great if it comes in two seconds every time but it doesn’t

⏹️ ▶️ Marco always it comes in two seconds for most people and then there’s like the 1% that it doesn’t come in two seconds for

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and they get upset and and they email your support and there’s really no way for you to do anything about that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco quickly

⏹️ ▶️ John and they keep entering their email address and clicking the button again and again queuing up 70 miles which

⏹️ ▶️ Marco keeps invalidating their previous one

⏹️ ▶️ John right exactly and then they try to click the third one that came not realizing that it was invalidated when you sent the eighth one

⏹️ ▶️ Marco exactly so so you know it’s not perfect in that regard and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco also you know what I this was actually one of the last build and analyze episodes I I talked about

⏹️ ▶️ Marco when I made the magazine how in the effort of, or with the goal of simplicity,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I wanted it to have no settings in the app. Just no setting screen. Like to have everything just be available

⏹️ ▶️ Marco in the interface with no gear icon with a setting screen on it. You know, I didn’t want some big long list

⏹️ ▶️ Marco of check boxes or whatever. I just wanted it to be very, very simple. And the problem was that to avoid having a setting screen,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I had to make other bad design decisions. like how to log out from Instapaper if

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you would log in to send stuff to it. Like there were other decisions I had to make that were bad decisions

⏹️ ▶️ Marco in order to support this one thing I thought was a good decision. And so

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the login, or the passwordless login system that uses email is, has a few of those things.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Like there’s a few weird little stupid things that I had to do to make that work

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that are bad design decisions, even though the email thing I think is overall a good one

⏹️ ▶️ Marco standing on its own. So one of those things is when you want to

⏹️ ▶️ Marco connect, when you want to sync your account between the app and the website on your iOS

⏹️ ▶️ Marco device, or when you want to sync your account between the app and the website regardless of where you want to be browsing it. Like

⏹️ ▶️ Marco if you subscribed in the app and you want to browse it on the website on the desktop,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco or if you subscribe on the website and then you want to read it in the app. between the browsers

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and the website and the Apple purchase thing in these three different places, when

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you have a password, it would be easy. It would just be enter this username and password in the other place

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and you’re logged in. Done. The way I do it, though, since there’s no passwords,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco is like for the app to register its subscription with the website, I have the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco app compose an email message with an attachment that encodes a bunch of data

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and then it sends an attachment to my server and the server associates it with the email that sent it

⏹️ ▶️ Marco which has its own set of problems like well what if the email that you sent that from is not your primary email address like there’s other problems

⏹️ ▶️ Marco with that

⏹️ ▶️ John yeah I think I did that a few times I was very confused on on launch because I don’t use the email address

⏹️ ▶️ John I use for like signing up for web things is different than the email address I use as my like iCloud

⏹️ ▶️ John you

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John know

⏹️ ▶️ Marco exactly and and that’s I wouldn’t say that’s a common case but But there’s certainly enough

⏹️ ▶️ Marco people who do that that it’s problematic if you don’t support that in the way

⏹️ ▶️ Marco they expect. And so there’s that issue. Going that way. And in the other direction,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I would log into the website on your device and open this link that I’ll mail to you, and then it’ll

⏹️ ▶️ Marco send you like a the magazine app colon slash slash garbage URL

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to open up in the iOS app to associate it in the other direction. And that’s kind of ugly and can

⏹️ ▶️ Marco have some of its own problems as well. So I had this technical

⏹️ ▶️ Marco need to associate these accounts between these two places, and passwords really would have made that a lot easier.

⏹️ ▶️ John Well, as soon as Apple comes out with the web service APIs for iCloud authentication, you’ll be all set.

⏹️ ▶️ John We’ll

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John talk about that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco after the first sponsor. But yeah, and so I think overall,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I think the passwordless system, it’s interesting. And that’s why I did it, because it’s interesting. I

⏹️ ▶️ Marco do think I’m going to keep it for admin panel type stuff. uh… i don’t know if i’m gonna launch anything else with that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco as the main front-end thing is being a because in fact if people were

⏹️ ▶️ Marco if this was like two thousand five still and most people are still doing everything on their computers

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and you are looking into a website that would actually make way more sense and it would be fine and i would probably do it no

⏹️ ▶️ Marco question now with everyone doing things on all these different types of devices with all these different

⏹️ ▶️ Marco like sandboxed siloed apps and everything and everything’s running full screen there’s no good

⏹️ ▶️ Marco multitasking on iOS or no good interapp communication. There’s all these problems

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that actually now the system is less practical than it would have been in 2005. And

⏹️ ▶️ Marco so I don’t think I’m going to do it again for the main login for something. And

⏹️ ▶️ Marco also another problem is that it doesn’t work the way people expect.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And because people are used to username and password or email and password, they’re used to that.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco When you put something up there they don’t expect, even if it’s simpler to you, in your

⏹️ ▶️ Marco mind, even if it’s simpler, they’re thrown off for a second. Like, wait a minute, how do I do this?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Where do I put the password? Like it slows people down and people make mistakes and they question themselves

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and they doubt themselves and that ultimately can make all of your goals worse. Like maybe they don’t

⏹️ ▶️ Marco finish the sign up or maybe they don’t finish their shopping cart purchase or whatever. So it’s a hard call

⏹️ ▶️ Marco if you want to deviate from the norm on something so simple as how How do you log in to your site?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco That you should use caution if you’re deviating. On the plus side,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I have gotten almost zero support emails for password related or login related anything.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco The problem is, you know, if you can’t figure it out, you probably will just give up. But you know,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco obviously I have no password reset requests, which any support person can tell you that’s probably the most common request no

⏹️ ▶️ Marco matter how prominent you make that link of forgot password, click here. What if they type their email

⏹️ ▶️ Marco address wrong? There’s so many problems, like I don’t get any of those for the magazine, which is

⏹️ ▶️ Marco awesome. So it does save support by a dramatic amount,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco but there are other problems with it that will give me pause for using it

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⏹️ ▶️ Casey I was about to comment as well that good for them for really showing they mean business.

⏹️ ▶️ John I wonder if the existence of the Mac Mini contributed to Apple’s decision to discontinue

⏹️ ▶️ John the XServe. Oh, I definitely do. Like we have Accidental Tech Podcast, they have accidental server

⏹️ ▶️ John hardware. Because I don’t think they made the Mac Mini thinking this is going to go

⏹️ ▶️ John right in the data center. But as soon as they made a machine that shape, people were like, stick on 100 of those in a 2U rack.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I kind of feel like the Mac Mini… You know how when Steve Jobs introduced the Motorola Rocker

⏹️ ▶️ Marco phone, that terrible iTunes phone that came out before the iPhone? And you could tell when Steve introduced

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that. And Gruber wrote about this a while ago. You could tell he just really did not like it. He

⏹️ ▶️ Marco did not like the product. He did not like that it had to exist. the market was demanding something

⏹️ ▶️ Marco like that, and so they made it kind of reluctantly, and he just kind of like, you know, shat it

⏹️ ▶️ Marco out there and was okay with it. I think the Mac Mini was kind of

⏹️ ▶️ Marco like that for him. Like, I don’t think he gave a crap about the Mac Mini, and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco obviously it’s a very low priority for Apple most of the time. They hardly ever update the thing, even when the other things get updated with the same CPUs.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco You know, it’s obviously a low priority, but they keep it around because they probably do sell a good number of them. But

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it’s always kind of seemed like this product that they reluctantly keep in their lineup because

⏹️ ▶️ Marco people do love it way more than Apple seems to.

⏹️ ▶️ John Well, Jobs was probably sore about the cube thing still. And he’s like, you know, I made this machine when it was

⏹️ ▶️ John much better looking. You guys didn’t want it, but whatever. Here, you know. It’s aluminum now. It’s small.

⏹️ ▶️ John It doesn’t have the cool glass. Still $800. Here you go.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Enjoy it. The big liners.

⏹️ ▶️ John Exactly. But it’s much cheaper. It’s true. It’s one of those products he didn’t seem to have super duper enthusiasm about.

⏹️ ▶️ John But other, I mean, that’s the weird thing. Like if the company is not enthusiastic about

⏹️ ▶️ John a product, but a certain subset of the customers are, and it’s very clear that a certain subset of

⏹️ ▶️ John customers is really enthusiastic about the Mac mini. People who want to stick them in data centers. And even I’ve seen people

⏹️ ▶️ John who just, you know, Mac users who have lots of Macs. If you just need another Mac

⏹️ ▶️ John to just be an extra machine for back when Xcode still, does Xcode still support distributed

⏹️ ▶️ John compile? I think I

⏹️ ▶️ Marco haven’t tried it with the new versions. I don’t know

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John but like you know it was always

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco Having

⏹️ ▶️ John yeah having a Mac mini in the corner to be a media machine and just you know I just need another Mac for this

⏹️ ▶️ John other room So I’ll just get a mini or using it as a server to you know attach your storage to and stuff like that

⏹️ ▶️ John So I see a lot of enthusiasm for that little machine even though Apple like you said does not seem to be that into it

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, but I mean, but you know everyone always thinks myself included You know we’ve thought a number of times in the past We thought

⏹️ ▶️ Marco oh this is gonna be the year they killed a Mac mini, and it never gets killed It’s still it’s still sitting

⏹️ ▶️ Marco there even when it goes like I know it’s the longest comment on an update like two years Maybe without

⏹️ ▶️ John like that doesn’t go down in price you know the new one comes out It’s like up still

⏹️ ▶️ Marco really expensive, but usually it goes up by a hundred bucks Yeah Yeah, but it’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco funny I have one for a while to like it because I just say that people use them as like a server all the time There’s there’s so many

⏹️ ▶️ Marco little things you could do with them So anyway, thanks to them for sponsoring

⏹️ ▶️ Marco answering. So I mentioned before the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco break I wanted to talk about this article by Brent Simmons. Do you guys get a chance to read it while I was rambling about various stuff

⏹️ ▶️ Marco before? I

⏹️ ▶️ John read

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John it

⏹️ ▶️ Marco during

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco day,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Marco.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco Of course you did.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I had at least scanned it

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco earlier.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Okay, so it’s called 30 minutes to sync on Brent Simmons’s web blog

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and we will… I said web blog and we will post it in the show notes. I never say web blog.

⏹️ ▶️ John Someone just made fun of of Glenn for writing that so you probably pick that up in a Twitter stream

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I yeah but he Glenn also says capital web space site and I don’t know you know I don’t do that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that’s a lot of things oh man anyway so

⏹️ ▶️ Marco on you know at least at least vlog didn’t catch on we can at least

⏹️ ▶️ Marco be happy about that I should also you know what before we talk about now that we’re

⏹️ ▶️ Marco talking about stupid words for the for our new media crap that we invent as nerds I’ve

⏹️ ▶️ Marco heard a lot of discussion recently about the word podcast. I heard

⏹️ ▶️ Marco there’s this great podcast called I think it’s called Next Market. I have to look this up. And this

⏹️ ▶️ Marco guy who does he’s doing interviews about people in the podcasting world talking about the business of podcasting.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And you know Leo Laporte famously does not like the word podcast and uses the word netcast

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to describe what he does. Dan Benjamin has said he doesn’t like it but he still uses it because

⏹️ ▶️ Marco although he tries to do like internet broadcasts and stuff like this there’s been a lot of you A lot of people who

⏹️ ▶️ Marco are big in the podcast world have tried to use a different word.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And I think… What do you guys think of the word podcast?

⏹️ ▶️ John I think it’s fairly terrible, and I think Apple was super-duper lucky that it caught

⏹️ ▶️ John on the way it did, because Apple didn’t coin it, but it was so tied to

⏹️ ▶️ John Apple’s product, the iPod, that it was like a happy accident. Like, oh, I guess we own this space. The

⏹️ ▶️ John name of our product’s practically in it.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I’ve never been bothered by it. Not to say you guys are wrong, but it’s never, ever, ever bothered me in

⏹️ ▶️ Casey any capacity. And I’m not the kind of person that says tumble log

⏹️ ▶️ Casey over tumbler. Or I might say photocopy. I might say Xerox. I might say tissue. I might say

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Kleenex. I never get pedantic about any of those sorts of things.

⏹️ ▶️ John See, podcast is a lame word, though. Like, I can see why people who broadcast, like, because it pigeonholes you into,

⏹️ ▶️ John like, you make things that people listen to on iPods or similar devices. And that is a narrow

⏹️ ▶️ John definition of what could possibly be the future of audio programming. You know

⏹️ ▶️ John what I mean? Like that doesn’t seem like that

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco should be. Well,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco but for a while, blog was that kind of word. For a while, saying that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco if somebody else told you that you wrote for a blog, that was an insult.

⏹️ ▶️ John But blog has a useful definition. Podcast doesn’t. Like blog, if you

⏹️ ▶️ John look up on something that tries to define a blog, it’s not going to ever call the New York Times a blog

⏹️ ▶️ John because it’s not like a personal single voice publication time separated,

⏹️ ▶️ John you know, linear stream of time separated posts not divvied up into section through multiple authors or whatever

⏹️ ▶️ John like a blog has is distinct from, you know, just a website or writing on the web,

⏹️ ▶️ John whereas podcast is all encompassing. If you make an audio program that’s not broadcast over analog

⏹️ ▶️ John radio, but distributed through the internet instead, it’s like, well, you have a podcast and I think that’s,

⏹️ ▶️ John that’s why people don’t like it.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco See, I think podcasters don’t like it. I know people love podcasts about podcasts.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Podcasters don’t like it because of the pretty bad connotation

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it has of being low quality. Because everyone’s heard bad podcasts before recorded by like,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know, some people talking into their built-in laptop mics for three hours

⏹️ ▶️ Marco about nothing. Well, I guess that’s not that far from what we’re doing.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I’m glad you

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John called yourself out on that. Do

⏹️ ▶️ John you think that’s why, maybe we should get someone on here who objects to it, who’s a broadcaster

⏹️ ▶️ John by trade, like Leo or whatever, but it’s

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco not so much associated

⏹️ ▶️ John with- Are we now? Well, but is it because it’s low quality? Because radio has

⏹️ ▶️ John terrible low quality stuff, like the guy who’s on at 2 AM or the college kids who are broadcasting their student station,

⏹️ ▶️ John radio is filled with terrible programming. If you don’t believe me, like I said, just wake

⏹️ ▶️ John up in the middle of the night and turn on the radio. There will be something bring broadcast on many frequencies and it will

⏹️ ▶️ John not be high quality content. But radio doesn’t get slammed for that. Like, oh, that’s okay.

⏹️ ▶️ John It’s, you know, it’s an amateur who granted because the airwaves are belong to all of us and are controlled

⏹️ ▶️ John by the government and they divvy out, you know, blah, blah, blah. You still have student radio stations, whereas on the internet, it’s even more

⏹️ ▶️ John wide open. And maybe, maybe the total volume is higher. Therefore, the percentage of crap is higher

⏹️ ▶️ John as well. But I really think it’s It’s because it seems like it’s as if every single website

⏹️ ▶️ John had to be called a blog. And the New York Times didn’t want to be on the web because they knew they were not a blog.

⏹️ ▶️ John But by putting something up, it comes to the New York Times blog. And it was like, no,

⏹️ ▶️ John it’s distributing written word online. We’re not a blog. And even though podcast

⏹️ ▶️ John doesn’t have the same connotations, it does lessen it. You wouldn’t think

⏹️ ▶️ John that if you fancy yourself as the audio equivalent of the New York Times, You don’t want someone

⏹️ ▶️ John calling you a podcast. That’s my impression.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco But

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey see,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco go ahead, Casey.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I just, I feel like somebody linked on Twitter today to some,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I think it was a blog post actually, where somebody said that nerds ruin everything. And I didn’t even

⏹️ ▶️ Casey read it because I could tell, or I feel like I could tell the gist of it within the first couple sentences, which was basically

⏹️ ▶️ Casey like, people who are really passionate about things end up overanalyzing and ruining them entirely.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey And I kind of feel like that’s what

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco we’re doing. I don’t know what you mean.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John When

⏹️ ▶️ Casey it comes to the word podcast, I just don’t see why it’s that offensive. And

⏹️ ▶️ Casey again, I’m not saying I’m right, I’m not saying you’re wrong. I don’t see why it’s so bothersome. It’s just a word to describe

⏹️ ▶️ Casey something. And candidly, I have never really associated that term specifically with iPods.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey And maybe that makes me odd or different or weird, but I don’t associate it specifically with iPods. Just like

⏹️ ▶️ Casey one of you guys said, I just associate it with an internet-based radio broadcast.

⏹️ ▶️ John Well, that’s what happens to any word. use any word and it just becomes

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey right

⏹️ ▶️ John it becomes the thing it is right but I think these people who have objections their objections were at the early stages

⏹️ ▶️ John I don’t know if they’re now I mean I guess they’re still doing it

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey now they

⏹️ ▶️ John are they’re still still going with netcast now because that’s just what they do and that becomes it’s almost like you know

⏹️ ▶️ John the netcast slogan from Leo has almost become like a signature brand of his network specifically

⏹️ ▶️ John as far as I know he’s the only one using it right

⏹️ ▶️ Marco yeah I think anybody else said we’re doing a netcast they would think like the fans would think he was ripping off Lee

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco right

⏹️ ▶️ John exactly so they didn’t work out but like but the genesis of of that was in the beginning, they’re like, oh, I don’t want

⏹️ ▶️ John to be thought of as just this thing that people put on iPods, because the things that

⏹️ ▶️ John coin that term are not what I’m doing. I want to be a broadcaster, and I want to have a, and then

⏹️ ▶️ John at a certain point, it just continues. But if you teleported Leo Lepore from the

⏹️ ▶️ John world before a podcast to now, and he wanted to start one, I think he would be less

⏹️ ▶️ John reticent to call what he does a podcast. I don’t know, maybe.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John See, I think…

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I’m kind of with Casey on this. Like, I think the word is a stupid sounding word, no question.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco But, podcasts have two main problems. And the,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know, one problem, as Dan said in his interview on something else, I gotta link to it,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I forgot the name of it, Dan said earlier this week, how, you know,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco one of the biggest problems of podcasts is the barriers involved in getting

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to them. them. Like if you want, if someone has never listened to a podcast before and wants to and hears

⏹️ ▶️ Marco about them, wants to get into them, then they have to like first of all, someone

⏹️ ▶️ Marco has to tell them about them because no one knows about them. Like in the rest of the world, nobody knows what the crap a podcast is.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Or at least, you know, for the most part, it’s pretty much out of the mainstream vocabulary.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And so you have to find an app, you have to have a smartphone for the most part or listen

⏹️ ▶️ Marco on your which sucks. If you have a smartphone, you have to find an app to download or to play podcasts.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco You have to find the podcast within that app, and then you have to make time to play it, and then you have to

⏹️ ▶️ Marco hear it somehow. You have to put that audio somewhere. Maybe you’ll be listening to headphones, but if you drive a lot and you

⏹️ ▶️ Marco want to listen in your car, then you need a Bluetooth connection or an aux in cable or something like that.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Technically, accessing podcasts has a lot of barriers to entry right now.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco That’s one problem. And

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John then the other

⏹️ ▶️ John thing, everything is relative. If we’re going to the second problem, the reason podcasts are as popular as they are

⏹️ ▶️ John now is because the iPod lowered the barrier of the entry below some critical threshold

⏹️ ▶️ John beyond which it became possible to be a thing. That’s true. Because before that, it was like, forget it. Nobody

⏹️ ▶️ John is going to pull this off. And the iPod, in general, made it possible for people to take audio

⏹️ ▶️ John from the internet and put it in a context where they actually want to listen to it. So that was like the first

⏹️ ▶️ John hurdle. And Dan’s dissatisfaction with the current one is like, oh, that’s great and all. It made podcasts

⏹️ ▶️ John possible to be a thing that normal people can enjoy. But there’s this next barrier of like,

⏹️ ▶️ John if you’re interested in a television show, you’re much more likely to say, hey, this cool new show I’m watching,

⏹️ ▶️ John and tell your relative the name of that show with an expectation that they will successfully, and maybe a network,

⏹️ ▶️ John they will successfully be able to watch that show with no further help from you. Whereas if you tell them the name of a podcast

⏹️ ▶️ John and they never listen to podcasts, they’re not going to make it.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah,

⏹️ ▶️ John yeah, that’s true. So we are making progress there, but there’s still like the next

⏹️ ▶️ John leap. The next leap we can see what it is out there. And it’s that it should not be. It’s great that it’s possible for

⏹️ ▶️ John people to do it on x scale, but we want to go like 10, 100 times easier still. So

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and to get there, that gets me to my second problem. The second big problem with podcasts

⏹️ ▶️ Marco is this connotation that they’re low quality. But I think that’s something that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco bloggers had to wait out, the internet had to wait out. Like I think that’s something that every media has

⏹️ ▶️ Marco when it’s new, that all the mainstream and the established media of the previous types

⏹️ ▶️ Marco all assume or say or outright defame the new thing

⏹️ ▶️ Marco as being only for amateurs or inferior. And

⏹️ ▶️ Marco especially because a lot of times at the beginning they are inferior, until people learn how to do them

⏹️ ▶️ Marco well. So I think the word podcast is fine.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco If we could pick a new one, that’d be great, but we can’t, it’s too late. And I think

⏹️ ▶️ Marco people like Leo who say netcast or who make their own alternatives, I think they’re

⏹️ ▶️ Marco doing a disservice to the podcasting world by fragmenting this term. And

⏹️ ▶️ Marco even Dan sometimes will say internet broadcast or something like that, or even internet radio

⏹️ ▶️ Marco or internet radio shows. And I think the problem is that streaming radio exists and that’s something else.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco You know, so like streaming radio, like shoutcast stations and stuff like that, or even radio-like

⏹️ ▶️ Marco services like Pandora, Spotify, and Rdio, I think those distort the meaning.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco If you tell somebody, you should really get into internet radio shows, you know, they might think of

⏹️ ▶️ Marco those things instead of podcasts. Podcast has a very specific meaning that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco is a very large category that is very distinct from those other things, and can’t

⏹️ ▶️ Marco really easily be confused with them in the vocabulary so i i think i think we we

⏹️ ▶️ Marco have this word i think we’re stuck with this word and i think it it’s not that you know people would call

⏹️ ▶️ Marco them amateurish matter what you call them because they’re new still and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and i think it’s only a matter of time just like what happened a blogs it’s only a matter of time before

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that just becomes a normal word for people and they know what you’re talking about and it doesn’t always have

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that negative connotation and It’s happening more slowly with podcasts because the podcasting

⏹️ ▶️ Marco medium as a whole is not growing as explosively as blogs did But it is growing more slowly

⏹️ ▶️ Marco later. It still is growing. It still is seeping into the world and seeping into the mainstream

⏹️ ▶️ Marco It’s just you know, it’s not it’s not exploding in the course of two years

⏹️ ▶️ Marco But I think we just have to wait it out

⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, I think the internet broadcasting thing and those other terms there’s that’s still beats trying to coin

⏹️ ▶️ John your own new word You know, like netcast, like that, even though it may be confusing,

⏹️ ▶️ John trying to come up with a generic term for what you do that doesn’t pigeonhole you under podcast still beats trying to come up

⏹️ ▶️ John with a thing like netcast or internet blast or, you know,

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco making up some

⏹️ ▶️ John other word that’s, you know, that’s why netcast seems like branding for twit because it’s like, oh, well, this is a new word that’s

⏹️ ▶️ John made up. As for like the popularity thing, like the celebrities have arrived on podcasts,

⏹️ ▶️ John like, you know, celebrities have podcasts now. So that phase of the popularization has begun at least,

⏹️ ▶️ John where the professionals are here. But the thing is, in general,

⏹️ ▶️ John it’s weird that they’re not the radio professionals. You know what I mean? It’s not like Howard Stern abandoned his

⏹️ ▶️ John radio show to have a podcast. He just went to satellite radio, right? And then he’s just going

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco to retire. Well,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John might

⏹️ ▶️ Marco be up for debate. We’ll see.

⏹️ ▶️ John Well, but the people who showed up were like stand-up comedians, television stars, people who are not trained

⏹️ ▶️ John as audio broadcasters. But they’re famous people, at least. So then you can get a podcast where

⏹️ ▶️ John a famous person interviews another famous person. It’s got name recognition and stuff. But the thing I worry about with podcasts is

⏹️ ▶️ John the way we all listen to them hinges on these few, like

⏹️ ▶️ John the mechanism by which they come to be. Like we get them onto our iPods or our

⏹️ ▶️ John phones, and that relies on software created by our phone maker. And you know, like how much

⏹️ ▶️ John of the podcast ecosystem right now is entirely dependent on the fact that podcasts are in iTunes.

⏹️ ▶️ John Like say the next version of iTunes comes out Podcasts are no longer there, period. They’re gone. Then there would be

⏹️ ▶️ John this mad dash, kind of like the Google Reader thing, to reestablish that infrastructure somewhere. And we

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco just don’t have that kind of like- Well,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco they’re already gone from the app on iOS.

⏹️ ▶️ John Well, you know what I mean. Like, you wouldn’t be able to go into some place, like on your phone

⏹️ ▶️ John or on your Mac or your Windows PC or on basically any device, you can go somewhere and search

⏹️ ▶️ John based on the name of a podcast. If you can find the right search box, you can type it in. But if those facilities went away,

⏹️ ▶️ John If they weren’t in the iTunes store and there was no iTunes directory for them, you had to find like

⏹️ ▶️ John to find this podcast and get something that can read the feed. And you had to use a third party feed reader

⏹️ ▶️ John and stuff. Having that centralized clearinghouse, we rely on that so much because this infrastructure

⏹️ ▶️ John hasn’t been built out. And like you said, all right, fine. Well, then what about when you’re going to go in your car? Oh, now you have another seven

⏹️ ▶️ John infrastructure barriers to overcome of how do I get this audio that I’ve got on my iPod or on my phone,

⏹️ ▶️ John but now I want to listen to it in my car. But my car just has a radio. How do I overcome that? And it’s a series

⏹️ ▶️ John of annoying barriers that are preventing it. What you really want to just be like, someone

⏹️ ▶️ John mentions the name of a podcast. You know exactly where to type that name. You type it in. And then anywhere you are where

⏹️ ▶️ John you could potentially listen to audio, you can listen to that thing. And we are far from that.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, that’s true. I will give you that. But I think the key to all this is the smartphone.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I really do. I mean, I devoted a lot of the last Build and Analyze episode talking about this topic in particular.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I think that the smartphone is the default device

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to listen to things on. It used to be that you’d have the iPod in your pocket, and then maybe at work you’d

⏹️ ▶️ Marco use a computer, or at home maybe you’d use some kind of stereo that used discs or something crazy like that.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco But I think it’s very clear now that the smartphone is the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco new media player, and not just for portable anymore.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I think we’re going to keep going in that direction, where the smartphone is going to continue to be the center of everything, including,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco by the way, including the way that your car not only

⏹️ ▶️ Marco integrates with your media, but the way your car connects to the Internet. I really do think that’s going to go through

⏹️ ▶️ Marco smartphone data plans. I think the phone is going to be your terminal and your modem

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and your media player to the world and everything will—just like Steve Jobs’

⏹️ ▶️ Marco digital hub thing back 15 years ago, whatever that was, but now it’s your phone and not your

⏹️ ▶️ Marco computer.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I tend to think you’re right, and something you said a little earlier, or implied a little earlier made me think,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey and I’m going to butcher what you said and put words in your mouth and I’m not going to stop talking so you can’t argue with me, but

⏹️ ▶️ Casey you had said, or implied, that podcasting isn’t really new anymore.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey And obviously this is a much more nuanced conversation than I’m giving the chance to respond

⏹️ ▶️ Casey to, but I found that interesting because I’ve actually had friends of mine, after they caught wind of the fact

⏹️ ▶️ Casey that I’m podcasting now, they’ve said to me, hey, what does it

⏹️ ▶️ Casey take to do that? Because I’ve had an idea for a podcast and I want to do that. What did you do?

⏹️ ▶️ Casey And of course, I’ve said, well, Marco did all the work and I just sit here, show up and act like a prima donna. But

⏹️ ▶️ Casey all kidding aside, I’ve had people come out of the woodwork and say, hey, I’d really love to do my own podcast. And what I’m driving at is

⏹️ ▶️ Casey it’s not new in the sense that this thing as a medium has been going on for a long time,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey but I think it’s kind of new in the sense that regular people

⏹️ ▶️ Casey are starting to grasp this and are starting to wonder, hey, can I get a piece of that pie? And I don’t mean financially, just attention-wise.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Can I get a piece of that pie? And so I almost wonder if we’re about to see maybe not a renaissance,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey but a newfound interest in podcasting, where in the same way,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey everyone ended up with a blog, and now everyone has a Twitter account.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I don’t literally mean everyone, but I wonder if a lot of what we would call regular people

⏹️ ▶️ Casey will end up having podcasts. And so we’ll all be talking into space, and nobody will be listening.

⏹️ ▶️ John That’s kind of connected with blog infrastructure, because like Squarespace, right? So if someone asked

⏹️ ▶️ John that, if someone asked me, hey, I want to have a podcast, what I would tell them at this point, based only on my secondhand knowledge

⏹️ ▶️ John of Marco doing it, It’s like, it seems like if you just get a Squarespace site, it’s pretty easy to get a podcast up and

⏹️ ▶️ John running. Right? And that’s like the same thing with back when we were blogging. It’s like, how do I get a blog

⏹️ ▶️ John up? You don’t want to tell someone, OK, step one, get a shared hosting plan. Step two, install movable type. Right?

⏹️ ▶️ John You wanted to tell them to go to edit this or whatever the old frontier thing, like one of the first sites

⏹️ ▶️ John that you could, you just go to the web page and you just edit it. And of course, the way it is now, it was a

⏹️ ▶️ John gigantic explosion and then reconsolidation of all of these web applications that you could tell anyone to use. Go

⏹️ ▶️ John to Tumblr, type in the host name you want and a username you want and a password and click a

⏹️ ▶️ John button. Great, you’re blogging. Good job. The equivalent of that for podcasting is more

⏹️ ▶️ John or less here, it seems like, with the Squarespace type thing, but we haven’t seen the proliferation. I mean, Marco,

⏹️ ▶️ John you set it up. Was it basically that easy? You just go there and say

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco you want to have a podcast? Oh,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco yeah. It really is that easy. And yeah, obviously, Squarespace has been a

⏹️ ▶️ Marco sponsor of the show for a long time and has future sponsorship so that we should disclose that but yeah of course it’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it’s extremely easy there and they aren’t the only people to make it easy I mean you can like I think word I don’t think

⏹️ ▶️ Marco which one’s the one that hosts all those sites good I don’t think they offer this

⏹️ ▶️ Marco but there there’s been a million podcast plugins for WordPress over the years like you could

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you can host a podcast pretty easily in lots of ways

⏹️ ▶️ John right are we at the tumblr phase though of podcasting or like if some random person wanted

⏹️ ▶️ John to have a blog actually the reason the reason I would direct them to tumblr is I would say it’s the easiest

⏹️ ▶️ John it can’t that’s basically as simple as it can possibly get like you type three things and you are now but you

⏹️ ▶️ John are now a blogger congratulations

⏹️ ▶️ Marco actually if I built this Easter egg a long time ago tumblr also supports podcast hosting

⏹️ ▶️ Marco if you host the files elsewhere I believe if you go to any tumblr site slash podcast

⏹️ ▶️ Marco or maybe slash podcast slash RSS it will give you a iTunes compatible podcast

⏹️ ▶️ Marco feed of any audio posts that are externally hosted

⏹️ ▶️ Marco so try that anyway I built that a long time ago never documented I don’t think

⏹️ ▶️ Marco but it probably it’s probably still there but I think you know

⏹️ ▶️ Marco podcasting inherently, you know, it’s like, like how it’s really easy for people to take

⏹️ ▶️ Marco good photos that look kind of good, but it’s a lot harder to take good video. I think podcasting

⏹️ ▶️ Marco is kind of similar in that, you know, making a, making an audio production

⏹️ ▶️ Marco is inherently more work than blogging, and it takes, like, to do it well, you

⏹️ ▶️ Marco need, you need a certain level of equipment, you know, you at least need a good microphone. Like, there’s, there’s,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco there’s a little bit more barrier just in realities of making this kind of media that I

⏹️ ▶️ Marco don’t think we’re ever going to overcome some of those barriers. Certainly we’re not going to overcome the problem of

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it being complex and unusual to be able to make a good podcast that is both

⏹️ ▶️ Marco good sounding and with compelling content. I mean, that’s always going to be, every media is going to have that challenge

⏹️ ▶️ Marco of quality and interestingness and relevance. But I don’t think we’re ever

⏹️ ▶️ Marco going to reach the point of like Tumblr where you type in three things and you have a podcast. I don’t

⏹️ ▶️ Marco think we’re ever going to reach that.

⏹️ ▶️ John I think we can get pretty close because right now the main barriers for someone doing that would be you’re not going to have

⏹️ ▶️ John a good microphone because computers don’t come with them. But maybe the microphones in your phone start

⏹️ ▶️ John getting better. Is voice recorder quality on your phone

⏹️ ▶️ John good enough? If we start all wearing crazy headsets like Google 4Cs? Oh yeah,

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco for most people, yeah.

⏹️ ▶️ John Maybe that would be sufficient. So the audio quality thing might start taking care of itself. Yeah, the content

⏹️ ▶️ John problem obviously is never going to get it. But that’s not, I mean, the content problem isn’t solved by better blogging tools either. People just write what

⏹️ ▶️ John they feel like writing. It’s just like Casey was saying, the people who he knows, they’re not looking to

⏹️ ▶️ John do anything earth shattering, but they just feel like, I could do that and my 10 friends could listen to it.

⏹️ ▶️ John I could write a blog. I could have a Tumblr blog and my 10 friends and my mom

⏹️ ▶️ John can look at it and that’s enough for me. And the podcast equivalent to that. And the barrier to that is like, your friends

⏹️ ▶️ John and your mom are not going to go through the effort to figure out how to get your stupid podcast onto their phone or iPod

⏹️ ▶️ John because that’s just too much. They’ll visit your Tumblr page and look at the amusing thing you put in there or just look at your last thing that

⏹️ ▶️ John you posted to Facebook or whatever, but podcasts are still a little bit too much of a barrier to like,

⏹️ ▶️ John do I really want to listen to this guy’s podcast? Like it’s so much easier just to look at their blog posts, because it takes more time for

⏹️ ▶️ John the thing and you got to set it up and you now you have the subscription and it’s automatically downloading and how does this podcast

⏹️ ▶️ John app work or whatever. That’s what I was talking about with the barriers to entry. I don’t think we’re quite there yet.

⏹️ ▶️ John And the other one might just be inherent, that you can read much faster than you can listen, and people

⏹️ ▶️ John can talk much more than they can write.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, that’s true. I mean, that’s always going to be a problem with audio and video. The fixed time

⏹️ ▶️ Marco scale media is that they’re much harder to skim than text. And so there’s always

⏹️ ▶️ Marco going to be limitations there, and inefficiencies, and just restrictions on

⏹️ ▶️ Marco how much time and attention people willing to give to them.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Anyway, before we go on now, it’s been so long, before we

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John go on to the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Brent post, our second sponsor and our final sponsor of this episode is a returning sponsor,

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⏹️ ▶️ Marco crap, I forgot, I think it’s 10% off if you use that as your entry point. Sorry about that.

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⏹️ ▶️ Marco Just the fact that they’re a regular store that doesn’t suck, that should be enough reason right there that you should go try them out. But

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⏹️ ▶️ Marco but they have a thing where if you’re willing to give them your

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⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah, so to add to that, just a couple days ago, my father was looking to register a domain. And he’s very

⏹️ ▶️ Casey technically savvy for someone who doesn’t do this sort of thing for a living. But I mean, he doesn’t know the ins and outs of

⏹️ ▶️ Casey DNS and those sorts of things. And so I was like, dad, just go to Hover. I have no time to deal with this right now. See if you can figure it out.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey And if not, let me know. And like 20 minutes later, he said, oh, I’ve got my domain. it’s all on hover, it worked great,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey don’t even bother calling me back, I’m all good. So it’s really, they’re really good. So

⏹️ ▶️ Casey give them a shot.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, definitely. All right, so moving on.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco So I now I do still want to talk about this Brent Simmons article, 30 minutes to sync.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco What he basically says, he suggests a solution that,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know, iCloud in its current form for developers, as we’ve talked about before in this show, and as many people have

⏹️ ▶️ Marco talked about recently. iCloud for developers has been really a mixed

⏹️ ▶️ Marco bag, mostly bad. And any kind of database sync

⏹️ ▶️ Marco or any kind of complex sync for apps with iCloud has been just tons and tons of problems,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco from simply being not functional to causing very difficult support problems

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to weird bugs, and the biggest thing being a total lack of control over what’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco going on because you don’t control iCloud as a developer. So what Brent

⏹️ ▶️ Marco suggests here is that Apple should make, rather

⏹️ ▶️ Marco than doing the current quote, magic setup where you basically say, all right, here’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco my core database, sync it and hope nothing goes wrong, which doesn’t actually work in practice,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco rather than doing that, Brent says, Apple should have basically a kind of thing where

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you can define some server side logic for them to execute

⏹️ ▶️ Marco on your behalf. And the app can talk to that logic and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it handles, and most importantly, and people can log into it or you can log into it, you can log into

⏹️ ▶️ Marco people’s iCloud accounts from your app and manage your own data, stuff like that.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And then they also would support things, he said, support periodic tasks like polling, Twitter, or

⏹️ ▶️ Marco RSS feeds or stuff like that. So and then he also points out, which we should point out also,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco this is all very, very similar to a few systems that already

⏹️ ▶️ Marco exist out there. There’s things like Heroku, which is kind of like a generic app hosting

⏹️ ▶️ Marco platform that is based on scalability automatically and stuff like that. There’s also Windows Azure

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Mobile Services, which we should disclose is a future sponsor of this show. And Brent has actually

⏹️ ▶️ Marco done promotional videos for them, and they do almost exactly what he’s asking for but without

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the iCloud authentication and integration. But I think,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco what do you guys think of this proposal? Do you think it’s realistic that, first of all, I think Apple

⏹️ ▶️ Marco never will do it, but do you think this would be a good thing if they did

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it?

⏹️ ▶️ John I think Apple is two degrees removed from being able to pull off anything like this.

⏹️ ▶️ John Like if you think of the companies that do do it, like Google and Amazon, the first stage

⏹️ ▶️ John of getting to the point where you were even able to do this is the company recognizes

⏹️ ▶️ John that one of the things they need to be really good at as a company is doing services

⏹️ ▶️ John in-house and that they can’t do each one as a kind of custom one-off

⏹️ ▶️ John special snowflake. What they need are infrastructure tools to do

⏹️ ▶️ John that. So the reason Amazon builds up its infrastructure is we have to run

⏹️ ▶️ John and it’s actually pretty popular website and we have scaling problems and we have these problems that are in here so let’s

⏹️ ▶️ John build ourselves tools to do that. Once you do that you’re like okay well we’ve built these

⏹️ ▶️ John tools internally that they’re not great but it’s like it lets us it lets us

⏹️ ▶️ John build or lets us build Google’s stuff if we change this just a little

⏹️ ▶️ John bit and shape it up we can sell this as you know EC2 or as

⏹️ ▶️ John Google App Engine or whatever that’s the second part. And once you know,

⏹️ ▶️ John Apple doesn’t even have that first part yet, I think they’re not yet able to, they haven’t yet recognized

⏹️ ▶️ John that internal infrastructure tools are important enough to the company that they need to be is just as important

⏹️ ▶️ John as like, you know, iOS, or hardware design, or silicon chips or whatever.

⏹️ ▶️ John Maybe they’re doing internally, maybe they haven’t figured out. But that’s, that’s what I think is the main barrier to them doing this is they

⏹️ ▶️ John have nothing to vend. Because as anyone who writes server side software knows, you can’t just say, Oh,

⏹️ ▶️ John you guys write some code, and we’ll run it on our servers because the first dude to put in an infinite loop goes,

⏹️ ▶️ John oh, I guess we need some way to handle that. Oh, I guess we need to handle resource usage. Oh, we’re going to run your periodic

⏹️ ▶️ John job. But I guess we need like all the things that you deal with that you have to just have an infrastructure for running

⏹️ ▶️ John arbitrary jobs in a controlled environment where you limit their CPU, but have error, you know, handling

⏹️ ▶️ John so you can let someone know why their thing didn’t complete because it was using too much of this. And, like, I mean, even shared hosting

⏹️ ▶️ John providers have to do crap like that where they’re just trying to divvy up their resources. Apple is so not equipped

⏹️ ▶️ John to do that. They’re not even equipped to run their own things in that manner. In fact, they’re farming a lot of it out to run

⏹️ ▶️ John the Windows Azure stuff, which is great that Microsoft’s good at that. But the fact that Apple isn’t means

⏹️ ▶️ John that I would not hold my breath for anything that Apple is going to provide where you give them code and they

⏹️ ▶️ John run it on their servers for you.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I would agree with all of that. And somebody in the chat room is probably laughing at me saying that because I get

⏹️ ▶️ Casey a lot of grief for saying that. But I agree with all that.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey Wait, whom do you agree with?

⏹️ ▶️ Casey both of you guys really, that I think it would be awesome. I don’t think Apple will ever do it. And I don’t think Apple’s capable of doing

⏹️ ▶️ Casey it right now. But one thing I will say is that I wish that we had, this

⏹️ ▶️ Casey is gonna sound so obvious, but bear with me. I wish that we had a little more insight, or

⏹️ ▶️ Casey not insight, we had a little more access to iCloud authentication, or

⏹️ ▶️ Casey iCloud in general, especially. But one of the things I’ve been thinking about a lot in the

⏹️ ▶️ Casey spare time I don’t have is to write a very, very, very basic

⏹️ ▶️ Casey list, not to do, but like a grocery list app. And what I mean by that is, my wife and

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I, we use Wunderlist right now to organize our shopping lists, one

⏹️ ▶️ Casey for the grocery store, one for hardware stores, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. And

⏹️ ▶️ Casey although Wunderlist is very good, it’s way more heavy handed than I need. I

⏹️ ▶️ Casey just need a list of things that are either checked off or not. And one of

⏹️ ▶️ Casey the things I’ve been thinking about is writing my own, but the problem with that is I don’t wanna have to, in the case of Azure Mobile Services, my

⏹️ ▶️ Casey understanding is you can use Facebook to log in. Does this sound familiar at all? You can use Facebook to log in,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey you can use Twitter to log in, you can use Windows Live to log in, and I think there might be one or two other options, or you can roll your

⏹️ ▶️ Casey own. And I don’t have the patience to roll my own. I get no excitement and no jollies over rolling

⏹️ ▶️ Casey my own authentication and login system. I wish I could just use

⏹️ ▶️ Casey iCloud to handle that. And I know I can when I’m talking about doing things in

⏹️ ▶️ Casey their own little silo, but I don’t, to my knowledge, there’s no way

⏹️ ▶️ Casey for me to really sync between iCloud users easily.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey And so it’s stuff like this that Brent’s talking about that I think would make it really cool and maybe make

⏹️ ▶️ Casey it possible for me to make this grocery list app for my wife and I to share that uses iCloud as a login

⏹️ ▶️ Casey mechanism that I don’t need to worry about the stuff I don’t care about. And Apple’s what’s interesting

⏹️ ▶️ Casey to me is that Apple is usually much Usually very good at abstracting

⏹️ ▶️ Casey away the things that I don’t want to care about and properly Abstracting them and in this case,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey they’ve they’ve abstracted as many developers have said they’ve abstracted too much And they haven’t

⏹️ ▶️ Casey given given us any any vision into it And it’s just this big black box that we have no control over

⏹️ ▶️ Casey and it stinks and I really wish that a lot of these things that that Brent talks about were possible,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey but I I agree with John. I don’t think that Apple’s in a position that they’re

⏹️ ▶️ Casey capable of delivering it. And I agree with you, Marco. I don’t know that they have any interest in it anyway.

⏹️ ▶️ John Well, they could do the limited version of this, which is they could,

⏹️ ▶️ John like I just joked about earlier. There’s no reason they couldn’t provide a web service to authenticate with your iCloud ID.

⏹️ ▶️ John Things that don’t involve arbitrary developers giving Apple code that Apple will run

⏹️ ▶️ John on their servers on your behalf. If they simply vended the services already available through the iCloud APIs,

⏹️ ▶️ John but did it through HTTP endpoint and allowed, because then you could write web

⏹️ ▶️ John apps against it, right? Which basically Apple does. is

⏹️ ▶️ John taking advantage of its own. I don’t know if it is. I know this is going back in time. But the

⏹️ ▶️ John iDisk website had a little JavaScript implementation that would hit against a

⏹️ ▶️ John regular sort of web service endpoint to do its work. And I’m assuming the iCloud stuff does similar

⏹️ ▶️ John things. And it’s not just all talking to Apple service, which then talk to the services behind the scenes. But there’s no reason

⏹️ ▶️ John they can’t expose some or all of the things that you currently can only do

⏹️ ▶️ John from an iOS app as a bunch of web APIs. But Apple has never, I always

⏹️ ▶️ John say Apple doesn’t understand the web. I mean, that’s kind of a harsh way to say it. But, you know,

⏹️ ▶️ John Apple doesn’t want to understand the web because they want, like the reason all this stuff is restricted to iOS

⏹️ ▶️ John is they’re not Google. They don’t win when more people use web applications or more people use the web,

⏹️ ▶️ John right? They want people to use iOS devices. So there’s not really a lot of incentive for them to say, oh,

⏹️ ▶️ John look, and now if you use iCloud as your thing where you store stuff,

⏹️ ▶️ John you can make your web app hit it too. Like, why would they want you to go to your web app? They think you should be using an iOS application.

⏹️ ▶️ John So there’s no real advantage for them to do that. But that’s one of the many, many other things

⏹️ ▶️ John to keep people away from iCloud is it’s locking you in. You can’t have a web app that uses that same back end. You can’t

⏹️ ▶️ John have an Android app that uses that same back end. Certainly Apple doesn’t want you to have an Android app or anything else. But, uh,

⏹️ ▶️ John that’s, yeah, I had some, in some degrees that there’s no motivation for Apple

⏹️ ▶️ John to do that. But on the other, on the other side, they could put web service

⏹️ ▶️ John endpoints for a limited set of things. And that would make, like, make people less reticent

⏹️ ▶️ John to use it. Why would I ever use, you know, I call people using an iOS because like, Hey, no sign in your phone is

⏹️ ▶️ John already set up with your Apple ID. It’s great to not have that sign in thing. Uh, and it’s perfect.

⏹️ ▶️ John But if that’s it, that’s the extent of that relationship with this authentication system,

⏹️ ▶️ John then it’s like, oh, but I also wanted to have a website. And so now you’ve got to bend over backwards and do something like Marco did, where like, well,

⏹️ ▶️ John Newsstand just works because you’re signed in with your Apple ID and blah, blah, blah, but I also want to have a website, but I can’t get

⏹️ ▶️ John access to that ID, so I got to figure out some system, and you know, before you know it, you’re

⏹️ ▶️ John emailing attachments with weird data in them. So.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I think also there’s a problem here of, I mean, first of all,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I guess I can see why people in our little world of Mac nerds

⏹️ ▶️ Marco so often talk about this problem, but as a developer of web services, and again,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco because I have a history of doing these things myself, and I’ve gotten pretty good at it recently,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco maybe I’m biased here, or maybe my view is somehow disordered here but

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I would I don’t I don’t see the big lineup of people wanting to build web services

⏹️ ▶️ Marco on Apple’s cloud infrastructure like that sound like as as a web service builder

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I would never want that because they’ve shown that you know they’ve shown partly

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that they don’t really care that much about reliability necessarily or about improving it

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to the point where their actions speak louder than words like you know if I’m sure

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the people working on are trying very hard to make it work, but it just seems like as a company it isn’t a very

⏹️ ▶️ Marco high priority. And you can see that in the relatively little progress it’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco made over the last few years, it just doesn’t seem like it’s a number one priority for the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco company.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John And it’s not neutral either. The way getting

⏹️ ▶️ Marco out a new iPhone is.

⏹️ ▶️ John Like S3, you feel like, well, that’s neutral. Like S3 is a bucket where I put crap.

⏹️ ▶️ John You understand the business model behind it because you pay for usage, and you’re pretty sure that Amazon,

⏹️ ▶️ John well maybe you’re less sure these days, but that Amazon is not, you’re not in competition

⏹️ ▶️ John with Amazon by making your application, your mobile application and your website that both use S3.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Right, but you know I think the other problem with Apple stuff is that because

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it doesn’t seem like it’s that high of a priority for them all the time, it’s gone through so much

⏹️ ▶️ Marco flux. Like if I would have built, I’ll list it before the show, if I would have built Instapaper

⏹️ ▶️ Marco on Apple’s web service of the time when I started it, I would have been building it on something called.Mac,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco which most people don’t even, have probably never even heard of any these days. Most people who use it had

⏹️ ▶️ Marco probably forgotten about it. You know, first it was.Mac, well

⏹️ ▶️ Marco first it was, you know, whatever it was like NetTools or whatever.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John iTunes, iTunes, that’s it. Right, iTunes.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco But there was no service. Internet Blast, something. And they, there was that, and then

⏹️ ▶️ Marco there was.Mac, which had like some internet service based things,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and then MobileMe, which had more internet based service things, and then iCloud, which

⏹️ ▶️ Marco has actually fewer internet based service things. And there is,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco like Apple’s own system is in such flux here, I would never want to build

⏹️ ▶️ Marco on that infrastructure.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey That’s exactly what I was gonna ask you.

⏹️ ▶️ John Well, if you think about that, but if you re-conceptualize all those things you just listed, including

⏹️ ▶️ John iCloud, the current one, not as infrastructure, which clearly

⏹️ ▶️ John Apple doesn’t think of them as, but merely as ways to

⏹️ ▶️ John make it easier for you to develop feature-full applications for

⏹️ ▶️ John their platform. So if you look at it that way, MobileMe,.MacSync, and all

⏹️ ▶️ John that stuff was a way for you to write a Mac application so that you didn’t have to write the sync stuff. Game center,

⏹️ ▶️ John so that you can write a game so that you don’t have to do the matchmaking, you don’t have to do the server-based scoring

⏹️ ▶️ John and stuff like that. Because maybe you just write iOS apps, maybe you just write Mac apps, maybe you don’t know or don’t care or don’t want

⏹️ ▶️ John to do the server-side stuff. So they’re trying to make it so, hey, you wanna write a game,

⏹️ ▶️ John but you don’t wanna maintain servers, write it against game center. You wanna write a Mac application, but

⏹️ ▶️ John you don’t know anything about syncing, well, we have a framework. Same way any framework works. You know, the frameworks do the work for you So that

⏹️ ▶️ John all you need to know about is dentistry for your dentist app, plus a little bit of Coco to do the UI.

⏹️ ▶️ John But you don’t need to know about OpenGL to make OpenGL animated stuff.

⏹️ ▶️ John I was going to say layer kit. Core animation does that for you, right? If you look at iCloud in that

⏹️ ▶️ John respect, it’s like, well, A, why the heck would it ever work outside of iOS? Because the whole point of it is just so that you can make

⏹️ ▶️ John a cool iOS app that has lots of interesting features without having to write the server stuff. And I don’t have a B.

⏹️ ▶️ John Or maybe I had a B and I lost it. I don’t know. But if you look at it that way, it looks

⏹️ ▶️ John less insane. But I don’t, like, first of all, if it doesn’t work well and

⏹️ ▶️ John whatever, then as we’ve talked about the length of other shows, then even in that respect, it doesn’t work. So

⏹️ ▶️ John iCloud is a failure, even if you narrow it just to that focus. But

⏹️ ▶️ John the reason we’re talking about broadening it out to having web services and stuff like that is

⏹️ ▶️ John we want it to be an infrastructure component. because lots of people who write applications don’t just want it to be easier

⏹️ ▶️ John to make a cool iOS application. They want it to be easier for them to, you

⏹️ ▶️ John know, run a business or something. So S3 provides that because I don’t wanna deal with storage but if I pay

⏹️ ▶️ John S3 for my usage, I get storage and that solves the storage problem for my business product provided

⏹️ ▶️ John like people buy my product or have some other revenue stream that I can put towards that. Whereas

⏹️ ▶️ John the iCloud thing is like, well, okay, that solves my problem how to write the iOS app, but okay, now when I go to write the Android app,

⏹️ ▶️ John I have to do something different. And now when I write the web app, maybe if Google does it well, you can write the Android app and the web

⏹️ ▶️ John app against the same infrastructure. And Apple looks like the odd man out of like, oh, I got to use iCloud with that. Or maybe I don’t. Maybe

⏹️ ▶️ John I’ll just shun iCloud like everybody else and just use whatever the other infrastructure thing is. And then

⏹️ ▶️ John once again, it ends up with Apple being fenced out of the infrastructure business. Because like Marco

⏹️ ▶️ John said, why would I ever trust them for infrastructure? Because it doesn’t seem like that’s what they’re making. They’re making this other thing.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah, but like I said earlier, as you just said, I think Apple’s technologies, their

⏹️ ▶️ Casey developer technologies, are so good at abstracting away the things we don’t care about. A perfect example is what you brought up with core

⏹️ ▶️ Casey animation. I don’t know crap about anything related to animations,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey or OpenGL, or anything like that. But I can animate the crud out of a UI view

⏹️ ▶️ Casey like the best of them, because the core animation API is so simple and so robust.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey And it’s really disappointing that Apple doesn’t have an equivalent, just like you said, for

⏹️ ▶️ Casey what we call cloud computing. And I don’t think I would use it, even if it was available

⏹️ ▶️ Casey tomorrow. But man, would I be, like, say, at WWDC, if they announced some sort

⏹️ ▶️ Casey of cloud computing platform, I would be really darn excited about it. I surely wouldn’t be the first to use

⏹️ ▶️ Casey it, but I’d be really excited about it.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I would stay very, very far away from that platform, honestly.

⏹️ ▶️ John I mean, it’s also about commitment, because the fact that they have turnover, if you think of MobileMe

⏹️ ▶️ John and Sync as like, Well, that was the thing we had five years ago. And you wrote and

⏹️ ▶️ John sold your application five years ago. And you made your money from selling that application. And that time is over. And now we assume you’re

⏹️ ▶️ John going to write a new application. And people like, bare bones with Yojimba, was like, well, actually, we’ve still got the old

⏹️ ▶️ John application. And we’d still like to keep selling it because we kept updating it. And Apple’s like, yeah, no, that time has passed.

⏹️ ▶️ John We have a new thing now. So either rewrite your application against iCloud, which doesn’t seem to work even as well

⏹️ ▶️ John as think services did, or come up with another solution. Whereas if you think of something

⏹️ ▶️ John as infrastructure, like if Amazon decided S3 was our first attempt at storage,

⏹️ ▶️ John but we’re going to sunset S3, and we’re going to replace it with S4, because that’s one more, right?

⏹️ ▶️ John And it’s totally incompatible. People will really regret ever starting a project that relied

⏹️ ▶️ John on S3 as the back end. Like, I don’t know, Dropbox, a couple of small companies that might be impacted by this decision.

⏹️ ▶️ John And once you get that reputation, like, oh, they’re not interested in building infrastructure for

⏹️ ▶️ John long-term support. And especially with things like web services and stuff where you’re not touching it, where it’s all over

⏹️ ▶️ John a network connection, there’s really no reason ever to completely sunset

⏹️ ▶️ John that type of thing. Like, you can change how S3 works, and I’m sure it has changed behind the scenes. Change all

⏹️ ▶️ John the hardware, change all the software that runs it. You just have to present the same API endpoints to the network,

⏹️ ▶️ John and then you’re good to go. But Apple, like, it’s not making infrastructure. It has no pretense of making infrastructure.

⏹️ ▶️ John It’s changed 17 times since then. So that’s why everyone is living in deadly fear. So if Apple ever did come

⏹️ ▶️ John out with something like this, they would have to explain, say up front, we understand the difference between infrastructure

⏹️ ▶️ John and the thing that makes it easier for you to write an application that you’re gonna sell for three years. And this is not

⏹️ ▶️ John that other thing, so trust us. And then still they would have to earn that trust and do a good job and so on and

⏹️ ▶️ John so forth. But that, you know, there’s a big gap.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco It also, it just seems like Apple wants to work at a higher conceptual level than that. Like

⏹️ ▶️ Marco they don’t want to expose the guts. They don’t want to expose server-side functionality. They don’t want

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to expose low-level APIs or give you low-level data access

⏹️ ▶️ Marco like that. They want it to be the Ubiquiti iCloud API

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that we expose like this in the apps, and that’s it. And I think that’s much

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to their downfall, really. I mean, there’s a few cases that benefit from that, but there’s so many that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco don’t. And as we’ve discussed in one of the earlier episodes the show, I

⏹️ ▶️ Marco think the whole concept of that is flawed. And the way they’ve tried

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to do iCloud is a simple thing, just hit this flag and call this function and it

⏹️ ▶️ Marco works. And it’s not that simple, it doesn’t just work.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And the whole concept, I think, is flawed. But I don’t see Apple

⏹️ ▶️ Marco ever going lower down the stack and ever offering that kind of deep, level

⏹️ ▶️ Marco access execution of arbitrary code in any language with

⏹️ ▶️ Marco any restrictions. I don’t see that happening. Any kind of server side stuff

⏹️ ▶️ Marco they would do would probably be in the form of

⏹️ ▶️ Marco things that you initiate locally in the apps that maybe it would be like newsstand

⏹️ ▶️ Marco API where you could enqueue a background download with a certain push

⏹️ ▶️ Marco notification or something like that. It would be these restricted cookie cutter templates. It

⏹️ ▶️ Marco wouldn’t be like, oh, you can execute arbitrary logic on the server. And I don’t see them ever

⏹️ ▶️ Marco getting into that business.

⏹️ ▶️ John Well, the Key Value Store, we keep saying iCloud, but what we’re really mostly talking about is the core data thing. But Key Value

⏹️ ▶️ John Store is an example of limited, simple functionality that does not dictate

⏹️ ▶️ John implementation. It’s just so super limited. It’s for preferences and stuff. It’s not for like, hey, store all your data here.

⏹️ ▶️ John But you can imagine that. It’s the difference between SOAP and WSDL and all

⏹️ ▶️ John that versus REST. You can imagine a really simple HTTP

⏹️ ▶️ John API for Key Value Store. It writes itself. It’s so simple because the API is so simple.

⏹️ ▶️ John And no one

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco is complaining that Key Value Store

⏹️ ▶️ John shouldn’t exist. But what Brent is talking about is that kind of thing

⏹️ ▶️ John makes sense because they’re just having infrastructure. So let me, as the application developer, worry about all these other details.

⏹️ ▶️ John I just need a place that’s not here. I need a place that’s across the network for me to put my stuff and to be

⏹️ ▶️ John able to get it back later. I’ll take care of the other details. Like it’s the bargaining stage. It’s like, you know,

⏹️ ▶️ John I know you want to do everything for me and make it magically work, but that’s not working for us. So if you just gave me a place to put stuff

⏹️ ▶️ John and I could still use my iCloud authentication, which is really great, I’ll take care of the rest of it. And,

⏹️ ▶️ John you know, and then I’ll have a good application, which it’s stepping down and saying, I’m willing to do more

⏹️ ▶️ John work to talk to your dumber bucket if I can authenticate against that bucket using the

⏹️ ▶️ John iCloud idea that’s already set up. Please, Apple, at least just let me do that.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco All right. And with that, we should wrap up. Thank you very much to our two sponsors,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco slash try. You can go co-locate your own Mac mini for 30 bucks a

⏹️ ▶️ Marco month and less for the first three months if you use coupon code ATP 50 for 50% off.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And our second sponsor was Hover. Go to slash ATP. Get a nice discount

⏹️ ▶️ Marco there. Registered domains in a way that doesn’t suck. They are the best registrar I’ve ever used

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and they’re awesome. So go to Hover to register all your domains and related domain activities such as email,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco forwarding, DNS, etc. Thanks a lot to our sponsors and thank you, John

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and Casey.

⏹️ ▶️ John Now the

⏹️ ▶️ Casey show is over, they didn’t even mean to begin Cause it was accidental,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey oh it was accidental John didn’t do

⏹️ ▶️ Casey any research, Margo and Casey wouldn’t let him Cause it was accidental,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey oh it was accidental And you can find

⏹️ ▶️ Casey the show notes at

⏹️ ▶️ John And if you’re into Twitter, you can follow them

⏹️ ▶️ Marco at C-A-S-E-Y-L-I-S-S That’s Casey Liss,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey M-A-R-C-O-A-R-M-E-N-T Marco Armin,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey S-I-R-A-C-U-S-A-C-R-A-Q-U-S-A It’s

⏹️ ▶️ Casey accidental, accidental, but you didn’t mean to

⏹️ ▶️ John Accidental, accidental, tech podcasting’s

⏹️ ▶️ John so long. Thanks. That would have been a tight show

⏹️ ▶️ John if you hadn’t had this middle section for half an hour where we talked about podcasts on a podcast.

⏹️ ▶️ John Ha ha ha ha. You derailed yourself. You did that to yourself.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I kept meaning to make that just like a blog post, and I haven’t had time. So this happened.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey So now we all get to pay the price. Yes,

⏹️ ▶️ John exactly. You can still make it a blog post. I think

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey it was interesting.

⏹️ ▶️ John It’s

⏹️ ▶️ Casey a grand tradition. Actually, I thought it was interesting

⏹️ ▶️ John too. It is, but you’re the one who’s always against talking about podcasts on podcasts. I don’t have a problem with it. I think it’s fine.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Well, no, I think it’s okay to talk about podcasts on podcasts as long as you make fun of it first.

⏹️ ▶️ John Alright,

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco then it’s okay.