348: Panic Shutdown17 Oct 2019
Apple’s China problem, adventures in home networking, and the future of progress bars.
- Pre-show: El Camino
- Casey's Docker adventures
- Marco's networking adventures
- Ubiquiti EdgeRouter Lite (previous router)
- Security Gateway Pro 4 (new router)
- UniFi Cloud Key Gen2 (runs management software)
- UniFi 250W PoE Switch
- UniFi nanoHD Wi-Fi APs
- Folding phones
- Apple and China
- Will progress bars ever become more accurate? (via Chris Wright)
- What app(s) do we use to write prose? (via Charles Clements)
- Does a computer really need a UPS? (via Tom Hartnett)
- Post-show: John's Google problems
- Casper: Casper is a sleep brand that makes expertly designed products to help you get your best rest, one night at a time. Get $100 toward select mattresses with code atp2019. Terms and conditions apply.
- ExpressVPN: Protect your online activity. Get 3 months free with a 1-year package.
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- El Camino
- Opting out of TiVo ads
- Casey’s Pi-hole
- Sponsor: Squarespace (code ATP)
- Marco’s Ubiquiti upgrade
- Sponsor: ExpressVPN
- Folding phones
- iOS 13.2 Siri opt-outs
- Optimus Player
- Apple’s China problem
- Sponsor: Casper (code atp2019)
- #askatp: Progress bars
- #askatp: Writing apps
- #askatp: UPSes
- Ending theme
- Mutually Assured Consumption
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I wanted to let the two of you know that I am sitting this episode out. Is
⏹️ ▶️ Casey the Night Pro out? No, no, God, holy crap, no. Don’t even mess with my emotions like that,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey please. I made the mistake of starting but not finishing Merlin-style
⏹️ ▶️ Casey El Camino, which is the Breaking Bad Netflix movie. And I’m only about halfway through
⏹️ ▶️ Casey and I really want to finish it, so I’m just going to be quiet this one.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I saw that the other day, too. Do I have to have seen Better Call Saul? Because I haven’t.
⏹️ ▶️ John No, but you have to have seen Breaking Bad.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, I’ve seen Breaking Bad. Not recently, like when it was out, I saw it.
⏹️ ▶️ John might want a refresher because there’s a lot of stuff in it that they don’t really
⏹️ ▶️ John spend time explaining to you who this person is. You just have to kind of remember. So you might want to read a recap.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey So not a joke. First of all, I have not seen Better Call Saul and I’ve heard it’s tremendous, but I’ve not
⏹️ ▶️ Casey seen it. Secondly, I also watched Breaking Bad most recently when it was ending
⏹️ ▶️ Casey and I really wasn’t sure how I was going to remember everything because I can barely remember what
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I ate for dinner tonight. And what I thought to do, which seems so far to have worked out really well,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey is I went to Wikipedia, don’t laugh yet, I went to Wikipedia and went to Jesse Pinkman’s Wikipedia page
⏹️ ▶️ Casey and read his character biography. And I feel like that reasonably caught me up.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey In the five minutes I spent to read this, it did a pretty good job of giving me the blow by blow
⏹️ ▶️ Casey and reminding me of all the things that he and Walt had gotten into and so I recommend
⏹️ ▶️ Casey doing that as a poor man’s, a poor person’s way of like
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco catching yourself
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Is this the movie that shows like what happened to him afterwards basically? Mm-hmm.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey not a, I can’t say I like it as much as I liked Breaking Bad,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey although Breaking Bad, what a roller coaster man. Like it was such a great show and I loved it but
⏹️ ▶️ Casey it did not leave me feeling great.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey Oh no, it was
⏹️ ▶️ Marco very heavy. It was like, it was such a just massively heavy show. Like, it was
⏹️ ▶️ Marco one of those things, like, you know, I really enjoyed it overall, but I could only watch like
⏹️ ▶️ Marco one or two episodes at a time. And like, it’s like, all right, I’m done for the night. I need to watch something else. And then like, I think what
⏹️ ▶️ Marco happened was like, you know, in towards the end of 2016, the
⏹️ ▶️ Marco mood of the world took a negative turn. And ever since then, I haven’t
⏹️ ▶️ Marco really been able to watch like heavy, dark shows. I don’t, I just don’t enjoy it. I don’t want to feel
⏹️ ▶️ Marco more that way than we already do as a society. So I just haven’t
⏹️ ▶️ Marco been able to get back into shows like that yet.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah, I completely agree with you. Erin and I watched the first two or three seasons. I’m sure I’ve told the story
⏹️ ▶️ Casey before, but we watched the first two or three seasons together. And then at some point,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey she looked over at me after watching a particularly intense episode, which is hard to say because they’re all intense,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey but we watched a particularly intense episode. She looked over at me and she just had this like kind of puzzled
⏹️ ▶️ Casey look on her face. I’m like, whoa, what’s wrong? And she said, this doesn’t make me happy. I don’t think I’m going to watch this anymore.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey And that was that. And the funny thing about it was she was invested enough that she would ask me to give her like the
⏹️ ▶️ Casey extraordinarily quick summary of what happened as I continued to watch, but, uh, but yeah,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey it, it is not a show that makes you happy, although it is definitely a unbelievable piece of filmmaking
⏹️ ▶️ Casey and El Camino, I, which is the movie that they just released on Netflix a week or two ago,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I definitely am enjoying it quite a bit. I’m definitely on the edge of my seat quite a bit, but it
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I wouldn’t say it’s necessarily recaptured the magic 100% But that’s to be expected.
⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, it’s like a middle-of-the-road Longer than usual episode
⏹️ ▶️ John of Breaking Bad basically,
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco it’s definitely a
⏹️ ▶️ John need to be a movie You know, it’s like an epilogue episode, but they had more time. So it kind
⏹️ ▶️ John of takes its time getting where it’s going Mm-hmm.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, I don’t know I don’t know if I could get back into that mindset like it was it was such a different time like it wasn’t that long ago, but like
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it was a different time. Like things have changed a lot since then. What
⏹️ ▶️ Casey has Aaron Paul been up to? He was in that car something or other. Was it Need for Speed? He was in some car
⏹️ ▶️ Casey racing movie that was actually surprisingly enjoyable. And then I haven’t seen
⏹️ ▶️ Casey anything from him other than that.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco He’s a great actor. I mean, I think one of the reasons why I kept, why I like
⏹️ ▶️ Marco stayed in that show as a watcher, even though it was awful, even at the time it was darker
⏹️ ▶️ Marco than I normally would have enjoyed it was just so well made, it was so well written, and it was so
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah. Now, I completely agree with you. And I actually think it’s very, very well filmed. I am not a good
⏹️ ▶️ Casey critic of these sorts of things. So, for all I know, they’re either using all the like rookie tricks in the
⏹️ ▶️ Casey book, or it’s just, you know, saccharine that, you know, this is the sort of thing that an uneducated
⏹️ ▶️ Casey person would think is beautiful. But maybe it’s legitimately beautiful. I don’t know, maybe
⏹️ ▶️ Casey John can weigh in. But one way or another, I think it is a very pretty show in the same way that like Top
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Gear for all of the things that you could say that are terrible about Top Gear Most all of which are deserved
⏹️ ▶️ Casey one thing. I think you can’t take away from it was how pretty it was and Breaking Bad and
⏹️ ▶️ Casey so far El Camino seems to be the same Anyway, so I’m going to
⏹️ ▶️ Casey skip the rest of the episode. You guys have fun.
Opting out of TiVo ads
⏹️ ▶️ Casey John, tell me if I had a TiVo because I was clinging to 2002, how would I opt out
⏹️ ▶️ Casey of the pre-roll ads?
⏹️ ▶️ John It’s not easy. I mean, this is the title of this article wants to make you think they’re going
⏹️ ▶️ John to tell you how to opt out of TiVo pre-roll ads. But if you read the article,
⏹️ ▶️ John it’s like, oh, none of these things sound like things I really want to do. I mean, the only one that makes
⏹️ ▶️ John some amount of sense is downgrading to the old version of their little OS, because the old version
⏹️ ▶️ John will not be getting pre-roll ads. So if you get involuntarily
⏹️ ▶️ John upgraded like I did, it is possible to roll back to the old version if you don’t mind losing all
⏹️ ▶️ John of your recordings, which kind of sucks, right? And that’s the best option.
⏹️ ▶️ John Another option is you can call them and beg. And apparently if you are persuasive,
⏹️ ▶️ John they will sort of opt you out, but it’s unknown whether this is a permanent opt-out or just appeasing an angry
⏹️ ▶️ John cup store opt-out and doesn’t seem like that’s a scalable solution. And then, you know,
⏹️ ▶️ John the final option they list here is like, maybe we’ll figure something out. Maybe you could, uh, you know, piehole the DNS for
⏹️ ▶️ John the ad server. Who knows? It’s a grim situation, but in case you are one of the other 25 Tivo
⏹️ ▶️ John users left in the world and are wondering about this we will put the link in the show notes.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Can I have a quick moment about PiHole? We did not talk about this yet on the show, did
⏹️ ▶️ Casey we? No. Okay, good. I didn’t think so. A few months ago,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey or maybe it was a year ago now, a while ago, I discovered Docker. Yes, welcome to 2014, I’m aware.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey haven’t, don’t worry. See, thank you, Mark. That genuinely does make me feel a little bit better. But
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I discovered Docker and I discovered Homebridge, and I was aware of both of them
⏹️ ▶️ Casey existing, but I I didn’t ever think to put both of them together. And so
⏹️ ▶️ Casey my Synology, which I love very much, it has Docker support on my
⏹️ ▶️ Casey particular Synology, which is the same one that you two have. And so I put a Docker container of Homebridge
⏹️ ▶️ Casey on my Synology and now I can control with some amount of reliability. I can control
⏹️ ▶️ Casey non-HomeKit stuff with HomeKit, which is really great. Well, I don’t remember how I got it in my head,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey but one way or another, I decided recently, oh, you know what, I should try that Pihole
⏹️ ▶️ Casey thing because I’ve heard that’s really, really good. And my very limited understanding and jump
⏹️ ▶️ Casey in either of you when you’re ready is that this is a DNS server that’s
⏹️ ▶️ Casey designed to be run on a Raspberry Pi. And so it’s really lean and really, really quick. And the idea
⏹️ ▶️ Casey is you set your home network or perhaps just one computer to use the Pihole as your DNS
⏹️ ▶️ Casey server, and then it will simply ignore or not resolve
⏹️ ▶️ Casey DNS host names for things that they know are nothing but advertisements. So, it’s
⏹️ ▶️ Casey sort of a network level ad blocker, which is really, really interesting. And sure enough,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey there’s a Docker container for the Synology that lets you set up PyHole. And it took me like five minutes.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey And then I tweaked my network such that the network is issuing the
⏹️ ▶️ Casey PyHole address as the DNS server. And so far,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey about a week in, it seems to be working pretty well. And there’s only been a couple of occasions that I’ve need
⏹️ ▶️ Casey to temporarily disable it in order to get a website to work again. I am really, really pleased
⏹️ ▶️ Casey with it. I’ll probably write it up on my website at some point or another. But if you’re looking
⏹️ ▶️ Casey for a reason to get a Raspberry Pi, which I actually am, but I
⏹️ ▶️ Casey also already have a computer running all the time, and that’s my sonology, you know, a pie hole in a Docker container,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey it’s a pretty sweet setup, and it was not hard to set up at all.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco That’s interesting, because I’ve never used any of the various network-wide
⏹️ ▶️ Marco ad blocker methods. Usually we should involve DNS type things like this.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Because I’m always afraid that it’ll just break stuff. Because every ad blocker I’ve ever
⏹️ ▶️ Marco used or written has always broken stuff,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and I’ve always needed some kind of temporary disable thing. it to temporarily bypass it?
⏹️ ▶️ Casey so here’s where I’m going to lose everyone. Oh
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco It doesn’t, it’s temporarily bypassing it like just
⏹️ ▶️ Marco changing your DNS back?
⏹️ ▶️ Casey No, no, I suppose you could do it that way, but, but no, that is not, that is not
⏹️ ▶️ Casey the solution I use. Good. So, so the way that, that
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I have been doing it, which is perfect for me, but terrible for anyone else in
⏹️ ▶️ Casey the house, namely Aaron, is that it’s actually got a really robust
⏹️ ▶️ Casey web interface that, among other things, lets you disable it for 30
⏹️ ▶️ Casey seconds, I think like five seconds, 30 seconds, or basically until
⏹️ ▶️ Casey you decide to turn it back on. Let me see. I’m signing in now. Disable for 10 or 30 seconds,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey five minutes, a custom amount of time, or just straight up turn it off for a while. And I got to say, this
⏹️ ▶️ Casey web interface is really, really good. And it works surprisingly
⏹️ ▶️ Casey well given how lean and mean this thing is. And it shows, so I have 27 clients and 31,790 queries of
⏹️ ▶️ Casey which 2,545 of them were blocked, which is 8%. And
⏹️ ▶️ Casey there are 113,447 domains on the block list. And it shows you pretty graphs and things of that
⏹️ ▶️ Casey nature. But the problem is you have to be able to like log into this thing in order to
⏹️ ▶️ Casey disable it it for a little while and you’re disabling it for the entire network rather than for one host. Now, somebody on Twitter
⏹️ ▶️ Casey had sent me a workflow or shortcuts shortcut that you’re supposed
⏹️ ▶️ Casey to be able to just run after you’ve plugged in your API
⏹️ ▶️ Casey key, if you will, and so on and so forth. And it would disable it via this shortcut,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey which would be perfect for me and Aaron, actually. But I couldn’t get it to work in the brief amount of time I played
⏹️ ▶️ Casey with it. So I guess that’s many words to say, there must be
⏹️ ▶️ Casey mechanisms by which you can do an easy temporary disable because there’s APIs and things of that nature.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey But the one that I’m familiar with, I couldn’t get to work and I haven’t really
⏹️ ▶️ Casey given it a real honest shake yet. So I need to go back and reevaluate. But
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I am really, really pleased with this so far. Now the problem with this
⏹️ ▶️ Casey though, is what happens when I’m outside my home network? you know, because this is only providing DNS
⏹️ ▶️ Casey for my intranet. It does not provide DNS to the internet. And I suppose what I could
⏹️ ▶️ Casey do is expose this publicly, which seems like a terrible decision. And so
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I think what for now I’m going to do is if I’m really browsing the web remotely and really am getting
⏹️ ▶️ Casey annoyed by ads, I’ll just hop on my VPN into the house and then I will get that DNS server back
⏹️ ▶️ Casey and then everything should work as it does in the house in theory. Although to be fair,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I have not validated that yet. But in general, whether or not Pihole is
⏹️ ▶️ Casey your thing, and I’m saying that not only to Marco, but the listener, whether or not Pihole is your
⏹️ ▶️ Casey thing, I cannot say enough good things about Docker and how unbelievably easy it
⏹️ ▶️ Casey is to get some entirely complex software stack up and
⏹️ ▶️ Casey running in almost no time. John, you’re using Docker at work for like actual work things, right? Or am I making that
⏹️ ▶️ Casey anything I’ve said wrong or anything you’d like to add in general?
⏹️ ▶️ John Mm, some things about Docker annoy me, but I think it’s true of anything you have to use for work eventually. I
⏹️ ▶️ John don’t know the things that annoy you about it, but
⏹️ ▶️ John Jeff Atwood had an article about pi hole from a year or two ago.
⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, he actually used a Raspberry Pi like hardware, which was part of the fun project
⏹️ ▶️ John nature of it to get a cute little computer next to his router with a little tiny screen on it. if you’re
⏹️ ▶️ John interested in another person’s experience and kind of a setup guide, we’ll put that link in
⏹️ ▶️ John the show notes too.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Now, and there actually in that, it is a really good screenshot of the web interface
⏹️ ▶️ Casey that I was talking about. So if you go to Jeff Atwood’s link in the show notes, it’s
⏹️ ▶️ Casey codinghorror.com. Well, if you scroll down a bit, you’ll see the PyHole interface. And I
⏹️ ▶️ Casey don’t know, I just, maybe I’m easily amused, but it’s a very good looking and
⏹️ ▶️ Casey pretty easy to use interface for something that I believe is just an open source project that nobody’s making any
⏹️ ▶️ Casey real money off of. So I just think that’s super cool when a whole bunch of nerds can come together do something nice.
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Marco’s Ubiquiti upgrade
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⏹️ ▶️ Marco Speaking of home networking stuff, I don’t know if this is really a topic or not,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey but I- Yes,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey actually I didn’t put in the show notes. I meant to ask you about this. I’m glad you brought it up. What are you up to, man?
⏹️ ▶️ Marco So I just basically just upgraded all my home networking gear.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey now can we pause? Can you just give a quick executive summary of what the gear was, and then
⏹️ ▶️ Casey let’s talk about what the new stuff is.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Sure. So here I have a home network here. Originally I set this up
⏹️ ▶️ Marco about eight years ago. So I’ve gone through a couple of routers in that time, but the one I’ve been using for the last
⏹️ ▶️ Marco probably five years or so is the Ubiquiti Edge Router Lite 3. This
⏹️ ▶️ Marco little like black hundred dollar thing that has been rock solid reliable and really got me started
⏹️ ▶️ Marco on the Ubiquiti bandwagon. The switch has been this rock solid
⏹️ ▶️ Marco HP 18 something rack mount switch, I think 1815, I don’t know. Some kind of HP 18 port or 24 port,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco whatever it was. You know, big
⏹️ ▶️ Marco HP rack mount switch. And those have been running rock solid reliable for many, many years.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And then for WiFi I would plug in, in recent years basically, whatever the Ubiquiti
⏹️ ▶️ Marco access points were that were available at the time. And I started out with one and then went to two and then
⏹️ ▶️ Marco went to three as like I identified various bad spots in my house. And this was
⏹️ ▶️ Marco all before like modern home consumer-friendly mesh stuff like Euro,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco sponsor of our show frequently I should disclose. But anyway, so, and I should clarify all of
⏹️ ▶️ Marco my Euro experience has been in other houses besides this one. So the beach, in-laws, stuff like that.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco So what drove this for me, what drove this upgrade was that once you have multiple access
⏹️ ▶️ Marco points, sometimes clients will do weird things with whether they will roam
⏹️ ▶️ Marco between them properly or whether they’ll hold on to one bad connection rather
⏹️ ▶️ Marco than roaming onto the one better one. Most of the stuff is dramatically improved if you have newer
⏹️ ▶️ Marco hardware and newer software behind it and everything on the router end to be able to roam
⏹️ ▶️ Marco clients with these newer standards and things like that. I also just wanted a speed upgrade on
⏹️ ▶️ Marco my access points. And I also, and Ubiquiti does this weird thing where like they require
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you to run controller software to set certain things up, to make certain changes,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and to enable certain features. And you don’t have to run it if you don’t need to make certain changes, or you don’t
⏹️ ▶️ Marco need to enable certain features. And so, and you have to run it like on a computer or something,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and I had long abandoned whatever computer was running this. I couldn’t run it anymore
⏹️ ▶️ Marco on my Mac Mini because it required Java and all this
⏹️ ▶️ Marco stuff. So I’m like, all right. And they have sold for years now these little things called Cloud
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Keys that are basically just little, they’re basically Raspberry Pis, like pre-made, to run this
⏹️ ▶️ Marco controller software on. And since then, they’ve also had this huge new generation
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of new switches and new routers, the new security gateway line of routers.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco This was all, this all came out after I made my setup. I decided, you know what, let me just upgrade
⏹️ ▶️ Marco everything to all new stuff. I’ll go all Ubiquiti this time, even though my HP switch has been
⏹️ ▶️ Marco rock solid and still works totally fine, but I figured I’ll get Ubiquiti switch because that’ll save me a bunch of wires
⏹️ ▶️ Marco because now it has power over Ethernet built in. So basically, so what I got was a 24 port
⏹️ ▶️ Marco power over Ethernet switch, security gateway as the router, the security key
⏹️ ▶️ Marco too as the controller. So I got it all set up today And this is
⏹️ ▶️ Marco still like, you know, the Ubiquiti line of things is still very
⏹️ ▶️ Marco much for nerds. However, it is way nicer now
⏹️ ▶️ Marco if you go all in the way I did, like with all the most modern stuff that
⏹️ ▶️ Marco all supports power over ethernet to the newest standards. It all supports their software controller
⏹️ ▶️ Marco thing. And so like, I didn’t have to log into the router and the switch
⏹️ ▶️ Marco separately. I didn’t have to log into every access point to configure it separately. All I
⏹️ ▶️ Marco had to do was log into the controller, the little cloud key thing, and it configured
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the router for me, and all the APs, and everything. You basically just log into
⏹️ ▶️ Marco one thing, and it controls everything. It controls all their software updates, all their settings, it coordinates
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the wifi network between all the access points. It’s so much easier now than it used
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to be. And so if you are in the market for
⏹️ ▶️ Marco very nerdy, pro-grade networking gear, all the new Ubiquiti stuff is really nice
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and really awesome. And so I got it all set up. I got all my devices named in the control panel and everything, like all fancy,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco get all set here. I’m very happy with it. Obviously it’s only been like 12 hours. So maybe if things go
⏹️ ▶️ Marco wrong, I’ll let you know in a future episode. But I’m all Ubiquiti here at home.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And it certainly is worth considering or it’s worth asking like, you know, why this kind of
⏹️ ▶️ Marco crazy overkill setup instead of something like an Eurosystem? The reality is, for most people,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the answer is just get something like the Eurosystem, because you don’t need something like this. And truth
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is, you know, need is a fun word in nerddom. I don’t need this either. It allows a certain degree of flexibility,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco first of all. I don’t need to upgrade the entire component system once now.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Like, as I’ve done over the last, I don’t know, five years that I’ve been running Ubiquity Gear, like, as
⏹️ ▶️ Marco new standards can come out for things like faster Wi-Fi, I can just replace the access points.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And maybe not even all of them, instead of having to buy a whole new router and a whole new system and everything like that.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I can do certain cool things. Like I mentioned I have three access points. One of them is
⏹️ ▶️ Marco in my garage. And I can have a separate network that runs only on that
⏹️ ▶️ Marco one that my car can pull software updates off of because my car is not good at picking
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the best Wi-Fi network. And will often pick the furthest away access point in the house if
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it’s on the same SSID. So you can do things like have certain SSIDs that only
⏹️ ▶️ Marco broadcast among certain access points. Stuff like that. There’s an even
⏹️ ▶️ Marco greater level of control and nerdery and separation of concerns here
⏹️ ▶️ Marco than what you get with any kind of consumer system. That’s the whole point of these enterprise systems. Not to mention reliability
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and capacity and ability to deal with interference in certain things
⏹️ ▶️ Marco patterns better because they’re just they’re made for way higher density
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and higher needs usage than what my house is likely to have. It’s a really nice overkill setup
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and if and when I eventually upgrade to Casey’s degree of Fios that is gigabit both ways
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I’m going to be happy to think have things like a faster router you know more packet capacity and all this other
⏹️ ▶️ Marco stuff so yeah I’m looking forward to hopefully never
⏹️ ▶️ Marco thinking about it again because because that’s what Ubiquity lets you do, basically. You set
⏹️ ▶️ Marco up your stuff, and you have one fun, nerdy day of figuring out how it all works, and then you can just forget about
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it. You never have to reboot anything. It’s just rock solid. So I’m hoping all this new stuff is
⏹️ ▶️ Marco as rock solid as all my old stuff was.
⏹️ ▶️ John You know, I’ve got that Fios, too, now. I think you’ve got the slow internet connection on my desk.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Oh, yeah, look at that.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, mine’s only 150, but. 150? Oh my goodness. That’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco know how you live. It was the fastest at the time. And that’s when I got it like seven
⏹️ ▶️ Marco years ago, that was the fastest they offered. It works perfectly. I never have problems.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco So the last thing I want to do is call Verizon over to change something. Yeah,
⏹️ ▶️ John I know. I bit that bullet recently too. I think I had it for a similar length of time to you. Anyway,
⏹️ ▶️ John mine maxed out at 75. So I was stuck at 75. I couldn’t
⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey get any faster
⏹️ ▶️ John with the box I had. And eventually I just, I had to do it. And it turned out fine. It
⏹️ ▶️ John was ridiculous. They replaced my original FiOS box, which was just massive. It was
⏹️ ▶️ John like the size of a, I don’t know, like a Rebel Alliance
⏹️ ▶️ John backpack on Hoth. That’s how big it was. It was huge. And they
⏹️ ▶️ John replaced that with a tiny box, like maybe
⏹️ ▶️ John the size of a lunchbox. And the only thing inside the box is a even tinier thing
⏹️ ▶️ John that looks like an eight-port switch velcroed inside there. That’s awesome.
⏹️ ▶️ John Whatever it was before, was like this bespoke special custom thing with all these electronics. And it’s just basically
⏹️ ▶️ John replaced by like some little thing. You look like you could buy it off Amazon. I don’t know what it actually is, but it’s it’s comical.
⏹️ ▶️ John All right. Question about your your setup, though, is your garage climate
⏹️ ▶️ John controlled in any way? No, because I’m running with a safe operating temperature range is
⏹️ ▶️ John for that equipment.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Right. And so and, you know, if you look it up, it’ll tell you, you know, it’s it’s something like, you know, five degrees to 100 and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco something degrees. You
⏹️ ▶️ John never gets below five in your garage.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco No, so this is so this as far as I know so my garage is not insulated, but it
⏹️ ▶️ Marco does close And the walls are made of cinder blocks and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it’s it touches my house on top back and side So like
⏹️ ▶️ Marco three of the you know, I guess five Surfaces that could be exterior
⏹️ ▶️ Marco exposed aren’t there there, you know attached to my house. So So it has some degree
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of temperature isolation from the outside world. In my experience running this gear in
⏹️ ▶️ Marco my garage for the last eight years, it has not been a problem yet. I even run my Synology out there.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And part of the reason why is, obviously, just by being not outside and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco by being attached to a house and having a big thick old wood door that closes
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and everything, it’s not going to get as cold as it does outside. you know, if it’s zero degrees outside,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco unless it’s been zero degrees outside for like two weeks straight, my garage is gonna be, you know, much,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco much higher than that. It’s not gonna be warm, but it’s not gonna be zero.
⏹️ ▶️ John You might need another internal combustion engine car to warm up that garage for you.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And then also I figure like, this gear operates 24 seven. So it never
⏹️ ▶️ Marco really has a chance to cool down. You know, like I’m not storing it in zero degree rooms
⏹️ ▶️ Marco off and then trying to power it on. Like, so I think that also helps with things like condensation and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco everything. So I keep everything there for networking, the switch, the router.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I have two UPSs for various reasons. And I have the Synology running all the hard drives in
⏹️ ▶️ Marco there 24-7 year round. And it hasn’t been a problem yet. I haven’t
⏹️ ▶️ Marco lost a single hard drive in the Synology yet, knock on whatever wood this is. I haven’t lost any networking
⏹️ ▶️ Marco gear to heat or anything. It seems fine.
⏹️ ▶️ John Well, my second Synology had a bad disk. It wasn’t bad yet, but Synology does those disk health
⏹️ ▶️ John checkups, and it would email you and says, hey, I found a bad sector. And I’ve been ignoring it for two years. And
⏹️ ▶️ John eventually, it’s like, you know, I really found a lot of bad sectors on this disk. I’m like, all right, fine.
⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey So I just, and
⏹️ ▶️ John it’s the, what, those were the drives I ended up replacing, because I just replaced both of them, because it was just a two
⏹️ ▶️ John drive, my little two drive Synology. They weren’t the Western Digital Reds. They were just
⏹️ ▶️ John something else, like just regular consumer hard drive. So anecdotal data for
⏹️ ▶️ John those, you know, designed for NAS BS overpriced drives actually outliving the
⏹️ ▶️ John standard consumer models. I replaced them with a Western digital rights.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Well, I am, uh, I’m jealous of your networking setup, but not your connection to the rest of the world. So
⏹️ ▶️ Casey you win some, you lose some, but
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I don’t doubt that. Truth be told. And I don’t think they’re a sponsor of this episode. Are they? Uh, no,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey uh, truth truth be told, my Eero setup has actually been very, very good. I had a little bit of a hiccup with localhost
⏹️ ▶️ Casey loopback. So if I went to a host name that resolved
⏹️ ▶️ Casey to itself, there was a month or two window of time where that was having some problems. But outside of that,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey which by the way, has since been fixed, it’s been pretty darn solid. I’ve been really happy with the Eero.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey And they’re not paying us to say that. So that’s pretty
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah. I’ve used Eero in, again, my in-laws place and vacation houses, and it’s been
⏹️ ▶️ Marco totally great. That’s why I keep using it for those places. Oh, and one other thing to disclose
⏹️ ▶️ Marco on the Ubiquiti stuff. The rack mount stuff that I got has very loud
⏹️ ▶️ Marco fans. So in my garage, this is fine. If you’re looking for something for like a home
⏹️ ▶️ Marco office, I mean, you should be accustomed to the fact that 1U rack mount stuff usually has very loud fans,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco but in this case, that holds. It has very loud fan so you know use caution.
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⏹️ ▶️ Casey Let’s return to follow up that we were doing three hours ago. Folding phones
⏹️ ▶️ Casey and form factors. I don’t know which one of you put this in the show notes, but we should call out
⏹️ ▶️ Casey the most recent episode of Connected, 265, entitled, What Are You? A Dictionary, which was great
⏹️ ▶️ Casey for a plethora of reasons. And what’s relevant right now is Mike
⏹️ ▶️ Casey decided to spend an obscene amount of money on the Galaxy Fold, and he spent about a week with
⏹️ ▶️ Casey it and did a really, really good job of reviewing it, particularly the hardware on that episode. And it is worth
⏹️ ▶️ Casey listening to. So you should check that out. But I presume one of you, probably John, has thoughts about
⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, I listened to that episode. And it was interesting to hear what Mike thought of it, how he was using it, how it’s holding up and,
⏹️ ▶️ John you know, the prospects for it and so on and so forth. And we talked about folding phones a while ago,
⏹️ ▶️ John and then again with the most recent episode with the Microsoft Duo and then the Neo thing and everything.
⏹️ ▶️ John And I had a thought that I think I failed to voice last time we discussed this. While listening to Mike
⏹️ ▶️ John talk about his Galaxy Fold thing, and in particular
⏹️ ▶️ John he was talking about how the outer screen was too narrow to be useful like in
⏹️ ▶️ John folded form or whatever. It made me think of, you know, The
⏹️ ▶️ John context we were discussing last time was like, is the additional screen space
⏹️ ▶️ John worth the need to unfold your phone when you use it?
⏹️ ▶️ John And the outer screen, you know, in theory, could let you not have to unfold it, but Mike was saying that it was a little bit too narrow.
⏹️ ▶️ John But the flip side of that is rather than using folding technology to give
⏹️ ▶️ John you a much larger screen in a small package, I started to think about using
⏹️ ▶️ John folding to take existing sized phones and make them smaller
⏹️ ▶️ John in one or the other dimension while they’re in your pocket. And it also kind
⏹️ ▶️ John of like, you know, if we could go back to the thinness race and start getting the phones to be thinner
⏹️ ▶️ John again, you could have a phone that was like the size of an iPhone 11 or iPhone 11
⏹️ ▶️ John Pro, but folds in one dimension or the other. I was also thinking of it for those
⏹️ ▶️ John really skinny phones from Essential, you know, they look super dumb. But
⏹️ ▶️ John if you could fold an iPhone 11 Pro, A, which way would you want to fold it?
⏹️ ▶️ John And B, would that be more useful or useful at all as compared
⏹️ ▶️ John to something that’s even bigger that folds out to be basically a phablet or a little miniature tablet?
⏹️ ▶️ Casey So I understand this right. So you’re saying take my 11 Pro and make it foldable,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey but there is an external screen on the smaller version.
⏹️ ▶️ John The set aside external screens for now. It’s like, just say, if you could fold it, would you want to fold it like
⏹️ ▶️ John the long way so it becomes a long skinny like stick of gum, or would you want to fold it so it becomes almost square?
⏹️ ▶️ John Or I guess you could fold it on an angle if you’re
⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey feeling a little feisty, but that makes no
⏹️ ▶️ Casey sense. I would think I would want it to fold such that it becomes a square, but I’m not really
⏹️ ▶️ Casey sure why, to be honest. It’s just-
⏹️ ▶️ John I mean, and I’m also assuming that like, you could save some thickness so it wouldn’t actually be twice as thick because if you become
⏹️ ▶️ John a square it would be like a what was that one the uh game
⏹️ ▶️ John boy sp which was the game boy that was like square
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco folded into a little sandwich
⏹️ ▶️ Marco i know there was one but you’re asking the wrong people but regardless yeah like it was a similar kind of thing yeah
⏹️ ▶️ Marco i think i don’t know i think i would go long stick of gum because a square
⏹️ ▶️ Marco wouldn’t allow it to fit that much better in pockets that that it wouldn’t have fit in before.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Whereas a long stick of gum would allow it to be like, you know, you only
⏹️ ▶️ Marco need the pocket to be big in one dimension. Like you can put it in a deep pocket, but not necessarily a
⏹️ ▶️ Marco wide pocket. That I think would be more useful in the real world.
⏹️ ▶️ John You can put it in that little change pocket where the
⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey iPod Nano was, remember?
⏹️ ▶️ Casey No, we can’t do that because that’s where my AirPods go.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Were those special pants that he had made for the presentation? Because like, I don’t think, like I have lots
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of jeans. none of my jeans change pockets would actually hold an iPod Nano in a way that you couldn’t
⏹️ ▶️ Marco see the top of it.
⏹️ ▶️ John I think it’s plausible. Unlike most women’s clothing, men’s clothing tends to have actual
⏹️ ▶️ John pockets that are real and not, you know, like fake pockets that look like their pockets but really
⏹️ ▶️ John don’t go down anywhere.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco But like, I feel like that had to be custom pants because like the change pocket, like the width of it, that was fair, but
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I feel like he had to have a longer, like a deeper
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John pocket made.
⏹️ ▶️ John This is when no one see this is what we missed out by not having podcasts back in the day No, you
⏹️ ▶️ John might have amusing themselves about this, but we could have actually tested it All right, go get a pair of jeans and wear it
⏹️ ▶️ John to the podcast and try I mean I suppose they do it on YouTube as well I was thinking
⏹️ ▶️ John like I like the idea of long skinny stick But I think I’d be frustrated by the unfolding
⏹️ ▶️ John like again, you know, it’s the the benefit is oh I can fit it in smaller places. I can fit it in
⏹️ ▶️ John a smaller pocket Maybe it’s easier maybe it’s easier to take in and out because it’s like a little stick instead of a wide thing You
⏹️ ▶️ John know if sometimes they’re especially for the big phones like the max size you put it in Like a front or a back
⏹️ ▶️ John pocket and if your pants are tight you feel like you can’t really like squat down or you’ll be Bending the thing or whatever
⏹️ ▶️ John and maybe it gets a little bit easier if it’s skinny and it can slide I don’t know but bottom line is
⏹️ ▶️ John if you don’t have any external screen which you certainly wouldn’t if it was skinny and Probably wouldn’t if
⏹️ ▶️ John it was square you do have to unfold it to use it at all And I don’t know if the
⏹️ ▶️ John the again the size benefit would be worth that I’m getting back to what Mike said He like he’s all in on
⏹️ ▶️ John the idea of like I can do more with this more powerful device because I have so much more Screen space it was
⏹️ ▶️ John not just that there was more screen space. He talked about you know, the Android being sort of laissez-faire
⏹️ ▶️ John about multitasking. It’s like you won’t have 20 apps running fine I have 20 apps. I don’t care what you do with your screen Just have 10 floating
⏹️ ▶️ John windows and three apps running and do whatever right? And that’s powerful, especially when you
⏹️ ▶️ John have a lot of room for it So he’s using it as like a little miniature computer even said that like it felt less like a phone and more like
⏹️ ▶️ John a little miniature computer so if that’s what you’re going for certainly you’re willing to
⏹️ ▶️ John tolerate the Folding this and the awkwardness or whatever because no other device can give you such
⏹️ ▶️ John a huge screen While being pocketable in any form because if that did thing didn’t fold There’s
⏹️ ▶️ John no way you could fit it in any of your pockets unless you were like those really huge Baggy tactical pants
⏹️ ▶️ John things or whatever with like the giant
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco thigh pocket
⏹️ ▶️ John or something or unless you had a custom underscore pocket in your clothing To so hold your MacBook
⏹️ ▶️ John or whatever Anyway, I just was thinking about I still You know
⏹️ ▶️ John for the for the phone for phone style purposes using phones like we do today. I’m still
⏹️ ▶️ John struggling to see Folding as a net win, but if you want a weird
⏹️ ▶️ John miniature computer, that’s not a laptop and not a tablet But apparently Fold
⏹️ ▶️ John has at least one fan in Mike.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey It might be the only one.
⏹️ ▶️ John But we’ll see if that thing breaks. I mean, he’s had it for like a week or whatever. So I still have little faith in its durability.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, there’s already been like this whole thing on Twitter of people posting about like the little dots appearing on
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the crease basically ruining the screen.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey John tell me if you didn’t want to get the chef’s knife you were talking about last
⏹️ ▶️ Casey episode. What should you get instead?
⏹️ ▶️ John I’m not sure about it. I referred to the knife is that it’s like the oxo good grips of chef’s knives Well predictably
⏹️ ▶️ John oxo good grips does in fact make a chef’s knife And we’ll put a link in the show as you can take
⏹️ ▶️ John a look at it But I have to say despite the fact that I’m sure the grip is very pleasing It
⏹️ ▶️ John doesn’t look as good as my knife for one reason like the the bolster
⏹️ ▶️ John or whatever the thing where the handle goes into the blade on my knife it’s like plastic squishy
⏹️ ▶️ John grippy material all the way into the blade whereas this has like a fancier more expensive looking
⏹️ ▶️ John metal bolster and that’s not great because I want it to be grippy everywhere I don’t want to transition to slippery stuff and the second thing is the
⏹️ ▶️ John bolster goes all the way down to the end the bottom of the blade so like the back corner of the knife looks like it’s not
⏹️ ▶️ John a cutting surface it’s just part of the bolster and I don’t I don’t like that either I like to use the bottom part
⏹️ ▶️ John of my knife Anyway, I like my knife better, but if you do want the OXO good grips of knives, they make one and it’s
iOS 13.2 Siri opt-outs
⏹️ ▶️ Casey All right. Apple apparently has rolled out Siri
⏹️ ▶️ Casey audio clip grading opt-in, and there’s now an ability to request history deletion
⏹️ ▶️ Casey in the 13.2 and watchOS 6.1 betas. And so
⏹️ ▶️ Casey this is in response to everyone rightfully losing their minds over Apple people, particularly contractors
⏹️ ▶️ Casey listening to our conversations with Siri to evaluate and grade them and so on and so forth. So
⏹️ ▶️ Casey now things are a little bit different. Tell me john, what’s different about them?
⏹️ ▶️ John I put all the bullet points from the TechCrunch article in here. But I think the bottom line is you have to
⏹️ ▶️ John explicitly opt in and you can opt out at any time. So there’s a bunch of other things about how they use transcripts and
⏹️ ▶️ John you know, all the other stuff, but like giving the user control or as before, there was no awareness and no control.
⏹️ ▶️ John Now, presumably, if you listen to tech podcasts, you are aware, and when these new versions of the OS come out you actually
⏹️ ▶️ John have control. I think there are more details with like you can opt in on a per message basis or something
⏹️ ▶️ John like that. But anyway, as soon as these versions come out, which I think are probably going to be the first
⏹️ ▶️ John versions that we may feel comfortable recommending people use, well maybe not the Mac OS version, but like 13.2
⏹️ ▶️ Marco So I’m running the 13.2 beta of course, and I’m
⏹️ ▶️ Marco having issues with it. The kind of issues that you would have like in July
⏹️ ▶️ Marco during beta season. In beta 2 I would frequently have the volume HUD thing
⏹️ ▶️ Marco when you were adjusting volume like through a car or Bluetooth controls. The volume HUD would come on screen and just stay there
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and you couldn’t dismiss it. It would just be there forever. My more recent challenge with it
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is that Siri just stopped talking. That plays out in a few
⏹️ ▶️ Marco interesting ways. When you try to set an alarm it responds to you with total silence,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco which is not confidence inspiring for your alarm to wake you up in the morning. Um,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco anytime that Siri would, uh, speak a response or it should speak to her, it would just play
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that that amount of silence basically. And the UI would look like it was speaking and it would just be
⏹️ ▶️ Marco silent. Um, that also meant that when I was driving using Apple maps,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it failed to use voice directions. Like it failed to speak to me to say, turn right
⏹️ ▶️ Marco up here because of whatever is using that same engine. So fortunately I also had ways which
⏹️ ▶️ Marco has its own speech engine, but like the, these are the kind of bugs I’m facing in the 13.2 beta so far. So I’m,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco but these were bugs like these are totally new bugs compared to 13.0 at 13.1 like my whole navigation
⏹️ ▶️ Marco bar bug that made me have to ship a very evasive version of overcast to, a to dodge around it.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco That was a new bug 13.1 like 13.0 didn’t have that bug during its betas and now of the 13.2
⏹️ ▶️ Marco bugs are new bugs entirely that, again, like the main 13-bit just didn’t have. So as far
⏹️ ▶️ Marco as I’m concerned, Apple is still shipping rough beta quality software to
⏹️ ▶️ Marco all of its customers, and 13.2 doesn’t seem to be changing that.
⏹️ ▶️ John Well, but these are 13.2 betas. We have to wait to see 13.2 release to see how much better that is. I’m continuing to-
⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, look at 13.0 release and 13.1 release,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and you can see why I’m a little bit skeptical. I know, but I’ve, yeah,
⏹️ ▶️ John Do you feel like.1 is better than.0, or I think the trend is in the right direction
⏹️ ▶️ Marco It’s less horrible, but it still has, like.1 still has pretty severe
⏹️ ▶️ Marco beta quality bugs. And what’s driving me nuts is, I mean at least 13.1 broke my app,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and lots of other people’s apps as well, in a way that all of our customers are seeing and blaming us for,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco understandably. 13.2 seems to be okay on my apps, but is now breaking the phone.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco So I don’t know what’s worse. I
⏹️ ▶️ Marco mean, if you never use voice prompts and never adjust the volume, and never need to just want your phone to speak you anything,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John you know, maybe 13.2
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is okay for you. But beta three came out today, so I’ll see if it’s any different.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey All right, anything else you wanna talk about, Marco?
⏹️ ▶️ Marco There’s one other thing. So I wanted to give a quick promo for an app called
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Optimus Player. And the reason why, it’s a really good app, and the reason I’m promoting it is because
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the author of this app did me a massive favor, and I wanted to try to pay him back in whatever
⏹️ ▶️ Marco way I could. He really helped me out a lot with my AirPlay 2 code.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And my AirPlay 2 feature is still not shippable. I still have a long way to go, but I hit a huge roadblock
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and he basically helped me past it. So I wanted to give his app a quick promo. It’s called Optimus Player and it’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco kind of like, it looks kind of like QuickTime Player, but it supports like all the different formats
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that you would normally have to use something like VLC for. And it’s way nicer than VLC,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like way nicer. It’s very Mac-like, it has AirPlay 2, which is why he
⏹️ ▶️ Marco was able to help me. He used it, it has AirPlay 2. And on the Mac, there’s almost nothing that has AirPlay 2,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco so that’s pretty impressive. It has proper color reproduction on the Mac, which VLC
⏹️ ▶️ Marco often doesn’t. And it’s just very Mac-like, very Apple-like. So it’s a great app, it’s five bucks, optimusplayer.com.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And I thank the author very much for his help in my AirPlay 2 journey.
⏹️ ▶️ John I’m always looking for apps like this. I’m gonna get this right now.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, I mean, five bucks, like you can’t go wrong.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I also was pleased to see that it’s just, well, I shouldn’t say just, as though it’s not a big deal. It is
⏹️ ▶️ Casey sitting on top of FFmpeg. And as someone who knows FFmpeg more than most,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I can tell you that you don’t just do anything with FFmpeg.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey yeah, this looks really good. I haven’t tried it yet, but I was glancing at the website when I saw this in the show notes. This looks really,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco good. Yeah,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like every use of FFmpeg requires a Google search first, at least one.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And also, honestly, I have never had great experiences
⏹️ ▶️ Marco with VLC on the Mac. Like I recognize VLC’s importance in the open source community and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the Windows world. But on the Mac, it’s always been pretty rough. And so to have
⏹️ ▶️ Marco something that can play all those random formats that you might find that QuickTime player can’t, to have something that can play that,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that’s better than VLC, is pretty valuable to me.
Apple’s China problem
⏹️ ▶️ Casey All right, let’s do some topics. Is it time for us to talk about Apple and China?
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I mean, I feel like it
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is. I mean, if there’s ever a time, it’s a pretty big news week for it.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey How do—I know I’m chief summarizer in chief. I don’t even know how to summarize this. There’s so many moving parts.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey So there seem to be like two or three different stories
⏹️ ▶️ Casey all happening simultaneously. And let me just start down this path, and either one of you two, please feel free to interrupt
⏹️ ▶️ Casey me and save me. So at around the same time, there was some sort of kerfuffle
⏹️ ▶️ Casey with regard to Blizzard and like video game competitions, wherein I think
⏹️ ▶️ Casey the winner of some events said something that was in favor of Hong Kong
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco protests that are happening.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey That’s it, we’re banned in China. Yep, that’s it. We’re done. Sorry, guys. So they said something in favor
⏹️ ▶️ Casey of of Hong Kong and Blizzard, I guess, cut them off,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey rescinded this individual or this team’s winnings and fired some people
⏹️ ▶️ Casey or something like that. And there was all sorts of blowback because of it, which seems to me to be justified.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Additionally, there was a general manager, if I’m not mistaken, for the NBA, I
⏹️ ▶️ Casey think the Houston Rockets, if I’m not mistaken, that issued a tweet that was pro-Hong Kong
⏹️ ▶️ Casey and quickly rescinded it when it was quickly apparent that that really upset China
⏹️ ▶️ Casey and guess what China’s a big market for both video games and basketball actually. And then additionally
⏹️ ▶️ Casey how did Apple get involved in this? What was the genesis on Apple? Oh the the app.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco HKMapLive. Thank
⏹️ ▶️ Casey you. So there was a or there is an app that somebody
⏹️ ▶️ Casey had tried to put on the App Store which I depending on who you believe and who you talk to
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I guess the idea was to either try to help people not get accosted by
⏹️ ▶️ Casey the police or perhaps if you listen to certain people, it would help people accost
⏹️ ▶️ Casey the police. So there’s a lot of different he said, she saids going on here. But
⏹️ ▶️ Casey all at about the same time, these three seemingly unrelated
⏹️ ▶️ Casey groups have run afoul of the people of the higher ups
⏹️ ▶️ Casey in China. And China seemed to be starting, well, maybe not starting actually, but seemed to be
⏹️ ▶️ Casey more publicly than ever flexing their muscles and saying, we don’t like this and it has to stop.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey And I guess before we move on as to why this is important or not, is that a reasonable kind of quick
⏹️ ▶️ Casey summary about all this?
⏹️ ▶️ John Dr. Michael O’Keefe There’s been tons of other incidents as well, but those three are the ones that are the
⏹️ ▶️ John top of mind for us in the week that we’re recording this.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Steven Connelly And I have to call out, he is a friend of of ours, but Ben
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Thompson’s Stratechery was Tuesday, October 8th, has a really,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey really good kind of walkthrough and summary about what’s going on there and why
⏹️ ▶️ Casey it’s important. It is one of his weekly free articles.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I cannot say enough good things about this article and really Stratechery in general, but
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I strongly encourage you to read that article because it is tremendous and it’s a very, very good
⏹️ ▶️ Casey and in-depth, but not terribly long, summary of what’s going on. But I guess
⏹️ ▶️ Casey where this becomes relevant, particularly for ATP, is
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Apple’s put themselves in a real crummy position because not only is China
⏹️ ▶️ Casey an incredibly important market for Apple in terms of sales, but
⏹️ ▶️ Casey pretty much all of their hardware, with the possible exception of your to new computers
⏹️ ▶️ Casey for the two of you is made in China. And all of these iPhones are made in China. All these
⏹️ ▶️ Casey iPads are made in China. And that has left Apple very,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey very exposed. And for a company that prides itself
⏹️ ▶️ Casey on being more than a traditional company, a company
⏹️ ▶️ Casey that values the environment, that values LGBTQ people and their rights,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey that values things that just seem like the right thing.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey It, it also seems like the same company, Apple is also doing a real good job of bending over
⏹️ ▶️ Casey backwards to make China happy. And in and of itself,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I think that’s fine. Just hear me out for a second. Like I ended up itself, that is their prerogative
⏹️ ▶️ Casey is a better way of phrasing it, like if they want to bend over for Apple, then okay, but that
⏹️ ▶️ Casey seems incongruous with, oh, we’re very forward-thinking
⏹️ ▶️ Casey and we care about the environment, we care about doing what’s right. Screw you, FBI, you can’t have our encryption keys. There will
⏹️ ▶️ Casey be no back doors. Yay, we’re the best. Oh, by the way, if China says anything about anything, we’re going to do it because
⏹️ ▶️ Casey we need to immediately. And that leaves a really gross taste in my mouth.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey And I’m torn because a
⏹️ ▶️ Casey lot of people on Twitter have said to me about various things over the last six months, you know, how
⏹️ ▶️ Casey can you support whatever, they’re terrible. How could you support those people? And
⏹️ ▶️ Casey what’s been made clear to me over the last six months to year to two years to whatever,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey is that pretty much any company, even one that most people seem to agree with and
⏹️ ▶️ Casey respect like Apple, pretty much any company you can look at and say, oh, one
⏹️ ▶️ Casey time they did this deplorable thing that, and we should never support them again or this individual
⏹️ ▶️ Casey on their board is really, really gross. We should never support them again. And I am absolutely coming from a position
⏹️ ▶️ Casey of privilege here. I recognize that 1000%, but if I didn’t do business with
⏹️ ▶️ Casey any of these companies that have Achilles heels and gotchas and so on and so forth, I would have
⏹️ ▶️ Casey to be in a van down by the river because I wouldn’t be able to do business with anyone.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey So I don’t know. I’ve really, as we say to Declan, or Declan sometimes says to us, I have mixed up
⏹️ ▶️ Casey feelings. And I don’t know what I think other than
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I don’t like Apple saying out of one side of their mouths, you know, we’re the best,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey we’re so forward thinking, we care, we care, we care. And then on the other side of their mouths saying, yes,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey China, whatever you need, whatever you need. Yes, of course, absolutely, whatever you need. So what do we do?
⏹️ ▶️ John Well, before we dive into the Apple side of things, which I think is interesting and is a little bit more tractable.
⏹️ ▶️ John I think I want to start by big picturing this. Like, so Apple has a China
⏹️ ▶️ John problem. Lots of articles have been written with that, almost that exact headline. But
⏹️ ▶️ John the bigger picture is the world has a China problem. China is a problem for
⏹️ ▶️ John the world. It is a huge country with a very large population that has
⏹️ ▶️ John been growing in economic power for a long time. And it’s also an authoritarian state. And those
⏹️ ▶️ John things combine to make a problem for everybody. Why is that a problem? Well,
⏹️ ▶️ John in the increasingly global economy, having lots of people with an increasing
⏹️ ▶️ John amount of money to spend on things makes them an important market for you to sell your products into.
⏹️ ▶️ John Also, part of that Chinese economic engine is their manufacturing ability, which Apple takes advantage of, many
⏹️ ▶️ John other people take advantage of as well, which makes them an attractive place for companies
⏹️ ▶️ John to have things made. As the rest of the world becomes increasingly
⏹️ ▶️ John economically entangled with China, there are pluses and minuses. The pluses are,
⏹️ ▶️ John in theory, we are all slightly less likely to nuke each other because we’re all
⏹️ ▶️ John paying each other’s money. And China doesn’t want to give up selling things to us. And we don’t want to give up selling things to China. And
⏹️ ▶️ John China doesn’t want to give up the manufacturing contracts. And we don’t want to give up building things there. And
⏹️ ▶️ John so there is some incentive to not blow each other up. But on the other
⏹️ ▶️ John other hand, there’s still an authoritarian state that does terrible things. And we both have
⏹️ ▶️ John limited leverage to, you know, affect each other’s behavior. We would
⏹️ ▶️ John like China to be less evil. China would like us to let them be evil.
⏹️ ▶️ John we’re kind of at an impasse and this is so much bigger than Apple. It is literally
⏹️ ▶️ John a problem for the whole world. Like this, this has to come to a head. Eventually
⏹️ ▶️ John the prevailing theory when I was a kid was that, Oh, as China becomes more economically successful. And
⏹️ ▶️ John as we sort of export capitalism to them, like it’s inevitable they will become modernized and less authoritarian
⏹️ ▶️ John and so on and so forth. But practically speaking, China has basically used their economic
⏹️ ▶️ John growth and increasing technological savvy to become a more efficient authoritarian
⏹️ ▶️ John state using all the technology and money available to them. By the way, so have we. Yeah, true.
⏹️ ▶️ John To more efficiently oppress their people. And it seems like, I mean, it’s hard to tell.
⏹️ ▶️ John I’m not a historian by any stretch, but it seems like in general, authoritarian regimes
⏹️ ▶️ John rarely fade away peacefully, let’s say. Uh,
⏹️ ▶️ John but you know, violent rebellion in China, uh, if it was successful
⏹️ ▶️ John would be an incredibly tumultuous event. There have been, you know, there have
⏹️ ▶️ John been violent rebellions and continue to be small valor villains all quashed by the giant that is China.
⏹️ ▶️ John And so I can from the perspective of the world, this is a problem
⏹️ ▶️ John if you don’t want a gigantic, powerful, authoritarian state to exist. But on the other side, and this will get
⏹️ ▶️ John into when we start talking about Apple, complete isolation of China is probably
⏹️ ▶️ John more dangerous in the long run because like they’ll sort
⏹️ ▶️ John of fester and they already have nukes and it’s like, you know, they have a lot of people and a huge army
⏹️ ▶️ John and like this is, this is the tension that, you know, the Western world and the entire
⏹️ ▶️ John world in fact has struggled with total isolation and non-engagement. Like I felt like the
⏹️ ▶️ John ship has sailed on that, but on the other hand, if you, if you get too entangled with them,
⏹️ ▶️ John they do have some sway over you and we see it in every form of business of every country that does any business
⏹️ ▶️ John with China, whether it’s manufacturing, they are selling things into it. there are interests there that motivate
⏹️ ▶️ John both parties to more or less make nice with each other, which sounds good. Oh great. Everyone’s making
⏹️ ▶️ John nice. I’m not going to get nuked. But when you make nice with an authoritarian state, they
⏹️ ▶️ John like what tends to happen if you, if you sort of combine, like, if you combine like
⏹️ ▶️ John two colors, you get something that’s in the middle. And if you’re one color is
⏹️ ▶️ John what you think of as better or good and you combine as better or good, and you combine it with something that is worse, the combination
⏹️ ▶️ John will be worse than where you started, necessarily. We hope that we would,
⏹️ ▶️ John through the free world’s interaction with China, they would become more free. And I’m not sure if they have become more free, but one
⏹️ ▶️ John thing is for sure, their export authoritarianism has affected
⏹️ ▶️ John the rest of the world in mostly small ways, but in actual real ways. So I just
⏹️ ▶️ John wanted to give that framing in that Apple, That’s what the podcast is about, so on and so forth. But
⏹️ ▶️ John no matter what Apple does, the entire world has a problem of
⏹️ ▶️ John some degree. Is it a huge problem? Is it going to end the world or is it a small problem? It could have become a big problem, but
⏹️ ▶️ John it is a problem and it is not a new problem. It has been there for a long time and the world
⏹️ ▶️ John has not come up with a way to deal with it. And so this is I feel like
⏹️ ▶️ John I don’t know if it’s an increased awareness or just a flare up in our little world of exactly what a problem it is to
⏹️ ▶️ John have 1.3 billion people under authoritarian rule with huge economic and financial power.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, and I don’t, I mean, I’m your typical ignorant American.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I don’t know anything about any of this. I don’t know anything about China.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I don’t know anything about all the various political struggles with various groups and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco countries and districts. I don’t know anything about it. It is shameful how little
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I know about China and the various politics around it. So I apologize
⏹️ ▶️ Marco for anything that I’m trying to say here because I’m probably doing a terrible job of it. But
⏹️ ▶️ Marco in business as in politics, the bigger you get, the more like
⏹️ ▶️ Marco kind of bitter pills you have to swallow that are just part of the nature of the game.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco To be running a massive multinational corporation, it becomes really hard for you
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to just tell the biggest market on earth, sorry we don’t want to do business with you because
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it’s you know we don’t like we don’t like what you do like that’s that’s really hard for like
⏹️ ▶️ Marco officers of a public company to do without getting fired or sued by their shareholders or
⏹️ ▶️ Marco whatever else like like I’m lucky you know in my business like trying to block the overcast years ago and I don’t
⏹️ ▶️ Marco care I didn’t notice I didn’t have that many customers there and I’m one guy nobody can fire me so like I didn’t care
⏹️ ▶️ Marco so I you know it doesn’t affect me at all I can I can make the decision to say I won’t play ball with them.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Apple can’t, you know, from the two different points of view, as I mentioned, from the manufacturing
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and from the selling into the market, Apple can’t do that.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco They can’t just say, like, it’s like Tim Cook can’t just say, like, you know what, we’re not gonna play ball with you, and we’re gonna let
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you ban our products, and then we won’t be able to make them anymore, or sell them there. They could do
⏹️ ▶️ John that. I just wanna, I wanna reframe this to say that, like, I’m not presupposing,
⏹️ ▶️ John which is what part of the preamble was about, I’m not presupposing that saying to China,
⏹️ ▶️ John F you, is actually the correct long-term move. We always frame it as like, oh,
⏹️ ▶️ John if Apple was free as Margo, they would do the right thing and tell China to go screw itself, right?
⏹️ ▶️ John But is that the right thing? From one perspective, from like the micro level, yeah, of course, the authoritarian government’s
⏹️ ▶️ John telling you to like censor things and you shouldn’t listen to them, you should say, screw you. And if they ban your products, then
⏹️ ▶️ John tough luck. It seems like the right thing to do. But big picture wise, if everybody did that and you
⏹️ ▶️ John isolate China, it makes them more dangerous and it makes conflict more likely because you are less
⏹️ ▶️ John economically entangled. So that’s what I feel like is a quandary. Like I’m not willing to say that like,
⏹️ ▶️ John on the big picture wise, every company in the world should just say, screw you China, because that leads to
⏹️ ▶️ John geopolitical instability with a gigantic, you know, powerful
⏹️ ▶️ John country. It doesn’t make, as someone who lived through the Cold War,
⏹️ ▶️ John that doesn’t make me feel particularly comfortable. If that strategy was going to work, the ship has sailed on that. So I
⏹️ ▶️ John feel like continued engagement with China is
⏹️ ▶️ John not necessarily the wrong thing, and that’s why I’m wary about any framing that says
⏹️ ▶️ John Apple should do the right thing, but can’t because reasons X, the reasons X are totally real, but
⏹️ ▶️ John I’m almost not entirely convinced that just like the sort of teenage rebellion,
⏹️ ▶️ John screw you, China, I do what I want is actually the right thing to do in all circumstances.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco realistically speaking, what can slash should Apple do here? And I
⏹️ ▶️ Marco don’t think they should totally pull out of China. I don’t think they can, first of all,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and I don’t think they should. There’s lots of arguments that, you know, one of the arguments is that, you
⏹️ ▶️ Marco know, people in China should have access to relatively secure and good phones,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco even though, yes, all Chinese iCloud data is stored in Chinese government-run
⏹️ ▶️ Marco places. So there’s certainly reduced freedom and security
⏹️ ▶️ Marco for iCloud users in China than there is anywhere else.
⏹️ ▶️ John But it’s better than the alternatives in theory. That’s the sort of the mixing of the colors. If you’re going to mix
⏹️ ▶️ John Apple with China and come up with something that is less authoritarian than China, even if only by a tiny bit,
⏹️ ▶️ John that’s the argument Apple has made. It’s better for everybody if we are
⏹️ ▶️ John there. Even if we are not as secure as we are in the US, at least we’re more secure than the totally state-owned
⏹️ ▶️ John and run like totally infiltrated manufacturers where
⏹️ ▶️ Marco nothing is secret. Exactly. And that’s a tough argument for me to take, honestly.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I don’t love that argument, but I understand it. And so, OK.
⏹️ ▶️ John And it’s convenient, because you can make the argument, this is why we have to be in this huge market, see? We’re making
⏹️ ▶️ John China. You’re making China better. Really, you’re making a lot of money. Yeah, exactly.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco But I think Apple has to play ball with China to a large degree. That is just like one of
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the bitter pills, possibly the biggest bitter pill that Apple has to swallow as a business. Like,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I truly believe that Apple’s leaders are not bad people. They don’t want to do bad things. They actually
⏹️ ▶️ Marco want to be overall social good while making ass loads of money constantly.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco But they want to do, they want to be overall a social good. But China is a big area
⏹️ ▶️ Marco where they have to just kind of like quietly do what China wants much
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of the time because Apple has a just ton
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of dependency on China. And so I think in the same way that like, you know, the Tim Cook doctrine has always been
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like to own and control the primary technologies that we need or whatever. I think they have broken
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that principle with the degree of dependence they currently have on China. The
⏹️ ▶️ Marco manufacturing angle, I think is the biggest one. Like they, they obviously, you know,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to lose the sales of their products into China would be massive.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco It’s a huge portion of their market. It’s a huge portion of the world’s market. It’s slated to become
⏹️ ▶️ Marco an even bigger portion of the world’s middle class. And so that would be a huge problem
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to lose sales into China. But Apple sells enough phones in the rest of the world, they’d be fine.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco It would be tumultuous in their earnings and in their stock and everything else. The leaders might get fired
⏹️ ▶️ Marco by the board or by the shareholders or whatever. Things would be bad. For most of Apple’s customers,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it wouldn’t be a problem. It would be overall like not a like company ending
⏹️ ▶️ Marco event if they couldn’t sell their products in China anymore But if they suddenly couldn’t make their
⏹️ ▶️ Marco products in China anymore that is a much bigger problem for them
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and This is and it’s they make So many products at such incredible
⏹️ ▶️ Marco tolerances and specifications and qualities and most importantly volumes assumes
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that the Chinese supply chain and manufacturing capacity and talent and just
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the entire manufacturing infrastructure there, Apple currently can’t do without that.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco They have a couple of factories in different places around the world, like they have some manufacturing
⏹️ ▶️ Marco capacity outside of China, but it’s nowhere near enough that they could absorb the loss
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of China without huge disruption and massive problems.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And that to me, I think, that is a direct violation, a direct
⏹️ ▶️ Marco risk exposure on that Tim Cook doctrine of trying to own your primary technologies. In as much as
⏹️ ▶️ Marco a company can be independent from risks of governments interfering,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that’s always a big challenge for companies. And obviously, Apple’s always gonna be at risk of
⏹️ ▶️ Marco its own home country’s government interfering with it. To expose yourself to a massive amount
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of risk of another authoritarian country with huge power over you,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it seems like it’s an improperly taken risk by Apple. And that’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco why I think, I’m not saying they should pull out of the Chinese market. I am saying they need
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to significantly diversify their manufacturing. And I know it’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco hard. I know there’s not nearly the infrastructure in other places in certain ways that China has.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I know that. But Apple’s really big. They have a lot of money, they
⏹️ ▶️ Marco ship a lot of products, they have a lot of factories that they can, Apple
⏹️ ▶️ Marco could significantly help jumpstart this. And so to whatever degree,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Apple can build up manufacturing capacity elsewhere, this should be, if it hasn’t already
⏹️ ▶️ Marco been, this should be a wake-up call that they are exposed to way too much risk
⏹️ ▶️ Marco with the amount that they depend on China right now. And so the easiest way out of that,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and I use the term easiest here loosely because these are all very hard, very complicated problems that we don’t understand,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco but the least horrible and least risky and least
⏹️ ▶️ Marco expensive way out of this is probably gonna be to significantly build up
⏹️ ▶️ Marco manufacturing capacity elsewhere. As much as I hate to say it, some degree of conservatism
⏹️ ▶️ Marco was right in the sense that if you build it in our country, that does reduce your risk in certain ways,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco but I don’t know enough about it to say whether that’s even possible, But certainly, if anybody can do
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it, a company that has a massive amount of cash, that produces a massive
⏹️ ▶️ Marco amount of products and has huge manufacturing expertise in-house, Apple can figure
⏹️ ▶️ Marco out how to diversify its manufacturing. And Apple has the clout and the resources
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to move markets in major ways here. Like, Apple actually can
⏹️ ▶️ Marco create manufacturing infrastructure that can rival China’s in some way. Like I
⏹️ ▶️ Marco know it’s a huge long-term project. I know it’s not gonna be fast or easy or cheap.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco But to me, I see this as an existential threat for Apple if they don’t do
⏹️ ▶️ Marco this. Like they have to do this because if stuff goes bad with China
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and Apple all of a sudden can’t make their product there anymore, they not only won’t be
⏹️ ▶️ Marco able to sell to China, they won’t be able to sell to anybody. That is a huge risk
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and the company needs to diversify to mitigate that.
⏹️ ▶️ John So Apple manufacturing China is a good example of engagement with China. Like,
⏹️ ▶️ John you can imagine when this strategy was being formulated. It’s not like Apple’s manufactured stuff in China for ages.
⏹️ ▶️ John But in the beginning, it seems like a way that we
⏹️ ▶️ John can take advantage of an emerging cluster of manufacturing
⏹️ ▶️ John ability that is obviously less expensive than doing it at
⏹️ ▶️ John and less expensive than doing You know, it’s inexpensive and highly skilled. And there’s like, there’s a synergy there where
⏹️ ▶️ John they want to build up manufacturing. We want to have things manufactured. They’re very willing to
⏹️ ▶️ John do what we want. And for, you know, for the amount of money we want to give them, and it’s a symbiotic relationship,
⏹️ ▶️ John Apple, not single handedly, but to a large degree, the story of Apple manufacturing elsewhere
⏹️ ▶️ John has been that Apple puts in a lot of money upfront. You know, all the stories back when, you know, the unibodies
⏹️ ▶️ John were coming out that that they would buy all the CNC machines in the world and have them, you know,
⏹️ ▶️ John use them in all their factories and put the capital up front to build the factories. And like Apple, you know,
⏹️ ▶️ John it didn’t make China’s manufacturing capability, but Apple put a lot of money into it. So
⏹️ ▶️ John what it has done in China is exactly what you were describing, which is
⏹️ ▶️ John put money in to make the kind of manufacturing capacity you want that didn’t previously
⏹️ ▶️ John exist to the degree and the size that you needed it to. The thing is Apple has
⏹️ ▶️ John undertaken that project for a decade now, you know, maybe almost two. Like
⏹️ ▶️ John they’ve, they’ve put a lot of time and energy into building up that capacity and they have been diversifying.
⏹️ ▶️ John Like, but I think the main thing that makes me confident that they can do it is they can
⏹️ ▶️ John do what they did in China over a course of another decade, right? Lots of places in the world
⏹️ ▶️ John do not have the manufacturing skills and the worker base and all the supply
⏹️ ▶️ John chain and everything that China has. you will have to pay part of the money
⏹️ ▶️ John to make that come into being. The good news is that lots of other countries would love to have a huge
⏹️ ▶️ John infusion of US cash to build up manufacturing capacity, you know, to build a high-tech manufacturing
⏹️ ▶️ John capacity that they can therefore then use to, you know, sell to other people. So there’s no shortage
⏹️ ▶️ John of other countries that would love for you to build your stuff there and give you
⏹️ ▶️ John all those billions of dollars, but it does take a really long time And
⏹️ ▶️ John you’re not going to replace or catch up with China in a one or two year
⏹️ ▶️ John plan. It’s going to be over the course of the next decade or so. I think that type of response, like while it
⏹️ ▶️ John feels good to say, screw you, China, we’re putting the Hong Kong mapping app back in the store,
⏹️ ▶️ John go Apple, we’re doing the quote unquote right thing all the time, we just give
⏹️ ▶️ John the middle finger to the authoritarian state, a less
⏹️ ▶️ John hugely less satisfying, but perhaps in the longterm more effective
⏹️ ▶️ John response is to accelerate plans to do,
⏹️ ▶️ John you know, to moon your manufacturing out of China. Accelerate means we’re going to do in the next decade instead of two
⏹️ ▶️ John decades from now. Right. That is a response that is sort of an economic response that is
⏹️ ▶️ John like, you know, it’s a thing. China will know that Apple’s doing it. China will understand
⏹️ ▶️ John that, you know, we got this big of a contract last year to do this thing and now we get less of a contract
⏹️ ▶️ John like it. You are remaining engaged with the authoritarian state, but you are tapering
⏹️ ▶️ John off your investment and you know, and giving it to other countries, maybe
⏹️ ▶️ John even other neighboring countries. China sees that like this is the, this is the power of the incentives
⏹️ ▶️ John that we have. We don’t have, our power is not, we can say, screw you China at any point. We don’t have that
⏹️ ▶️ John power. Apple doesn’t have that power. The world doesn’t have that power. But Apple in the world does have the power to say,
⏹️ ▶️ John maybe less, less of that, less of China, less of doing stuff in there. Like that’s our power. And
⏹️ ▶️ John if they want to say, Hey, Apple, come back to China, then you can have a discussion. That’s like, this is the
⏹️ ▶️ John sort of, sort of a economic form of diplomacy, like actual
⏹️ ▶️ John geopolitical diplomacy. We have blown people up in wars and territory or whatever is a different thing today. Most
⏹️ ▶️ John of that happens over the course of like who’s going to get what contract to build, what thing for what company. And you know,
⏹️ ▶️ John it’s, It’s sort of much more crass form of negotiation, but that’s
⏹️ ▶️ John the way things are done. That is the power Apple and the world has. And it is a
⏹️ ▶️ John more boring and much less satisfying and much more slow motion form of power. In the meantime,
⏹️ ▶️ John China’s power over the rest of the world is much more immediate,
⏹️ ▶️ John but not as powerful as, like, as, you know, this has been discussed
⏹️ ▶️ John in this week with discussing things with China for most of our life, or for at
⏹️ ▶️ John least half of our lives, China has had a huge influence over the movies that get made
⏹️ ▶️ John in Hollywood, because Hollywood wants to sell movies in China, and China doesn’t want movies that make
⏹️ ▶️ John China look bad. So it’s just been a thing for years and years. It used to be just a comical thing, like, oh, you
⏹️ ▶️ John know, in this movie, they did this thing because it plays better in China, or
⏹️ ▶️ John they took this out because China doesn’t like that. And it seems kind of funny and weird,
⏹️ ▶️ John But eventually you’re like, this is not a great situation. Why is the media we’re making in Hollywood
⏹️ ▶️ John being bent to the will of an authoritarian state and that was out of the world. I was like, well, so we can
⏹️ ▶️ John sell the movie over there because international box office is huge. And they have a lot of people who go to the movies and that’s the
⏹️ ▶️ John answer, but it’s not a great answer. But like that, that’s an immediate thing. Like that China
⏹️ ▶️ John makes it known, Hey, we’re not going to show your movie if you say bad
⏹️ ▶️ John things about us or do things we don’t like. And that means like immediately the
⏹️ ▶️ John people who are making a giant blockbuster movie for 200 million dollars in Hollywood or you know they you know China says jump
⏹️ ▶️ John they say how high it’s small stakes but it happens immediately whereas Apple slowly transitioning
⏹️ ▶️ John its manufacturing to places other than China over the next decade or two hugely less satisfying
⏹️ ▶️ John way slower not as dramatic and in the meantime Apple needs to
⏹️ ▶️ John explain why it’s doing what China wants. Try to come up with reasoning for
⏹️ ▶️ John its moves that fits in with the ethos that Casey was describing. Hey, Apple, I thought you were the think different,
⏹️ ▶️ John do good things for the world type thing. It’s difficult to explain.
⏹️ ▶️ John And not only difficult to explain, it’s not entirely sure that it’s right. I was saying that I wasn’t
⏹️ ▶️ John willing to say that total lack of engagement with China was the right answer. I’m not sure it’s the right answer
⏹️ ▶️ John or the wrong answer. Apple could laboriously explain what I just described, it could end up being the
⏹️ ▶️ John wrong answer. Like no one knows exactly how things are going to go. You know, the history of the world
⏹️ ▶️ John has showed us anything. It’s not easy to predict how these things are going to go down. Often they hinge on very
⏹️ ▶️ John small stupid things, including like apps getting rejected and whatever is happening
⏹️ ▶️ John with Hong Kong and everything. So there are no easy solutions
⏹️ ▶️ John here. But I agree with Marco. I think I said as much when we first discussing this in slack
⏹️ ▶️ John a couple weeks ago. And I’m sure neither of us are
⏹️ ▶️ John out ahead of Apple on this. Apple surely has known for a long time and certainly knows now
⏹️ ▶️ John that they should be finding alternatives that you know, they, they made the original trash can in
⏹️ ▶️ John Texas or whatever. Obviously that’s a silly, you know,
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco low volume thing, but I mean all eight of them there.
⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah. But like the fact that things like that exist, I mean, part of it’s part of the US political system
⏹️ ▶️ John and all that garbage, right? But they have, you know, they’re increasing manufacturing in
⏹️ ▶️ John India. Like there’s Apple is doing this already. It just because it is unsatisfying
⏹️ ▶️ John and slow. You might think, Oh, Apple needs to start right now and get out of China. I think they’re already
⏹️ ▶️ John doing that as fast as they can adjust it as fast as they can is really slow. And so
⏹️ ▶️ John and you know, and that’s just a guess. And in the meantime, Apple has to put out press releases saying we’re
⏹️ ▶️ John banning the app that shows you where police are because reasons and it’s not satisfying and it doesn’t feel good.
⏹️ ▶️ John But you know, there’s no easy solutions here. Like I wish I could tell you
⏹️ ▶️ John exactly what everybody should do. All I can tell you is what probably Apple’s best bet is and probably what essentially
⏹️ ▶️ John what they already are doing. And then we just have to like cross our fingers and hope tanks
⏹️ ▶️ John don’t roll into Hong Kong and the whole world blows up. And in the meantime, we got to deal with
⏹️ ▶️ John with authoritarian exports from China infiltrating our country to mix in with,
⏹️ ▶️ John as Marco pointed out, our own homegrown brand of authoritarianism. And we’re back to Breaking Bad
⏹️ ▶️ John again, aren’t we? This is a not-too-good episode.
⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey That’s true. So this
⏹️ ▶️ John geopolitical climate isn’t making me happy, Casey. No,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey tell me about it. Let me ask both of you, and I’ll start with John, if you could
⏹️ ▶️ Casey snap your fingers and you could either make
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Apple completely unreliant, no longer reliant on Intel at all, or
⏹️ ▶️ Casey you could snap your fingers and make Apple not reliant on China at all. And let’s assume that it’s magic, and
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I know you love these, John, it’s magic and nothing else changes, you know, there’s no
⏹️ ▶️ Casey penalties that you can see, it’s just you snap your fingers, and either Intel is not a problem or China’s not a problem,
⏹️ ▶️ John China, easy, if Apple’s barely reliant on Intel as it is, and within a few years, they’ll be off of Intel
⏹️ ▶️ John entirely anyway. China, China is so much a harder problem. Apple’s basically already off of Intel for
⏹️ ▶️ John practically, inside Apple where things are five years ahead of where they are outside Apple, Intel is gone.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco statement. Yeah, I’m with John on that one.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey You really think Intel’s gone in five years from now, Apple?
⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, I think so. I really hope so. Our friggin’ phone is faster than
⏹️ ▶️ Marco all their Macs, come on. And maybe not totally 100% gone, but I think very few of their products
⏹️ ▶️ Marco will be left running Intel
⏹️ ▶️ John in five years. I mean, they’ve done most of, We’re talking about how hard it is to do the China thing. They’ve done most of the hard work
⏹️ ▶️ John for getting off of Intel. Like they have, where are they gonna get their chips from? They’re gonna make them
⏹️ ▶️ John themselves. They own and control them. Are those chips good? Yes, they’re really good.
⏹️ ▶️ John All that’s left is the, okay, and now we’re transitioning and here’s the transition strategy which Apple has done before. Like the
⏹️ ▶️ John hard part was, if you had mentioned this, you know, before Apple had the iPhone, they had Intel
⏹️ ▶️ John Max, and it’s like, they wanna get off Intel. It’s like, who are they gonna use for their chips and their Macs? AMD?
⏹️ ▶️ John You’re like well, what if Apple makes their own chips and everyone would laugh and laugh But we’re way past that now that
⏹️ ▶️ John problem is is mostly solved whereas the China thing you would really need a magic genie
⏹️ ▶️ John finger snapping thing because they Apple I feel like is just in the early stages
⏹️ ▶️ John of Trying to deal with that and in the meantime, I’m you know, I’m being optimistic and
⏹️ ▶️ John saying of course Apple wants to do the right thing There are huge powers as Marco pointed out
⏹️ ▶️ John on the other side of this saying what are you doing? Don’t get out of China just make the authoritarian state happy because they
⏹️ ▶️ John manufacture things really well and cheaply. And we want you to keep doing that because we’re, you know,
⏹️ ▶️ John plutocrats who all we care about is our investment and we have billions of dollars in Apple stock. So don’t do that.
⏹️ ▶️ John Like that exists. That’s a real thing. As much as any individual leader at Apple may want to do
⏹️ ▶️ John the right thing, as you know, as Margo said, like, you know, the board could ditch them
⏹️ ▶️ John and replace them than with someone who’s more likely to bend to China’s
⏹️ ▶️ John will. Like those forces exist within our country and
⏹️ ▶️ John have to be dealt with just like anything else.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Also, I mean, first of all, so a couple of other quick follow-up items here. Number one,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I think we are closer to dropping intel than we might think, because
⏹️ ▶️ Marco look at how much stuff got removed from Catalina. Look at how much legacy cruft
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that the operating system has been dropping over the last couple of years, and especially this year. If you were doing
⏹️ ▶️ Marco a architecture transition pretty soon, you would want as little legacy stuff around as possible, and you would want all the
⏹️ ▶️ Marco apps that you’d have to support being built using modern tools and things like that. So that’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco step number one. Item number two here is, I think
⏹️ ▶️ Marco one of the exacerbating factors in the most recent dustup with Apple in China
⏹️ ▶️ Marco with the HTML Live app, is that we don’t have side loading in the app store. We
⏹️ ▶️ Marco don’t, or in iOS devices rather. Like, part of that apps removal, and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco again, I’m sorry, I don’t know anything about the politics behind any of this. I should, but I
⏹️ ▶️ Marco don’t, and I’m sorry. But part of the problem with the apps removal is
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that you have no other alternative. Now, you do have their web app, and apparently I’ve been told their web app is pretty
⏹️ ▶️ Marco good, and you know, so it’s kind of moot that Apple removed the app from the app store because the web app can
⏹️ ▶️ Marco still be used for the same purpose, apparently I’ve been told. But the fact is we don’t have side loading
⏹️ ▶️ Marco on iOS devices. And I don’t know that Apple will ever
⏹️ ▶️ Marco do that. I would consider it fairly unlikely. But that is like one
⏹️ ▶️ Marco kind of relief valve that if they needed one, they could pull it. Where they could just
⏹️ ▶️ Marco start allowing side loaded software with certain restrictions. Maybe it’s notarization,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco who knows what. But certain restrictions so that they could still do an expert kind of blacklist
⏹️ ▶️ Marco thing and blacklist obvious malware, but that they would not be running everything
⏹️ ▶️ Marco through the App Store, and therefore not even be putting themselves in the position
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of having to block apps for certain government requests. And sure,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco then the Chinese government could then just go to the web host that was hosting the app and make them block it. Yes, that is true,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco but at least it wouldn’t be on Apple. I’m going to use the thumb relief
⏹️ ▶️ Marco valve again. I don’t think they’re ever going to pull it, but by putting themselves in the
⏹️ ▶️ Marco position of being the gatekeeper to all software on iOS, they then also put themselves
⏹️ ▶️ Marco directly in the position of having to deal with stuff like this. And if they weren’t the only gatekeeper for all software,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco they would remove themselves from the business of having to deal with a lot of this crap.
⏹️ ▶️ John Paul Patrick Johnson Apple has, I imagine, been of two minds internally about this for a
⏹️ ▶️ John long time, The advantages are just too much. We can’t allow side loading.
⏹️ ▶️ John They could be helped out, quote unquote, helped out by, for example, the US government deciding
⏹️ ▶️ John that with these ongoing antitrust things, that they have to allow side loading. And that kind of solves
⏹️ ▶️ John one of Apple’s difficult problems in that we never knew whether we could do it before. Keeping everything closed
⏹️ ▶️ John was a problem, and it put us in all sorts of binds. And now it’s like, well, we don’t have a choice. The US government says you can’t
⏹️ ▶️ John do that, so we won’t. And we get the benefits that you just described without
⏹️ ▶️ John having to make that difficult decision, which may or may not be the right bit. Like basically, if you’re
⏹️ ▶️ John allowed to not have side loading, it may actually be the right decision for Apple to not have side loading. But
⏹️ ▶️ John if you’re not allowed to forbid side loading, Apple’s problem is solved. It’s like, well, we have
⏹️ ▶️ John no choice. Right. And again, you know, it’s an American company subject to American laws. You can do different
⏹️ ▶️ John things. But I feel like that would be somewhat of a relief for Apple, like taking that
⏹️ ▶️ John choice away. I’m sure they don’t see it that way. increase government regulation as the answer to any of their problems,
⏹️ ▶️ John but from the outside and in general in American corporate history,
⏹️ ▶️ John when companies get too large and powerful, government regulation is often the only way
⏹️ ▶️ John to make things better because you can’t rely on the companies to
⏹️ ▶️ John to regulate themselves. Like too many things are aligned against them being good at regulating
⏹️ ▶️ John themselves. That’s the role of government. Whether we’re at that point with Apple, well I I can have a whole discussion
⏹️ ▶️ John when these anti-trust stuffs roll on and whether or not we’d agree with any individual case that’s going up against
⏹️ ▶️ John them. But I feel like part of part of the and not just Apple, all the large tech companies,
⏹️ ▶️ John they’re not going to solve these problems themselves. They are producing more and more difficult problems
⏹️ ▶️ John for themselves because their path to power has led them in that direction and they’re not going to turn from
⏹️ ▶️ John it unless some other influence pushes them in that direction.
⏹️ ▶️ John And maybe dealing with China is not enough, but the US government saying you
⏹️ ▶️ John can’t do that anymore. Certainly. Or like you can either we can either break you up or you can allow side loading.
⏹️ ▶️ John Apple be like side loading. Sure, great. We’ll do it like there’s all sorts of scenarios in which, uh, Apple could
⏹️ ▶️ John be convinced that it is suddenly in their best interest to make a deal with the US government to allow side reporting.
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#askatp: Progress bars
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⏹️ ▶️ Casey Let’s do some ask ATP. Chris Wright wants to know, will progress bars or time
⏹️ ▶️ Casey remaining estimations ever become broadly more accurate, linear and consistent with smooth animation
⏹️ ▶️ Casey from zero to 100%? And if not, would you care to explain some of the computational reasons why?
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Oh, this is a good one. So, I mean, the computation, so the answer is no. The
⏹️ ▶️ Marco time remaining bars and progress bars will never be incredibly accurate on a broad scale.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And the main reasons why come down to unpredictable tasks
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and lazy programmers. And neither of those are ever going away.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco So, unpredictable tasks would include things like, network.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco So for instance, like the, like a progress bar for loading a webpage, you have no idea
⏹️ ▶️ Marco how long it’s going to take. Not to mention the fact that every, every new piece of data you fetch,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like on a webpage, like if you’re loading a webpage progressively, every new thing that you load
⏹️ ▶️ Marco might then add something that needs to be loaded to it. So like you might all of a sudden read in, Oh, here’s an, here’s a script
⏹️ ▶️ Marco tag. Let me load a script. And then that script tag adds other scripts and so, or adds images that needs to be loaded
⏹️ ▶️ Marco or something. And so like you, you, you don’t know until you finish loading something whether
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you have more stuff to load. And you don’t know how long it will take to load each thing because you’re pulling over the network.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco So there’s that whole category of things that this is never going to be perfectly predictable.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco You can make estimates, but it’s never gonna be great. And then there’s lazy
⏹️ ▶️ Marco programmers. The reality is there’s not a lot of
⏹️ ▶️ Marco both skill to do things incredibly right at a level like that for a
⏹️ ▶️ Marco progress meter to be accurate. And there’s also not a lot of economic incentive
⏹️ ▶️ Marco for project managers and bosses to allocate resources
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to engineering time to making the progress bars better. The reality
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is that all this stuff is dictated by time and economics and everything, and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco nobody’s business is depending on those progress bars being accurate. And so the engineers will always have
⏹️ ▶️ Marco things that their bosses are telling them that they should do instead of working on that. And many of the engineers
⏹️ ▶️ Marco who would do things that would give a progress bar its percentage to show
⏹️ ▶️ Marco also aren’t that good at estimating things and might not have the
⏹️ ▶️ Marco skill to do it right in the first place. So the combination of lazy programmers
⏹️ ▶️ Marco or slash programmers who aren’t given the power to do it right.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And the unpredictability of many of these tasks, you know, it’s never gonna be great.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I think progress bars, as we see them now, not only are
⏹️ ▶️ Marco about as good as we’re ever likely to see them again, but are actually worse than they used to be in some ways, because
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I feel like now we have even more tasks than ever that do network requests or that do
⏹️ ▶️ Marco more complex things. And the era of mobile has introduced the
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the era of the spinner and the spinner is not a progress indicator. It is simply a
⏹️ ▶️ Marco activity indicator. It doesn’t tell you how complete something is. It just tells you something’s happening and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco most people are fine with that. And as long as the spinner keeps animating, most people don’t think it’s a problem. Like
⏹️ ▶️ Marco most customers are fine with that. And so we actually now have fewer operations
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that show progress bars. Most of them will just show a spinner until they’re done and no matter how long it takes.
⏹️ ▶️ John I guess two more more things. First, I would give much heavier weight to unpredictability because I feel like that is the real reason
⏹️ ▶️ John why you’re never going to be satisfied. But there’s two other reasons. One is user experience. Uh, and Chris
⏹️ ▶️ John said it in the thing like the expectation of a progress bar, traditional progress bar
⏹️ ▶️ John is that it’s, you know, it’s this linear, consistent, smooth animation, right? One, one thing that
⏹️ ▶️ John violates that is if suddenly your progress bar goes backwards, like what, what do you mean backwards? I
⏹️ ▶️ John was, I was 10% Now I’m 5% this thing is broken. But as Marco pointed out, you don’t know how
⏹️ ▶️ John far you are. You could be doing a thing and suddenly you have much more work than you thought. If you were to proportionally scale
⏹️ ▶️ John the new amount of work that you know you have to do, you thought you had to do 10 things, now you have to do a hundred. Suddenly the progress bar
⏹️ ▶️ John goes backwards. People hate that. Second thing is, impatient users. People want things
⏹️ ▶️ John to be done fast. The more work you do to get an accurate progress bar, the
⏹️ ▶️ John longer your task takes. There’s no better example than this than doing any file operation in the Finder, where it
⏹️ ▶️ John tries really hard to count up all the things that it’s gonna have to do to give a better, more
⏹️ ▶️ John accurate progress bar. And you’re like, oh my God, Finder, just start doing the thing. I don’t care
⏹️ ▶️ John how many things there are. Look, let me tell you, it’s millions. There are millions of things. Whereas if you go to the command
⏹️ ▶️ John line and do rm minus rf directory, rm does not traverse the directory tree to find
⏹️ ▶️ John out how many things it has to delete to give you a progress bar. It just starts deleting crap, which is why the Finder, one of the many reasons
⏹️ ▶️ John the Finder takes a really long time to do operations on a large amount of things, It’s spending time to try to give you the
⏹️ ▶️ John best progress bar you can get. People don’t want that. They don’t, they want the thing to take the smallest amount
⏹️ ▶️ John of time. They also want a progress bar, but as Marco pointed out, if you give them a spinner and do the task twice as fast,
⏹️ ▶️ John it’s way better than spending half your time figuring out all the work you’re going to have
⏹️ ▶️ John to do, like pre-flighting it all to get an accurate progress bar and then marching it through. That’s not worthwhile.
⏹️ ▶️ John Um, and the other thing I had someone in the chat reminded me of the original aqua progress
⏹️ ▶️ John bars which I thought were a fairly like many things in aqua they were fairly ingenious innovation
⏹️ ▶️ John people might not remember these because things are no longer candy and lickable but they were a typical progress bar
⏹️ ▶️ John like a horizontal bar that fills it would fill with its blue candy colored look and cylinder thing but
⏹️ ▶️ John inside the blue candy colored cylinder was like a wavy pattern that
⏹️ ▶️ John scrolled within the cylinder which was a nice example of a single element
⏹️ ▶️ John a a progress bar going from left to right that also incorporates the spinner
⏹️ ▶️ John thing saying, is my computer frozen? Is this job still going? Because the progress bar isn’t getting
⏹️ ▶️ John any bigger, but because that texture is animating, it communicates to the user. Don’t worry, even though
⏹️ ▶️ John it’s a lie most of the time, don’t worry. The thing that you wanted to do, we’re still trying to do it.
⏹️ ▶️ John It’s just, even though the progress bar isn’t moving, the computer is still working. It’s basically a user
⏹️ ▶️ John reassuring idle animation, lets them know that it’s progressing and not frozen even though
⏹️ ▶️ John again that texture animation probably just happens automatically for all you know the job could be frozen i thought
⏹️ ▶️ John that was a clever innovation our progress bars today on the mac and elsewhere tend not to do that but
⏹️ ▶️ John anyway yeah it’s it’s never going to be good because you can’t predict the future and you don’t want it to be good trust me just try
⏹️ ▶️ John deleting a folder with a million files in the finder and you’ll you’ll wish for no progress bar or a
⏹️ ▶️ John progress bar that starts at zero and goes to 100 when it’s done those really
⏹️ ▶️ Marco These really were beautiful progress
⏹️ ▶️ John bars, though they were likable.
#askatp: Writing apps
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Charles Clemens writes, I’m curious as to your app of choice for composing the written word for
⏹️ ▶️ Casey things like blog posts, reference notes, and other persistent writing. Also do you tend to write using markdown, regular plain text, rich
⏹️ ▶️ Casey text, or heaven forbid, Microsoft Word? Lastly, do you always use a heavy device for your writing like a Mac
⏹️ ▶️ Casey laptop or desktop, or might you use an iPad on occasion? This and the next question
⏹️ ▶️ Casey are the continuation of John putting in Ask ATP things that I thought I could answer very quickly via email
⏹️ ▶️ Casey or a tweet. So this I have already answered for Charles, but I will answer for everyone. When
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I write blog posts, I do it in Visual Studio Code, which probably strikes a lot of people as really weird. But
⏹️ ▶️ Casey And it also is very good at Markdown, and the blog posts are all written in Markdown. Generally
⏹️ ▶️ Casey speaking, if I’m doing anything except Apple Notes, I’m using Markdown. And I’m generally doing
⏹️ ▶️ Casey it in Visual Studio Code on my computer or a working copy, which a really excellent Git
⏹️ ▶️ Casey client on iPad. And that’s usually where I’m doing that sort of thing and my long
⏹️ ▶️ Casey term storage, if not my website is typically Apple Notes. Marco, how about you? Marco
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Tiscarelli, The Daily Show Host Anything that is code that is not an Xcode. So obviously,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I wrote my source code for my app in Xcode, but like code, other types of code, blog posts,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco anything that I would have to write in Markdown, that I will almost always do in text mate on a Mac,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco whether it’s desktop or laptop. Although I don’t do a lot of blog posting anymore,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know, when I do, it’s almost always text mate. When I’m writing other things, I’m
⏹️ ▶️ Marco usually using Apple notes. And that I can and often do
⏹️ ▶️ Marco edit on other platforms. I often will use my iPad to write out a big note or my
⏹️ ▶️ Marco phone and it’s nice to have that synced and everything. So and because I never got into like the various
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that whole category of like Merlin, Dropbox text editor apps, like that you would like, you’d have like
⏹️ ▶️ Marco a folder in Dropbox and it would sync all your text documents and you’d be able to edit them then on iOS and Mac
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and everything. I never got into any of those that heavily, like it never made it a part of my workflow. And so like
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I just never, I never had like a synced text base before until
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I got really into Apple Notes. So Apple Notes is like my main home for most
⏹️ ▶️ Marco text and it’s only when I have to get into either like, you know, server side code stuff or writing markdown and I dropped a
⏹️ ▶️ Marco text mate now. And yeah, and then therefore, that allows me to be more device
⏹️ ▶️ Marco agnostic and having everything synced everywhere is really useful.
⏹️ ▶️ John John? My answer is boring. It’s actually kind of like Casey’s. I use BBEdit for everything.
⏹️ ▶️ John Everything I’ve ever written on the web has been done in BBEdit. All my programming is done in BBEdit for the most part.
⏹️ ▶️ John I don’t like or use Markdown. I write in plain text
⏹️ ▶️ John or for when I’m making something that’s going to be HTML, I actually write it in HTML.
⏹️ ▶️ John As horrifying as that is for modern people, that’s what I do. Don’t use
⏹️ ▶️ John Word. I think the last time I used Word was like writing papers for school. I didn’t write them in Vivid because they wanted, you know,
⏹️ ▶️ John I had to print them a proportional font and have, you know, all that stuff.
⏹️ ▶️ John I will not write on an iOS device if I could possibly help it. I don’t have a keyboard for my iOS device.
⏹️ ▶️ John Like I’ll write on the iPad on-screen keyboard, you know, emails and stuff like that, but I would never, I would never
⏹️ ▶️ John choose to write anything long form there and I would avoid writing anything long-form if I could possibly help with them.
⏹️ ▶️ John I think the most writing I’ve ever done on iPad was when I used to go to WWDC and I would bring a Bluetooth keyboard with me. Back before
⏹️ ▶️ John iPads had fancy keyboards, I would just bring like an Apple desktop Bluetooth keyboard and that’s what I would type on.
⏹️ ▶️ John But a laptop is a better solution for that, so.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I don’t recall ever having seen you done that. That must’ve looked pretty
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John funny. I think you were-
⏹️ ▶️ John I saw it. For a couple of years,
⏹️ ▶️ John Like the ones that took the AA batteries, you know, those with the tube Bluetooth,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John that’s what I had. Yeah, yeah, no, I know what you’re thinking of.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I don’t recall having seen you do that. I’m sure I did, but I don’t remember it. Can you summarize before
⏹️ ▶️ Casey the internet yells at you and I’m one of them? Why don’t you like Markdown?
⏹️ ▶️ John I don’t like having to write and then transform.
⏹️ ▶️ John I don’t like the transformation compilation stuff. Like, I would
⏹️ ▶️ John say I grew up writing HTML. I wrote HTML from almost the earliest time that anyone was writing
⏹️ ▶️ John HTML. I’m very comfortable writing HTML. I don’t have to write it all manually. BBEdit
⏹️ ▶️ John has lots of tools and keyboard shortcuts to make it easier. I don’t mind it,
⏹️ ▶️ John and it is exactly what I want it to be. It’s not, like, I’m not a fan of,
⏹️ ▶️ John write in a weird, funny syntax that gets transformed into HTML. It’s because I don’t, I don’t find, I find
⏹️ ▶️ John it more mentally taxing and more work than doing it the other way. Now, and it’s basically
⏹️ ▶️ John because, like, I’m not, I wouldn’t be using Markdown for its intended purpose. Markdown’s intended purpose is that you
⏹️ ▶️ John can write it markdown and it’s perfectly fine looking at it as is. Like you don’t have to transform
⏹️ ▶️ John into something else. The idea is you write it in a markdown, it’s human consumable already, right? But that’s,
⏹️ ▶️ John I don’t, that’s not a use case that I have. I don’t have a use case where I want to write quote unquote styled
⏹️ ▶️ John organized text that is consumable as is. Everything I’m writing is going to be viewed
⏹️ ▶️ John in a web browser, in which case I need it to be HTML or it’s code or something like that. Um,
⏹️ ▶️ John yeah. So when I, when did all my writing, I would write it in HTML which I find perfectly natural.
⏹️ ▶️ John I would proofread it in HTML with BBedit’s live preview window. You get a window right next to your text
⏹️ ▶️ John window that’s showing you what it looks like rendered in the website template with all the styling that’s going to,
⏹️ ▶️ John you know, it’s not like I’m staring at ahref and trying to parse out the stuff like that.
⏹️ ▶️ John I can see it’s like a wussy wig editor but you do all your editing in the other window, you know. It’s, it’s,
⏹️ ▶️ John anyway, Anyway, my workflow for VBA works with me and I don’t have a place in
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I mean, whatever works for you, man, that just strikes me as totally bananas. But you do you. Yeah, let’s do it.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey people like things. Tom Hartnett writes, we are considering getting an iMac to be a family computer.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey We’re not planning to use it for Plex or any other server, etc. Do we really need a UPS? I would
⏹️ ▶️ Casey use a decent surge protector. In replying to this tweet, I basically
⏹️ ▶️ Casey said, it’s under $100. Why the hell wouldn’t you? And I think if I recall correctly,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Tom had said he didn’t realize that they were that cheap. And I think that was kind of the end of the conversation.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey But I absolutely say, you know, you don’t have to get a super fancy UPS.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey It doesn’t have to last, or at least if you live in most modern areas where
⏹️ ▶️ Casey power doesn’t fail that frequently. If you live somewhere where you just need to
⏹️ ▶️ Casey be able to hold your, hold your computer over for five to 10 minutes, I don’t know why you wouldn’t. And plus,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey most decent UPSs you can like hook up via USB to your computer. And you know, if you install the appropriate
⏹️ ▶️ Casey software or what have you, It’ll actually tell the computer, hey, I’m running out of battery power. You might
⏹️ ▶️ Casey want to shut yourself down. And then the computer or Synology, for example, hint hint, will shut itself
⏹️ ▶️ Casey down when the UPS is running out of battery power. Marco, how do you feel about
⏹️ ▶️ Casey this? Do you have a whole house generator in New York or what are you doing in order to
⏹️ ▶️ Casey keep your power supply uninterruptible?
⏹️ ▶️ Marco We don’t have any kind of backup power or anything, but I do have UPSs on desktops. So that’s kind of my rule.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like any kind of desktop or important server infrastructure, I put a UPS
⏹️ ▶️ Marco on. Not because it’s super necessary, but just because it’s really
⏹️ ▶️ Marco annoying if your computer just all of a sudden turns off while you’re working on it and you have unsaved stuff and you lose your work. And
⏹️ ▶️ Marco as you mentioned, UPSs are not very expensive, especially compared to the price of the computers that they are plugged into.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco They also happen, usually, if you get a good one, but if
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you get a good one, you can get some fancier power filtering and power protection circuitry
⏹️ ▶️ Marco than you might be able to get out of a basic circ strip. So you do have a little bit more protection there from risks, but
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I don’t think it’s, honestly, I don’t think it’s the kind of risk that most people have. So it’s mostly
⏹️ ▶️ Marco just for convenience. Like, with a laptop or an iOS device, like, if you’re
⏹️ ▶️ Marco having like a big windstorm, like what’s going through here right now, and the power goes out for a split second, like,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know, you don’t need the UPS to last, to last an hour, but it’d be nice
⏹️ ▶️ Marco if it lasts like two minutes, you know? Because I think most power outages in most places are not long,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco but you might have like a blip or 30 seconds where it’s out or something like that.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco So it’s really nice to have some things so you don’t just lose your work.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And because they’re relatively inexpensive and last relatively a long time, eventually
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the batteries wear out, but they last relatively a long time, then it’s generally a good idea for
⏹️ ▶️ Marco desktops. And I feel like most people don’t even face this problem because most people are just using laptops
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and iOS devices, but if you’re using desktops, it’s nice. And I also, I put all of
⏹️ ▶️ Marco our networking gear on it as well. So I mentioned earlier when I’m talking about my network upgrade,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I have all of the router, the switch,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the Fios modem, and all my wireless access points, all of them are
⏹️ ▶️ Marco on the UPS, or on a different UPS than my computer, obviously, but they’re all on a big one in the garage,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the Synology. So that way, if there is a power outage, as long as Verizon
⏹️ ▶️ Marco also keeps their service up optically, I still have an internet connection, which is nice.
⏹️ ▶️ John I just replaced the battery in my Synology UPS. Yeah, the answer is get one for
⏹️ ▶️ John your desktop stuff. They’re a little bit of a hassle in that they do have batteries, and you do need to replace them when they
⏹️ ▶️ John wear out, eventually the UPS surge protection stuff in it will also wear out but they’re so worth
⏹️ ▶️ John it. I mean depending on how stable your power is. My power is very stable. Once every few years
⏹️ ▶️ John we get a flicker but a flicker will take out what you’re doing. And not to mention like sort
⏹️ ▶️ John of brownouts and undervolts like this. Electronic equipment tends to be finicky
⏹️ ▶️ John and even if it’s something as simple as you know playing on your PlayStation that’s not hooked up to
⏹️ ▶️ John a UPS and the power dips just long enough for it to you know blip
⏹️ ▶️ John off or something like it’s it ruins your day. There’s also the theory I
⏹️ ▶️ John think Mark already pointed out like that you’re conditioning the voltage you can get a fancy one that tries to make your power cleaner and
⏹️ ▶️ John honestly the power supplies in your devices help with that as well. But yeah it’s it’s a no-brainer they’re
⏹️ ▶️ John they’re cheap get one it is difficult if you’re getting a big fancy computer have lots of stuff hooked up to size it correctly
⏹️ ▶️ John because if you do the math it’ll be like I need to buy this super expensive of UPS, that’s true,
⏹️ ▶️ John but I’ve gotten by for many years with a massively undersized UPS that gives
⏹️ ▶️ John me just enough time to panic shut down. And we’re just like, it starts making this noise,
⏹️ ▶️ John like oh my god, I gotta shut down, I gotta save. Like it’s all you need is a couple seconds to save and shut down.
⏹️ ▶️ John And as for OS integration, Mac OS has integration to this point where you don’t need to install any software. Most UPSs
⏹️ ▶️ John you get that have a USB connection, you just hook it up and the Mac will understand that’s UPS
⏹️ ▶️ John and you can configure it to shut itself down. As case, Synology did the same thing.
⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey I didn’t realize
⏹️ ▶️ John that. If I lose power on my Mac Pro that’s sitting
⏹️ ▶️ John under my desk right now, my UPS will scream bloody murder, my Mac will immediately shut down and I
⏹️ ▶️ John will have just enough time to shut down.
⏹️ ▶️ John it is not, like my power supply in this thing, what is like 450 watt or something, and my new Mac Pro, I’m gonna
⏹️ ▶️ John have to get a new UPS by the way. Like it’s a thing. Surge protectors also wear out over time as well.
⏹️ ▶️ John So a good rule of thumb is when you get a new computer, especially if you waited 10 years,
⏹️ ▶️ John get a new UPS, get a new surge strip. I’ve actually gone through several UPSs. They don’t last
⏹️ ▶️ John as long as my computer apparently. Nothing lasts as long as your computer. That’s true. Yeah,
⏹️ ▶️ John anyway, yeah, get a UPS. It’s, you know, it’s worth
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it. Yeah, and it is very important what you just said that like surge protectors don’t protect forever.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco There’s a thing in them that basically it gives itself up to to to protect you
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and after that you have no more protection a good search protector will actually stop
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the power going through it if that thing ever wears out I’m sorry I don’t know the details of what these things are called
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like like the good ones will actually you know that most of them will have like a light that’s like you you currently
⏹️ ▶️ Marco have protection if this light is on but you never look at it right so the good ones will actually cut off power
⏹️ ▶️ Marco if the protection ever fails to protect you that way you know oh, this stopped working, I need to
⏹️ ▶️ Marco replace it. That’s a good thing to look
⏹️ ▶️ John into. Oh, and when I said scream bloody murder, some of them will actually make noise. Like that’s how I knew my UPS battery downstairs
⏹️ ▶️ John was bad, because the UPS was screaming. Screaming with the warning light that says, my
⏹️ ▶️ John UPS battery is bad, like, and the battery, replacing the battery in the UPS is way cheaper than buying an entire, like, it was like 30
⏹️ ▶️ John bucks or something. I replaced them, they’re these little square lead acid things, so they’re,
⏹️ ▶️ John it’s decidedly low tech and silly, but worthwhile, and again, much cheaper than having to buy
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, it’s basically little car batteries for you. And yeah, I will put a link in the show notes.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco After a while, I’m getting like the big APC brand ones. I’ve
⏹️ ▶️ Marco had a lot of very good luck in recent years with CyberPower. I’ll put a link in the show notes to the line that I keep buying.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I’ve now bought, I think, three of these or four of them over the last four years or so,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and they’ve been wonderful. So I’ll put a link in the show notes. Thank you to our sponsors this week, Squarespace, Casper,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and ExpressVPN. and we will talk to you next.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Now the show is over, they didn’t even mean to begin, cause
⏹️ ▶️ Casey it was accidental, oh it was accidental.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey John didn’t do any research, Marco
⏹️ ▶️ John and Casey wouldn’t let him, cause it was accidental,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey oh it was accidental. It was accidental And you can find the show notes
⏹️ ▶️ John ATP.FM And if you’re into Twitter
⏹️ ▶️ John You can follow them
⏹️ ▶️ Marco at C-A-S-E-Y-L-I-S-S So that’s Casey Liss
⏹️ ▶️ Marco M-A-R-C-O-A-R-M Anti-Marco Armin
⏹️ ▶️ John USA Syracuse, oh it’s accidental
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Accidental They didn’t mean
⏹️ ▶️ John to Accidental Accidental Tech Podcasts
Mutually Assured Consumption
⏹️ ▶️ John I thought of this too late and because it’s in the after show we can’t use the title But what I should
⏹️ ▶️ John have said with the phrase what I was looking for when talking about China was mutually assured consumption
⏹️ ▶️ John good. And I was like it was right on the tip of my tongue, but I couldn’t pull it out So I just moved
⏹️ ▶️ Casey on So what you’re really trying to say is you’re trying to challenge Marco to make that work
⏹️ ▶️ Casey somewhere Just drop that in somewhere in the
⏹️ ▶️ John episode. No, I gotta Google that someone have already must have thought of that That seems like an obvious thing
⏹️ ▶️ John Did you mean mutually assured destruction? No, Google, I didn’t. How is that? Do
⏹️ ▶️ John I have to put it in double quotes? Let’s see. Google,
⏹️ ▶️ John iOS, if you go to the Google web, google.com on iOS in the browser,
⏹️ ▶️ John there is a, and it happens if you just type in the address bar in like mobile Safari, you just type a search phrase there.
⏹️ ▶️ John You end up at a Google search results page, right? Whatever you typed in the address bar, like I just
⏹️ ▶️ John typed mutually assured consumption, ends up in this little rounded Google search field
⏹️ ▶️ John within the webpage. You originally typed it in the address bar, maybe it’s still in the address bar, I forget, but that text
⏹️ ▶️ John is also in the little rounded search area on google.com, right? That little rounded
⏹️ ▶️ John search area, I cannot figure out how to use. I want to like
⏹️ ▶️ John fix a typo or add a word, and for whatever reason, like, I’m
⏹️ ▶️ John like, my hands and fingers and brains are on autopilot, And I’m just trying to like,
⏹️ ▶️ John you know, like I’m not thinking, you know, when you edit text in iOS, you’re doing for so long, you’re not thinking like, take your
⏹️ ▶️ John finger, put it on the screen, put the insertion, but like, you just do it. What you’re
⏹️ ▶️ John thinking is, oh, I need to add ed to the end of that word. So you initiate the add ed to the end of
⏹️ ▶️ John that word iOS macro and what happens instead on the google.com page,
⏹️ ▶️ John is it like does another search or searches for the first auto completion or like it doesn’t
⏹️ ▶️ John behave like a text field. And so that happens, it does some weird thing, like it auto-completes
⏹️ ▶️ John to the first guess on what I meant and goes off and does it. And I notice that it does it and I hit the back button.
⏹️ ▶️ John And then I really concentrated and I said, now engage your brain. Whatever it did before, make
⏹️ ▶️ John it not do that and add the ed to the end of that word. And very often I can’t figure out how to do it. I’m like, what
⏹️ ▶️ John does it want me to do? Do I tap and hold? Do I tap once? How do
⏹️ ▶️ John I edit the text in this search field? And I get so frustrated with it and I fail.
⏹️ ▶️ John And what I end up doing is making a new tab and typing the correctly typed thing into the address bar of Mobile Safari
⏹️ ▶️ John again. I feel like I should spend time and decode how
⏹️ ▶️ John that thing’s supposed to work. It’s obviously thwarting something that I’m either consciously or unconsciously doing.
⏹️ ▶️ John But I can’t friggin’ figure out how to edit text
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John I mean, I gotta say, I never
⏹️ ▶️ Marco see this problem. Yeah, because I use DuckDuckGo by default everywhere. And also,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco when I have to edit a search or refine what I typed, I just go back to the address
⏹️ ▶️ Marco bar and do it there. Like to me, the address bar is my search box. Even after the fact,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I never go to the one on the page and either Google or dot dot dot and edit it there. I always edit it in the address
⏹️ ▶️ John So I’ll try it one of these days. Like see, I may be the only person who tries to edit it. Maybe it’s not editable.
⏹️ ▶️ John Like there’s this confluence of like fake text field, auto correct,
⏹️ ▶️ John auto assumption, plus the locality of the X thing to clear. Yeah,
⏹️ ▶️ John it could just be a lag thing because now that I’m doing it in a particular thing, it’s like, it works fine. What’s the problem?
⏹️ ▶️ John Like something happens where like it’s not responsive or it’s loading something or I hit I tap
⏹️ ▶️ John on the wrong spot with my fat finger and I get into this frustrating loop that I can’t figure out.
⏹️ ▶️ John Anyway, that’s my complaint about Google for the day. Mutually assured consumption.
⏹️ ▶️ John Did I spell it right? And I’m
⏹️ ▶️ John on the desktop, I can edit things easily.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Well, it’s not like iOS or iOS web browsers have problems with text fields. I’m sure it’s that Google has
⏹️ ▶️ Marco overrode this with a
⏹️ ▶️ John It is not a standard search field. So the phrase definitely appears in many
⏹️ ▶️ Marco invented typing. Freaking Google.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco were the days. They still do that, like scroll jacking. Like that’s still a
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John thing. Apple still does it. I
⏹️ ▶️ John know, but now it’s GPU accelerated,
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco so it’s way better.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, right. Yeah, Apple’s product pages always do scroll jacking. It drives me nuts. Like, what was
⏹️ ▶️ Marco wrong with web pages? We had like so much of the web today. Like, I was using a thing earlier,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and it was like, it was some like, you know, Ajax progression through states of a form instead of just
⏹️ ▶️ Marco using forms. And you You could tell by the browser activity that it was loading almost instantly,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco but then I had to wait for an animation of the page to fade in on each step. And I’m just
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like, we have gone backwards here. This is not better. We have all the technology
⏹️ ▶️ Marco in the world now, all the networks are super fast now, and we’re just wasting it all
⏹️ ▶️ Marco You do all sorts of crazy crap. It’s like, the web sucks right now. Like it’s terrible.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco So much of web design is just awful and it’s not the fault of the technology, it’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the fault of the people. Like the technology is there to make great website
⏹️ ▶️ Marco experiences super easily, super lightweight, but people aren’t using it that way because that’s not like
⏹️ ▶️ Marco what’s currently in fashion. What’s currently in fashion is to waste as much as possible and make fancy
⏹️ ▶️ Marco things that don’t work well and suck up tons of power and take time and break half the time. Like,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco what was wrong with just web pages? They were great. Why did we have to mess them all up?
⏹️ ▶️ John I think we had this same discussion back when the first of Apple’s scrolljacking product pages
⏹️ ▶️ John appeared. Remember that? I don’t remember what the product was,
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco but just put it in each Apple.
⏹️ ▶️ John I think it was the 2013 Mac Pro. Was it? Was that the first one?
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco That was certainly
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco the bad ones.
⏹️ ▶️ John That was definitely, I mean, certainly the current Mac Pro. All the product pages do it now. And the thing is, for those
⏹️ ▶️ John type of things, I’ve come around to the idea that as a sort of
⏹️ ▶️ John brochure cool visual experience. It’s a fun thing for me. I still think it’s wrong
⏹️ ▶️ John for almost everybody because normal people are not Appreciating the
⏹️ ▶️ John fun visual thing. They just think this web page doesn’t work like a normal web page Therefore it seems broken and I’m confused
⏹️ ▶️ John about what to do Which is why it’s the wrong decision to do for a public facing web page But the people
⏹️ ▶️ John making it are I think in the same mindset as me is that you know It is a cool whizzy thing
⏹️ ▶️ John And if you are not confused by that, it can make a an appealing
⏹️ ▶️ John visual presentation. You still hope that there’s a normal page somewhere with actual text on it for you to find the information
⏹️ ▶️ John you want, but for sort of like a, you know, for as an advertisement at work, but I feel like it’s the wrong move
⏹️ ▶️ John because nobody like your web page works different than every other web page.
⏹️ ▶️ John I don’t like your web page like yeah, but doesn’t it look cool? It’s like yeah, but I’m confused about how it works or what it does
⏹️ ▶️ John or is there more of the page or I would never have guessed that by scrolling more this thing would be revealed and popped
⏹️ ▶️ John up and is the top of the page gone now? It’s like it breaks people’s mental model
⏹️ ▶️ John of how the web works and if enough of those things come along people just throw up their hands and we’re back to like Flash all over again
⏹️ ▶️ John where everything is an unpredictable, you know, custom UI and a square in the middle of a webpage
⏹️ ▶️ John and you have no idea what you’re going to get.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco we’re already there. Like, like, you know, like when when Flash intros became a thing like back
⏹️ ▶️ Marco forever ago they very quickly went out of style because we all recognized,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco this is just a waste of people’s time and bandwidth. Nobody wants to sit around and wait for this. Just give me the information. We don’t
⏹️ ▶️ Marco need to be brought on a ride. And I feel like that should have happened
⏹️ ▶️ Marco with all this scrolljacking stuff five years ago and just hasn’t. And I don’t know why
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it hasn’t, but for some reason, this is all still common and acceptable.
⏹️ ▶️ John Do you remember when Flash, we got rid of the entry, whatever, I forget there was a word for them, like
⏹️ ▶️ John the splash screen, but like, anyway, we got rid of that, but still there persisted
⏹️ ▶️ John essentially entire websites that were themselves custom made Flash applications. Like there was no waiting to get to
⏹️ ▶️ John it. Where you got to was this inscrutable, weird Flash doohickey, right? So that’s where
⏹️ ▶️ John we are with the web stuff is very often like you’re not asked to wade through something to get to something. The
⏹️ ▶️ John thing you’re trying to get to is itself a weird nonsensical
⏹️ ▶️ John sort of, it’s not nonsensical, but it’s like, it’s unlike what we expect as a webpage. And also,
⏹️ ▶️ John mostly there’s never any thing for people
⏹️ ▶️ John to hang their mental hat on. Like, this reminds me of a thing that I understand.
⏹️ ▶️ John Therefore, even though it’s different than other webpages, because it’s like other
⏹️ ▶️ John thing that I understand, it’s tractable. And normally the other thing that I understand is if there’s some kind
⏹️ ▶️ John of, not normally, but like one of the common ways you can give somebody something to hold
⏹️ ▶️ John onto is if there’s a physical analog. If I can make sense of this, here it comes, spatially
⏹️ ▶️ John and physically speaking, oh, I see, it’s kind of like three layers moving past each other, and like, if you
⏹️ ▶️ John can make heads or tails of it in that way, it’s still not great, but you can figure it out. But the problem
⏹️ ▶️ John with mostly scroll-dragging pages is there’s no real-world counterpart with which
⏹️ ▶️ John you’re familiar that you can say, oh, I get it, it’s just like X, right?
⏹️ ▶️ John For, to give an example, carousels, named after a thing that has a physical reality.
⏹️ ▶️ John And in general, even though they’re weird, in-page carousels make sense to people. It’s
⏹️ ▶️ John left to right, a series that you can envision it as either a circle or as a long horizontal line of pictures
⏹️ ▶️ John and many, many websites, especially if they have lots of photos, have carousels. I think people accept
⏹️ ▶️ John those. It’s not like a page, it’s a different internal element, but there is
⏹️ ▶️ John a real world analog that people understand and we accept them. But the Scrolljack
⏹️ ▶️ John Mac Pro page, Try explain to me what those layers are and how they
⏹️ ▶️ John interact with each other. You see it in New York Times stories all the time. People are always like oohing and aahing over them. Like, this makes
⏹️ ▶️ John no sense. I have no idea how much movement on the scroll bar results in how much movement
⏹️ ▶️ John of which elements and how they transform and fade into the foreground and background and twist and
⏹️ ▶️ John turn. Like all those stories that people like, that shows statistics one screen at a time. It’s like you’ve just made
⏹️ ▶️ John the world’s most fancy PowerPoint transition with a scroll bar control, which I
⏹️ ▶️ John don’t think is an upgrade. I mean, I guess we’re saying, oh, I guess some people still do like
⏹️ ▶️ John them, but I feel like if I sent that web page to any person who was not into
⏹️ ▶️ John technology or web design, they would just consider it a slightly broken and weird web page.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I know the New York Times infographics can be really good. Like wasn’t, Overcast
⏹️ ▶️ Casey was in one of them recently that I thought was pretty well done. And I’m looking at the Mac Pro
⏹️ ▶️ Casey page now, God help me, And it does scroll jack in a few places, but it’s
⏹️ ▶️ Casey not nearly as aggressive and obnoxious as it was on the original trashcan Mac pro,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey because I remember that being bad or am I thinking of the, actually the 5k iMac, there was something
⏹️ ▶️ Casey that like you zoomed into a five guy and Mac did it too. Yeah. Yeah. I I’m not
⏹️ ▶️ Casey sure which one was
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John in the trash can. It came out
⏹️ ▶️ Casey first. That’s total. Yeah. But one of them, like, I remember you zoomed into like the, or maybe zoomed out of the display
⏹️ ▶️ Casey or something like that. and it was just, it was clever the first time I saw it, but then it was just annoying.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey And I feel like Apple has toned it back a lot, which I appreciate, because it used to be
⏹️ ▶️ Casey really, really aggressive in years past. And now there’s a couple of times where it’s a
⏹️ ▶️ Casey little bit frustrating, but generally speaking, I don’t think it’s too bad. It’s pretty