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

262: A Clear Path to Okayness

One of us finally got a HomePod, another has some thoughts on Siri, and the third is waffling on the purchase as usual.

Episode Description:

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


  1. Casey’s easy solutions
  2. HomePod grabbing “Hey Siri”
  3. Sonos and wood furniture
  4. Sponsor: Simple Contacts (code ATP)
  5. Who has a HomePod?
  6. Less space than a Nomad
  7. Sponsor: Squarespace (code ATP)
  8. Thoughts on Siri
  9. Sponsor: Betterment
  10. Rumored quality changes
  11. #askatp: Mac Pro Mini?
  12. #askatp: Rip movies at 24 FPS?
  13. #askatp: Old ebook DRM
  14. Ending theme
  15. Post-show: Neutral

Casey’s easy solutions

⏹️ ▶️ Casey John how are you? Let’s lighten the mood. How’s things going with you John?

⏹️ ▶️ John I’m tired. I’m exhausted. You guys are making me more exhausted. I

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Seem to have become the authority on Not seeing easy solutions to my problems.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey So

⏹️ ▶️ Marco If somebody didn’t tell you about our sink now

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I have heard about our sink and I actually have used it for years literally years, but that’s not the issue

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I’ve been working on an app that I don’t particularly want to talk about the specifics on the show, but suffice

⏹️ ▶️ Casey to say it relates to HealthKit, which already means I’m kind of treading on underscores waters actually, but whatever.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey So I asked him, you know, hey, is there any way to export HealthKit

⏹️ ▶️ Casey data and bring it into the simulator? Because I prefer to do most of my development against simulator

⏹️ ▶️ Casey because it’s quicker and easier. So I need a whole bunch of HealthKit data on the simulator.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey And I was like, man, is there any way to export it, then import it? Is there somewhere on the file system or something like

⏹️ ▶️ Casey that that I can do this? And in the most polite way, which is underscores

⏹️ ▶️ Casey MO, in the most polite way, he said to me, these are my words, mind you, you frigging idiot,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey you can get on iCloud on the simulator, just join your account on iCloud. I didn’t

⏹️ ▶️ Casey know you could do that, actually. Well, I’ll see. But I did know that you could do that, but I didn’t put two and two together.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey But this is where it gets really bad, and I shouldn’t share this publicly, but here I am. I said to him,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey but underscore, here’s the thing. I want to be able to like save things to health kit,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey but I don’t want them to actually save to, you know, like the canonical instance

⏹️ ▶️ Casey of health kit. So in other words, if I save, I don’t know, like an, like a workout, which is not actually what this

⏹️ ▶️ Casey app does, but it’s for the sake of conversation, I save a workout, I don’t want it to go to like my actual canonical

⏹️ ▶️ Casey health kit, uh, I don’t know, identity for lack of a better word repository. I want that to kind of just

⏹️ ▶️ Casey live alone on the simulator. So without batting an eye, Underscore says, so sign

⏹️ ▶️ Casey out of iCloud. I’m so annoyed

⏹️ ▶️ Casey right now.

⏹️ ▶️ John You’re like two weeks away from having an armful of Apple Watches like Underscore does, you know?

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey I know,

⏹️ ▶️ John right?

⏹️ ▶️ Casey But it’s like, this is such an easy solution. Why do I not see these things?

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Maybe I’m just a really crummy developer and I don’t realize it, but oh golly. Like, I don’t think I’m an exceptionally

⏹️ ▶️ Casey great developer, but I didn’t think I was that bad of a developer. Why don’t I see these things?

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Why can’t I recognize this?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco So everyone, hire Casey for your development needs. Yeah, exactly. Yeah, that’s the trick.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey That’s the ticket right there.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco You really do a good job

⏹️ ▶️ Casey at selling yourself. This is why I don’t want to be an independent consultant. I

⏹️ ▶️ Marco love that you keep, I heard your episode of Analog, it was very good. Last episode of Analog, where Mike

⏹️ ▶️ Marco talks you through a lot of this stuff, which I highly suggest everybody listen to, just because it’s a good show to begin

⏹️ ▶️ Marco with, but also if you’re interested in our arc of trying to convince Casey to go out on his

⏹️ ▶️ Marco own somehow, it was a very good episode. And I think, and we even got this 2,000 word email

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that it does seem like your

⏹️ ▶️ Marco heart is not really in consulting. Like it does seem like you don’t really care to do it,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey right? And

⏹️ ▶️ Casey that’s the thing,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that’s the thing. Then, you know, fine, I’m not gonna push that anymore because to do

⏹️ ▶️ Marco anything like that, you have to be a little more into it than what you are.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco So that’s probably not gonna happen. So, okay, I’ll stop pushing that button. I do, however, think it’s hilarious that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you keep trying to trade in these ways that you can immediately get a lot of money for

⏹️ ▶️ Marco things that take years to build up to a livable wage. Like, I think I’m gonna start a YouTube app

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and making small indie apps. Or YouTube channel, rather, excuse

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey me. Yeah,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey that’s indie success right there,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco guaranteed.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Everyone is making money hand over fist in the app store and on YouTube. There’s no

⏹️ ▶️ Casey way for this to be a disaster. All

⏹️ ▶️ Marco right, here’s what you do. You get five envelopes, and each one you put $5. You mail the top two to these

⏹️ ▶️ Marco people, then you mail out a whole bunch of letters to the other. It’s like, this is never gonna,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco if you started doing these things 10 years ago, you might now have enough to live on. Exactly. These

⏹️ ▶️ Marco are slow buildings, slow, It takes a while.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey It’s so true. It’s so true. I don’t know. I don’t know. I’ve been waffling

⏹️ ▶️ Casey about this. Erin and I have been talking a lot about this, and not in

⏹️ ▶️ Casey an angry way. Like, I’m not upset about it at all. But I don’t want to talk about it anymore at this particular moment,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey because I feel like all I’ve been doing is stressing about it for the last month and a half. But I have such conflicted

⏹️ ▶️ Casey and mixed thoughts that I don’t know what to do. And it’s like, I think

⏹️ ▶️ Casey your assessment is accurate that the idea of just 1099ing my way through life,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey that is to say being an independent consultant, like there are ways in which I think that would be fun.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Like let’s say for the sake of discussion, I can wave my magic wand and I can have

⏹️ ▶️ Casey you give me, I don’t know, between five and 10 hours of work a week. I can have Underscore give me five

⏹️ ▶️ Casey to 10 hours of work a week. I can have some of my other independent app developers like Jelly

⏹️ ▶️ Casey who works on GIFRAPT, which if you believe in animated GIFs at all, you should have, or Curtis

⏹️ ▶️ Casey who works on slopes as another example, which if you believe in skiing or snowboarding, you should have that app.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey You know, if any of these people, if all of you guys, and underscore of course, you know, if you guys could each

⏹️ ▶️ Casey shave off five to 10 hours each, then I could probably make a living. But the idea of just like going

⏹️ ▶️ Casey out and chasing random people for work and random businesses for work is just, just the thought of it

⏹️ ▶️ Casey is extremely tiring. And that’s not to say that that’s bad or wrong or

⏹️ ▶️ Casey anything else. It’s just, I don’t—to your point, Marco, I don’t think my heart is in chasing work

⏹️ ▶️ Casey from random people. And I mean that not in a nasty way, just in an observational way. MARK

⏹️ ▶️ Marco MIRCHANDANI So, well, I do wonder, though. I think that the part of the 2,000-word email that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco we got that was mostly a little bit off-putting, but the part

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John of it that I thought

⏹️ ▶️ Marco was interesting and potentially a good path to consider is is the part where the author

⏹️ ▶️ Marco says that, clearly your heart’s not in consulting, which I think was true, but that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco maybe you should consider being like the Swift person, like

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John the person

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey who has a

⏹️ ▶️ Marco lot of instructional Swift content. Like, granted, that’s a very crowded market. There’s a lot of people

⏹️ ▶️ Marco who have been doing a lot of instructional Swift content for a long time, but you also already have

⏹️ ▶️ Marco an existing audience of developers, which is pretty good. Like that’s a pretty good advantage

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to start with. And so you do have a bit of an unfair advantage there, which you can use

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to your advantage. The other thing I would say is, when talking about

⏹️ ▶️ Marco who you could get consulting work from, don’t do like me and Underscore and Curtis.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Like we’re all indie developers working on indie budgets. Like we’re the worst people

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to have

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey trying to get

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John consulting work for

⏹️ ▶️ Marco because we can barely afford employees. I think Margo just pre-fired you.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I told him I’d give him some hours if he did this, but like, but you know, I’m in a position that most Indies are not.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And even I, you know, I couldn’t afford you full time. Although,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey can I just say publicly that it may be worth,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey maybe not the money, but worth the experience for both of us to watch me have to slum it in objective

⏹️ ▶️ Casey sealand and watch you have to slum it and deal with an employee. Like that would be hilarious

⏹️ ▶️ Casey on many different levels.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco The world’s least interesting reality show.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Well, it would be the least interesting but perhaps most funny. You need cards against humanity to

⏹️ ▶️ John sponsor

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John it. Yeah, right? Oh God.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey But seriously, like you, don’t let me speak for you, but I have the feeling like even with me,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey and I like to think I get a little bit of special privilege here, you have no interest in having anyone

⏹️ ▶️ Casey as like an employee in any capacity. And although I don’t have any real angst against Objective-C,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I have… let’s say I feel like it’s a little bit old and a little bit tired.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I mean, that could be said for all of us, right?

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Well, that’s fair. I just

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco think it would be hilarious. Some days more than others.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Can you imagine, like, you send me off to work on some bug fix and I, like, rewrite an entire class in Swift and try to

⏹️ ▶️ Casey pass that. I wouldn’t do that for several different reasons, but just for the sake of discussion, like, I write this entire class, or I

⏹️ ▶️ Casey rewrite an entire class in Swift. I’m like, here you go. Here you go, Marco. This is good, right? what did

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco you do?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I could just settle all this money on fire by making you write unit tests.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Well, I don’t know

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco if it’d be setting it on fire. I

⏹️ ▶️ Casey almost walked into that, you bastard. You’re more right than

⏹️ ▶️ Casey you are wrong, you big jerk. Oh

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John goodness.

HomePod grabbing “Hey Siri”

⏹️ ▶️ Casey We should get started or slash continue with talking about how Siri

⏹️ ▶️ Casey is all up in front of the show Daniel Jalka’s business So who added this to show notes can

⏹️ ▶️ Casey tell me what’s going on.

⏹️ ▶️ John I added this. Here’s the first account I read of I think a story that I’ve heard from a lot of people

⏹️ ▶️ John now as he relates to HomePod it’s that you’ve got this thing in your house

⏹️ ▶️ John and Unfortunately, it has the same trigger phrase as a bunch of other things that you might also

⏹️ ▶️ John have in your house so once you get past the you know being amazed that it can hear

⏹️ ▶️ John you over loud music or whatever and you just happen to be in your house and you talk to some device that

⏹️ ▶️ John may or may not be your home pod and your home pod decides oh I can totally hear you

⏹️ ▶️ John and I’m gonna take this for you hang on I got it and Apple has this thing where

⏹️ ▶️ John if multiple devices are around and you say the trigger word they negotiate amongst each other to figure out who’s gonna answer

⏹️ ▶️ John but home pod will they’ll grab a request that it can’t handle

⏹️ ▶️ John just to tell you that it can’t do that, right? So that it would have worked if it was on your phone,

⏹️ ▶️ John but HomePod grabs it, maybe because it has better microphones or because it like takes priority or whatever,

⏹️ ▶️ John and then it grabs it and says, oh yeah, no, I totally can’t do that, sorry about that. So that’s not

⏹️ ▶️ John nice behavior and a lot of people have complained about that and it’s kind of another situation where Apple’s had

⏹️ ▶️ John a few of these where like their best customers are more

⏹️ ▶️ John likely to run into these complex problems, right? Apple wants you to have a household

⏹️ ▶️ John of Apple devices. You got Macs and iPads and phones and everybody should have one and they should be all over the place. And yet,

⏹️ ▶️ John if you do that, you run into all the situations in which Apple doesn’t handle a house full of devices. We’ve talked

⏹️ ▶️ John before about the, you know, families sharing, you know, iCloud and

⏹️ ▶️ John photos accounts, you know, before the family plans where iCloud storage existed,

⏹️ ▶️ John it was a while before Siri could understand different people and you had to do the training and everything, so now it can distinguish

⏹️ ▶️ John voices. Well, here’s another growing pain of the multi-Apple device lifestyle.

⏹️ ▶️ John If you’ve got multiple things in your house listening for the same trigger phrase, it’s great that they negotiate with each other, it’s not so great that

⏹️ ▶️ John the negotiation results in the worst possible device answering your question.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I mean, the funny thing is, like in many ways, this actually rewards you if you’re a person who has not gotten

⏹️ ▶️ Marco into the Hey Siri ecosystem. Like if you, like me, I don’t leave it on on my phones.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I tried it on my, because I have my iPad that just sits in the kitchen all day for the most part, and I figured

⏹️ ▶️ Marco maybe I could use that the way I use the Amazon Echo. Maybe I could set timers and stuff using Hey Siri on the iPad.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And I’ve tried that, and it’s terrible, so I’d never do it. But, oh crap,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco my development phone just went off. Well

⏹️ ▶️ Casey done.

⏹️ ▶️ John I was like, why are you saying it? See how nicely I said trigger phrase nine times? you’re just rattling them off and now you’re being punished.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco No, the rule is if Phil Schiller can go on the talk show and say, Hey Siri, in front of everybody, have nothing go

⏹️ ▶️ Marco off, then I can do it on a podcast.

⏹️ ▶️ John But he’s got a computerized chip in his throat that masks it so the devices won’t pick it up like the

⏹️ ▶️ John Amazon Echo ads in the Super Bowl.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco By the way, that’s that Amazon Echo method where you cut out the three kilohertz thing. I’d play with that. I could not reproduce that.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I could not get that to actually work. And that post was like a year old, so I’m guessing it’s not.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John Well, did

⏹️ ▶️ John you see that? I tweeted something about there’s some paper about how you can make basically any spoken phrase be interpreted by

⏹️ ▶️ John speech recognition engine as any other phrase that you want. You have to know the details

⏹️ ▶️ John of the recognition engine, but of course Amazon does know the details. It’s pretty neat. You can notice that it’s been modified,

⏹️ ▶️ John like there’s noise added, but it’s fascinating and terrifying that you can have the audio say anything you

⏹️ ▶️ John want and have the transcription say an entirely different phrase.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, yeah. Anyway, so the point is, if you are a HomePod person, you

⏹️ ▶️ Marco actually have a pretty good reason right now to disable the Hey Dingus feature on

⏹️ ▶️ Marco as many devices you can get away with it. Because like, like if you don’t end up using that much, like if you’re, if

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you’re willing to just hit the button on things, you’re way better off having that off on lots of devices because that way you won’t

⏹️ ▶️ Marco have this problem where the HomePod grabs it when it’s actually not the device that either you want

⏹️ ▶️ Marco or that even can handle the request you’re giving it.

⏹️ ▶️ John Joe could add a good story to it. He was using, he uses timers for like a midday meditation

⏹️ ▶️ John and the HomePod grabbed the, you know, please set a timer for whatever, which is fine, you know, whatever. And you can set a timer for me.

⏹️ ▶️ John But unlike the device that he normally that he was trying to talk to his watch, like taps you

⏹️ ▶️ John when like your time is up, the home pod would speak out loud

⏹️ ▶️ John about setting the timer and about when the time went off, it really kind of harshes your mellow when you’re trying to meditate.

⏹️ ▶️ John So yeah, that’s the intentionality of what you want. Like if you talk to your wrist,

⏹️ ▶️ John despite the fact that the home pod can hear you just fine, like quote unquote wins the contest and it can support

⏹️ ▶️ John timers it doesn’t understand that you were talking to your wrist anyone looking at you would know you were talking to your wrist because

⏹️ ▶️ John they’d see you doing that but the home pod can’t see you maybe it just needs cameras

Sonos and wood furniture

⏹️ ▶️ Casey But on a happier note, tell us about the Sonos and wood furniture.

⏹️ ▶️ John That’s not happy, it’s sad. Why is this happy? But yeah, Sonos and I’m sure lots of other

⏹️ ▶️ John audio and non-audio products that have the same feet made of the same or similar material

⏹️ ▶️ John that like soaks up the oil from the wood and everything can also leave marks.

⏹️ ▶️ John And I think that’s terrible. I think that, you know, again, I said on the last show, I understand that it’s important

⏹️ ▶️ John to have something vibration absorbing down there for audio performance, But I have to believe there is some substance

⏹️ ▶️ John on the planet that is both squishy and does not absorb oil

⏹️ ▶️ John from wood furniture, leaving rings or marks of any kind. So shame on Sonos, shame on Apple.

⏹️ ▶️ John I believe we have the technology to solve this.

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⏹️ ▶️ Casey Who has a HomePod? Because I know I don’t. And that’s in no small part because I friggin’ hate Siri. Marco?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I do not. Although that’s in partially small part because I’ve been traveling, so I wasn’t actually anywhere

⏹️ ▶️ Marco where I could buy one. I have still thought about maybe putting it on the counter. One thing I want to know actually,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I was thinking, I know some of our friends, like Merlin are very positive

⏹️ ▶️ Marco about the Echo, is it the Spot, the little circular one? I think that’s right, yeah.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I was wondering maybe I could try one of those because the one reason I got the Echo show for

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a day and then returned it promptly was that I really would like to see the progress of the timers

⏹️ ▶️ Marco counting down while cooking. You know, right now I could just ask the Echo, hey, timer status,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco but it’s, you know, ideally I could watch them or see them, you know, without having to

⏹️ ▶️ Marco ask something, have it here over the fan on the stove, and then, you know, so anyway. So I was thinking

⏹️ ▶️ Marco maybe I could get an Echo Spot, put it on the little counter right next to where we cook,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and then have the HomePod on the kind of transitional

⏹️ ▶️ Marco counter to the big great room and dining room area, where that’s where the music should come from. So I thought about that, but

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I don’t know. I still think I want to wait. It just seems like there’s so many 1.0 limitations

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and little annoyances here and there that people are having. And also, again, I’m not

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that hot on Siri. So I think I’m gonna wait a little bit. Or until I have a really

⏹️ ▶️ Marco good reason for overcast development.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Oh, we can hope, we can hope. How about you, John?

⏹️ ▶️ John I actually got something before Marco. Mark it on your

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco calendar. What? You got the HomePod?

⏹️ ▶️ John I got a HomePod, yeah. Just one? Just one. Which actually,

⏹️ ▶️ John more than one would’ve been cool. But anyway, I

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco did.

⏹️ ▶️ John I knew I had a place for it because I don’t. I put it in the same room that I have my Google Home Mini, which

⏹️ ▶️ John I got for free as part of some other purchase. And of course, you’d never want to play audio on. All right. So there’s

⏹️ ▶️ John competition for it in terms of answering questions. And in general, I think I’ll probably still

⏹️ ▶️ John ask questions to the Google Home Mini, mostly about who stars in movies that I’m watching on television

⏹️ ▶️ John while I’m watching them. And yes, I know that lots of applications on Apple TV

⏹️ ▶️ John can do that for you. Some of them like the I think the Amazon one, even if you just pause, it will show you like who’s on screen

⏹️ ▶️ John right now. So be aware of that. But But anyway, I find myself asking questions

⏹️ ▶️ John of the Google Home, mostly because force of habit.

⏹️ ▶️ John But I don’t really have anything in that room that can play good audio

⏹️ ▶️ John that is always on. I do have okay speakers attached to my TV. But usually that whole

⏹️ ▶️ John receiver and everything is off when someone’s not watching TV. So it’s nice to have something in there

⏹️ ▶️ John that, you know, it sounds okay and that I can both speak to

⏹️ ▶️ John to make it play something and in a pinch airplay to. So I subscribed to Apple Music. I tried to do like some

⏹️ ▶️ John family trial thing or whatever. I still assume I will unsubscribe eventually but I wanted to give it a fair

⏹️ ▶️ John shot to say I want to be able to just speak to the air and have it play music. And it sounds

⏹️ ▶️ John pretty good. No I didn’t put it on the coaster. It is sitting on top of my furniture, but I don’t have any

⏹️ ▶️ John nice furniture in my life

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey period So I don’t have to worry

⏹️ ▶️ John about it to have any let me see like my dining room tables, okay? But anyway, I don’t have

⏹️ ▶️ John a nice furniture for the most part so I don’t have to worry about it leaving rings It’s sitting on top of what I assume is a computer printed

⏹️ ▶️ John photograph of wood You know transfer it onto some kind of aluminum powder cover with

⏹️ ▶️ John the plastic dust crappy piece of furniture that I have

⏹️ ▶️ John I tried it in a bunch of different positions to see how it would adjust its sound.

⏹️ ▶️ John Couldn’t tell much of a difference. You know, I couldn’t tell whether it was adjusting its sound or

⏹️ ▶️ John whether it just sounded different because it was in a different place. I do have it kind of near a corner, which I think is not great

⏹️ ▶️ John for a boomy bass, but it’s really the best place I have for the thing. I got

⏹️ ▶️ John white, mostly because I couldn’t decide, and so I asked my son and he picked white, Which I think is a reasonable choice

⏹️ ▶️ John because all the other things are white as well In terms of filling

⏹️ ▶️ John the room with sound Tell that it’s a point source like that’s why I mentioned like if I get two

⏹️ ▶️ John of them might be better Even if it wasn’t just stereo like I can tell the sound is coming from that

⏹️ ▶️ John part of the room Which of course you expect to be able to tell that like it’s not it’s not magic But

⏹️ ▶️ John it is let’s put it this way It is less enveloping than the 5.1 system that I have on

⏹️ ▶️ John my TV I probably sounds better than the 5.1 system, but the 5.1 system surrounds the room

⏹️ ▶️ John so when I play you know Find that next year But most times I play music like during Christmas you

⏹️ ▶️ John play Christmas music when you’re like decorating the tree or on Christmas Day or whatever It’s nice to have it come from all

⏹️ ▶️ John around and maybe I’ll still do that, but it’s in the room. I talked to it my

⏹️ ▶️ John My like out-of-box experience was not the greatest because you go and you set up the thing and it shows a little picture

⏹️ ▶️ John of the home Pod you’re like yes set up, and you know you go through the whole thing everything seems fine.

⏹️ ▶️ John And then you can go to the home app to control the device or

⏹️ ▶️ John to do something. I don’t know, I never even launched the home app. So I launched the home app and there’s my home pod that I just set up and it’s just got

⏹️ ▶️ John a big red message on it that says like not responding. And it was like

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey that for like 10 minutes.

⏹️ ▶️ John It’s like what do you mean not responding? The thing is right there, I’m talking to it, it’s working fine, how can you tell me it’s not responding?

⏹️ ▶️ John Eventually it started responding and I saw that you can tap on it to like pause the music tap again to unpause and right,

⏹️ ▶️ John whatever. And then like 15 minutes later, launched the home application again

⏹️ ▶️ John to try to pause it from a different room. And there was a little spinner on it like the little dotted spinner, and the

⏹️ ▶️ John spinner just spun there. And it just spun for like five minutes since I closed the home app. Not you know

⏹️ ▶️ John what, I don’t know what the deal with that is. I don’t know what its problem was, seems to work now. Not

⏹️ ▶️ John a great experience. Just one of those kind of like, oh, sometimes Apple stuff doesn’t work, you just have to wait. That was

⏹️ ▶️ John kind of depressing. I did all the experiments everyone else did, turned the volume

⏹️ ▶️ John real loud, talked to it, it’s impressive how well it can hear you. I was not impressed with how quickly

⏹️ ▶️ John it executed my commands. It shows the most when you’re telling it to stop playing

⏹️ ▶️ John a song, because I do that all the time with the Google Homes I have, because my kids make them play things and I want them to

⏹️ ▶️ John stop immediately, right? So this is probably my most common interaction with any of these devices, to tell it to

⏹️ ▶️ John stop playing whatever audio it’s currently playing. And the HomePod will do it, but

⏹️ ▶️ John it’s a little bit more lag than there is when I’m telling any of the Google devices. The Google devices, like as soon as I get the word out

⏹️ ▶️ John of my mouth, it’s like, boom, the audio cuts off. The HomePod seems like it has to think about it for half

⏹️ ▶️ John a second or so. And I find that a little bit annoying considering it’s much more expensive than the other ones.

⏹️ ▶️ John So yeah, no real surprises. The only thing that I didn’t anticipate

⏹️ ▶️ John is how angry my children would get they try to talk to it using the Google’s trigger phrase.

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco So

⏹️ ▶️ John they’re constantly saying, you know, okay, Google or whatever to try to make it do things, especially again, if

⏹️ ▶️ John it’s in the middle of something, and one kid wants to stop it playing audio play a different one, they’re yelling at it to be and so the

⏹️ ▶️ John Google thing is answering them at the you know, trying to play music at the same time. It’s like you have to talk to but it’s

⏹️ ▶️ John like what they don’t understand why you would have to use a different phrase. I mean, I guess you can explain like it’s

⏹️ ▶️ John not a Google thing or whatever, but that’s stupid. So

⏹️ ▶️ Casey yeah.

Less space than a Nomad

⏹️ ▶️ Casey So I have such mixed feelings about this. So we got a letter from

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Tim Wouters, and Tim said, I see some funny parallels between

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Apple product launches, even with you guys, with respect to HomePod in your latest episodes.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey And Tim enumerates a bunch of things, and I’ll try to summarize his summary. So

⏹️ ▶️ Casey when the iPod was released in 2001, it enters an existing market of MP3 players. Oh,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey there’s no wireless, so there’s less space in a nomad. The iPhone, oh, it’s ridiculously expensive. It doesn’t have a physical keyboard,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey no copy-paste, no 3G, et cetera, et cetera. HomePod, well, it’s ridiculously

⏹️ ▶️ Casey expensive. It doesn’t do multi-room audio, it doesn’t do stereo, it doesn’t do multi-user, it’s severely limited, et cetera.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey So Tim’s point is he continues, I’m assuming he continues,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey every time Apple obliterates critics with its relentless focus on continuous improvement. So in so many

⏹️ ▶️ Casey words, why isn’t HomePod the same thing all over again?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Well, I mean, I don’t think it’s fair to assume that every Apple product that is

⏹️ ▶️ Marco kind of weird or iffy or delayed or incomplete 1.0 will grow up to be an awesome 2.0 or 3.0 or 4.0.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco The initial iPod was really expensive and it was pretty

⏹️ ▶️ Marco limited, especially because it was Mac only at the time. There were reasons to be skeptical

⏹️ ▶️ Marco of the initial iPod and that market wasn’t really proven yet. Whereas, you know,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco over time, they did make it great, and it was very successful. The original iPhone

⏹️ ▶️ Marco was too expensive for a lot of people. That original one did not sell nearly as many as the follow-up models.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco But, you know, over time, they made the iPhone ridiculously great. I mean, in my opinion, it was pretty great from day

⏹️ ▶️ Marco one, but they made it more successful and more mass-market as time went on. But, like,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco look at the Apple Watch. The first version of the Apple Watch was barely usable. it

⏹️ ▶️ Marco was really a pretty mediocre product. It had lots of problems, lots of limitations,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco lots of weird and bad design choices. They did it, iterate that over time, but most of that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco iteration happened with the help of additional hardware generations and a couple

⏹️ ▶️ Marco of years of software generations. That doesn’t mean that we were wrong to criticize the Apple

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Watch 1.0. The Apple Watch 1.0 needed a lot of criticism. The HomePod,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I think, is gonna be more like that, Although I think it’s probably starting from a better place.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco The HomePod is clearly a one-pointer. There’s lots of missing features. There’s lots of things that are a little bit wonky

⏹️ ▶️ Marco or don’t quite work the way people want them to. But I do expect over time for the HomePod

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to get significantly better. That doesn’t mean that this HomePod will necessarily get better. That might

⏹️ ▶️ Marco require new hardware. So I think it is fair to criticize this one. And the other side of this

⏹️ ▶️ Marco is that a lot of the criticism about the HomePod

⏹️ ▶️ Marco today is about Siri and the limitations of Siri and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco inferior performance in some areas of Siri. I don’t think we can

⏹️ ▶️ Marco reasonably assume that’s going to get better at the same kind of pace that we’re used to seeing

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Apple products get better with. When you’re mainly waiting on like hardware advances, like we

⏹️ ▶️ Marco need the CPU in this thing to get faster. That’s going to happen. That’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco kind of a sure thing to happen one to two years after the launch of version one of pretty much anything that Apple makes.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco When you’re worried about the local device software getting better. Apple’s pretty good at local

⏹️ ▶️ Marco device software. There’s some flaws here and there, but they’re pretty good at it. But Siri is not new

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and has gotten better at a glacial pace and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco in many ways has the same problems today that it did when it launched like seven years ago. I don’t necessarily

⏹️ ▶️ Marco think it’s a reasonable assumption that the HomePod’s flaws that are Siri related

⏹️ ▶️ Marco are about to get better or are going to get better in two years. I actually don’t think that’s a safe assumption.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I would love that to be the case, but the track record of Siri so far is pretty

⏹️ ▶️ Marco slow progress and certain types of things that basically are always problems.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I don’t see that changing quickly, at least not as a sure thing.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco So I think it is reasonable to criticize HomePod 1.0 for no one to be making fun of us for criticizing

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the things that are actually wrong with it today, and also to be a little skeptical of

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Siri improvements being meaningful that are coming any time soon.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey The funny thing about this is that Siri, or at least my understanding of the implementation of Siri,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey is one of the few things that Apple could actually tweak on their end without a software update, right? Like

⏹️ ▶️ Casey they can make tweaks to Siri server side and they can do that at any time. And obviously

⏹️ ▶️ Casey that’s not a universal thing, but generally speaking, they can make Siri a lot better without having to do any sort of software

⏹️ ▶️ Casey update locally. And so here’s the one place where Apple is most well-equipped to

⏹️ ▶️ Casey make changes. And yet I completely agree with you, Marco, that Siri has gotten potentially

⏹️ ▶️ Casey even worse than when it was new.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco No, it’s not worse than, it definitely, and they started out pretty bad. It definitely is better, and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it is getting better, but it’s getting better at a very slow pace, and it still

⏹️ ▶️ Marco is, you know, it gains new abilities, about once a year, which is not

⏹️ ▶️ Marco frequent enough. You know, it gains new abilities about once a year, but it is not, it seems

⏹️ ▶️ Marco like it hit a plateau of reliability, like roughly in year two

⏹️ ▶️ Marco or three, and hasn’t really gotten more reliable since then.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah, the point I’m driving at, though, is that it’s weird to me that this is the one place where Apple could

⏹️ ▶️ Casey really, you know, ship fast, ship off, and they don’t. And it really bums me out. And,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey ah, man, I have so many angry thoughts about Siri that we’ll probably get to next that I’m just going to leave for now. But

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I agree with pretty much everything you just said. John?

⏹️ ▶️ John So, when you read this, I think we got all of it from the email. And so I think this, like,

⏹️ ▶️ John we didn’t leave out any examples. And basically, the only two examples are iPod and iPhone. The gist of the email

⏹️ ▶️ John is, why do you doubt Apple? Haven’t they proven the doubters wrong?

⏹️ ▶️ John The last line of history proves you wrong, doesn’t it? Well, I

⏹️ ▶️ John think to start, we have to say, whatever logical fallacy or statistical bias that is,

⏹️ ▶️ John you cherry-picked. iPod and iPhone are the two examples, yes. Yes, there’s the

⏹️ ▶️ John famous, was it Rob Mulder of Slashdot? Anyone remember Slashdot?

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco Yeah. Who said, the

⏹️ ▶️ John iPod was no wireless less space than a nomad land. That’s what that quote is. and that lots of people doubted the iPhone, right?

⏹️ ▶️ John Those are like Apple’s two biggest products after the Mac. So yeah, you can pick them and say they were doubters.

⏹️ ▶️ John They were doubters for Ping, too, that didn’t go anywhere. They were doubters for the iPod Hi-Fi that didn’t

⏹️ ▶️ John go anywhere. They were doubters for the G4 Cube that, like, you know, if you just pick the ones that end up being smash successes,

⏹️ ▶️ John it can look like, hey, history proves you wrong. But setting that aside, like, so whatever, you know, so you can’t use

⏹️ ▶️ John these as examples to anything, but what’s different about the HomePod than the successes? What makes it

⏹️ ▶️ John more likely to be more like whatever sort of not so great success

⏹️ ▶️ John than it is to be like the iPod and the iPhone? And I think there is,

⏹️ ▶️ John not to say that this means HomePod is not going to be a success, but I think it probably means that HomePod

⏹️ ▶️ John won’t be as huge a success as the iPod and the iPhone. Both of those things came into the market

⏹️ ▶️ John and they were substantially different than the existing players. Obviously the iPhone

⏹️ ▶️ John was different. of the criticism was about how it was different. There’s no physical keyboard. No one does phones like that. You can’t make a phone

⏹️ ▶️ John like this doesn’t even have 3G. All the phones out there have 3G and you know, expensive but like

⏹️ ▶️ John the iPhone was not just like a Nokia candy bar phone but with an Apple logo on it, right?

⏹️ ▶️ John It was very, very different. It had things that no other phone in the market had. That’s, you know,

⏹️ ▶️ John the software, obviously no other phone in the market behaved like that. People didn’t even think it could possibly be real, right?

⏹️ ▶️ John The iPod was more conventional, but still it was smaller and more

⏹️ ▶️ John well integrated than the other devices that you could buy that hold lots of songs in them. And

⏹️ ▶️ John the key part about the iPod was that normal people could successfully could be successful at the task of taking

⏹️ ▶️ John your music collection and putting it on this device and listening to it. I owned a bunch of pre iPod

⏹️ ▶️ John solid state, uh, music players. And if you remember, they also had pre iPod hard

⏹️ ▶️ John drive bass ones that were the size of a truck, right? Normal people would if they

⏹️ ▶️ John bought those things at all, which they probably wouldn’t tended to be less successful again. I know it was like my wife was

⏹️ ▶️ John not successful getting the audio onto her tiny little flash, whatever a Samsung or

⏹️ ▶️ John maybe it was Panasonic. I don’t remember like there were maybe Yamaha that I pod

⏹️ ▶️ John was different than the others in that it was better in all ways in terms of like

⏹️ ▶️ John size and number of songs that it held and it was better in all ways related to user interface and so

⏹️ ▶️ John even though it was very limited and it was mac only it was expensive and it had no wireless and had less space than a nomad which i think was

⏹️ ▶️ John the one of the hard drive uh based players in the market yep uh it had significant advantages

⏹️ ▶️ John homepod enters a market already populated by devices that already

⏹️ ▶️ John do more than the homepod does in exactly the same way that the homepod intends to do it there

⏹️ ▶️ John are cylindrically shaped speakers that play audio that you can talk to right? There is no differentiator

⏹️ ▶️ John for the HomePod except perhaps audio quality, and it’s not like there’s no competition for audio quality.

⏹️ ▶️ John Sonos has good audio quality, and depending on whose test you look at, even the Google Max thing seems to be

⏹️ ▶️ John so-so, right? So the HomePod comes in with no real differentiator.

⏹️ ▶️ John Like, there’s nothing that it does that is different. It’s not like everything else has a physical keyboard and it doesn’t. All the other ones require

⏹️ ▶️ John you to touch them, and the HomePod lets you talk to it. No. It’s exactly the same feature set, and that’s why why

⏹️ ▶️ John the home pods getting slammed because it comes into a crowded market doing

⏹️ ▶️ John nothing different or better than the competition and not doing many

⏹️ ▶️ John things that the competition does and like I said the only thing you could say home but has going for it is audio quality but

⏹️ ▶️ John even audio quality per price you can get to Sonos ones versus the home pod and to Sonos one sound just about as good as the

⏹️ ▶️ John home pod with the possible exception of bass most people say so that thin

⏹️ ▶️ John edge of like okay well it’s the best sounding cylinder that you can talk that you can get but on the other side of that coin

⏹️ ▶️ John you can’t talk to it in as many ways as you can talk to these seven other products means

⏹️ ▶️ John that it’s getting slammed for I think legitimate reasons and it also means that unless something very important changes

⏹️ ▶️ John it doesn’t have the potential to be a breakout hit in the same way the iPhone and the iPod do because it isn’t differentiated

⏹️ ▶️ John enough even if it gets better at everything and it is as good as

⏹️ ▶️ John the Google Home devices at answering your things and you know as good as Sonos and audio quality or or whatever,

⏹️ ▶️ John you’ve just caught up then, right? Whereas the iPhone was either gonna live or die

⏹️ ▶️ John based on the idea that you can have a phone that’s all screen, and guess what, it lived, right? And same thing with the iPod.

⏹️ ▶️ John Is the ease of putting music on this thing enough to make up for the high price? Well, you know, it

⏹️ ▶️ John turns out that it was, especially once it came to Windows. The iteration is definitely a thing,

⏹️ ▶️ John but even iteration can’t save you entirely, or can’t not save you, can’t make you a wildly successful.

⏹️ ▶️ John Apple TV is a great example. Apple TV came out a long time ago, back when it was called iTV, before

⏹️ ▶️ John Apple learned they couldn’t use that name. The original Apple TV

⏹️ ▶️ John was not popular and did not succeed. Other devices came on market

⏹️ ▶️ John and did better than the original Apple TV. Eventually, Apple caught up and said, we’re

⏹️ ▶️ John gonna make a little puck-shaped thing, and we’re gonna do what everyone else is doing. But

⏹️ ▶️ John right now, Apple TV is, You know, it can, it’s main

⏹️ ▶️ John advantage is that you can play your DRM locked Apple content, but other than that, it has

⏹️ ▶️ John no great differentiator, you know, besides media locking from all the other, you know,

⏹️ ▶️ John television connected devices. And even some smart TVs can like play Netflix just as well as the Apple TV. So

⏹️ ▶️ John they iterated an Apple TV for a long time and it actually took them essentially two tries to even figure out what the correct,

⏹️ ▶️ John you know, features and price for that type of device.

⏹️ ▶️ John I think it’s not like we’re doubting that the HomePod will, you know,

⏹️ ▶️ John be a successful product, but I think it is entirely reasonable to give it all the criticism

⏹️ ▶️ John that I think that it’s getting, and I think it’s entirely reasonable not to expect it to be a breakout success

⏹️ ▶️ John like the iPod and the iPhone, at least unless it, or until it comes out with

⏹️ ▶️ John some differentiator. In fact, if it was, it would have, you know, they always say this, like, if people

⏹️ ▶️ John aren’t making fun of you, you’re probably not going to be that successful. If it was more differentiated

⏹️ ▶️ John and did something radically different, that would give it probably more potential, because

⏹️ ▶️ John maybe that weird thing that it’s doing that nobody else is doing is going to be the thing that makes it a great success.

⏹️ ▶️ John But now you look at it and it’s like, it’s not doing anything different than anyone else. It’s doing exactly the same stuff,

⏹️ ▶️ John only some of it not as good. And that doesn’t spell

⏹️ ▶️ John massive success. It spells okay success. Even the watch, I would say, is much more differentiated.

⏹️ ▶️ John And even the watch has taken a while to get going. But there was really no other smartwatch that had the,

⏹️ ▶️ John basically, the power and the fashion sense that the Apple Watch

⏹️ ▶️ John did on its introduction. So even that had more potential upside than the HomePod. So I think everyone is lukewarm

⏹️ ▶️ John on the HomePod for valid reasons.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I agree. I mean, it’s just, it’s a fair point. Like, I understand why

⏹️ ▶️ Casey the email was written. I just, I don’t currently see it as the same. And

⏹️ ▶️ Casey even if HomePod version seven is the best speaker that has ever been made,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I don’t think that negates any of the criticisms we have now.

⏹️ ▶️ John And I’m trying to think of like, what would be a breakout feature? Like, you know, that’s a feature that doesn’t already

⏹️ ▶️ John exist in a Google or Amazon or Sonos product that the HomePod could have.

⏹️ ▶️ John Uh, and you know, just because I can’t think of one doesn’t mean there

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey isn’t

⏹️ ▶️ John one. There could be one, but nothing Apple has announced, I think, fits that category.

⏹️ ▶️ John Maybe, well, I don’t know. Maybe like if the HomeKit stuff ever

⏹️ ▶️ John takes off, Apple could do a better job of integrating all of our light switches and doorbells and whatever than

⏹️ ▶️ John Amazon currently does, but I don’t know. And in the

⏹️ ▶️ John meantime, we’re all just hoping that HomePod catches up, that its voice stuff ends up being as good as Google

⏹️ ▶️ John and Amazon, and that it gets all the capabilities that Apple originally advertised

⏹️ ▶️ John for it in terms of having multiple ones and multi-room audio and all the other things that some of its competitors already have.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I want one, but I know I’m going to be disappointed by it. And so that’s why I haven’t bought one. And plus it’s what is

⏹️ ▶️ Casey it? Three hundred fifty four hundred dollars. Like that’s it’s enough money. That’s not an impulse buy to me.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey And not to say that it is to you two either. Just for me anyway. It’s not an impulse buy. And so I

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I just it’s new and shiny and Apple made it. So that means I should I should

⏹️ ▶️ Casey have one. That’s the rule. That’s what they tell me to do. That’s what Uncle Tim tells me to do. And

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I don’t know. I’ll probably get one eventually, but sitting here now, I just I know it’s going to disappoint

⏹️ ▶️ Marco me. Yeah, I really want to want the HomePod more.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco You know,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey like, I feel

⏹️ ▶️ Marco like I’m like on Apple’s team for pretty much everything else, as much as some people think I’m

⏹️ ▶️ Marco not. I really am on Apple’s team for the most part. And the reason why I sometimes

⏹️ ▶️ Marco criticize them is because I like them so much and because I think they’re better than everyone else in the industry at a lot of stuff.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco But I really want so badly to love and then buy everything

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that they make. The HomePod is about 70% of the way there for me. I need something else.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I need really good AirPlay 2 or I need a reason for Overcast to

⏹️ ▶️ Marco be developing on it, which might be AirPlay 2 whenever that ships. Or I need a Serial Kit API.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Just something. Give me something else. one of

⏹️ ▶️ Marco these open check boxes here that are making it not

⏹️ ▶️ Marco quite enough for me. Ultimately, the thing that could really make it awesome for me is if Siri

⏹️ ▶️ Marco gets a lot better. And I think we might be waiting a long time for that.

⏹️ ▶️ John On the audio front, the audio quality, or even just the overall device quality and the integration with the Apple ecosystem,

⏹️ ▶️ John HomePod has the very easy potential to be the audio equivalent of Apple TV

⏹️ ▶️ John and that there are lots of Apple TV like devices that you can connect to your

⏹️ ▶️ John television they can play like YouTube and Netflix and Hulu and you know all that stuff right does

⏹️ ▶️ John that Apple TV is not the only competitor in that market but a lot of people I know who are in the

⏹️ ▶️ John Apple ecosystem and like fancy Apple stuff instead of having a Roku or a fire TV they have Apple TVs

⏹️ ▶️ John and why do they have them is it because Apple TV is fantastically better than fire TV and Roku yes it’s better

⏹️ ▶️ John and it’s better in ways that Apple nerds care about.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco No, trust me, it’s better. I mean, I tried, maybe what was it, two years ago when I tried the,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I tried a Roku and a Fire TV, because I was frustrated with the Apple TV, and I’ll tell you what,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the Apple TV drives me crazy, but it’s still

⏹️ ▶️ John better than those. I’ve used a bunch of them, and I think the difference is not that big. I

⏹️ ▶️ John feel like it’s mostly aesthetic. I like some of the other remotes better

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco than the Apple TV remote, that’s for sure. Well,

⏹️ ▶️ John yeah, that isn’t hard. But anyway, like, and Apple TV is more expensive, but people buy it

⏹️ ▶️ John because it’s the Apple-iest one. So HomePod easily could get

⏹️ ▶️ John the market for people who want a cylinder they can talk to that plays audio nicely, and they’re

⏹️ ▶️ John people who are in the Apple ecosystem and are willing to pay a little bit more for a nice looking device that sounds really good. Like that’s

⏹️ ▶️ John the easy market, right? Even if it doesn’t do everything that Google Home and Echo do, and you know,

⏹️ ▶️ John setting aside Sonos for now, HomePod for sure should get that entire market, which is not a small market.

⏹️ ▶️ John Like that’s if it’s if it can suddenly be as successful as the Apple TV 4K,

⏹️ ▶️ John I think Apple would be OK for that for a one point no product. Right. And then they can go from there. So I think there is a clear

⏹️ ▶️ John path to OK-ness for the HomePod, even without improving anything about it,

⏹️ ▶️ John simply because it is nice looking and it sounds good and it’s integrated with the Apple ecosystem. And Apple people, like you

⏹️ ▶️ John both just said, like to buy Apple stuff. So I think that’s a gimme.

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Thoughts on Siri

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⏹️ ▶️ Casey Let’s talk about Siri. I have thoughts.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey So this started a couple of weeks ago. I was having a conversation with my friend, Jamie

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Pinkham, and we were talking with a mutual friend of ours, and

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Jamie had said, you know, Siri is terrible, but I applaud Apple for for sticking to their

⏹️ ▶️ Casey guns in regard to privacy. We all know if they gathered more info on us, it would be better.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey And I thought, you know what, he’s absolutely right. And maybe the reason I’m so grumpy about Siri is

⏹️ ▶️ Casey because Apple isn’t just forgoing and eschewing,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I think that’s how you pronounce the word, eschewing privacy. They’re doing what I would want them to

⏹️ ▶️ Casey do, which is to do the right thing and keep user privacy at the forefront. And

⏹️ ▶️ Casey if their product is a little crummier because of it, then so be it. But then I got thinking about it

⏹️ ▶️ Casey a little bit more, and it occurred to me, but Siri still sucks

⏹️ ▶️ Casey for a lot of things that have nothing to do with my data. Like, did I tell the story

⏹️ ▶️ Casey on the show? I think I did, about asking when the UVA Tech game, basketball

⏹️ ▶️ Casey game was, and I’d ask for like, when is the Cavaliers game on? And it wanted

⏹️ ▶️ Casey to show me the Cleveland Cavaliers. Okay, fine. And then I asked, when is the Hokie game on?

⏹️ ▶️ Casey And they was like, I don’t know. Okay. When are the Hokies and Cavaliers playing each other? Uh, yeah, the, they played

⏹️ ▶️ Casey each other six months ago. Here’s the score. Okay. What time is the Hokie basketball

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John game? Oh, it’s

⏹️ ▶️ Casey totally tonight at six o’clock. Why do you ask? Like, it’s just, and that’s the thing that’s so

⏹️ ▶️ Casey frustrating. Well, one of the things that’s so frustrating to me is that, yeah, I think Jamie was right that in

⏹️ ▶️ Casey and of itself, this things could be a lot better. Or, you

⏹️ ▶️ Casey know, Siri would be more knowledgeable if privacy wasn’t

⏹️ ▶️ Casey as big a deal. You know, if so much more of this stuff could be crunch server-side. Like if my entire calendar was server-side,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey if all of my email was server-side, and by that I mean Apple could read all of it.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey In so many ways, I feel like Siri could be so much better. And I respect Apple. I truly and honestly respect Apple

⏹️ ▶️ Casey for making their product, by most arguments, worse by not cutting that corner. I think that

⏹️ ▶️ Casey that that’s better for me, even though the product on the whole is worse. But can you get like

⏹️ ▶️ Casey an actor’s name right? I was in, in, in even just basic dictation.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey So I went for a run, uh, yesterday and it’s one point to

⏹️ ▶️ Casey the run. I have my iPods in, I’m on my Apple watch, my Apple watch with the LTE connection, which I don’t

⏹️ ▶️ Casey know if you’ve ever heard. I’m a little grumpy about, but here to be that as it may, uh, I’m on my AirPods, Apple

⏹️ ▶️ Casey watch. to be fair, but I have, I had

⏹️ ▶️ Casey held down the crown on the Apple watch. So it would listen to me because I have, Hey Siri, or actually Hey Siri

⏹️ ▶️ Casey doesn’t work with the AirPods, but, um, I don’t have the double tap

⏹️ ▶️ Casey to kick on Siri because I prefer to do it differently. I prefer for the double tap to do different things. So

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I hold down the crown on the watch. I hear the beep beep. And I said something to the effect of like, remind me

⏹️ ▶️ Casey to open a five 29 savings account for Michaela. Kayla and holy God, I wish I had recorded

⏹️ ▶️ Casey what it had come up with in the defensive Siri, I was panting, this was like two thirds of the way through

⏹️ ▶️ Casey my run, but it came up with like something that was barely intelligible. I was able

⏹️ ▶️ Casey to piece it together after the fact, but it was hilarious how bad

⏹️ ▶️ Casey the transcription was. And all it was, was a reminder. Like this shouldn’t in theory

⏹️ ▶️ Casey have been that complex. Then I get home and I decide I wanted to listen to some

⏹️ ▶️ Casey probably got awful music I don’t even remember what it was and so I’m in front of

⏹️ ▶️ Casey my garage I’m on my driveway. My phone was sitting in my kitchen now Marco. You’ve seen the house

⏹️ ▶️ Casey and we are talking 20 feet maybe from the from

⏹️ ▶️ Casey basically the garage door to the kitchen and to be fair There’s a couple of walls including an exterior wall

⏹️ ▶️ Casey between me and my phone

⏹️ ▶️ Marco but and probably a lot of Tito’s and Velveeta shells and cheese

⏹️ ▶️ Casey naturally and And so I said, hey, can you

⏹️ ▶️ Casey play me the latest album by Mute Math or something like that? I don’t remember exactly what it was.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey And then I see, hold on. Again, this is on my watch. Now I have plenty of wifi coverage

⏹️ ▶️ Casey at this point, but it appears that’s not good enough. Hold on.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I’ll tap you when I’m ready.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Nope, Siri’s not available, sorry about that. And it’s like, come on. Now maybe that isn’t, I guess

⏹️ ▶️ Casey strictly speaking, that’s not Siri. that’s just a general connectivity issue because

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that’s well I mean is it or is it like is it a local failure or server failure either

⏹️ ▶️ Marco way it’s kind of serious problem like if your watch should be connected you know like if it’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco in an area where it has good coverage it should be connected

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I mean I have plenty of LTE although I don’t I did look and it was not on LTE at the time I have plenty

⏹️ ▶️ Casey of LTE though so hypothetically it could should have fall back to fall

⏹️ ▶️ Casey back, fell back to LTE. I certainly was well within my wifi

⏹️ ▶️ Casey coverage, without question. I was in with, within wifi coverage. And yet it insists on

⏹️ ▶️ Casey going, I think to the phone because, you know, when I did the swipe up to get the little control center thing, I saw a

⏹️ ▶️ Casey phone icon in the upper left and it was insistent on going to the phone, which in and of itself is a first stop, okay, fine. I’m

⏹️ ▶️ Casey okay with that, but can you not fall back onto something else? And whatever I was trying to play was something

⏹️ ▶️ Casey that I had in iTunes match. So this should have like the way I expected

⏹️ ▶️ Casey it to work is that maybe it would have tried the phone and then given up when it wasn’t a strong enough connection

⏹️ ▶️ Casey or whatever. And then just gone via either wifi or LTE and asked, you know, Apple, Hey, what did Casey

⏹️ ▶️ Casey just say? Oh, he wants to listen to the latest album by Mute Math. Oh, okay. So does he have anything by

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Mute Math and iTunes? Oh, indeed he does. Here’s what you should play and it should work.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey And it’s just these little failures are happening all the friggin

⏹️ ▶️ Casey time and it’s to the point that I feel like I cannot communicate with my phone

⏹️ ▶️ Casey verbally. I cannot communicate with my phone by typing on my phone because that’s

⏹️ ▶️ Casey become a disaster. So I just I feel like the only device that I have that

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I can input any text into with any efficacy is my Mac. And it’s driving

⏹️ ▶️ Casey me

⏹️ ▶️ Marco insane. better hope it’s not the MacBook keyboard.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey Actually, my C

⏹️ ▶️ Casey key was a little bit crunchy

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco today. I was not too happy about

⏹️ ▶️ Casey that. I was able to mash on it and get whatever, you know, microscopic speck of dust was in there out of

⏹️ ▶️ Casey the way. I did not need to return to worry about grabbing the can of compressed air

⏹️ ▶️ Casey that I kid you not, I bought specifically for my MacBook. I hadn’t had a can of compressed air in the house in like 10

⏹️ ▶️ Casey years. Right. But I needed

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco one for the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the MacBook.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey No,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I mean, like, I think a lot of the frustration here is like, I mean, like, it’s like I mentioned, I think,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco last show or maybe it was on my 17-hour talk show last week or whatever it was. I mentioned

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that I, that like, you know, when I first got the Amazon Echo, it was,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know, after years of like, kind of, you know, passively trying to use Siri and have it fail

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a lot of the time and just kind of be frustrated by it, it was striking to me how reliable

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Amazon Echo was and how quickly it would answer me. And you know, in part, this is

⏹️ ▶️ Marco kind of not a straight comparison because the Amazon Echo is stationary,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco plugged in all the time, listening all the time, for the wake word at least,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and is in a controlled environment. It’s always in the same spot. And there are like,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know, acoustic things that can happen. Like for instance, I mentioned earlier, like when my Range Hood fan

⏹️ ▶️ Marco is on, on the stove, it creates a good deal of fairly broadband

⏹️ ▶️ Marco white noise and the Echo just can’t hear anything anymore. Even

⏹️ ▶️ Marco if humans can hear over it just fine, certain types of noise that are in the room, the Echo just seems

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to really hear very badly if those noises are present. But otherwise, the Echo is

⏹️ ▶️ Marco pretty reliable, but again, that’s because it’s in one place, plugged in all the time,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco listening for the wake world all the time, and has a stable connection. It can remain connected to the network. It

⏹️ ▶️ Marco doesn’t have to power save and drop itself off the Wi-Fi when it’s not necessary. Stuff like that. So

⏹️ ▶️ Marco there are, this is not a straight comparison here to your watch situation which was very possibly

⏹️ ▶️ Marco affected by connectivity and power saving stuff. But that being said, like, you know, the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco way the error rates of these things work, suppose the Echo hears me 95% of the time and Siri hears me 90% of the time.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco That still means Siri fails twice as often.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And so as you get closer to these higher numbers, you know, it’s very same math when you talk about cash hit

⏹️ ▶️ Marco rates, you have the same problem with like, like, you know, it seems like my, like when, when one of my cash

⏹️ ▶️ Marco servers is down, then about, you know, 8% of hits will miss.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco But that also means that my databases are then serving like five times as many

⏹️ ▶️ Marco hits because the hit rate is usually so high. So like, you know, you’ll see a huge spike in load

⏹️ ▶️ Marco on the databases for what seems like a small difference in the cash hit rate. So this is a similar

⏹️ ▶️ Marco problem here with like, you know, for Siri to get like competitive and better

⏹️ ▶️ Marco in this way, it needs to get what’s it needs to dramatically

⏹️ ▶️ Marco reduce its error rate and its failure rate. And Apple might think it’s really good

⏹️ ▶️ Marco if you know if Apple has data on this, which I’m sure they do, you know, they might see it as somewhere being in the 80s or 90s and think

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that’s great. But the competition is even better than that and the difference can still

⏹️ ▶️ Marco be seen and felt pretty regularly. I would love so much for Siri

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to improve at the same rate as Apple’s hardware and software usually improves. But

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it’s been here a while and we haven’t seen that. So I don’t think anybody should reasonably

⏹️ ▶️ Marco anticipate that that’s going to happen now. Like all of a sudden is Siri going to start getting better at a rapid pace?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I don’t know, like they have the HomePod, which depends very heavily on Siri, so you might think that’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco great motivation. But I think the iPhone for the last seven years is also pretty good motivation, and they haven’t done that.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco So, you know, I don’t, it just, it doesn’t seem like it’s really

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a core competency of Apple to make really good AI-based big data services like this.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And, you know, a lot of people lean on the privacy thing, and Apple, to some reason, or to some degree, also

⏹️ ▶️ Marco kind of leans on the privacy angle almost as an excuse of why it has to be this

⏹️ ▶️ Marco way. And I think that’s not a valid

⏹️ ▶️ Marco argument. You know, I think the privacy aspect

⏹️ ▶️ Marco of the way Apple does things is nice. And there’s merit to that, there’s value to that. I’m glad

⏹️ ▶️ Marco they do that. But that does not preclude them from making really good services in this area.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco It just doesn’t, it’s two separate things. Yes, if they had more data, if they were more creepy

⏹️ ▶️ Marco with collecting stuff, certain types of certain services could get better. But

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Apple makes a lot of services that could get better with what they already have, and they don’t.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Or they don’t get better enough. So I don’t think that Apple has to give

⏹️ ▶️ Marco up privacy to make great services. Conversely, I don’t think the privacy is

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the reason their services in some of these areas are not great. I think that’s a convenient excuse for people who

⏹️ ▶️ Marco don’t really understand how to make these services very well. But otherwise, that’s not the reality. The reality

⏹️ ▶️ Marco is these services can get way better with the amount of information

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that they already do or don’t collect. I don’t think Apple is culturally and structurally

⏹️ ▶️ Marco set up to make really great services of this type. I think they have proven that.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah, and that’s exactly my point when I was bringing up what Jamie had said, is that there’s so much that has nothing

⏹️ ▶️ Casey to do with privacy. Like, okay, fine, maybe if Siri saw that I was sitting

⏹️ ▶️ Casey in Virginia when I was asking about two Virginia colleges playing each other, maybe it could have

⏹️ ▶️ Casey narrowed down a little bit more, but either way, I don’t think that would have made a tremendous difference.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey And okay, even if that would have made a difference, then what happens when I’m using Siri as like a front

⏹️ ▶️ Casey end to IMDb? Like I think it was John had mentioned earlier, you know, I want to know about who’s acting in the movie I’m watching

⏹️ ▶️ Casey or the TV show I’m watching. Like Siri falls all over its face on that half the time. And that has nothing

⏹️ ▶️ Casey to do with anything, except I guess if it was listening to what I was watching, which is even

⏹️ ▶️ Casey creepy enough that I don’t think Google does that sort of thing. So you know what I mean? Like there’s so much that,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey that has nothing to do with privacy. And this is what I was saying originally, what Marco was saying now,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey just a moment ago, it, there’s so much that is beyond this and

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I just, it’s frustrating. And I want to, I want to see it get better. And

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I’m frustrated that it’s not getting better, especially since unlike, you the annual release

⏹️ ▶️ Casey cycles for Mac OS and iOS, which we will hopefully talk about this episode, I

⏹️ ▶️ Casey don’t understand why this isn’t getting better faster, except perhaps, just in Marco, you said this a moment

⏹️ ▶️ Casey ago, a corporate culture that isn’t conducive to it.

⏹️ ▶️ John I think to generalize this from Siri specifically to these voice assistants

⏹️ ▶️ John in general, this is just to reiterate what Marco just said and what he said on this topic many times, and I think what

⏹️ ▶️ John we’ve all talked about in the past. I think it’s actually analogous to the iPhone, which I’m thinking about because

⏹️ ▶️ John we had that earlier feedback about it. Um, that it’s,

⏹️ ▶️ John uh, Marco talked about the, the, the percentage differences in the gaps and like, so, you know, uh, if, if the

⏹️ ▶️ John competing products are this good in series that could, even if a series improving, there’s still a gap between it. But I think the important

⏹️ ▶️ John part of those hypothetical numbers is that like Like the original iPhone,

⏹️ ▶️ John there is a threshold. On one side,

⏹️ ▶️ John the same interface is not acceptable. On the other side of that threshold,

⏹️ ▶️ John you pass into the realm of acceptability. The iPhone was one of the first mass-market devices

⏹️ ▶️ John to cross that threshold for touch input on a screen. The touch screens,

⏹️ ▶️ John which existed forever and people generally hated, suddenly got responsive

⏹️ ▶️ John enough that it you know it wasn’t just like oh this is like 1% better it crossed

⏹️ ▶️ John over a line right and suddenly it was good enough and they’ve gotten way better since

⏹️ ▶️ John then right but it was so clear that this is the first device that that is

⏹️ ▶️ John good enough that regular people will use the touchscreen and not just fine you know they’re like

⏹️ ▶️ John they won’t hate it it’ll it’ll feel good it’ll feel right it’ll feel like they’re directly manipulating the things on the screen,

⏹️ ▶️ John right? For the cylinders that you talk to the essential that there is the

⏹️ ▶️ John same line and Amazon crossed it a long time ago and it’s this

⏹️ ▶️ John a couple of aspects. One is it’s got to hear you, right? Two is it has to

⏹️ ▶️ John know what the hell you’re asking me about and three is it has to do it fast, right? And the combination

⏹️ ▶️ John of those three things produces a feedback cycle for people who use the echo that builds

⏹️ ▶️ John confidence. The first time you use it you’re impressed that even understood what you mumbled. Then you’re

⏹️ ▶️ John impressed that it did, like it could do the thing that you asked for. And then I think with the

⏹️ ▶️ John Echo, you’re impressed that it did it so quickly. Like you feel like you barely had the words out of your mouth and it’s setting your timer

⏹️ ▶️ John or doing whatever or telling you what time it is or telling you the weather. It just seems so fast. And when that happens,

⏹️ ▶️ John the threshold that it crosses, like the utility threshold of like, this is an appliance and it’s no longer a computer

⏹️ ▶️ John thing where I just, you know, cross my fingers and hope that something cool in computer reworks just becomes part of your

⏹️ ▶️ John day, right? Even if it has limitations like, Oh, I just know it can’t hear me with the range hood on,

⏹️ ▶️ John right? There is parameters to it. If you know that’s the case, that’s bad. And

⏹️ ▶️ John Amazon should improve that. But it’s not like

⏹️ ▶️ John on some days when it’s raining, you can’t hear me. And then on Thursdays, sometimes doesn’t hear me. Like you cross

⏹️ ▶️ John that threshold where it becomes reliable. And there are so many things that we could talk to, including

⏹️ ▶️ John Siri and lots of other things that have some kind of voice interface that do not cross that threshold.

⏹️ ▶️ John And so you you give up on them. You don’t use them or you use them for an extremely narrow, you

⏹️ ▶️ John know, set of things in particular circumstances. Now, I think the HomePod has actually

⏹️ ▶️ John crossed some of those thresholds for Apple. I think the HomePod can hear me really, really well. It

⏹️ ▶️ John may be able to hear me better than any other device on the market. Not better enough, perhaps, to make a difference because

⏹️ ▶️ John in general, I’m still amazed at how well the Google Home could hear me. And

⏹️ ▶️ John I’ve I’ve seen other people talk to their echoes from far distances and it seems to work pretty well but the HomePod I think

⏹️ ▶️ John crosses the threshold for can it hear me. It does not cross the threshold for

⏹️ ▶️ John does it understand what I’m asking for because still many times it will

⏹️ ▶️ John either not do what I think it should do or the same command will get

⏹️ ▶️ John different results. And it also I think doesn’t cross the threshold as I mentioned before for responding

⏹️ ▶️ John quickly enough. stop playing music. I know it hears me I know it understands what I want to do

⏹️ ▶️ John and it does it, but it does it a little bit more slowly than I would like. Slowly enough that

⏹️ ▶️ John it makes me it gives me that millisecond of doubt whether it’s doing it doesn’t create that that feedback cycle where I’m like

⏹️ ▶️ John oh now I feel like I have a voice connection to an off switch right in the same way that whenever Marco says

⏹️ ▶️ John like turn everything off and is downstairs that it turns everything off and you get used to it doing that

⏹️ ▶️ John right then you don’t get you don’t expect it to have like a a little spinner light going spin, spin, spin,

⏹️ ▶️ John spin, okay, I’ll turn off your lights. That’s too long. That doesn’t create the feedback cycle. So

⏹️ ▶️ John I’m not sure exactly what values those lines are at, but I can tell that certain devices are over and certain devices are not.

⏹️ ▶️ John And I think HomePod, with the advancement of its audio output and input has crossed over

⏹️ ▶️ John a bunch of those lines, but it’s still a couple of things lag behind. And you

⏹️ ▶️ John really got to get everything over the line, kind of like the original iPhone did to sort of enter the game,

⏹️ ▶️ John to enter the realm of devices that regular people will use routinely day after

⏹️ ▶️ John day and stop thinking about as a tech gadget and start thinking about as an appliance that you just expect

⏹️ ▶️ John to work all the time.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah, we’re a long way from there, unfortunately.

⏹️ ▶️ John But not for the other cylinders, Casey. Should get a Google Home or an Amazon Echo.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I actually have an Amazon Echo on its way to me right now.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco Really? Wait, what?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Sorry, I

⏹️ ▶️ Casey buried the lead. Actually yes. So a friend of mine, Justin Williams,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey he might know from Glassboard among other things, he was getting rid of his Echo and said

⏹️ ▶️ Casey to me, rather than trying to figure out who to sell it to, if I

⏹️ ▶️ Casey covered postage, he would send it my way. And so I Apple Pay cashed him the

⏹️ ▶️ Casey cost to send it from him to me and it’ll be here sometime next week, probably after

⏹️ ▶️ Casey we record actually. So you’re not going to hear any more about this for a couple of weeks at least. I still don’t have any

⏹️ ▶️ Casey particular interest in having an echo in my house, but since almost everyone I know has one and almost everyone

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I know loves them, uh, I’m curious to see what will happen with it.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John But, uh, yeah. Put

⏹️ ▶️ John it in your kitchen and start asking it kitchen questions or put it in your TV room and start asking it TV questions.

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey By the way, I

⏹️ ▶️ John did test the HomePod on, on TV questions. I asked it, uh, who’s the star of a movie that’s

⏹️ ▶️ John out now? And I asked it when a movie was released and I did both of them

⏹️ ▶️ John in just the first way that occurred to me. Uh, the, and this is, you know, questions that I

⏹️ ▶️ John have a good comparison to because I ask my Google things all the time. For the, who stars in the movie, it,

⏹️ ▶️ John it more or less got it. It basically read me a webpage, but it read me the relevant portion of the

⏹️ ▶️ John webpage and it read me like seven of the people that are in the movie and then asked me if I want to read the next two as well.

⏹️ ▶️ John So it didn’t get like who the star was. I think there’s an obvious answer, like one person, but it, it read the cast.

⏹️ ▶️ John It didn’t read me the title and the rating. So I give it that one, but it definitely sounded like I found this on the web about

⏹️ ▶️ John blah, blah, blah, which is not as direct as when I asked the question of Google and just tells me straight up. I

⏹️ ▶️ John asked it the release date and it was verbose about it. It said the movie XYZ was released on, you know, January

⏹️ ▶️ John 12th, blah, blah, blah, but it got the right answer. So, uh, I, you know, I,

⏹️ ▶️ John I don’t know if HomePod has gotten better about that than Siri. Mostly I’m just

⏹️ ▶️ John enjoying the fact that I find it so much more reliably able to hear me. I, I hate using

⏹️ ▶️ John Siri. I don’t have my watch. I don’t wear my watch most of the time, but I hate using Siri on my phone because I activate and I never know

⏹️ ▶️ John when it’s safe for me to start talking. And almost all the time, I hold down the home button,

⏹️ ▶️ John and the little Siri thing appears on the screen, and I say whatever I wanna say, right?

⏹️ ▶️ John And I see the little waveform move, and while I’m talking it goes, boop-a-loop.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yep, that is exactly

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John me.

⏹️ ▶️ John And then I’m like, well, maybe it heard me anyway, so I finish what I’m saying, and it just stares at me,

⏹️ ▶️ John and it says, how can I help you? You moved your waveform in response to my speaking.

⏹️ ▶️ John It’s clear that the audio was entering into the system and jiggling. And so I always have to end up

⏹️ ▶️ John saying everything twice. And I hate that. It makes me feel dumb, and it’s not a good interaction. If I wait for the ba-bloop, I feel like I’m waiting

⏹️ ▶️ John there forever. Now, is it OK for me to talk? It’s the worst. Talking to a cylinder is so much better.

⏹️ ▶️ John I don’t care if it’s ready for me. I just start talking. And the HomePod definitely passes

⏹️ ▶️ John that test. Not once did it not hear me. not once did it, you

⏹️ ▶️ John know, bloop at me or do anything or interrupt me in any way. I was able to say what I wanted to say

⏹️ ▶️ John and it was able to do what I wanted it to do. So, you know, I said, I think HomePod definitely crosses

⏹️ ▶️ John some thresholds that previously hadn’t been crossed by any Apple product.

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Rumored quality changes

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⏹️ ▶️ Casey We got word, not us three specifically, just in general, there was word spread

⏹️ ▶️ Casey a couple weeks ago, I think, that Apple is going to pull a snow leopard, but

⏹️ ▶️ Casey for real this time. Like we really mean it this time. For realsies.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Pinky swear. There’s an article in Bloomberg that said Apple is going

⏹️ ▶️ Casey to kind of pump the brakes and it’s going to, well, the headline is,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey How Apple Plans to Root Out Bugs and Revamp iPhone Software. So

⏹️ ▶️ Casey there’s a quote that one of you polled for my convenience, so thank you. Quote, instead of keeping engineers on a relentless

⏹️ ▶️ Casey annual schedule and cramming features into a single update, Apple will start focusing on the next two years of updates

⏹️ ▶️ Casey for its iPhone and iPad operating system, according to people familiar with the change. The company will continue to update

⏹️ ▶️ Casey its software annually, but internally engineers will have more discretion to push back features that aren’t as polished

⏹️ ▶️ Casey to the following year. I don’t

⏹️ ▶️ Casey know where to start with this other than to say that if this really is true,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey sitting here now anyway, this sounds magical. This sounds like, you

⏹️ ▶️ Casey know, the, the, the glass of ice water in hell in that, not to say that things are that bad by any stretch,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey but what I mean is I really think that Apple could stand to kind of pump the brakes

⏹️ ▶️ Casey on new features and just work on hardening things. And I think that the three of us are amongst

⏹️ ▶️ Casey many voices that have been saying the same. And when we were doing Jason

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Snell’s end of year recap in survey or whatever he called it, we’ll put a link in the show

⏹️ ▶️ Casey notes. One of the things that struck me as I was reflecting on some of the things he

⏹️ ▶️ Casey had asked about like software quality is that over the past year, so during 2017,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I had had a lot of my family members, and so most of my friends are kind of pretty big nerds,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey but most of my family members are not. And I had had some family members say

⏹️ ▶️ Casey to me, in so many words, holy crap, this Apple stuff never works anymore. What happened to it just working?

⏹️ ▶️ Casey And that really struck me, and I mentioned that to Jason, I

⏹️ ▶️ Casey think he actually used that in the report card, And it seems like it’s time

⏹️ ▶️ Casey that the perception anyway, whether or not it’s reality, the perception is, and I’m very much in this camp that

⏹️ ▶️ Casey software quality is really kind of taking a turn for the worst. So it’s.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey It’s easy to blame the relentless speed of new features for, for

⏹️ ▶️ Casey maybe that being the problem. Maybe, maybe that’s just that they need to not be, not have a litany

⏹️ ▶️ Casey of new features to release every WWDC. So, perhaps, slowing down

⏹️ ▶️ Casey on new and shiny will give everyone time to improve the

⏹️ ▶️ Casey old and well busted. But I don’t know. It’s hard, because I’ve worked in

⏹️ ▶️ Casey big software companies, but not quite this big. John, you can be the adult in the room as you always are, so I’ll

⏹️ ▶️ Casey come to you after I ask Marco. Marco, how do you feel about

⏹️ ▶️ John this? Marco Timmins First, let’s have the children discuss it.

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey John D’Alessio

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Exactly. You and me are at the kiddie table at Thanksgiving, so let’s talk amongst ourselves.

⏹️ ▶️ John Mark, we already talked about this for an hour on another podcast.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I haven’t had the time to listen to that.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John No one has the time to listen to that. Well,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I was trying to figure out a way to make that joke, so thank you. All right, so anyway, so can you give us the chief summarizer

⏹️ ▶️ Casey and chief version then of that argument?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, basically, this is great to hear. I’m happy that this, you

⏹️ ▶️ Marco know, and you know, this seems like it has multiple sources and everything. It probably happened, this

⏹️ ▶️ Marco meeting or this change, but I don’t think it really means much of anything yet.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco It’s very much a, like, okay, that sounds promising. Let’s see what happens. You know, let’s wait and see what the actual results

⏹️ ▶️ Marco of this are. I do think that the annual schedule

⏹️ ▶️ Marco of heavy feature-filled releases on almost all their platforms has been a

⏹️ ▶️ Marco significant contributor to the recent quality issues. You know, I just, I don’t think

⏹️ ▶️ Marco they’re, I don’t, I think from the little bit we’ve heard here and there, it really does seem

⏹️ ▶️ Marco like they don’t devote enough time to bug fixing

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and refinement before the engineers on most of these projects have to go to the next thing. They have to

⏹️ ▶️ Marco build the next marketing features, build the next headlining features, or get to the next major

⏹️ ▶️ Marco version. There’s not a lot of time in an annual cycle for refinement and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco bug fixes. If indeed they’re moving to a two-year cycle for major efforts—and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco this isn’t saying that they’re gonna like only release iOS every two years or whatever. It’s just like, you know, major features

⏹️ ▶️ Marco will now take will now be allowed to take two years. That’s that sounds good. I don’t

⏹️ ▶️ Marco know how different that is from how it has been though. I mean, we know you know, certain things like APFS

⏹️ ▶️ Marco like that wasn’t that didn’t take one year like that was like major features have always

⏹️ ▶️ Marco been allowed to take more than a year but you know, so it’s I don’t I don’t know

⏹️ ▶️ Marco what exactly this is allegedly changing. And I think we’re we’re not really going to know

⏹️ ▶️ Marco whether it’s working or whether it’s having a real effect for probably a couple years. We’re gonna have

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to just see how the software evolved over the next couple of years and kind of see

⏹️ ▶️ Marco does it seem better now or not.

⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, I’ve been in a lot of big software companies and over the years I’ve seen,

⏹️ ▶️ John I can’t speak to what it’s like inside Apple, but I have to think that it’s not so incredibly different from other

⏹️ ▶️ John large companies, especially these days. And the thing that happens

⏹️ ▶️ John in companies that do stuff with software or technology in general, and probably in any company,

⏹️ ▶️ John is that the higher you go up the management chain, the more the incentives are structured

⏹️ ▶️ John for those people to make it seem like things are going well

⏹️ ▶️ John and to themselves believe that things are going well. But

⏹️ ▶️ John eventually something will happen that ripples all the way up the entire org chart

⏹️ ▶️ John that you know, me from down at the bottom of the org chart, I always saw those, those unfortunate

⏹️ ▶️ John things that happened as opportunities that must be seized upon by those in the lower ranks

⏹️ ▶️ John because that’s your chance to say, you people higher up have thought everything’s been great,

⏹️ ▶️ John but we’ve been down here telling you that X is really a problem. now those chickens

⏹️ ▶️ John are come home to roost. So let’s how, uh, you know, come together and have a discussion about how we’re

⏹️ ▶️ John going to change things. Right. And this cycle just repeats itself. Like it never, it never actually like fixes

⏹️ ▶️ John all your problems, but basically, you know, you gather together, you say we’re going to change how we

⏹️ ▶️ John do things in a way that will prevent things like this from happening. And you do it. Like you make the actual change. You change procedures,

⏹️ ▶️ John you reorganize people, you change priorities, you do, you know, almost exactly the same things you’re talking about here.

⏹️ ▶️ John You know, lengthen schedules, give people who are closer to the actual

⏹️ ▶️ John work, more authority to push back on deadlines, right? You stop

⏹️ ▶️ John setting unrealistic internal deadlines, just so some middle manager can get a bonus this year, like you do all that stuff, right?

⏹️ ▶️ John And that works like it’s not like it doesn’t work, it works like you make things better.

⏹️ ▶️ John There are the countervailing forces of things slowing down and everything also happen. But then it just builds back up again,

⏹️ ▶️ John you get into a happy place again and then you know again the same incentive structures cause people to

⏹️ ▶️ John press hard and set aggressive internal deadlines and fear of competition makes you have

⏹️ ▶️ John lots of features and so on and so forth and you get it and then another crisis happens and people seize on it and I thought this is just

⏹️ ▶️ John the cycle of any large group of people doing things and that’s not

⏹️ ▶️ John say I’m trying to be like cynical about it I agree with Marco and almost everyone else has looked at this is like yes this

⏹️ ▶️ John is exactly what we want Apple to do. And I really believe that a they’re really going

⏹️ ▶️ John to do it and be that it will really help. Right? I

⏹️ ▶️ John think this same cycle has happened inside Apple many times in the past and it will happen

⏹️ ▶️ John many times in the future. And I just think we’re kind of in, you know, in like a downswing

⏹️ ▶️ John that hopefully is about to take a turn into an upswing. So I see it as positive and

⏹️ ▶️ John like there’s an entire industry around like how to not go through this, you know, roller coaster cycle

⏹️ ▶️ John and how to, you know, get sustainable growth and just do great things forever and ever. And it’s just a constant struggle to

⏹️ ▶️ John get any larger group of people to do that. Um, maybe apple, that’s another topic we won’t get to today,

⏹️ ▶️ John but like, you know, people have rose colored glasses about the, whatever they think the heyday of apple was and how well it was able

⏹️ ▶️ John to execute during those times. And I think we will talk about that on a future show. But in general,

⏹️ ▶️ John this, this quality focus thing, I think is positive, real,

⏹️ ▶️ John and will have real results, but we’ll find ourselves back here in about 10 years

⏹️ ▶️ John at minimum, or at maximum rather. And that’s just the nature of the beast, and we just need to

⏹️ ▶️ John learn to ride it out. So I’m optimistic. I keep

⏹️ ▶️ John thinking, I’m optimistic until I see what they do with the Mac Pro, because if they disappoint me there, it’ll really

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco crush me. But I think I may

⏹️ ▶️ John be unique in that regard.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Well, but the Mac Pro is actually a really good, you know, thing to mention here. It’s like,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco they told us directly, like officially on the record, that they’re working on a great new Mac Pro, that this, you know,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that our Mac Pro problem will be solved. And honestly, half of us, I think our Mac Pro problem was solved by the iMac

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Pro, it’s pretty great. But like, you know, but for like the, you know, the modular upgradable tower,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco or modular upgradable Mac Pro, I don’t know if it’s gonna be a tower, that’s still a giant unknown. They said, they promised

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it will be better. But until it actually comes out, we don’t know that it will be better. And so it’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco like, great, that was great talk to get, but we haven’t seen the actions yet. So

⏹️ ▶️ Marco we can’t really say whether that’s an actual positive thing or

⏹️ ▶️ Marco not.

⏹️ ▶️ John And one more minor point on this, and we’ve talked about this in the past as well, particularly

⏹️ ▶️ John for the Mac, where the phone, obviously they’re still doing great in the phone, and they have fierce competition

⏹️ ▶️ John in the phone, right? So I bet they’re gonna still be running pretty hard the phone front. And so far

⏹️ ▶️ John they have been running hard. They’ve been shipping good phones. So good on them, right? It’s obviously the highest priority to do a good job

⏹️ ▶️ John on it. Um, you know, I don’t expect that to change that much. The OS that runs in the phone,

⏹️ ▶️ John uh, you know, the push features out here and there, I think they’ve, they don’t feel as much pressure from the competition

⏹️ ▶️ John as they did back when they had really, you know, back when Android was just so far ahead of them in terms of notifications

⏹️ ▶️ John and stuff and multitasking and stuff like that. I think that, you know, it’s, it’s a closer race now. But the Mac,

⏹️ ▶️ John the fantasy opportunity that the low level engineers would love to seize upon is like, boy, imagine

⏹️ ▶️ John if we could have, you know, sets of people permanently

⏹️ ▶️ John responsible for every important part of the system. And those people just sat there and drain their bug queues and like,

⏹️ ▶️ John improve performance and test coverage and drain their bug queues for like three years to make. And why

⏹️ ▶️ John would you do that? How can you afford to do that? Because the the max competition is not moving as fast as

⏹️ ▶️ John the phones and tablets competition, right? Not as much action is happening down there. And

⏹️ ▶️ John if you’re trying to try to find a role for the Mac and the company, it could one possibility as we discussed

⏹️ ▶️ John and shows in the past is it to make it the super reliable, bulletproof, industrial grade,

⏹️ ▶️ John uh, you know, never crashes, never does the wrong thing, just does what it’s supposed to do.

⏹️ ▶️ John Uh, reliably make that the reputation of the Mac. Make it seem,

⏹️ ▶️ John you know, you’re in exchange for boringness and for a slightly slower, or perhaps,

⏹️ ▶️ John you know, much slower rate of change, you get massive reliability. So staff up the Mac

⏹️ ▶️ John teams, drain those bug queues, improve your test coverage, improve performance and memory usage and

⏹️ ▶️ John all those type of things. You know, this is assuming there’s no

⏹️ ▶️ John major components that still need to be rewritten because there may still be things lurking in there. And then

⏹️ ▶️ John do that for a couple of years to restore the max reputation and to

⏹️ ▶️ John make it more attractive to the people who are most likely to use the Mac before you go on to the next cycle, whatever

⏹️ ▶️ John that is in the Mars, the pan thing. And now, now it’s time for the Mac to take its next evolution time to get radical again.

⏹️ ▶️ John I don’t think that will happen, but that is one way that, you know, we’re the, we’re the people

⏹️ ▶️ John who, who seized on this opportunity, able to really seize on it. Uh, I’m sure

⏹️ ▶️ John that’s the dream of lots of low level people who work on the Mac and who are sick of ignoring your bugs. Just as

⏹️ ▶️ John you are sick of them ignoring them.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I mean, this is definitely a good thing. I don’t see any way we can spin it as a bad thing. But fast forward

⏹️ ▶️ Casey to what episode are we on? Like 265. Fast forward to episode, I don’t know, 310? And

⏹️ ▶️ Casey we’ll see what we think. But no, I’m excited about this. As much as

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I’m joking around, I’m really excited about this. I think this is a good sign that Apple

⏹️ ▶️ Casey is seeing what we’re seeing. And it’s also tough too because, you know, we don’t get to see

⏹️ ▶️ Casey all the like, I don’t I don’t know if analytics is the right word for it, but like the analytics data that Apple sees. And they

⏹️ ▶️ Casey may see that hard crashes in software are trending

⏹️ ▶️ Casey down over the years. And I think that that very

⏹️ ▶️ Casey well could be true, but it seems to me that it’s the kind of wiggly stuff that’s

⏹️ ▶️ Casey really been letting us down lately. Like Siri just not working when you want it to, for example,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey let alone just answering the question incorrectly. I don’t know, it’s tough. And it’s,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I don’t know what to make of it, but Stephen Sanovsky, is that how you pronounce it? I think something

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John like

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco that,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey wrote a tweet storm about this. And we’ll put a link to either the tweet storm or

⏹️ ▶️ Casey he eventually wrote a blog post about it. We’ll put some sort of link in the show notes. But I wanted to call out a few tweets of

⏹️ ▶️ Casey his. He was a Microsoft engineer and headed

⏹️ ▶️ Casey up a lot of their bigger software products, if not most of software. I don’t

⏹️ ▶️ Casey know exactly where he was when he left Microsoft. But it’s nice to say the guy knows what he’s talking about, and he knows what

⏹️ ▶️ Casey he’s talking about when it comes to delivering software to lots and lots and lots of people. And so

⏹️ ▶️ Casey in some of the tweets he wrote, and this is tweet number 28 of his tweet storm, no one ever

⏹️ ▶️ Casey anywhere has delivered a general purpose piece of software and hardware at scale to a billion people delivering

⏹️ ▶️ Casey such a broad, robust, consistent experience. We don’t have a measure for what it means to be quote

⏹️ ▶️ Casey high quality quote, I can say that in any absolute sense, Apple has exceeded everyone else. And that’s kind of what I’m

⏹️ ▶️ Casey talking about, right? Like, you know, it may be that really, software quality is good,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey it’s getting better, but it’s, in terms of crashes perhaps, and we’ve talked about this more than once on the show,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey but maybe it’s getting worse in some of the kind of gray area that’s harder to track.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Steven continues in tweet 31, but what happens to a team as complexity evolves

⏹️ ▶️ Casey is simply the challenge of coordination, and more importantly, consistency, or leveling of decisions across

⏹️ ▶️ Casey a complex system. This is particularly acute if the bulk of the team only known the previous few years of success.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey He continues in 32, so Apple will just renew their engineering process. It means thinking about how risk

⏹️ ▶️ Casey is analyzed, how schedules are constructed, how priorities are set. This is literally what it means to run a project

⏹️ ▶️ Casey and what we are all paying them to do. So in conclusion, so to me on Apple, this is Steven, to me on

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Apple, even as an outsider, I feel confident saying that this isn’t reactionary or a crisis or a response

⏹️ ▶️ Casey to externalities. Importantly it isn’t a massive pivot or a student body left. It’s a methodical

⏹️ ▶️ Casey and predictable evolution of an extremely robust and proven system. So the short, short version is, hey,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey when you have a lot of people writing a lot of code for a lot of different systems, every once in a while, just like John said,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey you’re going to have to sit back and take stock and say, we got to, we got to tweak a few things. And that’s what they’re doing.

⏹️ ▶️ John I think what’s an obscene is, is the cyclic nature of this. Like the, yes, this is, this is totally routine thing that happens

⏹️ ▶️ John and that it happens repeatedly. Like I don’t know. I get that that forms a kind of

⏹️ ▶️ John a roller coaster that people don’t like. they’d rather see just like a gentle slope from you know with constant

⏹️ ▶️ John improvement I’ve never seen that happen in the real world but the cyclic

⏹️ ▶️ John nature of it can make you can make you jaded if you are a longtime employee or a longtime engineer

⏹️ ▶️ John and be like yeah this always happens or whatever but that you know the problems just come back

⏹️ ▶️ John I think that’s true but that’s but it’s better if you don’t do the up-and-down roller coaster

⏹️ ▶️ John just becomes a down roller coaster that just goes down forever and you never do make that adjustment so I

⏹️ ▶️ John I fully believe that these type of adjustments have gone on at Apple for the entire life of the company and will continue

⏹️ ▶️ John to go on. You just have to roll with it. I’m ready for an upswing. I think everyone is.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yep. Big time

#askatp: Mac Pro Mini?

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Barton Meeks writes in, do you think the modular Mac Pro will provide a solution to a Mac Mini

⏹️ ▶️ Casey update at a reasonable price? Nope.

#askatp: Rip movies at 24 FPS?

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Nope. Alistair Campbell writes in, you’ve alluded to a negative effect of running movies at the wrong frame rate,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey but I must have missed the original explanation. I’m wondering if it is better to handbrake Blu-rays at 24 or 30 frames

⏹️ ▶️ Casey per second. What’s the good digital backup for you? And John, you seem to be

⏹️ ▶️ Casey the most opinionated about this, so do you want to take this one?

⏹️ ▶️ John So the negative effect of running things at the wrong frame rate is that they’re not nice multiples of each

⏹️ ▶️ John other. It has to show frames for different amounts of time. The video content we have expects you to show every frame for

⏹️ ▶️ John an equal amount of time, whether it’s 1 30th of a second or 1 24th of a second or whatever if you show some frames

⏹️ ▶️ John longer than you show other frames it can make motion look stuttery because it’s it’s like long long short short short

⏹️ ▶️ John long whatever it doesn’t you might not notice in lots of still images and maybe you don’t notice that much in motion but it doesn’t

⏹️ ▶️ John quite look right so that is the negative effect you don’t want that um

⏹️ ▶️ John asking whether it’s better to handbrake to uh to encode blu-ray is it 24 30 you should encode

⏹️ ▶️ John them at whatever the the frame rate of the original source material is so if it’s it’s a TV show and

⏹️ ▶️ John it’s a 29.97 whatever encoded at that frame rate. If it’s a movie and it’s a 24 encoded at that frame rate, don’t do

⏹️ ▶️ John any kind of conversion, whatever the source frame rate is, keep that. Uh, and what’s a good digital backup?

⏹️ ▶️ John Uh, I’m assuming you mean like take it off of your plastic discs and put it somewhere. You have to just rip the data exactly

⏹️ ▶️ John as is no transcoding, no anything. If you really want to have a digital backup, use something like make MKV or whatever to just

⏹️ ▶️ John pull the bit, the bits off the disc exactly as is with no conversion of format whatsoever.

⏹️ ▶️ John And that is the only digital backup that you can have of stuff like this. The best digital backup is perhaps to

⏹️ ▶️ John buy all these things in the cloud, and then you don’t have to worry about storing them, but then you have to worry about the company going out of business and you having

⏹️ ▶️ John no way to watch that stuff anymore, which leads us into our next question.

#askatp: Old ebook DRM

⏹️ ▶️ Casey The next question is from Benjamin Eshem. John, you’ve mentioned that you prefer e-books

⏹️ ▶️ Casey to paper books. How do you deal with DRM slowly making your e-books inaccessible over time? Benjamin continues,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I quote unquote own a couple of Palm Digital Media books that I’ll never be able to read again.

⏹️ ▶️ John So this is tricky. There was a lot of churn in the e-book business early on.

⏹️ ▶️ John Some people who made and sold e-books no longer do so. I worked for Palm Digital Media back when

⏹️ ▶️ John we had the largest e-book store in the world. if you can believe it, this is before Amazon entered

⏹️ ▶️ John the game. And many, many things went wrong there. But anyway, they were DRM

⏹️ ▶️ John encumbered, and if you purchased them from the store, you could read them in an application that was ported to all sorts of

⏹️ ▶️ John different platforms, so it eventually, Palm went down the drain, and the business

⏹️ ▶️ John of selling ebooks went down the drain with it, more or less, and eventually you get to the point where the, you know,

⏹️ ▶️ John the iOS reader application, which existed for many years, like, doesn’t even launch anymore, I think it’s probably because it’s 32-bit these

⏹️ ▶️ John days. So you’ve got these DRM encumbered ebooks that you quote unquote own

⏹️ ▶️ John that you can no longer read or that you can only read on like a really old Mac that can still run the old reader software or whatever.

⏹️ ▶️ John So what to do? How do you deal with that? I do still prefer ebooks just for the convenience or whatever.

⏹️ ▶️ John I understand the limitations they provide but I think the convenience is worth it for me.

⏹️ ▶️ John In general these days if you’re buying ebooks from one of the modern vendors,

⏹️ ▶️ John most of them, some shady way for you to crack their DRM

⏹️ ▶️ John and to make them unencumbered. So you’re still stuck with the format, like you can convert them to EPUB or whatever,

⏹️ ▶️ John but 50 years from now you want to read your EPUBs and like, we have nothing that can read EPUBs. You know, HTML died

⏹️ ▶️ John in the, you know, the fire of nuclear Armageddon or whatever, you know, who knows, who

⏹️ ▶️ John knows, you won’t be able to read your EPUBs. So the point is, it’s not DRM encumbered, at least you’re only limited by the format.

⏹️ ▶️ John For Palm Digital Media books specifically, I don’t know if there’s a way

⏹️ ▶️ John to crack them. You can try the application Calibre, which I think is used to crack a whole

⏹️ ▶️ John bunch of the Amazon stuff with certain plugins or whatever. But Palm Digital

⏹️ ▶️ John Media eBooks were originally encrypted with your credit card number that you used to buy them. And if

⏹️ ▶️ John you don’t know the credit card number, with modern computing hardware, I can tell you

⏹️ ▶️ John that it should be feasible to brute force crack them. But I don’t know, because

⏹️ ▶️ John this was a long time ago, I don’t know of any actual application that understands enough about

⏹️ ▶️ John the DRM to actually brute force it. But I believe that you could, in a reasonable amount of time, literally brute force crack it.

⏹️ ▶️ John It’s much easier if you just know your credit card number. The Palm eBook format was actually very simple. So

⏹️ ▶️ John if you can get the data out, you can easily convert it to EPUB or some other more modern format.

⏹️ ▶️ John I know it doesn’t help too much. I’m sure I myself have some purchased

⏹️ ▶️ John Palm Digital Media ebooks and peanut press ebooks That I can no longer read But

⏹️ ▶️ John in most cases I also have those books in a pub from a different source and also in paper

⏹️ ▶️ John Sitting to the right of me right here So if you’re really worried about it buy the paper copy and don’t keep them in a basement

⏹️ ▶️ John that’ll flood because you’ll lose your paper books that way

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Not that you’d know

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Thanks to our sponsors this week, Betterment, Squarespace, and Simple Contacts. And we will talk to you next time.

Ending theme

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And join us

⏹️ ▶️ John next week!

⏹️ ▶️ John If you’re into Twitter,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you can follow them at C-A-S-E-Y-L-I-S-S

⏹️ ▶️ Marco So that’s Casey Liss, M-A-R-C-O-A-R-M,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Auntie Marco Armin, S-I-R-A-C-U-S-A-C-R-A-Q-U-S-A

⏹️ ▶️ John It’s accidental, they didn’t mean to Accidental,

⏹️ ▶️ John check podcast so long

Post-show: Neutral

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I don’t know what made me think of this, to be honest, but obviously I’ve been going back and forth about,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey you know, if I’m going to buy a car, which I’m not convinced I am actually, what should I buy? Should I get a Jeep Wrangler? Should I get a

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Golf R? Should I get something else entirely, a new BMW, etc.? And

⏹️ ▶️ Casey it occurred to me that I think to me, or to some degree I am as well, but

⏹️ ▶️ Casey particularly you two have self-pigeonholed, have pigeonholed yourselves into specific, you know, kinds

⏹️ ▶️ Casey of cars. you’ve basically said that until something dramatic changes, you’re going to be a Tesla owner

⏹️ ▶️ Casey until the end of time. John, you know, unless something dramatic changes, like, you know, money

⏹️ ▶️ Casey raining from the skies right over your house, you know, you seem to be an accord guy for at least the

⏹️ ▶️ Casey foreseeable future. So I have for each of you a question, and I’ll

⏹️ ▶️ Casey start with Marco. You know, if you couldn’t buy a Tesla,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey and I’ll even broaden it to do if you couldn’t buy an electric car, and you’ve made

⏹️ ▶️ Casey it very plain that that’s what you prefer, but if you couldn’t buy an electric car, just out of curiosity, what

⏹️ ▶️ Casey would you buy?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco So, I saw this in the notes earlier. I’ve been thinking about it this evening, and unfortunately, I don’t really

⏹️ ▶️ Marco know enough about what cars are available these days to have a great

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey answer

⏹️ ▶️ Marco here.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey What has

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey happened to

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you? But I’ll tell you, very high on the list would be the new M5, because

⏹️ ▶️ Marco even though it doesn’t to have a transmission I would like, I really enjoy having a

⏹️ ▶️ Marco fast, large sedan. Now there’s lots of options within that, you know, obviously,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know, and I should probably list in this list something from like Mercedes or Porsche

⏹️ ▶️ Marco or something, but I just don’t know their lineups at all. Audi might be somewhere on the list

⏹️ ▶️ Marco because honestly, one thing I really enjoy about the Tesla that I didn’t expect to enjoy as much as I do

⏹️ ▶️ Marco is having the nice big hatchback trunk. And so I know the Audi A7

⏹️ ▶️ Marco is kind of similar in size and trunk nature. And also hideous.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yes, it’s pretty bad looking. So yeah, I don’t

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John know. I

⏹️ ▶️ John still like it. I think the A7 looks

⏹️ ▶️ Marco great. Oh,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John you’re so

⏹️ ▶️ Marco wrong. I would probably at least give that a look just to see if I could tolerate it because I do like having

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a large fast sedan that is also a hatchback without being a wagon or an SUV or a crossover. So

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that’s great. So yeah, probably on the list would be, you know, maybe look at the A7, maybe,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know, maybe look at the new M5. I would probably look at, you know, whatever Mercedes offered in the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco same thing. I also might just consider a regular 5 Series, like a 550 or even a whatever the 540 is

⏹️ ▶️ Marco these days. I might look at those because, you know, the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco M5 was a fun time in my life, but I have now grown to appreciate

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the value of a quiet car. I like having a quiet car that is also

⏹️ ▶️ Marco fast. I feel like I don’t need to shout to the world how fast my car is

⏹️ ▶️ Marco with noise. But ultimately when I drive

⏹️ ▶️ Marco other cars now, like I so I went on a trip which is why we’re a couple days late

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and on the trip I rented a Nissan Maxima and it was a perfectly nice car. It had lots of great features

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know lots of nice little luxuries inside. I’m very happy I rented it because we were somewhere very cold and it was nice having the heated seats

⏹️ ▶️ Marco But it just feels like going so far backwards to both have a gas

⏹️ ▶️ Marco car and to have some little entertainment system on a six inch

⏹️ ▶️ Marco screen with running basically DOS. That’s how these systems all feel to me.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And when I occasionally have to drive Tiff’s car, which is a modern BMW 3 Series, it doesn’t feel

⏹️ ▶️ Marco modern to me anymore. Like it feels old. Like using iDrive, everything about

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a gas car with starting it up, putting it in gear, and having to remember to actually turn it off and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco lock it.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Like an animal.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, like it doesn’t feel great to me. So

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I think if I had to get a gas car again, I might actually

⏹️ ▶️ Marco go lower end than an M5 or something because I don’t get the enjoyment

⏹️ ▶️ Marco out of that anymore that I used to. Like it’s almost, it’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco like, well, I was gonna say, It’s like getting back with your high school girlfriend,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey but I don’t really have any

⏹️ ▶️ Marco basis on which to say that because I never really had girlfriends in high school because I was just terrible at everything. So,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco but like, it’s like I’ve moved past that in my life now. Like I had a great time with loud,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco fast cars, but now I’m perfectly happy with quiet, boring, more

⏹️ ▶️ Marco comfortable cars that also happen to be fast. So I would probably just get something

⏹️ ▶️ Marco fast, but not too ridiculous. That’s why I’m thinking maybe like a 550 or something like that.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Fair enough. I want to hate the new M5 because

⏹️ ▶️ Casey it does use the ZF 8-speed, if I’m not mistaken, which is very good, but

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I can’t believe the M5 can’t be had with a stick anymore. But oh my word, all the initial reviews

⏹️ ▶️ Casey of the new M5, 0 to 60 in like between 2.8 and 3.2 seconds, depending on who you ask.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey It’s a 90 million pound full-size sedan going

⏹️ ▶️ Casey to 60 in three seconds. I probably have mentioned this on the show 44 times, but when I was

⏹️ ▶️ Casey a kid and really getting into cars, I remember that having a zero to 60 time in the four-second

⏹️ ▶️ Casey range was like Lamborghini and Ferrari territory. Nobody could get to 60 in four

⏹️ ▶️ Casey seconds. Here it is, this M5 will do it in maybe two

⏹️ ▶️ Casey worst-case low threes. God,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco it’s just bananas.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I’ll tell you what, maybe one of the directions that I might want to go is if I can’t get my

⏹️ ▶️ Marco nice big comfort boat from space, maybe if Tiff’s car

⏹️ ▶️ Marco could become the family car that could hold a lot and be big, then maybe I would

⏹️ ▶️ Marco do something that electric currently is not very good at. I’d get something small and light and fast and fun. So maybe

⏹️ ▶️ Marco something like an M2 or a Cayman or something like that.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that electric cars really can’t be very well yet.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey That’s interesting. Do you miss the 1 Series M ever?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Occasionally, but not significantly. I

⏹️ ▶️ Marco would love to at some point drive the new M2 or even the 235, the M235. I would love to drive either of those just because they

⏹️ ▶️ Marco do, by all

⏹️ ▶️ Marco reviews and accounts, they do sound like they’re pretty fun little cars. I think that would

⏹️ ▶️ Marco be fun to drive those and to consider those if I couldn’t have my big comfort boat.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco But ultimately, I’ve gotten slightly older and a lot more boring,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and I kind of just like my fast comfort boat now. So it’s hard for me to really give this question an

⏹️ ▶️ Marco honest answer or honest consideration because my head’s not in that space anymore.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah, that’s fair. I drove an M235i, which is now an M240i,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey and it was really great. I wouldn’t say that there was anything

⏹️ ▶️ Casey tremendously remarkable about it. It was just a fun, small,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey nimble car, which there’s something to be said for that, right? It was really nice in that regard,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey and I had a lot of fun with it. All right, so moving on to, well,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey John, do you have any comments on Marco’s choices? Not to say that this was really designed to create an argument, but

⏹️ ▶️ Casey far be it for me to not give you a chance to respond. Any thoughts?

⏹️ ▶️ John I was going to start by telling Marco what he should have bought anyway in my answer. So the best direct

⏹️ ▶️ John replacement, best non-electric direct replacement for his Tesla is the Panamera.

⏹️ ▶️ John It has a hatchback. The new version is not as ugly as the old one. It’s really fast and fun to drive.

⏹️ ▶️ John seats for which should be adequate for his needs. And yeah, I think he would, I think he

⏹️ ▶️ John would end up there because I think it is more exciting than the the five series.

⏹️ ▶️ John And you know, shape wise, like it practically looks like a Model S at this point. So I think it would have a lot of fun with it.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey They’re still not good looking.

⏹️ ▶️ John You got to see it in person. It’s not it. I think they actually are pretty good looking. I didn’t. The old

⏹️ ▶️ John one obviously had the weird hunchback that look that wasn’t nice. This is much more nicely proportion. And when you

⏹️ ▶️ John see it in person, like the model s, which I think looks kind of dowdy in pictures, when you see it in person, you realize it is lower

⏹️ ▶️ John and wider than you thought. And it has a nice presence in person. I know because I see them all over, uh, where I

⏹️ ▶️ Marco live. Yeah. I mean, looking at these on the, on the website and everything, you know, because I really

⏹️ ▶️ Marco have enjoyed a hatchback, um, I would, I would give this, I would give this a look,

⏹️ ▶️ John but I wouldn’t feel good about it. And, and everyone said like the, the, the, this, this behaves the, it’s the

⏹️ ▶️ John least sedan, like of all of the big sedans, like Like everyone

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco says, they like to

⏹️ ▶️ John dance, but I mean like in terms of not feeling heavy and like a boat,

⏹️ ▶️ John right, that it feels nimble. And you know, it feels like a slightly bigger came in. It doesn’t feel

⏹️ ▶️ John like a souped up, you know, Cadillac or whatever. Fair. They’re

⏹️ ▶️ John making an electric too, by the way. So Marco actually might be in the market eventually when when their lectures come out, because they will

⏹️ ▶️ John actually have a direct electric competitor to Tesla. And that’s another reason Marco will be in the Porsche dealership.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Well, and like their concept, like the Mission E, their concept that was like a year or two ago, that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco did look really cool, but it’s just a concept and who knows what will actually ship. And

⏹️ ▶️ Marco when it does ship, there’s the big question of charging stations. Like Tesla has a lot of superchargers

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and they keep adding more at a pretty remarkable rate. I know there’s like the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco standard-based networks that are also out there, but Tesla has a pretty

⏹️ ▶️ Marco big head start and they’re in a lot of places and there are a lot of places that I go like like they now

⏹️ ▶️ Marco cover upstate pretty well like what that used to they used to have very little coverage now they have great coverage like

⏹️ ▶️ Marco they’re getting all over the place and so anybody who comes in with with a you know

⏹️ ▶️ Marco major long-distance electric car competitor is gonna have a pretty serious fight

⏹️ ▶️ Marco ahead of them to get past the supercharger network

⏹️ ▶️ John well you should be worried about though is when the hell they gonna replace the Model S because this is

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco always happening. I am worried about that.

⏹️ ▶️ John So it comes out in comparison tests where like one model that has won the comparison test for the five years

⏹️ ▶️ John running is at the end of its generation’s lifetime and it’s about to be redesigned and it comes up against the newly

⏹️ ▶️ John redesigned competitor and then loses for the first time. And so yeah, the Model S is great, but

⏹️ ▶️ John you can’t just keep the same car with minor interior and exterior tweaks for 15

⏹️ ▶️ John years. You have to, you have to come up with the next version and the next version has to be better. So presumably

⏹️ ▶️ John everybody who’s targeting Tesla, they’ve got the model S in their sights. They know what their benchmark they have to beat,

⏹️ ▶️ John and they’re going to end up beating it, you know, setting aside the charger network things. Tesla,

⏹️ ▶️ John but you would fully expect, okay, well, Tesla’s going to beat it too for the next model S and we’ll see how that goes.

⏹️ ▶️ John I

⏹️ ▶️ Marco am very, very curious to see what the heck the next model S is, because

⏹️ ▶️ Marco they’ve done a lot of things with the model three that sound really good to me and a few things that sound really

⏹️ ▶️ Marco bad to me.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey So I wonder, like, what are they going to carry

⏹️ ▶️ Marco over? Like the, like the single screen thing? Nope, not for me. That does not

⏹️ ▶️ Marco sound good. The elimination of the, uh, of the auto steer cruise control stalk.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Nope. Don’t like that. Uh, but things like, you know, having the one giant vent across the top and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco having the way faster, more responsive touch screen. That sounds great. Um, so, you know, there, there’s things I

⏹️ ▶️ Marco like for the model three. We’ll see what they actually bring over. Right. I I really hope they don’t ruin it. It seems like

⏹️ ▶️ Marco every Tesla model, they do almost everything right,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and one thing that’s just a dumb risk they took that didn’t pay off that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco ends up being annoying or failure prone. So with the Model S, it was the stupid pop-out door handles that fail constantly.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco With the X, it was the weird gull-wing doors that cause them to have lots of delays and issues. Falcon

⏹️ ▶️ Marco wings, please. Whatever, yeah. And then with the Model 3, I think their weird risk they took was having just that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco one screen and having way too many functions rely on that one screen and like, you know, some menu

⏹️ ▶️ Marco there. So, you know, who knows what they’re gonna ruin with the next Model S. I just hope it’s something I can tolerate.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey So John’s challenge, similar. If you had to buy something that wasn’t an

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Accord, what would you buy?

⏹️ ▶️ John Mazda 6, because it is about the same size, it gets good reviews, comes with a stick shift.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Okay, and I had, I didn’t know specifically what you were going to say, but I had a feeling it would be something

⏹️ ▶️ Casey along those lines. So now let’s assume for the sake of conversation that

⏹️ ▶️ Casey a two pedal car is okay. Just for the sake of conversation, I’m not saying this is what you think.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Would that change your tune? Would you choose something different?

⏹️ ▶️ John No, if it’s okay, no, I would

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey never pick it. Okay,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey poor choice. I’m not allowed to have a stick shift? Let’s go with that. Let’s say you’re not

⏹️ ▶️ Casey allowed to have a stick shift.

⏹️ ▶️ John Pfft.

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey I think I

⏹️ ▶️ John would, I think I might find myself in the one Accord that I recently learned comes with an automatic.

⏹️ ▶️ John Not the CVT ones, but the one with the automatic.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Interesting. Okay. Wait, is he allowed to pick an Accord?

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Let’s

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco say no, actually. I didn’t specify.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I didn’t specify. But yeah, good point. Let’s go with no, because let’s make this more interesting. Gets you out of your comfort zone.

⏹️ ▶️ John I don’t know. Because like now we start getting to spending more money than I want to spend on

⏹️ ▶️ Casey a car. next question we’re not there

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John yet I know but like what I’m

⏹️ ▶️ John trying to think of what’s the cheapest non-disgusting

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco automatic

⏹️ ▶️ John transmission car that it can fit my family that I would buy

⏹️ ▶️ John I don’t know just does the Mazda 6 come with an auto

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey maybe I’ll

⏹️ ▶️ John get that

⏹️ ▶️ Casey yeah I mean that’s what Aaron had she had a 2007

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John current model

⏹️ ▶️ Casey though no no I know I’m just saying like she had a 2007 Mazda 6 grand touring it had

⏹️ ▶️ Casey darn near every option on it it was an automatic and it was a phenomenal car. It was a really, really, really

⏹️ ▶️ John great. Yeah, I think I think I would get the Mazda six with automatic.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Alright, so now, some, you know, African Prince has died and bequeathed

⏹️ ▶️ Casey you all of his money. But it’s actually legit this time, you have, you know, $10

⏹️ ▶️ Casey million of with which you can spend on this car. What would you buy?

⏹️ ▶️ John $10 million? Well,

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey I

⏹️ ▶️ John mean, you have to use all 10. Can I spend part of that on the house to house the car?

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey Don’t worry about your acorns.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I’m worried about it.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John I’m not going to buy a nice car

⏹️ ▶️ John and get ruined by my kids scraping their bicycle handles across it as I shove it into my little garage.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Don’t worry about the acorns. Just worry about the car. Let’s just presume that everything else is

⏹️ ▶️ John taking care of. And you said I can’t know Ferraris?

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey No, no, I

⏹️ ▶️ Casey didn’t say that yet. You’re cheating. You’re looking at the

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John show notes. So in

⏹️ ▶️ Casey the show notes, it reads as follows. John has to buy one non-accord. What would he buy? Next bullet.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey What if two pedals were okay? Next bullet. The show notes, okay fine now money is no object and

⏹️ ▶️ Casey it has to be two pedals No Ferraris, but let’s start with the Ferraris. But even though we all know your

⏹️ ▶️ Casey answer. It’s whatever the V12 is,

⏹️ ▶️ John you know, I was looking at you know, I was looking at the 48 again I don’t know the 48 just hasn’t grown on me as

⏹️ ▶️ John much as I thought it would so I’m wondering if I would actually Get a 458 or even a 430 Because

⏹️ ▶️ John I do like both of those cars better, but then I look at the interiors and they’re all kind of weird So I don’t know but like practically

⏹️ ▶️ John speaking like I wouldn’t if you only let me have one car I wouldn’t get any of those because I can’t I can’t like you can’t

⏹️ ▶️ John drive that to work every day and Carry your kids kids around then and go on vacations. It’s just not practical It has to

⏹️ ▶️ John be like your second or third or fourth car, right? So I’m back into four-door sedans then

⏹️ ▶️ John I Think if I’m not especially if I’m not to get a new house

⏹️ ▶️ Casey No, just don’t again. Don’t worry about the house. The the acorns have gone away. Your kids will not touch the car

⏹️ ▶️ John But it was only one car. I Think I would end up with like an AMG

⏹️ ▶️ John e-series and Mercedes because the s-class as much as I love it I think it’s just

⏹️ ▶️ John I think it’s just too big to be I think I would like the ease Better because these aren’t

⏹️ ▶️ John that small these days. I feel like they’re more or less a cord size They’re really fast,

⏹️ ▶️ John but also how are comfortable and have lots of tech gadgets I’m not even sure if I would get the AMG model frankly

⏹️ ▶️ John I actually end up with the non-amg model if I felt like that was fast enough or the amg one was squishy

⏹️ ▶️ John But I really like the ease and I feel like they are more They’re more

⏹️ ▶️ John to my taste. I think then than probably the m5 that said I haven’t really seen details

⏹️ ▶️ John about the new m5 So maybe they’ve adjusted a little bit and I did like Marcos m5 but I just feel like all the all the

⏹️ ▶️ John the bad vibes that you both give me about BMWs and repair wheels and everything go to the

⏹️ ▶️ John The devil, I don’t know in Mercedes I suppose

⏹️ ▶️ Casey But you would not get a wagon, you would get a sedan?

⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, I’d get a sedan.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Do you like wagons in principle?

⏹️ ▶️ John I do. I just don’t think I need one. Like, we just have the two kids and it’s not like we’re going camping. I do like

⏹️ ▶️ John wagons. I would get a wagon over a minivan any day, but I just don’t feel like I need that extra space. Why would I get

⏹️ ▶️ John a wagon when I could just get

⏹️ ▶️ Casey a sedan? Since I’m now a car journalist, I’ve been looking

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John at— That’s awesome.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I’ve been considering wagons more and more with each passing day. And even though as an American, I’m supposed to hate

⏹️ ▶️ Casey wagons, there’s something to be said for a fast wagon that has no business being as fast

⏹️ ▶️ Casey as it is.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco So I’m configuring my Porsche Panamera.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Excuse me, excuse me. It’s

⏹️ ▶️ John Porsche, sir. Don’t pick the $20,000 option that gives you like a colored key fob.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco The options that they give you are like, there’s like, first of all, there’s like 90 different

⏹️ ▶️ Marco options. That’s not an exaggeration. And the it is ludicrous. Like I

⏹️ ▶️ Marco thought BMW was crazy with all the little

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John nickel and diamond for all

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the options. Of course it is the king of options. Oh my God. So among other things, I have the option to add a

⏹️ ▶️ Marco six disc DVD changer for $560. Wow, that’s cheap. I can add a USB port in the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco rear for $420. That’s just the port.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I can add a fire extinguisher. I don’t know where or how for $180. Like, I’ve never seen this many options.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco It’s ridiculous. I

⏹️ ▶️ John was watching a Demura video recently. I think he was talking about the 918 or something,

⏹️ ▶️ John but I think, was it a paint color option that was 65 grand? There was

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey some option that was like

⏹️ ▶️ John a cosmetic option that cost more than most cars.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco So I can get the air vent slats painted for $2,330.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Oh, I do

⏹️ ▶️ Casey not like the look of this interior at all.

⏹️ ▶️ John I bet the interior is very, very highly configurable.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco It is very highly configurable as long as you’re willing to spend $2,000 to paint your air slats.

⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah,

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco no, that’s just it.

⏹️ ▶️ John Wow. With Porsche, it seems like that if you want anything that’s not stock,

⏹️ ▶️ John it costs such a huge amount of money you’re like did they just buy the stock car and then take out the

⏹️ ▶️ John parts and burn them and then put in new parts like why does it cost so much money

⏹️ ▶️ Casey god there’s so many see like it’s they

⏹️ ▶️ Marco have holy smokes like and yeah the good thing is like if yeah I think John’s really

⏹️ ▶️ Marco like you know if you want to customize I mean they have they have like 15 different wheels you can pick

⏹️ ▶️ Marco like there’s there’s so many options to this you and and half of them I don’t even

⏹️ ▶️ Marco understand what they would do or why I would want them. Seatbelts in chalk, $660.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Decorative valve stems. Decorative valve stems in black with colored Porsche crest, $70.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco That might be the cheapest thing on this entire list. Oh my word.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Oh my God, it’s amazing.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey And this is starting at $150,000 for the Porsche Panamera Turbo Executive.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Oh, I didn’t go to the Executive. I stopped at the 4S, which my configuration is $124,000. $4,000 good

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and I haven’t even gotten like you know like good seats and

⏹️ ▶️ John everything I Think there’s like a game with the Porsche opposite. You just you want to get the one

⏹️ ▶️ John with the good engine right and then after that you want to Pick

⏹️ ▶️ John like two things that are important to you

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco and everything else

⏹️ ▶️ John except except stock

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I Think the real answer here is you want to buy these used because like you know used cars

⏹️ ▶️ Marco You tend to you tend to get a lot of the options basically for free. Because like you know, because like you don’t,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco if you spec up a car, like the used pricing is based on not all the options, it’s based on like the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco engine trim level, year, and mileage. Like that’s a that’s about it. So like the way to get

⏹️ ▶️ Marco any of these cars, if you want a lot of options, is to just wait for a used one to come up that has a lot of

⏹️ ▶️ Marco options that someone else took a bath on, and you get those pretty nicely.

⏹️ ▶️ John I think I mentioned this about like Rolls-Royce and Mercedes last time we talked about it, but I’m just so surprised that these companies stick

⏹️ ▶️ John to this? I mean, I suppose there is some attraction to the high-end clientele of being able to customize

⏹️ ▶️ John everything, especially like on Bentley and Rolls and stuff. But as Marco has noted in his

⏹️ ▶️ John salad power user, you know, diatribe, it’s

⏹️ ▶️ John the paralysis of choice. I would be terrified that I would be accidentally configuring the

⏹️ ▶️ John world’s ugliest Rolls Royce, right? Because you can choose everything, every kind of, every material, every

⏹️ ▶️ John surface, color everything it’s like don’t don’t trust me to design it especially

⏹️ ▶️ John if they have not so great visualization it’s like i i paid 350 grand for this Bentley and it looks

⏹️ ▶️ John like a clown car because i didn’t think about how this color leather would look with this color stitching would

⏹️ ▶️ John look with this material because i’m not a car interior designer just give me some presets like Marco wants for his salads

⏹️ ▶️ John and then maybe i’ll say let me give me that preset and then they’ll tweak one thing or something

⏹️ ▶️ John because like think of how scary I mean, I think mostly in terms of my how scary it would be to buy a car

⏹️ ▶️ John sight unseen like you’ve never seen a car with this materials you’ve never sat in it you don’t know what it’s gonna look like you don’t know how it’s gonna feel

⏹️ ▶️ John and just picking from a menu terrifying so I wonder if rich people have like other people configure

⏹️ ▶️ John their cars for them right or they just say oh I don’t know you just make it just make it nice for me or like

⏹️ ▶️ John they hire car interior designers just like you design you know hire them for your house like

⏹️ ▶️ John poor people you know just go to the home center and they pick out materials for their floor and their countertops and

⏹️ ▶️ John whatever, and they cross their fingers and hope it looks okay. The rich people hire interior designer and

⏹️ ▶️ John also cross their fingers, I suppose, but pay gobs and gobs of money for them to come up with materials

⏹️ ▶️ John and everything that look good together. So I wonder if they do that for cars too, because it’s a huge expense and there’s just

⏹️ ▶️ John too many choices.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, I’m looking now, like I would rather have just a regular 5 Series, I think, than the Panamera. Like

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you get so much more for the money and it’s a way nicer looking car, even though it does have a little

⏹️ ▶️ Marco bit skin flap issue of modern ones. But yeah, that’s I think I’d rather have that.

⏹️ ▶️ John I found a job for Casey. Casey, do you have any interest in being a car option configurator

⏹️ ▶️ John to rich people?

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I would love to. Are you kidding? I

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John would love

⏹️ ▶️ John to. Would you feel the pressure though of not accidentally making an ugly car for them?

⏹️ ▶️ Casey No, I really wouldn’t. Because I mean, they’re rich. Who cares?

⏹️ ▶️ Casey They’re just looking for someone to

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John blame.

⏹️ ▶️ John I mean, yeah, well, you have to charge your fee. It’s like interior designers. You have to charge your fee, which should be like at least

⏹️ ▶️ John one third of the price of actually doing the job. Purely for like, you know, what

⏹️ ▶️ John service you provide, you tell them which options to

⏹️ ▶️ Casey pick. I have long thought about how fun it would be to be like a car

⏹️ ▶️ Casey headhunter, if you will. So you know, take me for example, when I was buying my three series, you know, I wanted a 335

⏹️ ▶️ Casey it had to have a stick, it had to have the M sport package, you know,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey and there I think there were one or two other options I insisted upon not white before either of you jerks

⏹️ ▶️ Casey pipe in.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John Anyway,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey the point is, I would

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John love to be a car headhunter.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I would love to be a car headhunter that’s, you know, that my job is just like scour auto trader to try to find that like

⏹️ ▶️ Casey perfect unicorn for somebody. I think that would be super fun. But anyone who would have the money for that

⏹️ ▶️ Casey would be buying new anyway, so they would just order

⏹️ ▶️ John one. I was going to say, you just hang out, like I wonder if you work at the dealer and say, we have this person here,

⏹️ ▶️ John their services are provided at a very small fee of 50 grand, and they will help you select the options

⏹️ ▶️ John for your $250,000 car. I’m in.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey If you’re looking to hire me, you can find my contact information at

⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, 50 grand per car, you can make some good money doing that.

⏹️ ▶️ John If only. And honestly, if I had the money to buy a Bentley, I would gladly pay 50 grand to someone who would prevent me from

⏹️ ▶️ John misconfiguring my car and getting an ugly $350,000 Bentley instead I’d have a good-looking $400,000 Bentley.