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

242: These Arms Are Coming Off

Google Pixels, Amazon Echoes, Sonos One, and expensive chairs.

Episode Description:

Sponsored by:

  • Hullo Pillow: Your favorite pillow, guaranteed.
  • Betterment: Rethink what your money can do.
  • Casper: Dive deeper into the science behind the perfect mattress. Use code ATP for $50 toward any mattress purchase.

MP3 Header

Transcribed using Whisper large_v2 (transcription) + WAV2VEC2_ASR_LARGE_LV60K_960H (alignment) + Pyannote (speaker diaritization).


  1. Pre-show
  2. Follow-up: Apple TV 4K fan
  3. Sponsor: Betterment
  4. #askatp: iOS error logging
  5. #askatp: Qi chargers
  6. #askatp: Typing speed
  7. Sponsor: Hullo Pillow
  8. New Echos, Fire TV
  9. Sonos One
  10. Sponsor: Casper (code ATP)
  11. Echo Spot
  12. Ending theme
  13. Post-show: John buys a chair


⏹️ ▶️ Casey I looked at the show notes for this week. A lot of it is shit I really don’t care about. Cool. So

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I might not have a lot to say this week.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Well, you can adjust it to be things you do care about. That’s

⏹️ ▶️ Casey fine. The thing is, so the thing that’s in the show notes that I think,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey that I don’t care about that I expect to talk, that we’ll be talking about for a while is the Echo. And the thing with the Echo is

⏹️ ▶️ Casey that I’m the one that doesn’t care about it. It’s not like the world doesn’t care about it, you know what I

⏹️ ▶️ Casey mean? Like, nobody cares about the Mac Pro except YouTube numbskulls, but everyone cares

⏹️ ▶️ Casey about the Echo. So it’s not one of those things like the

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Mac Pro that I would at least attempt to railroad

⏹️ ▶️ Casey you to and change the subject. This one I know is worth talking about. I just don’t have anything to say.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I mean, if it would make you more interested, we could talk about the new Google rectangles of whatever they launched.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah, you know, we should maybe make passing mention of that. In fact, I guess we can do it now

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John because all my uh

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey no i

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco don’t

⏹️ ▶️ John know about any of those things what are they announced today

⏹️ ▶️ Marco some new phones and laptops no one’s gonna buy i didn’t know about the laptops but uh i knew about

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey the phones it’s a new

⏹️ ▶️ Marco chromebook that no one’s gonna buy because it’s way too expensive just like their previous pixel book or whatever it was yeah

⏹️ ▶️ Casey so they also announced the pixel 2 i believe it is which is their rough equivalent

⏹️ ▶️ Casey i would say more equivalent to the iphone 8 than the iphone 10 What is the official ATP stance

⏹️ ▶️ Casey on 10 versus X? Are we ignoring the official ruling? I’m

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John assuming John is not. I

⏹️ ▶️ John don’t know why people are rebelling against this. Just say 10. I don’t like it. We did it for like a decade and a half with Mac

⏹️ ▶️ John OS X and somehow now we’ve just lost that ability.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I’m gonna try really hard to just avoid saying it for a while because I do not like

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that it’s called 10. I really think it should have been called X if they were gonna spell it like that. Me

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey too.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And there are so many better reasons to call it X and the fact is the entire world

⏹️ ▶️ Marco is going to call it X. Like I bet you could go into an Apple store and ask people about

⏹️ ▶️ Marco this thing and not a single person there, including the staff, would say 10. I

⏹️ ▶️ Marco bet everybody calls it X. So it’s gonna be like this pedantic thing that Apple nerds are gonna

⏹️ ▶️ Marco be battling for the next year or more, depending on how long this name is relevant,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and we’re just gonna be sitting saying it’s ten don’t you know it’s ten and like no

⏹️ ▶️ Marco no one knows everyone’s going to say X like we we are we will we probably already

⏹️ ▶️ Marco have lost this battle on such a massively bigger scale than we

⏹️ ▶️ Marco ever were even trying to battle on Mac OS X or 10 and the fact is

⏹️ ▶️ Marco most people didn’t ever really have to say OS 10 you know but everyone

⏹️ ▶️ Marco says the name of the iPhone and a lot more people have them than I’ve ever had Max.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco So it’s I think it you know calling it the 10

⏹️ ▶️ Marco was a bad move and also they’re going to lose you know the public perception of this name

⏹️ ▶️ Marco if they haven’t already. So regardless I don’t think we’re ever getting convinced

⏹️ ▶️ Marco John to have the show have an official position other than 10.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John However

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I will file a dissenting opinion that I believe it should be called

⏹️ ▶️ Marco X and and I might occasionally call it X because that’s what I call it in my head and I’ll

⏹️ ▶️ Marco try to say 10 around you guys, just like, you know, I appreciate when people try to say

⏹️ ▶️ Marco online instead of in line in front of New Yorkers, but I don’t think I’m

⏹️ ▶️ Marco gonna be able to do it. I’m going to slip up and we’re gonna have to be okay with that because the entire world

⏹️ ▶️ Marco is going to call it iPhone X.

⏹️ ▶️ John I don’t see how this is any different than Mac OS X except for by scale. The whole world called it X for the Mac OS

⏹️ ▶️ John too, but that didn’t stop everyone who knows the difference in the Mac community from saying 10.

⏹️ ▶️ John I think it should be the same way. Of course, yeah, you slip up every once in a while, but to take a contrary stance and to purposely

⏹️ ▶️ John say X instead, that’s silly. And all the reasons everyone else is going to say X instead of 10

⏹️ ▶️ John don’t apply to us because we know how it’s said. Well,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco but it’s a little different too because almost no one ever has to give the full

⏹️ ▶️ Marco name of the OS of their computer that they have. But if they were all called

⏹️ ▶️ Marco PowerBooks And people would always say PowerBook,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and we’d be like, you know it’s PowerBook. That would be way more ridiculous seeming. You don’t have

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to

⏹️ ▶️ John correct people though. Just because you say 10 doesn’t mean you have to be the person who corrects other

⏹️ ▶️ John people. All we’re just talking about is what will you say or try to say, because obviously you slip up and you say X,

⏹️ ▶️ John whatever, right? That’s it. It doesn’t mean when people say X, you’re gonna correct them

⏹️ ▶️ John or be obnoxious about it or whatever, but it’s just about what we’re gonna say. And again, I don’t think this is,

⏹️ ▶️ John we didn’t have this discussion about Mac OS X. I heard, who’s gonna say X? No, we just all said X. And

⏹️ ▶️ John if you messed up and said X, oh well. But it has nothing to do with what other people say or whether

⏹️ ▶️ John you should correct them. So I don’t think there’s any debate to be had.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Well, but Mac OS is not, Mac OS is a terrible analogy for a couple of reasons.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Number one, it was established before most people came to the Mac. And yes, I know, John, you’ve been using

⏹️ ▶️ Casey the Mac since 1912, blah, blah, blah. But for like Marco and I, We came to the Mac

⏹️ ▶️ Casey when it was already clearly established and a couple of versions in to OS 10. So this

⏹️ ▶️ Casey train had already left the station.

⏹️ ▶️ John But it was clearly established that everyone said X. The only people who said 10 was like Apple

⏹️ ▶️ John nerds. That’s it. Everyone else said X. Because it was literally never said. It was like the 10 commercials.

⏹️ ▶️ John They just show the text. They don’t really have an announcer

⏹️ ▶️ John talking about it. So it’s the same situation. Anyway, it’ll be fine. Like just say 10, you’ll be fine.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Well, the other thing is like if you were communicating to somebody who thought that it was X, if

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you say Mac OS 10, I think they can figure that out pretty easily. If you say

⏹️ ▶️ Marco iPhone 10 to a person who thinks it’s iPhone X, they’re not going to know

⏹️ ▶️ Marco what you’re talking about.

⏹️ ▶️ John That’ll be fine. It’s like GIFGIF. They’ll figure it out.

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey Oh, don’t even start with that. And like

⏹️ ▶️ John GIFGIF, I feel like if you surrender to the other person’s incorrect pronunciation, that

⏹️ ▶️ John is, you lose, right? just you say it the right way and eventually they’ll bend to your will. Yeah, that always

⏹️ ▶️ John works. In a conversation it will. Like in a gif-gif conversation, the first person to give and to use the

⏹️ ▶️ John other person’s pronunciation loses.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I see what you’re saying there. But the other thing, the other thing I was gonna say earlier, you know, other than

⏹️ ▶️ Casey OS X having already been established by the time Mark won, I got there, is that nobody really gives a crap about Mac OS.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I do, you two do, but nobody in the grand scheme of things gives a crap about Mac OS. Whereas

⏹️ ▶️ Casey there are many, many, many, Many people who give a crap in many more people who give a crap

⏹️ ▶️ Casey about iPhones

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John And they don’t give a

⏹️ ▶️ John crap about iPhone names believe me 5c 5s 6s 6s plus only

⏹️ ▶️ John we know those names that people want to do They buy those phones. It’s like whatever. I got the plus. Do you have the plus

⏹️ ▶️ Marco no everyone knows which iPhone they have?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John They all know that believe. I don’t know about that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco people know it’s like oh I have I have a successor like people know that

⏹️ ▶️ John I don’t think they do I I think they, especially since they all look the same, you

⏹️ ▶️ John know, anyway, it’ll be fine. Just, we’ll just, we should set an example for everybody

⏹️ ▶️ John else by saying 10.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John I do not

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey agree.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey So anyway, so, so Google released the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL. Let me

⏹️ ▶️ Casey start by saying that I did not watch any of the keynote because I was in meetings

⏹️ ▶️ Casey And all I knew was that this thing happened.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey And most of my coworkers that are local in my office are all Android users,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey the coworkers on the mobile team. And so I get a lot of the

⏹️ ▶️ Casey bleed from them being enthusiastic. Like just because they’re enthusiastic, I’m interested in what’s

⏹️ ▶️ Casey going on. And so I asked one of them, what’s the executive summary? And they actually

⏹️ ▶️ Casey linked me to The Verge, which I am not the biggest Verge fan, but it’s a pretty good executive summary of what’s going on

⏹️ ▶️ Casey here. And I’ll talk about it in a minute. But what was most fascinating and frustrating

⏹️ ▶️ Casey to me was that one of my coworkers, one of the QA guys, he’s

⏹️ ▶️ Casey the iOS QA person, but his personal phone is an Android phone. And he sent me a screenshot

⏹️ ▶️ Casey of his reservation or order or whatever it was for his brand new Pixel 2.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey He sent this to me like 10 minutes after the keynote. Imagine that, gentlemen. Imagine,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey moments after the keynote, you could go to a company that actually understands that the internet is a thing,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey and you could order your device right then and there, in the middle of the day, like

⏹️ ▶️ Casey an adult, instead of having to wake up like a friggin’ animal at three in the morning, just throw money at

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Apple, because we’re all idiots that just need it pulsing through our veins. It made me so

⏹️ ▶️ Casey angry when I found out that he could just order right then and there like it was nothing.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco So grumpy.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco In all fairness, A, nobody comparably buys these things or wants them, and B,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Google screws up lots of other stuff about selling

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey phones directly, things

⏹️ ▶️ Marco like support, returns. There’s no retail angle, really. I mean, there’s also…

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Apple’s way ahead of Google when it comes to the business of selling people phones

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and then supporting them by so many miles that it’s comical to even compare them.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco But yeah, I mean, really, what this really comes down to ultimately is that they can open up pre-orders for this thing

⏹️ ▶️ Marco immediately and sell it, you know, and start selling it immediately because the numbers are so much

⏹️ ▶️ Marco dramatically smaller than what Apple sells and so comparably few people are

⏹️ ▶️ Marco even paying attention, let alone ordering these things and using them and owning them, that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it’s a totally different game.

⏹️ ▶️ John You know who’s paying attention? I’m paying attention to the fact that you tried to skip follow-up and ask ATP.

⏹️ ▶️ John No,

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no,

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey no, no, no,

⏹️ ▶️ John no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no,

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no,

⏹️ ▶️ John We’re going to do the

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey Google I O in a pre-show? Yeah.

⏹️ ▶️ John I need you to send me links to these things. I Google for them and I don’t see what you’re talking about.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey All right. I will put a link in the show notes, in the chat, in the robot. It will be everywhere. But

⏹️ ▶️ Casey the reason that this ran long was because we got talking about names and how stupid iPhone 10

⏹️ ▶️ Casey is, and then we’re getting sidetracked with me moaning about having to wake up at three in the morning to spend an absurd amount

⏹️ ▶️ Casey of money that I should be so lucky as to have on a phone that I don’t need. So moving on from first

⏹️ ▶️ Casey world problems. It’s amazing. Moving on from my first world problems. The

⏹️ ▶️ Casey most fascinating thing to me, well, there’s a couple of interesting things to me about these Pixel 2 devices.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey One is the aesthetic look of them. So if you go to the Verge post and you know, they have this tremendous video

⏹️ ▶️ Casey right up front and then you scroll down a little bit and you see these phones. And in

⏹️ ▶️ Casey a lot of ways, they remind me of like older iPhones when you look at the top half.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey And I can’t really put my finger on why. I guess it’s because it’s more rectangular, I guess.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey But then as you scroll down the page, maybe it’s just because my window is smaller, but anyway, as I scroll down, I see the bottom of the phone,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I realize, is it upside down? Because the top and bottom look exactly the same. And that’s

⏹️ ▶️ Casey a little bit peculiar to me. Now, in the defense of this phone, I believe both of these are

⏹️ ▶️ Casey certainly speakers. And having stereo speakers that are pointed at you rather than having the bottom

⏹️ ▶️ Casey speaker pointed down and the top speaker pointed at your face. That’s kind of cool,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey but aesthetically this looks odd to me.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco You can

⏹️ ▶️ Marco squeeze it to get Google Assistant.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey Yes,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey that’s right, I forgot about that. That’s a good point, I wouldn’t have brought that up, and so I’m glad you reminded me. But yeah, what do they

⏹️ ▶️ Casey call it? They had some truly terrible marketing name for it, like Active Something or something like that?

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco Shoot, I don’t remember what it was.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Active Squeeze, Force Squeeze, who knows? Active Edge,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey squeezable sides, there you go. That’s awful. Active Edge, how

⏹️ ▶️ Casey truly terrible is that?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco That’s even worse than Apple’s modern, like, undiscoverable gestures. That’s, like,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco what do you think is worse? Like, squeeze for assistant or shake to undo? I

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey don’t

⏹️ ▶️ Casey know, that’s a tough call. But the thing that was most interesting to me about this was

⏹️ ▶️ Casey the way they’re doing portrait mode. And I mean this genuinely, I’m not trying to snark.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey The way they’re doing portrait mode is, and I’m probably gonna get the details slightly wrong,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey but in the single rear lens, They don’t do a two lens setup

⏹️ ▶️ Casey like Apple does, or 16 lens setup like our friends at Light do, but they do a single lens.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey But what’s interesting is each of the pixels in the sensor is apparently

⏹️ ▶️ Casey two different pixels. And I know that doesn’t make sense, and that’s the best

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I can do to explain it without really going into nuance, but suffice to say, they’ve effectively

⏹️ ▶️ Casey got a two lens system, or really, I guess I should say a two sensor system,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey because the actual single sensor does a two for one, it’s, I guess it’s

⏹️ ▶️ Casey a closeout sale on pixels or whatever,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John but anyway, it

⏹️ ▶️ Casey has two pixels for, for where I guess

⏹️ ▶️ Casey one pixels worth of data, if that makes any sense at all. So what they do is they kind of have the two,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I’m saying lens, I don’t mean that, I guess, literally, but they have a similar setup to the two lens system that Apple

⏹️ ▶️ Casey has, but they have it with only one lens. And then they use, you know, machine learning, which is Google’s

⏹️ ▶️ Casey favorite thing. And you know what, I don’t blame them because they actually can do it pretty well. They use machine learning

⏹️ ▶️ Casey to kind of extrapolate and interpret what these two pixels are seeing

⏹️ ▶️ Casey in order to get their own portrait mode, which coincidentally they’ve literally called portrait mode.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I just thought that was kind of cool and a clever approach because having the two

⏹️ ▶️ Casey lenses on the back, I mean, it doesn’t offend me, but I don’t think it looks particularly

⏹️ ▶️ Casey great, especially with the camera bump, which this does not have.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John No, it’s

⏹️ ▶️ Casey a

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John camera bump. Oh no, I’m sorry, it does have a camera bump. No, no, you’re right,

⏹️ ▶️ John you’re right. It has a fingerprint sensor on the back

⏹️ ▶️ Casey too, right? Yes, it does. And I apologize, you were absolutely right about the camera bump.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, I mean, these phones, like, and you know, just superficially, the Pixel, the regular Pixel 2,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco like the regular sized one, not the plus sized one, the top and bottom

⏹️ ▶️ Marco bezels look comically large by today’s standards. Like, it’s funny, like, the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey iPhone 10

⏹️ ▶️ Marco comes out and immediately, You can do

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey it!

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco immediately ruins the look of all previous iPhone proportions forever, right?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And like the Pixel 2 has pretty much all iPhone proportions and it looks just impossibly

⏹️ ▶️ Marco old now. The Pixel 2 10L has much

⏹️ ▶️ Marco more of like an S8 style proportion where it’s almost, it’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco kind of like what people want Apple to do with the iPhone 10 where

⏹️ ▶️ Marco they lop off the top and bottom and just make it black and just give a curved thing in the middle.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And I don’t think it’s that attractive, honestly. So maybe this is kind of why

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Apple didn’t do that. Like maybe they found the same thing, they tried it and they’re like, oh, it just doesn’t look as good,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I don’t know. But anyway, every time that a new Google official

⏹️ ▶️ Marco phone comes out, back when they were called Nexus’s and now that they’re called Pixel’s, here’s what’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco gonna happen. All the gadget nerds are going to fawn all over certain features of this.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco They’re all gonna say, man, this is the best phone at feature X, Y, or Z, or

⏹️ ▶️ Marco this is the best Android phone ever made. And then like in three months, Samsung’s gonna come out with

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a better one, and no one will actually keep using this phone long-term.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Everybody will tell you how great it is, and they’re so glad Google’s making these awesome

⏹️ ▶️ Marco phones, and this is the best at these certain things, but none of them will actually switch to it permanently.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco They’re all gonna either go back to their iPhones, or they’re going to go to whatever Samsung launches next,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco or go back to what Samsung launched recently. Because Google just does not,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco they make this great hardware that’s good in reviews, but it’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco usually not class-leading in the big picture, and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco also, they never sell very many of them, comparably speaking, because their retail

⏹️ ▶️ Marco distribution game is crap compared to all their competitors, at least compared to Samsung

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and Apple. So it’s funny, it’s fun to me to look at

⏹️ ▶️ Marco these things when they come out and to say, oh, that’s interesting, just like everyone else. But it’s hard for me to ever see Google’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco launches like this having a major impact on the market, really. They have a major impact on reviews

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that make it seem like they’re going to have a major impact on the market, but they never do. I

⏹️ ▶️ Casey don’t know if that’s entirely true, though, because I think these are the darling phones of the people

⏹️ ▶️ Casey that are like us, but like Android. And so your point is 90%

⏹️ ▶️ Casey true, I think, but these certainly do make a big splash and I think are held onto by the people who

⏹️ ▶️ Casey really, really truly love Android. Now I won’t make any snarky comments about

⏹️ ▶️ Casey how many people that is, and I won’t guess

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco publicly that it’s

⏹️ ▶️ Casey about 10, but nevertheless, I do think it’s important.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John Do they all work for the Verge? Potentially.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey The other thing about this phone, like the front, I agree with you that the proportions look wrong now that I’ve seen an

⏹️ ▶️ Casey iPhone 10. But the back, this two-tone

⏹️ ▶️ Casey thing, do not want. Like if you scroll down the Verge article, it’s almost all the way at the bottom.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey This two-tone that they’ve had for two years running now does not work for me at

⏹️ ▶️ Casey all. I think it looks like garbage.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, I mean, no one’s buying this phone for the looks, let’s be honest. Same as other Google stuff in the past.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco The people who buy this are reviewers and people who really,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Like tech nerds who very closely follow Google and the Android world.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco It’s not going to be a lot of normal consumers.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey So anyway, I thought it was worth bringing up. And I’m sorry that we have an extended pre-show

⏹️ ▶️ Casey this time, Mr. Syracuse.

⏹️ ▶️ John I kind of like the black and white one with the little orange button on the side. It’s kind of Storm Trooper-y. It’s

⏹️ ▶️ John always a good look. The most offensive thing about the back of it is that terrible G logo. Yeah, I noticed that

⏹️ ▶️ John too. It’s pretty bad. And I guess the touch sensor. How does the squeeze part work

⏹️ ▶️ John if you have a case? Does that impair squeezability? Do you have to get a squeezable case? Do they have little cutouts

⏹️ ▶️ John for both the belly button and the squeeze sides, right? Can you imagine a case that’s rigid all around but then

⏹️ ▶️ John has squishy areas for the squeeze? No, it’s not.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco No, I mean, everything I said earlier, I don’t want this to

⏹️ ▶️ Marco be the case. I want somebody in the Android world to make phones

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that are really, really nice and that really kick Apple in the pants

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and make everyone compete on a higher level. Samsung doesn’t do that.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Samsung makes phones that have great specs, but usually have

⏹️ ▶️ Marco lots of downsides. I gotta say, they are getting better at

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the physical design side, but they still always have a lot of weird, bizarre,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco dumb features and downsides and weird decisions. I think Google is coming closest

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to being able to compete with really nice stuff in the Android world.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco But they’re just so far from actually being on the same level that I don’t think Apple looks at this

⏹️ ▶️ Marco at all and is threatened by this. I also think that, again, their lack of having much retail power

⏹️ ▶️ Marco or distribution power to get these things sold in large volumes, I think that just doesn’t intimidate

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Apple at all. I wish there was higher level competition here, but there just isn’t yet.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, I agree.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey All right, 20 minutes later, we’re done with the pre-show. what

Follow-up: Apple TV 4K fan

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I’m sorry, John. Oh, man. All right. So let’s, let’s quote unquote,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey start with some follow up. John, how’s your fan? Do you hear the

⏹️ ▶️ Casey fan in your Apple TV?

⏹️ ▶️ John And that’s the thing, just one follow up item this week is just poor planning. It’s just poor planning. This

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco could have

⏹️ ▶️ John gone to topics. And like I said, what about, what about Ask ATP? Like, you

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey know,

⏹️ ▶️ John how soon we all forget.

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco Anyway, one follow

⏹️ ▶️ John up item this week, Just one. I do have my Apple TV 4K.

⏹️ ▶️ John I rotated my Apple TVs, a couple of notes about the thing. First,

⏹️ ▶️ John just to confirm about the output format thing, the person who wrote in to tell us that you can change

⏹️ ▶️ John to 24 hertz, but only in 4K, I found that also to be the case, despite the fact that my

⏹️ ▶️ John television can accept 24 hertz input, the Apple TV will not send it because it’s not a 4K TV.

⏹️ ▶️ John So if I had a 4K TV, I could do 24 hertz, but because I have a 1080p TV, I can’t.

⏹️ ▶️ John Second thing is setting up the Apple TV. It’s got that thing where you bring the phone near it. Was that in the old one? Or is that

⏹️ ▶️ John the new HomePod

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco thing? I thought it was. It was in the old

⏹️ ▶️ John one. Oh, anyway, that was nice. But then I realized, oh, I have to re-download

⏹️ ▶️ John all my purchased apps and then remember how they were arranged and stuff like that. If you’re setting up a new Apple

⏹️ ▶️ John TV 4K and find yourself in that situation, stop because there is a setting

⏹️ ▶️ John somewhere in settings in the settings app that I forget what it’s called, like home screen sync or something,

⏹️ ▶️ John you can tell it to make this Apple TV like all your other Apple TVs. In other words, keep the

⏹️ ▶️ John home screens in sync with each other. And so you turn that on and it will, I think it’ll automatically download the apps, but certainly

⏹️ ▶️ John it will rearrange them to be in the same order as they were on your other Apple TV, which saves a lot of time.

⏹️ ▶️ John Unfortunately, you still have to log in with all your applications, and doing that is

⏹️ ▶️ John a super pain. Like there’s this feature, I don’t know if it’s new, because I haven’t set up an Apple TV in forever.

⏹️ ▶️ John But when you’re launching an app and it wants you to like log in, like not log into the Netflix

⏹️ ▶️ John app, right? And you have to log in with your email address and password, which is how you just log

⏹️ ▶️ John into Netflix everywhere. And when you do that, Apple TV tries to remember

⏹️ ▶️ John the email address you entered because it’s such a pain to enter things with a remote so that the next time you go to a different app to log

⏹️ ▶️ John in, it will give you a choice of recently used email addresses. There’s actually a section

⏹️ ▶️ John in settings that shows all your recently used email addresses, which sounds like a good idea, because hey, I don’t wanna type out an email address

⏹️ ▶️ John more than one time. But since I use the remote app on my phone to type things in

⏹️ ▶️ John instead of using the terrible Apple TV remote, there’s some weird interaction. Apparently no one

⏹️ ▶️ John at Apple ever did this because I enter the email address, da da da da da da da da da da, and

⏹️ ▶️ John you know, it works fine, and I sign in and everything like that. And then I go to the second app and it says, choose from your recent email addresses, and it shows

⏹️ ▶️ John my iCloud email, because it knows that one because I’m signed into iCloud on my LTV. And then the other choice is the

⏹️ ▶️ John first letter only of my previous email address, like a single letter. And as I entered in multiple

⏹️ ▶️ John email addresses to sign into multiple services, it would only save the first letter. And I think it’s because I was typing it

⏹️ ▶️ John all on my phone, like the phone remote app. That’s a stupid, terrible bug. I’m like, all right, well, I’ll

⏹️ ▶️ John go into settings and I’ll be able to edit those. Nope, all you can do is delete them in settings. So I had to

⏹️ ▶️ John delete all the single character email addresses, but that’s a dumb bug and they should fix that. But I do like

⏹️ ▶️ John the idea of it remembering the feature. And for the other things, there’s like the, please select your television

⏹️ ▶️ John provider, right? And my television provider is on the list. I’m like, oh, this is great. This is that single sign-on

⏹️ ▶️ John thing. I’m not quite sure what it’s doing with my provider, like what part

⏹️ ▶️ John of the process it’s streamlining, but having signed into Umteen applications for all the services that I subscribe to

⏹️ ▶️ John and being bounced from webpage to application to around and around in circles and going to like

⏹️ ▶️ John slash activate and all these other URLs and typing in four letter codes, I don’t think it was any single

⏹️ ▶️ John sign-on that entering my television provider saved me from. In fact, the worst offender was, I think it

⏹️ ▶️ John was Showtime or something. As far as I could tell, they launch the app and it says,

⏹️ ▶️ John please go to like slash activate. And you’re like, okay, I’m gonna do that, I’m gonna type in this code.

⏹️ ▶️ John When you go there, as far as I could tell, it demands that you download their iOS app just so

⏹️ ▶️ John you can activate their

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey app on Apple

⏹️ ▶️ John TV. You download the iOS app and that’s the only time you get to type in the code.

⏹️ ▶️ John It’s logging into television apps is the worst thing ever. So home screen sync is great. I wish it also synced the fact

⏹️ ▶️ John that I’m logged into a million of these services. And someone added one final item

⏹️ ▶️ John here about remote improvements. As far as I can tell, there are none that I

⏹️ ▶️ John can detect other than the raised ring, which helps less than I thought it would

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco because I think my main

⏹️ ▶️ John complaint, I mean, I guess I don’t pick it up backwards as much as most people because I look at it.

⏹️ ▶️ John And the reason I look at it is because it’s like, I said, like, it’s like a mouse trap or like a game of operation. Like you just, you

⏹️ ▶️ John have to look at it to gingerly pick it up so that you don’t accidentally cause something to happen. People are saying that it is better

⏹️ ▶️ John about accidental input, but I don’t like it when the progress bar comes up and like overlays

⏹️ ▶️ John the show that people are watching. Frequently I will pick it up to just, you know, use the volume or something like that and accidentally

⏹️ ▶️ John graze the touch pad and now you gotta do a five count for the, you know, the progress bar to

⏹️ ▶️ John disappear off the screen. I don’t like that remote, it’s still bad.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I mean, I will say that the ring around the menu button does

⏹️ ▶️ Marco help. Because it is noticeably raised. And so

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it now does feel different if you hold it wrong. And you can orient yourself by

⏹️ ▶️ Marco feel with that button. But that’s the only problem it solves. This remote has lots

⏹️ ▶️ Marco of other problems.

⏹️ ▶️ John It doesn’t even really solve that problem though, because if you grab it upside down, and you go, oh, I don’t feel the ridge, so I

⏹️ ▶️ John know I’m holding it upside down. Well, guess what? has been all over that touchpad by this point. And it has done, it

⏹️ ▶️ John certainly has brought up the progress bar, and who knows what else it might have done, especially if you gripped it firmly, instead of gingerly like

⏹️ ▶️ John the beautiful, delicate little insect that it is, right? If you actually grabbed the remote, you probably not only

⏹️ ▶️ John grazed the touchpad, but activated the pressure sensitive button, and who knows what you

⏹️ ▶️ Marco did. It’s the worst. Yeah, I mean, I’m not quite as hard on it as you in this regard,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco however, the white circle, the raised white circle on this button

⏹️ ▶️ Marco does help, but the remote is still a terrible remote. And I wish they would have

⏹️ ▶️ Marco done substantially more to actually redesign this thing instead of

⏹️ ▶️ Marco basically digging in and saying, no, this is fine, here, take a stupid white ring. Like, that’s basically

⏹️ ▶️ Marco what this revision says.

⏹️ ▶️ John Oh, and I was frequently faced with the prompt that says, hold down the speaker button to speak. Like, very often, you know, it’s like, let me just

⏹️ ▶️ John speak this thing that I have to enter here instead of typing, because even just typing on your phone gets tedious after a while. Like, I’m

⏹️ ▶️ John not very good with the phone size keyboard or whatever. So I’m like, okay, it’s prompting me with a little speaker

⏹️ ▶️ John on it. It says, hold down the button and talk into your microphone. And that often works if you just want to say, like, watch

⏹️ ▶️ John Game of Thrones. It will do that. Like, that part of the Apple TV experience is great. Anytime you don’t have to use the remote, you’re like, yes,

⏹️ ▶️ John right? And so I’m in a text field of some kind, and it’s telling me, hold down the remote and talk. And

⏹️ ▶️ John I would hold down the remote and start to talk. And as soon as I started to talk, it would just go bloop, and it would like stop listening

⏹️ ▶️ John to me. And then it would say, hold down the remote and try to talk. And I would hold down the remote and start to talk, It would go bloop and stop listening

⏹️ ▶️ John to me. Like, it wouldn’t, maybe I’d get like one character out or it wouldn’t type anything. It was just

⏹️ ▶️ John like, why? Why, what is happening? Why do you hate me? You’re a brand new thing out of the box. You’re presenting

⏹️ ▶️ John me a native text field with the native, you know, the little picker with the alphabet and the three

⏹️ ▶️ John things. Oh yeah, and during the setup experience, they had this crazy on-screen prompt. They’re asking me a bunch of

⏹️ ▶️ John questions and a series of like sort of wizard type screens that are asking

⏹️ ▶️ John you questions. there would be a thing highlighted and below it, like the corners of a triangle,

⏹️ ▶️ John like were two buttons. And your highlight would be on like the top point of the triangle,

⏹️ ▶️ John like that button. And there would be a button, you know, sort of Southwest

⏹️ ▶️ John and a button Southeast. And I couldn’t for the life of me figure out which direction it

⏹️ ▶️ John wanted me to swipe to get to the Southwest or Southeast button. Because swiping South

⏹️ ▶️ John did nothing, right? And you’re like, I don’t swipe west to get southwest.

⏹️ ▶️ John And as far as I could tell, it was like, any direction you swipe to do anything would always

⏹️ ▶️ John bring you to the default button. And then if you didn’t want the default, you could swipe right, because the default button was on the

⏹️ ▶️ John left. But it was like this weird puzzle game of figuring out how I move the selection basically

⏹️ ▶️ John down and to the left. It was the worst. I don’t know how that,

⏹️ ▶️ John did you experience this when you were setting it up, Marco?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco No, my experience, my setup experience was pretty flawless. And in fact,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I was actually also going to compliment that my my, you know, keep the home screens in sync thing

⏹️ ▶️ Marco worked great. I mean, probably because I use far fewer apps than it sounds like you do, and I have far fewer

⏹️ ▶️ Marco accounts for things that I need to sign into. For me, it’s basically just like Netflix and HBO.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Now go thing. That’s it. Like that’s I don’t really have anything else

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John on there.

⏹️ ▶️ John You did have to I’m not gonna re-sign into those, but I thought it was like a wizard at the beginning that forced you to pick all the things that I was picking

⏹️ ▶️ John that gave you the triangle buttons where, I forget what the highlight is on, but yeah, the dragging

⏹️ ▶️ John southwest, I would like swipe what I think was southwest and the selection would just not move. It would just not

⏹️ ▶️ John move, and so I would do south. It wouldn’t move. I think it wanted you to go like dead west

⏹️ ▶️ John to select an item on the screen southwest, infuriating. I should have taken pictures of the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco screen. No, I did not have those issues, But I mean, a lot of this UI has

⏹️ ▶️ Marco been like three quarters baked for two years now and doesn’t seem to be getting

⏹️ ▶️ Marco put back in the oven. So wouldn’t surprise me.

⏹️ ▶️ John And anyway, that’s it. I’ve got my 4K Apple TV. I rotated all the Apple TVs and now I have one free one. Like my Apple

⏹️ ▶️ John TV 3 is now like

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco the

⏹️ ▶️ John travel TV. Oh, and I usually use, this is a TiVo complaint. I usually

⏹️ ▶️ John use the, I have an old TiVo remote that I use with an old Apple TV and I trained it on the TV that

⏹️ ▶️ John rotated up to the bedroom. But the problem is the new stupid bent TiVo that I have up there, like

⏹️ ▶️ John they’re top of the line box essentially. As far as I can tell, there is no way to get

⏹️ ▶️ John it to not receive signals from my TiVo remote. I even have, the technique I used before is TiVo remotes

⏹️ ▶️ John used to have a one, two switch on them. You could switch it to the one side or the two sides. You could have two TiVos hooked up to your TV and you’d have

⏹️ ▶️ John one remote set to one and one remote set to two so they wouldn’t interfere with each other, which was a great idea. And TiVo’s really smart.

⏹️ ▶️ John But the new TiVos, no matter what I set any of the remotes to, this bent TiVo

⏹️ ▶️ John sees, obeys the commands of any TiVo remote. So you can’t use the TiVo remote with the Apple TV, or

⏹️ ▶️ John you can, but you will realize that you are blindly going through menus accidentally, who knows, possibly

⏹️ ▶️ John deleting stuff or recording things you don’t want, because every time you press a button, the TiVo

⏹️ ▶️ John registers the command in addition to the Apple TV. So that’s kind of crappy, so we have to use the crappy

⏹️ ▶️ John Apple TV remote upstairs

⏹️ ▶️ Marco now. I’m sorry, John, I know that’s hard for you. I think you

⏹️ ▶️ John can turn

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco off the IR

⏹️ ▶️ John on the thing and they just make it do Bluetooth only, but then you can’t do the volume control because the volume control is IR. It’s

⏹️ ▶️ John a complicated situation. I also have a piece of tinfoil covering the other TiVo that’s up there. I have two TiVos and Apple

⏹️ ▶️ John TV up there. The tinfoil works great though, by the way. It’s like, where’s the IR

⏹️ ▶️ John sensor? How do I stop the IR? Guess what? Tinfoil over the whole front of it. Oh my God. Solves that problem. That’s incredible.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey And when you don’t need it to block your TiVo, you can wear it as a hat.

⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, no, I wanted to just get rid of it, but we have tons of pre-recorded stuff on there, so we’re slowly

⏹️ ▶️ John and painfully transferring it from the old TV to the new TV, which takes forever for a variety of

⏹️ ▶️ John dumb reasons, most of which have to do with the weak Wi-Fi signal that I have in that corner of the house

⏹️ ▶️ John where the TV is. And the fact that I think it’s like 802.11b or something,

⏹️ ▶️ John like it doesn’t even have Wi-Fi built in the old one, so it’s got a little adapter hanging out the end, so the Wi-Fi speeds

⏹️ ▶️ John are super slow. Anyway, eventually we will get rid of that box and the, uh,

⏹️ ▶️ John and someone in the chat room is asking me if I heard of Eero. We do have Eero. We have five bars, five, you know, full signal strength in

⏹️ ▶️ John there, but like the, the wifi adapter dongle thing is bad. And in general, TiVo’s got

⏹️ ▶️ John really bad transfer speeds, not even limited by the network. So who knows what its problem is, but it takes a long

⏹️ ▶️ John time. Oh, I forgot about the fan.

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey Yeah, I

⏹️ ▶️ John just looked at the thing. All right. So I actually forgot. I did forget about the fan. I hooked it up, I’m doing TV setup

⏹️ ▶️ John and everything. I’m like, oh, I forgot I should go look at the fan. So by this point, it’s connected to my television

⏹️ ▶️ John and I’ve been using it to set up all the applications and do all the setup stuff. And I actually

⏹️ ▶️ John played a few games with it and to see if the performance was better and stuff like that. Then I had to go over to the TV,

⏹️ ▶️ John grab the little thing, and of course I can’t pull it away from the entertainment center very far because it’s got an HDMI

⏹️ ▶️ John cable in the back and the power cord and stuff like that. And if I unplug the power cord, obviously the fan will be off.

⏹️ ▶️ John And on my television, I have, at the very least, a TV with the fans on. My television

⏹️ ▶️ John itself has fans in it, so this is a pretty noisy environment. Nevertheless, held that thing up to my ear,

⏹️ ▶️ John I can hear the fan, and I’m like, oh, that’s not fair. I did a lot of setup, I was playing games, I’ll just let it sit. So the next morning, after the

⏹️ ▶️ John Apple TV had been sleeping all night long, I came, activated the Apple TV,

⏹️ ▶️ John so the little light turns on, put it to my ear, I can still hear it. So you can hear it if you shove it up to your

⏹️ ▶️ John ear, but I guarantee you, get four inches away and you cannot hear it,

⏹️ ▶️ John even if it was in a dead sound room. And it’s not. It is in my entertainment center with my TiVo fan and my television

⏹️ ▶️ John fan, so noise is absolutely not a concern with this. I think the fan is always spinning.

⏹️ ▶️ John You can hear it if you put it up to your ear and if you have better hearing than apparently Jason Snell

⏹️ ▶️ John and Marco.

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco But yes.

⏹️ ▶️ John I don’t understand how you couldn’t hear it. It wasn’t even close. Like, you can hear it.

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco There’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a fan there. I didn’t put my ear right against the case. I just moved my ear close to it.

⏹️ ▶️ John No, you have to pick it up and hold it to your ear like you’re, like you’re, uh, you know, what do you call it? Like when you ever see

⏹️ ▶️ John in the movies where some, some, uh, record producer is trying to listen to some music and get into the groove and takes a

⏹️ ▶️ John pair of headphones up, but he only holds

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco one ear of the headphones against his ear. Oh yeah. Do

⏹️ ▶️ John that.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yep. Do that.

⏹️ ▶️ John No. Anyway, if you have any concerns about this fan, it gets

⏹️ ▶️ John the John Syracuse seal of approval. It is inaudible to humans. You’re fine.

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco Wow. Can we

⏹️ ▶️ Marco get like

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John an

⏹️ ▶️ Marco actual seal made to that effect?

⏹️ ▶️ John I don’t put stickers on things

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Also, did you just imply that you’re not human did we just get confirmation that you are a

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John robot

⏹️ ▶️ John It’s inaudible to humans unless you’re holding it to your ear You’re not supposed to use the hell’s if you hold literally holding

⏹️ ▶️ John it to your ear like a like a seashell You know, you can hear the ocean and shell Marco. Has anyone taught you this now that you’re a beach bum?

⏹️ ▶️ John Yes I yeah, yeah. All right. Good. Anyway, that’s there you go. Do that.

⏹️ ▶️ John Maybe he’s a superhero wouldn’t surprise me Maybe I just don’t have it last time. I just have my

⏹️ ▶️ John yearly physical and the last time I had my yearly physical Oh my

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey god,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey are we really going

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John they did

⏹️ ▶️ John they did the hearing test, you know, where they did the different tones in your ears and Last year I

⏹️ ▶️ John failed a bunch of the tones in my right ear and she’s like, oh, it’s probably just because you have a cold Like oh my god, I’m going deaf. I’m old but

⏹️ ▶️ John turns out just because I had a cold this year. I got them all

⏹️ ▶️ Casey The long national nightmare is over.

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#askatp: iOS error logging

⏹️ ▶️ Marco betterment, rethink what your money can do.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey So let’s move on to Ask ATP. And the curiously named Null wrote in to ask,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey what do Marco and Casey use for iOS error logging, existing frameworks or something homegrown? Hashtag

⏹️ ▶️ Casey noob. And it looks like this was spelled correctly with two zeros. So I applaud you, Null. Anyway, noob iOS

⏹️ ▶️ Casey dev. Since I’m talking, I will go ahead and start. The company I work for uses Fabric, which was,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey well, I don’t even know the relationship with Crashlytics. It either was Crashlytics or Crashlytics is

⏹️ ▶️ Casey now considered a product

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco within

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it. Crashlytics was acquired by Twitter. Twitter rolled it into a larger thing called Fabric. Then Google bought Fabric from Twitter.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Right. Okay. There you go. So that is what we are currently using. It is sufficient.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco don’t really have any emotional… For error logging?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Is this… I don’t… Does this include… Is this just crash reporting? I took this to mean like NS log

⏹️ ▶️ Marco kind of error

⏹️ ▶️ Casey logging. Oh, that is not how I took this. I took this to mean crash reporting, which is exactly what you expected.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey And for that, we use Fabric. like NSLog sort of thing, we don’t do anything.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco You just use NSLog?

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah, well, I mean, we don’t have any mechanism by which that’s reported anywhere is what I mean. Like we

⏹️ ▶️ Casey use, well, really we use print because we’re not stuck in 1987 on

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Objective-C. But anyway, we just use the effectively NSLog

⏹️ ▶️ Casey for local debugging and development and stuff like that. But that never gets reported to a server anywhere, or

⏹️ ▶️ Casey not knowingly anyway. I’m sure somebody’s going going to write in and tell me, no, you idiot, Crashlytics is getting all that too. And that very well

⏹️ ▶️ Casey may be the case, but I’ve never seen

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it. Probably. Yeah, I use NSLog in development.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco In production, I don’t think my app logs much of anything. I usually remove them or I use

⏹️ ▶️ Marco macros to have a debug log that calls

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John NSLog

⏹️ ▶️ Marco in development, but not in production, stuff like that. And then I don’t have any mechanism

⏹️ ▶️ Marco for the instances of the app out in the field to be reporting back to me what

⏹️ ▶️ Marco they have I don’t have that right same here. I haven’t really had the need for it ever that seems

⏹️ ▶️ Marco like a lot of data to deal with I also I know that that last year they introduced this whole like

⏹️ ▶️ Marco unified logging framework thing among all the systems and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John I honestly have

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I don’t know anything about it I never saw the session I haven’t looked at it

⏹️ ▶️ Marco at all and all the only thing I see from that is that ever since

⏹️ ▶️ Marco they introduced that new logging system console app is completely useless. The

⏹️ ▶️ Marco phone console is covered in garbage when I look at Xcode and that when I even when I do a build and run

⏹️ ▶️ Marco in Xcode all the system crap still logs to that console and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco makes it very hard for me to use NSLogging for anything else. So the new system has not made a good impression

⏹️ ▶️ Marco on me having not used it because now it just seems like everything in the OS is constantly

⏹️ ▶️ Marco spewing crap into the logs and that can’t be good no matter how lightweight they’ve made it.

#askatp: Qi chargers

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Alex writes in, is there any meaningful difference between the $50 Qi, is that right? Is that how

⏹️ ▶️ Casey you pronounce this?

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco Yes.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Qi, thank you. Qi chargers Apple’s promoting and the $15 no-name ones on Amazon. It’s pronounced

⏹️ ▶️ Casey ten. I don’t have the faintest idea what the answer to this question

⏹️ ▶️ Casey is. I understand the question, but I don’t know. I don’t have any Qi-capable devices

⏹️ ▶️ Casey in my house right now.

⏹️ ▶️ John So the reason I put this in here is because a bunch of people have been using their iPhone with the

⏹️ ▶️ John non-Apple Qi chargers, and having varying experiences with like, exactly

⏹️ ▶️ John how carefully you have to position the phone on the mat, both orient and position

⏹️ ▶️ John it. And you know, the basic tale of woe is, I woke up and my phone

⏹️ ▶️ John was 10% charged because I didn’t put it on the mat quite the right way.

⏹️ ▶️ John And a lot of people are saying that this is the reason why, this is the

⏹️ ▶️ John space for Apple to innovate. They already said that they have some things that you can do with the air power mat

⏹️ ▶️ John that you can’t do with a regular charger, like charge multiple devices at once and have them, you know, do all the things they showed

⏹️ ▶️ John in the keynote, right? That’s what air power will do. But another possible thing that the air power mat might do

⏹️ ▶️ John is, you know, be better about positioning. Now, I think this question is about

⏹️ ▶️ John what about the ones that, you know, from Belkin or whoever that Apple’s promoting 50 bucks versus the $15 ones.

⏹️ ▶️ John I would imagine that one possible difference is exactly how picky they are about how you place your

⏹️ ▶️ John thing on it, right? It’s probably very easy to make

⏹️ ▶️ John a technically Qi compatible charger that is super finicky about

⏹️ ▶️ John where you put your phone and maybe the more expensive ones have either larger areas

⏹️ ▶️ John where you can put them or have multiple orientation things or something like that. That would be my guess,

⏹️ ▶️ John having not used any of these things and not torn any of them apart. But at the very least, I wanted to

⏹️ ▶️ John bring this up because I hope that that’s exactly what Apple does. That regardless of the possible

⏹️ ▶️ John difference between 50 and $15, it could just be one’s Belkin branded and you pay an extra $35 for that or whatever.

⏹️ ▶️ John But Apple, we already know that they’re doing multi-device. One of the things that they,

⏹️ ▶️ John one of the attributes of their fancy AirPower mat, which I’m sure won’t cost $50, is

⏹️ ▶️ John that it should be able to charge in lots of different positions. And with them showing

⏹️ ▶️ John multiple phones and a watch all in the same pad, surely that means that

⏹️ ▶️ John you can put them more or less anywhere on the pad and they’ll be fine. Because it’s not as if there’s three preset division positions and you

⏹️ ▶️ John have to put them exactly on that, especially since as far as I can tell the surface of the AirPower is completely featureless. Like there’s no

⏹️ ▶️ John red X that says put your phone here and put your watch here and put your whatever here. So that is my hope

⏹️ ▶️ John and that is a possible reason to maybe wait for the AirPower thing to come out before you take a dive

⏹️ ▶️ John into the wireless charging world.

#askatp: Typing speed

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Finally Mike Bolton

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco You know that your real

⏹️ ▶️ Casey name. Yeah, it’s too bad that no talent ass clown ruined it for everyone Mike Bolton writes

⏹️ ▶️ Casey in who’s the fastest typist if you guys play for the best two out of three on type racer

⏹️ ▶️ Casey or similar Head-to-head typing thingy. I’ll donate $100 to the charity if you’re choosing We

⏹️ ▶️ Casey didn’t yet do an actual like simultaneous head-to-head thing which I am

⏹️ ▶️ Casey willing to do right now if Marco’s willing to edit it all out, but But we each,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey well, two thirds of us, those of us who believe in homework, did the homework and filled out the appropriate

⏹️ ▶️ Casey entry in the show notes indicating what our scores were. Marco, have you done this?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I have, I just didn’t put my entry in the show notes because of course, when you ask me for a list

⏹️ ▶️ Marco with a certain number of items in it, in this case one, I can’t give my top one list, it

⏹️ ▶️ Marco has more than one entry. Oh my God.

⏹️ ▶️ John He’s trying to

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco build suspense.

⏹️ ▶️ John And by the way, going into this, I assumed that I would have the slowest typing speed. And even though

⏹️ ▶️ John Marco hasn’t entered his time, I’m going to say that I will have the slowest typing speed. Mostly because

⏹️ ▶️ John I don’t type correctly. Like the correct way with the fingers and the home keys. I took typing courses

⏹️ ▶️ John on IBM Selectric typewriters in my youth. I took many years of typing courses and I

⏹️ ▶️ John apparently successfully resisted everything they had to teach me. And I type totally the wrong

⏹️ ▶️ John way and so I’m slow.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I used to hunt and pack for the longest time. And when I was still pretty young, I think before I started

⏹️ ▶️ Casey taking like keyboarding class in school, I decided one day

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I was going to force myself to learn to touch type. I basically forced myself to use the home row. After,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey given how much time I spent on a computer, even my youth, it took me all of a couple of weeks to get okay.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey For a long time now, I’ve been in the just truly tremendous position where I don’t have to think

⏹️ ▶️ Casey about where to put my fingers. Words just magically appear on the screen. I know I’m not unique in that way.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey just getting to that point is amazing. So anyway, so what

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I did was I took the test. I did the little typing thing once, and then

⏹️ ▶️ Casey they ask you to like verify that you’re a human by taking another little test and the second

⏹️ ▶️ Casey test that I took. So the verification test indicated that I type at 125 words per minute.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey If I had seen Marco’s score, which I’m assuming is higher than 125 words per minute, I assure you,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I would have spent hours getting to the point that I beat it. But based on one time

⏹️ ▶️ Casey and one time, or I guess really two times, I scored 125 words per minute. That was without any sort of

⏹️ ▶️ Casey warm up. I think it was early in the morning. I would blame it on coffee, but coffee is evil and so I don’t

⏹️ ▶️ Casey drink coffee. But that was my score. John, what was your score?

⏹️ ▶️ John So I did a couple of runs to get warmed up and I put 79 down even though that wasn’t my

⏹️ ▶️ John very best run because I did a little bit after that. And I can, you can, especially once you learn the passages that they’re having you

⏹️ ▶️ John type. Half my problem typing these things is like, I wouldn’t put a comma there, I wouldn’t word

⏹️ ▶️ John it that

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco way, and you get hung up on that,

⏹️ ▶️ John right? But once you’ve done it, sometimes they repeat or whatever. So 79 is what I’m entering here. I think that is representative

⏹️ ▶️ John of my typing skill. I can go faster by like hammering away at that and get into the 80s or 90s, but realistically

⏹️ ▶️ John speaking, I’m not typing that fast. I only kind of wish they asked us to write, that was cheating, but if they asked us to write

⏹️ ▶️ John Perl code, I think I would do a pretty good job. Oh my God. Despite the fact that

⏹️ ▶️ John my hands are not in the right place, I’m really good at dollar signs, at signs, curly braces, and square brackets.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Fastest dollar sign in the East, you guys.

⏹️ ▶️ John Because I type them so much. I spent 20 years typing a tremendous amount of dollar signs and parentheses

⏹️ ▶️ John and at signs and curly braces. And despite the fact that I’m only 79 and more, which is

⏹️ ▶️ John not fast in the grand scheme of things, I can also type without looking at the keyboard, and

⏹️ ▶️ John words just come out, and code just comes out. Very often, I will just be staring at the screen code is just coming out. And

⏹️ ▶️ John not just that, I’m going to the arrow, because I type incorrectly, I’m going to the arrow keys, home, and

⏹️ ▶️ John my hands are all over that keyboard, and I’m just looking at the screen. I’m selecting, you know, command,

⏹️ ▶️ John option, shift, up, down, arrow, selecting text, cut, pasting, you know, like, you get in the zone.

⏹️ ▶️ John I’m not fast when I’m doing it, but it’s not as if I’m staring at the keyboard, you know, hunting and pecking.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah. All right, Marco, tell me how much faster you were than the two of us.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco So my first test, just cold, was 91 words per minute.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco It was not that accurate. Basically, I got slowed down a lot if I ever made any mistakes, because

⏹️ ▶️ Marco like John, if a passage was written in a way that I wouldn’t write it, it would kind of trip me up

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a little bit. I’d have to go back and be like, wait a minute, that didn’t make sense. If it was something that flowed

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the way I would write something, I was way faster. So

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I took a second test a few minutes later at 125. Then I got prompted for that human

⏹️ ▶️ Marco qualifier thing. That one was 132. Then it took two more, I got 116 and 122. So it’s kind of all over the place.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco But I

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John would say. I

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey would

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John consider that a draw.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, it seems like me and you were in the same range.

⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, I think you guys are even. You had the correct mistakes, right? I

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco was

⏹️ ▶️ John never quite clear on that. You weren’t allowed to just blindly continue on, right? Because I lost a lot of time realizing that

⏹️ ▶️ John I had missed a comma or something like that and then having to like backspace and

⏹️ ▶️ John make sure I’m getting the right, you know, that really aided my time.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco The other thing is like typing speed tests are a fun little thing like this, but I don’t

⏹️ ▶️ Marco get a lot of value out of this because like there is very little time that I’m at my computer that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I am typing at full blast for more than a few seconds. Because like I’m not like

⏹️ ▶️ Marco transcribing things or like spewing out

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John tons

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and tons of paragraphs.

⏹️ ▶️ John That’s the thing about these tests. they’re asking you to transcribe, which is something I never do on a computer and find

⏹️ ▶️ John incredibly tedious. I’m always either writing words from my brain or writing code from my brain. I’m never transcribing.

⏹️ ▶️ John So it is actually a very foreign skill for me for me to be typing some words that I’m reading

⏹️ ▶️ John off of the screen. That’s what copy and paste are for. I’m a strong, strong

⏹️ ▶️ John proponent of copy and paste. I’m gonna give my few nuggets of copy and paste advice for the people listening.

⏹️ ▶️ John I think I already gave Merlin some of these. Never type a process ID because you’re just asking to kill the wrong,

⏹️ ▶️ John if you like root on a system and you want to kill a process ID, never type it. No, I just ran PS, let

⏹️ ▶️ John me just transcribe that process ID. You only have to like

⏹️ ▶️ John kill the process ID belonging to some kernel thing to like

⏹️ ▶️ John halt your entire machine. Like you only have to do that once, you just always copy and paste it.

⏹️ ▶️ John Always copy and paste any piece of information you’re entering like email addresses

⏹️ ▶️ John or the type of thing that’s authentication information, copy and paste it. Obviously not passwords, because you shouldn’t be copying and pasting those.

⏹️ ▶️ John But everything else, copy and paste. In code, variable names, copy and paste. The way I can tell

⏹️ ▶️ John if you’re correctly using copy and paste is if you initially misspelled the variable, it should be misspelled consistently through your entire

⏹️ ▶️ John file, because you never typed it again. You either auto-completed it or copied and pasted it from elsewhere. So copy

⏹️ ▶️ John and paste is your friend.

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco Don’t

⏹️ ▶️ John transcribe. And I feel that people who are really fast typists resist that, because like, I

⏹️ ▶️ John can retype it faster than I can copy and paste it. You probably can. You can also accidentally type it the

⏹️ ▶️ John wrong way because there’s nothing that’s going to highlight red for you like it does in these typing tests.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey So what we’ve learned today is if you want us to do something stupid, just swear that you’ll

⏹️ ▶️ Casey donate $100 to charity. And we never defined which charity. Somebody put in the show notes

⏹️ ▶️ Casey St. Jude. I am totally fine with that. I would also like to pitch as an option the Brady Center to prevent gun

⏹️ ▶️ Casey violence, which seems to be a pretty pertinent thing to donate a little money to these days.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco Or maybe Puerto

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Rico relief efforts.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey or Puerto Rico relief efforts. So actually, so yeah, how about we’ll go with those three. Mike, Bolton, take your pick

⏹️ ▶️ Casey amongst whatever one of those three you would like to donate to and I will put at least

⏹️ ▶️ Casey me on the spot and say, send me a receipt and I’ll match it. Me too. No

⏹️ ▶️ Casey pressure, John. Anyway, I’ll move on so you don’t have to answer. Let’s

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John talk some topics.

⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, I’ll do it too.

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey We usually

⏹️ ▶️ John save our charity stuff towards the end of the year, but no problem moving it up. you

⏹️ ▶️ Marco We are sponsored this week by Hullo Pillow at slash ATP.

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⏹️ ▶️ Casey All right, so this is the portion of the show wherein I take a little power snooze.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Tell me about the new Amazon Echo stuff. And I say I’m going to take a power snooze because I bet

⏹️ ▶️ Casey you if I had an Echo, I would really like it. But because I’ve never experienced it, I don’t really

⏹️ ▶️ Casey care. But there’s new Echo news and there’s new Sonos news as well. So

⏹️ ▶️ Casey one of you take it away. Tell me what’s going on.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco All right. So basically, Amazon held like the secret event where like the event, the existence of the event itself

⏹️ ▶️ Marco was embargoed, which is hilarious. The other day, and they announced

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a whole new line of Echo products, which is pretty cool. You know, I mean, I’ve been a big fan of the Echo,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco not since it came out, but since our friends got one and I saw

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it and used it myself at their house which is a big important distinction here for any kind of Echo

⏹️ ▶️ Marco announcement. When the Echo first came out it came kind of out of nowhere and it had this really

⏹️ ▶️ Marco weird creepy promo video on Amazon’s site and we all the entire tech world

⏹️ ▶️ Marco relentlessly made fun of them for it and because it was it really did seem like

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the creepiest thing advertised and promoted in the creepiest way and it

⏹️ ▶️ Marco seemed like you know oh Oh, another crazy thing from the company that brought you the Fire Phone. It turned out that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it was actually really awesome and that the Echo ends up being surprisingly

⏹️ ▶️ Marco useful and just fun and very satisfying to have in our houses.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco As a result, over the last couple of years, since I think it came out two years ago, maybe even

⏹️ ▶️ Marco three, but as a result of the last couple of years, many people around these parts have gotten them

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and they’re quite fun. Christmas I know many of us gave them as gifts to family and stuff

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and only great things have you know reviews from family and everything about the Echos.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco So very good product line. However, Amazon also releases a whole bunch of garbage

⏹️ ▶️ Marco like they release a whole bunch of weird products. They are kind of taking the like

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know spaghetti against the wall approach to new Echo hardware.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco So they have all sorts of crazy things. They launched the Echo Show which is the weird ugly thing with the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco screen. They launched the echo look, the weird bedroom camera where you’re supposed to take pictures of yourself getting dressed

⏹️ ▶️ Marco every day. And those kind of fell on their face. I don’t know a lot of people who really enjoy

⏹️ ▶️ Marco those. So you kind of don’t know when Amazon

⏹️ ▶️ Marco announces something new in the echo world. The initial reaction

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to things has very little bearing, and the initial appearance of things really, has very

⏹️ ▶️ Marco little bearing on how good they’ll end up being and how much you end up liking them or how

⏹️ ▶️ Marco well they will sell. So Amazon announced a whole bunch of new Echo stuff the other

⏹️ ▶️ Marco day and so now there is, they finally revised the core product

⏹️ ▶️ Marco line. There is finally a second generation of the tall cylinder version

⏹️ ▶️ Marco of the Echo that used to be the only version of the Echo. There is now a kind of shorter,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco stubbier, optionally cloth covered cylinder that looks almost like a tiny

⏹️ ▶️ Marco HomePod. And now there’s also this little alarm clock thing with

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a circular screen that can sit in your nightstand but also has a camera, so it’s kind of like a mini Echo Show

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that can also be an alarm clock, which is kind of interesting. And

⏹️ ▶️ Marco there’s a whole bunch, right? And then,

⏹️ ▶️ John what else is there? I go connect the thing

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco that connects to your

⏹️ ▶️ John phone line so you can make telephone

⏹️ ▶️ Marco calls. Yeah, it’s like a bridge to your landlines that you can make calls using your

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Echo that are routed over your hardwired landline, if you actually have a landline.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I think that’s gonna go down into the weird category that we’re probably never gonna hear about again, but I’m sure somebody will use it.

⏹️ ▶️ John Got the Fire TV 4K.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Right, yeah, and the new stick that hangs diagonally off your TV.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco So these are very different things. So the Fire TVs, I don’t know much about the Fire

⏹️ ▶️ Marco TV world. I bought a Fire TV box like two years ago, didn’t really care for

⏹️ ▶️ Marco its UI at all, so I ended up just selling it. Do you use them at all, John? I forget.

⏹️ ▶️ John No, I’ve seen, my friend who has them, and I looked at them, they’re not bad. Like, the

⏹️ ▶️ John UI is very Amazon-y, but the performance is okay. The remote is better than Apple’s. Like, it is,

⏹️ ▶️ John it, you know. Well, that’s not my point. Right, it is very similar to the old one, and it’s got like a ring on it, but

⏹️ ▶️ John at least my recollection of the old Fire TV thing, it’s not flat on the bottom. It’s more like shaped

⏹️ ▶️ John like a triangle, So it actually sits in your hand a little bit like an actual remote right and it doesn’t have a touchpad

⏹️ ▶️ John On the whole top of the thing Anyway, it’s fine

⏹️ ▶️ John It is it has always been cheaper than the Apple TV and I would say like almost as good But of

⏹️ ▶️ John course you can’t watch iTunes content on it So it was never anything that I was gonna get even maybe if it did 24

⏹️ ▶️ John Hertz output I would have considered it to run like Plex on it or whatever But it doesn’t seem like it never

⏹️ ▶️ John seemed like a speed demon. Certainly the Apple TV 4k feels faster The new one

⏹️ ▶️ John doesn’t support Dolby Vision, which is kind of a shame, but maybe they’ll add that

⏹️ ▶️ John after the fact. It does support Dolby Atmos, which Apple TV 4K doesn’t,

⏹️ ▶️ John but I feel, but Apple TV 4K is supposed to get that support. But remember, this is $100

⏹️ ▶️ John cheaper than the Apple TV 4K. It’s not just like $15 cheaper. It’s significantly

⏹️ ▶️ John cheaper. The form factor, what Marco was alluding to before, that it dangles off your TV,

⏹️ ▶️ John It is like an HDMI connector, a ribbon cable, and then a box hanging from

⏹️ ▶️ John its corner off of the ribbon cable. And the ribbon cable is like three inches long. So this is not a box you

⏹️ ▶️ John put in your entertainment center. It is a thing that you hang off the back of

⏹️ ▶️ John your TV, which is kind of interesting. I have actually have a Google, what is it called? The Google

⏹️ ▶️ John thing that hangs off the back of your TV, the Chromecast, right? The hang off your back

⏹️ ▶️ John of your TV thing, it’s neat. It’s like an acknowledgement that we can make this thing so small there’s no reason it has to be in your

⏹️ ▶️ John entertainment center, but it’s also not neat in the neat and tidy sense,

⏹️ ▶️ John in that you have this little thing hanging off your TV and just always hangs awkwardly and you’re hoping that

⏹️ ▶️ John no one has a view of that television, like what if your television is in a place where someone walking to the room can see the side of it and now you got

⏹️ ▶️ John this thing hanging off it. It’s just, it’s just not tidy. It’s unseemly. It’s like a wart, like

⏹️ ▶️ John purposely adding a wart to your thing. Never mind that, you know, the idea of hanging even a small amount of weight off of

⏹️ ▶️ John the end of your HDMI port. I I suppose it’s probably weighs less than a very long cord, but either way,

⏹️ ▶️ John thumbs down on that form factor. But as far as, you know, people

⏹️ ▶️ John who don’t have any investment at all in the iTunes world, this versus

⏹️ ▶️ John Roku and stuff, they’re all reasonable choices. I would have no problem recommending a Fire TV for someone

⏹️ ▶️ John who wants to have, to look at Amazon content and to

⏹️ ▶️ John have access, to be able to watch YouTube on their TV and Netflix. If they happen to have one of the televisions

⏹️ ▶️ John that doesn’t have that crap all built in, or if they have a television where that’s all built in, but the built-in apps

⏹️ ▶️ John are terrible. The Fire TV apps are better than the built-in ones on most televisions. So

⏹️ ▶️ John it’s an okay product. I don’t think it’ll change things up. I think it’s just status quo.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I have a Fire TV stick. I think it’s the original generation. And I hadn’t

⏹️ ▶️ Casey used it in probably a year and then wanted to get it all updated

⏹️ ▶️ Casey and whatnot before we went to the beach a couple months back. And doing that update took

⏹️ ▶️ Casey like a day because I had to do an update, wait, reboot, do an update, wait, reboot. It was like

⏹️ ▶️ Casey updating Windows for goodness sakes. But the new revamped UI that came with it was very

⏹️ ▶️ Casey nice. And as a portable thing that’s easy to travel with,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I love my Fire TV stick. As something that’s an alternative to say an Apple TV, no thank you,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I’d much rather have an Apple TV. But the user interface is fine. It got a lot better with this revamp

⏹️ ▶️ Casey that happened sometime in the last 12 months. And it’s fast enough to do the sorts of things I want to

⏹️ ▶️ Casey do. But if I was living with it every day, like especially your situation, Marco, where all

⏹️ ▶️ Casey of your TV consumption happens via some sort of box, I would not recommend a Fire TV Stick. Now

⏹️ ▶️ Casey that is very different than the 4K, which presumably is considerably faster, better, etc. But

⏹️ ▶️ Casey in terms of UI, it’s fine.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, so anyway, the whole Amazon Fire TV thing is not an area that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I play in. But the Echo very much is. And so all of these

⏹️ ▶️ Marco new Echos, I’m really glad that Amazon’s finally doing

⏹️ ▶️ Marco more with like just the base model Echo. Not just making new weird accessory

⏹️ ▶️ Marco versions and different things that serve different roles but also just finally revving

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the main speaker. The main problem the Echo has always had for me

⏹️ ▶️ Marco is, well, it’s not the most attractive thing in the world, but the main problem for me has always been that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it doesn’t sound very good. It doesn’t get that loud and the sound quality is not

⏹️ ▶️ Marco very good. It’s one speaker pointed

⏹️ ▶️ Marco downwards above a second driver for being a woofer. It’s just like a single tweeter and single woofer.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco They point down and they don’t sound very good. The microphones have always been excellent.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco It doesn’t seem to have trouble hearing me compared to anything else, but the sound quality is just

⏹️ ▶️ Marco really poor. It really says a lot about how convenient the Echo

⏹️ ▶️ Marco is and how compelling the whole package is that we listen to,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco with the exception of my desk with headphones while I’m working, while we’re out

⏹️ ▶️ Marco in the house, we listen to far more music on the Echo, even though it sounds

⏹️ ▶️ Marco like crap than any other mechanism by which we have to play music. And that includes like

⏹️ ▶️ Marco we have a whole like nice speaker setup with an Apple TV that could feed it through AirPlay if we wanted

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to or the Apple TV playing music itself. We have Sonos which

⏹️ ▶️ Marco we’ll get to and we never use these things to play music comparably speaking because the Echo

⏹️ ▶️ Marco is just so much more convenient to just say hey name of thing you know play fish and that’s it

⏹️ ▶️ Marco or you know play a as long as from the 90s. It’s just really, really nice and compelling to use that, so much so

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that we’ve been willing to overlook the relatively poor sound quality,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco because most people simply don’t care. And even I, who do care, I would rather just have it be

⏹️ ▶️ Marco easy than to have to set up some fiddly thing on a better, nicer system.

⏹️ ▶️ John To echo that, ha ha, we have the Google Home. But it’s the same thing. It’s got a terrible speaker in

⏹️ ▶️ John it. It’s probably worse than the Echo. The Google Home is actually even smaller than the big Echo.

⏹️ ▶️ John And I think it’s probably just got one terrible speaker in there, it does not sound good. And yet, when my daughter

⏹️ ▶️ John has her friends over, all they do is ask that thing to play music. Like that is their favorite activity. More

⏹️ ▶️ John music has been played on that thing than any other device in their house easily. And that’s like,

⏹️ ▶️ John you know, cause again, we have, I’ve got the, my television speakers and you could play things through the Apple TV on

⏹️ ▶️ John the television or through the receiver on the television without even turning the television on. But they just, they just

⏹️ ▶️ John wanted to talk to the thing and make it play songs because like what other, you know, they

⏹️ ▶️ John just say words in the air, speculatively, and it finds the song that they want and

⏹️ ▶️ John plays it and they love it even though it sounds like crap.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And I will say too, like I have been trying to give Siri more chances

⏹️ ▶️ Marco in my life because everyone keeps saying how good it is, how good it’s getting, how it’s so much better than it used to be.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And so I have tried in many occasions recently to have Siri play me music as

⏹️ ▶️ Marco well, to just kind of get a sense. So I’ll issue it similar queries, like play

⏹️ ▶️ Marco songs by Cake or whatever. Like I’ll issue it a fairly simple music query.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And Siri gets it right about a quarter of the time.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And it’s really frustrating. Whereas the Echo gets it right

⏹️ ▶️ Marco almost every time. It’s really quite shocking how different the two are

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and reliability and speed and just the sensibility

⏹️ ▶️ Marco of responses for things like music.

⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, similarly, Google Home, like my daughter and her friends say things like, play song

⏹️ ▶️ John whatever but the one with whatever in it. Like there are variants of songs or multiple artists cover them and they will

⏹️ ▶️ John say a sentence describing the song they want and it will find the thing for them. And not only that, it will say,

⏹️ ▶️ John okay, I found blah, blah, blah featuring blah, blah, blah. Like, I don’t know if it’s just doing fuzzy

⏹️ ▶️ John word matching of finding like song title plus the name of the person they said, but

⏹️ ▶️ John they ramble on in these whole sentences and I listen, I’m amazed it finds the song that

⏹️ ▶️ John they were asking about. When I don’t think a human could have found it, a Google

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco search probably could have, maybe that’s what they’re

⏹️ ▶️ John doing. They’re just like literally doing a Google search and taking the first hit. But the fact that it works is all, it’s magic. And

⏹️ ▶️ John saying that to Siri would just be this word salad of misheard, you know, you know what it does when you

⏹️ ▶️ John say stuff and doesn’t understand what you say, it would assemble that and then it would be like, I’m sorry, I can’t help with that,

⏹️ ▶️ John because it doesn’t, I don’t think it has the fallback of, can’t make heads or tails of this, throw it

⏹️ ▶️ John into the magic that is Google and try the number one hit.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, exactly. And the assistant, like the Amazon

⏹️ ▶️ Marco assistant, I don’t know if Google does this too, it probably does, but you can, it even does lyric search. You can

⏹️ ▶️ Marco say, play the song that goes, blah, and it will search for those lyrics. and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it’s just incredible how good it is. And honestly, one of the reasons

⏹️ ▶️ Marco why I am not that excited about the HomePod is that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I know, like just judging on how Siri does, if you have an iPhone or an iPad

⏹️ ▶️ Marco or an Apple TV, giving it the same queries, I know that these other systems are gonna be better than it in

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that regard at least.

⏹️ ▶️ John You gotta do the chain, a lot of YouTube videos showing this, chaining the assistants to talk to each other so be like

⏹️ ▶️ John you know dingus tell the other dingus to play songs by whatever you know or just like have a big chain

⏹️ ▶️ John get let the smart ones figure out what song you want and convey to the one with a good speaker to play it now

⏹️ ▶️ John so that is actually

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a great segue

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John into into this other thing.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Thanks John.

Sonos One

⏹️ ▶️ Marco So today, you know, we’ve had a couple days to digest this Echo stuff,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco but today there was a Sonos announcement. Sonos

⏹️ ▶️ Marco has made wonderful sounding speakers and very like,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco they’re basically products that are designed to be sold in Apple stores. It’s like,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I know they weren’t officially, but like, they are really, really like high-end

⏹️ ▶️ Marco speakers. Well, they’re high-priced speakers that sound

⏹️ ▶️ Marco pretty good and that have… They don’t sound like amazing, incredible, like compared

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to like high-end audiophile speakers, but for consumer-grade,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I guess, gear, they sound very good. And compared to all these other

⏹️ ▶️ Marco like, you know, smart cylinders, they sound great. And Sonos has been around for

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a very long time and they have focused mainly on multi-room audio and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco this kind of library management of things. In fact, much of the benefit of AirPlay 2

⏹️ ▶️ Marco is what Sonos has been doing all this time. It hands off the playback to

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the speaker itself, so you’re not just playing a constant stream from the phone.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco You’re telling the speaker, here’s this file, play it. Or here’s the next 15

⏹️ ▶️ Marco minutes of audio, play it. Or go to this URL and just play what you find there, because they’re all networked,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco which is nice. And if one person leaves the house with

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the phone that was controlling it, the music doesn’t stop and it doesn’t skip. If you

⏹️ ▶️ Marco bend over and your waist is blocking your pocket or something, it’s a really nice

⏹️ ▶️ Marco architecture. And it also makes things like multi-room audio significantly easier to do.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And so anyway, Sonos has had this for years and years and years, and they really have owned the high-end

⏹️ ▶️ Marco multi-room audio market. The main problem with Sonos

⏹️ ▶️ Marco in recent years is that when the Echo came out, everyone’s like, well, it’s a lot easier.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Playing stuff through Sonos is cumbersome because their app is really quite poor.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco It’s unintuitive, it’s incredibly complicated because it can do so much, and it’s laid out

⏹️ ▶️ Marco in a not-that-intuitive way. Honestly, it feels like an Android app.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I don’t mean much disrespect by that, but it just feels like

⏹️ ▶️ Marco an app designed by the Windows and Android aesthetic. And so it’s just

⏹️ ▶️ Marco very cumbersome to play stuff on a Sonos system even though when you finally do

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it sounds great and you can do multi-room stuff really easily and stuff like that.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco So the Echo comes out and it’s really crappy at sound quality

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and initially doesn’t have multi-room audio support but it’s really really really

⏹️ ▶️ Marco really easy to get stuff playing. You can say what you want it just starts playing and it turns out that’s incredibly

⏹️ ▶️ Marco compelling as we said earlier and so many Sonos owners, myself

⏹️ ▶️ Marco included, our Sonos stuff has basically been gathering dust ever since the Echo

⏹️ ▶️ Marco came out. So today Sonos announced that they have partnered with

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Amazon at some seemingly fairly deep level and they announced they announced

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a partnership like months ago but who knew if anyone thing was ever gonna come out of it. well now it is

⏹️ ▶️ Marco they now have a version of what used to be called the play one speaker their their lowest

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and smallest little like it’s like a little cube almost speaker

⏹️ ▶️ Marco they now have a version of that that is basically also an echo in inside of it

⏹️ ▶️ Marco has a little microphone ring up top and a couple of extra buttons and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco now they basically have a Sonos echo and they also have integration with the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Echo Assistant platform so that you can like have you can like tell your echoes to play things

⏹️ ▶️ Marco on your Sonos and stuff like that like I haven’t forgive me I haven’t looked into too many details on that yet because I haven’t had time

⏹️ ▶️ Marco yet because it’s all this all came out today so some of this some

⏹️ ▶️ Marco of the finer details of this might be wrong or incomplete but basically they announced what looks

⏹️ ▶️ Marco like surprisingly deep and comprehensive integration between the Echo products

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and Sonos products, along with this new Sonos speaker that has a built-in Echo.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And if this works as they are advertising, it’s gonna be

⏹️ ▶️ Marco awesome. And it’s actually not that ridiculous of a price too. Like the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco new Sonos One, which is their new version of the Play One speaker, is 200

⏹️ ▶️ Marco bucks. And it’s positioned roughly, like market-wise, is roughly

⏹️ ▶️ Marco where the tall echo cylinder is positioned. It’s not supposed to be a HomePod competitor.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco The HomePod competitor is, it’s kind of supposed to be their next one up, which they haven’t updated with

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Alexa yet, sorry, with the Amazon Assistant yet.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John So I

⏹️ ▶️ John don’t know. Well, why is it not supposed to be a HomePod competitor? Because it looks like a HomePod to

⏹️ ▶️ John me. It is a single thing with one speaker, you know, with one set of speakers in it. It’s about the same size as the HomePod. Is it just because it’s like 100 and

⏹️ ▶️ John something bucks cheaper? Like, it seems like a HomePod competitor to me.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Well, it’s going to serve as a HomePod competitor, effectively, but one of the reasons why

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Apple, when they were doing price comparisons, they positioned the HomePod against the Sonos

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Play 3, the next speaker up that’s more expensive. And I think part of that is because

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the Play 1 only has one driver, or it’s just like the Echo, it has two drivers

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that are just forming one channel, whereas the HomePod has that, didn’t the HomePod have tweeters

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and a big circle around the whole top of it, and maybe like one big woofer in the middle or

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John something like

⏹️ ▶️ John that. Yeah, but like how does that change the sound? Like it’s still, you’re not getting stereo out

⏹️ ▶️ John of it. We talked about this before about how it’s doing all the channels through the single location. So you’re

⏹️ ▶️ John not getting a right channel, a left channel that’s separated by six feet from either one of these devices.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Well, it’s the, when you only have a single driver set

⏹️ ▶️ Marco pointing in one direction, you can’t really do anything with stereo imaging. Like

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it’s gonna be mono. but the HomePod is kind of this weird hybrid where like,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco because it has drivers pointing all around it, it can do things by like bouncing stuff off the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco walls and everything to try to kind of simulate things in different directions, because it actually is firing sound

⏹️ ▶️ Marco in multiple directions. Whereas the Sonos One series only

⏹️ ▶️ Marco fires it straight ahead, and the Echo fires one set of drivers straight

⏹️ ▶️ Marco down, so it kind of has like a ring effect, but it can’t control what goes left,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco what goes right. So these other things are effectively mono, whereas

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the HomePod and the higher-end Sonos models have multiple speakers that they

⏹️ ▶️ Marco could adjust and direct in different ways. So I think

⏹️ ▶️ Marco in practice, this is a HomePod competitor in the same way the Echo’s a HomePod competitor. But if you ask

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Apple marketing, what does the HomePod compete against? They’re gonna go with the higher-end models in part because of those

⏹️ ▶️ Marco technicalities, in part because of just sheer physical size, and in part because they’re more expensive.

⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, the Play 3 looks more like the iPod Hi-Fi. Like it’s a rectangular thing.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, so anyway, this is good. I hope, I really hope this works, and I hope that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it does smart things, integrating with, so like, for instance, I already have

⏹️ ▶️ Marco other Sonos speakers. I have a few other ones throughout the house. You know, and I, can I only buy

⏹️ ▶️ Marco one of these things? do I even have to buy any of these things? Or can I just have the Echos connected to the Sonos through

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the apps? I think they can do that actually, but I don’t know yet. So I have a lot of research to do

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and we have a lot of, you know, just no one has actually used this device. I don’t think there’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco any reviews of it except that there was this one on Wired that was kind of not that specific.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco So I don’t know, we’ll see. But I hope

⏹️ ▶️ Marco this works as well as their advertising does. their advertising does because if it does this

⏹️ ▶️ Marco is going to be a total game changer in the Echo market because it will be finally a

⏹️ ▶️ Marco fusion between the good sounding world of Sonos and the really

⏹️ ▶️ Marco convenient world of Echo. It’s gonna be a problem for the HomePod I think. I mean the HomePod

⏹️ ▶️ Marco is already, you know, given the HomePod’s price and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco relatively limited apparent capabilities, I think the HomePod’s gonna have a hard time

⏹️ ▶️ Marco in the market. Now I think it’s gonna have an even harder time than before, because

⏹️ ▶️ Marco if this works at all, the Sonos Play 1, or sorry, the Sonos 1,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the new one with the Echo built in, is going to be a very compelling alternative

⏹️ ▶️ Marco for a lot of people.

⏹️ ▶️ John So a lot of people are asking, after the story came out, why doesn’t Amazon just buy Sonos? They seem to buy everybody. this

⏹️ ▶️ John type of integration, this type of partnership is practically unheard of. Like it’s basically Sonos saying

⏹️ ▶️ John we’re never going to do all that stuff that Amazon does. And Amazon apparently saying we don’t want to build a really nice

⏹️ ▶️ John speaker. We’ll just, well our new version of, as you noted, the new version, the new good version of the Echo

⏹️ ▶️ John didn’t really make a lot of progress sound-wise. They’re all dolby like oh we’ll make it sound better but they didn’t change the

⏹️ ▶️ John hardware in a way that makes it sound like they are serious about audio quality. They just tweak the, you know,

⏹️ ▶️ John but like so they say okay well Sonos you do the sound part and we will do the software part.

⏹️ ▶️ John I’m not entirely sure what’s in it for Amazon to continue that relationship.

⏹️ ▶️ John Like, why, why not take, you know, those nice profits that Sonos is making by selling

⏹️ ▶️ John the expensive speakers? Why doesn’t Amazon want those too? Like, arguably, Amazon is providing

⏹️ ▶️ John the majority of the value in this arrangement, because I think it is easier to

⏹️ ▶️ John make a nice speaker than it is to make a thing that understands

⏹️ ▶️ John words that you say and does intelligent things like they’ve got all the back end that is finding that music for you and

⏹️ ▶️ John you know playing it back and the music subscription service and all sorts of other things making a speaker compared to that

⏹️ ▶️ John is relatively easy and i suppose sonos is you know secret sauce is the multi-room stuff but anyway there seems

⏹️ ▶️ John to be a natural synergy between these companies and given the fact that amazon bought things like imdb and other

⏹️ ▶️ John companies that like seem like it it should be or whole foods, right? I mean,

⏹️ ▶️ John by like, I was not just by Sonos, like, why? What are you even waiting for? It makes me uncomfortable

⏹️ ▶️ John as a consumer. If I was into these type of products to know that I’m buying a thing between

⏹️ ▶️ John two companies that are, you know, that are, uh, that are frenemies, right? They’re, they’re competitors,

⏹️ ▶️ John but they’re also in this mutually beneficial arrangement. And I just, it just seems

⏹️ ▶️ John like there’s a tension there and I’m not sure how that, that is sustainable. So I’m, I’m, you know, not that I’m for, you

⏹️ ▶️ John know, big companies buying up all the small companies, but Sonos kind of had its chance to figure

⏹️ ▶️ John out the, you know, make something that you can talk to. And they’ve essentially

⏹️ ▶️ John outsourced it to Amazon. So I don’t know.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, I don’t, I’m with you too. I don’t, I don’t see why Amazon gets enough out of this deal

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to make it worth it. Like even like the integration, it’s such that also, Like

⏹️ ▶️ Marco when I went to go pre-order the Sonos One today, you

⏹️ ▶️ Marco can’t buy it on Amazon. Like you can buy every other Sonos on Amazon, but

⏹️ ▶️ Marco this one you can pre-order only on Sonos’ website right now. It’s like they couldn’t even coordinate

⏹️ ▶️ John that? Can you like order toilet paper from the Sonos One?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco The way it’s advertised and the way the product page positions it, it looks like it has

⏹️ ▶️ Marco full Echo integration, like a full Echo built into it basically. So I think you should be able to

⏹️ ▶️ Marco do everything the Echo can do. So I don’t, that’s the thing, it’s very,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a lot of this will depend on when we actually get these things, does it actually do those things?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Is it actually as good? You know, what if there’s other problems? Like what if the microphones aren’t as good as on a real Echo?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco You know, there’s gonna be issues like that. But the good thing is, though,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco if this integration works the way it appears to on all their advertisements and in the apps and everything,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you might not even need to buy the Sonos One. Like, from what everyone’s saying, you can just

⏹️ ▶️ Marco connect your Sonos account in the Alexa app and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco just start sending commands to it and you can just start controlling them. Like, that’s kind of

⏹️ ▶️ Marco incredible if that’s true. And so like, again, like I don’t, this will all depend on how well this

⏹️ ▶️ Marco stuff is implemented, but yeah, basically I should get it in a couple of weeks. But

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I’m really happy about this. As recently as two months ago,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I was saying that I would be surprised if Sonos was still in business in a year, because it

⏹️ ▶️ Marco seemed like things weren’t going well for them. But this could really turn things

⏹️ ▶️ Marco around for them, if this makes a lot of people buy more Sonos stuff. And also, one

⏹️ ▶️ Marco area that maybe we’re not seeing by looking at just the speaker, like

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the little portable speaker side of this thing, one area in which maybe Amazon wanted to get in

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that they couldn’t easily do themselves is home theater. Sonos in recent

⏹️ ▶️ Marco years has dramatically gotten into the home theater business

⏹️ ▶️ Marco with their soundbar products. And then later on, like the subwoofer, the Playbase

⏹️ ▶️ Marco subwoofer, their names are a little confusing, so I forget which is which. But

⏹️ ▶️ Marco they launched their first soundbar a couple years back, and I think they have a second one, I don’t even

⏹️ ▶️ Marco know anymore. But I think those actually sell really well. and Sonos I think does pretty well

⏹️ ▶️ Marco in the soundbar business now. So if Amazon wanted to get

⏹️ ▶️ Marco more like Echo music playback into home theater systems, maybe this is what they

⏹️ ▶️ Marco get out of this deal. Maybe they get access to this market of high-end home theater stuff that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the Echo hardware being this kind of like, you know, inexpensive kind of

⏹️ ▶️ Marco crappy audio products, we’re probably never gonna get into that business. you

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Echo Spot

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Thank you so much to Casper for sponsoring our show. Hi,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I’m back. Ready

⏹️ ▶️ John to talk about alarm clocks, Casey?

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I am so excited to talk about alarm clocks. Tell me more.

⏹️ ▶️ John This is just a coincidence. I did not have any inside information about Amazon’s

⏹️ ▶️ John product announcements, but a show or two ago, I mentioned offhand how I was looking

⏹️ ▶️ John for something for something to replace my you know clock radio from the 80s that would just perform one function

⏹️ ▶️ John that wouldn’t be you know I wasn’t going to use my iOS devices which potentially travel around the house and

⏹️ ▶️ John I have to remember to put it by a bedside and plug in just wanted something that was always on my bedside that

⏹️ ▶️ John that I could look at and always showed me the time and then had an alarm on it and that’s about it

⏹️ ▶️ John and what Amazon came out with is this little ball thing it’s like the Amazon Echo

⏹️ ▶️ John show and that it’s like a screen and It shows you the weather and tells you what time it is And I guess

⏹️ ▶️ John shows you news stories that you don’t want to see and annoys you with all other stuff

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco like that But anyway, it’s

⏹️ ▶️ John got a circular screen on it and it’s 130 bucks And it’s basically

⏹️ ▶️ John a smart dedicated Looks like an alarm clock thing

⏹️ ▶️ John And a lot of people are saying hey is what you’re asking for someone probably not Apple to make some kind of of

⏹️ ▶️ John dedicated alarm clock electronic component thing. And guess what? Amazon did it because, as

⏹️ ▶️ John Jason Snell, I think it’s Jason Snell said in his article about it, God bless Amazon with throwing out every single form factor and

⏹️ ▶️ John seeing what people might buy. That’s the thing that Amazon does. They just make a bunch of crap

⏹️ ▶️ John and, you know, maybe people will like this, maybe they won’t. We’ll just keep trying.

⏹️ ▶️ John It’s cute, I’ll give it that. But, and you know, $130 is kind of ridiculous.

⏹️ ▶️ John Um, but the thing that makes it, uh, makes me pretty sure I’m never going to buy this

⏹️ ▶️ John is that it has a camera on it. And I’m not one of those people who’s paranoid about cameras, but of all the places, I’m

⏹️ ▶️ John not going to stick a camera of dubious security. It’s next to my bed. So

⏹️ ▶️ John sorry, Amazon, if this thing didn’t have a camera, then I would probably

⏹️ ▶️ John still not buy it because my next fallback position would be Marco hated the screen and it was really annoying and this has

⏹️ ▶️ John the same screen. So unless someone told me, oh, the screen, they solved that problem. You can make it so the screen’s not annoying

⏹️ ▶️ John or not too bright or whatever, I probably still wouldn’t get it. But the camera, no deal for me.

⏹️ ▶️ John And that’s despite the fact that when we talked about the Amazon Look, the thing that takes pictures of your outfits and stuff, that I totally endorse

⏹️ ▶️ John the idea of having more cameras in the house for functions like that. But for me personally,

⏹️ ▶️ John my bedside table is a no-go. That’s just my position, if you don’t mind it. And if you’re not concerned about security

⏹️ ▶️ John or whatever, then by all means, go for it and tell me how annoying it is. but I’m not getting this thing.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco That’s a different lifestyle. No, I mean, I think there’s a theme of

⏹️ ▶️ Marco my opinions of Amazon products, basically, and that is that when Amazon does things that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco are related to sheer functionality or voice response and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco voice interfaces, I really like the way they do things most of the time. When it comes to

⏹️ ▶️ Marco UI, I really don’t like almost any visual interface

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that Amazon makes. The Echo Show, I really did not like.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco This thing, I think, would have the exact same problem as you mentioned with just like, you know, like it takes a certain

⏹️ ▶️ Marco degree of standards and taste and good decision making

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to do a user interface like this well. And I don’t think Amazon has

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that talent right now, or at least they don’t let it shine. They just, they have

⏹️ ▶️ Marco not shown they could make a good interface. The Kindles have always been interface disasters.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco The only reason anybody enjoyed using Kindles is because for most of the heyday

⏹️ ▶️ Marco of the black and white E-ink models, there just wasn’t much of an interface there.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco So Amazon’s mediocrity at interface design was less of a problem with

⏹️ ▶️ Marco this primitive thing that just couldn’t do that much. But they have gotten progressively

⏹️ ▶️ Marco more and more annoying as the technology has gotten better and now that they have these full color screens,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the interface design is about as good as it is on their tablets and their TV boxes, which

⏹️ ▶️ Marco is not that good. So this is the kind of product that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco if Apple made something like this, it might be really good. Although you could

⏹️ ▶️ Marco argue they do. It’s an Apple Watch in nightstand mode. Or an iPhone and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a dock. But anyway, yeah, this

⏹️ ▶️ Marco is the kind of thing that I don’t think Amazon should make with their current talent.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And also, you know, the camera I think is going to be one of the most turn-off-ish

⏹️ ▶️ Marco factors of it. Why does this need a camera? And the only reason I can think of

⏹️ ▶️ Marco is they really want to push their video calling thing. They’re trying, obviously, very hard to make that a thing,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco even though I don’t think anybody actually wants it. So, if this didn’t have the camera,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco not only could it maybe be five bucks cheaper, but I think more people would buy it lacking

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a camera than anybody who’s going to buy it with a camera. This seems like one of those corporate strategy

⏹️ ▶️ Marco tax things where they’re obviously trying so hard to push, calling people on the echoes,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that they’re putting the cameras in all these different models that really probably shouldn’t have them.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And I think this would be a much better product without it. So yeah, I just, I don’t see this

⏹️ ▶️ Marco being a good thing with the combination of the camera and Amazon’s terrible UI taste,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco but the concept is a good concept and I hope someone,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Amazon or not, does it right because I think that would be a really nice market.

⏹️ ▶️ John Maybe if you put it in a kitchen, it wouldn’t be as bad. Like there’s nothing that says this is supposed to be on your bedside table. That’s

⏹️ ▶️ John just where I was interested in putting it, but if you put it in your kitchen, it is less ugly and gigantic

⏹️ ▶️ John or I don’t know how gigantic it is because I don’t have one But like the the other the other one certainly looks big I know it’s not actually that big when

⏹️ ▶️ John you get it in person, but it’s like it’s like a right rectangular monolith This is a cute little ball And so maybe you would

⏹️ ▶️ John fit in more places in people’s lives and the camera because it’s so cheap It just feels like a

⏹️ ▶️ John hedge like maybe we’ll think of something cool to do with this or maybe you can hold things up to It and we’ll find them on Amazon and

⏹️ ▶️ John buy them for you, you know And that is the video conferencing angle too, but the camera just gives you a lot of possibilities So I understand

⏹️ ▶️ John why it’s there. It’s just it for me it makes it a Not a

⏹️ ▶️ John choice for the bedroom, but for something in the kitchen or whatever. That’s where I wouldn’t mind I already

⏹️ ▶️ John have a camera my kitchen to watch my dog, so I’m obviously that’s not a problem for me

⏹️ ▶️ Marco So here’s I just noticed in the in the specs of the of the of this little ball thing

⏹️ ▶️ Marco It has a line out for sound That’s interesting so that basically

⏹️ ▶️ Marco makes it a fancy expensive echo dot So so if you could

⏹️ ▶️ Marco use this to add a small screen mean to a smart speaker

⏹️ ▶️ Marco somewhere in your house? Like if you take it out of the bedroom that I think makes it

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a more interesting proposition. Anyway, so I wish them luck with these things and we’ll

⏹️ ▶️ Marco see. I mean probably next year between me between me and John Casey I know you’re not gonna

⏹️ ▶️ Marco buy any of these things but between between me and John we’re probably gonna own one of each of these things.

⏹️ ▶️ John That means you’re gonna buy every single one of them because I don’t think I’m buying any of these.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah just

⏹️ ▶️ John wait. I mean I thought about having another having an echo and the Google

⏹️ ▶️ John home and the house at the same time. But I don’t know I think I’m what I’m more likely to do

⏹️ ▶️ John at this point is buy more cameras for my house more dedicated cameras because now that I have one to watch the dog I’m like I can get a

⏹️ ▶️ John better angle on the dog when she’s in a different room like maybe a second camera

⏹️ ▶️ John or something like that or maybe I’ll finally get into like the the light bulbs and stuff and then I’ll get an echo in some other

⏹️ ▶️ John room to do light control but but we’ll see none None of these are making me want to

⏹️ ▶️ John run out and buy any of them. I’ll let you buy all of them and tell me what they’re like. Okay, thanks.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I’m back again.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco What did I miss? Thanks to our sponsors this week, Casper, Betterment, and Hullo. And we will

⏹️ ▶️ Marco see you next week!

Ending theme

⏹️ ▶️ Marco week

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Now the show is over They didn’t even mean to begin Cause

⏹️ ▶️ Casey it was accidental Oh it was accidental

⏹️ ▶️ Casey John didn’t do any research Margot and Casey wouldn’t let him Cause

⏹️ ▶️ Casey it

⏹️ ▶️ John was

⏹️ ▶️ Casey accidental Oh it was accidental

⏹️ ▶️ Casey And you can

⏹️ ▶️ John find the show notes at ATP.FM And if you’re

⏹️ ▶️ John into Twitter, you can follow them at

⏹️ ▶️ Marco C-A-S-E-Y-L-I-S-S

⏹️ ▶️ Casey So that’s Casey Liss, M-A-R-C-O-A-R-M-E-N-T

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Marco Armin,

⏹️ ▶️ John S-I-R-A-C-U-S-A-C-R-A-Q-U-S-A It’s

⏹️ ▶️ Casey accidental, they didn’t

⏹️ ▶️ John mean to to Accidental. Accidental! Tech Podcasts So long

Post-show: John buys a chair

⏹️ ▶️ Casey What do we got for the after show?

⏹️ ▶️ John We got fancy chairs.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Oh yeah, this time it was John that spent an exorbitant amount of money.

⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, I got a lot of chair issues in my

⏹️ ▶️ John little computer room that also has my PS4 in it. I’ve got a chair in front of my wife’s computer, which is a

⏹️ ▶️ John 5K iMac. I’ve got a chair in front of my old Mac Pro. And I’ve got a third chair in front of my PS4,

⏹️ ▶️ John where I play Destiny. And all these chairs are bad chairs.

⏹️ ▶️ John Oh, two of them, two of them are bad chairs. One of them is just really old. So

⏹️ ▶️ John my wife’s chair is some crappy like Office Max staples, whatever. Cheap

⏹️ ▶️ John chair that is actually not even good for the amount that we paid for it. Like it’s like, well,

⏹️ ▶️ John it was a cheap, but it’s okay. It wobbles. It was never very comfortable. It’s

⏹️ ▶️ John ugly. It’s just not a good chair. The PS4 chair is like not actually

⏹️ ▶️ John a chair that’s supposed to be in front of a desk. It’s like sort of a casual, I don’t know

⏹️ ▶️ John what it is. Like it’s not like a folding chair where you take out when company comes over, but it’s like one step

⏹️ ▶️ John removing that. It’s not a folding chair, but it is like, it’s not a computer chair at all. And I don’t like it because

⏹️ ▶️ John it puts weird marks on the carpet and we have like a pillow on top of it to make it marginally

⏹️ ▶️ John comfortable and like it’s kind of falling apart. So that’s not great. And then

⏹️ ▶️ John finally, my computer chair, which is the one I’m excluding from calling a bad chair,

⏹️ ▶️ John it’s just, it’s seen better days. I bought this chair for $250, which seemed like a huge amount

⏹️ ▶️ John of money when I lived in Georgia, which was at least, what, 20 years ago?

⏹️ ▶️ John And I was just out of school, just married, living in our first apartment,

⏹️ ▶️ John away from home. We were buying furniture for our stuff. I bought myself a desk, which I’m not using anymore. Actually,

⏹️ ▶️ John my wife’s using it. it but the desk of my wife is using it so that thing survives and I needed to

⏹️ ▶️ John get a chair for it and I spent what I thought was a lot of money $250 for a chair in like 1997-98

⏹️ ▶️ John boy that’s a lot of money in the grand scheme of things it’s not that expensive but anyway

⏹️ ▶️ John that $250 chair has lasted me you know 20 years and

⏹️ ▶️ John it still works okay the cushion is absolutely shot it is shredded

⏹️ ▶️ John and it also any foam that might have been in there is compressed beyond belief

⏹️ ▶️ John from 20 years of me sitting on it, but nothing on it is broken. It doesn’t really rattle.

⏹️ ▶️ John The pneumatic up and down thingy has a little bit of spring in it when it shouldn’t.

⏹️ ▶️ John It sort of goes down, compresses when you sit on it no matter what. But it’s pretty

⏹️ ▶️ John heroic, kind of like my Mac Pro.

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco It’s fast this

⏹️ ▶️ John time, but it is pretty… But anyway, it has never been a particularly comfortable or good chair, and

⏹️ ▶️ John I just feel like I needed a better one. And I’ve been putting this off for years. It’s not like I’m buying new

⏹️ ▶️ John fancy chairs on a whim. For years and years I’ve been like, we need new chairs, all our chairs are crap, and I’m sitting

⏹️ ▶️ John on a 15 year old chair, now I’m sitting on an 18 year old chair, now I’m sitting on a 20 year old chair, and for whatever reason,

⏹️ ▶️ John finally got the wherewithal to say, we just need to get new chairs. And I’ve been

⏹️ ▶️ John resisting mostly because fancy chairs cost huge amounts of money.

⏹️ ▶️ John If you’ve never looked at fancy chairs and you think the $250 one was too much money, don’t look, it’s terrifying.

⏹️ ▶️ John They cost too much money and I’d be like, I don’t like my chair, but do I not like

⏹️ ▶️ John it that much? The answer is usually no. I was working

⏹️ ▶️ John during the dot com boom, right? And that means I had occasion to encounter

⏹️ ▶️ John Aeron chairs, which was one of the first fancy chairs. And I sat on them

⏹️ ▶️ John and they’re interesting, but they never seemed like they could justify the price. had an

⏹️ ▶️ John excuse in my head of like, yeah, okay, fancy chairs may be nice, but they’re not that nice. And I had some

⏹️ ▶️ John foundation in it, having actually like sit on some kinds of fancy chairs for an extended period of

⏹️ ▶️ John time. But obviously I changed my mind on that. And I’m sure Marco has, Marco as always has

⏹️ ▶️ John a compelling case for why people should spend money. So I’ll allow him to provide that now before I explain why I did it.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Well, okay. So chairs are one of the many categories

⏹️ ▶️ Marco of products in, you know, in modern in life where the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco middle class is gone. There is no more middle class. Like, it’s one of

⏹️ ▶️ Marco those products where you can go to a store and you can buy one for, you know, 100 bucks or 150 bucks.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Like, that’s like the typical, like, you know, Staples or Office Max, like,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco base model of decent desk chair with arms on it. It’s gonna

⏹️ ▶️ Marco be about 150 bucks, you know, something like that. You could also get the one for $250,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco but these days, maybe when you bought yours, things were different, John. Probably not, but maybe. But these days,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the $250 one, you’re not really getting higher quality

⏹️ ▶️ Marco than the cheaper one. You’re just getting a higher price with some features thrown on to make you

⏹️ ▶️ Marco pay that higher price, but it’s not really a higher quality. It’s the kind of thing where

⏹️ ▶️ Marco there’s basically one quality level that they just assign multiple price points for

⏹️ ▶️ Marco marketing and profit, basically. But you’re getting the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco same crap quality just with a nicer finish on the arms or something

⏹️ ▶️ Marco like that, like minor cosmetic differences. This is true of so many things. This is true of appliances,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco so many things where everything’s basically cheap crap. And to get the next level

⏹️ ▶️ Marco of quality up, you have to go from $150 to $1,000.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Like there’s nothing, everything in between, you’re being ripped off, basically. It’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco like, the $400 one’s gonna be the same as the $100 one. The $600 one’s probably gonna be similar quality.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco You’re gonna, you have to make a big jump to go

⏹️ ▶️ Marco much higher end to get a noticeable increase in quality if you want that, because the middle class

⏹️ ▶️ Marco has just kind of just been hollowed out by cheapness and decontenting and outsourcing

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and just crap over time that now, All the low end stuff is all made the same way

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and only the high end stuff can afford to have any quality left in it.

⏹️ ▶️ John And of course the high end stuff, as with all high end stuff, has tremendous margins. So, you know, I don’t know if you consider it being

⏹️ ▶️ John getting ripped off, but you like, because the middle is gone, your choice

⏹️ ▶️ John is narrow margins on crap or huge margins on expensive stuff.

⏹️ ▶️ John Because expensive stuff always has huge margins. So I feel like the high end stuff, not only is it expensive, you feel like

⏹️ ▶️ John you’re getting ripped off. is like, okay, this is better. And maybe I’ll say it’s two times better, but it’s not

⏹️ ▶️ John four times better. And it’s four times the price.

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco And

⏹️ ▶️ John that’s, that’s just the price. That’s the price you pay on the high end for anything. It is never proportional. Like, you know, your

⏹️ ▶️ John Mercedes S class is three times as good as a Honda Accord, but it costs

⏹️ ▶️ John way more than three times the price. And that’s just, just the way of the world in the high end. And it is, it’s

⏹️ ▶️ John tough to stomach. And it’s the reason I’ve been sitting on the same chair for 20 years is because I’m, I’m just like, I can’t

⏹️ ▶️ John do

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it. Yeah, and by the way, the $100 chair at Staples, there’s a pretty good margin

⏹️ ▶️ Marco on that too. That chair is made out of sawdust and thin

⏹️ ▶️ Marco plastic.

⏹️ ▶️ John Percentage-wise, maybe, but in absolute dollars, it’s $20 you’re

⏹️ ▶️ John making off that chair. Yeah,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco yeah, well, anyway. So I did those cheap

⏹️ ▶️ Marco chairs for years. The reason why I finally upgraded, And so

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I finally upgraded to a good chair when I started working from home full-time. Because

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I decided, you know, if I’m gonna be here all the time, I need something actually good.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Because at work, I would sit in decent office chairs. I think at Tumblr the whole time,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I think I had an Aeron. The job before that, I had not the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco super fancy chair, but a mid-range office company chair.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco When you’re sitting in something for like one hour a day at home when you come home from work, that has

⏹️ ▶️ Marco very different needs than when you’re sitting in it all day every day. That’s one of the reasons why offices tend to have

⏹️ ▶️ Marco pretty nice chairs. Anyway, so I decided a chair lasts a pretty

⏹️ ▶️ Marco long time. If you spent $100 on that chair or if you spent $1,000 on that chair, over the course

⏹️ ▶️ Marco of 20 years, you’re not really going to notice that much.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco for the time span in which you’re using it, that actually is not that ridiculous. You know? So anyway,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I decided to get nice chairs when I started the home office. I have one, Tiff

⏹️ ▶️ Marco has one, and they are wonderful. I will tell you what they are after you tell me what

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you bought, but I think you already know, and yeah, it’s wonderful. So,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco what did you decide to do?

⏹️ ▶️ John Well, so I did what everybody does these days, and I went to the Wirecutter, also known as Wirecutter. No need for

⏹️ ▶️ John the the. Um, and I looked at their chair reviews. And the thing is, because I’ve been looking at this

⏹️ ▶️ John for years, I have some experience with what’s out there in the high-end chair market. And also,

⏹️ ▶️ John by the way, probably even more experience with the crap chairs, because every few years I’ll

⏹️ ▶️ John go into an office store and sit on every single one of the chairs and just see if there’s any that I

⏹️ ▶️ John can tolerate or that make me want to pay the $150 or whatever. Um, and in my

⏹️ ▶️ John travels around the working world and friends’ houses who have expensive chairs.

⏹️ ▶️ John I’ve sat in not a lot of the expensive chairs, but a couple of them.

⏹️ ▶️ John And at work and at jobs, like some people have fancy chairs at work, and there’s

⏹️ ▶️ John always ubiquitous leftover Aeron’s from the dot-com boom. And so I’m familiar with a lot of these chairs.

⏹️ ▶️ John And part of the reason why I bought a new one is just my old chairs are just getting older and creakier.

⏹️ ▶️ John And really, I really just want to buy my wife a new chair, because hers is the worst. And I I always felt like

⏹️ ▶️ John we could, once I’m getting her one, I’m like, well, then we should just get us both one and then I can rotate my old chair to the PlayStation

⏹️ ▶️ John and get rid of that other chair. And just, you know, I don’t know. It just seemed like the time to do it. The

⏹️ ▶️ John Wirecutter recommendation is this thing called the Steelcase Gesture. I was looking at

⏹️ ▶️ John that and I figured, and the other alternative is the chair that Marco has and the chair that I think

⏹️ ▶️ John Underscore also has. Don’t you both have the same chair? I forget, probably. Pretty sure

⏹️ ▶️ John you do because I think I’ve sat in both your chairs. I visited both your houses. I made it a point to sit in your expensive chairs

⏹️ ▶️ John to see what they’re like. And the gesture is cheaper, and it was the number one pick. And part

⏹️ ▶️ John of the reasoning of the number one pick is like the Margo’s chair, which is the Herman Miller Embody,

⏹️ ▶️ John is $300 more expensive, but doesn’t seem $300 better. Like the gesture

⏹️ ▶️ John was a better deal.

⏹️ ▶️ John And one of the factors in buying my chair, the chairs I’m getting, is that I tend not to like armrests

⏹️ ▶️ John at all. I don’t want them on my chairs at all. All the chairs I’ve ever had, I either remove the arms from them at work and

⏹️ ▶️ John at home, or I buy chairs without armrests. I just find they get in the way of my, I’ve got long arms and I find they get

⏹️ ▶️ John in the way of my arms and my elbows. And when I rotate my chair, the arms hit my keyboard tray because I use a keyboard

⏹️ ▶️ John tray everywhere that’s down low. I just don’t like the arms. And both the Gesture

⏹️ ▶️ John and the Embody look like they have the possibility that if you remove the arms, there would be no stubby things poking

⏹️ ▶️ John you. Like the Gesture arms are way back, like by the sides of the seat back. and the embody

⏹️ ▶️ John arms are way down below and back by the side. So I’m like, oh, those are both good. When it came time for

⏹️ ▶️ John me to start ordering, my plan was buy one embody and one gesture. And my wife and I would try both of them. And then we would decide

⏹️ ▶️ John if we, you know, if we each like one of each, then we would just use the chairs. And if we both like one, didn’t like the other, we would return

⏹️ ▶️ John one and get another one. So then it came down to the company’s return policies and Steelcase’s

⏹️ ▶️ John return policy was crap. They had a 20% restocking fee and like, no thanks. You can buy them

⏹️ ▶️ John through Amazon. And as far as I could tell, you’d be subject to Amazon’s return policy,

⏹️ ▶️ John which is like 30 days return, blah, blah, blah, in reasonable new condition. But I wasn’t

⏹️ ▶️ John so sure about that. And then the final alternative is to find a local store and go

⏹️ ▶️ John there and see what their return policy is. But it’s just about, you’re busy, you’re

⏹️ ▶️ John working, and I’m like, oh, if I have to find a store to do it, maybe it’s a long drive and I’ll never end up doing it. And the

⏹️ ▶️ John places that are close to me didn’t carry the gesture, they just carried other steel case chairs

⏹️ ▶️ John just I didn’t want to go through that. So anyway, we’re trying to experiment. I decided

⏹️ ▶️ John I’m going to buy the Herman Miller one, by the way, has 30 day return policy buying direct

⏹️ ▶️ John from Herman Miller with no restocking fee and has a 12 year warranty on the chairs for whatever

⏹️ ▶️ John that’s worth in case like it’s damaged or whatever. So I figured I’ll try the Herman Miller and body mostly

⏹️ ▶️ John because I found YouTube videos of removing the arms and it looked very straightforward. Like

⏹️ ▶️ John it’s not some complicated thing because I have sat in it at Marcos house and underscore his house.

⏹️ ▶️ John And because the wire cutter basically said it’s, you know, we pick gesture as a number

⏹️ ▶️ John one, but that has a lot to do with price. The embodies a good chair to, um, this is all

⏹️ ▶️ John despite the fact that I think all hermrilla chairs, including the air on the body are ridiculously over engineered

⏹️ ▶️ John and have things on them that do not make them better chairs. There’s a lot of that sort of high end

⏹️ ▶️ John has to be fancy and weird to make you feel like you’re justified spending this money that I really think does

⏹️ ▶️ John not actually make it a better chair. But despite all that stuff, it is also,

⏹️ ▶️ John seems like a sturdy chair and sitting on it feels solid. Like it feels,

⏹️ ▶️ John it feels more solid than any of the chairs in my house and I’m just hoping it would be comfortable. So I’ve been sitting on it, I’m

⏹️ ▶️ John sitting on it now, I just got it today. I’ve been sitting on it during this whole podcast. And

⏹️ ▶️ John it takes some getting used to. Maybe I don’t have it quite adjusted the way I want yet. The arms,

⏹️ ▶️ John I’ve tried the experiment with the arms on. These arms are coming off because I cannot stand the arms. They have

⏹️ ▶️ John to come off. Luckily they’re easy to come off. And then I’ll have my wife try it for a little while as well and

⏹️ ▶️ John after 30 days we’ll decide are we keeping this or are we buying a second one or are we gonna try something else? So

⏹️ ▶️ John this is an experiment and in case you’re wondering how much this chair costs, you can go to and find out.

⏹️ ▶️ John And you can customize this kind of like a Porsche where you can get a different fabric on it for an additional $150.

⏹️ ▶️ John like those are the kind of options they have for you, or an additional $90 to get a different finish

⏹️ ▶️ John on the bottom of the chair. This gives you an idea of what it’s like. But the cheapest you can come out with one of these things

⏹️ ▶️ John is about $1,300 for a chair, which sounds very,

⏹️ ▶️ John very ridiculous. And honestly, it is ridiculous. But if you have recently shopped for, say, a non-Casper

⏹️ ▶️ John mattress or a nice couch, not from Ikea, furniture

⏹️ ▶️ John is really expensive. Or a dining room table, not even like a high-end dining room table, but just like a middle

⏹️ ▶️ John of the road dining room table with six chairs and a leaf. Furniture is expensive.

⏹️ ▶️ John So

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco anyway,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco good furniture is expensive,

⏹️ ▶️ John but it’s not good. Like we have an expensive dining room table,

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco but it’s not good.

⏹️ ▶️ John It’s just, it’s from Jordan’s furniture. Jordan’s furniture is not a high end furniture store. It’s the local chain. You probably

⏹️ ▶️ John don’t know about it if you don’t live in Massachusetts, but it’s not Ikea. It’s not cheap furniture,

⏹️ ▶️ John but it’s not fancy expensive furniture. It is solidly middle of the road, mainstream for,

⏹️ ▶️ John And same thing with mattresses like again not you caster mattresses seem like they’re expensive go real mattress

⏹️ ▶️ John shopping one day and find out how Much like a real queen-size mattress cost it’s not the cheapest one in the entire store.

⏹️ ▶️ John They’re ridiculously expensive, right? So then anyway, I’m not gonna pretend this is not expensive chair is a ridiculously

⏹️ ▶️ John expensive chair Is the margins on it are big and like I said a lot of the design elements

⏹️ ▶️ John I fear are there kind of like that uh what’s the Apple dude with the Uh,

⏹️ ▶️ John the, the expensive, uh, hourglass and crap like that. Mark Newson. Yeah. Like a lot, there’s

⏹️ ▶️ John a lot of Mark Newson style flourishes on Herman Miller chairs and, and the steel case ones as well

⏹️ ▶️ John that I just feel like don’t add that much. So anyway, my initial impressions of this chair, having just sat on it for a couple

⏹️ ▶️ John hours of podcasting. Um, and again, I’m, I’m familiar with the chairs I’ve sat on other people’s. It

⏹️ ▶️ John feels like the other people’s do the base feels very solid and very wide. The chair itself is

⏹️ ▶️ John way heavier than my old chair. manifests in me not being able to roll it on carpet as

⏹️ ▶️ John easily. I’ve got the carpet casters on it so in theory I’ve got the right feet on it so it doesn’t

⏹️ ▶️ John sink in or whatever. But it is just so much heavier. It’s like twice as heavy as my other

⏹️ ▶️ John chair. So rolling it is harder to do. This chair,

⏹️ ▶️ John despite the fact that it’s all fancy, is not, believe it or not, as adjustable as my other chair because

⏹️ ▶️ John the backrest can’t go up and down vertically like towards the ceiling and towards the floor because it’s sort of one continuous

⏹️ ▶️ John piece. I’m a tall person with a long torso so I’m not entirely sure that I’m getting the support I need from

⏹️ ▶️ John the back of it but you know I’m willing to wait and see using it for a while how I feel sitting

⏹️ ▶️ John in the chair long term. Bottom part of it feels okay so far.

⏹️ ▶️ John Arms are definitely gonna come off. Anyway it’s an experiment and even if I don’t love

⏹️ ▶️ John it you know I’ll see if my wife likes it and if neither one of us do we will try

⏹️ ▶️ John to return it somehow. I’m trying to save of the box and packing materials, but it’s

⏹️ ▶️ John a lot of stuff. And even if we do like it, maybe we’ll try another

⏹️ ▶️ John one of these for my wife and or me, or maybe I’ll try a gesture if I can find a

⏹️ ▶️ John way to buy it without returning it. And if you’re thinking of using a chair like this, the best way

⏹️ ▶️ John to do it is to find a local store that you can sit in with, and then when you can talk to somebody about like, what if I don’t like

⏹️ ▶️ John it, can I return it? I just didn’t have the time to do that. And I

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey just,

⏹️ ▶️ John I felt like if I tried to, If I tried to pursue that as I have in the past, what would actually happen is I would

⏹️ ▶️ John never find time to go to the store, or I would go to a store and they would have one or two chairs and I would try them and not know and then I just

⏹️ ▶️ John wouldn’t do anything and I just needed to… jump in the pool. Uh, oh, and you do get to

⏹️ ▶️ John pick all the different colors and finishes, which is just stress-inducing. This, by the way, is why I always, like, uh… I spend

⏹️ ▶️ John a lot of time thinking about what I would do if I ever had to order, like, a Ferrari or a

⏹️ ▶️ John Bentley, because you get to pick, like, everything about the inside of them. What color leather do you want? What color carpet do you want?

⏹️ ▶️ John What materials do you want here? Like they will do anything for you, especially like, you know, Bentley and Rolls, because they’re basically building

⏹️ ▶️ John their car just for you. Um, and I would be paralyzed about it. Like, I don’t know. I don’t want to like spend 400

⏹️ ▶️ John grand on a car and end up with this monstrosity because I have bad taste. Like they should really limit it to, and I know they do

⏹️ ▶️ John have some presets, like just pick these presets, but it’s a lot of pressure being able to customize all that stuff. Because

⏹️ ▶️ John it’s why rich people have other people pick them out for them or whatever. But, uh, anyway, I picked the options

⏹️ ▶️ John on this chair mostly to keep it inexpensive. expensive. So mine is all black. It’s just black, black, black, black, black

⏹️ ▶️ John with the cheap fabric.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, I mean, so whatever, whatever it’s worth, you know, so we have two of these in our office, one for me, one for two. I bought them both

⏹️ ▶️ Marco in 2010. So they’re, they’re, they’re like seven and a half years old. Now, um, we

⏹️ ▶️ Marco have sat in them, you know, I’m here, I’m sitting here more than Tiff is. Um, so, you know,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco mine is a little more worn than hers. Uh, ours and, and ours are both like the typical, you know, black

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and black. Um, the whatever the fabric is that used to be the only fabric because when

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I bought these, there were very few options because the Embody in 2010 was still fairly

⏹️ ▶️ Marco new. So there weren’t that many options. But anyway, it has held up so remarkably well.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Not only is the support and everything still wonderful, as far as I can tell, flawless,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco but even the fabric covering, you expect a chair that is totally covered in fabric.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco The Aeron, the more famous one from the dot-com era, the Aeron has a whole

⏹️ ▶️ Marco lot of plastic framing around it. So a lot of the pressure or the friction of you moving around

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and sitting on the chair is on some of those plastic pieces. I think one of the biggest sources

⏹️ ▶️ Marco of wear on a chair is probably the front rim of it. And on the Aeron, that’s all plastic, what goes

⏹️ ▶️ Marco under your knees, basically. With the Embody, everything is wrapped in fabric, basically. Every

⏹️ ▶️ Marco edge that you touch is fabric covered, including that front lip. So you would expect

⏹️ ▶️ Marco these chairs, after seven years of having my rear end on it constantly,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know, I don’t use this chair a little bit. I’m really good at sitting in my office.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco So like, you would think after all that time, there would be a lot of wear and tear on this chair. And

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I have two tiny little spots on the fabric, on that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco front lip where like the edge, there’s like an edge support that kind of comes in from the sides.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And there’s these two little worn away dots in the fabric. And that’s the only

⏹️ ▶️ Marco visible wear on the entire chair. Tiff uses hers a little bit less than me. Hers is still perfect.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Hers doesn’t have those dots. And it’s so it’s just like nowhere. And this is after seven and a

⏹️ ▶️ Marco half years of fairly heavy use.

⏹️ ▶️ John You should get that repaired under warranty because you’re still under warranty. You say, hey, fabric wore through. Give me a new new fabric.

⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, actually, I probably will. You didn’t do it for your iMac. I forgot to remind you about that last show. I

⏹️ ▶️ John remember it again Relistening to the show is this is the part where I meant to tell Marco that he needs to bring his iMac in before the

⏹️ ▶️ John Warranty expires.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco You know what it is I still don’t have like I’d have to use my laptop without a monitor or I’d have to go to the beach

⏹️ ▶️ Marco get the LG monitor That I hate and bring it here.

⏹️ ▶️ John Just do it the warranties expiring. It’s worth just trying

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco you should

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I know it’s expiring in a few weeks But I really like I don’t I really don’t want to

⏹️ ▶️ Marco go without having a nice computer right now Like this is like with all the the lead-up

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to the iPhone 10 development. It’s very, very, this is a very

⏹️ ▶️ Marco bad time for me to be without a fast computer with a giant

⏹️ ▶️ John screen. You just you just waited too long. Yeah. Anyway, on for on the

⏹️ ▶️ John speaking of chairs, but in ellipse, the air on as most people know who have any experience with them, the air has like mesh

⏹️ ▶️ John seats, which is good if you get hot, like in the seat, because like you let the air flow up through it, but it is basically mesh

⏹️ ▶️ John stretched over a plastic frame. And especially the front lip with like the front plastic rim

⏹️ ▶️ John that is holding the mesh in like sort of like a thing of like a tennis racket that rim if you don’t sit in it just

⏹️ ▶️ John the right way so that your butt is sitting on the mesh that rim digs into the bottom

⏹️ ▶️ John of like your your thighs behind your knees and is very uncomfortable and can cut off circulation if you’re sitting at the

⏹️ ▶️ John right way it’s not a problem but people sit in all sorts of different ways like slouching and sliding to the side especially if you’re

⏹️ ▶️ John in the chair a long time even though you’re not supposed to or whatever that’s the main complaint about that and you

⏹️ ▶️ John know Aaron’s you know if you don’t like the mesh you’re not gonna like it but anyway I sat on enough arrows to know that

⏹️ ▶️ John I don’t like that I sit in weird positions that digs in. So the body doesn’t have that problem. But that’s one of the big

⏹️ ▶️ John things that the various reviews I’ve read, including the wire cutter, said about the gesture is that it’s even better

⏹️ ▶️ John in that the entire bottom cushion is very large and all the edges are not just

⏹️ ▶️ John fabric covered, but also kind of squishy. So you can sit in all sorts of weird positions with your

⏹️ ▶️ John limbs draped off at all different angles and no at no place where you have your circulation cut

⏹️ ▶️ John off. So I am still interested to try a gesture. I just need to find somewhere where

⏹️ ▶️ John I can try one so that I can return it if I want to because gesture is a thousand dollar

⏹️ ▶️ John chair instead of a $1300 one, but still pretty expensive.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah. Also, if anybody’s looking to get these things for, you know, less money for a better deal,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco there’s a couple of things you should know. First of all, I heard I should probably verify this, but I haven’t verified this, but I heard when

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I was shopping for mine that if you don’t buy new from an authorized reseller,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Herman Miller’s warranty does not apply to you. So if you’re buying like from like a used sale or

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a discount site, be careful with that. I would say do some research to figure out if that’s true or not. Secondly,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco if you’re buying an Airon used or anywhere for that matter, what John just described about

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the front lip digging into your knees if you don’t sit on it just right is exacerbated by the fact that it comes in three different sizes.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco So make sure if you’re buying an Airon, look up what the sizes are and make sure you’re buying

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the right size for you. If you buy one that is too large, that will dig into your knees

⏹️ ▶️ Marco way more than it should. Most people who found the Aeron uncomfortable

⏹️ ▶️ Marco were sitting in one that was the wrong size for them. Fortunately, if you go for the Embody, which I think you

⏹️ ▶️ Marco should, there’s a reason why it was the kind of sequel to the Aeron. It’s better,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco but if you go with the Embody, you don’t have that problem. That’s why the Embody only comes in one size

⏹️ ▶️ Marco because it’s just a better design. The Aeron takes a lot of adjustments

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to be good and to fit you well. The Embody doesn’t really have

⏹️ ▶️ Marco much of anything that can be adjusted and comes in exactly one size and it’s great and it fits almost everybody

⏹️ ▶️ Marco really well.

⏹️ ▶️ John And that size is fat ass basically. Like this seat, if you want your butt to feel small,

⏹️ ▶️ John sit in an Embody

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco because the bottom of the

⏹️ ▶️ John seat is just tremendous. Like you need, I I do not have the bottom to fill this seat. I feel inadequate

⏹️ ▶️ John to the task of filling this seat with my butt, because it is wide. I have like six inches

⏹️ ▶️ John on either side of me here. It’s a big seat. You

⏹️ ▶️ Marco got some work to do, John.

⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, I’m working on it. I’ll just keep getting down. I almost ate an entire pint of Haagen-Dazs last night, so I’m

⏹️ ▶️ John working on it.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco You’re on your way. Man, the Aron chair looks pretty dated to me now.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco It was so iconic for the time that now it looks like, It looks like 2004. Yeah,

⏹️ ▶️ John I mean, and again, like the Aeron had some innovations. I feel like the mesh is an innovation

⏹️ ▶️ John because of the breathability and stuff. But some aspects of it are just not,

⏹️ ▶️ John like the lumbar support, that’s not great. Like that little, oh, well, you get this thing for more money that

⏹️ ▶️ John shoves a plastic lump in your back.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Like, that’s not well considered. That thing never, or like, and like a lot of people will put these weird headrests

⏹️ ▶️ Marco on them too.

⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, you can get headrests for the Embali too. You get headrests for everything. And like, no, then you’re in a dentist chair. That feels

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco weird to me. Yeah, that never worked

⏹️ ▶️ Marco out for me. Especially in the Tumblr office, there were always a million different

⏹️ ▶️ Marco errons around of different eras and sizes that were bought. Because it was a shared office for

⏹️ ▶️ Marco all the time I was there. So there were 25 different errons

⏹️ ▶️ Marco in the office that were all bought at different times. And so they were in various stages of adjustment

⏹️ ▶️ Marco from previous people who had worked there and everything else. always like this bizarre combination of

⏹️ ▶️ Marco weird chairs and yeah none of them I couldn’t like I finally found the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco one that fit me right in the office and like it was like a red tape of the situation like

⏹️ ▶️ Marco occasionally like when somebody would be in the office and would like take my chair to some other desk and would like put some other

⏹️ ▶️ Marco chair back at my desk when they were done I would notice immediately make where my chair like this is a

⏹️ ▶️ John problem when I was when I was out for work during the summer like we moved all everyone

⏹️ ▶️ John in the whole building, did another, you know, we move all the time at work. Anyway,

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco we did some

⏹️ ▶️ John shuffle and I, I, as I always do put labels on my chair. So like, this

⏹️ ▶️ John is my chair or whatever. Uh, and I came back to like, set up my new stuff at my new

⏹️ ▶️ John desk and to put on my new keyboard tray, like two days into my, you know, long break, my chair

⏹️ ▶️ John was there and then I came back at the end of the summer to come back for good. Chair was gone.

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco I’m like,

⏹️ ▶️ John no, like, I want to know my coworkers. I said, I said to them and they like watch my chair and like, ha ha.

⏹️ ▶️ John yeah John and his chair like no seriously you should have watched my chair I had to search the entire floor

⏹️ ▶️ John and to go into every conference room and eventually I found that it was like it was totally like mist you guys both played

⏹️ ▶️ John mist

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I yeah I played it for like 10 minutes

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John so I didn’t actually be there or

⏹️ ▶️ John anything everyone in the chat room who hasn’t played miss close your ears is a miss spoiler it was just like mist in that

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco I thought I

⏹️ ▶️ John spoiled missed in 2017 I totally can I thought I thought I had

⏹️ ▶️ John checked every single conference room for my chair and it’s easy to recognize. Guess what, it’s the one with no

⏹️ ▶️ John arms on it, right? It’s

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco a particular

⏹️ ▶️ John variety

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco of chair. It’s an older variety of chair because I’ve been

⏹️ ▶️ John at the company for a long time. But it’s the only one in the office with no arms on it, so it should be easy to find. And I

⏹️ ▶️ John checked everywhere and I was like, asking people around, have you seen my chair? Like, where could it have gone?

⏹️ ▶️ John It was, you had to go into one of the more obscure conference rooms and then turn around

⏹️ ▶️ John and look at the door you came through and against the wall next to the door hidden behind a thing, right?

⏹️ ▶️ John Because you just go into a room You don’t think to turn around and look at the doorway you

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey just came

⏹️ ▶️ John through. That’s where it was. It was like behind the open door to the conference room. You come in, you open the

⏹️ ▶️ John door and the door blocks your view of the chair. And I found it. And this is after I feel bad. This is after I took one of the chairs

⏹️ ▶️ John that was similar model and remove the arms because I’m going to, I’m going to make a new facsimile of my old

⏹️ ▶️ John chair, but it wasn’t the same. Like it was, it was a similar model, but not exactly the same model.

⏹️ ▶️ John And I couldn’t remember like my butt’s been in that chair at work for eight years. I’ve got eight years of butt time

⏹️ ▶️ John in that chair, eight hours a day, so. Thank God I found it.

⏹️ ▶️ John And I remember when I found it that I had to put like puffy stickers of animals on it to even

⏹️ ▶️ John further reinforce that it’s mine, like on the back of it. So it is totally my red

⏹️ ▶️ John stapler at work. If I could chain it to my desk, I would. Beep, beep, beep.